Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Thankyou mother! Thankyou for the lovely cold!
I feel fine actually, it's just that when I swallow, I feel like I've been eating hot gravel for a month.
No man-flu here, just frustration at not being able to have a drink until the inflamation in my throat goes down.
I trust you all had a decent Christmas? Mine was ok, a financial pleasure at least............... Oh, and a giant box of Daz washing powder! Apparently my brother and his girlfriend reckon I need it. Cheeky fuckers! I prefer liquid anyway, less mess and hassle plus it tastes better........... I've never been one to turn down freebies, so I'll find a use for it.
Ok, so as we wind our way through the tedious post-Christmas fallout and into the waiting arms of the New Year, I thought I'd be dead original and make a wee list. It went something like this....
Album of The Year - That Lucky Old Sun by Brian Wilson.
Blog of The Year - A straight fight between Cocktails & Records and Velo-Gubbed Legs. C&R takes it by two falls to a submission.
Commenter of The Year - It's probably Cocktails, but Kim Ayres put in a late spurt recently, so I'll give it to him for popping his head round the door when it seemed like I was not only talking to myself, but on the verge answering myself back.
Web-Comic of the Year - A new category, and it goes to the one and only 'Married To The Sea'. Read it over your Shreddies and feel fractionally better about being a chump with a shite job. Sometimes, 'fractionally better' is all it takes to get you out the door in the morning, so don't knock it!
Most Satisfying Thing in 2008 - Watching facebook and bebo die a death of a thousand cuts at the hands of spammers and viruses.
Moment of Truth- Realising I'd never be a touring folk singer.
Moment of Joy - I'm a Partick Thistle & Glasgow Tigers fan. I know nothing of such things......
Moment of Despair - Tigers 45 Monarchs 46 & Thistle 0 Airdrie 1 Both on the same day as I recollect...............
Still, I did learn a bit about gardening, thanks to my good friend Clairwil, as well as taking some of my best photos yet and getting the cheeky idea that I might be able to make a living out of it.
Ok, class dismissed! Single file and no running................

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Clichéd Christmas Carping: Part 32(b)

I've heard it stated that Christmas is a cruel joke perpetrated upon the broke, the lonely, and the depressed. A plausible, but maudlin and slightly pretentious statement. Granted, it's a right old pain in the crotch, but since it's 'but once a year', it's one I can live with. Anyway, top things about Christmas: Christmas market in Argyll Street with it's neat little wooden stalls and amusing tat. (obviously stolen from Lapland New Forest...) German sausage sellers. Without them, I'd have died of hunger on many of my abortive Christmas shopping trips. The lights on the trees in Sauchiehall Street. Lovely! In fact, the plethora of Christmas lighting strung up over various bits of greenery at St Georges Cross and Cowcaddens. Beats the cack in George Square. Not that you'd know it was fucking christmas in my current place of work. Half-day on Christmas eve? Ha! Don't be so fucking silly! No, if you want to leave early, you need to make up the time apparently. How about I turn up at 4pm tomorrow and take 45 minute lunches for the next two months? If we're going to play silly buggers, I want to be the king of the castle! Buncha Crotch Pheasants! On top of this indignity, the cretins decide to pay us on the 23rd. Every other fucker on the planet seems to get their Christmas wage a good week before the 25th, you know, so that they can go and do their Christmas shopping........... Not the employees of the company I work for! Instead I have to fight the clock as well as the crowds in an insane after work dash, two days before the day we all celebrate the birth of the little babby Jimmy Christ, usually by getting wasted and buying each other the finest consumer durables China has to offer. Stereotypical Christmas bitches in no particular order: Endless queues? Check! Doddering fools? Check! Pile upon pile of worthless tat? Check! Pissy weather? Check! Shakin Bastard Stevens and Paul Fucking McCartney on the PA? Check! (x100000) Do my shopping earlier? Fuck off! I have neither the time nor the inclination to think about the annual orgy until I need to, it's just that a three mile trolley dash in the dark is about as much fun as listening to the Catholic church whingeing about a childrens party song. Next year, I do it all on-line................ All malignance aside, have yourselves a safe, sane and gently innebriated Christmas.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Aberdeen Man Lost At Sea

"I thought he was dead!" "Someone told me he was travelling the world in Sinclair C5!" "Really? I heard he was re-painting the Sistine Chapel with a toothbrush and a pot of Duluxe !" All wrong of course! I've been jumping through my arsehole for Jesus, if it's any of your business. Which it's not.
I have to admit, I'm fascinated by parochialism. That notion that nothing that happens anywhere else is of any importance, unless there are fellow Scots/Brits/Belgians etc involved. A prime example of it was seen today on a newsagent billboard for the Daily Record. "Scottish Victims of Nickell Murderer!" Ok, I know, it's just an angle, it's about flogging sub-literate printed bum wad to people who have trouble walking and talking at the same time. Thing is, this all comes from a newspaper that looks down it's nose at the very notion of Scottish independence as something tacky and small-minded, as something a little bit................parochial? Tonights music comes courtesy of Kinky Friedman, of Texas Jewboys fame.
Kinky for president!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Curious Bedfellows

I have two sources of junk e-mail to contend with this weather. One is a weekly bulletin from a mob of rabid yank right wingers, doubtless girding their loins for what they see as a dangerous new dawn of socialist radicalism, led by that nice Mr Obama chap. So far, so tedious. I'm also getting dyslexic porn spam, which isn't nearly as exciting at it sounds. As it stands, I don't know if I'm being tempted with internet filth or addressed by a pervy tourrettes sufferer with a broken keyboard. Slightly more amusing, but not by much. This leads me to ponder something that really ought not to be pondered. Hardcore right wing porn anyone? Now, there's a market they've yet to exploit................ Afghan Whigs - Turn On The Water

