Friday, July 31, 2020

Her Majesty

Dear Impossibles,

Just a note to say that in these long July evenings I like nothing better than kicking back and listening to a few of your tunes along with a good measure of brandy and ginger and a 99p box of Maltesers.  At the moment this song is one of my favourites. It did make me wonder if you knew that Analog Mann is in fact the German spelling for Analogue Man? A mistake perhaps? I don't suppose you did know that as you're both uneducated commoners and of course nobody really cares about the finer points of language these days. 

Anyway, best regards.


P.S. No M.B.Es for either of you this year and you can't have Cambridge either as I gave it to one of my grandsons.

Thursday, July 30, 2020


This track was recorded in Germany in October 2002 on a sunny Sunday morning, pretty much live with only a second guitar overdub added later. It was recorded onto Sony mini-disk, not the usual CuBase we'd used on the other tracks. This was mainly because we had some extra time left to record and the actual computer system had crashed completely so the Sony system was used. I still like the live, punchy sound and the simple drum track. The cover art shown here wasn't really used other than for a handful of copies and the actual CD was never put out for sale.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020


Just for a change and to remain topical but not controversial, this blog may actually share and promote small segments of our music, past, present and furtive. (Imagine if you will an awful, irritating, sycophantic, mid 70s, Radio 1, put on, mid-Atlantic DJ type drawl), "This one's EASY!"

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Into The God Head

Unrelated to weather: For technical reasons this blogsite is temporarily closed to unworthy visitors and bots for internal rewiring, exterior lighting alterations and minor switching modifications. The duration of the downtime is presently unknown and whilst we hope that it will not be too long, time is not predictable unless a reliable clock is installed and we don't believe such a device exists other than in some virtual sense. Here's some music you can use to alter states, shape shift or simply modify your basic metabolism - should you wish to. If you can see this then we can see you. Treble Clefs all around. 🎼

Monday, July 27, 2020

Air Kisses

Starting the week right now as I've woken up into a Monday morning. A steaming cup of milky Cooncelatte before me and some seven halved and pipped strawberries behind me. Outside the usual rain prevails. Here's an old tune we recorded earlier in the century and remastered for the umpteenth time in June.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Greeny '59

Peter Green's 59 Les Paul. Simply wonderful.
This is a pretty good, first hand piece on the life and music of Peter Green.

Villains and Villains

Johnsone, Putin, Xi Jinping, Trump.
There's a lot of traffic on here that appears to be centered around Russian, then the USA, then various random countries. I can't really make much sense of it other than to conclude that it's primarily bot driven and just at a very low level combing the net for intelligent life based on references. They won't find much actual information or deep criticism here, this is really just a temporal personal playground. I do wonder at the effort expended to infiltrate it however, the point of it all, which is I suppose to make the point that it can all be done, easily. As if we didn't know that. 

All governments share degrees of corruption and the desire to manipulate, it's a planet of humans we live on so what else would you expect? The joke is that the unspoken truth (by them) can be clearly seen despite the clinical and cynical masks the media and their grinning spin tries to provide. The puzzle is untangling it, an exhausting and possibly futile process for those hoping to get to the truth. I'm tired of that. I see the dark side of governments as weeds, you expose or destroy or restrain a clump in one corner of the garden but just as they've been dealt with up pop more in another corner and so on. The weeds tend to prevail. Politics is a career toilet and there are mostly villains and then more villains.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Fishing Cat

A day at the Zoo: No, just No. This cannot be a thing nor an actual product of so called Mother Nature.

Putin Test: So I place the name "Putin" randomly in the blog and check the daily hits and traffic location counters later. Hmm.

Friday, July 24, 2020

A walk in the park

Finally the rain gave up about two o'clock, by which time we were drookit, shoes muddy, clothes wet, hair dripping, not feeling too good. Returned home and dumped everything into the washer. Then, risking more rain,  back out into the afternoon again and behold, the parting of the clouds, the removal of the moisture, the clearing of the heavy air and some late July sun at last. Now enjoying a relaxing walk in the glowing blue green world of underbelly of the park.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Burgh Surveyor

The old windows on the local council offices hearken back to more simpler times when local services,  building works and sanitation were carried out "in office" and not contracted out to some multi-faceted conglomerate with shareholders in Russia, China and the Middle East. My first ever job was a trainee sanitary inspector. I wasn't a star performer and only lasted about five weeks before moving onto a progress chaser post in a factory making potentiometers. Anyway the standard council joke back in the day went along the lines of "she was only the Town Clerk's daughter but she let the Burgh Surveyor" and so on. Those in the offices loved telling this to any newbies, it was all part of some tame initiation into a long lost world of clipboards, dark wooden desks and box files. Seeing these window's faded lettering brought it back, briefly.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Putin's little helpers

