Monday, 28 February 2011
Take a stick and head south west for two miles from the bus eventually you will come to a deep scare from a long gone ice sheet
climb the banking on the other side but be careful and there you will see the pool.
twenty yards away the pool its water black and still
the edge a perfect circle and its banking falls away vertical to a depth i know not what
i have visited it many times each time taking a longer and longer rope ,with a weight attached i have thrown it to the centre and foot after foot it descends but never has it reached the bottom
The water never moves no stars are ever reflected no cloud dances on the still water
no matter how cold the surrounding ground the water never freezes even when Loch Droma has long since froze to a depth of 30 inches the pool stays clear and dark.. never moving no sign of life from its dark black waters.
But as i said if on the day when the moon dances in front of the sun wait till dark then head to the pool
i am sure like me the site that will greet you when you climb the scare will halt you in your tracks
from the edge of the pool and stretching oot 10 yards and forming another perfect circle heather will be in bloom no matter the time of year and as you approach the water you will see
A small circle of gold in those dark waters slowly ripples outwards to the edge then in an instant GONE
the waters blacker than before , A wind will start in the high glen and roar doon the cliff and race to where you stand then as it hits you it to will STOP
Quiet will embrace you and beyond no sound no bird will call no tree will bend nothing
from this will come at first a silent whisper but as you lean into it to try to listen that too will drift away
The the waters will will rise first one foot then ten then plunge down the side of the pool further and further until they are no longer visible
but my friend don’t be scared , from the depths first one spirit then another till thousands will fly from the depths until the whole glen is filled with laughter and song
the moon will cast a golden glow and the stars will shine like never before
But as the sun begins to climb the horizon
all will return to the pool and and quiet will fill the glen
the heather will wilt and die the water will return at first a deep deep blue but quickly it to will become black again
the from the middle of the water a last scream will be heard which will fill you heart with hope
Wednesday, 23 February 2011
Tuesday, 22 February 2011
Added this wee sign to the side of my truck in protest at the rising costs of fuel ,transport firms are suffering as well as people that live in rural locations and it has to stop this continued bleeding of money by the government NOW........
We've had some brilliant news about our Tripping Up Trump campaign - the Press and Journal has revealed that Donald Trump has given up on his plans to evict families from their homes in Menie!  That's a huge victory for people power. There's no other way someone as powerful as Trump would have given up on his plans.
Standing shoulder to shoulder with brave local residents and campaign group Tripping Up Trump, we made Trump back down. That means families in Menie can go back to living their lives, without worrying that this year could be the last one they spend in their own homes.
Now, we need to make sure that people living in Menie know that if Trump ever tries something like this again, we'll be ready to send him packing. Click here to send people in Menie a message of on-going support: "we're glad we've got rid of Trump for now but we'll be ready if he comes back in the future".
Click here to add your message today:
Life for people in Menie has been difficult while this struggle has been going on. It's hard to make plans and get on with your life when you know that someone so powerful is trying to chuck you out of your home, so he can build a big golf course over it.
But thousands of us signed our petition, and sent messages to local councillors, telling them that we wouldn't stay quiet while they put profit before local people's happiness. We need to make sure that they know that if Trump tries it again, we'll be ready to pile on the pressure. Then we'll get all our messages together, and deliver them to Menie.
Click here, to send a message to people in Menie:
This is a huge victory for people power. Over 20,000 of us got together to stop Trump's plans for Menie. It shows that when we work together, we can win even when our opponent is one of the most powerful businessmen in the world.
Together, 38 Degrees members are changing events. On Thursday, we found out that the government in London had reversed its plans to sell off forests in England, after a people-powered campaign involved over half a million of us. The day before, we discovered that plans for a cow factory farm in Lincolnshire had been dropped after our huge public campaign. Now, thousands of us will be getting together to decide what we're going to do next. 
Click here to add your message to the book in solidarity with the families of Menie:
Thanks for getting involved,
David, Hannah, Johnny, Charlotte and the 38 Degrees team
PS Tripping Up Trump did an amazing job campaigning against Trump in Aberdeenshire, and played a massive part in winning this campaign. Read more about them here: http://www.trippinguptrump.
PPS We're still trying to make sure that Rupert Murdoch doesn't get to buy even more of the British media - sign our petition here: http://www.38degrees.org.uk/
PPPS 38 Degrees is a people-powered organisation, which doesn't take money from big companies or government. We rely on donations to support our tiny staff team - click here to make a donation:http://www.38degrees.
 Join the discussion on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/
Saturday, 19 February 2011
This is my wife Mel’s story about her long journey with cancer
Hi i’m the Dafthermit wife Mel
I was diagnosed with breast cancer 3 times.
