Friday, April 30, 2021

Horrible Grapes

Yesterday I was horrible to Waitrose so just to maintain a balanced output I'd like to say these grapes that I bought from Tesco are about the worst I've ever tasted. Seedless and with a strange taste from both the red and green. Bad medicine in the guise of fresh fruit. Avoid these at all costs - £2 a punnet. 

Supermarket fruit is of course notorious for being tasteless and having a short life span (because it's been factory farmed out of any sensible season and flown here in the hold of some cargo jet). Yet we persist in buying the stuff, expecting the best and not getting it. 

Stupidity is pretty much defined as doing the same thing over and over, hoping for a different result. Retailers don't really care as long as there's a "range". We didn't ask for robot tills, artisan bread counters and unseasonal produce but we got them. Oh, and much as I like Aldi, their fruit isn't up to much either.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

If it's still too long let me know

We can all feel the pain of the poor copywriter here, it's better to be looked over than overlooked. How many marketing eyes checked this before it was issued? I suppose you could be crude and add "as the Bishop of Bath and Wells said to the actress" in a very old school, jokey way. 

Having said that vegan fish fingers made from breaded tofu infused with seaweed flakes do not really belong in a world that I want to live in. Nobody ever said "I could murder a vegan fish finger right now". Sometimes choice and privilege go too far.

Frankly I've always thought Waitrose was a wee bit shit, their store in Morningside Edinburgh is a tatty, pokey mess filled with overpriced products and shuffling, confused people like me (pensioners) hoping for a free coffee, but that's just my somewhat jaded opinion.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Angry Traveler Blues

Not going anywhere too far these days, 
Doing the doings and mending my ways
No summer suntan and no winter warmth
Don't want to buy a minivan or travel up north
(No point in moaning when you're mowing the lawn).

Used to be an angry traveler, annoyed by delayed flights
Frightened by the crowds and blinded by neon lights
Hot dogs, black coffee, Coca-Cola and beer
Traveler's fare, recycled air and more traveler's fear.

Tired out, frustrated, stood still in endless queues
All in the past, there's no more traveler's blues
A big thanks to Covid for stompin' on my shoes 
I got the wayfairin', tumbledown, traveler blues.
Oh yeah!

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

eBay Channel


Hi, you can purchase this great colourful sonic beast on my eBay Channel right now for anything around £99,999; maybe slightly less or make some very  decent offer and in so doing give me financial palpitations. Stupid bids and slightly intimidating messages are also welcome but only up to a point. 

I can assure you that this block of wood has never belonged to any of the guitar greats, been played by them or even been in the same room as them, nor have any of them set fire to it or rolled a joint on the back of it or sniffed up any Charlie from the scratch plate through a milk shake straw.  It seems those days are long gone but go on and smash that like button anyway.

Perhaps it's too boring for you, so I could, for a small fee, forge a celeb autograph and scrawl some daft message onto the front. Otherwise it's a fine and tuneful instrument in the hands of a fine and tuneful player, non-players will struggle however. We always negotiate with prospective buyers in a very civilized manner despite the reservations we may have about what we know about you and your life choices and motivations. Over to you.

However as a mere mortal you can buy what you like but you can never own Excalibur:

Monday, April 26, 2021

The Dig


A very  interesting archaeological discovery was made today in the ancient foundations of the chicken coop that once stood proud against the ravages of time at the bottom of our medieval garden. An early 21st century craft beer bottle was found whole and embedded, not in amber as is customary with this sort of find but in a mysterious substance that I suspect to be incorrectly mixed Blue Circle cement/concrete. 

The bottle's original contents were gone however and it was filled only with a murky brown liquid that may well be muddy water. We await the results of the chemical analysis and the carbon dating process. The humans that placed this object there are now long gone and there are few remaining traces of their clearly primitive civilization, their artifacts and dark religious practices. 

