Monday, October 31, 2022

Halloween Pumpkin Ideas

Withering testimony and reality check from a pumpkin impersonator: 

"I had considered spending the day disguised as a pumpkin and completing several low key local journeys by train in order to ascertain the quality and integrity of my hastily put together costume. The purpose of the test being to measure how convinced my fellow travelers might be that I was indeed a person who might have morphed into a pumpkin and also how the October weather might impact on my apparel. After a few sharply taken selfies I saw that I was looking more like the elephant man than anything else so I decided to stay at home with my original head wedged in a book. The pumpkin part of my head came away easily leaving only a few red marks on my neck. I then discarded the pumpkin. An unpleasant smell also remains in the air so don't try this at home. It was then that I discovered the wolf hidden in the large flower vase..."

Clearly none of this is a good idea.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Seasonal Greetings

The day before the 31st. This pumpkin has already expired, one of the many that just didn't make the big day. Pulled too soon from the warm earth, sold into a type of modern slavery and exploitation, hacked and chiseled into an unpumpkinlike form with little significance to the history of the fruit. Then only briefly and sporadically illuminated by a cheap tea light candle and finally ignored and discarded as a collapsing, mouldy husk. October may be the cruelest of months ... if you're ever reincarnated as a pumpkin.

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Medieval Times

The clocks go back tonight. Nobody really knows why. We just do what we're told. It's something to do with farmers, school children and cyclists I think. They need less gloomy conditions and a grey safety curtain to perform their duties. Maybe the butchers, the bakers and those very busy candlestick makers or the remains of the Holy Roman Empire need it too. Perhaps it saves us money. 

The universe is trapped in time's own endless mystery, while we tinker in the margins. In the end our struggle is ongoing and quite pointless, always against the oncoming darkness and some unnamed threat.

Friday, October 28, 2022

Strange Fruit

The leaves are rotting and tumbling from the tree but those stubborn pears remain. A long summer in the pale sun, drying out and fattening up hasn't improved the quality of the crop. Tough, sour and tasteless they remain, a strange and peculiar fruit, hanging like unfortunately and unjustly sentenced criminals in the October gloom. They have two states now, on the tree or on the ground. There is no redemption or resurrection here, they are in some temporary limbo before they settle down into their winter home, the dreaded brown garden bin.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Thank You for not Smoking

Itchy ankles. A closed and closeted world that doesn't exist. Burning things and puffing smoke. Clubs and societies with devotees who have very small eyes. Those mysterious groups that seem to operate in shadows and half light but really do nothing. Setting up and off intruder alarms. A cruel smile. Loud triumphant music played on brass instruments on a damp day. Card games under a spotlight. The kind of subjects that a bad artist might paint. People who are more like dogs than people but don't realise it. Locked doors that nobody bothers to try to open. Flickering neon signs with letters missing, mostly the vowels. Imitations of life. Bricked up windows. Using the word spectacles when you could just say glasses. Weird drinking habits. Dining from cold plates. Ugh. These are the things that haunt us.

"So what is it you're so angry about?"

"I honestly don't know, I've just always been angry."

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Tuesday Ruby

"Goodbye Tuesday Ruby, who is gonna hang a name on you? And when you change with every new day, still I'm gonna miss you." Jagger/Richards.

"Tuesday's dram is still only an imagined thing that, on a Tuesday morning doesn't exist, it's only an idea or a desire that will come to be at the right time later on in the day. All good things are worth waiting for and should be realised at the best time possible, say in the early part of the evening when the mind is still sharp."  Robert Burns. The Crest of the Broken Wave.

Monday, October 24, 2022


A nice wee golden glass of Scottish whisky. A dram. Very relaxing and the prelude to a good night's sleep but don't take my word for it. 

Sunday, October 23, 2022

The Lies Phones Tell Us

Yes it's here sure enough, 14 minutes early.

Figure in Red

The footy competition in the Scottish Seaside League goes on. This week we're in the municipal mega city known as Montrose. A lovely place mainly remembered for being mostly Montrose. Under blood grey skies the game was played out in a fairly dull and grey fashion. We (the DAFC visitors) were beaten by two quick goals and that was the end of our afternoon out pretty much. The understandably much abused Tory MP Mr Douglas Ross was running the line (the figure in red in the photo). Despite my obvious dislike for that party and it's representatives I couldn't actually fault his performance as a linesman. Perhaps that task should be the main one he focuses on for the future. Are you stuck in the wrong career and fed up with things? Why not get out then? (It's not so simple is it?).

Pie, coffee and Snickers score: a healthy 7 out of 10. 

Friday, October 21, 2022

Ages of Consent

Another year another birthday. What an unexpected surprise it was to my absent minded absent mind. I am however pleased to have reached an age where, quite legally, I can purchase and enjoy a liquorice pipe. I find that it alleviates the many stresses we are subjected to when, as residents within the UK, we are being governed by utter fuckwits.  This ancient and serene cure for the jitters is only one of the many benefits than can come your way as you get older. Looking at sunny, bright pictures a clever grand child coloured in also helps.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Economic Solutions

Sixty seven years of philandering and curiosity. No one knows how hard I worked to earn those 203 blue stars on eBay. "You lived what anybody gets, you got a lifetime".

