Thursday, April 17, 2014

Drop test

I can confirm the the Sainsbury's white chocolate celebration cake can fully survive the trauma and forces incurred during a high speed 1m drop onto any hard and unforgiving surface. Useful to know in the event of one of those awkward birthday cake butterfingers moments occurring during the special day at a critical moment. I'm about to write to Sainsburys with my findings and to offer my congratulations on fabricating a cake that is both tasty and robust, I'll also copy in What Cake and Cake Advisor. Job done.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Busy day

I can produce art work like this in seconds.
Busy day: The old kitchen was hit by a sudden sub-Saharan dust storm that began in the new kitchen (when the wall came down). You could taste it on your tongue. Once the camel stampede was over and the wild wind abated we got on with the clearing up. A feverish episode really. Dust, despite being one of the universe's foundational items is a devil of a thing to clear up and apparently is quite useless except as a punch line in some morbid song lyric. We bagged and wetted the dust and soon it was gone, replaced with a wet, clean sheen, victory at last. It was then I put away numerous bags of ex-ASDA groceries and began to cook three meals in one go. This consisted of soup, stovies and chicken things accompanied by huge mushrooms filled with Stilton that came from some other world. Once eaten I hit the couch and rested the slightly less purple eye and slightly less painful right hand and checked out an episode of Cosmos from National Geographic that described astro physics in simple but incomprehensible terms that might be understood by the average American. Then sleep crept up on me like a warm and friendly glove. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My Purple Eye

Headlines and thought sketches.

What is the mysterious black ring in the sky above Leamington Spa? Might just be the International Space Station or a facsimile of Mars. There’s a lot of it about.

Why has my eye turned purple (purple) overnight? Foreign body, bug, fate or badly applied make up perhaps. A mishap in the dead of that once moonlit night with Mars (once again) high up on the shoulder of the aforementioned Moonplace.

How do you take a huge dinosaur skeleton across the US? I assume that it’s already dead so I don’t see a major problem.

Should offices change from places where people sit down to places where people stand up? Generally people can sit down or stand up as they wish, most of the time that is. Some office cultures can be a bit restrictive as can be their chairs. Religious ceremonies, office parades and things remain a bit more formal but I have stood up and sat down when attending them from time to time.

" Dip a cereal biscuit in the yogurt" is not some euphemism but a genuine snack suggestion.


My Purple Eye

I woke this morning with a purple eye.
Purple to blue I can’t explain why.
There’s no real discomfort and no big pain
But I wonder when my eye might be normal again.

Monday, April 14, 2014

One minute before...

...the Abbey Road photo was taken, sadly I wasn't able to be there on the actual day.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Culross Daily Photo

Culross is a lovely wee place; curious little buildings, eccentric cobbled streets, abandoned houses and part ruins, car unfriendly and stuck with the modern mismatches that occur when time, planning and money come together without a common or understood purpose.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Fags, Kelpies and Pylons


Sad to hear that a great little rock n' roll kitty passed away yesterday. Meg was a regular and impossibly photogenic feature on the CBQ blog and a vital member of the Reilly family. So sad when pets leave like this, they fairly get to you and soften you in ways you'd never have imagined.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Despair - not so bad really

A passing ship in the night seen during day time, a rare thing.
Sun tunnel before the eclipse.
Thought for the day: I've just about had it with these glorious snippets and  encouraging daily messages. Why is it that inspirational segments and soundbites make me want to destroy the radio? Actually I know why. It's a platform for a set of smug self righteous behaviours and passive aggressive preaching worse than any blog, Facebook post,  Reddit meme or Huffington Tweet that spoils my day rather than enhancing it, but still I return to listen and soak up this fresh nonsense (between sports, weather and travel news). My current pet hate are the true Glasgow born but now reborn Buddhists or scholars of Islamic studies or some other tosh and they've undergone a name and career change to suit and prove their credentials ; former social worker Agnes Mavis McGovern now know as Karma Preraphaelite Tupac or the ex-junkie and badly spoken NED Wayne Daugherty now calling himself Muhammad Lennon. Then it's five minutes on how their serene lives are now lived, how peace is everywhere and how the light of (insert convenient teaching of handy god here) has stopped them from shoplifting and masturbation (not generally practiced at the same time I guess). This tale is usually coupled with some major world event and joined up so as to add weight to an argument or illustration that is basically composed of waffle. Good work if you can get it.

