We see people brand new people They’re something to see When we’re nightclubbing Bright-white clubbing Oh isn’t it wild? (Iggy Pop)

November 16, 2018

And I managed to get that track into a Radio 5 documentary I once did about what was happening to Glasgow post Year of Culture. 😀

And so dear listener, this may well be a shorter blog again this week.

Various things are happening and occasionally my attention is elsewhere. But that does not mean that good things are not happening. 😉

For example…….

Recently I, and the other member of the book club, read a smashing book called ‘our house’ by Louise Candlish. Now whilst I have Twitter, I’m not the biggest fan of it (JohnTho64114434 since you ask) but I do follow @OrkneyLibrary.

About a week ago, I couldn’t help but notice that their own book club had selected ‘our house’ as their book of the month, so I quickly tweeted how good a book it was and how much I’d enjoyed it. Ten minutes later I got a ‘like’ from @LouiseCandlish…….the author!!!!!!! 😀 😀 😀

I’d not noticed her name in the thread (as we call it). My legs went giddy.

Sometimes there is a reason for social media. 🙂

And the editing’s going well at the moment and people are actually getting back to me and saying how pleased they are with what I’ve done for them…..and they pay pretty quickly…….and there is an Out of Office up on my mail altho’ I’m not but if I can, I will.

And whilst I appreciated much of the coverage by the BBC and other broadcasters of all the Remembrance Day stuff, I am annoyed at one piece.

Brilliant portraits on beaches of people who were involved in conflict and described on the BBC Website as eleven soldiers. At least one was a medical person.

I’m talking about St Andrew’s Beach and the portrait of Dr Elsie Maud Inglis (Aug 16 1864 to November 26 1917). Described as ‘a suffragist and campaogner’ Indian-born Elsie trained as a surgeon and was sent to Serbia and Russia, but died from a terminal illness. At least the Daily Record got it right and I think the Northern Ireland beach portrait was a nurse……..

But then I’ve got a lot of time for medical people just now as, apart from anything else, the nurses at Maryhill Health Centre still ask to see me from time to time. Yes. My blood pressure is still a bit high at the moment but thanks for asking. 🙂

Breaking News: I have an MRI Scan at the Royal at the end of this month.

And I’ve been down the Beatson Cancer Centre quite a lot recently, doing some visiting, and some of you may have seen me post, on Facebook, a wee pic of Bingham’s Pond (to give it its official name) around which I walked before my own successful treatment of about ten years ago and still do a wee bit now as well……..settling, so it is. 🙂

And then I go in and sit for a while and on this occasion I was sat next to a nurse who was wearing a lanyard with the word ‘Catwalk’ on it. So I asked her what it was.

Older listeners, do you remember the Catwalk Rock Lounge at the bottom of Union Street? For that was the Catwalk being referred to.

It was in Union Street and was a sibling of the Cathouse and the Garage. I talked about a place called the Solid Rock Café in Hope Street. She met that with Volcano and a place called Inferno’s – she thought it was called. Was that the converted church in Pitt Street? I threw in Clatty Pat’s and Bonkers Show Bar but I don’t think she was too impressed by Bonkers. And no, there is no payoff or punchline…….I don’t think, but she was called Irene……… 😉

And finally, Doctor Who is doing my head in. I do not watch it for nice wee dramas about the partition of India in 1947. I watch it for running up and down corridors and monster/aliens/whatevers that won’t let me sleep, like the Weeping Angels, not those very nice Demons of the Punjab who look after those who die alone. They were supposed to be assassins, fgs (for goodness sake – it’s a new TLA, I’ve invented)

Tioraidh, still wearing that badge (altho’ I almost lost one) and still keeping it simple

Iaint850, and Joanna’s was just before my time and well before hers.

And just a wee quick word on the PM’s Brexit plan.

It was a plan, wasn’t it? All I’ll say is that, a few weeks after my divorce, I gave back some of the CDs. A wee bit of give, a wee bit of take and a little compromise is all we need and we’re there.

So Irene was more a rock chick and I’m more of a country boy these days so let’s go with the Pretenders – in case there was any misunderstanding.


“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes.” Maya Angelou

November 9, 2018

And so dear listener, a wee word about fireworks at this time of year.

From the bedroom at the front of the house I can see for miles and miles and miles and could see a million of them; from the back of the house I can see a lot of back gardens and could see hundreds and thousands of them; and if I stood in the porch I could see the man across the road stand out in his back garden – alone – setting fireworks off with his two kids and their mum standing behind the french doors watching the action. 🙂

Son Brian, this may be you next year. 😀

And as one tweeter said, ‘you don’t know fear until the Catherine Wheel has set itself loose from the nail your da’ used to pin it to the fence – now he’s shouting ‘get in the hoose, get back in the f**king hoose.’’

And it was Dwali the next night which accounted for more fireworks.

My other favourite tweet of the week this month was ‘Ma ma’s no talking’ to ma da coz she caught him googling that woman that does the BBC weather forecast’.

But which one? There are so many. 😉

And before, I move swiftly on ……I know there are tidier versions of this out there, but this is for every parent who has taken their son or daughter to play in a football match on a Saturday morning.


Just click on the link and it’s worth the wait……..altho’ the URL does give it away a wee bit.

And it was good (but for sad reasons) to see BBC Reporting Scotland pick up on last week’s call in the blog for more personal service in the High Street.

Here’s another example.

