Archive for June, 2008

Whatever the weather man’s saying we follow Sunshine or rain But he’ll never tell me how I feel tomorrow Pleasure or pain

June 28, 2008

Some lessons to be learned there from Gabriella Cilmi, and lessons to be learned for me from the last edition. Do not write a blog when you’re bored. Oh, the mistakes I made.

But, having bought her CD, I’m now on Gabriella’s mailing list and actually received an e-mail from her. No. A gentleman never tells. But the subject heading was “It’s Party Time.”

Sorry for that stuff about my upcoming birthday when I did that bit about the last two digits of the year I was born and my (technical) age being the same. It only made sense when I added in the bit that they added up to the current year, 2008. Simple, eh?

It was my hairdresser, Sandra, who pointed this out to me as she was cutting my hair so it can grow long. The real smiley Carol knows what I mean. And since you ask, a young mid-forties (the age I resemble) Those of you who have not seen me recently will just have to take my word.

And as for all those clever people researching the causes of prostate cancer…didn’t you see the letter in a Scottish tabloid this week explaining that it was caused by nuclear power travelling in the same way as ancient ley lines? I think the writer meant direction rather them all getting a bus together.

Now that I know that, I’m not so worried about what seems to me to be such a long time before I see my consultant. It’ll give him a chance to go out and find the eye of newt, the wing of bat and the unicorn milk which will guarantee me an exact cure. Aye. Right. My money’s still on the big….injections coming back.

You’ll just need to wait and see, Johnt850, be patient, and get on with life, without a care in the world, no worries…except just occasionally, C, just maintenant et encore.

So, C, where is yours? “On the computer”? You’ve seen mine, and Blr, I should have expected that when you promised me that you’d send me yours that night, I’d still be waiting. When did I ever get anything of yours when you said you’d deliver? Huh!

And by the way, complete non sequitor, honest, those asking about the other symptoms down below might like to know I got excited watching Carol Vorderman on Countdown the other day. I’ve never had a seven letter word before.

I worry about the fact that, when looking for a book by Barbara Horn recently in Borders (more than one way of skinning a cat than a rainforest river, I always say, and boy do I get funny looks when I say that), the young lady at the information desk could only find one by someone called Randy Horn.

Its title? Not quite what I was looking for but it did remind of the game where, if you want the name of a make believe porn star, as you do from time to time, the best thing to do is to think of the name of your first ever pet and add your mother’s maiden name. My first pet was a fish called Goldie. I think I’ll maybe stop there….just in case. Go on. Try it.

Incidentally, C, I did that thing where I said I’d bet a random page out of the Phil Vickery book against your flapjacks. All I’m saying is page 12 “hot chocolate fondant puddings”. Bring it on, as Wendy Alexander was wont to say. Are you listening, the other three members of the syndicate, G, G and C? And I’m quite happy with £10.63 from the horses. “No ceiling” on the bet. Good line, eh, Missie K?

But I’m worried for any ex-pats who come to Glasgow expecting to go visit the Broomielaw. It’s not there. I hadn’t realised that it had been completely replaced by Atlantic Quay, except for one stone cairn saying something like “Here lay the Broomielaw” and another further along saying “Here was the Seaman’s Mission”, adding poignancy to a black and white DVD I showed second year journos last year showing what it used to be like. Anyone want to borrow it? Plus some, now really amazing, pics on the walls of my front room.

But in the midst of this lay a glimmer of fun, albeit unwittingly, a sign saying “anti-climbing paint on gates and fencing”. And I just had to. Because it was there. Yes. The paint works.

I worry about the fact that Clinton Cards in Byres Road devotes a whole window to pictures of cuddly bears advertising a website called (phew! No direct link).

I’m pleased that my son has become step-uncle to young Stephanie, progeny of Karen and Andy and that my son’s mum is now a step-gran. That sentence needs no further comment.

I am delighted that a former journo student performed a stand up routine on BBC Radio Scotland’s Ellis and Clark Show and was really good. Nice one, Cathcart minor. Someone said to me, “I didn’t know you taught stand up.” to which I replied “There might just be a wee bit of me in there.” Don’t worry, JC, our secret’s safe.

I am ecstatic that the oven is clean and, Officer Laura F, no other evidence was found of what was obviously, at one point in my life, a heavy reliance on oven chips. In pitta bread. Go on. Try it. 

And finally, I’m slightly concerned that that magnificent seat of learning, Strathclyde University, gives great prominence to one of the streets close to the Barony (of which more in next Sunday’s graduation special) on its maps, naming it Catherdal Street (sic).

Sorry. I have a proof reader’s eye. A proof reader I know has mine. Actually I ordered new spectacles today. It’s weird cos you decide on these things although you can’t actually see what you’re buying. I just asked the folk in the optician’s. They must have been drinking. Their faces were blurred.

cya (with new gregory pecks real soon)




When it’s not always raining, there’ll be days like this, When there’s no one complaining, there’ll be days like this, When everything falls into place like the flick of a switch, Well my mama told me there’ll be days like this

June 25, 2008

The gorgeous Baileys Irish Cream voice there of Van Morrison. And, yes, Claire, some weeks the lyrics choose themselves. And now that I’ve worked out how to show you mine, it becomes incumbent on you to show me yours. It’s the same for you, Blair. You, after all, offered to show me yours first. I just happened to show you mine, which is different from the one I’m showing C, before…….