Monday, December 08, 2008

Attack Of The Killer Light Entertainers

'Tis the season to get our panties in a bunch about contaminated food products it would seem. First of all, Country Life butter was recalled from branches of Iceland because people had been finding traces of rubber in the cartons. As a purchaser of 'spreadable' butter and various substitute spreads for most of my life, I can honestly state that I don't see what the problem is. I mean, those little chewy bits are the best part, right?..............
Do you think John Lydon might have anything to do with all this? I know he's an irrelevant old pantomime dame who no longer poses any threat to anyone other than himself and the odd personal assistant, but it's all a little too coincidental for my liking. They didn't let Him or Steve Jones do a tour of the Country Life factory perchance?
Then we have Irish pork. Or rather we don't. What an absolute bag of old bollocks!
The risk from dioxins in this situation is deemed to be very low. You'd probably need to eat nothing but Irish pork products for the next two years to become ill, but that hasn't stopped vast amounts of only slightly iffy food being binned to fend off the prospect of Daily Mail fueled mass hysteria. Fuck me! Does anyone realise how much filth and poison we consume on a daily basis? If you ate a supermarket apple, a Big Mac and drank a can of Coke today, then let's just say that a few dodgy Irish bangers aren't going to make a whole heap of difference to your general health. Look, I'm not advocating a laissez faire attitude towards food safety ("yes you are!" - blog readers), but can we all just accept that you might as well withdraw ready salted crisps because they carry a threat of scurvy if you ate twenty bags a day.
There, that made no sense at all.
Mind you, nor did seeing Bernie Clifton* on TV recently. (Caution ladies!, site contains semi naked Keith Harris/Bernie Clifton photos)
I quite like Paul O'Grady, I also like some of his show, but the moment Bernie 'fucking' Clifton appears with his blessed ostrich, well, I'm off to do something a little more entertaining, like rub salt in my eyeballs, or count my nostril hairs. I thought that guy was dead, but hell, I suppose those old lags never die, they just disappear into the anonymity of pantomime and local radio.
Or maybe, if they're particularly poor, they get gigs as opening night turn at slums like Lapland New Forest.
My first thought when I read of the Dorset hell hole was "Pah! What did you expect?". Having seen this article on the Kent Lapland experience, I can now honestly say that the notion that people would be mugs to think such a theme park could ever be anything other than a dismal rip-off, is a little bit inaccurate and unfair. The £75 per head entry fee is horrific, but there is something of a 'Christmas Experience' involved, with customers booked in small-ish groups, rather than the messy, disorganised, turn up on the day approach of the New Forest site.
Having seen Youtube clips of the the approach to the infamous park, I can tell you that it's the sort of place that had I been taken there as a nipper by my folks, they would have turned tail before they got to the pay gate. Therein lies the problem. Some folk most probably did smell a rat, but a promised day out in santa land for the kids is not easily weasled out of. It's very hard to explain the concept of cheap, shoddy crap to a six year old, and the attitude of 'best just pay the cash and keep them quiet' seems to prevail.
This sort of shit is everywhere, and even the sharpest folk get suckered in occassionally
The Nazz - Open My Eyes Taken from Lenny Kaye's Nuggets comp *Not Bernie Winters, of Schnorbitz & Glasgow Empire infamy

Thursday, December 04, 2008

A Picture & A Song

View of Kelvingrove Art Galleries and Glasgow University from the Forth & Clyde Canal (Glasgow branch) Durutti Column - Belgian Friends. A bonus track which can be found on the album LC, if you're willing to wallop down the best part of a ton for it on import............ Mine cost about a fiver I think..........

Monday, December 01, 2008

Unsent Letters From A Dead Man Pt 3

"Jim, eyes open love" A gentle pressure on my shoulder and a soft voice in the pre-conscious fog. I ignored it. "Jim! C'mon, You need to get up" The voice had hardened a little. Still calm and patient, but I knew who it belonged to now. I felt Elaine's weight on the other side of the bed and I turned to watch her. The room looked cluttered but homely, though I'd had little time to take any of it in the previous night when the two of us had stumbled into into bed, haphazardly undressing as we went. Route one stuff. There were interesting body parts to be explored, a crazy, insanely passionate tangle of limbs that didn't sort itself out for a good half hour. She had her back to me and was sliding on some garment or other. My brain was still in neutral, and would be for at least another hour. "Where are you off to?" I said, trying not to sound desperate or worried. "Nowhere just yet" she said without looking up from what she was doing. My eyes followed her in the half darkness as she walked round the end of the bed towards the curtains, opening them with a quick jerk. The light streaming through the window punched a hole in my half open eyelids, scorching the image of the window pane and the rest of the room onto the back wall of my brain, so that it remained in negative when I blinked or closed my eyes. "Now, can you move that lazy arse of yours and come and have lunch with me?"
"I'm not sure" I croaked. "I think you may have shattered my pelvis last night"
An hour later we were huddled in the little perspex shelter next to the bus stop. I didn't need to be anywhere, but Elaine was working at 4pm in some shitehole pub in the city centre. I wanted to be back in bed with her, wrapped in those strong arms and legs, buried in blankets and body heat like any sane man would. Instead I was waiting on a bus that seemingly wasn't coming, as the wind and rain hammered against our flimsy hiding place.
"Is this bus usually late?" I asked, trying not to sound too narky. "It's probably broken down somewhere" she replied, giving me a weak smile and firing up another Silk Cut. "Sorry, it sounds like I can't wait to get away from you" I replied sheepishly. "It's just the rain and wind, I'm not really dressed for the weather".
I must have been staring a bit too longingly at the giant fake fur lined parka she had on.
"C'mon Jim, it's hardly you, is it?" she smirked, looking down at the coat then back up at me. Her long red hair framed her smiling face under the hood and made her look like a member of some long lost clan of Irish Eskimos. I wondered how Eskimos dealt with crappy weather. Maybe they just hung out in plastic boxes that smelled of urine, waiting for the No 25 bus like the rest of us. "If you're cold, I could give you a wee heat" Elaine whispered lecherously as she put an arm around me. I tried to put my arm around her, but it felt odd and uncomfortable as we perched upon the thin grey rail that passed for seating in the shelter. I let my arm drop and felt slightly more awkward than usual. She sighed and took a draw of her cigarette, blew out a stream of grey smoke at the ground, then looked back at me with an air of bemusement.
"Not in the mood love?"
I didn't answer, just stared at my shoes and at the never ending whirl of leaves, crisp packets and carrier bags that gusted around us and under our feet. I felt Elaine's hand lightly on my shoulder .
"Look, it's ok Jim, I know what you're going to say"
I heard the low deisel growl of a bus approaching and noticed she had got up to signal it down.
"Not here" I kept thinking
"Just, not here................"

