Tuesday, 28 February 2017


It was a gloriously sunny day today.  It's also the last day of February so time to mop up bits and pieces before turning over the calendar.

Bridge over burn outside Killearn

At a recent concert in the music room of Charles Rennie MacIntosh's House for an Art Lover I took this photo of a vase of lilies on the window ledge.

And last, but not least, here is a photo John took of Ellie (2 and Harriett (3 and a half).... or as Ellie calls her ...  'Harri-Barri'!


Monday, 27 February 2017


 * * * * * PREAMBLE * * * * *

There is a new film Mad To Be Normal about to come out in April, 2017. It has the Scottish actor David Tennant as the main (male) character. This week it has been  premiered at the Glasgow Film Festival.

The film is about the Glasgow psychiatrist R D Laing.  In my day he was a controversial figure and this film addresses this plus the work he did trying to get a different approach to mental illness.

His book The Divided Self was much talked about in the 60s; I had even read it!

The Divided Self: An Existential Study in Sanity and Madness, Penguin Modern Classics, 1960.

Amazon: "This watershed work aimed to make madness comprehensible, and in doing so revolutionized the way we perceive mental illness."

* * * * * * INFLUENCE OF O'SHAUGHNESSY  * * * * * *

Our friend, Bill D. dropped in for coffee today.  Iain was out; we got talking.  

Bill was very friendly with 'Ronnie' in their student days (1940s) up to about 1963.  He recalls that he had an incisive mind and one of the things they shared was a love of poetry.  Ronnie introduced Bill to the following poem which Bill (aged 89 years) could recite all the way through:

ODE (from MUSIC AND MOONLIGHT Collection of Poems)
by Arthur O'Shaughnessy *

We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers
And sitting by desolate streams;
World losers and world forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world’s great cities.
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire’s glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song’s measure
Can trample an empire down.

We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
And Babel itself with our mirth;
And o’erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world’s worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.

Laing liked the sentiment of this poem particularly (like so many people) the notion of 'movers and shakers'.  Bill and I concluded this must have been a strong driving force in how and why he went about his life.

Bill also mentioned that Ronnie was a bit hard to take at times (and, of course, only knew him as a young man before he became a 'celebrity').  

He recounted a chat he had at a Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow lecture some years ago with Dr Arthur Shenkin  (President at the time), He put it to him "What did you make of RDL?"  After a prolonged pause, apparently, Dr Shenkin replied "He should never have been a psychiatrist; he should have been a philosopher."

My 'Rorschach Rainbow'

* Born in London, Arthur O’Shaughnessy worked in the Zoology Department of the British Museum. By age 30, he had published three collections of poetry, including Music and Moonlight, which contained his inspiring poem “Ode.”  [Poetry Foundation]

 * * * * * *    'THE MUSIC MAKERS'  * * * * * *

 aka Us playing at the 'Railway Inn', Bowling

Saturday, 25 February 2017


Here is a 2 minute action packed video of a 'bonspiel' during a winter freeze in the city.  Click on this link in capital letters below (not the image).

And here is what an owl might have seen had he been passing overhead instead of investigating a traffic camera (not sure of location....).

Friday, 24 February 2017


John took the following 4 photos recently.  Their children are  now 10. 8, 3.5 and 2 years old.
Four Wee Monkeys

 Alastair and Ishbel in Glencoe after a weekend camping in a bothy with Dad.

Alastair and Harriet

Harriet is standing on the toilet in order to see into the mirror as we play 'hairdressers'.  She loves 'role playing' whether it be sweeping the floor, stirring with a big spoon whatever happens to be on the go at the time.
Anyone listening at the door would hear something like "And what are you doing today?" ... brush, brush .... "Going shopping..."  "And how are your children? ..."Fine..." Plait Number One done ... "And who is your best friend?"  Plait Number Two done.   "That's beautiful!" she says when all finished!

And here is a fairly recent photo of Indy, now 5 and a half and getting very tall for his age.  He is in the Science Museum in New York during the Christmas holidays. A recent examination under anaesthetic showed no abnormal cells.  Such good news. Apparently, after the age of 5 years the chances of the occurrence (or should that be recurrence?) of pathological cells declines.

Saturday, 18 February 2017


Sign seen in Ladies toilet recently.  It is not 'art' because I put a frame around it and called in a little help from Banksy.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017


I was in Glasgow city centre today... George Square to be exact.  It was quite busy with half term school holidays just now so there were lots of people taking the city centre tourist bus which does a circular hop on-hop off tour of the city.

I passed folk just getting off the bus about to start their exploring.  I overheard one woman say to her friend ... with apologies to Andy Warhol....


Sunday, 12 February 2017


We recently attended a Burns Supper at a local boat club.  We went with Brian and Maggie and were told that it was to a ceilidh so be prepared to join in with a song or an instrument.  We are always up for that.  (Often we find a 'ceilidh' turns out to be a concert on a platform where you sit in rows of seats, eg. in a village hall or whatever.)

We arrived at the early evening start time and Maggie and I got stuck into the bottle of Merlot that she had brought.  I stated at the start of the evening I was quite tired and asked that we go in separate cars in case I wanted to bail out.

A couple of glasses and I had revived.  In the meantime there was a lady going around with her raffle tickets so, having brought a bottle of wine myself ... the first I grabbed from the cupboard... I handed it it for the raffle as it was unlikely Maggie and I would open it.

Now this bottle is one I bought with my Christmas M&S voucher; it was the one I chose because I liked the colour of the bottle.

Well the evening wore on and by 10:15 pm the meal was finished and coffee was just starting to be served.  Then the ghetto blaster and its accompanying pair of speakers were cranked up just a tad more ... and I thought ... 'This is hellish!' ... I am off.  Iain, who can't hear in crowds at the best of times, was in agreement. So we gathered out stuff and made our way home.

We left our raffle tickets with Brian ... who came by the next day.  We had won a bottle of wine in the raffle ... mine!

And this is it [King Valley, Austrailia, Pinot Griogio Arneis, 2016], alongside Ken's love daffs ...back home again sitting on our sideboard!