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Alternative NATO Alphabet

24th November, 2022

I'm always forgetting the names for the letters in the NATO alphabet. Every now and again I encounter the kind of men who seem to regard it as a necessity almost as much as knowing the alphabet itself and will revel in using it to spell stuff, maybe over the phone, so as to obviate all possible miscommunication, whether this is crucial or not. These men will have an appreciable selection from these possible traits:

So anyhoo here is my spontaneously generated alternative NATO alphabet. I will write these as they pop into my head, in alphabetical order. I may stumble on the odd correct one from the actual NATO alphabet. For this I apologise.


Educator, lead thyself out

6th November, 2022

Sometimes having someone to teach is as valuable as having someone to learn from. I think this is what drives people towards the seemingly irrational option of being a teacher as a full-time occupation: the belief that, through helping young beings to grow, one will, oneself, grow as a being exponentially in a way that somehow wouldn't happen anyway.

Thing I Just Thought About The Thing I Was Thinking About

18th September, 2022

That this old friend and I are just caught mutually in a sense of obligation to one another, having long dispensed with any joy we once had to share?

Tonight's T Shirts (Brighton, East Sussex)

12th August, 2022

What band am I here to see, based on the t-shirts I spot worn by the crowd?

The Woodentops
Galaxie 500
Sonic Youth (Evol)
AC/DC, for some reason
Midway Still
Bob Mould (Sunshine Rock)
The Fall
New Order
The Smiths
UK Subs
The Pixies
Babes In Toyland
The Ascent Of Lego Man
The Sundays
St. Pauli
Midnight Oil
Adam Benfield Ltd. Electrical Contractor
Billy Bragg
British Sea Power
Manic Street Preachers
Sleaford Mods
Big Black

Ways to kill time, Orpington morning

12th August, 2022

Click and collect
Double E to flee at Costa
Daaahn the Nugent (to the music of Chas n' Dave)
Along to Argos
Not open until 9, fuck
Should've booked it at the other one
Ok Starbucks then
Flat white to alight
I'm into caffeinated mornings these days
Anyway, smoke it while you've got it
The sun's hot already
Time passes
8.30. what now?
D phones, she'll jog down to meet me
Just enough time for a smoke
People chatting, lively but relaxed
Looking at phones
Bin man comes, not relaxed
Busy busy noisy noisy
Beep beep be warned he's not stopping
Urgent bin related business on the phone
Vroom vroom and he's away
Tranquility returns to the car park
8.54, D should be here soon
Ladies at the next table discuss various men
And what shits they are
He lives in Romania
Where the police are easy to bribe
He literally gets away with sexual assault

My quote and mantra for this moment

23rd July 2022

"If you give people a chance, they shine."

- Billy Connolly, a real hero of the time and place I come from.

If you give people a chance, they shine.

Animals that have eaten me

23rd July 2022

A companion entry to the one from 18th May - on balance I'm well in the lead

This doesn't include wasps, who have menaced me and visited violence upon me many times, but not as a source of food, just to be dicks; I do not care for wasps.

To someone from my distant past

21st July 2022

Never before and never again have I been fed a bullshit philosophical justification for dumping me (repeatedly; fuck but I was a naive glutton for punishment in those long-gone days).

Yes, we had some exciting times together, indeed "we celebrated a feast together" like your beloved Fred said to Richard, but also some of the most awful, miserable times of my life were down to you. And you seemed to take satisfaction in causing them to happen.

And no, it's not ressentiment when I conclude, looking at my times in your company in the context of my life as a whole, that I'd have been better off having never met you.

Your beloved Leonard would observe your depressing habit of eating apples as if they were juicier for you. It's fruitless.

Trying to list all the animals I've eaten

18th May 2022


20th March 2022

When I was wee it seemed that, to parents, being 'a good eater' was about the highest accolade a child could aspire to. Styles and manners of consuming food were heavily weighted when calculating one's offspring rating.

Sometimes the criteria were somewhat nebulous, though. Generally I think it meant a child who consumed their food without causing any annoyance, inconvenience or embarrassment to their parents in the process. There were many types of eater, none of them good, and being a 'good eater' seemed to consist mainly in avoiding membership of any of the other eater types.

I, for example, was 'a fussy eater'. This, in reality, meant that there were certain foods I didn't enjoy and knew I didn't enjoy them and was capable of saying so articulately and calmly, and would have been happy to leave things at that if I was ever allowed to. I was never allowed to. Not liking a particular food and saying so was a declaration of war to my parents. Even though my dad detested fish suppers (I know, mental, right?), the smell of them, and anything remotely involving vinegar, but nobody called him a fussy eater. Adults were exempt from Eater categorization.

They would work the old 'how do you know you don't like it if you've not tried it?' to which my answer was, quite reasonably scientifically, that I didn't like the smell; or it visually resembled other foods I had found myself not to like; or it contained ingredients I had empirically proved to be to my dislike. Plus I'd been burned by the old 'how do you know' routine too many times in the past for it to carry weight with me any longer.

We were friends with the Murphy family across the road when I was a kid. One time we were over there for lunch and, once back home, my mother and father commiserated bitterly about how the Murphy girls were 'disgusting eaters'. I didn't know what this meant but could tell by their bitter tone that this was one of the lowest and most despicable types of eater. I hadn't noticed anything unusual about the way they conveyed food from their plates to their digestive tracts, but studied them closely on our next visit; I was none the wiser.

Saturday, 5.46pm, At The Supermarket

12th March 2022

A middle-aged man
Work suit
Red face
Bags under the eyes
Choosing a bunch of flowers

Must have been an eventful Friday night

Note: I saw this exact scene and drew this exact conclusion in the supermarket today, and I decided to try and write haiku-like poems, liberated from the westernised 5-7-5 standard form but retaining the idea of briefly encapsulating a single image or moment, incorporating nature in some way. This has been my first go. I plan to try a few more. Maybe, like haiku, I should not sit down and try to think them up, but let them come to me unexpectedly.

Fray Bentos: Más que una empanada en una lata

Some time in late February 2022, I didny put the date in at the time and I forget now

I was in the mood to get answers to some of the big questions in life today:

To a British person the name 'Fray Bentos' immediately brings to mind the tinned meat pies that seem such a uniquely yet typically mid-20th Century British common sense idea: Pies are good, nobody would dispute that; why not put pies in a tin? They'll keep well and we don't want to be faffing about with all that continental refrigeration claptrap; have a spot of the old Kate n' Sidney any time you fancy. Who wouldn't like that?

So goes the legend of the Fray Bentos pie-in-a-tin, but the history goes further back than I had imagined and is rather interesting. Originally, it was made in a British-owned factory in Fray Bentos, Uruguay, which was set up in the 19th Century for the purpose of making Oxo, and later, Indian foot powder and tinned corned beef. The brand is now owned and produced here in Scotland by tinned soup megastars Baxters.

However the town that gave its name to the tinned pies is, unbelievable as it may seem, even more interesting than the pie itself. The factory attracted workers from around fifity different countries, creating a distinguished multi-cultural atmosphere, and it sounds like a nice place to visit. Also the factory has now been made a World Heritage site and a visitor attraction in itself.

