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I'm Back!

Well, that's me back in the bosom of Mother Edinburgh. Place of my birth, land of my forefathers, home of my loved ones, scenery of my life, position of my physical presence... Etc etc etc. Continue ad nauseum...

The only thing that I found to be unpleasant was watching Scotland get humped 37-17 at rugby, by a bunch of Italians who looked like a big bunch of jessies, whilst two extremely large and vicious looking Engerland fans made remarks about Scotland being the worst team in the six nations. (Fortunately Engerland were later pumped 43-13 by the Irish team and I sat basking in the sunshine when an entire pub full of Irish took the piss out of the two, very lonely and depressed, Engerland fans.)

The rest of the time In Ireland was as nice as it could possibly be. Angie, my dad and I went drinking, went to a race meet and generally tooled around enjoying each others company. I displayed my remarkable talent for losing bets, my dad showed his coolness by not getting all clinchy when I rolled a joint in front of him and Angie showed us both a great time.


While I'm away...

Satisfy yourself with Sam Kinison singing Are you lonesome tonight in his inimitable style.

In Dublin.

This blog may not be updated for the next few days as I'm currently in Dublin pissing it up with my dad. I'll be back in my usual hovel on Monday. See you then.


The sun shone down...

Onto the few thousand tourists that had paid to visit the Zoo that day. And it also shone down on me, even though I hadn't paid the entry price.

I'd got the day off of work, and had nothing better to do, so I'd decided to take a wander around the Zoo. I didn't know if She was going to be working but She wasn't the only person I got on with at work. Sure, She was the only one I'd have moved mountains for but seeing Her wasn't my sole reason to pop in...

I wandered through the entrance hall to the Zoo, waved a hello to whatever halfwit was on duty and walked towards the exit door. Much to the disgust of people who were queuing patiently with their screaming kids. "Fucking tourists." I thought, as one imbecile in the queue asked why I hadn't paid to get in. The halfwit on duty behind the cash desk informed the imbecile that I was staff and didn't have to pay to get in. "I'll need to get a job here." He said.
"I'm sure there's a spare cage for you." I said, loud enough so that he heard it and continued on my way.

I trudged up the hill, made my way to the Members House and slid in through the back door that lead into the staff canteen. The usual strange smell was emanating from the kitchen so I popped my head around the door and said hi to it. It was Alex, the chef.

"How goes it Alex?" I asked.
"I thought you were off today?" He inquired, as he removed his head from the fridge. Not that he kept his head in the fridge you understand, Alex may have been King of the weirdo's but he wasn't that talented when it came to body part removal/restoration.
"I am." I answered. "I only came in so that I could, once more, experience the joys and delights that is your cooking." I continued with just a hint of sarcasm.
"Did you watch WWF last night?" He asked.

I decided that it was best to keep on Alex's side as he had a more insane look in his eyes than usual. "I watched a wee bit in between the motorcycle racing on Eurosport." I answered. Alex was a hardcore wrestling fan who was constantly talking about it and, on one occasion, even went as far as choke slamming one of the staff because he had made the mistake of asking if Alex had washed his hands before beginning cooking.

Alex's eyebrows wiggled as if to show he knew something I didn't. "Wait 'til you see what I've got." He said, bending down to reach into the pocket of his jacket that had been thrown under the service counter. "It's too cool." He said.

I wondered if this was another one of those days when Alex had decided it was a good idea to bring in one of his gun collection but held my nerve. I knew Alex too well to think that he'd intentionally do my harm. Unintentionally, I wasn't so sure. And then he showed me what he had in his jacket.

I jumped backwards, skidding on the tiled floor of the kitchen and clattered against the doorway. "Holy fucking Jesus! You could have had my fucking eye out with that bastard!" I said, watching the long sharp edge of a hunting knife flash before me. It had at least nine inches of blade and three inches of ivory as a handle. The back of the knife had a serrated edge that looked like you could cut down a tree with it.

Alex laughed and flicked the knife over in the air and caught the blade as though he'd done so before a million times. Which, I knew, he had. The scars on his hand were proof. I took a hold of the knife and felt it's weight.

"Holy shit man, if you don't manage to stab the polar bear to death with that you could always beat the fucker to death. Where on God's green and blue did you get that from?" I said, keeping going the running joke that we had between us. The running joke about him wanting a fight to the death against the polar bear. At least I think it was a joke. I hoped to god that it was as Alex and I had the same kind of mind when we were drinking. The dangerous kind. The kind that didn't really register that it might be just a tad silly to go shooting at the Braids after necking a bottle of scotch each.

"My brother in law brought it back for me from Morocco." He said. I decided not to ask anything more as Alex may only have acted like a madman but I'd met his brother in law and knew he wasn't as together as Alex was. A couple of months previously Alex, his brother in law and I had went camping a few miles outside Penicuik and I'd watched in drunken amazement as he smashed empty whisky bottles against his head and took punch after punch from Alex. Just for fun...