All we can do is gaze in wonder at the little that remains of a baffling lifestyle and hope that other forms of historical evidence or clues pointing to whatever purpose they may have had in their bizarre lives will be discovered as the excavations continue. Scottish history remains a baffling conundrum of conflicting fact, fiction and fabrication. Were they the good guys or the bad guys in the warped weave of the colonial tweed, or just hapless victims? If only a reputable intellect like Neil Oliver could shed some light on historical events with a well photographed but vacuous TV show.

I've already been in contact with the Discovery Channel and I can say (in the strictest confidence) that the offers are pouring in from museums and institutions all across the globe for this priceless and culturally significant object. You just never know what treasures are hidden there, maybe only a few inches below your tired and itchy feet as you mow the battered lawn.

Sunday, April 25, 2021


 Is it my maker?

Am I the breaker?

Has it come too soon?

Am I to follow?

Where life seems hallowed

By some impending doom

It makes me ache right now

That the lover of life

Gets lost somehow

‘Cos his colour fade in the rain

He goes down to the river again

To find to be

An opening to the sea

So that can’t be that hard

If he wants to see

The river

Some having trouble

When life at the double

Ought to be immune

Some say it’s hazy

Others feel lazy

Some don’t know what to do

It never breaks somehow

That the pattern of life is a loving vow

Every man has got to ordain

Every soul that comes in from the rain

And once the sea can find someone

Open up and tell its wildest dreams

To one that seen all before

That’s why you can’t see through my floor that’s a part

On the river

Taking time I rowed on with her

There’s a star in the air never be returning to

Find what else that heart is yearning for

But you want to take

Seems a good life can see

Though it describes the more I can see the point

Can’t people see that part of what can be?

Oh see in a river.

"River" Terry Reid - 1973 - Forgotten Lyrics.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Unrelated Imagery

For the often misunderstood far east markets - a movie poster promoting Easy Rider. The supreme martyrdom movie of a lost (or at least pretty confused) generation.
From our house it is impossible to see the Bass Rock but we seldom doubt it's existence. These are actual facts.


Ridiculous (but completely correct).

Friday, April 23, 2021

Technology makes life easier

It certainly does and a big shout out and round of applause for the brave explorers and academics who push out against the boundaries - from time to time.

These are the entry options you're given when you try to log into the "Harvard & Princeton Covid Vaccine Choices" websites. After this pandemic is over clearly only the elite, the gifted and few well connected cheats will survive. There's going to be real trouble getting run of the mill things done though; having rubbish removed, growing food and getting sanitation and fresh water running. A zombie style movie script that writes itself.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Living for the death of the SUV

I like cars, I like car design, I like practicality and imaginative use of space, I like features, I like engines, I like the idea of electric vehicles, I'm less sure of their usefulness, I have doubts about our direction of travel, I also think I've an open mind. I'm more an eventual adopter than an early adopter, I'll admit that much.

However I have come to be bored with the focus group school of design of Sports and Utility Vehicles; SUVs. It's become that simple. They are everywhere, every manufacturer has a series of them in various contrived sizes. All with slim and beady eyes, full of marketed as practical but useless features, round and cynical facial expressions, odd interior spaces and cubby holes (where the spare tyre used to be), riding high and mighty, tailgates that open in numerous ways, 4WD options nobody needs and all too big and awkward for our economy sized parking bays, roads and driveways and worst of all ... silly names. 

So they don't fit the world they live in and pound for pound and inch by inch they offer no more space (interior volume) or value than the saloons, hatches and estate cars they've now pummeled into obsolescence, those are the facts (see this Twitter thread). We all know how Mars Bars have shrunk over time, this is the same concept. They are fashionable but not realistic - most of the time. New ideas and designs, bringing back the cars that people actually want, are welcome. I suppose, and it's a bit of a cliche, my generation were promised jet packs and instead we got the Nissan Duke and the Renault Kadjar with touch screens replacing switches. Probably reasonable enough but ...

