Sunday, November 30, 2008
Telephones - handy devices used to make and receive crank calls at odd hours of the day or night.
Thailand - far eastern country currently struggling with getting the correct balance between tourists, police and demonstrators.
Tourists - hard working but bewildered people who have gone as far as their money could get them and now want to get back home without spending any more.
Tourism - the name of an educational course carried out by the Open University and a number of badly named colleges scattered across the Central Belt.
Toyota - Japanese car firm that specialises in manufacturing cars and pick-up trucks made in Japan and other places. Noted for their "snick-snick" gear boxes.
Tantrum - extreme form of behaviour particularly noted in chimps, Scottish politicians and school teachers.
Top-Gear - amusing and irreverent TV programme and periodical that celebrates and champions the motor vehicle and the views and values of middle-aged men.
Toxic - toxic pop tune performed by "Forces Favourite" Brittany Spiers.
Thomas the Tank Engine - blue choo choo loved by small boys everywhere. An urban myth has it that Thomas was in fact the fifth Beatle.
Transcendental Meditation - a form of ritualised day-dreaming generally practised by twats and bored rich people with nothing else to do.
Twats - see above.
Travel - the art of moving smoothly between places either for business or for pleasure.
Time travel - as above but with an added dimension and a degree of danger and uncertainty.
Turnip - root vegetable that is notoriously difficult to cook and control. Popular with the agricultural classes and students for it's ability to create tummy gas.
Twix - two fingered chocolate sweet manufactured by the Mars Corporation.
Tree - leafy form of erect, growing wood worshiped by some religions and left wing pressure groups.
Tasmania - small island even further away than Australia. Popular in cartoon loving circles.
Tudor - obsolete crisp making company and one time despotic ruling family of England.
Ten Years After - 60s rock band famous for the tedious overplaying of electric blues related music at Woodstock.
Tinkerbell - Disney fairy character mildly related to the J M Barrie original and Julia Roberts.
Tentsmuir Forest - dull and over-rated area on the Fife coast that could do with being bulldozed by Donald Trump's people.
Trump (Donald) - Real estate whizz-kid who owns large golden buildings in New York run and operated by surly and unhelpful staff of questionable Afro-American origins.
Trumper - fine aristocratic and old English family from the heartlands of the Midlands. Often shows a degree of unwarranted tea-cup enthusiasm following marriage or spending too long in the cold.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Ford's database - a wonder of modern engineering and the result of much IT blood, sweat and tears and strategy. Also slightly worrying due to it's big brother prowess but who really cares, if you've a driving license, a Tesco card or a mobile phone they've got you sussed anyway.
Friday - a day in the week but the one that generally leads to a longer than usual stay in bed the next day but not always.
Fat Freddie's Cat - See below.
Fabulous Furry Freak Bros - See above.
Finlay - a small grandson, in fact the smallest.
Fandango - Album by Texan rockers ZZ Top.
Fix - to repair, could be quick, could (as in most cases) take a little longer.
Frog - a variation of toad, as seen in various parts of the house, garden and orange plastic B&Q buckets.
Fleet Foxes - see Felice Brothers.
France - better than England but not as good as Scotland.
Fish - creatures that like the wet, say very little and are nice with chips and brown sauce.
Fudge - English version of tablet for softies.
Freuchie - small village in the middle of the Kingdom of Fife.
Fife - small and pleasant (sometimes grumpy) Kingdom containing Freuchie.
Fascist - extreme and unsavoury right wing political beliefs generally more stylish and interesting than the left wing version. Not a recommended choice to follow for a variety of good reasons.
Flintstone (Fred) -stone age cartoon cultural icon, dinosaur owner and male role model.
Faro - pleasant small town and plastic airport in Portugal.
Farm shops - always a host of interesting and expensive provender on display, some local, some not so. A valid diversion and second career choice for farmer's wives or possibly the partners of gay farmers.
Fender - a popular make of guitar made famous by Buddy Holly and Bob Dylan. also the maker of the "Tweed Deluxe Amplifier" and the "Twin Reverb".
Fellini - Italian movie maker with a fountain fetish.
Fetish - overly focused need or sexual preference.
Finish - the opposite of start and generally a welcome relief and a place to revel in the wonder of endorphins.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
The jam here somewhere or there on the right, served as part of a scone and jam and cream ensemble, is a new flavour I've never before encountered: Dumpsie Daisy. Fortunately it's not made from either dump (?) or daisies but a conglomeration of rhubarb, ginger, apple and plum. It tasted ok but it'll never beat strawberry in a straight fight. I'm not sure Dumpsie Daisy is a proper name at all the more I think about it - it should really be two schoolgirl characters in one of Ali's pre-war Dimsie Books.
