Sunday, October 30, 2005

A quick post.

I'm off on my travels again tonight doing the last couple of weeks of the tour. Merriol Morag Sue and about 7 million children are making an unholy mess downsatirs (literaly unholy as they are making Haloweendecorations) so I'm grabbing a few seconds between acts of random packing to say 'see you in a week or so...'

Junk Monkey Has Left the Building...

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Unrequited Glove

I took this photo of a glove lying in a puddle on the Isle of Mull in about 1996.

Yesterday I thought of a caption for it...

The wheels of my brain are slow but they do get there eventually.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Pootering around doing nothing kind of day that saw me get a bit more of the workshop floor exposed to the light of day for the first time in years. I have just been throwing things in there for so long now it's hard moving in there let alone do any work.

I did make a wee trunk for the kids to keep their hats and oudoor stuff in out of an old Tea Box yesterday. It was the first thing I have made for ages and it was nice to get my hands dirty again. It's not the greatest piece of furniture in the world but I do like old stuff that is made in this way and I like to think that in 50 or 100 years someone will still be looking at this and thinking: "What a piece of shoddy shit!"

It will look better once I have sanded the top and stained the new wood to match the old. Honest!

I flopped in front of the box this afternoon as Daisy had her nap and caught the end of The Indestructable Man a truly god-awful film starring Lon Chaney Jr. Here's most of what I posted to IMDB about it:

Many films rely on characters doing stupid things and putting themselves in unnecessary danger. There would be very few films made if characters didn't do this sort of thing! The Indistructable Man though, has a real corker of a stupid people doing stupid things just to keep the movie going moment.

Here's the situation. On a steep street in LA there are 3 characters. A wants to murder B. C wants to warn B that A is waiting at the top of the hill to kill him. The potential victim (A) is at the bottom of the hill. On one side of the street is a Funky Little Trolley-bus Thing on rails. On the other side of the street are about 32 bezillion steps. Flight after flight of steep steep steps. C sees the potential victim arrive at the bottom of the funky little Trolley-bus side of the hill.

The potential victim is on crutches.

Does the potential victim:

1. Get on board the (free?) public transport?

2. Cross the street and laboriously struggle up the 32 bezillion steps?

It's 2, of course it's 2! Given a choice in crap movies like this they always take the stupid option.

From her vantage point C sees the victim climbing up all those steps.

She now has a choice. She needs to get to him before he reaches the top of the hill.

So, she can either go all the way down the hill in the FLT-B Thing, cross the street, and then start to climb the bezillion stairs herself, or she can cross the street where she is and walk DOWN the steps to meet him.

Guess what she does...

The title of this film is a stupid lie too. If it had been called the "Nearly Indestructible Man with Indestructible Clothing" it would have been nearer the mark. After wading through sewers, being blasted by a bazooka (and why wasn't everyone deafened when that thing went off in such an enclosed space?) and toasted by a flame thrower, Lon Chaney's shirt and trousers should have vaporised, or at least a little singed round the edges... but no, like the Incredible Hulk's underpants they seem to keep hanging on in there...

This brief moment of Shite Film has done nothing to satisfy my urge to watch bad Italian SF, so Goodnight! I'm off to watch a ropey, badly-dubbed piece of shite called Battle of the Ultra Barbies - or something.

Emma has started her Blog! It's here so soon you'll be able to read her version of the last few weeks of the tour and my version side by side.

Hmmm, I wonder...

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Currently Listening

  • Currently Listening to: The Staple singer Greatest Hits and leaping about and dancing like a background extra from Fame. If a car drew up at an intersection next to me, I would be dancing on its roof and do you know what? The driver wouldn’t mind! Because of the crazy infectious music, everyone would be happy, and godammit life is good!
(I take back some of the rude things I said about the 70s though, as Sue just pointed out, I would be wearing flared Lycra and leg-warmers if I was.... what a horrible thought.)

I am not convinced by the Word Plug-in. The type is coming out too small and the formatting is buggered every time I post with it... hmmmm.

That One's Asleep But They Are All Awake

A simple day of playing with the kids, assembling Ikea flatpack furniture and cooking. A simple, knackering day of… etc. etc.

I was going switch my head off to flop in front of the box tonight and watch a bad SF movie - I hadn’t decided which one but the urge is slowly growing in me to wallow in bad movies again - but I never got round to it, and now it’s too late, and moan moan whine winge whimper… I must give up this habit. If I can give up drinking and (almost) give up smoking, I can bloody well stop watching Attack of the Space Bimbos type movies. I can. I can.