Grave expectations

According to a deal I made with myself I was going to post this on the 5th of April to mark the 38 years that have come and gone since my father passed away. Naturally I forgot, I'm doing it now so that it's done and that's that. The photo marks a belated attempt at collecting some precious family details and preserving them before the East Neuk sea winds and the relentless winter rains blast any more information away from the face of this stone and the back of my mind.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Forces of Darkness etc.

Lord George Robertson of the Back of Beyond intriguingly suggests that forces of darkness would love it if the good and downtrodden folks of Scotland were to vote yes in September. It does make me wonder where he gets his information and quite what part of the legion(s) of forces of darkness he is in this instance referring to. It also suggests that he and his Labour, Tory and Liberal cronies represent the forces of clear, bright and shining light ceaselessly battling evil in all it's many forms. The true Illuminati. Anyway if you do wish to follow the forces of darkness or make some casual enquiry into their possibly nefarious business I've added copies of the kind of correspondence you might need to prepare in order to sell your mortal soul to the Devil himself, easy peasy. You'll thank me later no doubt.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Universaily Challenged

When Cambridge met Oxford there was a predictable outcome, one of them would win and then go on to run the country via the offices of some dark and secret sect like the Roman Catholic Church. Anyway as an innocent spectator and with a few lucky breaks I reckon I'd score about 50 points but lose 20 by interrupting with wild and incorrect guesses. That of course assumes I'd get to my buzzer before the young  chap with the plumber's mate glasses and slogan T shirt, the pretty posh girl with the short hair and the grey and mature student who looks a bit like Vic Reeves. 

Habitual watching of this show makes it so easy to kid yourself that somehow your ageing brain  coupled with a lifetime of media trivia hoovering and despite a lack of true academic prowess might just get  a seat on the bench or even a shot in the team. Perhaps it could come about if one member had a really bad hangover, lost their sense of decorum or suffered a highly inflamed bout of acne, maybe then my name would be drawn out of the sweaty woolly student hat. It's a pipe dream (is that an expression you can use these days and "by the way," says the bold and clever cos' I've all the answers Jeremy, "who first coined the phrase?" "Was it C S Lewis, Rudyard Kipling or Charles Dickens?". BUZZ. "Might it have been Sherlock Holmes?". "You stupid man, he's a fictional character..."), yes it surely is. 

Editors note: Way too much TV talk this week. Next series will see us back to music, ranting about politicians, religious intolerance, Airfix models, home improvements and real life. I promise.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Unbalanced week?

I can't help but wonder how Monday night TV is suddenly so good, so spectacular ... well not quite but amusing and engaging anyway, compared to the rest of the week's dull output. Perhaps it's just that my uncultured tastes and primitive needs that have somehow slipped into the random scheduling algorithm in some accidental piece of televisual planning. Maybe I just like crap TV and everything else for the other six weeknights in brilliant and beyond my grasp and comprehension. I suppose it'll never happen again. Me and and my perfect rapport with a flat screen and SKY box. It's over but it burned brightly for a short time. The moment has come and gone and now orbits the outer reaches of the universe, brought to you oh undiscerning one by the services provided by red wine, Southern Comfort, a cheeky and tepid Stella and small bits of ex-Xmas chocolate. So what was it all about? Game of Thrones, University Challenge, back to back Modern Family and Rev. As good as it ever gets in these dark days.

