What Have the Team been up to?


Two quick tips from me for stuff you might enjoy. It’s from last year but if you’ve got Disney and you’ve not seen The Old Man I can definitely recommend it. I suspect this is more run-of-the-mill than it feels like if you were looking strictly at the plot, but it has an ace up its sleeve – Jeff Bridges’ first TV role. Put simply, his charism lifts this series onto another level – and it has at least one more ace in John Lithgow too. On the music front, a little shout-out to Wales’s Bill Ryder-Jones whose Iechyd Da is a wonderful album, a singer-songwriter album with both interesting orchestration and some folk tinges. It suits my current Welsh-ophile mood… In terms of things I’ve done while out and about, probably best overlooked given it has been dominated by watching Scotland’s Six Nations (grrrrrr) and child-birthday-trampoline-parks. Let’s not talk about it further…


Like many in our circles, Ellen and I spent a very enjoyable evening in The Room Where It Happens with a trip to Edinburgh to see Hamilton this month. This is a musical very close to our hearts (to the point that I used the Broadway recording as bait in a “movie night” that was in reality my night to propose to her – we never did actually watch the show after that mind you…). As to the show this month, I thought it every bit as worthy as Broadway though you could really sense the audience champing at the bit and only reluctantly obeying the stricture against singing along.

I do wish the Indy movement paid a little more attention to this show for some of the lessons in some of the songs. We, as a campaign, could get a lot of mileage out of blasting You’ll Be Back or staging Farmer Refuted at pro-Indy protests outside UK institutions. Tomorrow They’ll Be More Of Us is a rallying cry for every Indy march and One Last Time should be whispered into the ear of every politician who has been in their seat for anything approaching just long enough.

Politics aside, if you get the chance, go see it, make sure you Don’t Say No To This.


This month’s reading will be something a little different for me. My friends and I all bought ourselves a copy of G.T. Karber’s Murdle, an interactive murder-mystery puzzle book. Whether we will be collaborating like a team of true detectives on the case, or competing to see who can make their way through the logic puzzles the fastest, is yet to be determined! This book seemed right up our street, as we all currently enjoy comparing our daily scores for the New York Times’ Wordle and Connections games in the group chat, so switching it up with physical copies may just up the excitement.

I also recently enjoyed dinner with another friend at Mondo restaurant in Coatbridge. A great atmosphere with an even greater selection on the menu of classic favourites, they also have great options for gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan diners, so there really was something for everyone. We found it reasonably priced, too, and will definitely be returning.


2024 definitely feels like a year for embracing recreation for me. My partner and I visited Lisbon earlier this month and rather than trying to fill our time with all the museums and art galleries in the world, we’ve been so busy that we wanted to try and spend quality time with each other so we did a lot of walking (its a hilly city), picked out a couple of places we wanted to visit (including the political prisoners museum which I highly recommend), and found some top food spots – I have to say this was so worth it, just taking it slow and spending money on really high quality food and wine. We still managed to fit in a fair amount of touristy things but we really left enough for us to come back and see and do. A city I would highly recommend. It’s also been a great year for film so we’ve taken ourselves to the cinema to see Poor Things and Dune Part Two – both wild films with beautiful cinematography, great storylines, wonderfully portrayed by their respective casts. If you haven’t already, make sure to find time to watch them.


This past month we’ve really just stayed in Edinburgh. Some of those highlights have included a trip to Edinburgh Street Food which has an array of local vendors offering some really delicious grub. The table service really makes it easy to order several different dishes, and try a real selection from different vendors. Definitely arrive with an empty stomach.

In among some really dreich weather were some nice pockets of sunshine on the weekends, which we aptly took advantage of. Taking a trip out to South Queensferry for a car picnic and a walk over the Forth Road Bridge was a picture perfect walk, the only thing missing was a dolphin sighting.

As a big fan of podcasts I’m always looking for something new to listen to while I unload the dishwasher etc, as well as listening to my usuals such as Table Manners, Off Menu, The Rest is Politics, I’ve been listening to a series called Under the Influence with Jo Piazza. It’s a deep dive into the world of social media, the world of influencers, in particular the cult like tendencies of “mommy bloggers” and the grip that this all has on us.

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