Sunday, August 29, 2010

Psycho II

The current favourite beverage holder - around these parts.

Psycho progress continues as it does revealing the following secret history; pictured above are the ancient ruins of Abercorn Castle 0845 to 1154 (times approximate). It was here that Princess Margaret, a mermaid from Denmark, set up home with King Malcolm Middleton the Rotund. Together they brought fierce religious beliefs, various useful pottery pots and deer skinning techniques to the primitive Picts who rewarded them both with a ritual beheading and a jolly good bonfire party. King Malcolm also invented the hotel and then the tin opener, unfortunately tinned food and tin were not at that point available to the general public so he was nicknamed "the Misunderstood". Odd that his crippling speech impediment is never mentioned. Things have moved on and their once splendid castle has now been looted and bulldozed so that townies can visit the countryside and kindly leave their Lucozade bottles and Kit-Kat wrappers as habitat for the embattled wildlife.

Locally produced food is the best beating both Poundland and Lidl's tawdry efforts into a cocked hat. This weekend we've feasted on garden potatoes (best suited for relentless mashing and pounding), garden rhubarb and tree based plums. These fine foods were duly heated up and consumed by a hungry family, part of which spent today marvelling at the unique weather system that sits permanently and directly over Pittenweem (almost home of the self righteous and frankly boring Fence Collective) and sailing great ships, something of a family business.

On 18th September it will be 40 years since Jimi Hendrix died, how strange is that? I'm already thinking back over those (for me) well known albums and songs, today it was Axis: Bold as Love. Seems like yesterday and then it seems like a lifetime, damn these persistent memory problems!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Some kind of Hell

  1. Hell doesn't avenge evil or reveal God's power. It does the exact opposite! By holding on to the doctrine of eternal hell, we in essence hold to the belief that in the end God's will to save all people goes unfulfilled, which puts God's power and goodness in doubt.
  2. Hell heralds eternal hopelessness. Suffering in hell for all eternity means that souls burning there forever will exist without any hope of redemption. This leads us to the belief that God withdraws unconditional love once a person's body dies. In other words, God's love for us is tied to the physical body and the temporal realm, and grace disappears for unbelievers after the physical life is gone.
  3. Hell keeps evil in eternal existence. The Bible tells us that, in the end, God will abolish evil. Yet, somewhere in the universal expanse of God's perfect peaceful kingdom, evil still survives in those who inhabit hell -- evil "lives" on eternally.
  4. Hell creates a clash between justice and love. We unintentionally conjure up a cruel father who demands that unrepentant sinners spend eternity in the flames of hell, finding endless torture an agreeable way to achieve justice -- which is a far cry from the God who loves with an everlasting love. We develop a picture of a God who promotes eternal punishment as positive, as part and parcel of divine love and justice. We try to relieve these tensions by appealing to God's love and mercy on the one hand, and to God's justice and wrath on the other. Such a view of God's love, mercy, justice, and wrath leads to the conclusion that to love is to punish eternally and, therefore, to punish eternally is just.
  5. Hell assigns eternal violence to God: Traditional theories of hell not only keep evil in eternal existence; they also keep the cycle of violence in motion for all eternity as unfortunate souls suffer the ferocity of eternal torture because God requires it.
  6. Hell executes eternal punishment for temporal sin: Does sin committed during one short, temporary life span deserve an eternity of punishment? Even in our own society, we strive to make the punishment fit the crime.
From Sharon L Baker's book "Razing Hell"

Sair Heid?

. The author chewing on a Marks & Spencer bacon breakfast bap. Very nice too. I cant be bothered to think about very much so below are some bits of lifetime advice from Billy Connolly.

Try to catch a trout and experience the glorious feeling of letting it go and seeing it swimming away.

Never eat food that comes in a bucket.

If you don't know how to meditate at least try to spend some time every day just sitting.

Boo joggers.

Don't work out, work in.

Play the banjo.

Sleep with somebody you like.

Eat plenty of Liquorice Allsorts.

Try to live in a place you like.

Marry somebody you like.

Try to do a job you like.

Never turn down an opportunity to shout, 'F**k them all!' at the top of your voice.

Avoid bigots of all descriptions.

Let your own bed become to you what the Pole Star was to sailors of old ... look forward to it.

Don't wear tight underwear on aeroplanes.

Above all, go to Glasgow at least once in your life and have a roll and square sliced sausage and a cup of tea. When you feel the tea coursing over your spice-singed tongue, you'll know what I mean when I say: 'It's good to be alive!'

Thursday, August 26, 2010

It is obvious

Ultimately my plan is to do everything and to achieve everything. bearing in mind that my time and resources are limited this may be a tall order but I remain undeterred. There can be 36 hours in a day if you want it to be that way, just consider the actual hours to be a few % shorter. October will be my month of supreme challenge as I tackle the twin perils of birthday and jet lag. Ouch.

