Lanzarote – Curse Curse! #wearejames

Listening to James lying beside the pool in lanzarote.

Feeling chilled.

Needed it!

The video for Curse Curse is just fantastic.

Makes me want to dance!

Tim is just the coolest guy standing up on the crowd singing and then surfing back to the stage.

Can’t wait to see them in Glasgow soon

Phone not working but got wifi.

Curse curse!

And The Horse Was Called Bessie!

Family holiday circa 1920.

My Great-Grandfather Michael, Great Grandmother Catherine and 10 of their 15 kids.

Catherine is currently pregnant with number 11.

My grandfather is that handsome young man sitting second from the right.

Michael took the family from Sunny Govan down to Saltcoats for a weeks holiday by the sea.

Sone journey on a horse and cart.

I’m told that the horse was called Bessie because that’s what he always called his horses!

Tomorrow the kids and I are off to Lanzarote for a week. All packed and ready to go.

No difference eh?


Train Stories – Pushy?

Do you know what I used to love about playing football?

Apart from scoring the occasional goal obviously!

The physicality of it.

Me and some other guys, deliberately pushing at each other,  knowing the other guy is pushing back,  exerting our will and physical strength in as basic a form as possible without doing any physical harm then having a beer and a laugh about it later.

It’s always good to win,  but even if you lose then I tend to focus on the positive parts,  beating a guy  making a pass, scoring a goal, saving a goal,  making a tackle, blocking a goal.

Love it .. and miss it since I did my ankle in a couple of years ago.

What I’m getting at is I love a wee bit of physicality now and then ..

Have you ever had some guy walking into you deliberately?

You know the type .. you’re walking towards each other on a narrow pavement,  you make eye contact,  then silent negotiating whether you should move left or right?   It’s all about compromise.

Mostly you both go your own way and smile a little acknowledgement

Sometimes,  the negotiation fails and you do that little dance thing face to face at the last moment .. then pass with a smile at the stupidity of it.

But sometimes,   there is no negotiation,  as you get closer he doesn’t move .. he sticks to his chosen path and will walk straight through you as if you weren’t there.

In his head,  he’s decided that he’s somehow above you,  that you pose no threat,  that you will back down to his superior  .. errr  … what?

Normally,  I don’t play those games,  I take evasive action,  it’s just not that important ..

But sometimes,  just because at that point of silent negotiation,  the guy looks like an arrogant dick,  I drop the shoulder, tense the muscles and skeletal system, make sure your opposite foot is anchored and if he chooses to do the bump he’s going to feel it more than me.

This usual grabs their attention,  they had made some sort of presumption that you’d move but it hasn’t worked out the way they had planned.

That can go one of two ways.

Either the guy is a poser and all although his face might be upset,  he’s not going to do anything.

Or the guy fancies his chances .. and he says something until you turn and he backs down.

You see the thing is,  guys with any substance about them,  don’t need to walk into other people.

This only happens with obnoxious arrogant pricks who have some high opinion of themselves.

Real men aren’t pushy,  they don’t have to be,   but they will not be pushed.

At Haymarket last night, the platform was busy,   when the train heading back towards Glasgow showed up,  the doors of the carriage just happened to be directly in front of me.

I stepped forward with the crowd,  front and centre,  noticing the two elderly ladies to my right who had been waiting just as long as I had.

The train was already busy from Waverley,  so I stood aside to let them board and give them a better chance of grabbing a seat.

Then it happened,   the dickhead with the laptop tries to push his way past despite there clearly not being enough room to squeeze past and get on the train while the ladies are boarding.

I’d felt his approach,  the presence behind me,  but why try and push past when there’s no room?

As he pushed,  I tensed,  can’t help it,  I’m a contrary bastard sometimes,  don’t push me cos I’ll push back.

So he’s stuck behind me but he’s still pushing,  but not getting anywhere.

The ladies are on-board and I shrug him off and turn to greet him “Are you in a hurry mate?”

He momentarily stares at me, but says nothing and I let him past with a smile on my face.

When I take my seat he’s seated across from me still glaring.

For a moment our eyes meet,  I smile at him and he looks away,  pulling out his iPhone and playing his game.

I pull out mine and type a few notes,  then call home.

I wonder how he would tell the same story ..  tried to get on the train,  this bloke pushed me,  so I pushed him back,  then I got past him and he sat staring at me .. dickhead!

