Visitors’ Book


 Ever wanted to have your say without having to go through the rigmarole of keeping a blog? Wouldn’t it be nice if you could occasionally rent a soapboax in order to throw the odd pithy paragraph in the direction of the digital masses?

Now’s your chance. In fact, consider this soapbox yours as often as you want to use it. Please feel free to put it to whatever purpose you wish. Anything from the one-word hello to the full-blown thesis will be considered fair game, and will be paraded in front of literally tens of people, each of whom are invited to respond.

I would like to think that this could be interesting. Who’s first?


17 Comments on “Visitors’ Book”

  1. Kirsten Says:

    Doug – you’re a blogging genius! (and no, “blogging” is not a swear word in that sentence) Hope you’re doing well.

  2. Doug Says:

    Kirsten – may I let you into a little secret? This very morning, I was reviewing my decision to put a visitors’ book on the blog. As no one had taken the bait, I was on the cusp of removing it. But your comment has sealed its existence forever.

    Let’s see if anyone else cares to jump on the bandwagon…

  3. Ross Says:

    Did you ever write a story about the deepest hole in the world? Are you coming out for curry tonight with the other YTS psychologists?

  4. Doug Says:

    1) No. But I will.
    2) No. But then you’ll know that by now.

  5. Kate Parry Says:


    Gee, I am glad that you didn’t delete the soapbox section. Thanks to Kirsten for responding in the nick of time!

    We missed you at our YTS Psychologist curry. Why were you not there? I’m hoping that the reason is not because you are now such a famous literary genious that you no longer identify with us stretchible trainees.

    Please, from herein consider me a faithful monologuer. You have Ross to thank for informing us that you now have a blog!

    Chow for now.

    Kate x

  6. Doug Says:

    Hi Kate – glad you could stop by!

    Sorry I missed Khushi’s. A bit poor, I know. Still, I hope you enjoyed it.

    I think this YTS name could stick. Someone should suggest it.

    I am happy to hear that you wish to become a faithful monologuer. In fact, I can think of no one for whom The Soapbox could be better suited. 🙂

  7. Jamie Says:

    I have been reading “The Secret History” by Donna Tartt and I think you should read it too – a bit of a modern day Crime and Punishment which throws up interesting questions about the nature of guilt and all the associated nonsense that goes along with it. Another book I intend to read in the near future is “Slaughterhouse 5” by the (only just!) late Kurt Vonnegut. Whilst perusing the reviews of this tome on Amazon I came across what I consider to be the naffest thing I have ever read. Author is one Brando Gramazio and it is his only review. He is Italian but I haven’t decided yet whether this qualifies as an excuse. Here is what he had to say about “Slaughterhouse 5”:

    Vonnegut is Vonnegut, but even though I was flabbergasted.
    This book is not only of great inspiration to all creative minds but an instrument of contemplation.
    Pulchritudinous, literature’s orgasm.
    Gave me more than I expected from a block of stained white paper.

    Of the eighteen people who rated that review I’m sorry to say that there were four who found it helpful. I am however pleased to say that I have no idea what “pulchritudinous” means and I do not intend to go to the trouble of finding out.

    I think that’s enough for now.


  8. doug Says:

    Adj. Characterized by or having great physical beauty and appeal.

    I’ve not read Slaughterhouse 5, although I’ve read The Eden Express, which was by his son Mark. It’s a memoir of his descent into poor mental health, and is definitely worth a look.

    Jamie, did you ever write any reviews for Amazon? I’ve written two, and they are a source of great shame. One of them was for the VHS release of This is Spinal Tap and I thought (like everyone else, apparently) that it would be rather witty to pepper the review with quotes from the film. I thought my reviews were works of genius at the time. Funny how things change.

  9. Jamie Says:

    Yes, I wrote just one, a review of Pink Floyd’s Atom Heart Mother. Dated 11th August 2001:

    Hmmm. This is a strange one and no mistake. The Floyd’s first two studio albums bore psychedelic overtones and they don’t really seem to indicate the dramatic change in musical direction shown in Atom Heart Mother. This is not a Floyd album that springs instantly to mind when discussing their achievements with friends over a cup of darjeeling, but it deserves to be.