Just shows you, there's no such thing as a pointless google.

Work As If You Are In The Early Days Of A Better Life

Updated 18th September 2022 (25th February 2022 (5th December 2021))

Still: All I've got to say to myself right now, still

What's the first thing you think of when you think of Canada?

14th December 2021

My immediate reaction to this was 'poutine' which I hoped wasn't insulting to Canadians by playing on a stereotype (like: "Scotland? Haggis!"), but I reflected that my first reaction to the mention of any country is to think of a food from there. I just like food.

So for no reason - no reason is the reason for this website - I decided to start a list of countries and the foods they evoke.

France Duck confit; lobster bisque; choux
Spain Paella; jamon; churros
Italy Pizza (duh)
England Yorkshire pudding
Germany Currywurst
Netherlands Pancakes
Belgium Chips
Portugal Pastel de nata
India Naan; bhuna; biryani; samosa
USA Cheeseburgers
Mexico Tacos
Argentina Mate
Brazil Arepas
Japan Sashimi; onigiri; the finest tuna known to humanity
China Char siu
Russia Borst
Ukraine Kvass
Lithuania Blinu
Jamaica Curry goat; Jerk chicken

Burger Anarchist Part 2

7th March 2021

So I finally felt ready to give Burger King another chance this morning when I was out & about and feeling hungry for something bad.

I arrived at a restaurant with all lights on and doors open to find an unmanned counter. Eventually a young woman appeared and told me, in a self-satisfied sort of way, that they only served drive-through customers before 11am, so there. Made it sound like it was my fault, too. This was at 9 minutes to 11.

I contemplated going back out to the car park, getting back in my car, and going around to the drive through window, to be served the same food by, probably, the same person. The only difference being that, instead of handing it over a counter, they shove it through a window at you. I thought, nah, fuck that and went home and made a bacon sandwich.

As I've observed before (q.v.), Burger King seem to be more concerned with their rules than they are about giving the customer a good experience.

As I also said before, I don't blame the staff as it must be a shit place to work. It's certainly a shit place to be a customer.

Another go

5th March 2021

No more ...

But yet - another chance. I will not waste this one. I will not.

Update 7th August: I did waste it.

I'm back baby

6th November 2020

For me if for nobody else. I started this as a boundary-free diary to myself, anyone who wants to look on is welcome. I return with this thought:

Me, I think we had everything bang-on in the 1990s. We'd only just got the web (what people now call the 'internet', wrongly) but hadn't figured out how to ruin it yet, and there was enough of the ways of the analogue world remaining to be charming. I wrote my degree dissertation on a manual typewriter, although I did feel a bit of a renegade for doing so, even then. Part of my Kerouac phase. We hadn't yet completely abandoned vinyl, only to rediscover it, yet. You could smoke in pubs. Intoxication was ubiquitous.

But there was a fin de siecle lightheartedness about things that I, at the time, assumed would just continue and amplify into the 21st century.

Boy, do I miss that feeling now.

So I think, for my lifetime at least, a peak was reached in the '90s, never to return. There's always some arsehole that comes along wanting to change the status quo in order to make money out of it, and it gets ultimately written down as 'progress'.

I'm done with the web, except for delightful havens like Neocities. I'm going to do something that helps people, without the use of spurious technology.

Maybe this should be me but 1990s instead of 1930s. When I want to find something out, I'll wait for the library to open. I'll listen to the Stereo MCs while surrounded by tie-die drapery and making bongs out of plastic milkshake bottles. I'll phone people on their land line from my land line without texting first. I'll write and send letters on pen and paper. When I need a taxi I'll go out to the street and look for one. I'll drop in on friends unannounced.


29th July 2020

When I was a kid my granny once told me about how a couple of nights previously she'd tanned an entire big jar of Roses. For those not in the UK, Roses are these chocolates, and they used to come in a bumper-size glass jar that was about a foot tall. The sort of thing a parent might buy for the family at Christmas then, once it was empty, use the jar to save up loose change over the coming year.

So my granny won one of these at the bingo, and she told me how, the other night, she had been sitting at home watching the telly, and thought "I'll have a sweetie", and got the jar of Roses and had one. Then another. And another. And she told me how, over the course of the evening, she eventually ate the whole jar. She was a big woman with a healthy appetite, and I doubt it made her feel sick for having eaten all that, but in retrospect it might have made her feel guilty.

As a kid I just accepted this story at face value without seeing any particular emotional component to it, as kids do. The same as I accepted her story of the miscarriage of my mum's older sister, never to be. She just told us this stuff in such a matter-of-fact way that we just accepted it, too young to appreciate the relative profundity of a miscarriage versus an instance of over-eating.

The Roses story didn't seem at all surprising to me as a kid: sweets are like crack to children, and I could readily imagine myself doing the very same thing if I was allowed. But looking back on that and other things, I think my granny had a compulsive over-eating disorder, at a time when that sort of thing wasn't widely recognised and overweight people were mocked with impunity for ... whatever people thought was it fair to mock them for.

She always had chocolate biscuits and sweeties in the house, and when my sister and I were visiting she would warmly encourage us to scoff them. "Get them oot the road", she would say, and I think she meant, get them out of my way, out of harm's way. Like I might get a bottle of something 'oot the road', either by making sure I drank the lot in one sitting, come what may, or in moments of greater self-control, by pouring it down the sink. In both mine and Granny's cases, it simply didn't do to have the thing we craved sitting there. We could not rest knowing that it was in the house. There was no saving some for another day.

The other thing was that she was one of those people that liked to show love by feeding, and it made her happy to see my sister and I eat heartily. She had come from a family of nine children to an immigrant mother and father, who worked as a coal miner. She grew up in poverty and hunger and it delighted her to see us children eat our fill of good things, never knowing such deprivation. We'd be in the middle of one biscuit while the next was being offered, again and again.

Or it would be her old-country recipe of blinŭ, potato and onion pancakes fried deliciously in fat from the chip pan, one hot cake after another coming off the pan as quick as us wee people could scoff them.

As a result, my sister and I learned to eat rapidly, with gusto, and capaciously. I think it's only the fact that we were also extremely active that we didn't have weight problems. On the contrary, I was absurdly skinny until about the age of twenty and the beer began to take its effect on my body. I was a super-efficient fuel consuming machine. I should have been a competitive eater.

And so that's what my sister and I thought you were supposed to do when you went visiting: hoover up everything that was offered with enthusiastic promptness. We would do the same when we were at Auntie G's, who was like another granny to us and was also very generous with the chocolate biscuits. I later learned from one of my grown up cousins that he and his brothers were sternly warned off the chocolate biscuits - "hands off! Those are for the weans!" - then they would watch in dismay as we polished off biscuit after biscuit. My cousin told me that they used to refer to us as 'The Gannets'. We just thought it was what you were supposed to do. We thought it was only polite.

Credit where credit is due

21st May 2020

When you get into a lot of debt and fail to make agreed repayments, your credit rating goes right down so that nobody will lend you any money on normal terms.

So your only option is to take on a credit card with an exceptionally high interest rate, to reflect the higher risk and lower trust that the lender has, given your credit rating. This will be the only kind of credit you can get while your credit rating is low.

