Sunday, 31 July 2011

God Speed Stodgy Satay.

Hello again everyone, I'm sure you will all be delighted to know that I am using speech to text software to automatically take it very wants you are reading now. Like most bloggers I woke up this morning wondering what on earth I could see today and decided just to blog about the first thing we think I'm banged.

Already I can see from the words above that this thing is still struggling with a Scottish accent against today's post is going to be briefly in? View of my faithful followers will have noticed I've been posting more of the deal lately that I have been writing. I get a definitive date for my surgery on August 2 so hopefully it won't be too long before I am typing again or losing an hour and resigning myself to their software for my life.

Unfortunately a downside of using each detector software is the dog barking in the background and the TV running also. So don't be surprised if this thing. Automatically align a speech from toy story two which is what the kids are watching. Or every other sentences punctuated with both would would worth with both (Goddamit that's supposed to be woof woof lol - Yeah I typed this bit.)

Oh (That 'Oh' was my Dog barking) - I can see this remains a pointless exercise and are going to have to train it rather in the nuances of a Scottish accent (not the dog - the software)

God is the stodgy

God speaks softly

God speeds of three

God speed stodgy satay surgery - yes it's got its rights in the end!

(I should mention that it does more than just type my words (or tries to) - it also goes anywhere you want it to on the internet by command. Imagine my frustration then, when after saying 'surgery' for the tenth time it closed this page and took me to 'e-bay'. Aaaaaargh.)

It's still work in progress.


Saturday, 30 July 2011


Typing is still hard to do - easier to make movies these days. With that in mind I remember when I first came to Australia. I had written a song just before I got here and my step-daughter (who was only 16) wanted to make a video to go along with it - so at great expense (I reckon the budget ran to about $18 for petrol to get to the top of a mountain) Here it is - I found bits of it in this lap top and put it together with new titles today - You are allowed to be scathing about the song lol - I can take it :) Don't knock the Director though - she's just a wee lass armed with enthusiasm and a cheap camera. The female backing vocalist on this is a barmaid I met in Scotland and I thought she had a great voice - she's now a nationally renowned singer - Claire McNeill.


Friday, 29 July 2011

If a picture paints...

If a picture paints a thousand words then this short video film I made yesterday, hopefully speaks volumes. Sorry folks I don't want to make anyone melancholy or depress anyone today lol - I just felt a real need to at least 'do something' and have it on record.

Feel free to pillory me lol!


Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Do You Come Here Often?

There comes a time in everyone's life (they think) - when they have to make the first move. You know? You have to open your mouth and let words fall out which indicate 'beyond all reasonable doubt' that you're 'interested' in that person. The 'chat up' line I guess. I always had a problem with this - maybe it was the fear of rejection? My feeble attempts to get to know someone better would confuse and mix 'polite conversation' with "Jeez I'd love to get your knickers off" - In short, I was banal and confusing (banality always gave you a way of saving face if rejected - you could argue that you were never chatting someone up in the first place). So the teenage years of Rory D Grant were spent uttering stupidities like "Would you like to dance? I know you'll be a good dancer because you have nice shoes." or "What a beautiful blouse - My Mum has curtains like that."

The most audacious one I ever encountered was when standing at a bar in London ordering a round of drinks for myself and some friends. A Telly Savalas look alike was standing next to me when suddenly he piped up - "That's a beautiful accent you have."
"Thank you - I'm Scottish."
"Do you have any Greek in you?" He asked.
I smiled "No"
"Would you like some?" He smiled back.
Now you have to admit - that was pretty uninhibited even though it got him nowhere.

I recall being in a bar again in London and without warning, as I ordered drinks, a very attractive lady next to me asked "Are you Glaswegian?"
"Yes" I beamed "Can you tell by my accent?"
"No" she said, "Your teeth and the scar on your face" (I was still waiting on the Police Force paying my dental bill from someone I arrested knocking my front two teeth out.)
Now hers was a pretty bad chat up line and more like the kind of thing I was likely to say. But even so I was appalled and realised just how bad my own must be.

