My Amazon Author Page

Find my Amazon author page via this link

"A Scottish Wind in the Willows on high end skunk."

"I enjoy Kate's stories..."
"A fun and spooky read..."

"The characters are so involving and
loveable that you do want them to really exist. It does read like you've
stumbled across someone's long lost diary from and alternate timeline/universe.
I quickly got into the story and loved every second of reading it...
total gem of a read by an author who deserves a lot more recognition."


Thursday, 31 March 2011

Reader Kweschunnare

Axle Snailbotom, as I explained earlier, is terribly slow. So instead we have Maz, who is a shopkeeper from the West Midlands. I knew that she would provide some interesting answers and I wasn't disappointed.

Kweschun one. What is your fave smell? The smell of the ground after rain has fallen wants me to get on all fours and lick it - sorry if you're underage and reading this but you gotta learn some day!

Kweschun two. What is your fave music? Anything I can sing to...if it's too hard to learn it's normally rubbish anyway.

Kweschun three. What is your fave film and or film star? PS I Love You Gerrard Butler. That man wants ME! It's sad, soppy and definitely crap but I like it purely because it's shit! Can I just add that Mr Bean is an idiot so I like him too.

Kweshchun four. Describe your fave item of footwear in less than ten words. I have no shoes - I'm Indian!

Kweschun five. What is your fave time of day? I have a crush on a certain somebody who buys a morning paper - when he/she/him/her/they/all/everyone come in at 7am I go all weird and pathetic but I look forward to 7am when I'm guaranteed to have some kind of weird fungus growing on my nose or in it growing out

Kweschun six. What is your fave food? Burger and chips...I don't know why I'm's a bitter world this is

Kweschun seven. Have all of the above ever converged? I'm sure I dreamt once that I was eating burger and chips off Gerrard Butler's face on all fours at 7am with.. no stop I can't go on!!

Kweschun eight. What kweschun would you like to ask yourself? Do you enjoy behaving like you're at the end of your life? (loads of swear words in the middle)

Kweschun ten. Bowels in, or bowels out? Oh I don't know -is this a trick question? So that's Maz from the West Midlands - thanks Maz! cracking answers - thanks very much for your time.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Biscuit of the week - the Toffee Dodger

I can't recommend this biscuit highly enough.

I bought it as it was on special in the Co-op - sorry, I can't remember exactly how much they were, but they won't have been dear as I don't care for the Jammie Dodger, and only cheapness would have lured me into buying anything similar.

The problem with Jammie Dodgers is that the jam is just too hard. They're far too chewy. The Toffee Dodger on the other hand is like a round Twix without the chocolate, except the biscuit has a nicer texture. Some might see no chocolate as being a drawback - I don't. Sometimes you just don't want a chocolate biscuit - it's too much for you. You just want a bit of sweetness that isn't too cloying.

There's also a heart-shaped hole in the centre, where you can see the toffee. What more could you want from a biscuit?

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Kind review in Northwords Now

"Kate Smart's blog could never be described as 'run of the mill'." Nobody could have given me a nicer compliment. "Kate clearly demonstrates how blogging can be used to great effect." Bask!

Many thanks to Tony Ross for this really kind review in the current edition of Northwords Now.
I'm absolutely delighted to have been given a mention, never mind anything else.

Tony's clearly read the blog, and "gets it" - which is brilliant. Yes, most of it could be described as "flash fiction", but I haven't thought of it that way myself. I'm just pleased that posts such as "Desperate Dan's Testicles" , the "Heartache Removal Service" - which is an on-going concern by the way - and the "Mind Muck Removal Device" have been read and appreciated.

To find out more - just click on the links below this post - or, find 'em on the list of links down the right hand side of the page.

This is encouraging me to put more of my work out there - somewhere...I'm rubbish at sending stuff away. Anyone thinks I can write anything specific for them and wants me to do it - give me a shout. (lazy...)