But by diligently paying off whatever you borrow on this credit card, in full and in good time, and by not getting into any other debt meanwhile, you gradually rebuild your credit score until you eventually get to the point that you can borrow on 'normal' terms again, because you have regained the trust of the lenders.

Right now I'm rebuilding someone's trust that I've lost, by paying back much more than I've received.

Little by little, diligently and consistently, I hope to regain their full trust.

When will you learn, England?

12th May 2020

For all their applauding the NHS at the front door on Thursday evenings, for all the rainbow pictures and 'thank you NHS' stuck in the windows, for all the stark clarity with which the dangerous incompetence of this government can be seen, I don't believe England is over its habit of electing Conservative governments just yet.

When will you learn, Scotland?

One thing that's sort of nice is the way that the Westiminster government has stumbled into a position where it's making incoherent rules for England while the rest of the UK - Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales - have been able to distance themselves and say "nothing to do with us we'll continue as we were thanks". A bit of self-determination. A tiny chink of light. The consciousness across the four countries that what is wrong, is wrong with England, not with the UK.

Marketing people

22nd April 2020

A drawback of being a web developer is that, however much you enjoy the work, you usually have to spend most of your time surrounded by marketing people. I find this bad for my mental health.

A while back on holiday I met someone who worked for the Oxford University Press and who was very much a Book Person. We had several conversations about fiction that we'd been reading.

Another time recently I got to attend the opening of some new artists' studios near where I live. An old school had been bought and converted by a charity who create affordable artists' studios and I got to spend the evening meeting and chatting with the resident artists.

Both of those are examples of very refreshing encounters I had with highly intelligent people who shared interests with me and with whom I could have refreshingly bullshit-free intellectual conversations and exchange ideas. I mention these because they were very marked departures from the norm for me.

The marketing profession is populated by mediocre to moderately intelligent minds who are reared to think they're amazing. They're not thick as shit but they're not capable of recognising that it's possible to be smarter than they are. They're generalists who see every human activity as a general skill that they can turn their hand to, and they're culturally conditioned to have nothing but the utmost confidence in themselves. And their whole shit revolves around treating 'how things are made to seem' as more important than 'how things are'.

So, to take a couple of real recent examples: they believe they're capable of being members of a band despite having no musical ability (just stand at the back swaying in time to the music while moving your mouth; seeming like a musician is as good as being one, as long as you have real musicians to hide behind and share the credit only they merit); they believe they can be project managers, without having anything but an utterly naive idea of what project management is (just make it seem like you know what you're talking about while the developers rush to take up the slack your absence of project management has created; take most of the credit only they deserve).

Two things bring this delusional tribe jarringly face-to-face with reality: one is this current global pandemic, where we can see the difference between people who produce things and people who just say things, and they can't make their sudden stark uselessness seem useful; another is when they have to talk to a developer. Suddenly they're faced with someone who can do things they can't, whose understanding of something is literally years ahead of theirs. An area of skilled work that they can't just turn their hands to, or even make it seem like they can. They can't do it at all, and, more importantly to them, they can't bluff their way in it at all. They don't like it, and they deal with it by making the developer's job seem less important than theirs.

The limits of such people's minds, as well as their belief that they are brilliant-minded people, brings me down when I have to be surrounded by them every day of my working life. Working from home right now takes the edge off, but they're never far away.

It's not that I need to be doing a different job, it's that I need to be doing it in an environment where the people around me are more than self-confident bullshit merchants.

Samuel Johnson and Drink

16th April 2020

A very useful set of quotes for me right now. "Melancholy, indeed, should be diverted by every means but drinking"; "There is more happiness in being rational"; "The wine upon the table is no more for me, than for the dog that is under the table".

Something else to read later when my work is done. "Abstinence is as easy to me, as temperance would be difficult."

Apocalypse, now

31st March 2020

The 20th century apocalyptic narrative was about the prospect of nuclear war and the destruction of the planet and us along with it. Or rather, through our arrogance and carelessness, we'll destroy each other and take the planet down with us.

Now, the narrative is more like: the planet is looking to take us down and survive.

Mother Nature's got us on the run, in the twenty-first century.

I'm coding this on my phone

16th March 2020

Thanks to the totally browser-based niceness of Neocities plus a cheap-arse bluetooth keyboard I picked up, I'm writing html code quite comfortably right on my phone.

I am totally stoked about this, however I spent so long getting the keyboard to pair with the phone that I forgot what I was going to write about. Maybe something involving Nirvana lyrics. Maybe it'll come back to me. We continue to fry.


16th March 2020

'Creative' machines

12th March 2020

I've been thinking about AI being creative. It's an example of technological development that's done 'because we can'. 'Because we need to' or 'because we should' would be better reasons for selecting the technology we want in our society but it's often not considered.

OK this machine has learned enough to generate poetic verse that sometimes can seem convincingly human. But what for? What medium is more bound inextricably to humanity than poetry?

And according to this article, "before too long, AI could begin to supersede humans entirely" in creative work. But why? Why would anyone want this or see any benefit in it?

How can you separate creative work from human experience? The purpose of art and creative activity is to elucidate the human experience. To communicate something about how it feels to be alive. To try and make a machine that imitates that, even one that does it really well, is to miss the point of art and creativity entirely.

Creative works aren't just products to be consumed. They are means of communication between human beings. Even if we're just talking about a crap throwaway pop song for kids, the creation of any art, and the appreciation of it, are both essential functions of the work. Performer and audience need each other so that the work lives as a shared experience.

If you've got a human audience on one side of the experience but nothing, other than a machine, on the other, then nothing is shared, nothing is communicated. in the end, nothing is really created. Machine generated art is for nobody.

So maybe in 50 years, as the article suggests, machines will be doing everything, absolutely everything, better than humans can. So humans won't have to do anything. I bet there will still be rich people and poor people though.

Or maybe we'll forget about making ourselves obsolete through technology if we're struggling to survive in a world where nature needs us to become obsolete and has turned on us completely. Let's face it, nature has started to turn on us already: climate emergency, deadly pandemics. After we're all gone maybe the machines will carry on playing concertos to each other. For whatever reason.

Some terms & definitions, updated

11th March 2020

A 'local' is a person who doesn't feel the need to monetize the fact that they live in a particular place.

A 'conservative' is a person who fears change. Any change, in general. The whole concept.

A 'portmanteau' is a way of referring to something while obfuscating its meaning; e.g. 'Antifa', 'Brexit'.

'Prejudice': Ignorance on wheels.

'Geek': 1. Someone who truly and sincerely believes that preocccupation with trivial minutiae is intellectually elevating and life-enriching. 2. A pain in the arse.

'Marketing': An exercise by the unskilled in trying to direct the skilled to act against their own advice/wishes, and then take credit for it.

'Hobby': just a drug that takes longer to administer.

Prompts for creative writing

9th March 2020

Got writer's block? Stress not. Macdoofus has got you covered.

Unpopular opinion

2nd March 2020

Should we actually give a fuck about split infinitives? Who gives a fuck? Maybe we should make an effort to gleefully split them in the effort to adequately express ourselves.

