October 19, 2019

Well, not so much on this blog, but in real life we’ve or seen a few things!
The main ativity was a short break which involved closing the shop for a few days!

In mid September we went down to Windermere, which we hadn’t been to for years.
The train down was, if not a nightmare, at least annoying and a bit worrying as we’d be arrive much later than anticipated. The train was delayed as it left Edinburgh and then a broken rail much furthr south meant that all the trains were backed up and running very slowly, meaning we arrived at Oxenholme very late and had to wait for the local replacement bus service (apparently there never is a train connection at this time of night despite one being timetabled… ) And then the bus driver was told by radio that he couldn’t enter Windermere Station due to some trouble the Police were currently dealing with… Anyway, the problem was actually good for us, as the driver checked where we were going and dropped us off much closer to our accomodation! It was an unstaffed (at this time of night) appart-hotel and our entry keycode worked, fortunately!

Sadly, the room was not well equipped as hoped but we made do! We had booked a ‘Studio Plus’ so I really wouldn’t want to be in a plain Studio. Impressive building, very hanily placed though. And a real ale pub right acros the road – open late enough we managed a de-stressing pint before bed!


We only had three full days there, plus the Wednesday morning – the shop is a treadmill that can’t be paused for very long! – but we packed a fair amount into the time, despite the generally poor weather…
An evening cruise on the lake, trips to Grasmere and Coniston, good food, fascinating little museums and galleries, etc. But the highlight was on the Monday, when we took a bus to the South Lakes Safari Zoo near Barrow-in-Furness. It’s had it’s problems in the past, but we were impressed by the range of animals, their enclosures and the upbeat attitude of the staff. It’s much smaller than Edinburgh Zoo but is much flatter, with no mansion or formal gardens in the middle, and workshops, barns, the main restaurant, etc. mainly on the perimeter so everything felt much closer together…
White Rhinos, Giant Otters, a sloth, Capybaras, (sleeping) Tapirs, Giraffes, several walk-through areas with lemurs, kangaroos, & more, aviaries (although the one with Vultures had closed for the day before we reached it – wish we had known about it’s short hours)

And, of course there were annoyances with the travel there and back – going, the driver swore she was letting us off at the right stop – except it wasn’t, it was about 1/2 mile short of the one that actually said ‘alight here for zoo’ in big letters! And returning, we were at th right stop but the bus was extremely late (40 minutes?) because the driver had arrived for his shift but hadn’t brought his bus with him! It was still at the Garage! Fortunately, we were reassured by two other bus drivers who should have been behind him, had he laft on time! Apart from these problems, it was a nice drive in both directions. Anyway, still a good day!

I hadn’t been to Coniston Village since the whole family went to the Lakes every summer so I had remembered very little about it, but despite th rain, it ws a nice little place, with the Ruskin Museum as a highlight! The weather wasn’t really very conducive to our climbing anything, really.
Conniston Hillside in the Rain, with Waterfall in Spate

So, a few more-or-less relaxing days away from home and a much more restful trip back north (although we had thought we’d missed our connection at Carlisle!
We’ve done or seen some neat stuff since we got back, but maybe that’s for another post…





September 20, 2019

Things may have slowed down a lot since the end of August and calmness (more or less) returning to the streets, but things have been seen and done and we’ve been quite busy!

I finally got back into the Pentlands for a bit of a walk – not very long, but I’ve not been hillwalking since before we moved, and M hadn’t been in the hills for a year before that…
The bus to Torphin, up via Torduff and Bonaly Reservoirs and round a hill or two, pausing to watch 3 Chinook helicopters thundering abouve our heads as they headed roughly east to West – looking like they were armed with missile or rocket pods – and so back down to Currie for another bus back into town.