I'm well aware that this blog isn't everyone's cup of tea - or bottle of gin, even. So, I'll say, once again, how much I appreciate the readers who have kept me going with this over the past three years. Without your generous support, I would not have continued.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Edgar Winter Group - Frankenstein

I must admit I've not watched this all the way through (heard one minute of this, you've heard it all basically - and be warned - there IS a drum solo), but I couldn't resist posting it as it is a classic of its kind.
The blurb underneath sez it all - feel Rock's majesty.
Good grief.
This is the kind of thing that gave me a terrible pre-hangover headache in the 1970s - can feel one coming on now actually...and check out the clothes! blimey...

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Malcolm Tucker - A Tribute to Brilliant Swearing

This one's got "fuckitty bye" and "leaky fucking mingebox" on it....oh! don't watch if you're offended by foul language...
The thing that makes Malcolm Tucker so funny, rather than boringly offensive, is the build up and the context - you don't get build up or much context here - but anyone who's watched In the Loop or The Thick of It will know anyway.
Peter Capaldi - I love him but where does he find all that rage? and how the FUCK does he manage to keep a straight fuckin' face by the way?

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Scots wurd o' th' day

Back to Alexander Warrack's Chambers's Scots Dictionary again.

Amazing book - or "tome". Today, it's fallen open at page 252, where there are any number of words worth a ponder, and most of which I've never heard before in my life. Think I'll choose -

Haukum-plaukum (adj.) - every way equal. Not quite sure how you'd use that one. Would it be as in, he's haukum plaukum to the task, or maybe the twins' mince 'n' tatties were haukum plaukum? If anyone knows, please tell me.

Another one. Hauselock, Hausslock, n., The wool on a sheep's neck. That's easy. Thon sheep should be ashamed o' itsel' - its hauselock's desperate oan a trim.

I'm now getting curious about the roots of words. The dictionary has a pretty good introduction - which I'm only now glancing through. First thing which catches the eye is "Up until the beginning of the sixteenth century, the Scots called their language 'Inglis', which is the northern form of the primitive 'Angelisc'." And "Gawin Douglas (c. 1475 - 1522) is the first writer of any importance to use 'Scottis' as a term for his 'tongue materne'." (tongue materne! get him!)

H' must get on.

More later.............

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Spike Milligan lines

Read the first ever Goon Show script last night. Now I know I said that I don't like the Goons, at all, but there ARE some funny lines in it.

For example.

"...worry turned me grey...which gave me a peculiar appearance as I was bald at the time..."

"I paid the fine with trembling fingers but...they wanted money!" (my favourite I think)

" tell me the first race you ever won? / The Old Crocks Race in 1892. /But that was before you were born! /Do you imagine it was easy for me?"

(to a car mechanic) "Have you put the bonnet on? / Yorst, and I don't arf look stupid in it."

"My name is Porridge, Sir Harold Porridge. For months my team had been digging for the lost tomb of the greatest of the Pharoahs, King Tutankhamen......For two years we dug every inch of ground - then finally we received a cable from the Egyptian government. It said simply - "Stop digging Hackney Marshes - try Egypt!"

All written by Spike Milligan.

Leonard Nimoy - Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town

Just jaw-droppingly unexpected...

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Spike Milligan

Still browsing through The Essential Spike Milligan, compiled by Alexander Games (4th estate). Mixed feelings about Spike. For me, 25% of the time (maybe more...) he was prolonged-belly-laugh funny. The rest of the time - well.
Was eager to see the TV programme last night called "I told you I was ill" recorded in 2002, I think. Tributes are usually not my cup of tea, and this one was particulary awful - so bad I switched it off.
I don't really like the Goons - possibly put off by that awful footage of Prince "grovelling bastard (according to Spike)" Charles doing his cringey Bluebottle voice.
There are also large swathes of material in the book which to me seem incredibly racist. You're not supposed to say that about Spike Milligan, but there it is.
It's not Spike's fault Prince Charles was a fan. But still.
There are however several pieces in the book which are just stand-back-in-awe brilliant - The Flasher (II) being one, and The Singing Foot being another.
He also writes brilliantly about the war, about life around and after the war, and about his mental breakdown.
He writes with an uncomfortable honesty and a humour born of despair, which is often too raw to laugh at. I can't simply dismiss him as racist. I need to find a context - an excuse maybe...if there can be an excuse...
The thing that gets me, is when he writes about being battle-fatigued "...this was a time in my life when I was very demoralised. I was not really me any more."

more later

Monday, 7 March 2011

Fancy new-fangled music

Previous post - Dundee band The Creeping Ivies. Primitive garage rock - great stuff.