Before and in-between marriages (I've been married three times) I had ample opportunity to refine my 'chat up lines' in the hope that I'd catch the perfect lady with the perfect line - but writing about it here this evening has made me ask myself the question 'What were the first words I ever spoke to the ladies I married?'
First wife - "Is this your banana?"
Second Wife - "You idiot, you almost ran me over!"
Third and yes dear, FINAL Wife - "I think you may suffer from Hypnogogia"

All those years of fussing and fretting over the chat up line that would lead to Nirvana and "I think you may suffer from Hypnogogia" was all I needed to learn...

I'm curious - what were the first words you ever said to your partner? Please do let me know in the comments section below!


Where are you now Mr Murdoch?

I'm outraged, I'm beside myself with anger. My head is about to explode at the sheer insensitivity, the idiocy, the lunacy of an American political commentator called Glenn Beck.

One of the tragedies of modern politics is that teenagers have largely shunned it. Apathy reigns. So when a group of teenagers take themselves off to an island in Norway to engage in the political process we should all be cheering - when those kids are gunned down mercilessly, mothers and fathers left grief stricken and with broken lives who the f&$% does Glenn Beck think he is likening them to 'Hitler Youth'?

I quote - "There was a shooting at a political camp, which sounds a little like, you know, the Hitler Youth. I mean, who does a camp for kids that's all about politics? Disturbing."


Okay Mr Murdoch - let's see if your 'most humble' good self who told a Parliamentary Committee last week that you strived for integrity in your news organisation - can actually live up to those claims. Glenn Beck is an advisor to several Fox News programmes and is currently on your organisation's payroll. Dismiss him now or forever be revealed as a contemptuous liar.


Monday, 25 July 2011

I Love Captain Ology

The title of today's Blog should read "I Love Technology" please allow me to explain.
My arm and hand are so desperate for surgery that I decided to use 'speech to text' software for typing automatically. However it takes a week or so to train the computer to understand the finer nuances of one's inflections and accent (which is what I have been doing for the last week) - today was to be the grand unveiling (or the 'grant invading' as my computer insisted).

Anyway as you may have guessed, I'm typing one handed again as things didn't go to plan. What should have been 'I'm happy to announce I've found a way of transferring my thoughts to text on my Blog', became
"Yam happy to an ounce I've found a way of  trance ferrying my thoughts to sex on my dog"

As a matter of urgency I found a second more upmarket software today which does the same thing only more expensively. To be honest I was very impressed with it and even now I'm still tinkering away with it. I spoke my first words into it this afternoon when I said "Hello there."
I was floored when it typed - "Damn - You're Scottish. This will be a long learning experience.", so I have high hopes for this one.

Meanwhile I'll leave you with the last words of the cheap one...

"Thank you to all my Block followers for your patients and Percy veering with me"


Sunday, 24 July 2011

Reason og menneskeheten kan ikke bli beseiret.

What can I say on a day like today? What can anyone say?

It's important that something is said however. It's important that all the small voices which ever felt they were stifled in a world where everyone else shouts louder, are heard.

"Reason og menneskeheten kan ikke, vil ikke, bli beseiret."
"Reason and humanity cannot, will not, be defeated"

Mine tanker er hos de gode menneskene i Norge.


Friday, 15 July 2011

Pastor Pasta and a Parable of Preposterousness

So, Austrian man Niko Alm, wins legal rights recognising his religious worship of the flying spaghetti monster valid in the eyes of the law. All good religions of course must have symbolic dress codes to set them apart from all bad religions, and so part of his 'Pastafarianism' involves religious headgear - namely a Pasta strainer. For the purposes of his driving license photograph his worship of Pasta allows him to wear the pasta strainer on his head (see below)

I could spend all day writing on this, in fact I could spend all week. It's my kind of story :) But I'll try to be as brief as possible;

If anything it highlights the ludicrous nature of overlapping religious beliefs in secular societies. I suspect this may in fact be Mr Alm's objective - I mean, push this to it's logical conclusions (although to me, logic and religion parted company with a tree, an apple and a snake). Tomorrow if I decide to worship nylon stockings (and I have been known to - though much depends on the wearer) could I claim the right to have this appearance below on my driving license?

