Monday, May 29, 2006

some navel gazings about time

The other day Hame posted some thoughts about the idea of going back, being younger again and how that seemed like a really stupid idea to him. He and I have had similar conversations before so reading it I found myself nodding away pretty confidently. Being who I am now is great, and while there are a lot of uncertainties right now I wouldn't trade places with any of the earlier versions of myself, it's too much fun getting to be me having learned all the things I have, and I kinda like being a grown-up.

A couple of days later my friend Paul mailed about uploading lots of his old photos to his website, a quick look under 1997 uncovered some ancient shots of me and those, together with the rest of the Aberdeen based ones invoked a powerful feeling of nostalgia in me... I think in spite of myself if some entity had offered there and then to rewind my clock ten years I'd have leapt at the chance.

So, I'm left wondering what that's about - I genuinely do love being the man I am now, the journey is a big part of the point of existence for me and one of the things I get out of bed in the mornings for is to find out where life goes next... I'm facing forwards then, but thinking about it now it's not in order to face away from my past. There's very little back there that I'd choose to leave behind, and on the whole I do a good job of carrying the best bits of my past along with me... Some things inevitably get left behind, some things last only a short time, or belong to a particular age. Maybe that's where that sudden longing for university came from: when I think about my four years in Aberdeen it's all coloured with a particular tint that was left behind there when I graduated. That general sense of place and time is all tied up with what I had to leave there when I moved on - colours and textures of life that now belong to the past, and looking at those old photos I think that's what I missed - not being 19, or a student, or at University or any of the specifics, but that air of what is now the past, the bit I couldn't bring along with me.

Would I want to be younger again then? Hell no. Would I want to be able to visit my past now and then? Definately.


it's not just having to watch adverts, it's having to watch pre World Cup adverts

*wails and gnashes teeth*

it must and shall stop.

Saturday, May 27, 2006


OK, on Tuesday this week Anita took her TiVo away to install in her new flat. Perfectly reasonable of course, it is hers after all, in fact it was only by her typically generous nature that she left it here until she'd settled in...

... thing is, four days on and I'm lost without it! I keep trying to watch TV and then turning it off a few minutes later in frustration when I can't skip the adverts, or being confused by the fact that there's nothing I want to watch waiting for me. I'm already scanning eBay to see how much refurbished TiVos are, which is madness when you consider that I don't actually own a TV! (the one in my house is Anita's too, but at the moment she has nowhere to put it) What bafflles me even more though is how such a brilliant and aparently indespensible gadget failed to take off here in the UK. Only one UK model was ever made and those vanished from the shelves of electrical stores over four years ago.


I can see this going one of two ways, either I'm just going to give up on TV altogether or at some point I'm going to have to get my own TiVo.

Friday, May 26, 2006

a well timed distraction

Last night I went to see the new X-Men movie with some of the gang.

One of the (many) things I love about Hugh Jackman is his complete inability to make it through a film fully clothed.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Because of the garage who serviced him last apparently not knowing all the quirks of Frank's engine, an expensive part of his ignition system burned out this afternoon requiring a roadside fix (courtesy of the AA) and a new part (costing yours truly £237!) That'll be me getting my car serviced by a Saab specialist in future then.


Happily just the other day I was recommended a Saab specialist in Edinburgh and all being well I'll be booking the dear old heap in for a (qualified!) check up in the near future.

Other than the car trauma I'm in a very good mood, I have an interview on Friday for a job I'd quite like (fingers all crossed please) and have been keeping myself amused in the meantime by remodelling a kitchen for some friends. it's going very well, though things are held up just now pending some deliveries of bits, and a (qualified!) removal of the old gas oven so that I can make the bit of kitchen where the same clever gas-person can install the new hob, and some other clever electrician person can install the new oven.

Re-reading that I realise it probably doesn't sound like fun to most of you but trust me, I'm enjoying it.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

don't faint!

Yes, it is another update, no, you didn't just slip into a coma and miss a month.

I have some assorted announcements about random unimportant stuff further down but first I wanted to talk about the restorative effects of sunlight for a minute. Central Scotland's decidedly unpredictable summer has been spending most of today in sunny mode and I'm really pleased. It's been a disappointingly quiet week on the job front (after a promising start), and yesterday I had my first 'no show' viewers for the house which was really frustrating (sitting in an imacculate house for an hour and a half nervously waiting for people who don't arrive. Not fun.) Yet in spite of all that the light streaming into the house most of today has me feeling really rather chipper.

