Friday, April 29, 2016

Alternative cheeseboard

Whilst I've nothing against the fine cheeses of Iceland, I'm less than convinced about their cheeseboard awareness over there. Maybe not a regular Viking pastime. I think I mentioned that in a previous post. Above is a rather nice Scottish version from the fabled and often overlooked village of North Queensferry where we ate a hearty (?) supper last night. I don't believe all the cheeses included are from Scotland mind you, but it's a fine wee example of the cheese-boarder's ancient skills and craft and it looked fancy.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Seasonal Variations

There's a mighty cold wind blowing down upon us from the Arctic. Soon it will be Christmas and Games for May have well been postponed this year as the stubborn seasons refuse to cycle on in their own confused despair. I believe that it happens this way every year around these parts. I'm not troubled by this, any bad weather that comes my way gets quickly recycled into poor quality photographic artwork thereby rendering it a wee bit more interesting but ultimately forgettable.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Project Geo

This is interesting and if you're at all interested then you can follow the Project Geo adventure here -  also good to see pyrography being put to some other kind of use. Good quality output as well with very touchable timber. Here's what some of it says: 

Project Geo

 Art project - based in Scotland Everyone should take a moment to look around now and then, you never know what you might find. #Exploreyourcity🍃

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Three news stories running, all equally telling as to the kind of government we enjoy (?) and the attitude that the establishment hold toward the others (that's us, the commoners); Sir Phillip Green and his asset stripping of BHS and his toadying with senior politicians, the Commons vote that went against allowing the 3000 refugee children a place in the UK and the result of the Hillsborough Inquiry against the hypocrisy and lies that both governments and media have peddled over the years on that tragic incident. Make no mistake our overlords are anything but kindly and benevolent, they'll happily jail the doctors, fudge tax issues and hold their money anywhere but here. They are not to be trusted, believed or respected...but somehow the great British public has placed then in positions of power so we're stuck. Anyway, here's Clint the cat having a nap. I'm off to split some logs.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Purple Rain Revisited.

OK, he's proper dead and proper buried or cremated but I still can't get the music of Prince out of my head. How does that happen? I've never actually owned a Prince album or CD or anything, never really followed his career but now he's dead there's a strange persistence that's calling to me from his music. Maybe it's just the fear of missing out, irrational as that seems or just some modern way that we heathens need to spend some time processing the death of somebody we didn't quite appreciate enough in life. I also wish I'd bought a Hohner Telecaster copy back in the day, those guys must be priced way off the scale right now.


New Money: I don't really care for the ill-fated and badly reconstructed RBS but I like their money. These are the new notes, not ready for spending yet. Famous women from a limited and unfamiliar part of Scottish history are featured. One lady with a grim and steely stare pondering her worth on a five pound note and the other lady looking wistfully and mysteriously down from the loftier heights of a tenner. A lot better than the beardy old gits who pop up on paper money or even the queen. Should anyone reading this be uncomfortable with this kind of money please feel free to drop it off with me. I promise to take good care of it.

Sunday, April 24, 2016


Nature News

Clearly this applies to the wild and wooded areas surrounding our garden. You have been warned. There are no street lights, phone signals or passing tourists ready to lend a helping hand. No.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Saving a bee

It actually happened today. A bee flew into our conservatory and slowly died, stuck in the heat and the closed space it hit the floor all punch drunk and fucked up, not a good look or situation. I administered a teaspoon of watery sugar and watched it wriggle and struggle with survival, I didn't think it'd make it but it did. A brave and resolute bee indeed.  After a few tense moments it began to buzz (as bees do) and it quickly flew up from the floor and out of the door and onto some waiting daffodils where it resumed it's god given mission. I almost cried at the happy sight.  Go Mr (or Mrs as the case may be) Bee.

Meanwhile the struggle with a dodgy internet connection continues; switch it off, switch it on...anything to avoid contacting the offshore help centre allegedly run by our profiteering friends at BT of course.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Rainbows all over your blues

Here in the wild the (not so wild it seems) fence just manages to hold the rainbow back, for the time being anyway. That's the thing with rainbows, they exist in one way but in other ways they don't, so they though they may seem to be "held" or stopped somewhere, that's just part of the illusion. The light and the colours are travelling continually, getting somewhere and going nowhere all at the same time. We who watch them just have to stand back, hold the memory and perhaps chase the fading image.

