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dave brum
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 10 Dec 2013, 09:28

Talk of Jay-Z got me thinking about an old jazz number I heard Bing singing many years ago. I have just put the lyrics And the band played J A double Z, its a B A double L into Googlesworth but to no avail. Sounds a little bit High Society-ish, don't suppose you've heard of it Gill, Fiona or anyone??

Another inquisatitive thought crossed my mind. Wonder if the Bodleian shop still has that Bunny Berigan Band CD I wanted last time we were down in Oxford??
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 10 Dec 2013, 13:32

From the online news feed of my Local Authority:-

Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said:
“This time last year I talked to you about ‘the end of local government as I’ve known it’; and this year I am still talking about ‘the end of local government as I’ve known it’, but just to be clear I am not talking about the end of local government

Sir Humphrey Appleby is alive and well!!!
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by gizzy » 12 Dec 2013, 23:14

dave brum wrote:From the online news feed of my Local Authority:-

Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said:
“This time last year I talked to you about ‘the end of local government as I’ve known it’; and this year I am still talking about ‘the end of local government as I’ve known it’, but just to be clear I am not talking about the end of local government

Sir Humphrey Appleby is alive and well!!!
:lol: :lol: :lol: Is he really called Sir Albert Bore?

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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 13 Dec 2013, 07:13

Yes indeed. Everyone knows the Labour Party has a Ladyman, Darling and Balls among its high profile members but nobody outside of the Second City knows it also has a Bore in charge. Birmingham is the largest and most influential local authority in Britain and it has just had the mother of spending and council tax caps imposed on it by the Westminster rightwing administration (who've just voted for an 11% pay rise), which are resulting in thousands of job losses and essential services being closed down. It's a gargantuan municipal crisis that's only just begun (members of Gareth Malone's Choir at BCC explained to him that morale is at rock bottom there as there are real fears that the whole Choir will be claiming Jobseekers six months down the line, i.e right now). It's down to Sir Albert to explain to the City what's going on - 'How do you think I should put it, Humphrey?'

Sir Alberts' opposite in the Council House, the leader of the Conservative group is Mike Whitby, whose namesake is head of Liverpool BNP. One link between Tory and neo-Nazi. Though I believe Cllr Whitby is now known as Lord Whitby.

My party has a Kitcat though! :lol:
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 13 Dec 2013, 09:06

I seem to be forever uploading clips of my playing to Youtube these days. Fun!
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 14 Dec 2013, 18:21

First bit of difficulty in this, my latest attempt to learn the piano. Emailed my teacher to arrange a post-Christmas lesson, no response after 24 hours :(

I do wish she was closer to me, she's a fantastic and really encouraging teacher.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 15 Dec 2013, 09:37

A bad idea in hindsight to email my piano teacher on Friday 13th to arrange a lesson in January. Absolutely nothing, although she's been tweeting. Also I was playing some more new pieces to upload last night and whereas before they've been recorded perfectly in one take, it's been six or seven takes before I can play them now (we're talking about dead easy sub-grade 1 stuff here). Amanda's told me not to play anything more than once and so the object is well and truly defeated. I think she may have realised she's taken on too much with me. Cardiff's not just down the road from me either. It's a hundred miles away down the M5, M50, A40, A449 and M4.

My good luck could be on the verge of its expiry date. :( :( :piano; :( :(
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 15 Dec 2013, 14:10

She's probably ignoring her 'business' emus until after Christmas - a lot of teachers have cut-off points after which they 'shut down'. Don't be pessimistic!
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 15 Dec 2013, 17:36

Well it's been forty eight hours now, two emails from me but nowt from her...and I've hit a stumbling block and I need her help. I'm also willing to put a bit of business her way too in the quiet month of January so I would have thought she had got back to me. But never mind, we can only wait and see what happens. I'm not going to be sending her any more mails and make a pest of myself.

I really cannot begin to understand why one tiny little person such as myself can have episode after episode of bad luck misfortune adversity and pile after pile of proverbial dogmuck thrown in his face just for innocently and without question wanting to learn a musical instrument at 44. If there is such a thing as a God, he/she doesn't want me to play the piano.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 16 Dec 2013, 17:59

What's the stumbling block? Can we help?
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 16 Dec 2013, 18:44

Teddie Testicles studying for his Grade Three:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-25405250
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 16 Dec 2013, 18:47

Just that I find the SAME OLD difficulties playing with both hands. These issues are all deja-vu and have not been resolved.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 18 Dec 2013, 22:19

She's gotten back to me. It seems her 'diagnosis' is that again I'm expecting too much of myself too soon. Again, deja-vu. Bur ironically enough, that is NOT in any way shape or form what I was anticipating when I started out again with Amanda.

