Archive for May, 2008

Particle man, particle man, Doing the things a particle can. What’s he like? It’s not important. Particle man

May 28, 2008

Yes, folks, this is from the same album as Whistling in the Dark and other great tracks by They Might Be Giants including Someone Keeps Moving My Chair and Hearing Aid. I can’t believe I once played this album to a room full of beautiful women (G,G, C and C)! What a prat! No. This CD’s going down to the Oxfam, Byres Road on Saturday morning, Oonagh. 

And talking of beautiful women…..(How seamless, how cheesy)

I am no longer known as the Posh Man down the sandblasting centre. I am The Womaniser. (Laurie, there was no need for a hoot of derision there. I’ll have you know there is one regular, female, reader who, in an e-mail, once described me as a “stud”. You know who you are)

Anyway, it’s because I took the real smiley Carol out for lunch last Friday. I had, therefore, to show what I was capable of, and, when the opportunity presented itself, I came out with the superb line, “Those can’t be great grandchildren’s clothes you’re knitting. You look too young to be a great gran.” No. Dear readers, a gentleman does not tell. And, no, dear readers I have never used that line before. Not even down the old Savoy Centre on “Grab a Granny” night. 

And any student bringing their mums to the End of Pier Show at the Met this week….watch and learn. Actually, I might already know them. Worrying eh, Cathcart minor.

Sad moment today, as Marie Therese leaves. It was a natural assumption she was a Rangers fan, okay? How was I to know any different? Good luck, hen. Knock ’em dead in the Benefits Centre.

For me, touch wood, I finish on Friday, and, no matter what, there will be a slightly different blog on Sunday. Normal service will resume next Wednesday….just in case.

Elsewhere, and to the pedestrian I nearly knocked down on the way out of the sandblasting centre yesterday. If you want to walk in a diagonal line and there’s a white W reg Megane charging all over the place with 2-4-6-8 Motorway blaring out of the cassette system, you deserve all you get. I have the power of the blue, man cancer badge behind me. I am The Womaniser. (Sorry, Torrance One I want to be my own super hero this week)

Maybe I should get a personalised number plate, but not one you really should change every year as you get older. What do you reckon, Laura F? (That was clever wasn’t it, C? The way I protected your identity, there. Good, eh?)

Oh, and speaking of the man cancer. Plug time. Sir Ian McKellen will be making an appeal on behalf of the Prostate Cancer Charity on Radio 4 this Sunday morning and next Thursday afternoon. It’s a subject close to my heart. Well, actually, it’s further down the body than that, and, okay, since you have been wondering since last blog, yes, I am losing my hair there, but in this recent hot weather?…. not necessarily a bad thing.

And the website is www.prostate-cancer.org.uk (Suzy, are you sure Catherine is not a figment of your fevered imagination? And is it really in your job description to say things like “Not long now.” Have you been reading this blog?)

I’m afraid my finances are tied up in the spledge I’ll be making, once my treatment is over, to my gd frnd Clr’s run in Race For Life (slight vowel problem this morning, sorry. This coffee will help.)

Incidentally I’ve bumped into a couple of former students recently, both thoroughly enjoying journalism and stuff at Strathclyde University (although there are other good universities available). One of them, Bazza, was in getting his ear checked out at the hospital having fallen over recently. Yes, he was drunk. Ah, the legacy of teaching.

Oh, and Bazza, your old Morrison’s mate, my son, Brian, was asking after you. His golf handicap is now 14. (Mine used to be my clubs). And almost the end of the week for all people taking exams and stuff. So, why, Brian, were you out on the golf course yesterday?

And finally, for those of you who worry that you don’t understand every nuance and every cranny of this blog, can I refer you to the patronising words of this week’s Radio Times when discussing satellite settings for Freesat? “Readers who are baffled by this needn’t worry about it!”

You’re thick and you know you are, you’re thick and you know you are……ad infinitum

cya

Johnt850

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My diamond ring and my money too Tomorrow night could belong to you. The girls move me at their will. I live the life I love and I love the life I live

May 25, 2008

And the words of Muddy Waters really sum up my feelings at the moment with just five sandblasting days to go (And thanks Tam. Happy badgering). Things are going well. Life is good.

