Friday, November 15, 2019

Swans swimming

I saw seven swans swimming today but only photographed three. I whistled the well known carol segment briefly and then returned to my regular duties and the swans returned to there own. I was busy tracking a bus on my phone, that's  something you can do now. Taxis and delivery drivers are the same; sending out unconscious signals of their timings and whereabouts so that they can be more "productive". It pleases their masters, they like the bleeping noise. Not all location robotics progress is good or humanitarian in it's use, unless of course I'm waiting for a package to be delivered. Tracking swans is more difficult. 

Thursday, November 14, 2019


Another small but at the time optimistic investment goes pear shaped. The fallen coins have spoken. Gambling is a social sickness and you'll never win big or even recoup your original stake. Just go out and buy a decent piece of cheese for yourself instead, or reinvest in the necessary ingredients for a pot of homemade soup.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Mrs Coulter, evil but interesting

Evil is of course relative and controversial, just like truth and beauty and the best flavour of Pot Noodle. Evil probably would smack a monkey in most interpretations, that and meddle with and distort the lives of others for questionable ends. Evil is as evil does. So I'm rooting for Mrs Coulter of course, but I'm aware of the fate that lies before her so my interest may eventually wane.

So the BBC met HBO and decided to do a version of His Dark Materials. I presume HBO said "Let's make it real!" and the BBC said "Great, we'll do a good job on it, have you seen how we made Dr Who and how sleek and professional our production values are?" HBO said "Hmm, well, we'd better make the cast strong so they can at least carry the can..." BBC said, "Yeah, whatever, we'll put some of our best people on it and a few (cheaper to hire) passengers, just bear trust us. It all needs to stand up to scrutiny. We'll also bombard the public with stupidly long spoiler type trailers." HBO said "It's your neck and your network." BBC said "We've experience in this, the UK public are easily led and they'll believe just about anything we put out, trust us (except for viewers in Scotland who have their own programs as well as a number of delusional problems about their actual self worth)." HBO ..."OK we'll leave it there then."

Delete this at your peril

The Entombment (1957) by Paul Delvaux.
I was imagining deleting all this blog, easy meat, with the swift click of a trembling mouse finger. Done. It could be gone. There is that nuclear option. Down the pan goes 15 or 16 years worth of rambles, rants, changes in direction, photos, warped opinions, repetition and general nonsense. Blogging, a way to fill and mark time with loose thoughts. Some strange sense of actual achievement, making a mark, trying not to drown in a cyber sea, having your say when nobody really listens anyway, streams of consciousness, fun maybe. Words and blurb.

So I momentarily entertained the thought. Delete this pile of err.. data and then walk away. Do something more useful, more purposeful, less hit and miss ... so many misses. Burning all your diaries and going to a place where you can be just vacant. I did that once, in an actual bonfire and endured the long numbness that followed, it was me but no me.

Perhaps a break is required, some time away. It's strange how life has to be marked, events, records, statues and time lines. How we make sense of a life, all linear and rear facing. The future is just a black hole with bright puffs of hope pinging off and on,  out there in the distance, blinking, beyond reach and any proper understanding. It's all been said before and by better humans than me and they seldom left key words out of their well constructed sentences. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Ignored etc.

Whatever is happening and regardless of any election promises made or broken, I can't see any real change, signs of lessons learned or actual maturity in any of the debate or arguments so far. Come 13th December when the result comes rolling out via the BBC's twisted foghorns most of the population are going to wake up feeling disappointed, cheated, unheard or just plain WTF. Pathetic really.

Perhaps a better way to view the election is as some kind of national intelligence test rather than an electoral contest. Even at that the outcome is unlikely to be inspiring. I'm thinking of all those well rounded and balanced individuals  out there that can't quite get their heads around recycling or the complex thinking involved in not throwing litter out of car windows and how they might vote.

Olga of the Roses

Princess Olga of Kiev or Saint Olga as she is better known in some circles. Something of a cruel mass murderer (as was the custom) until her conversion to what might be described loosely as the Christian faith. She looks like a bit of tease in this oily rendering with the smoky come hither eyes, odd way to be holding a cross etc. but what do I know? It was all very important around 975 AD or so.

