Tuesday, 31 October 2017


How wonderful to get back to work and find nobody noticed I was off.  Having looked around and discovered where things had been moved to, things always move when my back is turned, and settling things into their proper place I sat back to meet the rush of visitors.  
She just popped in to browse!
A quiet day which was just as I wished, I did not realise how tired I was until I arrived, not that they cared.  Sweet Peggy dropped me a cup of life saving tea then ran off to be worked like a dog into the ground.  I watched from a distance.

I did however find the Christmas gifts I will be making use off, most appropriate I think.  I never checked how many there were inside, hopefully not too many but I want my moneys worth.  Now I must look out my 'Bah Humbug' hat for the festivities.  Ideal for the shop.

Unfortunately as I looked at the Robins here perched in their box I found myself considering a man who works just over the other side of the park as this Robin looks just like him!  The red breast is not quite the right colour but there is no doubt the shape and expression fit nicely.
Maybe I ought to send one to him...?

The painters were in when I was last here and the Victorian area has been brightened up a good deal.  Lots of hard work involved there, so hard we got the men in to do it rather than kill our volunteer painter.  I bet he was glad.  Too much Victoriana appears gloomy and often this reflects a society of poor housing, gas lit factories and shoddy conditions, not helped by a world of smoking chimneys all around.  However Pre-Raphaelite painting reveals a world of colour, men in drab outfits lightened them with colourful waistcoats and middle class housing while crammed full of often overbearing amounts of tat was full of colour also.  A great period the 'Victorian' period, except of course it ought to be divided into several component parts, early, middle and late as each reflects a changing world in the UK.  The changes of the period are with us still, railways, electoral changes, increasing wealth and better education.  Some today need to go back and learn from the Victorians.

The organic garden is still producing bright flowers.  Several, mostly these, were standing out in what sunshine there was this morning.   The ever changing garden scene always provides a bright spot all the year round.  Maybe I ought to eat whatever it is she feeds the plants...?

Monday, 30 October 2017

So it Continues...

It is not enough for movie producers to be attacked by poor hard done by women but we must also continue the attack on these poor soft touch women abused in the house of Commons (no mention of the Lords I note).    
Daily the media spout nonsense about hard done by women and always ignore the fact that women abuse men in similar fashion also.  Once again the man is bad the woman good and this is not questioned.  It appears our PM has found 36 Conservative Members of Parliament, including two cabinet ministers, who have abused, sorry are accused of abusing women in one way or another, no mention of anyone in any other party being accused.  
I found a refreshing item in the 'Online Daily Mail' (Yes I thought it unusual also) where Kathy Gyngell speaks of the many years in parliament where women made use of their bodies to get benefits from men as much as men abused said women.  How refreshing to find an open minded approach in among the hysteria.  This did not stop Harriet Harman exposing the chip on the shoulder she developed as a 13 year old girls school pupil reading 'Spare Rib' magazine.  A magazine my grown up sister dumped.  Men are horrid she says, allow women (e.g. Me!) to control the world. Such comments ignore the bad women in this world, only today we read of female concentration guards who were worse, they say, than the men in those Nazi camps.  Possibly Harriet and her friends never paid attention in school.
Sadly men and women continue to regard one another as they have always done.  A few years of confused feminism will not alter human nature nor stop women using the femininity to get where they wish to go nor men taking advantage of those willing to use what was available.  All that is lacking is honesty on the part of those seeking publicity now, years afterwards and with no regard of aiding other women who may be hurt.

I was sitting here last night, head down eyes glued to the screen, when I realised something was amiss.  I found my emotions stirred by loneliness, a touch of fear, there was depression in the air and I wondered why?  Then I realised, it was night time!  It was in fact not long after seven in the evening yet it was dark, curtains closed, light on, heater off because I was too lazy to get up, and the feelings were controlled by the darkness.
This is because until relatively recently the curtains were open and light of whatever sort came in.  Now it was dark early the world becomes a cold place, light opens our hearts and minds, darkness closes them.  It is not surprising to know that in lands where darkness reigns for 24 hours a day people take to alcohol and suffer terrible depressions.  It is no surprise to understand that suicides are less frequent in the 24 hour light than in the dark.
We all suffer that three in the morning attack where we wake still half asleep yet cannot return to slumber and instead fill our minds with dreadful thoughts.  All our failings, fears, worries loom large yet after another couple of hours sleep they dissipate and are forgotten.  Darkness, not even street lights here at that time these days, silence, weariness all add up in the mind at that time.  If however we worked nightshift and woke in the middle of the day would we be depressed I wonder?  On the occasion I worked nights I cannot recall if this is so but it seems likely that light would ease the mind not make things worse.
I must keep a light on tonight and see if I wake with a smile on my face...

