Category Archives: Uncategorized

Looky Here! Updated. Again.

Look!  Go and see my wee brother’s fabulous photography page!  I say wee, he’s 6 foot tall, but he’ll always be a wee fry to me.  Anyway, I know some of yoos like the whole photog thing and these are terrific.  They are primarily of the Outer Hebrides and Perthshire.  He’s working in the North Sea now so I expect a lot more photos of stormscapes and watery expanses as far as the eye can see.

I’d like to see some Flung Object Art though, Weebro.  Found Object Art has had its day.  I’d like to see photos of things flung off the rig and bobbing in the vast unfriendly sea, off to Norway or other gobbledygook lands.

What’s that?  Littering?  What about the porpoises getting their snouts caught in the flung art?

Bugger the porpoises! I never met one of them who wasn’t a bring-back-hanging Tory.  They’re all about climbing the social ladder and who can be the most ostentatiously tasteful.  And I don’t like how they laugh. If porpoises had the opposable flippers to fling objects on land and then take interesting pictures of them, you can bet your bippy they’d do it in a New York minute without a thought for our snouts getting stuck.

These are fab photos though, chums.  The idea is to post your work and get hints from other photographers on how to improve.  Sort of collective experimentation and learning. It’s cool. Definitely worth a looksee.

I love the Digital Age.

UPDATE:

Acksherly, you know what?  Go here.  If you like, ‘an that. I like these black and white ones better, especially the sheepskins drying.  They’re a bit muddled up with people photos that will mean nothing to you but most of it is Wee Niaff’s photog. Ignore me being wee.  The Wee niaff is there himself and Mrs. Wee Niaff.  And my granny.  There’s a speed control at the side so you can zip right through the people stuff to get to the ‘scapes.

UPDATE 2:

This is the most updated a post of mine has ever been. But look!  The lovely K8 the Gr8 has given me The Dog’s Bollix!  Cheers, m’darlin’!  I’ll try to remember to feed him.

She Wore A Blueberry Bloget

Woohoo!  Look at the blog!  This is the absolute schmancy-assiest she’s ever been!  She looks like she could get a job she’s not qualified for, in a language she can’t speak.  She looks like she could kick WordPress default template’s bottom wearing nothing but a pair of fabulous boots, scarlet lipstick and a French Resistance lady’s trenchcoat.  Why, I declare,  she is surely, I say she is surely is the finest-lookin’ blog written by a Hebridean housewife anywhere in the Ojai area!

Depending on what your monitor setting’s like, she might look jaundiced and yellow about the writing area.  She’s like that on the Problem Husband’s monitor.  But on mine she’s rosy of intext-link with a non-cancerous Levantine tan. I’m smitten with her anyway so tough filet mignons if y’all don’t like her looks.

Clever-Bloke Tom is responsible for all the techie stuff.  He is a great bloke, friendly, patient and knowledgable and I highly recommend him to anyone wanting technical help.  He changed the blog’s host for me – something that ended up needing some hand-coding, the very thing I was afraid of.  Then he very ably changed the look of the thing.  If I ever need anything complicated done again, I’m going right to Tom.

The header up there was one of several designed for me by the inimitable Wally Torta/Sparky Donatello of Crackskullbob(pants), a pal and an artist of astonishing talent, humour and imagination.  His blog is terrific and well worth visiting.  You’ll have fun there.  He put up with my hemming and hee-hawing over which design to choose in 7004 emails on the subject.

He won’t want me telling you this but every Tuesday Wally goes to a room and gazes at naked people.  Yes. He does. On Wednesdays, he paints in the nude in the comfort of his own home and Thursday is his plein-air nude day, weather-permitting.  Friday and Saturday he’s mostly in jail for Thursday’s indecent exposure rap but usually he’s out by Sunday, when he practices his faith of Ultra-Orthodox Episcopalian Gardening – a fiscally conservative sect which believes in trickle-down piety and the transubstantiation of steamed broccoli with just a hint of butter into the body and blood of Ronald Reagan, Walt’s Lord and Personal Saviour.  He believes in the transformative powers of saying “fuck” and the transcontinental doctrine of adding “’em all!” His cat is called Bernice and as far as I know he hasn’t killed anyone despite having those eyebrows…

I’d also like to thank God, obviously.