I wanted to book my car in for a free winter health check knowing that if anything was found needing done, I’d have to pay for it. I was put through to a call centre who arranged my booking for Milngavie, which was where I called initially. I was told by the call centre that no such promotion existed……..the next day Milngavie phoned to say, ‘eh, yes it did.’

I took my car in on Monday at 0800 as agreed and sat down and waited. At 0830 I got a text from the workshop, saying my car was done and was being washed and vacuumed and in the meantime, on my phone, were the details of my free health check. The whole thing cost me nothing. So, personal service or someone reading a script in a call centre? which do you prefer?

And finally, for a number of reasons, this is a shorter show than usual, but I’d like to say a wee word about Doctor Who. I don’t care about how politically correct the programme is but not if it’s at the cost of the Doctor running up and down corridors and can we, please, have proper monsters and not one that looks like a metal version of Casper the Friendly Ghost?

Tioraidh, still wearing that poppy and still keeping it simple,

Iaint850, who seems to be very attractive to various dogs in the Botanic Gardens.

Aye, the poppy. It’s that’s time of year.

I’ve seen many different shapes and forms including the very distinctive and very small Iolaire poppy and some others as well the bog standard poppy, of which I have lost two. Oh, for the days when you got a safety pin.

The Iolaire poppy commemorates the loss of 201 servicemen returning home to Lewis after the war and I know of one young man who can tell you that story as the ferry reaches Stornoway.

People will wear the poppy for different reasons but if you disagree why not choose another time of year to do so, if it means that much to you. Let people have their memories and thoughts. They, after all, have to live with the deaths of a loved one for the rest of their lives; you choose to jump on a bandwagon once a year.

The journalist Torcuil Crichton taught me a new Gaelic word this week which he heard from ‘former Downing Street spinner, Alastair Campbell’ – clusterburach. Apologies for the missed accent and I’m not sure if it’s made Google Translator yet.

I met Alastair at Charles Kennedy’s Memorial Service at Glasgow University.

His dad is from Tiree. I know other people with family there and love the sands there.

Torcuil also told the world that he’d be wearing his badge on Sunday at the eleventh hour in Parliament Square. My own house will certainly be quiet at that time.

For a totally different reason, I have found this to be a very gentle and relaxing piece of music this week. The opening was filmed in North Kelvin Meadow just off Wilton Street.

I never knew a guy who carried a mirror in his pocket And a comb up his sleeve-just in case (Shania Twain)

November 1, 2018

And so, dear listener, does that impress you much and do you know anyone like this? And, friend Debbie, I will always deny that story about me using a window in the project as a mirror at 3 in the morning. 😉

So let’s move on swiftly but before I do, can I just say that my sixtieth birthday was much more a milestone than a millstone. 😀

I have an idea which may reverse the tide of digitalisation and I want to share it with you. I even have a name for it. I am going to call it Fulfilment by Personal Service (which is in no way derivative).

It hit me last week. I have spoken previously about my dislike of 151 and 789. I don’t understand what they’re talking about (altho’ I did have brilliant service from one of them who helped me through a TV problem that was not a Virgin problem and introduced me to the buttons down the side) 🙂

A few months ago I was concerned about how much I was paying for my phone. Instead of getting rollovers I was getting bills and I put that down to the increased usage when I was in hospital.

But they continued. I spoke to both the above numbers and they told me I was well in credit but that wasn’t the problem. I happened to be passing the Virgin shop in Sauchiehall Street one day and I went in. Two questions later, I was told that my WiFi had been switched off and that was it back up and running. 🙂

Saturday there…a wee date storage issue and I was straight back. Again some questions, some stuff added to my SD disk and some stuff deleted, and storage problem gone. I went to Waterstone’s and looked at books and bought two. Amazon is great if you know what you want but you can’t browse………not browse in a bookshop sense anyway.

Waterstone’s also does coffee and cake. 🙂

And then I got a couple of messages (text as opposed to bread and milk) from the Green Zone aka Maryhill Health Centre. One was explaining that it was now possible to book Skype conversations with my doctor or, in a separate message, the nurses were telling me that it was at least six weeks since they’d seen me and would I like to arrange to pop in and see them? I know which I’m going for.

Incidentally I think all the nurses in the Zone are female and, do you know what? Nobody cares as long as you ‘get seen’. 😉

Supermarket shopping? Self-scan or staffed aisle? Altho’ at Morrison’s this morning finding a staffed aisle was difficult ……until I asked.

So, are you beginning to get the idea? Have you had similar experiences? Please share them here or with me in other ways. I’m not too sure where I’m going with this but I do think we, as people handing over our money, deserve good personal service whether it’s in a shop or at the bit where you go to metaphorically fill your basket and hand over your credit card security number.

Indeed word reaches me as I write this that Ikea have opened a small store In Tottenham Court Road in London to offer a design service before people go online to buy things………

And if you’re interested, my academic editing service (available from john.thompson850@ntlworld.com) is a service designed to meet an individual’s needs albeit all done by e-mail.

And finally, a drugs training workshop I was due to attend was cancelled but I was offered an interesting alternative the following Tuesday.

‘Would you like, jt, to do alcohol in the morning and drugs in the afternoon?’

My smile was of a very wry nature.

Tioraidh, still wearing that badge and still keeping it simple.

Iaint850, deeply envious of the multi-talented Bradley Walsh who I once spoke to on the phone.