6 years ago , i was living and working in Newbury as a care worker and my life just fell to bits.
I was so worried and very scared and thought my life would soon be over.
I had to undergo chemo for 6 months and it made me feel worse than ever ,i was so tired i couldn’t eat and i lost a lot of weight.
I was sick and so ill but the nurses gave me pills to stop me being sick , pills for this and pills for that.
And the chemo brought on my menopause which made me even more ill , but don’t worry the nurse said we have pills for that.
I have must have been taking at least 10 a day , I have never felt so poorly the pills had so many side affects as well.
The worse was my beautiful long auburn hair which fell out in chunks . I felt so low by now i was a total mess.
But i new i had to be positive otherwise i would not have made it, i also had to have six months radiotherapy where i ended up being burnt so bad.
I couldn’t move my arms much due to the raw burns.
Don’t worry said the nurse we’ve got pills and cream for that as well.
Ever day i rubbed in the cream but i had no effect , Andy took me to my favourite beach in Wigtownshire ( 350 miles away )and i swam all day nearly.
I couldn’t believe what the sea did , it healed all the nasty mess and i found i could move my arms freely again.
I had a check up again and they found another lump on the second breast . i hadn’t had to the chance to get over the first treatment i was still undergoing
I was lucky though i didn’t need chemo just radiotherapy again
But for six weeks this time
Again i was so sore i thought of giving up , but you cant can you
Six years later i am now at the stage thanks to the mountains of Scotland
where just last month i decide to stop taking so many pills
i have stopped all my anti-depression pills (prozac)
my sleeping pills and hopefully come of the my other anxiety pills
I have also for the last two tears stopped going to the hospital this was after i spent 3 years living with a wrong diagnosis of bone cancer .
It has been six years now and every day i feel better and feel so good to be ditching the pills
I now live in the highlands of Scotland it is a beautiful place to recover ,lots of fresh air mountains and lochs to look at , i don’t think i will be depressed looking and being surrounded by gods beauty
When you have no money turning things from rubbish to something useful is such a joy , after my recent skip runs i have enough wood to finish the bench inside also i have managed to make the front hatch so i can now lift the cab fully up making it easier to get at the engine for any work i have to do on it , i was also able to finish the front step even the screws were salvaged from the wood incredible how people can through out so much stuff ..
my new step leading to the studio, wee sand doon then some varnish ) when i find some)
Sunday, 13 February 2011
Saturday, 12 February 2011
Perceptions a wee email from my friend Michelle and as someone that believes we all tend to rush through life in this modern world i thought i would post this to show what we could be missing by not standing and staring for a wee moment
n Washington DC, at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, this man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After about 3 minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.
About 4 minutes later:
The violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.
At 6 minutes:
A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.
At 10 minutes:
A 3-year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time. This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent - without exception - forced their children to move on quickly.
At 45 minutes:
The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.
After 1 hour:
He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed and no one applauded. There was no recognition at all.
No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a Stradivarius violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold-out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100 each to sit and listen to him play the same music.
This is a true story. Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the DC Metro Station, was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities.
This experiment raised several questions:
*In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?
*If so, do we stop to appreciate it?
*Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?
One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:
If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made . . .
How many other things are we missing as we rush through life?
many thanks to my friend Michelle for sending this through to me
love and light
Guest article written by Krista ,it’s important to see the benefits of living an “outdoor life.” Many thanks my friend for this post as someone who believes in the health given possibilities of the mountains it is so important to spread this. After two years being back in the mountains Mel is slowly giving up her meds in favour of the mountains after three lots of Cancer we never thought we would reach this day and as always i thanks Scotland and the mountains for taking care of my wife peace and light
In today’s world, it’s more common to spend time indoors in front of the television or computer than to step outside. With technology grabbing hold of any free time we may have and with long hours in the office taking whatever daylight hours may be available, it’s important to see the benefits of living an “outdoor life.”
Spending more time outdoors gives you the chance to soak in some sunlight. While it’s important to use eco-friendly sunscreen while exposed to ultraviolet radiation, sunlight exposure wards off Vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is good for strengthening bones and for lowering your risk of cancer.
Also, outdoor activities provide a natural, healthy way to stay in shape. Keeping active prevents health complications like heart disease and obesity. In fact, being outdoors in the winter raises metabolism due to the changes in body temperature. Besides keeping you fit, giving your eyes a break from the computer screen and letting them take in the beauty of the outside world can actually reduce nearsightedness and other technology-induced eye problems.
