Friday, June 30, 2023

The Final Day of June

It's come around at last, the end of June is upon us. Tomorrow it will be July and who knows? It may well be followed by August. I'm obviously uncomfortable with making any further predictions. From a diary perspective today began with tea, a brief exercise session, a shower and then two boiled eggs and toast.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

When the Levee Breaks

It's been raining a lot today, put me in mind of this. There's some kind of remix going on in it. Best heard on headphones. Over and out.

Monday, June 26, 2023

New Phone v Old Laptop


I took my new phone out for a photo walk in the garden. Having had an unreliable phone camera for a couple of months I needed to give the new one some exercise. Of course it works exactly the same as the old except that it works, it's new after all. You just point and shoot and hope for the best. I'm sure that's the essence of most photography. Nowadays you don't have to wait weeks to view the blurry and distorted results. Good progress that meant the collapse of camera factories and photo processing all across the world. The old laptop remains the weak link in this fairly basic artistic chain.

I've not said much about Glastonbury this year, still a little peeved at being rejected while politely standing in the virtual ticket queue for hours. Basically there seems to have been some listenable stuff but I'm not too upset to have missed Guns and Roses etc. I'm just not sure what anyone ever saw in them. I liked the Chicks and Lizzo. Eton John was pretty good as expected, the voice has aged like a bottle of Aldi Chardonnay but he still owns some proper bangers. Can't quite believe I was once 15 and carrying around a worn out copy of Tumbleweed Connection at high school in the hope of some sort of barter taking place. Time really does fly.

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Happy Potatoes


Understanding and appreciating the mental health of your potato crop is not easy. There may signs showing here and there but I'm unsure how to read them. The plants are growing, hopefully with potatoes beneath them. They seem happy but I've not tried talking to them, that would be ridiculous. I'm not at that stage in the relationship either. They're just root vegetables but I hope they can survive the reasonably warm spell we're in and grow.

DAFC - St Pauli

DAFC at home: We got beat last night by FC St Pauli in a football friendly. 0 - 3. Probably wasn't too bad a result but it didn't really matter. The fans were in good form and made it a night to remember for a lot of reasons I'm not going into here. If you need to take political sides in history then I'm on the St Pauli side. Football support in all it's forms is always political simply because it's about people, passion and lifetime issues that can't help but overlap. Everything is complicated. Being a fan is also a release and an expression (and often a heartbreak). You may not get it, just don't look down on us because you think you can.

Thursday, June 22, 2023



Brewdog IPA in a Stormtrooper glass. Mixed media.

A lovely summer's evening.


All of the people talk a lot of shit some of the time.

Some of the people talk a lot of shit all of the time.

All of the people believe some of those people some of the time.

Some of the people believe all of those people all of the time.

Because of the compelling nature of numbers...

We're screwed.

Ships in the Night

Well at any time of year it would be night by now but we're in solstice territory here so it's all very still, bright and warm. Two liners leave the Firth of Forth within minutes of each other, I've no care or idea as to where they might be headed. I doubt it'll be the the Sea of Joy, most likely onto the sea of continuous tourism, canteen meals and coach tripping. Ticking off those boxes of desirable European destinations in some desperate attempt to understand why we're all captured and perplexed in this pointless dream version of reality.  

The all white liner on the right chose to play the theme from the manga series Inuyasha, "To Love's End" on it's horn as it departed, according to Google. The music is by Kaora Wada. I'm not sure if it was a mark of respect, hope or despair. This does not normally happen and it certainly was unexpected. To be honest it sounded more like the theme from "Lord of the Rings" to my cloth ears. Either way it makes little sense unless it's a matrix glitch or just an attempt by the universe at leaving me more confused than ever. Maybe the captain was just having a laugh. Anyway the sense of the impending collapse of reality is getting stronger every day. 

Monday, June 19, 2023

Dry Times at Dunfermline High

Once the radioactive rain stopped a strange, stark and desolate dry season came upon us. You could see the moisture evaporate before your own eyes, steam from the pavement cracks, grass recently green now pale and scorched, bushes and shrubs hanging limp and bedraggled. Our new kind of contaminated summer was not to be a comfortable season. There were murmurs and whispers of water shortages, empty lochs and choked rivers. The pressure in the taps had diminished and the water had a strange taste and colour  that made me feel uncomfortable. Bottled water's price soared, we didn't even try to buy any. The crooks were making a fast buck, a last buck as far as I was concerned. We tried to manage our remaining supplies.