"It's a beauty man, pity it's a show knife." I said, as I ran my thumb over the edge of the blade to show him the lack of a sharp edge. "I know. That's why I borrowed the steel and the oilstone from the big kitchen. You're going to sharpen it for me." He said, as I handed the knife back to him and he stuffed it back into his jacket.

"I'm what?" I asked.
"I want you to put an edge on it for me. I'm shit at sharpening knives and you do all the knives for the chefs upstairs. I figured you could do this one." He said.
"If I sharpen that fucking thing you're likely to cut your legs off just playing with the bugger." I said. He promised that he wasn't going to use it for anything other than skinning rabbits that he regularly went shooting for. "Ok man, I'll do it tomorrow." I said.

I told Alex I'd see him later and popped upstairs to see Louise. Lou was the office junior and she was someone I got on well with. I stopped by the office and spoke to Lou for a while about trivial matters and she asked me if I had came in to see her. Or Her.
"I don't know if she's in today." I said.
"That'd be a first. You've checked the rota everyday for the last month just to see if she's going to be working or not. I know, I've seen you, you're like a lovesick kid. It's the talk of the department. Shit, you've been in every day she's been in regardless of whether or not you've been working." She said.
"Jealous?" I asked.
"Fuck off." Lou said smiling.
"I think you are." I said.
"No, I mean fuck off, the boss is on his way in." She said.

I took the hint and told her I'd see her later on. "I'll get you at lunchtime." Lou said as I walked out of the front door of the members house. "She's in kiosk two!" Lou shouted as the door was closing behind me. And it was kinda nice that she did, as I'd have quite a walk ahead of me trailing around the kiosks trying to find Her. I headed up the hill past the Rhino enclosure and waved a hello to the keeper that was busy trying to get the rhino to come out of it's pen and not be gored to death in the process.

I walked along the pavement towards kiosk 2 and saw that there was a lengthy queue of parents and children screaming at each other. Usually it was something along the lines of "Want that one; Not getting that one; Want that one; Not getting that one; Want that one wahhhh; Stop making a scene; Waaaaaaant thaaaaaat one! Ok, but don't ask me for anything later on.

I pushed open the door of the kiosk and quickly slipped inside before a kid thought it was a door to a magical kingdom where sweets and crisps were free and wandered in behind me. As several had on previous occasions.

I saw Her standing looking flustered and stressed out at the baying horde of kids and parents and smiled when She turned around and looked at me with desperation in her beautiful eyes. "Oh, jaysus, save me!" She said in that accent of Hers that turned me to jelly. "I can't handle this, oh Jaysus." She continued to plead.

After about fifteen minutes we managed to get rid of all the customers by working together. I'd had more experience in the kiosks than She had and had the technique down to a tee. Sell to the parents through the kids. Wave high priced ice cream and sweets and watch the parents cave in to the screams of their children quicker than they would if the local Catholic Priest was fisting them in the pulpit of the church, during Sunday mass. The queue gone, I opened the fridge and grabbed two cans of Pepsi. I handed one to Her as I opened the other one and took a large drink.
"Hey you, I'm responsible for the stock in here. If I'm two cans short I'll have to pay." She said.
"Then don't mark the stock down as short. Just fill in the stock as though you had two more cans than you actually do, everyone does it." I said, looking at her and smiling.

I hung around shooting the breeze about nothing in particular for an hour or so and helping out when a queue formed. As I stood, or sat as the case may be, chatting about things we had in common; She liked art house Movies, I'd seen Back to the Future 26 times; She liked to read classical literature, I'd read almost every Doctor Who book in existence thanks to my brother being a mad mentalist when it came to all things Whovian.

Listening to Her tell me about all that She wanted in life I realised something. I realised that I wanted to know what drove Her. What made Her want to fill her life with wondrous experiences when all I really wanted out of life was to make her smile. Smile that wonderful smile. Laugh that lovely laugh. What made Her sparkle so? And I wanted to spend the rest of my life learning the answers to those questions.

When Chris came to give Her her lunch break I walked down to the staff canteen and hung around chatting with Alex while she ate her lunch. The rest of the staff on duty that day stood chatting and slagging each other off and I would join in the banter whenever I felt it was deserved. After Her lunch was finished and we'd had a sat on the grass in the suntrap that was the members gardens I walked Her back to Her kiosk and told her I hoped we could spend more time together. And then She broke my heart.

"You know I've got a boyfriend Ross." She said, smashing my heart into atoms and scattering them across the universe.


Not only, but also...

Not only did I add a couple of new thangs to the blog today I also hied over to IMDB and put all my DVD's into it. What use this is I don't know. I did want to put a list of DVD's I own onto my blog but there isn't a widget to allow me to do this. The best I can do is to tell you to click here to see the list of my DVD's.

I also watched the following DVD's.
  • 50 First Dates.
  • The Longest Yard.
  • Vanilla Sky.
In between doing all this I managed to do a little housework (dull dull dull...) and slung some clothes into the washing machine. All in all I think it's been quite a productive day for me, even though I probably should have been either trying to find a job or getting my shit together for my trip to Dublin on Thursday with my dad.

