Tuesday, June 30, 2009
No sign of a headless mouse today (from the feline delivery service), there was however a mouseless head staring blankly up from the path. It did rather remind me of the Flight of the Conchords skit about the man whose "body was cut off from his dick so that only his dick remained".
Despite it being Tuesday, Saturday's reheated pizza went down quite well if becoming a little extra oily and chewy from within the microwave. Breaking the rules of food hygiene, eating dark deserts containing raw eggs and rescuing drowning flies from an icy glass of beer is all in an evenings work around here, now I must retire. When there is no one around to cater for, impress or worry about our eating rules and regulations are relaxed and comfortably slack.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
So a busy weekend is passing: Footballing trophy night on Friday in Fife in the company of Stevie Crawford and the "Swifts" management team. A good time had by all but little reward for me in the raffles despite a significant financial outlay. Saturday was a big birthday for the twins, spent at Laser Quest in Edinburgh and various other respectable locations, a big family and friends turnout made it one of the best birthdays in recent years. Thanks to all participants for a day/evening to remember. Sunday was/is mostly wet and spent in the rain at Silverknowes Golf Club watching more football in the pouring rain and appreciating the ancient Chinese art of "patience is a bloody virtue" both as a spectator and a user and victim of temporary traffic lights. TV mostly consisted of looking for my No2 son amidst the Glastonbury highlights (not too many of them and no reported sightings of a young Barclay or his entourage).
Lesson's learned: always read the label, particularly if it says "dry clean only", it may then be necessary to stretch or re cut the item according to the original template. Best avoided if any alcohol has been consumed.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
A quick glance over the TV schedules is enough to tell me that I’m now out of step with a large chunk of the rest of the British public. Unending programmes about food or fixing houses, meaningless and contrived sporting events, unfunny comedy and bleak soaps and reality shows that are increasingly unreal. I imagine other hard working people coming home, putting their feet up with a nice cuppa and then being comatosed by this peak viewing time pile of manufactured shite. Is this what we are here to do? Most TV now serve to only add more petrol to inner bonfire of unexpressed anger that any intelligent person must feel when presented with this amount of turgid and patronising material. The good news is that you don’t have to take it or watch it , you can go out and dig the garden, as soon as the rain stops. Then come back in and twiddle with the strange delights recorded on the digi box some time after the sun has set (or write a few songs, a novel or iron that pile of shirts that never gets smaller). Come back LOST and save the schedules..
What do you get if you mix 6 pints of IPA, a gin and tonic, duck salad (as above) and maple syrup ice cream? A good nights sleep, waking bright eyed and bewildered in the morning and a misplaced mobile phone.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
I was exploring the word squish , sadly a word without any synonyms. A cul-de-sac and a dead end, a word that takes you nowhere other into a graphic, fruity place were things have a slightly unpleasant consistence. Bluebottles fly around it, fluid oozes from it or seems to even before the squishing has taken place. It’s a shame for squish but then without it grapes could hardly be turned into wine or eggs scrambled and how would we survive on a basic diet that excluded these fine and civilised things?
Edinburgh has a new queer concept of itself
Flying like some ragged saltire
Peeking through potholes and road works
Into a mirror held by tourists
And lovers of art on a budget
Holding onto our grand dreams of parliaments and trams
Wide stone avenues and horseless carriages
People behaving in ways they never did
Before fawning over royals and burning witches
Our heartless ceremony and religious ignorance.
It makes for disillusion
And the crashing of the banks
Some chronic fatigue in the search for peace
As our acted out dream is a sepia coloured thing
Because we still behave as if the Empire never ended
Or struck back.
Odd question of the day “How’s everything in that sandwich?”, overheard in the chilled environs of Birmingham Airport the other day.
Life on the M40. There is no doubt that this motorway is cursed, particularly between junctions 9 and 11, something to do with the site of an ancient Anglo Saxon burial ground being driven over by half wits.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Chronicles of wasted time: It should all be so simple, order an item on line, have it delivered, unwrap it and use it. Sadly the mighty Parcel Force gave me the not unfamiliar run around today as I tried in vain to locate a lost and lonely package, without the advantage of the vital postcard that the man in the van should leave. After two hours of fruitless web searching, phone calls and looking in all the nooks and bins in the area I located the parcel. Naturally it was in the place I'd first looked - the Post Office. " Human error" said the apologetic clerk and I believed him.