We also visited the Zoo with M’s nephew and saw the pandas (or one of them, anyway) in their new enclosure away from the ex-hospital next door where a lot of building work is about to start. They now have the lower section of the large Grasslands enclosure.
Then a very nice Greek meal with M’s most local aunt as well as the nephew. The main problem was that I bit down hard on an unexpected olive stone and broke a tooth. Grrr!
But it didn’t actually hurt, and a dental appointment two days later seems to have solved the problem. At least until something gives, or my next regular appointment in November. M had also broken a tooth earlier and she had a much more anoying time getting it fixed properly…


Giant Lego Octopus at the Zoo; one of many large Lego critters placed around the Zoo

We’ve been attending the annual Ocean Film Festival for years now, and they just celebrated their tenth anniversary with another programme of fascinating documentary’s etc. at the Festival Theatre. Favourite films this time around were probably the one about Robert Manry and his Atlantic crossing in what was at the time (1965) the shortest boat (13.5 feet long) to make the crossing. When he arrived in Falmouth in Cornwall he was met by tremendous crowds, attracted by the quirky, heroic story. I actually remember it being on tv, etc. at the time.
And the one about completing a 40 year old trip canoeing the Inside Passage (but having to stop early) was interesting, partly because I had been to some of the places and recognised the type of scenery…

And on Sunday evening we went to see Femi Kuti and his 12-strong group perform at the Queen’s Hall. Afrobeat rhythms with a 4 piece brass section and three dancer/backing singers cum percussionists with a full band of percussion, drums, bass, guitar and keyboards and Femi took most od the vocals and also had his own keybord centre stage!
The support band had been dropped and the gig brought forward a bit to enable them to exit early enough to load all their gear onto the tour bus and drive to Heathrow for their early morning flight to Nigeria. It was the last night of their UK tour and they all looked like they were having fun – as were the audience, 95% of were on their feet and swaying, if not actually dancing!


African Percussion!

The next gig we have tickets for is Hawkwind at the same venue, on their 50th Anniversary tour!





Final Fringe – Forgotten Post from 2018!

August 31, 2019

The final Sunday was packed, although not as full as some years. The first show was Erewhon, at Summerhall.


It took the form of a magic lantern slide show & talk, with musical accompaniment, about a failed attempt to found a new colony in New Zealand, with doctored slides giving an impression of how it all went – including pictures of some of the new colonists riding moas about! Good fun! And after the performance we got to inspect the equipment, which was an original Victorian magic lantern device.

After that it was over to Zoo Southside for a strange 2 person performance called The Last Hive, about the impending death of a honey bee hive and the efforts of the Queen and a drone to ensure it’s survival. Great performance by the Drone as he and the queen almost made each other corpse several times with ad libs to the script (it was almost their last performance and I suspect it had been happening regularly!) Well done, and good fun!
With a little time to spare for a snack, it was across to the Zoo Charteris venue and a more serious, although still with humour, slightly surreal play featuring 4 women who had taken jobs as (sort of) garden ornaments with a catalogue of songs and exaltations they could produce as a chorus if their ‘owners’ requested! Serious topics broached, even as they had to assume their roles as singing puppets…


The ‘on duty’ dresses of the garden ornament ladies
When not in the dresses their conversation were much more naturalistic as they didn’t need to sound so tuneful!

And finally, the closing event of our Festival season was on Monday 27th at the Book Festival to see Alan Lee, the illustrator, best known for his award winning work on Lord of the Rings. He had a fascinating slide show but hadn’t allowed for the shorter time he was asked to fill to allow time for a q&a with the event host and audience. So it wrapped up after an hour without any chance for anyone to ask any questions at all…

And so it has all ended.


Fringe 7 (not posted in 2013!)

August 31, 2019

I was looking through Semaphore ‘drafts’ and realised this one had never been posted, so here it is, probably unfinished but I don’t remember now what I would have written about after I paused… Cassowary eggs perhaps!


Ha! The Fringe is over, but I’m still going!

We disn’t see much art this year, mainly the Media Skins of Hyung Su Kim both at the Festival Theatre and outside the Usher Hall, and I also saw Transmitted Live: Nam June Paik Resounds (by Nam June Paik) which was a little 2-screen (but big screens) installation in the Old Quad of the university.
I think the ones scrolling across the front of the Festival Threatre were the Media Skins I preferred most, and I’m afraid I didn’t care for the Old Quad piece at all. I didn’t see much of it though, so maybe i should go back when I have more time.

We saw another big budget film this week, but it wasn’t as fun as The Lone Ranger had been last week. It was Elysium, about people living on a clapped-out Earth wanting to gain access to the 1%-er’s giant, private space station and it’s incredibly advanced medical technology. Maybe too advanced; a quick face reconstruction included a nice bushy beard as well! The concept art of the giant toroid space station looked great in the ‘art of’ book so I was keen to see it. Sadly, they didn’t really show it off as much as I hoped.
Most of the plot was running and shooting, etc. as the hero ends up working for the ‘resistance’ or whatever to try to invade the station; there’s also another on-board plot to stage a coup for control of it and the two plots intersect with a cyberpunk-style brain download that goes wrong…
Not bad, but it should have been better.

