Archive for August, 2008

You don’t need to sleep alone You bring the house down Choose your favourite shoes And keep your blues on cruise control

August 30, 2008

Now I know the lyrics don’t scan and I’m not sure about the music that goes with them, but word on the streets, namely Missie K, and Partick Thistle fan and Herald TV crit Dave Belcher, rate Elbow as an excellent band – but, as ever, what do I know? 

My original choice had been a track from The Fall called Fit and Working. Obviously, their lyrics don’t scan either and I’m not sure about the music, but as I’m neither I thought not.

The hoped for return to college teaching through part-time work has not happened but some other long-term leads have emerged (he said bravely) but one of the advantages has been that I’ve met up with a bunch of like minded men. No. Not the “men only Burly club” from The Arches night club in Glasgow, and I certainly have no intention of providing a link to their website after what I’ve heard about their monthly meetings.

No. My guys are currently on what I’ll refer to as “Maggie’s Farm” and we all have prostate cancer in common, either before, during or after, and it’s been nice to talk over some of the matters affecting us all, and to be reminded of the three in one oil can story which one of them can do with actions! One day readers, one day.

Some of you may have noticed a mild depression in last week’s blog. It’s lifted. After all on days like these you’re never alone with a prostate cancer. Oh, and we discussed the now famous big needle. We’ve missed Laura F, haven’t we folks? She’ll be back.

And fit? I think my libido is returning. The hair certainly is. Women in politics. It’s been a good week. When the eyes of the world have been on former beauty queen, Sarah Palin in the USA, my eyes were caught by a real hot babe, Ukraine Prime Minister, Yulia Tymoshenko. She is so hot, she sizzles. What a personal website. Seriously.

Although I’m a supporter of South Ossetia. That’s all I’m saying.

Check Yulia out on and don’t forget, it’s not what you find on the ‘net, it’s what you do once you’ve found it that counts.

And the ‘net’s been good this week. Many of you will have seen the news that Cumbernauld, probably my all time favourite “new town” because of such famous people as my gd frnd Clr, GK and the Dykeenies, came fourth as the happiest place in the United Kingdom. Oh, and C, nice thought about the “tickle”. It worked really well. 🙂 

Indeed when I trained as a community worker in Easterhouse a few years ago, the residents of the Lochend area all had this ambition of getting ” a front and back” in Cumbernauld. Interesting ambition. Unless you were earning, in which case it was buying a house in Silvertonhill, Hamilton.

Little did they know that Cumbernauld would gain a reputation as the most landscaped town in Britain with nine million trees. Okay, so I watched Beechgrove Garden this week. I need to get out more.

What I couldn’t believe was that Falkirk came in as the third happiest town in the UK! (:

Although, I must confess that my view of Falkirk is jaundiced by the fact that I once almost got arrested for a very unfortunate incident in a gents’ toilet there not that long ago, albeit unwittingly and, indeed, unwillingly. Seriously.

Incidentally the website for the Burly club does look for “bears, skinheads, leather, rubber and kilted guys plus men curious to get tooled up.” It’s like a D-I-Y store when Scotland are playing…in Falkirk.

But, at least Falkirk play in the Premier League. Partick Thistle don’t, and the euphoria of last week was matched by the harsh reality of a one-nil defeat to Ross County. However I thoroughly enjoyed the post match tomato juices in the Doublet afterwards (everyone else drank lager) and the post modern crack (it is the west end, after all) which ranged from players who run like bananas to the Creative Writing department at Glasgow University. Come on, it’s pub logic.

And when I read in the Herald that “constant sobriety is hard work, albeit somewhat dull (but less deadly than alcoholism)”, I agree it is hard work but it doesn’t have to be dull. Try me. I’m handy.

All good fun, except I couldn’t find my car when I left the pub.  Twenty months of sobriety as a recovering alcoholic and I can’t find my effing car after a night of tomato juice. I’d taken a wrong turning. As in finding my car that is, not a comment on my life. But since you ask, the book’s coming along nicely. So far, so good.

Although I do agree with Lorraine Kelly when she says readers are being made “nauseous by a steady diet of doom and gloom blooks.” You’re right, Lorraine, we need more feel good books, maybe like the one you’ve been punting around the bookshops of Scotland this week.

