last updated March 21, 2010

Take Jesus - Take Marx - Take Hope

There are somethings in life, I now realise, that aren't going away. I always used to think, for example, that my infatuation with the Housemartins (the first band I independently got into and fourth best band in Hull) would wane if not entirely dry up, just as was the fate of the band. The memories go back to not only playing the cassette on my walkman on the way to York on our school trip in primary seven, but indeed to when I first heard the band on radio, driving back from a barbeque with my dad's work circa 1985.

I've now realised that as much as I have time for the current bands in my life like Midlake, Fleet foxes and even a bit of Kanye West (I like to pronounce his name Kayne and have people correct me) I still find myself getting excited about finding a Housemartins vinyl in a charity shop: in the past week I have found Caravan of Love 12" in Help the Aged in Peebles followed by London 0 Hull 4 LP in Oxfam, Stockbridge. Quite a week for me as my affair with the band who taught me to button my shirt to the top and wear white socks regardless of trouser length, continues.


Posted by stupot at 12:31 PM Sunday 21 Mar


My opinion of the NHS changes like the wind. Today I had a physiotherapy appointment in Gorgie, just behind the Hearts Stadium, by the train tracks. A completely unremarkable place with a lovely group of people working within. I'd waited six weeks for an appointment (my original complaint had to be dealt with privately or I would have either become addicted to cocodamol or been unable to earn a living) so I made the most of this by finding out about knee pain which is a regular occurrence especially during winter exercise. I was fully examined and then given stretch exercises to work on for two weeks. My enthusiasm for the elegance of the bedside tables was not fully appreciated by the therapist who smiled politely at me. I mean - check out the splay on those legs!


Posted by stupot at 05:30 PM Friday 19 Mar

I Like the Royal Mile

There, I said it - shoot me.
Most locals either dislike it, put up with it or just avoid it.
I'm not technically a local though, so I don't abide by those rules.
I've never lived in a city this beautiful - somewhere thousands flock to everyday just to see the grandeur. When you've lived in less attractive places (even if they may have more charm and character) you learn to appreciate beauty. In mid summer and during the festival, walking through the middle section of the Mile can be like having a dance in a phone box so you do need to exercise caution. For the past year or so and mainly due to traffic disruptions, I have ploughed a course east, through the city via the mile - which has been increasingly enjoyable as I've learned to slow down to a tourists pace and enjoy the living museum around me. Thanks, mum and dad, for the replacement watercolours!


Posted by stupot at 04:34 PM Wednesday 17 Mar

Tram workers

I had 10 minutes to kill whilst I waited for my prescription. As my Chemist sits on the old west approach road from Haymarket to Princes Street, it's a perfect place to watch the tram work happening: which appears to be a lot of guys making sense of layers of cabling and pipework from different eras. (They uncovered a mass grave on Leith walk last year - now, whilst I'm not in agreement with the works in general, and get a bit frustrated with their unfastidious approach to managaing time and money - digging up a mass grave must bugger up your deadlines a bit). Everyone wears fluorescent jackets on site. Gaffers have clean ones with a blue border which reminds me of the tiling on stairwells in Glasgow closes. There are three colours of helmet which I am also curious about.


Posted by stupot at 05:23 PM Monday 15 Mar


For Laura's birthday we decided to scoot over to Arran after 2 late nights of celebrating other birthdays. There really is something about conception in June: there are 3 close friends on three consecutive days this weekend. Then Mum's. As well as the one's I forgot.
We arrived, bathed in sunshine and headed for the Standing Stones at Machrie. A picnic of local pork pie, scotch egg, crisps and skoosh and we were on our way - walking via the Kings cave to Blackwaterfoot, an incredible sunset and scallops with black pudding and mussels. We were the only ones on the bus back to Brodick and rested well. Monday morning and the sun shone hard - Auchrannie revealing itself to be positioned right at the bottom of the Glen. The snow made us feel like we were in the Alps.
I wouldn't have gone if I'd remembered how much you want to stay. Bliss.

arran ferry

Posted by stupot at 09:04 PM Tuesday 9 Mar


A lovely Interview with Britain's main man illustrator - a good reason to watch channel 4 for your news if you don't already.

Posted by stupot at 11:36 AM Friday 5 Mar

Vuelta a Andalucia

This was drawn in the village of El burgo, over an impressive descent from Ronda in Andalucia. We went to watch the big boys gruelling through a very unseasonally wet tour. The day stayed dry though, and we sat on a roundabout eating a picnic as locals gathered. Finally the peleton sped through and the small village returned to a much more leisurely pace. We returned to ride the mountain 2 days later - a combined ascent that day of 2600m. Emotional.

vuelta a andalusia

Posted by stupot at 02:48 PM Thursday 4 Mar