Danny MacAskill again

This guy just blows my mind. Abubaca to tailwhip anyone?

Danny Macaskill

There seems to be so many more possibilities on this kind of bike than on a BMX. Bigger drops, bigger gaps, higher jumps. This is some of the most incredible street riding I have seen, not to mention the production. Five stars all round. 

Girl Talk – Jump on the Stage

Just heard this on 6Music. Samples from loads of great bands, including sample kings themselves, the Beasties, mixing Hey Ladies with Lust for Life. Brilliant! 

Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat

Recorded at last night’s rehearsal.

Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat

Night Snipers

This is a fairly new discovery for me, found through last.fm when listening to my favourite Russian band, Akvarium. They’re called Night Snipers and this song is called Black Sun. I uploaded it for two friends of mine who I thought would like it since they like Apocalyptica (which I actually don’t, but there you have it).

Hamish is 3!

Music by the Greencards


Sons and Daughters

I had heard of Sons and Daughters from my mates and had Love the Cup on my hard drive but hadn’t given it its proper attention. Then today I was doing the vacuuming and put S&D on on the iPod and had a rocking time. For some reason it made me think of dave, knowing that he has a penchant for British alternative music. So dave, I had a look through your last.fm and saw no sign of S&D in your charts so I thought I would upload some for your enjoyment introduce you to them. Maybe you won’t dig it, but just maybe you will. Give it a go and see what you think. I love it!

They’re a Scottish band, from Glasgow.

Gilt Complex
Rama Lama



Hamish’s second year

I’ve created a video slideshow of Hamish’s second year starting from his first birthday when we were at Disneyland Paris. I used Lightroom to select the images — it’s great for that kind of thing as you can select all photos between two dates and then filter down to specific tags, in this case Hamish. Then use colours or flags to narrow down the selection and finally export out to jpg.

Once that was done, I imported into iPhoto 08 and did a slideshow that way, but it really doesn’t give you very much control. So I tried it in iMovie and that worked a lot better. I’m used to the more traditional non-linear editors, specifially Premiere Pro, so iMovie looked a little weird at first. I did some of the online tutorials on Apple’s site and it was then really easy to get the music imported, adjust the duration etc. I think the iApps are really great for creating media like this and the suite of apps goes together really very well. It’s a shame that Lorraine hasn’t the time to learn how to do this as I’m sure that she would enjoy it, particularly as she’s got the 24-inch iMac; I’m doing it on a Macbook!

The hardest part of the project was picking out the music. Lorraine did help with that.

And finally I got it uploaded to the web. I tried Vimeo this time rather than YouTube as I’m not keen on how YT compresses video. Although Vimeo seems to have done the same sort of thing. I’ll perhaps try different export settings from iMovie and see if that makes a difference.

The next thing to do is the same thing for Freya’s third year. For each of them their birthday spans the move from Lux to Scotland so it’s an important year for us all. Once it’s all done, we’re going to put it all on DVD for sending to friends and family.

It’s really great having all this digital media and I could see my photography improving through the year as I picked out the photos. And Lightroom really does rock, seriously.

So, without any further ado, here are the fruits of my labour. Enjoy!


Hamish Year 2


Goodbye Chris

A friend of mine died today. I met Chris at the first UK gathering of RMMGA that I attended back in 2005. He was large as life and a wonderful and talented musician. He was the driving force behind the UK gatherings and did a lot for acoustic music in his local area. He was playing right up until the very end and played a great gig just two weeks ago and he was in great spirits right up until the last couple of days.

He was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer and was given a year by the doctors. He had planned on marrying his long-term sweetheart this coming July but it wasn’t to be.

Here is how I remember Chris. This is a video I shot the last time I saw him at the UK gathering in 2007. I sadly couldn’t make it this year because of my new business and I’m now really sad about that. Oh well.

Gan canny, Chris.

UK10: Chris, Malcolm – Doggone lowdown good for nothin blues



What’s good in your life?

I need to blog. Not sure what this will achieve but maybe I’ll can look back on this period in a year or so and thank God that we got through it.

Life is hard. Too fucking hard.

This new business is great; I’m really enjoying the work, enjoying being an employer, enjoying the respected position in the community, enjoying being part of a community that I want to be a part of, enjoying the day-to-day challenge and the feeling of a good, honest day’s work at the end of the day.

But we’re skint. Rooked. Nae cash. No moolah.

Lorraine is working all the hours that she can. I get home and am too tired to do anything but reheat my dinner, eat it and go to bed. I haven’t properly played the guitar for maybe a year or so. When Lorraine manages to meet a deadline (usually by working well into the night for the last few days) she either has another deadline looming for the next batch or has to clean the house as it gets into a dreadful state when nobody can do it because nobody has the time. And on top of that she’s dealing with eBay auctions for cards for the shop, putting them in cellophane bags, printing labels to say what the message is inside.

We came to Arran because it’s beautiful place but we never get out to see it. We haven’t been out together since Hamish was born (he was two this week). Even when we’re home we don’t really see each other. Lorraine is fucking exhausted but keeps on going and won’t quit. She looks dreadful. There’s no joy in our lives and we’re not sure how we’re going to make ends meet financially and whether we’ll be able to keep the business going long enough to make it profitable.

Have we made some dreaful mistake? I try and be grateful for all the things that we have: two healthy and happy children, our own health, a roof over our heads. Then things happen like a stone flies up off the road and lodges itself into the gap between the windscreen wiper and the bonnet. So when I try and work the wipers, they don’t move, and I keep trying, thinking that they’re just stuck, and the motor burns out, and we’re left with a 400 quid bill. How is that fair?

I listen to music and am moved as much as I always have been; I feel the urge to play and get excited. I get home and am too fucking tired to do anything. I pick up the guitar to play but it’s no good. I have to go to bed. If I get to bed after 10 p.m. it’s late and I’m tired the next day. Between 9 and 10 and I’m okay. At work I forget it all because I’m doing the next thing and then the next thing and roll through the day and quite enjoy it, but what’s it all for if, when I get home, I’m too fucked to do anything, I don’t see the kids, I don’t see my wife and she’s burned out and stressed and hating herself for having no patience with the kids and feeling like a failure because the house is dirty and there are boxes everywhere and the kids aren’t eating very well?

Oh, fuck knows. Maybe I should just put on some NIne Inch Nails really fucking loud and try and block it out. As Lorraine keeps telling me, worrying about it doens’t help. Yeah, I know. At least I’m not drinking though, eh? I’ve found a great bunch of recovering alcholics here and although I don’t get to many meetings, I still make a few and thank god that there are meetings here and people I can turn to.

Back in Lux we had a decent income and did see each other, although at the time it seemed that we didn’t, but compared to now we most certainly did. But we were never really happy, me especially, living in a foreign country where we didn’t really fit in. Now I do fit in and I love that to bits, but it just seems that there are too many sacrifices. I’m working my bollocks off and the business may be breaking even if I’m lucky.

But I guess this is what we expected, at least for the first year and possibly second and third. Maybe I should just stop fucking whinging and get on with life. As the great John Lennon said, life is what happens while you’re making other plans. My wee girl cuddled me while she fell asleep tonight and told me that she loved me. That’s what I should be focussing on, right? I’m not the drunk, fucked up dad that I might have been (and was for the first 18 months of her life). And I’ve also got Beppe. So I’ll leave you all with a Beppe tune, the one that I just tried to play, and ask you all (hood only, of course) to give the tune a wee listen and, as you listen, sit back and think of what’s good in your life and I’ll do the same.

Ave Maria
Beppe Gambetta