The Pink Guitar – 11 November 2015

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe day started with a final attempt to cover the rogue canvas in glory, if not paint. I took Scamps advice and ditched the greens and greys and went ahead with bright reds and oranges. I also did most of the work with a painting knife rather than brushes. A much better, looser result. Not brilliant, but an improvement on what was there before.

Today we went to Glasgow to buy a new dishwasher. Nothing fancy, just a simple machine that will wash dishes without bells or whistles. I don’t really care, just as long as it does its job and protects me from washday red hands.

Had lunch in Pulcinella and although the service was slow, the food was good, and that’s what matters. Coffee in Cafe Nero later, then we had to pay the exorbitant parking in the Concert Hall. I only wanted to park, not buy the building.

Getting ready to batten down the hatches for the first storm of winter tomorrow. Oh what fun.

Following the Yellow Brick Road – 11 July 2015

We had decided to go to IKEA today. I hate IKEA, especially the fact that you have to follow the yellow brick road with little arrows under your feet to tell you how to traverse this enormous warehouse. However, loaded with a host of things we hadn’t planned on buying, but agreed we couldn’t do without, we left with a bag of Swedish Meatballs. All was not lost!

From there we went to Decathlon. From the sublimely organized to the ridiculous. I simply cannot understand how this place continues to draw in customers and revenue. When we went in, a father was explaining to his son why the warning bells were ringing. He told his son it was to warn the security that someone was trying to steal something. Why on earth would anyone want to steal anything from here. The place is full of cheap looking own-brand sports goods with the occasional recognisable brand. Every time I leave feeling disappointed and disillusioned.

P7110136- blog--192.jpgWe stopped in Glasgow city centre for a cup of coffee and to buy some art stuff. We also picked up tickets for the Randy Newman concert in October. Tickets were a wee bit more expensive than we’d expected, but I expect Mr Newman needs to supplement his pension somehow. I managed to get a few shots from the steps of the Concert Hall, so that kind of made up for it. P7110143- blog--192.jpg Before we went home, I also managed to pick up one other little extra. When we got back to the car, it was to find that some kind bastard had scratched the front wing with their bad attempt at parking. This Megane must be the unluckiest car I’ve ever had.

Dinner tonight was a carry-out courtesy of Bombay Dreams. It’s been too long since we’ve had such a good curry. We’ve even got some for lunch tomorrow. How’s that for abstinence?

A busy day – 9 June 2015

Up and out to the gym. The start of a busy day. An hour of tranquility and a great expenditure of energy. I think it’s best to go the gym in the morning. It’s only us old retired folk that are there at that time. Back and the next thing on the agenda was a visit to the nurse for my test results. Thankfully they were good, in fact very good. BP down, cholesterol down, kidneys good and liver good. Best of all, I’ve lost 2Kg since last year. I think it was the gym that did it.

Final thing on the list was to take the Temperamental Tamron in to Glasgow to get it sent away to be repaired/replaced. No problem there, the lens performed its little staggering focus trick and as the girl in the shop had the same model herself, she recognised the things were not right with it. It will be away for a week or two, but that’s not a problem because I’m becoming used to the Black Beast and its wily ways. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I understand it, but I’m beginning to get there … I hope!

DSC_2715- blog-160.jpgOn the way back to the car, I spotted the tree (or bush to be precise) growing out of the window lintel. I thought it would make a decent shot, but I think the lighting wasn’t good enough. It’s all about the light you know. Have I said that before? ūüėČ Anyway, I decided to keep it in because of it’s incongruity. Almost at the carpark, my eye was caught by the reflection of the flats at St Mungo’s Place reflected in John Lewis’ window. I couldn’t really get the place I wanted to get the width of the reflection, but I liked what I got.

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Home to a sirloin steak for dinner!

A wet day in Glasgow – 6 June 2015

When we woke this morning it was raining. It seemed to rain on and off all day in Glasgow. It rained when we came home and it rained almost all evening. It’s not raining now. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s empty.

We decided to go in to Glasgow. We had decided during the week that it would be a good idea and Scamp suggested that we go in by train which is quite quick and convenient – I don’t have to drive, so that’s P6065437- blog-157.jpg a bonus. What we forgot was that the Grand Orange Order of Scotland or whatever they call themselves were having a party in George Square in Glasgow to celebrate ….. the fact that it was raining or anything else. When we got to Queen Street Station, the party was in full swing. The banners were blowing in the wind and the marchers were having a great time, marching. I watched for a while to see if there was anything the new Oly would like to take a picture of. Eventually it chose to photograph one of the drummers trying to stick the drum sticks to his nose, to make a kind of wooden moustache. Why do these marching drummers always attempt to force the drumsticks up their nose? I’ve never understood that. The other thing I’ve never understood was the Orange Lodge. However, they seemed to be enjoying themselves today marching up and down George Square in Glasgow … in the rain! Oh, then some bloke, the Grand Poobah or something started into a long speech about something, but as he was speaking to ‘friends’ and we didn’t know him, we left. We went to see what was happening in the old fruit market. The answer was ‘not much’. It seemed that the stall holders were outnumbering the punters, so we left to go to a wee cafe Cranberry’s (I’m not sure why that apostrophe is there. Maybe the owner is Mr or Mrs Cranberry). Great coffee and jam scone. That may be unimportant to you, but to us, soaked to the skin (slight exaggeration) it was the highlight of the day so far.

