Monday, September 30, 2019

Black Metal Cat

Here's our 2020 entry for the Black Metal Cats calendar competition. Quite an evil wee, "why so serious?" look she's rockin' there.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

A thousand broadsheet obituaries

This is nothing to do with the John Peel related tweet (above), a person I always liked but have kind of forgotten in recent years as my radio listening and sense of music appreciation dwindled. I just liked the "broadsheet obituary" phrase. Ahem. 

When you're gone, the only way you'll know (ignoring the fact that you're gone) you made it in life is by somehow earning that accolade of champions, politicians, clergymen, medal winners and celebs that is the "broadsheet obituary". Maybe including a photograph. They tend to be personality and family light, these aspects of the life celebrated being more of a footnote. The author (it is a piece of fiction) lends weight to colourful rumour, associations, embellishes the facts, rattles skeletons lurking in closets and depending on the political persuasions of the paper's owners lines up a few bits of tittle-tattle in his firing line and polishes them off. 

So though I quite like the thought of earning a broadsheet obituary I do think that me receiving one is highly unlikely and the very fact that I'll be gone by the time (often a few weeks after the main event) it's published means I don't really need to care. It remains however some kind of a measure of a life but often an untrue representation, if measuring lives and being a fictional character is your sort of thing. Until you get there ... you never really know.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Money v Sense

View from the lunchtime cafe table (not a Tesco cafe either). 

Bulk buys for Brexit is a short (very short, very clunky) propaganda film that I created in a branch of the local Tesco. A special area has been created where you can act out all your suppressed desires to go into a state of wild panic and just buy huge quantities of random groceries that you can't possibly fit into your car. This act will immediately be followed by a strong and stable period of buyers remorse, then, as time passes a feeling of well being and ultimate smugness and then a further period of remorse as you realize you can no longer live comfortably in an average sized house crammed full of "essential" items. These predictions are of course only valid until 31st October, after that it's anyone's guess.

P.S. The film above may not actually do anything when play is pressed. So I stuck it on TubeYou as below ... Sundance beckons!

Friday, September 27, 2019

Twitter Challenge

Twitter Challenge: Share the first picture that comes up when opening Twitter then write something about it and today it's the cast of C4's Spaced. Turns out the Spaced is 20 earth years old today. I probably missed it at the time, 20 years is a long time ago and my viewing habits are a blur looking back. I have certainly watched a few episodes as reruns or on DVD but maybe not them all. I'm sure I laughed quite a few times at their antics. It seems that the world was a simpler place then. 

Of course the cast and writers have gone on and done lots of other things since that first episode, made various films, realised potential and perhaps not realised potential. That is typical of career paths in the modern entertainment industry, they can be patchy because sometimes funny people fail to produce funny stuff. I am also unable to whistle the theme tune but then again I am not a skilled whistler. Game over.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Wisdom of the Sphinx

Number 1 in a very occasional series: "Measure twice, cut once". There you have it, now live the rest of your life in relative peace and numerical accuracy.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Your own, personal, Eton

Out in the sticks for lunch today I enjoyed "posh beans on toast" in a roadside cafe. A variety of kinds of beans, vegetables and spices served up on a doorstep of toasted brown bread. Posh but not pricey. Simple things etc. The news of the (now infamous) judgement against our blithering idiot of a PM washed over and for a brief moment the world seemed less mad than it actually is. Of course the great man considers that the 11 - 0 verdict by our High Court Judges was wrong. Seriously Prime Minister?  How stupid a man are you?

Perhaps we outsiders fail to understand the inner workings of young minds trained up and fueled up at Eton. Perhaps along with all the ritualistic abuse, the jingoism, the serial brainwashing and messages of superiority that go deep within them there is some actual real damage done. Perhaps as the leave to study the classics (small c) at Oxbridge they are all struck heavily upon the back of the head with a cricket bat, just to set them up on their way and thereby ensuring clear and cohesive thought processes are denied to them for the rest of their lives along with any meaningful sense of self. Pity the poor boys of Eton. Too posh for beans, too narrow minded, isolated and remote to exist in the real world, it's criminal really.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Happy in the Haze

And heaven knows I'm suffering from some severe graphical distortion of the vertical and horizontal type right now - along with added swirls. Younger readers will be unaware of the once essential TV controls known as Horizontal Hold and Vertical Hold. The deft turning of these tiny and often hidden knobs at critical times ensured a steady picture on the flickering TV screen during broadcasting's halcyon days. They did produce strange effects and ongoing family arguments, now all lost to a steady set of screens in a digital world.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Oktoberfest in September

