Monday, August 31, 2015


Yeah, it makes us all fecking fat, lazy and totally indifferent to the actual change process and potential benefits. Somebody please read this in the future and share the cry for help so that some time travelling tourists can break free from their contractual restrictions and maybe try to sort us out with a quick word or a self destruction short cut - or have they already done that and I missed it? Hmm.

What makes this interesting?

Well nothing really; pointless, everyday trivia. The car wash forecourt just happens to be getting resurfaced whilst the ritual motor washing ceremony carries on regardless and within inches of heavy plant reversing and workmen busy working. The plus side is that I got a good car wash and some odd miscalculated discount presumably as a pay-off for not grassing or as extra danger money. In other parts of life the day was spent struggling to upload tunes to Amazon (which has serious limitations), shopping for the future (just around the corner), laundry (in the future there will just be Google-pants) and renting property in the USA (well making tentative moves). Oh and there was another dead mouse in the bath; no suspicious circumstances however. Interesting? Not particularly.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

One dead tree

Some say that this already dead tree does not deserve to live and should be cut down and removed. I'm confused by this.
That was my tea that was: Today's tea was brisket from M&S and vegetable rice. I'm not sure quite what brisket is other than a meaty piece of meat that seems to stick in your teeth for an unpleasantly long amount of time once you've eaten it. Perhaps meat is murder (for your teeth) after all. Try as I might my tongue can't quite prise the stuff out of the cavern like cavities that have opened up and expressed their new found sensitivity and irritation by making me want to claw them out of my mouth. Gin and orange may dull the thing that's not truly a pain but could best be described as "having your teeth on edge"...Ugh!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Lost and found

Saw these lost / found keys in Edinburgh today. There in the late summer sun, on a street, the name of which I can't recall. Without their lock they mean nothing but still somehow hanging, forlorn on a wrought iron railing they mean something. Many passed by but few noticed, such is the pace and indifference of modern life. Then it was off to the BOOK FESTIVAL for books, blethers and a little bit of clay modeling.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Random Cat Portraits

After two hours of sonic immersion in the Rolling Stones during that "just past their best but not quite rubbish yet" stage of their career I've had enough of everything except gin and macaroni & cheese so all I can do to numb the mystery pain is to share a few cat portraits from the other evening. The cat is not called Random either.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Music to punch clocks by

Music: On a lengthy commute the wit, wisdom and puerile journalism of Radio Scotland can wear thin. So thin that it becomes inaudible to the brain and assumes a grey and mumbling kind of sound shape. So I've reverted to type; back to listening to the Grateful Dead and despite only wanting to like them actually starting to enjoy them. Strange audio feasts of badly sung and corny songs that are full of energetic and busy, shrill guitar parts and a great concrete bass and drum bottoming. Eventually the earworm in the song gets you, like some illegal legal high and time passes magically on. A lifetime can be lived in a day some say. With this positive experience now imbedded in my mind's slow system of learning and acquiring thought patterns I'm moving onto Exile on Main Street tomorrow just to cement me into my own personal driving oblivion.

Words: A fox invites the stork to eat with him and provides soup in a bowl, which the fox can lap up easily; however, the stork cannot drink it with its beak. The stork then invites the fox to a meal, which is served in a narrow-necked vessel. It is easy for the stork to access but impossible for the fox. The moral drawn is that the trickster must expect trickery in return and that the golden rule of conduct is for one to do to others what one would wish for oneself. There, that's today's fable for you.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Early Morning Clarity

The best thoughts arrive in your head like a eagerly anticipated power breakfast early in the morning. Shower thoughts and songs, strange word combinations and tricks, tunes and rhythms, white space suddenly and annoyingly easily filled up. The flow of the newly regenerated creative mind seems to know no bounds. There is a thirst for knowledge and a real possibility of gaining it. Colours are brighter, grass is greener and there is some tangible electricity in the air, in the ground, in the trees and circling in the brain just behind the eyes. These are the moments I like best (when they happen, it's not every day) but they only last five minutes or so before the familiar daily fog descends and blots them out with some caffeine and concern shaped blanket. Of course I'm not overly affected by this, it just happens and tomorrow is always another day.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Anyone who had a heart

Anyone who has ever performed knows this audience of one, if you're lucky. The show must of course go on.

