New arrivals and difficult questions

You would think, the length of time it has been since I last threw my hat into the Roundup editorial ring, I would have years worth of links I had saved up to share. As it’s worked out, however, this week I’ve been so busy with work and freelance commitments, as well as the adoption of two increasingly rambunctious four-month-old kittens, that I’ve barely had time to browse leisurely through the best of what the Scottish blogosphere has to offer – never mind contribute to it. But then, that’s always been what we’ve tried to do with the Roundup, isn’t it? To curate a cross-section of what’s out there?

Of course, I’ve not been the only one to have a busy week: last Saturday, Andrew at Against the Grain welcomed his beautiful daughter, Xanthe Aaliyah, into the world. Naming a baby is, or so they tell me, a far greater responsibility than naming kittens (Scooter and The Big Man, in case you were wondering); but I couldn’t help but laugh when I read about how Andrew balloted the electorate – or at least his family on his and his partner’s favourites. I’m sure Andrew has lots of love and fun ahead of him – he might be interested in reading Richy at The Only Boy in the House‘s account of raising two girls just a couple of years ahead to find out just how much.

Moving away from the personal, the biggest story this week has undoubtedly been the continuing uncertainty surrounding the future of my next-door-neighbours, Rangers Football Club, even now that the Scottish Football League has voted to admit the successors to the name into the Third Division. While the backbiting, politics and mixed messages from the people at the top of the game have held the attention both of those who observe the game and those who don’t, it can seem as if the views and voices of the ordinary football fan have been forgotten. While Rangers fan Colin Armstrong wonders if what has happened to his team might be a much-needed wake up call for the game, Steve at Through on Goal is much more pessimistic. Incidentally, for a thorough analysis of the issues involved Channel 4 News’ Alex Thomson’s recent work has been a fine example of journalism, as well as welcome input from an outsider.

The Scottish Parliament might be in recess, but that’s never stopped our political bloggers from asking the difficult questions (and we all know how difficult questions are, right?). Mairi at From Speaker’s Corner believes how the Government handles the responses to its consultation on same-sex marriage could be a “marker on the road to possible independence”, and Sue at National Collective compares and contrasts the UK Government’s approach to welfare reform with Scotland’s.

In culture, the Perceptive Travel Blog has featured Glasgow School of Art this week, while Planet Edinburgh is picking his holiday reading. And now another waterlogged T in the Park is behind us thoughts turn to slightly more sanitary musical entertainment: in Glasgow, King Tut’s hugely successful Summer Nights programme began again this week, and The Pop Cop has the whole line-up which will be spread over two weeks. This year the organisers are keen to break down the barriers between Scotland’s thriving music blog scene and the bands we support, so there will be bloggers and promoters DJing in the bar every night before the bands start. Full disclosure – I (Last Year’s Girl) am up on Monday night, as part of a line-up that includes Daniel Docherty, Craig Fagan, Chloe Latimer and Anna Shields. Advance tickets are available, but I’ll take requests for gin.

While on music: Meursault’s Something for the Weakened ranks highly among my favourite Scottish albums of the year, and it’s out on Monday (I reviewed it for The Arts Desk). Order your copy now from Song, By Toad Records – you won’t regret it.

Last but not least, a Roundup editor is always introduced to at least one incredible new read as part of his or her duties: step forward Graeme N Smith, a man who can make even brain cancer entertaining. He’s written about his most recent MRI and it sounds as if all is well in his head, for now – long may it continue. Graeme has also raised over £3,000 for the Beatson so far this year – head to Justgiving if you want to donate.

And that’s your lot for this week – I’ll try not to be so much of a stranger next time!

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