Yes, dear reader, I’m bored.

It’s the long wait before the date that I’m telling no-one, when I see the consultant to find out whether the cancer is still alive, or not. Nutshell.

I’m so bored that, whilst I’m not telling anyone the date of my birthday (next Wed, 2nd July, since you ask and yes, that does mean my star sign’s Cancer. No. It’s not getting to me. It’s fun, that’s all), I have worked out that my age (gulp) will match, numerically, the last two digits of the year I was born. Not that I look or feel like it, but I would not recommend that much of my lifestyle and diet over the last three years to anyone. (Katie agrees. A young mid-forties)

I’m so bored, that I’ve cleaned the oven. This is what home ownership and domesticity does to you. Avoid them!

I found blackened oven chips which have been there so long, it would need Laura F to carbon date them, especially the long fat ones. Regular readers may now be expecting reference to a certain gag. I think on this occasion, should I rise to that opportunity, Ms F would be fully entitled to make a “crinkle cut” blog comment. Not that….. 

I’m so bored I’ve been reading the Health pages of the Herald. Nice writing, my good mate, Tom S.

Thanks to you I’ve now got the cracking word ginkgo biloba should I ever take up scrabble; I know that the symptoms for Diabetes 1 are the same as for alcoholism (except for the alcohol); and why, oh why, does every my health column seem to feature someone who drinks “infusions of organic lemon with cayenne for like (sic) a week”?

Why don’t these columns feature recovering alkies with/without cancer, with small semis, who live off black coffee, wear Primark jeans and smoke/chew white plastic stirrers? I have a bowl of them in the kitchen. Stirrers, that is.

Oh. Too common. Oh. I just like reading about me, or hadn’t people noticed?

And Tom, leave the references to Woodstock to those of us who were there. Well. Saw the movie, anyway. But, hey, I was underage, okay? I have always been a hellraiser, know what I mean?

I’m so bored I’m considering watching Partick Thistle next season, and my thanks to Stevie Boy and J-PS for the fixtures and detailed comments.

And, yes, J-PS, I also think the 3rd Jan match away to Clyde will be called off. It’s at Broadwood, which is in the middle of nowhere, next to Croy Railway Station, which, itself, is in the back of beyond. Have you seen it?

There’s no canal around it, there are no drug pushers watching the game from the high rises on the Westercommon, no Munn’s Vaults (I wonder if that old guy with the walking stick is still pulling the same scam on visiting fans?) and worst of all, no Jaconelli’s for chips afterwards. How do these people, including C, Missie K and their families, survive? We need to do food parcels and we need to do them now, just in case. 

I think the Torrance One-the Vampire Slayer must be bored. I’ve not heard from T1 in ages. Surely your mission in Prince’s Square must be accomplished by now. What’s that? “Men with money”. Oh. I used to be one of those.

Listen, real son of mine, you enjoy your new car, your trip to Paris and I’ll pick up the bar bill for your graduation, don’t you worry. Holidays, me? I like the sound of a day out in Troon, myself. Or thirty minutes in Cumbernauld. Watch this space. (Or if you do read the my health column, Watch this spice!… Hey, I’m bored).

I’m so bored I’ve been watching SAS documentaries on obscure cable channels.

I’m even listening to Rock Radio as I cruise along the Maryhill Road but why do all the presenters sound as if they want to be the “late, great Tommy Vance”? Em, I don’t mean the “late” bit ‘cos that…I worked with him once on a promo video. Can you imagine telling him to project himself just a wee bit more?

But I love the five word weather forecast on Rock Radio. “No change. It’s still raining.” On a broadcast word count it’s five. Okay?

And by the way, Gary McD, “scourge of the bookies”, “The Pollok punter’s pal”…Croatia. 12-1. Each way. I nearly hit the roof when Turkey equalised. (“hit the roof”, GK. Good, eh? You and me can always just go ourselves. After all, you were the only one who seemed interested in guest editing…….)

No. What I was going to say, Gary, was “Did you see the pie eating contest in George Square, yesterday?” Not that I’m saying, but you now have a reputation to save. Comply or die. The connection can be tenuous. Don’t you worry about that.

And what is it about young women in white shirts, tight jeans and green wellies? No. I’m just posing the question, but the “George Square Harvest Festival” (seriously) did seem to attract a lot of young men, as well as those who looked in their young mid-forties. 

And finally, I may be really bored but have I also fallen asleep and missed July and August? A letter in the Daily Record begins, “On going back to school after the summer holidays……” Em, did I have a good birthday and how did my son’s grad go? It was written by a Bearsden 5th year schoolie. Maybe Croi has something going for it, after all.

A bientot, mes amis


Flowing like a river into the ocean. Better get yourself ready for the new vibration. My vision, one nation, one tribe. One day’ll come the might to move any mountain

June 21, 2008

The optimistic sounds there of The Shamen. I did think about their jolly number Ebeneezer Goode but someone told me it contained coded messages. Like, this blog doesn’t?