Friday, August 21, 2015


Now I've got an Instagram account. I've yet to use it in anger. Maybe my phone screen isn't quite big enough or maybe I've just not found the right thing to share. Perhaps now my life is headed in some new direction; no coffee, connected fully into social media, in a set pattern of haircuts, waking up early, eating porridge, feeding stray cats and taking regular showers. I didn't take the photo below either.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Jack Kerouac's 30 Beliefs

1. Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy
2. Submissive to everything, open, listening
3. Try never get drunk outside yr own house
4. Be in love with yr life
5. Something that you feel will find its own form
6. Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind
7. Blow as deep as you want to blow
8. Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind
9. The unspeakable visions of the individual
10. No time for poetry but exactly what is
11. Visionary tics shivering in the chest
12. In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you
13. Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition
14. Like Proust be an old teahead of time
15. Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog
16. The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye
17. Write in recollection and amazement for yourself
18. Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea
19. Accept loss forever
20. Believe in the holy contour of life
21. Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind
22. Dont think of words when you stop but to see picture better
23. Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning
24. No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge
25. Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures of it
26. Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form
27. In praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness
28. Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better
29. You’re a Genius all the time
30. Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven.

Lifted from here...

Coffee hype

In the never ending, relentless experiment that is sometimes described as life I have (nearly) crossed another line that has remained uncrossed for at least ten, maybe twelve years. A day without coffee and indeed a day without tea and also, now that I think about it a day without chocolate, even thinly coated on some cheap biscuit. Naturally I feel fine, calm and my thinking remains as clear as...well I can't quite remember. It was an unplanned event really, this morning I just had plain water with my porridge and super charged banana breakfast and in my head a bulb began to dimly glow. I quickly extinguished it and had an idea; let's spend a long period of time, maybe even a day without drinking that hot brown stuff that we're all conditioned to think we're addicted to and actually like. So far my metabolism has remained as steady as a ship in a medium to rough sea and my pupils are back to their normal size.  There are no cravings, panic attacks, dry mouths or any feeling of listlessness. On the down side life makes no more sense and I'm a day older and only slightly wiser but that's how it goes. Will I awake tomorrow to find that this has been some kind of average dream? Will I even sleep?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Rust seldom sleeps

Charles Darwin might have said that everything came from sea, and it seems that everything is destined to return there, but very slowly and at it's own pace via rust and decay. This really is quite a meaningless photograph but at the time I took it I thought it meant something. Now I know better. I'm posting this as a lesson to myself, a warning and as a monument to a moment when I clearly had little to say. Sadly all a bit like the Scottish Labour Party these days.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Chain Daisy II

Photos featuring a lost chain minus any kind of daisy, an anchor in the sand and an abandoned boat moving device. Just the kind of things I like, there, scattered across the world and awaiting either rescue, discovery or continued indifference. We all know that feeling well enough.

Winter is coming

So Longannet is going to close in March next year, well that's a perfect, visionary piece of work that will bring this proud, short sighted and daft nation to it's knees come the day. God, the ghost of Nikola Tesla and the Great Pumpkin please help us all and save us from the renewable and sustainable watery green madness that provides nothing in the way of a backstop. Best ditch all those funky new power hungry devices now and invest in a Honda generator, a can of Shell unleaded and a few tons of logs. Winter is coming.
These fine plastic glasses (?) were in good order until they had an encounter with the dishwasher which seems to have done them little good other than making them clean and oddly photogenic.
Meanwhile out in the garden we have at least 87 apples growing on three trees of various sizes. Strangely they are all apple trees. I'd like to offer a special seasonal thanks to the world's remaining bees who've done a stalwart job in buzzing about and fertilising or pollinating or whatever it is they do all day. I've no idea where they disappear to every evening or when the weather is bad but wherever they are I'm a fan. I'm sure there are lots of things we could learn from bees but they never stop for a blether as, a bit like cats, they are wisely untrusting of the clumsy and dim humans who get in their way and who strike out at them for no good reason.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Upturned boats

Upturned boats: For various complicated social reasons and lack of height due to inter-breeding and the Vikings being a bit angry at times all sorts of things have happened. So the people of the Farne Islands have resorted to living in upturned boats that they've clearly stolen from fishermen and pulled heroically up the beach well past the high water mark. These robust dwellings are rough from a design point of view but are well fitted out inside and surprisingly comfortable. Don't take my word for it, just try spending a quiet night there some time. Elsewhere in the drowned village there has been a serious outbreak of tourists, all pointing and wearing sunglasses. Apparently some have even travelled all the way from England to be here. The pubs remain open all day as a mark of respect to the Roman Catholic church and the memory of St Adrian the founder of the Mead Society and the pastime known as "prayer walking". There is also a shop full of tat and a local distillery. Some people even bought books. That was about all that we saw on our day out and it ended without event.