This unexpected success (I had all but given up on the lost package) spurred me on into more random path laying, mole hill removal, potato tending and trampoline maintenance work. All good for the soul but bad for the back, the trousers and the fingernails. Is there any activity that somehow retains the fine balance between the body and the strange, misty, cloudy bit that we imagine lives in the pink goo that we call the brain? "Somewhere in there between the soul and the soft machine" as a wise man once said.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
A pleasant enough day has passed with numerous hog roast references, the decline of East Germany and pasta preparation for some future meal being fired up and laid out. I can't recall a better or more striking post thunder pre-rain evening and what with my nursing constant thoughts of the need to bolster up the potatoes with banks of mole processed earth I'm quite exhausted and unusually bewildered. A spot of washing up or feeding cats may clear the boggled mind.
It was with some relief I screwed down Mr Les Paul's silver machines to some mysterious D tuning and fiddled on said guitar using a Leslie effect and a small piece of reverb, if only I'd recorded the outcome but that tragic piece of musical denial is a vital part of the creative process we must go through as Wabi Sabi is slowly born. In the mean time I curse these long sentences and decide to get back to normal, now bored with the constant rerunning of these deja vu experiences.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Thank you to the media and the medical profession for pointing out the mind numbingly obvious to us all, smoking in cars is bad for children and possibly any other passengers and of course the driver who gets a double dose of blue fug. The answer to solving the problem of irresponsible driving smokers is of course to make it illegal. Forget trying to simply engage with the great UK public and remind them of the plain facts and educate them, no, that would assume a certain level of maturity and responsibility existed. Just make it illegal like everything else and give the polis the problem of sorting it out and so they can add that to the long list of things you shouldn't do whilst driving:
Make a mobile phone call without using a hands free kit.
Drink a bottle of lager or anything else.
Sup a Costa Coffee latte that's been placed in one of your many handy cup holders.
Unwrap and eat a Mars bar or an Extra Strong Mint.
Offer Gillian Tailforth a lift home.
Fiddle with the radio or try to put on a CD.
Listen to an ipod.
Apply make up, deodorant or brush your hair.
Brush a passengers hair.
Argue with the Satnav.
Throw your shoes at a fox.
Play drum solos on the steering wheel.
Take your jumper or any other article of clothing off.
Wear stiletto heels.
Roll a 5 skin spliff on a CD cover.
Leer at girls and sound your horn in an aggressive manner.
Read a map or a copy of the Glasgow Herald.
Eat the roasting fish supper that is now sat in your lap.
Spit out of the window.
Get a sticky sweetie out of the glove box.
Put your arm around your adoring partner.
Admire your cool new sunglasses in the rear view mirror.
Attempt difficult crossword puzzles.
Use a she-wee.
Try to listen for the source of that annoying mystery sound.
Shout at the numerous fighting bairns in the back seat.
Try to figure out the wiper delay gadget.
Accelerate to the background music of "The Chain".
Listen to the patronising tosh that passes for news on Radio Scotland.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Sorry about the rather gloomy nature of yesterday's post but there were some compelling and unique factors and events that brought it about, we do what we do.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Saturday, June 13, 2009
No newspaper, no TV, no lottery tickets, no rest for the wicked and no peace for the parent.
Friday, June 12, 2009
It's the old story, sometimes you fall flat out on your back, other times you land flat on your face. Early this morning I devised what I considered to be a foolproof plan to prevent our cats from pestering the swifts that are currently nesting in the coal cellar. Normally the cellar door is left wide open allowing easy access to birds, cats and the occasional toad. I thought that if I partly closed the door and blocked the lower part with some timber the birds could fly into the gap left at the top and the cats would be unable to get in. I did this using bits of an old pallet and some luggage ties, the end result looked impregnable.
