Monday, May 31, 2010

Acqua Panna

Acqua Panna = nice, clean, refreshing water.

Home late, nice baked cod and mushroom left simmering for me, boiled spuds and a green salad, late tea at 2115 but much appreciated. Meanwhile Firefox has let me down for the last time, I thought it was indestructible and eternal but it failed me and I cannot forgive. Hello Google Chrome, how long will this new love last?

Good day yesterday: Sunny breakfast, F1 on the telly and then an unusual version of the same live at windy Knockhill. Knockhill is one big hill that has wrapped a racing circuit around itself perching pits and a start/finish at the top and a snake of road running down and away through some scary curves and turns- nice cheese and chips in the cafe too.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

House where the dead live

A the foot of the garden is a mysterious house full of dead people, we were happily unaware of it being so close until quite recently. It's been a busy week, too busy for this blogging nonsense.

"Why the long face?" It's horsey weekend around here so there are a large number of horses and horse related activities taking place. Wandering around narrowly avoiding horse dung and drinking beer gave us ample opportunity to discuss the final episodes of LOST and make nonsensical RV related purchasing plans. Then we watched Eurovison and ate and drank from a sumptuous and surreal Eurobuffet. The UK was well placed - last.

A local lane and in my view a decent photo: meanwhile Dennis Hopper died aged 74, not much I can do or say about that.

Unconventional laundry measures #1. The Improvised Victorian Drying System.

Monday, May 24, 2010


This circle, which is more than 300ft in diameter, was cut into a field of oil seed rape by Wilton Windmill at Wilton near Marlborough. Experts say that the design may be connected to Euler's Identity, a complex formula devised by the 18th Century Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler.

Meanwhile the final episode of LOST has taken this viewer and the series in a full and frustrating circle. Now I understand everything and nothing, have developed my own point of view despite the actual storyline and the huge body of swelling, frustrated opinion bubbling out there. I guess if you are going to follow a TV show for six years it may as well be one that provokes and tantalises even if it fails to deliver the sucker punch, it's the journey not the arrival that counts - some may say and I may well agree.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


A common media experience beckons...we join the tribe...we leave the tribe...then we go the dentists and possibly on to work. Then we return home and enter a period of reflection.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Poached Eggs

Birdhouse now in place, in the afternoon...

...breakfast scoffed in the morning.

The unexpected heat wave found us breakfasting alfresco in Dunfermline. A fine opportunity that allowed me to renew my relationship with poached eggs, Parma ham and coffee. A warm, satisfying if a little inconsistently served breakfast, yum.

We returned home and then like mad dogs toiled all afternoon in the peculiar and ever increasing heat, squaring off numerous gardening and outdoor tasks and exterior odd jobs. A very satisfying day that passed quickly and thanks to sugary drinks and some alcohol without any adverse dehydration taking place...all this as we count down the hours to the final moments of LOST.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Walk away

I'm not much of a blogger really, I can see by the overall frequency and patchy quality of my posts. Often they are indistinct and often they exclude altogether major life events or occasions (those may appear in pieces on Facebook or more likely nowhere at all). Then again there are no rules, it's all vapour, vacuous and variable stuff, life passes by and we pass through it, somewhat bewildered but happy in that questionable and cosy state. Many things happen to us, planned and unplanned, exciting or routine and mundane. Whatever goes on or in here I'm glad I have family and friends to rely upon and daft projects to pursue and at the end of it all I can walk away with Ali beside me.

Thanks again for all the wedding wishes, the unexpected gifts and the special way you made us both feel. You know who you are.

Monday, May 17, 2010


I got married to this stunning lady on the 15th May. There are many things I could say about the event and the experience and maybe I will one day. In the meantime Mr CBQ records it all very eloquently and with brilliant photography here.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Running out of time

Sweets for my sweet.

Sugar Rush: I was glad to eat some pork chops for tea after a day filled with various chocolate related food testing (apart from breakfast), most of which defied the laws of physics. The sweets however keep on piling up, fortunately our up and coming house party affair should see the stock diminish.

Earlier on it was football at East Fife, a 5k run at Hopetoun and me scouting for an interesting property to revitalise, a retirement project you may say - anybody got a spare £1m they'd like to share? You have to dream big, imagine, visualise, realise, acclimatise and as necessary rob a few banks. We're working on it.

Front elevation: Facing south, a lot of potential here. Garage space for the two Bentleys, the MX5, an auto giro and three Ducatis. Lovin' the laundry chute, family rooms and "longhouse culture" developing, the potential for grape cultivation and the extensive use of large Velux windows. A river also runs through it - accidentally.

End elevation: Some DDA issues to resolve but I'm quietly confident we can sort them out, my quad bike should also get through the doorway. Roadies please note the fairly easy hump for the 4x12s and the Transit sized door. Handy.

North side: Small, secluded courtyard and rooms with views of woodland, trees, stones, more woodland and a wall of some sort. Curtains and glazing strategy required.

Pending a favourable result on the financial markets, the bingo and a stable Euro tomorrow we're in business, I'll (almost) wager.

P.S. We awoke this morning to discover water that should be in the upstairs bathroom pipes dripping onto the downstairs dining room table - never the best start to a Sunday morning. It was also running down the light fitting, onto various papers and projects and soaking the period furniture in it's soggy wake. I took immediate action and headed out to the fair city of Methil for an urgently needed bacon roll and a polystyrene coffee. Oops!

