Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Ridley can remember it for you

I was reflecting recently on my never actually liking any books by Philip K. Dick very much. He is tremendously popular, and this in itself is a disincentive (I'm a contrary soul). Let's see, I've read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, of course, and The Man in the High Castle. Both books that are better talked about than read, and whose contents I can barely recall - never a sign of high quality fiction. But after reading another glowing account of the man's oeuvre, I got Valis out of the library to see if I could settle the matter. Don't try this at home, folks. It's unreadable. No doubt some will claim that the confusing jumble of philosophical ramblings is a touching and witty account of a descent into mental illness (or something), but I don't buy it. It's drug-addled tosh, and I think we all know it. Dick's reputation has been falsely raised by the successful films that some of his books have become. But face it people, Bladerunner works because Ridley Scott took a promising idea and realised it more fully than PKD ever could have.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Stick to the painting

I've just heard Howard Hodgkin interviewed on Front Row. He sounded a miserable old sod.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Better now, thank you

I've not been in the best of spirits over the last few weeks, so it's a pleasure to record a very enjoyable Glasgow Fair weekend. This is mainly because I managed to get out for a decent walk yesterday, after several weekends of rotten weather. I think I'm basically like a dog: in need of regular walking to stay in top condition.

My day trip was to the Lui group again, to do the big chap himself and Beinn a' Chleibh behind. Despite forgetting my camera, and wearing new boots (scope for very sore feet), it was a very satisfying trip. The walk from Cononish is very quiet - does everybody do these hills from Glen Lochy now? What a great view they're missing. Anyway, I have the famous corrie to myself and only hook up with other walkers on the summit. Beinn a' Chleibh -which looks like a playing field from the top of Lui - is then an easy walk. There's an interlude of that easy companionship you get on hilltops. It's clear and all the summits are out. Over to the north, Ben Nevis sez hi. I sunbathe on a rocky slab for a bit before turning for home.

I felt fine after this exertion, but I must have been more tired than I realised. I spent this morning in bed, cautiously stretching muscles and reading Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which I'd randomly picked off the shelf a few nights ago. It's a book I hadn't really got before, but it comes up much better the second time round, and perhaps finishing it in a sitting helps. No illicit substances (tea?) were involved.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Scary guns

Saw two policemen with automatic weapons in Queen Street station this morning. A unique experience, and not one I thought I'd ever see.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Farewell Fopp

I feel bereft by the departure of Fopp. When I was a student at Glasgow, I would be pulled across Byres Road to look for cheap Ivor Cutler tapes (this was 15 years ago). Quirky stock and simple prices led to quite a few discoveries over the years. I knew high street CD sales were getting shaky, but didn't think it had quite come to my favourite music shop closing.