Sunday, 28 April 2013

welcome to scotland

the guardian's sports pic of the day features the sky team undergoing a joyless passage of the col de croix in the tour of romandie, conditions not dissimilar to those i saw in amulree only a couple of weeks ago. unfortunately the road was too narrow to stop and take pictures - i've never cycled in anything like it. a shame for the pros tho - doing it old school. rather them than me!

friday this week i was supposed to be having a spin down to the borders but didn't as i had to work. fortunate as we had that typical early summer of pounding rain and hail. not nice! saw some sun yesterday but not enough that I'd pull my sleeves down. so far short sleeves once this year, no sunglasses and not even a hint of bikie tan. surely this cannot last1?

Friday, 26 April 2013

cycling ben lawers dam

not so far up the road is ben lawers, scene of many a hillwalking shenanigan when I was up for such things and the recent stranding of some german tourists who were foolhardy enough to try and drive over the wee road in inclement conditions this winter.

many times I've come off meal nam tarmachan (the hill at the back of this pic) and walked back across the dam towards lawers. and many is the time when we've looked down the slope and thought it'd be great to do something a bit mental on the face of the dam!

kudos to ben miller and adam flint for truly leaving their brains in the tool box. they even make the guardian. see the hand wringing in the comments here

Tuesday, 23 April 2013


if i'm thinking about araki this definitely isn't what i'd imagine. see more on nowness

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

exit thatcher

how can I not write something about thatcher? even as I tried to avoid the blanket news today I caught a snippet from one of the 'demonstrations', filled it would seem by people who most likely weren't even born when the thatch was in power. but one of them got her time in front of the camera declaring 'that woman made my life a misery'. and in that was all that needed to be said.

a long time ago now but a time when it seemed to be about 'them' and 'us' as opposed to 'me'. I never, other than one brief paranoid moment, when it appeared the special branch were upon us, thought that thatcher had it in for me personally. that came later, a noxious by product of thatcherism, the all consuming individualism. there is, she declared, no such thing as society. and then set about making sure it was true. and, much like orwell's big brother, far from having it imposed upon us, the country lapped it up and demanded more.

I remember when word cam that she had finally left downing st. I was working in the states at the time and my flatmate phoned me. have you heard, he said, thatcher's resigned. I put down the phone. I had, it must be said, expected to be euphoric, as it was I was stunned. I need a moment I said to one of the others on shift. I went away and sat down for half an hour. thatcher was gone. it seemed like the end of an era. except really it wasn't, only the start of the process that would lead to thatcher's unofficially anointed successor, tony blair.

how do I feel about it now. strangely, with much on common with russell brand of all people. love her or loathe her there, surely, can be little debate that thatcher's domain changed the face of the country. and try as I might I can't quite unremember those days of strikes, blackouts, rubbish in the streets and general hopelessness that preceded her even as I want to remember something else, something that was about community. as the man in the article says - this demonstrates, I suppose, that if you opposed Thatcher's ideas it was likely because of their lack of compassion, which is really just a word for love. If love is something you cherish, it is hard to glean much joy from death, even in one's enemies.

she was such a dire person what with the support of the regimes, the total lack of support for other women, the cronyism and everything that went with it but I couldn't help but feel sorry for the wreck of a woman in her later years. I've seen way too much in the way of Alzheimer's, vascular dementia and the like to take any pleasure in seeing someone with it. poor thatch, escorted by the police to water flowers, banged up in the ritz with no-one to visit her. be careful what you wish for, sometimes you get it. unfortunately, with people like thatcher, so does everyone else.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

i could go miles and miles on this father....

make a rather lovely cup of tea, relax and see the world of bicycle manufacture as it never was in the days of yesteryear. top quality thanks to the ctc