I realised how much this blog had taken over my life when I noticed I’d sent a congratulatory text to my son which read “I have just told the Vampire Slayer. She is pleased for you.” And this is me, “sober and solvent free”? Makes me wonder. (Led Zep)

So, I’m going a wee bit serious (just briefly, C, just briefly). I was talking to Suzy from the Prostate Cancer Society (I think our musical tastes might differ) and she was talking about the group support I’d received with the sandblasting, but that an equally important part of the cancer treatment, so far, has been the large hormone injections I’ve received. (If this wasn’t a serious bit I’d mention Laura F so I won’t). These you face on your own. But you don’t have to. Yes. I’m kinda thinking ahead.

So, let’s go back to fun, C. It’s been a week when bloggers have got a bad press cos, apparently, we rant and slag. Me? I just ramble, albeit unwittingly.

Ach, I think I’m still annoyed at the way Croatia chucked it against the Turks, the other night. I’d already decided how to spend my winnings but I don’t suppose there’s anything really to stop us still eating in the attic. And, of course, how many pundits are now picking Germany, but following it by saying, “Yes. The Germans are so used to trampling over everyone else.” and then sitting back for all the references to Poland and the old Czechoslovakia? That was seventy years ago!

So, how’s your week been? Mine’s been quite varied since you ask. A nice lunch on Friday where I was early and awaited the arrival of my companion by sitting on a very comfortable settee, as you do, only this one was outside a charity shop in Dumbarton Road, just across from a shop offering “Simple Bulgarian Properties”, except it didn’t say where they were located.

Thursday saw me at an excellent proofreading course in Edinburgh with Publishing Scotland, except me being a smartass, had to start it off by pointing out they had misspelt my name. But Barbara the tutor was the standard by which any teacher should set themselves. And I do eat more than just breakfast bars. Honest.

Nice train journey and I’d forgotten how far out in the country Croy Railway Station is and really nice to see Alison Walker of BBC Scotland at Queen Street Station, if only to be able to shout, “Good luck in the Olympics in Beijing!”. It may not be name dropping but it made heads turn. I’d also forgotten that people who arrive late for trains insist on running to the front carriage. Why?

And why is it the only time I feel like putting my feet on the seats on a railway carriage is when I read the sign forbidding me from doing so.

The other nice part of the trip to Edinburgh was looking at the old Fountainbridge area and remembering the time when I was researcher for a documentary on Sean Connery. The rest of the team went to Marbella. Me? I gumshoed my way around tenement doors asking if people remembered a milk boy called Tam Connery.

And do you know what? I found some. Now that was a real buzz, but no Spanish suntan. But aren’t suntans over-rated anyway? Me? I prefer hot tomatoes. 

Incidentally, my heart goes out to supermarket kiosk operators the world over, well Cumbernauld and Summerston, whose hearts must drop at a minute past eight on a Saturday morning when they see people approaching with handfuls of lottery tickets and fistfuls of cash. And it’s the same people every week. I find it quicker just taking my newspapers through the self scan…oh, and paying for them. Honest.

However, last week’s intellectual opening prompted one reader from South of the Border (Hi Ken) to describe it all as part of the “stream of semi-conscious post-ironic self-reflective genre” around these days. I wish I knew what that meant. Just in case, cos I do worry, is there an expert on New Journalism out there? It’s your call.  

Mind you, it’s quite interesting what former journo students get up to that isn’t journalism. (High Times wasn’t so good this week) I might just catch myself listening to the Ellis and Clark Show on Radio Scotland on Friday nights over the next few weeks (available South of the Border online).

Can I just, say, James, son, that I know what it’s like to sit with your ear to the Cat’s Crystal and what it’s like when your material is used? And you can’t find anyone to tell! Well, if you must. (Incidentally this blog exists on scraps of paper and I did wonder when I saw one that said “Alison Clark”. I’ve not seen her in years).

I think I can still recite every gag of mine that was ever used on radio plus the two that my son wrote and were used as well. No. I only produced one of the progs where his material was used and it was in on merit. Honest. And I made sure he got all the money. Honest.

And finally, all this Euro 2008 stuff, has put me in the continentale mood. Now, is there anybody I know jetting off to Paris for a well deserved few days quite soon, or even, a good second best, about to be sitting overlooking one of Glasgow’s top parks, whilst sipping a cafe au lait? Yes Loads of people. I’m really jealous.

Just to rub it all in, someone offered me a video of one of France’s top hotels. Why would I want to look at a  Paris Hilton video? pfft, as they say on the streets.

Au revoir, mes amis, au revoir






Well I finally found a home where I’ll never be alone Right here where I belong I finally found a home here in a song

June 18, 2008

The words of Huey Lewis there as featured in the book American Psycho and what I say is, that if a reference to modern day blogging can find its way on to the same distinguished pages as Hunter S. Thompson and Tom Wolfe, then Bret Easton Ellis is more than welcome here.

No. I’m not too sure what that means either but I’m sure that, even as I write someone, somewhere has a finger hovering over a keyboard. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 ping ! By the way, it’s now your call.

And on the cancer front no official confirmation of the date with the consultant so, obviously, I’m not telling anyone, anywhere, anything at all…..just in case.

