Ben Lomond

 

A friend and I managed a walk up Ben Lomond a couple of weekends ago, one of the more popular peaks in the Scottish Highlands. We were not short of fellow travellers, with the mountain being quite busy.

I managed a couple of nice shots on the way up and on the way back down, but sadly the top was just cloud! Ah well, an excuse to do it again in better weather (although I’m not sure there is such a thing as ‘better weather’ in the Scottish highlands…) This shot was my favourite from the day, I think it captures the drama of being up there in the clouds pretty well.

Slow Worm 

This is a Slow Worm – which is neither a snake or a worm… 

It’s actually a type of legless lizard common to the British Isles. A friend and I found this little fella – it is apparently a male by its markings – on the way back down Ben Lomond a couple of Sundays ago. We originally thought we’d found an Adder, but some Googling put us right. 

He’s a wee cracker, and was quite happy to pose for some pictures before slithering away under a rock (not that slowly, either).

Thanks for visiting 🙂 

K

Alcohol, Drugs and Media Cognitive Dissonance 

I spotted this article in a tabloid newspaper. It follows the same formula as most articles about young women dying from taking ecstasy (the media don’t seem to care as much about young men – or anyone else part from young women – dying from taking ecstasy, curiously).

To put it in context, in Scotland in 2015 there were:

  • 15 deaths from ecstasy-type drugs – this being one of the highest rates ever recorded
  • 1,150 alcohol-related deaths

If the newspapers were to report alcohol-related deaths the same way, they would have to print three front pages for each alcohol-related death EVERY DAY.

While this is undoubtedly a tragedy, in the context of drug and alcohol-related deaths you have to wonder why this one tragedy warrants a front cover story. Perhaps because the publishers cynically know that people care more about a young women dying than the scores of older men dying of alcohol-related deaths each year.

Also, the article fails to mention that many ecstasy-related deaths result from the nature of our drug policies. Ecstasy is illegal, therefore we cannot control it’s strength, it’s purity, whom it is sold to or where it is sold; the best we can do is tell people not to take it – when we know for absolute fact that asking somebody not to do something greatly increases the likelihood that they will do it. It’s called reverse psychology – people have a negative reaction to being persuaded or convinced out of a belief, and thus rebel against persuasion. Likewise, deterrence through threat of punishment doesn’t work either, and we’ve known this for decades. But that’s another rant…

Why don’t tabloids report deaths related to alcohol in the same sensationalist way they do ecstasy-related deaths? Perhaps it’s a case of mass cognitive dissonance, with two conflicting opinions about two drugs, despite both being drugs. Conflicting opinions about the dangers of one over the other, despite the evidence showing that it is the legal drug that is most dangerous.

Perhaps it’s because alcohol is the drug of choice for the elite, the media included and ecstasy is the drug of choice for the young and increasingly marginalised?

(not to say they don’t enjoy some Cocaine between friends after a long hard misreporting drug-related deaths to sell more papers – more cognitive dissonance, coupled with corporate greed)
There’s a drug policy debate in Parliament today, several years after the government’s own report finds that decriminalisation is a better approach than the current one, that punishment does not deter use, and that decades of punitive drug policy have failed outright, with drug use and drug-related harm, including deaths, practically rising year on year.

This isn’t because drugs are inherently dangerous – it’s because our drug policies are inherently dangerous, and the corporate media are party to perpetuating anti-drug myths that in turn maintain our current approach – patently the wrong approach – cognitive dissonance and all.

Ben Arthur & Arthur’s Seat

Arthurs Seat Cobbler W

The weekend before last a friend and I climbed The Cobbler in the Western Scottish Highlands – believe it or not, this stunning view from the highest point on The cobbler – Ben Arthur and Arthur’s Seat – is only an hour and ten minute journey from Glasgow by train to Arrochar and Tarbet station (plus a few hours climb uphill).

The prominent rock in the picture is Arthur’s Seat, not to be confused with the peak of the same name in Holyrood Park, Edinburgh. Many places in the UK are named after the Mythical King Arthur, whose existence is the subject of debate, as most of the information we have about Arthur comes from folklore.

The loch on the right of the picture is Loch Long, a sea loch which filters out into the Firth of Clyde, south past the Ayrshire Bay and out into the Irish Sea or the Atlantic Ocean, depending on which direction it travels.

More photos from this trip to come!

As always, thanks for visiting 🙂

Double Exposure Part 2

A couple of weeks ago I posted a double exposure shot of some rhodedendron in Rosshall Park, and wanted to share another double exposure shot today.
This one is a bit different – definite ‘goth’ vibe about it I think… My 14 year old mosher self would have loved this, I’m sure.

I put this image together from a shot of the front door in the disused cottage that sits next to one of the gates into Rosshall, overlayed with some bluebells that I came across while wandering about.

Sadly, the soup I tried to make from some wild garlic I picked in the park that day didn’t turn out so well!

Thanks for visiting!

K 🙂

Double Exposure (pt1)

Rhodedendron / Lilley Pond, Rosshall Park, Glasgow.

The Snapseed app, which is a fantastic photo editing app for smart phones, has a new double exposure feature that I thought I’d have a play about with – and was very impressed with the results!

I combined two photos I took in Rosshall Park, Glasgow (a beautiful Park – if you live in Glasgow but haven’t been I reccomended checking it out). The background is of the lilley pond in the park, and I overlayed an image of a rhododendron taken on the same day. I think it looks pretty cool! What do you think?

Thanks for visiting,

K 🙂

Corbyn and the corporate media elite 

Image credit:wikipedia

This fantastic post by Chris Renwick is doing the rounds on social media, and I thought it was worth sharing on here: it sums up a lot of my thinking about the elite and their collusion with the media and big corporations – to essentially screw the rest of us over and maintain their privelage and influence.  

