WARNING: 2016 may contain stupidchickens…

Merry 2016 everyone!

We’ve been in Scotland, staying with our lovely friends in Ayrshire. It got a bit wet:

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That’s the main road to Ayr out of the village of Crosshill, but thankfully it had dried out by the evening.

I had THE Best New Year’s Eve. EVER.

I have decided that I need to spend every Hogmanay in Scotland from now on. So there!

In nearby Ayr, in a little pub called The Twa Dugs, Carol and Mark Bailey run an open mic night every Thursday called Acoustic Bliss (which is also broadcast live over the internet), and as Hogmanay fell on a Thursday, they hosted the evening. Mark is a Proper Craftsman. He makes guitars. Beautiful guitars. Bailey Guitars. Take a peek at his website – they also run “build your own guitar” courses. He and Carol are also wonderful musicians, and they counted us all down to the bells with a delightful song they’d found, after searching and searching for a New Year’s Eve song that wasn’t all doom and gloom, as most of them seem to be!

Here’s Mark and Carol performing the song – and the whole pub joining in. It was WONDERFUL! It’s only short, give it a listen – I think it should be sung everywhere before the bells!

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Acoustic Bliss



So many great musicians played that night, including my other half Jon Gibbons – he’s a singer/singwriter and plays with bouzouki player John Duffy. Together they go under the name of The Fabulous Duffy Gibbons, and they both play instruments hand-built by Mark Bailey:

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The Fabulous Duffy Gibbons performing at The Twa Dugs in Ayr

Here are a few more pics of other players, from Hogmanay in The Twa Dugs, and other gigs at The Treehouse in Ayr and The Kirkmichael Arms in Kirkmichael:

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John Duffy and Jon Gibbons performing at The Kirkmichael Arms

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Emma Durkin playing at The Twa Dugs


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Gordon playing at The Twa Dugs


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Tom playing at The Twa Dugs

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Mayan playing at The Twa Dugs

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The Truetones (Anita and Ian Gailey) playing at The Twa Dugs

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Mark Bailey playing at The Kirkmichael Arms

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Carol singing at The Kirkmichael Arms

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Mark & Carol at The Kirkmichael Arms


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Jam session with Emmanuel, Laura, Anita and Ian at The Twa Dugs


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John Duffy & Jon Gibbons at The Twa Dugs

I hope all your Hogmanay’s were as much fun as ours! And in the words of the song, I’d like to wish you all “A happy new year with love overflowing, and joy in our hearts for a blessed new year.”


ps: I warned you about chickens – meet Esmeralda, a rough of the first stupidchicken from stupidcats!



Esmeralda, the first stupidchicken!

Special thanks to John Duffy for planting the stupidchicken idea!