Except, for my most embarrassing moment yet. Given that for the last six weeks I’ve been writing about my (temporary) erectile dysfunction (they write it in italics in the books and then tell you not to worry about it!) this was the ultimate.

All you do for the sandblasting is simply to take your trousers and shoes off. Imagine my shame when I removed my shoes only to discover a big hole in my left sock! I immediately apologised, only for the gorgeous, pouting lady radiotherapist to say, “My little boy’s the same. Put clean clothes on him and thirty minutes later they’re a mess.” That was me put in my place.

Plus, foolishly, I usually tend to throw the whole pair out when something like that happens but I have now bought some new black socks, with coloured toes and heels, so they stay as pairs. (Y’see, C and Laura F, these are the kinds of simple ideas supermarkets are crying out for…just in case!)

There will be more about the sandblasting in the next two editions, and to those of you worried that the blog might come to an end at the end of next week, it will continue well into the Summer. Nothing worse than premature speculation, is there guys?

So away from the centre and back to Glasgow Metropolitan College where I used to teach (?).

First, the brilliant view from the thirteenth floor (and yes, media studies students, it’s a view, not a visual! You don’t climb up to the top of Ben Lomond and “generally” say it’s a cracking “visual”, do you? So don’t. It’s a view.)

However, to the not so brilliant view from a male member of staff who asked when my treatment was due to start as I still had a full head of hair. There are so many crass ignorances in that question and so much awareness still needed. However, to those of you who know where the prostate is actually located and are now wondering a similar question……the answer stays between me and the sandblasting chamber and those who inhabit it… for the moment.

And one more small point from my visit. The Gents on the second floor are environmentally friendly in that a light sensor kicks in as soon as you walk in. The sensor also kicks out if there is no movement after a certain time. Some of us are (temporarily) taking a little longer than we really want to and it’s no joke to find yourself suddenly “whistling in the dark”, know what I mean? 

Mind you that song, itself, does bring back good memories, apart from the slightly soft cheesecake that night. Sorry, ladies. Maybe try again later in the year, that’s all I’m saying!

And I met the real smiley Carol for lunch on Friday. Long time, no see, but the hugs were worth it! However my attempt to impress, in a well known Glasgow hostelry, by saying, “I’ll just have the lasagne as usual”, was met with “We changed the menu six months ago.” However, Carol, has now finally come out of my wardrobe to become a future hairdresser, a real highlight of my week. (Ash blonde and sunny blonde since you ask)

And speaking of beautiful women…..I didn’t make it to the wedding of the year last night but the wee man at the Hotel Reception told me just now that it a was brilliant night, that you, e, looked gorgeous, your nails were immaculate (Okay. I made a point of asking about them) and that you’d just left for the airport. I think he’d have called you back if I’d wanted but I felt that was enough information and I’m sure there was a breadstick still there with my name on it.

And finally, to my son Brian, my good friend Claire (sorry you got the vowels gag over the last few weeks but you’ll be pleased to know that’s all settled), to G, G and the T1, and every other student I know, of all ages, including so many of my neighbours, who finish exams and projects and stuff (hopefully) this week, Friday’s not that far way for you and me. You all go out on Friday night and get wasted. Me? I’ll put extra tabasco sauce in my tomato juice, but, hey, I will feel like I’m celebrating. 

cya

Johnt850

 

Well I can see her now, drinking with the boys Breaking their hearts like they were toys She used to love to party, she used to love to go, I knew the bride when she used to rock and roll, I knew………

May 21, 2008

Although to be honest, I didn’t but I wish I had done. More of the wedding of the year anon but why are all the good women spoke for? Answers, please……(Do you know I’d 18 spams to delete today before I started writing?)

So back at the sandblasting centre and an emotional farewell between me and the wee man from Falkirk, not the big Slag Off everyone expected. I almost missed him but was told he was asking after me. I ran after him and told him to “keep it fun”. Funny how both of us had specks of dirt in our eyes at the same time.

