Yesterday Sandy was put through his paces on the judo mat by one of the stars of the recent Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow. Louise Rennicks won a gold medal for Scotland right at the start of the games. She regularly comes to Perth to help coach youngsters. Scottish Judo won a total of six gold medals at the Games, right at the start – which was a huge boost for the Scottish team that went on to have it best ever Games. Sandy has grown about six inches in the last eighteen months, putting quite a strain on his wardrobe.
Last night I made a guest appearance in a Show Called ‘Far, Far from Ypres’ at Perth Concert Hall. Organised by old friend Ian MacCalman it is a wonderful collection of songs and narrative about the First World War. It featured songs from many stalwarts of the Scottish folk scene including Dick Gaughan, Ian Bruce, Brian and Siobhan Miller, Stephen Quigg, the Sangsters, Patsy Seddon, and piper Gary West. BBC’s Ian Anderson linked everything expertly.
I was singing my song ‘Jimmy’s Gone to Flanders’ which Ian Mac has kindly suggested was an inspiration for the character of Jimmy macDonald in the show. It was a powerful and moving event that I am greatly honoured to have been a part of. The show will continue be be presented in other venues in Scotland and beyond, having already been performed a Glasgow’s Celtic Connections and The Edinburgh Festival.
Photo from late afternoon soundcheck.
Well folks, it’s been a while since I updated my blog and for that I humbly apologise. I think i have been under a bit of a spell in the last few months, being preoccupied with certain events in Scotland… Buy today I snapped out of it when I got the chance to scratch a little cross on a long awaited piece of paper. This is my vote in the Scottish Independence Referendum… I will be touring in the US on the fateful day. Sticking it in the post box was an unexpectedly uplifting experience. Whatever happens Scotland will never be the same again. We have rediscovered an appetite for political involvement on a massive scale which can only bode well for keeping our politicians on a shorter leash..
I have just about finished another solo album of great old Scottish songs, a kind of second volume to my last release Still. It will be available come October.
I have been jotting around Scotland quite a lot over the last few months and will be posting loads of pictures shortly- I promise…
View of the Isle of Rhum from the Isle of Eigg
A soggy Hampden Park, Glasgow. Our national football stadium had been transformed into an athletics arena for the Commonwealth Games. We were there to see the final session of athletics, and one man in particular…
‘What’re Usain tae it Big Man’ A blurry snap of the star of the show – Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt Who ran the anchor leg in the 100m relay smashing the Games record. He is a wonderfully relaxed and flamboyant character as well as being a consistent champion. The games were a huge success for Scotland with our best medal total ever. My son Sandy was delighted when a young lady who has been one of his judo teachers won a gold medal…
The classic view of Loch Garry in the Western Highlands, it looks a bit like a map of somewhere…..
Summer hols saw the Malcolms heading north west to the magical Isle of Skye. Here is a view of Portree, Skye’s largest settlement with the Old man Of Storr in the background..
Watery saltire.. the Fairy Pools of Skye looking towards the Cuillin Mountains
Among the Fairy Hills near Uig on Skye.
Dunvegan Castle, Skye – ancient seat of the Clan MacLeod and home of their famous ‘Fairy Flag’ which brought them great success in battle. Everything on Skye seems to be fairy this or fairy that….
The Coral beach near Dunvegan. an natural peculiarity caused by a build up of the remains of a certain marine species…
The grave of The Jacobite heroine who at great risk transferred the fugitive Prince Charlie between islands dressed as her maid. See Skye Boat Song for details…. She later emigrated to America before the Revolutionary War and ended up on the losing side again…
Skye’s only distillery – a wonderfully peaty elixir
Aka the Hogwarts express. The steam train service between Fort William and Mallaig passing through some of the most stunning countryside anywhere. Hang on to your chocolate frogs….
Been out scouting places for future trips to Scotland…a typical Jacobean fortified house…now a hotel.
Posh George Street in the Edinburgh New Town….
Inside the George Hotel, George St, Edinburgh New Town. A painting by famous early 20th century artist John D Fergusson…my home town of Perth has a wonderful gallery of his work…