Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Lockdown Love in the Alcohol Aisle

Lockdown Love in the Alcohol Aisle

I saw her in the Tesco queue she said don't try to kiss me
I'd love  to talk to you and I know that you've missed me
But this is much bigger than us, think of the community
I don't believe all of this bullshit about herd immunity
And I didn't get a chance to ask
As she adjusted her designer mask
Which she wore with insouciant style
Who it was she'd been holding hands with
By the alcohol aisle

Her trolley was heavily loaded and tricky to steer
It was full of Moet et Chandon and  Mexican beer
A bottle of Grey Goose vodka, some Isle of Harris gin
I didn't like the look of the relationship she'd found herself in
I'd believed her when she would say
How she loved single malts and craft IPA
But clearly I had been in denial
And the truth had been revealed during lockdown in the alcohol aisle

I saw them in the car park heading for a Toyota hybrid
And I had to admit, he looked much better than I did
He had the aura of a personal trainer or a tennis coach
I was filled with inferiority and self reproach
But I knew I'd be having more fun
With my Talisker, my Innes and Gunn
My resemblance to Bobby Carlyle
I went back in to buy some Buckfast
In the alcohol aisle...

Monday, May 25, 2020

Sympathy for The Dominic

I imagine a really unhappy, difficult few years at school for Dominic Cummings.

A sportless nerd with no social skills, bad clothes, poor taste in music. A narrow, unshared range of interests which he gradually, over university and beyond, developed both an encyclopaedic knowledge of and brutal passion for. Pilloried and bullied by the cool kids. Privileged, unpopular family. Odd accent he veered between defiantly maintaining and desperately gentrifying. A carapace of contempt growing as his highly focussed intelligence was brought to bear on issues which suddenly, in the socially mediated age, became politically crucial.

Not so much tough as beyond caring: Here I am. This is my bus. Get on board, pay the fare or get out of my way. And once you're on, you obey my rules. Listen to my choice of Abba tunes. These are my skills. This is my price.

Do you know what? I bet he's a really kind dad. A loving husband. And I bet he panicked, completely, when Mary Wakefield phoned to to tell him she thought she had the virus.

And I bet they had no friends in London they could ask for help.

Now, well, he has the Tory party in the palm of his hand. They are a useless conglomerate of the inept, the corrupt, the weak and the slavishly compromised. He's not that clever, but he's committed. He's certain. He's in William Gibson's Pattern Recognition and he is Hubertus Bigend. And his agenda fits with the bad billionaires, though he thinks he's way above and beyond these grasping cretins. Money doesn't interest him. It's all about being right. It's all about vengeance. There's a kind of febrile purity there.

The London media are hopeless. They have nothing but ambition to fuel them, nothing but a really horrible vanity. Even those without need of his patronage, who clearly dislike him, fire their weapons like empty tins of Harp against a a Saracen armoured car (copyright Lionel Shriver, sorry. Currently reading the marvellous Ordinary Decent Criminals).

His weakness? Love for family. It could have undone someone with less of a brass neck, more sensitivity to the opinions of others. But not now. Not with this bunch of buffoons in Government. Dominic Cummings is their only hope. And what they don't realise is that he has as much hatred for them as he does the press. You can see it in every choice of Decathlon trackie bottoms, every used Discovery Sport.

Every trip to Durham.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

The end of indiscriminate hugging

The end of indiscriminate hugging

The casual hug? That French embrace?
I’m keener now on track and trace
Luvvies! Please do not peck my cheek
The elastic on my mask is weak
I’m listening for that twanging sound
Protection can quickly rebound
While droplets fill our mutual air
Some things we do not need to share
Handshakes performed in rubber gloves
Are sticky when push comes to shove
My Marigolds conjoined with yours
I’m sure the sentiment is pure
But frankly a brisk, manly bow
Is quite enough, I think, for now
Please, no caress. That would be a blunder
Six feet apart or six feet under
Intimidating intimacy
Is no longer a curse for me
No stranger’s touch, that’s my belief

And frankly, it comes as a relief.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Good Omens (Neil's a Runrig Guy)

Good Omens (He's a Runrig Guy)

She captured his soul, she captured his heart
With some very strange performance art
Eventually the light of love grew dim
She was thirty years younger than him
He knew he had to get away
Couldn't stand the tantric yoga one more day
He had a place, and no-one would know
In the mystic realm of Donnie Munro

Over the sea, over the sea
Over the sea to Skye
I’m sure there’s a Waitrose in Kyle of Lochalsh
I should be all right for supplies
Over the sea, over the sea 
Over the sea to Skye
I do the like the view
Of a Cuillin or two
If you want to know why
I'm a Runrig  guy

I flew  out from New Zealand, but I wore a mask
The seats fully recline if you upgrade to first class
And it's 12000 miles from Auckland to Portree
I drove up from London listening to Dougie's CDs
The Big Wheel, Searchlight, The Cutter and the Clan
Play Gaelic, the Highland Connection, Heartland
I am filled with longing for my fourth or fifth home
And the plaintive guitar playing of Malcolm Jones

Copyright Tom Morton 2020

Sunday, May 17, 2020

The Beatcroft Social, Saturday 16 May

As broadcast from Shetland on 60 North Radio. Hosted by me, with guests Drew Ratter, Clive Munro and Davie Gardner.