But I was looking though the Green Book they give you before sandblasting, just to check that the current side effect was only normal……It is. I should still be tired. I couldn’t help but notice the advice where it says, “Accept offers of help from family and friends around the house if you need help.” I should have got the downstairs room re-decorated at the time!

And nice meeting you Suzy. Interesting possibilities. And no, CD, I didn’t get the chance to ask. Bound to be. There must be someone out there.

And in the strange world that is Euro 2008, where did Alan Shearer get that awful blackshirt from? Oh. Surely not. And my favourite commentator cliche of the tourney so far? “The corridor of uncertainty”. Listen, pal, I face that twice a week when I sit down to write this.

Anyway, Dennis what does David Taylor think of it so far? Hopefully more than Alan Hansen. 

And don’t forget, my money’s on Croatia. It could pay for the Loft (Not yet an in gag, but GK and I are working on it)

My thanks to the Torrance One-the Vampire Slayer, for your suggestions for bands to watch on Youtube, but my fave, at the moment, are you reading Clr, you and your high horse, is the vid from the Glasgow Art School called Big Ideas (Don’t Get Any). 30-15, I think.

The challenge is on. I’ll see your flapjacks (am I allowed to say that?) with any page you choose at random from the Phil Vickery Pudding Cookbook (except page 40, which didn’t really work the last time, did it?). Faites vos jeux indeed. (By the way, did you pay your share of that book, eh, eh?)

Meanwhile, in the not so petty world of vampire slaying, that’s twice now I’ve met T1 in Prince’s Square and I’ve not seen a vampire yet.  The depute head of the Met College , yes, but no vampires. Well done T1. Not that I was meant to be meeting……anyway.

( I forget sometimes that not everyone reads this, although figures continue to be good). So, when Sharon (good looking, etc) mobiled me the other day to say she’d be late, I said, “No problem. I’ll go see the Vampire Slayer.” S? Was there any need to bring the men in white coats? And yes. I still chew the white plastic stirrers. And No. I have no idea where they go. I have some at home.

And well done again to Laura F and her new career mentioned last week. I bring it up it as people were asking me why I liked NCIS. I think the attached billing from the Radio Times says it all;

“While investigating an illegal car business, the team discover a severed head in one of the vehicles.” Good family entertainment. That could be you, L. Not the severed head, but you know what I mean.

My thanks to those asking after Kenny the Shed Pimp and this is serious. He is now out of hospital, having damaged his back. Quite sad really. I mean when am I going to get my new shed?

On the out and about front, thoroughly enjoyed the West End Mardi Gras in the Botanics last week. I wonder were those, real Brazilians? And Helena, if it hadn’t been for your accent, I’m not too sure I would have recognised you behind those sunglasses and that cheeseburger. Nice friend.

However, why is it, when you find the perfect spot for snapping, just before the samba bands start, someone leaps through the flower bed and stands right in front of you. I hate the spirit of bonhomie the event engenders. Although the best view undoubtedly must be from the car park overlooking Byres Road, on top of the supermarket. That’s spoilt it for them, for next year!

And finally, to my son and heir, Brian,  (you get the house but the wallpaper comes with it) who has just received his exam results. A 2:1 in Accountancy (Hey. My son, my blog, okay). I really like the high score you got in “Accounting Classics”, classics such as “The Famous Double Entry of 1975”. Before anyone writes in to complain on grounds of taste, and current possible impossibility, that is an accounting gag, okay?

But your suggestion that Strathclyde’s Creative Writing course for accountants is about cooking the books is slightly wide of the mark.

Serious well done also goes to Katie for her results (greater use to personkind), and McBride, did you only get a 2:2 ? Just think, one day my son could run all of Brazil and not just a river.

At this point I stop. My own degree was achieved with the help of notes, which are probably still being passed on within the cloistered towers. But hey. Look at the friends I made. All rich and successful and name droppers. I hate them! Kinda.



p.s. Blogmeister, do you really think this is the kind of thing the Sunday Mail is looking for?

There’s gonna be peace in the valley tomorrow ’cause tonight we’re gonna blow it all away. Lord we feel so twisted, we ain’t never gonna fix it, we’re just waiting on the light to shine on a brand new day

June 14, 2008

And I make no apologies for featuring the excellent Alabama 3 yet again, as featured in stv’s superb High Times, the fictional story of two druggies in a high-rise in Castlemilk, reminding me of a lifestyle well and truly behind me and, hopefully, you too.

After all, which of us, at some stage in our life, have not scraped the mould off a piece of cheddar, the blue bits off some bread, all for some really good toasted cheese, plus my own piece-de-resistance, brown sauce sachets and pepper packets stolen from the ASDA down the road. Oh? Just me, then. Oh.

And if you want a really serious previous lifestyle comment, check out the rest of the lyrics. However, the rest of today’s blog stays fun. Otherwise, complaints flood in. Well. One. But usually very quickly. Spooky. And wittingly.

But fairly quiet on the personal cancer front. As I said previously, I don’t see my consultant until towards the end of July which is a bit of a bummer. Except it’s not. It’s just blood tests this time. No need for the yellow marigolds, thankfully.

