Saturday, June 16, 2018

Two dishwashers

As a result of  what can only be described as a First World and creepy privileged type of near death revelation I no longer have peace of mind in the kitchen. Accidentally I stumbled upon a twitter stream* discussing the obvious cleanliness, storage and space saving benefits of having two dishwashers. Now I am stuck with an inner conflict that I cannot shift. My life will never be the same, it all makes way too much sense and the conventional single dishwasher lifestyle with cupboards and drawers full of stuff seems both stupid and wasteful (?). There.

*Also on Pinterest 

The joy of cassettes

In black and white

Friday, June 15, 2018

Black sky thinking

Today's lucky and inspirational card prompted me to give myself an action packed day. It was chaos inside and outside my head. Firstly there was the storm damage to deal I left it till last. I headed out into the big bad world where for some reason the supermarket car park was blocked off by a glossy black Mercedes parked across the bay entrance. It looked like some gangland shit was going down so I avoided making eye contact with the driver and parked elsewhere. I bought more shorts. I will not be short of shorts this summer, that is my goal. I bought other stuff but none of it was interesting. It's in cupboards, fridges and freezers now, awaiting discovery. I came home and felt the familiar disappointment of an eBay-less sales day, I moved on. Then an email from Hermes arrived saying that my parcel couldn't be delivered at 1155 today for some reason. I looked at the clock, it was 1156 but no ringing on the doorbell. They hadn't even tried. They'll be back in 24 hours they say. I have an email but no parcel. How can they be back when they've not been here in the first place?

A quick and unhealthy lunch and then out into a temporarily sunny garden to rake up leaves, twigs, dead birds and other storm casualties. I counted 12 trugs of collected stuff and I was sweating. A good aerobic workout for the tired old frame though. I did take frequent breaks to watch World Cup action, I had to start somewhere. I also fired off a few oblique tweets into twitter oblivion where indifference and the odd lukewarm and grudged "like" hang out together. Brewdog make a .5% beer for the feeble of mind and constitution, Nanny State. I drank one whilst laying out in the recovery position. Then more World Cup, nothing remarkable here I'm afraid. Then more leaves and the ritual unblocking of drains in which no hands were stuck in the pipe nor were any gloves lost in the black hole. Success. I sifted through the twists of the news, too depressing; Trump talks more evil shit and nobody does anything, the Tories have produced a great ignorant lump of a man called Christopher Chope who is still living in the 19th century and Universal Credit has been slammed, that's not the same as actually scrapping it and rebuilding a fair system though. So, back to the World Cup and Portugal v Spain. Hmm.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Storm damage

We suffered some minor damage during last night's unseasonal (but soon to become seasonal) storm. Two innocent hanging baskets were interfered with, the wheelie bin wandered across the road and a flower pot blew over. I'm still stressed by the whole thing. Thankfully the winds have reduced to strong from very strong so we've lost a very along the way. I filled my day with defiantly cooking things and then going out to buy a pair of shorts and the things I needed to complete the cookery task I'd set myself. I also avoided the World Cup opener on grounds of "who cares at the moment?" and instead studied modern politics via Twitter and unreliable news media. At some point my new found opinions may result in me actually jumping down from this splintered fence.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018


Here's a very short film we made featuring some carefully choreographed rain, nigh time, moonlight and a large window. It's placed somewhere in the film noir genre and/or experimental - file under project. Note the very high production values. I'm quite fond of rain provided it takes respectable breaks in between periods activity. Night time and early mornings are the best times for it's sweetly indulgent pitter patter, of course it usually turns up when it's least welcome.

Missed Father John

Popped into an upbeat, wooden clad restaurant (Hemma) a stones throw from yon Parliament building  in Edinburgh last night for a quick pre-Vespers snack. "Sorry" said the waitress "only one person in the kitchen tonight, all food prep is taking over half an hour". My roll mop herrings and oat cakes were not to be. Service of sorts with a pleasant apology. Sadly that whole area has a pretty tatty, run down look. Overfilled bins, weeds, graffiti, just not very nice or welcoming. Sort yourself our please Holyrood Road / Chrichton Place, the public can be pretty annoying but you'll need them some day. On the plus side we heard two decent poets reciting their material at "Vespers" in the Serenity Cafe, all good. Shame the cafe, like Hemma next door, had decided to switch off the catering when the place was full of thirsty punters.

