A small rock travelling through space ..


The sun setting over Loch Lomond


Yesterday,  with holidays left to burn and no more Mondays at work this year,  I’m up in the Loch Lomond area .. isn’t it gorgeous?

A walk from the car-park at Balmaha to the top of Conic Hill,  then back down again but taking the northern ridge which brings you out around half a mile further along the loch.

It’s my favourite place in the world. Continue reading “A small rock travelling through space ..”

The Over 30s Zoo!

What weekend that was …

All pretty much went to plan, met Laura’s boyfriend, actually a nice enough boy even although he is a bit rough.

I was a bit rough myself once upon a time, so I can excuse that, not so sure about him having a 4 year old daughter , but he seems to do his part, so good for him, not a total right-off.

Friday night .. madness achieved .. was drinking til midnight and danced til 2 with no drinks .. taxi!

Saturday I woke up at my usual 7:30, recovery mode, drinking tea and playing piano, my son and the girls picked me up at 10:30. We had a great day at the football watching my team win 4-0 then getting the SPL title presented to them.

Later at the meal with the kids and Laura’s BF was actually a surpisingly good laugh, quite relaxed and we all had a good time.

The party was fab, more dancing, although I wasn’t drinking and a group of us went on to some over-30s club in Bathgate afterwards.

We had a great time, mainly, 8 of us dancing, getting a bit stoopid with the moves and having a laugh .. but …

Wow … what you see when you haven’t got a gun ..save me from these places .. never again!!

A group of fat 40 something women tatelessly, cheaply dressed and gyrating against each other and the pillars at te edge of the floor .. then putting on a pseudo lesbian display for the groups of seedy looking guys ogling from the sides.

Something I found interesting was the number oif men over 50 who were standing on their own at different points around the floor. Each of them had different levels of dress-code and dance moves. None of them had any commmunication skills.

The first guy, 55+,, 5 foot 5, grey hair cropped and a bald patch the size of my palm, was wearing a black nike training top, beighe trousers and black velcro fasteners .. he looked like he’d been let out for the weekend on some early release programme. He stood there bopping to himself, then when the DJ who was playing typical club music surprisingly started playing some old rock number by Status Quo he was standing alone in the middle of the now cleared dance floor shaking his head and playing his imaginary guitar.

Part of me was thinking, good for you .. go for it .. part of me thinking isn’t that a bit sad?

The second guy, 60ish, 5’8, bottle dyed dark hair, dressed like some model from ASDA ( Walmart), stood at the side of the floor drinking his can of coke and watching everyone else. Not once did he smile or make any effort to dance or communicate with anyone. When we left a couple of hours later he was still locked at the same spot.

The third guy. early 50s, 5’2′, stocky built, light brown hair going grey at the sides. well dressed if not a bit on the extrovert side. His red quilted jacket was far too long for him, but he kept it on and must have been melting inside as as he vigourously danced with himself and tried to dance with everyone else on the floor or anyone who foolishly made eye contact .. not me, I’m not that daft.

It was interesting to watch .. like being in a zoo.

DEFCON 2 – My Therapist Said …

My therapist said, not to see you no more..
She said you’re like a disease without any cure

James – Laid

Hey .. Monday again .. What a fantastic weekend .. up to a point?

But how come, no matter what you do, some people just seem to find fault?

Is it that they are looking for fault, that they just can’t help themselves?

Do they find fault on small stuff, because it suits their agenda?

Or s it just because they are nuts in the first place, which you had suspected already.

Let me elaborate ..

Me and the moll had a fantastic weekend, most of it.

( DEFCON 5 – All’s well in the world )

We went to the James gig in Stirling, A mere 200 people and a very intimate performance. They were fantastic musically and took a lot of time to chat with their audience of hard-core fans. I’ve saw them many times and this was pretty special.

As it was Stirling and she was driving, I stayed at hers on Friday night, nice wee night, lots of fun and romance.

Saturday, back to mine, dropped off her car at mine and jumped train to the West End of Glasgow where we had an early dinner booked.

Dinner was lovely, the cocktails were better. Just the right amount to get in the mood for danicng the night away.

The support band for James were Echo And The Bunymen .. possibly a bit of a climbdown for Ian McCulloch but there is no way that EatB would fill a venue the size of the SEC with 8000 fans. Not today, that ship has passed.

James were magic, even better than the Friday, which I’m struggling to digest, possibly because we were close to the front, possibly the atmosphere of 8000 vs 200 .. but they were great .. all the biggies including my favourites, Sometimes, Come Home, Getting Away With It, Sound, a great version of Sit Down where the lead singer Tim Booth was standing up on the crowd barrier within touching distance of me.

