Friday, June 09, 2023

Caravan to Dunkeld


The open road, even the bumpy A9 qualifies. Notorious, straight and twisty. Still much improved from what we had in the glorious 70s but not right yet. A hitch-hiker's nightmare then of rumbling timber lorries and lost tourists, my memory fails me, pretty sure we caught a bus instead and the rain didn't stop. Now the towns are bypassed and the trees have matured as the road signs fade. Tourists stop for coffee and tatty gifts. The exhausted camels just marched off into history, never to be seen again. Perhaps the natives captured them and they met with a grisly fate or escaped to the circus. But the steady and reliable River Tay flows past quietly, under the stone bridges, on a long haul down to Dundee and the sea.

We estimated that the tree below was one hundred and fifty one years, seventy two days, eight hours, twenty six minutes and seven seconds old when it was dispatched. We could be wrong. The lower picture is of a folly. Nearby, along the river bank, actual fish jump out of the water to catch flies and insects, just when you're not quite looking.

Tuesday, June 06, 2023

Dundee Daily Photo

V&A Dundee, sunny afternoon. Good place for a wander and a wonder. Scottish design history is well presented. Too easy to forget or dismiss the clever and quirky aspects of recent history. There's also empty space, maybe too much compared to exhibits, but space is always good. Good to move around in and experience, mostly. Bonnie Dundee.

Monday, June 05, 2023

Deadly Nightshade


Belladona: Feeling like I'm undertaking some heroic, maverick wizarding activity from the Harry Potter universe, maybe working undercover for the Ministry of Magic on a special project or for the Witchfinder General. I'm purging the Belladona, aka Deadly Nightshade, from the garden. It's an insidious weed that's taken a hold in at least three places. 

Strangely enough it pulls out, by the root, with little resistance. It poses a real and imagined danger, like magic I suppose, but there's no magical power keeping it in the earth. No screams of agony or ecstasy as it fights back against being sent to destruction in the spiritual void of the deep and final brown bin. 

It is however really poisonous though apparently useful for sustaining birds and insects, so there was some inner conflict about getting rid of it - but it's ruin is for the best, maybe. The time of terror and tribulation is now over (until the next time of terror and tribulation that is) .

Saturday, June 03, 2023



Even in fashionable black and white this place and view look strangely familiar. Also if you're in need, say on a sunny Sunday somewhere, of some eclectic music to fill your otherwise empty head then look no further than here.

Friday, June 02, 2023

Eve's Pudding


In a week where I've been buffeted by tasty scones and confused over the thickness of store bought cream, I redeemed a tiny part of my soul with my in depth knowledge of Eve's pudding. Something I've never tried I must add. I just knew that it was out there, loose in a harsh world of appetites and not on many menus these days. It was a pub quiz question that I managed to sneak a correct answer in on. Now I want to try said pud. 

In a few days I know I'll forget this, that's how it goes with knowledge and desire. Like fellow travelers they are with you for a bit but eventually they fall away to be replaced by Aldi lentil snacks or lemon San Pellegrino or an iced latte in a random coffee shop. None of which will quite match up to their fantasy tastes, textures and effects. Farewell then "Eve's Pudding". I must move on. There are sunny uplands to walk upon they say ...

19th Century Observations

In the 19th century they had this word for government incompetence, it's obviously completely fallen out of common use now. The fact that on discovery, this word still resonates with us simply proves that over the (many) years nothing has really changed except the fashion for certain words. They come and go. Most other things are consistently the same.

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Daily Squirrel


Our ever vigilant Bird Buddy caught this guy scrounging in the feeder yesterday. Never actually seen him for real. No obvious squirrel activity in the garden (unlike at our previous lodgings) so it's quite nice to know the greys are around and about and not too greedy. Maybe the big birds that gather here are intimidating him in some way.

Album Cover Extender


There, that's something else now re-imagined and placed in a bigger but less accurate AI universe. The four symbols await their own repackaged fate. This fine distortion is a destination that we may all end up trapped in or imprisoned by, one fine day. I'm not looking on the bright-side on this and that may be the best of best ways to be. Stay wary but stay curious.

Franz Kafka is credited with saying: "Everything that you love will probably be lost but in the end love will return in some other way."

Monday, May 29, 2023

Cologne Daily Photo 2


Artwork beside the cathedral.

The only (obvious) exhibit in the Japanese Art Centre. 

Airport play area.

Interesting brand of Chinese EV.

Cologne Daily Photo


Some time in Germany's fourth city - in terms of people. A sunny, busy, crazy place. The pictures are all my own work, unsurprisingly. I have a phone with a sticky screen. Maybe it's my brain and fingers that are sticky. In the city I try to look up but I fail miserably at making forward progress. Street level, street view is all I see so I miss a lot but I'm less likely to stumble over on the pavement. 