And who would have thought that my newest, bestest friend of recent weeks would be a seventy seven year old man who called me the ******* posh **** from Maryhill?

Oh, and I may be in trouble down the centre. I’d the last of my big jags yesterday (Did we ever establish, C, whether Laura F reads this?) and they can make me as high as a high thing. Plus, as part of phase 2 I get some extra lasering. All of which……so when the nice young lady radiotherapist complemented me on how good I was staying still while lying on my back I replied…….Well, let’s just say, I replied.

I won’t be able to look her in the face ever again. Mind you, given what they’re doing to me, it’s not as if they’re looking me in the face either. She’ll probably be dipping her hands in a bucket of ice today before seeing me.

Plus for all prospective journalists out there, I had a fascinating fifteen minutes or so listening to some of the other customers remembering their time in National Service (For once you can use Wikipedia). It’s all noted down for use at a later stage…..a real journey back in time. A wee bit like doing the time warp again, Siobhan.

And elsewhere there’s still no sign of either the Torrance One  – the Vampire Slayer or Kenny, the shed pimp. Hang on, you don’t think? Because they’ve never been seen together. Worry not, dear reader, I have seen them apart (if you know what I mean) and, as I’ve come to realise recently, size can make a difference.

And what about my good friend clr (vowels are definitely settling) you ask. Well, as well as colleging hard, like so many others, she seems to be dabbling in the world of sticky backed plastic and pipe cleaners, hoping to be a Blue Peter presenter….just in case.

Now, come on Irene. (Hey. Good title for song. Oh. Did they?) Not only do you know who Tommy Cooper was, you told me you used to go out with him when he played the Glasgow Empire. I was very young at the time when you told me that. “How was he?”, I’d ask. “Just like that.”, you’d reply. (Younger readers, don’t worry)

Tennis is definitely catching on in the area. I saw a man down by the railway line the other day (I live on the other side of the track but I suppose that depends on what side of the track you live on) and he was carrying a tennis racquet, a tennis ball and had a rottweiller type dog by his side.  A wee word of advice to Mel, the tennis coach. Teach the rottweiller first. You know it makes sense.

Meanwhile back at the wedding of the year, which is taking place at a secret location outside Glasgow. What, I asked? There is life outside Glasgow? (Just saying that, means the Young (?) Cumbernauld Fleet will be after me again).

I hope, e, that the rumours that the catering is being provided by the establishment formerly known as “48” are untrue. Mmm, chips’n’cheese and curry sauce. And is it true that Jame Blount (he and I go back a long way) is providing the music? Well, as long as he’s not playing as well!

No. Good luck to you and yr man, c, on Saturday. Some guys don’t know how lucky they are. Ceteris paribus, I shall be there but, if not, I will have a man in the trees, watching yr big day. Have a good time and thanks. (For what, dear reader, shall always remain a secret.)

And finally, I notice that Aberdeen Football Club are releasing a footballer called Dave Bus. Apparently, in the first five games he played for Aberdeen’s first team, they lost 16 goals. No. They haven’t given a reason for letting him go.

cya

Johnt850

The Pin-Striped Men of Morning are Coming for to Dance. Forty-Million Dollars, The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance

May 18, 2008

No. I don’t understand what the lyrics mean either, but Vampire Weekend are a smashingly quirky wee band. They’ve been on my picnic bench all week.

There have been requests for more mainline, sorry, mainstream Scottish bands but I draw the line at Fran and Anna. I did, however, consider stone cold sober by Del Amitri, particularly for every student I know who should be studying, not clubbing. Aye. Right. Go for it, guys!

Big week ahead of us down the sandblasting centre. Not only are the quiet lot joining us for Monday and Tuesday, whilst their lasers get serviced, but it’s the Wee Man from Denny’s final day (Okay he’s actually from Falkirk, but I’ve been protecting his identity). It’s the last Big Slag Off between him and me. I will choose my wardbrobe carefully and get there early. I’ll miss the seventy seven year old bugger. Who would have thought that six weeks ago? See cancer cameraderie?