I have had this tune going around and around and around my head all day. I didn’t see why I had to suffer alone so I sent it to Phoebe Then I thought “why should we have to suffer together alone” (to paraphrase Dory Previn*) so I uploaded it to here:

The track comes from an Album called Dandruff by Ivor Cutler who I once saw live when I was a kid. I came across the album in Fopp in Glasgow - weirdl, and mysteriously in the World Music section. OK, Ivor lives in the world (though at times I suspect not quite this one) but the man was born in and grew up in Glasgow!

“My Name is Liam Baldwin and it is six months since I last watched a bad Italian SF Movie…”

  • Currently Listening To: Downloaded Ivor Cutler MP3s
  • Currently Reading : Still on Kinflicks

*Argh! my age is showing! Why didn’t anyone tell me?

Monday, October 24, 2005

My favorite advert...

  • Currently Reading :  

  • Currently Listening:

This is a test 2

This is the SECOND a test of the new Blogger Plug-in for word the first version having arrived but not showing up. (Does that make sense?)

Neologism of the Day: Utopiary n. A perfect system of Government with really nice hedges.

  • Currently reading :  This page (duh!)

  • Currently listening: Holly having her bed time stories
We are back from the great steaming metropolis of Glasgow! Two days of shopping, more shopping with a bit of shopping thrown in to add variety. I had forgotten how much I used to enjoy just mooching about looking at things.

Between shopping bouts we lounged around in our HUGE hotel room, played with all the knobs and buttons in the shower, or tried to sleep. I say "tried" because I had forgotten how bloody noisy cities can be; especially on a Friday night.
It seemed like every drunk person for 300 miles had come to Glasgow to shout at each other just outside our hotel. When they got bored with shouting at each other (or singing) and quietened down a bit the police would drive around with their sirens blaring till everyone got fired up and back into the shouting mood. It went on like that for hours.

Saturday night was quieter.

Another of the forgotten joys of wandering around Big Cities with nothing much to do is the chance to overhear little snippets of total stanger's conversations. Like reading random pages of a blog I guess but with no way of putting them into any kind of context.

I overheard this this piece of conversation in a bookshop in Sauchiehall Street. A middle-aged couple were looking at a glossy well llustrated book about Historic Houses

It's a book about houses

(Pointing at an illustration in the book)
We went to that house didn't we?
Didn't stay long. Just looked at the garden.

Should we buy it for Dave? He likes houses.


He's got a lot of books.

I bought him a book once.

Did he read it?


Was it a very thick book?



I didn't buy it here though. I bought it at Border's

At which point they moved on. I don't know why but I find that sort of thing endlessly funny.

Last night (again on Sauchiehall Street) we were passing a Burger King and a teenage girl came rushing out and up to her girlfriend who was standing on the street.

Girl One:(Frantic)
The toilets are for customers only!

Girl Two:
Want me to come in and buy something?

Girl One:(Very Frantic)

They both rushed back inside.

What a great friend.

  • Current reading: Lisa Alther - Kinflicks
  • Current Listening: Goldfrapp - Black Cherry

Thursday, October 20, 2005

We are off to the Fleshpots of Glasgow in the morning! - Ok, we are off to Ikea and Fopp, and a few other not very fleshpotty but dead exciting if you live in the middle of nowhere like we do type places.

Without the Kids!

Holly and Daisy are staying home in the TLC of three grandparents and we are going to have a weekend alone, in a Hotel, in the middle of a city. I have forgotten what that is like. What will we do with all the time? Will we be able to cope without two weans underfoot? What if we like it? This is kind of scary...

Yesterday we went to the Caledonian Hotel in Oban and had a slap-up feed (using one of Merriol’s free slap-up feed vouchers) and where Holly was wonderful. She ordered garlic bread and Penne pasta with melted cheese. The garlic bread was fine (though Daisy ended up eating it) but the pasta wasn’t Penne! it was Rigatoni. Holly prodded it with her fork suspiciously then announced in a very loud voice:
”This isn’t Penne! This is Macaroni Cheese!”
How am I going to spend two days without her?
She's three and a half and a food critic already!

(And at the risk of turning this Blog into a restaurant review my venison medallion was fine though I have never tasted Haggis with Corned Beef in it before. Haggis for white people.)

So a couple of days flopping about in our suite and some frantic shopping ahead to recharge our batteries.

  • Current listening: Weird shit from here

  • Current Reading: White Fang Goes Dingo by Thomas M Disch (I was wrong.)
  • Tuesday, October 18, 2005

    Fun and games with the kids in the Fort today. We bought Daisy her first pair of shoes. 24 Pounds for a pair of shoes she will grow out of in 6 or so weeks!

    Convert £24 to your favourite currency here: Currency Converter

    Then off to a meeting with Dan and loads of Dan’s carers and support people who used words like “evidenced” and confused the hell out of both of us. I’ve never been much good at meetings so I just sat there listened and tried not to make too many inappropriate jokes (hard though that was). The upshot of all the blethers was that Dan is doing OK and, with a bit of jiggering about, support services will be able to continue for another 18 months or so before some funding or other runs out.

    Tomorrow we are off to the fleshpots of Oban to find Holly a new winter coat that hasn't got Barbie (c) or Action Man (c) all over it. And then to the Sea Life Center (or "The Fishy Place" as it is known in our house) to look at lots of... er... fish.

    Meanwhile research into the book "Eat Your Way to Hetrosexuality"
    is coming on apace. The chapter on Tomato Ketchup deprivation should make interesting reading...

  • Current listening:The Grim Fandango Soundtrack

  • Current Reading:White Fang Goes Dingo by Thomas M Disch

  • (any collection of stories that includes something called The Invasion of the Giant Stupid Dinosaurs has got to be worth a look.)

    Saturday, October 15, 2005

    I Wish My Brain Had An 'Off' Switch Sometimes

    It's in the papers, and all over the news that the Avian Flu that has just arrived in Europe from the far east is, as feared, the "Deadly Killer" strain.

    More alarmingly, I learned this week that the the UK's chief veterinary is called Dr. Debby Reynolds. The thought that the person standing between me and a global pandemic of Evil Killer Flu sounds like she once starred opposite Gene Kelly in Singing in the Rain scares me a lot more than a few sneezing geese...

    Well, the lie-in didn't really happen.

    Daisy was up hollering at 6.30 am.

    Holly got up (Daisying?) about half an hour later.

    After a long, unspoken and unexpressed battle of wills between Merriol and I, I gave in, got up, and got the kids dressed, fed, and watered. Then Len and Sue came in. Then Merriol got up and Holly started being incredibly cute and doing strange dances. Before we knew it it was 10 am and I had drunk too much coffee to fall back into bed with any real enjoyment.

    It's 10.30 pm and everyone else has buggered off to the pub.


    Friday, October 14, 2005

    Secret Custard

    I have to get a grip. For weeks now I have been prodding myself around the midriff with growing despair and promising to “do something about this” as I watch the ripples - and yet this afternoon I found myself whipping a pint of Double Cream (what the Americans call Heavy Cream - which I think is a much better name) and layering it with cake soaked in coffee and hazelnut syrup (A bastard remix of several Tiramisu recipes found on the web). About 957 K Calories a spoonful and I ate a LOT of it. I have no willpower whatsoever.

    OK - next week I will start with the lettuce leaves and the guilt.

    Most of today was spent playing with the kids and tidying up the house. I need less stuff, more time of tidier kids. I am doing my back in bending over all the time picking stuff up and putting it away.

    Len and Sue arrived tonight (and ate vast quantities of Tiramisu -ish - or ‘Cake 9’ as it to be known from now on despite similar “doing something about it” promises). We haven’t told Holly that Granny and Granddad were coming so it is going to be a big surprise in the morning. Len and Sue will take both kids out to the swing park for a while.

    A lie-in!

    Both of us get to have a lie-in!


    Incredible. Not getting out of bed for an hour is now a luxury beyond my wildest dreams. I mean I used to take this sort of thing for granted now I have to import people from a neighbouring country before I get one!

    Thursday, October 13, 2005

    Had my faith in Human Nature restored today when I had a phone call from a total stranger.

    He'd found my mobile phone where I had dropped it a couple of hours earlier in the swing park and had had the wit to scroll through my address book and phone the entry that said "Home".

    Then he kindly dropped it off at my house! Thank you Mr Whoeveryouare.

    Tuesday, October 11, 2005

    Midnight and I have just spent the last couple of hours re-writing a scene for the Panto with a very loud Live Kraftwerk CD pummmeling my ears flat. I seem to write better when the abnormally small part of my brain that does the thinking is switched off by repetitive electronica.

    I was a bit reluctant to do this re write but Ilona was insistant and, damn her, she was right.

    I suppose I was reluctant to touch it because it was one of the first bits that got writen and I thought it was pretty funny but, in the cold light of day, it does nothing for the show. It's funny but nothing happens. People talk but it contributes nothing at all to the story .

    Plan A for the rewrite was to transpose the whole thing from onboard a ship to onboard a Tardis for the sole reason that we did a ship scene in the last panto we did two years ago. Mike and I were both dead set against that because... well, just because... and we were preparing to dig our heels in and get stroppy and all Prima Donna-ish about it when it suddenly, after the reheasal on Sunday, it became obvious that we just had to junk the whole bloody scene and start again.