There now follows a fairly senseless, formless scribble that's really no more than an uncontrolled rant or some kind of elaborate and ultimately unsuccessful typing exercise:

I'm not religious but I spend a lot of time thinking about religion. People sometimes talk about spirituality and religion as if they were the same, but they're not. Spirituality is mostly mumbo-jumbo beliefs that require certain behaviours to be exhibited, some are pretty daft some more reasonable. Eyes are often closed at key moments and you might be prone to talking to yourself a lot in candle light. If you're spiritual you've kind of given away a certain part of your life to some ghostly idea that you cant quite describe but you remain intrigued by that shimmering idea anyway. People often get spiritual when a close friend or relative dies, this is understandable and I have some sympathy for how that happens, fear and desperation can drive all sorts.

Religion is also about behaviours but more in a "have to" way than the "need to" ways of spiritual beliefs.  Combining these two things is in my opinion pretty dangerous (just look at  history) and often not at all useful for a stress free life. I know when I'm thinking about religion, most of the time I'm not thinking "hmm, perhaps I should start following this particular teaching etc." I'm mostly thinking "this is a complete crock of shit, how can I sensibly argue against it without causing too much offence". 

My problem is that I really don't want to offend people and I'm pretty much live and let live but I think it's necessary to have an argument or a view in place come the day you're confronted with some religious zealot who wants you to join in. So in my view religion is about power, dogma and control and the distortion and corruption of these very things. I suppose if it was expressed in political terms the Tories would be a strict but hypocritical religion and the Greens would be more or less on some spiritual kick. This is only important in my own head.

So I spend time thinking about these things and also trying to avoid them, that's not easy. Despite our generally heathen ways religious and spiritual trappings are everywhere and of course mostly misunderstood or distorted because the common language of expression in these areas means different things to everyone. Teaching with any kind of consistency doesn't work and there are many versions of the truth and none of them actually, properly true. It's a fine mess of questionable facts. Best not to hold rigid beliefs even though it actually is harder to believe than not to believe but people say they do, or they believe that's what they are saying. In the end I should never have read so much CS Lewis and peppered my brain with circular questions back in the day.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Dreams etc.

Once I had a dream about a fictional Eggs Benedict breakfast served up at Peggy Scott's on the road to Aberdeen but I never talk about it. 

Have you ever had a morning where you've woken up tired having experienced a dream in which you were awake all night? This may be one of my own pet common experiences and we all share in the common experience of never, ever talking about it. So then, out of the indigo someone does speak up about this unspeakable and common experience and all those present quietly nod but refuse to fully engage or even say a word. They simply pretend to listen politely. You may think there's some kind of group plot or conspiracy going on here and that might be true, but what is also true is that you'd spoken aloud the shaky and somewhat irritating narrative of a dream and that, my friend, never goes well outside of a therapy session.

Sunday, November 10, 2019


Day after day stories of this type emerge, all seem highly credible, true even (of course I want them to be true...and to go further) but they seldom get the traction you'd expect in a "free" society, must be a good reason for this.

Criminal Records

Aberdeen, daily photos: I know nobody represented here or actually here, it's all about the roof beams and sunbeams and the supporting engineering. All the other people shown are strangers to me.


It all will be splendid once it's completed.

Criminal Records: A full size wall of recording stars and others as seen on their album covers, all meaningful text and explanation has been obliterated by the careful placement of black tape. This simple action may well mean the avoidance of any legal action in the event of any complaint. Evidence and content appears to have been gleaned from various charity shops and house clearances.

Friday, November 08, 2019

Existential torture

I don't recall you lending me one of those limited edition 20s.

It's that moment when you're opening up Wikipedia because you want to check something but suddenly cant remember the name of the person, place, band, movie or whatever. Seconds before it was there, right in the centre of the brain, now it's slid across and over some brain-juice Niagara Falls, over the edge to be lost forever in the foam. I tell myself it's like a filing system, some light, easy prods with blunt thought muscles will find the path, over there, scattered with rose petals and rice. Simply follow the trail and the singing pixie's ethereal voice, you'll get to it. Hitting yourself on the head with a house brick might also work but I don't recommend that.

I imagine tiny files sorting themselves out like Windows 95 used to look, I see them swirl and rotate, the slow reveal is coming along, any moment, that name's going to pop out soon in neon lights with trumpets. Ten minutes later I've forgotten what I forgot. Some folks say the problem is the threshold moment, as you cross from one room to another or head upstairs then you mind does a quick flip and the details are gone. Mine tends to do more of a factory reset. How did I get this beautiful house and this beautiful wife? What have I done? These are not the files you're looking for. Really, if you have to lose something, lose in the gap between the driver's seat of your car and the handbrake. Existential torture of course. You then know exactly where it is, you just cant get in there and get it back.