OK, Father John Misty's tunes (pictured) have been finally tried out by me. I watched his Belfast gig. A strange affair, loads of instruments and musicians all very busy  but very little actual sound and no dynamic highs or lows. Funny how a great group of musicians can really cancel one another out and just sound like background music. I had high hopes, I loved the early Fleet Foxes' stuff. This was different, tired and overworked but what do I know, the crowd were having a good time (if you can trust a TV edit).

Monday, June 11, 2018

Strike a pose

This was at Bridge of Orchy a few weeks ago, few if any midges were present.
A burst of panic inspired activity caused me to install (replace) two electronic cat flaps in two non-electronic external doors. The task involved a certain amount of swearing and sweat. Of course the new cat flaps were slightly different shapes from their predecessors, neither larger or smaller (just cat sized) but different. This meant that both doors required their cat-hole shapes changed = swearing + sweat. Eventually both were installed albeit still to be programmed and tested by the cats, the worst part by far. As I settled down with a restful coffee to check stray emails I opened one from a previous CF supplier. Therein I discovered news that one of the previous cat flaps was actually going to be replaced, we'd reported it faulty a few weeks ago and had given up expecting a reply. Now that the apertures are changed it's winging it's way to us via a kindly courier. Previous knowledge of this would have meant 1/2 swearing + sweat. Too late.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Bar code

the barcode printer: free barcode generator

the barcode printer: free barcode generator

the barcode printer: free barcode generator

the barcode printer: free barcode generator

Just another day of messing around with bar codes, failing to get the resolution correct and so on...and on.

Great moments in modern history

Whether it is simply blowing bubbles up the arse of the world or conclusively proving the significance of the Fibonacci Spiral you can never doubt the ability our greatest thinkers and leaders to please social media with their impressive  but unconscious compositional skills.

Saturday, June 09, 2018


Being fluid but remaining stuck: Most days I don't really believe in any god, most days I'm all for the big bang, alien seeding, engineering or some cosmic intervention. Evolution remains a tough nut, adaptation is attractive but not compelling or fast enough enough. It's all too confusing, the theories and the (lack of actual) evidence from all sides leaves me just wanting to believe nothing. Just whistle down the wind, just let it all be, just ride with the currents and lean into the wind. So I found this dead moth last night, I'd seen it (or one very similar) fluttering around the flowerpots for a few days. Months don't last too long, their life cycle is short. I'm not even sure of their actual purpose...but this one lived, flew around the flowers on a some sunny June afternoons and then died. Pointless I know but maybe it was happy, expiring somewhere in mid air and then landing, softly on to the stones and that was the end. That's it all, in a nut shell.

Friday, June 08, 2018

Now I know

I'm never sure how well or badly I'm fitting into the world. What jars about me being here or looks awkward or out of place? This of course has been my normal mindset for well over 50 years, or at least since I gained some form of self awareness. Here's a list I've lifted from somewhere that describes the 30 ok/cool things in 2018. It's all a bit conservative and disappointing really, all pretty worthy and self righteous. I wonder who exactly was polled in this and from what societal cross sections of  the country's under 30s.
Top 30 things which are considered “cool” in 2018:
  1. Reusable coffee cups
  2. Going on holiday to unusual places off the beaten track      
  3. Going to the gym    
  4. Having a balanced diet      
  5. Staying in rather than going out      
  6. Working from home
  7. Record players      
  8. Fitness trackers     
  9. Coffee      
  10. Being able to cook from scratch      
  11. Being teetotal or cutting back on your drinking/drinking alcohol free beverages   
  12. Yoga/Pilates/ Barrecore     
  13. Craft ale      
  14. Hosting a dinner party      
  15. Instagram      
  16. Cycling      
  17. Gin      
  18. Filter water bottles      
  19. Tattoos      
  20. Beards      
  21. Baking      
  22. Avocado      
  23. Frozen yogurt     
  24. Android phones     
  25. High Intensity Interval Training     
  26. Being a fan of things from ‘before your time’ / nostalgia      
  27. Helping the family      
  28. Charity shops      
  29. The 80s      
  30. Pizza
The research for this survey was conducted by frozen yogurt brand Yoomoo.
So what's missing (that I would add)?
Twitter, blogging, lo-fi music, sports cars, long holidays, gardening, CDs (they'll return), hill-walking, children, Wes Anderson, cover songs, showers, toast, saving bees, pyrography, red wine, plimsolls, resistance, bus travel, chocolate, AirBnb, Scandinavia, odd socks, getting up early, wild birds, rising above politics, helping out in small ways. This list is not exhaustive.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Mucky world