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Greensleeves etc.

Getting AI to draw a new version of Lady Greensleeves is proving to be a problem. Maybe I'm just looking for answers in the wrong places. She's quite elusive, as you might well expect from a historical character who may or may not have ever existed. This one's a bit of a Mills & Boon paperback cover type of woman. Her eyes are a wee bit funny looking too. Cheap (?) AI still struggles with eyes and fingers. Maybe her mystery and some kind of anonymity is what I need to focus on. That and getting a proper, settled riff and an actual musical arrangement sorted out. Here's one of the Pre-Raphaelite versions I was using as source material. 

So we've been busy putting a new album of songs together, so far it's sounding pretty fine. I'm happy. However I doubt that it'll sound as good as this one ....

Tuesday, May 23, 2023


Album launch tonight in Edinburgh: Norman Lamont and the Heaven Sent with Turn. A very fine, well written, played and produced album put together in a really nice package. If you're like me a value CDs more than streams or downloads then I'd recommend it. Of course you can download it and find it in all the usual places. More info etc. here.

Monday, May 22, 2023

South Queensferry Daily Photo


Spotted in the bushes near to the Hawes Pier, SQ. Somebody's pride and joy has suffered an undignified end and a rapid cremation. For clarification I was not actually in the bushes beside the motor cycle, I remained steady at a safe distance. You don't mess up a crime scene. The wreck is clearly visible from the path, the ashes are cold and the fire had gone out a while ago.

Distant Hills of Perthshire

At least that's what I think they are, Perthshire goes on for quite a long way most of the time with it's winding roads and what not. When you're in it you find there's more to it than you might think. Whilst they are mostly nice to look at the Scottish highlands aren't particularly high, 1000m is about average in these parts. Unfortunately people do still get into trouble on them ... I tend to stay on the roads. Over enthusiastic cyclists are the main danger there though.

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Asparagus on a Small Scale

A year on in the cultivation of asparagus and this is what we have created. Growing this vegetable is a long process, last year nothing really happened, this year just some spindly growth progress. Next year (year three) there is a chance of actually cropping some. Of course you could easily buy a pack of as much as we'll ever grow for £3.00 or so in any supermarket. None of that matters, we're already looking forward to the wild antics and celebrations at the annual Asparagus Folk Festival that takes place in the distant fields of muddy Fife. We'll qualify as virgin exhibitors you know (a very special category). As illustrated below.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Free Stuff

Slowly sinking in a sea of ... : When you don't own things you can't really complain about the service. I regularly use "free" tools on line, I provide little feedback, I just use the program and move on. Music, AI, videos, searches, news, artwork, open source alternatives; it doesn't really matter to me. I don't expect much from the provider, if I'm unhappy I'll change. 

Maybe some ownership and a sense of belonging would be better, not sure how to graduate towards that. I'm too mean and used to free stuff and we've all seen how services rise and fall, come and go. Loyalty isn't encouraged. There'll be another one along in a bit ... I suppose. 

Free is OK, good for a while but we take it for granted, click past the ads, ignore the messages, refuse to join up and avoid being stung. So if they pull the plug, change the algorithm or switch around the tools or format you'd better suck it up or just roll on elsewhere. It's evolution but not as we know it. (Turns out Google Photos just wants your money not your precious content, imagine that).

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Perchance to Dream

Sleep comes and goes, dreams burst out and fade, their meanings unchallenged slip away. Light drips in between the window blinds, fallen from a star far away. Strangely we think of it as being "ours" as it's energy arrives into our systems. Twitching, scratching and gulping we turn to and the realization of morning's arrival surfaces automatically into a fuzzy consciousness and so another day begins. We breathe in and out and rub tired eyes ... newly disorientated passengers and arrivals on the world's edge.

Sunday, May 14, 2023


This magpie is a regular visitor at the bird feeder. He/she inspired the use of the old traditional Magpie poem with a few strange and over elaborate additions. The music's ours.

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Cat With No Name


Today we said goodbye to our beloved cat Clint. He was the only kitten in the litter without a name so he became Clint as per the Clint Eastwood western film tradition. He was a crazy, affectionate and adorable cat who loved the outdoor life but also cuddling up warmly indoors. We had him for about 16 years and he was always funny and curious and interested in everything that was going on. He'd been ill for a few months and it was sad watching his health decline and his strength slip away. In the end he died peacefully and, like his mum Missy, we miss him loads.

Ginger headed Clint as a kitten, asleep with his brothers and sisters. The black spreadeagled one is Smudge, she came to stay with us along with Clint but was killed in a road accident while still young. Their mum Missy joined us not long after that and lived happily along with Clint for many years. Below: the (not very) grumpy old man look.