Showing posts from December, 2009

The Last Post 2009.........

Hullo ma wee blog,

My lovely G has today off and doesn't need to go back to work for 5 whole days. Having had a fairly busy Christmas we have elected to raise the drawbridge here in Robertson Towers and told the guards to set phasers to 'malky'* for the duration, set the mantraps in the grounds and I have deliberately not fed the crocs since September - just after I put the Christmas sprouts on - as apart from a few choice and probably unfortunate souls, we have decided to cut off from reality and self indulgently have the time to ourselves in secret, selfish, self indulgent self indulgence. Not tradition and not the way I was brought up {in a small village it was open doors for everyone all the way through to 3rd or 4th Jan} but 'Jings' I'm looking forward to it.

Nibbles will be nibbled, drinks will be drunk and thinks will be thunk. Baths and naps will be taken and walks may very well be walked. Cats will be stroked and fires will be poked. I may even be advent…


Hullo ma wee blog,

Isn't it strange how I used to get really annoyed with those people who would stop you on a busy street and thrust unwanted leaflets for trendy clubs, bars and restaurants into your hands.

Shopping in Edinburgh today, we passed three of these touts and they looked at me and clearly decided that I wasn't trendy enough to meet their customer profile and would no doubt lower the tone of their establishments and so deliberately turned away looking for more attractive or affluent targets, handing their leaflets to anorexic looking guys and young girls fashionably bearing their midriff in todays -4C wind.

I should be relieved.

So why did I feel grumpy..........

See you later.

Listening to Snow Patrol 'Run'

And if you have a spare moment.....

hullo ma wee blog,

From a favourite blog. 10 minutes of the train journey between Oslo and Bergen. Apparently you can download the whole 7 hours for free if you want to.....

I found it strangely mesmerising. Hope you enjoy it too.

Courtesy of Tom Mortons Beatcroft.
{Thanks Tom.}

I'm Dramming of a White Christmas..........

Hullo ma wee blog,

Well, its Christmas eve and the snow is all around for the first time in years. The cupboards are groaning with food and drink of all descriptions. Friends and family are locked and loaded for the next week or so and there is time for carousing and conversation, for fun and laughter, giving thanks and for quiet reverie, time for hugging and kissing and being cosy warm, for opening presents and bottles, for bubbly and the water of life, for good books and favourite films, for snowy walks and holding hands. Times to savour in the coming weeks.

And there will hopefully be some time for you too ma wee blog. In my very first post I said that I was going to treat you like my imaginary friend and I have. Its been interesting, its been fun and its been helpful. You've led me to others with very different lives, to comments to and from places I have never been and you have also reflected back to me my sense of humour and my stupidity. You have helped me look through sunny…

Terminal Grumpiness.....with Coffee.

Hullo ma wee blog,

My lovely G was away for the weekend. Off back to Switzerland to see the extended family before Christmas. This time she took a friend instead of me going along so I also had the chance to go and catch up with my brother across on the west coast for a night out. To kick off her long weekend I took her to the airport and being what nowadays appears to be a perpetually grumpy old man, there are few places guaranteed more to bring my alter ego to the fore. The closer I get to places like that the more my Jeckle turns to Hyde and by the time I come off the main road onto the airport approach my grumpy radar is in full operational mode.

I am, or at least I think I am, a generally responsible and sensible member of the human race, but if anything gets me frustrated its being confined by rules, rules, rules and regulations. The nanny state in full flow; Dont do this, dont park here, dont leave that down, dont pass this point, dont wait, stop, go, wait and on and on and on: D…

A Wee Bit O Sheer Nostalgia..........

Hullo ma wee blog,

I know its a bit lazy posting video when I normally do more writing but can I suggest you listen to this. I know its not something that most folks have in their musical tastes but it is, it really is, worth listening to.


Indulge me.

I spent about 20 years playing in brass bands, starting at school and continuing on well into my working life so this is a sound I understand. It calls to my soul. I was brought up in a mining area where there was a strong tradition of bands even though by the time I started they were well out of fashion. Learning to play an instrument gave me a great start into learning about self discipline, about consistency and about teamwork. I recognise all these things now of course when I hadn't a clue about it back then. Then, well then it was just.... fun!

I played in the school band - we were Scottish champions for 5 out of the 6 years I was at high school, and afterwards I joined the senior band that the school band master w…

Two Masters at play......

Hullo ma wee blog.

Just this as its both fun and beautiful..

see you later.

Dunbar, Sept 3rd, 1650.

Flag captured at battle of Dunbar.

The modern road.

