So Tricolor are a very accomplished and creative bunch. It has been my privilege to spend time with them. They play Irish music that is so Japanese. Check out this video. Incidentally they do all the filming and direction.

Anyway they are in Okinawa. I play with them on Saturday night. This actually puts severe strain on my abilities. Musically clearly, as these people are seriously skilled musicians who understand stuff like harmony, playing in tune, different keys and stuff. I do not.  The real strain comes from driving down to Naha in a continual traffic jam and then trying to find somewhere to park.


Peace and love

We play in a bar and it is incredible. Very good Irish traditional music for hours in Naha, Okinawa. How does that happen?

I drive home, having drunk water all night. I go to bed at 2:00 am. This is very unhealthy.

The next day, or today if you wish, is Open Campus at OIST. 5,000 people show up. Tricolor play in a corner.


Peace and love


Ani san wants me to shut up. Nakatoh san and Tomoko san are typically indulgent.

Anyway great fun and it is restorative to be with such creative people who are totally devoid of vanity. Not many scientists are like that.

Anyway buy all Tricolors albums.

Just for my own archive, my sporran went to it recently. I bought her in 1980 in Glasgow in the full flush of my youth. Okinawa did not agree with her and the sealskin, of which she is made, shed. Trying to strap her onto my huge bulk recently was too much for her and one of the straps broke. RIP faithful sporran.


Not on these green hills of Tyrol

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Behold also the Ships

“Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.” Thus spoke the Lord.

The reverse is also true. With no rudder,ships, which though they be so great, are totally helpless.

I must get a new rudder for the Scaffie.

I have assurances from the makers  the esteemed Honnor Marine, that they can send me a drawing of the rudder and the pintle mountings.

The original rudder was made from heavily varnished plywood some 24 mm wide. I toy with the the idea of getting a slab of Okinawan hardwood and cutting out a rudder shape but I fear it would be very heavy and prone to splitting. I therefor go on a search for  big slab of 24 mm plywood.

I go to the wonderful Make Manu.


They sell everything and have a very pleasing Monkey logo.

I mime 24 mm plywood and am immediately directed to racks and racks of the stuff.


What a great store!

I wish I had brought the Truckette but alas, as the original purpose of the sortie was not to buy huge slab of plywood but something much less substantial, I have only the Fitu.

The slab does not fit in the Fitu.


No room at the inn


No problem. I wander back into the huge hardware emporium and mime “baby rope”  with very satisfying outcome.


Very good baby rope


Plywood, little does it know what trials and adventures await it.

So,  I now await news from Honor Marine with baited breath. Once I have a template I can starting cutting. Luckily the slab is large so I can probably mess it up the first time.


The slab lives in the front room because I do not want it to get wet.

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Why I am so Fat

Not a good week er last week. Actually, like the curate’s egg, parts of it were excellent. Visit by His Imperial Highness Prince Akishino, an 800 person conference and a big moon.


Sponge Cake

All this made irrelevant by a very distressing accident.

The weekend turns out to be wet and windy.


Rain on Monday, Sunshine next Sunday

What can a poor boy except to stay home, play the flute and eat?


To market, to market to buy a fresh squid, Home again, home again, you owe me 6 quid.

I go to the Squid Emporium and buy a very fine squid that has been freshly pulled from the Forth.


Squid with ink-black rice.

I also have a rack of lamb.


Totally not Okinawan


I cut some of it into chunks


I have never eaten so well.

Why am I so fat?

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A Cover Up

Yesterday was the best day ever but today was even better. November in Okinawa is blissful.


7:00 am Sunday 13 November 2016

I remember that I still have the cover for the late and much lamented Dileas. As I survey my early morning flowers, I wonder if it might fit the Scaffie.


My plumeria has done really well.


The middle bit

Anyway I haul it out and stretch it over the Scaffie. It fits, more or less


24 C. Excellent North East breeze, calm indigo sea. no rudder.

I rig a long pole supported by plant pots judicially placed inside the Scaffie. This creates a tent effect, hopefully forcing rainwater to run off rather than pooling depressingly in the the concave cover.



I stretch the cover as well as I can, trimming the rope with an I:XL knife I bought in Tarbert decades ago.


All that glistens is not gold.

During the manoeuvres, I called upon an aged neighbor to lend a hand. He is older than me by at least a decade but has the Okinawan sparkle in his eye. He takes me to his house to show me his crab trap. The concept is the same a  lobster pot. The hapless crab is lured into the trap by delicious bait, in this case chicken, but cannot get out again. Greed. I go on about creels in Scotland and he looks delighted. Try miming a lobster pot. He helps me with my boat and I help him position the trap in the low water just in front of my house.


I am sure that it will be full of crabs tomorrow. Tomorrow I work so will not see. Time I stopped working.


Covered Scaffie

I think this will work unless high winds get under the cover, by way of the openings at the stern, and rip it up.


What does this look like?


Pacific Golden Plovers just in front of the house.

Bad week but amazing day.

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It is Saturday. It is the most beautiful day ever. I go to the Octopus shop to buy an Octopus.


Scenes inside the Octopus Shop


This is an Octopus


I cut it into chunks

Scallops are nonsensically cheap here.  I grate lots of cabbage.


I dredge some octopus and the scallops in magic powder.


I deep fry


Scallops and octopus a la poudre magique

I eat it. Actually not all as it is too much.

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In the Court of the Crimson King


I know nothing

So what do I know about things? Clearly not much. I bet $1,000,000 that my compatriots would not vote to leave the EU. They did.

I did not have $1,000,000 by the way, so I had to borrow a lot to bet $5,000,000 that Trump would lose. He did not.

I can no longer give opinions on things political. I am clearly totally out of touch. I thought I was so smart. I am not.  The times they are a changing.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no telling who that it’s naming
For the loser now will be later to win
Cause the times they are a-changing.


We clever people have to swallow the bitter pill that we are the dumb ones.

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I Vote for November

To all of you who are agonizing as to when to visit Okinawa, let me make a pitch for November. It is cooler, but still in the 20s. The sea is no longer bath-waterish but still delightful for water stuff, both above and below. There are flowers everywhere yet a just perceptible autumness, probably engendered by  the rice harvest.

I go for a ramble. I at last feel well enough to do stuff other than lie on a rancid sleeping mat. You know how it is.


Esso Blue


My Plumeria


My Hibiscus


Great White Egret


Common Snipe




What is going on in the UK and US?


Bird with long neck for grazing on high branches


Bird with long legs for running over desert.


Very rare Greater White Fronted Goose


First time I have seen these on the island. Hooray


This is how you dry rice.

Yep, a little constitutional around Okinawa in November is very, very pleasant.

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