Arise Sir Van

The Birthday Honours list contained one name that made me sit up, well metaphorically anyway. Van Morrison is a knight.

Ok, he’s not a member of the Order of the Garter or anything, but bloody hell. Sir Van. Coo. I wonder if he could ever get upgraded to life peer? I am trying to imagine him on those red benches, standing to make a speech opposing cuts in the arts or something. I can’t see him taking prisoners.

Apparently he got it “for services to the music industry and tourism in Northern Ireland”.

That last bit made me chuckle. He has probably done more to put bits of NI into the imagined map of the country than anyone else, but it would be far from intentional. The idea of Van being the face of NI tourism belongs to something penned by Armando Iannucci. Can you imagine it, Van’s face scowling out from beneath his pork pie hat on billboards encouraging you to visit the sights. No, far better let his words and music do the work.

Still, City Airport has already been renamed Georgie Best Airport, so why shouldn’t Aldergrove, aka Belfast International, a destination I am heading for again in a few short weeks, become Van Morrison Airport? They could play his music in an endless loop, which would make me very happy.

And It Stoned Me should prepare anyone for a stay in NI, especially the weather.

There was a piece in the Belfast Telegraph last year about VM themed walking tours. It’s well worth reading, and I do like the word Vanorak. Read it here. Continue reading

Victoria Wood, National Treasure

I’ve just finished watching a programme from quite a few years ago about Victoria Wood. Laughed my socks off.
What talent. What humanity. The Acorn Antiques excerpts had me crying with laughter.
The programme finished with this VW classic:
As someone tweeted earlier, why isn’t Victoria wood a DBE? She is such a national treasure she ought to be in the Tower.
Sweet dreams.