But no matter, I'll get my stuff organised for Dublin tomorrow and will forget about my employment situation until I return from pissing it up in Ireland with the bearded one.

Just a small post...

To introduce my newest feature on here. It's called Librarything and it's a virtual database of my book collection. This is something I'll be working on for the next few days, months or possibly years depending on how lazy I am in cataloging my books.

To see my library click here.

I also spent some time today cleaning up my bookmarks and adding basic descriptions to them. Also added is a sidebar widget that shows the most recent things I've bookmarked.

Along with the Librarything and bookmarks I added a clock to the top of this page to let everyone see what time it is where I am. Isn't that nice of me?

What time is it where you are?

If you would like to put a clock, like the one at the top of this page, on your blog click here and follow the instructions.

Or alternatively if you'd like a cool and funky looking Relatime widget for your blog click here and follow the instructions.

Relatime Clock sample.


This weeks Listening...

It's been a quiet week in music for me. I've not had my MP3 player on much during my travels and whenever I've been in the house lounging around in my shorts I've either been reading, watching TV or reading a book.

I did however manage to listen repeatedly to the following albums.
  • Barry White - All Time Greatest Hits.
  • Buddy Holly - Gold.
  • Van Morrison - Astral Weeks.
  • Nick Drake - Pink Moon.
  • Guns and Roses - Use your Illusion.
  • The Pogues - The Ultimate Collection.
I've also created a couple of nice ringtones for my phone from sounds file I found floating around on't 'tinternet. The first one is a Honda RCV211V on warm up and the second one is a minute long Tardis in flight sound. Feel free to grab a copy of either by clicking the links.

900... 901...

Well fuck me, this is the 901st post I've written for this blog.

If each post has an average of 100 words that's... Well, it's a lot. Here's to the next 901 posts.

Lets do lunch!

I've officially joined in with the developing cafe culture that has sprung up all over Edinburgh in the last few years. Take a walk down almost every thoroughfare in Scotland's capital city and you will almost certainly pass at least one Starbucks type coffee bar and at least one bar/restaurant that wouldn't look out of place in New York/Rome/Paris/London.

The only noticeable difference between the cafe's in and around Edinburgh and the cafe's in New York/Rome/Paris/London is the lack of anything close to cultured conversation. Unless of course you are in and around Edinburgh University. This is where the International Bright Young Things of the world hang around in Edinburgh. Sit outside a cafe in this area and you could be forgiven for wondering where you are in the world.

I've haunted this area in my past and have many fond, and often hazy, memories of nights spent lounging and laughing with friends in the drinking dens and evenings spent lugging sound equipment for the band of an old friend. Negociants was the best of the bunch, a great place to hang around, the clientelle was always friendly and the staff were always up for a laugh with the regulars.

To my surprise it hasn't changed much over the years. There is still the same undercurrent of sociality that has always been part of Negociants charm and the customers are still the same mix of people. I could happily spend a whole afternoon sitting reading a book and watching the mixture of aging hippie lecturers smoking Galouise and pondering the universe mingle with their students, whose thinking probably ran along the lines of "where can I score some good dope" or "Should I wash these jeans or keep wearing them in protest of the plight of our free thinking brothers in Cuba."

I'd arranged to meet Jenny at Negociants just after 2pm and as I'd arrived early I sat and read my copy of Motorcycle News while having a coffee and watching the world go by. French accents mingled with Spanish, English, Polish and South American sounds. The occsasional Scottish accent would creep in and I'd remember that I was still somewhere I was familiar with.

Jenny arrived and we sat for a good couple of hours catching up on each others lives. A nice meal of freshly cooked beef burger with a mixed salad and french fries was had by me and Jenny chowed down on a bowl of spicy curly fries. The Chef popped out to say hello to me, I've known him since we worked together in the Zoo catering department, and I informed him that was the best cheese and bacon burger I had ever had.

I settled the bill and Jenny and I walked around to Chambers Street where Jenny had parked her car and she dropped me off at the west end. I had money in my tail and wanted to see if there was anything worth buying in Waterstones or Virgin. I popped into Virgin and picked up a four DVD box set of Back to the Future and a copy of The Goonies which, thanks to the sale, came in at £19.99.

All in all it was a nice day.


I remember it as a beautiful night...

Even though it was pissing it down. Hard.

The rain was bouncing off the pavement and pinging off the cars that were parked in the Grassmarket. I was soaked within seconds of getting out of the taxi but didn't care. I don't think I'd have been bothered at all if there was giant balls of burning rock falling from the sky, I was going to see Her.

A group of us had arranged to meet in the Black Bull, to celebrate a work colleague leaving to go touring around Europe for six months, and I had managed to persuade her to come along. She'd tried her level best to refuse as she knew that I was utterly, hopelessly and totally besotted with her. She'd told me "Things are complicated." the previous time we'd all been together in the pub after work and had asked me to drop it so that we could be friends without all the unnecessary implications of me declaring my undying love for her.

