22 January 2017


Yesterday's photo of my real-name namesake Captain Scott's ship Discovery, shown again below, was prompted by the plans I am making for another return to Cambridge, also shown below, on a small plane, also below, that now flies from Dundee to Stansted, very close to Cambridge. I found my return to Cambridge last year, the first for many years, to be a trip of unexpected rediscovery and renewal, so now I will return again this year, on writing business, and hopefully next year, and the next... perhaps. I still have hopes and plans to work on, but of course Captain Scott's hopes and plans ended in death amid desperate failure. Don't they all, eventually? Still, we can try. I will be busy. What was it that Scott's companion, Lawrence Oates, said? Oh yes: "[I]...may be some time".

There are links in all of this. Isn't everything linked?

20 January 2017

New chapters

This old and hacked and damaged tree
like old and hacked and damaged me
has buds held in and nurtured deep
emerging soon in Spring, from sleep

18 January 2017

Another day (please go away)

Another day
another person interfering and trying to manipulate what I do
Another day
another person talking nonsense and expecting me to agree
Another day
another person being ignorant and rude, oh no, it was two
Another day
another person trying to change me from the perfectly acceptable way I want to be
Another day
another mindless idiot spouting faith in things they cannot possibly know are true
Another day
another unwelcome and unasked for interruption to the business of being me
Another day
Just leave me damn alone, the lot of you, please do, please do, please do

17 January 2017

A night on the steps again

My most commonly recurring dream traps me in a large dark building full of Escher steps. It is not hard to interpret, I suppose. It is often based on my old tenement in Leith, but widened into further dimensions, and I can see where I want to get to and the steps that seem to lead me there, but when I climb I soon arrive at an impossible gap, so I retrace my path and try again on what seems from a distance to be the correct route, but then I arrive again at a different but also impossible gap to negotiate, and so it continues, and I am always on stairs with no railings above precipitous drops ready to suck me downward to my doom. I was on the stairs again last night, and awoke exhausted, and then immediately began wondering about the important news I am awaiting about a possible big new endeavour. The dream is not hard to interpret, but I wish it would cease, and I would never again be trapped to spend an evening on the impossible and impassable stairways.

M. C. Escher


Days ruined by an accusation of error based on a lie, but before I knew it was a lie I had to spend the several days wondering... Was it true? Had I made that error? What response would I get to my own response that challenged the accuser for the evidence? Full of self doubt, for I do make mistakes. Don't we all? But surely no? Was it true? Again, again, again, in a turning mind that would not let it be, to just wait and see... Until then, today, in eventual response to the refutation and the challenge for the evidence, the story suddenly changed. Oh... So I was right. Oh... So the lie was deliberate. A con by a chancer trying his luck, and now offering up a very different tale, to wriggle away from what he earlier had to say. And then I was invited to let that cynical slyness pass, to avoid making a problem, and to smooth what could become an awkward path. Oh well, okay. So when offered a possible solution by an intermediary, and asked what I wanted to do, I sighed and said, "Just do whatever will make life easier for you, and him (the lying bastard - [that bit unsaid]), and me, I suppose." And so the lie will be ignored, the path will be smoothed, and the days of troubled mind will be set aside in the big and bulging box that is labelled:


10 January 2017

Invasion of privacy

I took a bath. The window was open, but it is too high for even the tallest of voyeurs to see in, but one prying female neighbour was capable of astonishing athleticism... then the photographer arrived.

The cat may have been wondering if she had found a mouse.

8 January 2017

It is time

It is time
Just look at the clock
It is, isn't it?
Come on now
You know what for
or perhaps for what
even if I do not
and I certainly know what for
or perhaps for what
even if you do not
It is time
It really is
this time
Think about it
and you will know what it is time for
or for what it is time
And like me you will have thought about it a lot
but the knowing is not the problem
It is time to move on from the knowing
and get started on the doing
It is time
this time
It is time
to do, not talk
Just look at the clock


Another one seems to be going now, so sadly, although he is 93
His real being disintegrating each day before us, is dreadful to see
A grey shadow, turning black, creeping over a once bright mind
A stumbling, emerging, confused, incoherence, as consciousness turns blind

Light ebbing from a darkening evening sea
And so who next?
Maybe her, him, you, me

7 January 2017


Coexistence is possible
if you leave me alone
and I leave you alone
and you don't try to change me
and I don't try to change you
We may never be friends
but we may coexist

5 January 2017

Late afternoon in Leith

I love Leith. Rough and ready when I lived there many years ago - a famous old port of working people and pubs and a fair few gangs and thieves and prostitutes; but alive with the dirty messy vigour of humans being human in the best way they could manage, which was often not very well at all. Now greatly gentrified in a wonderful vibrant way, but with all the old traits and characters and drink and drugs still clearly there in the muddled messy mix of humanity heaving and flowing like the lapping sea that surrounds it. I was educated in Leith, until the age of 17, in the days of uncontrolled playground fights and bullies and girls and youthful attempts at love and hate and good and bad, but not much evil, although under the surface, yes that was in there too. I got hurt in Leith, physically, emotionally, romantically. I got tough in Leith, more mentally and emotionally than physically. I grew a hard carapace that even now can hide the wobbling soft pathetic jelly of the man within. And I come back occasionally, not often enough, to walk and eat, and still again yesterday to shake my head with an almost apologetic smile when a surprisingly pretty lass tried to sell the brief use of her slim body to me near the dock gates... where my father used to stand as a young police constable, fresh from fighting a war, but then directing the traffic when not called, as he often was, by a shrill whistle - no personal radio in those days - to intervene in another melee of flying fists and smashing glass in a riverside pub. I love Leith, and I will be back again, sooner next time, to walk and watch and sit and drink and eat, and probably to shake my head with an apologetic smile again and say, "no thanks", sweet, sad, young, dear, lost, lass... no thanks.

4 January 2017