I'm also finding it healthier to temporarily park the crippling foot fetish I've suffered from for 75 years, losing this is like losing a soul fragment; noticeable but mostly painless and invisible. It did start me wondering if toe nails were jealous of their fingernail cousins. Those nails that receive all the attention, grab the daylight and see the world in all its fitful glory whilst the lonely toenails languish in the dark interior of sock country and smothered by all the associated fluff.

Tonight, after a feast of Pitreavie based mid-summer football it was tuna rice in a surprise microwave and onion combo, yum.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Another day...

...another UFO flies over the main western road junction near Newton village, West Lothian. When will our little grey brothers, sisters and others (?) just leave us alone to get on with the perfectly normal progress we are making in developing our mirrored lives and mind reading techniques? By the abnormal amount interest they are currently showing in us I'm beginning to think that we may be on to something. Could it be something to do with the recent French Toast formula discovery, the research into near vertical spiral paths or the prototype Flux Capacitor Mark III stored in the garage? Best not to speculate and simply carry on with the good work, at least they are just over flying us at present with their beams set to minimum scan (less of a burning sensation I find). The landing platform in the woods wont be ready for a few weeks either and there is a huge pile of ironing to be done.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Special effects

The happy couple, now retired from worldly troubles take a stroll in the twilight to appreciate the view and various popular financial packages.

In the evening and covered by a badly designed radiation glow we walked along those same rugged cliff tops that mark the edge of ruined Britain supported by our faithful stick, old sunglasses and a bottle of auto-tune software. I was fortunate enough not to stumble and eventually returned from there to here. Once safe at home my thoughts again turned to the fundamentals of gardening, mass wasp executions, serial hoovering and economical recording processes.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Watership Down Syndrome

P.S. to Psychopath: It's like that bit in the first chapter, when the tremors start and the developers come. The ground cracks under your feet and all the tiny creatures, all the birds of the air, all the mice and rabbits run, run for their lives. The more spiritual and sensitive rabbits, those in touch with their environment and their feelings sense the impending doom and try to warn their fellows before the event, none of whom listen. Typical then.


West Lothian's newest psychopath is being installed, built, blasted out of living rock and timber and firmly planted in a recently deforested site that's not quite in our back yard. First of all heavy earth movers and badly written letters arrived and a short period of rain rained on all of us. Then strange noises, thumps and woodland whistling was heard even by people fast asleep or in drink induced comas. Next thing we knew we had, according to an iPhone app, 27% more daylight, 33% less wood pigeons and 18% less pot holes. It was a red letter day ( I got my Barclaycard statement) and we had a frozen trout.
A large, mean looking black hole appeared in the earth and we found a leg of deer (or the rear leg of a deer) up a tree. The rest of the deer had however hopped it. The track is forming up nicely and any day lots of clunking psychos and their partners will arrive, sweating with their packed lunches, heading for the now nearby and convenient sewage free coast. Meanwhile we're considering opening a nice tea shop in order to cash in on the thirsty, visiting psychos. The kind of up market shoppe that has tea and scones and tits and tats and no greasy spoons etc.

This publicly funded devastation is frankly OK with me and I'm glad that the indigenous and well fed but badly dressed peoples of West Lothian have finally been driven from their burning homes and that this appropriate new route has crushed their rain forest hovels. Project management at its best. I'm so in tune with this that I'm planning buy a second hand psycho all of my own from Gumtree. That will stop my bad habit of borrowing or, in extremis stealing the chrome beasts. See you all perhaps at the opening ceremony which has been scheduled to fit in with the next Papal visit, an event bound to relieve the pent up irritation that soils these troubled shores.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Theory buster

Abstract paper clip wiggle. On glass. (we are still making things).

There was a certain geometric perfection in our theory, a simple habit, made regular and easy, to fend of colds, flu and the hostile bugs. Eat yogurt every day that you live and as far as possible breathe. It worked so well for a year or more. Then the yogurt eating stopped, sudden as a door slam, replaced with a fine strain of rough Celtic porridge and honey from the bums of the best bees. Alas. I now have a cold, a stinker and Ali too but I've bought a weeks supply of bacterially perfect yogurt and blue milk.

Quote of the day: "She's a lesbian bin man." Of course!

Jonny C Clarke

Short(ish) poem inspired by seeing JCC, 19/08/10 at 2330 in a big town in the rain. Ahem...