In conclusion, here's a random and insipid SUV design for you to enjoy in all it's mediocrity. It could have come from any one of the major manufacturers. Unique and inspiring as a medium priced flat screen TV, washing machine or a tumble dryer. I know car sales have crashed due to Covid but I suspect there's maybe more to it. Don't get me started on EV design either.

So can your SUV do this? Back in the days of proper cars...

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

And another other thing

As somebody who remembers carbon paper and Banda machines I can only say that the entire "printing" industry for home and office computers is built upon the biggest conspiracy and criminal fraud in modern history. I've never known a printer that wasn't an expensive  piece of shit destined to let you down when you need it most. Never mind the enormous con job that allows stupid little ink cartridges to be worth more than solid gold or crack cocaine. In 40 years little has improved. 

Only the other day (as part of a freelance project I'm working on) the pack of PDF instructions was conveniently emailed rather than printed and posted to me. There's one print job that wont ever be happening on my patch. I suppose small pieces of some useful planet are being saved ...

I probably have to type out a message like this every few years just to clear the grit and smog from my soul, like some fugged up diesel particulate filter, so I'm not going to apologize.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Food for thought

Not quite thought of this issue in this way before. Good graphic whoever came up with it, whatever prepackaged bundle of truth and lies you might choose to believe.

Quote of the week, "like a spaniel wandering into a night club, I've no idea what's going on but I find it all very exciting." Something nobody would ever say about Scottish politics these days ... so just hold your nose as you vote. Warning. Dull election comprising of about 98% dull politicians coming up ... then again perhaps we need dull politicians?

Monday, April 19, 2021

The Age of the Nose Bleed

 It's come to that awkward point on my journey into happily aging (from the River Forth to the River Styx) where nosebleeds seem to happen now and then. There's no rhyme or reason, no obvious stress, no anxiety or physical explanation other than wear and tear and too much sniffing and breathing. "As breathing is my life, to stop I dare not dare", (as a wise man once said).

So I don't intend to be stuck with this problem, no, I'm calling in an expert, a Doctor no less. We'll have a clinical and chilly Zoom consultation. I'll get a sweet seven minutes of the Doctor's time and I'll pack that time with all the virtual nasty nasal evidence I've carefully gathered, except for the cotton buds I burned on the bonfire. I hope it gets me somewhere, even if it's just to the back of the queue. Then, as darkness descends, I'll dive into the mysterious, experimental corridors of the Ear, Nose and Throat Wing. "Next!"

There's always an enterprising engineering answer out there for a temporary fix when you're suffering a physical inconvenience i.e. Tena pants. Such devices are never pretty, only functional and of course Amazon get them to you faster than the fire brigade. Now it's a new routine when I step out on a sunny day in my brilliant white T shirt: phone, wallet, keys and a handy man-sized pack of RhinoPinch, check! For safety, confidence; man-sized and for your own smoking pleasure. Takes me back.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Lovely Eggs

Posh and lovely eggs from the Cotswolds, almost too lovely to crack open and eat. It's not going to be easy but it will have to be done, just not quite now, they still need some looking after, some respect. They've traveled a long way to be here. Modern logistics and their packing and distribution methods are remarkable and often unappreciated by people like me, in what are commonly known as the chattering and blethering classes. 

Please note: sorry for any confusion if you happened to have googled the band "Lovely Eggs" and arrived on this page, (the Lovely Eggs are a two piece lo-fi psychedelic punk rock band from Lancaster, England. They consist of married couple Holly Ross and David Blackwell. Ross was formerly the lead singer and guitarist in the all-female band Angelica). You can find out all about them here.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Dog asleep in a car park


Looking out the window (I was hearing voices as usual, strange spectral chants and sunny harmonies) I noticed this dog, curled up and sleeping in the sun, lying in the car park next door on the warm asphalt. Not a care in the world, or so I like to imagine.