People and their brains

26th February 2020

People don't get more stupid and ignorant as they get older, although many seem to. It's just that stupid and ignorant people become more defiant and confident in their stupidity and ignorance as they age so it tends to become more noticeable.

There's a particularly English attitude that says that people get more right-wing as they get older. I say 'particularly English' because right-wing political views are considered more the norm there than in Scotland. It takes the opposite view, that in fact people tend to become more knowledgeable and wise as they age. Like you only lack a right-wing political outlook because you're young and naive, and you'll know better once you've had a few years at the School of Hard Knocks, my boy.

It's been used as an argument against giving 16- and 17-year-olds the vote, the implication being that they'll use it 'irresponsibly'. In other words they might vote against the wishes of the old people.

Because no old English person ever voted irresponsibly.

Leonard Cohen

26th February 2020

Religious fundamentalism

25th February 2020

what would a true Christian look like?

i mean someone who lives strictly according to the things that the bible has christ say and do.

I need to bone up on my scripture here,heathen that I am, but off the top of my head, i picture someone a bit like Ghandi, maybe. I picture someone who:

some personal reflection I need to put down somewhere

whenever. but February 2020 anyway

As a child I was always trying to insulate myself from the world. Bury my head in books, comics, TV, computer games, making stuff up, dreaming. A response to anything upsetting or worrying. Find a way not to think about it, any way. Whatever way is available.

Avoidance. I'm avoiding something right now. Several things in fact.

My dad

11th February 2020

my dad always had this knack of being pedantic yet vague. He had a unique ability to use exacting language to not quite say what he meant. like he'd say 'if you leave that out of the fridge it'll deteriorate'. deteriorate. you mean it'll 'go off'?

Like, he'd prefer to use a more sophisticated-sounding phrase yet end up conveying less meaning. Also he'd have this way of not quite answering your question, yet in a factually correct way.

Several times I asked him how many kilometres were in a mile. google hadn't been invented yet so one had to depend on information sources less likely to give a straight, factual answer, i.e. adults. he would always evade my question by saying 'well a kilometre is five eighths of a mile' which may have seemed a satisfactory answer to his imperial mind but it was irritatingly imprecise to my metric one.

Also he was apparently incapable of explaining how to extrapolate any further information from that fact, e.g. 'therefore one mile equals 1.6 kilometres' which is the sort of answer my young mind could have made use of. but he stubbornly refused to demonstrate that additional cognitive leap.

It must be brilliant being a child today, when you can get a straight, immediate and reliable answer to any question without having to ask an adult and hope that somehow, they might just know the answer.

I'd say that none of this miles/kilometres business would have mattered one iota except that my parents insisted on towing a trailer tent to France every summer.

I'd look at a French road sign from the back seat as we drove along, where my sister and I sat alternating between torpid ennui and bitter mutual hostility, and I would see the name of the place we were going and how many kilometres away it still was.

I wanted to know how much longer we would have to sweat in this box (no aircon: it was the 80s; we were "British"; as far as I knew car aircon didn't exist; and there were only three channels on the TV). I knew how long ten miles took to travel at 50mph (speed limit when you were towing a trailer, strictly adhered to by my father), but I didn't know what that was in kilometres.

So I'd ask my dad the eternal question: 'How many kilometres are in a mile?. Sometimes, I'd spin it as 'How many miles in a kilometre?', in the hope of eliciting a different answer, but the answer was always the same: 'Well, a kilometre is five eighths of a mile'.

I'd try my best to apply my sweltering mind to this, but I was just a kid, I had no calculator (the most sophisticated handheld electronic device available to me at the time), and I wasn't allowed to use pen and paper in the car ('you'll mark the seats!'/'You'll get car-sick!'). It was beyond me. I had to just sit and wait.

If only my Dad had told me about the Fibonacci Sequence

In other news

29th January 2020

I am struggling to recover from the discovery that bi-weekly can be used interchangeably to mean either 'twice a week' or 'every two weeks'.

The Unspeakable Portmanteau

29th January 2020

The day after tomorrow, Scotland will no longer be a part of the EU, not because it wants that, but because England wants it. Or thinks it does. The English electorate is a bafflingly irrational beast. In 2016, two thirds of people in Scotland voted against the stupid, tiny-minded, ignorant, racist idea of leaving. OK, it was 62%, not quite two thirds, but the only people in Scotland who voted in favour of leaving were old people, and of those, only the stupid, tiny-minded, ignorant and racist ones. So now, three years later, a lot of them will have died, having voted for a "national" act of self-sabotage they will never have to suffer the consequences of. So among those in Scotland who voted in 2016 who are still alive, those against this nonsense will be around two thirds of the electorate. Maybe more.

There's no cultural or political unity in "Britain" any more. (Whenever I refer to "Britain" from now on I'm going to put it in quotes, because I see it more as an idea than a reality). Just glance at this map to see what I mean. The 2019 general election campaign was fought by the Conservatives on a platform of seeing through the removal of "Britain" from the European Union by any means necessary. The election results clearly reflect how people in different parts of "Britain" felt about that. The map shows that England thinks it's great, Scotland recognises it as a disastrously bad idea. We don't have many working-class tories here, by which I mean people who are pleased to vote against their own economic interests, but England seems to be full of them. I'm not anti-English by the way, I lived in England for several years, I have many friends there, and I got married in England to an Englishwoman with an English best man. What I'm in favour of, on the contrary, is a political and administrative separation of Scotland from England, so that the latter's lumpen electorate can shit in their own beds to their hearts' content but without damaging Scotland as a side-effect.

You see, "Britain" has a first-past-the-post electoral system, which many people have criticised and continue to do so (SLYT). It means that there's no proportional representation across regions, and that usually a government that a minority voted for is formed, and that, due to steep differences in population, Scotland always gets whatever England votes for. Population of Scotland: 5.4 millon. Population of England: 55.9 million. It's obvious enough in any general election, but was even more starkly illustrated in the 2016 referendum on leaving the EU. As long as it is part of "Britain", Scotland doesn't really experience democracy.

The other thing about Scotland just now is that the native population is aging, and it is projected that, over the coming quarter-century, many more people will die than will be born. So how do you sustain the economy when the population is decreasing? Through welcoming migrant workers with open arms, that's how. I'm not saying there's no such thing as stupid, tiny-minded, ignorant racists here, but they must be a much smaller proportion of the population than in England, looking at how people there vote in things like the 2016 EU referendum. Stories in the news of migrants from other parts of Europe being harrased and abused in "Britain" never take place in Scotland. They're generally more accepted. We need them.

A nifty thing about the EU is that the citizens of its member countries can move and work freely throughout all the other member countries. If I wanted to up and move to France or Spain or Germany and get a job there, I could just go and do it, without any visas, permits or any paperwork other than my passport. Well not after Friday.

Similarly it'll be more difficult from people in other parts of Europe to come here and work, and as I've said, we need them to. Plus it'd be a pretty boring society if everyone had the same complexion, spoke the same language in the same accent and observed the same customs. I'm accustomed to living in a multicultural Scotland and I like it that way. When I was five years old I and other wee white boys played in the street with wee brown boys whose mums' kitchens always smelled amazing. I love that, in addition to knowing English, I also know Scots, a bit of Gaelic and a word or two in Polish, Lithuanian, Hindu, Urdu and Cantonese. This is the sort of thing the stupid, tiny-minded, ignorant racists among us hate. That's fascists for you: they can't stand people being different.