But well done to those nice people looking after the Mens’ Health Awareness campaign this week, particularly down at Braehead and a smashing pic featuring the Prostate Cancer Charity in the background and the SFA’s Gordon Smith up front…as it were. He may come to regret it but it will get used again….and again….and again.

And what a brilliant opportunity to feature Laura F and that gag! But it says here that she’s moved on to bigger (?) and better (?) things. Oh, the potential!

Can I just say that my favourite character in NCIS is the one that doesn’t get out much and drinks a lot of coffee? No. Doesn’t remind me of anyone at all. Abby Sciuto is ace!

Looking forward to meeting you on Wednesday, Suzy.

I was doing my own bit for prostate cancer awareness by wearing my blue man-cancer badge against a white background. What do you reckon, Vampire Slayer? Do I suit white just as well as you do? But at least it does stand out (No. We did all those gags weeks ago)

But Dennis, from Wednesday night’s curry, if you’re so against name dropping why did you keep mentioning UEFA’s David Taylor in the conversation. But your O’Shaughnessy gag was much better than McBride’s Japanese story. Jock? I’m not going to comment on the e-mail correspondence the next day but to my son, Brian, all I can say is…….Bloody hell….well done. It’s okay. Your mum doesn’t read this…just in case.

And can I just say to those doubting Thomases (not you Mr Alexander) that the good looking ladies such as G, G, C, S, L, E, the Torrance One and the real smiley Carol do exist. They are not products of my fertile (?) imagination. And all music used (with one exception) has come from my strange and eclectic collection.

But it was so nice to meet Gill D down Byres Road the other day. The Steve Earle album I bought was superb, by the way, which means that a CD of his Copperhead Road album will now be going to Oxfam, quite soon, maybe. We’ll see. The previous CD, with that in mind, never made it.

But that leaf design on your latte reminded of something I once tried to grow from a cutting, curiously enough picked up in a flat in Cumbernauld, a long time ago. Mmmmm. Didn’t take but it wasn’t wasted.

And Gill. Estate agents sell houses not fireplaces.

Steve Earle, incidentally, has been clean and sober since 1994, wears his hair long and has been married at least five times. So, two-thirds a role model then. And I’ve gone off Gordon Strachan’s leather jacket.

Elsewhere, my own favourite moment of Euro 2008 so far was during the Italy v Romania game when the fans starting chanting the theme tune from the Banana Splits. Tra-la-la. Go on. I defy you (particularly older readers). Name them all without looking it up on Google.

Younger readers, it’s what we used to do in pubs when conversations got boring. Then we would discuss our favourite childrens’ TV progs. My favourite of recent years? Teletubbies. I just loved the rabbits.

And my good friend, Claire, why must everything be a competition? I thought your mother looked real good as she walked into the High Street car park just as I was driving out. Except, maybe it wasn’t her, cos she never reacted when I shouted congrats at her. I was driving the white Megane. Okay. W reg and not personalised, but I like it.

Yeah. I know I look poor but, Moira, if your daughter had only said, I would have sponsored you as well. And my cultural offer of a few weeks ago still stands. That’s all I’m saying.

And so to today’s “And finally”. The mid-week Race For Life special edition of the blog attracted a record readership. Seriously. As much as these things are measured. Maybe people were expecting pictures. A special supplement, perhaps ?

So, G,C and the Torrance’re obviously the fans’ faves at this stage…if you want to edit a special Celeb version of the blog, as happens in the real tabloid world, let me know. You know where to find me. Maybe in that Mansion on the Hill. Or at least in my still very small semi in Summerston. Keep me posted.




I like the way you like to touch, I like the way you stare so much, but most of all, yeah, I like the way you move

June 11, 2008

Bodyrockers there. And yes. It is a bit cliched and a bit sexist but only as cliched and sexist as the Councillor who opened Race For Life on Sunday and said he hoped it would rain because there were so many nice women wearing t-shirts. No. I must have misheard him.

And somebody else from the stage made a comment about people “following you up the rear.” Why does everyone think they’re a blogger these days, albeit unwittingly? Cheap laughs come at a price.

Because nothing could spoil a great day for over 13,000 women, including two of Cumbernauld’s finest, numbers 8981 and 2550, or as they’re known for the rest of the week, my good friend Claire (Alexander) and another good friend Gillian (Kirkwood). And yes. A silver medal does mean you came second. But seriously well done to you and the other 13,000 folk, including the men who dressed up as women! Lots of patience shown by lots of people at the starting lines, and as for some of the costumes! Well.

I hope Brian Hanrahan was there and counted them all out and counted them all back in again, cos there were lots of people.

And so many unanswered questions, like, “Do some young boys grow up wanting to be “Nivea Men?”. Actually, I am looking for a career change. I wonder.

Some people took it real seriously. They stubbed out their cigarettes before they set foot on Glasgow Green, and it wouldn’t be a Glasgow event, would it, without swigging from the quarter bottle of voddie with your mates standing around you?

But the bad news is, I didn’t see C or G. I was there. I have the photies to prove it. Until the batteries ran out in my camera. I have my notes. Written on the notebook I had to buy from a licensed newsagent in the Saltmarket because I had forgotten to bring my own.