Thursday, November 07, 2019

We're all going somewhere

Unless you're a flat earth YouTuber kind of person or feel you're trapped in some dystopian matrix world then you have to reconcile yourself to the fact (?) that we're all on a messed up rocky sphere spinning around a potentially highly volatile giant nuclear reactor that is currently doing just enough to keep us all warm and lit up for at least twelve hours a day. Even in this unsteady state it's not unusual for humans to spread themselves out across this planetary body and explore. We all have an innate nomadic sense, our knees feel shaky and our feet itchy, in our history we've never stopped moving. We follow the path of the sun even on cloudy days, a bit like that lost tribe in the Old Testament who went on to become bankers and diamond merchants.

Soon we're (this us not all of you) moving, uprooting and evolving, searching for a fresh herd of mammoths, a warm cave, rich pickings, hoping to see the other side of the great plains. All the things that might exist within the EH Postcode area. Our tiny invasion is already underway, first we took the cafes, then we take the bins. The rodents here have driven us out and already the fresh new rats of a new kingdom are ready to receive us. Graceland has opened her gates, Elvis has duly left and we will try to blend into a strange and vibrant  community that doesn't really need us. Already we are challenging the refuse collection regimes, the parking plans and various unwritten environmental regulations and dodgy practices (except for the doctors'). Welcome home.

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

And another thing

It looks like an Ashes to Ashes video tribute, perhaps that's the subtext, perhaps that's what all art has become now that Bowie's gone and it can't be explained. Tribute acts morph into art. They'll remain with us for all eternity. Repetition of form and ideas, viewed like a commoner, a layman's/everyman's view of a fashion show. Posh frocks, sharp moves and gloomy faces. There's nothing left to get, there's no actual content, no understanding, it's a form of indigestible soup. As if the cardboard police man in the doorway of Home Bargains was threatening to arrest shoplifters and drunks and all the poor security guard can do is to look away from his grainy CCTV screen. He's not been trained in this you know.

When Kayne West says he's the greatest artist of all time I shudder, then I think he's probably right and that's because the value of his art, his contribution to popular culture, only really exists in his own head so it can't be questioned. He's also American. You have to rationalize things to stop the shuddering I've found. Chances are if proper academic comparisons were made he'd be well outside the top all time 10000 but that doesn't matter, he has actual sales figures and a big mouth. Me I'm just a plagiarist, that is when I do bother doing anything. I'm looking through a very narrow slit in a very thick wall and stealing the tiny particles I can see. They might be useful.

I'm a Martian Rover type of person, awake after sleeping, out exploring with limited capability, special wheels for the strange surface, claws out and handfuls of dust particles, hoovered up and filtered, into bags and shiny containers, some rudimentary analysis, laser beams and litmus paper, quick conclusions and then ... silence across the universe, the steady loss of signal as the batteries die. I can get by on that nicely.

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Russian Porn

Non Russian, non porn, just artful foxes and witches.

I'm not paranoid, I just look a the numbers. The Russian porn people are here, trampling all across the web, like mice in an attic, like rats in drains. They are never far away. Their tentacles spin out and touch everything, they just pounce on whatever trail they find. Insidious is the best word to describe them but I don't really understand what they are doing, why the snare? Why the activity? What are they trying to bring down? Don't they realise that we're quite capable of doing that ourselves? Nobody ever learns anything from history and actually applies it to themselves.

Wondering again

I was wondering about the general election, what if they cancelled it? What if they did something else? I wondered if people would complain, perhaps riot or just accept things after some token explanation and media whitewash. It's like sometimes we poo more than we eat, the output is greater than the input. Any creative genius will tell you that, sometimes it's not as difficult as you think to do something or put something out there. But for the mean time we're stuck, change isn't going to come. You can hear it in the words they don't say, in the dullness in their eyes, in the bias of the media. We're all up against it but we are not organised in thought or deeds. We're a cardboard electorate, armchair surfers and pundits who lost the will to take part and lost the appetite to understand. So they'll pour money all over things, PR and shit, they'll poo more than they'll take in and we'll be taken in because anything else is just too difficult.