One night we looked out across the Forth, the whole of Fife seemed to be ablaze. The tinder dry scrub, the parks, fields and buildings, everything was alight. The heat radiated across and we felt it on our faces and in our lungs. On the water some escaped by small boat or pleasure craft, a few just drifted by downstream, watching the fiery destruction. Now that the road bridges were gone there was no quick way either north or south. Many had headed west but I imagined that would only add to the chaos we'd regularly heard of, over in Glasgow and beyond. 

I tried to get some sleep, do some thinking, decide what to do even. There were few good choices and no likely interventions of outside help. So the time will shortly come for us to set sail, setting out on our boats to who knows where. Before we just stared out of windows, into screens and refrigerators or at each other. We're explorers now. The Great Sea of Joy beckons.

Daily Sparrow


It's always nice when the smaller birds get some free time to visit the bird feeder without the big bully crows, magpies and doves blocking off their entrance. Here's a wee sparrow just taking a few seconds to dip into the seeds on the feeder. The small birds never hang around for long; too quick, too wary, too much unknown danger to take the time to choose what to pick up. We do have other, less open feeders that these birds gravitate to where feeding is much easier for them, as the bigger birds simply cannot land on it's narrow perch. Obviously it's not set up with the remote camera as this one is. It's a good shot of a cheeky young bird.

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Under My Thumb

This is quite good, well done Susanna Hoffs. Now blokes can listen to a version of this song without too much guilt or sweaty beads on their Neanderthal brows. A bit more jangle on the guitars would have also helped in my opinion but that hardly matters. A trivial fact is that it was Brian Jones who came up with the riff apparently. Another is that I first heard this version on Woman's Hour on BBC Radio 4 a few days ago, where it was liked very much. What a time to be alive.

Friday, June 16, 2023

Speaker and Spectacles


Still life with speaker, spectacles and lamp shade: Coloured and scented banana oil melange and mixed media (in bacterial microscopic form) on ex-fire service canvas, some slight burn marks across the rear. 6' x 3' so will likely look good hanging in the average sized lounge of the contemporary home of average sized people. First £50000 secures, second £100000 properly secures. Stupid, rich Tory buyers also very welcome. No time wasters please.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

First Car

Apart from the large front fog lamps this old car is an identical model to my first car. Purchased by me thanks to an enormous Thursday afternoon  impulse for the princely sum of £100 in October 1977. It was a 1969 Wolseley 16/60. I've no actual pictures of the car, they were all lost in the fire/divorce (delete as applicable) so it's nice when a survivor like this one pops into my (otherwise crowded with mostly moaning bastards) twitter feed. Sad to say my ownership lasted about a year when unplanned financial problems and house renovations rendered me unable to pay for the numerous repairs it needed to stay roadworthy. It was sent the scrap yard and I adopted a bicycle as a short term replacement. How we laughed.

South Queensferry Daily Photo

OK, it's not remotely real but it might be a version of this particular location based on yesterday's somewhat grim, sombre and reflective Sci-Fi related doom-mongering post. Can't beat a good bit of imaginative doom-mongering on a bright sunny day to pep up any artistically challenged person's inner being. Negative optimism is such a radical thought posture you all need to put yourself into, once in a while. Sometimes a bit of "end of everything" thinking is more cheerful than the regular output bombarded onto us from mainstream media news feeds. I would say that.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

The End of the World

Sometimes things are so still and warm and quiet it becomes easy to imagine that we're on the brink of the end of the world. No big bang, meteor strike or thunder storms. No World War III wreaking havoc, chaos and pain. Just a slipping away of everything. It begins with a warm cocoon of weather that slowly increases in heat and density. Bit by bit everything eases down and stops. Other people are invisible. Cares and concerns lose meaning and context.

Breathing is calm though the air is hot and strangely oppressive while the whole world just falls asleep. No mass panic or destruction just a winding down and a running out. No sirens or broadcasts, the power has all gone from agencies and governments. There is no commentary. Those that led us never really meant anything. It was all a grand illusion without substance.

Now a perpetual summer has arrived, at first pleasant and comfortable and our sense of time and space is lost. Everyone is seduced into some easy, soporific stupor that can't be explained and we all just go along with it as if we're under a gently administered drug. Eyelids become heavy, we relax into a quiet place where all dreams are accessible. We are in some cosmic flow, caught up and moving. There is a light. Where will it end? Where does anything ever end? 