Friday was Adopters’ Night at the Zoo, so we went along to that as well…


The Last Days…

August 30, 2019

Saturday evening we went to a series of installations at the Botanics called Under the Carpet, after the life, etc. under the surface of the peatbog Flow Country of North West Scotland. As we wandered along the marked route we saw and heard various curious pieces – weird trumpet mouths emitting tones and warbles, tubes filling with water and emptying themselves into a pool, dozens of speakers strung between trees with slightly different rhythms based on the life processes of the bog coming from each string… and, in the twilight closing stretch, we were given an illuminated umbrella with a built-in recording of ambient birdsong!P1060822

We spent a couple of hours going round and enjoyed it a lot.

On Sunday we slept in and our plan to have a decent breakfast before seeing anything collapsed into coffee and a pastry before we had to head for the Pleasance Dome and  – My Love Lies Buried in the Ice, a 4 person drama about the earliest attempt to fly to the North Pole by hydrogen balloon. It ended in disaster and the three bodies weren’t found for 50 years, in a makeshift camp on a remote coast somewhere beyond Spitsbergen. Their balloon had crashed further north and they had made a desparate trek back south before dying together at their final stop. Despite the tragedy and the framing of the play centring around the subsequent mental health of the fiancee of one of the of one of the explorers, it still managed to be quite upbeat and humorous much of the time! (Partly because they veered from the truth in several matters – although she actually seems to have had a happier time of it than depicted!)

After we left that show we had a tortuously slow bus journey to the West End and ending up having a very late brunch at Brunch, a relatively new restaurant down a few steps on Queensferry Street. Adequate and filling. Pushed for time a little we then finally reached the Book Festival and were taken To The Island of Tides for our first event.
This was Alastair Moffat talking for most of the hour without notes about his new book about the island of Lindisfarne and it’s heritage. Good speaker, whom I’ve wanted to see for several years and always missed, and very interesting. I did think better of queuing aferwards to have my copy of The Hidden Ways signed though, as the next event was less than 45 minutes away and the wait would have taken virtually as long by the time I could have joined the line.
Next, less than an hour later was Thomas Keneally, who started by ‘singing’ Ae Fond Kiss by Burns, possibly because Scots immigrants to Australia also sang it. After that the conversation with the host limped along as he related rambling anecdotes, sometimes losing the thread, often about people he knew or worked with, but seldom saying anything particularly fascinating about himself or his craft. I’ll probably remember that Salman Rushdie was in the audience though!

After that we barely had time to suffer the poor service and iced coffee at the big Victor Hugo‘s on George Street (very unexpected, as we like their original outlet at Marchmont) before catching a bus down to Leith and out evening entertainment.
At Pitt Street we discovered that the outdoor market was already virtually shut, with no snacks on sale and that the Pianodrome was in a separate building next door, so no more food until a rather late supper when we got home…


The Pianodrome at Pitt Street with it’s creators, the local group S!nk.

They’ve created a small auditorium entirely from parts of discarded pianos (with 5 working pianos built into the structure, placed every 72 degrees around the circle, one in each  section of seating! All through the Fringe, they’ve been holding workshops, all sorts of live music performances and on some evenings playing a set themselves, then having another group play, with whom they jam towards te end of the night.
This happened to be their last night and everyone had a great time, especially when they jammed with Brackish, that evening’s featured group. Lots of dancing , apparently the most they’ve had at any of the Pianodrome shows this year!

And so our 2019 Festival & Fringe ends…


Final Week…

August 24, 2019

Slowing down a bit as we enter the final week of the Fringe, although the final Sunday should be quite packed – but that’s a different post!