Looking at that map again it seems clear that today, we'd be much less at the mercy of stupid, tiny-minded, ignorant racists in our politics if we were not at the mercy of the England-dwelling electorate. We might get a shot at real democracy for the first time ever. We've got to be rid of them. Even my English wife agrees on this.

Highlights of my day, as they happen

23rd January 2020

9.15 am Client emails to report an issue with their website; there is no issue other than user error. I begin drafting a reply.

9.18 am While I'm drafting my reply, the client calls to follow up on the email.

9.20 am Office manager takes issue with my desk phone's minimalist ringtone (it beeps once then shuts up, but I can still pick up the call). Says my phone is faulty, needs a bit of persuading that it isn't.

10:40 am I throw a ball of paper at the recycle bin and miss. This is usually an unfavourable portent.

12.10 pm Director comes to speak to me immediately after going out for a smoke and leaves me coughing.

12.26 pm Discover tech lead has made workflow more complicated again. Projects will take longer because I must adopt new practices for the fourth time in twelve months.

12.50 pm Discover new workflow very much a work-in-progress, with much of it only working in tech lead's mind, and where I will have to fix many things as I go along. Am halfway through first day of two days allocated for this project and haven't written a line of code yet. Considering abandoning and going back to old workflow.

2.30 pm I decide I've faffed about too much with this experiment and decide to go back to using the same workflow/toolset I used on the last project.

2.44 pm Good thing too because designer is now flapping after being chased by the client to commit to an early deadline. I only decided to experiment with the new workflow because it had been the consensus that a bit of extra time could be afforded.

Burger Anarchist

14th January 2020

I was in a Burger King on New Year's Eve (living the dream) and it was the first time in a while so the first time I'd used the big touch screen to order. It felt a bit like Argos but with junk food instead of Bluetooth keyboards and bling jewellery. You choose your burger (I went for bacon double cheeseburger) but then it offers you all these additions. I resisted the urge to go mental with this but did add another slice of cheese and another patty to the two each already on the burger.

Well I don't mind saying it was the perfect burger for me. The extra patty tipped the meat/bun ratio to just the right proportions and the extra slice of cheese was the glue that held the whole thing together.

Ever since then I couldn't stop thinking about it. A couple of days ago, I went back for another one, dragging my wife along even though we're supposed to be on this lo-carb thing, and we ordered our various bits and I got my custom bacon-triple-cheese.

After an unusual ten minutes of waiting for the order to come out, and a marked apparent loss of zen in the open kitchen, there was some confab among the kitchen staff and the manager came out and asked me if I could let him see my receipt. He took it back to the staff and showed it to them, as if there was something baffling about my order. He didn't actually ask me what I wanted, which might have helped clear things up.

Commotion continued as I watched my receipt being handed around and scrutinised at the various stations in the kitchen. After a couple of minutes a woman came out with a tray and I said 'is that number 81?'

'I think so' she said, 'but here's some free fries and a drink to make up for keeping you waiting'.

'Ok, thank you' I said. We went to eat and I then found I'd got the bacon-double-cheese without my additions. I was hungry, we didn't have much time and hey, I had some fries, and they were pretty good. Also I'm not the kind of man who squanders time quibbling over slices of processed cheese or wee meat pucks.

What interested me, though, was the difference in how it was all handled compared to an actual restaurant. In an actual restaurant they would say, 'sorry for the delay, can you just confirm your order and we'll get that for you in just a few more minutes?' and I'd have been fine with that. Maybe if they were being extra-nice I'd have got the free fries too.

In Burger King, however, they scrutinised my receipt and got some sort of semblance of my order together as quick as possible. I guess they're trained to operate a System, and how well they're operating it will be measured by things like how long it takes them to fulfill each order, and not on how happy the customer is (because let's face it, "we've already got the cunt's money").

So they threw a standard b-d-c down along with our other items, and I guess added some fries and a drink to hopefully get me to shut up. The drinks are bottomless and nobody's counting out the fries so they could safely placate me with those without it coming to the attention of The System.

In the end, it mattered less to them whether I got what I ordered (and paid for in advance) than it was to fulfill the late order as quickly as possible. They could either take five more minutes to produce what I'd actually purchased, or fob me off with second-best immediately. It was a no-brainer to them to opt for the latter. It was more important to satisfy The System than to satisfy the customer. I also have a suspicion that orders that aren't completed within a certain time disappear from view on their display screens in the kitchen, hence they needed to see my receipt to get me my food. Maybe they were fighting a general backlog, I saw them take other people's receipts and squint at them while dashing about the kitchen.

I don't really blame the staff, it must be shite to work under such conditions. It's certainly shite to be a customer there.

The inlaws

It was boxing day, I think.

What I need is some actual fucking food. they live on air and cakes and cups of tea and they hope you won't need to live on anything while you're here.

20 things you didn't know about the 1990s that aren't true anyway

23 December 2019 I'm actually arsed to write the date

It's the middle of the morning with no release in sight. I'm actually typing this out in an attempt to seem industrious.let me go

Who even are you? Who the fuck are you?

the sooner you get found out, the better.

Myself, I've not made much progress since nearly a month ago - just another unwelcome monday. Which see.


4th December 2019

The keystroke results of cleaning the crud off my keyboard using a lump of blu-tack, like the advert advises you to do (it didn't work very well)

4th December 2019

SX 21/====

Monday Morning

25th November 2019

When it's Monday morning and the best thing you can think of to do with your existence is go back to bed, medicate yourself with something toxic and indulge in fantasies of a very different, impossble life. Yet you can't even do that.

The best films of my childhood

18th November 2019

Am I Even Here?

31st October 2019

Am I even here?

Project Management for Dummies

17th October 2019

Me: This website will take about 40 hours to build

Marketing: 40 hours? That seems rather excessive

Me: Not really. Think of it this way: I spend four hours a day building, and at the end of two weeks, you have a website

Marketing: So what will you be doing the other three hours a day?

Me: Getting interrupted by things like this conversation

Thought for the Day - Pin it!

17th October 2019

Remember: Any old shite in a nice font can successfully manipulate your feelings!

Talking Heads

15th October 2019

My new magic button

8th October 2019

This link returns a random Wikipedia entry

Language Barrier

4th October 2019

A couple of weeks ago I was on holiday in Menorca, where they speak Catalan. I learned that what we in the Anglophone world usually think of as 'Spanish' is, more accurately, Castillian, and the Catalan speakers don't distinguish between 'Català' and 'Español'. Rather they distinguish between 'Català' and 'Castellano', I guess because the point is that they're both Español, they're both Spanish languages. I heard a tour guide asking some Spanish tourists if they'd prefer him to speak 'Castellano o Inglés'. The woman replied quite impatiently 'Inglés, Inglés'. I think she didn't like having to acknowledge Català. An attitude with a long pedigree: when Catalonia lost its autonomy in 1714, the central government ruled that Castellano would be the official language, and Català wasn't really revived until the 19th Century. Then in the 20th Century, because of Franco, Català was banned from all schools, publications and broadcasts and was not to be spoken outside of private spaces. Instead, all were to speak 'the language of the empire'. Everyone was to be the same. That's fascism for you. So they're proud of their language, having worked hard to preserve it against the odds.

