Thursday, May 31, 2018
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Tuesday, May 29, 2018
OK. So I suppose you could say that these images would be best suited to a life lived on Instagram under some niche heading where they might attract attention or arouse interest. I'm too lazy for that so they are only going to have an on-line life here where everything is relatively easy. As I was exploring the lower slopes of Glen Orchy at the weekend I was quite taken by these old fence posts. Each one differently rotten, rugged and weathered out of shape, moss covered and rusty wire, hairy splinters, decay and destruction but still somehow standing, faithfully obeying their last order to mark a line or a boundary, to keep in some sheep or to prevent chickens from running all across the yard. They are the forgotten markers of once worthwhile industry and endeavour and remain almost upright in place, stubborn and redundant, trapped out in all weathers, mutating and growing as they fade and splinter away back into the highland soil.
Monday, May 28, 2018
Bank holiday Monday, returning from a break in the Highlands, all sun and blue skies and parade of caravans and motor homes. Stopped off for supplies on the way back and then to the cattery to collect our two incarcerated beasts, these two cute kittens were playing in their pen outside. The farm shop near Stirling is called the Smiddy, staff there are pretty PAF (posh as fuck) but nice. A few just walked around doing nothing, interns maybe. All the Doune and Bridge of Allan set probably hang out there for their artisan foods and neat and niche local produce. Nice lunch though and, despite my rude observation, nice staff and ambience, maybe I'm slowly turning over into the dark side.
Thursday, May 24, 2018
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Work to create the great plum harvest (and chutney brewing) festival of 2028 has just begun. It's good to invest in the future, even though it's likely to be someone else's and as I know very little of the early life of plum trees and the behaviours they might exhibit. At the moment anything seems possible.
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Every other post seems to feature a cat photo these days, I'm clearly turning into the sort of person my parents warned me about. They weren't too keen on cats and a number of other activities I've tried in my sixty odd years, they're gone now so it's ancient history. Here's Twink and Clint completely ignoring one another in the garden the other day. Normally some unheralded/unexpected cat presence around here results in fur flying, loud howls and one cat being chased up a tree by another. There's a lot of scampering, hissing and hissy fits. Nice when they actually seem to get on for a bit because that's rare with cats, they (local ones, maybe not typical) are pretty awkward socially and like their own space. As do their eccentric owners perhaps? (I know fine that you can never truly own a cat).
Monday, May 21, 2018
Saturday, May 19, 2018
Friday, May 18, 2018
The wonders of modern life: easy to take a photo of a cat in a supermarket entrance and then just paste it all across the internet's various trading posts using slightly different filters and crops and amusing if not particularly clever captions so that you can fill up space and so burn up your precious time. Will there be any true or meaningful interaction, any likes, useful outcomes or comments? Doubtful but you will do it anyway. The endless optimism and desire for some common and pointless expression brought home by the black, bottomless and busy void we've moved into despite the fact that it was created for a range of much more worthwhile activities which we've all now completely lost sight of. What were they again?
Thursday, May 17, 2018
Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Twink the cat is a semi-regular visitor to our garden. He's generally rewarded with two tins of cat food when he arrives, usually for in time for the night shift at about 2300. Today he turned up early for some breakfast, lunch and tea and took up position in the barbecue for some reason.
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
These tiny oranges (well one example is shown here) were grown on our (tiny) indoor orange tree. You can't really eat them because you just might die, so say the experts. You can only look at them and marvel at their quite nice warm colours and juicy texture. You can also breathe in a rather pleasant orange aroma, faint, elusive but orangey. All that was yesterday, they deteriorated overnight and now they are in the compost bin. They remain a pleasant, pungent memory however...however badly you might write about them or remember them.
Monday, May 14, 2018
Day out by the bridges. The skyline, broken up by various designer chimneys. Pedestrians looked up. It was that kind of sunny evening. Over by the water two large bridges seem to have appeared from some early morning mist now long evaporated and there are some things we'll always agree about, others not so. Later, much later and after sleep I settled for two poached eggs on toast and surprisingly strong coffee. Being served strong coffee in weak crockery is unexpected these days. Bland and over processed is the normal, taste and tang are mostly managed out of things to create as dull and experience as possible. The softest of drugs measured by uneducated testers. Then without any warning Google once again interfered with some random photo stock and turned it all tasty and panoramic. I'm still in very mild shock.
Sunday, May 13, 2018
This lovely tribute to an old school friend of mine came up in my Facebook feed. I've not seen him for over 40 years but we communicated somewhat clumsily via social media. He passed away very recently. Now I regret failing to meet up for a pint and a blether. I didn't know that he was ill or that he'd gone until this morning when I saw this thoughtful, heartfelt FB post from his daughter which is worthy of sharing and far better than anything I could write.
Today I visited a place which a lot of people perhaps have never heard of or maybe don’t even realise exists. But, to me it’s a place that I have forever wanted to visit...Wilmington, North Carolina. And today, especially, it lived up to its expectations, and here’s why...
I received a phone call this morning telling me that my Dad peacefully passed away in Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary in the early hours of the morning.
