Sunday, May 31, 2015

Lazy blogging

It's been too busy (almost typed too busty there till the spell check kicked in) a weekend to post anything coherent but it's Sunday night by now which will soon give birth to another sterile Monday. So this image sums up something, somehow.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

At peace with the world

After an afternoon of filing away at stubborn Chinese metal I've given up; 48mm into 48mm doesn't go and never will (unless you do a whole lot more filing). So I have stopped trying, stopped fretting and more importantly stopped sweating. I bought another pole, one of a more suitable size and...relax. The 48mm pole is about to feature on Gumtree in some badly worded form. How old do you really have to be to stop listening to that stubborn, irritating voice inside your head that repeats various kinds of noisy nonsense on a loop? 59 and a half apparently. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Coop Sandwich

These are seriously good sandwiches, I'd recommend the salmon, egg, egg mayo (that's two kinds of egg on one sandwich) and salad big boy.  Available from some emporium near to where you are or my case the Coop in Balloch. Simple things please simple digestive systems that are mainly powered by a combination of gravity and perseverance and regular exercise. Look after your innards and plumbing and they will surely look after you. Send it down and see it from the premises. Tomorrow for rich and self indulgent mixture of sport and lifetime experience I plan to visit a bank and a petrol station in no particular order. Whatever next?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

48mm dia hole

Here's the nifty, large and earth/beige/brown coloured sun parasol I ordered from Amazon for the garden. Perfect in every way apart from the fact that the pole diameter is 48mm meaning it requires a 48mm hole to stand up in the standing up device. Where on earth can I get such a thing?

Strange to think of finding a means to block out the sun's precious little rays when in May it's a little south of 9C and pouring with seven different kinds of rain.

Monday, May 25, 2015

A little screwy

Despite the advances we see in technology some folks still enjoy drawing cartoons, I presume mostly using normal, low-tech methods. Then they upload them on instagram or something. God bless them all.

At some point every generation stops, takes stock, looks out of the window and thinks, "things are getting a little screwy around here." That's what I tell myself and then, shortly after that I tell myself that in fact I'm the one that's getting a little more screwy. Then I stop all of that and stop thinking for a while. Meanwhile as I do I notice that based on the images that glide into my peripheral vision it seems that the screwiness simply increases. Learning lessons from life, recent history and ancient history doesn't really happen. It's a problem for all of us and none of  but maybe I can be a little more relaxed about it. I am after all a big part of the problem.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Forgotten pieces

The forgotten pieces of yesterday's Lego, as collected from the rug and rescued into a new life on the book shelf. Where will they find themselves next?
Today I seemed to drink a lot of tea and probably ate too much. I dreamt that the house dated from the time of the French Revolution and indeed it did. The morning was a fuzzy time, it took an hour to wake up and an hour to shower and an hour to fiddle with yet more versions of vehicle number plates. I also ate a fried egg. That's three hours of anybody's time and before long I was in a cafe eating lunch. Now I can't make my mind up as to whether I'm a bowl of lukewarm soup or a butterfly covered in butter. The afternoon burned away like an Embassy Regal so I pottered in the garden before eventually running out of pots and failing to find any ill placed trees that needed removing. As usual I moved the barrel into a better location, soon the torture will stop. I also sprayed things with teak oil from the bargain land of Aldi, that was a quite satisfying activity. The garden has a grammar all of it's own and I can't quite understand it. In the end all I knew was that there was a remarkable amount of dust up inside my nostrils after a lengthy spell of sweeping. I'll not be trying that again. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Longer may you run

Gone to a good home , I hope.
OK blog in the doldrums, what could pull you out? Extensive tales of ironing to a CSNY soundtrack? The removal of old and stubborn number plates without causing injury to myself (can't say the same about the plates)? Selling a Dutch car to Dutch couple from Glen Clova who've had enough of French cars for the mean time? In that same sale getting half of what I paid for the car three years ago and 40k later? (That's not half bad for a half value thing). The possibly mistaken purchase of Moroccan lamb meat balls and couscous for tea? A sardine snack and clambering through the woods with a hose pipe? Deciding just for one bloody Friday not to got and  worship at the temple of the false god Tesco? Drilling holes in plastic? Wondering about guys like Alistair Carmichael and how they tick, what's the best position to take; pity, revenge, hate, hounding, ignore or just watch from a safe distance as he's devoured (for being a liar) by other politicians? All of whom may well have told a lie or two themselves...but they're safe for the meantime s they can stir up a frenzy. Time to fry some more potatoes, foil up some corn & butter, drink some beer and think deep thoughts in the dubious company of the Discovery Channel.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Has anyone seen that confounded bridge?

No postings for days and days, it seems that I may well have a life after all. The weekend and the early part of the week are just a blue/grey blur. Is that alcohol, tiredness or is my eyes doctor? Today I got out into the vast and open  countryside that is Central Scotland and saw the new bridge across the River Forth. An impressive and comprehensive piece of fine Chinese engineering set into an iconic scene, one day I hope to safely cross it. Busy people are everywhere, screwing it together and doing a damn fine job of it all. Meanwhile I'm getting back to chopping up a few mushrooms and emptying the dishwasher.

