This year’s conference will follow this agenda:
Registration - on arrival please make your way to the Strathchunty hall where you will need to check in at the registration desks. Our conference team will be there to provide you with conference clothing.
Coffee - Move to the Fixed Mercury room for coffee and miniature Danish pastries.
Seminar - The Frippery of the Elves Revealed. A presentation by the court of the Elf King.
Coffee Interval - During coffee in the Killy Lounge, the elves will be on hand to answer general questions.
Are you going to Brian Baxter's party said Terry and I said EH Brian Baxter's pairty like? and he says AYE it's this weekend and I says EH and Terry says AYE MIN Brian Baxter says that it's his party LIKE this weekend and I just says well it's NAE LIKE I WANT TO GO OR ANYTHING and Terry says NIH and I didn't think you would LIKE and then I said well what the fucker you telling me for LIKE? and Terry says well I just said I would like to Brian Baxter’s like and I said EH WELL THEN and goes down to the offie like thinking that if it was Brian Baxter's pairty LIKE I'd better get to the offie fast before Brian Baxter's guests get there and fucking buy all the booze and I was laughing thinking that's MENTAL imagine if all the booze had been bought from the offie like and I was LAUGHING and thinking aye the FAGS AND ALL.
Realists polish their lenses to capture the multifarious aspects of the external world. They pride themselves upon the soundness and the sanity of their vision. Realist writers never doubt the totality of the objective world.
But there are others! These writers are not so well appreciated, it is true, but they cultivate the inner vision, abandon the paved highway of standardised points of view, brave the quick-sands of non-conformity, and seek their own path through the quagmires of subjectivity.
PART TWO: The Nine of Diamonds remains the Curse of Scotland. The origin of this name is not certain but many explanations, some of which follow, are suggested. Lord Justice-Clerk Ormiston was called the Curse of Scotland and so the Nine of Diamonds (also commonly called the Curse of Scotland) was known to them as The Justice Clerk.
"Shit" said Sean Noccery as he grappled with the little girl, "I was only trying to give you a lift home, and now you run away into the woods like this."
And as the school bell rang, Sean attempted to pick her up from the ground, but she said to him: "My daddy and his friends hurt people like you, mister."
And then Sean did say "SHIT" again, except louder, for they were from Glasgow, which frightened him.
And then gritting his teeth, and reddening in the shame of his sextagenarian lust, Sean thought very quickly :
Oh no! I've floundered in the woodies,
Handling now the student goodies,
For my obsession grows with fanny
I am ashamed! A filthy mannie!
The idea of great artists came to me long after I’d learned to paint. You could find out who I considered to be great, but that would only tell you something about me.
You could make your own list to the same effect but what good would that do you? You would be as well listing the great flowers of all time, the greatest icebergs in the world, the towns with the greatest air, or the greatest breadsticks that ever were made. Kiel has the greatest canal in Europe. Or myaybe it does not and perhaps the honour is due to Venice or to Manchester.
You’ll find that there are so many great things in the end that you're wasting your time with this policy, and the only thing that stops everything from being great, is yourself.
Try it now. Try and say something nice next time you open your mouth. You might be able to manage it once but you probably can’t keep it up for very long. If you’re like me, you’re a cynic because you’ve been bred a cynic ... and you see so much of the world as a chance for you to shine with your luminous criticism. It's all you and me have, and it's what keeps us from the rarity of greatness ...
The Range of the Awful Hand is a range of hills in the Southern Uplands of Scotland, so called due to their resemblance to the fingers of a hand...
It's also the name of a band from Edinburgh, two members of which were formerly in Gilded Lil (check this Gilded Lil playlist if in any doubt as to the genius of that bunch.)
Download recent stuff from The Range of the Awful Hand here.
The Northern declivity of the hill of Parkhouse is called Aikey Brae or Yackie Brae. In the 1980s there was a play by The Invisible Bouncers, the theatre group of Alastair McDonald, called Pinky Brae, and it was an exceptional hit, at least in the North East. I'm trying to track down some stuff about the play at the present.
The name Aikey Brae is supposed to have derived from the aiks (oaks) of the area, which once clad the hill. Another idea is that the hill claims its name from Achaicus (or Yochock) a Pictish King.
Until the 20th century, the Aiky Fair was still held in the area, and marked with the removal of the relics of Achaicus’ brother, St Drostan, from Aberdour to Deer, on the third Wednesday in July.
On Aikey Brae, it is said one of the Earls of Buchan fell from his horse at hunting, and was killed. The facts of the case state that this happened because the earl had called Thomas the Rhymer, the great prognosticator, Thomas the Lyer.