Saturday, May 08, 2010


Spent most of the day clearing out and painting the downstairs toilet in two shades of white, now official designated a confined space- but one with a peculiar echo. If I can ever get a 3/4 size guitar and some tiny recording device then I'll maybe spend more time there.

Meanwhile in the wilder, wider world I'm wondering when Billy Bragg will become PM (or maybe David Miliband by Tuesday?) and poor wee Alex Salmond has been labeled as irrelevant, he doesn't like that much. A few people wont sleep well tonight.

Friday, May 07, 2010

World's most expensive car....

...looks pretty funky to me but not really quite what you'd expect. Must be the B name.

Meanwhile we are all quietly drifting along without a government, so far the world has not come to an end. So far so good so predictable.

In Scotland not much happened really.

Thursday, May 06, 2010


Thank goodness the election is nearly over, perhaps we can get back to some kind of normality for a few days.

Voting in Newton today was a bit of an anti-climax, at 5.35 not a soul in the Polling Station and only four candidates to choose from - I coloured in my ballot paper with the blue crayon on a string ( a primitive but effective security device) and returned home for a well deserved bowl of pasta. I'm traveling tomorrow so an early night beckons...

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Turkish Barber

On a mostly unplanned trip to Livingstone and with a few minutes to spare for stumbling I stumbled upon a barber shop and entered hoping for a good pre-wedding scalping. In a rare (for me) gender twist I soon found myself in the torture seat and having my hair cut not by a blond thirty/forty something lady but by a swarthy, hairy young Turkish fellow. Here in this leather haven in the heart of a fabricated heart of a shapeless town centre there was no small talk, psychotic mirror staring, elaborate and puzzling hand gestures or meaningless conversation about schools, holidays or the weather, he just got on with the job. Best hair cut/ear cut/eyebrow cut I've had in years - but it did cost twice the usual price so there may be some equality and diversity issues going on in the background...hmmm. No it's the rates, overheads, rental and FM costs.

Wedding cake

Eating wedding cake more than a week before the wedding may seem peculiar, actually it's quite alright to do this, even in mixed company so damn you all with your social conventions. I enjoyed the sugar rush and the sticky jam on my tongue, what will the cake be like on the big day?

Around here there is the real potential for things to get frantic, you can feel bad boy frantic pulling at your sleeve, whispering in your ear or lurking there at the back of some deep cupboard, claws at the ready and fangs sharpened. It's always worse when you become confused and in my case absent minded or dippy, once you realise you've had a bout of this you wake up the sleeping frantic demon and he sets about devouring you alive. The only known non-medicinal antidote? A cup of coffee, a comfy couch and a slice of (wedding) cake - for breakfast.

Clint eats breakfast from the cat breakfast buffet narrowly avoiding the wedding cake and the Wednesday sacrificial mouse (out of shot, possibly under the comfy couch).

Monday, May 03, 2010

Public Holiday

Fruits of my labours. One I made earlier.

Another (Public Holiday) day spent messing about with engines when I should've been gardening. Well the engines form a large part of the garden activity, powering lawn mowers and strimmers. After the winter break they are pretty stubborn about starting so everything becomes an effort requiring extra gas and numerous cord pulls, swearing and sweating. When they do burst into life at long last, it's a great feeling. Unfortunately then you have to do the work, generally resulting in more pain, swearing and sweat - then you have to stop to refuel.

So after a few hours of shovelling, cutting, fencing and wandering around the garden looking bewildered I gave up and built a fire, sat down beside it and swallowed 8 olives, some spicy couscous, a can of Magners and a can of Bud, then I fell asleep in the watery sunshine. Roll on the next public holiday and/or day spent in the garden.

I try to avoid those "ten daily photos" or "weird signs" or "bizarre" bits you get in the on-line papers. I try and then of course I look at them like everybody else, always silly, funny and within the tirade of other information bombarding you, all equally forgettable. So much information to view, scan and quite quickly consume and lose somewhere in the ageing grey matter and wispy pre-election ether. The Huff Post is a decent source of crap, tat, gossip and meaningless American media stories, not sure why I like it.

Typical Turkish Hotel?

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Warm Velocette

I love the strange beauty of the old British built single cylinder four-stroke engines and in particular the examples of Velocette models from the fifties that still survive and roar. One broke down outside our house today, well it didn't break down it just refused to start, a bit like my lawnmower or strimmer might. "Way too much compression" said the expert owner, "just needs five minutes before I kick it again". Five minutes later, a spray of Redex and three kicks and it roared and ran magically like some Black Country built Swiss Watch - what a marvellous sound but the old Velo is a tad unreliable for everyday use.

After 55 years of avoiding rugby (for no good reason) I watched three matches yesterday, drank 6 pints of beer, ate a Loch Fyne Bambi burger and enjoyed the novelty of the non-segregation of rival fans in a sports stadium. Suddenly rugby makes most football spectacles seem archaic, over controlled and filled with malcontents and intolerant, abusive fans - which of course here in Caledonia it clearly isn't.

Saturday, May 01, 2010


The place where kitchen, scientific and sexual equipment almost meet.

I don't usually eat hot food during the day at work, too complicated, but yesterday I did utilising the office microwave and some surplus common crockery and cutlery. once I'd heated and eaten the so called snack I realised that the plate I was using was in fact a plant pot base. Hmmm.

Today it's raining and the rugby beckons - magic weekend?