So, those announcements: first off I'm continuing the process of slimming down my worldly belongings list, having jettisoned large amounts of junk at the recycling centre and charity shops, it's eBay's turn and in case any of you are interested I'm auctioning a bunch of my stuff a peculiar mix of old ornaments (which have been in storage since I was 15 or so) and assorted tech junk I no longer need. More is likely to follow in time.

Next, any of you with a few minutes on your hands and an inclination to take part in surveys should go here where one of my friend Justin's students has a fairly thought provoking handful of questions for you.

There. now I'm going to munch some sammidges before I load a bunch of tools into the car and head off for a weekend of kitchen building with Karen, interspersed with a bookbinding workshop at Hamish's and a few hours on Friday night with the rest of the gang watching these guys (again) at Whistle Binkies.

I like my life, even if it is probably because it's a bit random.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

braindump see part of the problem with this blogging business is that I forget to do it for a while and then I have too much to say all at once, which is daunting so I don't do it and it becomes a vicious cycle.

So this won't be a comprehensive update but I figured I should outline the shape of things just now, and then maybe I'll keep ontop of the blog a bit better.

The House: Well so far it's getting a fair amount of interest, no official 'note of interest' yet of course but several groups of people have been out and looked at it, some seemed very taken and (considering how far out of the way it is, and that I'm only taking viewings by appointment.) I'm taking the fact there's been a good number of viewings to be a Good Thing™. On Friday I agreed with the Solicitors to have a second "For Sale" board put up near the junction with the A70, which I think (together with everything else) will have the place as comprehensively advertised as is possible. So now it's just waiting... and a plea: everyone's being very sweet and interested and asking in an optimistic tone every time I speak to them "so, any news with the house?" which is lovely... except that having to say "no, nothing yet" about 15 times a day is in danger of making me a bit panicky. I have to keep telling myself that it's early days yet just to keep my cool about the whole thing. So, can I ask everyone reading this not to ask me about the house sale for a while? When there's news, rest assured I'll be passing it on pretty quickly. In the meantime unless I say otherwise, just assume there's still no formal interest, but that things are progressing steadily. Thanks.

The Job: I think I'm making progress here, nothing concrete to report just yet but over the past few days the (usually soul destroying) business of applying for jobs and dealing with recruitment agencies has been... well rather less soul destroying than usual, I keep hearing good things back about my suitability for posts, I've been interviewed twice (both times for posts I didn't eventually want, but hey.) and have a number of 'live' applications on the go as I type that I'm optimistic about. Meanwhile after a week without my 'puter (see below) I'm getting back on with odd bits of freelance design work to stop my brain from siezeing up.

The Friends: Life is as busy as ever on this front, and it's one of the things I've been conscious of dropping the ball with on the blog: I didn't blog about seeing Big Hand with Liz, Justin and Malc the other week, nor did I blog about Beltane (although some of the others did). Worse, I didn't blog about Hamish's book launch (here's the Press release but you've all missed the party now I'm afraid) And in amongst that lot I've been busy doing little things like hanging out with the Friday gang on Fridays and enjoying my parents' company this weekend, going for walks in the intermittent Scottish summer, and even meeting the odd new person...

The Rest: I spent most of last week restricted to my backup computer when a routine diagnostic I ran on Flash revealed he'd blown one of his RAM slots. Apple whisked him away (by way of a hot UPS man who arrived while I was embarrasingly still in my dressing gown) on Tuesday and brought him back (by way of a not-at-all-hot DHL man for whom I was thankfully fully dressed) on Friday. Frank (the car) is still running smoothly apart from his occasional reluctance to go backwards when asked. Living alone is proving to suit me really rather well, and after six weeks of it I haven't yet gone mad, so I think I will look for a solo residence in the city when the time comes. I've also been oiling the cogs of my writing brain a little (they're still pretty much siezed from disuse, but I might yet get them moving again...) so there's been plenty I could have written about on here. I'll aim to do a better job of actually getting my thoughts on screen.

The Plan: So with all that going on, what's my direction? It's all dreadfully vague for now, partly because a lot of the detail is contingent on the house and job stuff coming into focus but the vague outline I'm working toward is that I'll be staying based in the central belt of Scotland for the next few months, (the shape of that depends on work and the house) then sometime in the autumn if things pan out the way I hope, I'll be embarking on an adventure of some sort (the shape of which also depends on house and job stuff, but it will probably involve a trip to Australia) before coming back and (probably) looking for a new permanent home in Edinburgh.

... then again life is, as they say, what happens to you while you're making other plans. Mine seems to be especially prone to that right now, and it's fun. I promise to do a better job of sharing it from now on.