Friday, September 29, 2006

Thomas Truax

Just a note then to say that the Sonia and I saw Thomas Truax at the intriguing new Aberdonian venue Musa (small attractive church converted to classy art-cafe-meal-music type place). Predictably, it was an entertaining evening with The Hornicator, Sister Spinster and new 'band' member The String-a-ling all on good form. Truax's noise experiments are many and varied, but they always remain welcoming and melodic. Add to that fantastic showmanship and audience-involving wandering, and you have a great night for a surprisingly broad demographic. My only note on this evening was that the show does feel better in a darker and more bustling setting; I saw Truax sometime ago in the sadly missed single dark room that was Dr Drakes (supporting Chris TT, but blowing him away) and I know he plays the excellent Tunnels here in town. Even with the lights low at Musa, the venue felt a little posh. Having said that it meant Sonia got a well-tasting pot of green tea, so she was happy. I can't quite imagine ever getting that at the one-beer-and-you'll-like-it Drakes!

Best Lines In Film Update

A reminder on this then that mine can be found here, Lisa's here and Helen's here.

In addition, we have:

Paul Fuzz with:
"We're gonna be like three Fonzies. And what's Fonzie like?" "Cool?" "Correct-a-mundo." Of it's type, it don't get much better. (Jules in Pulp Fiction).

Neil with:
"Don't look in the trunk" or "let's get sushi and not pay" (Repo Man).

Rosby with:
"It's a veritable...vegetable...paradise!" Wallace and Gromit must deserve a mention on there somewhere!


"I wish I knew how to quit you" and "Jack, I swear..." (Brokeback Mountain).

Ash with:

"I know" from the Empire Strikes Back.

"Oh, no, it wasn't the airplanes. It was Beauty killed the Beast." from the original 1933, King Kong.

"Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine." Casablanca, which has quite a few of the best lines in cinema.


"I'll slap you and your like it". Humphrey Bogart, Maltese Falcon.

C'mon, any more for any more?

JJ comes in with this post first with:

"We have an injured rabbit also". (The geek in Local Hero shouting up at the bedroom window of the hotellier Gordan Urquart who has been woken up by the battering on the front door by the geek and the American who wants to buy the bay for an oil refinery, following their arrival in the village at an unearthly early hour.

And then referencing the very funny Cheesiest Lines in Film Awards and her personal favourite:

A line delivered by Kevin Costner in his flop The Postman rounds off the top 10. "You're a godsend, a saviour," a blind woman tells his character. "No," he replies. "I'm a postman."

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Protecting Freedom

Excellent post featured at Today in Iraq referring to the new bill to trial terrorist suspects in America. Sobering.

Little Miss Sunshine

Went to see the excellent Little Miss Sunshine last night and it made me laugh out loud more freely than any film in a while has been able to. The film follows little Olive Hoover and her family as they travel to California so that she can compete in the hideous Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant (for 6-7 year olds!). Each cast member gives in a fantastic performance as their respective member of this fractured family and together with a pretty tight script and wonderful cinematography, it is on the whole a delight to watch, and needless to say I recommend you to do so.

However, it isn't flawless. Sometime about midway through I had to tell myself not to get caught up on some stretches of the premise (no police action by the hospital/car pool people? Horn mysteriously stopping during the emotional bit and whilst parked outside the hotel? Security not taking over in that end scene). Also, the family seems so fractured at the beginning you wonder why their together at all, but then again I know first hand at times that this can be true! It's all minor stuff in any case, as you really are having so much fun (sometimes in the so-painful-but-nice way), and the film nicely avoids any over-the-top emotional sugary end. There you go then, a well-managed and very funny film and one that doesn't make you feel that you're being used in a some boardroom formula. Beautiful.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


A baby seal makes its escape!

I love waves!

Good advice down at the bay!

The moody sea!

After a great few days down in Yorkshire (see here), I got a little bored on the long weekend up here, but sorted myself out with a refreshing coastal walk up at the Forvie Nature Reserve at Newburgh. As you can see it was a rough day, but I wasn't minding being all in my wet weather gear. Nothing like the outdoors to get your head level again.

10 Best Made Up Facts

Got this from Rob, who got it via Kate. It's great!

Ten Top Trivia Tips about George!

  1. Pacman was originally called Georgeman.
  2. George can usually be found in nests built in the webs of large spiders.
  3. Americans discard enough George to rebuild their entire commercial air fleet every 3 months.
  4. The military salute is a motion that evolved from medieval times, when knights in armour raised their visors to reveal George.
  5. If you drop George from more than three metres above ground level, he will always land feet-first.
  6. George was originally green, and actually contained cocaine!
  7. More than one million stray dogs and half a million stray cats live in George!
  8. George can grow up to three feet in a 24 hour period!
  9. It is impossible to fold George more than seven times.
  10. Bananas don't grow on trees - they grow on George.
I am interested in - do tell me about

Monday, September 25, 2006

Steam Train

Look what I worked out how to do! This is the steam train Sonia and I saw at Horton-in-Ribblesdale!

Simon informs me that this is a Southern Railway 4-6-0 in British Railways livery with London, Midland & Scottish coaches! Go Simon!


This weekend I have looking after a rabbit and here he is! After a couple of days of inactivity, he worked up the courage to jump out and explore and I must say he is a bit on the cute side. Apart from some minor furniture damage, we have been getting on well! His name is Jackson, named of course, after Dr Daniel Jackson from Stargate SG1!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

10 Best Lines In Film

I was sat watching the fabulous Shaun of the Dead the other night and had a good old chuckle at the second appearance of the line, 'You've got red on you', that time of course referring to the blood splatterings of a knocked-off zombie, and I started thinking about my own favourite lines in films. I jotted a fair few down and below are a selected 10 from my list. This is of course by no means exhaustive, and definately by no means meant to impress, staying clear as I have of cuckoo speeches and contender lines that would have made me look great. Instead, it is a personal list, which will hopefully reflect something about me, and on that front I invite the formations of other lists for the same purpose. A final note, I kept this strictly to film in order to avoid a 50/50 list of X-Files and Buffy quotes. The same goes for you Rullsenberg!

In no order:

1. 'Dodge This' - Trinity to an agent as she sneaks up on him, thus saving Neo's life in The Matrix. Underdog human race gets one back. And in leather.
2. 'I know' - Jesse to Celine in Before Sunset, the best ending of any film, like ever.
3. 'My God, It's Full of Stars' - Dr Dave Bowman as he enters the stargate in Stanley Kubrick's 2001. Possibly the best harnessing of science fiction's potential for captivating the public's mind, taking the genre beyond spaceships and aliens to an embodiment of all that we do not understand, and all of it summed up in one line.
4. 'Don't knock masturbation, it's sex with someone I love' - Annie Hall. I had to pick just one Woody line, and this never fails to give a giggle with its self-effacing charm.
5. 'You are what you love, not what loves you' - mythical Donald Kaufman to Charlie Kaufman in Adaptation. Keeps me coming back to think, 'Hang on, that's pretty deep'. Hold your head up high people.
6. 'Were you in the shit?', 'Yes, I was in the shit' - exchange between Max and Herman in the delightful Rushmore referring to Herman's days in 'Nam.
7. 'This is from Mathilda' - Stansfield (Gary Oldman) gets his due (in his face) in the classic revenge/innocent-love tale that is Leon.
8. 'We want the finest wines available to humanity' - Withnail in Withnail & I, well I had to have one quote from it didn't I?
9. 'You've got red on you' - the uniquely British humour of Shaun of the Dead.
10. 'No one fucks with the King' - Elvis whilst fighting the giant cockroach-like pet of the Egyptian soul-sucking mummy in the bonkers-yet-utterly-brilliant Bubba Ho-tep, "thankyou very much".


Following Rullsenberg's feature on the new Superqueens album, The Royal Shit, I just had to join her in singing the praises of this mancunian project and its continued success. After catching their debut Cheap Shots via His Peelness, I had high hopes for the follow-up and even though snapshots such as The Ghost of Billy Whizz and the superb Rat Poison (featuring which pre-release almost got us into trouble with the band!) were excellent, it was still with some trepidation that I started to play The Royal Shit.

Thankfully, there was no need for the worry as the album is solid. Continuing their trademark bitter urban poetry over piercing beats and dark synths, Superqueens weave their way through eight entertaining dark tales, achieving an accuracy far beyond any of Frank Skinners coy-boy musings. Take Rat Poison's bleak observations of social decay and disregard by the powers that be, 'Maybe it was something that he ate, or sniffed or soaked up from TV, That made his eyes flash "It's late, It's feeding time", In the restaurant of the dead community' or Spinning Leaf, a rival for Rat Poison's crown and a reckoning of society's advancements, 'I've been thinking about the Egyptians and their slaves, How the Pharaoh's tomb meant their mass grave, And I've been thinking about England, and us'. Add to this titles such as Per Ardua Ad Strangeways, Mister You're A Lapdancer, Not For All The E's In England and The Ghost of Billy Whizz ('Billy Whizz is dead. Long live the new dealer, Go crown yourself in Nike and Fila, Good luck, make money, mac, marina, He got harpooned by a hypo in the sunny afternoon') and you can see the general direction of the Superqueens' duo's outlook. My only regret here is that the album version of Rat Poison buries the siren effect far down in the mix whereas the BBC session take had it as a prominent feature, but really that's just splitting hairs when the quality level is this high.