Now, long term listeners of this blog will remember that, from time to time, I have attended formal dinners at Glasgow University and one of them is due up soon and it is a significant anniversary of that dinner club but I’m not going.

It’s nothing to do with alcohol itself. I don’t miss it and I get no cravings and I put that down to working with a professional addiction worker and not going to meetings where alcohol is the only topic. That wouldn’t have worked for me.

It’s just been so long since I’ve seen many of the folk who’ll be there and there’s a wee bit of anxiety that’s been hanging about that I won’t settle and I’ll get up and walk. I do like to talk to people and I do like to catch up but in smaller settings, e.g. curries, lunches, coffees or conferences on Hep C (coming to a Hilton Hotel near you next week).

It’s no big deal for me but it’s good that I’ve decided now. How will I fill that gap in the diary? Will I do anything social? Well, from time to time recently I’ve been going for walks in the dark, mostly designed to keep me out later and to make me sleep longer. It’s not as sad as it sounds. I have no dog to walk and I don’t jog/run.

I’ll maybe drive the car down to the University and go for a walk in the West End Perk where the phantoms might be dancing (Bridie).

Here, by way of a special request, is/are Bauhaus and their tribute to a great Hallowe’en hero – Bella Lugosi.

‘It was the worst cover-up in the history of cover-ops’ (Donald Trump highlighting what concerns him most about the killing of Jamal Khashoggi)

October 25, 2018

And so dear listener I was only kinda joking about stockpiling for a No-Deal Brexit or the Beast from the East but I was serious about needing a simple recipe for bread; one that can be made with ingredients from the ASDA, Summerston, which, whilst it has played a major role in the last thirty years or so of my life, it is not the best stocked of shops. 😦

There is no fresh fish counter, for example, and, as a pescatarian, if I want fresh fish I have to travel to the fishing ports of the ASDA, Bearsden or Morrison’s Anniesland…….and the Nirvana that is the shop in Byres Road……..is it still Beveridge’s?

Anyway, stockpiling…….I have made a good start by buying a new jar of whole peppercorns and some long life cartons of coconut cream. I would add frozen strawberry cones to that list but I seem to be eating those…….and a jar of beetroot but I now find John West’s tinned salmon very boring. 😦

And I do now have a couple of bread recipes. I may yet practise. Others still welcome.

And my concerns about the weather are not just on the basis that the (Daily) Express (thanks to Jeremy’s brother Piers who is a weather forecaster) predicts yet again it’ll be a bad winter but are based on my experiences of last year. 😦

My heart scare certainly coincided with the first bad weather of January and I can remember on one occasion walking up from the ASDA and standing stock still in the freezing cold so sore was my heart at that moment. 😦

And then, from the window of my ward in the Glasgow Royal Infirmary I looked out onto a cold and icy M8 junction with cars slipping and sliding. 😦

I’d only just got home and was getting out again when the ‘beast’ arrived and the only times I’ve had to use my Heart Attack spray were weather related……We’ll just have to wait and see.

But speaking of hospital wards, I do feel that one of the biggest steps forward for women was when the NHS did away with mixed wards in hospitals and gave women, and men, a sense of communal and complete privacy. It seems an old fashioned notion now – the concept of privacy – but I’m not sure either men or women would want to lose that.

Looking at Twitter there’s a strange language (other than bad) employed in discussing all sorts of things including gender transition and feminism, for example, and something called Digital Journalism which seems to be practised by academics who have never done any court reporting or council reporting in a small town. 🙂

But one big advantage is the ability to talk to @scotrail about when trains will be running again.

I got a reply within about four minutes and found that very helpful; mind you the other thing, if you check Twitter, is that ScotRail is not a very good or well-run network is it?

Anyway, that’s all a bit serious.

I loved the letter which appeared on Social Media (possibly from the Daily Mail) in which the writer complained about his new TV which carried the message ‘Built in Antenna’ and complaining that he’d never heard of that country. An amazing number of people were appalled at his ignorance and pored scorn on that ‘type of people’. It was a joke (LOL) I laffed for both reasons. 😀

I also laffed at David Schwimmer for his posting following the theft from the Blackpool supermarket and the subsequent posting from the Blackpool Police. I won’t explain it to you. Google it – if your Virgin Media broadband and television is working which it wasn’t on Thursday.

So I called 151 and got a pre-recorded message explaining that it was ‘planned maintenance’ and it was anticipated that it would be finished by 6pm and then (gulp) it gives me my full postcode and not just the area – which makes me think it’s only me…..but it wasn’t. Thankfully. So I went for a walk. And then the phone went beep. The Internet was coming back on. 🙂

And finally, I feel this has unwittingly become a round-up of my current life so I might as well keep going.

Yes, the vol stuff with the Scottish Drugs Forum is going well and some of the writing I’m doing may well appear soon online and my thanks to the Blogmeister for lending me a book called ‘Social Media 101 – Tactics and Tips to Develop Your Business Online’ which I started to read on Thursday when the Internet was down. 🙂

And the editing has picked up (a wee bit) and again my thinks to good friends e and Jenny H for their recent help and thoughts. 🙂 xx

Tioraidh, still wearing that badge and still keeping it simple in that I still have one of last year’s intended Christmas presents but I ate the other

Iaint850, actually happier than I may have sounded but lots to think about

So here’s a wee story, which relates back to my lost USB stick and the depression it brought – but ‘stick’ with me.