So I shall be arranging another lesson in Cardiff with her on the 29th Jan if it's convenient with her, awaiting her reply.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by gizzy » 19 Dec 2013, 00:34

dave brum wrote:She's gotten back to me. It seems her 'diagnosis' is that again I'm expecting too much of myself too soon. Again, deja-vu. Bur ironically enough, that is NOT in any way shape or form what I was anticipating when I started out again with Amanda.

So I shall be arranging another lesson in Cardiff with her on the 29th Jan if it's convenient with her, awaiting her reply.
Aah well, at least she's got back to you - you must have been wondering if it was something you said!

I bought a book online from America, which had been recommended to me (the book, not the US) - actually I bought it twice, because I had it for a week, used it with a lot of my kids, including the last one on Saturday, went to find it for the first one on Monday and it was nowhere to be found. Last one on Saturday had definitely not taken it away. Luckily I could remember what I did from the first chapter and could carry on with it, but I ordered another copy, which came last week, and the day it came, we found the first copy. I sort of knew we would.

Anyway, it's a pity there's nobody to use it with you, Dave, because you might have enjoyed it. It's called Pattern Play, and it's really for improvisation, and so many of my kids have really surprised themselves with it. The first piece is called World Piece (not peace) and has a very simple repetitive bass part in open 5ths which you can teach the pupil later if you like, but to start with the teacher plays it, and they can play anything they like over top of it but it should be on the black keys. I've had all sorts of Japanesey or folky sounds coming out, sometimes two notes at a time, sometimes little ripples of sound, sometimes short phrases which they've repeated once they found something they liked. The bass half of the duet can build up the texture as you go through and then maybe pull it back to a quiet ending and many of them, sometimes as young as 7 or 8, go with the flow and produce really interesting resolutions. Next chapter is called Blues on Black and the ony difference in the treble part is that you can add an A natural to your black notes and suddenly they're blue. Very interesting.

I suppose it might be possible to get some of the bass parts recorded to play along. Once a person has done the treble and maybe the bass in a duet, there are ways of making a solo so you completely create a piece yourself.

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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 19 Dec 2013, 15:44

Lesson arranged for 29.01.14 at 1300. That's actually something to look forward to and to focus on, rather than next week's bank holidays.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 20 Dec 2013, 11:25

Watching Abigail's Party. Has anyone ever seen it? What can describe it?? If only there was a third 'extreme' as well as brilliant and bloody awful.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 20 Dec 2013, 19:08

It's so awful it's fabulous. You prickle with embarrassment as though you were actually there. Alison Steadman should be made a Dame for that performance...:)
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 20 Dec 2013, 19:19

Yes, never could imagine having a heart attack with Beverley, Angie and Tony bickering as you lay dying. Now I must look for other Plays for Today Edna the Inebriate Woman, Cathy Come Home and The Blackstuff (which the TV series Boys From..... was based upon). Can't sell my copy of Abigail in our shop as it came free with The Observer.

Angie the womanchild nurse muses about only being able to play 'buy a broom, buy a broom, buy a broom and sweep the room' on the piano at a party as an eight year old. Why DID she say she could play the piano. If only I had this, I would upload me playing it onto my Youtube channel in homage to the genius of Mike Leigh.

I've seen Nuts In May, in which Alison Steadman also stars, as she also does as man-hating Jane in 'Shirley Valentine'. That was indeed the first time I saw her.

Anyone like an olive (talking of which, 'er from On The Buses is on Eggheads now!)
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 21 Dec 2013, 11:46

Going through some piano books purchased at a charity shop with a pencil eraser, it seems the previous owner was held in high esteem by his or her piano teacher (in Nottingham assumedly as that's where I got 'em!) judging by the amount of VGs, fabulouses, wonderfuls and marvelouses I've just obliterated with me rubbing tool.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 21 Dec 2013, 14:17

No gold stars though? REAL smartar$es get gold stars... :mrgreen:
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 21 Dec 2013, 15:33

No gold stars. They would peel off easily.

