beard 2


Glasgow people are into escalating disaster and they express its inevitability through a stripped down economy of language worthy of Pound’s early experiments in imagism.
I swear I heard someone say this: Aye. He stood on a tack. Had tae huv both legs aff.
beard 2

I Missed That Meeting

Coffee shops offering 2 dozen varieties of said beverage at straight-faced yet outlandish prices, Latin verbiage awkward in the mouths of Scots ‘baristas’, or assistants, smug tho they may be.
Inoffensive jazz is piped in, of course.
The situation demands I utter the words ‘Tall Americano’, for all the world as if I was a doomed Chicano button- man who won’t survive the first reel.
Room for, said the young counterman, employing the rising inflection that suggests a question awaits my answer.
Room for?
Something to do with adding or not adding milk. I don’t know, I don’t know. Fuck them. I hurried to a seat, confused. Gingerly clasping my scalding Tall Americano with room for.
Coffee people, I want you to know this. I was only killing time in there. It was pouring rain and there was nowhere else to go. I am not buying into this. It’s important to me that I say this.
Oh I grow old.
beard 2

The Glasgow Binary

I was in a single room, tidying up around a patient and playing my part in the ritual chit-chat:
7.30 tonight I finish; aye, it’s a long day but sure, keeps you out of mischief.
Usual schtick.
Right enough, son, she said. Whit wid ye be daein if ye wereny at yer work? Drinkin.
beard 2

memento molar

After fitting my new crown, the dentist presented me with the casts he'd had to make of my teeth. A jagged semi-circle of bunched-up, chalky yellow, set in a clear plastic wedge, and second, the lower set, bare.
I've been making it 'talk' to my daughter who is kindly solicitousness itself to "Mr Teeth". How she cleanses my world!
But still.
A disembodied replica of the bone component of my talking, smiling, biting gear, unsettlingly familiar, starkly revealed in this unscheduled preview of the lipless grin.
Christ, a man hands you a thing like that. Is the cosmos trying to communicate?
It's a Bean!


Oh, hullo!

Last night Mo, the Bean and I danced like eejits round our kitchen to 'Temptation' by New Order. God, it was brilliant. Just saying.

We celebrated wee Beanyhead's THIRD birthday on Wednesday. Lord. Wing-ed chariot for Unclef!
beard 2

A pretty pass

These days, if I don't write it down, it doesn't get done.
Thus, today's thankfully short shopping list:
Black tie
infant koff mixture
soya milk

How could you ever guess the circumstances of a day in your life, years hence?
beard 2

Before and after enlightenment

Just back from hauling 2 yowge Ikea bags stuffed full of my and the Missus' smalls to the launderette cos our washing machine has its soapy maw full with the child's clothes, many of which i pegged on the line earlier, with a combination housewife/frontiersman squint at the horizon, looking for signs of rain. Unclef thinks: houswork...Ikea...child...hmm...what would the me of twenty years ago think if he could see the me of today? Knock off the beers, you tubby git, probably.
Unclef further feels remorse at his failure to keep in touch with and respond to communications from friends, relatives and associates, speshly Ian M and Bri, this past year or so. Not much time, little energy and occasional periods 'neath the long shadows...but no excuse really. Will try to try harder.
First day of a keenly awaited week's leave: after helping with getting the Bean nursery-ready (and o my lord you should see the wee girl, had her down at her Granny's in Kilwinning yesterday, my father and his wife showed, Ma's man took us men out for a wee while, next thing i know I'm drinking Tennant's in the bar of the local Orange Lodge, fer any sake...but i digress; the Bean was magnificent, so energetic and full of fun, so beautiful, sweet but with a glint of mischief in those big blue peepers...) I slept til noon, aye, and beyond. Then laundry. My 19-year-old self would probably be half-cut by now. But he was a foolish boy. Nice enough lad, but so lazy.
beard 2

The Price of Leisure

I'm back, it seems.
This morning I had to drop off the Bean at nursery all by myself for the first time. Mo has carried out this onerous duty several times now, always with the added unpleasantness of a hair-raisingly tight schedule and mad dash to Edinburgh with the vagaries of public transport thwarting her as they will, followed by a day of her manager's bullshit and then the same again in reverse.
All I had to do today was leave the wee girl off and take a leisurely walk through town, stopping at bookshop, gallery and cafe on my way home to do some housework, but still it was a bit harrowing. On the way to the nursery, Bean strapped to me in a big, hippyish cloth wrap, I felt I was leading her to a betrayal - not to be melodramatic or nowt! She's in a clingy phase, and while her hugs are deeply pleasant, it hurts all the more to leave her in the care of virtual strangers and slip off with a guilty, backwards glance. She was subdued when I left this morning and not, I am happy to say, howling inconsolably, in which state Mo has often had to leave her. Walking the edge of Glasgow Green from nursery to town I felt hollow.
Things looked up with earphones in (Ghost Orchid, an unsigned duo from San Diego, CA, loveky), a carefree purchase of the new Palahnuik paperback, an amble round the Jim Lambie exhibition at the GOMA and tea & caramel square in the basement library cafe, but it felt strange to be pottering without the Bean tied on or buggy-bound in front of me. I missed her, and pictured her constantly with an intensity barely experienced since a woman first broke my heart. Despite my recent craving for a little solitude I considered bolting back to the nursery and springing the wee bam. Didn't, but I'm amazed it even occurred to me. That, as Huey Lewis and his colleagues the News once pointed out, is the power of love.
I like the GOMA building - it has a totally fabulous, ornate, Georgian ceiling in its main room, a 3-storey oval-galleried lobby and a glass liftshaft in its main stairwell. It is also probably the city cultural depository most easily defended from zombie hordes - must discuss with my friend Ruth, who is employed by the council and works all these places.
I liked the Jim Lambie stuff, or some of it. A holdall with a great many handles, a wall-mounted golden cube made from halved wooden doors and best of all, a sculpture made of mirrors on eye-covered spokes hanging from the ceiling. Still, it all struck me as more fun than moving, visual puzzles, physical conundra. Glad it's there and publicly funded, of course. For a more sophisticated response - what the artist is saying - I'd have to go and crib something off the Internet, but time is tight.
A thing it amuses me to do very much when taking, say, a young nephew round the GOMA, is to stand gazing at the fire extinguishers, face furrowed in art-appreciator's frown, chin-stroking like heck, and at last to murmur, "Exquisite sensibility...mmm."