But most important to the changing of this blog has been my dear little cat, Trouble, (affectionately known as Wubs; angrily known as Oiyoulittleasshole; Show name – Pride of The Torpid Sasquatch III; American Indian Name – Dances With Shoelaces; Kabbalah Name – Esther; Porn Name – Nipples Galore; Pirate Name Disemboweling Dorothea the Holy Terror of the Western Sofa; Preferred name: Bob).  Trouble refrained almost entirely from walking, sleeping and vomiting on my keyboard during the move and for that I am forever in her tummy-rubbing debt.

Did The Earth Move For You?

Did it?

But never mind you for a minute!  It’s a fait accompli!  No longer Yahoo, we, but Host Monstered!  Ironically, all I want to yell is Yahoo!

It wasn’t without its parlous half hours but Clever Bloke Tom was steady-as-she-goes the whole way through, kept his head when all around him was losing her’s, and he steered the good ship PCB into safe harbour all ship-shape and Bristol-fashion.  Blooming marvel, he is.

But what I want to know is, how was it for you?  Were you rocked and rolled?  Did you feel anything at all?  (Be careful how you answer! Gentle hearts are easily wounded)

For myself, I feel like lying back with a cigarette in the afterglow*.  For I was moved, deeply moved.

Lets here it for Clever Bloke Tom!

Next job – to change this ugly blogling into a beautiful widgetty swan!

*And me not even a smoker.

Moving

It might look like I’ve abandoned blogging but I’ve been here, behind the scenes, fiddling with knobs and researching, getting headaches and peeping out at yooz all from behind my blue and red header. I would like to pretend I had an adorable smudge of oil on my nose from all the tinkering but what I’ve really had are beads of blood forming on my forehead as I attempted a crash course in PHP and Mysql among other abominable things. It took me a long time but what I learned at the end of it was that I needed help.

The upshot is, I’m moving from Yahoo hosting to HostMonster. With luck, by next week I’ll be up and running! ‘Twill require some twiddling though so I’ve recruited an able pyooter fella to help. The blog will get a bit of a nip and a tuck here and there too. Some porcelein veneers, maybe a dye job, Immac for the blog’s unsightly upper-lip hair etc. Soon, I’ll be fabulous.

He seems like a nice bloke, and capable, so watch this space…

The Gloomsome Tale Of Jed, Goat Of The Night

Jed wasn’t like the other goats. For a start he was called Jed when all the other goats were called things like Buttercup and The One With The Gamey Udder. He’d picked Jed because it sounded at once craggy and charismatic and life-worn and urbane,and he insisted everybody call him that.

Jed liked life on the edge, by the fence. He liked to mooch. He liked to sulk. He liked to draw deeply on his cigarette and read the Beats. He liked to sleep all day and go out at night wearing an old leather jacket that had blown by one day. He was a nocturnal goat who lived by his nerves on the mean streets and this was so against the order of things that it upset the others greatly. They pleaded with him to stay home, begging him not to stop his wild ways.

His mother would say, “Son , I know you want to be our own goat, I know how hard it’s been for you since your dad was eaten. I understand, darling, really I do, but the streets at night are no place for a goat. There are people in that world who would goulash you soon as look at you. Oh please Snowy, I mean Jed, I couldn’t bear it if I lost you too!”

His “uncle” said “Can’t you see what you’re doing to your mother, you ungrateful little craphead. What the hell do want to feel the pulse of the living city for anyway? Why don’t you shape up and join the hoofball team, you
little gayer?”

His grandma said “It’s all very well being hungry for real life, living by your wits, feeling the thrill of the neon-lit streets and …(she had to pause for breath here as she was a very old goat)… never knowing if death will come tonight, but it’s not the goatly way, Snowy. Oh stop it, you’ll always be Snowy to me. However much you want it to be otherwise, we’re not made, evolutionarily speaking, for a nocturnal existence. Look at the shadows under your eyes! What you need is a good skipping-rope ‘n’ tyre casserole and a good night’s sleep. That’ll put the roses back into those pale cheeks!”

“You’re heading for a fall, douchebag,” Jed’s big brother would gently counsel. “Poncing around in a leather jacket, who do you think you are?”

His best friend, Biff, said “It’s madness, Jed. Why you wanna play with your life like that? You gotta take it easy, man. Look, me and some of the guys are starting a band with the fence wires using our horns as plectrums. Whaddaya say?”