I’m working on mine, with some good help and some good memories. Do you have a favourite word to describe drunks in any state? I’d like to hear it.

Incidentally, watch out Broadwood and adjacent areas of Cumbernauld, in about a fortnight’s time when you are invaded by Partick Thistle. We are tough, macho, very unburly men, all of whom are happily married or partnered to women, all of course except me. Can I do any more to plug my availability?

Lunches, nights out, Barcelona, clubs, (except with burly men, just in case) and indeed nights in, you know where to find me.

Indeed on the subject of things you can do on your own at home, I continue to be amazed at what you can do with Guitar Hero. Did you know that you can get a Christian version which is called “Guitar Praise”? The tagline claims, “you’ll soon be rockin’ with the best whilst praising the Lord.” I pass that on without comment.

And lots of good mentoring movies on TV this week. I see myself as a kinda Mr Dunne from Half Nelson (just “kinda” if College authorities are watching) but I can’t help but agree with him when he says, “Change moves in spirals, not circles.” Barrak Obama, eat your heart out.

But, as my “and finally” this week, can I wish son Brian good luck as he takes the next steps on his ambition to be an accountant (sob) by starting with Price Waterhouse Coopers. He obviously gets his brains from his mum (doh!), and his looks from me (sorry) which possibly explains my availability comment earlier on.

Please feel free to disagree on the Blog comment facility, ladies, please…….


Johnt850 with a fairly empty diary, but not a burly one.

Sweet home Alabama Where the skies are so blue, Sweet Home Alabama Lord, I’m coming home to you. Here I come Alabama

August 23, 2008

And that’s the original, and the best, the real Lynyrd Skynyrd version from 1974. Accept no imitations.

Plus, for once in my life, can I recommend Wikipedia, and its entry for Lynyrd Skynyrd, particularly if you’re an Aerosmith playing Guitar Hero? It is a real rock’n’roll lifestyle story and gives a whole new dimension to the idea of “going down”, in an aeroplane, but not in an elevator. No. Seriously.

Wow. Almost as exciting as watching Partick Thistle beating St Johnstone four to nil, but not quite. The chant was “Our REAL radio celeb is happier than your BBC one”. Well at least it was where we were sitting. No name dropping, but the cat really had the cream.

It’s funny but after all the years of watching Celtic and then working for them as their paid PR, and then watching Clydebank and working for them as unpaid anything required, I thought I’d heard and seen it all, but when the Jags entered the field to the theme from The Omen, we knew it was going to be something different. Heads turned.

Wow. Almost as exciting as watching Team GB collecting all those medals, although I didn’t realise there were so many races you could run on water whilst sitting down, as it were.

But my favourite performers of the Olympics must be people like the BBC’s gorgeous Carrie Gracey who spoke to people in their native Chinese (Mandarin?) and then translated back to us what was said. Of course you have to trust that what she said she truthfully translated in the first place…just in case.

But what I can’t get away with, C, is the number of times I have now heard the word “pivotal” used, but with the proper spelling.  I remain to be convinced by your source. Hang on, you’ve still to tell me your source.

And by the way, all potential journalists, I read recently that journalism is a bit like driving taxis; “It’s not so much the work you enjoy, as much as the people you meet”. But, hey, just like taxi drivers, you’ve got to ignore the fact that everyone ends up talking behind your back.

And talking of everyone talking, my views about Jade Goody? Yes. I share a fair amount of the cynicism as well, but if it persuades women to go for screening and testing, then something good must come out of it.

I think I was made much more cynical by the arrival of Shilpa Shetty, the host of India’s Big Boss, to host a major Bollywood event in London and never once did she ask after Ms Goody in any publicity interview I saw.

But then maybe people with cancer, and I hate calling it the big “C” or the “C word”, are getting less and less sympathy. I heard one professor, in a discussion on the cost of providing expensive drugs, say, “The villain of the piece here is cancer.” Sorry, folks. Had I but known.

