Category Archives: ”Neither Trumpets nor Drums!’

The Tiredness will come out

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I had an interesting chat with someone today about tirdness. I was describing to her, that, when I have a day off I feel more tired sometimes than during, or even at the end of, a work day. This is how she replied, “My mother always used to say the tiredness will come out of you”. We had a wee laugh about it and after finising our conversation, I left to walk into town. Walking through The Meadows, I began to mull this over in my mind and some images popped into my head. I imagined The Tiredness as a little nugget of concentrated stuff in the very pit of my gut, like a vacumn packed wee thing that was ready to burst out of me when immersed in the correct medium. A little airbag waiting to go off, a self inflating life raft that bursts into shape the minute it touches water, a concentrated capsule of washing liquid waiting to whoosh through gallons of water. Having a day off, or a little holiday creates just the right habitat for The Tiredness to be activated. Then once it has escaped it becomes a monstrous entity that engulfs you completely. Spring kind of has a way of making you feel a bit exhausted, it shouldn’t but it does. All that blossom bursting out. All the birds and insects squeaking, buzzing, flapping and scurrying. We emerge from winter wanting sweetness and warmth, but instead we get busy-ness and bonkers behaviour. Everything is rushing out of itself, and into the fresh air. Escaping like trapped wind, with lots of noise and bluster. I do like spring, I do, but it does sometimes make, the Tiredness come out of me leaving me somewhat inert.

 

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Last Night in Twisted River

Dear John Irving

I just finished reading Last night in twisted river this morning, having tried to finish it last night and had to put it down to save one more bit till this morning. Like the end of all good reads I felt bereft and a bit lost, as if a relationship had come to an end, which I suppose it had, but the oddest part was the dream I had after falling asleep for one more little nap before I got up. It was a sort of recovery nap to ease me through the limbo of finishing the book and entering my own real world again. The dream was similar to a lot I have had all through my life, I go back to a house that I loved and lived in as a child, wander round the rooms and then have some kind of talk with my mother or an old school pal discussing why this or that piece of furniture is in the wrong place, or I go looking for food and can’t find any, or I try to pack some clothes in a bag but can’t decide which ones. All fairly normal dream behaviour. This dream was different, firstly my mother was not there at all, nor any other long deceased family members, also the house looked sort of spruced up a bit, with a few exceptions like large plants in the kitchen and the weirdest thing of all, no pictures hanging up. I am an artist and my mother and father were, if not themselves artists, very much lovers of art, so to have no pictures was odd, but when I looked closer at the spaces on the wall there were hooks waiting for pictures. It was this part of the dream that made me remember it when I came through to my own living room this morning. I looked around the room and noticed a lovely wee picture my sister made for me leaning on a side table and I immediately thought of the picture-less walls in my dream and for a split second thought “Ohh that is where I can hang that picture, in the kitchen…..” then reality kicked in and I realised I’d tried to place the picture on a dream wall! When I thought about the dream again I remembered the really different thing about this ‘usual’ dream was that this time I knew the house was somehow mine now, and not my parents house. Maybe this is just the final part of growing up and growing older I am 55 and have no parents anymore I am the older generation now. The dream probably was reminding me of this, but the picture bit…. that was the unnerving part. I am a visual artist but have not been making real paintings for a while, I tend to take more photographs these days, which I love doing… but I think I am telling myself to make art that can hang on the wall even if it is just my own kitchen wall.

To get back to the book though, I know why this book triggered so many odd thoughts in my overloaded little brain. The book spans a 50 year period, going through tragic things and lovely things, in a kind of long, running away, road trip kind of a way. I am 55, to me it described the amount of time I have been on this planet. It was not really describing my life, but the way it described the main relationships, reminded me of family members and friends, the ones I have known all my life. It stirred me up I suppose, and made me look at things buried in my log jam of a brain and maybe a few logs have jostled loose and are careering down the river. Writing is very hard but very worthwhile, some words flow along the page like racing canoes, and others stutter along, get stuck and idle in circles till waterlogged and mouldy. Looking for the right words and sentences is like panning for gold, you sift through buckets of silt until you spy the shiny wee nugget, just waiting for you at the bottom of the pile.