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Avoid Christmas Disappointment & Stay In Bed

It's that time of year folks. The time of year when you start to do the 'heating's coming on dance'. Usually around about 5.45pm. Not long after the frostbite has set in, which of course makes dancing a tad difficult. Ventured out tonight in the freezing fog to get some messages. I did consider going back out again with the camera to get some moody fog pics, but I wasn't for doing anything until I regained the feeling in my fingers and legs, by which time I'd decided I'd rather set fire to my armpits than go back outside again. Of course, a good old cold snap is no bad thing, if only to freeze snot nosed, paranoid, mentally deficient wanker students to the pavement as they queue ACROSS the pavement to get their money from cashpoint machines. The result is the sight, all across town, of absolute fucking morons causing a major obstruction to passers by in the name of the confused notion that just because someone is behind you,they can't see your pin. Fucking hell!! It happened to me the other night and it was frankly embarrassing to have to join in with this 'dance of the retards'. I could see people joining the queue and thinking the same as me. NOBODY CAN SEE YOUR PIN IF YOU COVER THE KEYPAD!!!!!!! If someone is too close for comfort, simply fucking turn and stare at them, as I did a few weeks ago to some toolbag outside Sainsbury's. It ain't fucking difficult. In fact, it's rather satisfying and empowering. Just watch them sheepishly step back and out of your face. Even the meekest of spoddy studes should be capable of such a feat, though if passive aggression is your general MO, then I have to admit that such activity may not be for you and queuing across across the pavement must seem pretty natural........
Not my favourite BTS song, but the best one I have to hand. Still better than most stuff you'll ever hear.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Blue Thunder

Galaxie 500 - Plastic Bird I always found that it was best to listen to Galaxie 500 from another room. Dean Wareham's voice has that nagging, abrasive quality that sounds better the further away you get from it. Of course, as you retreat from the speakers, the songs open up and reveal themselves to be lovely discordant pop gems on the sly. (Or shoegazing shite, depending on where you stand on these issues.....................) No more 'Winter Warmer' rubbish. I can't be arsed. There will however be Christmas themed run in mid December. Cheers!

Unsent Letters From A Dead Man Pt2a

The taxi eventually arrived and we left the night and the 3am chill of the city centre behind us. I sank down into my seat as Elaine gave the driver our destination, then she sank back with me, her head dropping to nestle on my shoulder. After a few minutes, I felt her lips and warm breath tracking up and down and from side to side on my neck, starting work on me again . I pulled away slightly and looked at her apologetically. "Easy there missus!" "Aw! I thought you liked that." she said, looking slightly baffled. "I do, it's just........" I trailed off and looked out the window. After a few seconds I turned to look at her again with nothing more than a shrug and a sigh. "I understand. Not here" she said with a nod. "Look, it's ok Jim. Just relax, we've got all night....." With that she put her head back on my shoulder, and stared ahead, as our Turkish taxi driver sped through south side streets that were almost totally unfamiliar to me. He said nothing, save for an inquiry about whether we should turn left or right at one point, but beyond that he gave nothing away. Good for him, not enough taxi drivers had their verbal diarrhoea in such good check. "So, how far now?" I asked her absently. "Five minutes pet" she replied, squeezing me reassuringly. I felt a strange mixture of comfort and embarrassment at her response. I hadn't been called 'pet' since I was about seven years old, yet there was something about the dream-like chaos of the past two hours that had set me a little on edge and her serenity was beginning to put me a little more at ease. I squeezed her back and I stared dead ahead into those green-blue eyes. We slowly and discreetly fell into each other and all remaining memories, tension, and bad karma I had been carrying started to drift away into the aether. The cab crested a rise in the road and Elaine broke away, sat forward and pointed out to the driver where she wanted us dropped off. We fished about for cash to pay the cabbie, then clambered out onto the damp streets of Rutherglen. I only had a the vaguest idea of where we were in relation to any place I knew. I recognised nothing of my surroundings as we walked to Elaine's flat and I concluded that I had left any sense of direction I possessed behind me, somewhere at the bottom of Union Street. I didn't mind. Where I was going, I wouldn't need it.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Unsent Letters From A Dead Man Pt1

"Don't let her kiss you."
"Don't let her kiss you!!"
"Why not?"
Karen looked at me like a mother telling her son why he shouldn't stick a screwdriver in an electrical socket.
"Just don't. She'll have you for breakfast."
"Breakfast is an important meal" I said, before smugly turning to look out the window of the bus.
"Yeah, but you've got no idea who she has lined up for lunch and dinner."
"Oh c'mon........... I'm a big boy. Besides, who says she's that interested in me. She seems like a decent sort. Funny, clever, unconventional. Not my sort at all.............."
"If I was a bloke, I'd go for her" she said absently.
I raised an eyebrow and turned the other way, staring at an Asian woman trying to get her buggy and children down the stairs from the top deck and off the bus, a queue of impatient, uptight citizens silently cursing in her wake. I stared at the floor and counted cigarette butts, then looked up again.
"Makes you a lezzer then" I said, not quite as under my breath as I had intended.
The force of her hand on the back of my head took me by surprise and my forehead took a whack against the steel bar that constituted the back of the seat in front. I stared daggers at her as she took her turn to look smugly out of the window.
"Violence is most unbecoming of a lady" I said weakly
"Tell it to a lady then, you little tit!"
My stop arrived soon after and I got up to leave in silence. Karen gave me the finger and a placid smile as I descended the stairs.
Her way of telling me to 'take care'.
It was much appreciated.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