    So we have.

    Plan B involves lots more lines for Merriol. I may live to regret this.

    I have managed to recycle two of the best short gags from the origonal into the new version but no doubt they will get chopped later.

    Why do I do this?

    Monday, October 10, 2005

    What a great day!

    I've played with the kids, cooked lunch for Merriol when she came home from work, played with the kids some more and got some housework done. I have slipped back into Mom Mode so easily.

    And I love it...

    Holly! Stop spitting!

    I'm not spitting. I'm just testing my Mouth!

    Sunday, October 09, 2005

    Breakfast Conversation

    (Picking at a bowl of cereal)
    I'm not eating the nuts.

    Why not?

    Because they're talking!

    (To me)
    She has this thing that nuts can talk at the moment.

    Not all nuts talk. Just the breakfast ones...

    What do they say?

    They say "Don't Eat Me!"

    Friday, October 07, 2005

    It's 9.30 pm. It's Friday night. Merriol is off in the Fort having drinks with everyone from the practice and I am thinking about going to bed.

    Oh God! what ever happened to me? I have got even more boring than I used to be. I mean I never was one for going out and getting bladdered till the early hours then crawling home - well no more than anyone else of my generation. But somewhere along the line I got fed up with all that. I got old I guess. That and and swearing off the booze - there's not a lot of fun watching lots of other people drinking themselves into complete twats. Been there, done that, got bored with it.

    So far this week the highlight of my life has been the superdooper new hyper efficient German washing machine. Which arrived on time, was easy to plumb in and is so QUIET! It's incredible You can hardly hear the thing when you are in the same room as it. All previous washing machines I have owned have vibrated scarily (but have been interesting to sit on) but this one just hums a bit and efficiently cleans stuff. I am in love. I will post a a picture of it soon... What the hell am I saying? I will post a picture of my washing machine???? Oh Jesus! I DO need to get out more...

    Other highlight of the week was spending fifty quid on a coat in T K Maxx. May not sound like a lot but it is more than I have ever spent on a single piece of clothing in my life before.

    Saturday, October 01, 2005

    Smell My Face!

    First blogging for a couple of days. Days which have been chock-a-block with tiny, trivial day to day tedious meaningless inconsiquential and therefore infinately forgetable, but at the time incredibly important, stuff.

    Which I will not bore the world with.

    But then I would have nothing to fill this screen with...

    OK - I talked myself into it.

    Thursday: I didn't have the kids. Merriol had already booked both of them into nursery for the day before my tour dates got screwed up and I got home 2 days early. Too late to cancel. All of which meant that for the first time in a couple of months I was alone in the house. For a whole day. It was a bit scary. I mean this is what great chunks of my life were like for years on end before we had the kids, sitting around in a big empty house wondering what to do with myself - how did I used to fill the time? I can't remember.
    So I played music very loudly and tidied up upstairs, hung a couple of insanely camp pictures Merriol hates. They have been hidden away for a few months - I did some work on the wall where they used to hang and they went into storage. I read the start of Emma's script and wrote her a long mail explaining why she needed to do a lot more work on it. She hasn't replied. I'm now afraid that I've pissed her off.

    Friday: Quite a few people came for the MacMillan coffee morning thing in the... erm... morning. And then, after everyone had gone, came the second, or third, most embaracing moment of my life, which I will not tell you about. (I'm not going to tell you about the first two either because neither of them was very funny - even years after the event and even after extensive rewriting and editing. Boring embaracing moments. How typical of my life is that?)

    Saturday: There was a street market in The Fort. Merriol dragged me and Morag along and all 7 of us (3 adults 4 kids) wandered up and down the High Street surrounded by a bunch of itinerent continental traders selling real cheese and lumpy sausages that contain REAL MEAT! not the rendered tits and nostrils floor sweepings that the average British sausage contains, and strange exotic cakes, and great chunks of dry cured Ham and... and... and it smelt great and we saw loads of people we knew, and we bought loads of stuff - and it made me want to cry. Why isn't it like this all the time? Why are British markets so tediously boring and full of the same old shit and shoved into corners away from the center of town? We spent hours in town; had a long picnic in the railway station (it has a roof, it was raining) then came home and ate more exotic goodies. Our fridge now smells foreign!

    Missing CD? Contact vendor

    Free CD
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    in removing from cover.

    Copyright (c) 2004-2007 by me, Liam Baldwin. That's real copyright, not any 'creative commons' internet hippy type thing.

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