Emptying the dishwasher: Always best to do this when it is warm and asleep and you are not suffering from the complaint known as "stupid fecking butter fingers", I know that I am not at present - and always take care to wipe out the badly shaped hole where the pellet of dish washing and tranquilising compound is inserted. Never suck the dry pellet. Any dampness will seriously affect future performance I am told. When it comes to programmes pot luck is recommended.

Carrots: Carrots are an alien species that are related to the octopus in terms of DNA, nationality and colour. Both can be grown under glass apparently. Take care when chopping them up so that the tentacles and vegetable slices will look neat when placed within a pot of boiling minced beef and Bisto. Beware of the ink as it might carry a nasty message. If in doubt stand well back and pour yourself another glass of red wine. Tomorrow I'll be eating lukewarm potatoes.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Tank traps

My life in cars: viewed from a car window on the approach to Lindisfarne. Tank traps from WW2 that now form an immovable boundary to the coastal path.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Goats and chickens

As if in answer to that eternal question and conundrum over separating sheep from goats and chickens from tadpoles this Fife based device has been invented and launched with a small but audible fanfare. The goats seem happy enough, bereft of sheep and the chickens, apart from the occasional melancholy moan seem almost happy. Who knows quite what fate awaits them? We tried it out for ourselves using a simple mixture of ginger cakes and Haribos as bait, the results being patchy but in some respects promising. The trials are unlikely to continue mainly thanks to lack of funding and other vague holiday plans.

Monday, August 10, 2015


We live on the coast but we are not faster than most and we occasionally eat toast. So today as it's August it's time to buy the stock of logs for winter and the deep cold which could break out any day now. So I did, I bought too many for the log store. I also bought a box of doughnuts but they were not part of any long term plan, in fact they were part of a chaotic type of plan, one that seems to deny me fresh fruit and gives me only sugar. It's the unnecessary indiscipline that sets in all too quickly when the daily structure of the working day is gone for whatever reason. Normal, healthy service will shortly be resumed. 

Fringe 2015

First outing to the Fringe in glorious Edinburgh, a kids show in the Pleasance Igloo. Quite funny actually, both the act (Jay Foreman) and the audience. As you'd expect kids and modern parents. Sometimes I despair, then I laugh to myself. One Californian father of two sat chewing the same piece of gum for an hour, unmoved by the experience. Elsewhere confused kids kicked off as if they didn't know how to behave once trapped in a dark venue. There was breast feeding, face paints that were running and numerous tantrums. Some real beauties. Some kids shouted out things, so I joined in. As a grandparent I took it all in, enjoyed the stupid answers to clever questions and wondered for a while quite what sort of people, apart from us, come here. Crowds of baffled tourists, pretentious twats, locals avoiding things, the bewildered souls seeking culture hits and vendors. The vendors are the best, all new to the job and a little confused so getting served takes both time and long periods of eye contact tennis. A skill I've not quite developed. Then once you get your overpriced and slightly disappointing stuff they can't work out the change. Oh how we laughed and soaked up the cheery if a little contrived and highly sponsored atmosphere, but the sun did shine briefly.

Friday, August 07, 2015

Snog, Marry, Avoid?

Ok, I'm not going to be cruel here but sometimes I do wonder about things and how they ever came to be the way they are...
I love the smell of pop tarts and Calor Gas in the morning but there's none of that at today's International Balloon Festival in Bristol. I won't make it this year but I wish them all well. There calm weather and bright sunshine prevail. Eighty seven balloons will be in the air, maybe even more. Bobbing and drifting in the pale blue skies, at the mercy of the elements who today choose to be calm and benign, easy and supportive. They said that there would be days like these but they don't arrive very often. Some craft are like minions, penguins or giant advertising hoardings, almost free publicity that only your fellow free air traveller can appreciate. Free like a bird, serene and dreamlike, easy enough till the part where landing and recovery has to happen. So said the man with the broken arm, a balloon pilot and event organiser by profession. I wonder how he broke his arm? Meanwhile everybody wants to blame somebody else for the weather. I don't know why. There are no seasons anymore.