"Nothing to see here, nothing bad or unethical has happened, everything is fine, we're in complete control, we're getting things done, sorting out Brexit, curing the current virus, world beating tracking and tracing, getting "it" done  and of course we're all working very hard all the time on the resolving these and the other important  issues that matter to you. So can I be really clear and remind you that we always have your best interests at heart and we will never compromise our standards, integrity or long standing principles, we are the Conservative UK Government and we know what's best for you. You can trust us 100%." 

P.S. And all you stupid, surly and ungrateful Jocks can just fuck right off back to your wasted glens and pathetic crofts, thank you (we'll be dealing with you later).

My P.P.S. from @coldwarsteve.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

The Wearing of Masks

Some folks say that it's a patriotic duty, you must be a good citizen and don a mask when required. Saltire designs and Joker smiles, football teams and floral patterns. So I'm slowing growing used to, perhaps even becoming almost fond of mask wearing. A new part time ritual. I only wear a mask in shops where there is the threat of humans and I'm not in shops very often, maybe a few times a week and only for a few minutes but the mask is fine. It brings a strange kind of anonymity that's enjoyable, maybe I wont be recognized, maybe if I committed a crime I'd somehow get away with. Maybe I can frown or mouth swear words and nobody sees. Most likely I wont behave like that  but I might try. 

But if it did, "The masked man did it!" They'd shout as I ran out of the shop with a wad of cash and all the other masked men would be suspects and would break into a run also as people everywhere panicked. In the comedic chaos and confusion I'd make my get away. Then, in some safe place I'd stop to think and wonder why it is that panicked has a k in it. It would help me de-stress after the robbery. After a short period of reflection I'd find a discrete way to return the money (unless it was from a shop I didn't really like or it was a business supporting Brexit or donating funds to the Conservative Party) or give it to some noble cause. 

So that's a new genre of fiction, a mask triggering over confidence, insanity and uncharacteristic behaviour in the person wearing it which leads on to some kind of epiphany and redemption all the time avoiding the spread of the infection. Maybe that's already been done.😊

Monday, July 20, 2020

Four Riders

Rider One: PAIN.




A local interpretation of the The Four Horsemen of the Apostrophe rendered in broken glass, dumped carpet and lawn shavings. It's been a long running and exhausting project. Exclusively photographed and rendered in some digital form and inspired by materials found beside the South Queensferry recycling centre due east of the Scotmid. If you don't believe any of this then simply visit the site and see for yourself. Strict parking restrictions and troublesome terms and conditions nearly always apply and please be mindful of social distancing requirements. Undue noise after dusk will not be tolerated and may result in prosecution. This includes throaty laughter and all statements made using overstated regional accents and verbiage.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Sunday Morning Cats

Cats enjoying the Sunday morning sunshine, safely indoors.
Sunday afternoon washing machine (detail).

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Panoramic Pictures

Dundee Panorama. The question that nobody ever asks is: "If you put a panoramic picture on your blog what is the best way to make it a reasonable size without allowing it to bleed over the edges and into other areas and still be fully visible to all viewers?" I'm not sure that what we have here is the actual solution or just something else. Unfortunately there is no practical application for this knowledge.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Dundee Daily Photo

I know why the caged bird sings.

Our mast, our communications, our conversations, our data, our weakness. Somebody else's profit.

Let Dundee flourish, a few weeds here and there don't matter.

A city profile dominated by waterfront oil engineering.

The Tay Railway bridge takes quite a bend as it leaves the city, some say that it's headed for Fife.

