There were a number of articles in the paper recently about celebrity endorsement – apparently some naughty people have been saying that they like things on social media and not mentioning, in passing, that they were getting a shedload of money for so doing. Honestly, one’s faith in celebrities takes another big shake. Among these people were, inevitably, some Kardashians. I don’t really know what a Kardashian is, though it’s a lovely word. I know that one of them is transgendered, one has a voluptuous bum (respect) and one has just become a very young billionaire by selling lip gloss or something. It all makes me feel very old and confused but anyway, good luck to them.
Having blogged a bit back complaining about how much I hated one particular novel and one particular film, I thought I might do a bit of uncelebrity endorsement. I notice that my spell check doesn’t like ‘uncelebrity’ which is a bit weird since that’s most of us. Anyway – here are some things I recommend and, honestly, I’m not getting paid a red cent.
Jackie’s pies. Jackie is the cheerful but serious soul who runs the newsagent at the top of Morton Street in Joppa. Every Saturday she gets pies from somewhere; not a traditional Scotch pie, for these pies have beef in them, but oooooh they are lovely. She also gets in steak pies at New Year. Jackie’s pies are a drug, and she is a dealer.
Halogen light bulbs. The key here is the word ‘light’. These bulbs emanate light, and do so immediately. This seems to me to be a good thing in a light bulb.
The Macau Kitchen at the Pleasance (near Aizle, also very good but approximately 235 times the price). Macau food – they do a ‘Fat Rice’ deal on a Sunday, ‘Fat’ meaning ‘prosperous’ or ‘rich’, rather than obese. A bit like a paella but different; a bit like a risotto but different. Duck, chicken, chorizo, anchovies, fruit, salad, olives, a real meeting place of Portugal and the Orient.
A wee novel called ‘West’ by Carys Davies. A great story in 128 pages. Given the predilection for the VERY long novel at the moment, a refreshing and brisk book written about the American West by a Welsh lady.
Manomasa tortilla chips in the green olive and manchego variety. Available in Asda and Waitrose and possibly other places (see how comprehensive my shopping habits have become in retirement as further exemplified below). Very lovely indeed. Sadly, a big thief keeps stealing them from our kitchen. I thought it was Mr F but he doesn’t like them. Apparently.
Henry Jamison’s new album ‘Gloria Duplex’. His first album ‘The Wilds’ was my favourite of last year, then Tom and I went to see him in the basement of a pub in Glasgow, with about twenty other people. He was supporting a band I had never heard of. Anyway, he was great – this is a really original sound from a clever poetic voice from Burlington, Vermont. He’s not really like anyone else musically, and I speak as someone who has just sold off 437 albums almost exclusively by American singer-songwriters. He’s a bit like Raymond Carver, I think.
‘Making a Murderer’ – I know you’ve all already seen it, but it is AMAZING – it just leaves you gasping and understanding how Trump got elected.
Now, doughnuts: serious business. Twelve Triangles – two branches, one in Leith, one in Portobello. In 1989 when I moved to Porty, I was told the area was coming up in the world. Actually, I liked it how it was, with the old shows and the shop where you could buy one nail (for hammering in rather than beauty). However, the sign that the old place was indeed gentrifying was the arrival of Twelve Triangles, where you can buy a loaf for the price of a used Cortina and the doughnuts are 2.80 each!!! However, you can eat one, then die of bliss. On a similar theme I have also to recommend Asda’s Strawberry and White Chocolate muffins, thousands of which reached my belly by 7.30 am when I was Principal of George Heriot’s School, and which continue to content me in my retirement. At £1 for four, each one is less than 10% of the price of a TT doughnut.
The Velvet Easel art gallery, which is, just to be very parochial, next door to Twelve Triangles in Portobello. All uniformly lovely things and really good for a present for a wedding or a special birthday. The lady has an eye, and she’s been going for five years. Imagine!
Aldi candles. I was introduced to them by Dame Judy Lewis (not really a Dame, except possibly in the ‘There is Nothing Like a Dame’ sense…) whose taste is impeccable. They come in a range of fragrances like ‘Lime Basil and Mandarin’ and ‘Blackberry and Bay’ – have you perhaps heard of these fragrances before? And they work. £3.99 for a medium one.
And finally a film. Not ‘Roma’ which was amazing to look at, but, let’s be honest, a teensy bit slow. Not ‘Green Book’ which was ok plus but nothing more. Not even ‘BlackKKlansman’ which was great. But a much more obscure film from the Lebanon called ‘Capernaum’, about a wee boy and a tiny boy. Made two old men cry. Not Dr Scott and I obviously – years of ruggedness would prohibit that. But the two old men sitting….in front of us…
So there we go. Should anyone wish to throw some money at me, that’s fine. Or just a doughnut…..