The main part of the show ended with Sometimes, as usual the mass singiing of the crowded kept the song going well after the band had stopped playing. They know this will happen .. So did we!! The gig then ended with an encore .. or was it 2 .. they finished on Laid .. cue the place going mental .. Fantastic.

All good so far .. back to the pub .. then a taxi home at late o’clock!

Sunday morning lazing around, tea and toast and pineapple juice from my new juicer .. so good for hangovers!

She’s in the shower at this point, while I’m cutting up pineapple. James playing on the hi-fi .. big smile on my face.

But when I get upstairs, theres an atmosphere .. hhhhmmmm .. whats changed?

( DEFCON 4 – Increased awareness something’s changes, are we under attack? )

Turns out she had been going through the cupboards in my bathroom cabinet, cupboards I don’t often use .. particularly the one that my ex-girlfriend used and okay there was a pink tooth-brush there and some female products.

But is that any need to throw a wobbler?

Is that reason enough to start throwing accusations about harbouring thoughts for my ex-gf who has been long gone?

Is it really?

Or is it the fact, that I tend to be busy and have a big house with lots of cupboards and some I haven’t got round to clearing out yet? The cleaner cleans .. but she doesn’t empty cupboards and if theres stuff in there I tend to not see it.

( DEFCON 3 – We are under attack, but lets negotiate our way out )

Okay fair enough, I’ve took her point, yes I should dump the stuff .. and I will but FFS .. why not make your point without being a complete nutter?

So .. we chatted .. I apologised and calmed her down … I appreciated her viewpoint .. cos I do.

Ironically she hasn’t considerd the fact that she still has pictures of her ex-husband kicking about .. and I bite my tongue. Not that it particularly bothers me .. but I didn’t think that the timing was right to mention it .. I hate games and playing tit-for-tat .. I tend to stick with the issue at hand.

After an hour .. she went on her way and I went to footballl with my boy .. my team won 4-3 after a very exciting game and are now in the final of the Scottish Cup .. Come on the hoops!

( DEFCON 4 – Immediate threat has been averted – but awareness heightened for future threats )

Good day had with my boy .. then picked up my daughter and home .. tired .. an early night was on the cards.

But there’s an email from her .. more bullshit about the stuff .. stuff that doesn’t really matter .. well not to me .. but seems to be a very important to her.

( DEFCON 3 – Severley pissed off that this has came back again. Negotiations have failed. Lets see how the situation develops )

A few texts take place including a text from her at 5am saying “You never answered my email”

As if I’m going to answer an email when I’m tired and pissed off .. I might over-react. so I avoid it.

But I answer her text .. I thought we had already discussed and that you’re issue had been dealt with.

Blah blah blah ..

( DEFCON 2 – I am getting severly pissed off – Should I attack first? Kill it off before I get burned? )

All this makes me question her motives .. is she falling out about issue A .. when actually she has some other issue that she really want to speak about and is avoiding?

Who knows .. not me .. I don’t do double speak .. so if you have any other underlying issues .. please spell it out in plain English.

If you want to go .. go .. I can deal with that .. life goes on and from experience .. once the cracks start to show then you’re better off out of it sooner than later.

There are no outright winner here .. good times have been had by all .. but there’s a limit.

( DEFCON 1 – I’m ready to pull the trigger but I’ll be happy to stand down if she see’s reason .. but that means apologising and I can’t see it )

Whats really pissing me off now is not her issue, but how she cannot deal with it and is labouring a point.

Maybe she should stay out of other peoples cupboards anyway.

Monday – Just Like Fred Astaire!

Doctor, what is happening to me?
Palpitations, my mind is diseased
Even my vision is impaired
I’m losing my hair
Cos when I hold her in my arms
I feel like Fred Astiare

As you might guess, my weekend was pretty good, better than good, actually it was superb.

Friday night with my best mate watching some Bowie tribute band and singing evey word, apart from Under Pressure which is never a Bowie song and is total pants. As is everything after Scary Monsters until his latest album which is excellent and so reminiscent of his Berlin period.

But Saturday .. oh wow .. where to begin!!

Saturday … my new partner in fun and I arrived at Edinburgh in the early afternoon. Chatting and laughing on the train like over-excited schoolchildren. We dumped our cases at the hotel. Then went for a late lunch early dinner at The Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a short waslk from the hotel and a great pub for food and chat.

We wanted to check out the lay of the land for going to The Rocky Horror Show at The Playhouse later that evening.

Dinner and a few drinks later, we were back in the room time to get ready for the evenings performance,

Hhhhhmmmm . evenings performance .. lets just leave it at that.