I had another one the other day, a 'selfie.'  Not one I took OH No but another one taken by one of the girls.  By another I mean another and another and another!  I cannot imagine taking so many photos of myself when a teenager why do they do it now, especially the females?  Every new hairstyle, and there are too many off them, new outfit, new day, every meal, every small item is put into a 'selfie for the world to see.  I am all in favour of photographs with which to remember the day but really enough!  I don't need to know you now have green hair, I have no wish to see you in the 'guising outfit,'  I certainly don't want pics of your lunch (the same as yesterdays).  
A few decent, sensible photos are all I ask, like my 'selfie' above.  That is all we need, nothing more.


Sunday, 29 October 2017


I woke slowly yesterday afternoon.  The dream in which I found myself was enjoyable, though what it was disappeared from my mind the minute consciousness returned.  I huddled under the ageing ex-army blankets enjoying the warmth and desiring to continue the sleep for some considerable time yet aware that I had passed he point where this was possible.  So rousing myself with little wish to do so I eased myself out of bed and lay prostrate on the floor until I could gather the impetus to stand up.

Why is it that the afternoon nap is more refreshing than the night one?  Why do I enjoy the after lunch kip more than one that last six or seven hours in the dark?  Could it be our perception of sleep is confused?  Are we meant to sleep longer during the say than during the night?  In the Middle East people rise with the sun and take to slumber at midday, no-one bar the 'Mad dog and Englishman' go out in the midday sun.  In Spain, and in the new state of Catalonia it is not unusual to have a siesta and work late into the evening.  Football games often start at nine in the cool of the day, something that would encourage frostbite if attempted in Dundee I can tell you.  Yet does this pattern benefit people more than the UK norm of rising in the dark and working all day straight through?  Are we more efficient or less so than Johnny Foreigner because of this?  
I suspect weather is the real determining factor in sleep patterns.  Hot nations need to hide at midday, this is less a requirement in Aberdeen or Inverness where finding a source of heat is more important than avoiding one.

Maybe the sleep pattern of the male lion is what we ought to follow.  Whether because of heat or habit I do not know but cats in all parts of the world appear to follow similar routines.  The male sleeps for around fourteen hours a day while the female hunts and provides food for the table.  The male then eats the largest portion and returns to sleep it off while the girls and kids finish what is left.  An admirable pattern on my view of things.  Quite what the male actually does to deserve this is as yet unknown but this is a pattern cats worldwide appreciate and adhere to so it must be correct.  

Of course if I sleep less at siesta time I might sleep more during the night.  But is that the way to improve my life?  Is it not better falling asleep at midday for ten minutes catnapping to refresh the mind for the rest of the days work?   I admit if you are driving a bus this could be a hazard but many folks would benefit from such a routine, shop workers, office dwellers, and men who have real jobs.  Those who are retired need it more to keep the mind fresh and I consider it important to practise as much as possible, in fact I think I ought to do so now...

Thursday, 26 October 2017


Young men like a bit of adventure.  Some simply walk out the door and keep walking travelling far and wide over large acres of the world, often with little forethought.  Others are forced by the call of King and Country to adventure in places they would rather avoid.  In days of yore young lads often as young as twelve or thirteen years of age would wander through the docks finding work on ships travelling to foreign fields, the better educated grabbing what contacts they could might find a trail across Europe making the most of the smattering of French and German forced down their throats at school.  The attraction  was the same, to go out there,  over the horizon to places untouched and unknown always hoping for adventure, well adventure that didn't hurt at any rate, and finding excitement that cannot be obtained by staying at home.

