6 November 2017

5 November 2017



Many years ago, I received an anonymous death threat, or at least a statement that if I proceeded as I was proceeding I would soon die, from someone apparently somewhere in the USA in response to something that I had written (under my real name) in the esteemed science journal Nature about strange goings on in the timings of events out in the universe. I ignored it, and I did not soon die. A few weeks after that I received a phone call claiming to be from the brother of the legendary science fiction and science writer Arthur C. Clarke in which he said, "Arthur is sure you are onto something." Just at the end of that phone call my young son, aged about 7, and daughter, aged about 5, ran in to tell me there was "a UFO in the sky." It was just an orange light, moving oddly. Then something else happened far out in the skies on a notable anniversary of the things I had first written about in Nature. I published something about that again, and was told by a correspondent that I was nuts, even though I had not actually made any interpretation about anything at all - just reported recorded events that nobody disputed. Now, many years later, I have received a message telling me I should stop writing about things that I "don't know about," and on this same day I have received an odd message, apparently from Russia, about my officially silly novella Aileen the Alien saying: "Goodness! Fifty Shades of Scott and Alien Engineering. Truth written in jest." I also had a dream recently, in which a ghost told me that to it, I was the ghost. And my wife has awakened in the middle of the night, sitting up startled and afraid because a very small thin person with a very big head was looking at us from the dark doorway of our bedroom, then silently retreated; but of course she has concluded it was a kind of waking dream. And then something else happened, not in a dream, unless this life is a dream. A weird coincidence, of course. A strange conjunction of nonsense.  Everything above is true. Everything we hold to be true may be nonsense.  Someone told me long ago, during a conversation at 30,000 feet above the ocean, that if I wrote the truth nobody would believe me. Ah well, I'll have a lie down first, then I may start to write. If I fall silent then the bogeymen or bogeywomen may have got me. And if I manage to stumble my way to write the truth, nobody will believe me, but at least they may laugh. Normal service may resume tomorrow, but the truth is out there, or in here, somewhere. There is more. I have an idea.

Contrasts in Perth

2 November 2017

November night, nearly

I see this view across Strathearn nearly every day on my way home, and very often at sunset. Sometimes I forget to look and appreciate how nice it is. Not today though, as it rather demanded my attention. Well worth stopping and getting out of the car for. All gone now, back home, all dark.

29 October 2017

Cabot Tower

In the 1890s this fine tower atop a hill in Bristol was built to celebrate the journey from Bristol of John Cabot, to "discover Canada", landing first at Newfoundland. There are, or were, of course, quite a few people already there who would disagree about who discovered what. Still, it offers a fine if vertiginous view. So vertiginous I retreated before remembering to take a photo, unfortunately.

27 October 2017

A complex mix...

which some might call a mess
or a metaphor
or a muddle
or a pub
or a bar
or a bore
Still, it's life
in still life

The trees are not fooled

It is sunny, it is warm, but it is late October. The trees know what is coming

22 October 2017

Moody water

The White House

I stumbled upon this house while wandering through Leith and immediately remembered being taken there when I was very young, perhaps five or six years old. It is called Lamb's House, which I assumed, on my first visit, was because it was very white. I do remember wondering why it was not called Sheep's House, however, as it seemed a bit too big for a lamb. It was used as some sort of day home for the old and frail in those days, and I was taken in by my mother to visit my terrifyingly aged, tiny, old and crinkled, wrinkled grandmother, not long before she died. Its name, I now know, derives from the original owner, Andrew Lamb, and apparently Mary Queen of Scots spent about an hour inside it in 1561, just as I did in around 1960. To quote the historical record - of Mary's visit, not of mine - the Queen "remainit in Andro Lamb's hous be the space of an hour". And the house has had many coats of white paint since young Mary "remainit in" it, and a few since I myself remainit in it. This day, in 2017, I just remainit outside of it, pausing, looking, remembering, thinking of my little self in short trousers and new school blazer, and of how the eyes that were seeing and the sight being seen were little changed since my only previous visit, unlike most other things within and around; then having thought, I moved on.

21 October 2017

Lingering Leith

Oh... Innis & Gunn? Nah, not today, for...

there was Caesar Augustus to try - a "lager/IPA hybrid", ok..., not bad, quite good, but then...

there was also Seven Giraffes - "a blend of seven grains, three hop strains and a late infusion of elderflower and lemon" - oh well, go on then... Whose move is it next? I forget... And what's the game anyway? 

Look both ways...

Better have a coffee...


Them again... They are everywhere... And... hang on a minute... a few hundred yards away...

Look up there! My lady and me made two children behind those third floor windows, one in eh... 1986, and one in eh... 1988, if I am allowing for the gestation times correctly. A job well done, I'd say...

and both of the children used to enjoy running across this parkland to those swings and roundabouts in the distance... Swings and roundabouts... they come and go. So much time. So little time. So many beers to try... A little bit of beer can get me minorly maudlin though, while lingering in Leith. How old am I? How old are they? How did all that happen? Let's have some Innis & Gunn...

Moving to The Hill

For a bit of a change, have moved golf membership from The Island to The Hill
Some small images, meantime, courtesy of their website:

These members down at the first tee on the opening day in June 1911 are long gone though

18 October 2017


I took a wary walk across the Clifton Suspension Bridge, while the final two photos in this post show that my son - on the right in the glass box - had recently enjoyed his own high rise sights in Kuala Lumpur. Meanwhile my lady managed just a few yards along the Clifton Bridge walkway before deciding that was enough for her and retreating. She doesn't cope well with heights. Without any warning of their presence, my son was highly alarmed to suddenly see bodies falling around him near the box - then parachutes opened... Base jumpers from the top. The jumpers then took the lift back to the top and jumped off again. Not my idea of fun.