Sunday, June 27, 2004


I've had the coolest weekend! On Friday term finished (woohoo!) and after work I drove up to Dundee to spend the weekend with a very lovely man who I met recently. He works in the Airforce, and on the Saturday he took me to see the base where he works. This weekend I sat in the pilot seat of a real live jetfighter - neat eh? I wouldn't have pegged myself as someone who'd get excited about a fighter plane - I'm pretty resoloutely pacifist for a start, but exited I most certainly was.

There's something very cool about being with smart people and talking with them about what they love: that's exactly how I spent Saturday afternoon - looking at these bewildering mechanical marvels with a man who knew them inside-out, and who wanted to share that with me... I couldn't help but be awe-struck by the powerful elegence of these aircraft, but the guy enthusiastically explaining all about them* was if anything even more impressive.

Dundee was (predictably) far less impressive than the airbase, but happily the company was first rate and all in all it's been a particularly memorable weekend - I'm really lucky to live a life that lets me meet such engaging people and have adventures like that...

*OK, not quite all about them - some bits were classified. It's a little disconcerting when someone says "I could tell you that, but I'd have to shoot you" and you know they're actually being serious.

Thursday, June 24, 2004


I just ironed a spider into one of my tee-shirts. I didn't mean to, and I'm not at all happy about it - I like spiders, and even if I didn't, being flattened by a gigantic hot metal plate seems a pretty horrid way to go.

Why am I ironing? well right now I'm not, I'm typing, but before that I was ironing because when I get started it always seems a good idea to go on ironing until either my will gives out, or I run out of things to iron (it's invariably the former.) I started ironing because I needed a particular shirt for work tomorow.

Tomorow at work is 'Prize Giving' so I have to get all dressed up - suit, tie, gown, hood... it's a stupid big fuss over nothing really, but I'm incapable of feeling anoyed about it since it marks the end of the accademic year! After tomorow there will be no teenagers in my work place, and it'll stay like that until the end of August! (With a bit of luck by then I'll be working somewhere else.)

... poor old spider.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004


It's raining. It's been raining pretty much all day, I could hear it when I woke up, it made me more-than-usually inclined toward staying in bed, but I got up because I'm good like that... or at least because mortgages don't generally pay themselves.

Rainy days at work aren't much fun - the kids wander about soggily, smelling of wet dog, and being more-than-usually* irritating. Put a rainy day at the end of term and you've got a recipe for a really difficult lunchtime. That having passed I'm now missing my bed even more than I already was.

This weekend (amongst other things) I watched Office Space which was good, (not quite as good as Clockwatchers but still pretty good) anyway if you haven't seen the film this'll make no sense, but on rainy lunchtimes my inner Milton mutters more-than-usually darkly... though not about staplers.

*there really should be a word for that. In fact I'm confident that there is... I should know it but I can't think of it and my brain's being all Wednesday-afternoon-ish and unco-operative, anyone care to help me out here?

Thursday, June 17, 2004


I gather this page is now (finally) rendering accurately in That Damned Browser (tm) - hurrah!

oh and an appology to 35% of the audience for griping about this since only about 65% of visitors are using IE

Wednesday, June 16, 2004


I did a stoopid thing earlier today. I edited my blogger template (in an attempt to fix a niggling width glitch with IE - that damned browser! why must you all use it?) and all the while I was thinking to myself how clever I was for backing up the blog page first... hadn't backed up the template though had I?

...of course I broke it in ways far beyond my limited html skills, and then realised my mistake. bah.

should be working fine now though a few font sizes have wandered and I've no idea what it looks like in IE...

amen to that!

well, actually to this but you know what I mean.

Happily I'm managing to avoid it most of the time, thanks in part to TiVo and my own media-reflexes which have been honed over the years to automatically tune out all this crap, but it still bugs me that this is what gets people (as in "...are bloody ignorant apes"* one of my favorite quotes) worked up. Yet take your pick of real issues, any one of a billion other things which are actually important, and nine times out of ten it's greeted with complete and utter apathy by the majority. bah.

...and don't get me started on reality TV

* Estragon, Waiting for Godot, BECKETT, Samuel

Monday, June 14, 2004


Well once again I'm politically relieved to be living North of the border - the results were declared for the European parliamentary elections last night, and this morning the headline news is that about 16% of the UK voted for the recedivist UKIP (whose core policy is withdrawal from the Union). 16% is hardly a mandate for change if you ask me, but it's making the headlines.

