Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Shrimp noodles and submarines

Today I heard that soon it will be legal to stab burglars, presumably not at the Asda cheese counter or in the Odeon queue however. One question, are baseball bats and pepper mills allowed as a part of the same legislation or is it just kitchen knives? Then I wondered how Google Earth deals with cloudy places, how many takes does it take to get a take? Then I read a little about journalist Johann Hari and his failure to tell the truth and his grim internal struggle with the tyranny of the "good lie" (not quite sure where the inverted commas belong here, on each word or just one). Hari sounds like he's lost it, confused between substance, style and his own arrogant need to make a point regardless of the nature of the interview. He thinks he knows best and he might be right, he's more likely to be wrong though. Then the sunny evening demanded that I venture outside, kick start the mower and prune the extensive lawns and anti-gravity hanging gardens. All done eventually, the brown bins are empties on 1st July. Then shrimp based noodles, sticky chicken and a submarine encounter on TV followed by extensive exposure to large amounts of invigorating yogurt selections.

Knotweed returns, weed police on their way any day now, London 2012 has already spent £10m to move them across the border. A kindly gift from the beleaguered Olympic Team so far away in the balmy south.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Edinburgh plankers

Popular with the young and old, the fit and the infirm, rich and poor, the long, the tall and the short, it's the craze that's literally sweeping the streets and it's not really sweeping the streets though they all could do with a general tidy. Yes it's the ancient and honorable Scottish art of lying horizontally in strange and inappropriate places. We'd all done it at some point, mostly when the boss is away for the day, now we're coming out of the chips shops and just lying around (creatively) on any handy object regardless of shape or location. It looks fun, it's probably painful, possibly fatal in Australia, it takes two to do it (you need a photo) but sadly it may well be over before it truly begins. I'm doing it right now typing this stuff.

Smallville, Season X, the final one it seems, my review in a single sentence: I don't think aliens know anything about love, how could they?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Morningside Daily Photo

HUGHES & SONS: A well established fishmonger that calls itself a fish emporium rather than a fish shop, a fish retailer or a centre for the disposal (by sale involving the exchange of valid currency) of fish and other edible sea creatures. If only there were more shops like these, but if there were would I actually go in and buy some the lovingly prepared and very attractive fish that's on display? Probably not, I'm more likely to go up to the Tesco Metro 100yds away and buy a packet of fish fingers. That's exactly what's wrong with the world today, poor education and the chronic failure of teachers to pass on the correct technical knowledge about types of fish, how to fillet them and what wine to gently quaff whilst eating them. Notice how confidently older folks are when they go in and buy fish, they really know what they are talking about.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Morningside large gatherings of uncontrolled wheelie bins take place as if taking part in some Hindu or Communist street festival or slow parade. These multi-coloured pavement blockers are everywhere, herded together like unwanted elephants hungry for pizza boxes, beer bottles and unread newspapers. From time to time pieces of fruit and vegetables are also deposited there by cocky students and health freaks wearing no shoes. There has to be a better collection method, makes me wonder how do the likes of Stockbridge and Corstorphine cope. Perhaps there needs to be more competition between urban areas in the area of mobile garbage receptacle use and placement. Unfortunately ugly, primitive and unhelpful in the way of environmental regeneration. Whatever happened to the Top Cat design of dustbin? Oh, and it's hard to park any kind of Chelsea Tractor on the cobbled streets.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Plan view of cat from micro helicopter

Even though I didn't think I did, I probably did drink a little too much of the hard stuff last night. A polite family invasion meant the preparation of a couple of currys based on the "1000 things to do with a chutney lake" recipe model, this worked well and then morphed into recreational time spent in the damp but strangely warm environs of the garden, a place where green things sprout at a surprising speed. While out there stumbling around I may have drunk a little more, I can't recall how much. Meanwhile the neighbours had cut down a huge ivy clump and in the process discovered a secret room filled with...I was hoping that it would be the Devil, a bear and Harlequin seated at a table and playing cards until doomsday but it turned out to be junk and pieces of wood. Secret room discoveries are always disappointing unless occurring in fast moving Enid Blyton stories. They also found a telegraph pole apparently (not in the room), the pole may come in handy. As night fell, as it invariably does we went indoors and watched more Glastonbree nonsense, ate a selection of cheeses and I must have drank a little more. Some time later, when the time begins with zeros and not actual numbers, I fell asleep.