Garden apples.
This may well be a heresy (and I'm maybe not 100% guilty) but I feel that this image is a reasonably accurate representation of a version of the Flying Spaghetti Monster from the modern belief system known as Pastafarianism. I know enough to know I'm rendering the image in discarded apple cores and peelings, not actual pasta. It's not all that accurate. As I said it may be a heresy, it may not. I'm not clear as to how sensitive the Pastafarians are regards their deity or their diet these days. No offence intended, "none taken", says an imaginary voice somewhere inside my head. After all it's simply wasted fruit particles that will eventually become useful compost.

Still life with fruit, vegetables and surroundings.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

No country for small biscuits

The empire backs strikes: Once upon a time there was a British Empire. Half the world was rendered red in the pre-war Mercator Projected maps that graced the class room wall, blood stained and magnificent and a little misleading. Even then (it's 1962 and I'm trapped in Primary 3 by time travelling nazi pirates) the impression given was quite inaccurate but up to date maps were expensive and for some teachers a depressing reality. Finally after years of denial and avoidance the biscuit industry has caught up with current affairs and Google Earth has destroyed the physical map. The once great fuck-off, Dambusting, Spitfire and Churchill tank of a biscuit has downsized as a respectful reminder of Britian's ugly colonial past and shattered former empire. No doubt in time these biscuits will further downsize and be renamed as the (even smaller) Brexit Biscuit.

Friday, September 20, 2019


Red Sky at Night: Generally this means that some Google Bot has been hyper-overactive with the filter juice and some other non-robotic dumb-ass has taken that bait and downloaded the result and displayed it here.

The truth about the Gelflings

Ladies and gentlemen, the truth (about the truth about things) is that the Neanderthals were actually created by Jim Henson during a long and ancient dream which was eventually turned into the past as a direct result of some quite good science. Other types of science are also available. 

A team of reputable scientists is currently building an accurate version of the past using raw data and raw DNA, cooked DNA is unacceptable for use. Due to unforeseen developments this past world is now situated somewhere in the future. It will be along in a regular minute or possibly a millennial minute subject to timetable changes and seasonal fluctuations. At the moment it's too early to tell so please keep to your own seats and remain at peace with yourselves. Thank you.

Possible Gelfling image sculpted from solid historical evidence.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

A flash from the archives

This turned up in my Twitter feed this afternoon, a photo I took over eight years ago at the football in Greenock. Somehow it surfaced today for no obvious reason (unless to torment the confused people of internet land and a few Pars fans). A sunny afternoon, a football match and a good humoured pitch invasion from the Dunfermline support, an event we're not likely to see this season.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

So last century.

Another WTF moment over the Pacific Ocean.
I know you've heard it all before but the god of Moses, Abraham and Isaac is dead. The fatal blow was dealt some time ago by a mysterious (alien of course) race who may have seen him as a rival, they hid his remains and decided to look over his creation by simply paying "occasional" visits. So as more man-made shit hits a greater number of earthly fans the visits are getting a bit more frequent or perhaps our primitive technology is gaining just enough power to identify and track their comings and goings. 

We now live in the age of the UPA (Unidentified Ariel Phenomena), UFOs are so last century. Having said that the little black shape seen here that can outrun (and possibly out gun) fighter jets looks a tad familiar. I presume that their vehicles don't morph into stranger, curvier or more angular shapes with more cup holders every 24 months in the way that ours do. The UPA industry on whatever planet they originate from could maybe learn a thing or two from Earth's motor industry in terms of beguiling consumers with superficiality and design gimmicks. 

Hardly any surprise either that in the current climate none of them are asking to be "taken to our leaders".

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Keep it for later

I was intent on using the image above for today and I had hoped to keep the other two for later. "For later" is I now think, not a good way to think. It means nothing, "later" is in the future, always. A point in time we can quite measure or understand. We may never get there, I may never get there. There is no later, only now. Later is abstract even though there is strong evidence that it might exist. So here are the other two. (I'm reluctant to apply this to frozen foods, presents purchased earlier before the required date and diary entries, I hope you'll understand; it's a slightly wonky philosophical point.).

