Monday, October 29, 2007

Back to the future

I really enjoyed the current exhibition of Basil Spence's work at the Dean Gallery. For one thing, I live near several of his notable buildings, including the gleaming white ex-garage in Causewayside, where, coincidently, I bought some beer this morning (it's now a beer/wine merchant). The whole show was a succession of "I didn't know he did that". By the late 70s and 80s I think he had become a bit embarrassing, like an eccentric old uncle who you have to be polite to at Christmas, so I didn't know anything about the man, despite encountering many of his works. But recently, that rule has kicked in whereby a building that survives maybe 40-50 years will be appreciated on its merits.

Not featured other than in passing was the Natural Philosophy department of Glasgow University, where I spent a lot of 1990-94. This could be because they screwed it up quite a bit during an unsympathetic refurbishment in this period. This was just before BS's star was in the ascendant, so there were few dissenting voices. At least it's still standing.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Happiness is...

...finding a fiver in the pocket of an old pair of trousers that you are about to throw away.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Dave's busy day

This morning in work I have a long rambling impromptu conversation with a colleague about life, work, education, the Civil Service, and me. It's one of these exchanges when some things fall into place. I realise what it is I don't like about this, and my last public sector job. Maybe I should just look elsewhere--my previous best job was in private industry, and I think that it suited me better. Despite the greyness of the day, I feel happy. Self-knowledge is always worthwhile.

This evening, I attend an event at the Queen's Hall. David Lynch is promoting his new book, and answering questions from loads of art students about transcendental meditation, film-making and everything else. He is supported by Donovan, who sings and reminisces about being with George Harrison and the Maharishi in the ashram. Another odd Queen's Hall experience for me, almost up there with Stockhausen. I got the invitation through work, as well as an invitation to the after-show reception, so my life seems briefly glamorous.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Good to see

There's a nice exhibition of Alasdair Grey's work in Cafe Cossachok in Glasgow. Great to see some original versions of book covers, and some very early work from the 50s. It's just a shame that somebody of this status has a retrospective in the downstairs room of a restaurant (albeit a very nice one).

A quick visit too, because it's only on till Saturday, and I only found out on Tuesday, and I'm busy.

More please, but organise better next time.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Good for my soul

I don't often do any data entry, but I am at the moment. It makes you realise both what boring work it is, and how you don't really understand your data unless you've got personal with scribbled-on bits of paper.

It becomes clear, for example, that some respondents in a block of multiple choice will fill in all of the first boxes. Or, just to break the monotony, will let the responses zig-zag down the page from one extreme choice to the other. I suppose you could exclude some obvious piss-takers like this, but how many other misleading responses would you still take as valid?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Here we go again

Fuck it's Monday again. I hate working. It's much more fun to play with the crappy camera on my computer. The weather's a bit grey today, but the view over the rooftops still gives me some pleasure.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Diaries, blogs

Am reading some of the Alan Clark diaries. By rights I ought to despise this car-crazy Tory, yet I am oddly fascinated, and have the distinct impression that I would have liked the guy if I ever met him.

The diaries often have a gloomy tone, so it's probably not something I should spend too much time on, being in a rather dull patch myself at the moment.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

My people

Just been to view a house in Glasgow, and very nice it was too. Suddenly, moving seems like it could actually happen.

On the suburban train both going and coming back I encounter chatty Glaswegians. Going out is a cheery drunk with a dog who happily broadcasts his life to the carriage. Coming back, an arty lady talks at length on her mobile about her recently collapsed relationship, her planned evening of cookery and aromatherapy, and how she needs to collect that painting soon. I'm much cheered by the whole experience: Weegies talk to you in a way that East coasters don't. Personal problems must be shared with all.