Like with Lisa, I can only wonder why you would pay attention to us, but I don't think you'd regret it if you did...

New Music

August and September have been good months for new music here. Both Simon and Sonia have provided plenty of good stuff, but in addition Rullsenberg and Cloud brought up an entire catalogue when they visited and I have been gradually getting into it.

The most notable new entry so far then is the superb disk 2 of the Jar compilation from the wonderful Leicester-based Pickled Egg Records (who now have Last FM presence). L&N picked this up at Summer Sundae. Disk 2 seems to contain more of the 'out-there' electronica that I like so much. Notables include the prog/jazz of Bablicon, the energetic brass mess of Scatter, the inventive jazz/krautrock of Now, the ramshakle melodies of The Go! Team, the playful L'Augmentation, the underground brooding of Volcano The Bear, the classical-tinged madness of The Big Eyes Family Players and notey Need New Body. All healthy new stuff, although not all of it is novel in format; L'Augmentation sounds close to Stereolab and The Big Eyes Family Players could easily be a Godspeed! side project. My fave on disk 1 so far is the Hassle Hound track.

A requested new entry was the LP from the dark electronica outfit Various Productions , but I must say that the album in total fails to live up to the promise of Hater, although Thunnk for one is an equal. Still a nice listen like.

In addition to the pre-packaged disks, there were two brand new Ash Grove collections, and these are of the usual high standard. High points so far (beyond appearences by the artists mentioned above) include Disco 2000 by Nick Cave, Teach Me Sweetheart by Fiery Furnaces, Megamanic by Bob Mould, I May Just Have to Murder James Blunt by Mitch Benn and Localised Flooding by Kempston, Protek & Fuller. It's all good.

Further contributions from L&N include: seemingly all of the remaining Einsturzende Neubaten catalogue, Gang of Four's Entertainment and Ian Dury & The Blockheads' Reasons to be Cheerful as well as fine Uncut and Word magazine compliations.

Adding to this Simon's additions of:
Gjallarhorn - Grimborg
Smog - A River Ain't Too Much To Love
The Decemberists - Castaways and Cutouts
Sufjan Stevens - Seven Swans
Fort Lauderdale - Time Is Of The Essence

Sonia's additions of:
Kocani Orkestar - Alone At My Wedding [george says yeah!]
Getatchew Mekurya - Ethiopiques 14: Negus Of Ethipian Sax [george says yeah!]
John Cale - Fragments Of A Rainy Season [george says yeah!]
2046 - OST
Radiohead - Lost Tresures
Tom Waits - Asylum Years
Regina Spektor - Soviet Kitsch

And my own of:
Bud Powell - compilation
Billie Holliday - The Essential Recordings
Superqueens - Royal Shit [george says like, oh yeah!]
John Cale - Paris 1919
David Bowie - Singles Collected
Pere Ubu - Ray Gun Suitcase
Laika - Wherever I Am I Am What Is Missing
Sarah Vaughan - Swingin' Ladies of Jazz
Vive La Fete - Nuit Blanche
Sons & Daughters - The Repulsion Box
Prefuse 73 - Security Screenings [average, not recommended]
The White Stripes - Get Behind Me Satan
Tom Waits - Real Gone [george says yeah!]

... and the 7 hour trip to/from Barnsley just wasn't long enough. When I get organised, some of this may just turn up on some future fine compilations. Meanwhile, I have work to do. Press play and stand by.


