SIGNS and MESSAGES


Notice in a student kitchen:


sign bm

The indignant voice of John Knox lives on in Edinburgh:

sign v

A Glasgow road sign no doubt trampled underfoot in the rush:

Byres Road sign

Dull & Boring

Dull is a small, one-street village in Perthshire on the North side of the river Tay; Boring, in Oregon, has a population of 8,000. They got together in 2012.

Ab 7

I came across this existential/defiant/plaintive fading statement on a wall in France:

j'existe 6

A sarcastic sign:

crash 2

A plaque on the wall of a house in Lerwick, Shetland:

Mrs Humphrey's

A security-conscious Christmas card:

Xmas card

An Asian alleyway in Lerwick, Shetland:

ORK THURSO 025

A reassuring neon sign outside Edinburgh’s Modern Art Gallery:

sign ok

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My Lovely Amelia


 Amelia

I like nothing better than taking photographs of my lovely Amelia against some famous landmark: Amelia and The Eiffel Tower; Amelia and Nelson’s Column; Amelia and The Coliseum; Amelia and Edinburgh Castle; Amelia and The Angel of the North; Amelia and The Great Wall of China; Amelia and Ayers Rock; Amelia and The Great Pyramid.   I have them all.

Last week we went to India so I could photograph her with The Taj Mahal in the background.  The Taj Mahal looked  wonderfully grand, touched with pink by the setting sun and framed by majestic palm trees. It brought to mind that wonderful photograph of red-jacketed Princes Di  seated primly on the little wall  in front of the oblongs of water with this magnificent pristine building behind her not quite managing to put her in the shade. People have often remarked when I show them my photographs that my Amelia has a touch of Diana about her, the eyes mainly I think, the way she lowers her gaze at times.She is too beautiful for words.

My photograph of Amelia in front of  the Matterhorn, cheeks aglow with the cold. eyes sparkling, head slightly tilted, is another that people seem to like but my own favourite is of Amelia against the background of The Victoria Falls, not just because I have managed to catch little ribbons of  rainbows in the spray behind her with the water seeming to hang in the air like smoke but mainly because I seem to have finally captured that little smile of hers that I think is every bit as enigmatic and beautiful  as the Mona Lisa’s.

The one Amelia likes best is of her outside Buckingham Palace where the Queen and Prince Philip waited patiently till I had taken the photograph before passing between us.

Fatherly Love


Lan 6 pic

When my wife, Angela, announced she was pregnant, everyone in the family started putting bets on who the father was, with Miguel, our lodger, the clear favourite at 5/4.

When the baby was born, a boy, with fair hair, blue eyes, and sticky-out ears, I think most people were secretly disappointed but I was overjoyed, not because he looked so much like me that everyone had to accept I must be the father, but because Angela was so happy and our little Timothy was so beautiful.

My only regret was that I hadn’t backed myself at odds of 20/1.

Amelia and Buckingham Palace


Amelia

I like nothing better than taking photographs of my lovely Amelia against some famous landmark: Amelia and The Eiffel Tower; Amelia and Nelson’s Column; Amelia and The Coliseum; Amelia and Edinburgh Castle; Amelia and The Angel of the North; Amelia and The Great Wall of China; Amelia and Ayers Rock; Amelia and The Great Pyramid.   I have them all.

Last week we went to India so I could photograph her with The Taj Mahal in the background.  The Taj Mahal looked  wonderfully grand, touched with pink by the setting sun and framed by majestic palm trees. It brought to mind that wonderful photograph of Princes Di  seated on the little wall  in front of the oblongs of water with this magnificent building behind her not quite managing to put her in the shade. People have often remarked when I show them my photographs that my Amelia has a touch of Diana about her, the eyes mainly I think.

My photograph of Amelia in front of  the Matterhorn is another that people seem to like but my own favourite is of Amelia against the background of The Victoria Falls, not just because I have managed to catch little rainbows in the spray behind her and the water seeming to hang in the air like smoke but mainly because I seem to have finally captured that little smile of hers that I think is just as enigmatic and beautiful  as the Mona Lisa’s.

The one Amelia likes best is of her outside Buckingham Palace where the Queen and Prince Philip waited patiently till I had taken the photograph before passing between us.

WILLIAM and KATE


The ancient mariner arrives at St Salvators’ by taxi from Leuchars…..

*  *  *  *  *

Is this the right day?

Am I perhaps late?

Where is Wlliam?

Where is Kate?

I don’t know the bride

I don’t know the groom

I don’t know who

is marrying whom

Yes this is the place

today is the date

but he is not William

and she is not Kate.

2 Old Ladies (unfinished)


2 old ladies

watch a girl pass.

She is riding a bright yellow bicycle

that is perhaps too big for her

and wearing a skirt

that is perhaps shorter

than the 2 old ladies would like

not that they are nasty,

the old ladies,

just old and attached

to fashions that have faded,

things as they used to be,

the past when everything was different.

Brian is waiting

for his girlfriend, Joy

who was the girl with the short skirt

on on the bright yellow bicycle

He is on his second pint,

feeling irritated:

he has lost his mobile

and Joy is late.

Joy is late because

she has had a slight accident:

she has been knocked off her bike

by a van which did not stop;

she is shaken, not badly injured:

a bruised right arm,

a scraped knee,

a cut on the top of her head.

However the 2 old ladies

who saw what happened

called for an ambulance

which has taken her off to  Hospital.

She has tried phoning Brian

without success.

That is why she is late.

Of course Brian does not know this.

Later he will feel guilty

about feeling irritated

when all he should have felt was

concerned.

When Daniel, the van driver,  gets home

he feels stiff from driving,

so far, so long.

He has driven non-stop from Coldstream

to his house outside Dunfermline.

He lives there on his own

but likes it that way.

Simpler that way.

He organises his life

to avoid problems,

unaware that problems are also solutions.

He is unaware of lots of things, Daniel,

unaware for example

that he had knocked Joy off her bicycle

when he took the left turn

onto the Saline road

but when he notices the scratches

and dents

on the left side of his van

to his credit

he  wonders  if he should contact the police.

He does not know of course

that one of the old ladies

had made a note of  his number.

Nor does Brian know

that his  lost phone lies exactly where he left it

half a street away

on the chair outside the really good restaurant

(whose name he could never remember)

where he had put it down

while chatting to the Bulgarian waitress

with a degree in Modern Languages

and whose English was so idiomatic

it sounded foreign

and……………………………………………