Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Worth a try

A simple enough solution you'd think, everybody in that glutenous and dysfunctional family mess/mass known as Europe stumps up €3 each and then we resolve the Greek financial crisis. Simply taking a bit of responsibility and for less than the price of a Starbuck's macchiato the good people off Greece could start to grow their economy, jail a few bankers, shipping magnates and politicians and so restore Greece's economic fortunes. Is that too much to ask as a small way of saying thanks to the place that formed the foundation of modern civilisation? Probably yes but if only this kind of thinking could be applied successfully, somewhere, just once. Follow the impossible saga around about here https://twitter.com/indiegogo.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Not a dead cat then

In daylight everything is much clearer.
So we've had about five days of our cats being sick, so much so that one ended up in catospital on a drip. The radar is therefore turned up to eleven for anything that sounds faintly like the pre-vomit noises a cat might make. Day or night. And so it was that one cat duly puked at about 23:59 last night rousing me from the merry old land of nod with an impromptu chicken fricassee on a blanket. Grrr! Fast forward to 4am and I'm awake and looking out of the window, chasing sleep with no success. In the grey light I look down and see what looks for all the world like a dead cat on the rockery; not good. I look again, that is a ginger cat, there on the stones. Still and not moving like a living cat would. Shit. In fear and trepidation I go downstairs  to get a closer look. Sure enough, it's a ginger rock and back upstairs on the bed, about two feet from where I was standing is a snoring, snuggling non-vomiting ginger cat. Not dead then.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Entertainment systems

A room with a view.
We have a picture but not for long.
Enjoyed a very pleasant sleepover in the capital city last night staying in the Scotsman Hotel for the first time. The grandiose old newspaper HQ has been converted to rooms for a while now but I'd not been inside the ghostly halls. There where low chairs litter public areas inviting people to sit down when they clearly want to stand up, the German language may have a word for this. It's a  strange, wiry kind of dark place where space is compressed, lifts don't work and the eager staff seem confused and are programmed and scripted in an over attentive way.  Asking people if everything is OK isn't the same as good service. I did have a marvellous sleep, a punchy hangover crunching shower and a good breakfast. What I couldn't fathom was the complex black box 90's style room entertainment system which promised a lot but delivered very little, I managed to switch it on once and only long enough to hear 23 "amazings" from the BBC's now formulaic Glastonbury Goonshow. After that the numerous buttons, a full key pad and a featureless central control unit remained dumb and unresponsive, a bit like me I suppose. The kettle turned out to be more user friendly and with it's successful operation (two teas) I realised the limit of my abilities. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Not going to Glastonbury

Not going to Glasto' because we're going here (as above). Can't type anymore as there is a cat on the keyboard...purring loudly now he's back from the vets.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Still in that green world

Applies strictly to dogs on leads, so take care. 
Yes, there is a gorilla parked in that garden propped up on sticks.
Days later...still trapped and a little confused in the green world with only a small g and a normal sized w. Here everything drips in lowercase and then floods you and washes you away in upper case. Basic motor vehicles make crunching noises as they cross the car park making their progress sound determined and sophisticated. People are eating meals and the physically disabled are standing up for their rights as best they can but sometimes overlooking the rights of others. This whole rights thing can be a bit of a minefield as Princess Diana used to say. It may be the last taboo.

Meanwhile the mentally questionable are failing to answer any of the questions on the grounds that their rights are being compromised by the presence of the more physically but less mentally able. I turn, ready to play the gender card when my excessive age and raw indulgences trip me up and my compromised racial history accompanied by years of white male privilege and disrespect serve to remind me that my  car may be badly parked despite all the gravel noises and squelching I enjoyed making a few moments ago. Don't get me started on sexual abuse v equality either. We can all be victims if we choose. Life us tough but can also be what you make it and who, who I ask you will ever truly speak up for the colour blind, stateless and dyslexic?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Welcome to the green world

A testimony to the power of time and a relentlessly damp atmosphere. Over there in the west things stay wet and rot and grow moss and slowly blend back into where they came from as the great green carpet covers over them and slowly strangles the life and the strength from their materials. One day they'll be gone altogether, drowned in the putrid cosmic soup of eternity. Well that's a nice wee thought then.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A path of silver jellyfish

So the unbridled outdoor life continues as the solstice passes and the midge bites irritate and the caravans trundle slowly, east to west like dying white elephants. The other night whilst almost relaxing and chatting to the locals I discovered a silver path of jelly pod bods littering the shore and generally disturbing my peaceful environment. How untypically sad is the passing of a jelly fish swarm and how pointless. Nobody mourns their demise, you just try to avoid stepping on them and looking at them too close.  Poison springs to mind and raw zombie brains. The thing is they are successful, they float around on the warm currents and most seem to avoid dying for quite a while and are content to look a bit like cat's vomit (another story). Perhaps, if my beliefs ever allow it, I'll return to this earth (or at least the watery bit) as one and just meditate around the Gulf Stream area for a period of time.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The bombing of Bing

I accidentally stumbled back in time the other day and crashed into Bing Crosby's image as he was enjoying a quiet half pint of Tennants at some point in the 60s or 70s in Central Scotland. Possibly on this exact spot. Time travel can be a little clunky and hard to control. Fortunately there was no serious impact on the space time continuum (I hope).  I can't explain it any other way really.

