Monday, December 10, 2018

Don't start believing

When you don't believe in anything (?) Christmas preparations can sometimes take a back seat, but not this year. It's only the 10th but I've uprooted the Christmas tree from it's seasonal garden refuge and brought it kicking and screaming into the house. I've untangled a great mass of fairy lights and then tangled them up again (in a slightly different formation) around the house. There's a wreath on the front door but nobody has died so far and I've been to the shops and Amazon for gifts. I've also made a firm financial spending plan to take me up to the dawn of 2019 and I've even thought briefly about far away things like January. There's been an outbreak of common sense and morality despite my regular bouts of absent mindedness and my lack of any moral absolute in my belief system. Perhaps it's just duty or a sense of fun or a decision at some subconscious level to avoid last minute panics. Maybe, unlike politicians I'm now able to learn from history and mistakes and so prepare for the impending attack of everything Christmas. I could be just desperate and eager to "get it over with" or maybe I'm enjoying myself in some perverse way that's nothing to do with the time of year, just my time of life. Still got to start the wrapping though.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Big Sky

Actually the sky is the same size today as it was yesterday but for a brief period in the afternoon it seemed rather large. That's the sky for you, always up to odd tricks, bigging itself up and generally showing a tendency for exaggeration. Perhaps it's a seasonal thing or a reminder of how things are as we approach the shortest day and prepare for our pagan dance rituals and back slapping. The phenomenon of big sky was first recognized in the 60's (of some century or other) when people dropped acid and lay down on the grass for long periods. They suffered from strange illness and became confused, now they practice all the things they didn't preach but still wonder about the sky and all that might be hidden on the other side. It's a bit of a winter thing here in the northern hemisphere. 

Friday, December 07, 2018

Peace of mind

It's still under test but I'm already excited about this new tool. Hopefully it'll keep one aging German sports car in fine fettle during the winter months. Peace of mind for me for only £30. Too good to be true maybe but worth a shot. It's all no nonsense, straight forward and even an idiot could use it. Hmm.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Tesco cat: Night duty.

Although he's not looking particularly energetic here, sitting amongst the fire lighters, I did see @Tescocat bounding across the tops of various pallets of winter goodies before settling on this spot. From here he surveys all the various comings and goings and random acts of shoplifting, all in a days work for the superstore feline. Also seems to be working a night shift this week. Any extra Christmas money is always useful.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Lost specs

There's nothing quite like the sense of loss and panic that combines and plummets you into some black abyss of despair when you misplace your glasses. I say misplace because you can never truly lose something, it's just in a place you can't quite get to or locate. Some smoky, misty, isolated outpost of a cracked reality where certain items tend to gather ... unexpectedly. There they sit, waiting to be found, perhaps even slightly anxious themselves while all the time fate whispers, "not yet, not yet, keep them hanging on, all anxiety, scratching, sniffing, fumbling and moaning." Eyes bulging in the cruel sport of the frantic search and still no sign until that blessed moment of wild illumination occurs, all the usual places, pockets, shelves and cupboards turned over and now there they are, hidden in plain sight sitting on some back lit surface and recovered. Fully.

Monday, December 03, 2018

Some cats

Some cats have all the luck, some cats get all the pain, some cats get all the breaks, some cats do nothing expect get themselves immortalized in crayon on old envelopes and then posted on some mediocre blog site.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Vegetable Curry

Back to getting in shape and conquering the winter demons with a diet made up entirely of food. Some of it is quiet healthy, so a bit more so so. Not drinking too much either now that the birthday booze is used up, a long dry run till Christmas should purge the system and reset the points. Everyday is an endless stream of two bananas, an apple, some cereal bars, coconut water and whatever else is available for foraging or formatting into some kind of meal. On top of that I'm rising earlier and briskly walking oodles of miles in order to fulfill the Christmas wishes of a many people I'll never know. Strangely I'm also fulfilling various DIY, sexual, appetite, reading, viewing and clothing choice wishes all at the same time. Suddenly life has a new if slightly abstract purpose to it as I revolve around with all the other cogs in a slowly grinding and quite probably insane machine. (Other machines are also available but they're no less insane). 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Moaning about nothing really

