Friday, February 27, 2009

Marina Madness: God Gave Yacht Rock To You.......1

So, Yacht Rock...... The addled, MOR dribblings of talent free hacks and dubious has-beens? Or is it the music of the angels, the song of the common man,the smooth sailin' sound, the only sound that matters? A bit of both and neither of the above if the truth be told. I won't lie, this Youtube series, not to mention the occasional slice of forbidden fruit over at Cocktails & Records, is the inspiration behind this particular assault on the senses. Enjoy! (or not, as the case may be......) Kicking us off are the Doobie Brothers with the Michael McDonald song 'What A Fool Believes' Smooth Sailin' Folks!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Bats

As you walk through Kelvingrove Park, towards the Gibson Street gates, there's a little offshoot that goes under Gibson St bridge and leads past a dis-used railway tunnel and out towards Kelvinbridge. It seems a bit obvious now I think of it, but this little stretch of walkway has it's share of bat-life. First I knew of it, I was being dive bombed by the little fuckers, but after a few seconds, I was in total awe as their distinct wing shapes silhouetted against the deep blue gloaming. I'd say there were about half a dozen out and about, and they didn't seem too shy. The camera was in my bag, and I tried to get something, but one thing you can never get from nature documentaries is just how ruddy quick the wee buggers are. I almost did my neck permanent damage trying to follow one of them as it buzzed back and forth above me. It's a favourite shortcut for cyclists and joggers, meaning it's hellishly busy until it gets really dark. None of these Lycra clad squat-thrusters and go-getter's paused for a second as they motored their way past me to fitness, well-being and eternal life. Of course, maybe they knew the bats by name and were of the opinion that the last thing these winged nocturnals needed was another tourist gawking like they'd just seen the second coming...... Here's the thing. Never in my life have I seen these creatures in the flesh. It's not something I've ever thought about really, I suppose I think of them as the sort of animal I'm never going to see unless I go looking for them. Let's just say that I wasn't exactly bat hunting this evening, but now I know where they hang out....................

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Unsent Letters From A Dead Man: Part 5

The places you find yourself in when you're hiding from the rain....... I was nursing the remnants of my pint and hoping the rain would ease off enough for me to at least wade my way back to the underground station. A look out of the front door told me I'd probably need water-wings and my rubber duck. I cast a weary eye around the near deserted bar. Was it a bar? Maybe it was a bistro. It had a whiff of seediness to it, combined incongruously with a charming, if pointless attempt to propel the place in an up-market direction. The continental cuisine and over-priced Czech lagers couldn't quite cancel out the yellowing wallpaper, the 'half & half' supping gadgies and Sidney Devine on the jukebox. 'New manager' I thought to myself.... When a large red faced guy in chef's whites burst from the back shop into the bar in a roar of sweaty, rampant fury, I was all but ready to shrug and say "Ok, so it's a Bistro!". He seemed to be scanning the room for his prey. My eyes met his and I knew in an instant that he'd found it. A fat, raw looking forefinger, decorated with a blue elastoplast and trembling ever so slightly, was jabbing in my direction. "You! Cunt! I'll kill ye! Am gonna fuckin kill ye!" he growled in a hoarse rasp that scoured my soul of any bravado. I was standing by this point, and I instinctively recoiled, colliding with my barstool. Somehow my left foot went between the spars of the stool and in my haste to no longer be there, I found myself doing what probably looked to any passing ice skating enthusiast, like a drunken Double Lutz. There were however no score cards being held up as I came to rest on the stained, threadbare carpet. I felt a few dull aches, a friction burn on my right cheek and not a little embarrassment as I disentangled my legs from the now broken chair. I looked up from my prone position and once again remembered why I'd given up frequenting bars on my own. Bad things kept happening to me, and this was as bad as it got. Cookie was standing over me now, his face boiling with the kind of rage that would induce aneurysms in most normal human beings. This guy wasn't normal though. He was at least six-two, and was filling out into the 'double wide' sizes. Lying on my back on the floor like an upturned cockroach, he looked bigger than God. "Fuckin porkin ma wee sister ya shitebag!! Am gonnae cut ye tae ribbons!!" I had no reason to doubt him, standing as he was with what looked like an out sized and doubtless very sharp Sabbatier kitchen knife in his right hand. He didn't look like he was going to use it to cut us all a nice piece of birthday cake. I badly needed to get up and run for it, but my 'Fight or Flight' instinct was seemingly out having a fag break. Since I was going nowhere, I whimsically decided I would waste my last few seconds on this earth feebly attempting to find out who this madman was, and why he wanted to kill me to death. "Hold on mate" I stammered. "You've got the wrong guy!" He said nothing. I waited for the cliche police. When they didn't arrive, I tried a different gambit. "C'mon, this isn't a good idea. Don't want blood on the carpet, do we? The cleaner'll throw a fit" This set something off in him and he sank to his knees, just at my shoulder. I could smell the sweat and the rancid, unmistakable parmesan stench of unwashed genitals. His fly was open. I fought back the urge to make some feeble joke concerning oral sex. He'd have done one of two things, neither of them pleasant. I held my breath and looked up at him. He looked a little calmer, but he also had the knife raised in his hand. One cancelled out the other. Suddenly, the knife plunged towards me in a stop-motion blur. I closed my eyes instinctively and flinched as it crashed down about an inch from where my right ear had been, close enough to embed the dull thud in my subconscious for all eternity. His face closed in on mine and muttered the immortal words that I shall never forget, and on occasion, quote with pride. "If I ever see yer face, or hear my sister utter your name, I'll hunt ye down, cut off yer bollocks and make you wear them as earings." With that, he lifted himself away from me and stormed back towards his lair. The knife was still vibrating slightly in the floor. I breathed out for the first time in about two minutes, but it had felt like half an hour. A pair of hands lifted me to my feet, though my legs weren't exactly up to speed on the deal and buckled a little, giving me the demeanour of a drunk being helped out at closing time. I turned round and noted that the face looked reasonably human and friendly. That would do for now, at least until I was back within the walls of my safe European home. "C'mon pal, I think you need to be anywhere else but here right now." "Took the words right out of my mouth mate" The guy looked at me, half with pity, half with curiosity. "You dippin' the big man's sister then?" "Going by the accent, it might be a possibility" I replied vacantly. We were heading towards the door now. Once outside, I confided in my new ally. "So what's his problem?" I asked, as nonchalantly as was possible for a man who had just been invited to inspect the quality of a madman's legalised chib collection. "Last guy that went with his sister got her pregnant and fucked off into the night" he said, looking me straight in the eye. "People and their secrets, eh?" I muttered distractedly. The bizarre new slant on my relations with Elaine hadn't really sunk in yet, but I knew there would probably be questions, denials and tears before bed-time when I brought it up with her. I also wondered how the missing link knew who I was. Was it all coincidence and mistaken identity? I looked up at the now clearing skies and smiled. "A good omen at last!" I declared. I thanked the guy for his help and made my way back towards familiar territory. After the terror of the previous five minutes, I wasn't quite sure what that was anymore, but I was just happy to still have all my body parts intact. For a few seconds back there, I thought I'd be attending fancy dress parties as Van Gogh for the rest of my life........

