Thursday 31 July 2014


Began on a mock-up of the yellow lego building that will sit on the layout next to the theatre.

Started from the roof downwards and had enough yellow bricks for 2 of the upper storeys: the roof will be of black bricks.

Top two storeys.
 Will order more yellow and black bricks this evening or tomorrow.

Currently listening to:

A young Glasgow DJ called Fergus Clark who produced a guest session for Optimo's July podcast on Rinse FM.

At first I wasn't keen - found it a bit dreary. Now I can't stop playing it.

Last night's dinner:

Liver and bacon.
Currently reading:

Ian McEwan is a master of plain English prose.
Drumming practice update:

Probably the single worst and most depressing drumming session ever today. Borrowed a strap held Samba drum (a Caixa) and took it to my drumming tutor for what I hoped would be some fine tuning of my technique ready for the resumption after 6 weeks of the Saturday morning Samba classes.

Utterly disastrous: couldn't hold the stick with my left hand, couldn't get proper accenting of the strokes, and the rhythms sounded pedestrian and utterly unmusical.

Frankly, I have not improved one iota in 9 months of practice and tutoring.

Perhaps this experiment to prove that with lots of practice even an idiot can learn a musical instrument should now come to an end. This idiot can't.

A caixa.

Naturally, being an idiot, I intend to carry on, in the hope that a Eureka experience will arrive.

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Yellow Lego

I like this lego construction of a Parisian landmark - Le Bon Marche.

Surprisingly, the use of yellow lego bricks has worked.

I'll take a vertical slice of this building and build it next to the theatre.

Those non-yellow bricks will be hidden - they're just there to reinforce the yellow base.

Managed to find these yellow bricks.
Construction will start tomorrow.

Last night's dinner:

Asparagus and fried eggs
Currently listening to:

A friend of mine put me onto this rendition of Scriabin - available on youTube

I was keen to compare the old school Richter with the Young Turks in my collection: Sudbin and Mustonen

Currently reading:

Drumming practice update:

Last night's drumming session at the Samba class was enjoyable if unremarkable.

Spent my usual 30 minutes on the Jungle snare this morning.


Went into town by a circuitous route to have lunch with my sister and brother-in-law - very enjoyable too.

Walked passed this high rise block.
And this filthy flock of pigeons
On my way to see this sculpture exhibition in a railway arch on the south side of Glasgow
Then passed these street drummers - dynamic to look at but boring to listen to.
Where my father used to work - soon to be demolished, I suspect

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Lego to the rescue.

I've already used lego successfully on this layout when I added a black pitched roof to a ceramic building.

Now I want to use the stuff to  build the back of the ceramic theatre and to add one more building to that "part of town."

In an earlier episode of this blog I posted some photos of Parisian buildings that had been made out of lego; including a boxed set by Lego, although its scale is too big.

Here are the photos. Lego definitely has possibilities.

Step one: find the lego and clear (yet) another table for a work space.

Currently listening to:

The Happy Mondays
Last night's dinner:

Fish and veg stew.
Currently reading:

Most enjoyable.
Drumming practice update:

First session with my drum tutor for over 6 weeks. Was kind of hoping that he would notice and then comment upon an improvement in my playing after 6 weeks of daily practice. But he didn't.

Was a bit disappointed.

Later this evening my first Samba session at the Tuesday night club for over 6 weeks.

Not holding my breath for any complimentary comments there either.

Thank goodness I read all those autobiographies by musicians who went through similar experiences of failure and of being ignored but came out the other side.

There wasn't a "disappointed" facial expression on the old Fry's 5 Boys chocolate bars.

Monday 28 July 2014


Still mulling over the positioning of the ceramic theatre facade on the layout.

Placed the theatre facade forward of the church so that when I construct some kind of back to it, a little square will be formed in front of the church.

Currently listening to:

Last night's dinner:

Kidneys in roasted pepper pesto plus rice

Drumming practice update:

45 minutes practice to Bar Buddha Bar XIV

Currently reading:

Commonwealth Games:

Away by 8am on standard public transport - a No 4 bus 50 metres from our front door - and got to Hampden Park in time for the 10 am start for the athletics. My leg brace set off the security alarm at the entrance.

The athletics was fairly boring but fortunately I'd brought a book in my pocket.

The crowds around the stadium.
But the par-athletics was fascinating and gripping and inspiring.

Here are some photos from the day.

On your marks

Get set


Not as fast as I thought they'd be.

Some of these athletes are blind

And run with a partner

Or they have severe disabilities

The highlight of the day for me.
The para-discus was too far away to get a good photo, but the big heavy Nigerian who got the Bronze medal had only one leg and pirouetted on it to throw the discus.

The crowd

The discus netting in the far corner.

Ideal weather.

Got the front seat on the top deck on the way back.

Cutting through the centre of Glasgow

1) Public transport was far more efficient than the shuttle buses and other recommended itineraries.

2) I intend watching more para-athletics. It's more than just wheelchairs, although that would be fascinating to watch as well.