The last time I ballooned.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Corpse in the woods

So if some random granddad, like me, is taking his grandsons camping in the woods, what advice should you give them about what to do should the old man somehow expire/pass away/ breathe his last etc. during the trip?

a) Phone granny.
b) Phone the police.
c) Maybe find granddad's phone first.
d) Call for help.
e) Don't do anything and don't touch the fire.
f) Check his wallet (steal money?).
g) Go back to sleep everything is better in the morning.
h) Pretend it's all a dream.
i) Phone your dad.
j) Any adults about? Can you trust them?
k) Steal the car.
l) Eat all the sweets or roast some marshmallows.
m) Consider how this might look on trip advisor.
n) Run screaming into the woods.
o) Administer whisky, that'll fix him.

OK, no too many good ideas there other than avoiding an untimely and solitary death if I possibly can.

Monday, August 03, 2015

Pocketful of clouds

Well I did have a pocketful of clouds once when, as a teenager, I set my trousers on fire thanks to the careless use of matches but that's another story for another day. These are some random clouds that I encountered on the road near Stirling and there's nothing remarkable about them apart from the fact that they can float above the earth and hold significant amounts of water vapour. These clouds are light, fluffy and happy; one imagines. It's those dark and angry ones you need to look out for. Goodnight!

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Open Reel

“I had a friend once. He had an old open reel tape recorder. He'd often leave it running in the room, say during parties, just recording those conversations. All that party talk, hours of it, music playing in the background, doors opening and closing, glasses clinking, recorded. Perhaps someone would shout or sing, voices would be raised. Maybe some drunk person would stand too close to the mike, whispering or talking low, speaking out some dark secret or sharing an unpopular opinion. Then get a reply from another close by. Then there would be the loud joke where the whole place would stop and listen and then erupt no matter how rubbish the joke was. People would get off together sometimes, I suppose you'd hear all that. Occasionally somebody would see the mike, grab it and just jabber into it or do beat box stuff, lick it or put it in their mouth. People didn't get angry or upset about it, it was part of the fun and as the party progressed most everybody would just forget about it. That's what happens. But it kept on running. He had long slow tapes, big spools, I think so because I never did see them being changed. There were hours of recordings of everybody who ever came into the house but it was hard to tell the voices apart but I think he could. He said to me he had an ear and I guess I must have agreed. He did have an ear. He said that it was just like taking photographs. I'm still not sure what he got from holding all those parties, there were a lot of them most weekends and I'm still not sure what he did with all of those recordings. They must be there somewhere, in boxes, all those parties, recorded and in boxes. Funny. Sometimes people do things for no reason. Then again I was going to wash the car today but it rained so I stayed indoors, daydreamed and wasted time instead and eventually wrote this”.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Lost Cosmos

Never mind the bollox, the economics, the scaremongering or the alleged threats of awful things that might somehow ruin a long lost middle England that doesn't even exist. Never mind the polls and the statistics and the prophets of doom. Let's for once try to be a country that actually shows some compassion and concern for our fellow humans and doesn't disguise it in back-handed and uncontrolled foreign aid that buys who knows what. Let's give the stateless people and some modern version of peace a chance. Some Karma points for the UK at last maybe and we can stop labelling people as migrants in that horrible sub-human way that has become the norm.


I'm fed up with stateless people trying to find a new life being hounded by police and politicians and called "migrants" as if they were the scum of the earth. Most I've heard being interviewed a) speak decent English b) are articulate and c) are highly motivated and keen to come to Britain. Some may be criminals or spongers, some may end up in jail or the House of Lords but that's true of most people here, none of whom had to run the gauntlet across Asia and Europe to get here. These are real people who need help not persecution and it is a crying shame that neither the British or French governments can see that as they bend to the invisible will of right wing media and prejudiced opinion. More here...or here.