We walked down a canyon leading from the affluent Merchant City to the realism of the east end P6065439- blog-157.jpgof Argyle Street and around the City Centre for a while Had lunch in the quite excellent, but also very quiet Charcoals. You really have to see the number of awards this place has had. All authentic too. It is the best and most consistently good curry shop I’ve been to in Glasgow.

On the way back to the station, we passed this bloke with the guitar who was playing grungy thrash metal. The man in the hat casually walked right up to him and stared P6065445- blog-157.jpg him straight in the eye. There was a standoff for a few minutes, then they both relaxed and the conversation started.

I wondered if they knew each other.

Did they have something in common?

Was the man in the hat interested in learning how to play thrash metal guitar?

Was the guitarist asking the man where he got those cream chinos?

That’s what a photograph does, it shows one microsecond of life and allows you to decide what was going on.

Deep or what, eh?

Train back and it was still raining. The fairies say it will be dry tomorrow, and the fairies always tell the truth.

An Uneventful Sunday – 31 May 2015

I’d hoped to get out cycling again today, but the weather was against it as predicted by the weather report last night. High winds, gusty high winds which is worse and squally rain. Up at 8.00 to put on my dinner – pork osso bucco in a red wine sauce. Why such an ungodly hour of a Sunday morning? Well, it was so it could be slow cooked for about 6 hours. After that, I did a bit of painting. Just a couple of sketches. See below. I don’t see them setting the art world afire with their beauty or demonstration of skill, but they’re mine and I’m quite pleased. I’ve seen fit to display them below. Please don’t download them and colour print them. Giclee dear, giclee. Printing is for letters and spreadsheets.IMG_2576-Edit- blog-151.jpg

Dancing later this afternoon at the Garage and for once I really did enjoy it. On the way to the Garage, I passed this lane and decided to add it to my album entitled “Peein’ up closes and lanes” on Flickr. The title comes from “The Copper’s Song” by the late Hamish Imlach. Just another wee bit of nonsense. When we came out, I saw a better shot, but there was a bloke pacing up and down the lane and I didn’t want folk asking any awkward questions. “Here mate, whit ur ye daein’?” “Is that a camera or a fone?” “Gonnae gie us yer fone mate or dae ye want me tae gie you a dooin?'” It is Glasgow after all and Rangers had just lost an important match to Motherwell, so discretion is the better part … etc. the photo needed a bit of post processing, it being from an iPhone, not a ‘real’ camera. Did levels and stuff then used Sergé’s settings for shadows and highlights. Then I noticed that the sky was plain white. Chopped a bit of believable grey cloud from another photo and pasted it in in Photoshop. Looked much better then.

Got home to much more peaceful weather and even a bit of late sun. First of June tomorrow and snow predicted for high ground. Oh dear!

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Glasgow Flaneur – 18 May 2015

I decided to go in to Glasgow today to pick up my monsterpiece ¬†and Fred’s masterpiece from yesterday. ¬†Weather was very mixed with bright sunshine one minute and torrential rain the next. ¬†Bought myself a couple of watercolour marker pens from yesterday’s demo – yes, I know I was scathing about them, but maybe I should be more open to new innovations. ¬†Anyway, for whatever reason, I decided to give it a try. ¬†I also got one of the reservoir brushes at Fred’s recommendation. ¬†To round it off I got a trio of fine line black markers. ¬†¬£20 spent, just like that!

Alley Glasgow

After yesterday’s investigation of the wee alleys, I extended it to include one taken from just off Exchange Square looking towards Buchanan Street. ¬†I’d decided not to take¬† formal camera, so relied on my trusty iPhone 4. ¬†The best camera you can have is the one in your pocket! ¬†So true. ¬†I liked the effect of sunlight after the rain shining on the street and the white tiled bricks.

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The other pic is from Exchange Square and, because I was shooting into bright light, the highlights were blown out, so I dumped the shot into Photoshop and copied a sky picture into the blown out area. ¬†I used Darken mode and then filtered the street pic so that the sky only affected the light area and not the buildings. ¬†Photoshop is not my favourite editor, that accolade must go to Lightroom, but it’s useful for simple trickery like this.