Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Vulcan state of mind

MRI scanner self portrait by Leonard Nimoy.

Tea for two

Wandering around dumb and uninspired in a supermarket, buying nothing in particular, there they are, all household names, famous brands but incredibly dull. Same offers, price hikes, three for two, end of aisle piles and dump bins. What to buy, what to have for tea? We start with fruit, the usual fruit, easy to eat, easy to carry. Bananas that have survived some long ocean journey will be black as coal in about five days. How come? Apples that seem to have been dipped in wax and string bags of tiny oranges. What must it have been like to taste an orange two hundred years ago? I wish for that feeling. Keep bumping my basket into other people's or pallets and I wave and apologise but it's not my fault, nobody looks where they are going and some just stand, lost in a shop. I forgot the peanut butter, remembered the black bags, forgot the coffee, remembered the shower gel. The list was OK but incomplete, now it's in my other trousers. In a moment's blind inspiration Soy Sauce sailed into my awareness, I found some, lost  in a fridge with mass produced badly coloured curry. Ready meals save the day some say; Mac & Cheese in various variations, lazy ways to eat. No alcohol on this shop, too heavy to carry, too tough to decide, too early in the week. Sour dough bread and yoghurt, that'll do and no vegetables for soup.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Total eclipse of the UK

I've just found out...It's coming on the 20th of March, the biggest media event to hit the UK since the Commonwealth Games, Songs of Praise and the first episode of the Voice courtesy of the universe no less and not the BBC for a change. The sky will darken, things will turn to blood, there will be frogs in our porridge, cows will give birth to lambs, MP's rhetoric will sail close to the truth, the dead will rise (again) and DAFC will pick up 3 points.  Yes it's eclipse time, a short season of baffled sky watching, oohing and possibly aahing and generally skiving away from work as we feel fully justified at least for one time in blankly looking out of the window. Some poor souls will of course go blind, other feeble minded folks will stare at the phenomenon through specially modified bicycle inner tubes mounted on gimp masks and there will be some social breakdown and unrest. There will also be "good advice" and general words of wisdom on TV and in pullouts from newspapers and of course a rise in the birth rate in about nine months time. Once the riots die down and the looting stops and the power stations restart (late June) things may well get back to normal and then Jesus will return in glory and the rapture will take place. Right, that's everything sorted then.

Monday, March 02, 2015


Structurally perfect artist's model in Duplo of some big, dumb building that they built in Dubai for some reason.
It's difficult to like a month who's name seems like some kind of barked order, "March! You shower of ugly people!" Images of hunger, totalitarian and death are conjured by the very name, a totally shameless month that hosts the greatest time-crime of the year. The cruel and ritualised ritual known as changing the fecking clocks by putting them forward thereby depriving innocent people of both time and sleep. Then there's route marches, forced marches, drill marches, riding the marches, goose-stepping marches, protest marches, shrimp fricassee and shrimp gumbo. I was so annoyed at the time of writing this and then swallowing it inside my own imagination that I completely overslept and now it's the second day of this manic month and I'm no further forward. It's certainly true (but hard to prove) that there is much that we modern Britons have to thank the Romans for.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Big hearted

Big hearted Amazon refunded me to the tune of £14.99, I'm not sure for what though. Some mysterious gift or glitch that will be clawed back one day probably but it's nice to see that little "c" appear on your credit card statement beside the minus figures and airport parking fees. Reeling with the shock and feeling strangely out of touch with myself I ventured out into the garage to choose some implements with which to attack the wilder areas of the place where things seem to grow all by themselves. Then after a back breaking, trug totting, rain dodging comedy gardening experience I found a dirty but clearly legal £2 coin beneath the hard to kill and harder to understand Pampas Grass clump. It remains like some stubborn relic from the 1970s, the plant world's equivalent of the avocado bathroom suite. Still we do dance around it occasionally, usually marking some solstice or other, a family birthday or the presence of a new star in the sky. It's primitive I know but it helps pass the time and confuses the neighbours and passing tourists whilst burning up excess calories. What of the dirty £2 coin you say? I spent it all and more on doughnuts, all of which I have now hidden, that is until I just give them away some fine day.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Call any vegetable

An admirable display of ripe vegetables ready to go to work in city centre basement kitchen. If I hadn't been fed already I might have nipped for some stuffed tomatoes or a baked spuds but the night and the road home was calling. So at the moment it appears that we all seem to be stuck in the chilled marshland of a short but never ending February. Rumour has it that March will appear any day soon but I'm not so sure. You can't really trust calendars and as for those strange lights in the sky? They can only be the grim portents of some impending doom. Mark my badly chosen words, we are hanging by our fingernails onto the last days of civilisation, free markets and order. A great cultural abyss is about to open up once the clocks change. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Skies over Glasgow