Remaining indoors for prolonged periods of time may increase your risk of an aggressive cancer as well. Some drywall and insulation, especially in older homes and buildings, contains a toxin called asbestos. If inhaled or ingested for extended periods, asbestos gathers in the lungs or stomach and causes mesothelioma. Mesothelioma symptoms include shortness of breath and a cough, but doctors often misdiagnose victims due to a 20-50 year latency period. Spending more time outdoors decrease your chance of contracting this cancer.
Working and playing outdoors increases the chance of actual social interaction. Pulling yourself or your children away from online and phone networking gives them a chance to see real people and increase healthy social functioning in a literal environment. Being outdoors also minimizes stress. Too much stress inhibits your immune system and slows healing and mental clarity; it also causes depression and anxiety.
So, to maintain a healthy lifestyle and to reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, depression, and obesity, spend some time outdoors. Avoid the possibility of mesothelioma symptoms, anxiety, and stress by enjoying what nature has to offer. Whether you choose to live out your days in the fresh Highlands air or whether you make a conscious effort to take your family camping more often, keep the benefits of an “outdoor life” in mind.
Many thanks my friend for this post as someone who believes in the health given possibilities of the mountains it is so important to spread this.
After two years being back in the mountains Mel is slowly giving up her meds in favour of the mountains after three lots of Cancer we never thought we would reach this day
and as always i thanks Scotland and the mountains for taking care of my wife
peace and light
Wednesday, 9 February 2011
Tuesday, 8 February 2011
After a wee stop of at the Muir for a wee treat of a takeaway we headed to Inverness
We got Inverness at a little after 10.00pm and headed to Tesco so Mel could do the shopping funny how things are so different in the city the all night garage was unmaned so you need a credit card to get fuel and when mel got to the checkout it was them automated things and she asked as she does in Dingwall for them to open a checkout but they refused guess that will be the last time we shop there mush more friendlier in Dingwall.
12.00am and it was time to head of and have a look at skios for pallets wood etc that we could save from the landfill and to give me material for nest boxes etc also wood for the burner.
Heading to the back of Maplins we saw a load of shop fitters and loads of wood all over and after finding the boss Rick from Leicster and getting his permission we started to load the truck up.
Before we had loaded 4 pallets the police arrived and where sitting staring at us so i head over to what i found out to be a wee natzi copper he first asked what we were doing and when i explained stating i had permission he got out the car and pushed passed saying we will see.
then he turned up saying my truck was reported as off the road according to the police computer and after half an hour showing mots tax disc loge book etc he came back at us and said the woman had got the wrong reg no aplolgy and standing right in our faces mubbled something about the reg plate before heading of his mate gave us a side ways glance as if to say sorry ..
We finished and and Rick said he would have another few tons on Friday so off we headed home and apart from breaking down with a leaky pipe to the steering pump ( repaired with a well placed hammer blow)
it was an easy if slow journey home
another 7 tons of stuff saved from going to the landfill
love and light
Monday, 7 February 2011
Three hats sold , mot on the horsebox and skipping oh and another wee film from the Scratchy heed film studio
Well it is that time of the year again the dreaded MOT for the truck , not looking forward to seeing how much they are going to rob of me this year , only happy that i am a mechanic so i at least save on those garage bills.
So for the next couple of weeks it will be overalls on and oil can in hand lol..
Mel has sold three of her knitted hats so glad to see her craft doing well and i know she will do well with her stuff as we head out in the spring to laybys to sell them along with my woodcraft and pictures .
We are gettig ready for another trip out to the skips on Monday love it not knowing how long we will be gone or what we will come across in the bins etc and all for free.
I have just finished another wee film called NOT I again with our friend Sally providing the soundtrack this time from the CD Retrospective you can visit sally here
well until the next time saty safe and much love and light from us all here in the wee hovel x
Sunday, 6 February 2011
Got this from my friend Sharon and wanted to share with you all had us we e hermits in stiches many thanks my friend x
Working people frequently ask retired people what they do to make their days interesting.
Well, for example, the other day, Bev my wife and I went into town and visited a shop.
When we came out, there was a cop writing out a parking ticket.
We went up to him and I said, 'Come on, man, how about giving a senior citizen a break?'
He ignored us and continued writing the ticket.
I called him an “a--hole” . He glared at me and started writing another ticket for having worn-out tires.
So Bev called him a “s--t head”. He finished the second ticket and put it on the windshield with the first.
Then he started writing more tickets. This went on for about 20 minutes. The more we abused him, the more tickets he wrote.
Just then our bus arrived, and we got on it and went home.
We try to have a little fun each day now that we're retired. It's important at our age.