When I awoke the grandchildren were watching "Elf" on TV, I was sandwiched between two sleeping cats and daylight was all around. Blinking a little more than usual I decided then to explore the downstairs toilet only to find that I was sharing that hallowed space with an angry wasp (are there other kinds?). Then the sweet music off Radio 6 and non-news of Radio Scotland came to my rescue and I fried four eggs without breaking a single yolk, that's twice I've done that in my entire life - I was cheered up no end by this simple achievement. Meanwhile in the lounge Ali was teaching the kids how to play Monopoly, it was 0830 on a Sunday morning. Next: Edinburgh Airport via the Highland Show traffic, joy.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Meet Aeneas Wilder

We met this bloke at a party last night, a Scottish sculptor specialising in large, intricate (mostly wooden) installations. His stuff is pretty special (and spacial), his name is Aeneas Wilder, his website is well worth a look, find it here.

Tesco daily photo No57

For those parking within the yellow zone (an area of special economic interest in these austere times) the signage is becoming a particular hazard. You may well be mocked and stigmatized if the vehicle of your choice (one from a previous century let's say) gets too close to the damage. Of course it wasn't me, a big boy did it and ran away.

I left the store with copious amounts of spinach and eggs with which I'll construct a meal fit for a...human being. This is the problem with watching what you eat, that's exactly what you do. Food passes by and you look at it.

I watched about 15 minutes of U2 at Glastonbree (as Fern Cotton calls it) last night, before the always funny Mr Norton Show, hard to describe the set, I suppose I mostly admired the Edge's nice guitars and resented Bono's pretty poor vocals. Fat, lazy and detached seemed an apt description but the old songs still resonate with the hidden inner power and passion that made them so good then. Growing old is tough and the past is a hard place to live in.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Muppets v Game of Thrones

There are of course a whole series of these, all equally pointless. They could be looked up somewhere on the web and explored if you had the energy, I don't at the moment but I like the creative twist. Another twist experienced today was a large flagon of chilled barley tea, prepared in a traditional Japanese style by some one from Japan, a refreshing and detoxing drink. Then I spoiled it all with a large whisky, just to end the evening quietly.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Beer & sun

The sudden change in the June weather caught me unawares, what is the point in unpredictable weather? So after the brief delay on the journey home caused by a broken down BMW 3 Series on the bridge (a rare event - I do maintain a hidden record of these things) I made it home in time to bask in the early evening sun, clocked at 19 degrees no less. My chosen accompaniments for the pale glow of the orange globe were warm beer (the best kind and a lost taste in this modern and over chilled world) and multi coloured olives and feta from a plastic pouch. Most of the time it was good, in fact I may well try this little combo again before the sun eventually sets, as it surely must.

Insects of the day: Spotted a few errant wasps here and there, a long wispy web made by an invisible spider and a giant black beetle.

Missie the cat, today she is particularly indifferent towards the Edinburgh £700m tram smash, David Cameron's daily dick-head denials and attention seeking, the fate of the Euro and the Greek economy and Wee Eck's wobble over the great nonsensical Bill to kill or cure sectarianism, whatever that is.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I've been to Poundland twice in my life. The first time I only really crossed the threshold and no more and purchased a solar garden lamp for £1. The lamp is still working a year or so later, lost and flickering as best as it can in the limited sunshine out there in the great expanse of our garden. Today I paid another visit to this bizarre shop but this time ventured in a lot deeper, all the way to the rear of the shop to the "entertainment" section. Here I found a wall full of odd electrical items, accessories and gadgets and (despite knowing the name of the shop) couldn't quite believe that all this stuff was £1. USB cables, connectors, laptop skins, cases, headphones, DVDs etc. etc. It can't all be complete shite, or can it? That's the dilemma that a cynical shopper such as I cant quite resolve.