Thursday, July 16, 2020


Home built Capa-Choo-Choo complete with stirring spoon (CCC built from a kit that is).
I'm not riding on a train, not rushing to get to a meeting, hoping for a taxi, not got lots of thoughts and business plans swirling around in my head, not travelling or waiting, not anxious about that call or email that I hoped would arrive, not chatting on the phone or WhatsApp, not really stressed or searching for a new idea ... anywhere, haven't skipped lunch or left my laptop somewhere, not lost the papers or spilled coffee on them, no nasty stain on my tie or scuffs on my shoes, no change jangling in my pockets, not arguing about cuts or staff or changes, not worried about expenses, no deadlines, no pressure then. It's July 2020. In some ways it always was.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Two cats fighting

Feline's fighting in School Lane, Auchtermuchty, Fife, Scotland. Oil painting (Completed 1909) by Verne Delorean from Dundee School of Art. Sold at auction in 2011 for £8K. If you'd like to purchase it by all means comment below. I'll see what I can do.
It was a day of drama today. By that I mean I was sitting in the car watching two street cats fight. One black and mean, one grey brown and slightly dumb looking. Like kids in a playground they snarled and posed, pounced on each other and strutted back and forwards across the road. Fur began to fly on the July breeze in the bloodless battle. They seemed to communicate via tail flicks; interesting but pointless, I thought. Then in a nearby garden a bonfire suddenly was out of control, flickering flames and dense smoke floated across the hedges and two fire appliances arrived on the scene, all in a few seconds. There's a back story here but it's either stupid or trivial I imagine.

The cats however ignored the blue light stramash and continued their fight (which was by now hotting up). At one point two fire fighters stopped to watch the cats, I suppose they were revising their priorities for a moment, saving life and property v breaking up a cat battle. As the road was blocked by fire engines I just sat tight and looked on, clearly no person or cat was in any real danger. The fire was quickly put out, it wasn't serious and the cats, now somewhat bored with each other like pole dancers at the end of the night (I imagine) walked off together, exit stage left and into a hedge. Performance over.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

John's Nihilistic Breakfast

For a very short period of time I dabbled in a breakfast based nihilism but in the end it seemed as pointless as anything else. I spent some dreary times listening to "Obscured by Clouds" and "Desertshore". I also looked at busy clumps of black ink letters forming unfamiliar words placed together along invisible lines in papery books hoping they might tell me something; I found that to be a tedious and laborious line of programming to try decode. It was clearly not a serious intellectual exercise but then I was searching for something, mostly an easy, lazy life doing next to nothing. 

The harsh reality being that I never did eat anything for breakfast, just cigarettes and coffee. Eventually I realized I'd have to earn money doing something in order to sustain myself in this made up, comedic world of misunderstood and ineffective nihilism. So I resigned myself to my fate. In the blinking of an eye many years passed. Thankfully I'm much better now. I'm back in with the Shreddies and the Cheerios and those curious eggs that simply cannot be unscrambled no matter how hard you might try.

Monday, July 13, 2020

It was all a dream

I bought a copy of After Bathing at Baxters in the unlikely environs of a high street Electrical shop in Fife (a shop selling light bulbs and appliances) back in 1971, it was 7/6d. That's seven shillings and six pence or about 35p. They only had a few records for sale and this one was clearly "left on the shelf" amongst faded James Last and Val Doonican records. It was an odd ball bargain, I felt sorry for it. I decided it had potential because of the cover art, so I hoped that it would be interesting. I took it home and listened to it a lot, I only had about three other LPs so any new record was a big deal. Jefferson Airplane were a good band, I decided. It was a kind of early concept album, there was a story, somewhat badly formed as it turned out but that didn't matter. Nobody else had a copy either.

As my collection grew it was slowly relegated to the dark void that was the lonely place in the cupboard where older, worn out records stayed. It was buried by new material from Pink Floyd, CSNY, Bob Dylan, Soft Machine and the like. Eventually, along with pretty much all my remaining records it was sold, thrown out or borrowed and never returned as my life grew more grown up and even more crazy. Possessions mattered less, or so I thought. I now have close to zero original vinyl and only fleeting memories of my old long lost noisy collection of ill gotten gains and guilty pleasures. It was all a dream, a fuzzy, noisy dream.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Cloudy Observations

Nice, odd shaped, right angled cloud formation hanging out over the A90 somewhere north of Brechin, 10/07/20.

South Queensferry, 11/07/20, vague and wispy clouds messing around above our garden. No clear purpose or obvious intent shown. Weather sunny with some blustery blustering features.

Later that day: I stood a little further back or did I just change the distance setting on my phone/camera? Note large, overly photographed, intrusive piece of heavy Victorian engineering spoiling the otherwise pleasant view.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Posh Pie: An Apology

Dear Bots, an Apology and an Anthology: It only seems right and proper that I re-render what was actually quite a posh pie picture (the pie not the picture) with a more artistic and some might say appropriate finish so as to attract a better class of viewer. A throbbing pie in garish oils and badly applied palette knife debris if you will. It just might do the trick.