"I talk to the trees, but they don't listen to me."
As the rain batters against the house, the traffic snarls along in lines of blinkered darkness and the wind howls and pushes like a belligerent drunkard it's hard not to have thoughts of Christmas...generally good thoughts but with tinges of WTF also in there. Black Friday, Intermittent Monday, Zombie Tuesday, the grim countdown continues until we're all suitably bowled over and left begging for 2019 to dawn. At the Big A they're already going mad with fake generosity, free tat and piped music. We like the lab rats we resemble respond predictably as we scuttle across the laser guided landscape to gather up our gifts. Next week it'll be next month and next month it'll almost be next year. Whatever then? 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018


Ignoring some of what I said yesterday about TV and it's generally average content I'm sorry to hear that Steve Hillenburg, the creator of the whole crazy cartoon world of SpongeBob Squarepants has died. He had ALS apparently, a horrible and deadly condition. SpongeBob was/is a brilliant, funny, stupid, abstract creation that adults and kids could watch together and laugh at (though often over different things) and enjoy. Thanks for your weird and wonderful take on life and the ocean's depths Mr Steve.

Monday, November 26, 2018

What's on the box?

Another weekend passed quietly (?) but still no Doctor Who viewing has taken place. Science fiction and time travel seem to be old hat, exhausted subjects, tired formats. The TV set stands forlorn, a single red light blinking in some small corner. We may turn it on once in while, check the news or weather, maybe go for a quick giggle from a reliable comedy show, one with a well chosen format and familiar presenters. Then there's University Challenge and the wealth and depth of iPlayer, Amazon and Channel 4. Sometimes. There is Sci-fi there but it's avoided now like hospital programs, sport or rigid political discussion set-ups where hosts and guests talk around subjects and dodge awkward topics. So who lost their way in this, TV or me? I'll never know, I'm not seriously asking the question, there are other things apart from habitual and repetitive TV viewing, it's a drug of choice and I've moved on, I'm away now, far of in some stellar space where other shiny lights and substances beckon... with my coconut water and a book.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Colour my world

Above: Nice piece of artwork from a messy Manchester Sunday morning. Far nicer and sunnier than the regular news ... if we were in France there would be riots, burning cars and a procession of tractors blocking every motorway junction. But we're here and we get by on furrowed brows, shrugging shoulders and sharp intakes of breath. So very basic freedoms and rights are being slowly taken from us but...hey it'll soon be Christmas and perhaps it'll all sort itself out. Not so sure.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Slack Friday

Black Friday: No I didn't rush out (or stay in) and buy a load of clobber or drums or amps or guitars at rock bottom prices. No. No reasonably priced books, CDs or early Christmas presents of any desperate kind. I was stationed in the BF nerve centre where things were ... calm actually. Just another day at the office there (a bit sweaty) and I suspect at most other places in that line of work. The world has changed, a bit. Everybody can calm down, except the people at Aldi.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Intrusive thoughts

Turns out that other people also have intrusive thoughts, mostly different to mine but that's hardly a problem.

Peak 18

Peak 18 is (not) the secret code word for something you may know of called Black Friday. A day I usually spending ignoring the numerous offers and emails that bots everywhere seem to be generating. I sometimes gnash and grind my teeth and may even make unsavoury utterances. Tomorrow it will be different for me though, I'll be at the heart of the matter, in the eye of the hurricane and actually will be helping this stupid event take place. Having taken up some temporary and seasonal employment with the big A, tomorrow will find me as busy as a middle aged bee in November; delivering smiles and making dreams come true. That is assuming that a cheap Chinese rucksack, some floating solar lights and a new (express) coffee machine will generate happiness in your life. I hope they do. My bonus may depend on it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018


Introducing to Blogger the strange, disturbing and remarkably accurate artwork of the Twitter legend known to his legions of loyal fans as Cold War Steve. His earlier works have sold out on eBay, he's being exhibited across London and Liverpool (?) and no doubt a Turner nomination awaits in 2019. Either that or a hyped and mismanaged Trump/Johnston/Kim Jong firing squad of some sort out in the backwoods. These are the precious and weird times in which we live and struggle to survive. Humour welded with surrealism is all that's left to us.