More on the Raspberry Beret piece here...

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Google did it

Strangely effected photo of mine (an enormous waterfall etc.) that Google have doctored in some desperate bid to befriend me into using some of their options, tools and tricks. I'm not really bothered. Still reeling a bit over the news that Prince has passed at the (young) age of 57, Ooft!

P.S. from Iceland

Large sunflower used to keep bees happy in a thermally heated tomato glass house complex. 
Icelandic cheese board that contains only one type of (Icelandic) cheese.
Hot springs and geysers. 
An enormous waterfall. 
A glacier leading to the active volcano that stopped all trans-Atlantic flights in 2010.
Even after being home for a few days, chopping up logs and doing gardening I still haven't quite got Iceland out of my system. There are a few pictures on Instagram and FBook so I wont be a holiday bore and use any further ones here. It's over, the garage needs a deep clean, there's stuff to take to the dump, the weather is actually allowing us to go outside and I've a pile of ironing. This is normal, normal life in all it's warmth, colour and physically detrimental activity. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Reykjavik Graffiti

Saying it all outside:  In the wild they have a word for it, I just don't know the word at the moment. Anyway they tend to paint that word or those words or promote them or state it across the sides of buildings and walls up there in the far north. It's obviously important but a bit incomprehensible for the outsider. It certainly adds colour and drama to the act of randomly wandering around the world's most northerly capital city and I for one really enjoyed the experience. Probably the best and most persistent graffiti I've seen outside of NYC or somewhere in Germany. The cold makes you act in strange but creative ways I guess and an icy land where everyday there is a demonstration can't be bad.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Fat Jeeps on Iceland

Just back from the Arctic Circle where the weather's cold and the Jeeps are super industrial size. Impressive as they are super-practical but a lot of fun too. They coast and bounce and are pretty much unstoppable and I'll probably mention them a few times in future posts. Anyway it turns out that Iceland is a fine if expensive place, worth visiting for the weather, the landscapes, the food, the northern lights and the various types of transport available for public use, even ATVs. Here's the view from a passing UFO.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

P Bass

After having fallen victim to a cold/flu bug for a few days I'm now slowly crawling back up to the world of the living, breathing and forever chattering classes, the experience not being so bad after all. My body will recover, my mind knows better however and floats and plots aimlessly and constantly unlessI'm asleep. So I've been passing the time sorting things out, idling and guitar fiddling. The guitar work is completely unstructured and opportunity based, a fine business model to adopt. Whatever I fancy I tackle. The anonymous ex -eBay Precision Bass got treated today, the cavity was wrapped in copper and I fitted new pickups and gave it a general clean. As a partscaster it's a bit of sheep in wolf's clothing or even a piece of turd polishing taken too far, we'll see when it's ready to be played. The pyrograhy on this one has also been played down, it's on the headstock only as I decided to stay with the traditional sunburst finish, one that remains one of my favourites. Keeping it all simple; in other words and that dishwasher won't empty itself (yet).

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


Waiting on the tumble drier repair man, clearly we're the last call of the rainy day. Creating household based DIY works of art in the Pink Floyd tradition whilst the kettle boils and the clouds lower themselves. Then the big moment arrives and the repair man arrives at the same time (?). Alas the tumble drier repair man does not have the correct seal to replace the faulty seal that is causing an unacceptable build up of condensation resulting from the erroneous entry of warm gases which are then meeting the colder outer surface of the machine resulting in a nasty series of drips. He intends to return next week once the part has been sourced. In the mean time the drier is still safe to use he says.