Keep checking in for more content like this; sights, situations and opinions of little use or consequence.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Walrus Trouble

One of the strangest comics I've seen with a very well thought out (?) origin story that rivals anything DC or Marvel could ever have come up with: [from the text above] "From the moment Mr Brown had eaten a magic pill given him by a gipsy he turned into a walrus. He had kept his secret but it seemed now that it was bound to be discovered." In the first picture he has a bit of Homer Simpson look about him ... it's probably all a well worked hoax.

Next up a surreal school dinner drama that's not really for children: "The Rich Red Revenge of the Rhubarb Pie".

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Merrily Drinking

Just parking this "spur of the moment" piece here in case I decide some day to reflect upon it further: 

If anyone is in any doubt that the BBC in Scotia are nothing more than a state mouthpiece for tone deaf propaganda and divisive rhetoric here's a lovely piece of Radio Scotland nonsense some house-hack came up with yesterday. 

Everyone in England is "merrily" drinking and shopping like the fucking Kardashians, meanwhile we're living in muddy holes in the ground, sucking on icy rags and roasting rats on a bonfire of old IKEA pallets. Welcome to Scotland. Wait for your turn and your colonial masters will deal with you when they're good and ready.

The truth is we're all merrily drinking almond milk quietly at home.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Lost Football


Floating in the drink at Port Edgar Marina, about to be lost at sea. Quite a long way from any reasonably sized football pitch. We'll never know the truth.

According to the Guardian I've read 1442 articles in the past 12 months. I'm not sure how many of them I've actually understood but nevertheless the figures are fascinating. I've yet to stump up and make an actual contribution but from time to time I also read the adverts as a means of gathering information and suffering penance.

A record number of 110,000 people have complained about the BBC TV's coverage of the DoE's departure. I'm somehow disappointed by that relatively small total. We just don't complain enough. I still think of myself as a good person however.

48 years after it's release I listened to the album "The River" by Terry Reid for the first time yesterday. I've been procrastinating a bit over doing this. It sounded ok but might take a little time to get to me. A sleeper. I wonder how many folks listen to an entire album of music (at one sitting) these days anyway?

Greens for tea. An enormous great bag of them cooked up in our largest pot. I ate my share, shredded, along with brown sauce. High in iron and heavy as lead. I'm still on the couch, stuffed as a couch.

A number of the above sentences may be poorly constructed. I'm not sorry.

Monday, April 12, 2021

48 Hours Later


It's not Friday anymore: 48 hours and more after announcing the death of Prince Philip, the death of Prince Philip seems to be being reported continuously on line as if via some kind of weird news looping system. Somewhere in this an unhealthy thought occurs whereby this is some kind of horror plot where he dies, then is revived, dies again and so on. Real deaths in the real world are not reported this way. Whoever you are please take your clumsy foot off the pedal and stop this madness (as if all the other mad things we are having to put up with at the moment aren't mad enough).

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Netflix Burnout

Turns out cats aren't too bothered about our evening time streaming habits on TV. A warm rug and sunlight is all they need. We've still a few episodes of Call My Agent! to watch (actually about a dozen, there are only 6 episodes in a season). We may survive and thrive on this cultural diet but we'll never learn French properly.

It was cold but clear today and the gardening was going quite well until I tried to dig up a clump of ancient fuchsias that are getting in the way and are slightly out of control. They've been in the ground for a while and stubbornly refuse to move. If left alone they will take over as is nature's way. I gave up on the job once I'd broken the garden fork. Chinese steel or recycled Ford Fiestas? Perhaps as used on the Queensferry Crossing and UK's aircraft carriers?

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Box of Frogs


Sorry, what I actually meant to say was box of logs.

In other news I hear that Edinburgh is now sadly without it's Duke. It stands Dukeless and bereft I imagine. No mean city. A mere shadow etc etc. I wonder who will step up and into this prime vacancy?