Monday, November 19, 2018

A famous actress

A famous actress clutches a not so famous white cat on a rainy day in black and white whilst looking wistfully into the near distance. My only small part in the creation of this admirable art work was to add the rain. So there's very little here that I can take credit for. In my defence I've been mostly working with more mundane things today and only took a short break in which to create soup and browse Twitter. This (and a pot of carrot and parsnip soup) is the end result and proves that today has not been a complete waste of time and/or energy. 

Sunday, November 18, 2018

The return of Tesco cat

Slowly sizzling in the November sun, Tesco cat snoozes on top of sale goods surrounded by Dreamies and the crumbs of Dreamies. Perhaps the idea cat life, there and on display but distant and disconnected all at the same time ... and with a supply of reasonably attractive snacks on tap. The cat probably gets more attention than the regular Big-Issue seller or the odd beggar who might turn up for a short time. It's easy to interact with cats, even if they are snoozing and aloof. The poor are a bit tougher, nobody knows what to do with them, particularly the government who, for some strange reason we'd expect better of. It's become normal for us to assume that the State will not look after the weak and the vulnerable, in fact they will be blamed and vilified, tramped on and ignored. Brexit and whatever shit storm follows the cruel world of "Austerity" will together make matters worse. There is no light at the end of the tunnel, just more tunnel. So in the mean time maybe the best thing to do is pet any available cats, help any available poor people and hope that some currently unseen and unplanned miracle frees us from the shambolic and uncaring political vice we're stuck in.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Hazy shades of Lego

It's not art, it's not even an art project, it's not even proper Lego building, it's just shapes of plastic put together thoughtlessly. So it just might be art after all. The more I look at it the more qualified I feel feel to chair the daily workings of the Glasgow School of Art or even to design and build a practical but sympathetic alternative new school on a very different location using non-traditional materials and techniques. Just putting it out there.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Couch Potato

I was wandering through the corridors of Dundee University's Tower Building yesterday when I saw this humble, burst and expanding in all the wrong directions couch. It's seen better days. It's really a perfect illustration of Brexit Britain today; used up, worn out, bereft of decent ideas, coming apart at the seems and abandoned by anybody remotely sensible. A couch without a potato. The toxic political landscape seems full of cast off puerile comment, embarrassments and idiotic and spineless individuals who, thanks to a polarized and toffee nosed education system have no idea how anything actually works. Perhaps I'm being tough on this poor couch, all it did was sit there and over time it became the victim. Maybe the couch better illustrates the dreams of Empire that Brexiteers cherish ... a torn, bloated and corrupt idea that's just dead in the water (or the corridor).

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Fife in B&W

In a pleasant enough, non threatening, guerrilla way this black and white sign has been erected at the west end of Dunfermline. The way you might come if, let's say you were travelling from Falkirk. It's a mild form of territorial pissing so that arriving football fans can marvel at and also be warned at the wonders of what might be achieved not only in signage but in choices made over location and loyalty. I've not yet heard of Dunfermline being referred to as Parsland as if it were some Banksy related artistic venture but I kind of like the idea. No doubt the local fun police will remove it soon enough or it will be vandalized and roundly mocked by rival fans or those who just don't get it. The  choice of location is also interesting, a stones through away from the Carnegie funded "Glen", on waste ground adjacent to a burger van, a car dealership (Kia), a few white vans and some small and semi-permanent business units. Parsland in all it's slightly dysfunctional but proud glory sums up the Fife zeitgeist whilst sporting a custom, hand painted font that owes loyalty to nothing in particular. The artist remains anonymous.