Friday, May 31, 2019

View from the office

Whilst the actual view from the office (which of course isn't an office) isn't bad at all, the imaginary one is slightly better. Always good to have a vivid imagination that seeps across into reality. Perhaps I just dreamt it or maybe, under the influence of Rory Stewart's erstwhile leadership, I accidentally smoked some opium or had a piece smeared on a slice of dry toast. I though he might be a good Tory, a bit like how in WW2 films there's occasionally a good Nazi but they're still Nazis albeit they're conflicted. I also imagined that a cat had peed in my coffee cup, that wasn't so good mainly because the imagined part only became vivid once I'd drank the coffee. Then I imagined I was asleep and so the imagined parts became the dream thereby rendering them fully unreal and eventually totally forgotten, that's why I had to make this up. Meanwhile I saw Neil Young in a vision but somehow he was lacking in stature, he was of course an old man and clearly not 24 anymore but for some reason he was performing in an intimate walking concert on the approach road to the Forth Bridge. His ex-wife Peggy was there too but he wasn't bothered by this. It was a nice sunny day however. Then I awoke and had a cup of tea but in reality I was still asleep but had managed to type it all up. Typical start to the day I suppose. 

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Hanging candles of Babylon

Candles captured after eating a substantial lunch at the almost fictional "Pillars of Hercules" shop and cafe. The herb garden is in the photo below. All quite nice for food and most of it clearly home grown. No actual candles were eaten at lunch time, maybe later though.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Lucky potato

Thanks to another of those irritating Smack-Chat filters here's me making both a serious and stupid face whilst listening to Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard floundering around in a radio interview on the ever unreliable BBC. Note how whilst listening to Richard's Brexit based excuses for being unable to provide a clear message on anything I revert to my working class roots and doff a handy cloth cap and NHS issue specs. In my pockets are 20 Woodbine, three shillings and sixpence, some string, a hankie and a "lucky" potato. For those of you who do not know what a "lucky" potato actually is, well just count yourselves lucky. 

Shortly after listening to this interview and making light of some newsworthy and serious political matters I magically turned into a glum ginger cat.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Figures of fun

Conflicted: I like the yellow Scotland and am not surprised by the dumb-ass Brexit blues in the south but not sure how exactly that corresponds to a Mr Burns figure? Is Scotland like the head of Mr Burns and England and Wales are his body? What does it all mean? Simply chop the head from Mr Burns and all will be well? Or is it that our island(s) are just some laughable cartoon caricature of greed and ignorance regardless of whoever's side you're on. Hmm. Anyway, glad that's over and Scotland came out of it looking at least a little sensible and EU positive, just what's going to happen  next?

Nice to see that  the Sabbath loving Western Isles have yet to declare, welcome to the 21st century.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Guitar bingo

Caught indoors on a rainy day? Why not have a nice game of guitar scale bingo? Simple to take part in and only mildly infuriating for all the participants. The bingo caller, a musical expert, simply calls out a musical scale of some sort i.e. Harmonic Minor, Mixolydian, Major Pentatonic, Dorian or Diminished (there are many others that could be chosen) and the first guitarist to pull of a credible and clear lick only using notes in the appropriate scale wins a point. Points are of course lost or deducted for poor fingering (?) or just playing the same old stuff you always play using that Blues scale you got from the Bert Weedon book when you were 16. Tone is of course important but it's way too complicated to allocate scores for so forget it. Points are also deducted for any players who say things like "it's all in my fingers" and "I'm lost without a decent compressor" or "I've broken a nail".  You can also be disqualified for Jazzy noodling, super-fast skiderooing or pulling out a guitar slide from the back pocket of your jeans. Open D tuning is also frowned upon, not sure why. Please note: there are bonus points for any credible attempt at any Steely Dan line.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Euro Elections

As it's Euro Election day (nicely illustrated here by Cold War Steve (thank you)), I'm already planning my working day ahead and my late night, last minute trip to the polling station. Once there I fully intend to throw a virtual milkshake into the great voting machine and scribble a cross on a very long piece of paper. The political theatre and absurd comedy that we've grown to love and detest will then carry on in the background leaving us a quiet weekend. Then I'll probably forget about the whole thing until the results emerge on Monday. That's right the Scottish results are held back because the good people on our remote and strange wee island communities need to take a Sabbath break on Sunday so absolutely hee-haw happens apparently. Not a single black box is to be moved by man, woman or beast. Either that or suffer the wrath of God which I know everyone truly wants to avoid at this time, particularly now that things are so screwed up. The last thing we need is an upset God bearing down on us.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Another trippy piece

Sometimes when I wake up in the morning, I've had some kind of dream but I can't recall it. There are just a few bits remaining around the edge, beyond my grasp and slowly disintegrating as my head clears. This is of course a fairly common human experience, I'm hardly claiming anything unique here but in my opinion that feeling kind of fits the photo, which exists only as a rough illustration of what I just said. Of course I course I could simply be plummeting headfirst down the escape slide of some crash landed aircraft which hopefully is not on fire.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019


Applying a Snapchat filter to household locations results in (fairly predictable) amusing results. As if Jackson Pollock had decided to come along and paint your bedroom, that is if he ever took up household decoration work as a bit of a lucrative sideline. Perhaps he did.

