So much seems to have happened since my last post here; is it only three weeks since the school meal blog story caused such a widespread media storm? I suppose that preparing for, going on, and returning from a wonderful week by Lake Garda does account for much of the intensity in my life over that period, but that holiday only accounts for some of it.
I had the great pleasure of witnessing some wonderful live music on The Green on Greenlaw Festival Crowning Day; a rare break in the rain meant that the bulk of the activities to celebrate the crowning of this year’s Greenlaw Maid, Shannon Hirst, went ahead relatively unhindered by the weather. I had principally gone along to record the ‘battle of the bands’ and ended up witnessing a wonderful, laid back selection of local artists that culminated with a jam session that included some sublime soprano saxophone playing an a number that ‘became’ ‘The Greenlaw Glide’.
I continue to be amazed by the way my life has developed since retiring from my teaching career. What started as occasional gig reviews for my Tumblr blog has grown to include album reviews, with many also being published each month by on-line rock magazine ‘The Rocktologist’. Although I enjoyed preparing for and presenting my occasional shows on Generate Radio, I certainly didn’t expect to be getting so involved in interviewing, gig reviews and photography and album reviews for publication. I had a magical evening interviewing Jill Jackson ahead of her mesmerising gig in Melrose and I have recently liaised with a young Glasgow singer/songwriter (Toni Etherson) to help try to get suggestions for her forthcoming EP, and look set to be helping with training for a new community radio station that is being established in the north east of Scotland, and my initial two hours a month on air has expanded to five hours every week. I also look forward to extending my reviewing to include theatre, when I attend a press night for ‘Black Roses’, a play based on the tragic circumstances surrounding the murder of Sophie Lancaster, a young lady who was attacked along with her boyfriend simply because of the way they chose to dress, as ‘goths’.
One thing I definitely didn’t expect was to discover that I had been nominated in the ‘Media Person Of The Year’ category of this year’s ‘Scottish New Music Awards’. Last year was the inaugural event and I seem to remember that every single nominee was included in the voting procedure; this year they appear to have restricted that phase to include only the top five nominees in each category, so my inclusion means so much more to me as a result. I am certainly very appreciative of those who felt strongly enough to nominate me and look forward to attending the ceremony as I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience last September. I’m not normally given to much in the way of blatant self-promotion but will include the voting link, mainly because I believe that the nomination is as much one for the whole team at Generate Radio as it might be for me and for their sake I would like as many people as possible to know about the possibility of voting. This year it is also possible to vote in only one, or as many categories as desired – rather than last year’s requirement to vote in every category.