Monday, October 31, 2011

Potential Energy of Collapse

By way of a brief explanation: The "potential energy of collapse" describes the terrifying potential of the pieces made up by Scotsman Aeneas Wilder at the YSP (Yorkshire Sculpture Park) and across the known world. As a self confessed sculpture turd I am way impressed by these fantastic creations. No glue, no nails, no joints, just wood and space (+faith, patience and a steady hand).

Standing close by to Wilder's works is a strange and frightening experience. But then not as strange and frighting as walking across 2km of Yorkshire cow pasture to actually gain entry to the exhibition - that's how they do things in these parts.

The event ends on the 3rd of this month with an unceremonious kick down which I'd have loved to have seen but there are very obvious space restrictions for these events; health, safety and sanity also play a part I guess. I believe you can view a video of the collapse on the YSP web site after the day and of course if you google Aeneas Wilder there's a whole lot more.

The YSP is a great, rusting scrapyard of a place, messy and inconsistent, set in a stately home's untended grounds, where bizarre and oddly formed artistic pieces hide behind trees and bushes or roll across fields whilst set firmly in Somme like mud, not all of it my cup of Bovril either. I don't quite know what they were thinking when it was set up but it is worth a visit, particularly if you want to exercise your dog and like to stare at things.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ninja cyclists of the Peak District

Even when going away just for a few hours or over night plans have to be made and preparations done to ensure that the cats enjoy a normal standard of living. On our return we saw that indeed they had not starved nor had they consumed much from the Saturday feast. maybe they ate out.

Our long drive to Manchester started badly, a burst tyre on the M9. We think it was the M9 but it could've been a number of other roads. When these things happen on cross cutting motorways it's pretty hard to tell where you are and we failed. However the bloke from the AA seemed to know and thankfully got us out of an awkward predicament.

Eventually we made to the winding open roads of the Peak District, each one clogged with mad cyclists clad in black and covered in mud. Presumably townies out for their own kind of dirty weekend; slogging up hill and down dale and blocking up moving traffic. It's an interesting place, mild, stony and with good family connections made, highly enjoyable. I'm pretty tired now having just driven back, so more about the peaks and YSP tomorrow.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Deacon Blues

At times its good to sing a song to yourself just to get the lyrical pleasure from the words. Steely Dan's “Deacon Blues” works for me and better than best today I learned why they call Alabama the Crimson Tide. It's nothing to do with racial tension, shoot outs or a bloodbath following the call up of the National Guard. It's just American football and an auburn coloured mudslide and a victory that took place some hundred years ago. I wonder if Deacon Blue ever considered writing a song called Steely Dan?

“I'll learn to work the saxophone, I'll play just what I feel, drink Scotch whisky all night long and die behind the wheel. They got a name for the winners in the world, I want a name when I lose. They call Alabama the Crimson Tide, call me Deacon Blues.”

And so it came to pass that sensual and heady mix of deep heather honey and crisp breakfast biscuits carried me away upon a perfect cloud of clear thought and reasoning to place where I could contemplate and create the mantra and manifesto that is set to become the centrepiece of the way ahead for the New Pragmatists. God bless them and all who sail and put their shaky faith in them. I need to learn to touch type and dictate simultaneously so that the rapid flow of ideas and concepts can be fully captured and none of the detail or nuances are lost. That's what usually happens and it all ends as a screw up despite all the good intentions unless the latent power of the lentils prevail. All indicators hint at this being an accurate indication.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

10 years gone

Odd to think that this peculiar and influential film has been on the go and building it's cult and bizarre following for 10 years. As they say "time will crawl."

Songwriting thoughts

Tea elaborate menage of boiled up lentils, herbs and spices and the eggs of three hens.

After I'd absorbed their greenish orange yellow white goodness I got to thinking, "whatever doesn't kill you may still give you a nasty cut and that irritating and slow to heal cut may well prevent you playing a musical instrument or using hand tools." Beware. Then I thought about the biscuits and the cleaning lady and thought "she'll know that those are yesterday's biscuits and no mistake," but what can I do about it? Then in another piece of lateral brain maneuvering I thought about songwriting and came across this. Then I ate some M&S walnut whips.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ancient ritual games

A century of ancient ritual games but who's counting?

