Jim's General

2nd of January 2018

by on Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018

Happy New Year everyone and shut gate! This is a lovely old kirkyard on the Hebridean Island of Islay that the Malcolm family visited back in August. It’s the place where all the really smoky whisky comes from like Laphroaig and Lagavulin. It’s a dreary rainy day here so I thought wee shot from the summer would be more cheering. The Malcolms had a grand Xmas, with lashings of good food and company. We are now feeling suitably puritanical for the new year although that usually only lasts a few days. I spent quite a bit of time playing Christmas music, and just when you’ve got it mastered its time to pack it away for next year. But my favourite musical season is just about to begin as Burns Night hoves into view. Time to dust off a ranting,red fond kiss for a’ that lang syne !

4th of January 2017

by on Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

Happy New Year folks! I was singing once again at a Hogmanay bash at the Dunkeld House Hotel in bonnie Perthshire. I think for the sixth year in a row – We are calling it Groundhogmanay! The band were giving it the usual laldy with the clientele all nicely scrubbed,dolled up and hoooching away the final moments of an ‘interesting’ year. From the left are Pete Clark on fiddle, Gregor Lowrey on box, Graham Mulholland on pipes and whistles, Steve Gillies on guitar, Erik knussen on bass and Jen Knussen on harp and fiddle. As usual the band stayed up till the larger small hours, with a great session when I even played “King of the Swingers” on the trumpet, which I’ve now been playing for a whole year – my only resolution that has ever made it out of January.
Have a brilliant year !
I have uploaded a clip of the band playing to my Facebook page

11th of September

by on Sunday, September 11th, 2016

Hello folks, Susie and I are just back from a ten day trip/writers retreat we helped organise for our good friend Grace Burrowes – a bestselling romantic fiction novelist. We had a wonderful time based near Aberfeldy visiting many of the surrounding attractions, as well as trips to inspirational locations such as Abbotsford (Sir Walter Scotts border home), Culloden, Roslyn Chapel and the Braemar Highland Games(to see the Queen!).
We also visited the Black Watch Museum in Perth where there is currently a travelling display called The Weeping Window – to commemorate the hundreth anniversary of the Great War. we also saw it up in Orkney back in May.
Scotland was looking very bonny…

15th of August

by on Monday, August 15th, 2016

Had great gig in Portsoy, up on the Banffshire coast – very beautiful fishing village with an ancient harbour. The venue is called the Salmon Bothy, a lovely old building, used as a museum and arts centre.  I snapped the stage area to show you the fantastic knitted mural depicting the old harbour. The concert went well and I played my first ever trumpet solo in public. Ive been learning it as a New Year’s resolution! Thanks to Bob and the crew for organising and to all those who attended.
“The land of the golden and the green” a snap of  ‘Valley of Strathmore’ on the way home with field of ripe corn waiting to be cut. The journey home from Portsoy was really like driving through the pages of a song book.

9th of August

by on Tuesday, August 9th, 2016


Greetings from China…well actually Edinburgh Zoo. This is one of two of our giant pandas in Scotland, making them twice as common as Conservative Members of Parliament (chortle). They are so popular that you have to book in advance to see them which we failed to do. But we stuck around till nearly closing time and managed to sneak in to see them once the throngs had dispersed. They are spectacularly bad at breeding and it’s no surprise that so few of them are left. The males have the libido of a wet cardboard box. We were all very impressed when we got them from China until we discovered that we were only renting them – for a million odd pounds a year! Mind you they do seem to be pulling the crowds. Edinburgh Zoo seems now to be concentrating on helping endangered species these days and is less of a series of cages like the old days. Thanks to Sandy for the picture.