I think we looked fantastic, her dressed in a French Maid outfit and me as Doctor Frank N Furter, full make-up, basque, stockings …heels. My modesty covered with the surgeons gown and rubber gloves .. gorgeous!!!

We did look a fine sight as we walked from the hotel to the venue, where many similarly adorned creatures were out for a night of fun.

The show was everything I hoped it would be, great fun and lots of laughs. I’ve booked the Glasgow show in August already.

Afterwards in CC Blooms, the gay club next door, we just fitted in with all the other people dressed for the night, whether they were at the show or not.

Dancing til god knows when then limping home in my heels …

Confession time .. I had to take them off and walk back along York Place in my stockinged soles!

How do you girls walk in those things? 🙂

What a brilliant night.

You won’t be surprised to hear that both of were exhausted last night. Home, back into parent-mode, early nights.

I am a happy bhoy!

I believe in happiness
I believe in love
I believe she fell to earth
from somewhere high above
I believe in Hollywood
Don’t believe that love must bring despair
Cos when I hold her in my arms
I feel like Fred Astaire

This has to be one my favourite James songs .. I can’t wait to see them later this year at the Glasgow SEC, this clip is from the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall 2 years ago, fantastic show and if you look very closely I’m in there somewhere.

Monday – Breaking Bad and Buying Cars

Hello, Monday again!!

Another busy weekend .. I was so shattered last night that I was sleeping at the back of 9, been up since 4 this morning, drinking tea, playing my keyboard with the headphones in and watching Netflix.

Friday .. excellent show .. Priscilla Queen Of The Desert was fab .. just good fun.

I was up on my feet dancing to all those old 80s classics again .. . love it.

The rest of the weekend, spent with family .. pretty good.

Saturday with my dad, set him up with my Netflix account .. then came across a series called Breaking Bad totally by accident.

It’s a darkly funny American drama series, quite controversially set in the drugs wolrd where the main character, a brilliant, dying, financially struggling chemistry teacher becomes involved in the manufacture of Meth Anphetamine to fund his treatment for Lung Cancer and hence leave his limited funds to support his pregnant wife when he goes.

The journey of the main character from hen-pecked, provider to unwilling druglord is rivetting, but there are many other sub-plots, his disabled son, his over-powering wife, her obnoxious sister who happens to be a doctor, her husband a seedy. stupid DEA agent, the drugs characters, the business-educated mexican pusher, the over-privileged failed middle-class users.

If I’d read the above, then I would have flipped on to the next show .. but it really is very good, funny, sleazy at times and exceptionally clever as it plays one moral dilemma off against another and all the time we find ourselves rooting for the dweeby chemistry teacher as his world falls apart and he careers from one crisis to the next, even although he is undoubtedly in the wrong.

I’ver now watched the first 5 episodes, the second episode and the bath scene is cringeably classic, even Tarantino didn’t go this gory in the Bonny Dilemma in Pulp Fiction. Not that there’s actually much to see, it’s eyes closed but still humerous.

The show has been running since 2008 and is now in its 6th series, Okay I don’t watch a lot of tv, but I haven’t even saw this advertised.

If you have Netflix, have a look.

Sunday – car shopping with Laura, ideally she wants a 1.2 Vauxhall Corsa .. so we ent to Arnolds.

We looked at a few options including a 5k, 5 year old car with 53k miles, 1k down and payments of 110pm over 4 years. The won’t take her old car as a dposit on this one as its got a bit of a history.

Compare this with a brand new car of similar spec, 8.5k, they will take her old scrapper as a trade-in for 600, again 1k down and payments of 140pm over 5 years.

It’s a no-brainer really.

Crazy world when buying a new car, makes more economic dense than buying a used car. It’s all in the interest rates on offer.

So I went home with a happy girl, who can’t wait to pick up her brand new Corsa later this week.

But did she treat me to a chinese for paying the deposit and the first year until she’s qualified and working as s nurse.

Did she heck!


ps – New David Bowie album downloaded from iTunes, loving it so far, sounds like something between the albums Heroes and Scarey Monsters.



Monday – Time Warping at 3am

Monday again … Feck!

Actually Monday 3am,  wide awake and will need to be up for work at 7am .. Feck!

And the reason for this insomnia?

I’m actually completely knackered,   but the wee one is unwell,  burning up and has flu like symptoms.  So I’m in dad-mode giving her plenty of fluids and occasional paracetemol.

She’s been ill since I picked her up from her mums earlier this evening .. yesterday evening.

Apart from that,  I’ve had a lovely weekend,  the right balance of family and fun.

The family party on Friday was fantastic,  dad, brothers, aunts, uncles and cousins .. I’m so blessed.

My day out in Edinburgh on Saturday was superb,  again I find myself enjoying myself more on the east coast than the west . and hating that admission.