And my heart leapt at one stage, when one of the lady radiotherapists said the magic words, “Eight and a half”. I’d forgotten they work in millimetres. I also heard the words, “Oh, that’s nice”, but to be honest, I’ve given up.

Still, ten trips to go and counting…Phase 2 starts on Tuesday and my final large injection also happens on Tuesday. (C, did we ever establish if Laura reads this ‘cos I’d like to run the gag in Wednesday’s blog? ….just in case.) So we’re building to a climax.

And elsewhere, I will say nothing about the events in Manchester, other than to relate the tail end of a conversation I heard South of the River the day before……”Aye. He’s got a ticket all right. It’s whether he gets outta jail in time, that’s the worry.”

And I will say nothing about the passing away of Tommy Burns, other than to say the excellent Herald obituary was written by Robert McElroy. If you don’t know what that means, there’s no point in me explaining it.

And, Torrance One – the Vampire Slayer, thanks for your e-mail last week explaining your absence, so far, from your appointed task. Just stay away from naked flames, okay? That’s all I’m saying. There was a blog comment last week suggesting T1 join the cast of Heroes, but I’m sure I saw the Vampire Slayer in Gladiators, with large cotton wool buds. Either that or it was a fantasy brought on by the medication.

And as for your mate, GK, she’ll thank me alright for cyberspace bubblewrap, but give her a whole paragraph in a blog and it’s hee-haw back.

At least my “good frnd clr” (vowel problem easing as we get closer to end of sandblasting) was straight in there, thanking the businessmen sponsoring her in Race For Life…men she’s never met before, mmmm….. I’ll move swiftly on.

Well, maybe not that far actually. Yesterday I bought some old music magazines from a second hand book shop. The man from the shop very kindly put them into a brown bag for me with just the highly coloured tops peeping out. Of course, when I got home and lifted them out of the boot, all my neighbours were there. Older male readers will understand my need to shout, “These are music magazines…not magazines with pictures of naked ladies.”, but I didn’t. 

And to the house down the road from me with MASON above the door, “You’re supposed to be a secret society, ya numpty!”

And finally, move over Peter Philips, Hello magazine, and that weird burd he married. This blog is currently negotiating for the rights to preview the wedding of the year in the mid-week edition. Watch this space! 

cya

Johnt850

 

The gold road’s sure a long road, winds on through the hills for fifteen days. The pack on my back is aching, The straps seem to cut me like a knife

May 14, 2008

Stone Roses there and that’s me well into what should be my final fifteen days…..of treatment. So far, so good. Actually I once got drunk with Ian Brown. Down in London. I wish I could remember whether or not I had a good time. I’m sure I did.

Quiet again this week down the sandblasting centre. But that’s because our usual machine needed servicing. (Too obvious, that one). Altho’ both me and the man from Port Glasgow sat in our usual waiting area and didn’t mix with them others. They are so quiet. Next week they join us. They have no idea.

Actually, this meant that the sandblasters were running a wee bit behind schedule and I was asked if I could stick it out. So I thought about it, long and hard…..(Amazing what a mis-placed comma can do for your blogging skills. I think I’ll just leave this paragraph unfulfilled). 

I had this mysterious Phase 2, that I start next week, explained to me by one of the medical staff and she did it really well. She doesn’t seem worried. But then again, she’s not having it. She didn’t seem “phased” by it at all.

What is good is that there is now a feeling for planning for post-treatment and the tests and stuff still to be done in June and July, which is why, dear readers, I am quite happy to keep this blog going for a lot longer than I originally intended (No. That’s too obvious as well) Clear up rate is supposed to be really good. Sorry. I think I’ve confused my clinics.

Incidentally, and on a slightly serious note (sorry Ed Team), I found myself talking to some folk I hadn’t seen for a while and explaining I was receiving treatment for prostate cancer. There was a gasp but the important words are “receiving treatment”. It’s like when I tell people I’m also a “recovering alcoholic”, the important word is “recovering”. Em, you did all know, didn’t you? Seventeen months now. Anyway, sermon over.