My limited adventurous streak showed during the close season, that once upon a time situation when the football season closed in May and did not reappear until August, then I would travel.  Bored as I was I went to the Bus station on St Andrews Square and got the bus to North Berwick.  This is not a long journey but I was only eleven or twelve at the time and my money was limited.  After this I went further, Kirkaldy in Fife or Leven a wee bit further over, just to see what was there.
As I got older football's close season got shorter and by then we played football during the spare time rather than wander about.  Of course when fifteen I also had a job that the grace of God and inept management meant I kept, I would have fired me, and with good reason, several times before I jumped ship.  The travel bug was satisfied I realised by the bus trips to football matches in Dundee and Glasgow.  While we went for the game I just enjoyed the trips outside of Edinburgh and being somewhere different, even if cold and wet as it often was.

I did of course take a very badly thought out journey in 1974 when working at the Royal Infirmary.  This was the year I bought a bike for £18, the owner had 'Gone to Australia') and then a few weeks later set off on an epic journey to London.  This is not something I would do today.
However when based in a Swiss Cottage slum during 1976, though I may have moved to exciting Willesden Lane by then, I took it into my head to go to Cardiff.  Why?  I have no idea but there again I had always wished to go abroad.  So off I traps to Paddington Station, pay through the nose for a ticket and clamber aboard the 125, only used on that line then, and sat back.  
One notable aspect of the trip was my questioning mind. We entered a tunnel and while this is to be expected after a while, a long while I thought, we were still in the tunnel.  It took me a while to realise we were in Box Tunnel (either than the Severn I canny say which both looked dark to me) and I was surprised as I had forgotten the difficulties encountered when creating the railway back in the 1840's.  Isambard Kingdom Brunel constructed this tunnel and it appears like me many think that on one day a year the light shines straight through the tunnel and that day happens to be Brunel's birthday.  It appears we are wrong in this, it occurs a day or so earlier on his sisters birthday.  That is what I call a present, what she called it is not known.  

In spite of the overnight stay in Cardiff, where nothing happened, and my desire never to go abroad again I did in fact make an interesting trip to Jerusalem just before the 1st Gulf War, the one in which everybody was scared of Saddam, and with the weapons the USA had given him they ought to have been scared!  That was interesting and provided plenty of photos even though most were taken on slide film, still sitting there waiting to be shown but no good on here!  One day I will transfer them to digital and bore you as I bored others in 1990.  The one inescapable incident of that trip was visiting Megiddo, the ancient city that goes back several thousand years.  From the name we get the term 'Armageddon' and it was in 'Armageddon' that I got locked in as the lack of visitors (the Yanks were scared to visit in case of war) meant the caretaker locked up and went home.  I eventually found an unlocked gate before I had to climb over the wall. 
These days I find it difficult to go anywhere.  This year has been a bummer physically and while I wish to wander about have been unable to, local transport has not helped either, road works, and rail works have closed things on weekends.  Age also means I lack the adventure to see over the hill as I once wished to.  Having been over the hill for some time I have a degree of cynicism that youth does not possess and this limits adventure to some extent.  However a free gift of a car and the money to run it will I'm sure change my opinion.  Hmmm looks like my opinion will not be changing any time soon.   

Wednesday, 25 October 2017



One of New Orleans most famous characters and the man who may be credited with the first 'Rock n Roll' record ('The Fat Man') has sadly passed on. Fats Domino, one of the great music influences leaves a long list of great songs, this video contains the best.

Saturday, 21 October 2017


What a difference in life when you can breathe!  I slept for hours last night for the first time all week and even visited Sainsburys by 7:30 to avoid crowds and replenish stocks.  I have cleaned the mess and having fallen asleep since I now feel almost human again, almost.
This began a week on Thursday and only today, Saturday, is the worst past.  What a rotten week, it is easier to be ill than suffer Man Flu!  How lucky wimmen are in not getting it.

Having spent the midday watching Hibernian struggle at Hampden, I did not continue to send 'Tweets' to Hibbys asking if they had left by half time as always honest...well OK I did.  How lovely to spend the day breathing while watching football!  The dinner is burning slowly in the background just in time for the six O'clock game of BBC ALBA tonight.  Mince, to remind me of what it is like watching Hibs!