North Berwick

Shots from Friday. Thanks to the folks for having me, a fine day all told, especially for mid November.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Isle of May

"I think Youtube will replace television" opined some twat the other day. Yeah, maybe, but only if they manage to improve the picture quality, speed up the buffering and remove the comments of about half a million mental defectives. The comments on Youtube, as you all probably know, are beyond belief. The relative articulacy and lucidity found on blog comments make you realise just what a sweet little cotton wool world we live in over here. Youtube comments are like some hellish leftover from the days when message boards didn't require logins and people just changed their name when they got banned.
Points Of View it ain't.
Has anyone seen Points Of View recently? Is Barry Took still doing it?
I do know that instead of stills of the original letter and a suitable voice-over, we now have phone recordings of irate/elated viewers waxing pedantic/lyrical about something they saw a fortnight ago. Or are they phone recordings? Is it all some big con? Are the voiceover artists of yesteryear simply re-employed to work from home and ring up the BBC, read out the e-mailed complaints/compliments and put on the odd Geordie/Brummie/Scouse accent to lend it all a veneer of credibility?
I hope so..............

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

From The Mouths Of Muppets

"Oh, I'm so glad he got in! , he really deserves it..." "Did you know the White House was built by black slaves?" "Was it? That's terrible! They should tear it down and build it again!" I kid ye not, that was part of an actual conversation overheard in the dining area at work. Well meaning and kind hearted gibberish, of course, but I wasn't about to get involved in the conversation, so I quickly left the room before I burst into a fit of giggles. It's that whole "Aw, isn't it great?, he's so brave!" bullshit. People acting like the guy's a nine year old paraplegic who's just won his first swimming badge. Wonder what the reaction will be when he gets down to business and displays more of the 'tough bastard' side needed to govern any sizeable country. Maybe I'm not entirely comfortable with politicians unless they register somewhere on the Cunt-O-Meter. ** It'll come..... In other news, I think I may be a tad lovesick. Or something like that. Not for anyone in particular, you understand, but the symptoms have been manifesting themselves ever more clearly for the past month or two. That inescapable feeling that you're spending too much time on your own and that something vast and important is missing from your existence. Or maybe I just need to buy more porn............. ("~) I believe it's what Kinky Friedman describes as 'Spiritual Horniness'. Winter Warmer No4
Bauchredner by Gastr Del Sol, from the Camoufleur album
**paragraph edited.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

You Fucking Liar!

Came home last night to find someone had set the back court on fire. A vast improvement if you ask me...........
Apparently we're all gagging for ID cards. Has Jacqui Smith been in at the booze cabinet ? Seriously, there are two possibilities here. She's either been canvassing the opinions of twelve year olds, or the people she claims to have been accosted by, the ones telling her they can't wait to get retina scans and have their private information left on public transport, are mere figments of her imagination.
On a less peevish note, my latest Photoblog concluded yesterday. Seasons1: Autumn can now be viewed in all it's modest glory.
Ok, I'm off to put a pillow over my head and bellow every last ounce of rage out of my body. It's the only rational response to your internet connection dying on you once an hour.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Hello, My Name Is Barack Obama...........

...............I am the inheritor of Dubya's kingdom of doom, and all I can say is..........
Aha!, no, just kidding.....
Anyway, when I heard that The iLL Man had the great Mike Love of the Beach Boys guest blogging for him, I took the liberty of asking to grace his blog on the day I got elected, if I indeed that was what transpired. He wasn't sure at first, claiming he had Jeremy Clarkson, Joe Pasquali and the bass player from Level 42 lined up as possibilities for that particular week. Being at the back of that particular queue of celebs, I felt for sure I'd miss out, but he eventually relented and told me that I "had better fucking win" or he'd set Cliff Richard on me. A terrifying prospect. I'm already sick to my stomach at the thought that Fleetwood Mac might re-form again to play at my inauguration.
So here I am, and it feels great to be elected. One thing I need to say to everyone. Can you all come down from the rafters soon? Please? It's fucking scary. Every man, woman, child and family pet, the world over, seems to be treating me like the 2nd coming.
Maybe this is why I'm FUCKED!
How many of you will hate my guts in four years time?
Ah, I don't care. I'm the first US President to post on the iLL Man's blog. Beat that Bush! This weeks celebrity endorsement comes via the 44th President of The United States of America, Barack Obama.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What's New iLL Man?

Things that have been filling my admittedly tiny cranial cavity over the past week, causing mild flooding in the left ear and several nosebleeds................
i - What the fuck has happened to the speaking clock? There I am on Sunday morning, attempting to synchronise my alarm clock and I've got fucking 'Tinkerbell' squeaking away at me. I don't know what they've done with the well spoken bloke that usually does it. Is he on holiday? When is he back? I'm getting lonely here....................
ii - Made a cyclist stop at a traffic light yesterday. Nothing out of the ordinary in that, but hearing his cries of anguish as he was forced to apply the brakes and obey the rules of the road for once in his fuckwitted life was a rare pleasure. As I watched him approach the lights at something approaching 20mph, I could see the brief flicker of indecision on his face as he considered romping through the crossing. Rather cantankerously, he decided not to. Victory!!
iii - Some household tips. I have triumphed over the mildew currently infesting parts of my house. Well, not entirely, but leaving the bedroom window open in the evenings seems to have sorted the problems in that particular room. Also, re-open yr living room curtains before going to bed is helpful. Don't be conned into buying a de-humidifier folks....
iv - My last trip to the speedway was on Sunday there. I had heard tales from a friend at Ashfield about the female residents of Saracen Street in Possilpark and their thing for pyjamas as streetwear, but I only half believed it. I witnessed the phenomenon for the first time on Sunday afternoon. The look seems to be a Berghaus jacket, a pair of Primark silk-look patterned jammies, either slippers or a pair of trainers and a bag of stuff from the local mini-market. From what I've heard, it's also standard evening wear too..........
I just hope it doesn't catch on with the blokes and I get treated to the sight of fat tattooed lads in boxer shorts and curry stained vests and T-shirts.
v - It would seem that the Democratic candidate for the US presidency suffers a little from an identity crisis in the eyes of some voters. I understand entirely their confusion. For a very long time, I was labouring under the misapprehension that his name was Barry O'Bama and that he was of Irish descent.
You have no idea how glad I was when I found out this wasn't true...................(SATIRE!)
vi - A final thought for the Rangers fan at work who's got a massive chip on his shoulder about not being able to sing certain songs at the football:
The Famine Song is over
Why don't you sing something else................?
Winter Warmer No2 With Me Tonight - The Beach Boys from Smiley Smile