I stood outside the pub shielding a cigarette from the rain and pondered what to do. I knew if I had a couple of drinks I'd give in to my inner voice and would throw open my heart to her and risk upsetting her. Again. And I didn't want to upset her, I only ever wanted to make her happy.

The question spun around and around in my head. I ignored it, finished my cigarette and walked into the pub. My group of friends were all sat at a table just inside the doors and when I was spotted they all began to laugh at the sight of me wearing a Hawaiian shirt and jeans that were wet enough to wash an elephant.

She wasn't in the company and my heart sank quicker than the Titanic. Louise called out to me that there was a kitty behind the bar, that I should throw some cash into it, get a drink and join them. I took another cigarette out and lit it as I walked to the bar. The barmaid smiled at me and asked what I was having. I told her I'd have a large Scotch and lemonade and another one to keep it company, that the change from the £20 note was to go into the kitty for our table and that if she put ice in my drink I'd make sure she didn't get any tips from our table the rest of the time we were there.

The barmaid stared at me with barely hidden disgust and went to get my drinks. I leaned over the bar and grabbed a glass-cloth from behind the counter and began drying my hair with it. The barman on duty asked me what I thought I was doing and I asked him what he thought I was doing. "It looks like you're drying your hair with our glasses towel." He replied.
"Then why the fuck did you ask?" I replied and continued drying myself off.

A couple of seconds later the barmaid returned with my drinks and I sank one straight away. The other I carried over to the table and plonked it down on the table next to Louise. Louise leaned over to me and whispered into my ear, "She's coming."

"How do you know?" I asked.
"I spoke to her just before she left work." She replied.
"And what did she say?" I questioned.
"She said that she likes you Ross, but the timing is all wrong. She's got a boyfriend. They're having some problems at the moment and they want to try to work it out. You, my romantic little friend, are the proverbial spanner in the works." She said, with a look of caring on her face.
"When will she be here?" I asked.
"About fifteen minutes." Louise answered.
"I need another drink." I said, picking up my glass and draining it.

I returned to the table after draining two more large Scotch and lemonades while standing at the bar being stared at by the barman as though I'd told him I'd fucked his mother up the arse with an over sized dildo. I sat down next to Murray and told him I would be sad to see him go and apologised to him for pouring a five gallon drum of cold chipfat mixed with food coloring all over him earlier that day. He grinned the happy smile of someone who is already half drunk and surrounded by friends who have gathered to wish him well. "It's fine man, but you owe me a shirt." He said, laughing.

The door to the pub opened and I immediately turned to see if it was her. I saw a young couple walk in and watched with a sinking heart as the door closed behind them. Perhaps she had decided not to come and risk confusing herself more than she already was.

The door reached it's final resting place and settled shut. My eyes flicked to see Louise looking at me. She mouthed the word "Sorry." and smiled at me in sympathy. I flicked my eyebrows and hoped that Louise couldn't see the sadness in my eyes.

The door to the pub opened again and in walked a few more of the group that had said they would meet us in the Black Bull. Shilo announced her arrival by screaming in her Australian accent "Where's the fucking beer?" She sprang over to the table, lifted a pint off the table and took a large drink.

Graham began to protest that that was his pint but was rapidly quiet once again when Shilo told him to "Shut the fuck up you fucking poof, get yourself another one." She added "And get me another one while you're there." as an afterthought.

Kevin, Chris and about three or four others, whose names I've forgotten over time, said hello and sat down at the table. Graham was given instructions by Shilo to get everyone a drink from the kitty and he walked to the bar mumbling under his breath. "Jeez, that boy's fucking useless at work but he makes a good barmonkey." Shilo said, as she began laughing.

Half an hour later our table was filled with upwards of twentyfive people and the bar was filled with laughter, screams and streams of abuse from Shilo and I. Shilo was a great girl, as Australian as a Koala bear and as mouthy as an Aussie bricklayer, with a heart of gold. She and I instantly hit it off, when on her first day I'd jokingly asked if she fucked on first dates or did her Dad own a brewery, and we had been friends ever since.

In one of her quiet seconds, when she wasn't taking the piss out of someone, she asked me the question that she knew I was expecting from her. "Is she coming?" She posed. I told her that Louise had spoken to her just before work had finished and she had indicated that she was coming. I added that I didn't think she would come as it was all too complicated.

"You're a right Romeo ain't you Ross? You wanna do what us Aussies do, just tell her you wanna fuck her and forget about all that romance bullshit." Shilo said, but added an apology to me quietly so that no one would hear her admit to a soft side. I thanked her and told her if she didn't get me another drink I'd tell everyone what she had just said and would ruin her reputation. "Graham you soppy little cunt! Get the fucking round in!" She shouted and squeezed my shoulder.

Just as Graham returned with the final tray of drinks from the bar and sat down, she walked in. The table went silent, as every looked from me to her, and was only broken only by Shilo yelling at Graham to get her a drink or she'd rip his balls off.