So what have I been up to this week that doesn’t cost the taxpayer money, apart from staying unemployed. Plan A didn’t work. Plan B doesn’t exist yet but it will do by Tuesday. Honest, Tuesday’s lunch partners, it will. (Note to high horse level committee, I didn’t mention who I was having lunch with, just that I was having lunch)

Well I’ve been enjoying my freshly decorated house (Not as sad as it sounds). And to my regular correspondent who asked, “where did you get the impression that the decor you had needed updating?”. I say, not only do you know where and when, but in celebration of a famous night in March of this year I realise that the walls are now the colour of a reasonably good sticky toffee pudding, albeit unwittingly. Thanks guys. You’re still an influence.

If you’re passing, please drop in. The house would be delighted to see you, as would I. Oh, and everyone else who remembers the old wallpaper from the last twenty years, you’re invited as well.

Welcome to homely Summerston as recently featured in Channel 4’s “The Secret Millionaire” and in . Put “prehistoric rutting frenzy” in the search bit. You’ll find it’s just before the bit where he says, “But this was Summerston”. I know that bus terminus. Well, not that well, obviously. Honest. Read and enjoy. Well, not that much.

Or, just put “Summerston” into the search bit. There’s five entries for Summerston, none of them very flattering, but, hey, it’s where I live. Hola.

Sure beats living in Milngavie where a fake milk token coupons scam is apparently running wild. I’m told it started in a supermarket where every little helps. Well, obviously.

Next week? Everyone else who knows me, please feel free to drop in. B.Y.O.B., and if there’s anything left in the bottle, maybe take it away again. For all sorts of reasons it’s not been a good week.

I went through to the Edinburgh Book Festival to a workshop dedicated to trends in publishing and my optimism was fuelled by Jenny Brown, chairing the workshop, who welcomed us all as “new and creative writers”.

The smile was wiped off my face when she went onto say that the days of the “misery memoir” were finished. Ooops. That may be what I am working on, although I did say to her afterwards that mine would have a fun element to it. She just looked at me, but then what does she know? Quite a lot actually. She is Scotland’s top literary agent. Mmmm.

However my faith in what I’m trying to do, with some help from some others, was restored this morning when telling a friend what I was trying to do, he said, “I like autobiographies by non-interesting people”. I think I know what you mean, Stuart.

And, Mister rainforest riverman, Bob the hatchetman seemed a nice guy.

(Maybe one obscure mensh per issue, please, people with more votes than me, eh, please? I’m always willing to explain them)

And finally, again to all potential journalists, check everything before publication. Tuesday’s Evening Times blamed their crossword compiler as follows; “The clue for 24 across should have read “African Country” instead of “Star Sign” to give the answer “Libya” not “Libra”. That’s a Fail, not even a Defer.


Johnt850, who never gets anything wrong. Aye. Right.

clean up your eyes and i’ll dance alone with you in daylight. your skin reminds me of sleeping on the clouds in my mind

August 16, 2008

The Dykeenies, one of the three best things ever to come out of Cumbernauld. I never really liked Gregory’s Girl and much preferred That Sinking Feeling. (So that leaves Missie K and my gd frnd Clr as the other two).

I also preferred Restless Natives to Local Hero (I know RN wasn’t Forsyth) and I love the video that goes along with this track, Clean Up Your Eyes, although I must say the one and only A.A. meeting I went to was nothing like that.

Although I must also say that that meeting was obviously so right for everyone else who went there. I have different coping mechanisms in place now, and so far, so good. 

Sorry, I’m being a wee bit arty-farty today as I’m going through to the Edinburgh Book Festival this week. I’m taking the bookwriting seriously and am going to a publishers’ event. (BookFest strapline? “a book is like a garden carried in the pocket”. And to think my mum used to complain about the dirt she found in my pockets).

I’ll be taking my new e-notebook thing with me and my thanks to people already sending me details of my alcoholic gap year.

Although the comment by one of a group of four Mates that they thought I was “off my rocker” the first day I tutored them in College is not going in the book. It’s going on my CV. And you, Miss Camper Van 2007, are now one of my referees in my search for work, albeit unwittingly.

(C, of the High Horse Level Committee with the all powerful twelve votes, is out of the country so I might sneak in an extra hat-tip or two. Well I would, if I knew what that meant. But thanks, C, for offering to copy taste).

So a quick thanks to the Vampire Slayer for the e-mail telling me you were doing the ironing (not my ironing, I should point out, but hey, Torrance isn’t that far way). I suppose even superheroes need to do that kind of thing from time to time….just in case.