All these people would say all these things. But Jed knew that being a nocturnal goat made him special and sexy. He knew the kids said “Look, there goes Jed that cool nocturnal guy. He knew all the girl goats were secretly in love with him. Sorry, ladies, he thought with a wry grin, not tonight. I’m off to prowl the city’s underbelly and see things so unspeakable that they will haunt my eyes and cause me to brood moodily, making you want me even more.

Oh he had loved a few of them back, usually at the back of the gorse-bush but, afterwards, looking deep into their limpid eyes, he would tell them monogoaty wasn’t for him, his twisted heart was incapable of love after the life he’d lived on the streets. He’d read while chewing on an old Maxim one day that a touch of the bastard about him would only make him more of an enigma.

But more than that, the streets made him feel alive, like standing in the field just never had. He hungered for their danger them when he was away from them too long.

One night, Jed slid out as usual under the hidden bit of fence behind the bushes where the wire was loose. Something felt different tonight but he couldn’t put his hoof on it. His normal slouch into town seemed more fraught with peril than usual. The night seemed blacker somehow. A couple of times he was nearly run over by speeding cars and once he rounded a corner to see a group of youths with knives pin a boy to the wall, a blade treacherously close to his wildly rolling eyes. Jed didn’t stop, not even when he heard the boy scream from two blocks behind him. This was the way of the street, though Jed, it was hard, but it was just the way it was. This was the real world and the weak got eaten up by the sharks. The law of the jungle. (Nocturnal goats never worry about mixing metaphors. That’s just not cool.)

Reaching downtown, the police sirens seemed to wail by more often than normal, tonight. Jed stopped for a bite to eat at the bins behind Antonio’s Trattoria, but half way through his spaghettini meal he’d looked down into the dark bin just as the lights of a passing car lit up its contents and had seen a decapitated cat’s head screaming silently up at him. Shaken, he had run out of the alleyway and back onto Main and, turning up his collar, he decided to go down to the docks to see if the salty banter of the night longshoremen could help take the edge off. There was usually some bourbon to be had down there too.

But the docks were silent that night. Just a NO TRESPASSING sign swinging gently from the chain. The squeak of the sign stayed with him as he wandered aimlessly about the city that night. Was he losing his nerve? What was wrong with him? Why was there a cold sweat across his muzzle?

Nah, just an off day, that’s all, he reassured himself. Probably coming down with something. He wasn’t losing his nerve. He was a nocturnal goat dammit, cooler than them all, a witness to dark secrets and he’d done some sinning himself, oh yes. Those nights when the whiskey clouded his vision and he woke up in the park with the bloodied collar of some beloved little lapdog in his teeth, not knowing how or why or whence… There were some troubled corners in his own heart too. He had become a shadowy creature of the dark streets alright, it was in his blood now, but even shadowy creatures of the dark streets got colds. It was time to call it a night.

Day was breaking as he crested the hill behind the field. The sweat on his muzzle was beginning to chill him a little and he was anxious to get back to the familiar corner where he knew his mother would be sleeping, snoring slightly. He would close her mouth and kiss her forehead like he often did, and then maybe he could sleep off this feeling.

As he looked down on the field though, something looked wrong. The goats weren’t huddled as they usually were. They were strewn about the field. Some of their necks were at odd angles…

Jed tore down the hill. Oh God no, please don’t let it be so. Please God, I’ll stay home from now on, I promise, just let me be wrong!

Noooooooooo!

As he scrambled under the fence, tearing his leather jacket horribly, hot tears blinded his eyes. He ran to the centre of the field and spun around looking at the carnage all around him. He found his mother by the bloodied water-trough, her throat ripped open and her unseeing eyes wide as though puzzled about something.

They’d heard warnings of course: a wolf pack in the area, but the fence was good and so everyone had felt pretty safe. The fence. The fence.

He ran back to his own exit. It was too small for a wolf, wasn’t it? He at half their size could barely make it through, the posts were that firmly in place.

His ears filled with the roar of his blood as he looked at the fence and saw what he had missed in his panic before: dozens of stratchmarks and pawprints, a scrabbled out trench that must have taken even the biggest wolves a long time to clear in that stony ground. But he had given them their opening. With his foolish whims he had imperiled every goat he had ever known or loved and now they lay slain, the blood of his family soaking into the ground they knew so well.

“It should have been me!” he cried out. It should have been me..!”