The price and the products are so far out of line, based on my limited shopping experience anyway. I struggled with the quandary and after five minutes found myself standing in the till line along with shoppers laden with cola, crisps, batteries and 1001 other weird pound purchases. In the end I handed over a fiver for 2 ipod headphones, 1 laptop set of headphones, an ipad cushion case and a packet of Haribo Mixture (impulse buy for grandkids). Bargains, legal shoplifting or crap? Time and evidence will tell.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Little Plum

And so it came to pass that the rain fell, the wind blew, the wind blew a bit more and it beat upon the little plum tree and the plum tree was laden with as yet unripe fruit but within that still forming fruit there was a mighty weight. A great weight, a weight too mighty and heavy for the branches of the plum tree and so it came to pass that the branches of the tree collapsed and that was that. Then the pretty lady of the house looked out upon the storm and general stramash and saw the tree in grave distress so she sent a poor shepherd chap out to fix the tree at least temporarily so that the delicious fruits could get the chance to ripen and be picked and be turned via a mysterious and messy process into chutney. So the brave young man obtained a 2” x 4” baton from the swift and toad infested coal cellar and by cunning design and engineering involving a convenient piece of nearby garden furniture placed the tree and her part formed fruit into a safe and tranquil situation, for the time being. Next it's the turn of the apple tree I suspect, years of poor diet, exposure to the elements and random fruit picking to blame.

Yes I did watch the season finale of Game of Thrones last night and it did not disappoint. It's been a clever piece of writing and TV that has managed to build up and convincingly portray a set of characters and fantasy situations across what might have easily been a ludicrous and laughable plot line. Every episode has been strong, every element of the production and the design has maintained an weird and unnerving sense of realism and grit that elevates it beyond fairytale. Sword and sorcery epics usually leave me a cold or at at best absorbed in effects rather than the people and the story, this show has been different. GoT has managed to convince me that there is life after Lord of the Rings and that the genre is perfectly adaptable to an adult audience if you can get the key elements right and use a light touch on the fantasy levers. Looking forward to the new series, now.

Plum tree with a supporting cast of various odd bits of odd things.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Last episode

Dull, boring and predictable are just some of the ways you could describe me, not so Game of Thrones, a quality TV production for once. The last episode of season 1 is on tonight, mmmm. I may well celebrate, mourn or be disappointed accompanied by a small glass of Father's Day whisky. Roll on Sky Player time, simple things etc.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Hello Toad

Nice toad specimen visits us here today at the back door, or are we really visiting him? Who owns the turf? The damp conditions and low temperatures are suiting the toads this year, we live and let live out here in the sticks, even when the bad cat comes a calling.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Before the hard disk fails

Music has outgrown radio. Have you tried finding something decent to listen to on the radio in the evening? Presumably the radio stations think that they are pandering to some audience somewhere with their musical choices and their types of presentation. Currently they’ve lost me. Any love affair I had with radio is petering out. Media sources say that music videos and performances are too suggestive to the point of being pornographic, I’d say that they (the performers) are becoming increasingly desperate to gain attention thanks to their lack of original ideas so they push a bit further. With all that pushing they’ve finally done the thing your parents warned you about; broken it. I would say that.

Stating the obvious: After experiencing the highs of last week’s creative weekend, this week has been less so. The good/bad non-creative head feeling thick and slow, as if full of straw and weeds. So much so that on Thursday a passing swift (those little birds that fly for the first two years of their lives without alighting anywhere) decided by head would make a good desert island upon which to settle. The beaming bald spot no doubt called out to him so he crash landed Lost style on the beach that is the bare patch somewhere between neck and temple, I can never see it properly, like the dark side of a strange moon. Anyway the tide must have appeared to be out and the landing lights on. He didn’t stay long, clearly recognising a hostile environment and flew away, perhaps not to land anywhere else for another two years. I recovered quickly but am remaining in a state of readiness, just in case a passing cat might suspect the bird was still in there somewhere. Then I began to think about Alfred Hitchcock.

