|Nov 21 2009||London: Front Room,South Bank Centre||Web: www.londonjazzfestival.org.uk|
|Jan 19 2009||Glasgow: Celtic Connections, GRCH||Web: www.celticconnections.com|
|Apr 19 2010||Perth: Red Rooms, Perth Concert Hall||t.b.a.|
|Apr 20 2010||Mull: An Tobar, Tobermory||Web: www.antobar.co.uk|
|Apr 21 2010||Mull: An Tobar, Tobermory||Web: www.antobar.co.uk|
|Apr 22 2010||Oban: Corran Halls||Web: www.corranhalls.co.uk|
|Apr 23 2010||Dunfermline: Carnegie Hall||Tel: 01383 602302 (Box Office)|
|Apr 24 2010||Drumnadrochit||t.b.a.|
|Apr 25 2010||Aberdeen: The Blue Lamp||Tel: 01224 647472 (Box Office)|
|May 7 2010||Edinburgh: Queens Hall||Web: www.thequeenshall.net|
|May 8 2010||Banchory: Woodend Barn||Web: www.woodendbarn.co.uk|
|May 13 2010||Stirling: The Tolbooth||Web: tolbooth website|
|May 14 2010||Findhorn: Universal Hall||Web: www.findhorn.org|
|May 15 2010||Stornoway: An Lanntair||Web: www.lanntair.com|
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
Thursday, 30 July 2009
Saturday, 13 June 2009
Sunday, 22 March 2009
Saturday, 14 March 2009
Friday the 13th has come and gone. Just another day for most folk, but some really do think it's unlucky. I met someone this morning who told me that she'd made her son stay at home today, because on the last Friday 13th he crashed the brand new family car. I found myself imagining her getting home from work to find her son frantically trying to repair the completely demolished greenhouse, which he crashed into with the lawn mower.
I guess i don't believe in luck.
This was also the day my wife Corrina was 'due' to give birth to our first baby. There's not much sign of any action though, so it looks like the bump is refusing to join the select group of babies who arrive on their 'due' date. Apparently only between 3 and 5% of all births happen on their 'due' date. (I keep putting the word 'due' in inverted commas. Sorry if you find that 'annoying'.) Man, I have learned so many statistics recently. Did you know that 74% of all statistics are made up? 23% are based on unqualified research, and the last 5% are put together by people who can't count. All true.
Most of the parents I know talk about how incredible it is having a baby. I can't really comment as we haven't had ours yet - but the whole build up to it has been kind of amazing. Our families have been busy making stuff. Sewing, stitching, knitting... (There's even been curtains made!) It's great to see how everyone has been kind of 'rejuvenated' by the prospect of a new addition to the family - a sense of optimism is definitely in the air. Maybe it's all a wee bit more amplified because we both have fairly small families with hardly any young'uns. Who knows. And our pals have been fantastic too - we are completely kitted out for the new arrival having not spent a penny, thanks to donations of little-used (and in some cases, never-used) newborn baby stuff. I still don't know what half of it's for.
Actually, the not-spending-a-penny thing isn't entirely true... A lot of the advice we got from friends when we told them about having the baby was along the lines of "Don't buy anything! We've got buggies/cots/seats/clothes etc we don't use anymore..." Great stuff, we thought. A lot of the stuff you only use for a few months anyway... But a couple of months ago I was talking to one pal, who is already a father with another on the way, and I was given this single bit of advice: "Buy something!"
Huh? But everybody else said...
"No, buy something - even if it's just a wee thing. It makes it real."
That struck a chord with me 'cos it certainly wasn't feeling very real at that point. So the other day, we finally got round to it - "Let's go buy something for the baby" we said.
Now it sometimes feels kind of like we're one of the last couples I know of to have a kid, but just in case anyone out there is yet to go through this fantastic journey, one small, humble piece of advice I would give is to be wary of the big-brand shops.