Friday, May 15, 2015


Today is our anniversary so we're off to Nandos later, that's how we roll.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

A good time of year

This is good time of year (if you can somehow ignore all the terrible things going on in the world) and the garden is going a bit daft. Many plants and trees that I can neither name or pronounce are pushing out blossom, leaves and the new green shoots of a healthy economy. Birds are twittering and flying in that gravity defying way they do whilst building unapproved and dangerous nests in the roof. Elsewhere squirrels are learning road sense the hard way and under numerous stones and twigs a lot of insects lead quite and unobtrusive lives but presumably have a lot of insect sex that we never see. Moss lands in the garden as if it had fallen from the clouds or a neighbour had chucked it over the fence. In the Co-op wine and pizza are sold, quite freely but at a reasonable price. Really, you'd think I'd never been outside of the house before.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Living with a Mini

And now the dress is hung, the ticket pawned
The factor max that proved the fact is melted down
Woven on the edging of my pillow
And my brother lays upon the rocks
He could be dead, he could be not
He could be you
He's chameleon, comedian, Corinthian and caricature
Shooting up pie in the sky
Bewlay brothers
In the feeble, in the bad
Bewlay brothers
In the blessed and cold
In the crutch hungry dark
Was where we flayed our mark
Oh and we were gone
Kings of Oblivion
We were so turned on
In the mind warp pavilion

The Bewlay Brothers, verse four or thereabouts. I probably don't need to hear anymore. Every so often I feel a little unsure, about the state of the world and the health of the poor and I return to some summer place where questions were never asked and truths were never faced. So what is this larking about all about? Where is the gravity and the fat, where is the dog and who hid the cat?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Politics suck as does traffic. So back to the world of dull, mundane things and my recent discovery that, once a finely sliced banana is added, instant porridge is actually ok. Not only does it fill that peculiar gnawing gap deep behind the belly button but it fuels you till at least twelve thirty and it makes you feel just a little more Scottish in some bizarre way. If I had a plate of tatties and herring for tea, hurled some coal at passing cats  and washed up in a tin bath the effect would be complete. Even an idiot can make this, just add boiling water freshly drawn from the loch, stir with a genuine Celtic spirtle, wait for a New York minute and away you go. It works; and I hereby declare the microwave oven obsolete (except for scrambled egg fixing and restoring the healing properties of a two day old Chinese carry out)... and oats build fortitude with every fibre and can prevent strokes and influenza.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Sheep shape

Taken from my car on my daily commute.
Sheep are a kind of non-human animal created by god during a trip to New Zealand when he was looking for some extra ingredients for a curry. Beef was considered but for some reason lamb sounded grander, would please food experts more and would roll from an Asian tongue quite easily. The sheep eventually escaped from New Zealand on the raft Kon-Tiki (meaning Kon-Tiki in Maori) and eventually made it to the West Coast of Scotland attracted by a seasonally based diet of midges. They've evolved to have no road sense, regularly sleeping in potholes and/or just standing there, in the way. They are unafraid of noise and rain. During the Clearances of 1746 there was little or no shagging so the population dwindled, recently things have looked up now that the Campbells have returned to the hillsides in their rusty camper vans. In spring they can be recycled into either small amounts of money, clothing (via knitting pins) or stew. Curious artists have also turned them into abstract pieces of art by simply attaching LEDs to their wool and turning a lighted wild dog on them. In time we hope they will spell out a secret word that will unlock a way for them to get back to their homeland. Just watch out for them anyway.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Keeping us hip

"This new IKEA kitchen stuff really sucks, was it your idea?".
So it's the day after the day after and we know the awful truth for sure. We're all screwed and most politicians are unspeakable idiots with little sense of self and less sense of what might be "the right thing to do". We also know that there are nearly enough SNP MPs to obscure the Forth Bridge but there's bugger all proper for them to vote for or against. Shuttle fares between Edinburgh and London will however hit a new high and you can forget travel on a Monday morning or a Friday. Human beings have huge capacity to disappoint, be careful who you associate yourself with, who you invest time in and who you follow. That's worthy of being carved into a tablet of tablet. Had Scottish Labour tried that then at least we'd all have a share of a sugary brown treat to enjoy following their well predicted demise. So the ugly, smirking Tory Boys are back in power but there's no dancing in the street, just a friendly riot here and there. In other news it appears that we have Hipster Cops out there on the same riotous streets, keeping us safe, keeping us secure and keeping us hip, whatever that means these days.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Vote Steampunk