And well done to the proprietors of that shop for refusing to sell alcohol to a man at eight thirty on Sunday morning. You’d almost think he’d bought it there before at that time of day. Surely not. But other Glasgow traditions still exist. The good old fashioned “hing oot” made famous by Bud Neill was very much in evidence. (Younger readers beware. There are two definitions of a “hing oot”. I know which one I am referring to).

Anyway I used to be a serious journalist. So, of course the first thing I did was look for the Press Tent or the VIP hospitality marquee. Mmm….I think I’ve been to too many golf tournaments or civic bashes in recent years. Black coffee from a hamburger stall is good at that time of day. I just hope the Mens’ 10k race this Sunday at Bellahouston is as successful.

So what did the rest of us do whilst G & C relaxed in the afternoon or the bath or whatever? (If I put their initials in that order then it sounds less like the building society or bank or whatever it calls itself these days).

Well, I know the Torrance One – the Vampire Slayer, spent the afternoon in serious preparation. Gainfully employed, you might say. And white suits you.

Whereas I spent the afternoon in the bookies and then watched the Pussycat Dolls on YouTube……as you do. Hot stuff indeed!

On a personal note I now have my dates for post-treatment cancer tests, and results, but not for some time, so I’ll maybe keep them to myself at the moment…a wee bit like a driving test…just in case.

Incidentally, on another personal note, does anyone else find that they don’t bother with wallets, and just shove money into pockets, then forget about it, only to find it a few days later, when they put that jacket on again. Mind you Kevin C, I do have so many jackets, albeit their origins may be a bit dodgy.

Oh, and tonight, Wednesday, I go out for my first curry for a long time and a few beers with some mates. Except, as regular readers know, I won’t be having the beers. Possibly the same reason I haven’t been to a Winers’ Club dinner for some time. (Yes. There is a clue in the name of the club). Anyway, I hope Friday night went well. Any goss?

And since you ask. Today? Eighteen months “sober and solvent free”. Or to put it another way. I’m the designated driver for the rest of my life. Sobeit.

Oh, and to “Concerned” of Pacific Quay in Glasgow. I note what you say about unsolicited e-mails but it’s probably like getting back on a bike again and the other end of the M8, I agree, would be a good place to practise.

And I walked past BH today, as you and I still think of it. It’s beginning its transition to a “boutique hotel”. (A totally different bh)  Quite.

By the way, BBC readers, the Parthenon in Great Western Road, host to so many secret meetings about how to deal with the people secretly sitting at the next table, may soon be no more. Watch this space! And whilst we’re on the subject of venues being re-furbished, does anyone else remember a trendy showbar in the late nineties called Bonkers in Hope Street. God! I’ve been to some dives in my time but……. 

Welcome back, E. Nothing to do with the above para. Nice pix. But why didn’t you go someplace exotic for the honeymoon, like Arran? No. Now that I think about it. You chose well.

And finally, whilst keeping it fun. Thanks Claire. My mum would have appreciated that. And Gillian? You already know my thoughts. Bien fait. Merci. C’est tout.

A bientot


People tell me that I’m paranoid, And I admit I’m getting pretty nervous, boy. It just gets tougher everyday To sit around and watch it while it slips away

June 7, 2008

No real reason (honest) for choosing that particular track by Steve Earle, except I can. It’s my blog. And my thanks to Laurie for asking the nicest question I’ve been asked in weeks, “What’s going to be this week’s lyrics?” And sorry. I didn’t catch your own suggestion because you lowered your voice for some reason. But more of Sandra and Laurie later.

But nothing on the sandblasting front at the moment. I’m really worried I’ve offended the sandblasters. But I know there are people connected with Gartnavel who do read this. So if you want to wander past TRC at some point and casually say, “Read any good blogs lately?” (or indeed, “any bad ones?”), please feel free to do so. Give them my address, as it were.

The three-in-one oil can story awaits.

Y’know, it’s amazing what some people can do with blogging, albeit somewhat unwittingly.

But to lunch with S & L, alphabetically so close to lunch with S & M, which would really have amazed the passers by in Royal Exchange Square. And if a restaurant is busy, then just say the words erectile dysfunction in a loud voice. It’s amazing how quickly all the males in the restaurant get up and leave. I even say those words in italics now. Although, believe it or not, I do have other topics of conversation.

We ate al fresco. Well, L ate pizza. And we discussed how I should begin my search for a “good looking woman, UNspoke for”, unlike all the rest I seem to know. (Kay and Sharon, my diary awaits) Internet dating seems a good idea but I’m not sure “Divorced, recovering alcoholic with or without cancer seeks relationship. Has small semi.” is the best introductory line.

And yes. I did once advertise in The List. And yes. I got no replies, not even written in green ink. So, dear readers, the suggestion book is now open, within taste and reason, please. The search begins.

But not the lady with the “House of Fraser” bag. Although it was impossible not to notice you. Maybe that was the point.

And. Yes. I am growing my hair long. Because I can and I want to. But no. No medallions. So what if flicking it out of my eye becomes useful, C, instead of a relatively minor tic? Useful is good….just in case.