The book was John Thomas Easy Piano Course Book 1. Looks okay, the only problem with it is that it has duet parts in them, wish I actually KNEW someone in Birmingham who played the piano and would allow me to try these duets out as they're so much fun. Or even if someone has uploaded themselves playing the duet parts on Youtube so I could play along, however those bits will be redundant :(
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 22 Dec 2013, 13:57

Take a tape recorder with you to your lesson, and perhaps Amanda will do a few for you. Duets are sooooo good for you as it stops the old 'Make a mistake, go back to the beginning' syndrome.Stop and you're dead!
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 22 Dec 2013, 17:56

Yes, I do know what you mean Gill. I've always said doing duets are essential for the piano learning experience because of the continuity/bad habit busting effect and when I finally got around to doing one with A the feeling was amazingly enjoyable. However she'll probably think I'm being incredibly cheeky if I were to take a voice recorder and ask her to play single duet part when she'd rather be actually doing duets with me. She's actually said she'd leave it open incase I get cold feet and cancel. She knows what an awkward attitude-ridden little sod I am, however the 29th is around the time of my winter fuel bill, so I may need the £30 to go towards that. Last year's bill was £378 and those greedy shareholders need their divvies in April (renationalise it NOW!)

Funny that. 25/12fest seems incredibly insignificant this year, but my winter fuel bill actually is something I am focussed upon and attempting to work towards.

How are all the carol concerts coming along?? I bet you must be cream crackered especially your poor hands!! What say I come down and help you out.......oh hang on, just remembered, can't play the bloody piano. Still, tis the thought that counts, duckies!
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 22 Dec 2013, 20:47

Just brought a brew into the lounge and caught my wife watching 'Long Haired Lover From Liverpool' which was No1 in England 41 years ago.

I wish that bloody executioner would hurry up and pull that lever.......
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by gizzy » 23 Dec 2013, 12:27

dave brum wrote:Just brought a brew into the lounge and caught my wife watching 'Long Haired Lover From Liverpool' which was No1 in England 41 years ago.

I wish that bloody executioner would hurry up and pull that lever.......
That's a bit harsh, couldn't you try marriage guidance first? :twisted:

Oh, sorry, I presume you meant for Little Jimmy Wossname...

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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 23 Dec 2013, 18:28

dave brum wrote:How are all the carol concerts coming along?? I bet you must be cream crackered especially your poor hands!!
Nearly there...Watchnight 11:30 Christmas Eve, and a 9am and an 11am Christmas morning then I'm done. Did a nine lessons and carols last night and took 'em at a rollicking pace; I have unilaterally decided that we are going back to the jolly carols of mediaeval times, not Victorian dirges. Everyone seemed to enjoy it, if the comments afterward were anything to go by. Of course, they might just have been pleased they were getting to the pub sooner... :twisted:
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 23 Dec 2013, 20:24

That's right. Straight out of church and straight into the pub. I notice the Anglican church near to me is doing boozy carols tomorrow night. I would be interested in reading into this apparent link between Christianity and alcoholism.

I've discovered my computer has a function on it for grave accents, if you hold down then ALT GR button whilst you type a vowel then it is supposed to give that vowel with a grave (i.e falling) accent on it. I tried it and I get one with an acute (i.e rising) accent. Like this: á é í ó ú. Not good for Gaidhlig or even Gaeilige (Irish). Will have to have some tinkering time with the config settings, methinks.

Hope the vicar's remembering to pay you before he too gets off his head on legal poison!
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 23 Dec 2013, 20:42

gizzy wrote:
dave brum wrote:Just brought a brew into the lounge and caught my wife watching 'Long Haired Lover From Liverpool' which was No1 in England 41 years ago.

I wish that bloody executioner would hurry up and pull that lever.......
That's a bit harsh, couldn't you try marriage guidance first? :twisted:

Oh, sorry, I presume you meant for Little Jimmy Wossname...
No I meant for my good self. Music to have a massive Christmas heart attack and die to.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 24 Dec 2013, 07:46

Fàilte, Seàn, Èire!! Got it. I now have one foot in the grave accent.

The secret is to change keyboard layout from UK to UK Extended. This in effect brings into use the grave accent key to the left of 1 that is not used. On 'UK' pressing this key followed by a vowel will produce grave accent FOLLOWED BY vowel, however on Extended it produces grave accent ON vowel à è ì ò ù. Only grave accents exist in Gaelic (Scottish) since spelling revision in the 50s, whereas in Irish both acute and grave accents still exist.

learngaelic.net have an answer for everything!!!
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 24 Dec 2013, 17:01

dave brum wrote:Hope the vicar's remembering to pay you before he too gets off his head on legal poison!
I'm playing there again on Christmas morning (9am -groan...) so I left my pay and they can give me double bubble tomorrow!
I can barely type English; the garlic would be far beyond my capabilities. Glad we don't have 'em in Cymraeg!
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 24 Dec 2013, 17:20

Hope all the extra work doesn't burn you out, Gillchops. As I say I'm quite enjoying learning about Gàidhlig culture, pity the same cannot be said about learning the piano. Ive spent 8 years trying to learn the piano, always wanted to, tried everything and still cannot find the correct way. Yet I wasn't really interested in Gàidhlig at all until I watched Chi Min Geamhradh on Youtube with an English translation. How extraordinarily queer.....

