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Showing posts from November, 2009

Thank/Unthank

Hullo ma wee blog,

Tonight my lovely G and I took a short 20 minute trip across the border into England - well, Berwick upon Tweed, which was stolen by a long legged English king centuries ago and has been trying to get back ever since.

Anyway the purpose of going across to 'the dark side' was to go and see 'The Unthanks',a folk band from the north of England. They were nominated for a Mercury music award a couple of years ago and are seen to carry a heritage of traditional north east folk music into modern music and culture in a very special way. Rachael and Becky Unthank have a unique way of delivering what can be very bleak themes with sparse orchestrations and yet are very captivating to listen to - for a while at least.

We went to see them early this year in Glasgow and enjoyed it - well, the lovely G did more than me - I struggled with 2 hours of mainly morose songs. But I was keen to go again and see how I reacted a second time, so when a friend dropped out and the…

Tribunal - interesting times.....

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Hullo ma wee blog,

Well the time for the unfair dismissal tribunal to hear my case is fast approaching, scheduled for 3rd and 4th Dec, and my colleagues who agreed to give statements and evidence have all stepped up to the mark and confirmed attendance at the hearing which makes me feel both very supported and grateful to them for having the courage to do that when they may need to reapply to the company for employment at some stage. To cover them as much as I can I have asked the tribunal to summons them in effect, which demands compulsory attendance and gives them some scope for stating that they were not 100% willing to come but had no option.

I had a lengthy meeting last Thursday with the very expensive solicitors which my insurance company has provided for me and they have again agreed that my case is valid and are totally confident that any tribunal will decide in my favour. But the decision is only the first part. The next thorny issue for them to decide would be any financial aw…

Brothers and Sisters - I Have A Dram......

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Or more properly 'I have a Dream' and perhaps a wee bit of dyslexia too

What a night! I'm exhausted and not this time from insomnia. No, this time I'm exhausted because of a dream.........

I'm in a group of several women and a man. We are in a bar high up in some kind of tower restaurant above a seaside town that I don't recognise and the group have been drinking. A lot it would seem. They all look familiar but I cant put a name to any of them. I seem to be in charge of them as I am the most sober, but not by much. We are having a great time but the man seems determined to get closer to one or all of the Ladies and I don't seem to think that would be a good idea and let me feelings be known, but its all in a good natured banter kind of way.

As we are leaving the bar I have to go to the loo. As I do this I pass a mirrored section and see my reflection, its not me - well it is but I look like a really young Ewan MacGregor {?} from the pre 'Trainspotting&…

Where day and night split

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Hullo ma wee blog,

My lovely G is just behind me as I step from the house out into the drive and unlock the car for the short 10 minute trip to Dunbar and her morning train to Edinburgh and work.

Just a normal day.

The wind had been loud and loutish during the night with some periods threatening to reach so far into my consciousness as to wake me thoroughly but thankfully stopping at just being a reminder it was there. But by 4.30 I was awake for the day and, as there is no point in me staying to harrumph and wake the lovely G with my tossing and turning, I followed my habit and got up to head for the kitchen and my chair at the table in the corner by the patio doors. The wind, decreased in volume, was still hard to ignore through the double glazing of the doors and windows. Early reports on the radio were full of dire stories of heavy rainstorms and flooding further south and west and a sad report of a policeman missing when a bridge collapsed while evacuating folks from some of the ru…

A Philosophy of French Toast

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Hullo ma wee blog,

3am. Kitchen, coffee and computer. Banshee winds.....

It truly is the wee small hours and my sole companion is my faithful friend insomnia. Even our pair of cats, Jess and Bailey, blink scornfully at me and shoulder cosily closer together in an unspoken 'Aw jings! Not again!' when I have the audacity to put on the light in the utility room in my search for the fridge. Jess watches me with one disdainful open eye to make sure I put the light off as I skulk out with my prize of a pint of cold milk. Its pathetic when a cat can make a grown man feel guilty and uncivilised.

I smile ruefully as I put on the kettle and plan revenge via worming tablets or maybe even a bath. I can be so petty at this time of the morning.

I had driven in to Edinburgh to meet my lovely G from work and take her for a simple dinner out before chauffeuring her home as she has been struggling with a cold this week. One of those deceitful colds that robs you of your voice and some energy but s…

Can anyone see the drummer........

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Hullo ma wee blog,

Another concert and another trip to Glasgow. This time to the 02 academy to see The Flaming Lips in concert. From Oklahoma, they're described as a space/Neo-psychedelia/Indie rock/Alternative rock band.
They're also acclaimed for their elaborate live shows, which feature costumes, balloons, puppets, video projections, complex stage light configurations, giant hands, large amounts of confetti, and frontman Wayne Coyne's signature man-sized plastic bubble, in which he traverses the audience. In 2002, Q magazine named The Flaming Lips one of the "50 Bands to See Before You Die".

I can understand why.

It was one of the most fascinating spectacles I have ever encountered at a concert. At one point, with hundreds of orange and yellow balloons of various sizes from small to extraordinary bouncing around inside a fairly small venue, being stunned by long strobe effects and masses of confetti explosions, it was like an out of body experience of music insid…

A Night in the Enchanted Forest.

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Hullo ma wee blog,

A couple of weeks ago Saturday saw the lovely G and I head off for a night out at the invitation of her brother and his girlfriend to join them, her sister and partner and a couple of other friends. A leisurely drive of just over a couple of hours north across the Forth Bridge and on up the A9 past Loch Leven to Perth and onwards towards whisky country until we reached our final destination of Pitlochry.