I have sent time listening to this great album for 1969. The Hippy influence at its height on here. Great stuff!  I still have this in the rack behind me, not that I think it playable now but it was a great album at the time.  The Moody Blues continued for many years and performed at Glastonbury in 2015 ( I didn't go).  There have been changes to the line up and occasional fall outs but even in their dotage some are still continuing to play on.  I suppose it keeps them alive though after 70 million album sales I doubt any of them need the money.   Amazing to think all these guys are in their mid 70's!
I am still 32.

Friday, 20 October 2017

You're Toast!

So there I am for another night sitting in front of a television at three thirty in the morning unable to breathe or sleep and watching a man attempt to sell a toaster to nine enthusiastic disciples.  Quite why anyone would spend over £60 on a toaster, no matter the many additional super facilities it offers, beats me.  It is just sliced bread burnt slightly does that require paying out £60?
I turned off and eventually after slogging through several channels of the same advert offering gym equipment you don't need found an old US WW2 documentary on the fall of Berlin.  It was that or another unfunny US sitcom full of bright young things with no future until they sell their trauma stories to the media in ten years time.

Somebody out there is buying this stuff!
Who are they?  Do they live near you?  What makes them appreciate an object like this with a tosser salesman like that selling it?  The audience, both male and female, were enthusiastic thereby proving they were actors taking what jobs were on offer.  
Would it not be a better idea for Amazon to sell books here during the night?  How about an E-Bay channel where items could be auctioned all night?  Something needs to be done to improve TV for the sick watching life pass by ...


Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Smoke Gets Up My Nose

The air has been heavy with the scent of someone's fire this afternoon.  I note, and you can see, how the mist has surrounded us this evening seemingly still full of the residue from those Portuguese fires at the weekend.  Maybe it is the general stour that fills this land of course but either way it is getting up my stuffy nose.

I did not realise that Portugal was so densely forested until now.  Apparently it is one of the most wooded parts of Europe.  Now consider a government struggling with a poor economy, the forested areas owned mostly by private companies and organisations and a lack of proper fire control ( a little bit like our tower blocks) a land dry from hot sun and climate change and trees soaking up what water there is and a tinder box appears.  Dry ground, badly organised woods, scrub for kindling and a couple of arsonists arrive and there will be trouble.  
Several have died in this latest fore, 60 died in June, and today the minister resigned, more for her own good rather than for shame it appears and the government might yet fall in consequence.  
It causes me to wonder how a fire so far away can get up my nose here.  I wish it would blow over the Atlantic next time as I find it hard enough to breathe today anyway.

I have been subject to much sarcasm from a woman.  My 'friend' Peggy has seen fit to question my situation with sarcasm and satire, offering contempt and a distinct lack of sympathy.  This is because as I was shown the door at the museum yesterday for being sick she had to work for a change.  The caring staff sent me home as they did not wish me to die on the counter and coughing over the visitors, both of them, was considered bad form.  
Much sarcasm has been offered.  Remember this you females of the species:-

Now excuse me while I get matron to fix up that intravenous 'Hot Toddy' drip and wipe my brow while muttering "There there," "Poor boy," and "Be brave," instead of the present cries of "Wimp," "If you knew what a woman goes through," and "Try having a baby!"  All of which cut no ice with me!  Now where is the paracetamol...?  

Monday, 16 October 2017

Cogitation on Silence and Noise

Late Sunday night and the world feels different.  It does not take long to recognise the reason, it is the resounding silence.  There is no football hullabaloo in front of me, no cars passing by outside, no young girls screaming in the park, no young males impressing them with their noise, there is school tomorrow and all that homework still to do.  There is even an absence of aircraft overhead, no quiet voices of passers-by, no footsteps.  All is still.  
Silence, something we are no longer used to.  Something I notice only when I have no radio or TV blaring, no football in front of me, no music, no sound.  All this silence appears a strange experience to me now.
Once, before the motor car and the radio it was always like this.  Small market towns had their own daily sounds, loud voices were not uncommon then as now especially when the pubs emptied but there were few if any motor vehicles with polluting engines, pollution was the responsibility of factories and they were closed on Sunday nights.  No workmen's carts would trot slowly by however the local gentry might pass in their Brougham on their way home from a free dinner.  On the edge of town animals in the fields might be heard, nocturnal creatures on the hunt, an owl or a few bats and in the country there are always noises nobody comprehends and does not wish to investigate. 
How quiet life could be before the motor car and electronic devices.
Perhaps we avoid life by hiding behind such electronically produced sound and thus fend off the need to think and face the reality of our lives.  Bread and circuses for the many in the modern day.

After eight in the morning the contrast is clear.  Already the barking of happy dogs with wagging tails with torpor filled owners following has been heard.  The bread van snarls it pollution spreading diesel 7:5 tonner up to Sainsburys, cars driven by Monday morning blues ridden owners head for work in shop or factory, and soon dragging schoolbags behind them the future of the nation appear slowly making their way to the school Stalag.  By nine the streets are busy, shoppers appear and the sun decides to shine when most folks are in work, isn't that always the way.  On Radio 3 a soprano warbles uninvited and behind me the kettle boils noisily for third, or is it fourth time drowned out by passing white vans rushing into their busy day.  All we need is the police round the corner or the ambulance from up the road to announce their arrival by blare their siren and the day will be complete.
Maybe I ought to go back to bed...?

Going back to bed was a good idea, I heartily recommend it.  In fact I recommend it so much I may return there once I have eaten something for lunch.  
Lunchtime certainly is not quiet.  Next door the builders hammer and bang, lorries back up across the street, cars waiting for builders lorries to move allow me the pleasure of their poor taste in music while they wait, and on top of this I have been back in the BBC iplayer.  This gave me five Radio 3 Essays on the Great War by Sir Hew Strachan a historian of repute.  (Do you ever hear of a historian being called anything else?  They are never referred to as 'dodgy' are they?)  This series is about 'The Long Road to Peace' and well worth a listen.  These fifteen minute programmes suit me as if they get wearisome you can dump them soon enough, I listened to all five.
The noise levels grew also as the street life became busier and the world went about its busy business.  I added to the cacophony by setting aside a few minutes to listen to AC/DC offer us one or two of their melodies, well if 'melodies' is the correct term with AC/DC that is!  Just in case a neighbour was in I used small earphones and now I am not sure I can actually hear the traffic outside as tinnitus appears to last longer than I thought.  

Storm Ophelia has been filling the news today.  This was a hurricane at one time but now is referred to as a mere storm even though it manages to reach over a hundred miles an hour in parts of the Republic of Ireland.  This is not one of the usual left over US hurricanes, Ophelia never moved from the eastern Atlantic and has begun to move north picking up large portions of Sahara sand with it.  This sand is they say much finer than that found elsewhere, whether this is true or not the sky has turned a yellow colour above us this afternoon and in some places a deep red has appeared in the hazy clouds.  The picture is quite close to how it looked at one point and the air is filled with a heavy scent, with fine bits going up the nose I noticed.  As darkness falls the sky changes colour and with the storm heading north the sky will clear by the morning I suspect.  The storm has caused much damage and several people have been injured and a few killed.  Here the sky has changed colour, the trees shiver in the wind and the slow traffic reveals the rush hour at its height.
I may as well go back to bed...

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Another Weekend Over

Another weekend almost over and what a waste of time this has been.  The coughing and spluttering bug has visited which left me unwilling to venture far... this is not new these days.
Instead I have read the good book, other books, and insulted peoples intelligence on social media while downing prodigious amounts of tea, coffee and rum toddies.  None of this helped but it passed the time.  

This did mean I did not wander out and therefore managed to be available to watch the BBC Alba 6pm Saturday night football, Ross County v Heart of Midlothian.  One of TV's better idea is the covering of football by BBC Alba.  The commentary is wonderful, all in Gaelic and therefore the drivel spouted means nothing and you can concentrate on the game rather than the needless statistics and information normally dumped on your unwilling ears.  
This was followed by an interesting programme, with subtitles, concerning the origin of 'The Celts.'
Many see them as a 'race' moving into Scotland, Wales and Ireland from the continent, however this has long been disproved and the real 'Celt' is more likely to be someone who speaks the language of the 'Celt' which goes back into history, possibly into the neolithic age.  From what I have read before this makes sense, the peoples of France and Flanders, Belgium and Spain were in contact with Britannia and it is likely a common language was spoken from distant time.  There is no evidence, historical or via DNA testing to prove an invasion at any time though peoples did move around.   
This was an excellent programme probably still on the TV iplayer, though it was entitled in Gaelic so you can guess that I do not remember the title.

