Jonathan: First lambs this year (that I’ve seen) on Eriskay. Seonaidh’s flock came down the road this morning, with a a couple of stragglers towing their new-born lambs (probably yesterday). Blackfaces are I suppose the Land Rovers of hill and mountain sheep, very hardy and thrifty, not spectacular performers but no needy either. As Seonaidh himself says, better a one good lamb apiece than a brace of ne’er-do-wells.
Denise: Today’s Aga Day – the day for turning the Aga off until late autumn. Varies from year to year, but usually the first really warm day after the clocks go forward. Typically the next day will be cold, and occasionally we put it back on again for another few days. This winter and spring has been cold and windy to the very last, but hopefully we can manage with the conventional hob and oven over the next few months. We’ll appreciate the Aga all the more when it goes back on in late October.
Jonathan: Manic Street Preachers – Journal for Plague Lovers . Muscially, lyrically (above all lyrically!) and even stylistically referenced back to The Holy Bible . Suggests lack of confidence, leaning on a crutch of past success? Maybe. Is it just The Holy Bible Vol 2? Definitely not! The selection (and presumably some degree of adaptation) of Richie’s lyrics, retains the artistic anger of the 1994 MSP line-up, yet without seeming anachronistic. The music throbs with the same raw energy of the early MSP albums, yet also has has the sophistication and subtelty of musical maturity. Much the same can be said of the overall CD product, the combination of music, lyrics, album art, booklet design etc. MSP have invited comparison with THB, but if anything I’d say that what we have here is a New Testament to THB as the Old. Whatever, the real question is, Is it any good? Answer: Wait till everyone is out, turn up the volume, and listen for yourself!