Monday, February 16, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

(Almost) Text Only

Like Tom without Jerry, like Abbot without Costello, like Richard without Judy, the iLL Man without photographs is something of an aberration.
Sadly, I have been unable to upload photos to Blogger for most of tonight. A curse of extreme ugliness upon all of their firstborn! It seems to have resolved itself now, but like every other dreary drama queen on this mindless little planet, I feel as if I'm being victimised. For that alone, I hate Blogger with a passion right now.
If I had a phone-line to the bastards, I'd be insulting their dead grandmothers rather than making this blog post. I know things go wrong, but for fuxsakes, can't they give me any more info than "There has been an internal error"? Talk about vague. Their help desk is of no use, mainly because you have to join some obscure user group before you get to post up any problem you would expect them to fix. I object to the very concept of 'joining' anything, but i make the odd exception. I am fucked if I'm going to sign up to something I've already joined though. Bunch of mammary brained bollock ticklers!
Yes, of course, it's a 'free' service, but don't tell me they don't make their wedge. They're not a fucking charity. This is my cocktail hour they've eaten into and I don't appreciate the bullshit!!
P.S. I seem to have thrown my Tonka trucks out of the playpen. Would be obliged if someone would be kind enough to retrieve them for me............. Cheers!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sunday Run

Shots taken during a rather nice drive through the Campsie hills, over to Aberfoyle. Pity the weather was so overcast, creating a distinct lack of contrast in these shots. Saturday's blue skies were nowhere to be seen unfortunately.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Hawking My Wares

Hey! More stuff up at Gasoline Rainbows. Work put paid to me getting any good snow shots, but I suppose the early evening darkness gives the shots I took a sort of grainy moodiness, especially the black & white ones.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

We All Need Somebody To Come Home To

I cannot lie, things haven't been good for the old iLL Man. Oh, don't get me wrong, I have no real money worries (yet), winter's nearly over and I'm currently itching to get started on some gardening projects with Clairwil and the rest of the Glasgow Guerrilla Gardening crew, but there's something pulling me down.............
I'm of the belief that it's my job which, to quote a wise man, 'pays my way, but corrodes my soul'. Each morning I wake up with tiny, sharpened claws of dread digging into my gut, and each night I come home and watch the clock, willing time to stop. Weekends become symbolic of my desire to simply get the fuck out of my life and do something a little less boring instead.
To that end, I have decided that I shall travel to Ayr at the end of the month for an open day at what used to be a Butlins holiday camp. It's now a 'Haven Holiday Park', whatever that is. Apparently the job entails taking photos of stuff and then loading them up to be printed out. I think. All very vague. They're probably looking for a toilet cleaner or something, but I'd still take it in a flash. Anything to be away from that air conditioned hell-hole on North Street.
Funny I should mention Butlins, because it looks like the traditional British intern......er, I mean holiday camp is due for a revival. As the 'credit card crunchie' turns into a full on recession, people no longer seem willing to spend money on foreign holidays. Or something. Look, Ruth Maddox said it, so it must be true!! The thinking is that people will still go abroad, but the likes of Pontins, Butlins and Haven will be there to provide cheap local breaks for those who find that even an all inclusive on the Costa Del Sol is just a bit too much. It's just that these places have to up their game a bit to keep people who are used to endless sunshine, cheap booz and transvestite caberet acts coming back. The mind boggles, it truly does..............
Maybe they'll have Redcoat jobs for Lucy Pinder and Tommy Sheridan......
In other news, it seems Chris Martin, of tedious pomp rock bores Coldplay has been banned from the studio by none other than the God-like Brian Eno. Apparently it's to allow the rest of the band to work up unlistenable cack without the singer chipping in every five minutes. How I hope they extend the ban indefinitely. The album will still be shite, a turd polishing exercise if ever there was one, but at least nobody would have to listen to the smug, self satisfied little cum stain's pissy little voice. Knowing Eno, Martin's contribution will be limited to him farting down the phone line and having it looped at different speeds over each track. Hell, even I'd buy that!
One final request. Can someone ask Barack Obama to stop copping for stuff? It's not terribly becoming of a world premier to state that he 'screwed up'. How does he think Bush lasted eight years? Admit fuck all. It might seem cute and refreshing at first, but believe me, people will start to agree with him after a while and then he's shafted.