Saturday, November 28, 2009



It's that dull gleaming glint in the corner of her eyes that worries me; the desire for opiate oblivion and it's cotton wool enveloping charms have been quelled, but not extinguished. They never will be, which is the point. Wake early and rise, if your bones permit, and allow cold, hard reality to exist. A bowl of porridge, some poached eggs on toast, and a view to die for. Carpe Diem.

New York: probably the worst place to take her for a month; into the heart of the dragon and the garbled voices of a voracious Mammon. Still, it's no worse than London, and there are fewer stabbings.

Manhattan is odd; I feel at home when I step on it's pavements (side walks); it feels like the place I belong thanks to Desmond's. Hearty fare and not a recumbent smack head in sight.

London next, which is the same thing really.

That's January and February sorted. What happens next, who knows?

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer.
And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose
My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.

The force that drives the water through the rocks
Drives my red blood; that dries the mouthing streams
Turns mine to wax.
And I am dumb to mouth unto my veins
How at the mountain spring the same mouth sucks.

The hand that whirls the water in the pool
Stirs the quicksand; that ropes the blowing wind
Hauls my shroud sail.
And I am dumb to tell the hanging man
How of my clay is made the hangman's lime.

The lips of time leech to the fountain head;
Love drips and gathers, but the fallen blood
Shall calm her sores.
And I am dumb to tell a weather's wind
How time has ticked a heaven round the stars.

And I am dumb to tell the lover's tomb
How at my sheet goes the same crooked worm.

Dylan Thomas

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Oh No

Glastonbury, that mudfest or sunburn venue, has finally nailed it's coffin by inviting the ghastly flashy Oirish show band U2 to headline. Admittedly the short arse Bonio, being a world peace and love envoy with a unique UN role in representing men who should under no circumstances wear leather trousers, has been playing hard to get for years. Oh Gawd, the crowd will be wowed with: "Dis is not a rebel song!".

I am a stumpiest, and hold a firm conviction that small men with big heads should be deposited in the nearest volcano. Then there's 'the Edge', a bobble hat wearing twat who needs to be whacked on the head with Pete Townshend's Telecaster.

How do I loathe thee, let me count the WAYS:

I would, but they're innumerable.

Surely someone will have wit enough to awake Shane Magowan from his state of toothless cryogenic suspension and reanimate the Pogues for a blistering 'Sally Maclennane' on the Pyramid stage.

The police would be pleased as nothing stronger than Guinness and whiskey would be consumed by the flag waving hoi. As for the rest of us, at least we wouldn't be throwing up outside the macrobiotic lentil burger stall.

Michael Eavis is 110, and he does good cheese.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Erectile Dysfunction

The perfect pop song lasts for 2 minutes, no longer. It should inject a swift dose of adrenaline up your spinal column which swiftly subsides leaving you with a WTF feeling. It's not art, and nobody is going to write a dissertation about it. That's the whole point; it's ephemeral, but at the same time leaves a deeply embedded memory of connected synapses and the electric energy produced.

Let's face it, the best songs are about erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation, which is why they only last 2 minutes.

Johnny Rotten claimed that sex is "15 seconds of squelching", which probably explains why the Sex Pistols songs were brief and to the point.

Sting likes Tantric Sex, and he has a goatee beard. Don't have sex with Sting, he'll only prolong the agony. And he's from Sunderland

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Lost and the Damned

The Dowager Duchess Daimler having being reupholstered at considerable expense I ventured south to view 'A Christmas Carol' with my sister and my flame haired (and capable of throwing up in any vehicle, however magic carpet the ride quality) nephew Connor at the Glasgow Imax in splendifirous 3D.

Driving home I encountered the coach decamping jaywalking hell that is Govan on a Saturday when the Gers are playing at home. Sectarian chants, bottles of buckie, and the great redbrick edifice that is Ibrox looming like a cross between a place of incarceration and a temple of worship. Deja vu.

The strange thing is that I wanted to be one with them. Not healthy I know, but there is something undeniably attractive about being in a group with one mind. At one time I would have been on one of those coaches, but today I prepare to observe rather than commune.

You can't help but notice the incongruity: the echoes of a proud shipbuilding community laid low obvious in the boarded up pubs and the shabby shop fronts, but also the shiny newness of new build flats ('Buy to Let'- Ho Ho Ho), and the shiny temples of modernity and leisure.

The roads signs where fucking rubbish; Connor was touching cloth so we had to detour to Asda, and there was a monsoon on Loch Lomond. The latter, believe me, is not a pleasurable experience when you have a pimple nosed twat in a baseball cap tail gating you in his dodgem car.

All in all, it was a good day.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Painting the Garden Fence

This post was going to be about Hamlet's Third Soliloquy, but then I changed my mind.

It was going to be about creosote (pertaining to garden fences), but now it's not.

What it's going to be about I have no idea.

Hang on, I've just had one.

Just imagine that you're a 3 star Michelin Japanese chef and you've just carved a lotus flower from a fillet of Bluefin Tuna (It's difficult I know, but bear with me) when your Yakusa minder pops his head round the door and informs you that your S Class Mercedes has been confiscated due to tax evasion.

It's possible, although not very probable. Stuff happens.

Keith has upped and died. Forty eight years old when a vulgar cerebral haemorrhage flattened him in the kitchen and his knives clattered to the floor. No more tomato bowls (trickier than it sounds), no more cucumber darts.