Writers are courageous and outsiders, they have to be, to view the chaos and comment on it. You have to organise all the muddy dross in your brain and try to squeeze out good pure water. This is what everyone should do, write about things, so you can free up your mind for living life. I ruminate, I go over things in my mind again and again with no real conclusion, that’s what ruminators do, ( sorry I don’t know if that is a word it sounds more like a dinosaur, ruminator velocoraptor!) ruminators over think things without getting anything properly out of their brains and into the air. I want to write more, but mostly I don’t, I will try to make it a New years resolution to write more, but I won’t hold my breath on it.

I think water is the thing to set me off if I am going to write. I always have great thoughts in the shower, the negative ions just sloughing away all my bad positive ions and letting my synapses free of the tyranny of overloaded electricity, works every time. Being by the sea does the same thing, I can understand why writers often seem to take long walks or swims or boat trips on the sea. Rivers and lochs are a bit different they awake a different kind of sprite, a more mischievous and unruly being. River water is more confined than the sea, and water confined is always trying to escape, it knows where it wants to go and nothing will stop it. Whatever you do to control it will not truly conquer it, you have to negotiate with it and make it your ally. A long time ago I read The River Why, by David James Duncan, and although a bit sentimental at times, it is a good read, funny and sad at the same time. It was also just right for the 30 something person that I was then. I think Last night in twisted river is kind of, just right, for the person I am now, an older parent who worries a lot and also finally, really understands her own parents.

The character I love best in the book is of course Ketchum, who I suspect we are all meant to love best, and I think you John Irving, loves best. He is partly my mother I finally understand, and a lot of my brother, but he is mostly me! (My own father is Cookie, he was the best cook in our family, but sadly died long before he ever saw my beautiful daughter). I’m not a woodsman but I do like dogs, I can’t split logs but I do love wood fires, I don’t live on my own but I can be very solitary, I do have wordy rants at the telly and news media, I do love my friends and family fiercely, but I am maybe not always best at showing it.

Funny how you really just read your own life into a book, you have to relate it to known things, to best enjoy it. I had not read a John Irving book since Until I Find You, which was great because it all started off in Edinburgh, so had a good link for me. I really enjoyed Twisted River, as I have enjoyed all your books John Irvine, but this one really arrived in my lap just at the right time. Middle-age is a funny thing, you don’t realise you’ve gone through it till you are nearly out the other end of it. I think I just have to accept I am definitely in the third trimester of my life and should start doing some stuff before it is too late! Thank you John Irving for a bit of a kick up the ass and not letting myself wallow in ‘mountains of moose shit’ as Ketchum might say.

yours sincerely

Susie Paterson

PS this post took me 3 hours to write painfully slow I know, how about that for squeezing out mud to get pure water! or maybe I’ve just made runny mud!

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The Crucible… or… ‘how not to dress at the Levenson enquiry’

Dear Lord Jusice Levenson

So Rebecca…sorry Rebekahh..(witches name if you ask me even her outfit today was very crucibleish) Brooks had to explain to poor old David what lol meant!!, come on missy his wife was chief excec of a major firm responsible for trendying up an old brand, and your not telling me his kids haven’t long ago told him what lol meant, no it was prissy missy Brooks that enlightened him, and why the hell did she think he meant lots of love in the first place!!!

She certainly has all the old boys on her side and she knows how to work them best…apart from ex hubby Ross Kemp who she allegedly beat up, then when arrested nice old Rupert sent her a dress to the jail so she had something nice to go home in. Perhaps the Burlesque costume wasn’t appropriate for the nick!

Now her favoured attire is like something from Arthur Millers the Crucible with her pilgrimy collar and cuffs and black garb, does she think that we think, someone blessed with the worlds most active PR team at her beck and call (lol by the way), would not know exactly what to wear to work the room.