He fell to the ground choking with sobs and there he lay weeping until the Humane society came and took him to a goat rescue facility in another town. His name was changed to Twinkle and he ended his days as an educational animal, going round schools and county fairs with his large-hearted handler, Marge.

The children often asked “Why does the goat seem so sad, Miss Marge?” or “Oh, Miss, Ma-arge, why does Twinkle keep screaming and running at speed as if trying to impale himself on the fence-post?” And Marge never knew why but would often sit long into the evening stroking the damp brow of the dreaming goat, frowning as his hooves struck out against unknowable horrors.

THE END

Secret Life

Leaping from tall building to tall building to short one and then “Ouchee!” a church spire, Our Heroine looks down and locates the right window. With a double-back flip-floppy bound, triple toe-axle and shimmy, she flies through the glass, landing with ease beside a stove on which a pot is gently simmering. She plies in ballet position 4.

“Where is it?” she asks, easily the most well-groomed and self-possessed in the small kitchen, despite her unconventional journey.

A young, harrassed-looking woman points mutely at a bowl of batter. On her hip is a child, maybe 3 or 4, eyes wide with amazement at the turn the evening has taken.

In a single, fluid, panther-like motion Our Heroine is at the bowl. Lifting one arm, she examines the lining of her long, dark and extremely well-tailored cloak and appears to mull something over briefly. “Hmm. A titanium-tipped Smith&Oliver 3000, I think. This sucker’s already starting to form lumps.”

With a flash of silver, she pulls out the eggwhisk and turns to her task.

“Close all the doors and windows, and hold on to the child!” she orders, her bluey-greeny-greyee-browny eyes, flashing and alive with a burning, other-worldy intensity.

The lights dim of their own accord, as if aware that their brilliance is not required right now; knowing, some-mysterious-how, that all the energy in the room will soon be concentrated in the batter-bowl.

Our Heroine begins. A low hum fills the room and she lowers the eggwhisk into the batter, wincing as she does so: this part can sometimes get messy real quick and she’s only used the Smith&Oliver once before. At the ambassador’s party, wasn’t it? The macaroons. But there’s no time for such idle thoughts – the lumps are bobbing on the surface now. Blee!

With a mighty plunge she thrusts the eggwhisk into the bowl and the lights dim even further. The hum is getting so loud now that the child and her mother cover their ears. The lights wink out. The hum rises. It’s almost screaming, and a golden light is emanating from the bowl as sparks of green and gold fly onto the laminated counter-top. Tomorrow, only a few singe marks on the linoleum will convince little Lucy that it wasn’t all a dream. Right now, The Mysterious Lady’s arm is just a blur, moving impossibly fast, her face a grim mask of concentration.

The curtains on the window are starting to flap as the whisking continues; the young woman’s patched, worn skirt starts to tug her in towards the bowl. Soon pieces of paper and napkins are whirling in a tornado above the counter. The child, Lucy, reaches up to catch a passing pepper-pot and her mother feels her grip begin to loosen on her daughter. A curtain tears loose and books are flying off the shelves, drawn inexorably, irresistably towards the batter-bowl…

The child screams.

And then there is calm. No sound, save that of old recipe cards twirling softly, eerily to the floor. The lights flicker back on.

Comes a voice, matter-of-fact, yet warm and tinkly: “That’s me, then! Just pop in the frying pan now, with plenty of good butter and a twist of pepper and, Bob’s your uncle, the lightest, fluffiest ommelettes your guests will ever eat this side of the pearly gates. What’s the occasion? Husband having his boss over for dinner?”

“N-n-n-no” stammers the young woman “His mother…awful woman…will be looking for dust and a four-course meal, but we can only afford eggs while Jimmy Jr’s out of work, you see. But, see…she doesn’t know he’s out of work and…it all seemed so hopeless half an hour ago…I can’t even boil an egg, far less make a moist, fluffy and delicious ommelette with one and …Oh!… How can I ever thank you?”

Our Heroine turns and regards the young woman kindly. She looks tired, she thinks.

“Just bring me a fresh towel please and I’ll be on my way. I think I’ve got some batter on my cloak.”

Not half a minute later, the young woman returns to the kitchen with the towel and gasps at the sight before her. For in that time, The Mysterious Lady has somehow, incredibly, set a full, sparkling table with a standing rib-roast steaming softly in the centre, surrounded by tasteful flowers and delectable-looking side-dishes.