I was in an academic’s office a couple of weeks ago at one of those universities which has various campuses and was chatting away when one of his admin people walked in with an internal envelope (remember them) and said, ‘Here’s that USB stick you thought you’d lost yesterday (at that other campus). They found it after you’d phoned.’ And the academic was relieved obviously that it had been found so I told him my tale.

If only the Mitchell Library had been as efficient…….

Here’s Shania Twain and Dolly Parton 910 words

“I like bread, and I like butter – but I like bread with butter best.” ― Sarah Weiner

October 19, 2018

And so dear listener, let’s clear up the mystery of the works night out last Saturday afternoon.

I think some people got the wrong impression – thinking I was going out somewhere on my own for some strange reason. I mean I’ll be honest. I think one of my successes of the last (almost) twelve years has been the fact that I am happy in my own company but to draw attention to that – eh, no.

I mean, I do already have an annual event at Christmastime which does consist of me and my partner in the business but, Jill and Tricia, I am more than happy to organise something with you two as well. 😀 And indeed I am, as ever, open to offers. 😉

Anyway, back to Saturday afternoon and it was in a Wetherspoon’s and it was a Blue Triangle night out and one of the reasons for the afternoon starting time is folk coming off shifts. I think.

And Wetherspoon’s? Well some people may turn their nose up at that – or the owner’s political views – BUT the booze is cheap. There is no background music. Everyone sits down and people form an orderly queue at the bar. What more can you ask? 🙂

But after a couple of hours I got restless. I did apologise to the two women who I frightened when I grabbed their condiments and also the man whose t-shirt I was told to go and read. But then I left, having spoken to a couple of people I hadn’t seen for a long time. And then I take a long walk back to the station and headed home. I’m maybe not as much a part of the city as I once was but it still has its moments. And its people. 🙂

And then there was my wee visit to Stobhill Hospital – a nice wee hospital reminiscent of the cottage hospitals we used to have. Again I may have given the wrong impression. I was to get my blood pressure checked over a period of twenty-four hours and it took ten minutes to get a BP cuff on the top of my arm as per any normal check but then I had something the size of a remote control at the end of a piece of cable. I was given a pouch to wear it. I got used to it and even slept wearing it. Pretended I was back in hospital.

It checked my pressure every half hour and it let me know that with a massive beep which scared the hell out of me and must have increased my blood pressure and heart no end. I took it back early the next day (the man had said I could) and that was a real weight off my left arm.

I was going to talk about the taxi drivers but basically they were fine. It was only the first one whose Sat Nav I had to correct and to another……..’Look, yes, I did work with the homeless but I am not responsible for putting two drug addicts into your close…….and I am not personally responsible for their deliveries at all times of day and night.’

But the computerisation of ordering a taxi fascinates me. It’s okay phoning from home but twice I called from Stobhill and I was told to press 1 and again to confirm (1) and given a code number and seconds later a description and make of the car and when I think it has arrived the driver rolls the window down and says ‘t850?’ and that’s me and I’m in and on my way home. 😀

And on Monday I walked Holly the Dog. On my own. Now I’ve walked Holly before but a couple of people did say ‘I didn’t take you for a dog walker, jt.’ but I’d like to cite Sasha and Banksy and rest my defence as a dog walker……it’s the other side of things I’m not sure of. But people do say, ‘It’s a great chance to meet people’ (sub-text being women) and okay, it was a six month old cockapoo called Baxter but how do you move on from saying ‘Nice dog’ to ‘So what’s your phone number?’

I might have had a better chance with the women whose condiments I grabbed.

But a big well done to all those who returned from the Mod in Dunoon with medals of any metal.

And finally, I’m not a great fan of Twitter. I observe rather than use. But some of it’s pretty vile and the language that is used? Rancid. But there is nothing to stop me blocking Donald Trump, I suppose.

One nice Tweet that I saw was very complementary about a part of North Glasgow that is more often associated with targeted shootings than anything else.

‘I’m from New Zealand and the wetlands in Possil are studied in New Zealand as one of the most important sites for birds in the United Kingdom.’

Michaela Strachan, what are you waiting for?

Tioraidh, still wearing that badge but running out of ideas to keep it simple

Iaint850, whose hair continues to get shorter

So when does the stockpiling for a No-Brexit Deal or the return of the extremely bad weather as forecast in the Express by Jeremy Corbyn’s brother start?

I ask because I found a note I’d originally written to myself earlier this year, presumably at the time of the Beast from The East. It says,

Learn to Bake Bread

But I’d like to do that anyway.

Does anyone out there have a foolproof recipe for bread that I can use? Thanks.

And this is just good old country music (apologies for the ad at the start)

It’s the Dixie Chicks with Sin Wagon

‘No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting.’ (Lady Mary Wortley Montagu)

October 12, 2018

And so, dear listener, last Sunday saw the return of one of my favourite TV series. No. Not Doctor Who but the very lovely Great Canal Journeys with the very lovely Timothy West and Prunella Scales. 😀 x

She has dementia but it doesn’t seem to stop her from being a significant member of the crew of two and coming up with some very lovely memories as they often reflect on where they’re going and where they’ve been; in life as much on their journey on the River Nile.

There is a love and affection between them that is a joy to watch. 😀 x

I think it is obvious that I have affection for people as well and I don’t think that it’s wrong to admit it. You see their initials and occasionally their names. For example, people who came to see me in hospital at the time of the heart scare; people who came to see me at home after the heart scare; and people who have been with me on significant moments in my life. 😀

Long term listeners will have realised that this week saw the third anniversary of the Fortieth Anniversary of Blue Triangle in Oran Mor in Byres Road and it was a delight to have e and j there.