So although you can still use Castellano to communicate (as the people speak both, and as that's the one they teach in Scottish and English schools), they're often pleased to hear you speak Català to them: you may not know much but even acknowledging the difference with a word or two can get really nice reactions. I picked up how to say 'Bon dia' - or 'good morning' - from a friendly builder who was working at the apartments where we were staying and took to saying it to whoever I met. As I say, some of the locals seemed to appreciate this.

Then I said it to a woman who was staying at the same apartments, on holiday from some other part of Spain. She seemed a bit of a snooty type but said 'Hola' to me one morning and I responded 'Hola, bon dia'. She gave me a haughty look and annunciated the words 'buenos días' back to me in a pointed sort of way. She was making the point that she was from a part of Spain where they didn't speak Català.

On the other hand, she was currently in a part of Spain where they do speak it, so she was being a bit arsey in my opinion. A bit like if an English person came to Scotland and corrected someone for saying 'aye' instead of 'yes'. After all, she knew what I meant. I didn't give away any reaction, but later on, when she didn't notice the wind blowing her towel towards the pool, I didn't alert her and watched it blow into the water. Cow.

This is you

24th September 2019

This is so you right now

What 3 Words

16th August 2019




Positive Words

1st August 2019

Today I feel better than yesterday.
Tomorrow I will feel better than today.
The day after that I'll feel great, if I keep on making the right choices.
The day after that, I might feel extremely angry about something. Probably will.
In that case I'll choose the middle road of assertiveness to address it like I've done before.
Assertive is in the middle between submissive on one side and agressive on the other.
Agressiveness shows self respect but none for others.
Submissiveness shows respect for others but none for oneself.
Assertiveness treats all concerned with the respect they deserve.
Self-harm and self-respect are incompatible.
No progress can be made until I treat my body and mind with respect.
Without that I'll be a submissive doormat, jerking suddenly into aggression from time to time, when a limit has been reached.
I must remember that my feelings matter as much as other people's.

What I think about this Straight Pride Parade

6th June 2019

For a start, it's not part of the gay pride agenda to make straight people feel ashamed.

The gay (les/bi/trans/etc) pride movement sought/seeks to redress a balance. A minority group that had been discriminated against because of the way they were, and thus became a disadvantaged underclass who, culturally, were made to feel that they should be ashamed of who they were, and should hide their true selves for the satisfaction of a undiscriminated-against, undisadvantaged, prejudiced majority.

Pride says, no we will not be shamed, we are proud of who we are. It raises awareness and builds acceptance of a group of people who have been maligned, but who as a group mean no harm.

Straight pride is an attempt to neutralise this, by a group that has never been shamed for who they are, who have never, as a group, been discriminated against or disadvantaged. It's not 'equal time', it's not a fair, balancing gesture. It seeks to undo the progress made by Pride and restore the disadvantage suffered by the gay/les/bi/trans/etc group.

It's the establishment mimicking the disadvantaged groups' efforts to achieve fairness, in the attempt to deny them fairness by insisting on further unfairness than already exists.

The UK 'independence' movement appropriated a lot of the rhetoric of the Scottish independence movement, and in doing so has somewhat cheapened the latter through illegitimate association. But they're not the same. For one thing, the nationalism of the colonised is clearly not the same as the nationalism of the coloniser. For another, Britain (to me 'Britain' and 'England' are interchangeable terms, by the way) is not a colony of the European Union, it's an equal partner. Scotland is not an equal partner in Britain-England, it's a disadvantaged colony that didn't want to be colonised.

Being an independent country and an equal partner in the EU would show Scotland fairness that it does not see by being part of the UK.

Thought: did the UK 'independence' movement gain momentum by convincing English people (hardly anyone in Scotland wants it) that they were a disadvantaged, discriminated-against minority?

Some terms & definitions, updated

15th May 2019

A 'local' is a person who doesn't feel the need to monetize the fact that they live in a particular place.

A 'conservative' is a person who fears change. Any change, in general. The whole concept.

A 'portmanteau' is a way of referring to something while obfuscating its meaning; e.g. 'Antifa', 'Brexit'.

'Prejudice': Ignorance on wheels.

'Geek': 1. Someone who truly and sincerely believes that preocccupation with trivial minutiae is intellectually elevating and life-enriching. 2. A pain in the arse.

Animation No.5

10th May 2019

Still lots of stuff I don't understand, it's frustratingly unpredictable what the effect of things is going to be. In the case of this it seems to change its mind what part of the object to relate absolute-position to. Also animation-direction doesn't seem to work in the way tutorials predict that it will.Spectrum

Update: I realised something, if you set the animation-direction to 'alternate' it is supposed to play forwards once then backwards once. BUT this counts as two iterations so if you haven't set the animation-iteration-count, and set it to something higher than 1, it just goes forwards and then sticks. Got this sort of working how I wanted it now.

Update update: Nup this is doing my fucking nut in.

Animation No.4

10th May 2019

An example closer to what I was trying to do with number 3, i.e. an infinitely repeating, rhythmic transition. I've tinkered with it a bit but still need to get a better understanding of it. Pulse 2

Animation No.3

10th May 2019


Bi-daily Animation No.2

9th May 2019

This is an exercise from a tutorial that I've fucked around with a bit: Circles

What should the title of this be?

12th April 2019

So I'm going to be dead some time between the next couple of seconds and the next, say, forty years. At some point in that range. So how the fuck am I sitting here, where I am right now? Being taken for granted, like I should think myself lucky to be sitting here.

I've been in this place before, and my experience says it will lead to short-term bad luck. Like I need someone else to force the situation before change can happen for me. So what can I learn from experience? How to navigate my way out of this sticking point without fallout? How do I use my past experience of this type of thing to bring about long-term, positive change without a short-term crisis resulting? How to jump squares on the board as I've always done, but this time, with my experience and maturity, to do it with grace and agility, and less pain, than the clumsy break-and-fix calamities of the past.

I should know how to instigate change constructively, rather than instigating disaster thus having change forced on me. Like there is a belief fairly solidly built inside me that I'm not qualified to make my own decisions. I know pretty clearly where that comes from.

Things I Wish I Could Time-Travel Back To Childhood To Say To My Dad

25th May 2018

  • Stop trying to live vicariously through me.
  • Stop trying to pretend that what you're doing is appropriate.
  • In about four or five years I'll be big enough to smack you in the teeth and I might just, they way you're going.
  • Don't rage at me about the burnt toast: you're a middle-aged man and you are incapable of understanding how a popup toaster works, despite my attempts to explain it to you. What the fuck.

