Showing posts with label Edinburgh. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Edinburgh. Show all posts

Wednesday 9 December 2020

A Nightmare

 I woke from , what for me is, a recurring nightmare, although it is very mild compared with what most people would class as a nightmare. I think I am slightly claustrophobic , so it's a manifestation based on that.

Earlier this week I dreamt I was in a house and many of the rooms had no windows, big buildings with no windows I find, creepy, rooms with no windows creepier because you are inside.

The latest was for some reason I was holidaying in the far north of Scotland (which I would like to do) , and while being shown around the place I had to squeeze past the host in the doorway to the "main room" and then felt even being there it was too small to get out. It's this situation where you are at the risk of getting stuck and unable to free yourself and often have variations on that theme, though I always manage to get past the difficult part.

In real like it reminds me of the ascent of Scott's Monument in Edinburgh which manged to combine my claustrophobia with vertigo, but I managed to do that and got some great photographs, and to be honest, my body size is not increasing, so once this lockdown is dealt with (if that happens) I may do it again. Similarly the "gateway to Cow Hill from Grandstand Road is a very tight squeeze for me , although I could climb over or through the fence.

I don't like small caves or underground tunnels and when I see these cavers squeezing through holes , often also underwater it sends my blood cold, I think that happens in the film "The Descent" , which for me is a real horror film.

Other nightmare scenarios are being up high and having to traverse gaps in stairs or ladders to go up, knowing you have to do the same coming back.

The thing is, with all these nightmares, I either get through it or wake up, and with tonight's , because I am on a staycation, I can write about this at 3:30 am knowing I don't have to get up at 5:45 as usual. Every day is like a Saturday , although today I have to go to Newcastle University to help with research into my Cirrhosis of the Liver so it won't be just lying around doing nothing, listening to music , read or playing.

So something dark to accompany this post, or maybe not. I'm been listening to a lot of Chris Rea recently and maybe "Nothing To Fear" is a more suitable piece to sign off with. I just posted a Youtube video of some of his amazing album packaging here, although some people may think that Chris Rea's music is a nightmare but given his prodigiously good output I can forgive "Driving Home For Christmas". 

It is now 4:10 am

Saturday 19 September 2020

A Nice Surprise - #FruitfulSeptember #7

 Sometimes you do wake up to nice little surprises. This morning I started my phone up up and there was a Paypal payment (one of the few notifications I deliberately allow on my phone) , it was for a Discogs order from a Scottish guy in Edinburgh , but apart from the nice surprise of getting a little money was that the guy's name referenced Avalanche Records which I thought had gone to the wall. It turns out it had but now it's back and they have a very informative website here , so I will be dropping in next time I'm in Edinburgh. They have a social media presence on twitter here and Facebook here.

Although we've been promised rain , and yesterday morning was very misty (see here) , the last few days have been very pleasant weather.

I'm currently reading "Spear of Destiny" by Daniel Easterman , and while I have read it before, I have forgotten big chunks of it , and just when you think it can't get any worse for the main protagonists , it always does. He is definitely on of my favourite authors and apparently frequents Oxfam in Jesmond where I volunteered briefly after leaving EE.

So for #FruitfulSeptember we'll go with "Incense and Peppermints" by The Strawberry Alarm Clock , dated but creepily excellent.

Friday 3 July 2020

Two Minutes

The time on my Google Pixel 2XL phone is two minutes ahead of the time on my work and home computers.I am assuming they use a different source for their times because two minutes is a significant amount of time, Unless it's like the clock at The Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh that since 1902, the hotel's clock has been set three minutes fast to ensure that the people of Edinburgh wouldn't miss their trains. This is still the case today. The only day that the clock runs on time is on 31 December (Hogmanay) for the city's New Year celebrations.

The weather has been very dreich over most of this week, the sun seems to fight it's way out but then disappears.

"Everville" is still continuing on and after a hundred pages some of the characters from "The Great And Secret Show" have now turned up, although I am still no wiser as to what will happen in the book. I cannot believe I have a book by one of my favourite authors that I haven't read , especially as it is a follow up to a very good book. I will probbly mention it a few more times before I finish it.