She was standing just inside the door and looked, to me, as beautiful as anything I had ever seen in my life. Her shoulder length, raven black, hair hung in loose wet curls and water dripped from her lips as it slid down her face making it look like she was crying. Her deep brown eyes twinkled like a distant star gone supernova and her smile made my heart beat so loud that I was sure she could hear it over the general hubub of the pub.

She said hi to everyone around the table as she pulled off her wet jacket and hung it on the back of a chair. Her eyes met mine and I smiled. She smiled at me and took her seat, joining in the conversation that had continued after the silence had been broken by Shilo's outburst.

The night wore on and she and I had managed to go at least two hours without talking to each other directly. We'd talked to each other if it involved the general chatter but hadn't directly spoke. We'd smiled at each other, or, to be more precise I'd smiled at her and she had looked at me with her sparkling eyes like I was a lost puppy.

I was still powering down the Scotch and lemonades and everyone else was getting to the point where they would go from laughing to yelling at each other in genuine rage and then laughing again. Arguments sprang forth about trivial matters and each of us voiced our opinions, despite some of the looks we were getting from other people who had chosen to have a quiet beer in the same pub as us.

By this time Murray was totally out of his gourd. He'd gone from pints to Pernod and Coke to double Jack Daniels and ice. The rest of the table wasn't much better. Someone suggested we decant from the pub and head around the corner to a nightclub called The Mission. The general consensus was that as we were on a mission ourselves the club sounded ideal so we threw on our coats, yelled to the bar staff to keep the rest of the kitty, left the pub and walked around the corner.

As we walked She came over to me and took my arm. "Hello." She said in her sweet Irish lilt.
"Hello." I said, kissing her hand gently.
"How are ya?" She asked.
"I'm surprisingly good now I've got a hold of something solid, something real." I replied.
"Yer maun looks like he's having a nice time." She said, pointing out Murray who was being carried along the road by Shilo and Kevin.
"Well, we like to send friends away with happy memories when they leave the Zoo. Even if those memories are only revealed to them through people telling them what they did. It's kind of a tradition." I said.

We arrived at The Mission and were told by the bouncers that we weren't going to be allowed in tonight as there was too many of us and Murray was plastered. I asked if I could speak to the manager in the vain hope that he was gullible enough to fall for the old "I want to speak to the Organ Grinder and not his monkey" routine and was told by the bouncer that the manager wasn't in.

"Look mate," I said, stepping into the doorway to get out of the rain that was dripping off the gutters far above and whispered into his ear. "The almost upright coma victim has just found out that his old girlfriend was killed in a massive car accident and we've decided to try to get his mind of it for a while. I will personally be held responsible if anything happens with our party, my name is John Anderson and I'm the Manager of the Catering Department at Edinburgh Zoo."

He looked down at me, he was a good foot and a half taller than I was, and apologised but there was nothing he could do. I reached into my pocket and held out two complimentary tickets to the Zoo that I had been given and offered them to him. "That's about thirty quids worth of tickets there if you take your family for out for a day to the Zoo man. Deal?" I said.

He looked at the tickets in my hand, taking a second to decide that he may be able to score some serious brownie points from his other half with a day at the Zoo and took them from me.
"No trouble, OK?" He said.
"If there is man, you can not only go to the Zoo for a day out but you can personally punch my head in." I said, knowing that I could handle the unruly, yet highly friendly, mob of drunkards that was practically frothing at the mouth behind me.

We headed into the club and took over a raised seating area, thanks to the bouncer telling the people that were seated there that we were VIP's and they were to find somewhere else to sit.

The evening wore on and all around me my co-workers got increasingly drunk by sitting drinking, or increasingly dizzy from dancing to the hits and horrors of the DJ. As I'm not a dancer I sat and chatted with anyone who was in a conversational mood and kept an eye on Murray, who despite being absolutely out of his mind on drink, was still attempting to drink more.

As the music changed, from dancing around like a loon music to snuggling up with your chosen clinch, She came over and sat next to me. She placed her petite hand upon my leg and smiled at me. "Ross, I'm very very drunk." She said,
"I'm not. I'm sat here with enough Scotch in me to kill a donkey but I'm still sober." I said.
"How?" She asked.
"Because I've been trying not to tell you what you know I want to... If that makes sense. Call it sobriety through stress." I said, taking a large drink from one of the two glasses in front of me. The lemonade had been decreasing in the measure steadily all night and by this time I was practically drinking straight scotch, and yet I couldn't feel the burn of the scotch in my throat.

"I'm leaving tomorrow." She said, suddenly. "I'm going back to Ireland, I'm going to finish my uni course there and yer maun and I are going to try to patch things up." I knew what she meant, as she had poured her heart out to me a couple of weeks previously. I looked into those deep brown oceans that were her eyes and told her that she didn't have to go back. "Stay here." I said. "With me."

"I can't. He loves me." She said, her eyes filling with fluid as though she was on the brink of tears. "Do you love him?" I asked.
"Yes, I'm just not sure if I'm in love with him. She replied.
"If you're not sure then you aren't." I said, stating what I thought was the logical thing.

