Maryhill, Glasgow, May 1974

Originally posted 2018-09-18 07:57:20.

Maryhill, the poor part of Glasgow’s West End, in 1974, was a different world. Looking back on these pictures, 45 years later, I am still moved. When I came to the Philippines first, a kind but unaware French friend told me that I would see poverty such as I had never seen before. I had not the heart to tell him; I had seen worse.

Yet on the other hand I have so many memories of Maryhill and most of them are good. I was never robbed, beaten up or threatened there. Nobody ever asked if I was a Catholic or a Protestant — a question I would get used to later. People were poor, yes, many had no shoes; but they had community and mutual respect. I see that today in the Philippines. We lost a great deal when we lost that.

Tryst on Februar Fowerteen – A Scots Allegory

tryst-tree

Originally posted 2014-02-14 20:16:57.

A fell cauld wind wis sauchin ower the muir as the bonny wumman gart her wey tae tryst her jo. For the necht wis Februar the fowerteen, an aabody kens at’s the necht for luve.

She wis winsome eneuch, tho the first blush o youth, it maun be said, was left ahent her a lang while syne. A body mecht hae speirit at himsel how comes a lass o sic natral attractions hidnae been wad this mony a lang year.

At last she reached the spot ablow an auld aik whaur she an her jo hiv met this necht mony mair years nor either of them wad care tae hink on. Her jo wis aaready there, a puckle fashit, ye mecht hink, wi the wye he wis stridin up an doon, his een flashin faniver he luikit up.

“Ah, here you are, at last,” he intoned, as the lass presented hersel.

books by rod fleming

Featured Image: Restenneth Priory, Forfar, Angus, Scotland. Pic by Rod Fleming

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Grip: How to hold the fiddle and bow

Originally posted 2013-07-03 19:59:34.

Grip the fiddle and bow photo
Grip the fiddle and bow so that the bow crosses the strings at a right angle

Once you have the grip of the instrument under the chin sorted out, the next thing to address is the right hand’s grip on the bow. This can cause a great deal of trouble though in my opinion is not as tricky as the left hand. Again, the secret is to avoid tension; the hand must be relaxed. To do this, all four fingers and the thumb must be in contact with the stick, and all must be curved. This is hugely important. The most common grip errors are for the little or pinkie finger to lock and become straight and rigid. Do not allow this to happen. Another is for the pinkie to lift off the stick, which is also wrong. More subtle and harder to see but just as damaging is for the thumb to become stiff.


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Schadenfreude

Originally posted 2014-10-25 10:50:35.

My my my, wonders will never cease. The devastatingly lacklustre leader of ‘Scottish’ Labour, Johann Lamont – she of the genetic ‘lack of programming’ to make important decisions – has resigned.

Not before time, one might well respond, and that would seem, on the face of it, fair. Yet it appears from her resignation statement that some of her lack of visibility during Independence Referendum One (oh, there will be more, do not fret) was not due to incompetence but to the fact that she was being told what to say by London and resented it. That she waited this long to act on her resentment makes her parting words seem rather like crocodile tears; but those are the only ones that will be shed over her doffing the Poisoned Crown, so we ought not to be too harsh.

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Seumus the dog: a tale of three pies and a pint

Originally posted 2017-02-16 08:26:46.

A long time ago, when I was a young lad, I had the acquaintance of a dog called Seumus.

Now Seumus was of, shall we say, indeterminate lineage. There seemed to be a fair bit of black Labrador in there, but it was mixed with some distinctly non-pedigree characteristics, including a tail that curled over his back. When Seumus was feeling full of himself, he carried this high and showed to the world his anal sphincter. I’m sure that’s not in the Labrador breed book.

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