Technology is unkind. The phrase “just for fun” is seldom one you’d expect to use when sitting at any laptop or PC. Designs and functionality create a constantly adversarial relationship between user and machine. Just try extending your Norton cover (set up for up to three other machines in the first place) to actually do that. Do they make it easy, is it a single click or the entering of an account number in a some convenient and easy to find box? No, nothing like that, in fact they don’t even attempt to make it in the least way intuitive or open, that way the punter may well give up a shell out another £50 for a whole new package. It is a clear conspiracy, why else (Norton) would you hide the download button or just avoid a straight and convenient path between the user and the answer to FAQ links. When confronted with this kind of user obstacle I use my twin attributes of focused anger and a mean spirit - then give up and drink coffee. Once the coffee kicks in I realise I’ve missed a step in the instructions, that would be normal but in this case with Norton, they’re just hell-bent of being difficult.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A year in the Facebook life

The rare moment when Facebook and Blogger meet and collide in a matrix of Mondrian photo forms. If I was a proper dedicated Facebooker I'd post this onto my profile - but I decided not to. I'll allow the anonymous images to stay away from their complex root and float freely in the relative obscurity of the blogsphere.

Earlier this evening we watched Andrew Marr eulogising about mega-cities in glorious HD. Mexico City, London, Dakar and Shanghai were explored and flown over repeatedly. The sights, sounds and smell presented a chaotic but optimistic picture of a crammed and constrained life that never looked quite as unpleasant as the narrative wished to make it. One day we'll all live like this, in silver suits, dining as fregans from dumpsters, cycling and colliding, sleeping in stacks and escaping to the tranquility of floating farm's fields when we need a break from our fellow travellers. The mass conscience will rule and provide purpose but the wit and guile of the citizens needs to set and keep the rules; the citizens own the city after all. I wonder if that ever occurred to David Cameron or Nick Glegg?

Just another band from Friedrichshafen

Heike - logistics, fuel and movements.

Martin - mainly bass and a lot of clever techy things.

Siggi - keyboards and backing vocals.

Ali - vocals, twiddling and flipcharts.

Middle-age bloke - middle-aged blokery and Gumtree guitars most of the time.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Something old

They did do things a little differently in those days and there were numerous options and God chose to teach his Middle Eastern, European and eventually world wide family about relationships - as above. Slaves, rape victims, widows and multiple combinations all figure. Of course this is Old Testament teaching and none of this kind of thing happens these days.

Meanwhile a thundery gloom hangs over our garden and we await the deluge that will break the weather's tension, perhaps. June will bloom one of these years and the grass doesn't cut itself. Regarding our musical exploits the weekend in Germany was a great step forward. Thanks to Martin & Heike we recorded five tracks and having listened to them now (a few days later) they sound pretty good. The next steps are polishing and presentations and a big gulp of ideas juice - things now need to come together and they will, always an interesting part of the process.

Back in the kitchen the cats have brought in another refugee mouse, I try to release it back through the door, it refuses and runs deeper into the house, the cats in hot pursuit. Under tables, carpets, in amongst wires and cables. The cats toy with their prey and it twists and turns and somehow eludes them disappearing into a mousy wonderland of curtain, skirting and black holes, for the time being it is gone. Something tells me I'll see it again, still on the floor, a present from the cats tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I like model aircraft

This is a nice model which of course I didn't put together - but I haven't made one in over 40 years so I'm not familiar with the techniques. I guess you still need patience and a steady hand.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Home via Ryan Air

Back from the land of the modern airship, much chatting, recording, drinking and eating done in the process. By now feeling pretty tired with strangely sore feat but it was all very much worthwhile. Even the world's favourite airline (?) behaved well, the same can't be said about the weather but who really cares, we got five tracks done.