This badly photographed and badly edited piece is entitled "touch not the cat" for some reason. Art in brickwork.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Reasonably sized pockets

Satisfying little things: The door pockets on Volkswagens are generally found to be of a size sufficient to safely hold a half litre of milk, a carton of soup and still have space for other similarly sized items. They are of course not perfect vehicles, that's something that doesn't exist yet and the actual definition of perfect is moving around all the time thanks to expectations and technology. So whatever else may stun us with it's beauty and performance on that long and winding road to perfection let's not lose sight of the importance of substantial and useful door pockets.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Breakfast of Champions

This is not my beautiful breakfast: No, I simply stood by it for a short period of time as it crackled nearby in the pan. I would not dream of starting the day this way, well not today. As I'm temporarily vegetarian (and this varies minute by minute) I chose toast and PB&J and have since suffered from breakfast remorse and toaster's regret and various other undocumented and unresearched psychiatric conditions once common in the 19th century, otherwise I'm fine.

Break Free

"We'll break free of (?) the EU like the Incredible Hulk", says Boris apparently. This is just complete and utter rubbish and I'm sad that people would actually consider buying anything looking like a newspaper that's running such a stupid headline. Of course if it was an actual comic it might be OK, up to a point  ...

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Monster Munch

An escapee from a garish multi-pack, the scourge of proper sizing and consumer understanding. We get what we deserve.

Once upon a time crisps were unsalted and you added your own salt from a silly blue bag. Then flavours came, colours and shapes. It was the ending of an age. By the time that Monster Munch was launched I was an adult. I had responsibilities, a mortgage, kids, intermittent career prospects. I was respectable. I was never a child in the heady, colourful, salty and sticky world of early Monster Munch. I couldn't eat a bag in public without looking like some pathetic man-child in crisis and of course in those days Monster Munch actually came in monster sized bags. There was no hiding place. This was the age of snacks and sweets before the great "shrink to fit the budget" strategy was launched on unsuspecting punters. Whilst this has wreaked havoc in dry snack land, for some reason (wet) drinks have only got bigger and more expensive and more dangerous, apart from the actual cocaine once found in Coca-Cola.

There is some odd logic at work here but we're all too stupid and desperate to comply as we allow it to grow by our voiceless, munching participation and lack of protest. So "in praise of Monster Munch" should really be some confessional singer songwriter ditty; funny and wry and witty and with a clever ending, if only somebody would write it. I wont. BBC TV variety shows of the 60s spewed this kind of jaunty material out every Saturday night, I'm not sure what replaced them. Oh yes, dancing celebs and talent shows. Enough.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Rainbow Cake

Yesterday: A day unlike others inasmuch as I ate some rainbow cake. Today I might eat some more rainbow cake. You can never tell how appetites might dictate the pace and content of the day. N.B. no actual rainbows were injured, damaged or disturbed in the making of this cake.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Daleks v Skeksis

Daleks: Ugly fascist totalitarian rulers. No mercy shown to enemies, no sense of humour, robotic bodies, squiggly innards, various alien type weapons and grand ideas of universal conquest. No respect for all versions of the human race etc.

Skeksis: Ugly fascist totalitarian rulers. No mercy shown to enemies, no (properly formed) sense of humour, bird like bodies and heads, squiggly innards, various primitive but magical weapons and grandiose ideas over their status. No respect for all versions of the human race or gelflings.

The thing is with both of these fictional, clumsy, villainous types they always avoid any kind of decisive comeuppance. In some pantomime inspired way it seems that it would be easy simply to run around them with a long piece of rope and tie them together in a clump and, once that was done, cover their eyes (electronic or otherwise) and ... destroy them, as you would with any other extreme form of cruel tyranny. But then the stories wouldn't quite work or continue  ...

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Next Please

Business opportunity: In most communities this sign could be placed almost anywhere and remain accurate and useful. I'm surprised that DIY stores and various high street and web retailers are not selling out on these (think of the market value in China alone). Arguably every second house should be adorned with this simple and helpful message, eventually every home would have one. 

Also think now of those older, often confused, grey and worn out people over the age of 60 with their lifeless hair and unhelpful attitudes. Troubled of mind and stooping and squinting as they try to go about their feeble, petty and meaningless business; here's a quick and easy piece of signage to steady them in any moment of self-doubt or mindful confusion and confirm to them that all in the universe is at a steady state. 

There's also talk of a phone App development  that simply reminds you with a pleasant beep and humorous and cute display when you cease to be at your own door and move over into the space best defined as next door.