On coming home tonight I discovered a dead swift in the downstairs toilet (and an unrelated dead mouse on the rug), my plan had failed. Clearly the restricted door gap now gave the cats a much better advantage, as the bird now had a smaller gap to get through, how come I didn't see that one coming? Outwitted by a cat.
Short but sweet musical interlude last night at the Ark on Waterloo Place. Miss Fi did a spot in the sunlit upper room showcasing the mighty range of her song writing skills, guitar styles and voices most effectively. Mr Norman Lamont ably assisted on bass and backing vocals. We had to leave early so missed the rest of the package but it was nice to get out to (what I think was) the first OOTB thing I've been to in ages. Edinburgh chanteuse Rosie Bell shared our table and we'd a nice wee chat about things in general, politics, music and her blog: for Rosie Bell click here.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
You can hear the relief in the voices of the newscasters as they declare that the Swine Flu Pandemic is now officially here. Following the panic in the streets of Mexico City, Dunoon and Greenock the media have got their wish and will be able spread misinformation and artificial hysteria. Keep the gullible public tense and afraid with some new plague, take the spotlight away from bungling politicians, social decay and the real health and lifestyle issues that kill thousands slowly and without dignity on a regular basis.
I had to laugh at an news segment on home education, when asked what he liked about being educated at home a bright eyed and grinning 10 year old said, "freedom, I can do maths if I like or maybe not at all". Congratulations smug parents, that's some great preparation for the outside world, I can't wait to see how he'll do in a MacDonald's drive-thru or in your local Kwik-Fit branch. Maybe he'll become an airline pilot, that attitude would go down very well with Flybe or Fly Maybe Not. Most likely he'll choose a career in politics.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
As we've bought a lot of eggs recently due some uncoordinated shopping trips eggs are very much on the menu. Boiled, scrambled and occasionally fried. It was interesting to hear the various family theories on egg boiling techniques and what the right method may be, if there is such a thing. I favour 3.30 minutes and boiled from a standstill, it is the habit of a life time and I cannot break it. The trick is to time the soldiers toasting (and their spreading and cutting) in that small amount of time and if the phone rings during the process don't answer it.
"More than this, there's got to be", Roxy Music, from the album Savalon.
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Well it could be any of those and a hundred others, some folks are really good at having ideas and turning them into reality, not many of them but they are out there. Anyway tonight my vote goes for the original, non-diet, non lemon, not modified Coca-Cola. It is the best thing at the right time, at the right place on the right couch with the right person. House and Smallville are on TV however (?).
Monday, June 08, 2009
A red sore bit on the big toe brought about by mysterious rubbing in the shoe and sock department demands simple and effective treatment with the application of a quick pinkies' worth of cooling Savlon lotion. A strange but at these times welcome product that no bathroom cabinet should be without. The other thing of course is the simple use of nature's sweet bounty and the greatest of all the world's healers, time and open toed sandals.
There isn't much difference between the BNP and the SNP, both are led by annoying, mouthy twats and both end in NP, and are biased and clueless, how sinister is that? Now they've both contrived along with the Home Counties hamsters that follow UKIP to destroy the socialist movement in Britain. Maybe I've got that wrong, maybe I'm simply blinded by the voters apathy finding some new and articulate expression in avoiding the polls and the fact that Labour politicians either look like Ron Weasley's mum, Biffo the Bear or Robert Peston and are a sad bunch of greedy, whinging, professional failures. We get what we deserve I suppose but I don't quite know what we did to let the S/BNP in, other than create a vacuum of smugness and self righteousness - all in the name of "doing the best we can because there is still much work to be done". Poor Gordon's never going to net a best seller with that line of rhetoric.
Lucky Font size? 22 down to 11 or 14 on a good day, I blame the bugs.
Saturday, June 06, 2009
Heading away into the distance but not quite out of the garden a scheme of molehills. Despite theinclement weather and the use of distorted guitars the mole wars are both hotting up and somehow cooling down. The damage is not insignificant but a useful consequence is that we now have a whole load of extra fine, clean and sifted soil with which we can bathe the young potatoes now bursting forth in the rabbit-proof compound. It may be, that for a short spell the sensible thing would be to declare some form of truce with the moles and take full advantage of the situation. Man and mole in partnership, the way that some religions see things happening in heaven I suppose with lions laying down with lambs and ferrets fiddling about with foxes and so on.
