Saturday, September 27, 2008


This is just scary.  
The burger on the left is 12 years old. 
(pic from

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Crisis? What Crisis?

Debbie and I have been discussing at great length what course of action we should follow around getting our house move sorted out.  My house has been on the market since the end of May, and as we hadn't had a single viewer at one of our open viewings (Thursdays 7-8, Sundays 2-4, or contact our solicitor for an appointment) we've reduced the price we want by over 15%.  So things haven't been going well. 
Following a turbulent financial week, and everything that's been happening in the financial markets and the banking world in the last few days, I wouldn't have thought that things were looking up for the wider economy either. 
So I'm not sure what to make of the fact that we've had two viewers round to see the flat today. 

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My emotional track record

My emotional track record is fairly well established.  I'm a greeter.  
Sob-stories on the X-Factor, the wedding scene in Father of the Bride, the bit at the end of the Undercover Millionaire when they hand over the money.  I've cried at them all.
But there are only 3 times that I can recall in my life when I've been moved to tears by music:
1. When John Squire played the opening chords of 'Waterfall' at his last gig before he left the Stone Roses at Wembley Arena.  We were supposed to be in some of the worst seats in the venue, but skipped into the VIP area, then managed to get into the crowd at the front, and got right up to the barrier. They started with 'I Wanna Be Adored', then did 'She Bangs the Drums', then 'Waterfall'.  I cried, and embraced the guy next to me, who was in an equally emotional state.  Greetin' and hugging strangers.  That was the 1990's for you.
2. When Sheena sang 'My love is like a red, red rose' at my wedding last year.  'Nuff said. 
3.  On Tuesday on the No. 5 bus going up Leith Street in Edinburgh at 7.30am on my way to work.  Listening  to Glasvegas sing 'Geraldine'. I have listened to nothing but their album for three days now, it is truly awesome. 

Kirk Broadfoot: Scotland Hero

"Limited ability" now seems to include an ability to play at both right back and centre half for your country in the same game, make a series of decent runs and crosses, and score with a header from a corner...... 
But last night may have lasting ramifications for Scotland beyond the short-term of this qualifying campaign.  All over Scotland, I can imagine our football mad youth waking up and saying:
"Mummy, when I grow up, I want to be just like Kirk Broadfoot".

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Reality Check

Affter reading this article in Wired, I thought that Leland Chee had the coolest job in the world. 
This was the antidote.


I'm a huge fan of Jon Stewart and the Daily Show, and this video is why:
Sometimes politicians and politics get an unfair hearing from the media, but most of the time they deserve it.  Everyone on this video deserves it. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

For Sale

I’m currently trying to sell my house. After we got married last year, Debbie and I made plans to move somewhere bigger, and so we redecorated her one-bedroom flat in Gorgie and got it on the market last spring. After a flurry of interest, culminating in three offers it sold in three weeks, and the deal concluded on the last weekend in May. In the interim period, we redecorated, de-cluttered and cleaned our house. We painted, grouted, and polished, then hoovered, sealed, pollyfiller-ed, then scrubbed, scraped and finished. Our flat was ready for the market. It was advertised in the Edinburgh Solicitors’ Property Guide on the first day of June. On the first weekend on the market, one person came to see it. She lived in the flats next door. The next three weeks saw one person a week come to view our flat. In fact, until last Wednesday, when we were visited by a friendly, well meaning but ultimately disinterested viewer who hadn’t even decided to buy any property and was just ‘seeing what was available’ we had had no one express any interest in over two months. Three months down the line we’ve had four viewers round to see our clean, tidy, competitively priced flat (near to Sainsbury’s, Meadowbank Stadium and on good public transport links to all parts of Edinburgh. White Meter Heating). We’re in a decent financial position. We’re not overcommitted and we have an above average annual income. There are people in the current financial crisis that are in a far worse position than my wife and I. But if Gordon Brown and Alasdair Darling honestly believe that a time limited stamp duty holiday will have any great impact on our quest to find a buyer for our house (which would be within the price limits of the Stamp Duty freeze) they will be mistaken. Only increased confidence in the economy at large can help, and with OECD predicting that the UK, and the UK alone amongst the G7 countries, will face negative growth and a recession, combined with the fact that property prices in Edinburgh have dropped for the first time in almost four decades this doesn’t look likely soon. Short-term, spin inspired, measures will not inspire increased confidence in the economy and turn the country’s fortunes around. It will not sell my house in the near future, and especially not to a first-time buyer. I’m told that this measure could cost £600m, but it will not work. That’s bad news for my wife and I, bad news for the first time buyers who can’t get on the property market, and bad news for the economy in general. But it’s exceptionally bad news for the Government. We reduced the asking price on our flat yesterday by 7%.