Today I have been listening to Hothouse Flowers , Gay Dad and General Fiasco but before I switched the radio off two of my current favourites were spun by Lauren Laverne , one was "Slum Lord" by Baxter Dury and the other was "Take Back The Radio" by Katy J Pearson which , to me, sounds like "Aeriel" era Kate Bush, and that is certainly no bad thing.

This is the thing , there is always great music being produced, it's just sometimes a case of finding it. I would hate to be stuck in a particular time period with my musical taste like so many people I know, although I suppose really they are happy with their choices.

So have a listen to Katy J Pearson  , she is rather excellent.

Monday 2 March 2020

Not Bored

I don't do blog posts when I'm away on short breaks although I haven't posted in nearly a week, which is quite a long blogging break for me, but Edinburgh was great but cold.

Edinburgh whilst being the joint capital of Scotland seems a remarkably unplanned city , which just adds to it's interest, and is small enough to easily explore on foot as well as having some amazing buildings and constructions. It's also full of small alleys, high level walks, stone steps and you can usually see some landmark so you can always find your way back if you ever get lost.

I got back yesterday evening and watched two episodes of 30 Rock, two of Veep and the final Frankie Boyle Scotland travelogue and then thought I don't have time to blog and realised how the quantity of choice on television can actually steal your time. The thing is I don't even have Netflix and despite it having lots of series I want to watch , my ivo disk is 90% full and I have Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer and the commercial channels hubs to watch so much television that I really don't have the time.

People often tell me they binge watch series, but more than two episodes of anything is too much for me, and then I have two Clive Barker books on the go and music to listen to too.

So as I close off this first March post to go to work , the sun is shining outside, and tomorrow I am going to visit Kirsty and Mark to see and hear Mark's latest record player upgrade and Edinburgh did provide me with four more pieces of vinyl , two New Order 12" singles , "Fans" by Malcolm McLaren and "Gris,Gris" by Dr John so I'll go with "Confusion" by New Order which has one of the cleverest covers I have ever seen, although I have seen similar examples before, but even the guy selling it in Vinyl Villains wasn't too sure what it was, and the remix I'm sharing (cos it uses the cover) was used in the film "Blade".

Monday 23 September 2019


This could have been titled an Airdrieonian , A Native of Ayr, an Italian, and Australian and a Prestionian got in a taxi in Morpeth and went to Newcastle.. This was the end of a very long day as due to work on the East Coast Line Newcastle to Edinburgh was via Carlisle adding an hour and a half to the journey.

Coming back two trains were cancelled so we ended up on a coach from Edinburgh to Morpeth which was a literally last minute thing but the coach journey was fine although lengthy.

Once we hit Morpeth the train to Newcastle was going to be another 50 minutes so the five of us above got together and commandeered the only taxi in the station to get back to Newcastle. It was a pleasant ride back and we found that the Airdrieonian girl who had originally suggested the taxi lives in Gateshead and works for the NHS, the Australian guy was trying to get to Cambridge, the Italian girl (who had an American accent) was trying to get to London.

Everyone in the taxi was really positive and pleasant and this was a very small lesson in coming together to get a good result and that is what happened. The taxi driver was very talkative and the journey was over very quickly and a very reasonable £30.

So cause of the title we'll go with "Long Time Coming" by The Delays, always been a favourite of mine.

Monday 19 August 2019

Never Ending

This morning my alarm awoke me from a very vivid dream at a point where I was trying to get into a folk club for a gig but thought I had no money so I'd have to find a cash machine, but the person on the door tok my wallet and pulled out a fiver (the admission fee) and pointed out I still had a tenner left . This was the last bit of the fairly vivid dream which has now completely disappeared, barring the location of the folk club that was either near Amen Corner in Newcastle , somewhere in Edinburgh or Settle three disparate locations I know but all places I go often.

I think I've probably written more about "The Illuminatus! Trilogy" than any other book , and in form it reminds me of Bob Dylan's "Tarantula" which is a book that I will keep and reread. But the latest "episode" (the "chapters" are fifty to a hundred pages long so don't look for a text break although there are some images in book one ("The Pyramid and The Eye") but I'm working through "The Golden Apple" at the moment with around thirty pages to go before I hit the final book "Leviathan", but the latest "episode" manages to link in religion and mythology including Adam and Eve as Bavarian subversives and linking them to Kull and Conan characters brought to me by Robert Ervin Howard and portrayed in film by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jason Momoa.

