Archive for 2010

Scotland for the Winter Olympics?

We’ve been watching the Winter Olympics on the telly and although it’s not had the same amount of hype we feel as past Winter Olympics, it’s still rivetting. However, it’s a bit ironic that places like Vancouver and Whistler and the likes who are normally seen as default ski paradises are suffering from lack of snow!

You’ll probably have noticed, it’s been quite snowy in Scotland! Our Director, Julian Westaby has just returned from The Cairngorms and his pictures show that it’s absolutely incredible up there, at the moment. It’s too soon to tell but it’s looking like this season will be the best skiing season in Scotland-ever. Records are getting broken all the time and it’s even had a knock-on for those urban skiers, near Paisley! The Snozone indoor ski centre at Braehead Shopping Centre has had record visitor numbers, from those who have seen the images of Amazing Aviemore and quite fancy getting a bit of boarding done, a bit closer to home. Julian’s photo above was taken from a tripod set-up on a frozen Loch Morlich and it shows a resort scene more like Le Trois Vallees than Cairn Gorm. Acres of ultra-deep snow, covering all the bracken, fences, burns and boulders, giving the confident skier practically limitless options and the ability to ski right down to the Coire na Ciste carpark (that’s quite far down the mountain, for the uninitiated). There’s so much snow, they had to dig out the T-bars and the funicular railway. Britain’s highest restaurant, The Ptarmigan, at the Top of Cairngorm looks like something out of Ice Station Zebra.

The latest update is there’s MORE snow and it’ll be snowing right into this weekend. In a nutshell, there’s MASSES of snow and they’ll be skiing well into early Summer. Fantastic news for Scottish Tourism and surely time for Eccie Salmond to launch the Scottish bid for the Winter Olympics! The Olympic Village could centre around the cafe at Loch Morlich campsite and they could get Eddie the Eagle to do ski-jumping lessons, in Kingussie High Street.

Okay, we’re not jumping-on the conspiracy theorist’s bandwagon suggesting that Global Warming is a load of old scare-mongering hokum, but it is interesting to note that as the world warms, Scotland enjoys bumper skiing conditions. We wish we were up there, right now. Don’t you just LOVE Scotland!

Happy Valentines… my love is like a Red Red Rose……

I’m a hopeless romantic. I’m hopeless at being romantic. It seems like I ain’t alone here. We’ve done a bit of a straw poll (okay, we asked all the punters in the studio here) and it appears that NOBODY actually likes Valentine’s Day. So, how come, in the face of this overwhelming abhorrence of this crass commercialisation and over-inflation of all things ‘D’Amour’, do we continually get erm…sucked-into it, every bloody year? Love isn’t just blind, it appears to be terminally stupid.

Personally, I thought ‘Valentine’s’ was a ‘Day’ invented by some red-braces-wearing, enterprising, PR person back in 1980’s London, while he was waiting the three days for his mobile phone to charge up. A bit like ‘National Sausage Week’, ‘Hug An Asylum-Seeker Tuesday’ or whatever else they dreamed-up, to gain what used to be called ‘column inches’, when we had things called ‘newspapers’.

But no! Our in-house romance research team (wackypeedia) has told us that Valentine’s Day has been kicking-about since Roman times and really got rolling about 300 years ago! For instance, in Victorian times, some lovers (mugs) regularly shelled-out around £10 for an elaborately-created and hand-crafted Valentine’s Card. £10? Way back then? Sheesh, those Victorian geezers had money to burn! No wonder Fagin and his boys had such rich pickings.

Sadly, jumping forward a Century, no-one has got any the wiser. It’s the lambs-to-the-slaughter, submissive attitude that everyone adopts that pisses me off. People just accept it. They don’t rebel, they slavishly comply.  It’s not fun. Is there anything LESS romantic that filling the coffers of your local Trattoria on the day in question, surrounded by loads of other people TRYING to be romantic? In any given restaurant on this, the unsexiest of days, 50% (depending on who wears the trousers in the relationship) would definitely rather be somewhere else altogether. A root-canal dentist, Ikea on a Bank Holiday, a Glasgow prison shower block…anywhere.

It’s just SO forced and if you force someone to love, it’s usually immoral, Illegal or never really works out and they steal half your house off you. There’s the flowers, anything in pink, heart-shaped-everything, the fucking appalling Valentine’s albums that re-issue some of the most heinous crimes against music to poison the minds of a whole new generation. It’s just NOT romantic, it’s definitely not sexy. Some bloke with a frigging acoustic guitar, singing a ‘love’ song in you lughole, that’s usually actually about unrequited love, someone dying on a cruise ship or a stalker anyway.

After all, if you were REALLY in love on this special day, the last thing you’d be doing would be sitting in a crap restaurant eating ‘themed’ food and drinking horrible pink ‘champagne-esque’ rot-gut, eating oysters and trying to pretend it’s not like licking cold spittle off a tortoise.

You’d actually be at it like knives, writhing-about in unbridled ecstasy in the comfort of a mystery Travelodge or atop a mound of empty cans and bottles and un-ironed ironing, in a squalid flat, which you’ve not tidied-up because you’ve been shagging for an entire week.

You’d maybe walk, John-Wayne style, through to the kitchen for more ice cubes or to the loo for more Vaseline but planning a hugely overpriced Chauteaubriand ‘a deaux’ alongside dozens of other embarrassed and sad buggers, to the background music of a constantly printing chip and pin machine? I don’t think so.

I say, rise up and declare war on those forcing a love day on you! Love is free! Love is eternal! It’s not just for February. The only beneficiaries for the un-sexiest day of the year are florists, teddy fucking bear shops, restaurant owners and petrol station supermarkets, who save the bacon of the real last minute-Larries by offering sweatmeats and floral face savers.

This year, don’t take part….just tell everyone you’ve got a fucking terrible headache.

That Hitler, he's a funny guy!

There’s an unlikely headline. So how come the World’s most hated man is funny? There’s lots of stuff floating through the Internet but one of the consistently funny things are the ‘Hitler’ videos that have been circulating the Globe.

The actual idea sounds a bit naff; take an existing bit of footage from a foreign language film (admittedly a very gripping film) and simply add subtitles to it. It doesn’t really sound too promising, until you actually see one of these mini masterpieces. The videos cover everything from the ‘Trams’ situation in Edinburgh through to Manchester United football matches and everything in-between.

The very latest being one we knocked up last night about the Glasgow Airport Rail Link. The language used is erm…choice (definitely not for kids or sensitive office environments).

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRgRotVQ71w]

The film in question is Downfall (German: Der Untergang) a 2004 German-Austrian drama film, depicting the final ten days of Adolf Hitler’s life in his Berlin bunker. It’s incredibly bleak and is possibly the deliberately un-funniest film you’ll ever watch. In effect, that’s what make the videos so hilarious.

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