Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Move to Bin

More cheap art for the masses, or those who could actually care less: A rabbit that might be a dog sporting a rainbow hair style and extra legs. A cat that never existed but remains smoking hot despite a clear lack of paws. The High Priestess from the Carnival of Idiots Adventure Weekend before and after some kind of substance experimentation. Oh and if you're still curious about the infamous "single whistle" there's an example of a single whistle, below.

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Humble Plum Pie

A good photograph of Peter Frampton and Steve Marriott of Humble Pie, not pictured Greg Ridley and Jerry Shirley. They were a messy, noisy, self indulgent, loud rock band. I recall nearly wearing out my vinyl copy of the double album, "Performance: Rockin' the Filmore. That was then of course, not heard it in a long time. I always liked Steve's Epiphone Coronet. He hardly ever played it though, it just dangled around his neck but then Frampton was always around to make sure things kept going.

Meanwhile ... a reflection on the fragile life of the common plum. This is half of our 2022 crop.

Friday, August 26, 2022

Scottish Independence


Sometime in the future, when a new world order emerges from the soup, I predict that Scotland will see sense and will break away from being a colony and seek independence from our unkind rulers in Australia. Of course, as we're a nation of serfs and cap-doffers we'll need to employ a decent and well inbred royal family to worship and hold up as we inhabit some kind of golden age of deference. So here are my suggestions for their titles (above and mainly going clockwise):

The Queen of Fruit Cake. The Prince of Whales. The Duke of Kirkcaldy (seen here in the form of a mutant sailing ship as he is also a shape-shifter) and of course the spoiled and glamorous Princess Crud. We'll be prosperous, strong and true in their benevolent hands.

"There was a boy, he lived in the hills with his family. Let's say in Glen Glen, near to Ben Ben. He rode around the hills on a small motorcycle. The locals thought that he wasn't quite right, something was either missing or extra. One day he took a bag of blue sheep dye up the hill with him. He emptied the dye into the stream up in the glen. As it turned a bright blue the water flowed down the slope, over small waterfalls, across marsh and heather until it joined a larger river. The stream was now blue. 

When people noticed it they said it was an act of environmental terrorism, or maybe Toryism or perhaps he was just a Rangers fan. The river flowed blue for a while. People took photos with drones and posted them here and there. A blue river running across a dull piece of Scotland and nobody could really agree on it's meaning, if it even had one. Was it just a piece of fun or protest, was it some destructive and dangerous thing? What did it represent?

The press and media asked the boy what his intentions were. He struggled to answer but eventually said that he just did it because he liked blue and blue was Scotland's colour (like the football team) and he liked his blue motorcycle. Eventually they left him alone and the blue dye just faded away in the water, bit by bit. 

In the end nothing was really harmed and the boy didn't put dye into the river ever again. The blue was there for a while, strong and bright but then it was gone, as if it had never been. That's how things go, we get distracted for a bit then settle down again. It's just that people do thoughtless things all the time, and deny and misunderstand the consequences and meanings of their actions. But as for the boy, he is still up on the hills, on his motorcycle, just surveying the landscape, dreaming into the blue yonder."

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Painful Tattoo


"Once I got a painful tattoo, I'm reminded of it every time I go to the loo."  Leon Trotsky 1879 - 1940.  

Something you wouldn't ever wish upon your sworn arch enemy, should you ever have one. Trust me. Always visit a professional or at least a gifted beginner who has the will to succeed and a steady hand. Don't go ahead based on badly influenced impulses either and always take a moment to consider the possible outcomes.  Try to avoid situations where your tattoo artist and his clumsy assistant are laughing at you and your own low standards behind your back. It's best to follow the money and avoid the pain. Maybe consider just getting a haircut and shave at the shop next door instead and be nice to yourself.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

ten nine eleven

"Of all the many strange and whimsical songs out there floating in God's holy ether and entitled "ten nine eleven", this one is easily my biggest favourite." ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Rollin' Stoned.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Edinburgh Daily Photo

Experimental piles of festering rubbish act as temporary art installations and health hazards all across the city. Nobody understands their real meaning, not even the vacuous art critics or the numerous rats. It's as if the refuse workers had said to the Council "go fuck yourselves and all your conflicted priorities", and who could disagree? As a social comment, the position of trash in the world of consumer crap and over indulgence needs to be explored. In the background is the old North British Hotel, a bastion of upper class and warped colonial values that dominates the skyline. Long may it do so.