Scrambled eggs make a pretty good breakfast, over and out.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

The answer is 43

For some it is the strangest and most mystical bus journeys on this lonely planet, a run that takes you to the very edges of the known world, passengers are like characters spewed up from James Joyce or William Burroughs texts. Here on board time and distance don't really matter, the fare will always be exact and large open expanses of free seating will call out to you (except at peak times and on public holidays). I am of course describing the famed No43 bus that runs between our capital city and the silvery strip of water and sewage that separates Fife from the Lothians: Edinburgh to the 'Ferry.

We followed a "lost" 43 last night, a prime moving example, trapped in a thunderstorm, in the the dull afterglow of a lightning strike. We struggled to keep pace with the great angry beast as it rolled past hedgerows, dead seagulls and prospective sites and drill holes for the new Forth crossing like a beached Moby Dick. Alas we could not keep up with this rain soaked, Falkirk built apparition as it suddenly winked an amber light and turned left into oblivion - towards the town centre. We'll never know what became of it or the solitary unfortunate, screaming passenger, it seemed to be bound for a weird place called "SORRYNOTINSERVICE".

There she goes, looking for a "non-cut-in" bus stop in which to trap poor, unfortunate motorists and young cyclists with their LED flashing hats and wet legs. Some say the violent, rearward pointing spray is a toxic mix of cat urine, Barr's Tru-Lem and Ajax, some say it's all part of a complex and primeval mating ritual unknown to human kind. All I know is that it makes your Timberlands go a funny colour.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Any Jaguar will do

Interesting old Jaguar seen here in it's natural habitat, needs a good loving home, needs help from SKY and regular sponsorship from the wallets and bank accounts of ordinary people, needs about £1400 also. Remember my advice about regularly driving a vehicle from another century, they don't come better equipped than this.

The Internet has been so slow recently that I thought we were being cyber-robbed by passing white vans from the CIA, I was on the verge of moving to the 24 hour MacDonald's (nicely done out these days in tasteful brown hues and comfy if a little stained seating) to take advantage of their free wi-fi. I resisted the temptation and crushed my cookies, buried my caches, deleted anything deletable and some more. Then I spent some quality time flagellating, wearing sack cloth and an RFC strip, removing skelfs and then putting them back in. I also imagined myself painting a fence. None of this drastic action improved performance...then I looked up the book, back inside my head. Off and On does it every time.

Toasting garlic bread makes the garlic much more pungent, you might want to watch out for that if you ever tempted to experiment. Meanwhile I've been wondering about the Labour Party recently, my problem is that unlike any of the other parties I cannot think of what it is they actually stand for. They seem to be critical (not in a very imaginative way) of everything but unable to articulate or construct anything positive. Maybe I should join them and embark on a second career. People in the Labour Party have Jaguars don't they?

Monday, June 06, 2011

Looking for Heaven in the wrong places

A few little things that came to me today, out of the blue if you will or from a place called nowhere (where paradoxically they were headed) caught and captured and so on:

Keep looking out for the pieces of something that might prove useful. The exact purpose and the eventual outcome of the exercise may be unclear at the moment of finding.

If you sit and stare and try to construct sentences it can take quite a long time to get anywhere, you may get nowhere but you could produce a book eventually.

Gazing out of the average window is unlikely to teach you anything.

Change the oil a bit more often than the manufacturer's recommended timings. Doesn't apply to Tesco Extra Virgin olive oil.

If you want to learn wisdom then listen carefully to what other people are saying. Don’t let odd thoughts and distractions cloud the process.

If you are way too conscious of your empty stomach or your dry throat, concentration will prove difficult.

Always observe the use-by date but ask yourself “do I have to use this?”

Check your shoes.

Regularly drive a car from the previous century.

If you are wondering “why have I no true friends and seem to be disconnected from the modern world?” - it's because you're an unfriendly dickhead.

Every so often a cat will sneak into your bedroom, sleep beside you and then leave before you are awake. It's plaintive whispers will be audible to your subconscious, it's ticklish whiskers will not.

Tight or uncomfortable clothing will not help, best to rid yourself of these things.

Always look down when in a public toilet.

Always look up when walking in a city.