Let’s move onwards and elsewhere. My claim for incapacity benefit now seems well in hand (Still too obvious) thanks to an anonymous lady called Norma from the local Benefits Centre. Some money was paid into my account yesterday so I bought new clothes and CDs. What? Food? Sorry. I didn’t realise. And I also asked about milk tokens – just in case- but got turned down for those.

Returning to Richard Winton’s excellent Herald article last week about how Summerston is going to be swept by champagne and strawberries fever next Summer, I notice that Mel, the tennis coach, is looking forward to the fact that she is 21 just two days before she goes to America “with a mischievous nod towards the legal drinking age”. There is a website westminitennis@aol.com , but I’m sorry Torrance One a.k.a. the Vampire Slayer, it’s for tennis lessons, not bevvy sessions. Will T1 ever make it to the cemetary? I was offered the Cheerleader, you know, but I said “No. I like my superheroes local.” 

And can I, for once, pay tribute to the kiosk operators of our supermarkets all over Scotland. I buy a number of newspapers each day (There’s a surprise) and I have only just realised how the young ladies fold them in such a way that the bar codes become so much easier to scan. Watch me at the Self Scan checkouts from now on, but only if you’re really bored, dear reader, only if….

And I’m writing this before Rangers take on the might of Leningrad tonight but my favourite true story so far is that the Baghdad Loyal Supporters Club couldn’t find a bus to take them to the game. So the advice they have received is that “Teddy Bears who find themselves in the Iraqi capital should make their way to the bar of the British Embassy” So the next time you find yourself in Baghdad and under attack from a bunch of shi’ites and you’ve a bit of a drouth, get your Broxie costumes out and head for the Ambassador.

And I think that’ll do us for today. A whole blog without a single double entendre. Amazing. (Read into that, and the above, what you will, dear readers)

And finally, no connection, good luck to Gillian K and the others over the next few weeks. GK is one of the best things to come out of Cumbernauld, along with clr, since they built the A80. GK claims to have been one of my most loyal and faithful readers (both sides of the sectarian divide there. No need to turn my coat) since the blog started. Aye! Right! But thanks anyway. How’s the camper van doing?

cya

Johnt850  

2-4-6-8 ain’t never too late, Me and my radio truckin’ on thru the night, 3-5-7-9 on a double white line, Motorway sun coming up with the morning light

May 11, 2008

Specially for older readers..one of the best driving songs ever, from the Tom Robinson Band and the summer of ’78, when some of my other readers were still years away from being a twinkle in their parents’ eye. (Sob). And speaking of twinkles. It’s getting harder. 

Yes. The treatment is really beginning to kick in. Twenty two visits gone and fifteen to go and what is now happening is that the sandblasters are really beginning to home in on the main cancer, just like the Americans are doing with Osama Bin Laden (Bad analogy, doc, if you don’t mind me saying so). Mentally, highs and lows. On Wednesday I felt really down, so I contacted my “gd frnd, clr” (Sorry. I thought the side effects meant I had the vowel problem), who sent me, by text an inspiring message; “You are a lazy, fat smartass. Get on with it !”. It will, forever, be stored in my mobile. Mind you, clr must be the only person I know who can turn a harmless childhood game into “What do you want on your Gravestone… just in case?”. Coming soon to UKTV Gardens.

Whereas, on Thursday, simply because I turned up in a smart jacket, I was slagged rotten. Comments like “you’ve left the coat hanger in it” and “I hope you’ve still got the ticket from the pawn shop” (just in case) had tears running down our faces and great concern for those of us who had just finished drinking our water. Maybe you had to be there. Maybe it’s better you’re not.

Two or three of my new friends either finished on Friday or will finish at the beginning of this week but for technical reasons I won’t see them before they go. They don’t know about this blog, but a big thanks to them for making this all so much easier. I’ll do my best to stay noisy. Incidentally, I see the doc on Monday…soon, I enter Phase 2 of the sandblasting…..It’s like being in a bad episode of Battlestar Galctica…..and I want to find out a wee bit more.