In a strange green space by the Royal Mile's artistic quarter some badly laid astro-turf gets absorbed by real grass and creeping weeds. A welcome if hidden spectacle that confirms my view that nature will eventually win the war against those stupid humans.

What's not to like about an old  Citroen van converted into a well mannered coffee shop at the (badly located and poorly set out) Book Festival?

The famous Waverley Station from a safe and socially distanced distance. Clogged with tourists, travelers and other people who don't know their left from their right. Avoid at all costs unless you need to catch a train or take a short cut.

Monday, August 22, 2022

Rage and Dissonance


So what's wrong with the Velvet Underground and why are they irrelevant?  Nothing really wrong other than that they got old and so did I. We ran out of steam and moved in other directions. Rage and dissonance, atonal noise and even nihilism seem to me to be the territory of the young and troubled. You can't play those dirty chords with the same passion at 55. I remember when the Rolling Stones were seen as dangerous, now they're a performing joke, like some music hall act, conforming to the theatrical traditions. Still thin on the outside but fat inside.

Hearing later incarnations of the aggressive, now middle aged bands ranting and screaming for change doesn't work. The fact they're still at it kind of proves their anger was meaningless. It was a good fit for the marketing. The machine prevails and your noise is just that, noise. Noise that eventually turns into a tuneless grumble and then before long you're shuffling away into the sunset and stuffing your gear into the garage. 

Of course I'm not saying it wasn't effective at the time or even worthwhile. It was, it was just another way of venting for the masses. But the middle aged versions of Limp Bizkit, Korn, RATM and so on can't really cut it. It's a different world. Quit while your ahead or become a reflective, world weary and slightly optimistic singer songwriter and find out if your audience has grown or if they're just audio hibernating, listening only to run their personal clock down in some Spotify playlist stupor.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Velvet Plums

It's been about 50 years since I last sat down and listened properly to an album by the Velvet Underground. In my head they burned bright for maybe a year and then were gone. I find that strange. What purpose did they ever serve and why are they still famous today?

Here are six plums that were forgotten due to an unforeseen bout of DIY. The less said.

Friday, August 19, 2022

Last Days Selfie

In the last days, there was little else to do so people just took selfies. Sitting in small groups under the brighter than usual blue sky, in full sunlight, perched on large stones or rocks or concrete rubble. Empty plastic water bottles surrounded them and glinted in the sun. They clicked and stared into the lenses and screens as the power indicators slowly ran down. 51%, 43%, 27%. 

They watched the falling figures with their dull eyes. There's no signal now, no network to share onto or to call anyone across. No data or conversations. There's no live power outlets to charge from. No infrastructure. No birds and no insects, no fresh winds. The last days are the stillest days we've ever experienced. Looking at myself on the screen I thought I kinda needed a haircut. I saved the shot.

Over in the distance pale columns of smoke were rising up. Grey wisps against the blue. Some things were slowly burning. I was going to point it out to the others but didn't bother. Such events were pretty common. The thin air thick with the heavy heat and a silent pounding that seemed to rise up from the earth like a deep memory. Whatever it is it's a peculiar feeling. 

"This is what you get, when you mess with us."

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Swiss Army Knife

I've had this Swiss Army Knife since 1988. The logo has worn away and the tools and blades are a bit beat up but it's still OK. I was trying to work out if it's my oldest physical possession. It's not, turns out I still have some music cassettes and vinyl records that predate it. Nothing else that I can think of though... doesn't seem quite right. I guess everything else was lost in the fire.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Seventeen Apples

The obvious mistake of counting your apples before they're at all ripe: There's six in the picture, the rest are elsewhere on our small and solitary apple tree. Still growing. I'm actually looking forward to trying these as we've had no fruit from this tree for two years. I presume Covid was/is to blame.