Always look ahead when riding horse or a bicycle. No need to pedal the horse however.

Read a book about Keith Richards whilst listening to Let it Bleed.

Knowing the deep relief of getting a wood splinter out of your finger, when the skin is red and inflamed, the splinter is brown and your tether has ended.

Don't ever brag about food you've bought from petrol stations.

Make friends with an animal but be aware that it may quite unwittingly break your heart at some point in the future.

Observe the various boiling points of foodstuff and liquids and what happens shortly thereafter. Turn down the heat if appropriate.

It's good to have a job, better to have a career and best to have an independent income. A pension is also useful.

Go outside now and then.

When life hands you a lemon then it clearly failed to read correctly the request you made for a melon – that's because it's dyslexic.

Nobody understands conceptual art, don't worry about it.

If you are wondering where exactly the “cloud” is then I'm here to tell that it was a few words ago in inverted commas in this very sentence. That's all you need to know.

Regardless of their actual belief systems religious people generally consider themselves to be more noble, moral and upright than others. This is a seldom the case however.

Say hello to an Irishman. It'll make his day.

In the night your imagination is available.

Retain a childish fascination for the top most contents of waste bins and magazine racks.

Stand alone at the far end of the bar and enjoy your pint of beer in peace.

First, boil your sausages.

There are no racoons in Scotland because of prohibitively high travel costs.

When you walk in the forrest respect the silence of the great and ancient trees; avoid crunching on sticks or fallen branches, stumbling on loose stones, stamping on wild flowers or seedlings or stepping in dog shit.

The spellcheck is never, truly complete.

Most organisations (however large or small) are fundamentally broken, those that run them often fail to see this or bother to try to correct it. Be aware an keep your expectations realistic.

Much of the music played on Radio 6 is crap, that's why the people playing it are unsuccessful. That doesn't make the so-called mainstream music played on Radio 2 any good either.

Looking sharp isn't the same as being edgy.

When going through airport security practice your most pissed off look on anybody within your field of vision. This doesn't get you through any quicker but God will notice and might eventually do something.

What's the difference between a buffalo and a bison? You can't wash your socks in a buffalo.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Golden tickets

(Old news from the recovery file) Olympic tickets. I’m struggling with the whole Olympic application, ticketing and general minority sports enthusiasm that is building up. Frankly I reserve the right not to care about the Olympics (other than the odd sport or drama that I might come to like) at all. I hope it passes quickly and peacefully and that media hysteria remains in check, fat chance. I don’t care either if the UK wins loads of flag waving medals or whatever else but I am amused a the thought of stupid people paying lots of money to sit through sports and events they don’t really know about because that was all they won in the ballot, how sad is that? If it’s so important to be there and be part of it them, well if you are on these islands at the time, you are, no need to spend £13k. I’m with Graham Norton on this, “I’ve got my Olympic tickets…mine are for Miami in 2012”.

Naomi Campbell. I’ve never thought she was particularly pretty or talented, a bit of a zero kind of celeb in my view, a dull clothes horse. Now she’s miffed because Cadbury (or Kraft to be precise) somehow raised here irritating profile by comparing her to a bar of chocolate, so she plays the racist card. What a humourless tube she is, I’m glad she’ll soon me old and average, someday she’ll hoping for that kind of attention or mention. More important is the gradual degradation and depreciation o f chocolate flavouring we are all experiencing. The classic sickly sweet British recipe has been Europeanised into a bland, heat-proof mess of brown drudgery. A bit like Ms Campbell come to think of it.