List of Possible Cat Names

25th May 2018

  • Lego
  • Findus
  • Peebles
  • CAT 5

the forestry commission

25th May 2018

the forestry commission moved all the trees around
so i couldn't get my bearings or see anything I recognised
so i asked these 2 guys on mountain bikes if they could tell me where I was
he answered my question with a question he said where do you want to get to
home i lied
and he gave me a bum steer and sent me miles away through woods and bogs and jaggy gorse
my bike sank to the top of its wheels with me on it
night began to fall and the trail began to fade
and now home seemed to be where I wanted to be after all
i pulled out myself and bike and began to fight through the undergrowth
15 more minutes and one last gate to climb and I was back on a road I knew
Just wait till I get my hands on that guy who was too
stubborn to answer my question
and just wait till I get my hands on the Forestry Commission

Wee Davie and the Face Flannel

5th April 2018

I had a twenty-odd-year flashback just there. When I was at uni there was this wee guy called Davie. One day he was reminiscing about the first time he went away overnight on a school trip and a joke came up about how your ma always put a face flannel in your bag but it was never used.

It was then asserted by wee Davie that this was in case you had a shite while away and there was no toilet paper. In that event you could wipe your arse on your face flannel and that was why your ma gave you it.

I don't remember the whole story but I do remember him seemingly being very convinced that he was correct about this.

I wish I could remember the full details of his rationale for this, because I want to know:

  • Whether he'd ever found himself in a situation where he was forced to use his face flannel in this way;
  • What he then did with it afterwards, or would have done with it;
  • Like, would he fold it up all shitey and put it back in his bag to take home for his ma to put in the wash? Or would he just put it in the bin?
  • What would he do if he needed another shite later? At some point toilet paper would have to be sourced, surely.
  • Would he wash it up as best he could in the sink, then leave it to dry for next time?
  • I mean, so many of these possible outcomes just don't bear thinking about.

I don't suppose I'll ever know the answers to these questions as I'm not in contact with him any more, he was a wee dick.

A thing to remember

14th Feb 2018

what a thing to remember after so long. when i was so young and daft i actually mistook your intelligence for wisdom. but then again, so did you.

Some terms & definitions

8th Feb 2018

A 'local' is a person who doesn't feel the need to monetize the fact that they live in a particular place.

A 'conservative' is a person who fears change. Any change, in general. The whole concept.

A 'portmanteau' is a way of referring to something while obfuscating its meaning; e.g. 'Antifa', 'Brexit'.

'Prejudice': Ignorance on wheels.

things to do around Glasgow

7th Feb 2018

eat at Guy's as many times as possible
stroll around the area where you lived, watch sikhs playing cricket
freaks in kelvingrove park competing in eccentricity
pine for virginia galleries
drive around, narrating histories
while displaying expertise over the one-way system
find granny & grampa's grave
get an archaeology lesson from Liam
find out what sort of mood A is in & find out if you're in the mood to entertain it
give croftfoot the wide bodyswerve, while we're on the subject
hear bands at king tut's, the art school, stereo, sleazy's, st luke's, and a hundred others
experience a fish supper as fast food once again
at last a proper museum or two
wonder what it would be like to belong here
stroll through the university cloisters, wonder where they've put the philosophy department
fantasize about a holiday flat
along the river, notice new buildings
enjoy the easiest subway system in the world
wonder why and how

Early Man

6th Feb 2018

So getting up early is supposed to make you more productive and healthy and shite but I've discovered that there's a point of earliness beyond which you're just wasting time. I was up at 5 today, due at work at 9. During that time I drove my brother-in-law to the airport, picked up some bacon from the supermarket on the way back home, got showered and dressed, had a first breakfast of bacon sandwich and espresso, made my lunch, got some berries for my second breakfast, killed about 25 minutes reading comics on the web before being dropped off at work by the Mrs at 8am (1 hour before I needed to be there) whereupon I fed the cats, unlocked the doors, made my second breakfast of berries and oats, made coffee, and read more webcomics while eating peanuts. It's strange when you've been up for three hours and it's still dark. Unnatural. I could have been spending that time sleeping, dreaming all those brilliantly weird and vivid dreams that come with the second sleep.


5th Feb 2018

my visit here's been nice, see the sights and the bright lights, you've been showing me around your town, and you know I know this is a better place to be, I know only too well I've been living like hell, in my tiny mental no-room quarters, dripping waters, private everything and nothing shared, my neighbours ain't too edifying and my landlady's getting scared

we've been sleeping soundly and waking up clear-heady getting ready going out and making headway, keeping our noses clean and our eyes dry it's an illusion that I have to try but I really have to try one week is only a holiday, it's where I go from now, where I spend the rest of the days that counts, am I really itching to get back to doomtown, is life more tasty without the special sauce or is it wiser to spend it all on the doss

between zen master and useless bastart, the line she is fine

what can I say, thanks for having me, thanks for putting me up and putting up with me, around here you just feel whatever you feel, I can only say it's been real, I might want to come and live here some time I might want to come to stay, what's that you say, do I have to go back right away? Give it another week, say?

Isolation (I know it's hardly Burns)

25th January 2018

you want fucking isolation
I'll show you isolation
I will make effort for those that are worth the effort
I'll be worth the effort for other people thereby.
So stand by.
It's your thing.

Stop this leaky old bus I want to get (back) on the big train

25th January 2018

This shite today: Theresa May Has Been Very Clear That She Will Take A Strong And Stable Look At Cryptocurrency

Just showing its face on the fucking news about this topic while having nothing of any content whatsoever to say on the topic because none of the vacuous cunts have any idea even about stuff far more basic than this, let's face it. Back in my day it was tories going "we really need to seriously look at the 'Techno Rave culture' because it's definitely a thing although we haven't a clue about it but threats! Threats!!" oh but enough from this old curmudgeon, eh.


24th January 2018

Claude is a man in his early forties. He's been crying for the last fifteen minutes or so, just bawling and sobbing uncontrollably. He feels good to get it out, though, the more he cries the lighter and more relieved he feels. He's been carrying so much around for so long, it's cathartic to just feel it all, finally. He's almost come to this point a few times in the last few days, he's been aware that it was coming, and he knew that once he let it out, it would just keep on and on. It's almost as though he was waiting for the right moment, when he could just get it out uninterrupted. He's going to give himself permission to feel fine about things after this, and make more effort for people who deserve it.

Fun things to do on holiday

30th December 2017

cut toenails
analyse self

The Overstuffed Suit

9th October 2017

Lazy is the way I would ultimately describe this one. Yes he's very organised, but that's the trick: he organises everything meticulously to accommodate his innate laziness. He projects an authentic air of efficiency, but he engineers efficiency by discarding three quarters of the work at hand. He relies on his management's lack of understanding of and generational apprehension at his technical role to get away with this, which he does. All the effort goes into managing their perceptions; to induce a perception that he's getting on with things in the most productive way possible, even though he mostly produces rationales to explain why things that, I know, could happen, don't. And he'll always do this because it's all he knows how to do. And he'll probably always get away with it because change doesn't come fast enough in organisations like that to overwhelm such passengers.

Had I lacked other options and not been able to move on, it would have been necessary to put a stop to him. I would have simply, quietly, got on with doing what I saw could and should be done, and by that let his bosses see how much better and simpler and more productive our team's work could be. He would have been the last to know. By then it would have been a fait accompli, a clearly better solution already in place, without anyone having had to put hand to pocket. He wouldn't have liked that but I'd have needed to do it.

