Sunday, 12 July 2020


"You wanna get nuts? Let's get nuts!" said MICHAEL KEATON to JACK NICHOLSON in the 1989 BATMAN movie, and ADAM WEST said it again in the 2016 BATMAN: The RETURN Of The CAPED CRUSADERS dvd animated film. Guess what? I'm saying it again now. Why? Basically, because some of the subjects I write about are a bit 'nutty', in the sense that nobody else, it seems to me, would ever think of putting digits to keyboard in order to warble on about anything resembling some of the things that so fascinate me from time-to-time.

Case in point: Over 30 years ago, I had a friend who lived in a top floor flat about 5 minutes around the corner from me.  He had a three piece suite, but he considered one armchair surplus to requirements, so exchanged it with me (along with some cash) for a video player/recorder I had.  The armchair moved into my back room, and I'm sometimes astounded to think that I've now had it for far longer than the family three-piece suite I grew up with for what seems like an eternity in memory.

I had another pal who often sat on that chair when he visited, and last year, he actually bought the flat that the armchair had originally come from.  Not from the other guy I knew, as he'd sold it on long before that, but isn't that weird?  Pal #2 had gone from sitting on the chair to living in the flat that the chair had come from, without ever thinking of how 'Twilight Zone'-ish the situation is - in my mind anyway. It even took me a while to realise how bizarre a 'coincidence' it happens to be.  It's weird how seemingly random events connect up in a way that we would never imagine unless or until they actually happen.

Can you think of a similarly odd situation that's happened to you, or is it just me who reads too much significance into ordinary, everyday, pedestrian events?  You can let me know in the comments section.  Incidentally, that's a generic armchair in the above pic, as mine is covered in stuff and I can't take a good photo of it at the moment.  (I will when I can.)

Monday, 6 July 2020


In all seven family homes (counting the one we inhabited twice four years apart as two separate ones) in which I've lived over the decades, on the upstairs landing has stood the above ALADDINIQUE paraffin heater.  A good many years back, I discovered the envelope with the pamphlet and paraphernalia inside that had been sent to our tenement apartment in the West End of Glasgow, but I don't think I ever paid any particular attention to the postmark on the envelope - September 19th 1957.

That means it predates me as I hadn't yet been born, and when I was, I was too young to remember our Glasgow abode when I eventually became aware of my surroundings.  That didn't happen until we were ensconced in our first house in a New Town, and I remember the heater from that point on.  The last time I recall it being used was during the power cuts of the 1970s, along with a couple of paraffin lamps (which I also still have), but it's served merely as an ornament of sorts since then.  Obviously it could be pressed into service again were there ever to be another power cut.

There's something reassuringly familiar about seeing it parked next to the bathroom door (its spot in all our New Town houses) when I trot, barefooted, along the landing on my way to perform the hallowed 'ceremony of evacuation' of bladder or/and bowels.  I'd miss it if it wasn't there - it's like a silent sentinel that stands guard in the night.  Anyway, I thought I'd share some of the images from the contents of the envelope as they speak so eloquently of a vanished age.  The instructions show a bit of wear and tear, but the rest of the contents look almost new (though dated).

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