Murray Mania: Enthusing a Nation

Those of you who follow TENNIS or are just captivated by the quintessential optimistic Englishness of strawberry’s and cream in the constant face of a potential storm, will know that Andy Murray is kind of a big deal.





Andy’s perseverance to become so has inspired a nation for the years he’s fought to win on Centre Court.

He beat off Novak Djokovic in 3 straight sets, in blood boiling heat of almost 50 degrees, in a battle that will surely have it’s heart racing final game replayed on the golden reel of tennis forevermore.

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

Andy Murray broke a 77 year dry spell of Male British Winners of Wimbledon, the last British Male to win being Fred Perry in 1936. As the commentator said as the players walked onto the court, if he were to win (which he did) he would be the first player to do so in shorts – gentlemen played in long trousers back then!

There are so many reasons to be proud of Andy. For one thing, he’s been playing in Wimbledon for several years and done well, meaning that for the few weeks of summer left after the tournament ends, about 90% of British children and 20% of their over-involved parents *, become healthy, enthusiastic health freaks, and join a Tennis Club. A membership that gets shoved to the back of a drawer as soon as the Autumn winds appear. Around August. So he’s inspiring a healthier nation, if only for the short weeks of summer.

*(these statistics are totally made-up, btw)

But more than that, he does what few things can; he brings together a quartered nation under the shared support of one man.


man or boy?? …

Great Britain, in spite of its’ name, is not a particularly “cuddly” places, regarding it’s relationship with its members. The ancient rivalry between Scotland and England has often served as a divide, much in the same way the USA views Canada. But for that fortnight in July, when the spell of Wimbledon sweeps over this island, we are united. Sure, we indulge in petty quibbles about “when he’s winning he’s BRITISH but when he’s losing, oooh, then he’s SCOTTISH!”, but that’s all part of the fun. Those little jibes that let us keep our national identities while still reveling in the shared bolstering of a 26 year old already held as a sporting treasure.

Until yesterday we had become accustomed to that perpetual let down come the semi finals. But all that has changed.

Yesterday, both my dad and I cried tears of pride in a man who has literally trained his entire life and who has now achieved his dream. To watch someone’s dream come true on live television, along with 17.5 MILLION other people was really quite a special experience and not something I’m ever likely to forget. That shared elation may only have been a tiny piece of the overwhelming ecstasy Andy Murray was feeling, but to be a rock in the waves of the young athlete’s joy was enough to give me a head rush – imagine the effect it had on his 6ft 3″ of tennis-star muscle!


Another, lesser reason I am personally proud of him is the fact that he’s Scottish. As a Scot myself, whenever “we” win at something, it’s always a cause for national celebration. And, while I’m not exactly a patriot, I do feel a sense of pride when someone from up North beats someone, anyone, really. (… but yes, when we beat England…)

Prime Minister David Cameron went on record today as saying that he “can’t think of anyone more deserving of a Knighthood” in the New Years honours list for 2014.

the face of a new Knight of the Realm?? :D

the face of a new Knight of the Realm?? 😀

So, next Wimbledon, with our Pimm’s, ice and mint, strawberry’s and cream, white flannel shorts and button down polo shirts, we could be bounding onto center court in unified support of SIR ANDY MURRAY! Roll on the New Year and we’ll find out…


Now, where’s my tennis racket???… I feel the need to thwack furry yellow balls…





No More Page 3!

No More Page 3!


The Sun is famous for all kinds of things, few of them good. It isn’t known for it’s high brow reporting, nor it’s dedication to providing the truth. Nope, The Sun is known for being owned by Rupert Murdoch, the man responsible for The News of the World (and we all know how off the reporting rails they went), having more pictures than a comic-book, salacious gossip and… Page 3 – topless models.

It doesn’t pretend to be in the leagues of the likes of The Guardian or The Independent, it’s tagline being “The Best for News, Sport, Showbiz, Celebrities” – not exactly a representative for international affairs, more the working man’s rag. But that’s ok. We need something for everyone. It keeps the press versatile and interesting. But there is “not exactly high brow” and then there’s “morally bankrupt”. The Sun comes under the latter.

There has been a huge debate in recent months regarding page 3 girls, mainly due to Lucy-Anne Holmes starting a petition on last August. As of right now, it has amassed 94,396 signatures. She began the petition after tiring of the patronising way page 3 photos misrepresent women.

You know the ones; topless, naked except for skimpy knickers and, if they’re luck, a pair of cowboy boots or stilleto heels.


So… this is meant to be “tasteful”??

Now I personally don’t want to see this sight on the inside of my paper. When I open The Sun, I want – well, I say want, I mean expect – to read articles with fewer words than a receipt and bigger pictures than a billboard, telling a peculiar mixture of half truths and “public interest” stories. What I don’t want to see is an unnaturally large pair of tits. I have nothing against the female form; lets face it, if you’re female, you have the same equipment as these women; but the only good thing I can say about page 3 pictures is thank god they’re not man-boobs. Seriously, that’s the only small mercy I can afford such objectification.