For some reason photographs like this fascinate me.
I'm glad the election is over. I can't say I'm happy about the overall result. I can't quite see where it will take us here in Scotland (but we've made our protest heard) and I'm shocked but not surprised at the electoral engineering the Tories have carried out in England to win. Their sneaky planning and cunning redrawing of boundaries and their tactics of fear and false promises has paid off; and we'll all be worse off ultimately. They hate us. All this at the strange expense of a number of useless and bloated career politicians getting the final boot and headed for a stint in Strictly Come Dancing or the couch on the  Andrew Marr show. Ed Balls will look a treat in sequins and Danny Alexander will naturally enjoy a cameo role in some new Muppet Movie. Nick Clegg will take over from Portillo as the slow train guru on BBC whatever and George Galloway will write a book based on his own imaginary life which will be self published on Kindle with a lurid cover depicting Saddam and Rula Lenska in a mud wrestling match. Vince Cable will join the cast of the Archers and Jim Murphy will keep his head down and his nose high playing the part of the Leader of the Scottish Labour Party. It's always sad to see when somebody just doesn't get it. There is life after politics but there's no politics after life. Next time I'm voting Steampunk in the hope of getting some kind of iron chancellor.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Tedious but

The intertwerp is full of useless but amusing things, here's some Disney style makeovers of  GoT characters, there are of course loads of versions out there and you could lose your mind in their search and subsequent discovery. Why would you? Just make do with these for the time being. Enough is enough.

Alternative weather

Half way up the stairs the sun shines through the banister, half way down the stairs it shines through the blinds.
Better weather tonight.
Whatever you do tomorrow please don't allow any schisms in the weather department to deny you the fundamental (but hardly fun) democratic right of participating in the greatest democratic process that our democratically driven political system allows.  It's supposed to mean this and maybe it does:

  1. democracy definition. A system of government in which power is vested in the people, who rule either directly or through freely elected representatives. Note:Democratic institutions, such as parliaments, may exist in a monarchy. 

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Daily shower

Use this in your daily need to rinse.
Today's rain was spectacularly badly behaved, twisting and hammering around, refusing to stay on surfaces, bouncing like a mad thing and ricocheting here and there with no care for the damage done. Road spray blinded one and all, great sheets of water engulfed the booming traffic and made steering light and suspension shudder. There was fog and mist and mayhem. It was out of control, elemental and dangerous. At times a great grey and eerie white out, never ending and bottomless, crazy... and some people still chose to drive a little beyond their own and their vehicle's capabilities without putting their feckin' lights on!

Monday, May 04, 2015

Fourth May be with us

For those living in caves or down by the centre of the earth some where, here's what weather looks like.
I completely failed to watch the Scottish leaders debate (due to exhaustion and to some extent apathy, things that will pass) last night and also failed to hold any preliminary Star Wars marathon viewings. Instead it was a rainy, stray cat feeding, mince and tatties night followed by three fairly harrowing episodes of the violent and crazy series Vikings. We're all the way to the epic season finale of Season 2 (when did "seasons" become such a thing anyway?) now and emotionally and physically exhausted by the experience. I also quite like the theme music and title sequence, the sex, drugs and ritual beheadings are nothing to do with my staying with it. Roll on the next batch, already on Netflix someplace.

During the night, the rain, as if irritated by Scottish politics, battered on the Velux window asking to get in so it might state it's opinions. I stirred and shuffled around like Ozzie in slippers for a few minutes. The world is a strange place at 3.30 and aches and pains and muddled thoughts rule and the scrapings of dreams hang over like torn pages out of books. By 3.35 I was back to sleep and blissfully unaware of anything beyond my battered senses or the happenings in some TV studio or on Twitter. Long may I live in that peaceful place.

An early blueprint of R2D2 apparently. 

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Pilgrimage to Anster

Here we are exploring our homeports before GE2015 turns us on our heads with No. 99 in an occasional series of posts relating to uncoordinated visits to the lands of my beloved fathers also known as Anstruther and Cellardyke. On this occasion we hardly set foot out of either the pub or the hotel; the weather was that usual Scottish mix of wet and dodgy and getting fresh air and drookit wasn't high on the agenda. It was about fish, beer and wine and some chill time on the East coast, snoozing in a warm hotel room, browsing black and white photos, noting changes and demolitions,  looking out of cafe windows, drifting in and out of daft conversation, watching people and over indulging. Not a bad way to fritter away the guilty use of some precious time; a thing that can't be valued properly anyway.  

Out of season Anstruther is a bit dull, seriously grey and forgotten (expect by the SNP banners and the Fence Co's well beaten tracks) but it's a kind of home for my orphan and awkward spirit. My soul is purified by chips and fish and thoughts of chilly ice creams. Yes chips are king and every pub is full whilst the local hipsters and retirees (I guess) take over. They talk in loud voices and get all the plum seats when the weekend comes around. So what the hell is it like in the summer when the lost tribes return in their camper vans and vests? 

Also it's the first proper run in the new/old Mini Coop' rattletrap - now nicely wetted in the springtime and rust enhancing rains.