On Monday Madeleine was meeting some friends down at the Book Festival so I went and joined them after work. Both our first visits there this year, I think.  Nice and sunny, but cooling down a bit, so when the others left, we investigated the book tent. This year it seemed much larger but that was mainly due to replacing the main tent and the neighbouring children’s book tent with a single much larger marquee which covered the same footprint, plus the previous intervening gap as well. More cafe seating as well.
Unlike previous years, we didn’t see anything in particular which we wanted… But we’ll be back on Sunday and probably take another look.
After that we went for a meal at Cafe Khartoum (which usually has quite limited evening opening hours) and finally managed to have a meal there! Chicken done Sudanese style for me! The only lack was of much to drink except either tap water or a few cans of fizzy drinks. Very good despite that and I’m sure we’ll be back at some point.

Tuesday was an evening off, with some local fresh air, and Wednesday was swimming day, so it was Thursday before we saw anything else – maths comedian Matt Parker and his show at the Pleasance Dome, about maths errors affecting real life, called Humble Pi, titled after his new book on the same subject. Great fun, with amusingly told anecdotes about mis-thought advertising claims & offers, awkward flaws in some coding due to roll-over errors when, briefly, a system shows zero before starting again… We joined the queue to meet him afterwards and M got her copy of his book signed (in binary!) and had a quick chat as well – then home through the increasing damp!

Friday was a bit busier, with a quick exit from the shop to catch a 18.20 show at the Carlton Hotel on North Bridge that M was keen to see.
It had a cast of seven, all dressd identically, playing the same character on a virtually bare stage! The play was called Chaika: First Woman in Space and told the story of Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova. Each actress played her at different phase of her life, and also other characters as required – other trainees, military officers, etc. Very well done.
Following which, we headed for Summerhall to see Lewys Holt‘s other show,  called Phrases. But before that there was time for a meal at Souk on South Clerk Street – Lebanese lamb tajine for me! Excellent as always (although we don’t go as much since we moved), with the added surprise of a belly dancer performing in the restaurant! During one of her sets she enticed three other men to join her and learn some of the moves and wear a jangly belt, but fortunately I wasn’t among them!
Then it was time to see Lewys again, having enjoyed his other performance earlier, called Footnotes, about his reading an academic paper about footnotes getting out of hand – the footnotes take over!
This one involved a lot of interpretive dance from the moment we walked into the hall, together with some deliberately long pauses and a rambling  story mainly concerning a visit to his doctor and taking his advice far too literally – ‘an apple a day’, ‘eggs in one basket’… Amusing in parts, with some good ideas but not nearly as engrossing as his other play.
Not our best choice of something to go to, and I doubt we’d have gone to his other play if we had seen this one first. After it we both felt the need for a beer and went to sit outside at Bennet‘s as the evening cooled after sunset…

No photos in this post as the sets were almost non-existent.


Middle Weekend

August 19, 2019

Saturday evening was a surprise.

I had seen something called WorldWideWestern, featuring Raphael Gouisset, was on at the French Institute and was intrigued by it’s description, so that’s what we went to see!
It got off to a slow start as the solo performer sat facing the audience, watching a cowboy movie on a laptop (the screen of which was projected behind him on a screen throughout the play). As time went on, he paused it, googled some things, watched other clips, all the while getting more and more into the  character (and clothes!) of a cowboy – changing gradually from a bored couch potato into a wiry, cowboy figure fantasising the cowboy life, including imagining ‘wild west’ style bank robberies and apparently contacting Bank chatbots to ask questions about details – with humorous results!

Very well done, and captivating, despite the laptop browser pages being almost entirely in French. Pity about the very sparse audience; it deserves better.

We had a full schedule mapped out for about half of Sunday – we started with a visit to the Dovecote Studios – the de facto Scottish National Weaving Centre – and an exhibition called Cloth, which Madeleine wanted to see, and this was it’s final day. Some very interesting pieces on show, with prices to match sometimes! M knew several of the stall-holders (and the organiser) and our visit was to see them almost as much as to see the goods on display. That left too littlew time for a planned, quick, breakfast and we headed off to the Underbelly in the Cowgate and a one-man show called Hyde and Seek, a version of Robert Louis Stevenson’s story of Jeckyll & Hyde.  Very effective, as he played all the characters wthout any costume changes, sometimes interacting with a silhoutte projection of himself! And he did all the effects and lights himself, with almost unseen micro-switches placed at strategic spots on the set!

