Wednesday, October 18, 2017
There's probably a lot of negative things said about Romania and Romanians but today I had a marvelous chat with a young Romanian man at work. He told about his plan to return there once he'd saved up money, how he would work on his family's (small) farm, fix up the house and how he planned to set up a recycling business. Also how to roast a pig for Christmas, useful knowledge. He 's only twenty but full of energy and ambition. Maybe that comes from being born Romanian where it's criminally tough.
He's a sharp contrast to most of the Scottish youngsters I've recently met (at the same work). They argue about how to stay on the edge of debt, how they might crack the benefits system (?) and seem to have no idea about handling money, saving or actually getting any further education or developing themselves. They're stuck in a rut by their early twenties and whilst I know times are awkward it's sad to hear our young talk as if it's all over for them. They seem to lack any self awareness, life is a joke and despite all the technology at their fingertips they've no clue as to how to really use it. No business or creative dreams, no idea of using spreadsheets, Word, coding or planning tools, things that might allow them to progress.
It's a long dark tunnel of life for working class kids in Scotland, a post industrial mess of nothing in particular and no urgency about fixing it. Of course they laugh at me when I suggest trying different things, getting qualifications or moving on. Something has failed and continues to fail in education and providing aspiration and vision for our kids. Maybe Romania has it's serious problems but we're not so smart back here.
Sunday, October 15, 2017
|Kraftwerk Mums: 1965.|
Saturday, October 14, 2017
Thursday, October 12, 2017
The ultra reliable and long suffering Mini Cooper in my life is coming to the end of it's career in the exotic family car pool. Ownership has been a pretty good, funky, fun experience despite all the bad press and horror stories about these wee beasties. OK it's a bit hairdresser and not macho but it's nippy, reasonably economical, totally lacking in useful space and slightly silly. It's also been replaced by the quirky agricultural perfection that is a Suzuki Jimny. Not sure what the hell direction my car ownership is going in but frankly I'm past caring. Must be an age and weariness kind of thing; anything to avoid the homogeneous international hatch back monsters, dealers looking for safe pensioners and seven year warranty fishing lines. All I need is simple predictable unreliability, bugs all worked out and some kind of look that may cause the corners of my mouth to move upwards, even in sodium street lights. So now for a few nervous weeks plumbing the depths of Gumtree or where ever for a likely buyer for the old beast.
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
This randomly appeared in my Twitter stream to remind me and the rest of the civilized world (not a huge area these days) that Hot Rats is 48 earth years old round about today. A somewhat challenging fact and of course there are now many similar "on this day" events that chime in the same worrying way. Amusing and disturbing.
A sign of the times or just a sign of a lack of challenging time signatures? No jazz, just blues apparently. All other genres, major and minor may well be blocked also, a management thing. More questions than answers but you'll know them by their limited appeal soundtrack. Photo by Andy Leggatt, taken in an Edinburgh pub.
Monday, October 09, 2017
About forty five years ago I worked in this factory in Dalgety Bay when this part was known as Hillend Industrial Estate. It belonged to an American company called Bournes (Trimpot), who manufactured potentiometers amongst other things. We were at the cutting edge of science but at the blunt edge of wages, conditions, health and safety, industrial relations and planning. The management were mostly drunken, sweary, self serving sexists but it was the hard living 70s and nobody knew any better or cared. My time there was brief and hardly covered in glory, I was a lazy eighteen year old with little interest in the job or even finding a career of any sort. I was someplace between drifting and free falling but not in any poetic sense. I did hit the ground a few years later. I'm not actually sure when Bournes closed down and production ceased, I left in 1974 and I understand the building has been empty for some time, one or two careful owners maybe. A few weeks ago some kid torched it thereby rendering it even harder to let or sell. It's now another sorry scar on a blot on the landscape. Scorched earth in Fife's industrial history.
Sunday, October 08, 2017
There currently are twelve million bees employed on the Hopetoun Estate. I presume that most of them are busy working on honey production whilst a few deal with actual estate work, administration and grounds keeping. Good for the bees I say and I'm glad they've all found meaningful employment of this kind, far better than having unemployed and feckless bees hanging around on street corners annoying passers by and drinking cheap cider. There's a lesson to be learned here for all who wish to make a meaningful contribution to modern society, eat honey or simply build a career for themselves in the large network of farm shops and farmer's markets that's taking over the country.
I also traveled back in time to when there was only one lamp post in South Queensferry to capture this Edwardian era shot of past times, low down on the High Street. Before there were automated bookies, coffee shops and estate agents...so that's the days of gin palaces, rampant sinfulness, wooden lawyer's offices, stables for horse whipping and boys selling porter from crates on the cobbles.