Rather than watch this I'm watching the one millionth rerun of the Blues Brothers on ITV4 in HD, must be a slow Wednesday evening. I should really be writing songs, making daal or at the very least practising on my Algerian nose flute. I blame the persistent evil of the dram, the fine and spiky taste of Stilton and the black black open sky spinning high above my lazy head.

Earlier in the evening I went to my daughter's art exhibition in the Queendom of Fife; superb of course and here and there there were strawberries, M&Ms and cocktail sausages. Things have changed a lot in the forty years since I attended that type of full time education. Just as well.

Monday, October 24, 2011

No country for middle-aged balding men

After a two week absence Squawkie the frog returned home today. For some reason he chose to take an early morning dip in the cat's drinking water, not something I'd recommend but I'm not familiar with frog customs or their rehydration habits. The cats ignored this new source of protein in their dining area and carried on sleeping, yawning and targeting passing insects as is their custom. After a short period of observation and reflection I decided to release him back into the wild; it was quite a charged and emotional moment for us both. With a steady hand I carried him, still in the cat dish back to the great outdoors. I then placed the dish carefully into the mysterious realm of plants, slugs and sprouting weeds that exists by the back door. I whispered a few well chosen words and then left him alone in the dish, set to explore this strange new country, all at his own pace. At moments like this it is important to maintain a little dignity, vital in fact for all the parties involved. Over in the east the sun was rising and it was about time I changed out of my pyjamas and gave my teeth a good brushing and my hands a good washing. So I did.

P.S. Here's a piece all about frogs that we made up earlier.

Still life with Billys

The end on an era looms, the Billy Mk1 has had it's day around here and is being retired to the green green pastures of Midlothian. Meanwhile we will host the Mk2 Billy resurgence here in our stately library and move from the clinical but useful white to the warm and smooth ash finish. I for one salute our new Nordic masters in shelving enterprise and look forward to the mighty sorting spree, cataloguing and recycling extravaganza that awaits. Having said the ground rules have yet to be established so I've no way of knowing what items (books, CDs, solar chargers and Rosetta Stones) will stay and what will go (and what will be added).

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The new pragmatics

Is it a) Casper the Friendly Ghost, b) the sky over West Lothian at night, c) wine stain on carpet, d) an infra red shot in the dark or e) the last ever sample of raspberry Cremola Foam crystals? Answers on a postcard please.

So it's been a busy weekend made up of lots of family stuff, some socialising and lavish meals, taxi driving across Fife, Billy preparation works and Sunday football. The football was tough, a two hour cup tie game, 3 - 3 after extra time and then into penalty kicks. We won on the last kick taken by my youngest, a moment of tension and pleasure to savour. On the way back from Perth I decided he needed some protein so we stopped at Burger King at Kinross and refueled. In the toilets above each urinal is an advert for Lloyds Pharmacies offering help for erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and baldness, gets right to the spot placed there. I'd no idea Lloyds sold their magic potions on line. I'll maybe explore their other offers, maybe not. It's a shame you cant even take a pee with somebody trying to sell you something.

Meanwhile I'm forming a new political party, the New Pragmatics, I like the word pragmatic , this what it means:

1. Dealing or concerned with facts or actual occurrences; practical.
2. Philosophy Of or relating to pragmatism.
3. Relating to or being the study of cause and effect in historical or political events with emphasis on the practical lessons to be learned from them.

What the New Pragmatics might mean in political terms I'm not sure but it could be quite revolutionary - dealing with facts and actual occurrences and learning lessons from history and applying them. It could work. I'm working on the manifesto.

Friday, October 21, 2011

We can change...

...bits of the world, a step at a time but you might have to be patient with us.

What will £500 buy?

There's a lot of trouble out there and there are few easy answers, if any. One might well be to retire into fantasy and just stay there. Movements from the people and of the people are pretty hard to stop. If good people are intent on changing the world for the best is it right to try to stop them?