"It's not that simple Ross... I have feelings for you and I have feelings for him, I'm falling in love with you but him and I have a history that I can't just walk away from." She said. The music in the club was off of our register and we heard nothing but each others voices as normality continued all around, but somehow apart, from us.

We inhabited the same space on the earth as about a hundred other people but we were not sharing the same place in the universe as they were. We floated on a different plane. Time meant nothing to me in that moment, space was merely an idea. The planets still spun and the sun still burned somewhere in the solar system but it was as though these things were no longer real.

"Did you say you're falling in love with me?" I asked.
"Yes, and that's why I have to go. I owe him the chance." She replied.
"And if it doesn't work out? Will you come back?" I asked.
"Please don't ask me that." She said.
"Why?" I enquired.

She looked directly into my eyes and I saw deep into her soul. I sensed that her heart was being torn into millions of tiny pieces by the situation and my heart broke knowing that I was partly the cause of such heartache. Our lips moved towards each others and we kissed.

As her lips gently touched mine my heart stopped. Inside my heart I knew that I could love this woman for the rest of eternity and it still wouldn't be long enough. The walls of the club floated out of vision and stars began twinkling in the suddenly and secretly revealed sky above us. Time stood still.

In the space of a nanosecond I saw it all. I saw our life together flash before my eyes. I saw many years of a life I would never live on this existential plane, many days of sleeping late on Sundays and making love all day, many decades of watching our children grow up, many months of happiness huddled in each others arms, many scenes, scenarios and sunsets that we would share. Together.

The kiss ended, my heart started beating again and reality flooded back. The walls of the club melted back into view and the stars that previously shone so brightly disappeared to be replaced by the house lights. I looked around and saw that the club was almost empty. Murray was passed out on the seat opposite, Shilo and Kevin were holding each other up, Graham was attempting to chat up a female member of staff and I was sitting wondering what had happened.

Shilo screamed across the dance floor. "It's five thirty in the fucking morning. I need to go home, I'm working at eight... Jeez I'm fucked." She turned to Kevin and said "Take me home and fuck my brains out you big fucking stud." Kevin replied to this by shouting Taxi at the top of his lungs.

As Kevin and Shilo walked to the exit I turned and looked at Murray. "I guess we have the job of getting this animal home." I said. I pulled Murray out of the chair and hauled him as upright as possible. A difficult task given that it was like carrying a blow up sex doll filled with water.

We left the club in the early light of morning and flagged down a passing taxi. I heaved Murray into the back of the cab, held the door open for Her and sat down behind the driver. I told the driver where we were going explaining that we were dropping the drunk off first and then we were headed to the colonies just off of Slateford Road.

We dropped Murray off by placing him on the doorstep of his house and drove towards Slateford Road. In the back of the cab She and I cuddled into each other silently. I couldn't think of what to say and she, I think didn't know what to say that could make this all easier for either of us.

The taxi pulled up to the curb and we got out. I paid the taxi driver and turned to face Her. As I looked at this raven haired Irish beauty shivering in the chill of early morning I knew I would remember this moment until the day I died.

"Do you want to come up for a coffee?" She asked. "He'd like to meet you."
"Pardon me?" I asked.
"He knows that we were going out tonight, I told him." She said.
"Ohh God." I said, wondering if he had seen the taxi pulling up and was, at this moment, making his way down the stairs with a mind to kick the living shit out of me. I knew he was capable of physical violence. "Don't worry, he doesn't hit men. They have a tendency to hit back." She said, reading my thoughts.

"So why does he want to meet me? I'd punch him in the head before I shook hands with him." I said. She looked at me with sadness in her eyes and I apologised for my seemingly lack of feeling towards her fragile state. "It bothers me that he did what he did. I can't help it." I continued.

"I think he'd feel better if you did. He knows he went too far and thinks if he gets punished that it'll all be fine with us again. But it won't. It'll just give him an excuse to do it again." She said, as I watched the stair door just in case.

I looked deep into her eyes and told her the thing that I had wanted to tell her. "I love you more than any man has ever loved any woman. I'd die for you, I'd kill for you and I'd walk a million miles to get to you if you want me." Then I turned and walked away.

Even now I am reminded of Her. I catch a glimpse of a petite raven haired woman and my heart skips a beat as the feelings I had for her flash and flood back into my heart. The small voice in my head asks the question "Is that Her?" and is always disappointed.

To Claire.

To kiss your lips, so soft and sweet
To bow with penitence at your feet
worshiping you like a goddess,
I longed to feel your loving caress.

I wish I felt you touch my hair,
to reach for you and feel you there.
Your hand in mine, joined forever.
Through sunny days and stormy weather.


It was back in the days...

Where my thinking was akin to flying a kite in a hurricane. The good old days...

Days when the sun shone and the birds sang. Days of long drinking sessions in the sunshine and long in-depth conversations on Life, the Universe and Everything during the cool nights. Scotch was my drink of choice in those days, served in a tall glass with no ice and lemonade.

That was the start of it. My drink problem. Not that it seemed like a problem at the time. That all came later when the scotch and lemonade somehow vanished and neat scotch from the bottle became their replacement.