He was an easily bored chef who was inventive with vegetables in both the culinary and sporting spheres. You can't ask for much more than that.

And he was a ferret fancier, and he had a pet rabbit called Horace who hops about the bar.

I could go on.

Monday, November 16, 2009


I'm coming over all retro; replaying the Legend of Zelda 'The Ocarina of Time', and eating Crunchy Nut Cornflakes. Things have come to such a pass that I'm thinking of buying a water bed and a mirror for the ceiling.

I won't be buying a kilt though. They haven't got a tartan in my size.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Dundee Donkey

Probably the greatest voice to come out of these islands since, well, St Patrick who was apparently an adept at the comb harp. Hats off to Billy Whizz:

Poor Billy was dropped by his record company, who by way of compensation offered to pay for his cab ride 'home'. Billy's home wasn't round the corner in Soho, it was Dundee. Consequently he hailed a cab and said "Dundee driver please".

Sheer class

He was a whippet loving depressive who unfortunately chose to hang himself in his fathers garden shed. What a loss.

I mentioned a Dundee Donkey in this post because I play Sunday football with a Dundonian called Ronnie. He's a Long Shlong Silver with varicose veins who refreshes himself with a couple of Regals at half time.

Jam, Jute, and D C Thompson: some things never change.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Fat Bastards

My banker is called Frank and he is as obese as a Sumo wrestler. He exudes bonhomie and "hail fellow well met" pleasantries while twiddling his pen and suggesting that a rate of 4% above base would be more appropriate if I wish to extend my overdraft facility.

How do fat bankers get fat? They get fat by sucking on the marrow of every normal person who is trying with every sinew of their being to sustain or expand their business. I'm convinced that banks recruit normal (if boring, anal, uncultured, and tedious can be described as such) people and train them in the arts of borderline psychopathy.

I have yet to meet a normal banker. They're either weasel eyed acne scarred time servers in badly fitting suits, or born again Christian types who will happily chuck anybody out of the temple who fails to conform to their exacting standards of financial rectitude.

Frank says, "We're living in a different world now", as his several chins wobble in a self satisfied fashion. Aye it is mate, but I'm not fucking paying 4% above when I'm currently paying 2%.

I think it's time to deploy the suitcase.

Friday, November 13, 2009


My Great Uncle Johnny served with the Kyhber Rifles on the North Western frontier of what was then the British Raj.

He had great respect for the Pashtun tribesmen, and also a profound understanding that tribal societies are impossible to deal with. Your friend today is your enemy tomorrow, and the hand of generosity so willingly extended can be retracted and turned on you. Very like the the Scottish Highland Clans in fact. Integrity is all, and every slight will invite retribution.

Johnny served with the 36th Ulster Division at the Somme. He was was one of the lucky ones who had half his shoulder blown off, after which he returned to Britain and trained others to walk into machine guns.

Of course he didn't tell me this. He died two years after I was born, but there is a photograph of the mewling me with him, my Father, and my Grandfather.

God I'm old, but glad to have sat under sunshine and rain and grateful too for the sunlight on the garden.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Whiskey and Wimmin Almost Ruined my Life

I've just been watching one of those deferential BBC programmes about the Blues. Grizzled auld blokes from Surbiton or Crouch End kept blethering on about the authenticity of Blind Willie Shunting Truck's 'Tangerine Song'.

Gawd it was boring. Thankfully the plug ugly little ginger Ulster sex dwarf Van Morrison popped up and declaimed that: "Them like Jelly Roll Fungus Minge Morton when wus are eatin' are Ulster frays".

I luvs de Blues baby, but whenever I see John McVie I immediately think Derek Smalls:

I'm off to twiddle ma harp sugar mama.

Friday, November 06, 2009

A Scatter of Drams

I think I was designed for drizzle.

Not ubiquitous urban drizzle mind, more the fine mist that descends and lifts on the North West coast of Scotland to allows shafts of sunlight and rainbows to interest the landscape.

The West is different in light, culture, and attitude. Generosity of spirit seems to be ingrained into the regions character, which probably explains the brawls and huffs which dissolve with the dawn.

Drams may have something to do with it; sometimes they are scattered about like confetti.

Scotland has a collective drink problem, but the North West Highlands has it in a good way.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Confusions and Contusions

The Thought-Fox

I imagine this midnight moment's forest:
Something else is alive
Beside the clock's loneliness
And this blank page where my fingers move.

Through the window I see no star:
Something more near
Though deeper within darkness
Is entering the loneliness:

Cold, delicately as the dark snow
A fox's nose touches twig, leaf;
Two eyes serve a movement, that now
And again now, and now, and now

Sets neat prints into the snow
Between trees, and warily a lame
Shadow lags by stump and in hollow
Of a body that is bold to come

Across clearings, an eye,
A widening deepening greenness,
Brilliantly, concentratedly,
Coming about its own business

Till, with a sudden sharp hot stink of fox
It enters the dark hole of the head.
The window is starless still; the clock ticks,
The page is printed.

Ted Hughes

Ted may have looked like one of the statues on Easter Island, but he could spin a cracking ditty off of the top of his frontal lobe.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Cheap Threads

It's a simple life. Eat well, drink well, dress well, and watch your P,s and Q,s.

And don't vote for the Conservative Party. They want to slash public expenditure and consign us all to a new age of austerity. Mr Keynes is the man of the moment, and we should be listening.