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CreepingJesus (Scotland)

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The Dear Green Place: and Fur Sadie
The Dear Green Place: and Fur Sadie
Price: £3.47

4.0 out of 5 stars Dense and satisfying, like a pie supper., 6 Jan. 2015
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We follow the trials and tribulations of Mat Craig, as he struggles to achieve his dream of pure art in writing, set against his limiting Calvinist upbringing in working-class Glasgow.
Grounded firmly in Hind's own life, this fierce critique of intellectual aspiration in a climate of tough reality, is hard going at times, especially when we are party to his weighty, semantic turmoil. Craig's self doubt and self criticism are the weave and weft of this work, and make for a study in the basics of modern philosophy. Set this against a backdrop of solid, practical Marxism; add in a small cast of characters who neatly typify a few Glasgow archetypes, and you have an interesting, illuminating novel, which forms a solid contribution to modern Scottish literature.
The duality and shadows of personal demons, resonate from Hogg through Stevenson to the various trials of Mackay Brown's 'Greenvoe'. The grit and grime of pre gentrification Glasgow is there in all its' colour and glory, as in McIlvanney and others.
I found myself wishing he'd made more of Helen's middle class origins, which could've been another useful, understandable contrast. That she believes implicitly in his art, is important in the story, but her reactions to circumstances could've been capitalised upon more.
As I say, dense and satisfying like a late night pie supper from the Blue Lagoon under Central Station. And sometimes just as hard to digest.
Fur Sadie, on the other hand, perhaps hints at Hind redressing the above imbalance.
He uses the idea of the middle classes living outside the city, and the aspiration of some city dwellers to escape there. Again the social attitudes of the time, and the same philosophies are at play, the settings are familiar.
Only now perhaps, the characters are more stereotypical than archetypal, but the writing is less dense and more conventionally paced. At face value, it's a shame this remains unfinished: but then, Hind seemed to be developing a habit of writing characters who would live out with the window of the story, limited only by themselves and their lifespans. It is with Sadie Anderson as it is with Mat Craig. If it remains unfinished, then all the more opportunity for the reader to extrapolate.
As Fur Sadie is lighter, but ultimately there isn't enough of it, it'll have to be a City Bakeries sausage roll of yore.
If you haven't experienced these culinary delights of Glasgow, you might not get the subtlety and depth of the social and cultural situation in these stories either. This is where Hind's article for the Scottish International journal comes in: the piece is a pointer to one of the real events that coincide with Craig's world. Here's the practical Marxism and stubborn resolve of his characters, laid out in a well documented drama which is worth reading up on for itself. The Upper Clyde Shipbuilders work-in is a torch to shine on Hind's work. As are the works of Alasdair Gray, of the time, which coincided with their friendship, each drawing inspiration from the other.
Indeed, in Gray's editorial pieces, we get the sense of he and Hind's arts being intertwined with their lives. Fascinating, and worth reading in themselves.
Overall: plenty to get through, and good value for the effort.


Skandika Comanche Eight Man Tent - Sand/Red
Skandika Comanche Eight Man Tent - Sand/Red
Price: £167.16

1.0 out of 5 stars Style over substance - best avoided, 10 Aug. 2013
In four days of camping, there were three instances of holes developing where the flysheet attaches to the groundsheet; one at each foot of the porch poles, and one at the back at a pegging loop. Part of the skirt near the door ripped off, meaning the guy line had to be lifted out. And despite it having a can and a half of Fabsil in it, it leaked at the seams in a moderate shower. The condensation it developed during dry nights, was pretty bad too.
The sad thing is, that everyone who saw it, commented on how good it looked, and how quickly and easily it had been pitched. The Comanche is truly a triumph of style over substance. In the end, we decided to strike camp a day early, because we'd got it dried out, so it could go back in its' bag bone dry, and be returned forthwith. There's not even any possibility of letting the kids use it as a shelter or plaything for the garden, it is that useless. I'd give it zero stars if I could!
I wasn't expecting the world from it - it's a lightweight single skin, so summer use only is fine by me. We didn't even get that.