Yesterday was my birthday, every year I have one, I've heard that this also happens to some other people. Anyway I like my birthday and I'm not embarrassed about it nor in any kind of birthday denial - some people get badly affected by this. So another year, another few milestones and I've actually come to terms with my own mortality and gone out onto the (wide open spaces, beaches and deserts) of the internet and purchased something known as life insurance, my own personal ticket to Valhalla. I can only speculate as to how it will be spent; a space funeral or maybe I'll be placed in a bottle and cast adrift in the Indian Ocean or my lumpy ashes will be mixed into the concrete of a motorway flyover or the new Forth Road Bridge. What will £500 buy in 2030? I'm also in line for a free meerkat.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Edinburgh Daily Photo #99.5

Some people (like me) get a perverse pleasure from avoiding the use of travellators, escalators and lifts. In the odd and self inflicted one horse race you create for yourself you can occasionally win and thereby enjoy a brief moment of stupid superiority over fellow travellers. The venue? There are many but the airport that lies a simple tram journey from the Heart of Midlothian in Edinburgh is a good place to try this, some of the ideal locations for these indoor sports are:

a) Short stay car park, race top to bottom and beat the two squeaky lifts, it can be done going down, tough going upstairs though.
b) Travellator in the East Terminal (the one that goes past the stupid big wall photos and irritating quotes), almost impossible, no running allowed.
c) Exit escalator. This one is easy-peasy, great for beginners, only one go per flight so don't mess up.

You can do it at the airport and many other places, but not in John Lewis.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Bucket list eggs

Things to do when your over 50 and unsure where exactly your true talents lie: It's something of a dexterity challenge, piano players, puppeteers and guitarists should try it. Wrapping up eggs in sausage meat, dipping them in beaten eggs and then coating them with bread crumbs, six times over. Like putting a jacket on a kitten or peeling apples up a stepladder as they're still attached to the tree. A ready supply of hot water is required and remove any wedding rings or superfluous or ridiculous clothing.

Once you've created the eggy spheres cook them in oven or something similar, (don't go away and mess around on the web and forget about them like I did, they need 25 minutes not 45).

No Photoshopping here, these are the real McCoy, ready to be test driven as an early part of my new fast food franchise; McScotch Eggs. There's a branch opening near you sometime towards the end of the decade, don't be late. (Haven't eaten any yet, I got distracted by Nutella (one t two ls) Lawson once again and I'm not really all that hungry, damn you bucket list.)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Edinburgh Daily Photo #99

A barren and embattled Princess Street, tram reworks for the second time, fixing the badly finished first phase of snagged engineering errors. Rain has of course stopped play for the day. On the left shops sit empty or vacant, the trading heart long since transplanted elsewhere onto out of town retail parks with easy parking and in anonymous big sheds serviced by the web.

Still looking East into the October Edinburgh gloom, more puddles and eerie emptiness; seems to me the best way forward for Princess Street is to focus on high quality hotel and residential development, the days of the big shops are over and I'd quite like a retirement flat with a balcony that looks across to the castle.

Meanwhile over in the sculpture hall in the Art College a choir dressed in black runs through 60s soul and Coldplay numbers as part of the opening of a display of fine Japanese and Scottish art works. The TOKOKU - SCOTLAND exhibition runs from 18th to 25th October and has been put together by Kate Thomson and Hironori Katagiri, Ukishima Sculpture Studio.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Colour me perfect

A more complex look may require a fair bit of preparation time.

Ladies understandably spend a great deal of time making themselves look good, colours, styles and fashion sense all play vital part in this process as does budget (I suppose). Ali and I were discussing this in the afternoon and I now have a better understanding of the complex relationship and coordination issues that must be balanced and the part that colours, tones and shades play in order to make the appropriate statement. I wondered about my own current somewhat casual look and how I manage to achieve it, what elements and processes come into play? This required a lot of thinking time. After a while my head became sore, I needed a Vimto and a flat sausage roll, then in a lightning bolt moment I realised that I've been dressing like Neil Young for the last forty years...hmm.

Remastering the classics: A mono copy of Pet Sounds gave me idea, using my simple to operate home studio equipment I could remaster this and other 60s albums and so enhance them (?). I never thought of this before - a bootlegging personal project; the end product of which will provide a significant challenge to the multi functional dysfunctional and psychotic stereo in my current car.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Lego Bible

Do they mean Brick from the Middle?