Monday, September 09, 2019


Today I'd just like to say a big thank you the people and the randomly inspired bots of Sweden. I see you've had a busy afternoon and I do hope that you found it all worthwhile. I have no idea how any of this happens. Again, many thanks.

P.S. Nice to see you hanging in there Russia.

Barter Books

Roofing detail: The retired Alnwick Station, books, shelves and wise words.

IT cabinets, books, comics, pamphlets and the relics of a railway station all hang out together.

Table 10: Breakfast at "one of the largest secondhand bookshops in Britain". We also used Table 11 the day before. Quite a filling breakfast some said. There are also a lot of books as you might imagine hence the claim. Thanks to all those who ever recommended that a visit might be a worthwhile experience. Strangely no books were bought (or bartered) but many books were enjoyed. That's the point I suppose.

Lindisfarne Daily Photo

Dead whales waiting to be turned into boats to be used to allow local schoolchildren to commute to Berwick upon Tweed regardless of the tidal state.

Over there on the mainland are the remains of an ambitious Game of Thrones set that was never actually used due to script continuity problems.

Excavations have revealed either a Viking helicopter landing area or a possible Neolithic coffee shop.

Where shadows fall

An occasional series: Exclusively filmed in the picturesque but functional harbour of Eyemouth, a place to be found at the mouth of the eye for illustrative purposes only. Here sea, sand and seals meet along with shadows and that sort of thing. In other words we spent a day away.

Friday, September 06, 2019

A more creative tone

The promotion of the more creatively well set up things in the world and original, tonally attuned material should really be what this blog is about. Recent posts have been a bit grim (understandably?). It's just tough to maintain a steady course when the fuckwits have taken over the sanatorium and their kind looks to be prospering thanks to various conspiracies and accidents coming together in opportune ways. Ugh. I therefore will try harder to shut out this corrupted world and delve more deeply into the less cruel and less real world of fantasy and creativity so ... for some reason I was quite happy to discover that this new album containing various types of sophisticated sounds was being promoted around the Twittersphere. Will it be any good? Are there any sample to be heard? Not sure. The link here gives some info as well as some unfortunately highly set prices and a far away release date. It can't all be good news...

Good news! The Dark Crystal prequel that's prequelling on Netflix is pretty reasonable. Apart from us referring to it using the somewhat derisory term "the puppets" it's actually rather good and err ... enthralling, if you like that sort of thing and of course it's another reasonable reason to avoid large chunks of the BBC's schedule.

True love

Human beings find themselves everywhere: The course of true love never does run smoothly, there will be bumps, crumples, squashed coffee cups, chipped nail varnish and cigarette ends along the way. It's a journey disguised as a trek looking a lot like a sweaty hike in ill fitting boots. The old wooden seats and park benches that are sat upon will be stained and marked, as weather beaten as fishermen's faces and invariably and inconveniently with concrete like bird shit marking the arms and danglely bits. So in these difficult times it's also good to know that we can reply upon a free thinking and unbiased media system to air and to challenge the big issues of the day, should there ever be any. No stone will be left unturned and no turn will be left unstoned (as used to be the custom) in creating the illusion of truth and we will get to wherever we're getting to eventually but probably not by the best route.

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Old stories, old movies

There is no apocalypse now, there was one earlier however and there's a good chance there will be another along shortly. These are of course small apocalypses, tiny tremors and events of an apocalyptic kind, like gusty hurricanes or shallow floods, single figure epidemics, silent whispers and rainbows that avoid natural hues and concentrate on neutrals rather than actual colours. This page is set in black and white tones today as a reminder and a memorial to these things. Things that are not everyday things but small things that  happen somewhere almost everyday and then stubbornly fail to register with us.

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

From Iceland

Slightly confusing photograph shared by some of our friends from Iceland earlier today. No explanation.

Monday, September 02, 2019

Making plans

Life is filled with uncertainty. What to have for tea, what day to do the laundry, where are my favorite socks? Now those wise and insightful people at Gov.UK want to know if I plan to travel after 31st October 2019. Well I suppose I might but then again I might not. Until I know for sure my new formed preparing for Brexit Plan is in disarray, as is everyone else's. This finely layered piece of software takes the reader on a journey through various options on business and personal matters before revealing itself to be of no use at all (as if you ever thought it might be). A fine and indeed almost comical state of affairs but it's our elders and betters who have led us to this crazy point in history where "helpful" websites give poor and vague advice about things that are not fully understood by anybody anywhere. Your future is what you make it unless Gov.UK get in there first and mess with it.