Sonia and I watched 2046 last night, which is Kar Wai Wong's follow-up film (I restrain from calling it a sequel) to the excellent In the Mood for Love. Despite being as beautiful as its predecessor, 2046 is an altogether more restless movie, and one that does not hold together anywhere near as well. But maybe this is the point. In 2046 we rejoin our protagonist Chow Mo Wan, but following his failed affair with the Su Lizhen of the first film, he is no longer the likeable character we knew, but one that passes from love affair to love affair totally unable to rekindle his previous feelings of devotion. Seemingly to help process his own thoughts on the situation, he begins to write a futuristic novel called 2046, in which people in love desperately try to get aboard a train that goes to a place called 2046 (the name coming from the hotel room in the first film) where their love can live on. As would be expected, no one usually comes back. But in the novel, the protagonist does, and it becomes apparent that this is because he went to re-find his previous love, but "YOU CAN NEVER GO BACK" etc. Add to this a steady flow of metaphors involving the sorrowful/happy/delayed reactioned androids that work on the train and you have a premise that becomes too silly to hold the entire thing together; I wouldn't have been surprised if a monolith would have appeared towards the end. Positive reviews on the web make much of the futuristic scenes serving as an "end-of-era" statement. I for one hope that it indeed ends this silly era and we return to the high standards of In the Mood for Love.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Ingleborough and toe update

Walk date: 17/09/06

The route to Ingleborough:

Pen-y-ghent from Horton in Ribblesdale train station:

Sonia gets close to the limestone pavements:

On the upper slopes, complete with Black Sheep T-shirt:

Sonia approaches the trig-point, taking in the views:

Oh my God, could this be an actual hiking post on this hiking blog??? Yes, indeed I just couldn't take the lack of hiking anymore and braved this middle heighted of the Yorkshire 3 peaks (the others being Whernside and Pen-y-ghent).

First, a toe update. After more than two months had passed with no noticeable improvement, I got myself up to the minor accidents unit at ARI here in town. This was prompted by a friend's tale of a tendon injury that she had mistakenly assumed to be a broken toe, thus delaying her recovery. To cover all bases therefore, I wanted to get some clarity on my situation. However, I still had my own misgivings that I was wasting people's time and so I was greatly relieved to talk to the admissions nurse and get told that I was right to come and that there are things that can be done even for toes these days. I thus promptly got into a new queue on my way to X-rays. Unfortunately, the next nurse was a different breed and I got the expected 'you're wasting NHS resources' routine. Despite a few argument strands popping to mind, including the fact that I had waited two months partly to try and avoid such wastage, I just shut up and got my little ticket. When the X-ray came back, it turned out that indeed there had been a break as there was evidence of repairing tissue on the underside. The upshot being that patience was still due and that there would be no hiking for the time being. That being said, in the last couple of weeks, I have noticed some improvement, partly I expect due to some cushioning plasters I've taken to wearing 24/7. And so, seeing as no Munros were on the menu I decided that whilst we were there, we should 'test the water' with the slopes of Ingleborough.

I had us start this hike from Horton in Ribblesdale for the sole reason that we could end it with a pint at The Crown Hotel, which features a chart of winning times for the 3 Peaks Race. This route in however is some 7km long with the slopes being very gentle and indeed featuring many flat sections. First off is the train station, where we were very fortunate in witnessing the passing of steam locomotive on this stretch of the Settle to Carlisle railway.

Following the train station, gentle slopes take you up onto a flat expanse complete with great Yorkshire limestone pavement before starting to climb again around the shoulder of Simon Fell getting ready for the summit push to Ingleborough itself. The weather moved in just before this climb, which took away any hope of a view, but did leave us happy as a backpackless couple ahead of us we had been jealous of, turned around and headed for home! Anyway, we carried on in the mist, having lunch just short of the summit before completing the climb and returning by the same route, soon dipping below the cloud again.

And the pint was gorgeous.

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Lagavulin 25

L25 with Alison's megamalt, Lord of the Isles Ardbeg:

Out of the case:

Up close and personal:

The full collection, by region, a need to expand methinks:

Well, after working up to it for more than a year and more to the point finally getting the cash together, I indeed left a fine whisky shop clutching a bottle of my king of Islay malts, the 2002 release 25 year old Lagavulin.

Now, usually I am not a high-end whisky fan, as I would rather have many of the low price and wonderfully tasting "everyman" single malts than a couple of select "megamalts", but for this bottle I have made an exception. The reasons for this being that this bottle is my gift-to-self to celebrate my coming 30th, a reasonably significant date, and also that I am a huge fan of all things Lagavulin; this bottle joins the 5yr old, the 12yr old, the 16 yr old and two different releases of the Distiller's Edition sherry finish. I plan to open the new acquisition on the day itself and only after building up through each of the other versions first. Mmm.

Some stats then:

One of 9000 released in 2002, #2843 to be exact.
Alcohol at 57.2% (cask strength)
Purchased from The Wright Wine and Whisky Company, Skipton on Saturday, 16th September 2006.
Cost a reasonable £173, a full £123 more expensive than anything else on my shelves.
Equivalent £6.17 per shot.