I find it very telling that the one recent Prime minister not to fall under her spell and be on texty terms with, was good old Gordon, he was not taken in by her guile and flattery. He could tell a real witch when he saw one.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-18032027

Yours Hocus Pocusly

Soopooh

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Speaking to a good ghost about Flash (software not Gordon)

Dear Steve Jobs

I know you are dead but if there was any way of truly contacting you, this would be it, my blog created for purely altruistic reasons.

I have been wondering why the lovely ipad, (which I sadly do not posses yet), does not support Flash, and in your very clear letter ( please click here) on the apple site, I have been made completely aware of the reasoning behind it. Your sombre sane thoughts, and knowledge on the matter, reassured me of something that had been niggling at me for some time. I know that Acrobat is still a common tool for printers, and common for forms and e-booking on the web, but after reading this article about adobe I realise there has been a bit of a smokescreen with this product and everyone’s dependency on it, makes it the millstone around our designery necks in a way. As a Creative, or just as a visually orientated person, I of course use all the products in the ‘Adobe Suite of Creations’, anyone who loves photography as I do, would know that photoshop is the first ‘go to’ product in the Suite. However I am not sending this letter into the ether to discuss techno stuff that I should know, but do not have much passion for, I am sending it as simple acknowledgement of a man who really cared about people more than things and experience rather than cost. In the rather bleak and doom filled present, it is good to think about positive, supportive, creative and human pursuits in all areas of one’s life, that can be built upon for the collective futures that our children will inevitably inherit.

yours sincerely

Soopooh

The Flash

 

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Visual Indulgence

After reading an article about cyber mood boards/ visual tagging, I have investigated 2 websites that offer this service. The one I like best so far is indulgy.com not just because of the cute name but it seems to be more user friendly and looks better too.

The concept of this newish phenomenon appears to be aimed at anyone really but I do notice a lot of bridey types collecting hordes of bridey objects like rings and dresses, but maybe like Rachel in friends they are just ordinary girls who just obsess about these things anyway. The things I have been collecting are more arty architecturey stuff but you will see some consumerist guff in mine too. I have not had time to sort out my collections and at the moment have just got things listed under collections already named by the creator.

This is PINTEREST, which is a bit slower to pin stuff perhaps, but with effort comes quality, I have a feeling this is the more grown up version of visual tagging, it calls the sections you choose ‘boards’. inferring that perhaps designers and arty people use this whereas indulgy calls them ‘collections’.

Well  you can be sure that I will be doing quite a bit of this pinning activity(each site has a handy toolbar button to make it so easy to pin stuff), I have always wanted a huge pin board and now I think I might have 2 at once!

yours cyber pin in hand

Soopooh

 

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The art of being human

Dear Toby Whitehouse

Well done you have made the new series of being human funnier and more human than the last one. The thing that is good about this vampire, ghost, werewolf thingy is that they are all trying desperately to be human despite their otherness, so much more appealing than all the other vampire/horror stuff that swamps the media right now.  Hal the new hunk, replacing extremely annoying and oddly unfashionable Mitchell, is very much more appealing & interesting than the previous alpha male, and because he is not besotted with Annie (ghost), as Mitchell was, his role in the series is much more watchable.

If Being Human is an allegory of a crumbling society clinging to the desperate hope of remaining human in an inhumane world, I think Annie is sort of an allegory for the internet. She keeps everyone in the house at Honlulu heights connected to each other, (admittedly by making copious cups of tea and some severe nagging), and although she is a ghost and not solid matter she still has a strong physical presence and power over the people around her.

Being a human being is much harder than anyone thinks, it is so easy to rely on stimulants and rituals to keep us from going truly bonkers. Blood /alcohol, computer games/DIY, they all are things to keep the beast in us sated.

like Dustin Hoffman was told by his surrogate native American father in Little Big Man, it can take a whole lifetime to learn how to be a true human being.