Plums seem to lack the stability and serenity of apples, they just want to jump. Undeveloped plums are forever falling from the tree for no obvious reason only to die on the concrete path below, so we're seeing a pattern of diminishing returns from what seemed like a bumper crop a few weeks ago. Frustrating. 

There are a lot of pears on the pear tree. They are stubborn and willful fruits that ultimately will turn into baked concrete, inedible versions of themselves. We have loads and will face the conundrum of what exactly to do with these stony and pretty much tasteless lumps of fruit. It seems a waste not using them but they just need too much processing. In the event of us ever being besieged they would be useful as ammunition for the catapults as we defend ourselves from our attackers. Lethal at 25m I'd imagine.

Dull as Ditchwater

If you've thirty pieces of silver, then sign up here

Sabotage community, spread a dose of fear

Make measly contributions, type your name in the space

Support unethical work, no need to show your face


If you want to crush the commoners and stab them in the back

Make markets better off,  lobby with the rest of the pack

Lead the others to the drop, your busy life will never stop

Cheat and bleat, you’ll be on top, you can cancel all that’s taught

Just sign up here

Then sign up here

You're dull as ditch water, you're dumb as fuck,

You're dull as ditch water; up to your neck in muck.

Privilege gets you everywhere, what a piece of luck.

You’re dull as ditch water, you’re dumb as fuck.

Monday, August 15, 2022

Geranium Time

Probably the shortest song in our vast back catalogue of short songs. I'm sharing this now, fully aware that the weather has just broken and that the unfortunate geraniums in our garden are probably going to take a bit of a battering. That's mother nature for you; angry and confused by human stupidity and greed, she's a bit off kilter right now. I'm not wishing for natural disaster but if she struck back at us I could hardly blame her. The trick is to target the correct people and installations. I'm not sure if we're in the firing line or not the more I think about it. We're all using blunt instruments these days.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Cat with a Feather on her Head

Yesterday morning I opened the back door and there, on the mat, sat a cat, with a feather on her head. Her tongue was also sticking out, just a little. She looked at me, I looked at her and she just sauntered past and into the house hoping for a second helping of breakfast.

Friday, August 12, 2022

Burryman Friday


There was of course that one unfortunate year where they all got a bit carried away while making the costume.

So today is Burryman day in SQ. The living embodiment of the Green Man or some forest and natural spirit, walks the streets for about twelve hours plied with alcohol. It's not an easy job in the summer heat being covered in Burdock burrs whilst stuck in an almost crucified position. A strong and brave man is required for this arduous task, supported by a faithful entourage of assistants. He's quite the local hero.

Folk traditions like this always hit quite a few cultural and religious marks, that's probably the best way that they can survive. It's important to tick all the main boxes of fear, retribution, fertility and good luck and then you and your village and crops are probably ok for another year. Let's hope it works and there's no more plague or pestilence and that the Westminster Parliament is hit by some fiery, stray meteorite during Prime Minister's Questions.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Enjoying the Weather

I can't say I'm able to fully enjoy this spell of hot weather. Maybe if I was elsewhere (Spain or Portugal etc.) it would seem OK. The heat being welcome and expected as it fits a holiday mood. Of course we've had hot and dry summers before but I can't quite get past a certain sense of foreboding and uneasiness this time. We're on the edge of a lot of trouble here. The slow decline into the "end times" perhaps, if you'll pardon that overused biblical trope. The end of what? Plus having a government that is both vacant and tone deaf, only able to act in it's own interests and with no clear concern for the lives and well being of it's people doesn't help. Low level but regular stress and anxiety prevails. At least that's what I think I'm feeling, not to mention being small and powerless. Something needs to break in this country and it's not just the weather.

Anyway, whatever the weather you can always trust the general public to behave like idiots at any given moment. Here's how not to have a picnic BBQ in a public park, (the Meadows in Edinburgh).