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Falling Back

Good old horizontal rain, eh? Winter's here and not a moment too soon........... A perfect afternoon for sitting in with endless cuppas, watching the scores come in (St Johnstone 3 Thistle 0), fiddling about on the guitar (Trying to work out a wee tune to this) and catching the end of a Rog Moore Bond film (The greatest Bond of them all. Fuck you if you disagree!!)
So, get that central heating advanced, buy in some hot chocolate and a shed-load of coffee and tea, and close the curtains, for pissing rain and darkness will be your lot until April at the very least.............
Winter Warmer No1- Television: Little Johnny Jewel

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Grinding To A Halt

Blogging ought to be like riding a bike, you should never forget how to do it. However, it's starting to feel like I've done just that. Or maybe I just need to adjust the saddle, fix the brakes and oil the chain. It's also possible that I can't be arsed this weather. It's no excuse though, I used to be able to just write any old horse-shite off the top of my head. Some would contend that I still do, and that this is half the problem. Maybe I should maybe sell the bike and find something else to do.............. On the upside, there will be more Frederick Characteracter stories coming along (if you can bear the suspense of waiting for the next installment!), as well as a few more painfully unamusing 'celebrity endorsements'. The Seasons1:Autumn photo blog is coming to an end, so do please have a look. There shall be a new one in the spring, going by the entirely predictable title of Seasons2:Spring I'm also adding stuff to my Fotonomy account, though 'd say the site is worth going to just to see some of the stunning photos posted up by the other members.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Love Life, Love Liver

This weeks celebrity endorsement comes courtesy of Mike Love, lead singer of the Beach Boys. Hey folks! Mike Love of the Beach Boys here! Y'know, when I'm not spending my whole life touring with a clapped out oldies band, strutting about the stage like an old queen and suing folks, I haul me up a laptop and find out what that crazy motherfucker, The iLL Man is up to. Not much as it turns out, but you know, it's nice to see how the other half lives..................

I'll make this short, I'm late for my afternoon Transcendental Meditation session. Anyway, as I was saying to Paul McCartney in Rishikesh in 1968, the other day....... Later Bitches!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Occassional Life Of Frederick Characteractor: Pt 2 - Hull

If I were to attempt to define Lawson, I'd regard him as a sardonic and slightly autistic Felix Unger to my Oscar Maddison. A constant source of both amusement and irritation. He had departed a week ago, off to Hull to see a sick relative. That's how he is, dropping everything to visit some ailing aunty or uncle at the drop of a hat. I’d only return home to dance on some one's grave to be honest, but even people I love and adore will be hard pressed to see me at their bedsides. I’ve let it be known to those I hold dear that they’ll never be forgiven if they form a vigil at my side in the final moments. I wouldn’t say I had missed him as such, his nit picking and mother hen clucking drove me wild at times, yet it was reassuring that when he was around, things stayed in balance. When he wasn’t around, chaos ruled and I merely did it’s bidding. Anyway, ever the good little housekeeper, he made me rudely aware of his return and had me up and about at the most ungodly hour imaginable. I was simply not designed to be awake at 8am, but the droning hoover and the sound of Radio 2 whacked up to eleven on the HiFi in the living room ensured that I would never get back to the sweet slumber I had become accustomed to in the past week. I pondered the situation as I pulled on two roughly similar socks that looked like they had endured the least amount of wear since they last visited the washing machine. It looked as if the back door would be my only option for escape. The state the house was in after five days of neglect and hedonism would, quite frankly, have left even the most dissolute of souls wringing their hands in horror. The withering look I’d get from the old tart if I was to attempt to go out the front door would haunt me for most of the morning and I could live without the guilt for another day at least………. I made my way to the back door, only realising too late that the escape route had been ‘alarmed’ with the biggest ruddy set of wind chimes I’d ever seen. Great big metallic fuckers that seemed to descend to the floor. They clattered and clanged endlessly over my head for what seemed like an eternity. They continued to clank away for a few seconds more before I tried to bring them under control, with little success. I only ended up making more noise. The hoover had gone off by now and the radio was down to a sensible level, so Lawson couldn’t help but hear the melee and came scuttling through to the kitchen. Lawson loved wind chimes. I loathed the bloody things, naturally, and constantly complained about him bringing home a new set to put up somewhere around the house. There are senile 90 year old women who would consider you crazy if you did that. That said, we didn’t need a burglar alarm, the last guy to attempt a break and entry job made a noise like a gang of drunken Hari Krishna's and was soon chased into the night. Still, I failed to see why we needed them dangling from the doorway of every room. I had often wondered what one would bring back as a souvenir from a place like Hull. If you were Lawson, you would bring back some windchimes of course. Then again, he could visit the moon and find a gift shop selling the fucking things………… “You’re up early” “Am I?” I replied in feigned ignorance. “I have to get to Euston for half nine, I’m supposed to meet my agent” My agent didn't see anyone before midday, and Lawson knew it. He looked at me like I was a child deceiving it's mother. Which strictly speaking, was true, but we won't get into that just now. I slunk out of the back door, feeling his sad, limpid eyes boring into me with admonishing pity. The last thing I needed or wanted. When you literally crawl home at 3am four times a week, it's a sensation that grows old very quickly........... I left the house with the notion that if I got drunk quickly enough, everything would stop being true.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

People Were So Much More Attractive In 1993

Dedicated to mania inducing bores everywhere.