Wondering Again - Ian Anderson, Jethro Tull.

There's the stillness of death on a deathly unliving scene
And the motorcar magical world has long since ceased to be,
When the eve bitten apple returned to destroy the tree.
Incestuous ancestry's charabanc ride,
Spawning new millions throws the world on its side.
Supporting their farflung illusion, the national curse,
And those with no sandwiches please get off the bus.

The excrement bubbles, the century's slime decays,
And the brainwashing government lackeys would have us say
It's under control and we'll soon be on our way
To a grand year for babies and quiz panel games
Of the hot hungry millions you'll be sure to remain.
The natural resources are dwinding and no one grows old
And those with no homes to go to, please dig yourself holes.

We wandered through quiet lands, felt the first breath of snow,
Searched for the last pigeon, slate gray I've been told.
Stumbled on a daffodil which she crushed in the rush,
Heard it sigh and left it to die.
At once felt remorse and were touched by the loss of our own,
Held its poor broken head in her hands, dropped soft tears in the snow
And it's only the taking that makes you what you are.
Wondering aloud will a son one day be born
To share in our infancy in the child's path we've worn.
In the aging seclusion of this earth that our birth,
Did surprise. We'll open his eyes.

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Signs of the times

Probably the most important behavioral advice sign, also applies to the random and often pointless use of mobile phones to film entire gigs ... but please don't blether all the way through somebody's hard worked set.


Wandering around the new HQ in SQ. No real queues at the shops, bus stops or restaurants. Perhaps it's not the capital of queues at all, perhaps it's Disneyland, Easy Jet check ins, January 1st Sales, football matches or soup kitchens. Anyway they have a bridge here, no trains queuing to get across, all pretty relaxed in the rain and gloom. I bought coffee from a machine, I withdrew the cup too soon and had a cup of warm milk minus the coffee experience. There were no queues at the machine pressurising me either, I was just being thoughtless. Some days I just feel a bit older for some reason.

Thursday, October 31, 2019


If you're feeling sinister this 31st but can't quite be bothered with any of it I have compiled a useless list for you. If you wake from a dream where you've kidnapped and tortured the Prime Minister and in that dream you threaten liars with a game of "truth or tazer", if you summon up the Devil from the Internet and then release him across the world via WhatsApp, if you chew on wasps, if you buy donuts that look like pumpkins that look like donuts and don't eat them, if you waste food trying to make it look scary with fake blood sauce, if you fail to answer when the doorbell rings, if you watch a comedy movie without laughing, if you cancel your subscriptions and if you mindlessly sleep all day and ponder over other people's tragedies all night, if your soul seems to you to be a primitive, scratchy black and white cartoon figure, then it's the last day of October and you've truly lost your religion.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019


A wise man once said, "You may upload multiple files at any one time. Use files of JPG, PNG or GIF formats." Here's one I uploaded earlier.


Out for lunch today at the recently opened Lobster Phone Cafe; interesting selection of salads and flowery snacks, a bit expensive though for those on a pension. Fortunately the drinks menu was a little bit cheaper and so I avoided the plant based foods and stayed with a nice, more reasonably priced OXO cube beverage served in a ceramic mug. Not long after we sat down a plague of cyclists and chatty families descended upon us in punishment for past sins and possible punishment for sins yet to be committed. I'm unclear as to my precise stature in these matters but there are a few undisclosed sins out there, floating as it were. I'm not speaking about secret tattoos either.

In another part of town a cafe was closed but it's toilets were open. To me that sends out a mixed message that's bound to be misunderstood by the various bands of confused tourists working against the clock to both see the attractions and use the available facilities. I find it a strange business model and fully intend to use it critically in the highly practical self help book I've yet to write.


A random Tweet that I picked up reads:

"Respond to this tweet with something that's 1000% my energy". 

My energy? I'm not sure what 1000% of anybody's energy can be other than something that's too large to actually exist. Can anything be 1000% of something other than on paper in a maths exercise?  I'm now wondering how to go about measuring my own energy and what kind of weird figure and measurement that might be or should it just be things like: not much, low, pretty good, reasonable, fluctuating, very high, service required, nil. The unit of measure: KW, horsepower, sugar levels, volts, calorific value, Jules, Imperial Gallons ...