Not that I showed off. As if. 😦

And I thought the new Doctor Who crew were very lovely as well in what was a very lovely scene setter altho’ I did notice one reader’s letter which finished ‘This show has tick-box multi-cultural companions and underwhelming opposition.’

Y’know, I never noticed that about the companions. I just thought it was very lovely that they mixed so well and I look forward to seeing them again in what is essentially a piece of fiction – even if Bradley Welsh played a grand-dad who actually had to talk to fellow bus-drivers whereas the woman who became his late wife talked to her fellow nurses through a WhatsApp group.

Sexist stereotyping if you ask me.

But you didn’t. 😦

And I feel quite a lot of affection for Partick Thistle but as a wee bit of Stop Press (that ages me) said last week that we’re looking for a new management team. The team played an important part in my early days of recovery and they’re good fun (usually) to go and see but maybe me and Holly the Dog should have taken training last week.

But I like the style of PT fans. No matter how disappointed we were last week, there were no shouts of ‘Sack the Board’ from the John Lambie stand that I heard – only ‘a bit disappointing that’ and then home via a Chinese takeaway.

Mind you, there was a false Kingsley who did have his picture taken with the real Kingsley (the PT mascot). It turned out this guy had lost a Fantasy Football tournament and his forfeit was to wear a Kingsley outfit – but he did meet the real Kingsley.

And I’ve still got a great deal of affection for the other team I supported in the dim and distant past – Clydebank FC. There was a time when me, Jimmy Mack and my dad went to the games and then there was a time when me, Jimmy Mack and Son Brian went to the games but never, ever, all four of us…………….

Somewhere in a box of memories is a piece that Tom Shields wrote about the demise of the old Clydebank FC and me and Son Brian are the first two paragraphs. 🙂 🙂

And a big thank you to my dentist (but no affection cos it’s his job) who did a lot of work to my mouth but this was the first time for years that so much work (old fillings) had been needed. A slight feeling of the financial meter ticking away as the drill was drilling but it’s worth it.

The last time I had massive work done was when I lived in the southside and it was done by a dentist called Bridges. It was at the time when I was working for BBC Religious Broadcasting and for six weeks only (and the only ever time) I was co-presenting a pre-recorded late night Sunday television programme.

The next day I went to the dentist and he was chatting to me and reached the bit, ‘y’know, there was someone on TV last night who looked exactly like you.’ And before I could say anything or bask in glory, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz and the drill was in my mouth.

And finally, there was wee spat between our First Minister (the blessed Nichola) and veteran news presenter Jon Snow who seemed to be accusing the FM of being directly responsible for the 934 deaths by (mostly) overdose last year whilst ignoring the fact that much of the UK’s drugs policy comes out of Westminster…..cos it’s the UK’s drug policy – not Scotland’s.

There are ways to help and, for example, more information about and experience with Naloxone, which can temporarily stop the effects of an opioid overdose would help. #StopTheDeaths

Tioraidh, still wearing that badge and still keeping it simple. You never know.

Iaint850 – I’m not a vlogger but am I an influencer?

So I’m fed up with complaining that I’m fat and I’m now doing something about it. It’s a smashing health and wellbeing plan called Get Fit. Not Fat.

No. I know you’ve never heard of it. I’ve only just come up with it. 😉

Basically I’m having only two fairly normal sized meals a day, no grazing and at least a total of one hour’s walking a day except when there’s storms with two ls in Callum. No. I have no major target such as weight loss or waist size other than that shirt – that one over there. I want it to fit me again……Wish me luck.

And I’m not going to admit flyering defeat with universities these days but there are fewer and fewer opportunities to put up details of my editing and ‘proof-reading’ services so I’m trying more electronic means.

‘The costs are minimal against expected returns.’ A wise man said.

But I do think getting my name up on an open notice board is much better.

Anyway, I’ve never been a big fan of Taylor Swift but apparently Donald Trump likes her 25% less since she came out as a Democrat. This is by her.

“Ignorance is a lot like alcohol: the more you have of it, the less you are able to see its effect on you.” (Jay Bylsma)

October 4, 2018

And so dear listener, as you possibly know, I don’t watch that much TV but I do catch the ends of programmes and trailers and I do read the tabloids. In most cases I keep up to speed with what’s happening – particularly as some papers do previews and reviews but it obviously doesn’t replace watching

But I do get annoyed with folk who, on social media and in real life, ask folk not to talk about what they’ve seen on TV as they have yet ‘to catch up’. Well, don’t read the bloody thread then or walk away from the water cooler until you’re told it’s safe to go back!!!!!

Yes. I do understand the problems. I used to work shifts and found it difficult to catch up at times but eventually me, Line of Duty and my tablet became inseparable.

And before then, you actually had to record these things onto VHS or Beta and the pile would pile up and woe betide anyone who taped over something that had still to be viewed even if it was weeks since it had been recorded.

And even before all that, the only chance you had of seeing something again on TV was the repeat and even then, someone would complain about too many bloody repeats on the BBC.

