An old friend was here.

It’s good to be busy, but time does fly away from me. I missed the anniversary of this place, it was 16 years of sporadic nonsense and memories last month.

Stories to tell though, this week for several of them and autumn is here so we’re oot and aboot with renewed urgency.

Woop woop.

Draw, o coward

The wee bugger wasn’t feart, I’ll give him that. Staring at my phone like a seasoned celebrity, “Do my whiskers look big in this…” Very good wee yin.

This other wee bugger isn’t feart either, just unsteady on her feet. She also looks like she’s already drawn her sidearm. Hmm, and Linda’s’ right handed so she’s looking at me, which means…

Return Fair

I had another rummage at my folks and found another old train book from the 60s. Another broken spine and ancient tape holding together the contents, most of which I found instantly familiar, just as if I’d read it yesterday.
This painting on the endpaper is something I’d gaze at for ages, taking in the dramatic light, the big Green Deltic and the ghost of steam that had gone just a wee bit before my time.

I have spent way too much time digitally fixing this, but what the hell.

Getting the train home

One of these has been my favourite book for 54 years and cost 1/- in 1968.

The other is the same age, in mint condition and cost £3 on eBay last week.


There is a mixture of joy and melancholy here. Mine was read every day, the dust jacket disintegrated and when the spine went I repaired it as best I could with electrical tape (blue to match the sky in the picture) from my dad’s toolbox.

It’s so fragile now and pages fall out even if I just lift it so I dare not open it. It has been loved to the edge of existence.


The other one is nearly mint, the colours are bright, the pages are crisp and unworn.

It was never loved by eager hands and wide eyes like my book has been and this has made me unexpectedly sad.


Here’s to old and worn, creased and crumpled, to life that’s been lived and loved.


Little book, welcome home.

Nearly There

It was looking good as we went into December. My fitness was still improving with so much time out and about, I had work on the books and people owed me money, TGO had lined me up for a bunch of stuff, band stuff was winding up to gigs and recording and I was so looking forward to Christmas with the ones I love.

“Hi Peter, just to let you know me and Dougie have tested positive for covid. As you were with us all day on Tuesday I thought I’d better let you know…”
12 hours later I was flat on my back.

Fully vaxxed means it was lighter on me than it might have been but I was wiped out, still am. The stress was crushing me, did I infect my folks, Holly, Linda?
There’s still the lingering worry of that, who really knows how long the incubation is on recent strains.

On Christmas Eve I tested what looked like negative although a faint line #2 crept up later. Christmas morning I was a definite clear and we had the best day, the best dinner and a few of the rare hours of December I will look back on fondly.
It was me and Linda’s birthday in the middle of this too, 54? Yay in isolation.

Covid free, absolutely exhausted, behind with work, payments left unchased and therefore unpaid and I cannot wait for this year to be over.

There have been highlights, days and nights of joy in wonderful places with wonderful people but I am done with ’22.
One great day was when the frost reached it’s furry zenith.


A Bit of Finger

In with the new indeed, but the old will be staying in reserve.

Don’t think I’ve ever felt the cold as much as I feel it just now with this still odd feeling narrower sillouette and my hands are getting the worst of it.

My old and worn but excellent Redwing sheepskins have no insulation left in the fingers where years of use have word it away so I’m hoping these Primaloft lined Hestra’s that just beat the postal strike (stick it to the man folks) will save my days (and nights) until Spring.

This is a big change for me though and it makes me nervous, some gear is part of your story just because it was there, and those old gloves really were there, for everything.

We shall see.

Helensburgh Fireworks

Helensburgh is a funny place, build on a grid to echo Glasgow’s efficient city centre it mixes old sandstone affluence with 60’s roughcast expansion and it’s seafront shopfronts are either bright with queues or dim with dirty glass and peeling paint. It’s hard to know where it’s going but I hope it finds something other than just the minging new sports centre right on the pier.
Besides, we like coming here for the chippy and ice cream, And we were born here, both me and Linda, just a few hours apart on the same day in ’68. There’s coincidence and the there’s that.

Tonight though was the the only night we could get together for fireworks. Holly’s 15th various birthday events (15… wtf?) had kept us away but this was it.
We got the last table inside the busy chippy just before the stressed out manager shut the door and missed the rain that fell for an hour before the show started. Chips were magic too.

We wandered around to the pier where the barge  that was the base for the display was moored but it was mobbed and I was the only one that was going to see anything.
So, I said excuse me to the folks sitting on the wall and jumped over onto the breakwater boulders and helped the girls down too. Pretty soon the boulders were full of folk and everybody was going to get a view. And hope fully not a broken ankle.

The moon came out and the fireworks did their best to reach it casting as much light onto the water as they did in the sky. The rain came in and the youngsters on the boulders retreated but we stayed cosy say shoulder to shoulder with hoods up.

There was a walk in the dark back to the car and a stop at the ice cream shop on the way home. The best of times.


Rarely have I seen such a sky. It both crawled with grey smoky fingers and flowed like an eel in syrup as it brought the very welcome rain from over the horizon.
It has changed, cooler now at night even if it’s warm in the day.

I wonder what furniture I’ll burn first this winter?


I have a love of raspberries, but it’s an appreciation not entirely based upon taste, it’s political too.

Looking back into the not too distant past, strawberries were the fruit of the rich, grown as a crop and sold as a delicacy, it was a rare treat or the unknown for regular folk.

Raspberries are different, the grow wherever they can get a grip and they barely noticed the industrial revolution, the just saw new territories to expand into such as around factory walls, railway embankments and at maybe their most famous gig, all along canal towpaths.

This widespread city accessibility made it the fruit of working folks with buckets of berries being picked by red stained hands being taken home to be boiled for jam. I know because I used to do it.

As times changed rasps socialist stance was lost, fruits are seen as more or less equal now, grown for supermarkets in plastic tents without seasons and the ones still living free are seen as weeds.

Go on, be a rebel.

Seaside B Side

It’s only August but I can see the evening creeping towards the day, just a wee bit.

So it was into that gloaming we went with a callout to investigate in Rhu and an ice cream shot to visit just down the road in Helensburgh. I took the old camera in case there was a sunset.

There was a sunset.

The birds leave you alone of you don’t have chips. We’ll now have to experiment with what accompanies your chips to see what effect it has on the birds. Does curry sauce repel or attract, does a pickle confuse them, does a sausage intimidate them, does a chicken supper send them into grief stricken rage?

These two were saying this…
“I’m telling you it’s on fire!”
Nah, there’s no smoke…
“Look, look below”
Why would I, them down there don’t have chips.

Linda caught a wee golden moment with me and Holly too. Might be an all-time favourite photie.

The moon was getting up by the time we got back, a super moon indeed. A nice wee colourful trip.

My ice cream was a Scottish tablet and banana tub with a flake btw. Awesome.

But does it really see me?

I was walking back from my folks, for I must walk every day, and I saw the moon rising over the hills, big and pink as it just cleared the horizon. I hadn’t far to go to get to a camera but I knew well that my windows look almost due west and I’d be lucky to see the moon.

Still, I upped the pace as the moon shimmied upwards behind ribbons of pink and orange cloud. It was just stunning and it felt so wintry too, or maybe that was just wishful thinking.

Up the stairs I sprang, and leaned out the windae, I could just see it. Low res and shaky, in the hills I would have had a tripod and a timer but what the hell, this’ll do for memories.

The fun continued a few hours later as did the lack of ability with a camera.

Talking of which, that’s not a doubler below, it’s a different camera. I’ll forget pretty quickly which one took which, I wonder if this is the way to finally give the new one a shot. Hmm.