I'm hoping that Tuppence will listen to it and perhaps "move on" from his ghastly prog rock phase.

He's rebuilt the moog, you know. It crashed over the cliffs after the last debacle at his gig at the Puff Inn, if you remember (probably not, and I can't say I blame you...). But there were some tin cans left over after he constructed the CHeaSe-Buster, and so he decided to weld them together and make another Moog. Sigh.

I think he's on for the Puff Inn again this weekend. Oh dear.

The Creeping Ivies - Shake It Up

Sunday, 6 March 2011

More Chic Murray

More Chic Murray lines from Robbie Grigor's invaluable "Just Daft - the Chic Murray Story" (Birlinn books)

"Just bought the wife a Jaguar - great investment, it's just bit her leg off."

"My wife's a red head - no hair, just a red head."

"A man went into a pet shop and asked to buy a pet wasp. 'We don't stock pet wasps.' 'Well, how come you've got two in the window?"

"Looking at the obituary columns, it never fails to amaze me how many people die in alphabetical order."

"Did I know him? Of course I did. I was in the actual firing squad that shot him.' 'Funny, he didn't mention that.' 'Och, he was a quiet lad really.'

"Nothing's worn under the kilt. It's all in perfect working order."

Chic was in a few films and did a fair bit of TV work. However, he had a couple of bad breaks when the Royal Variety Performance he was scheduled to be in, was cancelled due to the Suez crisis, and when his American agent was killed in a car crash just as he was setting up some appearances in the U.S. which could have been crucial to Chic's career.
He was very good friends with Billy Connelly and got along well also with Spike Milligan, who described him as 'one of the top comics in the world.'

Friday, 4 March 2011

More thoughts on Chic Murray

The thing that puts me off Chic Murray is the tartan connection. By and large, I don't much like Scottish comedians. (that sounds like the beginnings of a Chic Murray joke...) and I can't stand tartan kitsch unless it's completely ironic and having the total guts ripped out of it.
Scottish comedians of a certain type and generation, that is. Loathe Hector Nicol, Jimmy Logan, Duncan Macrae - all the White Heather Club and Hogmanay stuff.
I've been looking at some Youtube footage of Chic. What puts me off is the audience. My parents' generation. Reminds me of horrible Hogmanays with leering drunken men and everybody stinking of whisky and three sheets to the wind. Usually some Andy Stewart or Calum Kennedy blaring away in the background. Oh what fun. Not. I hate it for its hypocrisy and its misogyny.
So in a way, I prefer to read Chic's stuff.
I don't think he was that keen on the tartan crap himself, but hard to escape it at that time really. Personally I'd like to have seen him with no canned laughter and no tartan AT ALL - just the jokes.

Some Chic Murray quotes

All from Robbie Grigor's book about Chic Murray, "Just Daft" published by Birlinn books.

'Unfortunately, at the AGM of the Unspeakably Shy Society (Rutherglen branch) nobody was able to attend.' (possibly my favourite, as I can identify...)

'I don't care if he was the head of the Light Brigade. There will be no charging here!'

'If something's neither here nor there, where the hell is it?'

'In the Olympic village, a man wearing trainers and carrying a long stick, was asked by a stranger, ' Are you a pole vaulter?' 'Nein. I am German. But how did you know my name is Walter?'

'I was making tea in my pyjamas. I must remember to buy a teapot.'

'Ah! but what have I got up my sleeve? A broken arm if you're not careful.'

'She wasn't all there. But I thought there was enough to make it interesting.'

'I got on a bus and went upstairs. The conductor asked for my fare. 'A single to the west End please,' I said. 'We don't go to the West End,' he said. I said, 'But you've got West End on the front of the bus.' He said, 'We've got Persil on the back of the bus but we don't take in washing.'

'That boy needed a good hiding. So I took him away and hid him where they'll never find him.'

'I walked into the bedroom. The curtains were drawn but the furniture was real.'

Loads more. Like I said before, the monologue The Nose is the funniest thing I've ever read.

Best £14.99 I've spent in a long while.