We had to escape from our house to the nearby Garden Centre due to an unexpected funeral turning up and causing major congestion outside and so had to sample the delights of the cafe for an hour. Strangely it was full of grey and slow moving retired people bent on killing time and eating salad rolls and other (also retired) grandparents child minding for a day and wheeling the little monkeys around the shop.
The funeral traffic passed away and the muddy skid pan that we call a road is now deserted, the cats are settled down now, having not killed anything for about 6 hours and the washing machine leak and flood that threatened to destroy the day earlier on has gone, I hope.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Those of a religious persuasion may, in a certain eerie and troubled light, see a slight resemblance there to either the Prophet Mohamed, Saint Paul or Groucho Marx (all of whom would need to wearing tortoise shell Rayban Wayfarers to make it work) and will also need to ignore the pig parts in the sausage please, offers for this work are welcome but already too late as it's been scoffed.
In a further food based experiment I've come up with an alternative to the ubiquitous and over-priced fruit smoothie. My home made alternative (as shown below lurking next to the Flora in the fridge) offers all the taste and goodness of a store bought smoothie but with additional and nutritious lumps - it's the LUMPY. These allow you to thoughtfully pause as you drink so the consumer can reflect and chew, a perfect combination to lengthen the taste experience. Full production will begin once I get the shed built, the strawberry patch free from dead giraffes and the apple trees planted.
Friday, November 21, 2008
In Exeter airport I had the joyful experience of sitting next to a Paris Hilton clone in the coffee shop. She was shouting in an American accent into her pink phone using phrases like "And he's like.." "And I'm like..." "And we're like..." then just when I thought the dialogue couldn't get any worse up popped a Nicole Richie clone to add a third thread to the shrill and clearly pointless conversation. Now I am an expert on the lives of some dance troupe from Wales and their creative tensions and group dynamics. Nice enough girls really but you wish they could reduce their levels of hysteria to something close to inaudible when out in public. I suppose they were just trying to explain...
Peggy the pig got a nice big carrot to chew this afternoon as we shopped in a farm shop, a place I'd normally avoid but not today. My grandson poked the carrot through the fence and Peggy didn't quite take his fingers off but certainly enjoyed the carrot. I was on a log buying mission and filled the boot of the car with logs, kindling sticks and various home baked pies and West Lothian vegetables, all designed to see us through this cold snap. My grandson managed the quip of the day, he picked up a turnip and said: "My mummy says these make you pump!" Good explanation for an eternal problem.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
In a single idle moment I did reflect on how I am no longer the treasurer or a committee member for OOTB - a weekly open mike night in Edinburgh. After five years of various bits of hard and easy labour I'm out of the bedroom altogether and possibly slightly relieved. The truth is there is only so much original local music you can stomach and I've heard most of it over the years and to be honest I'm bored with a lot of what's about, but I had a few laughs as well.
That's not to say there are not good people and musicians dodging around, it's just like I've eaten a whole sponge cake when I should have had just a slice. So I'll take (more of )a break and then hover for a while whilst trying to understand and appreciate another wave of the marathon strummers trying to make sense of their little world, (you can't!), the grunge kids who don't know it's not 1992 anymore, the middle aged, mid-life crisis impressionists (that'll be me), the serious and virginal blues-men and the ever lovin' ever losin' hippies, god bless them all.
Thanks to the staff of this surprisingly good West Lothian hospital for looking after us (?) this weekend. A cleaner, less cluttered and better mannered hospital would be hard to find anywhere I reckon.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
A rendered and artistically challenged version of my running and cycling efforts yesterday, at least I look like I'm having a good time (which I was). The bike and the helmet were borrowed, the legs, the blood supply and the sweat were however all mine. The storm of oil paint, the heavy, squally smudges and the low flying acrylics caused havoc with my rhythm. I finished last but I was the oldest and least well prepared competitor. The best part was that when I woke up this morning I didn't feel half as bad as I should have.
So one more time "I've got a bike you can ride it if you like, it's got a basket, a bell that rings and things to make it look good. I'd give it to you if I could but I borrowed it". Just don't ever continue with this and go into the other room, you may not return.
Mitch Mitchell RIP. An old drumming friend of mine said he was the best (as if that can ever be settled) but he was special for a short period when The Experience were the band to follow and black vinyl Track records held all the best memories, fired the most colourful of dreams and inspired the formerly clueless to get out and do something - I think I'm talking about the Class of 69.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
The mix up of tracks below are the 13 contenders for best of 2008 and after some careful consideration there is no clear winner and it's probably apparent to all casual readers that some essential piece has been omitted but who really cares.
