Thursday, May 11, 2006

Time Cam

I'm with my cousins K and D - we're in someone's house (I think it might belong to me) and mucking about with a small video camera which I have borrowed. Scanning around the room throught the viewfinder (which only shows a greyscale image, as some cameras do) I notice that people's faces look somehow different. Most objects around the room look the same, though some a little 'fresher' tha they do when I take the camera from my eye. Most strikingly, my mother's cat (who is roaming around the room) appears smaller, shorter-haired and more athletic.

I discuss this with K, who is working in a little plot outside the tenement he lives in (it looks a bit like somewhere in Hyndland, Glasgow). He is brandishing a small gardening fork, and explains to me how he has deduced that the camera shows the past! He reckons, from the cat's appearance, that it shows objects and people to be about ten years before the present. At this point his sister F comes along, and we explain this remarkable news to her. She is very excited and jokes about how 'any woman would be glad of a camera like that'. I feel the need to clarify that - without some clever arrnagement of mirrors and lenses - it would be impossible for her to actually see herself through the viewfinder.

Later, I am walking along a street in Glasgow when a man's dog begins to harass me. I am immediately both angry and frightened, especially so since the dog's owner seems to be encouraging the beast's behaviour. "Look: fuck off with your dog" I cry. The man merely speaks to his dog: "That's it, boy - he's on my patch". "This is a public place!" I respond, "it's not 'your patch'".

The greyscale viewfinder detail certainly derives from experience of a digital film camera I was using a while ago. I've always been wary of dogs I don't know, and some of their owners, but doubt I would be quite so forthcoming so quickly in this situation...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Dreadful Nuclear Travelogue

A hazily-remembered but terrible and depressing dream... starting in a pseudo-Glasgow - the country was on the brink of nuclear conflict. Urban scenarios in Victorian official buildings; eventually I became aware that an atmosphere of resigned, grotesque, crazy fatalism had taken over, reminiscent of the film 'Downfall'.

Next, my wife J and I were abandoning the city at my insistence and heading (sometimes by car, sometimes by foot) towards Loch Lomond. Although there were no scenes of mass exodus - we seemed to be the only people heading for the countryside - we travelled through an increasingly lawless and chaotic Scotland. By the time we reached a pseudo-Helensburgh, the townspeople were flooding out of the town buildings with the news that missiles had been launched and were on their way.

Looking down the River Clyde towards Glasgow (things seeming to have become geographically reversed) I could see, against a clear afternoon sky, the missile glimmering... red metallic paint. And then, a mushroom cloud, smaller and more fiery than I expected. I watched it for a while, a column of flames shooting upwards from a small area of ground before realising that our journey should continue as soon as possible.

Therafter, an increasingly despairing trek further into the wilderness; a feeling of being aware that I was deliberately shutting off concerns about food and shelter, and our future in general.