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Gasoline for Water

In keeping with the great folk/blues lyrical singing traditions i.e. "I asked her for water and she gave me gasoline", I'm thinking of writing an eBay version. It may or may not go like this: "I ordered a 28w fluorescent 4 pin light bulb but they sent me a PRIMA hot & cold thermos flask." Doesn't quite scan that well really but you just never know when you might need to introduce an unsung line with an unexpected element into a tune. Not sure how may stars to add for their review, five for imagination would be fair enough.

Monday, October 17, 2022

Older Fellow

When you've got the builders in and one of them says that an "older guy" will be round tomorrow to do the rough-casting but when he shows up he's a lot younger than me.

I suppose I'm approaching what I'd loosely describe as the "Keef " years, like a schooner negotiating some rocky tropical coastline just after a passing typhoon has ravaged the area. We'll get into a safe haven eventually but there will be bumps along the way. We're also taking in sea water in small amounts but are looking forward to the feast of the coconuts and wild pigs. The morning after not so much.

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Blogger Stats

Be of reasonable or even good cheer, your artificial searching is over and the numbers do not lie, most of the time anyway.

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Things of Power


Well that's Season 1 done and dusted. A lot of money spent and what's to show? Staggering but ultimately exhausting CGI vistas, grand schemes and designs populated by characters who are somehow much more petty and stupider than Tolkien might have imagined. Then again people (elves, dwarves, halflings and humans) are pretty weak and fallible and that makes for ongoing and regular drama. Nobody in Middle Earth is actually bright enough for the job or role they're in, a bit like a Tory Cabinet I suppose. Not all that likable either as they struggle for power and domination, I imagine that there's some original sin spooned into the gene pool mix but that's never really explained.

Considering that the source material is an "unfilmable" book at least they ended up with a film series that's just about OK. Money obviously talks. Arguably this adaptation was always going to be a bit unnecessary, like Peter Jackson's three part Hobbit saga. The stop button is hard to press. Amazon is on a roll, like some unhinged Balrog. Just a thought, is RoP going to looked back on as the Star Trek of this generation? Probably not.

So we're a third of the way through this and it's a season (No.1) I won't be revisiting or rewatching again. I'm hoping it picks up in season 2 whenever that's dropped on us. Perhaps a little less wooden acting and direction, some reasonable dialogue and less casting that looks like it belongs in an end of term school play ... but it's fantasy and really there are no rules, just put it all out there. Some will like it, some will get angry and some will just ignore it.

Friday, October 14, 2022

Mad Not To

This slid it's slimy, gravy coated way into my Insta feed the other day. I thought that these places might well have expired but no, Mad O'Roukes Pie Factory lives on. Back in the 90s I spent some time working in Dudley near Birmingham on some goofy IT project. Mad O'Roukes was a fairly regular haunt in the evening (it might not have been in Dudley but it was nearby, it's all a blur now). Proper beer, pies and mash; Black Country food, as I imagine it. I'd like to say I'll just pop round the next time (?) I'm in the area but the sad truth is I'm highly unlikely to darken their roughly brush-painted, colourful doors ever again.

It's already looking like a food themed week on these pages.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

My Collection


My taste buds and sensibilities are enjoying something of a renaissance these days. This has resulted in my collection of esoteric sausage rolls (all kept neatly frozen but ready for the air-fryer) slowly coming together. Here's a listing of flavours and fillings, from left to right:

1. Wild pigeon, garden parsley and crushed avocado stone jelly.

2. Garlic fried kale, fricassee porcupine and cartoon Japanese radish.

3. Mexican dynamite peppers, and Coca-Cola glazed caramel sardines.

4. Icelandic tomato spears, balsamic chutney and ox-haggis.

5. Pulled Hopetoun pheasant, leeks in coffee beans, buckshot and brandy infused artichokes.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Crepes al Fresco

Good habits that are for one time only: My breakfast crepe, forged in the fire and hot steel of the Crepe Shack's woodland kitchen from natural ingredients and other stuff. Filled with peanut butter, banana, porridge oats and mysterious extras. Served on a kind of recycled plate thing with yogurt and blueberries and eaten with a wooden spoon/fork/fingers with a milky super latte on the side. Everybody wants one now.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Tentsmuir Daily Photo


I've heard a lot about Fife's Tentsmuir forest and dunes but never visited it at all until yesterday. I was born a (longish medal winning) stone's throw away but never ventured into the dark woods. It's a serene dog walker's paradise albeit I was without a dog. Bikes and Spandex pants are quite popular here too. What a time to be alive. The October weather didn't disappoint and the trails and the landscape looked great and (thankfully) pretty empty of other people, the scourge of a good walk. 

The smell of pine hung in the still air and it was nice to breathe in what seemed like very clean lungfuls of it, filtered by the sea breeze and the wafting branches above the path. Quite why there are two iron girders sprouting up next to a tree (above) I've no idea. There's clearly been other activities going on in the past.