"John Cooper Clarke

Comes in from the dark

Side stuck in permanent profile

A head on stilts that groans

Like a sliced Ramone

Painted on jeans

Tattered scripts mean

The perpetual illusion

Literary confusion

Lament no lamination

On notes or notation

Scribbles and stencils

Like and unleaded pencil


John Cooper Clarke

Festival stick insect

Heroin chic defects

A lack of respect

For the untwisted word

Sexually transmitted diseases

Coughs and sneezes

The North's balmy breezes

Personal hell freezes

The absurd and the norms

On parade and reformed

Big society’s worms


John Cooper Clarke

Needs a good meal

Needs time to heal

This walking corpse

Rides the fourth horse

Emaciated, animated

Spectral and laminated

A carbon copy punk

Drinks without being drunk

Starves without the hunger

Isn’t getting younger


John Cooper Clarke

John Cooper Clarke

Cigarette burns

Self harm returns

The wrong side of the razor

Unbuttoned unblazered

Glasses for lasers

Like Gollum in headlights

But I should write something trite

He was on for seven nights

Just more festival…magic

John Cooper Clarke

Shared a bed with Nico

An artists hole, a freak show

You should know

Addicted lover’s Boho

Where the disinfectant should go

It’s easier for a cat to bark

Space Shuttles to park

Feed Wheatabix to a shark

A flushed toilet to spark

Than be John Cooper Clarke

I don’t envy John Cooper Clarke

I don't want to be John Cooper Clarke.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Beechams Powders

Now that we are back home the deadly smite of deadly sore throats and mid summer fever has descended upon us. Thank goodness for the healing and reviving powers of Beechams Powders, the No1 remedy for old people's and even young people's cold, over tired or virus related ailments. Unfortunately we have none in the cupboard so it'll have to be a Hot&Nasty Toddy.

Toyota Hilux

I suppose that it was inevitable that amongst all the dilapidated and rusting hulks on Stroma there would be at least one timeless and iconic item. One thing so legendary and at the same time ordinary that it transcends the normal, the pedestrian and the bizarre by occupying a unique space in the history of utility motor vehicles. I give you the (post 62) red Hilux parked by the church right at the top of the hill. It's history is unknown and it's role in the making or even the breaking of Stroma is not clear but there it sits, defying the elements, time and tides. Probably starts on the first turn of the key...every time, if there was somebody to start it.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Caithness daily photo

Stroma harbour on a sunny afternoon. Built and put into use just a few months before everybody left the island for good in the early sixties. Now there are still a few folks who use the island for sheep pasture but there are no permanent residents - or so it seems.

The remains of a small industrial railway system by the slipway and harbour.

House boarded up with fish boxes and Caithness blue slate.

Inside the same house; a box bed onto which some old furniture has been placed, a commode has also been put in there for some reason. The floor has however been covered by peat, dirt and sheep dung. Clearly the animals use the open house(s) as a shelter, spending time in these solid but slowly rotting hulks is unpleasant and dangerous and they are not watertight. A strange, haunted place to visit. A ghost town shining in the broad daylight.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Some sky has been captured in the top part of this photo, not sure what it's on about.

Sky writing

Having spent some time looking up at the sky through sunglasses I‘ve come to the conclusion that aliens are using clouds to communicate with us. They have a machine somewhere that can modify clouds into a type of script that can be used to write in this cloud language. I presume that the writing machine is hidden in space, above the atmosphere and by using a long and special nib, writes in water vapour across the sky. All we need to do is lie back, look up at the sky and read what it says. Of course not all clouds are alien writing, most are chunky lumps of bad weather and regular, natural water vapour. The ones that the aliens are using are the wispy ones that look like handwriting fonts. So next time you’re out and there are fine, faded clouds up in the sky try to read them. I find that it’s best to look for the e and start from there, not sure if they are using the Queen’s English either.

Being outside and exploring

Imagine how it must nave been for our early ancestors, Neanderthals and stone age people. As everybody would be new to the world nobody would know where anything was. All day you’d be wondering around finding places, perhaps giving them names, getting lost and generally wasting time. It must have been bloody chaos out there. Every time you’d go out it would be a big adventure and of course you couldn’t tell anybody where you were as you wouldn’t know yourself. Makes we wonder how we ever found the time to invent the kettle, brew beer, kill large numbers of European bison, forge philosophical ideas and develop sustainable pagan or other deity based religions.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Cycle of destruction

The skeleton of a tractor drowning in the grass.

An abandoned boat lies in a field 200 metres from the sea.

A box bed in an old house, left in order to pursue better things in 1962.

A sunken caravan is drawn below the surface in a collapsing steading's yard.

The old Button A, Button B, red imperial phone box doesn't take calls anymore.

Images from the lost island of Stroma, where the weather blasts the abandoned reminders of the past telling them that better days may come again and that the footsteps of ghosts will be silenced by the sounds of travellers returning. "Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold..."

