Three in a Week


In the whole of the last week I managed to eke out another three stanzas for Waterloo, one of which reads;


As from Night’s throne delicious dawn-nymphs crept,
Across the Sambre cherish’d eagles flew,
Or rather waded – as they did men wept,
They’d dared to dream those dreams becoming true;
Beyond frontiers,
Marching thro man-high rye,
As morning slowly clears brash pit-murk from the sky.

Across the bridge Napoleon
Penetrates the Belgic lanes,
On every side a veteran
Strongest of his long campaigns,
Ahead the palace of Laekan
& with him what remains
Of this best army, whom with phrenzied heart
Surge forwards, urging murdering to start.

Ney gallops thro the old Empire
As sunny skies open,
‘My orders sire?’ ‘With fight & fire
& forty thousand men
Seize Quatra Bras, from there we’ll bar, conjunction… WELL! GO THEN!’

15th June


So I am creeping towards my goal, a final read through of the poem in its full & natural entirity, which serendipity has decided shall be taking place on the Scottish island of Skye. We’ll be there in a couple of weeks, actually, on a wee holiday – a friend of mine quite high up in Scottish Gas has rented a large cottage for the Easter break. A suitable place to conclude my work, for the Cuillin hills, as I recall, are as epic as it gets.

IMG_20160310_102108496 IMG_20160310_102129316

 The past week has been pleasant enough, the centrepiece of which was the State Birthday of my friend Stevie Vickers, aka, Victor Pope, at the Leith Depot in well, Leith. For it I finally reassembled Tinky Disco – our main singer, Mike Daniel, had been going through the ringer recently, but has returned for duty. A practice was head, in which my bass lost its connection. Luckily Emily’s neighbour, 80-odd year old Andy, who still rides his motorbike, had a soldering iron. Cue a funny hour fixing the bass & finding out about him – his lads a major-general in the army & received his MBE on the same day as Kylie – & even took her out for dinner. Andy is a Rangers nut & at the end of the ‘fix’ told me, ‘there’s only one thing wrong with your guitar pal – its green!”  



The gig at the Leith depot was fun – a lot of folk showed up & I gave a little speech reminding folk of a little chat I had with Steve in 2008, when he lived in dirty Leeds & I said he should move to Edinburgh as there’s loads of good folk & musos up here – the State Birthday, then, was a lovely validation of that. As for Tinky, we should be sharp for next Friday, a gig at the Biscuit Factory for the Audio Soup Equinox party. They usually hold it at the Belhaven Fruit farm, near Dunbar, but have moved it to the city on this occasion, to a factory space converted into a party zone.



The past few days have seen the first few folk entering the house & picturing themselves in it, as the grand wheel of property owning rolls into the lives of young couples. Its interesting highlighting the strengths of the house & hiding its weaknesses & hoping that they’ll want the house sooo much they’ll chuck in a few extra bob. Emily has been stressed recently because of the house sale, because of the unsurity of roofing her children – but I am instilling her with a sense of confidence in the future, that East Lothian awaits & we will find the most salubrious house & lifestyle there.

IMG_20160309_144002182_HDRTHE PROPERTY

(from the ESPC website)

This extended end terraced villa is pleasantly positioned within the ever popular village of Dalmeny close to the seaside town of South Queensferry and Dalmeny Railway Station for convenient commuting. The attractive family accommodation merits internal viewing to be fully appreciated and comprises; welcoming entrance hall, comfortable light and airy lounge enhanced by natural wood flooring, feature fireplace on a tiled hearth and glazed door giving direct access to the rear garden. Located off the lounge the well designed dining kitchen which has a range of modern base and wall mounted units with co-coordinating natural wood work surfaces/flooring, Belfast sink and elegant French doors to rear garden. To the lower floor there is also a study/bedroom 3/playroom with access to the side vestibule. Finally to the upper floor there are two bright and sunny double bedrooms, large floored attic providing excellent storage with potential for conversion (providing the relevant planning permissions are in place) and appealing partly tiled bathroom comprising white three piece suite with electric shower over bath. Further benefits include gas central heating, double glazing, good built in storage and large two car drive.


Today it is Emily’s birthday: she is 44, but, as her 6-year old Roxy told her this morning – looks 28. In her I get the benefits of beauty AND maturity, & wonderful soul-woman who cares for me as deeply as I her. Looking after wee ones is grueling & for two weeks in three we welcome the wee ones’ father having them in Selkirk. The first of these is especially welcome, as we would have just had a 12-day stint with them. I had the changeover last Friday, dropping them offat a lovely house on the Dalmeny Estate where the kids wer having lunch with a few other kids & their mums. Roxy asked especially if I could drive her there, the conversation breaking out into the playful.

‘Will we be going to the club tonight, m’lady.’
“Yes, about ten o clock.’
‘Is that not a little late, ma’am?’
‘O no – I do like to stay out all night these days!’

She is only six!




After this, a surprise trip to the Playhouse to watch Puccini’s Tosca (Emily’s first opera) & the State Birthday, we moved onto the couch for basically the rest of the weekend – recuperating to the very fine ten-part Icelandic murder-mystery, Trapped, & the fact that Burnley have just gone 7 points clear at the top of the championship. Probably the most blissful time we have spent together yet!




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