Elsewhere in the not-so-real world….. Day 1 in the Big Brother Household and the Sun reveals that the little sister of BB star(?) Dennis McHugh is a convicted thug and thief. Dennis, apparently, is a “camp dance teacher”, and I don’t think we’re talking scouting and guiding here….Call me an old journo (No. On second thoughts, don’t call me “old”) but I suspect there’s just the hint of a euphemism here.

It’s also really pleasing to see that a former first year student of Glasgow Met Journalism, described in the Sun (See Kevin, you can keep your job. I’m happy with the hot tomatoes), as “baby faced” is a star of the long awaited “High Times” on stv. I’ll be watching, Steph. You always asked good questions.

It’s also been nice to read the words of former students in the likes of the Evening Times and the Herald. I saw your by-line in the Times, Tam, and I saw a very sad statto in the Herald, Gary. Is Croatia worth a punt?

And if Lesley, whom I met in ASDA for the first time in years, not that I’ve met you anywhere else recently, is reading….I’m sorry. I thought you knew. But best wishes to Nico and Gillan. I think it’s good naming your children after rock stars.    

Oh, and the Torrance One – the Vampire Slayer, has been spotted, chasing pigeons in George Square. Okay. Practice is good, but the vampires and zombies are getting closer, particularly Saturday evenings when they’ve been on the Matteus Rose all afternoon. (I didn’t realise they still sold that stuff). And once I get more news of Kenny, the shed pimp, I’ll let you know. Must pop round and see his wife…No, Dennis, I’m not doing the rest of the line. He’s a mate.

Incidentally, watching BBC News during the week I was taken by the astuteness of their advice to anyone approached by people telling them that they have won lots of money in a Nigerian lottery but asking them to pay some money up front. Ask yourself. “Do I remember buying a Nigerian lottery ticket? If not, then that might be a clue to a possible scam.” Good advice.

And finally, this has been written before I set off to watch my good friend Claire, and 12,999 others, in the Race For Life at Glasgow Green, which I’ll describe in Wednesday’s blog. But if you’re looking for me, I’m the one wearing the blue man cancer badge. And thanks, by the way, to the folk I know who sponsored C. Serious thanks. And I’m due to see some of you next week. Looking forward to it already.

It’s such a shame that Kaye Adams, in Saturday’s Record, thinks it’s at Bellahouston. That’s where the Men’s 10k is next week. I’ll be there as well. I’m becoming a cancer race groupie. 




Today it all feels fine, A sense of freedom fills your mind, Can’t think about tomorrow, Just breath the air inside.

June 4, 2008

A few appropriate words there for a few hangovers from the End of Pier Show at the Glasgow Met College last night, from the vastly underrated band Feeder. But more of that Show anon.

First to my withdrawal symptoms. And I don’t mean watching all those plastic cups full of white and red wine floating by me on a sea of temptation….. Sorry. I was miles away there. No. I mean the lack of contact with, and from, the sandblasting centre.

They don’t write. They don’t call. Nothing. No blog comment. No e-mails. Nothing. This either means the sandblasters didn’t like what I’ve been writing or they didn’t like what I’ve been writing and they’re considering legal action….just in case. Mmm.

Okay, maybe I shouldn’t have admitted to paying the occasional visit to the real Clatty Pat’s a generation or so ago (No. It’s not made Wikipedia, yet and maybe it’s better that way), but I did enjoy my time with you, the sandblasters, not Clatty…or was she Pat?.

And it’s not the same doing it yourself (You know what I mean….sometimes this blog gets more and more like a Frankie Howard script ) I mean getting a torch out and a set of felt tip pens and …and….No. It’s not the same, particularly when the window cleaner’s watching.

It was difficult on Monday. I was in the company of Maria on Monday and I found myself continually looking at my watch, which I realise is not the greatest of compliments to a good looking woman (not sure, CD, about the rest) but she is a financial adviser. At one point she muttered the magic words, “Is that really your date of birth?”, so I bought whatever it was she was selling.

So, Maria, when does this expedition leave for Darien, anyway? (Okay so the gag’s almost three hundred years old, but it’s a goodie). And aren’t you impressed, M, that I avoided the obvious golf chat up line?

No. It was just weird not going upstairs (at home, not in the bank), showering off the previous day’s marks just so the sandblasters would have to put on new ones and induge in the friendly banter and so on, but there was also a new group coming in this week anyway. Bit like students really.

But more tails from the sandblasting will follow. It’s the way I’m going to tell them that’s going to be the challenge.

However, thanks to those of you who have been asking how the cancer’s doing. Tests will, hopefully, be soon with results to follow. And yes, I’m more interested at this stage in its health than mine. And no, Cathcart Minor, I don’t think giving it a name is a good idea at this stage. Stick to stand up son, (of mine, maybe). Billy the Cancer indeed!

Now. To last night’s showcase of talents at Glasgow Metropolitan College which, I think runs all week. Check the website on ,lots of good things on all floors, a bit like Grace Brothers in fact. How did that read, Lydia?

Lots of nice people there, including the lovely Laura F, star of one of my favourite videos, “Laura F does Blood Transfusion”, oh and the temptation to do the original line!!!!! It can wait, though.

And Claire, it’s tomato juice I drink, not pomegranate juice. Try it some day. Long glass, ice cold tomato juice, worcester sauce, tabasco sauce and pepper, Stir but don’t shake (the glass, that is). The celery stick is used later. It’s a real man’s drink. Not that you……Anyway, you wear what you want on Sunday for Race For Life. It just sounds ambitious, that’s all.