'Forasmuch as I understand there are soldiers of the enemies army yet abiding in the field, who by reason of their injuries could not march from thence, this is therefore to give notice to the inhabitants that they may and have free liberty to repair to the field aforesaid and with their carts or in any other peaceable way may carry away the said soldiers to such places as they shall think fit provided they do not meddle with or take away any armour there. All officers and soldiers [of the English forces] are to take notice the same is permitted'

Oliver Cromwell, Proclamation to the people of Dunbar. Sept 3rd 1650.

Hullo ma wee blog,

Anyone who reads much of this blog will know that on a daily basis I take my wife, the lovely G, to her morning train from Dunbar to her work in Edinburgh city center. The short journey there and back takes me twice across the ground of the battle of 1650, which was fought between the Scots and t…

A Taste Of My Life

Hullo ma wee blog,

I think its interesting how often when you meet people it centers around food or drink. A party, a dinner, a visit to friends or relations, a working lunch or what ever. I often find that conversation too will turn at some time to food and favourite dishes, restaurants and the like. Food and memories of food also can trigger some powerful memories and emotions, especially when it comes to special times, Christmas, New Year or Easter when family will traditionally draw together for a celebration and a meal made and shared with love. Its a powerful draw and the glue that holds families together or re-establishes, reaffirms the strength of kinship and family. Its one of the most important things we can share together.

So it was natural to experience this when my lovely G and I recently visited with Uncle Bill, Dads younger twin, and his wife. They live several hundred miles away in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire and due to distance we have not kept in touch with the freq…

Porcupine Tree

Hullo ma wee blog,

Another weekend, another trip to Glasgow and another concert. Seems like the lovely G and I have spent a lot of time travelling through here - a 90 minute journey from home - coming to concerts. Glasgow has more and better venues, and a better reputation as venue than Edinburgh. Friday saw us come through for the much awaited 'Porcupine Tree' concert. An English band who cover the 'prog rock' to almost {to me anyway} the 'metal' edge of rock. G and I came through early to be sure of finding the venue,decent parking and to have a quick bite before the concert as I had picked her up from an early finish from work. We had a cheap meal in a small cafe near the famous Glasgow Kings Theatre, sat at the next table to Gerard Kelly, a well known Scots TV and theatre actor.

Later we met up with the lovely G's two younger brothers who are both good musicians {drums and base guitar} and huge fans of the group, with Karen, the youngest brothers girlfrie…

A Cautionary Tale.......

Hullo ma wee blog,

I'm sure everyone can think of a time where something has gone wrong, a mistake made and instinctively, instantly as soon as you find it, you 'fess up', stick your hand up and say 'OOPS! look what I've done, silly me, hahahaha'. I know I have, {yes darling,more than once} and have suffered the consequences, or more usually just the embarrassment, the red face of shame and stupidity. These events are part of being human, we don't get it right all the time but generally we don't either do things maliciously or even, heaven forbid, with criminal intent. Some things of course can be ignored but when there is a real impact then it's generally better to face the music and move on.

So I was surprised today to be attending an interview concerning my 'fraudulent' application for unemployment 'benefit' of £64.50 per week. I had been advised that I had been subject of a 'report' of claiming benefit while I was in paid w…

The End of the Affair.........

Hullo ma wee blog,

Well, its finally over. Its been going on since May 22nd and at last I feel like I can put it behind me and get on with the rest of my life. I settled for an out of court figure. Not completely satisfactory perhaps but reality bites in many ways. I was offered a sum way in excess of what the tribunal could award and my solicitor felt that he could not recommend further insurance company expense with that on the table. One of those 'I'm gonna make you an offer you cant refuse' moments. And so the deal is done and we both walk away.

In some ways not what I wanted but I can accept it as it gives us some further financial security.

Time to move on methinks.........

See you later.

Made in Scotland - from Irishmen

Clydeside Auditorium {The Armadillo}

Hullo ma wee blog,

1am and just in from a sojourn back across country to Glasgow Clydeside Auditorium for a concert of Snow Patrol, who formed as another band called 'Reindeer Section'while students here some 15 years ago. They spent the first 10 years of their careers gigging predominantly in Scotland so have a huge fan base here.

Thanks to the lads for a wonderful nights entertainment. A retrospective of the whole 15 years and also including some pre snow patrol tracks. Great music, stage show and craic, especially in a venue for just 3000 people.

Two and a half hours of sheer bliss.

My lovely G who bought me the tickets despite not being a fan of the group has been converted, as can often be the case when faced with a live performance. They worked hard with no support but clearly absolutely love being on stage and performing. They were eager, responsive and refreshingly, for such a big band, completely without ego. Everything they said to the…