    The title track is perhaps the most ambitious attempt to produce “Orchestral Rock”. Made in collaboration with composer Ron Geesin, it is hard not to come away from it feeling very very impressed indeed. It has moments of quite stunning beauty, and beats the crap out of Echoes. Both songs are over 20 minutes long, but Atom Heart Mother manages (in my opinion) to stay consistently interesting for longer periods whereas Echoes starts and ends well but loses the plot completely for about ten minutes in the middle. If I had to choose an epic song to take to a desert island, it would be no contest. I’d be taking the cow.

    Summer ’68 is the other stand out track in my opinion. I think it is the trumpet parts spaced throughout it that clinch it. Surely Rick Wrights finest hour. In fact, I think it was his ONLY hour! But I may be mistaken so please, don’t quote me.

    Both If and Fat Old Sun are pleasant and unoffending in their own way, but don’t exactly rush up and belt you on the nose. However, they add a mellower air to the proceedings. In fact, the whole album seems somehow mellow. Despite the motorbike sound effects and cacophany of trumpets. Hmm. Perhaps not. See what you think.

    Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast is a last, desperate attempt to cling onto the hippy, psyched out Barrett days. It’s much like a burnt out fifty year old going back to the playground to play hopscotch or what-have-you. He’s too old and can’t do it anymore. All the breakfast noises and crunching sounds give me a pain in the rectum. I was never into breakfast. And such food-related frolics don’t belong on a studio album. The song is best avoided. Set your hi-fis to play the first four tracks. You’ll thank me.

    Oh, and as an afterthought, the album cover is quite the finest thing Pink Floyd has ever produced. Simple, yet stunningly effective, it is a work of absolute GENIUS. Buy this album for the music. If you don’t think you’ll like the music, then for God’s sake buy it for the cow. I did.

    All things considered I reckon it stands up pretty well. The jape about the cow falls a bit flat at the end though. 12 of 16 people found it helpful which is so-so. It’s funny but I would have swore blind that I wrote that review in the computer room of Sallies – I have this recollection of doing it. However, the date is August 2001 which would have been in the middle of the summer break – I would have been at home. My own, authentic false memory. How’s about that then?!


  10. Doug Says:

    Not bad. The review, that is. The only thing I remember of the album is the unfortunate Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast, which was a waste of time.

    My two reviews were both penned in the Sallies computer room. Maybe yours was too, with the recorded date going awry with the passage of time. Yours appears vaguely competent. My two are agonising to revisit.

  11. Doug Says:

    That was a nice little flurry of VB action. Let’s see who’s next…

  12. Ross Says:

    Hello, thought I’d use the visitor’s book to shamelessly promote my band’s two forthcoming gigs.

    Five Day Hemingway will be playing at the Liquid Rooms, Edinburgh, this Wednesday (2nd May), supporting the excellent Aerogramme who are promoting their recently released album on Chemical Underground Records.

    The following Friday (4th May) Five Day Hemingway will be playing upstairs at The Three Sisters, Cowgate, Edinburgh.

    For more info please visit

    Hope to see a few faces there…I’ll be the one playing drums if you’d like to come and introduce yourselves!

  13. Doug Says:

    Just in case any of you weren’t there, it was excellent. A nifty little set from the Hem, followed by a dose of heavy metal with an unusually camp, porcine frontman dressed in a butcher’s apron.

    I wonder if the headliners were any good…

  14. Ross Says:

    They were. But alas Jen and I were too fatigued from all the heavy metal. We popped next door and got a curry. Rock, and if you will, roll.

    See you Friday?

  15. Doug Says:

    I’m afraid you won’t.

    But those three sisters will keep you company, you lucky devil.

  16. Ross Says:

    There’s not been a fresh post for days! This isn’t what I pay my £3.99 monthly ‘logues subscription fee for.



  17. Ross Says:


    I know that thesis deadline is approaching at an alarming rate but the ‘Logues provide me with another reason to be distracted from my own. Give us some new posts!


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