A redundant WW2 observation station is still a useful spot from which to observe. Never forget that.

Looking north across the dunes to the distant silvery Tay and the Angus hills, maybe.

Sunday, October 09, 2022

South Queensferry Daily Distortion


As usual there are a number of daily Matrix glitches taking place here in SQ. Sometimes things just shimmer and shudder and disappear and then reappear. Of course you have to be paying very close attention otherwise you'll miss these moments. It's all in the eye and the mind of the beholder. You need to be careful not to confuse the real and the unreal. If you can catch the eye of the pavement dogs and check on the visible codes. This doesn't work on humans.

Saturday, October 08, 2022



Blue is the opposite of orange. Red is the opposite of green. Yellow is the opposite of purple. If you can't quite see or think of colour this way then hopefully this might help you enjoy ... colours. The design and construction of the above colour wheel device was carried out by my better half. It was deliberately photographed in black and white(ish) because that's the sort of thing we do around here.

Friday, October 07, 2022

Someone of Little Importance

Our hopes and fears are pinned on the investment sector looking kindly upon us. Some say that growth is good but are we using the correct measures? A confused government stirs like a waking toddler with a full nappy.  They point to a non-existent anti-growth coalition that seeks to undermine their plans. Those plans are for grim worlds of keyboard tapping and screen wiping and swiping that creates great vistas of prosperous landscapes that only leading to bleak horizons that that we cannot so easily avoid. Less regulation means more criminals. Some see this all as a muddled vision. A trap. There is no actual direction*. 

* A lengthy footnote describes how our new ruler was wearing what was said to be a "cruel suit", one that had associations. She wore it for a specific purpose, to send a message. When the speaker stands in her cruel suit the people are braced, ready for a push, an insult or a slap, perhaps some more discrete punishment. There will be pain. Will she declare that concentration camps are to be set up? That everyone must be single minded in this? That there are "others" who can never fit in? That those with different ideas are not to be trusted? That she knows what's good for us and what's best for us? Is truth important?

Another view was that she was advised the wear the suit. She was unaware of it's connections or history. She just accepted the decision of a director who "knew about these things". It didn't dawn on her that she was being played. That she was just as much of a puppet as everyone else in the room. She is a nobody, an empty vessel, a nodding donkey lacking the wit and imagination to see the real situation, to see the grinning shadows stalking in the twilight, there behind the bright proscenium archway. Her imagined glory is just a pack of lies that they maintain, an image made to be broken once it's useless to them.

Thursday, October 06, 2022

Studio Time

This week we're in the studio. When I say this week I mean for a few days that are naturally occurring during this particular time period but not seven days. We're actually recording music and working things out ... slightly after the event. So far it's been really good fun and a great opportunity to catch up with equipment, effects and processing developments as well as deep seated inner demons. I quite enjoy the paradoxical worlds of anxiety and tension versus rewards and unexpectedly favourable outcomes that the process provides. That being the lows and highs, basses and middles found in the circumnavigation of a world of sonic possibilities.

Wednesday, October 05, 2022

Perpetual Revolution

Let's just go with the concept of a relentless, perpetual revolution running constantly in the background until by defying the law(s) of averages we get not only the revolution we want but the revolution that we deserve. One that destroys the religious myths, class stereotypes and economic delusions that ruin things for everyone. But if you still need to follow a religion it'll be tolerated 😉. Some might even decide to construct a golden age from the girders,rivets and scrap metal god makes available to them. 

Sunday, October 02, 2022

Sorting Out

The prospect of recording some music looks to become a reality in the next few days, so some (almost) last minute checks on instruments and equipment has become necessary. We'll be going mobile and into an actual studio. Obviously I've no real system for this other that footering about with tunings, switches and fiddly bits in order to make sure a) they are working and b) I can remember how they are supposed to work. Thankfully it didn't take too long, I'm lacking in the geeky and patience genes plus a few basic skills. My preparations are of course less than water tight. I'm confident that I haven't thought of everything, a fact that makes the whole enterprise a lot more entertaining.

Saturday, October 01, 2022

In Search of Tom Bombadil


As it's the 1st of October I decided to try to search out my old friend and imaginary travelling companion Tom Bombadil. Tom is still reasonably upset about being excluded from the LoTR FILM due to time constraints and "not really adding much to the overall narrative". You can understand why he's gone to ground. "At least you're a Lego figure in the game," somebody said. I don't think that the honour of that counted as much compensation for him. Anyway a few years have passed so I thought he must be close to getting over it by now, surely he's moved on.

He is also a bit forgetful and easily distracted so perhaps he's OK with things. Of course you should never underestimate the emotional depth of those who are immortal or outside of time or whatever. Their pain can be something that defines them significantly. Turns out he's still not ready to surface. Still pretty pissed off. My trekking shoes from ALDI will have to wait a bit longer for their first sizable outing and explorative challenge.

I wonder if he'll make some kind of appearance in Amazon's Rings of Power. That might help soothe the hurt. Maybe even just a "walk on". Then again he may not be so happy with this particular adaptation.