Gob Rot

It started late afternoon on Tuesday. One of the old pegs in the back row was starting to get a little agitated. Caused me no end of gip, so after sleeping on it, I decided that it was a case of 'better out that in' and off I trotted to the Dental Hospital. Ah, the Dental Hospital, that last hope of the impoverished and the jakey old sot, at least it was last time I visited. Back then, it was a case of turning up, taking a ticket and waiting yr turn, no questions asked, no fees demanded. This weather it's all appointments and the recommendation that one brings along at least thirty quid to cover their butchery, though it's nice to see that they still don't tend to ask too many questions. For yr money you get a cheery, affable chap who displays the x-ray of your crumbling molar on a little screen that swings round in front of you as you recline in the more than comfortable chair, before wrenching out the abscessed fucker with little or no fuss. Lovely.
Anyway, I've been feeling a little crappy over the past few days. The swelling from the extraction and the injections is only just starting to go down. I'd recommend that all you kids out there brush your teeth twice a day, but then that's what I did and see where it got me...........!!
So, three times a day it is. Oh, and stay away from booze, Coca Cola, crisps, chocolate, curry...........all the stuff that's good...............
Nah, give me a toothless grin and searing agony any day of the week.......................
I keep making promises to myself to enlist at a nearby NHS dental practice, but I have the feeling that even that would bankrupt me given the current state of my piggy bank. I should have acted long ago and got my mouth sorted, but given that the last lot of treatment was both extensive and expensive, part of you just thinks 'Fuck it!!' and leaves it at that................

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Occasional Life Of Frederick Characteractor: Pt1 - Trousers

“Lawson!!” I yelled, as I splayed my gangly frame out on the floor of the study. A pitiful looking figure appeared in the doorway and looked in askance at me. I ignored his insolence and enquired as to the whereabouts of my good trousers. “They’re still hanging from the barbed wire at the rec ground. I saw them this morning as I went for the papers.” The memories of my monstrous behaviour the previous night emerged all too quickly from the darker corners of my hung-over brain. The convoluted afternoon drinking games with Charlie and his mother in law at their flat in Hammersmith, the ‘Bachelorette Party’ we crashed in Chelsea, the stolen vintage champagne bottles used as tenpins in a quiet suburban street at 2am……………………….. The bit involving my trousers was a blank though. I half suspected Lawson was pulling my chain on this one, but I’d never known him to have a particularly waggish sense of humour, and I’d have been horrified to see him develop one at this late stage. I had consumed rather more than normal to be honest and it wouldn’t have surprised me at all if i’d staggered home in nothing but my grubby longjohns.
“Ok, what about my white tennis slacks?” Silence. Lawson was no longer in the doorway. Probably off dis-infecting the dis-infectant he dis-infected the toilet with only five minutes earlier. “Even those revolting chinos you bought me…..?” I called. Nothing. "Some manservant you turned out to be!" I hollered with mock indignance. I gave up, lay back and stared at the ceiling again, deciding it was best to think about things that made me happy. My cousin Emma popped into my head. “No Freddie!, bad boy…… I muttered to myself. Definitely out of bounds. Just because Charlie was doing a tad more than lodging with his mother in law, didn’t mean I had to go down a similar route myself. Lord No! She did make me happy though, such a delightful lass, short brown hair last I saw her, a wicked smile and that ‘I dare you’ look in her eyes. She also never had a good word to say for me, which just made me all the fonder of her. I thought of Fridays in the local boozer, suburban train rides on bright afternoons, playing chess with the cat, fishing on canal banks, washing in the park fountain last summer because one of Lawsons hideously prissy hag friends had decided to stay for a month and couldn’t stand to use the bath after I’d taken my weekly ’rinse’…………………. All these things made me feel a bit better about being hungover and ignored and trouserless and lying on a cold floor, staring at the cracks in the ceiling of a crumbling Edwardian semi in North London .

Thursday, October 02, 2008

A Scotsman On A Horse!

Wednesday started with bright sunshine, a hopeful heart and a foot full of dog shite.... Cheers! People who let their dogs shit the pavements are, along with cyclists, creationists and people who think soap operas are real, my least favourite people in the world. Never mind rubbing Fido's nose in it, I'd say a face full of reeking dog muck might stop the fuckers being so careless in future. The result of said failure to 'hurdle the turd' was that I had to spend ten minutes in the gents at work scraping the......... (snip!) Yeah, I'll say no more.............. Let's just say that when I bought a much needed new pair of work shoes a few days back, I was looking for sturdiness over style. The downside of this is that the deep cut treads on the soles aren't terribly conducive to a quick wipe off on a patch of grass or in a puddle. This was 9.05am. It could only get fucking worse! It didn't really, but my glasses did break five minutes after I got in the door that night............. At work I have turned into a blank eyed hive of irritating ticks and twitches. It's partly a defense mechanism, designed to fend off the attentions of the people who sit around me, a bit like someone who bags a double or triple seat on a bus or plane for themselves by talking to themselves loudly and rubbing their crotch repeatedly. It's also a reaction to my working environment. Of course, the person next to me does it too from time to time, but she's just copying me. She thinks humming the tune from the Magic Roundabout is awful clever. I mutter to myself and hum bits of whatever is rolling around the empty corridors of my mind because I don't want her to talk to me and I'm bored out of my skull. She hums to herself because she wants everyone to notice her and remark upon how witty and amusing she is, and ask her what it is she's humming, at which point she'll bore them cockless until the end of time. There is an upside to all this brain-itching madness. I have become a bit good at the weekly football predictions. I look forward to relieving my colleagues of their readies for quite some time to come. Maybe it's the cabin fever talking, but I aim to hoover up as much cash as possible between now and next May. Who knows, it may help keep me solvent long enough to survive the financial meltdown. Hell, I could even fire it into an Irish fucking bank account in the laughably mistaken belief that it'll be safe there............... Anyway, all charmless grousing aside, I'd like to give a little punt the Glasgow Guerrilla Gardening blog, curated by Clairwil. It's in it's infancy just now, but as the seasons tick past and we grow in number as well as new sites to cultivate and beautify, so shall the blog become more rounded. Found this over at The Quiet Road. It made me smile.............