Pit stop

Pit stops

I couldn’t be bothered with those huge queues at MacDonalds so I just sat there in the busy car park and fired up my lap top. I did that by switching it on which sounds a lot less dramatic. The wi-fi was there for a few tantalising seconds, like an incoming wave and then disappeared beyond the reach of Google Chrome or whatever it was. I thought about rolling the window down but that seemed like a waste of valuable energy. Instead I drove over to the petrol station and conversed with the cash machine as an impatient lady and her small child crowded in on my personal space. Seconds later I was transported into the shop itself and dodged around plump assistants moving merchandise from plastic trays into large plastic fridges and display units. I emerged with a prawn sandwich and two lottery tickets and all my change used up. The woman's cowboy boots distracted me for a while, what was that design? Was it a tattoo? Why can't we just ask people about stuff when they display things or characteristics that are confusing or at least likely to be misunderstood? Surely everybody really just needs to stand up there and explain myself.

About then I got in my car having crossed paths with the lorry driver with the lorry loaded with sheep, I'd been in his wake before turning in, now he was turning out. It seemed to take an eternity to get across the junction but I hate that bang and crunch and jolt you experience when your car collides with another so I tend to take my time and exhibit patience. I drove to next town, stopped and ate the sandwich and went into another petrol station to use another cash machine. I withdrew the correct amount of money this time.

Mystic sparkle

Heating up the tiny Scotch eggs on a china plate, heating them up thoroughly mind you, 200 degrees for 25 minutes; then depositing them into another room temperature plate so they can be safely handled, as if radioactive. The hot plate is plunged into the sink, spitting sounds and sizzles and a ripple of mystic sparkles sweeps across the surface water like molten glass and dribbling gold. You had to be there and yes and no the plate did not crack. N.B. the Scotch eggs in question were laid by French hens.

DNA revisited

Scientists in Holland have the sequenced the DNA of a woman who lived to 115, apparently at the time of her death she had the mind of someone decades younger. I wonder who that person was. If this true it does fit in why one or two of my pet theories, particularly the one about Karmic people hopping (aka Barclay's Inner Self Cannibalisation) and the other as yet unnamed one about soul-sneezing. (You will by now have noticed that the Queen, top politicians and captain's of industry and commerce never, ever sneeze.)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Who can resist...

...the opportunity to soar high up above a conveniently located stuffed giraffe and take a tiny photograph? Yes, such things are possible but only in museums and other types of educational establishments where there are collections of well preserved tall dead creatures.

In other unrelated animal/amphibian news Squawkie the frog may have been sighted once again, in or around the washing machine and in or around the toilet. N.B. wildlife sightings in washing machines and toilets are notoriously difficult to confirm.

(P.S. @ 1630 found a toad and released it back into the wild, not a frog, not Squawkie.)

Health and Food and Ingredient Warning: Sharwood's Sweet Chilli Sauce (SSCS) packs more of a chilli punch than you might imagine, you may wish to use it sparingly in your own DIY recipes. Also it is much less viscous than it's rival sauces and the jar top is too narrow, so narrow in fact that the easy entry of a humble tea spoon is denied and a long thin knife must be used to extricate dollops of the stubborn but tasty and potent sauce. In extermis an unused lolly stick, chop stick or a clean index finger would do. You read it here first.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Low flying angels

We visited Edinburgh's newly fixed up museum today, clambered up the stone steps and then down again; the old brass and wood doors were closed tight, redundant in the brave new museum model. The entrance is now via a vaulted basement, formerly hidden away under the old great hall. Inside familiar exhibits remain, moved around like victims of some domestic removal strategy, shiny bright on new plinths and displays to be ignored or pondered over by the drifting, shuffling and confused masses. Lots of good things to see still, my favourites being the aircraft and auto gyros, just a shame that few of the exhibits were already out of order and some of the snagging and finishing isn't quite right yet. The kids enjoyed it though, I'll return some rainy day and wander around alone, hands behind my back whistling to myself, I might even take my glasses with me.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Flower People

The guerilla flower children are stalking us, hiding out in the woods, scrambling across roofs and sneaking behind stone walls. Their wild music drifts across the hedgerows, sometimes tuneful, often tuneless, the sing and whistle along, random drumbeats follow. Slow and long. It's as if they thrive on the anarchy they produce, self perpetuating energy, running down time and chasing the fade. We've never really spoken, never made eye contact, never been close enough to see more than blurry detail. They are like foxes or badgers, in the night mostly, in the sun occasionally, drifting away into the landscape of changeable weather. Rainproof and unafraid of rampant mud. All they do is leave disturbing traces, messages, signs and sticks, piles of twigs, parcels of dung. Frog and elongated lizard conversations; misheard.