Wednesday, August 10, 2022


That time I ate a Pot Noodle. That time we handed out leaflets. That time we were runners up in the pub quiz. That time the lady had an epileptic fit. That time we met a dog. That time when it was really sunny all day long. That time I got hives with the heat. That time I had a really good sleep. That time the gas boiler got a service. That time I visited the local pottery. That time I looked out of the window. That time that I had a shower. That time we didn't bother with the news. That time I gave the cats tinned cat food. That time the exam results came through. That time I played guitar. That time we practiced SOS phone calls. The time I didn't use the car. That time I pulled an enormous weed out of the garden. That time I changed shirts three times because it was hot and sweaty. That time.

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Don't Join Our Club

Now I have to think of some content that goes with this picture I took at a nearby motorway service station car park. It's a detail from a well weathered Costa Coffee hoarding. The photo doesn't really show the damage the aging process has done all that clearly but in real life the letters have a 3D quality thanks to the build up of dirt and crud. If only all fonts could age that way and that well, eventually turning into a shallow comment about the muck left at the bottom of consumerism's cup. Strangely I am not tempted to join this neglected club at the moment. Costa clearly don't care that much about their advertisements survival once they are set loose into the wild. I guess we always get the environment we deserve.

Monday, August 08, 2022

Football From Afar

Pretty much the definition of football from afar. FC Edinburgh's Meadowbank venue is a disaster for the spectator. Full price tickets get you views like this or if you're really unlucky you might be stuck behind the dugouts or the pole vault cushion (covered by an 8ft tall lid). Yes this is footy in the Scottish lower leagues and certainly the worst away ground I've ever visited. It's even worse than when Meadowbank Thistle played there many moons ago when the grandstand existed. 

At least Dunfermline won on the day but I can't imagine any visiting fans ever wanting to return here either regardless of the outcome. By way of completing this brief review we had four portaloos for about 1200 fans 😒 and two fairly basic burger vans on the catering. I felt sorry for the ground staff who were all nice and welcoming but the overall experience was pretty poor.

Friday, August 05, 2022

Thursday, August 04, 2022

AI Writing Festival

Every so often for reasons of experimentation and to test the temperature of the water everything on this blog is handed over to an AI program to complete. Sometimes this process goes on for months, whirring and running in the background like a well oiled knitting machine working on cushion covers for carrots.

Wednesday, August 03, 2022

He Died for Our Sins (Mostly)


Apparently he died for our sins; pathetic, selfish and downright evil as they are and will always be. Here are are some (below) that may or may not be covered. You can never really tell. Theology is quite a tricky subject to pin down to actual facts and evidence.

Tuesday, August 02, 2022

Human Death Star

Outside (and I'm glad it's outside) the wood pigeons are building some sort of structure in a crab-apple tree. There's debris below the site as the messy business of building a nest (I presume it's a nest and not a piece of artwork) carries on. It doesn't seem to be the correct time of year but what do I know? Industrious animals always make me feel lazy. What's not admire about building your home from found items and natural materials? All quite impressive but you wouldn't want to live in it never mind raise a family there. 

I'm a long way from being one with nature but maybe slowly getting closer to some kind of understanding. The ritual of mowing the lawn is less frequent this year, I'm trying to respect the various tiny eco-systems, insect cities  and virtuous weed networks that exist out there in the dried leaves and clover covered grass, but I've no idea really. I'll just try to protect more things than I kill as the various wild life colonies struggle to survive. I guess I'm a clumsy version of the  Death Star to their fragile rebel bases and buried strongholds and it is hard to understand how we all came to be in this strange universe and have still survived for this long.

Monday, August 01, 2022

Colours Down

"Colours Down" is the title of this short video but in some places it may be read as "Colors Down". I as ever am respectful of differences in language and in other areas. Differences are important and whenever possible and safe to do so should be celebrated (unless they are really extreme, dangerous or just made up on the spot in order to be "different").

Pathetic Technical Note: The visual material created here was captured by me lying on the floor in summer sunlight, filming a plant pot through a glass panel in a door frame on a slightly windy day. The colour was then somewhat filtered out of the film (albeit small parts and blips remaining). Not a complicated or very original process but the colours are down to some extent.