Friday, 4 February 2011
Down To Earth
Today i received a cd through the post from my friend Tam Cameron it is entitled Tenement Tales , it is full of real life and feelings i love working with people that have been through the tough times and it shows through their writing rather than some manufactured tripe the music industry has cobbled together .
"Hi Andy,i,m from Ibrox,dad was a trucker.I played drums in bands.Took up song writing aged 36 following a nasty divorce! .In 2000 i won Glasgow Songwriters prized Quaich,ended up and spent most of my life doing real hard work!"
To visit Tam on Facebook click here
and to visit him on Myspace click here
If you are thinking of heading oot to Mongolia then may i ask you check this site out first . my friend David from Scotland has Mongolian family there that run a travel firm
click here to visit their site
even if you are not planning a visit it is worth popping over just to see the slide show click here
Wednesday, 2 February 2011
He HOLDS it tightly in his hand
And rarely lets it go
I guarantee yours does it too
The greedy so and so
It's ITV,then BBC
oh no it's channel 4
And i don't know anymore
I guess it's just a man's thing
So i'll sit and do some puzzles
Read a book right through the night
So come on girls lets fight this fight
Let's start our own patrols
We'll march with pride
And grab them:
THOSE TV REMOTE CONTROLS
poem by M.M.LOWE
Coming round i slowly opened one i and thought shit where am i all i could see was large black and white stripes i tried to close my eyes again and carry on sleeping when from somewhere i could hear a voice say come on mate you can'y stay here .i thought sod it i just need another 36 hrs sleep and then i'll get up.
I could feel two arms linking under mine and suddenly i was lifted straight up i struggled to open my eyes again and through my drunken haze i realised i had fallen asleep on a Zebra crossing in the middle of Oswestry town people were all around staring and muttering drunken pig etc etc
My head felt like 200 drills were going of at once i just needed to sleep
the last thing i could remember was sitting with my dad who i hadn't seen for a few years never really got on so i had travelled up to Oswestry to try and sort things out with him but during the night we had had words (another story)
My eyes started to focus and my wee daft brain was starting to take in what was being said
Two coppers were telling me to get into the car they were taking me to the police station i tried to say sorry and i would head of without any troubl but they bundled mr into the car and of we went i fumbled around and sorted a fag when one of them turned around and told me to put it out after grabbing a few puffs to kick my lungs into action i opened the window and nipping the end i put the butt into my pocket and quickly stashed my smokes away as i knew they would take my smokes of me if they arrested me..
When we arrived at the station the usual empty your pockets and questions followed when one of them spotted my Army ID card after a quick discussion i was put into a cell and the door slammed shut i shouted if i could get a coffee but no answer
I dug out a fag and after a quick smoke i grabbed the one blanket on the solid stone bunk and lay down for a hopefully few hours sleep..
I don't know how long it was when the door was thrown open and in the doorway stood two bloody MP'S saying STAND TO ATTENTION which i did i was asked my rank and serial number which i shouted out at them .i thought i would be taken back to my unit at last..
They barked out the order to quick march and drilled me out of the police station and into the back of a landrover
Sitting there i knew i was in trouble but had thought it worth it to try and sort things out with my dad (complete waste of ttime )
After about 1/2 hr we pulled up at the gates to an infantry unit the barrier wa raised and the landrover jerked to a halt by the guard room the tail was was dropped with an almighty bang (which set my hangover of again)
I slowly started to get out of the landy when one of the MP's grabbed an arm and shouted BLOODY MOVE YOU SOD .
I fell to the ground i was just about to get up when a large boot flew into my side followed by a punch (That was it i switched of to them bastards and refused to answer or in anyway acknpwledge them i wondered into the guard room with them barking all sorts of shite at me but i couldn't give a f**k what they said to me ,my scottish humour kicked in as it always dose at times like that and the got angrier and angrier with me .
after being asked over and over my name and rank which i refused to answer i was forced into a cell with the door slammed shut
by now i was ragging i had felt safe when i relised i was being taken back to my unit only to end up with these arsholes
An hour passed when the door opened and some officer was standing in front of i was ordered to my feet but told them to f**k off all i could think to say was f**k you and your crew i'm reme and i refuse to talk to shit
Well the officer did@t agree with me and ordered a one hour check (this is when tthey come to your cell every hour on the hour and you are meant to jump up even if you are asllep and stand by the door and give your name rank and number.
I just shouted f**k of you bunch of dickwits and found a fag which they hadn't found on my entry search.
