Showing posts from February, 2011

The {Late} Sunday Post

Greenknowe Tower, Gordon. Borders.
Sorry I missed the usual Sunday posting as The Lovely G and I have been away at a wedding in the Yorshire Dales - the heart of Bronte country to be exact - and got back late Sunday. As you can tell, I'm not organised enough to plan posting ahead.

The wedding was a lovely and slightly unusual one, so there will be more about it in due course.

Another poem from Norman MacCaig.

Characteristics. {1981}

My American friends,
Who claim Scots ancestry,
Have been touring Scotland.
In ten days they visited,
Eleven castles. I smiled -
How American.
They said they preferred,
The ruined ones. I smiled again.
How Scottish.

Craigmillar Castle, Edinburgh.
See you later.

The Secure Unit

The Bass Rock. Secure Unit From An Earlier Time.
Hullo ma wee blog,

{Reflections on attending a Children's Panel hearing as part of a legal tribunal for a child held in secure accommodation for the purpose of care, treatment or protection}

As I walk across the car park to the main entrance I'm struck by the nondescript architecture of modern incarceration: single story, brick and glass all give the building the air of a community sports hall or office block on an industrial estate. There's an automated barrier watched by cameras on a pole across the unmarked road at the entrance to the car park. Beyond that small division the town can be clearly seen and heard going about it's business. There are no high walls, no fences and no perimeter lights. No guards are patrolling the grounds. Its extremely low key and matter of fact.

The huge external glass door opens smoothly and my two colleagues and I step into a glazed hallway. The doors in front of us do not open when pulle…

The Sunday Post

Speeches were never his thing......
Hullo ma wee blog,

This weeks post, again from Norman MacCaig, is for Dad who died two years ago today.

Praise of  a man.

He went through company like a lamplighter -
see the dull minds one after another,
begin to glow. to shed
a beneficient light.

He went through life like a knifegrinder -
see the dull minds
scattering sparks of themselves,
becoming razory, becoming useful.

He went through a company,
as himself. But now he's one
of the multitudinous company of the dead
where are no individuals.

The beneficient lights dim
but don't vanish. The razory edges
dull but still cut. He's gone: but you can see
his tracks still, in the snow of the world.

See you later.

The Sunday Post.......

Hullo ma wee blog,
Another poem from Norman MacCaig.

A Man In My Position. {1968}

Hear my words carefully.
Some are spoken,
Not by me, but
By a man in my position.

What right has he,
To use my mouth? I hate him,
when he touches you,
The wrong way.

Yet he loves you also,
This appalling stranger,
Who makes windows of my eyes.
You see him looking out.

Until he dies,
Of my love for you,
Hear my words carefully -
For who is talking now?

Strangely Addicted to

Gary - Tank Commander.

From the BBC Scotland comedy series

How soldiers on deployment relieve stress

The Sunday Post

Hullo ma wee blog,

This weeks poem returns to the pen of Norman MacCaig.

Between mountain and sea

Honey and salt - land smell and sea smell,
as in the long ago, as in forever.

The days pick me up and carry me off,
half child, half prisoner,

on their journey that I'll share,
for a while.

They wound and they bless me,
with strange gifts.

The salt of absence,
the honey of memory.

see you later.

Listening to:

Perverting the Course of Justice

Hullo ma wee blog,

I noticed a news article this week on the launch of a new Government web site { in England and Wales only} which showed the national reported crime figures at street level. {Scotland has its own seperate legal system, Police forces and reporting system} The web site crashed a few hours after the launch due to unexpectedly {?} high visitor numbers {Like the public wouldn't be interested, never mind journalists short of a story or two?????} On the face of it this should have been an interesting site to help the public to understand crime in their areas - except interestingly people in the highest crime area listed stated loudly that they did not feel the information was accurate as they did not feel worse than anywhere else locally - but it struck me that this {public service} information was more likely to result in some other activity: activity which my cynical mind thinks was probably the root of the information anyway.

In very short time I would expect to see…

Somewhere In Time.......

Hullo ma wee blog,

I was so sorry to hear that John Barry had passed away the other day. I've long loved his music, an incredible body of work, which often accompanies me through insomnia laden nights or when I feel that sentimental and slightly melancholy way which lots of his orchestral arrangements matched so well.

Here are two favourites.

A Grey Morning.......

Hullo ma wee blog,

There's a grey morning being freed from the remains of night-time as The lovely G and I set out for the journey to Dunbar and her train to Edinburgh this morning. The hedge along the drive dances as we pass by in a wind not far short of howling but the drive is uneventful except for the advance notice signs of roadworks that are going to slow us down over the next month being set up a mile from the village. We get to the station in good time and G, who has been away for a few days so this is her first day back at work, looks at me with an 'Oh God' kind of look on her face, knowing that work has piled up while she has been away yet she has a full day of appointments which won't allow her to make contact with anyone leaving messages for her unless she skips lunch to cram a few calls in. This is a frequent feature of her employment now it seems.

I leave her with a hug and a look that tries to say I sympathise with her and the struggle she is going to h…

Sometimes we all need a bit of advice.........

Hullo ma wee blog,

There are two friends in a bar having a drink when one of them indicates he should be getting home as it's getting late.

"I can't stay out too late because my wife goes ballistic. No matter how quiet I am coming into the house she is always awake, waiting to chew me out. It's awful sometimes. Even if I coast the car up the drive, quietly close the doors take off my shoes outside and carefully open and close the front door and tip toe up to the bedroom, she always hears me and starts that 'And what time of night do you call this' argument"

His friend shakes his head and sympathises.

"That's terrible! You do realise though that your not tackling this problem the right way.....? What I do is I stay out as late as I want. I tear the car up the drive with the stereo blaring. I slam the doors shut and sing going up the path to the house. I crash in and slam the door behind me and stomp up the stairs taking my clothes off as I go. The…