I'm always hoping to attract the kind of individual reader or viewer that knows a thing or two about cheese or coffee, game pies or smoked salmon and isn't up for any bullshit excuses. Not just those pesky Russian bots intent on bringing down Bulgaria or the fast food networks in the USA. Tedious. If only we could be at peace with ourselves.

After all some folks just might be "informed", well read and only slightly bigoted. Possibly a little up their own arses at times (but aren't we all?) and liable to follow the wrong strand in a story. Someone who browses regularly in flavoured farmer's markets and shooting estate shops, expensive delis and inner city cheese-mongers, but is also happy to queue in an orderly fashion for the reopening of a friendly punky pub chain or a Primark store. You know the sort.

That's exactly the type of person I think would enjoy the bright and classless diatribe that I indulge in here on this hallowed, slightly bleached cyber-space of overlooked and under cooked erratic brilliance and nonsense. There, I'm glad that's off my chest. Over to you then you kind and benevolent old school bots of sorts.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Some struggle with these things

I laughed when I first saw this on Twatter-patter, I know it's a wee bit cruel (and American) but I rather like the precision implied in the 40 feet west part and the suggestion of reflected selfishness. Actually I'm still laughing, well sniggering to myself rereading it. If it wasn't a sign but a spoken statement there would be some nice added expletives here and there in the text. I'm already adding them in my own head. Today is the day that you must wear a mask to shop anywhere in Scotland, I wonder how that will go. Our people don't like being told what to do.

Thursday, July 09, 2020

Hot Jenga

In the rarefied presence* of a more lukewarm, refined, abstract but traditional Jenga. Family Edition.
We built a temporary and experimental fire pit using paving blocks. Also invented a new outdoor game in the process. Try to remove a key brick or two once the fire is alight. Hot Jenga with real flames. Try it if you like, I'm not going to recommend it though. Alcohol doesn't help with actual game play either.


Google releases the contemporary, troubled poet hidden within the algorithm of the beast:

*Slightly better album than you might think, need to be in the right mood though.

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Shameless Product Placement

Irn-Bru: I never really drink this sweet and traditional Scottish softy but I know it to be OK, that's about all I can say. Classic fare for the Scottish taste buds. I could be more enthusiastic but I'm biding my time. I'd like to be able to add that I've been offered a significant sum of money to post this picture here and wax lyrically about the drink. Well I haven't yet but I live in hope. Is that not how these things work?

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Nice Place

Nice house, shame about the bins.
South Queensferry High Street: A lovely place for the most part but we're let down by the intrusion of real life when ugly bins are the unfortunate ambassadors of otherwise respectable households. In simple terms because of historical design limitations we are stuck with this situation until a practical household version of "Mr Fusion" comes along. Any day now, I hear it's 2020 in most places.

Monday, July 06, 2020

Double Slit Theory Triptych

As soon as you start to observe examples of the double slit wave theory it's wave patterns immediately change even if you view it through three distinct prisms. I might need a new prism or a new theory. When you travel at the speed of light other rules apply.

If these formless physics based witterings appear pretty clueless to you then you'd be completely correct. My current level of knowledge is around about "Beano" standard at the moment but I'm not standing still. I'm actually moving forward in a glorious field of waves. Takes me all the way back to 1972 and some unfortunate but memorable experiences. 

And another thing, for those who liken the universe to some kind of giant cosmic piano, the universe is actually guitar shaped and we are all slowly pulsating along on a finely tuned A string awaiting the arrival of the next full chord. You might want to tighten your grip just in case there's some unexpected turbulence. I have all this on good authority. On other authority it seems that  the universe may well be an enormous version of a Corona Virus cell that is busy ... err ... replicating as you might expect. If nothing else this might explain entropy and aid in the measurement of the rather elusive term "infinite".

Sunday, July 05, 2020

South Queensferry Daily Photo

High tide on the pier.

A Sincere Thank You

Yesterday, whilst being both sound in mind and body I received a nice card from the Edinburgh Kremlin thanking me for my long service, good conduct, stoical attitude and generally sunny disposition. I'm a model citizen now it seems. Not sure if I'm with Airfix, Lego or Play-Dough however. All that therapy, torture, extensive surgery and long periods of housing scheme incarceration have paid off. I'm no longer the uncomfortable, racist, sexist, materialistic and deranged person I used to be. My eyes have been opened, possibly my third eye also. I may well add up to more than the sum of my parts.