Getting told the worst possible news when you’re half a world away from home is devastating. In February we came to learn that my Dad had been living with cancer. Since being diagnosed he fought an incredible fight, defying all doctors odds and seeing through a couple more months to spend time and see his family again.
I wanted to visit Wilmington thanks to an American television series called One Tree Hill. Some people may find this stupid or a little extravagant (I know my dad did) but I can’t even begin to explain to you how much a simple TV programme has helped me get through some pretty hard times; a long distance relationship, heartbreak, anxiety/depression and now...loss.
When you are given such heartbreaking news it’s hard to know what the best way to react is. You instantly want to break into a thousand pieces, but you know that the person you lost wouldn’t want you to do that.
My dad was the best man in the whole world and someone I always looked up to and pestered non stop for advice. I have an emptiness inside me now which will never be filled but I know that I made him so incredibly proud and I will make sure I continue to do so.
I left a little part of my dad in Wilmington today. By writing who he was to me on a bench situated in ‘One Tree Hill’s’ most memorable locations - The River Court.
For me, this made me feel that tiny bit better and I know that’s exactly what my Dad would want.
For me, this made me feel that tiny bit better and I know that’s exactly what my Dad would want.
I love you Dad, so much ❤️
“It's hard when you miss people. But you know if you miss them, that means you're lucky. It means you had someone special in your life, someone worth missing”
Saturday, May 12, 2018
Only available for a very short time, the exclusive impossible song's "There's no law against love" T Shirt in a fetching blue shade of blue (various styles also available). Don't delay, think too hard or hold yourself back on the grounds of fashionista dystopia or doubt. This is a once on a life time chance, unlikely to be repeated (until the next repeat), anyway hurry up and buy one here.
Friday, May 11, 2018
You can't really blame previous civilizations for thinking that our world was at the centre of the universe, it's just bad maths, poor astronomy and some over active egos. Nothing unusual there. As a self confessed follower of daft ideas I'd have bought in, seems reasonable. Here's a drawing that some such believers did back in the day. Quite nice really if somewhat inaccurate. Had they actually been right I wonder how our self perception and actual politics and exploration strategies might have changed. We could be fairly confident that, here at the centre, on the hub planet there would be no other (off-world) civilizations to top us. The consequences of that idea filtering through might be significant, it would certainly help the Hebrew-like belief systems and republicanism in general. Then there would be the warlike battles and contests (constant and bloody) to be the one true master of this universe revolving around us. Nothing new there then. Stop the world etc.
Thursday, May 10, 2018
What is the point of anything if you can't just try out stuff once in a while? So buy this limited edition, highly experimental, teetering on the brink of oblivion T-shirt here! We have a quiet, unassuming but almost interesting sales campaign running for the next few days and all at a reasonable price (so we think).
Wednesday, May 09, 2018
To all the many Russian bots and readers out there, I know you're up to something but I'll let that pass. It was a slog at times but we made it through series one of Ekaterina, a clunky Russian biopic of Catherine the Great's rise and rise (I presume). With stilted dialogue, odd production values, feeble sub titles and strange transitional scenes (to move the story along I guess, hand written notes were also a favourite device to progress the tedium). It was a guilty pleasure of an experience. In dramatic terms it could have been covered easily in two one hour episodes, Russia managed to stretch it out to ten. But in those ten there was little or no sex and violence (only by implication) and no dramatic battle footage, it was a 50s BBC drama but shot in colour and with a 50s budget. It's there, residing in Amazon Prime like a strange Soviet ruin, a relic of a golden age that never existed and you can explore it at your leisure, don't blame me.
Is this the real life or is it fantasy or just some dumb robot filter effect? No escape from reality.
Cats don't really understand much about the world or how grass is cut and collected. The sound of lawnmowers and strimmers, their presence in the garden, their sound and mechanical movement send cats either to self imposed hidden sleep or to slide under low slung furniture seeking refuge. They have no stomach for this seasonal attack. It makes no sense to them. Animals have a low threshold of normality, one that's easy to disturb. A sneeze, a cough, standing up too quickly all create grounds for panic. There is always some threat lurking nearby. I seem to have lost this natural awareness and succumbed to a much more dopey and quietly restrained lifestyle. Violent attack and major disturbance in the home or garden doesn't cross my mind too many times a day but that's not how it is for the scary and wary cats. Bless them.
Tuesday, May 08, 2018
The grass is growing, waving and pointing, circulating like some crazy ocean we can leave footsteps on the surface despite the constant threat of wet feet and sinking. Life support system. It's a green machine, it's a carpet and another world. It has a magnificence about it, a depth but it will be cropped back and into order today (I suspect). Humiliation for the grass.
Monday, May 07, 2018
Thursday, May 03, 2018
Forget about the TSB's troubles, Brexit, baby boxes, Big Ben's renovation and Donald Trumps day of prayer fiasco...just pull up a nice garden chair, relax and enjoy the weather (not the weather today) but the weather to come. There are always sunny days, blue skies and warm breezes waiting someplace out there in the future.