In chalk on a dry road I found a paragraph from their manifesto, I might have written it myself: “I'm no longer searching in the media for answers, for wisdom or for any collection of things that I might at one time have considered useful. I feel a barrier going up; the world is no place to live but is the only place to live. The news repeats itself with increasing regularity as do I. Nobody really knows what they are talking about and all power must be some form tyranny.”

When I say that I might have written it, that's true of many things. I might also have said that I made a cottage pie from local cottages and locally grown potatoes (all known by the name of Charlotte). There are many things I might have said and made. Meanwhile in a field not far away a man stands with a high powered rifle leaning against a small Japanese 4 x 4, part of me thinks he might be up to no good, part of me thinks otherwise.

At night, in the dark, as we sleep, mice scamper across the ceiling about our heads carrying the raw materials needed to make shoes for hedgehogs. Not many people know of that and the related endeavours.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Lettered up and distorted

Messing around with some photo app or other, it makes the trees grow which is useful, nice quirky font.


The wild places beyond the window.

Toilet trilogy, day two: today's toilet event began at about 7.30 this morning. I was relaxing (maybe not quite), in the downstairs loo in a somewhat exposed position when I observed a strange green object jumping about behind the cistern, then I heard a loud "awk!". I looked down to see a small frog jumping along the skirting board clearly somewhat upset at my presence in what I think he considered to be his private space. "Awk!" he cried, not hearing that properly I immediately named him Squawkie, it was more of a squawk than a croak or any other traditional frog sound. As I recovered from the shock of the discovery I tried to apprehend the little fellow with a toilet brush, but he was having none of that and darted around looking for an escape. He then hid in the drain pipe area, beyond the reach of me and the toilet brush.

Resigned to the unsatisfactory fate of not catching him I made a cup of coffee and quickly briefed all other potential toilet users that they were now not alone. I returned to the toilet area and he was still there, making less noise, presumably in some kind of sulk and beyond reach. Ten minutes later I returned to check on his progress but he had vamoosed, back into the wild, the drains or thereabouts. I miss him a lot, he seemed a stout and robust little beast but I've heard it said that time heals. His arrival marks the sighting of a new species, not a toad, a mouse, a vole, a mole or a badger but a proper shiny green frog, or maybe a fat and agile newt impersonating a frog. It's pretty hard to tell these days, one from 't other, and he did sound like a parrot.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Unknown events

Who knows anything about the unfortunate circumstances leading up to this poor fellow meeting a watery end in our downstairs toilet? Not me.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Spot the super car

An idle hour at the airport can tip a person into insanity. It may be gadget shopping, eating overpriced sushi, drinking at ungodly hours or (in my case) entering stupid super car raffles. Of course I 've always look disdainfully on as tourists and travelling business victims hang around at these dream counters, gazing at the ridiculous cars and emptying their wallets in a futile bid to own one, egged on of course by the nubile Asian girl or the tall male student. Both of whom are decked out in Steve Jobs' black and appear to be in the pay of the devil himself. It's an attractive, magnetic and absorbing little scene that I struggled to ignore.

At least I only paid a tenner for this brief flirtation but apart from a nice line in chat from the Asian girl (and the promise of a date if it won (?)) all I got was a computer screen version of spot the ball and guaranteed email junk for the rest of my life. My soul, once again well and truly sold, oh to be a little less feeble minded and starry eyed. Just think I could have had a memory stick from Dixon's, an expensive paperback from WH Smiths or three pints of this month's real ale from Weatherspoons. All I'm left with is a possible crack at an Audi TT and that (unlikely) date - all will be revealed on the 31st when I get that personal phone call from the founder and CEO of the company; fair enough then, a tenner well spent.

Fungus in a little more detail.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Popular fungus

No #17 in the series, here is the local "Battle of Abercorn" fungus seen in it's natural element which is as you might imagine outside, sucking up to an old, rotting piece of wood. A high quality and nicely composed piece of fungus. Stay tuned for more next week as the growth season continues and the tension heightens.