UKIP didn't really make much of a splash up here in Scotland, where very few people care for the idea of the United Kingdom anyway... in all honesty I doubt that's what these UKIP voters south of the border are worked up about either - for the majority of the English (myself included, until 1996) the terms "United Kingdom" and "Great Britain" are really just misused as synonyms for England.

...anyway I'm pleased that the Scottish electorate have no apparent interest in the rabid ramblings of Robert Kilroy-Silk et al., but the really overwhelming rush of relief comes from that fact that the fascist right-wing BNP had a suitably poor showing in the polls up here - down south I'm horrified to learn that the party which openly advocates a policy of deporting all non-white British citizens somehow garnered about 5% of the vote! that's disgusting England. Get your act together!

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Friday fun

'twas a mini Friday this week, just me, Liz, Hamish and Malcolm. We went for dinner at a little kebab shop that Hamish likes. I don't really, but I enjoyed it there this time - the food is good (and REALLY cheap) but it's a kebab shop and has all the atmosphere and ambience you'd expect... oh and drunken old men occasionally wander in. Usually this puts me off but last night it was OK *shrugs* the Felafel there is good.

After dinner we'd loosely settled on a plan of going to the Stand, to see stand up comedy - I'm surprised that I've never done that before, but I haven't. I should have: it was great! well three quarters of it was great, the other quarter involved being shouted at by an angry semi-coherent man from Fife who would not get off the stage... incredibly enough he was an act - we'd paid to see him. *shakes head*

Like I said the bulk of the night was incredibly good. Liz's blog entry goes into much greater depth on the comedy (she's something of an aficionado of stand up) and rightly so, I'll just say that if you ever get chance to see either Andy White or Tony Law perform you should go - they'll make you laugh a lot (and Tony's kinda sexy with it)


After the last act we left the Stand because we'd had to stand and it was hot. The four of us had an adventure involving a bus station, a spike with a box on top (turned out to be a church spire undergoing repairs) a crepe van, several phone boxes and some faked teleportation. There should be pictures showing up somewhere soon so I'll let you know where and when.

Now I've got visiting parents to go and get ready for. I like weekends.

Thursday, June 10, 2004


OK so they're late - sorry about that but the pictures of my jaunt to Knoydart and Rum are finally assembled into an online album and you can find 'em here

For anyone interested (and to satisfy my urge to make excuses) the delay was caused in part by my own laziness, in part by having about 130 images of the trip to wade through (and in some cases, amalgamate into panoramic shots), and in part by my own short-sightedness in building that section's graphical navigation - I've rebuilt it now to be easier to add to and hopefully the next album will be along shortly (they're kinda like buses...)

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

fun in a field!

Time for a brief update.

This weekend I had fun. Liz finished being a student at the end of last week so to celebrate/commiserate, we assembled in Holyrood Park on Sunday afternoon where there was cake and springy grass and a hill. Much silliness ensued. Liz blogged about it with some photos here and if all goes to plan I'll be putting up a bigger photo album of the day this evening. A great day was had by all and I feel we'll be doing more of that sort of thing this summer.

Yesterday and Friday evenings were spent hanging out at Hamish's place which was also fun. Yesterday it was just he and I sorting our lives out, while on Friday Anita and Karen were there too. I have good friends and I really like being with them.

Saturday nothing really happened apart from the Village Fete - which seemed to mostly consist of a very bad pipe band walking up and down outside my house for a while in the middle of the day, followed by a surprisingly good steel drum band mid afternoon... oh and some very drunk noisypeople at about 2am but that didn't matter because I was up late anyway.

Friday, June 04, 2004


I got passed a note in class today!

we're short handed so I'm occasionally covering lessons in the Fiction Library. One of the really lovely kids from last year's 'Project' (as opposed to the thoroughly rancid lot from this year) wrote me a letter - isn't that nice?* I realised it's been ages since I was in a position to have a note passed to me, not since first year English lectures with my friend Lara really...

I guess my habit of emailing with friends throughout the day is sort of like passing notes... as is this come to think of it - better get back to work before I'm given a detention.

*no it's not disturbingly "don't stand so close to me" at all. It's nice.