We made the mistake of going to one of them. Not mentioning any names, but let's just say it's not called Fathercare. We really did intend to just buy something wee, but all of a sudden we got totally taken in by the "Look, what's that thing? - oh, we'll be needing one of those!" scenario. The whole layout of these stores is unreal - you're immediately confronted by this bewildering array of stuff and you're given the impression you just won't be able to survive having a baby without them. After what seemed like an entire weekend wandering round the store, we got to the checkout. I couldn't believe it - the till showed a total of nearly £100. The assistant asked if we wanted a store/rewards card. When we eventually regained the ability to speak, we asked why. Noticing that the bundle of items we'd picked up were all for a new-born, she said: "Well, let's face it - you'll be coming in here for probably the next seven years, so you'll save money in the long-run." Are you KIDDING?? You think we're coming back? We just bought £100 worth of stuff that I've never heard of before! (Apart from the small elephant - I'd heard of those.) Now, I'm aware by this point that we're the mugs for actually falling for the "This stuff is absolutely CRUCIAL to your successfully looking after a baby" routine, but the staff actually seem to believe it too! We started to get the picture of what everyone was talking about with the "Don't buy anything" advice. Where would it end? "Baby's 2 years old now, time we bought a self-moisturising, temperature-controlled, safety-bath-hat & activity centre." (Available in a choice of colours, of course...)
Another friend (and parent) asked me recently, knowing that the due date was very near, if we were ready. I said I didn't really know.
She said: " Do you have nappies?"
"Do you have somewhere for the baby to sleep?"
"Then you're ready."
I guess that sums it up. (I may have simplified that conversation for effect, but you get the point...)
But if you have loads of money to spend, then absolutely, go and spend it on your baby. Why not? I'm sure I would if I could. You'll probably never feel there's a more worthy reason for spending such a huge pile of cash. If you don't have loads of money, does it matter? - Do you really have to spend £20 on a pair of shoes for a baby who can't walk yet, and won't fit in a couple of months?
Of course, all this talk of spending (or not spending) money is all pretty insignificant in the big scheme of things. Needless to say, I'm very excited about the impending augmentation. Corrina and I have been together for 18 years now, and I kind of thought we'd always be a duo. This was a somewhat unexpected adventure, but now I cannae wait.
Trio it is then...
Sunday, 15 February 2009
God, how I love the run-on sentence culture here in the UK . . .
I guess, of there was to be a point, which I may at some point make, is a point relating to the theory of dates containing the numbers 11/11 and that it apparently opens a portal to another dimension to where we can all ascend and throw off the shackles of an inept government and relatively obscene interest rates. This date (or there are many of them if you are creative) is often referred to as the Harmonic Convergence.
On wednesday, however, the date will be 180209 - not a lot of 11/11 going on there, but it will be a convergence of relative harmonies as the entire Dave Milligan Trio will officially live in the same village. How weird is that. 10 years ago I hadn't eve heard of Pathhead, I was still struggling with the concept of 'trying' for a child and getting my head around the fact that I had been married for about two days.
All this time later and Sophie and I have just had our tenth anniversary which then means its about 9 1/2 years since we quit smoking (at Dave and Corrina's wedding funnily enough), slightly more than 9 years since Leo was conceived and slightly less than 9 years since we moved here to the village.
May things continue to converge.
Thursday, 1 January 2009
As if today wasn't revealing enough as it is, we had a grea tafternoon rambling through the local gentry estate admiring their excess when we passed by a herd of cows, . . lowing in the gloaming. I was taking pictures of the interesting trees and local animals, and at the time this totally passed me by. But fortunately I didn't delete this seeming harmless shot off the camera and when I reviewed the shots of the laptop I found this strage portrait of a cow. I am sure that is our fearless leader performing a mind meld with bessie the heffer.
Well well well, merry new 'at it' and all that. That was 'mean good' party last night, the new year has been well brought in. The multitudes were multitudinal and erectreflectival, maybe even a bit overstrueditively syarmy. There was a visitation from all the usual suspects, some unusual, and all trying to wish in the year welly.
Most everything has arrived, if, with perhaps a bit of a, don't mind saying so, a covert kind of a way, but not wholly disguised as such, a warm welcome (the Scottish tourism board could pay me 3/4 of a million pounds for that slogan), . . anyways, and I am getting to the point, All went well.
There may, however, be a slight hitch in the plans for the Dave Milligan Trio in the coming year(s) as I have it on good authority that Dave has been subverting his position as pianist(penist) and supplementing his income by doing gigs on accordion. Undercover spies have leaked this photo taken at a gig on princess street during the hogmany celebrations. This is Dave playing accordion for the James Blunt concert that nobody went to.
Needless to say it looks like Tom B and I will be advertising for jazz pianists named Dave to fill a possible vacancy, I've heard dave is now book solid through 2011. Catch him all next week at Whistle Binkey's.
Happy New Year