100 Best Novels in English – full list and links of the Guardian list

August 17th, 2015

Robert McCrum has added to the 2003 Guardian list of any-language novels with the final title in his top 100 English literature novels. (True Story of Kelly Gang, 2000). For page-clicks reasons unknown the Observer did not list the whole books on one page (on Sunday) (at least I could not find it). Given it is a nice read and might be of help to students and book-lovers everywhere (book clubs, language learners too), I attempted making it into a handy list in order with links to each post on the Guardian, as well as a nice challenge for scraping with Google Sheets.

I managed to do this by wrangling a funky google search into a Sheets doc with the cool XPath. I seemed to have carelessly truncated the odd title, but it is still obvious what is what.
You can grab the full list below >> download in easy text format

Google doc with full list download as CSV or PDF etc


UPDATE: aha they today have published a Guardian page with full summary and links

WordPress updated

August 17th, 2015

just did  a jumbo update (from 3. something) there which seems to have bust my chess pgn viewer but nothing much else other than the fonts and some theme tweaks. Good to be in the safe embrace of the latest WP version in any case.



Chess in School curriculum in the UK

April 22nd, 2014

There’s much news right now about a UK Parliamentary committee that will look at including Chess in some form in the School curriculum.

e.g. a recent article in the Telegraph

(the paper of chess IM Malcolm Pein who has done amazing work with Chess in Schools and Communities in England and Wales).

Chess in the UK neither has the status of a Sport, or has the support of the government in terms of funding (both Scotland and England Wales (dept. of Culture) have stopped *any* funding in the last couple of years). The status of a sport is an interesting debate, but I feel it jsut needs the status, not necessarily the name, although most countries around the world do give it that.

I am a Chess coach for Chess Scotland.

Hair Extensions in Edinburgh (Magento site)

April 22nd, 2014

At work we were very happy to launch a new Hair extensions website (e-commerce and a marketing blog) for CrownCouture in Edinburgh. Nikki and Lorraine were really great to work with and we are very pleased with the finished result. The blog is built using WordPress as a CMS and the Magento for the e-commerce online shop, which makes good use of Magento Configurable products for the hair colours, despite being a bit follically challenged myself, I have learned a lot about modern hair styling during the process :) Getting to know a new business is always one of my favourite parts of the work. If you are in Edinburgh do check out their cool hair salon which launched the same day as the website too.

Design Furniture (Magento site)

March 18th, 2014

Another site we just designed, built & launched at Infinite Eye for Get Fully Furnished, an online contemporary design furniture shop. Developed using the Magento e-commerce platform, with a WordPress journal as well.

get fully furnished screenshot

Architects in Glasgow

March 1st, 2014

Some really nice content and images on the site we did at work with Kerr Vernon for Network 5 Architecture – Architects in Glasgow. They have done lots of stuff in Bearsden and Milngavie (where I spent my teenage years!) as well some of the regeneration work on the very cool Whisky Bond building nearer into Glasgow itself.

The site is running on WordPress.


January 14th, 2014

We just collaborated with Silhouette Design of Glasgow to make a new site for the Kilchoan Hotel in lovely Ardnamurchan, where I have spent many a wonderful holiday (in Achnaha and around) over the years.

A sheep sheltering from the sun on Sanna Bay beach, one of the most beautiful parts of the West Highlands I reckon.


New Single Page musician’s website

June 21st, 2013

At work we just launched a new site by Jill Brown, a Glasgow singer and musician

Kerr Vernon designed the stylish look of the site and it is built on WordPress in a single-page structure using child pages and some ajaxifying of the archives.

Google Plus linking up with WordPress

January 22nd, 2013

Just trying out a funky thing that should associate my Google + profile with my blog here.

this site has a good tutorial on the ins and outs of this.

Sad to say this is the first post of 2013 by me..I will have to get blogging again!


Glasgow Chess Club – “Phones”

September 9th, 2012

I play for a chess club called “Phones” in Glasgow, the West End of Glasgow to be precise.

New Glasgow Chess League season starting soon!

The new season kicks off since it is now September 2012 and people should be attending from hereon, so come along if you would like to play some chess in Glasgow.

Club address

Sikorski Polish club, 5 Parkgrove Terrace, Glasgow G3 7SD

(It’s near Kelvingrove Park – so coming via public transport in Glasgow – Take a subway to Kelvinhall or take a train to SECC Finnieston Google Map ).

We meet every Monday evening, Sept-June. Starts from 7.15pm.

Useful Links

  • I have put an ad for the club on this page with the details – Glasgow Chess club – Phones All welcome!
  • Our official Phones Chess Club page located here: However it is doing badly in Google for some reason, so hence why I made this page.
  • There are 2 other teams based in the West End of Glasgow like us – Glasgow Montrose who play at the Novotel hotel and Glasgow Polytechnic who confusingly play at Glasgow University in an old church hall. Both are friendly clubs like ours, so check them out too if you want to play some chess in Glasgow!

If you are not in or around the West End , all our clubs should still be easy to get to as we are all near a train station (for us Finnieston is best, for Montrose club Charing Cross and for Polytechnic the Partick Station or use Subway to Kelvingrove. ).

Chess Scotland website

If you want to find out ALL the Glasgow chess teams check out Chess Scotland website. They have info on chess tournaments in Glasgow and Scotland and also a list of all chess clubs in the country.

Glasgow chess clubs all play in the Glasgow Chess League, which has several divisions. We currently have a team in the First Division and would welcome players who wanted competitive matches in that team, but also players for any of our other teams too.

Get in touch & Facebook

Email me luke DOT barker AT gmail DOT com if you need any help or check out the chess in Glasgow Facebook page I run.

I am interested in starting up a Chess café in Glasgow as there are currently none, so get in touch if you are interested in that or even just in helping out!

Although I guess a lot of people play on the internet these days as it is so addictive and easy, it is of great value to play for a club or in a café as I think you learn new styles and also have the chance to play various time controls with usually people of similar strength. It can lead to playing for teams as well which is a different thing to playing as an individual and we as a club pride ourselves on the value of team chess.

Also you can have a lot of fun socialising and we have a nice bar courtesy of the kind folk of the Polish club who are alawyas welcoming to us . We thank them for that and their wonderful food too!

Good luck with your chess!

Luke, fianchetto admin.