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Yorkshire, innit?

The view from Black Sheep Brewery:

The view inside Black Sheep Brewery, mmm:

The wonderful Gordale Scar campsite:

Gordale Scar itself looking good:

Whitby by night 1:

Whitby by night 2:

Sonia shows off her photography skills:

The oldest pub in town, and well worth a visit:

Robin Hood's Bay 1:

Robin Hood's Bay 2:

Robin Hood's Bay 3:

Robin Hood's bay 4, some well-tasting Old Peculiar, and a pint:

As the damaged toe continues to be damaged, I ditched my plans for my September holiday to be a hiking week and instead take the Sonia to God's Own Country, aka Yorkshire!

The mini-holiday began with the inevitable 7-hour drive from Aberdeen to Barnsley after work on Friday (15th) to pitch up with my folks for the night. Although we were all knackered, we still somehow managed to all stay up until beyond 2am! I refreshed with a Guinness or two...

After a week of little sleep for us both, our Saturday did not start quickly. However, we did manage to get up before noon and re-pack the car as we headed off toward Masham and the Black Sheep Brewery. This was my first brewery tour since Guinness and I was most impressed (especially seeing as this was a proper tour and not the self guiding museum route that is the Guinness version). The tour took just under an hour and our tour guide, a formidable no-nonsense woman, explained things well and seemed to have a genuine interest herself. As I went around I couldn't help contrast and compare things with whisky manufacturing, as apart from the hops, there is much similarity with whisky pre-distillation, experiments in mixing the two started forming in my mind! I also began to feel like it was a patriotic duty as a Yorkshireman to drink more real ale. It's going to be tough, but I will see what I can do. On that note, I read recently that in the 70's only four what would now be termed real ale breweries were still going. Full marks to CAMRA for reversing that trend. Anyhow, after the tour Sonia and I sampled the Black Sheep Ale and Emmerdale respectively, both were beautiful although in all honesty we had to get the barman to remind us which was which; I've evidentally got some way to go before my beer skills match my whisky skills! Before leaving we picked up a couple bottles of our favourite Riggwelter, as well as a Riggwelter T-shirt, a sheep tie and Black Sheep cufflinks. The merchandising tie-in succeeds again!

From Masham, we made our way towards our destination Malham, but not before stopping in Skipton obstentiously for food shopping. However, once there I remembered hearing from Alison and my parents that this town has a fantastic whisky shop. Given my failed quest the previous week for the Lagavulin 25, we set about finding this shop. After initially being directed towards a Threshers, we got a better guide and found the Wright Wine and Whisky Company, where indeed I made the commitment on this rather exclusive bottle, but more on that in a later post...

With food in boot, we continued on to Malham and the wonderful Gordale Scar campsite and just about managed to get on despite a fully booked sign with the help of Sonia's charm. A brief delay to pitching up occurred as we tried to jump start a fellow camper's car. We failed, but they thanked us anyway with a pack of beer, nice! From then a bit of cooking by night and river-chilled beer lead to the end of a fine day.

Sunday was our walking day despite the continued toe problem, so we travelled via great little country roads to Settle and then Horton in Ribblesdale for our attempt on the 724m of Ingleborough. More about this in a later post, however, but needless to say we made it and returned for a fine pint of Theakston's Bitter at The Crown Inn. All was fine until Sonia noticed that an attempt had been made to break into the car. Bad enough at any time, but especially considering that the Lagavulin 25 was sat in the boot at the time! Anyhow, the alarm must have done its thing as the radio needed resetting, and nothing more than a dud passenger-side lock was the end-result. Can you believe such things could happen in Yorkshire though?? The perpretrators must have been on a day trip from Lancashire...

A beautiful evening of cooking, more river-cooled beer, and some fine crystal clear starry sky took us to Monday, when we had a quick look at the fine gorge of Gordale Scar before moving onto the fantastic town of Whitby. After a quick tour of the town in the afternoon, we pitched up in a campsite that was more of a garden and made our way back into town for some fish & chips before visiting some pubs in search of real ale. The first was the decent but average Duke of York where we managed to get some Black Sheep Bitter, but the second was the impressive The Black Horse where I tried a hitherto unheard of brew from the local Black Dog Brewery. Let me tell you that this stuff was gorgeous and that you should definately check it out if you are a fan of the darker beers.