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

They're Perfectly Safe.........Provided Of Course That You Believe In Them!

Reading the coverage of the current economic flap and the absurd manner in which the money markets work, put me in mind of the 'El Mystico & Janet' sketch from Monty Python (above).

Anyway, I'm off to bed now. I've got a rotter of a cold coming on, it's been following me about like nobodies business for about a fortnight, and now it seems about ready to give it to me with both barrels. It also seems like my pc is on it's last legs. It's taken me about half an hour to typeabout thirty words. Can't be arsed fighting with it, fuck the spelling mistakes and typos.......

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Friday Night Miscellany

Have you ever wondered what Brian Wilson's Pet Sounds might sound like if a bunch of bedroom electro-geeks got their hands on it? Wonder no more..............
For anyone planning on getting all apoplectic, I wouldn't bother. They don't mean no harm..............
The power went out tonight, just as I was walking up the road to the house. The big giveaway was seeing the lights in Iceland and Lidl go out simultaneously. Some bloke in an Iron Maiden T-shirt came breenging towards me further up the road and informed me that "the whole area is out", as if all contact with the outside world had been lost. The poor sod is probably still hiding in the bushes outside the Firhill Complex, waiting for law and order to be restored.................
I wasn't long in when the lady from upstairs, along with her daughter, came down and asked about the power failure. I let slip that my phone was working, so she asked to come in and use mine to contact her husband. I suspect hers probably was working, it's just that she maybe thought it wouldn't be due to the outage. Anyway, there's me handing over my pre-historic handset, worrying about the mess my house was in, feeling awkward...........
The phone rang out on the number they had called, but about ten minutes later, I was fielding a call from the husband, explaining what had happened. All too eventful if you ask me..............
It was all a bit of a fucker to be honest, I couldn't wash the dishes or wash any clothing, so I decided to lie on the couch and wait for them to switch the power back on. Seemed to be the thing to do.............
I ought to do it more often........................

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


If you saw it on the telly tonight, you may be able to give me a rundown on what should or shouldn't have gone our way at the hands of the masonic bastard referee. I was too busy laughing at Nacho Novo and Kirk Clubfoot, between roaring through choruses of 'King Billy Was A Poof' and 'Mary Fae Maryhill'
Our time is coming, believe it!!
Rule Britannia my fucking arse!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Big Breests Are Great!

...........Or so proclaimeth the legend scrawled upon the inside of the door to a refuse container situated outside a refurbished pub on North Street. This area is now officially 'Bukowski Alley', what with Chinaski's bar, and then 'The Ritz' slowly transforming into 'Black Sparrow' (Bukowski's publisher). Now, as far as I can tell from his books and poetry, Bukowski was a leg man, but nonetheless, it's all a bit spooky. Looks like the work of a denizen of the east, someone from the land of saltnsauce if I'm not mistaken....................
Whatever, it needed saying and I'm eternally grateful for it's presence.
Glasgow Diamonds American Football team make a video in which they prove for once and all that white men can rap (but they sure as hell can't fucking dance, not these ones anyway....) I know we don't get much sunshine up here in Glasgow, but surely they could have waited for a slightly brighter day to shoot this......No? The tash on the singer is a thing of great beauty and wonder though. I shall grow one just like it!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Almost Ready.............

Sorry about the absence, I've been rather occupied of late. Or is that just too fucking lazy to post? A bit of both maybe............................. Anyway, I'll be back soon, regaling you all with more tales of the expected. Hold on tight! Heroes & Villains by The Beach Boys. There are a couple of versions of this song floating around on general release, but this isn't one of them. It's at least two, if not more.................... I found it on an old tape of Smile bootleg material I made about a hundred years ago. I think I cobbled it together using the edit facility on a now deceased Sony minidisc. Let's just say that the 'acid casualty doo-wop' feel has been ramped up to eleven on this one..................... ;)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Test Card

Normal service will be resumed soon. Cheers!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Fleeting Thoughts

Each week there seems to be a new headline in either the Daily Mail or the Daily Express, proclaiming the miraculous qualities of everyday items like tomatoes, to prevent Cancer. Delve further and you will find a plethora of oddball alternative cures and panaceas for every ailment under the sun. With this in mind, not to mention the fair few bob I might earn from endorsing various spurious products, I have compiled a list of items that may, or may not have been scientifically tested, and may, or may not have curative properties.
Goat semen to cure piles
Monkey weewee to cure acne
Domestos to cure nosebleeds
A length of two by four across the head to cure migraines
A boot in the nuts to cure groin strain
60 Club King Size per day to cure Emphysema
Paracetemol to cure every ailment known to man...........
.....................and now that you're all in rude health and raring to go...
My local branch of Lidl is a quite wonderful place you know. Where else can you get heather plants for 39p, cans of nice German beer for 69p and footwear in any size but the one you require? That said, it's the folks who shop there that are the real reason I go. Don't be fooled by the 'poverty stricken' schtick I put on, I'm only in there for the banter. In reality, I live off Marks & Spencer ready meals and sip the finest wines and spirits.
Case in point. I'm standing in the queue sometime last week and I overhear a rather rough looking lady proclaim to her friend that she had "bought wan uv they laptops aff wee Davie".
Alas, said device was something of a disappointment to her.
"Ah canny get intae it though" she stated, "It keeps askin' fur a password........."
I'd like to make an appeal at this juncture. I'd like to ask of anyone who as had their laptop pc stolen in the past few months, to please get in touch with me, so I can pass on the code to the poor woman. I believe it was about fifty notes she paid for it. You know how much cheap voddie and cider you can buy for that?
Or maybe she used fake notes..................
This leads me to Lidl incident No2. The guy behind me in the queue the other day handed over a £20 note for his shopping. I was still packing my stuff away when the girl at the check out suspected something was amiss. The note felt 'wrong' and she called a colleague. Her colleague checked for a water mark and confirmed that indeed, the note was as bent as a thirteen pound note bearing an image depicting Jimmy Saville in frenzied sexual congress with an ostrich on one side. The chap didn't put up much of a protest, simply muttering something about the bookies he'd just been to, swearing that he'd take it back and give them a piece of his mind. I assumed he had meant the local Willie Hill, but obviously not,as he went off in the opposite direction, no doubt in an attempt to pass the fucker off at the mini-market up the road. The cheeky wee scamp.............
One last thing. For anyone who thought there was a chance of the world ending on Wednesday , have you ever considered idiocy as a career? You've actually got another fortnight or so to go before the black holes come to get you, they were only switching the fucker on to see if everything worked. Full scale proton collisions don't get underway for a wee while yet..........
Mind you, if you keep your head under the covers and don't expose any body parts, you'll be perfectly safe......................
Monster Mash - Bonzo Dog Band: Taken from the 'Tadpoles' album, available on the 'Cornology' set. Many of the songs from this album were aired on the ground breaking childrens tv show 'Do Not Adjust Your Set', a predecessor to Monty Python's Flying Circus.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Things Are Not Going To Plan

