Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Sunday, 25 September 2011

A blog Challenge

Hullo ma wee blog,

The curmudgeonly TwistedScottishBastard has thrown down the gauntlet and nominated 'Crivens Jings' to complete a challenge. Nominated blogs have to create a list of the following:

What's your most beautiful post.
What's been your most popular post.
What's been your most controversial post.
What's been your most helpful post.
Which posts success has surprised you most.
Which of your posts do you feel didn't get the attention it deserved.
Which post are you proudest of.

I also have to select five other blogs to take the challenge too, so I nominate the following five blogs to take part if they feel they would like to:

     Dougies blog. (Because he complained so much that I missed him off the list the last time. lol)

 'think.stew'  (Because…… Well, just because.)

    'Indigo Roth'. (Simply because sometimes you find a hidden gem of a blog that deserves a wider audience.  I'm in awe of the way this guy's mind works – and that some of his choice characters are talking badgers.)

     'Coastkid'. (Because I like the fact he's a bike geek, is enthusiastic about where we both  live and because he makes great wee films – any of which he can post instead of a written article. And also because he buys me the occasional beer!)

    'Letters to the world'. (Because she 's always worth a read – and she led me to Indigo!)

Here's my compilation, which I confess has taken a few days musing:

What's my most beautiful post?
Tricky, after all – how the heck would I know? I suppose I'd have to go for 'Whiskers At Dawn' as it's a personal favourite.

What's my most popular post?
Thankfully this one is easy thanks to blogger stats– although it would also be high on my list for the most surprisingly successful post. 'Black Agnes'

What's my most controversial post?
Again, this is tricky – I don't think I do controversy! I suppose I'd have to go with this one. 'The Devil's in the Detail'

What's my most helpful post?
Crikey! Makes me realise I'm not that helpful either!  From a very short list – it would have to be this. 'Contact'

Which posts success has surprised me?
From a very long list it would have to be this one - simply because it was difficult to write and didn't quite get down what I was feeling at the time and yet I got immediate good feedback from some kind people.  'Fear, Reflected' .

Which post hasn't had the success it deserves?
Tricky to answer when the footfall on the blog isn't particularly high. Personally I'd go with this one. 'Am Freiceadain Dubh'

Which post am I most proud of?
I'm quite proud of them all because before starting this blog I've never written anything – even my teenage attempt at a diary lasted for two inconsistent weeks of drivel – but I think I'll choose this one simply because it comes from the early days of the blog and was probably the first time I realised I could connect with my emotions and get them onto the page semi-effectively. 'Connections, Coincidence and Claret'

See you later.

Listening to:

The Sunday Post

Old man thinking.

Oars, held still, drop
on black water
tiny roulades
of waterdrops.
With their little sprinkling
they people
a big silence.

You who are long gone,
my thoughts of you are like that:
a delicate, clear population
in the big silence
where I rest on the oars and
my boat
hushes ashore.

Norman MacCaig.
May 1967.

Photo of East Lothian by Alistair

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Can't stop the music.....

Hullo ma wee blog,

Occasionally a song gets inside your head and plays havoc as you try to ignore/delete/just lower the volume. This is what's doing my bonce in this morning and apparently can't be removed by anything I try...........

Sunday, 18 September 2011

The Sunday Post

Hullo ma wee blog,

Sonnet 29.

When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possess'd,
Desiring this man's art and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate;
For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

William Shakespeare

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Undaunted By Odds, Unwearied In Their Constant Challenge......

Hullo ma wee blog,

Interested in history as I am I cannot let today go past without marking what is known as 'Battle Of Britain Day'. This year is the 70th anniversary of the day when the heaviest fighting took place.

