Oct 7th by Ian under Miscellaneous

Tags: Nae tags again!

The news by my radio brought information that two girls had jumped of Erskine bridge, and died, if you do that mid span it is a long drop. A certain death plunge. As my mind contemplated this tragedy, and I wondered, what did they think, contemplate, discuss on that hours walk from their care home to the bridge? Did these young vulnerable kids discuss the prospect of a hereafter? did their minds baulk at what if I can't do it? did they think of the thoughts of those connected to them and left behind? and was it "told you so"…
Just a chance remark on the opinion that the poor will lose due to climate change, brought a response from a colleague that it might be the case but it is evolution. It might be evolution but it is not nature's evolution, it is enhanced fast track evolution that has no predicable outcome. That's the point, what if the climate change moves the gulf stream south? It has happened in the past, perhaps we will be joining the poor of the planet like in Bangladesh, in India waiting for a monsoon that comes irregularly and with more force, in sub-Sahara…

Jun 28th by Ian under Miscellaneous

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Well whatever wasps have nice for eating have attracted yet another dig em up raider. this is about 35 m away from the one I posted about earlier, the earlier one, despite me thinking it was being abandoned, is still on the go as well. So why not dig into that one  again? the job is half done. And because it is half done it surely cannot be a honey buzzard? Daft dozey badgers probably, or as I like to think of them, big scratchy weasels. One country item I have learned is that a wasps nest…
While walking towards a small wood, a fox was walking up the side of it 200m away. I stopped he/she did not, but spotted me within a few fox steps and it half barked and disappeared into the wood. After about two hours I was climbing a gate at the other side of the same wood when a movement on a path about 5m away caught my eye, knowing there was a fox around (there usually is) I stood on the spars on the gate exactly at the point when I had seen the movement. A game…

Jun 17th by Ian under Miscellaneous

What is this?

What is this?

My brother, sent me this pic, could have done with a close up as well. however for you botanistists out there, it is an orchid? of some type, at Peel park near East Kilbride. Suggestion (from my brother) is early purple orchid?…
Our, not design and build,  A7 project is nearing completion, and I have to do falling weight defectometer (FWD) top of base and top of binder for designer validation. The design is HD 26/01 and uses figure 2.2, so the design is material choice and thickness. Not stiffness, so how does the designer validate his design? and how does he validate his design on a part built pavement that generally is still warm, but below 30 degrees C? It also occurred to my "catch up brain", that the temp is recorded by drilling into the pavement to 100mm. I do…

Apr 17th by Ian under Miscellaneous

Talk of, travels and trouble with travels in the office, reminded me of the day I nicked my own passport. It was all about money, a gratuity paid by a company for time spent with the company, this was in Dubai in 1980/1981. My company was a joint venture of a local housebuilder and a massive French outfit, essentially a part of Colas. I had worked for 18 months on the underpasses and enjoyed Dubai and the project enormously. But i was due this dosh and was not going to let it easily escape my clutches. The problem was the…

Mar 20th by Ian under Miscellaneous

On my post "Oman;  real place in the sun", I mention the jail, we here's the tale: I reckon it was a set up, however I reacted the wrong way. This is what happened, in Oman you can obtain a liquor license linked to your salary. I was well paid and could never drink my allowance, so I bought booze in moderate amounts for my staff. The Indian ones, the Pakistanis true to their faith did not drink. Yeh I know there are many Indian Muslims but none were in my staff. Anyway, the monthly trip to the booze shop…
ya beauty, my son who is 27 does not know what a steam punk is, so for once I'm ahead of the game. Only because I heard the tail end of the radio cafe program on radio Scotland regarding steam punks. Intrigued I listened as I drove from the cursed contract on the A7, well there was a dawning realism that I may and my wife may belong to this sub-culture called steam punk!! Why ? because we both mend and make things, but don't most households? Like a drop of mercury (could sue schools for that now) I can't…
Being a juror, not just called to court but one of the chosen 15, that has to note the evidence and make some sense of it. There is a natural reluctance to be one of the chosen 15, as evidenced by the reactions to being chosen and not being chosen. so there you are chosen, huckled, no escape apart from a serious ailment with a doctors note, or a pre-booked holiday of a lifetime. Both these cards were played during the currency of the trial and 15 became 13. Still a majority verdict had to be 8, hmm.. the law…
Army worms? what on earth are these attacking the crops in Northern Liberia? Seems they are a caterpillar of a moth. Insects and snakes dominated my first few weeks in Liberia, mainly through expats, not really winding you up (that did work) but it's a kind of "induction". In 1979 I arrived as a seldom drinker and emerged 6 months later as a regular drinker. I blame McCluskey, and he has carried on being an expat, where I no not where? McCluskey you're a Luddite without a pen. Liberia, my first third world country, I was seconded to Ove Arup…
Even those poor inhabitants of Gaza will have realised that change has happened in America. Mainly because their plight is linked to America, but not through being able to watch TVs, with lumpy and restricted electricity, in situations like these the power of the radio becomes the communication media. I have for years listened to the BBC world service. In Oman I had a Nissan Patrol that had a short wave feature on the radio and I could pick up the world service, brilliant. A link to home and the rest of the world. I am not a newspaper fan,…
Northern Rock bank, our bank, the tax payers bank declaring today to pay themselves a bonus. I mean the brass neck of it, I'm astounded. Reason for bonus? paid back more than expected to the government. What about mortgages and helping small businesses? what about inputting to the economy that they so successfully wrecked? well not single handed but with the the other casino bankers. A couple of years in the Siberian salt mines is too good for the lot of them. Fred the shred from RBS has been declared the worst banker in the world, does he care does…
Maybe we will discover our own island now that the pound has less than parity with the Euro and we have less disposable income. I have been privileged or took my chances on working abroad during the early years of my marriage. This project to project country hopping business, did in my pension but it gave me a wider view. Travel does broaden the mind and working as an expat does make you singularly able, or sent home. I have seen more than a few very able in the UK not cope with expat life. What I paint is a…
Loch Leven, Pinkfeet

Loch Leven, Pinkfeet

Readers of this site may be excused for considering this site to be personal moan blog. Perhaps it is the things that irk that are highest on the agenda, does good news sell newspapers? Well it did the other day with the successful rescue of all passengers from the airline that ditched in the Hudson river, a very rare circumstance. Geese and engines don't mix too well. Wonder how they will exercise control over that incident. Bet the geese are the losers. Loch leven near me is a wildlife haven, particularly for geese in winter. I had…
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