I ways I don't yet understand that weird feeling of approval from my peers and tormentors has delivered strange healing and cathartic properties to my soul, I'm positively light headed. Money cannot buy this feeling. Money can't actually buy very much these days either, it's pretty much useless on account of the faltering economy, tactical foreign interference and the white noise of Covid despair polluting the media. It's a long list. If it was an itch you'd scratch it's eyes out. However the future is just around the corner as is the past but it's a different kind of corner pointing in another direction. My bronze medal and citation will no doubt arrive in the next post.

Saturday, July 04, 2020

More Mystical Experiences

Your toilet may be golden but your shit still smells as bad as everybody else.

"I wonder who they are
The men who really run this land
And I wonder why they run it
With such a thoughtless hand
What are their names
And on what streets do they live
I'd like to ride right over
This afternoon and give
Them a piece of my mind
About peace for mankind
Peace is not an awful lot to ask".

The lyric from the song "What are their names?" from David Crosby's album "If only I could remember my name", I guess about 1971 or so, 49 years ago. I was but a lad then. It's not really a great song, the performances are pretty shaky, long noodling start with just a single verse and chorus near the end, not  a well structured piece in the conventional sense, the playing and singing is all a bit dopey, as were most things back then. I still like the sentiment however and of course these things mentioned in the lyrics remain unchanged, as they were then and as they still are today, most probably it always will be so. Here's the actual audio version.

Friday, July 03, 2020

Gloomy Friday

Crowds slowly gather at the Church of the Sacred Thumb to celebrate the correctness of the forecast and the destruction of this year's crop of whatever it was.
The forecast was correct, 97% chance of rain. July in Scotland, we've had our warm spell, our windy spell now we're back to our wet and gloomy spell. Across the border the public houses open tomorrow as a sign of even more of a lack of grasp of any anti-plague strategy. People will sup pints in plastic booths, be sanitised and socially managed. Pubs will be as much fun as a cocktail bar on the space shuttle. Jollity and atmosphere surgically removed and the punters, so eager to participate apparently, don't seem to have any idea how shit or awkward it'll be, then the fights will start. Alcohol and common sense meet only ever briefly, then it all breaks down into either violence or comatized storytelling. 

The English media seems confused that Wales, Scotland and NI have their own separate health responsibilities, quite inconvenient for our colonial masters in Westminster. When they cry "advance" we're all supposed to head up over the top singing happy songs and dodging bullets as best we can. For a rare moment in history Scotland, using it's own historic ability to not quite toe the line revels in some kind of Presbyterian conservatism and prudence that as of today (in the rain) seems strangely safe and attractive. It's all a pot mess. Stay home and scran your BrewDog on the couch till the vax comes out.

I really have no idea how any of this drip feeding of restriction management is going to work out and neither does anybody else but if you're seriously thinking about blissful pub chats in sunny beer gardens, dining out with "friends" or two weeks in Lanzarote to calm your nerves and chill you out then you are kidding yourself and in my view heading towards wasting sizable chunks of your own money. But hey, we need to boost the economy they say.


Chris McQueer: I've seen a little of him on TV and twitter, an interesting, likable and funny guy it seems. BBC Scotland's new bright star. I watched the 16 minute segments of "Hings" last night and was pretty disappointed. Three shallow, mucky and dark (not in any kind of good way) tales that your average 5th year English student author might have thought were OK, just about. Didn't work for me, the hype has left me confused.

Thursday, July 02, 2020

Litter Bin Daily Photo

In these troubled times even litter bins count too, remember to respect safe distances.

Lost Suppers

And Lo, Jesus said unto the gathering: "Look we just need somebody to sort this whole thing out in an orderly fashion. Anybody up for that? All I had were the spicy buffalo wings and a green salad along with a glass of tap water. I was hoping to get an early night".

Lost Suppers: Rhubarb crumble and cream. A bowl of mixed up crisps. Cheeses, crackers and wine. A chip sandwich. Kellogs Frosties and milk. Actimel. A bottle of Guinness. A Mars Bar. Toasted cheese with Branston Pickle. Beetroot sandwich. An apple. Cold pizza. Custard dregs from a carton. Rice pudding. Ovaltine. Horlicks. Hula Hoops. Berocca. Strawberries. Coffee. Whisky and ice. Shreddies and milk. Buttered toast. Chinese meal leftovers. A banana. Cold potatoes. Cadbury's Dairy Milk. Monster Munch. Toasted scones. Nothing at all (sometimes).