In his political career, our famous wartime leader Sir Winston Churchill made many great speeches but two or three in particular are perhaps remembered most. Two of those relate to the war in the skies. Even today these stand as great examples of oratory and are capable of touching the heart. It's especially interesting to note that these two iconic speeches occured within just two months in 1940, indicating the dire situation facing the country at that time. Especially perhaps on a day such as this, it's worthwhile remembering too, that while oratory remains, it is those individuals and their deeds, which are more transient, which stand behind those words and should be remembered most.

Winston Churchill's address to Parliament June 18th 1940.

"What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this Island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say; This was their finest hour."

Winston Churchill's address to Parliament; 20th August 1940.

"The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the World War by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. All hearts go out to the fighter pilots, whose brilliant actions we see with our own eyes day after day; but we must never forget that all the time, night after night, month after month, our bomber squadrons travel far into Germany, find their targets in the darkness by the highest navigational skill, aim their attacks, often under the heaviest fire, often with serious loss, with deliberate careful discrimination, and inflict shattering blows upon the whole of the technical and war-making structure of the Nazi power. On no part of the Royal Air Force does the weight of the war fall more heavily than on the daylight bombers, who will play an invaluable part in the case of invasion and whose unflinching zeal it has been necessary in the meanwhile on numerous occasions to restrain."

Monday, 12 September 2011


Hullo ma wee blog,

Outside the open bedroom window the sound of wind penetrates the darkness. Lying here comfortably in bed (for a change) I listen to its sound as it hisses, swirls and gently swishes around the corner of the house. The trees around the garden add a leafy sibilance as they shudder and shake like they've done across the whole windy day today. Tomorrow gales are forecast across Scotland as we experience the tail end of the hurricane that hit America recently. In all likelihood high winds will mean a bumper crop of windfall fruit from the apple and pear trees for the kitchen and probably enough to be shared out between the neighbours too.

Sleepily I decide a trip to the toilet is in order and gently slip out from under the covers. Comfortable in the darkness, I step around the bed and head towards the door which is slightly ajar to allow Jess to come and go during the night as she pleases. As I pass the end of the bed I see her rise up from the folds of the duvet in the murky light and, as I reach her, she jumps down between me and the door. I watch the white shape disappear around the impenetrable dark of the doors edge and I follow. She walks in front of me, a white splodge in the darkness that leads me along the hall and stops just beyond the bathroom door where the shape changes as she sits down, efficiently marking the point where I should turn to open the bathroom door. As usual I keep the lights off and the moonlight coming through the bathroom window is more than enough to see by. A moment or two later I turn off the tap and dry my hands before opening the door back out into the landing. The ghostly shape sits patiently waiting until the door opens and then leads me back to the bedroom. I follow a few sleepy paces behind, not quite closing the door fully behind me as I enter. A small gurn of effort tells me that she's lept back up onto the bed even before I hear the airy puff of her landing on the duvet beside the sleeping shape of G.

I climb carefully back into bed beside my wife's sleeping form but I can tell from the lack of movement when I try to pull the duvet over me that Jess is there waiting for her reward. As I prize enough duvet back from beneath her to cover my less than sylph-like figure, she steps forward until, by the time I'm successfully covered, she is by my chest. I roll onto my side facing her and after a second she sits down and lowers her head toward me. A loud purr starts when I reach out to rub her shoulders and neck and after a few seconds she collapses against me while I close my eyes and continue massaging. As penances go it's quite therapeutic really.

Some time later I wake.

Jess is still beside me, silent now and fast asleep tucked against my chest. It takes me a moment to realise what has wakened me. The room is silent. There's no sound of wind beyond the window. I listen for what seems like only a few seconds before the distinct patter of raindrops on the pantile roof drifts back to me. In the perfect silence it has an oddly musical quality that is very hard to describe, but somehow seems close to the sound of a wooden xylophone being struck by knitting needles. I lie musing on the image I've just created in my head and can't stop feeling that it's accurate as the sound of rain gets heavier and the noise of raindrops on the window and frame is added to the quietly building cacophony.

I reach out to Jess and she begins to emit a pattering sound.

Outside,  the rain purrs down.