In being human you never really know who your enemy is, the police force seems to be full of Vampires, the most evil of the current vampires being an up and coming solicitor CUTLER with political ambitions, who sounds suspiciously like Mark E Smith from The Fall. Unlike the usual dastardly villain he is all the more dangerous as he truly knows the power of Twitter and other similar social communication networks. Another thing I love are the guest characters that come in and out, like last week the teenage Adam and his middle aged, school mistress, girlfriend Yvonne (Selina Griffiths who’s mum in real life is Annette Crosbie from, ha ha! one foot in the grave), who was really a succubus!

All in all it makes for brilliant compulsive viewing and makes me look forward to Sunday evenings. I have linked another blog site to let you know who else is as hooked as I am.

telly sqwuaks

yours goulishly

SooPooh

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The Water of Leith & Maude the dog

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Well…. last Sunday was a very nice day for a walk, and so we decided to walk from The Gallery of Modern art to Stockbridge, along the Water of Leith.

There were lots of beautiful snowdrops and loads of ivy covered trees. There were lots of people walking lots of dogs, but the best dog was Maude, who could hardly help walking on her ears they were so long!

We got to Stockbridge and there was a food and soap and sushi and cappuccino and trinkity open market very lovely but rather outwith the normal sized purse.

Anyway… a lovely day was had by all I think.

 

yours contentedly

Soo pooh

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Fish-head in Tollcross…strawberries in Bruntsfield.

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Dear Tollies (esteemed residents of Tollcross)

I was innocently going about my lunchtime business, foraging for sandwiches and rushing to the Post office, all the usual lunchtime scurriement, when I happened upon what I thought was a surrealist’s prank. There it was… a huge fish-head minus fish body, lying on the pavement looking for all the world like a Dennis the Menace set up. I actually looked around me for the snickering individual who had perpetrated this gory occurrence. No one seemed to be skulking nearby, in fact nobody else appeared to notice this object of of arch oddness, so of course I whipped out my trusty cybershot and documented the freaky vision. A day or so later I was given some lovely strawberries bought from a retail establishment on the very border between Tollcross and Bruntsfield and this lovely crop of fresh strawberries seemed to contrast completely the odd pescatory experience from only days before. They say the past is another country, well I think your neighbouring community is another country, perhaps sometimes another planet.

I love both Bruntsfield and Tollcross and I am very glad of the diverse delights that both areas offer me and countless others, but sometimes I feel like I have walked through an invisible stargate around about the bus stop at the Links.

Yours beammeupscottyish

Soo pooh

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Bailey of Bruntsfield

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Our family has a second furry friend, (Jude the cat is the first), who was welcomed to our Bruntsfield home this Saturday. He is called Bailey, a name he was given before we even bought him, which meant spending a precarious minute or three with in the pet shop, with the man asking which hamster, from the large furry ball of hamsterness, we wanted to pick. We first spied an all black one who seemed cute but the minute the guy put his hand in the glass cage to get him, he changed into a wee dark demon. So next please! There was another pretty, cute wee thing that was black and white and fairly fluffy, but he scurried off in a mad looking way so not him either, Then we saw Bailey!… he was in the corner not looking mad or bad, but ,sensibly, just a bit scared of the huge hand waving around in his house. We had already bought his lovely space age house with handy carry unit/cosy bed, so we were all set to go.

Bailey is now settling into his new home very well, and has easily found all the different parts of his fabby hamster home. He seems to really like his bed pod at the top of his house, and there in his little hamster crow’s nest he enjoys a snooze, a yawn and a bed-making scurry.

Welcome to Bruntsfield Bailey!!!!

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More for four

Dear Channel four peeps

Thank you for a nice new logo it is lovely and spring like but subtley cute, it also looks very good in grayscale very silent movie of the moment theme thingy.

this is a link to it  and the company making it are called ManvsMachine who are very interesting too. I like the way it is being used in the little promo films in the flikry train timetable  flapping sign type way. It is also a bit like a shipping semaphore thingy too. It makes me want to do more branding design…. which is good…. and bad, good in that I love branding work, I think it is my fave graphic design thing next to advertising. Bad in the way I don’t have any real branding projects just now but I feel Karma will give me one soon.

yours artly

Soo…..artyparty…… pooh

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