Logic (and the law) dictates that I can - and what about those who become like Carmen Miranda - faithful followers of fruit?

I can hear the cops now after pulling one of them over for speeding - "This license is fake, that's clearly an orange on your head but in this image it's a banana."

Or 'Details' - Height 5' 9" - Caucasian - Black Hair - Eyes Blue - Grapes Green.

It's all so bloody stupid.

And you know what?

I love it :)

Rory - I'm back, after a short absence due to a malfunctioning arm and hand.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Glam Rock & Spot the Piano Player...

My earlier blog post titled 'No you won't fool - The Children of the Revolution' had me scurrying off to Glam Rock days to check my understanding of T-Rex/Marc Bolan's lyric was correct - well what a wee trip down memory lane that was. I loved Glam Rock - Sweet, T Rex, Slade, Alice Cooper, Lou Reed, David Bowie and my personal favourite (The thinking man's glam rockers I like to tell myself) The Sensational Alex Harvey Band.

I never had the guts to become a Glam Rocker - but damn I came close as this picture from when I was fifteen testifies (quite what my sister thought she was I'm unsure)...

Anyway, I was watching T Rex perform 'Get it On - Bang a Gong' and noticed the piano player - at that time he was a relatively minor musician - take a look see if you recognise him :) I had no idea he played on this track...



"No you won't fool - The Children of the Revolution"

This is a follow up blog post written quickly to bring you the latest on developments in Britain...

It's the biggest selling Sunday newspaper in the world and is owned by Rupert Murdoch's 'News International' - The 'News of the World' has been in publication for over 168 years - and this Sunday it will close, forever.

I'm delighted to report that the scumbags who posed as journalists, editors etc at the News of the World, will most likely be going to prison for a very long time. Finally, they have been found out. We all knew corruption and 'black arts' lay at the heart of this newspaper as Murdoch's minions would stop at nothing to 'get that story'. Hacking the telephone of a missing (and sadly murdered) thirteen year old girl, and then deleting her voicemail messages when her inbox filled up just so that they could 'hear more' - gave her family and the Police false hope that she was still alive. Add to this the alleged hacking of the telephones of servicemen and women who had fallen in the line of duty just so they could grab a scoop and hacking the phones of relatives of the two little girls who  were murdered in Soham - it repulses me just typing their deeds up. It's so immoral as to beggar belief.

The original Police inquiry in 2006 found two 'rogue' employees responsible for hacking the telephones of 'two or three' Royal Household staff and they were duly imprisoned - we now know that a conservative estimate of people who have had their telephone messages, e-mails etc intercepted is a minimum of 4,000. We also now know that the new, second Police Investigation "Operation Weeting' has discovered that the newspaper were paying corrupt Police Officers for information - which begs the question why the first inquiry closed down so quickly with such a small return?

This behaviour is shameful, indefensible by any claim to 'Public interest'.

As repulsive as their actions were  - there's a good chance that Murdoch's minions would have brazened it out, weathered the storm - if it hadn't been for you and people like you. How so?

If you look at my recent 'Tweets' you will see names like 'Ford', 'Mitsubishi', 'Easy Jet' and even 'Weight Watchers' in them - people were so outraged by what this newspaper had been doing they bombarded its advertisers with tweets demanding they remove their advertising or face the consequences - the little people spoke up by using the medium of the internet. It worked. It wasn't an organised 'political' event - it was just ordinary people getting together and saying 'enough' to corporate powers and organising themselves effectively.