The weather on the way was bright and blowy to start with but by the time we crossed the Forth Bridge an hour or so later had begun to close in and the first eager drops of rain started to show on the newly washed and polished car just as we reached the Fife coast. Its always the way of it isn't it. Life is like a far side cartoon some times.

At Pitlochry mid afternoon we found a bustling wee town jumping with what were obviously visitors who had probably come, like us, for the Halloween festival and particularly to see the 'Enchanted Forest'. Pitlochry ha…

The Porage Diaries

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Hullo ma wee blog,

The weather has dropped a few degrees now and the morning run to the station is now in 2 or 3 degrees rather than the 7 or 8 of a week or two ago. Not that cold really but you have to factor in a bit of chill coming in with the sea wind.

Porage has become a mainstay of breakfast now winter is here. I make mine with water not milk and a good turn of salt to the mix when its being made, not on top once its served. Then again, I am only making it for me. 45 - 50g of oats to 350- 400ml water and five minutes later its pretty much good to go. As good a fast food as you can get. Strangely I used to love it as a child, loaded with sugar on top of course, and then went through about 30 years of hating the thought of it so much I was never tempted to try until one day I had some in a hotel while away working somewhere and it was so good that it kind of reopened my mind to it.

Reality has come home to roost with a rejection letter after my parole board interview. I shouldn't…

Lest we forget

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Guillemont Rd.

Guillemont Rd Cemetary

Hullo ma wee blog,


We observed the 2 minute silence at 11.00am as did millions of others and like many considered the loss and sacrifice of millions of dead and injured in many countries and from many war in those private moments.

I thought selfishly of my own family and was grateful that for all the involvement we had our folk returned to us to carry on with life and love. Most are gone now but their families live on and grow in many ways.

Sam Robertson RSF Gallipoli and Western Front 1915 - 1918
Tom Hughes RFC France 1914 - 1918

Sam Robertson RAF 1944 -1945
Bill Robertson Fleet Air Arm 1944 - 1946

This year, as the last of the Tommies died, there has been much remembering of the first world war as the direct links have now been broken. It brought back many memories of my own Grandfather who served in the Royal Scots Fusiliers.

This from the history of the regiment by John Buchan.

The Attack on Guillemont. July 23rd 1916.

" The enemy second line having …

McKenzies Coat Of Mail

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A rewrite of an earlier post.

Another one from my hobby of Scots history

The Mutiny Of the 78th Seaforth Highlanders.
Edinburgh, North Britain, September 1778.

Thirty five years after the mutiny of the Black Watch regiment in London, a Highland regiment once again felt it necessary to take up arms to prevent itself being treated dishonourably. Since Samuel Macpherson, Malcom Macpherson and Farquhar Shaw stood in front of 300 tearful men of The Black Watch who were made to witness the execution of their three comrades, much had changed in their distant glens.

The final Jacobite attempt to reinstate a Stewart to the throne of Britain had ended strewn across the field and in bloody ribbons in front of redcoat lines on Culloden Moor on a sleet cold April morning, signalling the start of the final chapter for the old clan-based way of life. This age old system, which had been decaying for generations as the power and influence of the south had turned clan chiefs heads and purses to focus o…

You Have Two Cows.........

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Hullo there ma wee blog,

Some different types of political ideologies.....


FEUDALISM.....you have two cows. Your Lord takes some of the milk.

FASCISM........you have two cows. The government takes both, hires you to take care of them and sells you the milk.

PURE COMMUNISM.... you have two cows. Your neighbours help you take care of them and you all share the milk.

APPLIED COMMUNISM.....you have two cows. You take care of them and the government takes all the milk.

DICTATORSHIP..... you have two cows. The government takes them both and shoots you.

MILITARISM..... you have two cows. the government takes them both and drafts you.

DEMOCRACY......you have two cows. Your neighbours decide who gets the milk.

REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY......you have two cows. Your neighbours pick someone to tell you who gets the milk.

AMERICAN DEMOCRACY...... Candidates for president promise to give you two cows if you vote for them. On election the cows are not delivered, the president is impeached for speculating in c…

A Plethera of Postings.......

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Hullo there ma wee blog,

5.30am and the day starts with a solitary coffee in my usual place at the kitchen table. The kitchen is cold and a vicious wind whips round the corner of the house behind the patio doors a few feet from my chair. Bailey cat has already demanded release from the house and been sucked into the garden through the same patio door opened just enough to let her through. No doubt she will be back once her ablutions are done, wide eyed and fur puffed against the cold, and probably with an accusatory air about her too. That's cats for you.

As usual I open my laptop and crank it up as I wait for the water to boil. Once connected I set the radio to play my favourite station, all talk with just a little music at this time of the day, and return to my home page. I have a gadget there which shows me the traffic situation across Scotland and also give a rundown of how long the delays are in miles and minutes. I see that there is pretty much a clear road network. Not sur…

Times, they're not a changin'......

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Hullo ma wee blog,

I know its morning but I've already had a wake up call thank you very much, and I don't normally need more than one. But wake up calls come in more than one fashion, don't they? They did this morning anyway.

As usual I get up and, still with half closed eyes, head downstairs. Better this morning than sometimes actually, for although I did get up for a couple of hours in the night, I'm quite refreshed. Bright eyed and bushy tailed almost. So by the time I hit the bottom step I'm raring to go. I do my usual first task of getting a bit of lunch {and breakfast} for the lovely G, just a couple of filled rolls, usually a sweet and a savoury, some wee treats and a yogurt or a bit of fruit. I know she usually has the sweeter { jam or honey} of the two as a breakfast once she gets to the office but before the working day gets started and grabs the other some time later in the day.

This morning goes exactly to form and I'm putting on my shoes as G comes …