I'm afraid you'll have to be on the look out for my posts in the next week or so, they may be a tad infrequent. Made the rather silly mistake of switching off my pc at the mains while it was still on and suddenly the keyboard and mouse are fucked. It should be sorted soon, but not soon enough, if you know what I mean....................
Anyway, check Tigers At The Tapes for last weekends thrilling speedway coverage, and the new photo blog too.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Calling All Armchair Despots!

When you do what I do for a living, the mind tends to wander off in search of improved mental stimulation. Of course, this generally involves internet abuse, scribbling out food shopping lists and doodling on notepads. Today however, I got to thinking about what might happen if we were to declare our own countries.
Think of the little part of the world you live in and imagine what you would do with it if it were to gain independence. My thoughts on the subject are as follows..............
The state would be named 'The Peoples Republic of Maryhill'. Initially I would run the state from the burnt out ruins of the Community Central Halls, as a symbolic gesture, before re-locating to the rather comfier local housing association offices until the mess made by my bloody coup was cleared up. I would then elect a polit-bureau consisting entirely of family members, friends and whatever local mental cases join my cause. The economy would be based on three nationalised industries. Fast food, off licenses and a scratch card lottery with bogus prizes. Plans to invade Springburn, Hillhead and Possilpark would be formulated in due course.
Sounds like paradise!
Ok, your turn now. I need some allies........................ ;)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Lord Snooty's Giant Poisoned Electric Head

The Bonzo Dog Band - My Pink Half Of The Drainpipe Every time I have to go across to the other office to pick up filing, I'm reminded of the above song. Office life has a habit of turning even the nicest and most amusing people into brain buggering bores, but the group of halfwits I spent two hours in the company of today make the more annoying folk I normally work with seem quite witty, erudite and fascinating in comparison. Quite a feat really........... Where do these people come from? These blank eyed monsters with their tales of suburban terror. Their miserable holiday snaps, banal chatter about what they had for dinner last night, about what their boyfriends do for a living, about how they went to Miami on holiday and DID FUCK ALL!!!!!..................... Apart from go clubbing and shopping.......... Nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnngggggg!!!!!!! Pass me the white hot needles, I feel a migraine coming on............ Why bother even leaving East Kilbride? September is 'Bonzo Dog Band Month' by the way..............

Monday, September 01, 2008

Killer Cups

For those who enjoyed what I did with my Seven Days blog, I've just published the first in a series of new photo diaries. They will focus almost entirely upon nature (Flora, Fauna, the odd bit of sky), rather than the random guerrilla photography of Seven Days. It's still the same format of one shot per day, but each season will be a new blog.
The first installment is called Seasons1 - Autumn
In other news, I have just ripped a hole in one of my fingers. I was foolishly attempting to dry out a coffee mug when the handle snapped off rather suddenly. As a result, my middle finger caught the brunt of the sharp edges of broken china and now sports a rather fetching gouge. Everything seems to be ok, it won't require stitches, but I'm keeping an eye on the other similar mug I have, lest it should make a similar attempt at dismemberment. Anyway, no more details, principally for the benefit of my more squeamish readers....................
Startled heron in flight. If I'd had the right mode selected on the camera, this would have been an amazing shot.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Noises For The Leg

Bonzos make an appearance on New Faces, of all things.............

Monday, August 25, 2008

I Want My Money Back!

Forgive my abscence, the past week has taken a fair old bit out of my rheummy old bones. I've also been busy with other little projects which have taken up a fair bit of my time.
I was reminded on Saturday night of two reasons why I don't go out much anymore.
1 - Wetherspoons seems to be the standard meetup joint for these escapades. Yes, the beer is cheap, but when you consider that the standard of service is pitiful and the food is disgusting, you sort of realise why they can afford to sell cut price booze. To top it off, the gorilla in the sta-prest suit that passed as their security actually made a beeline for me and asked that I remove the skip cap I had on. I know it's not exactly the most aesthetically pleasing look in the world, but my hair was in a state and needed to be hidden. I think he was itching to kick fuck out of someone to be honest......................
2- City centre venues can kiss my arse. Went to see some bands with my brother and his girlfriend at the Classic Grand, and to be honest, was bored rigid. Also got scammed at the bar. Twelve quid for three pints!!! It was only when I went to the bar later to find out if there was anything available that wasn't a fiver, that I realised that it was a flat rate of three quid per pint. My brother, never one to let these things lie, had it out with the bar staff and all but accused the girl who served him of ripping him off. Sadly, I think he had a point. How do you pour three pints and think it's four? The music is probably best not discussed. One mob sounded like the anaemic offspring of The Editors and Razorlight. The 2nd lot looked quite good and had a singer that looked like Nick Drake in drainpipes and winkle pickers, but their songs were distinctly unmemorable. The last lot were Arcade Fire without the stage prescence or tunes.
Is this what the kids want? It's certainly what they're given and they seem to lap it up like it was manna from heaven. Dreary, predictable and not worth paying to see. Give me Circle of Tyrants and their malformed thrash metal bretheren any day of the week. Live music should be fun, not a chore.