In Diary of events on August 13, 2015 at 12:49 pm

The cold dead eyes stare back at you from the safety of your newspaper and you can “just tell” he was a killer. The column inches grow throughout the day after the guilty verdict and all the details previously held back accumulate to build up the picture of how he came to commit murder.

That he came from privilege and had a paid-for education and the fact that his mother continued to believe in him despite previous signs such as claims he bullied others at school and had been the defendant in two trials for other crimes are details poured over with our morning cuppa while we console ourselves that he is not like us. He must be an abhorrent, evil soulless brute who behaved without conscience as part of a sick fantasy played out in a TV-show-type cover-up.

We teach our daughters how to be safe, how to keep in touch, how to reassure us. For it is too horrific to imagine that a chance meeting, with a man too unfeeling to treat a woman like a human being, could take it all away in a matter of moments.

Garden Centre/Home improvement eateries

In Ayrshire, Reviews on August 11, 2015 at 2:39 pm

I have Pottery Barned and Ikead with the best of them but have always thought of garden centre/home improvement cafes as a particularly British phenomenon even when they clearly aren’t. I have come to the conclusion however that what they really are, is an additional layer of hell that Dante hadn’t even considered.

Imagine, if you will, deciding to meet a friend or colleague for a quick bowl of soup around lunchtime before getting on with your respective days. If efficiency and economy are are important to you, you’d be better to go to an actual cafe where sitting down and being served are the order of the day.

Yesterday we met at Fraser’s Garden Centre which is on the road from Kilmarnock to Troon. The Lime Tree coffee shop resembles a hanger inside with lots of nick knacks on the wall. There are serviceable tables and chairs in various combinations which will suit groups ranging from 2-10. When full the Lime Tree could easily hold around 40 people. The problem however is that there is no waitress service for placing your order.

What you have to do it go through to another very small area and queue to place your order. You also have to remember to pick up your cutlery from the same table that holds the kiddie meals. You might be oblivious of this if you don’t have children with you and have to make a return journey from the hanger to rectiy your error.

There is a board with specials but these are not wiped off as they become unavailable so have a second choice in your head just in case. The queue wends its way past various cakes and scones and you’ll certainly have lots of time to think about what you might have because here is where is starts to resemble hell. There is only ever one person on the till taking the orders. You are given a tray with drinks after you have paid but if, like me, you have ordered something which requires it to be made up they give you a number and bring it to your table later. I had ordered two soup and sandwich combos which came to £10.50 and although that is not what I consider to be dear, I had to stand in the queue for 15 minutes and then it took another 10 minutes for a nice girl to bring the combos to the table. 25 minutes from arrival to service for soup and a sandwich is unacceptable.

Compare this with:
Dundonald Castle Visitor Centre – 5 minutes
Silver Spoons, Troon – 5 minutes
HAC Bar, Irvine – 5 minutes

Table service is actually more efficient in the long run.


In Reviews on August 9, 2015 at 11:07 am

Jake Gyllenhaal stars in the film Enemy, playing two characters who are identical physically but differ emotionally.

Adam is an assistant professor at a University who teaches on the topic of panem et circenses and the repetitive nature of government control cycles. Although his lectures are contentious he seems oblivious of the fact that he is living under such control himself. He is self-contained – although he has a very attractive blonde girlfriend – and never watches films. A colleague seems to be trying to tell him something and he suggests that Adam watch a particular film. The film he watches has a doppelganger in it and this proves to be the turning point for Adam. He still seems to ignore dictatorship graffiti on the underpass and gigantic spiders dominating the skyline as he turns his energies to investigating why he looks so much like a minor actor.

The actor Anthony has appeared in three minor roles but seems to live a more luxurious life. His wife – also blonde – is six months pregnant but Anthony is emotionally removed from her. He is seen at the beginning of the film watching a woman in heels ritually kill a spider with her high heels in the company of men who seem to be secretive and paying for the privilege.

Gradually the film explores emotional connections, physical similarities and dangerous liaisons.

There are repetitions, meetings, odd conversations, deaths and spiders.

The final scene to me indicated a final understanding that Adam’s life was a construct and that he had been under the control of those in power all along. But, what do you think?



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