NCWindowI was so proud when Ross, my partner’s son, crossed the line in Musselburgh, just over four hours at his first attempt.   Twenty six miles of constant slog, dehydration, sore feet and hitting the “wall”, where the body runs out of energy.  It’s hard to comprehend; it would take me the full day.   Much easier to understand were the expressions on faces, with each runner’s home straight telling something about their journey, their state of mind: euphoria, pain, theatricals, grim determination.  A great spectacle.

060417 NCBlogI could imagine him bursting into song, Kiss or Purple Rain, at the Chamber of Commerce; a brand changing tour de force. Okay, it wasn’t the most mature start to a meeting, but then I can’t be the only one whose mind gets distracted on solemn occasions. Obviously it wasn’t the late great Prince; only a very good imitation.

200317NCBlogThere is nothing quite like government to get people excited. Supranational, national and local, these venerable institutions provide constant copy for newspapers and broadcast news, almost always about the dire bureaucratic or political failings. What would journalism do without them? And it doesn’t stop there; taxi journeys would be a bottom shuffling, embarrassed silence were it not for public sector stupidity and waste. The business community gets excited too and it sometimes feels as though the potent mix of regulation and tax has positively monstered the state in all its forms.

170524NCBlogDecades in search of a glimpse, all those special boat trips from Mull and Skye, the hours standing on Chanonry Point on the Black Isle, and all for nothing, nada, zilch. Then on Sunday I was inspecting a roof and worrying about rusting gutters when I saw them, a pod of dolphins, in a line.

070416Neil ClappertonCE02My kids say I’m always 10 years behind the times.

It’s reliable like the lunar cycle. Anything from clothing to food. Music is an obvious fashion crime scene. I honestly thought I’d “discovered” the Pixies a decade after they’d split. Last night it happened again.

I was thinking how great it would be to grow apples, Scottish varieties. Naturally, in front of the fire with slippers on, that leads to thoughts of cider. Would it be possible – at this point getting quite excited – to make it in the North-east based on those hardy local breeds? What about doing what the Swedes do and add berries? Eureka! An enterprise is born.

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