I'd tried drinking pints, like my friends, but I didn't have the ability to quaff. The problem was that it took too long for me to get drunk on lager. The ABV was way too low. My body needed a higher dosage. Strong spirits were just the thing.

It usually happened the worst during the run up to New Year, the time of the year where Scotland showed the world that no-one parties quite like us...

After all, we were the country that spawned the modern thinking world; We'd discovered Penicillin, we'd brought electric light, we'd invented the glorious harmony that is the pneumatic tyre and tarmac, we'd given the world colour photography to capture images that would last far longer then the things photographed, we'd wrote the song that would be sung around the world when bells all around the globe chimed the New Year and we'd invented a device that would allow us all to let each other know answers to almost any question. Including the most important question of all... Where's the Party?

I'd go into training for the upcoming celebrations to allow myself time to prepare for the drinking and drugging that would be New Year. Training generally involved drinking heavily on the weekends in the month leading up to the big day. I'd go straight from work to the house of a friend who didn't mind me crashing out on the sofa-bed in his Grandmothers spare room so long as I brought her a couple of kippers and some Arbroath smokies to keep her pleased.

My friend would roll a couple of joints and I'd jump into the shower to get rid of the strong fishy smell that emanated from me due to my working as a fishmonger. I'd throw on the clean clothes that I'd stored at the house while the house filled with the smell of hash being burnt and kippers being cooked.

After showering and getting ready I'd wander into the back-bedroom where my mate would have a joint in the ashtray waiting for me and one already lit in his mouth. I'd light up and inhale deeply. After smoking my joint we'd leave the house and jump into the car, pausing only to pop our heads into the living room where his gran would be sitting in front of the TV tucking into kippers or smokies covered in butter.

As soon as the car engine was started the stereo kicked into life and all sixteen speakers would begin playing whatever music was in the tape deck. We'd pull away from the house in a squeal of rubber on tarmac and my heart would pound in my chest wondering where we would go on such a fine evening. If I had stopped to think about it I'd no doubt have been high on the possibilities alone, but stopping to think was nowhere near the front of my mind, so drugs were never far away.

Whatever drugs we had between us were communal. What was mine, was his, what was his was mine. The long standing hippy attitude was our unspoken chant, our mantra, our ethos. The usual drug list was hash and LSD with the occasionally guest appearance by speed.

After driving around to pick up the girls we'd head into town and meet up with the usual suspects. A big bunch of weirdos you wouldn't want to meet during the daylight, sober and straight, never mind on a weekend when they were out on the town out of their minds on booze, pills and potions.

Renton who was a little bastard whose lack of balls was astounding when it came to confrontations of any kind, Big G was a man mountain who looked like he could punch you so hard your grand kids would feel it, Andy was a rap fan who would quote rap songs as he smoked hash from a bong in the footwell of the car and Crawley was the driver who was about as socially interesting as a bucket of wallpaper paste.

Good People. Friends. Comrades in the Fight for Fun and Frolics.

Our mob of firm friends flew around the Edinburgh area like demons. Miles were racked up going to and from each others houses to round us all up and occasionally we'd fly off to South Queensferry, Longniddry or somewhere else far flung purely because someone suggested it. We'd drive side by side making rude gestures and shouting abusive banter, pass joints from car to car or throw lit fireworks at each other.

Speeds were always on the dangerous side of illegal and yet we were never caught speeding or had a large, horrible and possibly fatal accident of some kind.

It always seemed to me like there was some kind of magical force protecting us. It was as though the God of wild youthful debauchery was our guardian. It was watching over us and saying to Itself "Ohh for the love of me! You're not supposed to drive the wrong way around a roundabout just because it has a faster line than the normal way! I better make sure that there's not another car coming the other way." And It'd wiggle it's metaphysical finger and keep us from harm.

We were a danger only to ourselves and we knew how to balance each other out. Whenever someone, in an addled state, would suggest that we drive to North Berwick to dive from the cliffs into the harbour we'd go as far as driving to North Berwick but would always baulk at actually diving off the cliffs as it was too dark, the water was too shallow or we were too fucked up to be able to swim to the edge of the harbour. In other words, common sense prevailed most times.

Even when common sense didn't prevail there seemed to be some god or another looking down on us and ensuring our safety.

When a box fireworks were taken apart, their contents put into an empty bottle with an unwound Catherine Wheel as a fuse, exploded less than a foot from us we were somehow protected despite the flying glass shards that were caused by the bottle exploding but scraped the shit out of cars twenty feet away. The God of wreckless folly was no doubt looking down on us that day saying to It's fellow Gods "You gotta see the look on their faces when it goes bang. I only decided to protect them for the comedy value."

Our group would constantly take the piss out of each other. We'd abuse each other regardless of the fact that we each knew each others personal buttons to push to incite physical violence. We'd keep pushing each others personal paranoias until they became nothing more than an in-joke. We evolved each others perceptions and fucked with each others preconceptions. We did what came naturally.

Those were the days when anything was possible purely because we thought it was.


What the Fuck?

