Notes from the Basement – 9 Feb 2021

  10 Feb '21   |  Posted by: Birlinn
Fire up your Supremes playlist and, in tribute, read the story of Mary Wilson’s ascent to stardom, as told by Stuart Cosgrove in Detroit 67.

Angus Roxburgh’s fascinating memoir Moscow Calling is out in a brand-new edition. He reflects on its reception and recent Russian developments here.

Dennis Glover’s bio-fic of George Orwell, The Last Man in Europe, was reviewed in the Literary Review. They zoned in on Glover’s achievement: ‘It shows the life as lived, with all hindsight stripped away. Throughout, we believe entirely in Orwell as a man who had no idea that his work would be worshipped by later generations.’ | [Literary Review, £]

Not one but two of the current crop of no-plane-required travel shows on UK TV at the moment visit Scotland this week.
Tonight, Joanna Lumley dots all over the West of Scotland and Northern Ireland for Home Sweet Home: Travels in my Native Land on ITV. | [ITV]Darcey Bussell’s Wild Coasts of Scotland kicked off on the Isle of Skye on More4 last night. Catch up here. | [More4]

If just planning your UK summer staycation isn’t enough, you can bring A Taste of Scotland’s Islands right into your kitchen immediately. Sue Lawrence’s cookbook is a trove of island flavours and offers up a tasty portion of the foodie scene from Shetland in the north to Islay in the south.

Start with her Stornoway Black Pudding Cheese Scones. Cheese scones with an extra iron-richness. Perfect at any time of day.

Rhubarbrhubarbrhubarb! The garden variety is coming up in force. This story on our website has everything you need to know, from growing to eating.

When the Scots triumphed at Fortress Twickenham in the Calcutta Cup on Saturday, it was for just the fifth time since 1911. You’d never call Stuart Hogg A Full Back Slower than your Average Prop but you may enjoy Ian Smith’s autobiography. Ian was the first Scottish full back to score a Test try and a member of the team that lifted the Calcutta Cup at Murrayfield in 1970.

And, finally, to Valentines: like it or loathe it, these Edwin Morgan’s poems about Love transcend the day. Two of them are here.

If you prefer a twistier Valentine, February 14th is the ninth anniversary of Rangers entering administration in 2012. Last year, on that day, we published Craig Whyte’s autobiography, Into the Bear Pit. Buy it for your (very) special someone.

Stay safe in the snow, and keep shovelling,
Team Birlinn
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