The pen is mightier than the hard disk

Hard disk failure is imminent on the old HP laptop I am being told, I'm therefore left wondering as to how best to react to the series of alarming messages that crop up at carefully timed intervals. A back up is strongly recommended and there is the vague promise of some kind of self repair, like an amphibian growing a new tail section or a fresh leg. Of course the messages have appeared when I'm without the pocketful of DVDs or massive memory sticks I know I'll need to follow the badly worded on-screen instructions, so immediate and unstoppable doom awaits just around the corner. In desperate mitigation I did try running those impotent utilities that lurk in some of the less well known directories, not much change followed however. Overall I'm left with that awkward feeling that Laptops (and computers in general) fail to deliver what you really want. They are forever telling you what is going wrong, what might fail, how full they are or just giving you daft messages and choices you don't need to hear. So Microsoft have given the world brilliant but petulant software that demands attention, meaningless upgrades, long periods of rest and recovery and a crippling level of over sensitivity to any rogue atmosphere or device it detects. You wish that some of the more sophisticated programmes and facilities had been held back and that a more stable platform could have been arrived at, then you add in all the “nice to haves and toys”. Now I have a (thankfully spare) laptop that acts like it is some kind of rare Italian sports car forever needing a rebore or middle-aged operatic diva (also needing a rebore). Windows, Microsoft, HP and the rest, you are just too high maintenance and frankly annoying to bother with. Come back to me when you can make things work first time and then maintain a decent level of performance all of the time.

I ate coconut yoghurt and blueberries for breakfast. It forms the basis of my new healthy addiction and gives me deep joy and satisfaction, most of the time. Right now it's given me a tummy pain that I'm not enjoying and doubts are being cast over my so called healthy lifestyle. I may need a bar of Naomi Campbell.

Why does Dr Who put me to sleep? (In fairness he's not the only thing that does that of course) Twenty minutes into every episode and I'm sound asleep, not sure why I bother. Age, supreme sofa rapport and bad eating habits I suppose. I was thinking about how long it might take to roast a chicken – in the midst of the battle of flashing lights and electrodes. Then when I did come around (with a start) it was pretty much as I'd expected: River Song / Amy Pond etc. but it is supposed to be a kid's programme. Meanwhile Universal Karma is catching up on the Doctor, in a good way of course.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Light and shade and sunlight

Today the weather surprised everybody, Edinburgh basked in 25 degrees - unexpected. We chose to go out in the crazy heat and visited the Camera Obscura and on the way up the five flights of stairs that take you to the original attraction were seduced and confused by the numerous effects and exhibits that guide the way to the top. There are too many to list but I like the sparky stuff (as above), the maze of mirrors and the vortex. "To infinity and beyond" seems the best way to sum it all up. Go see.

Button money

Irrelevant photo

Three girls waiting for their flight in Southampton Airport, they are dressed in similar but different black jump suits, well coloured hair and with lots of disorganised baggage. They are pretty but are not pretty enough to be in a girl band but they are acting like they are in one. The most blond girl strolls across to the duty free shop and comes swaggering back with a bottle of champagne. The girls all have used Costa drinks cups at the ready. After some giggling and screaming the bottle makes a loud pop, everybody looks around as the girls lash the drink into the cups, at that point their flight to Amsterdam is called. They seem indifferent to this information and lark about drinking the champagne (which must be unpleasantly warm having just come from the drinks rack in the shop), the flight is boarding a few feet away. One girl jumps up brandishing the half full bottle and slings it into a nearby waste bin. The other girls are still sloshing around with their drinks and don't seem to notice, then they decide perhaps they should board the flight but they cant find their passes. Then they realise that their bottle is missing, the guilty girl laughs, empties her cup and heads out onto the plane. The other two giggle, throw their cups in the bin and follow. The lady at the gate laughs and waves them on. Over in some nearby seats and Asian guy is talking in a very loud voice. "Taliban time" says a man sitting next to me. A young, uniformed soldier sits in a triangle with three young women, they are all strangers but he is talking to each one in turn. The girls' eyes are all alight as he flashes his attention between each one, telling a tale or making some observation. The conversations reach an unexpected peak and then fall away, they all return to their headphone worlds or magazine reads. The evening sun reflects on the curved girders of the roof and I look across to the hall, there are queues of people boarding flights to Guernsey and Jersey. Everybody seems to be over sixty, that's the pattern of travel for the Channel Islands perhaps.

Button money is everywhere, in button businesses, invested in button enterprises and returning button profits (sometimes making button losses) - we have a button economy.