Grangemouth is a wee bit like a neat, cleaned-up, early-seventies version of the steeltown that forms the backdrop to the first half of The Deerhunter. The (formerly) BP chemical plant and refinery doesn't so much overhang the place as occupy a great chunk of it. And at night it is truly spectacular. I'm astonished it hasn't been used for a whole swathe of Scottish crime films/pop videos. It's the New Jersey shoreline of Scotland.
I was there as part of BBC Radio Scotland's year-long Soundtown initiative, and we broadcast the TM show live from the studio set up in Grangemouth High School. Then at night it was time for the TM Roadshow, featuring the excellent Aberfeldy. Check out pictures (by my old mate Stewart Cunningham http://www.stewartcunningham.com/) and stuff at http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/radioscotland/view/show.shtml?tom .
Things went well, for the most part. Aberfeldy (http://www.aberfeldys.com/) were splendid. Only real disappointment was the fact that Lindsay Hutton (of the wonderful blog/newsletter/site Next Big Thing http://nextbigthing.blogspot.com/ had his car trashed in the school grounds. Very unpleasant and very unfair too, considering Lindsay is a GHS FP and still lives in Grangemouth.
Back home on the boat, crazy Saturday with a silver wedding in the Ollaberry Hall to finish the day, almost. Truly phenomenal buffet. I mean, stunning. Only Shetland communities can do such things. Actually, only Ollaberry.
It would have been nice to finish the evening in a haze of sticky toffee pudding and dark rum, but weans were scattered across the islands, and they needed collecting. I think my eyesight is disintegrating. Driving after dark is a real hassle nowadays. Still, safely home. The St Bernards, Dumb and Dumber, are off for their holidays in Yell, which is a relief for me, especially as there was yet another incident where Dumb (in a frenzy of protective slobbering) scared the wits out of one of our less amenable neighbours. Again. Fourteen stones of St B approaching at high speed, jowls aquiver, is, it must be admitted, an intimidating sight.
Thinking back to my rail trip down from Aberdeen to Polmont (nearest station to Grangemouth), that Fife coastline just north of the Forth Bridge is another natural for obscure and dastardly filmic doings. All those one-boat harbours, scrapyards and strange caravan sites. Time to get back to The Novel, methinks!