Tuesday morning saw us back in Whitby for a quick breakfast at a quaint and quirky period cafe called Sherlock's, complete with mad elderly lady behind the counter. It all adds to the charm and I recommend this place for the scones at least. But before long we were departing for the cliff-hanging Robin Hood's Bay, a tiny village perched above the sea just to the south of Whitby. We had a good luck around this twisty inlet, even trying to find my end-of-Coast-to-Coast-walk signature in the Bay Hotel, but to no avail. We then had a good walk along the beach, before returning and having a refreshing Theakston's Old Peculiar at Ye Dolphin and then some lunch. After this it was time for Barnsley again and a nice meal out with the folks, before embarrassing photos galore, ridiculously large whisky measures from my Dad, a shortish sleep and then that drive again! All very good stuff, and to top it all, at the end of it that Sonia lass was still talking to me!! Strange girl.

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Lisa & Neil in Aberdeen

Sonia, Lisa and Neil viewed from with Slain's:

Slain's, inside looking up:

... and the same looking down:

Sonia, Lisa and Neil on the way to our picnic spot:

Cliffs near our picnic spot:

OK, this is a belated post, but it's been a mad few weeks up here and I thought this one was worth digging out!

I am happy to report that from Thursday 7th to Sunday 10th September, Rullsenberg and Cloud saw fit to undertake a repeat visit to the great grey city of Aberdeen. I picked up our dynamic duo after work on Thursday and promptly introduced them to the new chez George. Predictably, good music, good wine and good food were soon on the cards, finishing with the brilliant Crossing The Bridge, a travel-music-logue by Alexander Hacke of Einsturzende Neubauten as he explores the rich diversity of Istanbul's music scene(s). That was followed by a cheeky midnight-nearing showing of Change from Season 2 of Spaced.

On Friday I had to slouch off to work, but L&N made good use of their time with a trip into the 'deen itself for, amongst other things, record-buying in abundance from the fantastic One-Up, the extent of which was so impressive as to earn Rullsenberg an unheard of cooler-than-thou free One-Up canvas shopping bag. Git. Anyway, in the evening, good food was required once again and this time, once refreshed with a good pint from Ma Cameron's, we opted for the recommendable Rustico's in town for some fine Italian fare where we were joined by the lovely Sonia. This lead onto the dark but oddly amusing A Scanner Darkly at The Belmont.

Saturday saw us get up and out for a wonderful visit to the impressive (new) Slain's Castle just north of Cruden Bay, Aberdeenshire. This castle seems to date from as far back as the last days of the 1500's and the return of the The Earl of Erroll to the region, but if anyone can fill us in on that we'd be extremely grateful. Our lack of knowledge stems from the complete lack of guides at the site, probably intended to discourage tourism and the subsequent lawsuits resulting from visitors falling off the impressively precarious yet accessible ruins. One thing I can tell you for sure as a Yorkshireman is that their claim to have inspired Bram Stoker above Whitby Abbey is quite clearly rubbish!

Having taken in the wonderful coastal setting complete with cliff-top picnic, we hit the road again, this time in search of whisky. Our original intention had been for Tomintoul, where I was to buy my 30th birthday present to myself, a bottle of Lagavulin 25. However, due to the heat and the long distances involved we settled for Dufftown whether they had the prized bottle or not. As it turned out they didn't, but L&N soothed me considerably with a couple of Speyside half bottles as thanks for their stay; the fine Cragganmore and an impressive independent bottling of Longmorn 17, the latter being remarkably pale for its age, but as well-developed in flavour as would be expected. The late return to Aberdeen necessitated a stop at the approved Cults chipper before showings of Cloud's bonkers Einsturzende Neubauten DVD (first gig INSIDE a bridge...) and then the bonkers-in-an-entirely-different-way The Machinist (Christian Bale in skeleton mode tries to sort out truth from paranoia in a self-created artificial reality imposed due to guilt over a hit and run incident a year before... phew).

Finally on Sunday, there was time for a bit more music and food before their inevitable departure. Bring on next year guys!

In re-capping (cue Rulls' welcomed corrections):

Food: Rustico's & nice cafe in Dufftown
Film: Crossing the Bridge, A Scanner Darkly & The Machinist

Live music: Blind Pew! at The Tunnels (cue almost-fight with local)
Food: Cinnamon's & The Lemon Tree
Film: Bubba Ho-Tep & Dead Man's Shoes

Live music: some unknowns at the now defunct Dr Drake's.
Food: The Olive Tree & The Lemon Tree
Film: Before Sunset, Ring & Sexy Beast