It’s all about perception really, but there’s no need for rudeness and pushing only pushes away.

Anyways it’s Friday,  no train stories for a week as I’m off to Lanzarote for a bit of winter sunshine.

Really looking forward to having dinner cooked in a volcano.

Visible From Space?

Do you remember when you were a kid and you were told that the only man-made object visible from space was The Great Wall Of China?

Well I’m sorry to disappoint,  but it’s a complete myth,  fabricated long before man had even entered the space race.

The myth was initiated around Victorian times when with their newly developed telescopes people believed that Mars had canals and there was a perception that long thin objects might be visible from space.

As it happens I had my 3 kids and some family over for dinner last night.   One of my nephews has just returned from visiting China on a schools exchange programme,   lucky boy.

As part of this exchange he lived with a family in Beijing and toured China taking in The Great Wall as part of the tour.

The family were lovely although the parents didn’t speak a word of English,  they were very kind and generous to him.

Their son “Cloud” ..  don’t you love how they choose their western names .. is a tall,  good-looking young Chinese man.   I met him on a couple of occasions when he was over in Scotland earlier this year.   He was well-spoken with perfect English and a beautiful smile,  educated, hard-working, confident and respectful.   Much more respectful than many UK kids.

My nephew enjoyed his visit,  but the most memorable thing about his tour was that the complete country seems to be engulfed in a smog that permeates the cities and the rural areas alike.

The particulate count within Beijing is apparently 14 times over that set by The World Health Organisation.   Everyone walks around wearing masks to prevent breathing the smog and developing respiratory illnesses which are on the increase although statistics are not available.

Even in the edge of the country at The Great Wall,  the smog is so dense that even if the visible from space myth had been true,  then that would no longer be the case.

Conversely,  when Cloud visited Scotland he loved the clean air.   Which is only to be expected in the circumstances.

Once upon a time,  I worked for a large power-engineering company,  designing coal-fired and gas-fired power stations,  China was the company’s largest customer, placing large contracts to power its growing industry.

The thing with China is that there are no copy-write or anti-pollution laws.    When they bought the power stations they also wanted the designs.  Then they’d take the designs and key components apart and manufacture them to their own standards and if it pumped out an excessive amount of pollution then what did it matter as long as growth isn’t affected.

Looking at the obvious pollution in the pics below,  the tarnished beauty of the country and the health issues affecting their people,  then I’d say that it matters now.
An extract from wiki below.
The claim the Great Wall is visible has been debunked many times,[52] but is still ingrained in popular culture.[53] The wall is a maximum 9.1 m (30 ft) wide, and is about the same color as the soil surrounding it. Based on the optics of resolving power (distance versus the width of the iris: a few millimeters for the human eye, meters for large telescopes) only an object of reasonable contrast to its surroundings which is 70 mi (110 km) or more in diameter (1 arc-minute) would be visible to the unaided eye from the Moon, whose average distance from Earth is 384,393 km (238,851 mi). The apparent width of the Great Wall from the Moon is the same as that of a human hair viewed from 3.2 kilometres (2 mi) away. To see the wall from the Moon would require spatial resolution 17,000 times better than normal (20/20) vision.[54] Unsurprisingly, no lunar astronaut has ever claimed to have seen the Great Wall from the Moon.

China3 China2 China1

Train Stories – Runaground?

6am and there’s only the faintest light from the bedroom curtains.

Unusually, I made it upstairs last night.  A conscious choice as I badly needed an early night and the previous night on the sofa I’d woken up freezing at 3am.

Winter is definitely on its way.

I’d been lying on my right side on my usual left-hand side of the bed sprawling towards the centre.

For some crazy reason in my sleep I had put my arm across but there was no one there.

No warm body to cuddle.

No hair to avoid on the pillow.

No neck to kiss.

Or breast to caress.

Continue reading “Train Stories – Runaground?”

The Platform Lovers – Fantasies?

Charles liked looking at Geraldine,  there was just something about her womanly body that really worked for him.

That’s why he had hired her,  that and in their initial interview he had consciously picked up on her willingness to please.

That’s the thing about guys like Charles,  underneath the charming exterior,  they are control freaks,  they can’t handle a strong-willed, determined, independent woman,   who won’t put up with their bullshit,  they only want women who are subservient to them.

Continue reading “The Platform Lovers – Fantasies?”