Swimming the Clyde

Crowds gathered by the abandoned crazy golf range in order to view the aquatic spectacle that was unfolding before our tired eyes. The sun shone and the wild applause was deafening.
Pretzel; little or no logic however.
OK, you cant see much really but in the top photo lots of people are swimming across the Clyde from Gourock to Dunoon in a race. My heart goes out to these exhausted and dripping heroes and heroines. Apart from thinking they are both daft and brave they are also inspiring, so much so that I have resolved never to attempt to swim across the Clyde, ever. Neither will I come down it on a bike.

I picked up a rare treat whilst loitering without intent, baffled and still within Dunoon's paved and crowded bosom. A super raspberry ripple 99 style cone accompanied by tasty bite sized pretzels filled with peanut butter. £1 for a generous portion in a paper bag. Old school. Few of my travelling companions were willing to share this treat so I ended up scoffing the lot pretty much alone and misunderstood. There were vivid dreams and few hallucinations later in the evening but no stomach upsets so I guess I got away with the pure random greed of it. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The life of meaning

As I've failed to fathom much about the meaning of life, (mine or anybody else's) I routinely collect quotations that in some way provide some temporary meaning or that when added to other quotes as if in some kind of quotation bible make there own kind of cumulative sense. There are many more where this one came from and they are all as profound and sadly tend to be quite difficult to remember and therefore are hard to refer to or find comfort in during those dark nights of the soul that may occur from time to time.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

50 Greatest Prog Rock Albums?

I do belong to that long lost and much lampooned generation who, for a brief moment believed that prog-rock was the unending answer to some kind of unending question(s) about life and more importantly music, hair and loon pants. After a while it turns out that nothing really happened and the albums were churned out in some self indulgent fashion and judging by the list here in Rolling Stone I certainly missed a few as they rolled by. Now I've a pile of virtual  catching up to do and of course I never will. I've still to read the full list but I do wonder what's better...try to listen to all of these (those I'm unfamiliar with anyway) or just try to catch up on Sparks' enormous and no doubt highly entertaining back catalogue.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

10 Foot tall man

This piece of photographic history features my legs apparently but little else of interest. I enjoy playing the minor roles in these lifetime dramas. No animals or humans were injured during the process but there was a lot of rich sponge cake and pavlova consumed. The cart was unharmed.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

I dream of Dreamies


I'm so easily by influenced by TV adverts. I'm a simple soul really. I blame the Discovery Channel (Turbo) and the advertisement segments during Fast and Loud. There, apart from PPI, shit loan deals and trailers for a myriad of other similar dumb ass pretending to be bad ass programmes I discovered Dreamies. There, on the silver screen where the cat jumps through a solid wall. It is the Discovery Channel after all so high quality educational images are regularly featured. Now there's no going back. I bought some and handed them out. One cat is already displaying the early signs of serious addiction and the potential to break bad, eyes spinning and mooning. The other is indifferent, like a Pentecostal Preacher at a Dundee strip show (?), or something. It seems that when it comes to peddling stimulants to animals or to specimens of basic level humanity there's no going back once you open the packet. The good news is of course is that they're all fit for human consumption...apart from Fast and Loud that is.

Friday, June 12, 2015


In many ways I remain perpetually puzzled by life and all that it offers, throws at, rains on, discharges or provides for me. Today it was a marvellous and unexpected piece of parking space design in a well known superstore car park. Complete with a jaunty curve, an immovable pillar and no obvious means of getting a normal car either in or out. Motorcycles and cars that have passed through a scrapyard crusher are all very welcome.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Mission for the dead souls

sometimes i wonder why i'm trapped into not writing things in lower case all the time like a proper artist or revolutionary politician or poet might do, there must be something wrong with me, unable to shake of the need for basic punctuation and the construction of 
usually as long as possible with extra words added in at the second or third edit and reread, i do all these things becos i take pride in what i do (like spelcqeking), however simple or off the cuff it might be, i wantthings to be right. i has standardz

Today I was reminded about my friends at RBS and £45 billion they lost and how that weighty sum of money will never return. I wondered how Fred Goodwin might be doing, what he's thinking, how he passes the time even, perhaps he reflects and perhaps he regrets. Anyway it's all going to be sold back now, back to the same regimes, old boys and mindset that ruined it and the rest of the world of banking. No local banks then, community solutions or nationalisation because you see we've all clearly learned some valuable lessons.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


On what has allegedly been the hottest day of the year (with many misshapen blokes spontaneously discarding their shirts and showing their tasteful tattoos as usual) here's some nice pictures of wrecked military equipment frozen to the ground somewhere in Siberia. It has been pleasantly warm mind you, the central heating was given a brief rest and we enjoyed a seasonal salad with the piping hot fish pie. Tar melting around the potholes and various dogs on the receiving end of a good walking. Nissan Micras are out in force traveling slowly and erratically and there are bikes everywhere. People put on shorts and buy those emergency barbecues that cook exactly four burgers before they die and I sip a warm beer somewhere in the distance.  That's summer for you. I wonder what the weather is like today in Iceland?