Regardless of what you think about Corbyn, Chris makes some very good points about the corporate media, and the rest of the elite sh*tting themselves at the real respect of change if Corbyn is elected.

Here’s what I’m really struggling to understand. All I’ve ever heard from people, for years, is:

“bloody bankers and their bonuses”
“bloody rich and their offshore tax havens “
“bloody politicians with their lying and second homes” 
“bloody corporations paying less tax than me”
“bloody Establishment, they’re all in it together”
“it’ll never change, there’s no point in voting”

And quite rightly so, I said all the same things.

But then someone comes along that’s different. He upsets the bankers and the rich. The Tory politicians hate him along with most of the labour politicians. The corporations throw more money at the politicians to keep him quiet. And the Establishment is visibly shaken. I’ve never seen the Establishment so genuinely scared of a single person.

So the media arm of the establishment gets involved. Theresa phones Rupert asking what he can do, and he tells her to keep her mouth shut, don’t do the live debate, he’ll sort this out. So the media goes into overdrive with:

“she’s strong and stable”
“he’s a clown”
“he’s not a leader”
“look he can’t even control his own party”
“he’ll ruin the economy”
“how’s he gonna pay for it all?!”
“he’s a terrorist sympathiser, burn him, burn the terrorist sympathiser”

And what do we? We’ve waited forever for an honest politician to come along but instead of getting behind him we bow to the establishment like good little workers. They whistle and we do a little dance for them. We run around like hypnotised robots repeating headlines we’ve read, all nodding and agreeing. Feeling really proud of ourselves because we think we’ve came up with our very own first political opinion. But we haven’t, we haven’t come up with anything. This is how you tell. No matter where someone lives in the country, they’re repeating the same headlines, word for word. From Cornwall to Newcastle people are saying:

“he’s a clown”
“he’s a threat to the country”
“she’s strong and stable”
“he’ll take us back to the 70s”

And there’s nothing else, there’s no further opinion. There’s no evidence apart from one radio 5 interview that isn’t even concrete evidence, he actually condemns the violence of both sides in the interview. There’s no data or studies or official reports to back anything up. Try and think really hard why you think he’s a clown, other than the fact he looks like a geography teacher (no offence geography teachers) because he hasn’t done anything clownish from what I’ve seen.

And you’re not on this planet if you think the establishment and the media aren’t all in it together.

You think Richard Branson, who’s quietly winning NHS contracts, wants Corbyn in?
You think Rupert Murdoch, who’s currently trying to widen his media monopoly by buying sky outright, wants Jeremy in?
You think the Barclay brothers, with their offshore residencies, want him in?
You think Philip Green, who stole all the pensions from BHS workers and claims his wife owns Top Shop because she lives in Monaco, wants Corbyn in?
You think the politicians, both Labour and Tory, with their second homes and alcohol paid for by us, want him in?
You think Starbucks, paying near zero tax, wants him in?
You think bankers, with their multi million pound bonuses, want him in?

And do you think they don’t have contact with May? Or with the media? You honestly think that these millionaires and billionaires are the sort of people that go “ah well, easy come easy go, it was nice while it lasted”?? I wouldn’t be if my personal fortune was at risk, I’d be straight on the phone to Theresa May or Rupert Murdoch demanding this gets sorted immediately.

Because here’s a man, a politician that doesn’t lie and can’t lie. He could have said whatever would get him votes anytime he wanted but he hasn’t. He lives in a normal house like us and uses the bus just like us. He’s fought for justice and peace for nearly 40 years. He has no career ambitions. And his seat is untouchable. That’s one of the greatest testimonies. No one comes close to removing him from his constituency, election after election.

His Manifesto is fully costed. It all adds up, yes there’s some borrowing but that’s just to renationalise the railway, you know we already subsidise them and they make profit yeah? One more time… WE subsidise the railway companies and they walk away with a profit, just try and grasp the level of piss taking going on there.

Unlike the Tory manifesto with a £9 billion hole, their figures don’t even add up.

And it benefits all of us, young, old, working, disabled, everyone. The only people it hurts are the establishment, the rich, the bankers, the top 5% highest earners.

Good, screw them, it’s long overdue.

Mon yersel’ Chris, couldn’t have put it better myself. We’ve had generations of poverty and suffering despite being the sixth richest country in the world. It’s time the elite, corporations and the super rich paid their fair share. 

Clydeside Sunset 

Oh how I do love the Clyde on a sunny evening in May. Really enjoying the new River walkway the council have built – you can now stroll along the river all the way from the gravings docks to the BAE Shipyard, and it’s lovely 🙂 

Thanks for reading! 

Govan Graving Docks

Govan Graving Docks, Glasgow UK

(click image for more detailed version)

This is one of my quiet places, a big space to wander about in with little chance of bumping into other people. A space to wander in alone with my thoughts. The site is totally unique in Scotland, and a reminder of Govan, and Glasgow’s, shipbuilding heritage. The term ‘graving’ refers to the process of coating the bottom of boats with pitch to prepare them for long sea journeys, and this was the main purpose of the docks as well as ship repairs.

Sadly there are plans to turn the space into flats, probably flats that nobody in Govan can afford (queue the gentrification of Govan?). Developments on the site were originally touted to be around the idea of promoting the heritage of the site and perhaps building a museum or something similar that the community could access and enjoy, but as always it comes down to money and so they’ll wreck this historically significant site to build some bland luxury apartments so the middle classes can enjoy a shorter commute to their tax-avoiding city jobs.

I’ll be enjoying the space as much as I can until then.

Thanks for visiting and taking the time to read 🙂