I can now confirm (as exclusively as a single fact can be) that the starry sky that bedazzled visitors to Glasgow may see above their baffled heads on a winter's night is indeed a fake. If you don't believe me here's the shocking proof hanging up there - but only visible and revealed to those possessing a curious kind of technical persuasion.  Powered by a mixture of highly subsidised Clyde based wind farms and a few squirrel treadmills in Greenock. The truth is (almost) up there.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Flying Houses

I do like these flying houses (ex Dangerous Minds), wish I was this clever.

Grenade Soup

Hand grenade soup, always a winner in these dark winter days. Try some soon along with overage Italian bread lightly toasted and touched by the gentle hand and surgical knife of an infusion of slurpy, sticky Marmite. The use of this diet is one of the many reasons that I feel perpetually on top of the world regardless of circumstances and blog driven imagination.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A cat and three fat birds

There were four, possibly five fat birds but I missed out on two of them, bad camera shake ensued it seems as a result of my mis-spent youth. The birds are fat due the numerous suet based bird treats and exotic seed mixtures we distribute around the garden in mesh feeders and other complex squirrel resistant devices. Some say it's bad to feed the birds, somehow it civilises them and makes them dependant as if they were some kind of flying benefits scrounger breed. They become less wild, watch daytime Freeview through the windows, become the subject of Channel 4 documentaries  and generally act "feckless", they may well gravitate towards tattoos, piercings and second hand Kia vehicles. Eventually they will cease to fly, chirp or act like birds altogether, such is the impact of man on his environment and then the cats will simply take over the control of everything as we ask ourselves, "did that all really happen?"

Today's mystery. Where has the favourites button gone on the SKY screen?

Political observations of no real significance. The leader of the Greens, Natalie Bennet had a bad day today or so it has been reported. She does have an odd accent and an odd manner but then again she's the Green's (reluctant?) leader. Anyway somehow she seemed genuine if a little dim and inarticulate and not mouthy, truculent and a total fraud of a person like most of our other senior politicians. Her right hand woman Caroline Lucas (the sole proper Green MP) is as sharp as a recycled tack and a major threat. One to watch.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Beating down

The sound of Scottish rain beating down and battering against the window is comforting. Like a slap from your mother or a cup of tea with three spoons of sugar, like a Rich Tea biscuit smeared with Robertson's jam, tatties and butter and blankets that are warm but rough as sandpaper and cat's claws. Like a bird pecking through the silver lid of a Co-op milk bottle stranded on a mid morning doorstep, like the chipped paint on the door and skirting that the previous tenant created years ago. Like the rented timber coated TV with the burnt out tube and the rotary dial that toggles lazily between the two flickering channels. Like wallpaper that's marked and dirty and appears to have been designed by a madman, like coal and crumbled yesterday's ashes, like torn linoleum and wearing hand me down trousers from your bigger cousin, like having no holidays but not really noticing, like death creeping out from the hedges and doorways around you as another old neighbour succumbs; nobody talks or says a word. The sound of Scottish rain...comforting like the past.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Life of Piety

From time to time we all feel that our lives are not really advancing  and we are all just making painfully slow progress through some primordial soup.

We all feel that from time to time our lives are not really advancing  and we are all just making painfully slow progress through some primordial soup.

We all feel that  we are all just making painfully slow progress through some primordial soup and from time to time our lives are not really advancing.

We all feel that  are not really advancing we are all just making painfully slow progress through some primordial soup and from time to time our lives.

We all feel that  we are some primordial soup and not really advancing we are all just making painfully slow progress through from time to time our lives.

We all feel that  we are some and not really advancing we are all just making  primordial soup painfully slow progress through from time to time our lives.

Ever type words in the wrong order? Ever get the letters all mixed up? Ever repeat the same set of words twice in a sentence? Ever forget the point of what you're saying? Ever get confused by colon use? Ever feel that words don't really make any sense at all? Ever wonder what "ever" actually means? If these observations and any others that may be resonating around in your head right now make sense or strike a chord then congratulations, you're human and not a robot.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Simple stuff