Kubik Edge II 8GB Touchscreen MP3 and Video Player
Kubik Edge II 8GB Touchscreen MP3 and Video Player

3.0 out of 5 stars Good value for money, 10 Aug. 2013
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Overall, it's good value for money - why bother buying something by Apple at many times the price, when this does the job perfectly well? Easy to load files onto, behaves perfectly when hooked up to a PC, and even charges reasonably quickly from a car lighter socket. Battery life isn't too bad either; I reckon I'm getting 8-10 hours out of mine, which is okay. Sound quality is good, and the EQ is very well thought out, so it isn't hard to fine tune.
On the downside (and this is based on me using it solely in my car), I find the screen frustrating to use. In strong light, it's very hard to see the icons quickly, and the touch sensitivity I just cannot get right. It may be just my sausage fingers, or being spoiled by the ease of use of my Android phone; but it is a pain. I've discovered that a stylus helps, so I'll be getting one of those, maybe you'd consider spending a few quid on one too, if you think it might be a problem!
Also, I've found that it can't charge and play at the same time, which is a staggering oversight. I plug one of those dummy tapes into the headphone socket, when I'm using it, so why on earth can't I plug a cable into the USB socket and charge it at the same time?
Does it pass the loss test? For me, and my need, no. If it got stolen or went missing, I'd buy something with actual buttons, which could charge and play at the same time. But that's not to say it isn't a great little device - it is. Stacks of memory, with the option of more, many neat and useful functions, and a seemingly sturdy casing. Probably best used if out running, sitting on a train or something like that.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 2, 2013 11:26 AM GMT


On the Wrong Line: How Ideology and Incompetence Wrecked Britain's Railways
On the Wrong Line: How Ideology and Incompetence Wrecked Britain's Railways
Price: £2.32

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading, 21 Mar. 2013
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There can't be many writers who know this territory better than Christian Wolmar, and he spares nothing in examining the problems we face with our railways. Interesting historical perspectives too, and obviously well sourced.


Original Genuine HP Laptop Battery Compaq Presario CQ40 CQ41 CQ45 CQ50 CQ60 CQ61 CQ70 CQ71 Series HP Compaq G50 G60 G61 G70 G71 HDX X16 Pavilion dv4 dv5 dv6 Series, fits 485041-001 498482-001 485041-003 482186-003 EV06055 EV06047 HSTNN-W49C HSTNN--W50C KS524AA (ShizaltaUK)
Original Genuine HP Laptop Battery Compaq Presario CQ40 CQ41 CQ45 CQ50 CQ60 CQ61 CQ70 CQ71 Series HP Compaq G50 G60 G61 G70 G71 HDX X16 Pavilion dv4 dv5 dv6 Series, fits 485041-001 498482-001 485041-003 482186-003 EV06055 EV06047 HSTNN-W49C HSTNN--W50C KS524AA (ShizaltaUK)
Offered by ZZRTEC
Price: £38.79

5.0 out of 5 stars Good service, 21 Mar. 2013
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Good price for the genuine item, turned up quickly. Can't ask for more than that! Why buy inferior copies from abroad, which don't turn up anyway?


British Leyland: Chronicle of a Car Crash 1968-1978
British Leyland: Chronicle of a Car Crash 1968-1978
Price: £3.98

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly frustrating..., 1 Feb. 2013
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The author clearly knows his subject, and has researched well, and included many useful snippets of interviews and first hand accounts; for that, it's a useful book.
Sadly, the layout, erratic timeline and sometimes I suspect, poor editing, let the side down. It is a complicated subject being covered here, but even so, the unfocussed nature of much of the book, makes it harder to read than it should be.
Still a good book, for the library of anyone interested in the subject, and ultimately worth its' modest price.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 4, 2014 7:50 AM BST


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