Graves of the Covenanters

Memorials and gravestones mark the violent deaths of bishops and covenanters in Fife. In fields and quiet woodland they illustrate the violence that took place on the pilgrim road to St Andrews in the 17th century. Robbery, assault, retribution and ambush were common it seems along this ancient highway. Now it's quiet and agricultural or wooded over with lazy tall trees and pink public paths. Cars crunch across gravel, picnics and held, dogs sniff and snuffle in the undergrowth. Close by there are many bodies buried, some known, some unknown. Tread carefully.

Cat reaction

Good black cat Gif, for those that like that sort of thing.

Sunday, May 19, 2019


Madonna wears a Saltire eye-patch to show solidarity with oppressed countries etc. etc.

Whilst I managed to avoid most of the Eurovision Song Contest I did catch Madonna's performance and the chaotic final scoring system. Both parts of the show I saw were high on camp, a lack of self awareness and numerous examples of poor judgment. Too much of everything. I felt conflicted over the whole over produced event, a boycott seemed like the right thing, just wreck the contest and show Israel what "we" actually think of their treatment of Palestinians but there's an awkward argument surrounding culture and politics that I kind of defer to.

Anyway I only watched 40 minutes or so of the pop-gloop so I don't feel too guilty this morning. I actually felt sorry for Madonna, she looked frail and "preserved" and her singing was off. Kindly critics blamed the fold back and techy vocoder stuff that was going on. No, she's just lost a bit of energy and ability and that happens, money and rehearsals can't fix everything. She's even a bit wobbly on those once famous dancing feet. She was also channeling that "dumb American in the Middle East" thing (see also dumb British person in the Middle East). She had a message, odd to hear Madonna say "wake up" to the world then pin small Israeli and Palestinian flags to her dancer's backs. The equivalent of throwing a milkshake I guess. I wonder if they'll retain some of her fee over this?

It all just jars a bit and of course the fawning and clumsy Israeli hosts struggled to deal with such a mega presence. Ugh! After the stilted and fabricated scoring system rose  expectations to a crescendo of cliche and tinsel a bloke called Duncan won, he was representing the Netherlands. His song has been a big hit all across Europe ... well over my head.

Meanwhile in Palestine, as the showbiz tack is dismembered in Tel-Aviv and Madonna continues to promote her new album,  fuck all has changed and Israel will remain the dominant aggressor and oppressor for the Palestinian people.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

I've no idea...

...where this strange little cartoon came from, I suppose the message is that all that is gold and sticky and glittery isn't necessarily honey. It just might be a little more dangerous so read the label or check the contents first. Tigger seems to understand.


Some extra animal responsibility for me this weekend, it's been fun so far. Here he is, waiting patiently for the rain to stop so that we might go out on some sort of walking adventure. Alas the rain persists and so we're stuck, talking to each other (?) and quietly watching the skies. The chances of rain (at the moment 100%) are due to reduce to 74%, then 65% then about 55%. These are not good numbers to have to break to a doggy friend when he's eager to go barn storming across the countryside. The thing is he'd go out whatever the weather, it's me and my good sense and self preservation that is the blocker on this. That and the fact that I'm not keen on clearing up the soggy, muddy debris that he'll bring home in his wake once the walk is over. So we wait, in the warm and dry.

Friday, May 17, 2019

State of things

One picture that pretty much sums up the present government's abject failure in everything. Some kind of funeral for "getting things done". Going nowhere, headless, feeble, divisive and ineffective and some might say that's their positive points. So it's not going to get better quickly, this is structural decay in full force, the collapse of good sense and reason and the rise of hectoring, bullying and empty jingoism all in place of an acceptance of the facts. Meanwhile in Scotland we're ... confused and frustrated. What to do?

Thursday, May 16, 2019


History, it's not so tough: Old photos of 1920s Rosyth, a place I'm slightly embarrassed to have lived in whilst I'm strangely proud of having worked (?) or at least spent five years of my life, in the old Naval Dockyard there, 1977 - 82. Now it's all speed bumps, kebab shops, unpleasant house rendering  and badly parked cars. Babcock own much of the dockyard and well, the rest is proper history. When you  look back you realize that nothing much matters.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Idiots guide to...

Road bridges back to Fife: there are two, one for normal vehicles and one for public transport. Left for vehicles, right for public transport.

Being a grandad: the swimming bag is situated on the right somewhere, the dog's lead is situated on the left.

Simple instructions and explanations for simple minds.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Weekend Kitten

This Kylo, he may be upside down, he may be the right way up. He's a kitten in a kitchen in Dundee. He's the kitten of the week and also kitten of the weekend. This irregular award has been awarded but sadly comes with no tangible award other than a word or two here.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Future poltergeist

Once I shuffle off from this mortal coil I'll need a new profession, my current staples won't do and the pension does not reach beyond the grave. Life's tough, death is tougher. I'm intending to apply for the job of poorly paid but mischievously funny and well dressed poltergeist in either a pretentious uptown restaurant, a trendy cafe or some beard waxing type of barber's salon. There will be pots clattering, chairs moving, sinks blocking, tiny tinkles in the bathrooms and the occasional glass smashing. Nothing nasty, just slightly disturbing and peculiar ... messages smeared out on steamy mirrors etc. My imagined training and experiences at Hogwarts and time in the civil service should do me nicely. 