See you later.

Listening to:

Sunday, 11 September 2011

The Sunday Post

On such an anniversary there can be only one kind of poem.

If I should die and leave you here a while,
be not like others sore undone,
who keep long vigil by the silent dust.
For my sake turn again to life and smile,
nerving thy heart and trembling hand to do
something to comfort other hearts than thine.
Complete these dear unfinished tasks of mine
and I perchance may therein comfort you.

Mary Lee Hall

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Paint Your Palette Blue And Grey.

ISO 200 f/4.5 for 0.6 sec.

Hullo ma wee blog,

Nice light tonight took me to the nearby headland for what I hoped might be a decent shot of dusk.

ISO 200 f/5.6 for 1 sec

Untouched by photoshop, just as they came off the camera, they reflect the true colours tonight.

See you later,

Listening to;

Now What can I say?

Picture from Wikipedia

Hullo ma wee blog,

In Scotland, if not the whole of the UK, there's a well known saying when a job seems to be taking a long time to complete that it's "like painting the Forth Rail Bridge" because this's literally a never ending job. No sooner had the poor blighters painted themselves from one side 1.5 miles across to the other than they had to catch the next train back and start the whole bloomin' thing all over again.

Until now.

Now, some bright spark has invented a long life paint resistant to sun and sea that will last twenty five years between coats. This week, the poor guys who have been painting this fine edifice since 1890 completed the mammoth task for the last time and celebrated by doing themselves out of a job.

.......and me out of a saying.

Thanks Lads!

see you later.

listening to.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Freddie Mercury would be HOW old?

Statue of Freddie, Montreux, Switzerland.

Hullo ma wee blog,

Freddie Mercury, the charismatic lead singer of rock band Queen would have been 65 today. I heard this on the radio as I travelled across the country to see a friend and was stunned to realise that, had he lived, this great musician and character would have been a pensioner picking up his bus pass today.

I always enjoyed Queen’s music, although I was never a true fan. I always thought they were talented musicians, good songwriters and exceptional showmen, whose songs have the rare balance of intelligent lyrics, great tunes, and fantastic delivery. As a lover of live music, they were a band I'd have loved to see but never did. Much of their music holds up well to the passing years, unlike many and Freddie, if at all possible, is a bigger star today than he was when he was alive. Who knows what fantastic tracks  he and the band would have made since, had he lived. 

There are many tracks I could choose to play as a tribute in memory of  and no doubt there will be more than a few across the Internet today. Here are a couple of my favourite tracks from the band.

I hope you enjoy them. (Especially you Jane)

See you later.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

The Sunday Post


 Everyday I see from my window
pigeons, up on a roof ledge – the males
are wobbling gyroscopes of lust.

Last week a stranger joined them, snowwhite
pouting fantail,
Mae West in the Women's Guild.
What becks, what croo – croos, what
demented pirouetting, what a lack
of moustaches to stroke

The females – no need to be one of them
to know
exactly what they were thinking – pretended
she wasn't there
and went dowdily on with whatever
pigeons do when they're knitting.

Norman MacCaig
February 1968

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Yoko Ono / Kerry Katona

Hullo ma wee blog,

If I was Yoko Ono's Dad...........

...............I would have called her sister 'O-Yes!'

And - I sometimes wonder if Kerry Katona actually owns a cat???

See you later.

Listening to

Thursday, 1 September 2011


Hullo ma wee blog,

Too many things are swirling through the brain tonight, thoughts that won't form themselves into any kind of sense and images that are tumbled through with feelings that won't willingly give me the words to describe them. {How do you spell a sigh or the sound of a wave as it falls over on itself?}

I'm tired and heading off to bed - to dream of better words.

See you later.

Listening to.

The Sunday Posts 2017/Mince and Tatties.

Mince and Tatties I dinna like hail tatties Pit on my plate o mince For when I tak my denner I eat them baith at yince. Sae mash ...