Meanwhile on Friday the BBC shows it's respect by disrespecting a few million licence fee payers, and there will be blanket coverage probably for the rest of the week too. This is neither healthy or balanced. Strange how they, by that I mean the establishment, assume that we must all feel the same way no matter what, they're afraid so they overplay their control. National mourning etc. All trouser legs to be set to half mast. If you want to count me ... count me out.

Friday, April 09, 2021

Big Cat Little Cat


Cat Diary: Rare and unusual photo of our two cats actually sitting together - peacefully. They remained in this position for a while just chillin'. Odd to see the relative difference in their sizes, Clint has a huge head compared to his mum and is obviously heavier, though not as heavy as he once was. She's tiny in comparison but far more energetic and active, but they are both well past middle age now so warm spaces to relax are more important than dark places to hunt.

Thursday, April 08, 2021

Valneva to the Rescue

Valneva's new anti-Covid bombs: Made in Scotland but not from girders, condensed milk or turnips. There's a fairly complex pharmaceutical process involved I imagine that requires better, more sophisticated ingredients. 

Valneva (they're from France you know, but don't tell the government), manufactures its Covid vaccine at a plant just doon the road in Livingston, said the results of their phase one/two study showed the vaccine was "highly immunogenic with more than 90% of all study participants developing significant levels of antibodies" to the Covid virus spike protein. Those who received a medium dose of the vaccine showed an 89.8% immune response, while people given a high dose showed a 100% response. 

This is good news for Scots and humanity (in an otherwise slow news kind of week, apart from some welcome colour returning to the streets).

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Mystic Mons Meg


The future is a strange and unknown country and there are many views and opinions as to how it might look for us here in Alba-Land. So I've been flexing my spiritual muscles and peering forwards into the gloom by getting in contact with Mystic Mons Meg, just to see how the old cannon might be viewing things from the rarified heights of Edinburgh's fortified buildings society. The consultation was a bit one sided, perhaps the spirits weren't really moving smoothly in the pre-election climate. Unsurprisingly it was looking like a more or less a "wait and see" kind of non-verbal answer for me. That's the world of spirits for you.

The air and water were undisturbed and the fire was gently snuffed out by the chill of the north winds, but then from deep inside Meg's own rusty (unused in anger) barrel a small, still voice whispered; "You know the SNP don't really want an independent Scotland, they're quite comfortable riding along on their own wee gravy train." I nodded silently and walked off home, back down the deserted castle esplanade.

Then out of the blue (and the red) the postman unwittingly provided welcome kindling for the log burner wrapped up in some views and ideas for me to ponder. Nice to see some agreement between the reds and the blues as they tackle key issues; the common enemy and general disquiet (as understood by their lords, ladies and puppet masters in the fair city of London). 

Bothered by Tory leaflets?
Stick them in an envelope addressed to:
Conservative Party Foundation
30 Millbank

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Thanks for not joining our club


Nothing personal, there's nothing wrong, nothing bad to say. I'm just not up for joining your club or clan. All the best with your social endeavors, motoring trips and so on. Cars, coffee and Instagram are fine by me, but I'm possibly the wrong age and don't fit the demographic. My clothes and hair style might look out of place. You wouldn't like me much either. I can be a little awkward over things, but not really.

I often (actually not very often) wonder if this might be the story of my life ... or is it simply a story line that I'm conveniently telling myself as some entertaining piece of fiction? Or am I just on some immature superficial journey of self discovery, an internal and voluntary meander with no final destination? Yeah, blogging's such a grown up pastime. 

Monday, April 05, 2021

Cat Food Fingers

Cat's are fussy buggers. Our two have lost their taste for the posh cat foods, marketed with sophisticated human sensibilities in mind but designed for the feline animal appetites. Now we're onto Asda Tiger meaty chunks in rich gravy, the Aldi equivalent is equally prized but harder to come by (Aldi's inventory balance being a lot more volatile).