Elsewhere, Kenny, the Shed Pimp, has been active. No. Still no new shed. (Worry not, blogmeister, when the new one is erected, you will get first choice of the pix). However, a man, whom I did not know, came to my door, shoved a twenty pound note through the letterbox and disappeared with my lawnwower muttering the words, “Kenny says it’s okay”.  I know K wanted to clear the shed first but I didn’t realise he was selling off its contents one-by-one.

And the News of the World has been giving away copies of a book about a (dead) crimelord called Tam McGraw, the Licensee, which explains why they’ve recently been running old or uninteresting stories about the Happy Dust Gang or triad fire raising in Cumbernauld..not that Cumbernauld isn’t interesting!

However, Elaine, you and your book club might be interested in engaging as guest reviewers the two gentlemen I was talking to later in the day about the book as in “He didn’t kill that one. He killed the other one. Aye, but it was with an UZI, no’ an AK47”. Just a thought. Incidentally, e, nothing from the Wyndford this weekend….so far.

Talking of gay icons, (TRB above), credit where credit is due to all those Rangers fans heading south to Manchester this week, obviously for the climax of the city’s annual gay festival Queer Up North (www.queerupnorth.com). How very liberal. And. Yes. I did see that one of the Zenit St Petersburg players is called Arshavin.And. No. I’m not doing the gag. It’s much too easy a target. (When I say……)

Meanwhile those of you close to the cemetary awaiting the arrival of The Torrance One-The Vampire Slayer, may have to wait a little longer. She’s stuck at the the big roundabout at the top of the Balmore Road. Y’see, T1, that’s why Gantt Charts are so important!! (Actually I think she’s overwhelmed by movie offers given the number of Vampire movies around at the moment)

By the way, Debbie, I think you should tell Mary what she’s missing by not reading this…and Lauren as well. Why not?

Finally, thanks to Richard Winton’s excellent article in the Herald on Friday, we now know that Melanie McKenzie is coming to work in Summerston (and the Glasgow North West Area) as a community tennis coach. Good luck to her and, see, Parfery person, we are on the way up as an area. Like you, we even have our own loch, only ours is called Possil, yours is called Lomond.

cya

Johnt850

I fought with a stranger and I met myself, I opened my mouth and I heard myself, It can get pretty lonely when you show yourself. Guess I could have made it easier on myself But I could never follow

May 7, 2008

Those Dixie Chicks can really read my mind…and, no, I didn’t even get an interview for the job at the College. However, to much more important things.

I think I know why it’s so quiet down the sandblasting centre. One of the doomsday machines is being serviced next week and I, along with others, am moving to another machine. Presumably they’re keeping the numbers down (No. Not culling) until both machines are up and running. It’s like being in the Falkirk Wheel and not moving. Not unpleasant until yesterday when the accompanying music was SClub7. That will mean lots of new people, including women who come down for radiotherapy, in addition to chemo. I, as an old hand, will make them welcome.

Plus my ego continues to diminish. (Go ahead. Have a good laugh). It reached its peak the other day when one radiotherapist said to a new radiotherapist, “John’s used to us looking for it, aren’t you, John ?” No, I’m not. I remember a time when size did matter…. just in case…..and I look forward to those days returning.

And Ian Maclean, what do you mean by the figure “80%” after your successful prostate surgery? How do you measure such a figure? I ask naively.

Moving swiftly on. I got a text from a gd frnd (No. I’m nor sure what that is either but she did sign it at the bottom, let me make that clr) on Sunday telling me that it was Star Wars Day.  I now realise, given the date, that it was merely an opportunity for her to say, “May the Fourth be With You”.

What I didn’t tell her is that I am frightened of people who dress up in strange costumes (at least that’s what I told the Judge) and that I had a very unfortunate experience with a man who had dressed up as Batman, when I was quite young. Okay I was forty and it was in the Maclellan Galleries. Hey, it was dark and I didn’t know he was going to unfold his arms quite like that. To my son, who was with me that day, I’m glad you turned out normal and I hope the exams go well.

