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Showing posts from April, 2011

Is there a wedding somewhere

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Hullo ma wee blog,

You seem to be the only place that isn't concerned with 'that wedding' going on down south. I've tried and failed to find a radio station that isn't hosting either a wedding commentary or some celebratory wedding show of any kind. It's all just a bit too much. I know I'm a grumpy old bugger at times but there are so many people who think this is complete overkill and resent the fact that as far as every media is concerned you are sadly lacking some mental capacity if the royal wedding isn't consuming your every waking moment.

It's beyond sad.

And yet it's not that I don't wish them well. I do, I really do. They are at the end of it all making a lifetime commitment and that is to be applauded. So on a purely human level I wish them well.

So good luck Kate and William. Just for you one wedding song you probably won't have on a play list today.

A Perfect Day

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Hullo ma wee blog,

Like the same day twenty years ago the day of our anniversary was a sunny day. Back then there were days of solid bad weather before and after but we struck it lucky for our wedding day which allowed us to take a boatload of guests out to the island in the middle of the Firth of Forth north of Edinburgh for the ceremony in the ruins of Inchcolme Abbey.  Wednesday was a chilled out affair spent, just the two of us, sharing the garden here at home with Jess, the birds and a bottle of pink champagne to kick off an alfresco day enjoying each others company in the sunshine. We had thought of going away for the day, spending it in Edinburgh or further afield, but the weather made it an easy choice to relax and spend the day on the patio. It suited our mood perfectly.

Jess headed for her favourite planter tub at the edge of the patio and slumped down around the curve of the rim, head on the pillow provided by a weed and gave a contented sigh which said she too had nothing…

Hullo Rerr China!

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Hullo ma wee blog,

'Hullo Rerr China' is a saying familiar to most Scots my age and older as being a greeting used in Glasgow and the West coast for many years.  Based on Cockney rhyming slang it was used by two Scots comedians, Ricky Fulton and Jack Milroy - or at least by their creations 'Francie' and 'Josie', who became famous in the 50's and were popular through many years of my growing up.  It means 'Hello there pal!' as 'China' means 'china plate' which rhymes with 'mate'.

I mention it here as it fits today in a weird, cack-handed and pretty unromantic way {which reflects much of my personality}. Today is our wedding anniversary. We were married in Inchcolm Abbey on Inchcolm Island in the Forth estuary twenty years ago which makes today our china wedding anniversary. My lovely G is both my pal and my mate in so many different ways. Many who knew us twenty years ago would never have bet on us lasting more than a couple o…

The Sunday Post

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Hullo ma wee blog,

Likenesses. {1962}


It comes to mind,
Where there is room enough, water goes
Between tall mountains and small toes.
Or, if I like,
When sun rises, his first light explores
Under high clouds and underneath low doors.

Or, {doing it still}
Darkness can hide beside all that it hid
Behind a nightfall and a dropped eyelid.

Why do I add
Such notions up, unless they say what's true
In ways I don't quite see, of me and you?


Norman MacCaig.

The Royal Wedding Dance

Hullo ma wee blog,

I'm not a Royalist and constant news and media items about next weeks wedding is doing my head in. Even so - this T-Mobile advert brought a smile.

See you later

Will you please TURN THAT MUSIC OFF!!!!

          A beautiful version of this track

Hullo ma wee blog,

The header to this piece would have been very familiar to my mother, although she would usually have ended it with "and come down and have your dinner" or something similar. Strange - looking at me now you would never believe I missed a dinner in my life!


You may {or not} have noticed that the last couple of posts have had a song posted from a particular concert. I found a series of clips on youtube of Neil Finn {Crowded House} Roddy Frame {Aztec Camera} and Graham Gouldman {10cc} playing an acoustic set together. I really enjoy the stripped back sheer musicality of this type of set and when it's handled by such wonderful singer-songwriters as these three it's doubly special, hence me not being able to resist posting yet another piece  {well two actually} from their set. This set me thinking about music and the blog.


Regular readers will know I often post a copy of what I happen to be listening to as I w…

And God Created Woman.

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Hullo ma wee blog,

God walked the Garden of Eden with Adam.

Adam explained he was lonely and needed a companion and God thought about this for a moment and said,

"I can make you the perfect companion. I'll make you a woman! She will love you and look after all your physical and emotional needs. She will cook and clean for you and work at your side. She will never complain and will always laugh at your jokes. She'll always agree with your decisions and will never criticise you or argue against you. She will listen to your every word and will be there when you need her. She'll lie with you and keep you warm on cold nights, make love with you whenever and wherever you want and do your bidding without question. She will be beautiful and have perfect skin. She will have curves and be soft and supple to your touch. She will excite you and fulfill you in every possible way.

Adam replied 

"She sounds fantastic. Absolutely perfect. But how will you make her Lord?"

I Don't Like To Gloat But......

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Hullo ma wee blog,

Our friend M came up to the house this morning to sort out a problem with some lights at the house {pure hopeless at electricity, me} and commented how nice it was here compared to Dunbar where the sea haar {mist} has come in with the humidity from the good weather we've been experiencing these last few days. Their house is a couple of hundred yards from the sea and he said that he could barely see from one end of the garden to the other and had been quite chilled while we are basking in glorious sunshine here.