Still, now I have Lela Hoover Ward's book. That's an idea for 2014, collecting easy piano books. I could have the largest collection of piano learning material in the world within 10 years, like that woman in Harpenden who has all those Ladybird books...
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 25 Dec 2013, 11:26

Is it at St Bartholomews' church where you play?? No pictures of the organ on the church website.

And did you get a chance to hear Edward Scissorballs playing the piano??
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 26 Dec 2013, 14:38

Yes, St B's was my first gig. The organ is a small two manual with pewter pipes made around 1890s/1900 I think. Not a bad sound...but the church is long and thin with quite a delay between what I play and what they hear. And when there are singers who lag half a line behind everyone else it can get quite difficult at times!
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 26 Dec 2013, 15:03

I bet you can't do what Gizzy used to do at school and get the congregation to sing higher by playing a semitone higher!

Learned the Gàidhlig word for 'night' yesterday and was practising saying it in the shower this morning: An oidhche - pronounced 'ann-eeygh-chya' in English. The 'dh' is pronounced as 'gh' as in Monaghan, Bronagh etc, followed by the Scottish 'ch' sound. But most interestingly the initial 'oi' is sounded as 'ei' as in eight.

That got me thinking, in Scots dialect to go hame is to go home. Heard it many times in Rab C.Nesbitt. Is this o for a substitution a Gaelic influence???

I have to read up a little on the 'mh' sound. I was always under the impression that it was sounded as a 'v' as in the female name Mhàiri. However in 'geamhradh' and 'samhradh' it is sounded as an English w. An Geamhradh is pronounced 'gyaw-rugh' and means either winter or January, with 'saw-rugh' being the polar opposite of that season.

I also recently found out in Scots 'havering' means talking nonsense. South of the Tweed, it is an East London borough!
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 26 Dec 2013, 20:08

This guy's not a native Gaelic speaker, in fact he's not even a Scotsman. But he's singing in Gàidhlig!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNDFARI3Pec
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 27 Dec 2013, 12:13

The BBC Ireland Gaelige course is quite addictive too, had a look at it this morning. Its much better than RTÉ's equivalent, bearing in mind West Belfast (or Beal Feirste) is home to one of the largest Irish learners' communities in the whole of Ireland. I said about the word Fáilte having a different accent in Irish, it seems the word is pronounced differently too, it's more like 'fworl-cha' in Irish, whereas in Gaelic it's 'fahl-cha'.

Now if only there was an effective teach yourself to play the piano scheme online that's half as interesting as those for learning Gaelic, or Irish, or Welsh, or even Chinese and French!!!
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 27 Dec 2013, 16:48

So where is the N in the word for night? Was that a typo on your part or is it even more complex than it sounds?? The season/month thing is like Hydref in Welsh, isn't it?
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 27 Dec 2013, 17:50

Gill the Piano wrote:So where is the N in the word for night?
An oidhche = the night (ann-eeygh-chya).

Day is easier, an latha OR an là (an-lah).

January is the only month I know in Gaidhlig. Going back to Welsh, Medi can be used as a verb meaning to harvest or reap, whereas earlier this year I read somewhere that Tachwedd also has another seasonal related meaning, although off-hand I can't remember exactly what.

Hope you've got this weekend orf after a busy couple of weeks!
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 28 Dec 2013, 10:44

Been searching on Yootube under the criteria 'best way to play piano' and directed to a channel called Thisishowtoplaypiano that has six video uploads, one showcasing how good the player is at jamming on the piano and five, more recent ones flogging Viagra.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Feg » 28 Dec 2013, 12:47

Dave, I am most unlikely to hear Gaelic spoken on the streets of Edinburgh. Although it is commonly held to be Scotlands native language, it is only so in the Highlands and the Hebrides.

Scotland has more than one 'mither' tongue. Scots, or Lowland Scots, and Doric which is spoken in the North East of the country. I know Lowland Scots and some Doric - had relatives from Aberdeen when I was a child so heard it spoken.

Most regions of the country have their own versions of Scots. There are some good Scots dictionaries online, or you can buy a copy. We have loads of very descriptive words :)

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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 28 Dec 2013, 13:43

Feg wrote:Dave, I am most unlikely to hear Gaelic spoken on the streets of Edinburgh. Although it is commonly held to be Scotlands native language, it is only so in the Highlands and the Hebrides.