Tuesday, June 09, 2015


Summer has finally arrived in Scotland bringing with it those woodland vandals known as the squirrel contingent. When nobody is looking it seems that these uncultured squirrels get up to all sorts of squirrel type mischief and when they are doing that you may just capture some of the strange action on an apple device of some sort. Actually I think that somebody was looking,  it just wasn't me for a change. What you can't see in this image is the third squirrel who owns an impressive cloak of invisibility that he is putting to good use possibly just out of shot.

Monday, June 08, 2015

Banana disaster

Today has been the kind of day when you unpeel or unzip your breakfast banana and then promptly drop it onto the floor (in the kitchen at work). Even applying the two second rule and assuming you've no sore back so you can  pick it up quickly it has to go straight into the bin. It's a dirty, tainted banana and there is no nearby, easily accessible replacement. Oh how I cried (well inwardly) and how forlorn and half empty did my porridge pot feel. Is that a question of some kind? It seems to sound like one. Tomorrow I shall do better.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Sexual Healing of sorts

I woke up this morning to the strains of a marching band doing a perfectly loud and credible version of Marvin Gaye's Sexual Healing. Maybe not the most obvious or sensitive rendition but they carried the tune well in a hummable way. After that it was downhill all the other way into a party clear up, dishwasher emptying and breakfast foraging kind of morning. Along came the lazy  the sun to provide a warm and pleasant surprise as we rewound ourselves back to normal on a hungover Sunday morning. There are no workable rituals here other than getting on with it and sensing an inner peace in knowing that you "made it". When I say "made it" I'm referring to more huge, bottomless pots of Stovies - the meal that keeps on giving, relentlessly.  I am now reflecting. I have eaten too much this weekend; cakes, chocolate, burgers and buns, cheeses, light and heavy beers, red wines from far away lands and occasional dollops of salad, greens and pulses. Now I'm ready to fall over and onto the couch and never write another word, compile another playlist or drain a tinny of IPA, till next time that is. 

Friday, June 05, 2015

Look somewhere else for your stories

Don't expect any clever or controversial opinions here, nothing is ever original, all I do is lift and plagiarise whilst carefully avoiding eating any of the bones from sardines; I've developed a slick technique you know. You should see how I manage to dispose of the oil and the evidence. I also try to work up a cryptic lyric now and then but that's just a dull hobby like hoovering or selling unwanted stuff. I also believe that playing music helps you to understand quantum physics a bit more easily, all the stuff about matter/atoms/tiny balls changing shape and nature; think about how you move between scales, change intervals and bend notes, it also guards against early onset brain damage.

Muddy Waters Monday
Shirley Bassey Tuesday
Wednesday Velvet Underground
Thursday Lynyrd Skynyrd
Friday Flock of Seagulls
Sat to Sun a Crowded House.

(Lynyrd Skynyrd is such a joy  to type, it gives you a headache. It should be compulsorily to use it at school for English class, in adult teaching seminars and in T shirt fronted Apple Stores).

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Death walks behind you

I just ate an enormous slice of chocolate heart, a chicken curry and two glasses of red wine and apart from feeling a little tired I'm fine. I also did the Ubble mortality test and I'm good to go...somewhere. Thirteen strange lifestyle related questions if you are male, eleven if you're female and then your Ubble age (50 for me giving me an extra 10 years of something) and your % chance of living another five years or dying within them; 2% for me to die and obviously 98% to live till sunny 2015. I'm sure there's some bad science and dodgy algorithms in their calculations that have already been discredited in the media but if it makes you feel good then fine. Shame that there will be a few people who'll just feel bad afterwards. If you do then try to walk a bit more briskly and invest in a second car.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Everything is annoying

I need to let this go. Particularly annoying are the items of mismatched garden furniture lazily bought on-line that turn out to be a) the wrong size and b) damaged in transit and c) just plain awkward. Preparing for the oncoming advent of summer and the passing of El Nino  has never seemed so complicated. I am of course exaggerating this just a little, life's little inconveniences are nothing compared to life's slightly larger ones, few of which I suffer from. The problem is recognising them and dealing with them in a balanced and proportional way that avoids conflict of the inner, outer and elsewhere kind. Gumtree (plugging again) may be the solution, now what was it that I was preaching the other day about planning your happiness?

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Thoughts from Saturday

Set up for the Nepal benefit gig in Joppa.
Five simple things that will make you happy or even happier:

Listen to a favourite piece of music.
Spending five minutes more with somebody you like.
Going outdoors - explore.
Helping someone else.
Having a new experience (presumably a good one).

Context for life. Design and live in an environment that makes happiness possible. Willpower doesn't work, make it easier for yourself by design i.e. make your bank password or begenerous1 or stopspendingcash1 Do things and have things that make you smile.