You know, the 'rogue' investigator who was jailed for this some time ago is now 'out' - Journalists and TV crews have been surrounding his home for days. Without a trace of irony he stood on his doorstep yesterday and said 'I have nothing further to add to the matter - now could you please respect my privacy?'
For those News of the World employees engaged in these horrifying practices - there will be no privacy - ever. Except when the heavy steel door closes behind them.

It's only one finger on the long arm and hand of Rupert Murdoch's News International - but it has been decisively chopped off.

Now what's this I hear about Fox News?  :)

(I'd like to thank Laura for all her efforts and outrage over the last few days which was turned to good effect  - and Annie Oatcake for waking me with the best news I've heard in years).


Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Spot the Loony

Translation for non scots lol - 'Nappy' in Scotland = Diaper.

When I was 13 years old I suffered from spots on my chin and cheeks - acne. I didn't mind to be honest - but Mum, well she had a different attitude - "They'll ruin your good looks when you get older son! We must do something about it!"

I made the very stupid presumption that 'doing something about it' would involve a trip to the Doctors - Oh no, Mum was old school. Somewhere in the recesses of her mind she remembered an old wives remedy from the dark, mysterious, rural landscape of her upbringing - "We need to wrap your little sister's pissy nappies around your face for two hours every day."
"We need to wrap your sisters wet nappies around your face"
"Awww Mum. How many people who have spots come out of the Docs with nappies round their face?"
"That's why there are so many kids who have spots son - modern medicine doesn't know how to fix them."

And so it was that every day when I came home from school, I'd cuss my wee sister for ensuring a plentiful supply of pissy nappies were waiting. Mum would wrap them round my face leaving me with just enough room to see out through them. I'd then sit terrified that a friend would knock on the door and ask me to come out to play. Which of course, was exactly what would happen.
"Why have you got nappies on your face Rory?"
"I'm playing doctors and and burn victims with my sisters." Would be the the muffled reply, though I'd try to keep my lips from moving as much as possible - lest I breathed in too hard and passed out.
"Jeez it's a stinky game."

It was humiliating, nothing in the world could be so embarrassing - but you know - it worked. Maybe it was somehow psychosomatic - maybe my face was so repulsed by the stench and the sting of pissy nappies that spots wouldn't DARE to pop up again. I dunno.

I was reminded of this humiliating period of my young life just a few weeks ago when I was in Macdonalds with the kids. No I didn't see some poor kid cowering in the corner with a pissy diaper wrapped around his face. It was because of my spectacles. I'm one of those folks who has his specs on a string around his neck. I need them so often there's no point putting them away - so round my neck they dangle on a necklace. I'd just eaten a burger with my wife and kids and decided to have a coffee. The checkout guy did the 'How are you today sir - what can I get you?' thing as I approached him.
I raised my specs and put them on my eyes to see the differing coffees they had on the menu - and immediately realised I may have suffered a stroke as I was now blind in one eye. The guy behind the bench burst out laughing and it dawned on me that whilst eating my burger a big lump of coleslaw and lettuce had obviously fallen and stuck fast to my lens. There I stood, in a public place, wearing specs with coleslaw and lettuce covering one lens  -
"Double shot latte please" I said. The guy almost fell over laughing.
'Something wrong?" I asked.
He pointed to my face "I don't want to embarrass you sir but there's 'dinner' on your glasses"
I thought back to the time I had spots and the three months of wearing pissy nappies - "Thank you. But you could never embarrass me son, never - that time is long gone." I smiled, "Double shot latte please..."



Get Rid Of Them All...

Last night I wrote a Blog Post and realised that it would take me something like 20,000 words to get what I needed to, out there. I binned it.

Suffice to say that Britain is at a crossroads. I have an acquaintance who is serving three years in prison - we're not friends but have shared time and political platforms together. I have always admired and respected him, particularly for his honesty. When he was sentenced to three years for perjury even I, one of his staunchest admirers, found it hard to believe his claims that he was the victim of a conspiracy between Rupert Murdoch's News International, the Police and the British establishment. However I didn't write him off - it was in my mind just possible, however far fetched it seemed.

All hell has let loose in Britain as evidence has been uncovered that employees of Rupert Murdoch's News International have indeed been paying bribes to Police Officers. It has also been discovered that e-mails which Murdoch's News International claimed in court did not exist - and which could have proven my acquaintance's innocence - do in fact exist and have been found on a News International server by the Information Commissioner.

There is a disgusting cabal of corruption being revealed in Britain which threatens to beat a path all the way to the door of the Prime Minister.

Tommy Sheridan - I'm sorry I ever doubted you.

I, we all, owe a big debt of thanks to the Information Commissioner, ex Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott and to the actor Hugh Grant for not letting this go.

The Bugger Bugged

The Disgusting Lengths They Will Go To


Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Wires and Lights in a Box...

 I rarely watch TV - if truth be told I gave up watching it almost 20 years ago and should I happen to see anything these days it's by accident and not design. As a youngster, I recall being both horrified and entranced by Cathy Come Home and Just another Saturday - as an adult I stood up in my own sitting room and applauded BBC Scotland for their drama Down Where The Buffalo Go (starring a little known American called Harvey Keitel). Although dramatisations, these programmes brought social issues crashing into our sitting rooms with the force of a hurricane. They changed lives by confrontation, with information, all wrapped up in dramatisation. How many TV dramas of the last 20 years can claim to have changed lives?

I became a political activist - not just because of what I read in newspapers, or in books, but because of what I saw unfolding nightly on our news broadcasts. Then, things turned sour. I could no longer trust the news. The impartiality of the BBC, for me, was lost when they admitted to editing news footage to make it look as though striking miners attacked Police - when in fact reality was the other way around.

And so my love affair with television ended.

There's a journalist from America who's work I have grown to appreciate over the years. He's long since departed this earth but he truly was a visionary. Many Americans may not even have heard of him, but his relentless pursuit of truth and his plea for that truth to be disseminated via television is something which anyone being introduced to the media should be made to recite.

He saw the future - and he saw it in stark contrast - it could be the enlightening of the masses via television or television could simply be 'Wires and Lights in a Box' - below is a two minute re-enactment of what for me is one of the most important speeches of the twentieth century. It is men and women like him, who ensure I never lose faith in America, that faith gets dented, it gets beaten, it gets questioned daily - but it never gets broken, because a nation which can produce an Edward Murrow - can do it again.

Goodnight - and Good Luck.


On Phobias and Good Sausages

I have many irrational fears - maybe they are phobias? I dunno. Do you know that in my entire life I have never ever eaten a real live tomato? Or a Strawberry? I just don't eat things which involve eating the seeds which produced them. I think I have an irrational fear that a plant will start growing inside me. I also have a fear of high rise flats - nothing to do with vertigo or anything like that - read on dear reader, read on...

My Uncle Jimmy had a high rise flat in Mount Vernon Glasgow - I loved going there as not only was he a delightfully funny man but his flat was 18 floors in the air offering spectacular views of the city. I was about 17 years old when he invited my family to a small gathering at his place. The high rise flats were (to me) unusual in that there was an elevator for odd numbered floors or even numbered floors only. So off we went whizzing up to Uncle Jimmy's on the 18th floor. He greeted us warmly and I made myself comfortable on his nice  brown sofa and I could see that on a table by the window, lots of buffet style food had already been laid out. Before things really got started he handed me a plastic bag with rubbish in it and asked me if I'd throw it down the rubbish chute which was one floor below. He told me to leave the door open so he wouldn't need to answer it again and off I went like a good nephew would...

Rubbish dispensed with I raced back up the stairs, into his corridor, last door on the left, in the open door and goddamit if other people hadn't arrived in the meantime and were already tucking into the food on the table. I grabbed an empty chair, sat down at the table and realised that the buffet food had been moved and instead everyone was eating from plates. I smiled at my unknown relatives and looked around to see who was putting out the plates and cutlery as I didn't appear to have any and it was then I realised my Uncle Jimmy's sofa had changed from brown to red. I also realised the people at the table had stopped eating and were now staring - at me.

Now I should have said right there and then 'Oh my god - I'm so sorry - I'm in the wrong house' but my brain was so fried with the situation - and staring at the frozen in time, gaping mouth of the man at the end of the table with a half chewed sausage sticking from it, the best I could think of was "Good sausage?" His mouth never moved. "Great." I said "Great that it's good sausage." Slowly and with no sudden movements I stood up and retreated toward their sitting room door. Ma, Pa, and two little kiddies from the sausage family fixed their gaze on me as I backed away, mouths still open, eyes wide.
"Well, thank you. Thank you very much. Enjoy your dinner." I smiled at them before breaking into a run when I reached their hallway.

Nowadays as I say, I have a fear of high rise flats. But unlike most irrational fears - I know where I got this one.


Monday, 4 July 2011

"How are you today sir?"

I was very humbled to receive a 'Cat's Ass' award for humour yesterday from the featherednest and in order that it may grace my virtual Blog mantelpiece - I'm obliged to write something funny. Where better to mine for that precious resource called humour than in the annals of one's own life? Here's my meagre attempt to do just that...all this from a few months ago...

I'm always finding myself in trouble and usually I'm the innocent victim of circumstance. I'm not someone you need to 'read' - what you see is what you get and what you get is a silly, naive, polite and good humoured individual. However, I'm presuming there are not many of us around as it causes no end of problems when I'm in public places.

I like to take everyone at face value and also call everyone I meet by their name - and so when the checkout chick at Woolworth's says "How are you today sir?"  I take a mental note of their name on the shiny name tag and then tell them "Thank you for asking (insert name here) - last night I had something of a headache but today-"
My wife usually cuts in at this stage to remind me that they 'don't really mean it' and have no interest in how I am really. This troubles me - why did they ask it then? What if I meet the one checkout chick who really does mean it? It would be so rude of me to ignore her kind inquiry.
Shopping at Woolworth's is a huge moral and ethical dilemma for me therefore and I find myself stressing before I even reach the checkout - not so long ago this was compounded by the fact I'd forgotten my spectacles...I'd just put my Cornflakes on the conveyor and the checkout chick asked the dreaded question - "How are you today sir?" I froze. Is she the one who really means it? I gathered myself together and realising I had forgotten my specs I leaned forward to read the name tag on her chest before responding and she stepped back quickly - "Are you staring at my tits?"

"No - No! I was trying to-" I stretched out my arm to point to her name tag but close distances are problematic with no specs on and I must have been too close for comfort - "Are you trying to touch my tits?" I was horrified. I imagined her grabbing the intercom thingy and announcing to the entire Park Ridge Woolworth's store "Security! Pervert at checkout seven. Pervert at checkout seven!"
Fortunately the intervention of my wife seemed to calm the situation though I was somewhat disturbed by the ready acceptance of her explanation.
"He's Scottish" My wife said. And the checkout chick returned to ease as though 'being Scottish' explained everything.

I was in a daze. Clutching my Cornflakes I headed for the exit and heard the girl call 'Have a nice day'.

Still reeling from my experience I entered the Post Office next door to get a postage stamp.
"How are you today sir?"
"Shut the *&** up" I growled and the woman froze but I quickly followed it up with, "I'm Scottish".
She relaxed again then.

Actually the last two lines are a lie but it's what I felt like saying :)

PS - I believe I'm obliged to send you all heading for someone else who I find funny - in which case you may find my choice hard to digest - but this man is (in my opinion) not only funny - but is the dearest, sweetest and yet most powerful intellectual Scotland has ever produced - Ian Hamilton QC I'm proud to say I've met the man twice and no one, no one in modern times has done more for Scotland - and all without fanfare.