Friday, August 13, 2010

Where is Caithness

Where is the place? Out there somewhere, west of X, east of z. We huddle together for warmth, explore shadows and breathe in the salt air spray. We are home and away and experiencing a score draw and the end of a kindly, wet summer. We love your coasts and kit houses, strange frames and main roads, history and obligation. I also ate a very fat sausage.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Secret room

So today I am in a 15th century tower in a room with three doors, one leads out into the hall, the other two are locked and seem to lead nowhere. I suspect that one is in fact an old shallow cupboard. The other however hides a dark secret, a very dark secret. Behind that door a game of cards is taking place and there are three participants: The Devil, a white bear and Harlequin. The game began many years ago, nobody is quite sure when but the game has gone on for centuries and still does.

As the game progresses the scores charge, they ebb and flow. Sometimes the devil is winning, sometimes the bear, occasionally Harlequin. The Devil tends to get the best hands but has a poor playing temperament, the bear is naturally clumsy but has a strange and high degree of skill when the game becomes intense. Harlequin trusts to luck and has no clear strategy, he either loses heavily or has spectacular wins, you never know how his game will go.

I believe the staff in the kitchens keep them well fed with whisky, cakes and scones and venison. They need to be sustained as they play. They may play on for another five hundred years or, some say, until doomsday. It's peculiar to think that this is happening only a few feet from where I'll be laying my head and after one or two drinks sleeping soundly and peacefully. I also believe that Shakin' Stevens recently stayed in this same room also. I wonder if they are listening to that forgotten classic album "then play on" by the original Fleetwood Mac?.

Monday, August 09, 2010

We need...

We need to think (as I was considering yesterday) about a lot of things. We need to sit back or perhaps step back, review, ponder and have a good think to ourselves. Clearly we need to think about things, specific things. Arguably things that will do us, or family and friends and our peers some good. Something good for the rest of society and the wider world would also help so they say. So that's what we all need to do, according to the thinking experts on TV, on News Night, in government and in various editorials. We've all got a busy few weeks ahead and some very furrowed brows and sore thumbs. Good luck with your thinking one and all.

Oh and when you are not thinking please spend some of that spare cash and so stimulate the economy if you don't mind. Remember that the Pope has said, on many occasions and in various Third World locations that Jesus ans Buddha both love an irresponsible and reckless spender.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Chair on fire

The occasionally busy River Forth as seen from a rather high place. I've also been doing a lot of thinking in the odd gaps that have opened up this rather busy weekend, unfortunately that seems to get me nowhere. No thinking for me from now on, I'll just get on with things.

Although it's not been a particularly dry summer every so often you get one of those days/nights when, for no reason surplus wickerwork furniture just spontaneously combusts, as it were. There is no rational explanation so I have none to offer.

Today was a quite nice one weather wise and good for gardening but challenging in numerous other areas, I may have to resort to thinking once again. That is the end of the thought forecast.

Friday, August 06, 2010


The impermanence of pleasure

"This most recent study inquired into the well being of 136,000 people worldwide and compared it to levels of income. It found, overall, that feelings of security and general satisfaction did increase with financial status. Money, however, could not lift its possessors to the next level, and was unable to provide enjoyment or pleasure on its own. The survey, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, examined large numbers of people from almost every culture on earth, and found much the same thing. The stereotype of the rich man who finds life savorless and without pleasure was not invented simply to keep the poor happy with their lot.

Opinions and this enormous survey, however, concentrate on status and on the moment of possession. Are we satisfied and filled with pleasure when we have what we came for? Some, looking at suburban cannibals and eager consumers, would say “yes”; the survey tends to say “not necessarily”. There is a significant question to be asked about enjoyment, which we ask ourselves all the time when embarked on an enterprise of pleasure. It’s rare that we can actually pin down the specific site of pleasure; the specific moment where what William Blake called “the lineaments of gratified desire” are at their clearest.

Take the teenager determined to buy an iPad, a woman setting out to get a new handbag, a prosperous businessman who wants to add to his collection of sports watches. The setting out with the happy intention of spending; the entering of the shop; the examination of the wares; the long decision; the handing over of the money; the moment when the ownership of handbag, watch or tablet is transferred; the gloating at home; the moment when the object is displayed to others. All these steps form a process in enjoyment, but almost all of them are redolent with anticipation or with retrospective glee. The moment where bliss is at its peak, as with other pleasures of the human animal, is over in a flash, and hardly exists at all. Everything else is foreplay and memory.

Composers have always known this simple, basic truth: pleasure is half anticipation and half blissful recollection, and hardly at all about the fulfillment of the promise. The great musical statements of ecstasy, such as Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde or Schubert’s first Suleika song, are literally all half crescendo and half languid recall. We look forward to pleasure; we look back on it. The moment of pleasure itself is over in a flash, and often rather questionable. The sulking child’s question, guaranteed to destroy any outing, “Are we having fun yet?” is an irrational one; because we are always looking forward to having fun, always knowing that we have had fun."