So it's a bright Monday Morning, and given that for people who read it's just a never ending journey, Limahl's excellent Giorgio Moroder collaboration for the title song of  the film "Never Ending Story"  (my girls loved it) would be appropriate.

Have a good one.

Saturday 27 April 2019

#AprilSongs #27 Saturday Night's (Alright for Fighting)

I originally was going to choose "Book of Saturday" by King Crimson for this but I had got it mixed up with "The Great Deceiver" (this is an acoustic reinterpretation and is rather good but you get the idea) from "Starless and Bible Black" ( What a wonderful and perfect description of dark night from "Under Milkwood" by Dylan Thomas) but the two songs could not be more different, the former in my opinion being fairly insipid while the latter is a brass assault and brilliant album opener. They are both on Youtube so you can check them out.

So then I though well "Saturday Night's (Alright for Fighting)" is one of Elton John's best and maybe a little obvious, but has some great lyrics and one of my favourite couplets:

"I'm a juvenile product of the working class 
Whose best friend floats in the bottom of a glass"

I've found an excellent 1984 live take which shows how good Elton John can be. This is the final #AprilSongs Saturday song and the whole sequence will be complete on the first of May.

Last I night I went to see Half Man Half Biscuit at The Boiler Shop and it was an amazing gig at a great venue. I managed to meet two people who I knew but had forgotten. The first was Clare (I don't know if that is the correct spelling as there are so many ways to spell the name)  from the Glamorous Owl (and if you want to partake in one of their excellent ring making workshops you get 20% off on the site) and I managed to compound my ignorance by not realising she had the names of the band on her T Shirt. She was with Victoria (who now lives in Liverpool) and a very affable Anarchist who I have probably seen at the Black Bull.

The other person was someone I have worked with, but it must be at least fifteen years back, but he recognised me but we had about two minutes at the bar.

Anyway have an enjoyable Saturday, I am off to Edinburgh.

Monday 19 March 2018

The Falkirk Wheel and Stuff

This morning I was sort of woken by a metallic clattering coming from the next room. It was a clothes hanger that had fallen off a radiator and just managed to hit the radiator as it fell to the floor. The problem is that the hangers are almost exactly the same with as my drying radiators and a tiny deviation either way causes them to fall off. This quite often happens when I'm adding clothes to the hangers but I have never ever done anything to rectify it, but this is the first tiime that it's actually happened when I haven't been in the room.

Gardens and footpaths are still white with snow and ice and no doubt it will be very cold out so I can see myself taking the bus into work.

Had a great weekend with friends in Edinburgh , though Matt and Lesley's plane was delayed for several hours but they got home and despite Nick's warnings we tried the impressive looking Café Noir, but the service was frosty and the insistence of serving coffee, tea and "hot" chocolate at 50ºC, ie lukewarm so we decided to rechristen it Café Noir.

Saturday was spent with a first visit to The Kelpies and the amazing and simply brilliant feat of engineering and design genius that is the Falkirk Wheel. My instagram photos are here but you can click on the links to visit the relative sites and you can see the Falkirk Wheel in action below. I had heard of it but really didn't know what it was. Now I do. One of Nick's books is about Scottish canals so we got him to pose with one of his books that was on sale (which Fiona bought and got signed of course) but you can see all his books on Amazon here.

As it's Monday morning I thought Stakka Bo's "Here We Go" is fairly appropriate. It was also one of my girls' favourites in the nineties and is still an excellent record.

So go on wrap up and enjoy your Monday.

Friday 16 March 2018

Weather Warning

It's cold and wet this morning and there is a YELLOW  SNOW warning!! That was so well named, but it's the weekend so if you are really lucky you don't have to get up at all, you can stay in bed all day, if you want.

I am off to Edinburgh so I'm not even doing a full day today, though that means I need to fit a days work into half a day before I finish today, but this afternoon I will be on a train watching TED talks for an hour or so before hitting Edinburgh Waverley.

There can only be one song can't there? Frank Zappa's "Don't Eat The Yellow Snow". Have a great weekend people.

Thursday 15 March 2018

Surreal Kilo

"Q:Why do Computer Scientists get Halloween and Christmas mixed up?
  A: Because OCT:31 = DEC:25"

I had to think a few seconds about that one then it made me smile. Another Mathematical Guffaw from Simon Singh in "The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets" a book I contue to enjoy so much I've ordered a couple more of his books, although I am intending to enjoy some more fiction in between servings of Simon Singh.

Today has been bitterly cold, walking down the West Road the wind almost took my face off, a couple of times I had to shelter and contemplated finishing my journey by getting the bus, but I perservered, and walked in.

Work has continued to be challenging but I am on top of things though prefer actually doing things rather than ticking boxes to say that I've done things, and finding that in IT still a remarkable number of people work manually rather than using the numerous tools at their disposal.

I'm looking forward to a weekend in Edinburgh, one of a few coming up, though snow is forecast. Still I'm sure I will have fun walking round , taking pictures and finding presents for friends.

Last year I was told about the Two Together Railcard. For £30 a year you get 30% of rail tickets if two of you travel together. This means if you go say Newcastle to London and the tickets are £210 , you would get the ticket for £150 and even accounting for paying for the card you would still be £30 in pocket on that one journey. If you plan to use the railways this could be useful for you.

So before I sleep I will leave you with Bob Dorough's "3 Is A Magic Number" given the mathematical introduction that I introduced the post with. Sleep well.

Tuesday 19 December 2017

Edinburgh 2017 #3 - Vinyl Villains

The final new shop I visited in Edinburgh was Vinyl Villains, just a bit closer to the centre and down the road from Elvis Shakespeare. It opens around 10:30 on Saturday and again the uy who runs it is very helpful and very knowledgeable about his stock.

On Friday night on BBC4 Danny Baker was presenting a seventies show with a rock slant including Brian Eno's "Seven Deadly Finns" the clip you can see here is from a Dutch pop program, but later in the show was Frankie Goes To Hollywood's "Two Tribes" , one of the most vicious and agressively brilliant dance tunes you will ever hear. I loved the video featuring "Boris Yeltsin" and "Ronald Reagan" in a fighting pit , and really that's the way any war should be fought but we all know what cowards politicians really are, they always get someone else to fight for them.

Anyway back in Vinyl Villains  (they are on Facebook too) they had a lot of albums suspended from the ceiling and I noticed a picture disc of "Two Tribes" and thought "That has my name on it". The guy said he thought it was an interview disc but he got his ladder out and brought the disc down to check, It turned out it was "Two Tribes" backed with their take on Edwin Starr's "War" so I parted with a fiver for an excelent slice of vinyl.

Again this place is not too far from Edinburgh centre and will be on my list when I am next there.

I revisited Coda who are just off the Royal Mile and came across Underground Solu'shn next to The Malt Shovel when we were out with Maureen and Scott , but that's one for the next visit to Edinburgh.

Edinburgh 2017 #2 - Elvis Shakespeare

When I was last in Edinburgh I researched where there were any record shops in Edinburgh other than FOPP (who are owned by HMV I believe) and found a a few that looked more than interesting. HMV had been moved out to Leith in their shopping centre and while I went there last time that area really didn't bear a repeat visit, but on the bus to and from there I did notice Elvis Shakespeare which is one of the best names for a shop ever.

Elvis Shakespeare is full of music and printed words and theguys in the shop were great to talk to and one of them reckoned I was the same age as him (53). There is lots to browse and I walked there on Saturday morning so this was helpful in me hitting 20K steps on Saturday. We chatted and I said the problem now is finding something interesting, ideally on vinyl when I saw a copy of The Beatles' "Magical Mystery Tour" EP , and I loved the film when I saw it as a kid (it had the Bonzo Dog Band and strippers) but remember my uncle's friends bringing it to a party at my parents.

It was released as an album, and I have the DVD of it and now I have it as the 1981 reissue vinyl double EP.

I was talking to the guy and I mentioned that I'd bought the "Star Wars:The Force Awakens" soundtrack on vinyl just for the 3D Tie Fighter and Millenium Falcon hologram etchings which, while they are not hugely impressive to look at, the very fact that someone thought of it , did it, and it works still has my mingd in knots. You can see it here.

