Que? A Murderously Funny Trailer for one of TWTC’s Big Hits!

Tipsy Towers is a Murder Mystery tribute to one of the UK’s most infamous 2-season, 12-show TV comedic masterpieces from the 70s. Starring John Cleese and Prunella Scales, Fawlty Towers has a legendary status and a huge fan-base. TWTC’s version recreates the atmosphere and hilarity of the original in an actual hotel and makes it a sublimely funny murder …

I made this trailer as a tribute to the tribute and it has great performances from Karen, Sadie, Andy, Rebecca as well as the Audience. Camera, editing and production was all down to me of course, and I am very happy with the result.

Incidentally, the bit I was amazed to find I got a real kick out of doing was the incidental music, written on an  app called Figure – the software was developed by the Swedish group Propellerhead and is a joy to use.

Here’s the vid:

 

Compulsory Sunday Reading: A manifesto for a new politics from the CofE

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I’ve just spent three-quarters of an hour reading the Church of England’s (CofE) letter “Who is my neighbour?”, and what struck me most forcefully was how many of the CofE’s recommendations were embodied in the debate around the referendum last year – whichever way you voted  – in direct contrast to the way the General Election seems to be panning out.

In its conclusions the CofE recommends:

  • Halting and reversing the accumulation of power and wealth in fewer and fewer hands, whether those of the state, corporations or individuals.

  • Involving people at a deeper level in the decisions that affect them most.

  • Recognising the distinctive communities, whether defined by geography, religion or culture, which make up the nation and enabling all to thrive and participate together.

  • Treating the electorate as people with roots, commitments and traditions and addressing us all in terms of the common good and not just as self-interested consumers.

  • Demonstrating that the weak, the dependent, the sick, the aged and the vulnerable are persons of equal value to everybody else.

  • Offering the electorate a grown up debate about Britain’s place in the world order and the possibilities and obligations that entails.

Sensational Seventy! A Very Happy Birthday!

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To celebrate Dad’s Seventieth – which is today – we all went to Megeve and had a cracking time – it was truly superb. Happy Birthday Dad!

(And thanks Roger Bailey for your photo – it cam out really well!)

 

Landslip at Dunans: Ravine path closed, repairs imminent!

This winter has been very hard on the grounds at Dunans. We’ve seen so much intense rainfall that the paths, like last year, are a quagmire. Some relief was afforded by the freeze of last week, but the problem is deep-seated and is about what is happening to the climate overall.

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In early January the amount of rainfall led to a large landslip in the ravine, effectively blocking any access to the Laird’s Island. This map, which will be familiar to Lairds and Ladies shows the exact location in relation to Castle and Bridge.

Finding a way to bridge this gap in our path network might prove impossible, given the dynamic nature of the landscape – see the video of the river from Sunday for an idea of the type of flow we receive on an ordinary day …

IMG_2876We’re hopeful that some form of bridge or boardwalk will be possible, but before then we’ll have to wait for the ravineside to settle – and frankly, we are not sure when that will be. We are therefore also looking at alternative pathways, particularly to aid our tours… We’ll have more on this as we work out solutions in time for opening in late March in time for Easter!

Here’s the video:

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The Hydrocarbon Diet: Vote for parties who aren’t going to give up and go for a curry

In the Guardian today:

In a recent private conversation under the Chatham House rule, one of the world’s most senior industry leaders, who is considered to be at the more moderate end of the spectrum, insisted that we are going to burn all the world’s hydrocarbons despite the consequences.

His reasoning is that a growing population in the developing world needs energy to raise living standards, that renewables will not become a dominant energy source till the end of the century and that politicians don’t have the courage or power to limit production.

Reminds me of the recent Horizon special “What’s the Right Diet for You?” whereby two groups of dieters were given slices of cake at 700 calories per slice. One group were told that this was a special dieter’s cake with c. 200 cals. The others were told the truth. After the cake-baking session each group were left with a bunch of cake and a cup of tea. What happened? The ones who had been told the truth ate 8 times more cake than the ones who’d been lied to. The lesson being that if you think you are still on track for the right number of calories in your day, you won’t go on to really bust the limit like the others did. As one of the group who had been told the truth said, “We’d all planned to go for a curry this evening as we’d stuffed our chances of keeping to our limit …”

Seems to me our politicians govern our appetite for hydrocarbons with legislation, and they’re being told the truth. What happens when, as is certain now, we pass 400 ppm of carbon in the atmosphere. In this analysis, they’re just going to metaphorically chuck their hands up and say, “Right, might as well go for a curry chaps, we’ve really blown it now …”

The problem is, that although this is based on pop psychology, I can see it happening all too readily. All these tipping points and limits only give us targets we’re going to miss on the conventional diet of boo-yah politics and industry misinformation.

Is there any hope?

Well, if you want hope you need to vote for parties who aren’t going to give up and go for a curry (allow fracking for example), you’ve got to vote for parties who are going to stick to the diet whatever happens, and make sure the others do too – and just like those who are on a weightloss diet, we do know who the best to parties  are to put our a break on our collective appetite, don’t we?

(Picture from the Guardian article and is by Murdo Macleod/Murdo Macleod)

Deeply Wintry: Dunans clothed in snow

We went out at midday a couple of days ago for a walk. Felt like walking in a subterranean world. Extraordinary.

I am Charlie #charliehebdo

Acts of violence have no place in any of the world’s religions.

Acts of satire are essential to vibrant and free democracy.

I am Charlie.

Adorning one’s one square foot: delightful model castle with draw-bridge and two turrets

We have had lots of great moments with Lairds and Ladies when they come to visit their plot of land. Often they will want to leave a marker, or tribute, or ‘development’: we’ve had the flags of most nationalities, we’ve had farmyard animals, we’ve even had a red Monopoly hotel – but today we had one of the most creative …

IMG_2232 IMG_2234If you are a Laird or Lady and want to take the tour and visit your plot of land, please click here for more details!

 

Dunans and the Seaplane: Loch Lomond Seaplanes fly us over Dunans on a perfect day for photos!

Today we had a marvellous outing courtesy of Sadie. For my birthday last year my darling wife gave me a jaunt in the Loch Lomond Seaplane. Well, today we finally got to go. It was a truly brilliant day out, and the highlight was of course circling Dunans in the morning sunlight before going off for lunch at Loch Voil. We thoroughly recommend this as a great way of seeing Argyll and especially Cowal which on the right day is spectacular!

@GeorgeMonbiot nails the argument for Scottish Independence, by turning the whole issue on its head #guardian #indyref

Wish I’d thought of this, but then that’s what we need people like George for, to respond to the current issues in thought-provoking and contrary ways. I wonder whether those postal voters who voted ‘No’ would have been swayed by this article?