28 September 2013

Flukey Flower

Self-seeded and growing up improbably through the water in the middle of our garden stream, gripping with its roots at a tiny spot of gritty soil beneath a submerged rock and swaying defiantly in the wind. I have told it that it is not really meant to be there, in fact it's not really meant to be in Scotland at all, but if its own seeds can just reach the nearby banks they may have a more secure future. There are no such flowers in my garden or in any gardens nearby, but perhaps this is the start of a welcome invasion, unless it's really a Triffid.

21 September 2013

Looking out of the ordinary


Sampling 717 (2)

Another rough draft sample, following on from the first one, of the latest from Sample 717...

'Did you find anything of interest in your science magazine?' Adrig asked, after a while, remembering what Edrig had been doing as he lay in bed the evening before, while Adrig had found another episode of Tom and Jerry to enjoy.

'I find these people strange,' Edrig responded with a serious tone. 'It is true that their computers are very simple, but you'd think that even their basic computers would have given them a clue about what is really going on in their world.'

'What do you mean?' asked Adrig, although rather disinterested in the issue, whatever it was, because he had just discovered that with the shifting of the morning sun the high window beside him offered a clear reflection of a rather beautiful lady on the other side of the room. A vision he could gaze at intently while seemingly just looking out at the trees as Edrig continued.

'Well of course inside their computers there are just atoms and molecules and ions and electrons, all moving around in accordance with physical law, the fundamental forces and all that.'

'Of course,' muttered Adrig, while admiring the fine cut of the reflected lady's jaw and the slim neck below it.

'But they know that a program is directing the precise flow of the electricity. Exactly where it goes. They know that because they write the programs. So even though the bits and pieces looked at in detail just obey physics, they also obey the programs overall.'


'But then when they look inside themselves at their living bodies and minds and inside their little sample world around them, they think that all there is to it is just matter and energy following physical law. Which it is of course, but they are missing the program that nevertheless guides it all. You see what I mean?'

'Eh... sorry. What?'

'The program. The software. They are missing the program behind it all, and thinking that everything is just happening all on its own, with all the bits being bounced about just by physical law... which... eh... they are being, of course, but these people here are missing a whole level of control and determination behind it all. As I said, they are missing the program. Are you listening to me?'


'Do you see what I mean?'

'What I see, my boy, and what I am looking at very closely, are the very lovely products of the program, whatever it really is, because deep down you don't know and neither do I, after all.'

'Well yes,' conceded Edrig as he looked out of the window, 'The trees are nice.'

'Ha ha,' smirked Adrig, 'The trees? You really do understand so little, just like everyone around here.'

'Perhaps,' continued Edrig earnestly, 'but I know more than these, eh, bozos.'

'Bozos! Ha ha. Your mastery of their words is nearly complete. But I wonder lad, I really do wonder... How does one get the attention of a lady in this place? We never have to do such things back home. The big bastards just pick us out and stuff us full of testosterjuice when they want us to perform. But these beautiful slight slim specimens... How does one get them interested?'

Edrig looked across at Adrig's craggy old face and straggling grey hair.

'A haircut might help,' he announced, 'for your style does seem rather out of place around here. So, yes, a haircut might help. Although unfortunately I don't think it would help enough.'

Edrig accepted Adrig's returning scowl with a smile, and shifted his thoughts to another matter, saying, 'Anyway, we really should be thinking of moving on, don't you think? We have been lucky to avoid the further attentions of the police. They do know us now.'

'Huh,' snorted Adrig dismissively, 'They know not to mess with us, at least two of them do, and some of the others just think we're nutters. The lads from another planet, ha ha. But yes, you may have a point. We should perhaps consider a move. Anonymity is probably best. But I do still hold out hopes for the pole dancing class, you know, the filming... after her closure for vacation. Damned inconvenient that closure.'

'But other cities have them freely on show in clubs, or at least for a nominal entry fee.'

'That's true. That's true. One more day here anyway eh? Then we'll see.'