White Winter Hymnal – Fleet Foxes
Rule the World – Take That
A & E - Goldfrapp
Air kisses - Jools & Verne
Why be blue – Carlene Carter
Mykonos – Fleet Foxes
Snare Drum – Lucy Wainwright Roche
Pools – The Delorean Sisters
I told her on Alderaan – Neon Neon
Grounds for divorce – Elbow
Started out with nothing – Seasick Steve
Only with you – Dennis Wilson
Frankie's Gun – The Felice Bros.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
It's a pretty abstract idea really, wishing somebody a merry Christmas, the key verb being "wish" of course. There may be a latent and potent power attached to wishes, I'm not sure. I've wished many things and quite nicely some have worked out, others have gone the other way, did my wish work or was it just coincidence? So we wish that people might have good things and times and have attached few pieces of stolen music and songs to the wish package.
So it's corny but not as bad as the "end of year newsletter" card where a list of holidays, promotions, kids achievements and home improvements are spread across the families annual report. If you get one of these CDs I hope you listen to it and like it, you may do neither and I may fail miserably to produce them but the wish will still be in there, which is more important if a bit less tangible.
The other thing is that looking back over the year in November (all 11 long/short months into it) it's been incredibly busy and eventful. Surrounded by weddings, funerals, pregnancies, babies, divorce, travel, illness, cars and houses and working more hours than ever - I'm thinking that we've done and seen enough in the last 11 months to fill 12. Stop the bus.
Sunday, November 09, 2008
I'm bored with Obama already (even though he's a good guy), his screeching, clawing fan club, the unearned plaudits being poured upon him and the incessant media coverage. He's been elected, well so were Hitler and Mussolini in some numerical, populist way. The hard part is running the show properly once you're in. He's yet to deliver a pizza but the world expects a miracle and he and his family will pay a heavy price for it if it fails to appear. As for a racial minority success and triumph, I'm not so sure if today's white on black on yellow on brown isn't really some kind of historical blip. Haven't black people been running Africa for most of the past 5000 years? Same goes for the Indians in the Americas, the Arabs in the Middle East and Chinese in China. These white guys who arrived with guns, Bibles, bad attitude and STDs a few years ago sure screwed things up for a while but in nature all balances have to be restored eventually, so by all means Obama try and sort it out, you're riding up out of a down turn but they'll all expect a beefy payback.
Friday, November 07, 2008
I made it home in time for News at Ten on Thursday, tired and traveled out but I couldn't sleep so having avoided the US elections earlier I opted for the Glenrothes version. The panel of experts were wide awake while my mind sparkled with thoughts of what I needed to do at work the next day. No rest for the wicked as anyone with an active night time mind will tell you. The best bit was Nicola Sturgeon's new eye-liner look and her red shoes. The newly elected MP stuttered through his thank you speech and seemed like a decent enough chap, a shame he's on his way into a political wilderness for the over 60s with Scottish Labour.
After a fitful sleep (whatever that means) we awoke to find the central heating had expired, the cats has disappeared and the weather had turner strangely mild. I was left with no option other than to head to the shops to get a box of fireworks, chase a cat and a limping mouse around the house and await the success of the plumber's last minute rescue mission. It'll all be fine eventually.
Monday, November 03, 2008
Today it too cold to do anything except go to work, run about in dark country lanes in a desperate attempt to get fit for a charity run that's looming, eat yesterday's curry and look at a small to medium to large pile of ironing and imagine how it would be if it was all done. The struggle to stay warm and alive has at least five months to go. Brrrr.
The artwork below is by Erin and is representative of the strange and ongoing going ons attributed to the people who brought you the Mighty Boosh, jiggery pokery and the Bouncy Castle Song. Above it all Erin and Ali enjoy some wild toffee apples whilst dressed in the latest personal protective clothing available for party goers and young professionals alike. I may have been on the other side of the camera but I'm not sure.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Last night we cruised around the 'toon dressed as Ninja aliens and hairy creatures infested with spiders from Mars. I ate some bits of kangaroo, some fragments of crocodile, some morsels of emu and drank champagne. Ali picked up low down cereal cartons with her teeth and the grandkids did us proud as young Batman and junior Woody from Toy Story. Then it was a rush down the road to Cupar for 10a.m. football, a MacDonald's breakfast and a bright and sunny game sadly lost 4 -1 and only worthwhile for another Barclay family goal (vicarious credit and pleasure for me of course).
Music this week: Pacific Ocean Blue by Dennis Wilson scores highly, Elbow also and still, the nice discovery of Lucy Wainwright Roche (who Ali met in Manchester) and a reminder that Eddi Reader knows a thing or two. Didn't miss Jonathan Ross on the radio this Saturday as I drove north - somebody who talked a lot less and played Glen Campbell and the Yardbirds did it fine for me as I hid behind the sunglasses. Neil Young also reminded me quite pointedly why I first got myself into this music thing, hammering innocent guitars and starting the clipping of minor chords and fooling around on the edge of feedback. He also stole all my mannerisms some time in early 1971 and the ability to used the word "mind" in any given lyric.