I thought i would be shipped out to my unit within a couple of hours (that is what should have happened )
Instead i was kept ther from friday untill mon morning when the mps from my unit arrived to collect me
I spent those 2 day's or so getting a kicking every hour. the door would open and i would refuse to obey them they then would enter the cell and lay into me occasionally i would get a good swing at the bastards but mostly i was completely overwhelmed by them and a the hours drifted by i just wanted to sleep so much
Monday morning and the door opened i was ready for another kicking when i recognised one of the mps he was from my base and asked me to come with him and as i walked passed all those bastard's he told them that they would be hearing from my commandant about their treatment of this soldier.
I was taken out to the min bus waiting at the kerb and when i got into the seat i was handed a fag some sandwhiches and a flask of coffee...
I was so happy to be back with my UNIT ..
We had been on the road for over two weeks solid now i reckon i had had about 12 hrs sleep if i was lucky but the adreniline was still coarsing through my viens .I was twenty and i couldn't believe that wee boy from that wee village Cardross in scotland had managed to qualify as a R.E.M.E craftsman and here i was travelling down the Autobahn somewher in Germany on a full size Excerise .sitting in the antar we had just got some grub together and we were flying down the road at maximum speed the noise coming from the rolls royce engine was incredible the smell of the exhaust was blowing in through the window from the truck in front and sitting there with a bacon butty i had never been happier then we hit a hill and the speed dropped from max 18 mile an hour (believe me in an Antar with a chieften tank on the trailer total weight 160 tons going at 18 miles an hour if felt more like 180 mile an hour)down to 3 or 4 and slowly began the climb in front of us where 15 complete antars and behind us were a further 10 followed by my reme wagon with my mate in it we were the only two reme on the excercise and i often wandered up the convoy to be with different friends then i would climb back into my wagon there were maybe 10-15 motorbikes buzzing up and down checking everything was ok and a few landy's about and in he air we had several different kinds of helicopters following (pumas etc) then we always had the German police following in cars and there own helicopters .
It had gone well during the night no break downs so we were all still together and we had only another few miles before hitting the base were we were to drop the tanks at Osnibruk (if there was a breakdown it was up to me and my mate to fix the problem how everlong it took and keep the commander informed with things sometimes we could be there for a day or two and then we would have to catch up with the convoy.
I looked out of the window and could see the german police helicopters were heading of now and just as i looked back i saw the antar in front slowly start to drift to the left then come back on th road only to swerve violently to the left and start to go down the steep banking on the left of the autobahn we coul do nothing but watch as the Antar roared down the bank uprooting trees as if they were twigs the noise was incredible it sounded like the largest bang of thunder i had ever heard but still the truck ploughed on when the tank turret began swinging round and the barrel of the gun dug into the ground and lifted the whole trailer into the air the smoke was billowing 200 to 300 ft into the air and the noise as metal was being twisted and ripped into was absolutely terrifying eventually though the truck stopped followe by a strange silence only broken as the odd thing fell from the wagon to the ground i looked at my mate and without saying anything we though our friends in there had had it no way any one could walk from that but just as we were getting out i could see the side window open with a jerk and slowly out popped Yan the smallest tallest man i have ever met he crawled to the ground got up walked up to me and simply i swear to god said "Andy give us a fag bud"
Yan was M.S.O he was about 70 yrs old when i met him he had seen his family slaughtered by the Natzi's during the war all my friends in the mso had similar stories and i will never forget meeting that bunch of MEN and for the HONOUR of inviting me to join them after leaving the army they will travel with me ALWAYS .
Just got these wee pics of the latest wee hope rock being created and off on its wee journey
Breakfast is the most importent meal of the day
enjoy the journey
its a bit crowded here
ahh thats better.
yeah thats better.
it was created by Sally Hope in Wales
love and light my friend
want to add your pics then email me at and have them placed in the next Hope Rock film.
visit lille who started HOPE ROCKS click here
Highland Heartbeat, a popular Scottish music entertainment programme, will capitalise on the interest in Scottish culture and Homecoming 2009 when it airs across the US in February on the US 'free-to-air' channel PBS.
Submit your film today and become a part of this exciting new festival!"
Love and light
Creative Boom Scotland
Quick links to various pages/sites within the Blackbus blog
- My journey into the Abyss a brush with suicide
- Just me thinking out loud
- Some off my posts over the last year
- Mels poetry
- Some fellow bloggers i follow
- Living off the grid
- Blackbus and horsebox conversions
- My photo shop/gallery and you tube films
- Blackbus blog reviews on Link referal
- My blog feeds
- Blackbus on Facebook
- Blackbus on FLICKR
- Follow us on Twitter
- Turn your blog into a BOOK
- Useful resources for your web/site
- Free Food and resources
- good sites to wonder too