Friday, June 18, 2021

National Freelancers Day


NFD was yesterday, strangely I didn't receive a box of cakes, a corporate logo sweatshirt or even a few words of encouragement from my remote and salaried masters. It simply passed like any other day, quietly, uneventfully and was ended by a nice tea after a hot afternoon cutting the grass and then quaffing a cool beer or two watching the footy. 

Maybe we weren't included here in Caledonia as we're not really a proper nation, just a rag-tag tribe of kilted ferrets fighting in a sack like drunken sailors and we'd only waste the day. The psyche is complex but predictable. Soon I'll be an OAP and even more conflicted about what stereotypical label to moan about.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Analogue Man: The Movie

As you might know we tend not to make many music videos due to the high technical costs, the need for professional production values and our complete lack of expertise at fiddling around with computers and such things (hence the analogue theme). Anyway we've befriended a homeless bot and in a nifty exchange for bed, board and a few drinks now and then it's settled in and begun to produce videos randomly. There's a full clutch of broody videos that are being brooded over by our AI house guest and we'll be releasing them as and when the holy spirit guides our clumsy footsteps.

I find my best visual ideas come when I'm plucking the long white hairs that grow within my nostrils. It begins as I reach a state of dim self hypnosis and depart the visible world and tune into the celestial voices that inhabit our bathroom ceiling via the cosmic receiver that is the large chrome magnifying mirror into which I am gingerly peering into my nostril cavities. And so the wild ideas and strange visions abound like drunken angels or flying snowmen. I can't really explain it any further.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Stabbing in the dark

Parking these images here in the hope that come the day I am not randomly stabbing in the dark through plasterboard to locate a fixing in a stud partition in the utility room. The hazards are power cables, drain pipes and hot and cold water supplies, so I don't want to hit them. These are my (badly recorded and liable to some slight misunderstanding) reference points should the dark demon of DIY need to arise within our household and I actually have to do something technical, time will tell.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021


Fairly accurate rendition of the version of Edinburgh that exists only in Bizarro World at present. Worth a visit once the pandemic calms down and the crazy traffic plan is sorted. Out own little part of the fabled city is not represented, apparently we don't exist or perhaps we've failed to make the journey through the portal. I did experience an unwelcome jolt the other day but shrugged it off as just another part of the aging process coupled with too much Cherry Coke.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Cultural Highlights


Don't take this the wrong way but .... when as a teenager I first I heard the Himmler quote, " every time I hear the word culture I want to reach for my pistol", it affected me. It still affects me now. I don't know why. Distorting the word "culture" with a heavy load of malice. Are some cultures worth more than others? Old colonials and the self righteous might well think they are. Context is important in finding meaning I suppose.

I was reading some of the series "My Cultural Highlights" in the Guardian's free to air web pages. There famous, arty and worthy individuals list their top five or six most influential or beloved examples of the C word and the impact those things had on their lives. I'm often left cold by their choices and I'm often left thinking that I'm truly stuck in my own peculiar little unsophisticated cultural vacuum ... just like almost everybody else.

As the child's song goes "you in your small cultural vacuum and I in mine". Just be happy there and ignore the background noise.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Pimp My Rig

I'm not sure quite why I like this frozen moment in time but I do: Blind Faith's rig from their Hyde Park concert in 1969 - taken after the show. A simpler, analogue sound set up that's very appealing. Like a car with no flat screen, traction control or all the bells and whistles that get in the way of driving (I'll probably regret saying that) or Laughing Cow cheese portions, maybe HB pencils even. Can't credit the unknown photographer but it's a good'un.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Space, Science and Sperm

There's always a news story lurking somewhere on the web that makes you think, "that's something I had never considered". Today it's the relative toughness of deep frozen sperm in space. According to the article the cosmic sperm is mouse sperm but it's already produced a new generation of space mice. The sci-fi plot options here are pretty much endless. I for one will happily work alongside our new mouse masters when they eventually come into power.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Friday Afternoon

Friday afternoon, leaving the local branch of Lidls. Perhaps gathering at Dalmeny railway station thinking a train might stop, or even just expecting the mythical No.43 bus to come along.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Don't bin me, compost me!