Saturday, October 07, 2017
There are lots of noisy, agitated and possibly unruly geese loose in the area. Their anti social honking and blustering starts about 6.30am and then peters out when they head off to Canada for lunch. They also refuse to fly in a nice V formation for some reason, just to confound watcher expectations and they insist on squatting out on the foreshore for long periods thereby upsetting other local and more well established bird colonies. Once dead they also taste like chicken and their fat can be rubbed over roast potatoes to make them shine, a good food presentational tip. They have been known to bite the hand that feeds...
Friday, October 06, 2017
|Almost every tourist stops to take a shot of the iconic Duke statue and his traffic cone hat. At the moment he's dual hatted suggesting he actually has two jobs on the go, neither of which he enjoys.|
|The floor in this card and art materials shop is lit up by these colourful tiles as if they were part of a giant paint box but set in no particular coloured order.|
Thursday, October 05, 2017
This old pin up photo of Raquel Welch popped into my feed the other day from some click bait site or possibly in the Guardian. I've not seen it for about 47 years. I'd like to say memories flooded back but I'm still a bit numb over my teenage passages of my years, not sure why. Desperate times, smokey, troubled and too distorted to be real maybe.
At one time a large poster sized copy of Raquel hung on the back of my bedroom door along with other images designed to irritate parents; Easy Rider bikes, Jimmy Page, the Grateful Dead, Freak Bros cartoons and Bridget Bardot in black leather with the Velvet Underground droning in the background through 17 minutes of Sister Ray. A blue bulb glowed up above giving out little actual light.
In those days having posters from Poster by Post was cool and the word cool wasn't even in my vocabulary. You paid by postal order and a grey tube arrived a fortnight later. I'm not sure I even had a vocabulary, just animal grunts and some internal conflicts raging here and there inspired by the latest LP I'd heard or paperback I'd read. Black and white telly and the John Peel show on a pitiful transistor radio accompanied by twenty Number 6 and some Nescafe from a tin. Glory days.
Wednesday, October 04, 2017
Meanwhile in the human zoo and football match that is politics Theresa May is cursed by the ghost of Frida Kahlo, presumably for wearing the bracelet upside down, not being much of an artist type and enduring as one of our worst ever Prime Ministers. Oh and obviously a vision free Tory. So don't mess with the commie creatives, not even the dead ones. All the other things that went wrong on the day were just down to security incompetence and the fact that all of our fine leaders can't organize much of anything these days. Just watch their frozen, fearful, stiff upper lip reactions to the P45 prank. Groan.
Somehow modern online business still has the capacity to confuse me. The relatively simple task of moving one registration number from one car to another involves an on line process that is simple but lacking in logic and if you get it the wrong way round...it fails (as you might expect). The confusing part is the numerous codes required and the fact that despite "owning" the number you still have to retain it and pay £80 for that retention, not for the actual transfer. Of course I had to call the DVLA at one point when I was told that my transaction couldn't be completed on line, though quite why wasn't explained. The DVLA lady, with a nice warm Welsh accent didn't really process the transaction, she simply pointed me towards a web area I had previously missed and there I was able to somehow make the transfer. In the end it's still all clear as mud glorious mud but hopefully, in a few days or so, the postman will bring me my updated documents and then all will be street legal and personal again.
Monday, October 02, 2017
Embedded via F***Book. I wasn't sure this embedding option would work. It seems that Facebook have changed or disabled the option to download photos...maybe. You can never really tell what's going on, nothing is clear, published or explained. But that's what you get with free social media that asks very little other than you put up with stupid and inappropriate adverts, links, click bait and suggestions as you trudge through what is basically ongoing spam content apart from the real posts from friends and family.
Saturday, September 30, 2017
Friday, September 29, 2017
Here's a view of the Tay Bridge and the not so far away city of Dundee from the unusually sunny side of Fife and below we have the zoomed in version showing three crows up a tree in detail (almost). Nothing remarkable here, I just happen to like crows, provided that they remain at a safe and respectful distance and don't attempt to peck my dead eyes from their still warm and moist sockets and so corrupt my soul's passage on to the world of the Great Pumpkin.
Thursday, September 28, 2017
The golden glory that is apple crumble. That's apples, crumble and a few mysterious ingredients that I cannot list here for commercial, security and hygiene reasons. Here we see some examples, in foil tins, cooling ready for final packing and onward shipment to customers and end users.
Problem: Side one is side two and side two is side one. Not sure what to make of this. There is no side three.