There's something desperately wrong with the smoke detector I have in my house.

Last night I was running a bath when the smoke detector began squealing, like a pig having a large cactus inserted into its arsehole, because the steam from the bath drifted along the hallway. This morning I almost set fire to the frying pan, while making my breakfast, filling the kitchen and hallway with acrid smoke and what did the smoke detector do?

Not a goddamn thing.

Should I be killed in a house fire please sue the living fuck out of whatever confederacy of dunces made the smoke detector.


It has to be said by someone...

And I'm just the person to say it...

Anna Nicole Smith was nothing more than a drug addled, money grabbing, cock munching whore.


Whatever happened to my youth?

It occurred to me today that if the Human lifetime is roughly 70 years then I'm what you could term officially middle aged. And that's not right. It can't be. I'm still a kid for fucks sake!

OK, OK, fair enough, I'm not a kid but I do spend most of my time acting like one so that kinda qualifies me as a yoof. For the love of Christ, I never owned a proper pair of dress shoes until last month when I had to buy a pair for a job interview. Surely that's a sign of my youth; Kicking about in trainers is quintessential to being young.

My wardrobe is a shining example of my youthdom... I own more T-Shirts with funny/offensive slogans on them than any other person I know, I have four hoodies, I constantly wear a baseball cap and the bottoms of my jeans are all tatty and ripped from them hanging over the bottom of my trainers.

Could it be that I failed to notice that my youth was over due to my destroying my memory in a fug of hashsmoke and far too many tabs of acid? Possibly. But I wouldn't change that for a second. And why? Well, because I enjoyed it far too much.

Youth is not an age nor is it a stage that we all pass through. Youth, my friends, is a state of mind.


I've been slightly paranoid...

Over the last week or so. The reasons for my paranoia are too many and varied to put a list of them up here so I'm not going to.

Suffice to say that the paranoia levels must have been higher than normal as I was driven to write "This is NOT a portal to an Alternate Dimension" upon the half length mirror that is propped against my wall and "No Entry to the Kingdom of Narnia" on the door to the wardrobe at the end of my hallway in black magic marker.

Another cool tool...

I found on Kelly Software is the rather nifty Icon Hider.

Icon Hider does pretty much what it says on the tin, it hides icons. Just run the .exe file and it sits in the system tray and allows you to hide or show all your desktop icons with the Ctrl and Alt buttons.

I like it.

While we're kinda on the subject...

Ever since I first saw The Matrix in the movies I've wanted a screensaver that did the whole green code thing and now I've got one thanks to Kelly Software.

It's a great screensaver that runs well, even on my bag of nails PC, has smooth graphics with a multicoloured code option and there is also the option of playing music when the screensaver kicks in.

To download The Matrix screensaver click here.

Tuesday Movies...

Today I whiled away a few hours by going on a DVD adventure.

At roughly 10am this morning I dropped out of my bed and stumbled through to the living room where my DVD player sat awaiting me. "Hello baby." I said as I popped the first film of the day into the drive.

As the introduction played I popped into the kitchen to stock up on the necessities for a day spent watching movies. Chili flavoured crisps and enough Dr Pepper to drown a manatee in hand I headed back into the living room and settled into my chair where I got myself comfortable and hit the menu button.

When the familiar green falling code of The Matrix slid down the screen I decided it was far too bright to be watching movies so I paused the Movie and went and grabbed a couple of bath towels. After I had draped the towels over the windows the living room was dark enough for me so I plonked back into my seat and hit the play button.

So far I've watched The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions and as I type this The Animatrix is playing.

It's been a long day but I've enjoyed it.


Monday Morning Music...

You might not think that Monday morning is the best time to talk about music, and you'd probably be at least a little correct due to the Monday Morning demons choosing the start of the week to use their powers.

But I'm not one to let little things like the Monday Morning demons get in my way... I did, after all, kill the famous spider Itsy Bitsy. Bring them on I say; I shall dance in their blood, I shall piss upon their limp bodies, I shall revel and cavort around wearing the skins of their young. Etc etc etc...

There are many ways to kill Monday Morning demons, I find a garotte to be the most enjoyable but if I'm pushed for time I'll use a ball-peen Hammer, but very few work as well as the tried and tested method of drowning them in sound.

Todays Monday Morning demons were dispatched by the following songs.
  • James Brown - I Feel Good.
  • House of Pain - Jump Around.
  • The Pogues - Fiesta.
  • The B52's - Love Shack.
  • Sir Mix Alot - Baby Got Back.
  • AC/DC - Thunderstruck.
  • The Pogues - Sally MacLennane.
  • Mint Royale - From Rusholme with Love.
  • Dee-Lite - Groove is in the Heart.

I've taken the desicion...

That perhaps it's about time I made this blog a bit more user friendly. So, in a bold and brave leap, I'm going to write a list of topics and what days throughout the week I'll be posting on these topics.
  • Monday - Music.
  • Tuesday - Movies.
  • Wednesday -
  • Thursday -
  • Friday -
Whether I stick to this or not isn't clear at this time.