1) Pick of the pics – from the Net – Tuesday Jan 4th


 A seagull is silhouetted against the sun at dawn during a partial solar eclipse on Guadalmar beach in Malaga, Spain, on Jan. 4. (Guardian)

There is nothing more pathetic looking than a once magnificent theater that has given in to the ravages of time and neglect.


The ruined Spanish-Gothic interior of the United Artists Theater in Detroit. The cinema was built in 1928 by C Howard Crane, and finally closed in 1974(Guardian)


Workmen put the finishing touches to a large ice sculpture at the 12th Harbin Ice and Snow World display in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China. The ice festival will be officially launched on January 5.

2) For most of my friends in my age bracket the Obituaries are the first thing they look at in the newspaper.  My first stop is the comics.  However a Tuesday obit in the Guardian caught my attention.

Scottish singer-songwriter Gerry Rafferty, passed away at the age 63, after a long illness. 


Rafferty had a troubled started in life, from the obituary – http://tinyurl.com/372wd7v

“Rafferty was born in Paisley, near Glasgow, an unwanted third son. His father, Joseph, was an Irish-born miner. His mother, Mary Skeffington, whose name would provide a Rafferty song title, dragged young Gerry round the streets on Saturday nights so that they would not be at home when his father came back drunk. They would wait outside, in all weathers, until he had fallen asleep, to avoid a beating. “If it wasn’t for you, I’d leave,” Mary told Gerry. Joseph died in 1963, when Gerry was 16.”

He fared no better at the end of it:

“In 2008 Gerry left America, helped from wheelchair to plane by a woman he met in a video store. They rented a house in Ireland, until taxis and doctors refused to attend him. That August, a five-day binge at a five-star London hotel ended when the management had him admitted to hospital. He vanished in the night.

 Splashed across the Sun, this story was otherwise ignored until 2009, when the Daily Mail resurrected it. Rafferty, urged to issue a statement, announced that he was “extremely well”, living in Tuscany and preparing a new album. He was relatively well, but in Dorset, not Tuscany. He never made another album. For two decades, alcohol had dominated this creative and intelligent man’s life.”

There is really no one song that can be called the best.  Gerry Rafferty’s “Baker Street”, written in 1978,  is as good as any: