Saturday, December 31, 2016

Hogmanay 2016

Gone is another tough year in what seems like an endless parade of tough years. Perhaps 2017 will be better (remembers Trump and Brexit), perhaps not.

Before Rabbie Burns wrote "Auld Lang Syne", before it became the go-to song to sing as Hogmanay made way for the new year there was this -

The Parting Glass is still widely sung in Ireland apparently, or at least in this video it is. That's Celtic culture, though, it wavers between the two countries and for as long as we in Scotland are befuddled by what is our history and what is not then it remains Irelands to claim.

Despite the daft dresses and the obligatory appearance of bagpipes, it is a beautiful song.

Of all the money that e'er I spent 
I've spent it in good company 
And all the harm that ever I did 
Alas it was to none but me 
And all I've done for want of wit 
To memory now I can't recall 
So fill to me the parting glass 
Good night and joy be with you all 
If I had money enough to spend 
And leisure to sit awhile
There is a fair maid in the town 
That sorely has my heart beguiled 
Her rosy cheeks and ruby lips 
I own she has my heart enthralled 
So fill to me the parting glass 
Good night and joy be with you all 
Oh, all the comrades that e'er I had 
They're sorry for my going away 
And all the sweethearts that e'er I had 
They'd wish me one more day to stay 
But since it falls unto my lot 
That I should rise and you should not 
I'll gently rise and softly call 
Good night and joy be with you all

Good night and joy be with us all in 2017, we desperately need it.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Still Raw

Time to lose myself in her books again.

It feels so unfair.

There is an imbalance now, with all these good, iconic, talented people dying before their time. Next year must step up to the mark. And I say that not glibly at all.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Drowned in Moonlight, Strangled By My Own Bra

This year has seen far too many good people die far too soon. Not only did one of my teenage crushes die at Christmas (George Michael) but another hero died today - Carrie Fisher.

I've probably said it before but it bears repeating today but for little me Princess Leia meant everything. Consider the world of the late 70s. Princesses were blonde, pretty, sweet, dainty and in need of rescue.

Along comes Princess Leia. Brave, fearless, rescuing her rescuers and handy with a blaster. Not only that but for once the princess had the same hair colour as me (okay, she was still pretty and there's not much I could do to achieve that but nevermind!) I was constantly hearing how I couldn't possibly be pretty or noticeable as, unlike my younger cousin, I wasn't blonde.

Yes, my mother's family had a lot to answer for my lifelong lack of confidence.

Add to this mix the fact that Carrie Fisher was a witty, underappreciated writer, candid in discussing her mental health and it all explains why I am genuinely sad that she has gone. She was only 60 for god's sake, and George Michael was 53. These are not people whose time had come.

Princess Leia became General Organa in the new film, please let young girls see her as a role model rather than some of the vapid, dead-eyed "celeb". Be tenacious and know everything is possible. 

And now there will be no more Leia.

This year has been terribly depressing and for someone with depression anyway it has meant a change in medication! Not quite working as life has been so bad and we've still got Brexit and President Trump to look forward to.

Has this year been an icon rapture?

"Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. " 
— Carrie Fisher

Sunday, December 18, 2016

45 at 45

  1. I have synesthesia, in particular when I hear classical music. I have to tune in to it more than I used to and I don't often tell after getting odd looks when I'd describe the colours and shapes.
  2. Reading has been my saviour.
  3. I'm disappointed that I have never taken to opera and don't find it as moving or entertaining as many do. The storytelling alone should be the hook but maybe I'm not cultured enough.
  4. As much as I love the views a fear of heights means I'll never climb a Munro. And I'm okay with that. Sort of.
  5. My first name is not the one I started out with.
  6. I love walking along beaches but absolutely hate sitting for any length of time on the sand.
  7. I would have liked to live in a few different countries.
  8. I can spend so long staring intently at a painting I make the security guards at the galleries nervous.
  9. I have an addiction to Pinterest but it's an addiction I can happily live with.
  10. I also have an addiction to art and stationery supplies and could easily blow a fortune on them.
  11. I don't have a fortune and while money isn't a driving factor it would still be nice to have some.
  12. For longer than was necessary I truly believed that tv Christmas specials were filmed at Christmas.
  13. Although I daydream of sunnier shores I adore crisp, frosty days.
  14. I sometimes forget to say thank you and it bugs me for the rest of the day. 
  15. Little Red Riding Hood gave me a fear of werewolves that I didn't get rid of until I was older than I should have been! (Yes, I knew they weren't real but the human element...)
  16. I'm not too keen on crime fiction but adore Nordic noir. In fact, anything Nordic will do. I watch so much of it I really should be fluent in at least Swedish by now.
  17. My tolerance levels have dropped alarmingly.
  18. The background scenes of traditional ballets, especially set in forests, have always captured my imagination to the point of distraction.
  19. When I was 25 I threw out all my diaries and stories I had written.
  20. I gave up drawing and sketching after school and only started again a few years ago.
  21. After my dad's death, I found he'd kept old school jotters of mine and a poem I wrote aged 7.
  22. I like being part of Europe and hate the thought of where we're headed outside of the EU. In fact, I feel more European than Scottish and I don't feel British at all.
  23. I wish I wasn't interested in politics.
  24. Knowing that I've made an almighty mess of things I'm hyper-vigilant that my sons do what they want - they just tell me to chill out.
  25. I find chilling out impossible sometimes.
  26. Being an only child meant I had social quirks that led to bullying because I was different.
  27. If I could travel back in time I'd like to redo the 90s and make some changes.
  28. The one thing that absolutely sends me insane is being accused of something I didn't do.
  29. Sometimes I wish I had done it. Might as well.
  30. I want to travel more, a lot more.
  31. I'm partially deaf due to two bouts of measles, followed by mumps and then chicken pox at age 8. Any background noise and it's a struggle to distinguish voices so lots of polite nodding goes on. 
  32. I missed most of that year of schooling but read an enormous amount of books. School wasn't my favourite place to be so although I was sick, I got to spend my time reading books and comics and watching tv so was happy.
  33. For this age, I am nowhere near as successful as I should be. 
  34. I am my own worst enemy.
  35. When we were 9 one of my friends and I wrote to Jim'll Fix It - so glad we never got a reply!
  36. My eldest and I both like to win an argument, this makes for some interesting debates.
  37. Saturday's child works hard for a living - don't I know it.
  38. My favourite colour is the deep blue of a winter sky when the full moon is out.
  39. That's hard to describe so I usually just say purple. (Yes, indigo is close but not quite).
  40. I do my best, it's often not good enough.
  41. Once upon a time I was a terrible optimist, I must have been so annoying!
  42. I will always regret never having another baby but I am happy with my two so maybe what I mean is I wish I could time travel back to spend time with them as babies again. Actually, that is what I mean.
  43. I have dyscalculia but didn't find out until my mid-twenties, I thought I was just stupid.
  44. I despise people who put others down, who make others feel inferior or worthless.
  45. Even if you've been patient enough, or mad enough, to read this list - no one really knows me.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Sinterklaas by Rie Cramer

December, wintermaand (1938)

Marie "Rie" Cramer was born in the Dutch East Indies, October 1887. Daughter of a ship's captain the family first settled in Arnhem, the Netherlands, where she began to study drawing. Continuing at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague when her family moved there, she published her first books.

Known best for illustrating children's books she also provided illustrations for adult literature.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

End of Days

I recently joined in with the mass panic attack as America voted in possibly the vilest man they have as President. No, seriously, it's not hyperbole, he truly is vile.

Of course, you would need to have been on the Moon not to have known this yet enough people were content to elect that as their representative, the head of state of their nation. Well, when I say enough the vote broke down thus - 25.something% for Hillary Clinton, 25.slightly more% for Trump and 49% didn't vote. Hardly 'the nation has spoken' and I wonder how that 49% feel today. (I'll ignore the two million plus votes for Hillary over Trump that has appeared in recounts and found down the back of the sofa, as that brings in the argument on the US Electoral College and no one has time for that).

After over two years of frustrating votes (indyref, Tories, Brexit, this) I am about done with democracy. Watching pompous assholes have their over inflated egos pumped further by an electorate pulled along by blustering rhetoric is galling.

Then I remembered. We survived (just) them voting in George W. Bush. Twice. This is not new, this selfish vote. We hope to grow in emotional intelligence with every generation, to evolve into better human beings. But we don't. We just go round in circles and this one has taken us back to 1933.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Samhain Ramblings Of A Lost Mind

I may be still pinging around like a pinball in an arcade machine but there is clarity ahead. A clarity that might just see me open this blog to the viewing public so I better start editing and stop writing daft guff all the time for my own amusement.

2016 has been a rum old year, full of weirdness and not the kind of weirdness that will ever be looked back on fondly. Next month might see a new American President whose campaign has put me in mind of the society in A Handmaid's Tale - a fine book but you wouldn't want to live there.

One thing this year is doing right is autumn. There is a welcome chill in the air, the trees are wearing their finest fiery clothes in their last gasp before winter slumber. It's the season for soups and cosy gloves and is heartily needed, a freshness in the air after such a stale summer.

So, bring it on November, I see you and raise you the challenge of the previous months. Be kind, be generous and let this year slip out without any further horror stories from the powerful, the mess that was the Brexit vote was enough.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

A Month is a Very Short Time

Busy yourselves while I try to compose myself. Here, look at the pretty picture.

I should be there right now, not here. Short of a lottery win or success then that ain't happening. Look at the colours, feel the warmth...and relax - squeak!

It's been a month of doing lots and getting nowhere. So pretty much the same old, same old. I seem to be standing still at the moment and while that is normally not something too concerning, it is when you are attempting to push forward and get work going.

Typically, I feel paralysed by self-doubt, I want to run away and hide but at the same time face things and fight them head on. I've lost confidence in any bare talent I had. How can I expect someone to have faith in me when I doubt myself so much?

It was all easy when I was a salaried nobody. I'm still a nobody but this time, no salary to fall back on. I really want to make this work but I shy away from self-promotion which is the sign of an idiot. This lack of grit is galling but also extremely worrying, I have no idea why I'm getting nowhere (apart from the obvious which I have just stated).

I know what I need to do but not how to get noticed, despite the courses I've taken and the seminars I've sat through. This is not the life for a humble introvert!

What am I babbling on about?

Well, I decided to become self-employed; proofreading, editing, content writing, Uncle Tom Cobley and all. My syntax may be woeful on here but I seem to score well on aptitude tests so I must be doing something correct. To think that I used to get any job I went for, how spoiled did that make me?

(Why is it *always* so much easier to write about and promote someone else? Why? It's not fair!)

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Rest Day

Music interrupted by the death of the last of the Aunties. She was not the nicest of people (I'm being polite) but she was the only surviving sibling. It brings back memories of my dad, always welcomed but tinged with the regret that I can't tell him how much he meant. Not that such a show wouldn't have embarrassed the hell out of him, I wish I had just gone ahead and embarrassed him.

Today should be a rest day but outside the morning chorus of chainsaws and rumble of building work drifts over from a street away. I'll content my itching anxieties with music to soothe and hope it does the trick.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Another Day Another Blast From The Past

I really don't like that saying 'blast from the past'. There was a really rotten film of the same name about 20 or so years ago. I digress.

Tomorrow I'm going to be sticking my neck out and trying something I never thought I'd have the brass neck to do. Failure is probably a certainty but all it takes is one person, just one, to believe in me and things could actually, genuinely, happily happen. I'm at the point, once more where life can go one of two ways, I'm hoping this time that it's the better road I get to travel.

Travelling is made much more pleasant with some good tunes. I need a jolly song to take me through the end of a fairly wasted weekend (dizzy, nauseous feeling still there so nothing of any worth has been accomplished).

Friday, August 26, 2016

Claim To Fame

My second flashback to the 80s is a song that has particularly fun memories.

My dad had picked me up from school on the way back from my auntie's, on the radio it was announced that if you could get to the Barrowlands in Glasgow by 4:30 you could take part in the filming of the new Deacon Blue video.  Well, I quickly persuaded my dad to turn around and pick up my then best friend who was just as eager to go and off we went.

I can't quite remember how long it took, I think it was well after 10 pm when we finally stepped back outside, breathless and excited, having had a brilliant evening of music. Yes, they did play the song again and again but they also gave us a free concert of their other songs too. Perhaps it took hours and hours but it certainly didn't feel that way.

I can spot myself in the crowd, back then I was all curly hair, big earrings and no glasses (I squinted a lot but I just hated wearing the huge glasses I had!)

So, one of my claims to fame, I'm one of the crowd in a music video - I'll take it!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

It's The 80s Again

I have been given one of those Facebook challenges by a friend where I post songs from the 80s for 7 days. It was such fun looking through my first choice that I thought I'd inflict my music share on here as well.

Love and Money are one of the many Scottish bands from that era. We had such a glut of talent, mainly coming from Glasgow, we really were spoiled (plus the bouncers back then were not so strict so sneaking into a club to hear some good music was a lot easier than it will be now). I used to see the lead singer walking around Glasgow, Sauchiehall Street to be precise, in his red baseball cap.

I listen to this and immediately I'm cycling home on a chilled Autumn evening in the West End of Glasgow. Headphones on, blind to the world around me, listening to the tapes I'd made from records I kept at my parents' house (because sometimes you just can't be too careful in a flatshare and I didn't have the money to replace any breakages or 'walkabouts'). Close my eyes and I can picture it completely.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Shutting The Monkey Up

Lots of things have happened in the last month, although as summer holidays go it's been mostly computer games and snuffling hayfever for the teens.  Plans for days out have fallen by the wayside, busy places have never been that appealing anyway.

I was watching a video on meditation, that is probably one of the most pretentious things I've ever written. I've been trying my hardest to learn to stop, breathe and calm down, especially during times of anxiety. When I went through CBT at the ME clinic I was taught various ways to attempt to switch off my buzzing mind. None of them really worked and then I saw this:

Completely relate to having a chattering monkey mind. Completely! Now, when I need a moment of peace I give the chattering monkey something to do. In my usual way, I almost feel like I should talk to the monkey, make peace with her - yeah, I'll let you know how that works out. 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Summer Sketches

The weather is as stormy as the news these days. There is only one solace - 


Sunday, July 10, 2016

When You Deal With Enough Provocation

There comes a time when the frustration of two years ago reinstates itself - in fact, it happens a lot nowadays. Perhaps the tide is turning, perhaps not. I don't underestimate the amount of stubborn, pig-headed people who will never change their views (because I am one!) But with all the crap we've been dealt with, all the lies exposed, being dragged out of the EU, about to have Trident nuclear weapons updated against our will, surely there can't be many who haven't seen the clear evidence we need to be independent?

Regardless, we'll be there with the facts again, I expect all the newspapers to do their best to trumpet all the misinformation again and not do their research. Take quotes out of context, ramp up the Project Fear machine, completely ignore the other side of the argument, oh we've seen it all before. If anyone believes them now then more fool them.


...positivity and hope never die.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Close Your Eyes & Pretend It Isn't Happening

That's pretty much how I feel about the way things are going at the moment. If I had to think about it too long I'd be sick with the way the UK is going and there is nothing we can do but be dragged down with it all.

So I will close my eyes, I will hear the sea rush against the beach and feel the sand on my toes. Everyone needs a happy place, I know where mine is and reality is truly too awful to want to remain there for long.

Yes, that is the Hobbits, not so little and cute now - more long of limb and handsome. Hug your babies, they grow up too fast!

Tuesday, July 05, 2016


Finally, I've had a chance to upload my Millport photos and each one was a breath of memories, lightening the mood. What to do? What to do?

For some reason I've taken lots of photos of flowers, as a pretty poor gardener this is amusing - to me if no one else. I'd love a beautiful garden, a full bee and butterfly friendly banquet. If only I had my dad's talent for being able to actually grow things. Another thing I wish I'd paid attention to!

Here are some wild and not-so-wild flowers. There are no names, I have no idea what most of them are other than pleasing to the eye in natures wonderful way.

*not a typo, it's Scots, despite some folk thinking it's not a language, it is!

Friday, July 01, 2016

Refreshing Days and Monster Thoughts

The family have just returned from a much needed, desperately needed, few days away at - you guessed it - Millport, Isle of Cumbrae.

What a bloody week, was so glad that the internet was intermittent as it meant I could block out most of what has been happening since, once again, Scotland is being dragged into a position it did not make. Strangely, perhaps because of the distance, I feel disconnected. I am so beyond frustrated with people not seeing the bigger picture. Of course, I'm not saying I am correct in my assumptions on how things should be but the pettiness, the snide "well, I'm not changing my mind even though it makes me look like a prat" and I'm just fed up to the back teeth with them.

This will be known as the period where 'Britain' went barmy over being European, my identity goes Scottish and then European so that's me stuffed then. Have never considered myself as British, won't wrap myself in that flag and go all snivelly over the Queen. This referendum has done what countless elections have failed to do, I now no longer give a flying fuck about people or this country.  Hell mend you all and sod you for ruining my sons' chances of living and working abroad and for ruining my escape plan.

So...being miles away on a small island was good then, really.

The weather wasn't great but this is Scotland and you don't go on holiday for the weather. I have noticed someone in my group of friends has recently started this little chipping at things I'm doing so I expect some comment from her when we all meet up Tuesday about the poor weather.

You know what, we wore raincoats, sucked it up and enjoyed having sand in our toes, sea crunchy hair and jellyfish spotting anyway.

Photos to follow and won't that be much better than my grumbling self.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Holidays On Prescription

I can see it now, the same kind of people who feel their tax money should be hoarded in caves and protected by dragons, they'd flip at the idea I'm about to propose.

The title gave it away; holidays on prescription.

Perhaps it does sound like a huge drain on money but consider this: next week we're off to Millport for the week. It's been tough scraping enough for this cheap holiday but I know I'll reap the benefits health wise which will obviously filter down to my sons and my work productivity on returning home. Had I been going somewhere with guaranteed sun and all inclusive (ooh, I can hear the snorts of derision) the benefits would last much longer.

Okay, maybe not free holidays but some scheme that would allow you to pay the amount back over a longer period of time. Holiday companies are not charities. Not saying they should be. However, it would be nice for everyone, regardless of what they earn, to have the joy of travel and a week of relaxation, not just the privileged or those who have large credit card limits.

Think of it as a tax break for those not earning enough to squirrel their money away into tax avoidance/evasion schemes. Oh, I think I've just thought of a way to pay for it! Wouldn't society be much nicer when everyone had a break from the grind? When people couldn't asset strip companies, rob pensions, buying yachts and private jets while the regular employees face the bleak cliff face of the dole and a poor retirement? Wouldn't that make for a healthier, happier place?

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Art Therapy For A Tough Year

What do you call someone infatuated with Pinterest? That sounds like the set-up for a joke but there has to be a name for it other than Pinner, surely?

Carry on regardless. Another legend gone this year - Muhammad Ali, I'm not a fan of boxing but you can't really fault a man who can say this (about not wanting to fight in Vietnam):

He didn't run off to Canada, he didn't hide or find a way to avoid service through loopholes - as many (rich white) men did, a few subsequently becoming politicians. Well, once you wriggle your way out of a situation while condemning others, without the same means, for wanting to do likewise, there really is only one occupation for you.

Anyway, back to the Pinterest thing.

I Pin quite a lot of images and then only get the chance to see them every so often. So I thought, in my usual way, it would be opportune for me to share them here too. Some might have made their way onto one of my boards, some might just encapsulate how I'm feeling that day.

I also enjoy retweeting images that catch my eye and my mind, like today:

Woman Before the Rising Sun - Caspar David Friedrich, c.1818
Because some days you just have to pause and take it all in. 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Originality vs Reality

The purse has just taken another car related hit and I realise the time has come to face one of those situations I dread - buying a new car. Old Car is beginning to show it's age - nearly 10 years old after all, so it's more expensive to keep than get rid and how I wish it wasn't the case. Not that I am particularly attached to Old Car.

There is some difference in what I would really love to own -

Oh, lovely, lovely minty car!

Compared to what will fit me, two gangly teens and Happy Dog, plus all the usual crap we seem to trawl with us every time we leave the house. (Parent myth; you carry a lot of stuff when you have a baby. Nah, it's nothing to life with teens!)


Then there is the nasty truth of what I can afford, playing in the background as my forever song at the moment. (I can *easily* afford my dream car, which is an irony in itself!)

No doubt I will be given lots of advice, lots of conflicting advice, on what is best, easiest to run, good for the environment! I wish it was easier, I wish I didn't have to face the inevitable car salesmen/women but here we are. That's a lot of wishes going on, let's see where we end up.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Four-Legged Family

Special dedicated '30 Days' photograph today:

Eldest cat, aka the original and grumpiest Grumpy Cat, has gone missing.

For the past few weeks, he has suffered the return of the tumour on his face. Under the watchful eye of the vet, it has been a case of either wait until surgery is possible or the inevitable goodbye has to happen.

I fear I waited too long to try for the surgery option and he's just decided enough is enough. After last year's bit of luck where the tumour moved to a position that would mean Cat didn't need his jaw broken in order to remove the lump, I just hoped luck would be on our side again.

I fear that, because I've hesitated, he has decided to go find his final resting place as some cats do. After all, he was from feral stock, rescued as a kitten with his only remaining sibling, both survivors of a magpie attack on the nest. We adopted them both. His poor sister died from a heart condition not long after the boys were born. She was small, she was delicate and her heart beat just a little too fast.

We were left with the rough and tumble brother. The one who got his kitten head wedged into a cat food tin and valiantly tried to pretend it wasn't anything to do with him. The one who would strut up to any delivery van or car visiting 'his street' for a good nosy inside.

We've gone through so much together and he's always been a constant - even if it was a constant "I told you so" from him. When Ex left the cat never looked at him again, turning his back every time Ex picked up the boys.

He was a character who bemused many neighbours, owning the street wherever we lived.

Wherever you are - please come home, say goodbye. Have one last chase of the dog, one last swipe at the other cats and one last touch of a paw on my shoulder as you sleep on the back of the couch.

Flowerpot cat

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Hello, Goodbye Spring!

For some reason, we've skipped the rest of Spring, all of Summer and Autumn and have gone straight back to Winter. It's nearly May and today we had snow, hailstones, freezing rain with a little chilly sunshine thrown into the mix.

As everyone jokes about a typical Scottish weather system while turning on the central heating again I wish for a chance of warm, toasty weather to comfort the bones. What will happen tomorrow; who knows!

Some Spring lambs, probably needing a thicker woolly coat.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Saying No

I've got to learn to do it, I'm so much better than once I was but I really have to own my right to say no to people. It's important for my health more than anything else and what little energy I have needs to go towards my little family, my ability to keep a roof over our heads and not fall into that 'single parent' stereotype.

I hate being so serious all the time.

It does feel that is my daily routine now and I'd like some fun. Can't afford it though so I'll return to being grumpy, increasingly old biddy.

Escape in a photo -

Need to channel the attitude of this..erm...eagle?

Thursday, April 21, 2016

A Break In Normal Service

In the past two days two legends of my teenage years have died. At nearly 45 I feel too young to be seeing so many familiar faces passing on this year but here we are.

First of all, that bitch cancer decided to deprive us of the wonderful comedienne and writer, Victoria Wood. In an 80s where most accents on TV were RP to the extreme here was a woman, being funny, appealing to all age groups and with an unapologetic Northern English cadence. Which, for me at least, added to the humour.

I wasn't the only one happy to sit with the parents, all of us laughing heartily at Victoria's shows. Really bitingly funny comedy, intelligently written but most of all it made everyone laugh out loud then shut up really quickly for fear of missing the next joke.

My best friend in school and I used to do a daft take on Marjorie and Joan to entertain our classmates.

And my mother and I shared a love for Acorn Antiques, especially Julie Walters as Mrs Overall.

One of my friends pointed me to this one as it is reminiscent of people we know (always in a disorganised flap!) Victoria wrote and starred in Dinnerladies -

Victoria was also a great actress so if you get the chance to watch Housewife, 49, it is well, well worth it for her performance alone.

There we are, getting over another iconic loss when only a little while ago I hear that Prince has died. Alas not one of the many Royals (now hearing Prince has died would give the media a heart flutter as they wondered if it was Charles, William, the other ones).

Again, when I was a teen Prince was very risky and daring. I remember watching and giggling along to Purple Rain with friends, for us it was racy, I've not watched it recently but I would bet it was anything but!  For a bunch of insular teens in a small Scottish town it was the closest some of us would get to porn (unless your friend's big brother accidentally left his naughty French video in the VCR!)  I digress.

Victoria Wood was 62, Prince 57, that seems ridiculously young. So unfair. Celebrity Death Year 2016 edition is bloody awful.

I bought and wore a raspberry coloured beret, which did not suit this 13-year-old, in order for people to think the song had been written about me. I fooled no one.

I tried to get the official video of Little Red Corvette but it looks like that's not so easy - I'll leave it to anyone reading this to seek out his music. Take of the lyrics what you will.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Spring Blossoms

Being a grouchy old so-and-so today so best left to mumble alone. Pretty pic for the day, Spring blossoms. I've always wanted a cherry blossom tree but thanks to Nutty Neighbour's enormous leylandii trees sucking up all the goodness from my garden I have no chance of growing one so I'll just have to appreciate them elsewhere.

At the same point, beautiful weather today gave me an excuse to enjoy some time in the garden and those blessed leylandii were full of birds. Just a pity they are so over-imposing and over-imposing into my garden.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Blame It On The Sunshine...

Blame it on the fact there aren't enough hours in the day of late.  Once again it's running to keep up and I can't run.

I didn't say the 30 days were going to run concurrently...aye. Might have gotten away with it there. So here's a pretty picture of the Highlands to make up for it all.

On the road to Braemar...

Friday, April 15, 2016

Oh, Would You Look At That

...midnight has slipped by again, pulling the bed covers with it.

Time fleeting, flighting, fernickity. So time shall be the prompt.

My sons way back when they were still known as the Hobbits, discovering Bronze Age Scottish 'things' in the land around Cairnpapple, or maybe just rabbit shits. Yeah, probably just rabbit shits or chocolate raisins as they used to call it. No I don't eat chocolate raisins any more, funny that.
Two hits on the time machine there - reminiscing of when my sons were little squishables and one of our visits to the Bronze Age site not far from home, Cairnpapple.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Trying Not To Be Philosophical Today

I'm feeling a little lost without the routine of working everything around the boys and so, my dinnertime viewing was the film Dan In Real Life. Interesting that the moment the main character steps away from devoting his entire time to his family they become a little selfish.

It's probably something I've covered before but when the boys' father left I decided to...well, devote my entire time to my family. What was left of it. Of course there were issues of trust and esteem that I don't think I'll ever work out to my satisfaction. It seemed the right choice then and it still seems the right choice now. Certainly if the way the boys have turned out is anything to go by then a pat on the back for single parenthood.

Loneliness is not a factor. There are times though...

Anyway, I'm wittering on and all I should really be doing is sending another photograph out into the ether.

It's cold and wet outside so naturally my thoughts return to warmer climates and fond memories and wishing I had a lovely, peaceful holiday to look forward to again. You never know. Relaxation, beautiful surroundings, heat in your bones and a good Joanne Harris book to enjoy - what could be better?

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Under The Bridge

Forth Bridge

There live no trolls under this bridge, well, not on the Lothian side at least. This was taken back in the day when Scotland had a ferry service to Europe, long for those days to come back. Also far enough ago that the bridge was still in it's 'forever painting' phase.

Now they have some magical paint that doesn't need continually refreshed so the bridge is scaffold free.


Again, I wish we had a ferry link to Europe, it's ridiculous we don't but that's what you get as part of this union. We get to drive to Newcastle or Hull, our only other option is the plane. We were also promised quick links to the Eurotunnel that never appeared either. Ah well. We still got to pay for it though and that's always good. ::sarcasm button deployed::

I hear it said that the ferry wasn't used, which doesn't make sense as when we tried to rebook (Rosyth - Zeebrugge) it was always full. Sure, it would need subsidised, most ferries do. Despite my fear of boats (thanks Titanic) I quite liked the over night journey. Outside cabin of course - like, I could have gotten out of that window if anything happened? You just watch me and I would have made sure my then four-year-old sons were with me!

I wonder if it has to take independence for us to be fully integrated with the rest of Europe, to have proper transport links. Naturally I want independence anyway but it's evident how much we've been held back, how many believe we don't 'deserve' to be a fully-fledged country. It's really quite a sad indictment of Scotland.

Well, this post took a dark step, you never can tell where the photographs will take you.

Saturday, April 09, 2016

In A Timely Manner

For some reason I convinced myself I had posted on Thursday and Friday. I must be going mad - at last! Maybe that will allow me some rest. The other day I needed to rest, I didn't, today I paid the price. Eyeballs like peeled onions, you get the gist.

Today's pic, taken at the local forest in Beecraigs Country Park. Mostly Forestry Commission trees (all in straight lines and at the mercy of being felled all at once, making the place look like a bomb hit it) but there are beauties like this dotted around, snubbing a branch at the Forestry's tidiness. Of course they are felled too as nature isn't as neat as they'd like but until then, here it lives.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

There Comes A Choice

I might have a meeting I need to go to tomorrow evening but until then I will be mainly doing not much but sleeping, painting and watching TV. It sounds like the laziest of days but this is how I recharge the battery, or recharge as much as I can. Or really, just prevent a crash and who wouldn't take a day to avoid crunchy, gnawing, grinding pain.

Simple, really.

Today's photo - be the seagull.

Seagull versus statue
Calderglen Park, East Kilbride


Nothing new there then, but I have to get up early tomorrow and I'm moving dangerously close to a crash. Still, the boys are away to another camp this Friday so if I can make it to the weekend I can let it go then. I can push through the pain and the tiredness for a couple of days, it's not pleasant but what can you do?

It's been a very grey and rainy week, naturally that doesn't help. Wishing for a long, sunny summer - just once, that would be nice!

I should rename this venture, 30 Days (Plus) of Photos and a Bit of Moaning Too. Touch long for a label though.

North Berwick, East Lothian

Monday, April 04, 2016


I ended up feeling (and probably looking) like an incompetent idiot thanks to an antiquated email system which formatted a mail out I sent in such a way that it resembled something done by a toddler.
Badly wanted to stick my head in a blender after hearing about the Panama papers. Oh, here we go again and as is per usual in the UK, nothing will happen other than a bit of tutting.

Google it, you'll not get to hear much about those in the British Establishment who are involved. Of course not. My next self-employed tax return will be filled out through gritted teeth.

And calm. Go for a walk with Happy dog, and calm. (Not like this, it's raining today, of course it is. An Eeyore day if ever there was one.)

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Describe Motherhood

Two for the price of one - it is Saturday after all. Apologies on the portrait quality, photos taken at Kelvingrove Museum, Glasgow. One of the most wonderful places on Earth. I need to go back, and soon.

Friday, April 01, 2016


I Don't Mean To Judge But...

Ah, who am I kidding, I judge, I judge all the time. If people were being honest we all do and if someone says they don't then they've just passed judgement on those who freely admit to judging.

Here are two little gems I mulled over while standing in line at the local Sainsbury's -

Wine; there is a layer of pretentiousness, even in the sweetest person.

A certain brand of cider or maybe just cider full stop; you want to get drunk, as effortlessly as possible and don't mind furry tongue in the morning.

Oh-ho! I hear the holier-than-thou folk cry, and what was it you were buying?

Cat food and diet cola (own brand), because the cats need fed and my insides are heaving cauldrons of rotten (but own brand doesn't have aspartame so I pretend otherwise).

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Look For The...

I make no apologies for that title and no apologies if no one gets it.

Add caption

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Sunset To Warm The Very Bones

It doesn't matter how much I wish for it to happen, lack of funds mean I won't be seeing this for a while.
*sigh deeply*
*trudge forever onwards*
Everyone needs a pick-me-up.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Flicking Through The Photo Album

There is a lot of talk about the fact no one really prints their photos any more as though it is a dying art and another tradition consigned to the "death by new media" heap.  I'm not sure, I have a box, I have several boxes if truth be told, of old photographs I rarely look through. Spending an evening looking through the photo albums I've accumulated over the past few years is an evening well spent.

A few years ago, when I first caught up with technology and bought a digital camera I actually thought, in a woolly minded daydream, that I could take up photography as a hobby, perhaps even make some sort of artistic venture out of it. I'm not that good unfortunately, so it remains just a passing hobby and source material for my scribblings.

This is going somewhere, I promise, over the next month and a bit I'll post a photo each day.

Today it's a sculpture on the wall of our hotel in Mallorca, I look at holiday photos and instantly feel warm and happy.  Then sad that I'm not there and can't afford a holiday this year! (pout) By the way the "pmr" is my watermark, nothing to do with the hotel! That probably sounds quite conceited, that I'd stick a watermark on but regardless of talent and lack thereof I've seen quite a few stolen images of late and am fed up of giving away things for free.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

So...Whatcha Been Up To?

Sons used to watch a tv programme when they were younger where one of the characters would always say "Whatcha doin'?" I needn't have bothered explaining that but I did.
Spring has!  There are changes happening. Some doors are closing, others hopefully opening and others I'm not sure of yet.
Through it all I still scribble away and one day I might get good at it but until then (although I am pleased with the eagle). Examples of (yeah, I can't do dark and brooding clouds, who'da thunk):