The BBC has a list of the top 25 TV put downs which made me think of my personal favourite - Morrissey interviewed on Later With Jools Holland last year. After a deeply uncomfortable 5 minutes Moz comes out with a cracker. Morrissey 1 - Jools 0.

After that last post, Mitchell & Webb was a bit patchy and Caledonia Dreamin' was downright awful. Like Seven Ages of Rock which seemed to have been researched by 20-year olds using wikipedia, the explanation of who was influential and in what order was way off. There were some glaring omissions - Lloyd Cole and Aztec Camera were glossed over; The Jesus and Mary Chain and Alan McGee didn't feature. Neither did The Pastels, The Vaselines, Mogwai, Arab Strap and The Beta Band, plus many more. Instead there was too much of what a commenter on The Vinyl Villain eloquently calls "the hated Hue & Cry/Del Amitri/Deacon Blue axis". What a waste. This could have been interesting. Some nice clips of Orange Juice and Altered Images though.

On the upside, writing about the telly got me an invite to Watchification, Russell (and Steve and Roo)'s new blog which curates the best televisual highlights - a sister to speechification which does the same for the radio. First up, Magnetic North which I thought was great. Jonathan Meades is never going to win any Plain English awards but he's interesting and funny. I learnt a lot (like where gin and scousers got their names) and am greatly looking forward to the next part.

After complaining about the telly a few weeks ago it's starting to improve. Coming up:

  • Magnetic North (tonight, BBC Four, 21:00-22:00) - Jonathan Meades goes in search of "northerness". Hard to imagine anyone more "southern" but he's usually good value. Pies and Prejudice by Stuart Maconie also explores this topic in an entertaining way. This clashes with
  • That Mitchell and Webb Look which shows all signs of being brilliant.
  • Caledonia Dreamin' (BBC Four, Friday, 22:00-23:00) - the history of Postcard Records of Scotland. The influence of this tiny label is so huge and the people involved are so engaging. This should be great.
  • How to Murder Your Wife (BBC Four, Saturday, 22:30-00:25) - I do love this film. Jack Lemmon as a put-upon cartoonist; Terry-Thomas as his valet, shot in 1960s New York. So good.
  • I've got drawn into Masterchef but not enough to be too bothered about who wins. Emily seems sparky though.
  • Pulling (BBC2, Mondays) is half-way through the series (and I've seen it before) but it's great.
  • Started and not finished: Grand Designs, Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares USA, Ashes to Ashes.

Anything else?

Andy Tuohy - FolkestoneAndy Tuohy - Ashford

Andy Tuohy's Poster Moderne exhibition celebrates the forthcoming high speed Kent rail link in the style of classic LNER posters by Tom Purvis, Frank Newbould and others. They show old things in a new light. Or is that new things in an old light. On at Georges House Gallery in Folkestone from Feb 23 to March 5. Nearby Rennie's Seaside Modern has similar mid-century delights for your enjoyment.

We've been in Dumfries & Galloway this weekend, visiting family. We go there a lot and it's not the most interesting part of the world at the best of times. The whole place closes from September to March so we were really scraping the bottom of the barrel, entertainment-wise. Still, we saw:

Sanquhar Post Office

The world's oldest post office in Sanquhar.

Kirkpatrick Fleming's grave

A memorial to Kirkpatrick Macmillan who invented the bicycle in Keir Mill. He's not exactly a household name which seems a bit unfair. Imagine a world without bikes.

Anwoth Old Church

And Anwoth Old Church from The Wicker Man. It was all shot around here so you can't move without tripping over one of the locations.

Apart from that there were cows, sheep, lambs, deer, pheasants, ponies, my first red squirrel and lots and lots of snowdrops. The weather was beautiful so it was lovely to wander about even if it was freezing at times.

The 2Is coffee bar, Soho

Found in the Finisterre (and Geoffrey Fletcher's London) Flickr group, this great set of colour photos show London in all its swinging glory. The 1950s set has a rare pic of the famous 2I's Coffee Bar in action. The 1960s are even better - it's hard to pick a favourite although I love this bit of spiky modernism, and the Post Office Tower when it was brand new. There's a lovely imperfection about them all.

Teacup ride, Cromer

Get your I like postcards now - free UK shipping. They're a little ray of sunshine for the winter months.

Got a bit of sad news today from audiac - Glasgow's RAFA Club is closing this weekend. An anonymous-looking little place off Woodlands Road, it's an indie mecca, hosting characterful club nights within its quirky walls. Certainly I used to go there back in the day, first to Good Foot, then Twister and some club that Alan Horne (of Postcard) ran for a while, amongst others. It's a brilliant venue. There's a ballroom downstairs that has a huge Mod target printed on the ceiling and a mural of fighter planes down one wall. Pictures of the Queen everywhere. Were there Airfix models hanging from the ceiling or is that the drink talking? The dancefloor was just big enough and it was dingy in a sort of atmospheric way. The booze was cheap and the (ex-RAF) bar staff were lovely. They'd make you a hot toddy when it got cold. It was weird going in (wasn't there something odd like you had to buy a raffle ticket to get in?); indie kids shuffling past the veterans but everyone got along fine. My favourite memory was turning up early one night to find that the charity danceathon in aid of Childline was overrunning. There were lots of 12-year old in leotards jumping about while the bowlies lined up on the stairs. It was that kind of place.

If you'd like to pay your last respects National Pop League are doing their Little League night there on Friday. Somebody get some photos, will ya? As a musical tribute, here's a song that really reminds me of going there:

This used to be a Good Foot favourite, although it's more baroque pop than northern soul. That was one of the great things about growing up in Glasgow. These clubs provided such a great musical education and there were lots of blurred lines between different tastes and genres. And good influences beget good bands which explains why Glasgow's produced so many of them. I hope the old place gets a good send off tomorrow.

Knitted milk

Nicole Gastonguay makes wonderful things. There's a lot of knitted stuff around at the moment but this stands out as a cut above the rest. I had real trouble picking a favourite - check out her gallery for knitted sardine cans, robots and boom boxes (via Tantramar).

Update: Apologies to all crafters. Han has kindly pointed out that these are crocheted not knitted. Just ignore that headline, then. I can't think of a pun on crochet at this time of the morning.

Inside the Get Carter car park

FP has written a lovely tribute to the Trinity Square car park in Gateshead, made famous by its starring role in 70s gangster flick Get Carter. After many years as a local landmark, Owen Luder's concrete extravaganza is due to be torn down in the next few months to make way for a Tesco. No point dwelling on this really, just enjoy it while you can. I visited a few years ago, to admire its stately form and many others have made the same pilgrimage. There are some great photos (see above) on Derelict Places. This is what it looks like inside the architectural dangleberry that is the nightclub/restaurant that never came to be. May it rest in pieces.

Just a little note, particularly for anyone reading this via RSS. When I redesigned the home page I added a little column for "Quick ones"- interesting sites that I add to my del.icio.us. I thought these would be posted to the RSS feed once a day but they aren't. I was going to try and fix that but then decided I like it that way. It means if you take the effort to look at the (now 20% lovelier) site you get a little extra. There are more links, more photos and more comments. So I'm just saying that if you're reading the feed and think it's gone a bit quiet, it hasn't. C'mon over!

Recommended reading

Categories