We arrived at 2 and had a tour of the pubs,  from Waverley Station to The Usher Hall.

Cafe Royal – Great pub for the over 40s,  very like Glasgow’s Horseshoe Bar,  the food looked good too.

The Voodoo Rooms –  Cocktails to die for,  my choices Mother Earth and a Benzini .. and Corona on the side of course!!

By then time was burning ..

A quick drink in Le Monde – nice place,  slightly pretentious .. not as much atmosphere as the previous two bars.

The Standing Order – Walked in, walked out again,  Its neds-ville and a real dump of a place .. Witherspoon’s get it sorted.

By contrast,  The Alexander Graham Bell another Witherspoon’s pub at the far end of George Street,  great pub,  A bottle of Prosecco, 2 pints of Stella and a plate of Chilli Cheesy Nachos all for 25 quid .. hard to argue with that business model.

What a great way to go to the Australian Pink Floyd concert ,  just the right amount of happiness infused.

The show, like the Glasgow gig a fortnight ago was fantastic,  these guys fill The Usher Hall and The Clyde Auditorium,  an amazingly atmospheric experience,  they have obviously invested in the light and visual effects and as musicians they are outstanding.

Later, back up to George Street,  Fingers Piano Bar,  I was impressed with the vocals of the pianist and my only complaint is that the prices are a bit OTT,  maybe we were getting used to Witherspoon’s value!    But then it was free to get in and you get nothing for nothing these days.

We had been intending to run for the last train,  but were having too much fun to leave so early.  So it was a late night bite form sub-way and the last bus at 2am,  bit of a sing song  with some other guys who had been to the gig .. now that is a weird experience .. singing Pink Floyd songs on a bus with a group of strangers.

So folks, especially you Glasgow folk, if you can,  get to Edinburgh,  try a few of the places listed above .. you won’t regret it.

As coincidence has it,  I’m back out east over the next few weekends.   I am really looking forward to Priscilla Queen Of The Desert  next weekend and The Rocky Horror Show the week after .. outfit already bought and a classy little boutique hotel already booked .. there is no way I’m coming back on a bus dressed like Doctor Frank N Furter!

Now its 3:30am and I still can’t sleep!

Tomorrow,  today,   work at 9 .. oh no .. Lets do the Time Warp Again!!


Mondays – All Your Gold!

Hello you!

Monday .. Weekend over .. Back to the grind .. well pretending I’m working anyway.

That was a weekend .. in more ways than one and sometimes things don’t turn out exactly as expected.

The house move on Saturday did go as planned, my son pal and I cleared out dining tables, beds, emptied cupboards and, lofts and the garage, filled the van, dumped what needed dumping and put the rest in my garage.

If you need an almost new 8 place dining table or a beautiful small 4 seat glass kitchen table with purple chairs .. give me a shout!! I could Ebay them but I can’t be bothered with the hassle.

All good so far .. but closing the door .. the last time closing that particular door .. I have to admit I had a big tear in my eye.

A big hug from my boy and we were sorted .. door closed and move on.

Writing this is cathartic too .. closing doors and moving on .. but lets just say it was emotional!

Saturday night, took the guys out for a thank-you dinner and a few beers, went to see a one of my favourite local bands which cheered me up and home sober and happy at 12 .. slept like a baby!

Sunday .. cancelled the piano shopping .. bet you haven’ heard that phrase before!! 🙂

I went to watch the football with my son, pal and brothers .. sitting watching Celtic trounce Dundee 5-0, the game was secondary to having a good laugh with everyone.

Last night, picked the munchkin up form her Duke Of Edinburgh weekend at Armday House .. She had just complated a 10k hillwalk, fully loaded with her rucksack and was still rosey cheeked and looking pretty. But was desperate for a bath!!

All good so far? Kind of chilled, changing priorities, appreciating people and dealing with practicalities.

On Friday I met my good pal Stephem for a curry and a catchup. but he had to leave early as his wee one isn’t too well and he got a call to go home .. the wee one has been taken into Yorkhill with suspected Meningitis .. Some things put the rest of your world in perspective.

My feeling from the weekend is that people matter, friends and family, houses and stuff dont really count .. you can always get another house or more stuff.

Which takes me on to a nice clsoe with a song I heard in the car yestetday, All Your Gold by Bat For Lashes, I hadn’t heard this before but think it sounds fantastic and reminds me of Gotye’s – Someone That I Used To Know.

Having listened to both songs and watched both videos, I wonder if it the same female singer? I doubt it but they look and sound very similar.

All your gold doesn’t really matter, people matter.

Whatever you did, I hope that you had a great weekend.