A simple message on a coffee cup. I was wondering if the same idea might be applied to funeral practices, somehow. Don't bury me, don't incinerate me, don't drop me in the ocean or put me on a pyre or on a burning longship. Just put me into/onto the compost heap, but respectfully.  Then share a decent dram and a few good sausage rolls with friends and family.

Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Buttons & Laburnum

In a Tesco yesterday, at the tills a teenage customer is buying single pack of Cadbury's chocolate buttons, he hands over a £50 note to pay for an item worth about 70p. A manager is called over to inspect the note and after a few minutes the transaction is complete. I found observing this moment fascinating, a strange little segment of life where so much has gone before and what (?) I wonder will follow. I'll never know, I was content to briefly tell myself a few stories about the event before, as usual, moving on. This is the universe we live in, series of unexpected collisions. Perhaps there's a greater explanation in the world of physics.

Flaming June is upon us. Out and about enjoying the colours produced by laburnum. A welcome sight in parks and gardens. But! When they drop to the ground the seeds of the laburnum tree (or bush) are extremely poisonous if ingested. Then again it appears that all parts of the plant are poisonous. Don't be drawn into partaking of a branch for a quick aromatic chew or a leaf for a salad. It's a beautiful thing but (in very rare cases) deadly. Actually I've never in my puff heard of anyone suffering from the effects of the toxins in the plant but that doesn't make it's danger some urban (or rural) myth. 

Monday, June 07, 2021

Atlantic Crossing

 "On closer inspection I realized that there was a real problem developing within the fabric of the airship's structure. I could see small tears and cuts appearing in between the support mechanism within the gas/air-buoyancy chambers. I could not understand the cause of the damage but there was certainly something odd about it's nature. It couldn't be simple fatigue or stress or low temperature damage but as a result we were losing pressure, slowly and steadily and the bridge had already reported to me their difficulties in maintaining a steady altitude." 

"I was considering mustering an emergency crew to conduct repairs but I knew that there was, within the team a mutinous faction intent on thwarting our mission. I had been observing the situation with them for some time but was hoping to avoid confrontation until we were nearer dry land, however it now looked as if that was now not possible. I was trying to collect my thoughts when I was suddenly shaken by a dull thump and an explosive shock from one of the nearby forward engine compartments. Whatever now?"

Sunday, June 06, 2021

Ruthrie Terrance

A bit of an unexplained phenomenon in the sunny streets of Aberdeen. Their unusual "street font" tiling system bares witness to some peculiar geological activity. Either a road that is slowing rising or one on which ground level is sinking. Perhaps there's just slow moving pavement quicksand sucking things under. Something I've not heard about either.

In an area of rock solid granite and tradition values of construction it's hard to understand. Locals are up in arms (not really) and engineers and experts remain pleasantly baffled. There is no clear answer but there is no clear danger ... as the pavement sinks slowly in the North East whilst the mighty tectontic plates adjust themselves.

Saturday, June 05, 2021

Friday, June 04, 2021

Cat by a window

The sun goes down and Missy the cat stares out of the window at the great wide world (and a car park) stretching out before her. She likes to look out, hoping for sight of some potential quarry to track and catch, maybe not tonight though.

Nobody quite understands what goes on in the minds of cats as they inwardly muse and observe human activity. She may be dreaming of a cat life well outside of these parts, a school in Oxford in rooms full of dusty books and the aroma of ancient timbers relaxing in a tight body curl by a log fire, perhaps a life at sea on a schooner pitching across the South Atlantic as rats scurry away before her and salt spray rides heavy in the cold air, or on guard in a musty old grocery store getting into pitch battles with hungry raccoons, crazy mice and black spiders as she defends her territory ... or maybe not. 