Incidentally, for anyone who ever lived in East Kilbride, I noticed an advert for a property development offering “roundabout access” as a plus point. I’m sorry but is there anywhere in EK that doesn’t have access to such a thing?

Kenny, my shed pimp, was round last night to discuss my requirements. Amazing the services he has on offer. And, as he pointed out, if I’m getting a new shed, then I must be looking to the future. (See above)

And finally…. hang on, what’s this?

“Once in a generation a slayer is born. One girl in all the world (well, Torrance) with the power to battle the demons, vampires and the Buckfast drinkers in the cemetary. All hail The Torrance One – Vampire Slayer!” They’re all talking about her down at the burger bar in the car park down at the ASDA. What can be ahead for us all?

cya

Johnt850

 

 

You say you’re surprised. I thought I’d write today Pieces of my life That time can’t fade away

May 4, 2008

Some people say Jim Kerr of Simple Minds wrote pretentious lyrics. I say Jim Kerr of Simple Minds wrote pretentious lyrics. What do you think?

It’s been quiet down the sandblasting centre this week, which is good for getting in and getting out reasonably quickly but a couple of the regulars finish this week and, as yet, there is no sign of a new batch coming in. However, there is one gentleman I’ll mention who lives in a high rise over Stirling way with no letterbox. So I posted a letter for him. The next day he brought in a chocolate bar for me. See us, see cameraderie.

In one sense, it would be nice if it were busier, but in another, more important sense, maybe it’s good that it’s not so busy. What do you think, Suzy?

Incidentally, can I apologise to anyone on the Great Western Road mid-afternoon these days for my driving? I’m just so pleased to get away that I do put my foot down just a touch, just too much. I feel as if I’m auditioning for Grand Theft Auto IV, but purely from a driving point of view. Honest. Pass the AK47 will you?

By the way, C, I think there are creatures in the cemetary other than zombies and vampires. There are atavars, although it came as a surprise to find that atavars are Buckfast drinkers. Still they look as if they could do with a tonic. And, other C, I think they’ve come down the Balmore Road from Torrance direction. What do you think?

And, for no related reason, I noticed that nearly all the newspapers doing guides to Manchester for Rangers fans, missed out the large gay community based around Canal Street. I wonder why. And no. I’m not doing the gag where you drop the capital C and capital S. I heard that on Radio Scotland yesterday and thought it was childish.

However, quieter times down the centre meant another chance to read Shooting Times, our magazine of choice and the fascinating article entitled “Chinese water deer-why they are not all they seem”. Unfortunately, I got called through before I could find out what they really are. Still, we don’t ask rhetorical questions, do we, Brian?

Maybe they are charity muggers like the ones I met on Buchanan Street in Glasgow before a pleasant soup and sandwich lunch with a friend. The first one who approached me respected the cancer man blue badge I wear for prostate cancer awareness but the other one kept pestering me, saying couldn’t I spare another couple of pounds a week for the charity he was working for (that week)? Sorry, pal. My cancer, my charity. Do you need both knees?

However the cancer won a preliminary skirmish on Friday night at the birthday party. Seventeen treatments down and twenty to go and it’s beginning to hit me just how draining treatment can be. So I made an excuse and left after an hour…before the karaoke, Bruce, before the karaoke. Hope it all went well, Katie.

And Claire, that blatant plug in the previous blog’s comment column about you running in the forthcoming Race For Life will not be repeated in this edition. Actually, there’s a point. Do any of these “chuggers” give any of their own money to charity? If you’re out there and reading, please feel free to comment.

Finally, a big thank you to Katie’s mum for sharing a (non-alcoholic) drink with me the other night (Two straws. It’s friendlier) on the verandah of a posh Bearsden golf club overlooking the picturesque eighteenth green and discussing zombies. What really frightened me was the way she looked at me and said, “We all know where you live.” Is my secret life about to  be revealed, readers?

cya

Zorro, sorry, Johnt850