Newspapers are failing, readerships plummeting since the rise of the internet and online magazines and forums. They are having to use different tactics to pull in as many readers as possible, from cheaper subscriptions to online versions of their paper equivalent. But selling newspapers using poorly disguised porn is a step too far. It’s cheap. It’s disgusting. It’s meant to be a family newspaper.


1950s Bullshit

Would you hand a 5 year old a copy of Playboy or Zoo? Of course not! Would you hand them a copy of The Sun? You should be able to, but if you do I’d say you were crazy. Conditioning readers to view women as sex objects is so 1950s. Have they not heard that women have the right to be seen as people, not just porta-boobs or talking uterus’s?

I realise that models make a living doing this kind of shoot, but if you have the figure to be accepted for a topless feature, I’m sure it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to find someone willing to take pictures of you with your clothes on. Neither am I oblivious to the fact that some women feel liberated by how comfortable they feel in their own skin – that’s great, I absolutely accept, even admire this quality – but please, feel liberated and sexy somewhere more appropriate than a newspaper that kids can see.

Call me a prude, but there are countless other places you can get your rocks off if that’s what you really want. As Avenue Q say, The Internet is for Porn. I wouldn’t advise using it for that exclusively, but the resources are there. Let us keep the dignity in reporting. Or at least, let’s try grasp some of it back. It’s clear to see that we’re losing some of  eminence and ethics in journalism, as it slides through our fingers as it vanishes into a web of fiber optics and trolls.

If we can bring back the dignity to one daily newspaper then it would be the first step towards earning back some of the respect reporters have lost in recent years.




You Can Now Drink Socially Over the Internet??

We’ve all been there. It’s been a long day, you’ve been at work/uni/generally out living your day-to-day life. You get home and you’re tired. You think, I really want a wee drink but… I’m on my own…

So you crack open that cheeky wee bottle of wine you keep stashed in that cupboard you never use, or pour a spirit from an already open bottle and never tell another soul. 

Because you are afraid they will judge you. But drinking in moderation is not a bad thing and it is an almost inevitable thing if you are a student. Furthermore, there is well documented evidence that a glass of red wine on occasion can actually improve your health.

cheers! 😀

But, by then end of the night the wine bottle is empty, the glass forgotten a long time ago and the measures have become “generous” to say the least. 

We’ve all been there. Drinking alone even when you feel you should be with at least one other person to make it socially acceptable. And let’s face it, if you are still unlucky enough to be living with your parents, they just don’t count. We feel guilty about drinking alone because alcohol is something that the majority of us consume in social situations, rather than as a general rule. Few return home and immediately hit the booze. Instead, it’s more likely to be a glass of coke or water or a cup of tea or (my personal favourite – read my entries on Lent) coffee.

But now, it has become possible to drink socially, in your own home, on your own. 

Paradox, I hear you say?

Well no, actually. The internet has become saturated with a whole host of social media, from Facebook and Twitter, to SpillIt and Flickr. All of these allow free interaction between users in ways that are largely text based, rather than face-to-face. Though there are certain options available for actual visible face-to-face contact with services such as Skype, the majority of people do not bother as a rule. It is easier to talk to multiple people at once if you do not have to worry about the person on your screen while you type as well – that is way too much like hard work! It involves having several conversations at once, as well as a combo of typing and speaking; no-one has skills that mad! 

facebook logo

So, I conducted an experiment.

I was talking to a friend via the (less than adequate) messenger service on Facebook and we both happened to mention that we were having a drink – it had been a long day, don’t judge me etc etc – and immediately my attitude changed. I no longer felt like I was doing something tabooed or anti-social. In fact, I felt like I was socialising. It is so strange, but I literally felt like my frame of mind had changed.

I was no longer sitting at my dining room table wrapped in a slanket, half eaten Easter egg on one side, half empty bottle of white on the other. I was down the pub in a smart/casual t-shirt, half pissed regular on one side, half empty glass of white on the other. Same result, different beginning – late to bed, wake-up wondering why I smell of fermented grapes and trying to remember that hilarious thing my friend had been saying last night. 

So, while I do not condone drinking early in the day unless it’s for a good reason – it is a slippery slop, friends – I do think that, if you are in need of a little bit of relaxation without the hassle of getting ready and going out, then the answer has arrived! 

It sounds extremely sad, to be drinking alone, because our societal understandings and conducts have labelled it in such a way, but if you are talking to people who are doing the exact same thing as you, then… what’s the harm? You feel like a little less of a loner and you stop stressing and have a few laughs? All this from the comfort of your own home. Of course, that is so terrible… (you can’t hear sarcasm via text, but give it a go in you’re head. Make it in a Scottish accent as well, that’ll help with the sentiment 😉 ) 

Please be aware that I am writing this immediately after finishing aforementioned conversation with like-wise solo drinking friend. Oh no, I’m sorry, she was not solo drinking – I was right there with her…

Cheers! 😀

Me at New Year - just thought this might amuse you since there are no pictures of me drinking in a blanket...

Me at New Year - just thought this might amuse you since there are no pictures of me drinking in a blanket...