For no good reason I'm coming around to appreciating Jeff Beck more than I ever did in the last thirty years. For ages I've dismissed him as some Spinal Tap ner' do well but recently I've changed my view and decided he really is a creeping genius. His peculiar tonal range, sporadic bursts, use of weird scales and inventive phrasing is wandering across my consciousness and creating in me a strange new and totally unrealistic set of ambitions. I want to play like Jeff but not with that haircut, it stops well before that. Of course the fact that my fingers are like a pack of Walls' best porkers and that my music brain is stuck firmly in the key of E and one big fat blues scale pattern isn't going to help much but any frog can dream (?).
Friday, June 05, 2009
Thursday, June 04, 2009
The molehill count is up to three and they are moving in a southerly direction, away from the house. just not quite quickly enough.
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Some days I just feel like spray paining "bollocks" or some other irreverent term across a wall - but it will pass. Today has been the day of the queue: Firstly on the M40 following a tragic traffic accident - one and a half hours and a lengthy detour and then more annoyingly at Birmingham Airport. Here people are treated like idiots on a regular basis, herded and shepherded as if they lacked any human spirit or sense. Queues are stretched across vacant rooms, down stopped escalators and across the check in hall because systems and people clearly cannot cope and for what? The interception of some bottled water, after shave and bottles of perfume. Bollocks!
On the plus side I enjoyed watching the pale summer moon sit quietly under the wings of the homeward bound aircraft. Simple things in difficult times.
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Today we found we had two mole hills. No surprise there I'm afraid but a new deterrent is now in place. The real surprise was coming home to find the power off and that the cat(s) had some managed to bring down the dining room curtains without breaking any of the rings or eyes that support them. Supernatural stuff.
Monday, June 01, 2009
I woke up this morning with a red and sunburnt neck and for some strange reason a notion that the time had come to shave my feet. I’ve no idea if this was based on a dream, deep hygiene issues of some sort or a need to be less of a Hobbit and more of an Elf. It did coincide with a strange plan for a pop video to accompany the track “Air Kisses”, the tune that was running on in parallel in my head. I needed to collect my thoughts but couldn’t so I collected a generous portion of rhubarb crumble and custard instead, popped them in a bag and headed of across the bridge to Fife, the plan being to put in a long, productive day at work.
During the unseasonal weather, which reminds us all of the unexpected passing of global warming before our eyes and into our homes, I’ve been sustained by two things (apart from the usual goodies delivered by families and friends): Iced Lucozade, fizzing on it’s ginger own and the refreshing long drink known as overage and chilled Tennants Lager in a 50/50 relationship with 7 Up. The effects on body chemistry are drastic but manageable, the effects of the brain, the central nervous system and middle-aged and over heated addled thought processes are less clear. A glass of red wine at the ceremonial sunset celebrations whilst observing the mating of the swifts on the telephone wires also helps create an unnatural sense of balance with nature and the cosmos. “Aurum Solis” as they say. The sad part is that we seldom have the opportunity to experiment with our fluid levels and internal coolant, the weather will change tomorrow and soon this bright blue and sunny, sparkly experience will be a distant memory. I like seeing those spots before my eyes, just for short periods of time like a Stuka pilot.
“It’s a gravy train” says the crowing and baying media over MPs excessive expenses claims. Not a pretty picture that , open trains full of Bisto chugging from constituency to constituency with their brown and lumpy cargo spilling over into garden centres, real estate agents, electrical suppliers and cleaning companies. Meanwhile Alistair Dali a man who flits four times in four years is the new surrealist chancellor, flitting steadily away from responsibility, reasonable behaviour and reality. The good thing is that we are all shocked and outraged by this, we somehow expected more from these dullards. If we lived some real dictatorship or under any other totalitarian rule it would all be considered normal behaviour from the blatantly corrupt leadership. Perhaps the thin illusion of democracy has clouded our own judgement for too long.