So I’m going to say nothing about Bodyguarding Eva with a Stranger’s Cry or whatever it’s called and say I’ve just read a smashing book called our house by Louise Candlish and it’s about a house and the part it plays in a marriage break up – and it’s really good. Nice and easy to read with a few unexpected twists and turns. 🙂 🙂 🙂

And no spoilers tonight – except the new Doctor Who is a woman. :p

And it was nice meeting up with uni-Sharon the other day in a café in Paisley that is just off the street that is high (as were at least two of the people in the street but nicely so) and you’re right, Sharon, my hair is a lot shorter that it’s been in years…..and I quite like it.

It’s modelled on the style of my grandson who’s one and half years old. 🙂

(But I am fat)

And it was also good to go for a walk with good friend e and Holly the Dog onto the Uni-playing fields on the old Garscube estate and then my day was made. At 11 o’clock, a group of footballers went across a very historic bridge to do some warm up exercises.

Yes. It was the mighty Partick Thistle Football Club preparing for, well, I’m not sure what. We’re not doing too well at the moment but we’re now looking for a new management team.

But it was with some pride that I pointed out some of the players; household names like Brice Ntambe, Souleymane Coulibaly and Andrea Mbuyi-Mutombo and, my own favourite, Max Melbourne, who sounds like an Australian Comic book hero.

I did start to explain the phrase ‘straight off the training ground’ to e but she and Holly seemed to have moved on. About fifteen minutes previously.

And I too was saddened to hear about the death of Geoffrey Hayes from Rainbow.

Incidentally, I loved the tales of those who worked on Rainbow and moved on. For example, ‘Matthew Corbett (70) was part of the show’s original band, Rod, Matt and Jane. He quit to team up with Sooty.’

The madcap and cut-throat world of Glove Puppets. Probably banner headlines at the time!

And finally, I was in Glasgow City Centre the other day but was in a lot earlier than I’d intended because I’d caught an earlier train that was already running late.

There’s a lane between Queen Street Station and Buchanan Street and I sometimes know the rough sleeper bundled up there and stop and talk and give some money.

I didn’t know this guy but he was asking how I was, that I was looking so much better than the last time he’d seen me and was I ‘still off the gear’? I could only mumble replies as he asked more non-relevant questions and I gave him some cash and told him to ‘stay safe’ to which he replied ‘and you bud, and you.’ I think I felt better for that but some people did look at me out of the corner of their eye as I walked into the station.

Tioraidh, still wearing that badge and still keeping it simple.

Iaint850, happy to be alive……

So, research this week shows that weekly drinking among 15-year-olds has declined from 41 per cent to 11 per cent in girls and from 41 per cent to 14 per cent among boys. And I think that’s brilliant. I’ve nothing against alcohol and do believe that inebriation has been part of the human psyche since caveperson days.

But that must, in itself, lead to healthier people but some commentators (my age and younger) seem to think this younger generation were missing out by not drinking beer (or whatever) and getting into scrapes and mis-spending their youth and waking up in places they shouldn’t be.

No. They’re not.

That’s also the generation that will remember defence lawyers suggesting that their clients were innocent as they were normally well behaved but ‘the drink made them do it.’

Maybe this younger generation is moving in the right direction.

Not everyone can be as careful as Brett Kavanaugh;

‘I liked beer. I still like beer, but I did not drink beer to the point of blacking out.’ He went on to mention ‘beer’ again another 26 times.

So that’s okay, then. His wife, in the row behind him, looked a very patient woman.

Donald Trump does not drink. He is just an awful man.

Here’s a happy song. Well, it cheers me up. Cheers 🙂

‘Massachusetts shark attack victim ‘dies doing what he loved.’’ (BBC World News)

September 27, 2018

(And Social Media was jolly inventive as to what that might be)

And so, dear listener, we begin with a journey back in time. Every so often Social Media flings up a wee memory and a wee re-post of one rather special event did bring back memories to many people. 🙂

Alien Wars in the Arches in 1994 – a battle between Aliens and Marines and people who paid to get in to get scared. The memories were basically of people so frightened that they were willing to grab complete strangers to protect them or to hide behind them. Most people just wanted to get out of there. And eventually did. 🙂

There were rumours that some of the best of Glasgow’s young teams went in there to prove how hard they were and were never seen again. These after all were real Aliens. These were real underground arches.

Do you have any memories?

They’d been used previously (The Arches not the Aliens) in the Year of our Culture, 1990, for something called Glasgow’s Glasgow which was a representation of the history of Glasgow and in the way that everyone knows someone who was the dead body in the lift in the opening sequence of Taggart, everyone knew at least one actor in Glasgow’s Glasgow, which took some of the fantasy away.

And then I went on to become a zombie for M&D’s one Hallowe’en and I, then, genuinely understood the fear felt by the punters in Alien Wars. But this time I was doing the frightening.

But I do know someone who worked on Alien Wars. And suddenly a lot falls into place. Maybe she and I should have a chat about what’s NOT in our CVs 😉

It wasn’t the good Dr W altho’ she, at one time, was certainly an Arches regular. I went to an event there once with her (not a club night) but something else. She pointed out a woman who she said was Head of Security and a good friend of hers. She had one of those looks that could strip search you from about six feet away.

Happy daze. 😀

And now over to Skippy, our Royal Correspondent (being an Australian republican) as he watches Princess Meghan at a royal event.

‘Bloody foreigners, coming over here and closing their own car doors.’