As I was leaving I saw a green vinyl copy of "Happy Christmas: War Is Over" by John Lennon and Yoko Ono so I took that as well.

On the Sunday I was in FOPP and heard someone asking about a Star Wars soundtrack with a hologram, the assistant wasn't sure so I told him what it was and it turned out that the guy asking was the guy from Elvis Shakespeare , so that was a coincidence.

So maybe I will go for "Happy Christmas:War Is Over" for you to listen to. Have a great Tuesday everybody.

Monday 18 December 2017

Edinburgh 2017 #1 - A Quick One For Hogs Head

The thing I love about Edinburgh is that it's easily walkable while being spaced out . It reminds me a little of Whitby. This weekend I coverd over 50K Step which is a fairly hefty rate for me. Anyway I had intended to visit the numerous record shops in Edinburgh that I had missed on my previous visits.

First on my list was Hog's Head Music which was closed last time I went (it was Sunday morning) and this time I managed to walk past it , so I turned round to head back and stopped outside the place.

I went it and they had a lot of stuff but it's difficult to decide what to buy for these days as I am very old and have most of the stuff worth having. I say a limited endition (limited to how many they can sell probably) copy of  "A Rough Guide to Bottleneck Blues"  which was a bargain in my opinion at a tenner. I was talking to the guy who runs it and we had a good craic , but was sad to hear that he's closing the place in two weeks. Essentially he's been doing it for thirty years and wants to have a holiday and decide what to do next.

We shouldn't HAVE to work forever and places like this are a joy to have but even when you have been doing something you love for that long , you may still want a change. You can find them on Facebook here.

So basically if you want to see this brilliant record shop you need to get yourself to Edinburgh in the next fornight, befor New Years Eve's 2017/18, and it really would be worth your time and effort. I'll leave you with "Jitterbug Swing" from the album, just think if I hadn't visited Hog's Head Music I would have never heard this great song and neither would you, and it's not even the best song on the album.

Monday 21 August 2017


Just back from a great weekend in Epsom and Brighton seeing Lesley, Matt and Nick , and actually getting to see Brighton Pavilion which is an impressive structure and saw a couple of excellent buskers Linos Wengara Magaya & Gary Cove (playing a vague jazz on Mbira and saxophone). You can see a bit of them here on my Instagram Channel.

I walked 15 Km up and down Brighton Beach ( and I'm sure Matt, Lesley , Nick and Fiona walked further) but that's a record using my latest tracking software Pacer (which is still working on my Xperia, which now has a shattered screen due to me dropping it, I did this many times with my Samsong Note 4 , not a scratch, but my Sony , instant screen shatter) . To put the distance into context Matt will run that far if he's eaten something he maybe shouldn't have to burn off the calories :)

Anyway I wasn't really going to write about the weekend, although I have done it now, and have another one in Dalgety Bay next weekend which I am looking forward to , with Scott and Maureen , plus a bit of time in Edinburgh. I do prefer the train to driving.

In Brighton I was wondering if I'd see Nick Cave , but no , there was also a big "Free The Nipple" parade, and great to see people to dress as they want, it wakes me irate when people are ok with others carrying round assault rifles and other weapons, but explode when they see a woman breastfeeding or actually displaying a nipple. It's ok for men to be topless but not women. It's often worsen with the odd asian / middle eastern couple where the man is just wearing shorts and woman is completely covered bar a slit for the eyes. The thing is sometimes nudity empowers people, sometimes modesty empowers people, but it should be their choice and they should not be oppressed and denigrated for that choice. Though I am offended by people who wear face masks in everyday situations, this includes IRA Terrorsist balaclavas, asian pollution facemasks in Newcastle, and niqabs , they all offend me equally.

Anyway less of that and we'll have Nick Cave's "Red Right Hand" before I get off to work. I think the #August50 is dead and buried, to hit it I would need to post thrirty times before the end of Bank Holiday Monday (but you never know).