Monday, April 07, 2014


Overhead spies from China.
A fine, organised mess of broken tiles.
Watching the latest episode of BBC's "The Trip" set in Tuscany provided me with an unhealthy craving for pasta, garlic, red wine and reasonably priced organic steak mince saturated in oil and peppers. Any cheap and nasty, slimy and creamy pasta would do, so that's just what I had, topped with cheese. I should've been thinking high level thoughts about Scotland's economic future, the significance of the film "Gravity" and how best to smash the Tories or at least offer a credible level of resistance. The pasta won however and, strangely it went well accompanied by warm Stella Artois, a comfy seat and the early evening springtime sun sneaking in through the downstairs windows. Next...GoT.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Candles in the bin

Following from last month's dead mouse in the boiler situation I've slowly become addicted to scented candles, tea lights and that sort of thing. I've not eating them or licking them yet, just mildly inhaling and absorbing the healing properties of those exotic slow burning fragrances. I'm not sure if there is a further stage to this situation, some worse and blindly destructive path on to certain ruin. Perhaps the urges for candle highs will all die back or perhaps I'll end up chopping them up to add to coffee or stir fried food or I'll just get on and chomp into their highly coloured and attractive smooth waxy centres. Then I'll mourn with appropriate reverence as their burnt out bodies are cast into the oblivion of the waste bin. 

Today at Dalgety Bay's almost human friendly ASDA store  I bought some lovely Wild Blueberry & Tame Crayfish Essence, Amazon Hummingbird & West Lothian Cannabis and Absinthe &  Italian Dark Chocolate varieties. Yummy.

Anyway, moving beyond mucky candles etc. and in anticipation of the return of Game of Thrones for whatever new season it is  and despite the fact that I abhor violence here's some pics of that mean little King Joffery getting his comeuppance. It won't do any good anyway, they are all doomed and corporal punishment doesn't ever work.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Les Rois Maudits

Now that the hype for the new series of Game of Thrones is at it's height out comes the (not quite) shocking revelation that it owes a lot of it's plotting and content to the French historical novels "The Accursed Kings" by Druon. I've never read the books but I recall the 70s TV adaptation, all gore, marvellous French overacting and lengthy and quick subtitles. Main characters died in each episode and back stabbing treachery and treason were the normal ways of getting things done. It was compulsive viewing and based on credible, proven historical fact. As a subtitle obsessive it was a welcome break from Dusty Bin or whatever crap there was on regular Saturday night TV back then. It was shown on the still arty channel, BBC2 probably around 1978, quite why it was delayed until then I'm not sure having been made in 1972. I think I saw it in black and white but most of my 70s memories are black and white anyway and up until now I had completely forgotten about it. Some pretty sketchy Wiki info here. It get 8/10 at IMDb so my mind can't be playing too many tricks so it remains a potential guilty pleasure for the future via the services of YouTube.

This is from the 2005 version I think.

Everything makes sense

Pop Philosophy - so everything makes sense in retrospect, even if there is no apparent reason for the event or it’s consequences. The context, seen from a distance via the passage of time renders everything as “inevitable”. That doesn’t mean we don’t have choice or control it just means that “things will happen and will continue to happen”. One after another but more often like a piano falling down a flight of stairs followed by the loose sheets of music and finally the unlucky pianist. What we think we might do to influence events and to try to exert control is never as powerful or effective as we thought. Our lives run on, fuelled with an often  pleasant, occasionally nasty and disarming form of universal chaos that maps our path. People say “live in the moment” but I’ve always found that impossible, in fact incomprehensible. You really need to live just on the edge of the future but looking back for the learning that comes for distance and experience but looking forward into the treasure trove of jumble that awaits just across the threshold. That particular stance may require a level of mindful contortionism to work well and there can be trip hazards. If I knew anymore I’d tell you but then again who ever listens?