A distinct lack of porridge

Since the great dawn of unemployment (disguised as retiral) about 10 days ago I've been plagued by a heavy and stinking cold that has soured some of the new-life style experience. Each day consists of an unfamiliar struggle against coughing and rasping and a feeling of heaviness like a chest full of treacle. Some say that when you quit full time work and are released from the pressures you've absorbed for years your natural immunity system just collapses. It's as if your body is realigning itself with a new and less challenging lifestyle but as yet cannot tell where the lines of normality begin so mistakes are made. Well maybe so, I'm certainly smitten with something that's powerful and unusual for me to suffer with. Of course the solution may be much more simple and staring me in the face, the breaking of my daily porridge habit for example. I feel the need to recalibrate myself with some instant oats. This is all starting to sound like the death of Steve McQueen.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Faces in things

There are many faces, expressions and moods on display in this (large) piece of driftwood that's been stuck on our beach for about three years. How it will be after another three years exposed to wind and weather? Looking a bit like the Elephant Man today.

I also put my face in  a thing today, a bus. That was strange, my first outing using the new Scottish Entitlement Card (which I wish they had called the Enlightenment Card but...) which gives the over 60s and the bewildered free use of public transport from here to eternity or maybe infinity. Living as we do two miles from a bus stop actually getting on a bus is always going to be a challenge and today's test journey was brought about by my need to collect my car from a local garage. So I trudged to the bus stop and duly waited in the chill wind for 25 minutes cursing that I'd failed to understand the on-line timetable's many detailed instructions and...times. When the bus finally came my card worked first time, a bit like the London Oyster and I was issued a ticket and travelled all the way from Torryburn to Dunfermline for free, so now I know how being considered old really feels. Perhaps Jesus did die for something after all.

Tomorrow I'll use the card to nip up to the boolin' club for a pint, the mosque for afternoon prayers and then head out to asda for coffee and donuts, or maybe not.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

April Evening

One of those heavy, liquid evenings when all air just stands still. Water turns into a peculiar syrup and the sunlight penetrates every part, every blade of grass (and so on). It's as if the world has just had enough of spinning and without us noticing decided to stop, even if only for a few minutes. Then, silently it all starts up again and we move, noiselessly through the early evening and on into space and towards tomorrow. So after our second (exhausting) walk of the weekend we reflect on the wonderful weakness of being nothing in particular and everything; all at the same time.

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Up a hill

Up a hill today and then down again. On a clear day you can see Fife and various other places, that's the strange beauty of being 1500ft above sea level. Of course that's not so high but high enough if that's your limit. 

In other news I gained a discounted entry to a football match as a 60+, felt strangely guilty as if I didn't quite qualify for a £10 ticket, but by my birth date I did. Odd feeling.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Public transport

I'm getting to like this, just a shame that my entitlement card doesn't cover tram trips.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Photo release

NASA have released thousands photos of various things and places seen from space or thereabouts, I don't think I made it.  Today it was Aberdeen and back (via Dundee), fish fingers and broccoli soup all served up with occasional sunshine and raindrops. 

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Outwitting a bird

My first day home alone after becoming unemployed. The morning was mainly spent trying to remove an unknown and unseen bird/beast/demon that had become trapped in the kitchen flue. The creature was making a lot of noise, unhappy at being stuck in the dark against it's will no doubt. This task, setting it free, involved taking the flue to bits; fiddly and messy. Once apart I gingerly awaited the flying demon coming at me seeking animal revenge. Of course nothing happened so I went indoors out of the rain and had a cup of tea. Hours later, no noise but no angry bat out of hell either. So I put it all back together. I hope it made a clean escape. Then I got on with the seasonal cleaning of the trampoline. Never a dull moment then...


...that's pretty much sorted. No conflict or problems over what I might choose to eat. Sad to see no mention of sardines however; the unsung heroes and saviours of the human race.

Monday, April 04, 2016

Old codger retires etc.

It's been a busy few days with lot's of over indulgence, general high jinx and some possible bad behaviour. Anyway it's over now and for the time being I'm retired from full time work...we'll see how that goes. As I was too pissed to really do anything or recall much over the weekend I'm very glad that Mr CBQ recorded his version of events, click here.

Saturday, April 02, 2016


Now that my (recent / present) working life is over I'm filling my long and idle days wandering around the countryside making friends with farm cats and taking photographs of fields and gates. It helps to pass the time but it's no way to make a living and people tell me it will end in tears. Strangely that's how it all started as I recall. Next thing on the agenda is to sort out my sock drawer for once and for all and perhaps, if I'm in the right mood, discard a few care worn shirts.