Monday 3 July 2017

Tees With Stripes

I'm feeling like I'm about to drop and, it's funny how a post from your neighbour can remind you of something. Basically just a post about striped T-Shirts that reminded me of my favourite striped t-shirt wearer, Alex Harvey , Glaswegian Master Showman and rocker, who I saw maybe five times before he died (he was a lot younger than I am now, and the band still tour with a stand in for Alex and Zal Cleminson gets scarier as he ages disgracefully , as one should). So you get their excellent "Boston Tea Party".

I'm just back from Edinburgh and despite it being a joint capital, it is a remarkably pleasant place for just walking round, although it is veritably infested with suitcase pullers, at all times of day and night.

I wanted to visit some of the many record shops, and while I found at least five, And did nip into FOPP , the only one I got into was "Unknown Pleasures" on Canongate (which goes into the Royal Mile). It's chock full of vinyl and T-Shirts and I got myself a bit of vinyl. The guys who work there are great, really helpful and knowledgeable and here's my Instagram visit.

I don't know if I am suffering from the distances I walked in Edinburgh , or I am just decrepit and completely unfit for any kind of physical exertion, but we shall see.

OK Time for bed methinks.

Tuesday 4 April 2017

A Devilishly Short Post

I wasn't going to post anything this morning, as I need to get off to the doctors, pick up a book from the Post Office, then go to work. But again, reading "Tom Waits on Tom Waits" I come across an interview with Terry Gilliam. That's two of my favourite artists talking together (well the words transposed to paper) , how good is that.

I also saw a great mural in Edinburgh featuring Gilliam (see here) and below:

I suppose it's natural that imaginative people gravitate towards imaginative people and Waits ended up cast as The Devil in Gilliams' "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" , which I loved (As I do with most of Gilliam's films"

I'll include "Down In The Hole" from "Frank's Wild Years" (which was the theme to "The Wire") and references The Devil heavily.

Anyway I just wanted to tell you about that before I went off to pick up my book. Have a brilliant Tuesday everybody.

Saturday 11 March 2017

Adventures in Edinburgh Angels With Bagpipes

I was going to post this earlier in the week , but have been so shattered with work that my mind has not really been working after I walk out. But.. here coes...

Spent a couple of days in Edinburgh last weekend , grabbing first class travel on the train which gave a bit of extra leg room and a sandwich. Noticed that there was a special James Martin menu... breakfast consisted of an orange or a banana or a yogurt , that obviously took a lot of thought. I wonder how much they paid for that? Anyway that's being picky.

Got to Edinburgh and found the Premier Inn Hub, and that was excellent for a short term stay, big telly , big bed , shower and a 24 hour bar kitchen.

It was close to the Royal Mile but we went the other side of the tracks to eat at and enedd up at Shezan near the playhouse , which despite being busy found us a table and served up to excellent food, though they were surpised that I didn't have rice, naan bread or poppadums with my meal.

We also ate at The Dome which is an impressive building, the food and staff lovely but the only thing that grated was the rope barrier at the entrance (to keep the riff raff out I suppose) , Saturday night was at the excellent Angels with Bagpipes(booking essential and they don't need a rope) and The Abbotsford Arms was great on Sunday, it looks impressive inside and is welcoming and the food great too.

I was glad to see Fopp and Coda still full of life and these are not the only record shops in Edinburgh, but were the only two I got to visit while I was there relieving them of their last three Nick Cave Complete Lyrics books.

I was tempted to buy a set of bagpipes but the shop wasn't open when I visited it, much to the relief of my neighbours, though bagpipes played correctly are brilliant, and only people with no taste would disagree.

Anyway I thought I'd just write this to remind me of some of the good stuff that is in Edinburgh.

There are some huge buildings there, and I did get 3/4 of the way up The Scott Monument and you can see some of the video I shot here.

I thought I would leave you with some fun bagpiping from a Pipe Band, Have a great night my friends

Tuesday 7 March 2017

Up Close And Personal With Sir Walter Scott

I will post more about last weekend in Edinburgh, but on Sunday morning I was wandering round and noticed a flash of red halfway up the Scott Monument, which houses a statue of Sir Walter Scott within a huge spire like structure. There is a virtual tour here but when I looked it was just a picture and a bit of text, I was expecting a 3D 360˚ tour , but either they've not done it yet are don't know what people expect of a virtual tour.