Maybe it's an over 50, approaching 60 thing, the unnecessary  complexity of appliances and devices. Just think about what you've got in your home, in your car or in your pockets. Phones, radios, smart TVs, cookers, driers, hoovers, microwaves and everything else. Each one it seems perversely and uneconomically much more complicated than it needs to be. Who ever uses oven timers? All those "roast a suckling pig" or "toast a fresh partridge" programmes on a microwave, the trips and mpg reports on a car, the numerous options on a tumble drier and don't start me on phones and so called hand held devices. Nobody ( I know) ever uses all that stuff, these things are criminally over specified to the point of being useless and ridiculous. What we need is simple stuff that just works without spending six months studying the instructions in eighteen European languages. What we also need is an Amazon filter site that sorts out devices into simple v complex categories so we  are able to stop buying things with built in extra functionality that we don't need. Get it sorted!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Glasgow Jersey

The Glasgow Jersey is a mixed drink invented around about 1974 in honour of the impromptu cultural tie in between those two great locations. Consumption of this (near fatal) beverage cost me a year of my life. Just in case you'd like to try it the recipe is quite simple:

1 part Gin
1 part Southern Comfort
1 part Grapefruit Juice.

Mix, drink and watch your precious little world fall apart, your dreams and aspirations die, your musical skills stall and the conversations around you become increasingly animated.

Thursday, February 19, 2015


The Greek Finance Minister has sussed you out.
Come to think of it I don't recall ever voting for austerity, agreeing to it, supporting it or in any way, shape or form buying (?) into it. Not sure how you buy into austerity anyway. So I like the new Greek government despite the fact that it's set on a disastrous course, maybe. History is pretty much full of people telling other people what to do, what to believe and what they must accept. That somewhat clumsy approach  been proven not to work too well but disappointingly we seem to refuse to learn. 

So when it comes to that most abstract but real, honest but fiendishly criminal and transparent but decidedly muddy subject; currency. Who knows where the truth lies and who to believe? I don't but I cant help but admire those brave, hopeful, deluded but brilliant souls who try to challenge the establishment with it's twisted truths and corrupt and self serving ways of working. Go Greece. 

The ever colourful Malcolm Tucker may well have summed it all up rather well. Caution, this video is a bit sweary so I wouldn't share it in "delicate" company. You have been warned.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Far far away

Every once and a while you encounter something that causes you to take a slightly different view of your world, the universe and how you may or may not fit into it. The natural default position being (and this is for all us; Man Jacks and Ladies and whatever) to feel that you don't actually fit in, you are a misfit and eternally lost inside some baffling piece of hostile space positioning.  But in those times when you just stop and look up at a twinkling star, feel cold fresh rain on your nose or cheeks, taste maple syrup and pancakes, listen to the wild sounds of the sea or the rustle of the woodland or defy all conventions and normal behaviour by just looking into the eyes of a loved one...those times really count and maybe, just maybe you think, there is a superior being out there, hugely removed and distracted, dislocated from us but not completely lost and for the moment, for this moment shared, completely caught up in the simple pleasure of blowing bubbles across some worm hole, meteor shower or dwarf and darken star far, far away...

Monday, February 16, 2015

All mankind

Happy family.
Just another cynical and despairing piece or unsubstantiated observation coupled with some meaningless comment in a desperate bid to improve my monthly statistics and keep me writing at least something during my time in this creative winter wilderness. Ahem! I used to believe (as it was fairly biblical) that all mankind were like grass, it's a quotation (something to do with the temporal and ephemeral nature of things and the soothing nature of the colour green). Now I'm more inclined to think that mankind are pretty much sheep. Stupid, huddled up in groups, easily led away by silly things and probably capable of being substituted for chicken in any given spicy Eastern style dish. Yes, we are sheep, not just the dumb or lowly either, even the clever and the elite are sheep. Following blindly, believing that they are right and failing to see what they truly are and what they are worth. Out in the concrete wilderness, worshiping phones, holidays, religious insignificance, celebrity, political ineptitude and the cults of various vacuous personalities. Just like your average sheep then.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Gullible on the ceiling

OK I admit I felt a little smug and superior when I posted this on Facebook. It really was thoughtless, stupid and unfunny. Then again so are most of my thoughts, out there, in space, randomly firing off in all directions. Weak, predicable and painfully flawed and human. That's just the way it is. Next month I'll do better (I say that every month), the quality will improve, I'll take time and use my imagination, I'll do a little research, explore issues more fully and damn it, I'll even go as far as to exert a little editorial control over myself. that's exactly whats needed, no more belly button gazing or lists of trifles and great fat pudding recommendations.  I'm moving on. I'll also be washing the car every week, cutting the grass, walking and exercising more and of course cutting down the alcohol and poor quality food intake. There.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

A bird calls my name

Well it did, down by the Forth, at least twice, I swear. Then it was gone, the sound stopped and I was left wondering.