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Salads and Sun

This photo isn't our garden, it's somebody else's, on another day. Today's thundery rain has awarded me a day off. I'm not sure why I think that. Maybe it's the slow moving torment of regular gardening and the observations of unplanned and manic growth that cries for help and needs to be attended to, instantly. So under this damp hood of June raindrops and swirling cloud I'm happy to step back and watch a green and wet world unfold and develop. I'm powerless when it comes to weather.

"Only a fool would say that" is a song by Steely Dan that effectively takes down John Lennon's whole "Imagine" bullshit. "Imagine" a song so vacuous and idiotic that's unquestioning trotted out time after time as if it represented some brilliant insights into the deeper truths of the human condition. Nope, it's elementary bullshit however well meant (?) or regarded it might seem to be. The Steely Dan song has the words "a world become one, salads and sun, only a fool would say that", hence the post title. It was just going around in my head after breakfast. No big deal.

P.S. Along came the sun (about 12:00) and dried up all the rain. Incy Wincy Spider climbed up the spout again. 

Friday, June 09, 2023

Caravan to Dunkeld


The open road, even the bumpy A9 qualifies. Notorious, straight and twisty. Still much improved from what we had in the glorious 70s but not right yet. A hitch-hiker's nightmare then of rumbling timber lorries and lost tourists, my memory fails me, pretty sure we caught a bus instead and the rain didn't stop. Now the towns are bypassed and the trees have matured as the road signs fade. Tourists stop for coffee and tatty gifts. The exhausted camels just marched off into history, never to be seen again. Perhaps the natives captured them and they met with a grisly fate or escaped to the circus. But the steady and reliable River Tay flows past quietly, under the stone bridges, on a long haul down to Dundee and the sea.

We estimated that the tree below was one hundred and fifty one years, seventy two days, eight hours, twenty six minutes and seven seconds old when it was dispatched. We could be wrong. The lower picture is of a folly. Nearby, along the river bank, actual fish jump out of the water to catch flies and insects, just when you're not quite looking.

Tuesday, June 06, 2023

Dundee Daily Photo

V&A Dundee, sunny afternoon. Good place for a wander and a wonder. Scottish design history is well presented. Too easy to forget or dismiss the clever and quirky aspects of recent history. There's also empty space, maybe too much compared to exhibits, but space is always good. Good to move around in and experience, mostly. Bonnie Dundee.

Monday, June 05, 2023

Deadly Nightshade


Belladona: Feeling like I'm undertaking some heroic, maverick wizarding activity from the Harry Potter universe, maybe working undercover for the Ministry of Magic on a special project or for the Witchfinder General. I'm purging the Belladona, aka Deadly Nightshade, from the garden. It's an insidious weed that's taken a hold in at least three places. 

Strangely enough it pulls out, by the root, with little resistance. It poses a real and imagined danger, like magic I suppose, but there's no magical power keeping it in the earth. No screams of agony or ecstasy as it fights back against being sent to destruction in the spiritual void of the deep and final brown bin. 

It is however really poisonous though apparently useful for sustaining birds and insects, so there was some inner conflict about getting rid of it - but it's ruin is for the best, maybe. The time of terror and tribulation is now over (until the next time of terror and tribulation that is) .

Saturday, June 03, 2023



Even in fashionable black and white this place and view look strangely familiar. Also if you're in need, say on a sunny Sunday somewhere, of some eclectic music to fill your otherwise empty head then look no further than here.

Friday, June 02, 2023

Eve's Pudding


In a week where I've been buffeted by tasty scones and confused over the thickness of store bought cream, I redeemed a tiny part of my soul with my in depth knowledge of Eve's pudding. Something I've never tried I must add. I just knew that it was out there, loose in a harsh world of appetites and not on many menus these days. It was a pub quiz question that I managed to sneak a correct answer in on. Now I want to try said pud. 

In a few days I know I'll forget this, that's how it goes with knowledge and desire. Like fellow travelers they are with you for a bit but eventually they fall away to be replaced by Aldi lentil snacks or lemon San Pellegrino or an iced latte in a random coffee shop. None of which will quite match up to their fantasy tastes, textures and effects. Farewell then "Eve's Pudding". I must move on. There are sunny uplands to walk upon they say ...

19th Century Observations

In the 19th century they had this word for government incompetence, it's obviously completely fallen out of common use now. The fact that on discovery, this word still resonates with us simply proves that over the (many) years nothing has really changed except the fashion for certain words. They come and go. Most other things are consistently the same.