It's a very mucky world. I've decided to capture aspects of it as I wander through the land. Lost. Things rust and decay. Things are abandoned. There to be overlooked or tripped over. There's a strong sense of nobody caring, particularly me. Maybe it's all nobody's job. Perhaps costs are being cut. Ongoing austerity is an excuse to be untidy, to be mucky. So we see muck but mostly we don't because we are desensitized and it's just how things are. Sooner or later everything gets set aside, becomes overgrown and awaits the arrival of the next large meteorite to provide cosmic retribution and cleansing. Then the next new civilisation can start all over again.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Dundee Daily Photo

Dundee: Scotland's sunniest city and the only one boasting a V&A monster and Captain Scott's Discovery set side by side by the Tay. A city of smashed avocados, decent coffee, tattooed barbers, Beano figures, strange street dragons, conflicting football teams, out of place penguins, graffiti and the Kingsway. I'm there probably once a week and after making some adjustments for  my inner compass to function properly I'm now getting the hang of it. It'll be fine once the construction work settles and we no longer need to peer through fences or be blinded by hi-vis and deafened by hi-abs unloading materials in the street. Good times are coming.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Hidden past

I'm glad that some of Dundee city centre's past is on display despite the grime and clumsy modernization. Doorways signs and business names remain intact after who knows how many years of closure. The businesses are long gone, forgotten by all and part of an ancient history story that's faded away and too tired out to recount, but the marks and trade names are still visible, just.

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Rare live appearance

Thanks to Malcolm for this photo taken last Thursday at OOTB in Edinburgh. I am playing the house guitar but wearing my own glasses. Ali is singing and also helping me interpret the actual content. 

Saturday, June 02, 2018


Pic by Andrew F at BOO.
Extracted from an organic to do list with absolutely no actual/possible song titles hidden therein:

shim sunburst strat neck pocket*
fix pussy cat telecaster electrics
lubricate car roof and motors
fix plastic bit on conservatory roof
progress car radio done
shed empty at Kinghorn
visit the dump / bottlebank
paint well top done
do some more cement work / pointing
tidy work space
work more with audio interface
work on short stories
cat litter
chop kindling up
back step
wire brush / wash weatherboarding
purge wardrobe
purge old records / work docs etc.
cement work at back door
use less fewer capitals
eBay cardboard
avoid distractions
Air BnB Bilbao 

*replace centre pickup screws and also shim P Bass neck pocket.

Friday, June 01, 2018

Things I didn't say

For people of a certain age 
Nostalgia hooks like crack cocaine
Somewhere between divine and profane
An antidote and poison

I'm sick of blood poured on the tracks
Of friendly warnings "don't look back"
"You'll give yourself a heart attack"
As if I'm even bothered

Health warning mantras for those who know
Ignore them and the prostate goes
There's love and cancer up the road
And a series on iPlayer

The past is littered with the past
I lost it once but lived it fast
Now we're the bus pass underclass
The pensioned shuffling strangers

Tomorrow is a better day
Specsavers see through fakes and haze
You're aches and pains will melt away
On some brave new hejira.

For people of a certain age
Nostalgia hooks like crack cocaine
The worries they just melt away
I'm better now I'm older.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

The fabric of our lives

Some things change, some stay the same. There you go. The fabric of our lives. Familiar, recognizable, solid, steady, fluid, different, damaged, cared for, washed out, washed in, comfortable, torn, lived in, loved.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018


Some hands are tender hands, some hands are dirty hands, some hands are soft hands, some hands are loving hands, some hands serve and soothe, some hands fix, some hands make fists, some hands aren't hands at all and end up like this. Dangerous.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Highland fence posts

OK. So I suppose you could say that these images would be best suited to a life lived on Instagram under some niche heading where they might attract attention or arouse interest. I'm too lazy for that so they are only going to have an on-line life here where everything is relatively easy. As I was exploring the lower slopes of Glen Orchy at the weekend  I was quite taken by these old fence posts. Each one differently rotten, rugged and weathered out of shape, moss covered and rusty wire, hairy splinters, decay and destruction but still somehow standing, faithfully obeying their last order to mark a line or a boundary, to keep in some sheep or to prevent chickens from running all across the yard. They are the forgotten markers of once worthwhile industry and endeavour and remain almost upright in place, stubborn and redundant, trapped out in all weathers, mutating and growing as they fade and splinter away back into the highland soil.