The source of the reflection in the window rose from her chair to leave the room, and Adrig turned his gaze directly towards her to watch her go.

'There is so little of her,' he murmured, 'and yet so much, and all so wiggly and wobbly in such a wonderful way.'

Edrig followed Adrig's gaze.

'Too young for you,' he offered, before adding, 'They're all too young for you.'

And Adrig scowled again.

Sampling 717 (Part 1)

Being the first draft extract from the possible sequel to or continuation of Report on Sample 717

'You are finished?' asked the waitress in her sharp Latvian accent as she eyed the remnants of a full Scottish breakfast on Edrig's plate.

They had been at the hotel for a week. A week for Edrig of improving his understanding of the language and walking around looking longingly at ladies, largely. A week for Adrig of just walking around and looking longingly at ladies, largely. And they had enjoyed quite a few beers, but more sensibly than their first indulgence.

Edrig did not grasp the rising intonation that indicated a question, and being in a bit of a dopey morning doze he took the words from the slim young lady in the smooth black uniform as a statement, rather than a question. A rather alarming statement for a man brought up in a world dominated by big and brutal women.

'What!' Edrig gasped, looking up at the young eyes that seemed so sweet yet belonged to a face that had just said something seemingly so sinister.

'You are finished?' the young girl repeated, reaching down to offer to pick up Edrig's knife from the table and place it onto the plate, yet with her hand hesitating just above the knife as she awaited his reply.

Edrig's face had turned rather white.

Adrig looked at his young companion and smiled, enjoying the misunderstanding until eventually he declared, rather grandly, 'The rising intonation of the voice at the end of the sentence indicates that the statement is a question, dear boy. The nice lady is merely asking if you have finished with your breakfast plate or if you still wish to enjoy these last few greasy remnants of cooked pig and rather dried up egg.'

The waitress frowned, but she had grown somewhat used to their eccentricities.

Edrig relaxed, and he remembered... Planet Earth. I am on Planet Earth, and the image in his mind of a young lady slicing his genitals off with a shining knife thankfully dissipated.

'Yes,' he informed her. 'I am finished. And...'

But he did not continue with what he wanted to say, which was, 'And you are beautiful.'

The girl collected their plates and smiled.

As the waitress departed Edrig spoke quietly to Adrig with, 'I really could get used to this place you know... if only I could get used to it, if you see what I mean.' They were continuing to avoid their own squeaky language, with an English-only rule being applied outside of the hotel room.

'Yes my boy,' said Adrig in return, 'You have said that a number of times now, but you are far too old for her, I'm afraid, even though of course you and I know that you are just a boy.'

'It's not fair,' pronounced Edrig with a sigh.

'No,' Adrig agreed, 'Neither here nor at home, life is not fair, but as we heard on their television show last night... what was that phrase? Ah yes. It is what it is. Yes. That was it. It is what it is.'

'It is,' Edrig agreed.

'Yes it is,' Adrig confirmed.

'And it's just a bloody sample, isn't it?'

'That's true.'

'And we are stuck in it, aren't we?'

'We are.'

'It is indeed a bit of a pickle, as I have said before. A bit of a pickle. That's what it is.'

'Yes it is. Do you want more coffee with your pickle?'

'Eh? Are you trying to be funny again?'

'Yes I am, because...'

'Because what?'

'Because I am what I am.'

'You are starting to annoy me old man. You really are.'

And after a slightly awkward pause, they did have some more coffee.

14 September 2013

CalMac and Me

                                 I would much rather be on a CalMac ferry
                                 heading out on a glittering sea
                                 feeling the wind and watching the headlands
                                 shifting and flowing in mist around me
                                 with gulls circling hopefully, looking for chips
                                 the sound of the engines, that rhythm of ships
                                 the gentlest of heaving in a moderate swell
                                 the old ferry feeling that all is now well

The Day Today

                                         Don't think of your life
                                         just think of today
                                         for your life doesn't exist
                                         as a thing, anyway
                                         just the day
                                         then the day
                                         then the day...