All she really wants to do is to get out and dig her claws into the trunk of some innocent tree and have a good gouging session into it's brittle bark and exercise her own pulling power.

Who really knows?

Thursday, June 03, 2021

Local Features

Conventional history cannot be trusted (all the timelines are wrong, we are not the first to pass this way, civilizations come and go etc.): So as if to prove nothing much another early evening shot of the metal bridges that dominate life in and around our wee town. These were constructed by mysterious but highly civilized neolithic peoples to thwart the local ferry industry built up over many years by rival tribes. Amazing what you can do with and infinite number of ox-carts, bamboo poles and high tensile steel. 

Apart from these structures little is left of them to mark the fleeting time they spent walking the earth peering into dark holes, teaching bats to whistle and completing massive engineering projects. Sadly all their wisdom and culture is now lost to us. 

The bright, shiny thing left of centre is called the Sun, still an object of worship for many fairly well adjusted locals to this day.

Wednesday, June 02, 2021



If you're feeling sinister ... well maybe not but if you're under pressure then perhaps you need to rebalance your system, sort out the peaks and troughs in supply and demand etc. Get some cosmic equilibrium in there via the streams of living water from high up in the mountains of Midlothian. In terms of plumbing this can be achieved by the installation of a simple pressure reducing valve, a PRV. 

We've got a new one and already I can feel the waves of calm and blissful peace emanating from it's metal heart with a soothing and steady Karmic rotational beat. It quietly reverberates through the household and even though we are not nearby the "good" waves are reaching us, well me anyway. Good, effective plumbing is just another way to describe perpetual bliss.

Tuesday, June 01, 2021

Stairway to Boleskin


Perched high up on the southern banks of gloomy Loch Ness ... OK maybe not really gloomy but most times I've been to Loch Ness it's been pretty damp and well, pretty gloomy. I do recall one sunny afternoon spent around Urquhart Castle and at the top end of the Caledonian Canal (both north side) but that's about it. Anyway as the Boleskin House restoration works continue here's the garden stairway there that probably didn't inspire very much in the way of 70s songwriting, no matter what folks might think.

Monday, May 31, 2021

Pandemic Monday

Why does this happen on every other wash no matter how deep into the washer barrel you place the capsule? The detergent industry owes us all an explanation. Even on a Monday ...

"Just another pandemic Monday, whoa, ho ho."

Sunday, May 30, 2021

BA Teaspoons

In this occasional series I'm going to be exploring the world of my favourite teaspoons. Those either rare and valuable or those that enjoy some design quirks or attributes that makes them special. There may not be many.

First up is a British Airways spoon from the 1980s. Back in the day BA travel was almost a pleasant experience, even for the lowest grade of passenger. Proper crockery and cutlery was used (actual china and metal), food and drink was free on demand (almost), tickets were flexible and flying was strangely pleasant. There were no searches or elaborate controls or security, there was a degree of boarding chaos but it was tolerable. Smoking and drinking were encouraged as was chat and banter between passengers and staff.

So as part of the in-flight deal free alcohol abounded, as well as snacks, scones, cream, coffee and proper breakfasts. I was a fairly regular traveler on the Edinburgh - Heathrow shuttles then and I guess, most likely as a result of drinking four double whiskies on the way home, one evening I pocketed this spoon. It's a really well designed, well made spoon, a little longer than you'd expect but satisfying to use. Strangely the BA script on the spoon's handle shows "British airways", no uppercase A on airways. That's an odd design feature or error.

I do wonder if others, greedier or dafter than me pocketed much more stuff; coffee cups, glasses, more cutlery or the high quality napkins that arrived with every place setting. I guess a lot of it is out there somewhere. I know during the start of the pandemic BA auctioned off a load of cabin material as flights were running down but I imagine it was all more recent, modern material and less desirable than 80s vintage (unless from business class).