Hearty Welcomes & Salutations! Originally an action-packed travel blog from a globe-trotting Scotsman, An Ache for the Distance has, over the years, slowed down (I post less often), mellowed out (my dogs and kid have found their way on here) and become more of an expat blog (I German things up). Take a look around, leave a comment and share the love if you like something.
Stuart Mathieson, Lübeck, Germany

Saturday, 21 May 2011

The Neglected Kiwis - Opshop

It doesn't matter where you are in the world, New Zealand is a long way away.  This physical distance has allowed them to hide not only hobbits, but also their music industry.  In an age where the only musical difference between English-speaking countries seems to be who won X-Factor/Pop Idol, the difficulty in naming a single Kiwi artist is all the more amazing.

In 2008 for example, the most played song on New Zealand radio was from a group called Opshop.  To most English speakers, the name is more likely to conjure images of a commercial back street surgery in Calcutta where Sanjeet offers kidney transplants at discount prices rather than Kiwi rocksters.  In fact in the same year, their anonymity was proven at Heathrow airport when they arrived in the UK for a tour.  Not only were they detained for 10 hours for visa regulations, UK immigration then refused to waste good British ink in their passports and instead shoved them on the next flight back to New Zealand!  Why don't they do the same with Britney Spears?  I'm sure she'd love Christchurch...

Anyway, in homage to the unknown, enjoy New Zealand's favourite song from 2008, Maybe from Opshop.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Double Photography - Pushkar India

The locals might let out a bemused sigh at the sight of snap happy tourists photographing each other whilst nikoning the shit out of everything around them but the revived memories are worth it (if "Nikon" ever achieves verb status I'll take the credit please...)  A photo to compliment a photo gives your sagging memory a digital kick in the balls and restores a scene in your mind back to 3D status... Cow shit and all...


Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Scottish Elections 2011

It's time to get a tad political, the Scottish parliament elections are to be held on May 5th and for the first time in Scottish political history, the Nationalists (SNP) aren't going in as underdogs.  Having successfully run a minority government for the last 4 years, the SNP have shown the country they're able to govern, improve the lives of Scots and disprove the London theory that somehow the northern Celts are incapable of looking after their own affairs.  Despite the economic climate, they've achieved a lot in the last four years and let's hope Labour's scare mongering tactics don't hinder their plans for the next four.  Plus, any party with Monty Python humour deserve to be in power...

*Click here for post SNP election victory analysis from the BBC's Andrew Black*
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