Though Thomas the Lyar thou call’st me,
A sooth tale I shall tell to thee
By Aiky-side thy horse shall ride,
He shall stumble and thou shalt fa’;
Thy neck-bane shall break in twa,
And maugre all thy kin and thee,
Thy own belt thy bier shall be.
JOHN DILLON'S IN; WE WON
BATTY AND HIS TRANSFORMER'S OUT; WE WON AGAIN
PUT THE BOOT IN
SUPPORT THE ANGRY SIDE SPREAD THE WORD
POWER TO THE PEOPLE
The Angry Brigade
Buchan — Ythan — Forgue — the Kirkhill of Logie — and the Soorick Burn — the source of the pearl that is found in the Crown of Scotland.
The Ythan — or Ituna as it was known to the Romans — rises in the upper parish of Forgue, from three springs which are collectively known as the Wells of Ythan. Half a mile from these springs, the Ythan receives its first tributary, the burn of the Sorrel — in Doric known as the Soorick Burn. This is near the base of the Kirkhill of Logie, at the summit of which are the final remains of three druidical circles.
It is perhaps surprising to some people that in this remote area of North East Scotland, there were both Romans and Druids — but there were. Both Romans and Druids in their ways were in the business of setting boundaries, and near this spot at the Mill of Knockleith is where the Ythan begins to form that for which it is still known — the boundary of Buchan.
At one time, the Ythan was known for its mussels — called pearl oysters — and in the list of unpublished Acts of Parliament of Charles I, there is one “for repeating the patent for the pearl-fishery in the Ythan, granted to Robert Buchan.”
There is a tradition in fact that large pearl in the crown of Scotland was procured in the Ythan, the story being that it was found at the junction of the Water of Kelly (spit, spit) and the Ythan, and was presented to James IV in 1620 by Sir Thomas Menzies of Cults.
Skene, in his Succinct View of Aberdeen, says that it was “for beauty and bigness, the best that was at any time found in Scotland.”
On account of these pearls which were found in the Ythan, the river was once called “the rich rig of Scotland” and although pearls are still found there, there is no regular fishery for them.
A Note on the Crown of Scotland
The Crown of Scotland is very old indeed. The Crown was remade in its current form for King James V of Scotland in 1540. It is part of the Honours of Scotland which is the oldest set of royal regalia in the United Kingdom.
In 1540, the bonnet of velvet and ermine was added to the crown, but an earlier form of the crown is shown in the portrait of James IV of Scotland in the Book of Hours, done for his marriage to Margaret Tudor in 1503.
This 1503 date is the earliest known reference to the crown and so 1503 is thus the latest date of original manufacture of the crown.
The Crown of Scotland on Wikipedia
Here is the Jesus Christmas Blessing:
Ö Bless us all, as the season leaves us every one behind, there is a fat chance that cold and lonely we will succumb to Christmas confusion, and in that famous glow, get light and merry to return to glum in January.
And Ö Bless us all, as the season leaves us every one a cold turkey, there is a fat chance that peace presents a memorial quandary as lonely we will succumb to Christmas longing; bang on the day, and in that famous glow, get light and lighter until our sections are unique.
May you all go glumbo to your dinners; where sacred and alone, hold by those others of the self-same birth raft, you supply your company. AMEN
To say that language in art and letters have been stunted is very true. It’s not that there’s a lack of eyes to look at pictures, and not that there’s a surfeit of people talking about them, or people reading books, but there is now a self-consciousness which demands improvement on a weekly basis.
When in conversation, one notes that one must say not simply what one feels, but what one considers to be brighter than what has come before. It’s a constant fight out there. A competition is raging, and it’s adjudicated by people who think the brain is for the rational snapping of the jaw, and that ideas are for dissection. The fact is that speech is the ideal that shows us what we are.
All of this, I became skilful at avoiding, but only through the indulgent twisting up of words — I called it my writing! Liska was naturally never a part of it. She couldn’t have taken a part if she had wanted to, she could never produce any of that verbal twat that makes our civilisation as arid as it is.
Liska’s work defied criticism because she defied viewers. Artistically, she and I are the end of the process. We are both speculators, and we both lack ideas. In our work, there are no concepts, just as there is nothing high and nothing guarded. She paints and I write, and these are the ends in themselves. It is as if we couldn’t be bothered with anything, else, any of the shit and smack of the media, of sales, of having websites, twitter feeds, anything that made us a part of that grand, public popularity contest ....