After that we did have time for a bite to eat – scrambled eggs on toast at Walls on Forest Road. I go there from time to time and they’re quick and efficient, and it comes with plenty of toast – which is good, as it also comes with a small pot of marmelade for the final slice! A brisk walk the few minutes along to the French Institute again and their other production involving a screen called Right in the Eye – an hour long montage of original George Melies‘ ground-breaking films from the late 19th C & the first few years of the 20th C. It came with a trio of musicians providing a live accompaniment to it all, who also got a couple of solo spots in the show to improvise a bit on the strange range of instruments they had.


Excellent, strange films and music and almost sold out – we arrived last and were lucky to get the last two seats together (which had excellent views!)

After that we headed back to Underbelly and caught The Wrong ffion Jones – a one-woman play set in a future dystopian Wales, which is being run as a giant amusement park. Lots of astute/comic observation about Wales’ history and culture and a great rant about independence for Wales (but relateable to Scotland) in the middle!
Very well done, although not quite our usual cup of tea, although it was technically science fiction! Her posters up around town did their work! Everything else we’ve seen so far has been because we did research on what was one when we had time to see stuff!

After that, I wanted away from the mad crowds so we stopped for a coffee and a scone at a coffee shop neither of us had been to before in West Port but after that the rain came on, se we went home instead of somewhere a little more exciting. Did get out for some fresh air later though!

One fortunate thing about Sunday was that we hadn’t bought tickets in advance for any of the shows we wanted to see but it all went almost like clockwork with prompt service and efficient queues!



More Fringe & Festival!

August 17, 2019

Monday saw us at the Quaker Meeting House on Victoria Terrace for a one man performance of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by the Piccolo Teatro Nexonnais company. He stayed almost entirely on a small table-sized platform which usually represented the ship’s deck and fitted in appropriate, fairly small movements to complement his recitation. Not the most visual version I’ve gone to, but well done, given it’s self-imposed limitations.
Tuesday evening saw us at Summerhall, in one of their old fashioned lecture theatres,, to see a one man performance called Footnotes, by Lewys Holt. He started by asking us all to create a graph of something. Anything! I chose the penguin populatuon of Antactica, plotted over several decades. (Completely made up, obviously!) He then started by choosing one graph and subjecting it’s data to ‘scientific’ analysis.
Then the main section began.
It took the form of him reading out an extremely dense scientific paper, whose subject was ‘Footnotes’. The paper was littered with often banal footnotes, which he read out usng a microphone to distinguish them from the main text. As the footnotes went on they started digressing from reality and sometimes lost all relationship with the subject – a weird, worrying dream,  personal problems,  etc. At one point he lost it altogether and started taking his all clothes off – fortunately he stopped before he took his briefs off! Then, wearing an old dressing gown, he made a cup of chamomile tea for one of the audience who had admitted to feeling a bit off. Then he recovered a bit and got dressed again and carried on! Very strange and fun!

Wednesday was swimming day and Thursday was a tough day in the shop so we ended up outside at Bennet’s Bar in Morningside for some much needed beer – our local, I suppose, although we don’t go particularly regularly. I have been drinking there on and off for decades, though!
On Friday we went to the Churchhill Theatre for another International Festival event, Roots by the 1927 company, based on old folklore and stories and utilising some of the same techniques that Manual Theatre used – a full stage backdrop scenery etc. was projected onto, with concealed holes for the actors to put their heads through, and a couple of larger panels that could be opened… 10 or 12 stories, each a little (or a lot) odd, with interesting music and fun interplay between the omnisient voice over and the actor’s lines.
It was effectively sold out and there was a noticible number of locals arriving to watch – ourselves included!


The Fat Cat from the first story of Roots! at the Church Hill Theatre

We actually saw the company years ago but that was before I started Semaphore. The performed a sell-out show in the Underbelly called, Madeleine reminds me, The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, which was a highlight of whichever year it was! Think it was their first visit to the Fringe, and now they’re in the International Festival!


… After a Short Pause

August 16, 2019

Orange Claw Hammer were excellent!

And for once we had seats – right at the front (actually on the left, sitting on a low table that doubled as a bench when required!) Solid drumming, interesting bass when called for, with guitar and sax leading the way through a set mainly of Captain Beefheart covers but also with a couple of Zappa numbers thrown in – Hot Rats and Willie the Pimp – each one opening one of the two sets they played.