The Great British Bake Off on BBC2 is entertaining tosh. Contestants and eccentric judges get wildly enthusiastic about cakes mostly (and of course good luck to the winner). You can't help but worry about the kind of undocumented havoc this kind of TV show creates in kitchens and households across the country as enthusiasts have a go. Hours of shopping, mixing and pushing around uncompromising ingredients wasted as ordinary people try to emulate these bizarre but attractive creations - and then the dismal failure, gluttony and family arguments that must follow. All in a good cause I suppose.

Post apocalyptic microwave.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Trugfulls of recycling

Every so often somewhere in the western world a potato explodes in a microwave. Today it was our turn. Starch is a persistent and stubborn enemy that finds it's way into even the smallest and furthest away places, I'm sure there are valuable lessons here for terrorists and demolition men, one day I'll share them. On the positive side the chicken pie survived almost intact and may even have been edible.

The trugs of junk were taken on a long and rainy journey to Dalgety Bay, from there they will travel by diesel barge and parachute to Korea where they'll be turned into the kind of useful household objects you find on sale, upstairs in TK Max at the very back of the shop in a dump bin for 99p. It feels great to be looking after Mother Earth in this way, I would hug her if I could just get my arms around her.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

October Festering

Potato harvest

Apples in a sack

Now that it's MoT is about to expire I wondering whether or not now would be a good time to somehow convert the Cougar for time travel or failing that the possible use of a light speed upgrade in order to undertake some interstellar exploration. At 134k it's already been round the world 5 times and needs to broaden it's horizons a bit, motoring can put you in a rut at times. In truth I'm not sure the old girl/boy is up to and my back a little gippy thanks to digging up potatoes and plundering apples, the vibrations may be just too much. It is Oktoberfest so the harvest must come home and I should spare my failing strength for that.

Growing potatoes is quite a rewarding experience, first you buy a bag of potatoes and carefully plant them in the ground, you can also add various fine dung combinations, chemicals and salt and pepper to taste. During the summer months when the temperature is high and the air dry and pretty girls are everywhere you need to hose them down a bit, the rest of the time they can be ignored apart from a little unobtrusive weeding and gentle whispering (my particular forte) Then six months later you dig them all up and you have a lovely bag of potatoes.

Unexpected item in the bagging Area 51

Panic at the Tesco: Buy one get one free on strawberries and other soft fruits - the mixed fruit and vegetable aisle is a weird place where little makes sense. Everything is set out looking nice, in shiny boxes but I remain confused, the packaging sizes change all the time, the fruit is from different places, nothing is clear other than that blueberries are way too expensive these days. A squishy victim of foodie propaganda and daft TV shows. There is something sinister going on, a plot is hatching: the Innocent Smoothies are now in smaller cartons, the Muller corners are two packs for £5.50 (?), green bananas are called "eat later", the stuff you want is never on offer and the rules on multiples of alcohol purchases changed a day ago (and of course retailers will stick to the spirit of the regulations say the SNP) so wine is err... still available. Food is not in short supply here but if we only buy what they give us, what choice to we really have? Out here in wherever we are there are no easily accessible markets other than the self proclaiming super ones. I'm bored with this routine of foraging for meal deals for a tenner, pizza v pasta, club card points and that bloody unexpected item is still in the bagging area - how can it be unexpected when the whole science of shopping has become so predictable? Maybe we need to move out to the great green spaces of Morningside or Stockbridge so we can support the fictional, virtual and struggling vintners, fishmongers and greengrocers of yore, anyway I've had my tea.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Life, love and the end of social networking

Molly the lovable dog from the big hoose always looks like she needs a good wash, which indeed she does. Today I decided against letting her and her mucky paws into our house as we'd just spent most of the morning Octoberfestingly cleaning things. Then the BT repairman arrived and order was restored.

Facebook's desire to morph into an even more irritating version of itself has caused me to reflect on the future of social networking, I think we've passed the peak and we're finally bouldering down the other side and into something possibly more straightforward and effective - just meeting people normally. This week we'd a pub meeting with friends, a music night and a meal in a local Indian restaurant with friends, all much more enjoyable than posting one liners and random status messages.

Every so often a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, here's one that fell earlier and presumably nobody caught the audio crunch - I certainly didn't, I was most likely engrossed in Newsnight, the Borgias or perhaps the Tom Morton Show. Bit of a shame really. This fallen tree is halfway down Badger Street, just up from Deer Lane if you'd like to come along and inspect it or respect it.