Then what would have happened?

Country Without A Continent

28 August 2017

A country without a continent. A leader without a mandate. Without a plan. Without a clue. Without anything to bargain with, or anything to bargain for. The old jokes about us having the best country but the worst neighbours are not so funny, when you're only a twelfth of the population and the other eleven twelfths have politics that are foreign to you and your land, and you pretty much get whatever they vote for. And they are so stupid at voting. Theirs is a land of strange beasts, of working class tories, who vote for an elite that they seem to imagine themselves part of just by being born in that particular place. An elite that shits on them. And they keep lapping it up then holding out their bowls and voting for more. They elect to turn their backs on the world, expecting the world to beg them to reconsider. The world is simply turning its back on them. No surprise to anyone but them. They call it malice. This does not distract from their own malice. Except to each other. The country of the blind. We've got to get rid of them and get back on the winning side.

And a clueless opposition that, when he talks about Britain what he's picturing in his mind is England and he doesn't even seem to see the difference. When he says 'we can beat the Tories and UKIP across the country' he doesn't realise that the Tories and UKIP don't hold power across the whole country - unless the country he's talking about is England rather than Britain. When he says that Scotland couldn't have a separate EU deal from the rest of Britain because it would mean needing two separate legal systems he seems ignorant of the fact that there already are two separate legal systems. When he says that the SNP in our government should use their powers to mitigate the damage of Tory policies, in apparent ignorance of the ways in which they most definitely have done. As if that's what the Scottish Government is really there for anyway, and as if it's only right that they should be forced to use their resources in this way. He doesn't understand Scotland and what's more he doesn't give a fuck about us.


15th March 2017

Accept my sincere apology or fuck off
accidents will happen, we're so short of room here
We were bound to bump into each other
Sooner or later
Angry London woman
Angry London man
You know I meant no harm
And no harm was really done
So please accept my sincerest and heartfelt apology
Or go and fuck yourself
Angry London woman
Angry London man
Though on behalf of my wife my statements require some qualification
They're not like that south of the river

Recipe For (?)

4th May 2016

  1. Take two people and mix up their lives until you're not sure which bits came from one and which bits came from the other.
  2. This isn't an omelette recipe, nonetheless you can't make it without breaking a few eggs.
  3. Add careers, a home, responsibilities.
  4. Add laughter, tears, joy, sadness. You may struggle to balance these flavours correctly.
  5. Add children (optional - they are something of an acquired taste).
  6. Add happiness, if you can find it. If you don't manage to get hold of some, use drugs as a substitute.
  7. Either simmer long and slowly or flash in the pan. Don't leave unattended or it'll go up in smoke.
  8. If you make a complete mess of it stand on windowsill for 20 minutes, deciding whether to jump.


4th May 2016

I fucking hate dancing and all situations that aim to coerce me into participating in it. There's no freedom in dancing, it's all about conformity and swift harsh social ridicule, or at best ignorant ostracism, for anyone who doesn't conform to doing it the 'right' way. It's a bit like twitter.

An Idea Of You

19th April 2016

An idea of you had me stunned
I came a long way to be near you
Wanted always to be with you
Ignoring the parts of you I didn't like:
Like, you're really beautiful when you're not angry,
When you're not manipulating,
When you're un-judgemental,
When you're open minded,
When you're loyal.
That's the difference between my idea of you
And you

Outside The Window

18th April 2016

The small room has a skylight in the sloping ceiling. I can see blue sky, white clouds and the tops of tall trees swaying in the strong wind. They said it wouldn't, yet earlier it rained briefly, suddenly and torrentially, just as i was heading out on my bike. I had to go home and change, making myself late at the place i had to be. I put on my waterproofs and headed back out, the sun now shining again. I needed the waterproofs against the road spray anyway. It's mid April, we're riding in the etape in five days and just two days ago it snowed. We have no idea what the weather will be like or how it will affect outcomes. I have serious reservations about staying in this part of the world for much longer, where there is so much beauty, when the sun shines, but where warmth is rare and rain is frequent.

Things To Do

24th March 2016

Things to do around Inverness Always see someone you know in the Islands
Camp under a tree in Bught Park
See a film at Eden Court, eat Ritter Sport
Bike all the way round Loch Ness, 67 miles
Drink beer outside at the Castle Tavern and see the bus you just missed
Look for seals in the river
Hire a boat in Whin Park, have an ice cream
Try and grow potatoes
See a deer in the street at 6 A.M.
Ride the Mast
Drink coffee and code HTML at work
Get the opening times wrong at the art gallery
Swapping recipes with K in the Victorian Market
Walk up Ord Hill to the ruined fort, look at the firth and the town below you
Smoking in the snow outside the North Kessock Hotel, Saturday night
Hide in the boot to save £10 on a taxi
Run indoors on the treadmill, too wet and windy outside
Wonder whether there's something seriously wrong
Buy organic vegetables at a roadside trailer near the airport
Check the tyre pressures before the big drive south

Things to do around London Fresh tortelloni at Borough Market
Walk along the south bank
So many museums, so little time
Wonder where all the best things in Soho have gone
Wander off the path in Greenwich Park
Enjoy the view of the river and Wharf alongside the General
Fall over drunk in Parliament Square
Mind The Gap
Eat a double cheeseburger with everything except onions from the kebab shop in Lee Green
Get an espresso, just about anywhere
Do Not Feed The Pigeons
Avoid Oxford Circus
Beers among scary London women in a pub in the Cut
Stock up at See Woo
Drive over to Bluewater and return Christmas gifts, spend the money on something else, sushi in the food court
Check out how the house prices have risen: "Even Sydenham's out of our league"
Argue at cross-purposes over many drinks with the inlaws in the back garden in Orpington
Try and catch up with old friends, at least one or two of them
Be treated to smoked salmon, magic tricks and good bourbon in Hither Green


No Date

Speed bumps: a choice between discomfort or inconvenience.

The web is 0.01% The Beatles and 99.9% The Monkees.

just because you're not getting with "the programme" doesn't mean you're not getting with a programme.

Plant life will be the next victim of humanity.

Never tell the whole truth to anyone except possibly your doctor.

In general, never tell the whole truth to anyone not legally bound to keep their fucking mouth shut about it. To me, this rules out priests.

If you have to go actively looking to find fault, look no further: the fault is yours.

Risk is a matter for the uncertain.

Will is the key to life. It either eludes you or rules you.

Prejudice is Ignorance on wheels.

You can't grow if you keep cutting yourself off at the knees.

Idiots do more damage than vandals.

You loved me as a drunk but now you're worried that I just might be sober.

The less of a clue you have, the more certain you're likely to be.

The more certain a person seems, the less of a clue they're likely to have.

Politics is not a spectator sport. It's not a sport of any type.

The 12 Steps? The 39 Steps, more like.

The best revenge is living well. Fitting someone up for fraud is a very close second.

You can't get the plug out of the bath while your arse is lying on it.

"You're not a cunt if you're only a cunt to certain people", so it goes.

Get me out of this fucking hellhole