Excelent gig, but we really should try to get along to Henry’s Cellar Bar more often.
I don’t think we saw anything on Saturday…

Sunday was a busy day. Four shows.
The first, at the Pleasance Dome, was a prog brass band (sort of!) called Perhaps Contraption and their concept album of a show was called Nearly Human. It spanned all of creation, from the beginning of life through to humanity’s future among the stars. The lyrics were all based on the words of Carl Sagen and suitably cosmic and optimistic. Great wake-up show to start the day!

A break for brunch at Ali Bongo‘s and then it was off just round the corner to Checkpoint to buy tickets for Forest, as we had lengthy gap between our next two shows and realised we could fit it in! But before that we were off across the road to the refurbished McEwan Hall for a multi-media (but ultimately a black and white film!) of the story of Frankenstein by the Manual Cinema collective. We had seen their previous production (Lula Del Rey) at an earlier Fringe (I have the t-shirt!) and were keen to see this one. It was all performed live, with the end result being a mix of back projection, silhouettes, puppetry and a live music score by several players – their own description of their work is “feature length live cinematic shadow puppet shows” and they’re extraordinary performances to watch as all the elements come together in front of you.


Afterwards we had a look round some of the ‘new’ sections under the hall, including exiting via the new free-standing rotunda in Bristo Square, a visit to the National Museum to see a small exhibition of The Art of African Metalwork and then back to Checkpoint to see Forest.
It’s a concept dance piece with a cast of 14, all on the stage (or ducked down beside it) all the time! Seven men & seven women all dressed in white slightly echoing the earlier theme of the Nearly Human performance as they enected the evolution of plant life from primordeal cells to mighty forests – and then also humans, who cut them down! It took a long time for any particular plot to emerge (just like evolution itself, I guess!) and the thrust of it all to become clear but by the end it was thoroughly engrossing…
After that it was off home and a break from the almost constant rain and then out again to the Lyceum Theatre for a proper International Festival event!
It was a dance piece called Kalakuta Republik, and a tribute to Nigerian musician and political activist Fela Kuti. The title is from his commune/nightclub in Lagos. Seven dancers and a modern Afro-music soundtrack reminiscent of Fela Kuti’s own performances in a grand restored Victorian theatre…


Preparing to leave the Lyceum after the performance. The top balcony is only used for lighting rigs, etc. now.



August 10, 2019

After a good start things slowed down a little…

Thursday evening started with some rather disappointing Indian street food from one of the stalls near Teviot – M has a damaged tooth (appointment to finally fix it after a couple of failed attempts soon!) so we chose what we thought would be most suitable for her at the moment…. must choose more carefully next time!

Our show that evening was Rock Idle at Greenside: Nicolson Square, a meandering life story of a fictitious musician (Marshall Stax!) who had never quite hit the big time but had often been present at key moments of rock history, often with some useful (though usually inadvertent) input. Chatting to Dylan, advising Elvis, or Townshend or Hendrix – all very 60s and 70s stuff. There was also a ‘rock’n’roll casualty’ of a guitarist playing key sections of songs and riffs who also provided some backing vocals when the narrator sang famous bits from various artists (in their style).
Quite good fun, but more suited to an audience with a drink in their hands perhaps!

Afterwards we ended up in Bennet‘s (Morningside, not Tollcross), well away from Festival crowds, for a pint to unwind with before home…

Friday evening involved one venue but two shows. TumbleDry Theatre’s productions at the Storytelling Centre of A Trilogy of Horrors and A Trilogy of Horrors II.
Both consisted of three sections with 3 people each doing a performance of a ghost or horror short story, dressed in character. The first one involved stories by Charles Dickens, Mary Shelly and Edgar Alan Poe while the later show featuredE. Nesbit, H. G. Wells & H. P. Lovecraft! All six were very well done and they all held the audience’s attention in the rather small, hot room. I fear the Poe (The Tell-Tale Heart) was probably the weakest, but this may because it veered furthest from the original text, having been altered to re-locate it to a Scottish b&b! Still good, just not as good as the others, three of which I was somewhat familiar with, but the other two (the Nesbit & the Shelly) I had never read…


Set dressing; one of the books was Lud-in-the-Mist by Hope Mirlees, a personal favourite!

And tonight it’s Orange Claw Hammer performing a set inspired by Captain Beefheart in Henry’s Cellar Bar! Should be good!