Thursday, 19 March 2015

Hilda Ogden & The Google Search




The other day I was contemplating writing an article for my column in the Hearts Matchday Programme about Scottish football in the 1970s. For an accompanying image, I thought I would try and search for a photograph on the old tin’ternet. The best web search engine - so I've been told - is Google so I typed the words 'Scottish football in the 1970s' and clicked on the image icon on my computer toolbar. I waited for hundreds of images of Scottish footballing icons of four and decades and more ago - but some of the results which flashed on to the screen were rather perplexing.

In no particular order, alongside the likes of Graeme Souness, Kenny Dalglish and Denis Law were:

Alf Ramsay - that Scottish football icon

Gordon Brown (a long haired Brown from the early 1970s)

Jimmy Reid, former Trade Union leader

Daybreak presenter Lorraine Kelly (so my wife tells me)

Bart Simpson in a Rangers top

German legends Franz Beckenbauer and Gerd Muller

A team photograph of Elgin City - from 1936

Richard Branson in a swimming costume  (honest!)

Hilda Ogden, once a character in the popular soap Coronation Street

Penelope Keith

Elliot Gould

John Cleese as Basil Fawlty

Tony Curtis (God rest his soul) and Roger Moore as television's The Persuaders and, perhaps most disturbingly of all, porn star Linda Lovelace (I had to find out who this person was - honestly, mother...)

Interestingly, alongside a photo of an Aberdeen player who was a hero of the 1970 Scottish Cup Final - Derek 'Cup-tie' Mackay - was a black and white photo of a Soviet Union nuclear warhead.

Now, I find Google a useful tool for research purposes. But when I type in the words Scottish and football I don't expect to come across Hilda Ogden and Penelope Keith. Yes, they were stars in the 1970s - but I can't recall them performing at Tynecastle (although given some of Hearts performances back then, they probably would have provided a more useful defensive partnership than the one we had in Gorgie at that time…)

It may well just be me, of course. When I typed in 'Scottish heroes' I got a photo of Clint Eastwood and Donald Sutherland - Google had ignored the Scottish bit and gone for an image from the film Kelly's Heroes.

For some mild amusement I typed my name into Google and got numerous results about Mike Smith, the late television presenter and Mike Smith, the late lead singer of The Dave Clarke Five, a popular music combo of the 1960s. Interestingly, they both also share my middle name which perhaps indicates that Google is smart after all. It didn’t come up with ‘George Clooney lookalike’ though which is rather disappointing…


Alarmingly, when I clicked on images of my name one of the photos was titled ‘alien abduction’ while another was of a middle aged bearded gentleman with a naked beer gut holding a pint of beer. And, no, it wasn’t me…

The next time I conduct a search, I think I'll try and outsmart Google by typing in the word Morrissey i.e. the ex-lead singer of The Smiths. One of his famous lyrics went 'please, please, please let me get what I want - this time...'

Friday, 6 March 2015

Kids, Eh?



Listen, son, you're going to have to accept it. If your Daddy brings you up to follow Hibernian FC, you'll always be in the shadow of the mighty Heart of Midlothian


Great-Granny - my Daddy wants me to support Hibs but my Papa says I'll have a life of misery...


No, Hannah, don't you dare steal your Papa's pizza. Oi!


Sorry Max - but you're going to put up with Ava. She's your cousin...

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Happy 1st Birthday, Max



A very happy 1st birthday to my youngest grandson Max, pictured here with his proud mum and dad Michaela and Sean. It's hard to believe a year has passed since he arrived in the world six weeks early. But he's the apple of his Papa's eye.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Even The Cake Was In Tiers - Part 94

Now, Mr Smith, as I'm your best man and have even less hair than you do, it's my duty to ensure you're not hungover from last night. 

Now, just lean against this tree and try not to fall over....

Don't you even think about trying to find out what the Hearts score is...


What a bunch of posers. The guy in the kilt is all right though....



Listen, Max, it's not my fault your Daddy wants to bring you up as a Hibby.

Great-Granny with those great grandchildren


I don't know why you're laughing, I haven't paid for the reception yet...



The clock indicates Marion and I have been married for an hour. Meanwhile, along the road, there's still 45 minutes to play at Tynecastle and Hearts are only 1-0 ahead.


An emotional Ranter and his lovely new bride. Even the cake was in tiers...


Radiant. Stunning. Beautiful. A picture of loveliness. But enough about me. Here's a snap of the lovely Mrs Smith.