Scott Monument Through The Trees

Anyway I thought I'd walk up and saw the "Best Views In Edinburgh" advertised, and saw the entry
fee was £5 and it was 287 steps to the top, which is more than doable and went to pay and discovered I had no cash. The guy directed me to the Waverly Station Mall but as it was only 10:30 it was shut, so I found a Barclays on the main street and went back, paid my money, went through the turnstile, and saw my first problem. I'm mildly claustrophobic and was presented with a very narrow stone spiral staircase. I took a breath and went for it, going round and round and up. There are four levels so I reckoned this would be about 70 steps and I should be OK as long as I didn't meet anyone coming the other way. I think the lighting is minimal but eventually I saw daylight and came out on the first level, and chatted with a few people.

I also suffer from mild vertigo, although level one was only a quarter of the way there. I took a few photographs and then hit the second stairs. Still narrow, spiral and cramped although they did have the luxury of a handrail. This time I met a couple coming down, luckily they were quite slim (I am not), and there was a lot of bodily contact as we squeezed past each other on those stairs. If I met someone as big as me coming in the opposite direction I may have a problem, though maybe people like me don't usually go up Scott's Monument.

I came out on Level two and the views were much better, and the next staircase was in the main spire, much wider , with a handrail but with lots of wire covered openings, not ideal if you're scared of heights. A few pics , a few conversations and thought Level 3 here I come and set off for Level 3.

Here I digress...into a short horror story by I think Christopher Fowler. He's in his car and drives into a underground car park, there's a car follows him through the barrier so he descends looking for a parking spot , followed by a couple of cars, he starts noticing that the descending lanes are getting narrower, and he becomes jammed, he can't reverse, and it's getting hotter .....

That's what happened with the level three stairs, they started to narrow, the handrail disappeared but luckily there was light and I came out on level three and the height started to really get to me , I was feeling distinctly queasy. I forced my self to take more pictures and some instagram video here.

Coming down was a lot easier, though there was a group of about ten who had to squeeze past me on their way up. I came out and the guy reckoned the views from Level 3 and 4 were the same.

It was an experience that I would recommend to anyone , but I've done it now and don't need to do it again.

There's only one song and it has to be Siouxsie & the Banshees "The Staircase (Mystery)" which I could hear in my head as I walked up .

Have a great day my friends.

Sunday 18 December 2016

Time For Bed

After a day which involved going to Edinburgh and back , semi acknowledging my mate John Scott coming out of Edinburgh Waverley, buying far too many books in FOPP (all essential of course) , I am now ready to fall into bed before another days work tomorrow.

I've been writing Christmas Cards and for some reason keep typing Christmas as Christams , just me getting careless with my fingers. Spelling mistakes are very easy to make and then easy to miss. I am just glad we have spelling and grammar checkers which give you a fighting chance of getting your text right , although sometimes you can use the wrong word even though it sounds right

When I came back I checked some stuff on my PC and thought I would pull out a random album, which happened to be "Going For The One" by Yes. I'd forgotten what an excellent riff that was , and so obviously I will include it here. The album contains the twee "Wondrous Stories" but it is worth buying for the title track alone.

Anyway I will include "Going For The One" and I am going to bed right now.

Sleep well my friends.

Thursday 5 February 2015

First Post

This is my first post this month, despite being technically free to do what I please. This week has resulted in time at the DWP , a couple of days at Geek Talent with my friend Dom , a day in Edinburgh, Physiotherapy , a visit to my surgery to get a prescription, and a visit to the Peoples Assembly with my good friend Joan and Mark which included the excellent Jolyon Rubinstein from BBC3's "The Revolution Will Be Televised" on the panel, and tomorrow I will be going to Oxfam , so I am looking forward to the weekend for a rest.

I am just amazed how much you can find to do, and how all of a sudden you find yourself at 11 o'clock at night thinking , hang about , where did that day go. The coming weeks are looking amazing with work challenges and loads of upcoming gigs actually starting this Sunday with The Lurkers at The Black Bull 

I decided to use the Gil Scott-Heron song for this because of the guest tonight but you can see him taking on George Osborne here. Anyway it's time for bed for me , I'll see you soon.