Showing posts from May, 2008

Unpluggeder Still

G-foot's party by the pool was a slow starter. Looking down from the 12th floor balcony, Paraglider & Co could count maybe seven stalwarts, nine floors below, alternately huddling to feel partyish or spreading out to occupy more space. Numbers were such that it was perhaps a blessing that G-foot's plan to provide a piper to entertain the guests had come to naught. On the other hand, Paraglider had possibly been rash in agreeing to serenade the assembled company on guitar, for half an hour or so. If you haven't tried it, singing outdoors without amplification and in open competition with central Doha traffic and the roar of AC headers can be quite a strain. As can controlling an acoustic instrument that you've just taken from a cool dry interior into a humid 35°C poolside patio. Still, a good time was had by all, and there was no shortage of free food to complement the free bar. Lazing on a sunny afternoon - hah!

The Sitting Room

Mum and Dad originally upheld the old Scottish tradition of not using their best room, but keeping it nice for visitors. The Sitting Room was certainly the best room in the house, big, with two fine windows, a piano, and a grand mahogany mantlepiece. The chairs were comfier too. Gradually, they relaxed this regime and by the mid-sixties the sitting room had taken over from the living room as the hub of family life. The change was driven by technology. I don't remember us not having a TV, because we got it in 1953 before I was a year old. It was black & white of course, and there was only one channel (The BBC). Broadcasts were only for a few hours at a time with long periods of close-down. The announcer used to say, "Please switch off your set". Then the white dot in the middle of the screen would get wee-er and fainter for about a minute before disappearing. The other great purchase for the sitting room was the Radiogram, which replaced the wind-up gramophone. It was

Unplugged undone

Following the raging success of their inaugural concert, Paraglider and Mr G, in a bold and unprecedented step, promptly embarked on their farewell tour of Doha Stufital, thus cutting out all the usual tedious career-building stuff in between. The teeming fans were shocked and dismayed to learn of the duo's immediate disbandment, occasioned not by the usual flouncing off by a petulant star - I just need some space, man, to, like, be where I'm at as myself, for me, know what I'm saying - but by Mr G's sudden relocation to Japan. Paraglider is already making a few inquiries and it seems likely that, in some form or another, the show will go on.

The Living Room

The Living Room was where we lived. Often, in the Winter, it was the only warm room in the house. The fire had a back boiler to heat water for the bathroom. There was also a damper that was good to sing about, "Oh you push the damper in and you pull the damper out and the smoke goes up the chimney just the same", but I never had a clue what it was for. The window shelf in the picture came later, as did the window. Back then, it was the usual wooden sash with split panes. In front of it sat the wireless table (with the wireless of course). The wireless was none too reliable and smelt of burning dust. I liked keeking through the wee holes in the back to see the red glow of the valves. Sometimes, Dad would take the back off and poke around inside. The News was pointless and boring, but Uncle Mac's Childrens' Choice was great. During the week, when the others were off to school, Mum used to listen to Housewives' Choice, doing the ironing. The wireless table drawer was