But it is with sadness that I note the passing of John Cunliffe, the creator of both Postman Pat, and Rosie and Jim. Rosie and Jim I know of but never really watched, but I watched both Postman Pat and his fierce rival for ratings – Fireman Sam. Indeed at one stage, my ex-wife, our son and me were privileged to watch the stage versions of both TV hits and rather good they were. Am I correct in thinking that John Hurt or Ian MCKellen played the title role or is memory playing tricks with me?

But I mention social media a lot in today’s show and hopefully the Royal Mail will continue. Cunliffe, himself, explained much of the attraction of Pat’s character to children;

‘The postman to a child is someone who brings birthday cards and birthday presents.

‘They are not aware that he also brings tax returns and bills.’

I like sending cards to people.

And finally, I did watch some of Bodyguard. I wasn’t that taken with it but I’ll do no spoilers. There’s probably people still out there who haven’t got round to watching it yet.

There’s probably folk who don’t realise yet that we, as the United Kingdom, have voted to leave the European Union. 😦

I wasn’t mad keen on the bodyguard himself nor what he was scripted to say, ma’am.

But it was that last bit on the open park in London that annoyed me. The suicide bomber bit where everyone and his/her auntie was trying to talk him out of it….whatever it was. They did send for a negotiator but no show. And then, whilst I was prising my eyes open with matchsticks (I burn candles and incense), it hit me.

If only they’d sent for the late, great Blanche, Deirdre Barlow’s mum.

Some of you may remember this scene.

Can I say that many AA meetings are open and altho’ I only went to four (and a couple of those were slightly different e.g. the one at the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood) much of this is more accurate than many other representations I have seen on TV. If you have/had a sibling or another member of the family who goes to the meetings, ask if you go can as well….or maybe to a different one. ‘Anonymous but not invisible’.

And then, as you keep watching the clip, the dirty washing begins to emerge 🙂 It’s actually much better than any of the Bodyguard. 🙂

Yes, Blanche would have sorted them out. She’d have sorted the Aliens out as well.

Cya, still wearing that badge (and the sky remains big) and still keeping it simple.

Iaint850, happily getting to grips with volunteering.

So, just a quick mention about the football and that’s to be expected after last Saturday’s victory over Queen of the South (an answer to a well-known pub question). Twice Thistle were a goal down and twice they came back and then scored what proved to be the winner.

Indeed a similar match to the one attended by AJ and e a couple of seasons back.

On the way in I was told, ‘that lassie is giving away free soup.’ I went over and asked what it was. I was told, ‘I think it’s lentil’ and I think it was lentil too. I hid my unfinished cup behind a floodlight pillar. I didn’t want to hurt the lassie’s feelings.

Didn’t quite make it to Dunfermline this week but I hadn’t quite allowed for the game going to Friday night. Tapadh leibh, BBC Alba, although not going because of that change, I was able to see it on BBC Alba.

Given that I happen to be playing The Waterboys as I draft this, I thought I’d go out on one of their tracks.

I still get wildly enthusiastic about little things… I play with leaves. I skip down the street and run against the wind (Leo Buscaglia)

September 21, 2018

And I still say ‘Wow’ a lot 🙂

And so dear listener I was once a subject tutor for what is now known as the City of Glasgow College (and, indeed, enrolled as a student there last year and seem to have set a trend) and basically enjoyed my time there. 😀 😀

Before the magnificent building in Cathedral Street, it had kinda absorbed various buildings as various campuses including the very lovely Florence Street, which was an old primary school in the Gorbals and which I loved and the, eh, not so lovely Rogart Street which was a throwback to the days of the College of Building and Printing where apprentices learned to paint and build walls; and knock ‘em down again before the end of class so they could be built again by the next class. 🙂

So one day I was sent there for one day a week for ten weeks to teach the floor and wall tilers how to use computers to set out a brochure/flyer to advertise their services. Now, not every tiler wanted to learn how to do this so on that first day I split them into three groups; one was men of a certain age who had never used a computer before and then I showed how to play patience/solitaire thus teaching them how to click’n’drag; one was men of a certain age who just wanted to play pool and snooker on the computer and I managed to persuade them to turn their computers round and to turn the sound down so I wasn’t aware of them; and one was men of a certain age who genuinely wanted to learn and with them I made a good start.

In subsequent weeks, I managed to get them all working and at the end of each lesson they just saved their work to the computer unless they had a floppy disk (and do you think if I’d have used a floppy disk rather than a USB stick, life would be any different?) All was going well until Head Office decided to send a technician down to clean out the computers and eradicated every piece of work – including all the work done by the floor and wall tilers. I managed to stop the near-riot the next week and they all managed to pass. Well that’s what it said in the register so it must be true. 😉

Apparently the Theatre School of Scotland’s new studios are in Rogart Street. Wonder if it’s the same place? Just be careful what walls you lean against.

And talking of tilers….I did go to the dentist this week and, for the first time for a long time, I have serious work to do on my teeth and, in a similar vein, the Roads people have patched up the holes in my street and tell me permanent work will be carried out before the end of the financial year. So, several gaps being filled all at one go. 😉

(And, with absolutely no connection to anything else, it was exactly seven years ago that I started at UWS (Paisley) which was an amazing experience for soooooo many reasons (soooo many brilliant people) and the training for suicide intervention I was talking about last week is ASIST)

And finally, it seems that whilst the rest of the world measures typhoons, hurricanes and strong winds in miles per hour we, in Scotland, measure it in trampolines. I heard Scotrail spokespeople, weather forecasters and TV and radio presenters use it but Jackie Bird seemed uncertain when she heard it.

Dear listeners, a least one trampoline and an unharmed dog went viral this week but this is still the original and the best from Hurricane Bawbag of six (?) years ago, I give you ‘OMG Trampoline’

Tioraidh, still wearing that badge and quietly keeping it simple

Iaint850, and I’d describe myself as an ‘erotic spasm’ if only Vince Cable would tell me what it means.

So I’m very proud of something I did this week – on Wednesday, Storm Ali day. I’d given up on getting a train out of Queen Street Station and took the subway to Hillhead expecting to get a taxi up the road to the ASDA, Summerston but there were no taxis at any rank. I then thought about going through the Botanic Gardens and walking along the Walkway and slipping through a shortcut (somebody’s garden) to get to the Maryhill Road but the Gardens were locked (worries about trees falling over) So I just kept walking and it’s worth a wee look at a map. I did okay. At one point, going up the hill that is Sandbank Street, I was aware of my heart but decided that was a good sign and kept going. And then I got blown into a bush and it was then that I saw a train drawing into Summerston Station. They were still running after all. 😦

So this is a piece of music for me. It’s in black and white but it is the karaoke version, so please feel free to sing along.

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. (Aristotle)

September 14, 2018

And so, dear listener, I need your help. I would like to sleep longer in the morning. I think I’m still in hospital time from earlier in the year but it’s just my head. Much the rest of me stays in that one semi-asleep position but my head and my brain are wide awake. It sometimes helps if I keep saying ‘drift’ over and over again in my head and I drift off but then my neighbours who work night shift come home but I’d my car radio on loud as well when I came home from night shift. 😉

And there’s a couple of folks who get picked up; quite a few dog walkers; but I do resist the temptation to look at my phone and see what messages there are.

(Who am I kidding? I’ve just finished writing a blues song called ‘If it wasn’t for Groupon, I wouldn’t get no mail at all.’)

We’re talking about a totally unnecessary 0530 here. Funnily enough I slept much better when I worked funny shifts. 🙂

(And the day after I drafted this, I woke up at five to six and fell immediately back to sleep until 0723)

Let’s move on. Swiftly.

And a quick Happy Birthday to Son Brian. Amongst other things was a lunch at a place called Las Iguanas in Glasgow City Centre. I’d the Veggie Chilli. And then I’d to go to work.

I’d almost a disaster. I was convinced my breath was honking and I felt the spray tube in my pocket. I almost reached for it but, of course, it wasn’t Gold Diamond Spearmint Spray; it was Heart Failure Bring-You-Back-Alive Spray with those lovely blue flashing lights and a kind of feeling where the ceiling seems very close – or is that just me?

And Happy Wedding to Audrey and Paul. 😀

Oh, and I’ve got to go to the dentist this week. With my fillings. Actually without them. That’s why I’ve got to go. 😦

And finally, Serena Williams, whose behaviour was appalling and resembled a very very spoiled brat who was threatening to scweam and scweam and scweam until she was awarded the match. It was nothing to do with racism or sexism.

This was not her chaining herself to the railings knowing a prison sentence was beckoning like women did one hundred years ago nor was this her crossing a line of Alabama National Guard to get into a segregated school.

This was a woman so used to getting her own way that she actually said to the umpire, ‘You will never umpire on my court again.’ She has loads of previous.

The winner was a twenty-year old Japanese woman called Naomi Osaka who also some Haitian blood in her whose day was completely ruined.

Well done to Partick Thistle who, despite Kris Doolan’s perfectly good goal being chalked off the previous week, still gave him his goal scoring bonus which he straightaway donated to a Beatson Cancer Fund. 🙂

And Happy First Day to good friend e on her, well, first day. Maybe one day I’ll give her a guest spot and she can tell you all about it herself. 😀 😀 😀

Tioraidh, still wearing that badge and still looking at the sky whilst keeping it simple.

Iaint850, still dancin’ on the hood in the middle of the wood.

But before I do the serious bit, nice bumping into @soulboydaveybee in the toilets at Queen Street Station and I do know there is one day of the week when he is actually in town so it was with great delight I was able to say to him,

‘Is this Wednesday?’

To which he replied,

‘No. It’s Thursday.’

And then we both said,

‘So am I. Let’s go for a drink.’

There was some applause from inside one of the cubicles but sometimes it’s better to make an excuse and leave.

So last week saw Suicide Prevention Week but I’ve not been trained to use the word prevention.
Intervention’s a good word.

In Social Care you get training in this area and one of the first things you get told is we no longer talk about ‘committing suicide.’ It’s not a crime.

First of all, thanks to Alternatives down in Clydebank and Dumbarton I did Safetalk which helps you to identify someone at risk and to point them towards an appropriate person. I have used it once. Successfully.

Then, thanks to Alternatives and Blue Triangle I did ASIST training which helps to recognise the signs of someone seriously close to taking their own lives – bridge-jumpingly close – and intervening enough to stop them doing it by knowing how to talk to them. I have used it once. Also successfully.

Obviously then there is longer term work which needs to be done by more skilled and experienced and better qualified people.

We all know people who have done First Aid at Work Certificates (and I got my two latest last week). Check with the folk you work for as to whether they can also put you forward for something like these two forms of training.

Here’s Big Country with Stuart Adamson who took his own life in 2001. His daughter was talking about it earlier this week.