And Oonagh, that picture of you semi-naked in an Oxfam window! I just went in to buy some CDs and look what I came away with. Adds a whole new dimension to re-cycling.

And to Kevin C. There’s no law against me selling what you think I’m selling. Oh, there is. Oh. Thanks for the tip.

And to everyone else who knows me. Nice to see you, to see you nice. Why, oh why, did I once do that Bruce Forsyth impersonation in Room 311? No. Honest, Lydia. I didn’t. Honest. But I once did kick a rolled up piece of paper into a waste paper bin! Pick that one out, Kenny Miller.

And speaking of Kenny. Bad news from the Kenny the Shed Pimp. Got a phone call from him that he’s injured his back (No. No explanation. Comments and suggestions gratefully received.) so, no new shed for the time being. Maybe I should get new wallpaper instead. Again suggestions welcome.

And finally, a nice letter has just arrived from the local Job Centre thanking me for a nice letter I sent about a nice person called Norma. That’s nice. But can she put up sheds?



As I walk down the street, Seems like everyone I meet Gives me a friendly hello. I guess, I’m just a lucky so-and-so

June 1, 2008

The distinctive words of Dr John, the Night Tripper, explaining just how I feel this weekend. And Oonagh, did you ever play that mini-disc I copied for you? And no, no mention of the photo, not this blog anyway.

No, a slightly different blog this week. 

Today I am going to expose myself (and not for the first time in the last eight weeks, dear readers) to the brilliant people of TRC (and occasionally TRD) in the Thomas Wheldon Building of Gartnavel General Hospital in Glasgow, without whom a major part of this blog would not have been written. I have been writing this twice a week since just before we met. Early stuff is now in the archive. I have been (almost) totally under cover.

And also the brilliant men and women with whom I’ve shared the reception area outside the sandblasting chamber. I’ve spoken about some of them, but there were so many others, like Davie from Port Glasgow who did his National Service on Christmas Island and has seen more nuclear bomb tests than George Burley has seen Rangers players recently.

And, it’s true. What’s said personally within the sandblasting centre, stays within the sandblasting centre. Only the funnies escape.

I’ve been down the other reception area recently and, whilst they are quite quiet, they tell some helluva good stories. Before I tell them, dear readers, I would suggest that some of you should look at the old style 3-in-1 oil cans. No more at this stage. Ask dads, or go to social history museums such as the excellent People’s Palace on Glasgow Green where next week the Race For Life takes place in which my good friend Claire is running.  (There’s your plug, C. Possibly not the most seamless of links but I think we got away with it. What? Maybe too convoluted? Can I have the last word for once, please? Ta.)

Ah, speaking of plugs…..but that’s another story.

And to the 21 year old daughter of the Irishman with white hair, I hope the reference to me as “wee man” was about my height, and that you hadn’t been sneaking into the chamber when I was unclothed. Don’t worry. My idea of selling my remaining enemas in the Possil at £10 per pop was a joke. Honest. And no, TRC. I do not know why I have three left over. I did use them all. I’m sure. Maybe I got extra in my prescription….just in case.

I apologise for laughing so much and so loudly and to the lady from Blantyre who thought I was probably the kind of child who had to be put outside the class for laughing so much, I was the sort of lecturer who had to put himself out of the class for laughing so much. But I do have one complaint.

My bottom lip is black and blue. Every time I heard a sandblaster say something like, “You can’t see it for looking for it”, or my particular favourite, “You can’t see the wood for the trees”, I had to bite my lip. And as for being unintentionally (?) tickled?

As to the future, there are tests and results, but they can wait just now, and I’m sorry L, with the yellow cardigan, I didn’t take in a word you said but thanks for the hug. Lips but nae tongues, not that I’m telling anyway.

Favourites among the sandblasters? Of course not, except, N, you do not need to go to Weightwatchers on a Saturday morning. No, seriously. No way. You tell me who says you need to. That’s all. I know people who frighten for a living. Just say the word.

So that’s it. One step over and the next one a few weeks away. The blog continues and I hope any new readers stay with it. Please feel free to blog comment. Only I get your e-mail address, N, so it’s totally confidential. But serious thanks to you all.

And the way you all teased me on that final day by pretending there was a long delay. That really rocked!

A couple of other items of club business. To all the Winers I had to contact, there is now no need for naming and shaming you guys and I will be there in November. Enjoy yourselves on Friday.

To Dennis, I notice that that The Wurzels (younger readers, I wouldn’t even bother!) are to do a rap version of Combine Harvester, so your ambitions might yet be realised.

And I didn’t know how popular Ashton Lane, just off Byres Road, actually is until very recently. That’s all I’m saying, for now….

And finally, (Too many sentences beginning with “And” today), to those of you might be worried about whether or not I’ve lost my good looks recently, I can only quote the words of a former student (and not one of “the usual suspects”) who said “Good to know u re still the same john i know.” You don’t need to know the circumstances but I think it says a lot. So, to those I’m hoping to see on Tuesday night, hopefully you will still recognise me.

cya and tc