Sunday, 3 July 2011

Frickin' Frackers!

I've said it before - I'll say it again - this planet is in crisis. The main problem, as I see it, is that since the 1980's power shifted from politicians to corporate executives. Oh sure, politicians still go through the charade of 'Politicking' but the path we're on is determined by giant corporations and then Politicians 'manage' how we the people best navigate it.

There are quite literally any one of hundreds if not thousands of business practices I could cite as examples of what I mean - (especially in the energy industry) but for today's Blog I just want to look at one - Frickin' Frackers.

When permission was granted to a company to start 'Fracking' off the coast of Britain I was horrified. Myself and a group of friends have been watching the USA's experiences of fracking over the last few years and noticed first a correlation, then secondly a correspondence, between fracking and earthquakes (not to mention all the other horrific side effects of fracking). Sure, they are not earthquakes of the magnitude seen recently in Japan - but they are significant enough to cause unpredictable damage. That alone should be enough to stop the practice now. But no - fracking companies are exempt from just about every piece of legislation in existence when it comes to protection of the environment.

Like I said - permission was granted to start fracking off the coast of Britain near Blackpool in March - and guess what? One month later in April,  Blackpool which is anything but a seismic activity zone - suffers an earthquake. Here's a piece from the British Newspaper 'The Guardian' testifying to that -

A small earthquake has shaken Blackpool and the Fylde coast – toppling traffic lights, cracking a railway bridge and making some residents think they were being burgled as they woke in the early hours to loud noises.   Guardian April 1st 2011

Please, please, please give up just two minutes of your life to watch the trailer for a movie below which encapsulates everything that is wrong about fracking.

This movie is coming to a sink near you! It's something which has to end!

I note with dismay that Exxon polluted the Yellowstone River today - that'll be another slap on the wrist for them then. 

I promise I'll be cheerful tomorrow.


A Little Self Indulgence...

Forgive me for being somewhat self indulgent this evening please. I'm in trouble, I know I am.

Self Indulgence 1)  Something is going very seriously wrong with this old body of mine and the only reason I'm writing about it here is because I am completely and utterly stumped as to the cause. Most of you know my left hand and arm stopped working properly a few months ago - but this last few days the pain has been unbearable - it's like someone is setting fire to my arm and hand. Unfortunately it's now affecting my legs. The same burning and pain in my left hand is now affecting my RIGHT leg and less so my left.

I've been trying to figure it all out using the Internet - but the nearest thing I could find was a disease of Horses and occasionally Baboons. So if anyone has ANY ideas at all of what could be going on, please do comment and I'll go find out on Wikipedia just how long I have left.

Self Indulgence 2)  I said the other day that I'd be mentioning Blogs I find particularly inspiring or interesting - Ms Ray's Blog at Ms Ray's Psychic Episodes  is an example of an off-beat subject matter (Matters Psychic) treated with intelligence, a flair for writing that is refreshing, as well as being wonderfully humorous. Please do check it out if you get the chance!

Self Indulgence 3) I read Boris in Ayrshire's Blog today and realised that if you want to respond to someone visually in 'comments' you can't - you gotta go do it on your own Blog. So, with that in mind - I was in the town near to Craig, the author of the Blog, just last year in this very month - I had the most terrific lunch there, but couldn't remember the name of the place - so I 'Google Street Mapped' it - and here it is! The Brown building - 'Room' I think it was called, but I recall seeing surfboards in the window which aren't in this image? And yes Craig, the link you gave me was indeed the monument I was looking at - I had no idea it commemorated the Battle of Largs in 1263!