Now I am off for yet another football match, Inter Milan v AC Milan.  At least good football and several sendings off!  Just what we want late at night!

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Hypocrisy/Same Old

There has been a lot of fuss about one Harvey Weinstein  in recent days.  The tabloids are having a great time destroying someone who apparently was awfully important in Hollywood.  Personally I have never heard of him until now and this has not made any difference to my life nor I suspect to his.
This is the usual tale of abused suffering females and nasty horrid man in a corrupt organisation that has gone on for years and no-one bothered to do anything about it.  Isn't life hard for women?  
This man sexually satisfied himself with many up and coming actresses who understood their career would be harmed if they did not meet his requests.  Now one after another attention seeking women appear telling us of their woes filling the media with lurid tales some of which are no doubt true.  Poor girls the things they went through just to be a star!
Several things strike me here.
First any woman who thought much of herself would not have submitted to his desires putting their reputation and indeed life before any desire to become a film star.  How many of them were more than willing to play with anyone who could get them where they wished to be, yet now cry out years later?  
Second why did they not report it at the time?   There is a police force nearby, with female police officers sympathetic to the cause, why not seek them?  They did not report things because a career was more important so they kept quiet.  How many in the media have done the same?  How many knew of Jimmy Saville and kept quiet in spite of the suffering adolescent girls endured from him because had they spoken out their TV/radio/film career was over, so they let others suffer?  
The third thing to note is the acting required usually meant lts of undressing on screen and bonking anything that appeared 'in character' thus happy to endure on screen what they would not on the casting couch?  Hypocrite somewhat?  Most films are sex films these days, women's porn and not much else, so where is the problem doing same in real life?
The chattering classes have appeared full of judgement and condemnation and yet not one has queried the willingness of these women to use a man just to 'get on in movies.'  None condemn the women who seduce men to climb the greasy pole in business or media or any other walk of life and we have all met them.  No condemnation for men abused or pushed aside by women on the make.  Just loud voices once again in which women are good and men bad and isn't it awful yet none who accept that women use their bodies to get men on their side as much any man uses women. 
Such a hypocritical world, encouraged by the media, a media run by men who enjoy destroying other men by selling stories to women who think they then have some power but in truth are just being used.
Whether these tales are true or not, and I suspect most are, we all know this has gone on for ever and will do so still.  Men use women, women use men, pretty young girls who think moving into the movie world will be straightforward are rare.  Too many books, films, stories have shown this to be nonsense so why are these lassies upset?  Indeed why are so many others keeping quiet?  Because they have been paid to keep quiet or their career is more important still.
Ah money!  I note his wife has left him.  Poor dear, she maybe didn't know anything about his behaviour all this time and now she leaves and with little in her hand bar around $20 million dollars.  I don't know how she will get over the emotional shock.  The others in the bread line might get over it with a few million however...

On a more important note I see Gordon Strachan has parted company with the Scotland managers job 'by mutual consent.'  That means they agreed how much to pay him off.  
It was inevitable that after five or so years in the job he ought to go.  Gordon had his moments and in the end he almost got us into the World Cup once again but narrowly failed.  That is the story of his management.  He succeeded at Celtic with money behind him, managed Coventry for five years successfully getting them relegated and himself sacked, took Southampton to a losing English cup final, went to Celtic then failed at Middlesbrough and walked away without claiming a pay off.  
He took over Scotland after Craig Leveins famous 6-4 formation failed and sometimes produced good results and occasionally very bad ones.  He was not the worst manager Scotland has ever had and leaves at the right time with some decent young players appearing which the new manager ought to develop.
Ah the new manager.  The whole of Scotland wonders who this will be while the Scottish Football Association suits wonder which Old Firm name they can get to fill the job.  Once again they will fail to show intellectual depth and will concentrate of one of the Glasgow mafia as always.  Just who it will be matters not as long as it is one of their boys.  The bright new future we all hope for is still a pipe dream, it will be same old, same old.