Once he'd successfully sorted our little problem {cheers mate by the way!} he mentioned he had some wood he was about to clear out of his shed so I volunteered to come and take it off his hands as we could use it to fuel the chiminea we have beside the patio. It's nice to sit out on a clear but chilly evening and be comforted by the heat from this wood burning stove while a few glasses of nice wine help us send the evening off in quiet contemplat…

The Sunday Post

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Hullo ma wee blog,

Two Sheherds. {1964}

Donald ran and roared and brandished
his stick and swore
in all the languages
he knew, which were some.

Pollochan sauntered. stood
six feet three silent: with a small
turn of the hand
He'd send a collie flowing
round the half-mile-long arc
of a towsy circle.

Two poets
Donysian,
Apollonian
and the sheep in a pen.

Norman MacCaig.

The Sunday Post

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Rain on Leaves. Scone Palace.
Hullo ma wee blog,

The poem for this Sunday is;

Sure Proof.

I can no more describe you
than I can put a thing for the first time
where it already is.

If I could make a ladder of light
or comb the hair of a dream girl with a real comb
or pour a table into a jug...

I'm not good at impossible things
And that is why I'm sure
I will love you for my ever.

Norman MacCaig. 1968

Happy New Year !

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Hullo ma wee blog,

Today sees the start of a shiny new tax year. Happy 2011/12 everyone!

Unfortunately, for many UK taxpayers, the new tax year is far from happy, and instead brings an additional £200 tax bill, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). This may come as a surprise. After all, the Government is very proud of the fact that the personal allowance, the amount of income you can receive before paying any tax at all, is going up to £7,435. This will remove 500,000 taxpayers from income tax completely, according to IFS figures.

What they are perhaps less keen to mention is the fact that the simultaneous lowering of the 40% tax rate threshold down to £34,000 will actually make 750,000 more taxpayers liable to 40% tax. Unsurprisingly, the wealthiest will contribute the most to refilling the Treasury coffers, as their tax changes will be exacerbated by the restriction on pension contributions. But it is one earner families with children who will be worst affected, ac…

Dances with Cats.............

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Who? Me?
Hullo ma wee blog,

Jess isn't at all pleased to have been relegated to the utility room overnight. As far as she is concerned she's perfectly entitled to share our bed each and every night. Why should we complain if she likes to lie between us curled tightly into a ball while leaching the heat of our combined bodies into her fur coated self? What does it matter if by doing this she has taken all the spare duvet and sensitive parts of our anatomies are exposed to the still cold night time air? So what if she decides that she can't sleep during the night and wants to walk to and fro across sleeping heads or stomp across sleeping shoulders or hips. Shouldn't we be happy to be wakened so we can spend quality time with her at 3a.m?  Why should we care if we can't sleep because she has decided to tear up and down the stairs and the hall outside our bedroom door in the middle of the night or has just found that ball she misplaced earlier in the day - the one she …

Sunday and a Spott of Rain.......

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Innerwick Kirk.

Yesterday my Lovely G had some studying to do in preparation for a two day course for her work which she is at today and tomorrow. As she was going to be preoccupied with study for an hour or two I thought to take myself out for a while and leave her in peace and so I ended up pottering around a couple of local graveyards at Innerwick and Spott, two nearby villages.

 Innerwick lies a mile inland from the sea a few miles between here and Dunbar. It's a small village like ours and has some lovely old red sandstone houses that fit perfectly into the landscape with its red soil hereabouts. Although the land slopes quite gently up from the sea to the village, a lot of the small, older houses of the original village are set down in a dip and those who aren't seem to have to look past the village kirk sitting obstinately on its hummock in front of them to get a glance at the sea. The 'wick' ending of the name actually means 'village' and shows the inf…

The Sunday Post

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Spring Flowers In The Garden {2010}
Hullo ma wee blog,

This weeks Sunday poem.

The Concerto.

Miss pianist bows her lovely back
under a hail of notes
that she's returning, slightly damaged to Beethoven.

The audience puts on looks
of exquisite thoughtfulness. How lucky
to have horn-rimmed glasses
at the middle of your skull.

On the podium, the conductor
is a cobra, half reared
from a basket. How stupid
not to know who's the charmer.

Beethoven knows nothing of such things ever since he became
deafer
than deafness.

Norman MacCaig. 1968

A Wedding

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A Wedding Cushion
Hullo ma wee blog,

It's a few weeks back since my Lovely G and I went down to England for the wedding of one of her ex work colleagues. It was a bit unusual as the bride was Chinese - from mainland China - and the groom English, especially so as we had been told that the day would incorporate some aspects of both cultures.

The wedding took place at Bolton Abbey  in North Yorkshire, near the heart of Bronte country and given that the weather had been pretty poor before the actual day, we were very lucky as we had a decent, mostly  bright and dry day for the occasion itself. There's nothing worse than a rotten rainy day to put the damper on something like that. Every bride deserves sunshine on her wedding day, don't you think. Even though it was dry and bright it was quite windy and there was a chill in the air to remind you it was still February.


The Lovely G and I had never been down to that part of the country before, although we had been to the lake dis…