Built in 1757 by William Burness, two years before the birth of his celebrated son, the thatched 'clay biggin' is still standing, more than 250 years later. Which suggests, perhaps, that biggest, tallest, most expensive, might not be a building's only claim to greatness after all.
The man o' independent mind,
He looks an' laughs at a' that.
'Accidentally killed during an interrogation' does not mean that the video camcorder suddenly exploded. It probably means that the torturers misjudged the cardiopulmonary health and resilience of their victim. Incompetence and evil form a lethal cocktail. For a State to offer 'Accidentally killed during an interrogation' as an exoneration is beyond belief, with its implied normalisation of torture, and the insulting assumption that others will accept this normalisation. But even in a world as dark as this 'exoneration' requires, producing the body for forensic inspection could provide absolute corroboration of the 'accident'. Continued failure to do so points to something darker still. Meanwhile, UK and USA continue to sell arms to this regime.
I have been uncharacteristically quiet in recent weeks over the ongoing Brexit debacle. There are reasons for this and the most important one is: it matters nothing what I think, mine is a small voice in the wilderness, what will be will be, so why add to the fog of verbiage? That said, I feel moved to deliver myself of the following, on a take it or leave it basis, i.e. I'm not really up for arguing the points: 1. The 2016 referendum was ill-conceived and exacerbated by the then PM's complacency and lack of preparation. He deserved to lose, and did. So, there are consequences. 2. A referendum should be a last resort and should be binding for a generation. As an example: Alex Salmond stated as much when he thought he was going to win Scottish independence.. When he lost, he reneged on this principle, at the expense of his political integrity. 3. I would have preferred to remain in the E.U. but I cannot see a democratically valid way to realise this. I also think it likely that
Off on my travels again tomorrow, to Muscat, a place I have never visited. Only one overnight then back to Qatar on Saturday night. Normally, I'd be going to Dubai but our little local difficulty rolls on and Dubai can't be accessed from Doha except by stopping off in Muscat or Kuwait or somewhere even further off. Alternatively, there is the option of a 'luxury' coach from Muscat to Dubai, but apparently that takes four hours. It might be a good way to see the country but would take a huge bite out of a short weekend. Note to self: One Omani Rial = Ten Qatari Riyals. Beware of overpaying taxis by a factor of ten!
This song by Harry Gordon is about 100 years old and is in the Scottish music hall tradition. It's short because it was the lead into a stand-up comedy routine in character. The character in this case being a fireman on the footplate of a steam engine.