“Oh my!”

The doorbell rings and she turns her head, in confusion towards it. When she looks back, The Mysterious Lady, Our Heroine, is gone. The young woman rushes to the window – there is nothing, noone. But, looking up into the darkening sky, she fancies for a moment she sees an extra twinkly star and could it be?… a shower of green sparks…? The doorbell rings again and she moves to answer it.

Moments later, in a dining-room in Ojai, a problemchildbride enters, looking breath-taking in a silk, inky-blue dress.

“Darling! There you are!” says her ProblemHusband. “Our guests are ready for some of your famous Baked Alaska.”

“Why, of course” says the problemchildbride and, spinning smartly on one heel, she glides towards the kitchen. As she leaves the room, noone notices her smoothing a tiny lock of stray hair from her otherwise immaculate bouffant, back into place, eyes twinkling merrily.

“”I think I’ve got some batter on my cloak.”” she says, almost scornfully, to herself. “I NEVER allow foodstuffs to get on my cloak. Still, I couldn’t let that young woman see how it’s done. But…wait… where was the child? Did she see? Oh buggrit! I really don’t want to have to kidnap another one…”

Finis.

Why? (In Which ProblemChildBride Tries To Figure Out … Why? Why Blog? Exactly Why?)

Until recently I had always only used the internet for useful things: airline tickets, hotel reservations, information retrieval and news gathering. AND THEN IT OCCURRED TO ME! In true S(P)aul on the road to Damascus fashion, the scales fell away from my eyes and I beheld the myriad beautiful USELESS opportunities the web affords! I weep as I type this in remembrance of the power of that life-altering moment.

Being from a small, Puritan and windy (although that is immaterial) isle off Scotland’s west coast, genetics and social mores have always told my higher brain to seek the utilitarian in all I did and not waste my time. “Was there a point to any given activity?” I would ask myself. I tried to figure out the most useful use of my time, and even managed to do whatever that was about half the time. But, hidden and lurking, was My True Nature which is a wee nature, surplus to the requirements of big Mamma Nature. It is of a useless quality. Redundant. Seriously, I don’t know how evolution ever coughed a nature like mine up. A nature like my True one serves no useful purpose, other than to breed and nurture a bit, which I’ve already done, so what now, huh? HUH? If I didn’t think Intelligent Design was the many colorful expletives I think it is, I would question why Evolution could have thought it was a good idea to let me roam around breeding.

I (and therefore you) have also to blame the UK social framework which allowed a child with such an etiolated True Nature as mine to live past the age of 5. (Maybe this civilization thing is counter-productive.) The government gave me milk from tiny milk-bottles at school play-times until Margaret Thatcher put a stop to it (a lady who clearly foresaw the rise of the Useless Type and wanted to nip us in the bud), I got regular, government-mandated immunizations and every attempt was made to prevent Mamma Nature from recognising my wee True Nature and weeding me out before I could grow up and propagate myself.

So, here I idle on the sofa that time forgot (and now I look at it, taste forgot this sorry sofa too) and now … here I go … I’m going to cast off the shackles of the useful, productive me (tinkle) and roll around naked and ecstatic in the new found complete uselessness of blogging. Behold! A new blogger is born and somewhere an angel has flown into some powerlines. Singed feathers everywhere.

By the way, I’m parenthetically dysenteric (which is a PC way to say i will be writing in such a way as to wholly irritate anyone who stumbles across this wee blog with rambling digressions like this one) because (handkerchief to brow!) I live my life in parentheses (gentle mopping) and so constantly lose the point of what it was i just started doing yesterday when i was looking for the scissors and then stubbed my toe and scared the children with my LOUD ejaculation (first rude-ish word of my blog! Proud beam!) and forgot what it was I was wanting to cut with the scissors……where was I?…

Blogging! Scary, scary blogging. Christ! (first BOTH rude AND holy word of my blog! Look mum! No hands!) It’s kind of scary to think that this frail wee wotzit’ll soon be sent off, floating through the ether to Blogland with no coat on, only a spotted knapsack on a stick and a note attached, saying “Why in hot, stinky hellfire did I think this might be a good idea?” My answer is, many reasons, which I’ll probably bang on about some other time. However, our Survey said “NNNN-NNNN! Likely wants attention”.

So then. First post. Crikey!