Actual Fairy people filmed in Dalgety Bay, not quite caught in their moment.
Meanwhile in the background a million books are downloaded onto Kindles and left unread, a billion songs are downloaded onto tablets and MP3 players and lost in a great heaving mass of shuffle options and box sets of DVDs and well meant films and documentary packages clutter shelves and hard drives. As our libraries shrink we face the future with giant digitised junk piles  that fit easily into our pockets and backpacks and using the needle in a haystack searching skills we’ve developed we fish for more meaningful and intelligent content. It’ll be along in a moment, just toggle on it one more time and all will be revealed by the random mechanics. Then sit back and let the power of imaginarily strong caffeine, black as various moonless nights documented at random global locations unleashes the hidden power of all this media and everything will at once make sense. But don’t take my word for it, test it and see. Everything makes sense in retrospect.

Apologies: This is a fine example of somebody just stringing words together to see (?) how they might sound and to hear how they might feel in order to understand what they might mean in the hope that they appear to be sensible when they clearly are not. Unforgivable really.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Let there be light

I sing the body electric: The new wires are going in all around the house, lights and power points, switches and sockets, junction boxes and light fittings. Great coils of grey and occasional green and yellow stripes, taped and tagged and fastened in and around the wooden walls and supports. They'll go in all the right places, all the required by building regulations places, all the DDA compliance places and wherever we might want some extra ones for SKY or alarms or contingency needs. So there will be some of these and the list might be quite long. But do we really need them or to be precise do I really need anything non-standard and bespoke? What's it to be, special, moody or high lux lighting or otherwise to illuminate that  great pile of beige objects and items  that will lurk, unloved, folded and undiscovered but worn on a regular basis lurking deep in my wardrobe?

Home of the time capsules: Ever wondered what the cross section of a 250 year old house wall might look like? Me neither but this is as close you'll get to seeing one that's been buzz-sawed open and exposed to reveal two smaller walls filled with rubble in the middle. This special Scottish-Organic design and construction method keeps plague germs, creepie-crawlies, arrows, the angel of death and time-bandits out apparently.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Global warming

Politicians considering the impact of GW.
There's nothing like a home brewed batch of Cantonese styled stir fry chicken to brighten up a fairly bright day so today's self basted vegetable tea was nothing like that, it was more approximate than on target but still enjoyable as was the final blueberry muffin. Meanwhile global warning and the clear but muddied signs of it still leave us baffled and in some quarters unbelieving. There's a lot of it about. I watch the tide slip in and slip out. I watch the grass covered by the dribbling waters and the dead tree trunks and broken branches that lap up on the shore when the sea turns a golden coffee colour. I wonder about the future, the politics and the lies and ineptitude of those impotent politicians, paid to solve problems but only able to create more. Today is the 2nd of April, so it will be until the 3rd comes around. I'm seeing a bit of a recurring pattern here.

Floating above the high tide, the May Island, as seen last week.

Monday, March 31, 2014

High expectations and low tides

It came as some surprise to me to discover that eating a chilled pancake topped with caramel sauce was a rewarding experience. The cold pancake had a rubbery consistency but that wasn't a problem and the sauce despite suffering from a certain lack of viscosity from languishing in the back end of a cupboard in a squashy bottle was sweet, sticky and rich. I may well have another  accompanied by a milk bomb now  that University Challenge and two back to back episodes of Modern Family are done and dusted. Now to endure a long week filled with over-hype and anti-climax induced anxiety as we await the new series of Game of Thrones.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

High tides and low expectations

The faulty ring pull on the can of cat food meant I had to open the tin with a regular tin opener. A process that the can clearly was not designed for. It was near the end of the laborious opening revolution that the can began to distort. There then followed a slow explosion that left me and my shirt front covered in tasty and meaty morsels, served in a highly pungent gravy that, as far as my blocked up nose could tell owed a lot of it’s existence to fish based products of an unknown type, whale and dolphin maybe. Hungry cats were circling. Perhaps today was not to be my lucky day after all. Having said that it's Mother's day and I'm an interested  spectator as lots of supermarket flowers and chocs are entering circulation spreading Hallmark Happiness everywhere despite the gloomy weather and the changed clocks. That was Tesco at 1130.  Oh and the lost and baffled pigeon's back pecking and flapping at the window. No, our bedroom is not actually the Torryburn railway bridge. Probably a commonly made avian navigational error.