Despite their obvious democratic right (?) to post out fliers I feel slightly insulted to receive a personal  invitation from the Brexit Party to support them in the Euro elections. Why me? Why not the other significant other that lives here? What kind of demographic am I seen as belonging to? These people are a) fascists b) knobheads c) deplorable. I don't want anything to do with this kind of thing. I shall of course be returning their precious scrap of paper, a proper tissue of lies, to them via the nearest Royal Mail postbox, ASAP. I feel sullied and contaminated having their junk in the house.

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Hello John

 A new (to me) motor has joined the fleet. It's an anonymous VW saloon, of a type once described by Jeremy Clarkson as "boring". He may have had a point but I don't care.

It's certainly not an Abarth. 

Monday, May 06, 2019

House of cups

Strangely pleased to see/hear that a modern coffee cup made it through all the continuity checks and sneaked into a scene on Game of Thrones episode 4 (Series 8). Possibly a clever piece of product placement as all good conspiracy theorists might say, like the Audi cars in Avengers End Game. Shame it had to be a Starbucks cup and not one from our local Stephens who actually do better coffee. In truth most bought coffee is better than Starbucks but then my judgement is clouded and warped when it comes to the large coffee chains. Kind of breaks the illusion though, I thought Game of Thrones was real and that Starbucks had to be imaginary.

Sunday, May 05, 2019

Egg type issues

Today's easy to answer breakfast time question centred around eggs. "Would you/could you eat a duck egg if a duck (not necessarily the duck that laid the egg) happened to be in the same room?" It turns out that some people would indeed do this, I'm not so sure myself. What if it was a male duck with nothing to do with the actual unfertilized egg? 

Would I eat a Big Mac surrounded by a herd of beef cattle? Would I eat a BLT adjacent to a piggery or indeed in a pig sty or just sitting on the wall? Would I drink a milk shake in a milking shed? Would I eat fish and chips whilst paddling in a Victorian style sea water swimming pool (outside in the open air but possibly containing fish or even crabs). I don't even want to think about lamb bhuna. 

People and animals eat other animals all the time and have done so for millions of years. The problem is a complex one and centres on association and connection. Remaining disconnected from the reality of actual "things" (living and breathing animals) and the consequences of actions is a nice comfortable place to be, so we choose to avoid these confrontations with the real world and reset ourselves on a regular basis. It's an easy way out. Just poke a paperclip in your ear to perform it. All that and I just don't fancy duck eggs and in truth I'm wobbly on the whole meat thing now, particularly lamb.

Thankfully we don't eat our trees, we just chop them up and burn them.

Friday, May 03, 2019


Diary of a desktop: Some stats about gay "tolerance" in Europe, three made up Porsche bar-codes, a photo of a pizza that says "you cunt" in chopped peppers, two pictures of Rosyth in the early 20th century, the Cold War Steve Big Issue cover, a photo of the the cover of the book "How to keep your Volkswagen alive", Google Chrome icon, Now TV icon, Spotify icon. There are other things but they didn't appear because they're different kinds of files from the rest, or something like that. 

This has been a brief expose as to the intimate details of my current desktop. These are all liable to change at any time without notice. Thank you. I hope you find this post informative and entertaining.

Meta type view and summary. 

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Unreported world

Not today but just the other day, the sun struggled to poke through clouds in the mid-morning something or other. It all happened in a place not too far away. Some dog walkers may also have witnessed the incident. The trees affected seemed OK as it turned out. Why was this not considered a news worthy item by any of the major agencies? 

Official Secrets

Gavin Williamson, a former Defence Minister they say, some Troops and a horse.
I signed the Official Secrets Act, way back in 1976. A time when we had proper secrets, as all old folks say. Of course the politicians then, like now, were dimwitted buffoons. Stuffed full of educated privilege, grey saliva and blinded by career prospects in some grand "office". The constant pressure not to put a foot wrong or say the wrong thing, tow the line and keep good counsel. Today nobody seems to know what the right thing might be, all woefully unsure of it or what form it might take, even it were to land in one's porridge. You can tell that this is a directionless and whispered rant. I'm not bitter and twisted, I'm just fed up with the collapse of the MoD I once knew and worked for and the political climate, the ignorant mismanagement of it all and people like Gavin Williamson (who may well have done nothing wrong apart from being ... ). No point in me saying much more, I might inadvertently reveal some official secret and be forced to resign or even dismissed from my post as Watcher of the Skies. Hold onto what you've got or stupid people might just steal it away.

Wednesday, May 01, 2019


Sorry for the picture quality. This three act drama took place in Brighton. I suspect however that it's a fairly regular event up north in the car park at Morrisons in St Andrews. As you chug your coffee and munch on a bun you can hear them pattering across the roof or your car, just there, watching, waiting for the moment to strike. Don't dare open a window.