Friday, August 19, 2016

Is it me?

So just now I was walking home from the office. A big project ran on late.

I was happy to stay back and work on it. I love my job.

Walking home I go through the meadows, and (as usual) I avoid the main drag in favour of the less well used path beside Melville Drive. I like it. It's quiet.

Halfway home I spot a couple ahead. They're moving a little slower than I am but I'm not worried. They're a couple for one thing so I won't spook them, but also they seem solid. Big. Manly...

I get closer and see that I'm behind two men. Two large manly men. Two large manly men who are holding hands as they walk.

I love this.

I want to hug them just for being there.

I'm going to pass them soon.


How do I tell them how amazing they are without being weird. I mean, I'm seeing them as me, I'm almost 40. I still relate to the world through that filter... but "large manly men" might be as young as 20, or younger. For them this might be unremarkable.

My heart skips a beat.

This might be unremarkable.


It might not though.

It's dark, we're on a lightly used path, these men might just as easily be my age. They might be as aware as me of how miraculous and beautiful their simple, quiet, inoffensive act of togetherness is.

I need to acknowledge it.


I know. That's idiotic. I still do.


I pass them. I hold out my arm at right angle to my body and I make an emphatic thumbs up. I hold it for 30 seconds. And I let go.

I love these men. Whoever they are, whether or not they saw my gesture of solidarity, whether or not the understood it. I love that they exist.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Happy blogday

It was this poor neglected little blog's birthday on Monday. 13 years ago I began this infrequent rambling sequence of thoughts and observations.

13. Years.

How'd that happen? It's apropos nothing, I just have it in my calendar and never remember to do anything about it, so in characteristically tardy fashion happy birthday little blog o' mine.


Why yes, I am struggling to compose my thoughts on recent events, how'd you guess? I'm working on it...

Thursday, April 28, 2016


Amazing weekend was had with Justin and Ivan.

Justin's written it up and posted some of the photos here.

Not sure how it's happening - since my conscious efforts to improve my fitness always seem to fall on their face - but I think I'm fitter than I was. The steep ascent of Lochnagar with ice axes was definitely challenging (really Patrick, don't look down!) but I wasn't wiped out afterward, and I had to use my arms! (if you've seen my arms you'll understand why that's astonishing). Fun to find you can do more than you thought you could, especially when it feels like you've been a lazy slug all winter.

Also fun to find my malfunctioning digestive system doesn't ruin the weekend for me. When I'm careful. And medicated. Not going into grizzly details, but the past few months have had plenty of days/weeks when the idea of being out of the house all day (let alone up a hill!) was unthinkable thanks to what we'll gloss over by calling a grumpy gut. Thanks to the efforts of the NHS on that front I was fine all weekend which also felt like a triumph.


Revisiting Aberdeen with Justin was fun, Ivan's patience with our nostalgia trip was admirable, and even though they've changed things [mutters darkly about car parks and the A90] there's a deep fondness for the place which came back in spades from being there. Must visit properly some time.

As I said, Just has put loads of pictures up so you can see more there but my favourite from the weekend is probably this one, taken from the summit after the whiteout cleared and we could see the Cairngorms (and beyond) spread out in all their snowy splendour.

More of that.

Monday, February 08, 2016

It's in here somewhere...

... a post about a lettuce that someone thought was a cabbage. I think it was quite a good one too (the post. The lettuce was a lettuce) but I'm buggered if I can find it now*. 13ish years worth of waffle and no search function... I'd put one in but a: I don't like search functions on websites and b: it would rob me on evenings like this re-reading assorted random posts. Which is after all what they're for. :)

It helps if I remember to write posts now and then mind you.

So at work (job2) today Clyn found her way here while I was blethering about what I'm doing with work (job1) and Adam said nice things about one of the posts he'd read and it all reminded me I wanted to get back in the habit of posting here (plus ├ža change - if there was a search function I could tell you how many posts start with ramblings about how long it's been since I posted). That and yoga. I wanted to get back in the habit there too... I'm managing intermittently. I expect this'll be the same.


First bit of news is that I'm in the slow-ish process of untangling my work life from this place. I'm moving it over to this place and refocussing my freelance business (aka "job1") a bit. The past five years I've muddled along alright as a jobbing designer, but the market for logos and websites is awfu' crowded and the blunt truth is I don't make nearly enough to live doing it (hence there being a job2). Over the festive break, with some incredibly insightful and helpful input from some of my many talented and wonderful friends and relations, a plan crystallised: a rebrand and a refocus, in no small part prompted by some of the rewarding work I'm doing for Alyn just now (more about that later but not in this post - 's under wraps). Mainly though it's about refining what I do into what I do that not any other designer could do. I'm excited about it.

More about that will appear in time over at and in the spirit of reclaiming for personal stuff I shall now shut up about work.

There that's not work. I finally got past my block (induced by attempting to recreate a clear blue Japanese sky in my scruffy impressionistic daubings) and I'm pleased with the result. Next up is a bigger 3 canvas bit. That'll either be a leafy waterfall or one of the Sandwood Bay sunset photos I took a while back writ large - leaning toward the latter as I keep picturing the waterfall with sunlight and that gets me back to those tricksy blue skies... The finished one isn't staying on the floor - in fact it's up on the wall now - but there was proper daylight when I finished it and the snap I took just now came out muddy. Which it isn't, so you're getting good light and bad focus instead.

Oh and I sent my sister a photograph of a toothbrush at the weekend (well it wouldn't be my blog if I weren't ocasionally intentionally cryptic for my own future amusement).

*There is of course a perfectly excellent search function here on the editing end of the blog. The Lettuce happened in November 2011