Gavin Francis: ‘incorrigibly plural’

Volume 11, Number 4 of the Scottish Review of Books carried my interest throughout. The interview with Gavin Francis was one of a number of highlights.

At a recent medical conference in Stirling, Gavin Francis introduced himself to Peter and Sian. This made our day.

“Empire Antarctica” by Gavin Francis rightly won the 2013, Scottish Book of the Year. It has wowed all who have read it. Here is an omphpatyp of some of what wowed me.

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A wee space in the whole of time

This film has as its backing “Black Star” as performed by the Proms in tribute to David Bowie

A wee space in the whole of time from omphalos on Vimeo.

Follow me

The First family of 6 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh was the Campbell family. A family whose wealth was made from the Brewing industry.

The Campbell family faced much tragedy. Above the family mausoleum in St Cuthbert’s, “Follow me” is inscribed.

Since 1966, the Campbell’s old home has been known as “Bute House” and is the official residence of Scotland’s First Minister.

This film is a plea for those elected Ministers gathering around the table in Bute House for the weekly Cabinet meeting to embrace Scottish intellectual pluralism. It is also a plea to recall all families of Scotland, however ordinary or extraordinary, and wherever their first home may have been.

Follow me from omphalos on Vimeo.

Salina and Speedy

A family film about our holiday in Dordogne, France at Village de Constant.

The quotes come from the books I read on holiday:

(1) The leopard – by Tomas Di Lampedusa
(2) Serious Sweet – by A L Kennedy
(3) Ted Hughes, The Unauthorised Life – by Jonathan Bate
(4) Bloody Old Britain – by Kitty Houser
(5) The Night Guest – by Fiona McFarlane
(6) The Little Paris Bookshop – by Nina George

The music, apart from the last track by Dexter Britain, all comes from Dermot O’Leary’s Saturday sessions 2016 (Live)

Salina and Speedy from omphalos on Vimeo.

Driving the wrong way through history

Mr Magoo and Brideshead Revisited: now that is a strange combination! Almost as crazily inexplicable as myopia and dynamite when put together!

This film is about Charles Brand Ltd, Dundee. This company demolished, or partly demolished, much of the ‘built history’ that still survived in Scotland in the 1950s and 1960s. Not just grand houses, but also factories, castles, railway stations, streets and municipal buildings.

Mr Charles Brand outlived the buildings that he demolished and died just short of his 99th year.

This film considers this destruction, passing time, and our sense of place.

In the end, all that survived was age-old feeling.

As ever, I am indebted to Evelyn Waugh, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Tomas Tranströmer, Ted Hughes and others who must forgive me if I forget to acknowledge their undoubted influence.

Driving the wrong way through history from omphalos on Vimeo.