Why do Google Earth always send the camera's round on 'Bin Day'? My Wife and I have been praying they'd come around again soon as the picture they have of our place was the day I threw out a sofa the Dog had eaten. A special 'pick up' service was coming soon and the practice here is to leave all your rubbish out front for the Council to collect. We were a few days earlier than most putting stuff out, so it looks like the 'Family from Hell' live in this little part of suburbia.

Oh and Craig! I could only find the one picture I took whilst in Largs and I'm sure you've seen it a thousand times - but here is the one photo I appear to have salvaged from that trip...

Sorry I'm not my usual self today - normal service will be resumed as soon as possible - My distress must be showing and I'm being grumpy. It's the first time I can recall my wife telling me to - 'Go drink your whisky and get some sleep' lol.



Friday, 1 July 2011

FREEDOM! Or - The Day I Conquered Fife

In a bid to find security, stability and a 'place in life', like most folks, I've tried many things. I've been a cop, musician, circus worker, cardboard box assembler, warehouse manager, gardener, office manager, and I'm sure there are other jobs I've forgotten about as I either enjoyed them no more than a week or was fired pretty quickly. Once though, I thought I had it made - I became a farmer.

With property prices the way they were in the 90's, when we sold the house in London we could have purchased a small European nation - Scotland was perfect. And so it seemed to me that I'd bought the entire county of Fife and farmland stretching as far as the eye could see. After a week or so, it was my wife who pointed out that something was missing from our farm - animals.

I had a tractor, fields, fences, outhouses and huge bales of hay and straw - to all intents and purposes it looked like a farm so who needed animals? My bank manager did.

I'm good with dogs and cats but know nothing about anything else - so I decided to start with an 'easy animal' - Goats.

I checked out every book there was about Goats from the local library and bought a herd of them from a nearby farmer. I should've realised something was wrong when I asked him how many I could buy - and he said 'All of them if you want'. So, I became a goat farmer.

What the books don't tell you is that goats are damned hard to keep happy. They also don't tell you that if there's a hole or gap in a fence anywhere they will squeeze their way through it. Then they all head into town together and like the Sons of Anarchy they destroy everything. And you get the bill.

Neither do the books tell you that goats have a mean streak. I'd walk into the fields to feed them and one large Anglo Nubian in particular would race from the pack, reach me, stand up on two legs and headbutt me before trampling all over me while I was on the ground. I got tired of this as apart from being annoying it was painful and made me look stupid. Then I reached a chapter in the book which explained everything - PACK LEADER BEHAVIOUR.

It seems goats elect a pack leader - I don't think democracy plays a role in this and going by the attitude of the pack leader I was up against the 'Attila the Hun' of goats.

'Exert your dominance' the book said - 'If the pack leader attacks you then you must wrestle it to the ground and pin it there, thus showing it and the pack, that YOU are the pack leader.'

So off I went into the field once more armed only with a bag of carrots lest I lose (My plan was to offer them to Attila as a peace gesture in return for my life).

Attila was at the far end of the field with the rest of the goats and saw me instantly. Stepping out from the herd she started to run toward me - I stood my ground, she ran faster and I could feel my stomach 'flip' but I didn't waver. About six feet from me she stood up on her hind legs and went for the headbutt - I threw myself forward, wrapped my arms around her neck, headbutted her and twisted her onto the ground. Once pinned there I sat on her and yelled angrily so the others could hear - "Don't you ever do that to me again! You think you're tough? I'm the mean son of a bitch around here so don't mess with me!" The other goats backed even further away. I stood up and Attila lay prone in shock at her defeat. I looked at the pack and walked toward the corner of the field where they cowered, once there I gave my victory speech - "People of the Goat race, I will lead you well. You have nothing to fear. Attila's reign of terror is over. You can call me Rory the Benevolent who brings carrots". I then distributed the carrots amongst those who looked most needy.

I walked back toward the farmhouse, Attila was back on her feet and I contemptuously ignored her as I strode past. In the distance behind me I swear I could hear goats chanting 'Rory! Rory!'

I like to think goats in Fife still talk about that day even now.