The gourmet sachets and tubs have experienced the unclipped claws of customer betrayal and are now sniffed and ignored, the cat's just want some basic chewy meat from unknown sources and the fatty gravy. Those high end "recipes" with the stupid names and prime cuts no longer make it. 

I'm fine with that but the cheaper cat food does stink, at both ends of the process and of course neither posh nor economy are as good as a succulent fresh vole, mouse or baby blue tit. Wash all cat food contaminated fingers diligently after use.


Oh, here's a link to the banned study piece on Scottish Independence by Scott and Chapman, that's nothing much to do with cat food of course but I'm parking it here anyway, mainly because it seems that "they" don't want it to be read or shared ... or do they?

Sunday, April 04, 2021

Memories of burned pies


We're currently operating under kitchen duress and below our normal standards with a less than perfect gas oven that refuses to be regulated. It's old and broken.  Everything ultimately burns up, the only two working settings being on and off. Like some solar giant spewing erratic streams of fire it's slowly dying and it's unpredictable. We've learned the hard way that gently heating things up as opposed to cooking them requires precise timing and calculation ... in other words it's impossible. 

Having said that most items that emerge from the oven are pretty much edible, there's just that element of danger and uncertainty about how things will turn out. You need to remain very observant and alert during the process. The good news is that our new oven is on the way (via Singapore and the Suez Canal or somewhere), all subject to Covid sorting itself out and various other 2021 shaped imponderables. 

We have decided against a new B&Q oven and the matching kitchen units for obvious reasons.

Saturday, April 03, 2021

Yesterday's beer/tomorrow's coffee

Using the term "beer" rather loosely as this is actually porter, darker, thicker and a bit more bitter to the tiny taste buds on the human tongue. I was wondering how it might taste to an animal, say an octopus or a kangaroo. That's a piece of research I've not heard about nor have I seen any of the results. Nice enough tasting for me though. 

To sum up: I was out of doors then I went into a shop. Once inside I saw this beer on display and bought a couple of bottles. Then I returned to the outside world and gulped a few lung fulls of fresh air and then I went home (still quietly gulping air using my automatic breathing function). Eventually I drank some of the beer, as pictured. By this time I had removed my face mask. The bottles will be recycled. 

On line people were asking me questions about coffee, mostly  Nespresso, as if I cared. Posh tiny metallic pods of coffee that they like to pretend rich folks enjoy, apparently I should try them too. Not sure about that. It's a broken model in my opinion. It also requires some investment in a possibly corrupt coffee distribution infrastructure that I'm not ready for.  How was your day?

Friday, April 02, 2021


This is not becoming a habit but ... It's pretty easy to fill the vacant white space with somebody else's content. Anything goes in the gnawing emptiness of a polluted and lost soul; searching, reaching out and finding validation in vapid social media nonsense.

Shameless opportunism and laziness etc. That's show business (there's no business like it you know). 

But it's a sunny morning, My mind is elsewhere. Good Friday even. 

So there's a high chance good things might even happen on such a day, though not much can top human sacrifice, crucifixion and an ultimate work of redemption for all mankind; unless it's a sizeable and chunky chocolate Easter egg gift.

Thursday, April 01, 2021

Pop goes the fire cairn

I've no clear idea what's going on here, some arty kind of thing I suppose. An artist looks to have been involved. Piling up stones and composing. 

I'm not really connected with that world at all - composing using stones.

But it's all quite interesting. 

The installation took place down by Dunbar. A town on the east coast (the opposite of the west coast) where unsurprisingly the land and sea connect, complete with jagged edges. As a result they have some cliffs and beaches that look quite tricky to access. No bad thing. Keeps the zoomers out. 

The old furniture burned quite well. 

Eventually the tide will extinguish the fire, I imagine.

That may be a metaphor for something.

On April 1st I keep my head down for reasons of temporal humour.

Message ends.