I would imagine it would be spoken in the Scottish Government, especially involving business regarding the Highlands and Islands, and also in Glasgow as that's where BBC Scotland are based, but as you say not at a noticeable level in the Lowlands. Bord na Gàidhlig are after all based in Inverness and their activity is based in the Gaelic speaking areas of the North. Robert Burns or Walter Scott never spoke it. The work of BBC Alba to promote Gàidhlig extends nationwide and beyond, of course. then of course there is the musical aspect. Runrig are just as famous amongst Gaelic speakers and non-Gaelic speakers alike, as are the likes of Julie Fowlis and Karen Matheson.

Remember (without being overtly political), Gàidhlig is regarded as equal to English by the Scottish Government but is not so by London, whereas Welsh has official status from both the Welsh Government and Westminster, also there is Gaelic medium education in Glasgow, although a quick Google has led me to this:

http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/news/articl ... lly_opened
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Feg » 28 Dec 2013, 17:17

I doubt that many of our esteemed MSP's are versed in Gaelic unless brought up in a Gaelic speaking household. Our Parliamentary business is conducted in English, Scots English.

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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 28 Dec 2013, 17:43

The Bord na Gàidhlig is a department of the Scottish Government, as the Bwrdd yr Iaith Gymraeg is to the Welsh Government and there are civil servants that may be bilingual but you're right about the actual elected MSP's though. I know that most of Plaid Cymru's AM's and a handful of AMs of the the London parties are bilingual in the Welsh Government and that simultaneous translations are provided in line with the policy of the Cardiff administration, however Edinburgh is different, but I cannot believe there is not at least one Highlands and Islands MSP that speaks Gàidhlig!

Also Orkney and Shetland both have greater Nordic that Celtic influences (I forgot to mention that) reflected in names such as Lerwick, Unst and Yell. One Scotland, many cultures - as they say!

Whereas in Ireland, nearly all names of towns and cities are angliscised versions of Gaelic names.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 28 Dec 2013, 18:16

dave brum wrote:Been searching on Yootube under the criteria 'best way to play piano' and directed to a channel called Thisishowtoplaypiano that has six video uploads, one showcasing how good the player is at jamming on the piano and five, more recent ones flogging Viagra.
So Viagra helps you play the piano better?? :shock: That's news to me...
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 28 Dec 2013, 18:22

Discovery of the century. Perhaps by the same token Me and My Piano by Fanny Waterman would solve any problems men might have with their pianists.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 31 Dec 2013, 19:39

2013 has been a bumper year for deaths, what with Richard 'Uncle Monty' Griffiths, Nelson Mandela and that vulgar and rude old bovine mammal from Grantham that thought she was more powerful than our lovely Queen Elizabeth.......however it ends with the news that two of my TV heroes have passed away today, Geoffrey Wheeler and John Fortune.

Winner Takes All used to be great with Wheeler at the helm...it was after all his idea for the show, until Yorkshire TV decided he wasn't selling their advertisers' widgets and so they brought in Tarbuck, relegating him to just doing the voiceovers.

But TV Top Of The Form....used to love that show. And that catchy Ray Martin theme tune. De DEEEEEEEEEEEE dee, de DEEEEEEEEEEdee, de dee, dee, diddly dee.........and then cue Geoff and applause. He was so cool proffessional and knowledgeable and I used to wonder why he didn't get much more TV work than he did.

And John Fortune's gone as well. Bremner Bird and Fortune was less populist and (as a consequence) much much cleverer than Spitting Image and Have I Got.....put together. RIP John and Geoff - and Monty and Madiba also.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 31 Dec 2013, 21:31

I'm sorry about John Fortune; his lugubrious face was sidesplitting. And you're right, BB&F WAS a lot funnier than much of Spitting Image.
I loved TOTF. Don't remember Geoffrey in Winner Takes All though.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 31 Dec 2013, 22:49

My wife hates me whistling the TOTF theme around the house. Likewise with the Bert Kaempfert 'A Swingin' Safari'. Says there are rude and sexually ribald lyrics to them, although she does not know what they are.

I think I'm okay with What Are We Going To Do With Uncle Arthur though!

BREAKING NEWS We're going to Buckinghamshire on the 29th January.
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by Gill the Piano » 01 Jan 2014, 17:39

dave brum wrote:BREAKING NEWS We're going to Buckinghamshire on the 29th January.
Where?? What time??
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Re: Random thoughts or comments...

Post by dave brum » 01 Jan 2014, 18:03

No trip to Cardiff as originally planned, so my wife's rather 'Keyne' on a trip there on her three days off. We went down last January. I had never been there before, it's utopia for claustrophobes.

Plus there's a John Lewis.
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