Post decorators, I’ve been enjoying my own wee bit of domesticity – you should see the front room, it’s brill – but thinking about the book, I’ve been reminded of my own student years and some of the flats I lived in. We got the salmon fishing rights for free and there was hot and cold water, running down the walls. Bower Street, anyone?

Lambrusco anyone? And can Hirondelle now be that far behind?

And on the cancer front? Fairly quiet this week. There was yet another suggestion as to the beneficial properties of broccoli and a reminder that skin creams might not be all they’re cracked up to be but we’ve mentioned those before. It should, however, be pointed out that the mice involved, hopefully different from last week’s cannabis smoking mice, were described as having “thin skin and (were) kept in the dark”. It’s called working for a living.

No. My favourite cancer comment came from meek, mild-mannered comedian Frankie Boyle, who revealed that the word “cancer” is now available on predictive txt on yr mbl, although I think we might still be a long way from his suggestion of “I’ve got cancer lol :)”. But it could yet happen.

It was revealed this week how much time we spend texting, phoning, surfing, e-mailing and so on. I know some people worry about these things and I do have concerns about spelling and grammar, but it is good to talk.

But I was interested to read that the number of people using the ‘net to find the phone number of a chippie has dropped by 43%. C’mon. Has anybody out there ever used the ‘net for such a purpose, or even publicly listed phone numbers as available in BT directories, to find a chip shop?

I still have those real Chinese blog addresses, by the way.

Incidentally I have often considered putting that thing on my e-mails asking people to confirm whether or not they’ve received them. But what if people didn’t reply? I’d only worry.

But speaking of predictions, we were way ahead with the coxless four gag (“but they had to do it the hard way”) and nobody’s complaining about the fact that there are too many BBC people in China now we’re winning medals. However a big thanks to the Murray Brothers for releasing all those people who might have been caught up covering the tennis.

So looking ahead, can I recommend a TV prog called “The Secret Millionaire” on Tuesday in which Nick Leslau (possible anagram, Gok?) helps “vulnerable people in the most deprived areas of Britain’s poorest city”; the Possil and the Milton. That’s on the other side of the now vampireless graveyard from me. Maybe you’ll see my house in the distance.

But he also visits the riding stables just along the road from my mansion on the hill. (Home amongst other things to Riding For The Disabled, the riding stables that is, not my mansion) Yes. Just along the road. Just past Kenny the Shed Pimp’s house and keep going down to the right. 

Just think, anyone who likes riding along the likes of Turnberry beach, you could go riding in Summerston, although I would recommend a fast gallop past the Acre Road flats. Mind you, I suspect the horses know that. Dressage not recommended. You should see what happened to the last My Little Pony convention.

Meanwhile discussions continue about upgrading this blog to a full website allowing other wannabe writers a chance to publish their own works. There is a technical problem. Me. But I am being worked upon.

However, can I mention that the diaries of the great George Orwell (1984 and Animal Farm) are now being reproduced on a daily basis ? Wow. Not only has blogging been mentioned on the same pages of one major academic tome in the same breath as Tom Wolfe, but now Orwell is one of us.

So in a more cultural blog than usual I would like to finish with this quote from the prestigious New Statesman’s Sports column. (Yes, Stevie Boy, the same mag in which Shazia Mirza wrote about appearing in her knickers and pyjamas on the Fred MacAulay radio show at the EdinFest. You did send those e-mails, by the way, didn’t you?)

Emma John writes, “In the fast-moving culture of blogging the views of professional commentators are going to be challenged as never before. That is, of course, only an opinion.”

I agree with Emma, but there again, what do I know?


Johnt850, a wannabe dingledodie….Awwwww!

yeah, i know nobody knows where it comes and where it goes. I know it’s everybody’s sin. You got to lose to know how to win

August 9, 2008

And I make no apologies for returning to Aerosmith there for lyrics which sum up a large part of my own recent life. But more of that later and thanks to the lovely Lesley for suggesting them. (Please, high horse level committee, the odd hat-tip where credit’s due, eh, please?) and there are just so many guitar heroes out there these days, although I never did carry out my threat to buy it on Nintendo DS.

But I did buy a new electronic notebook. Why, asked one of my new friends, the decorators, did I not just get a pad and pen? Tricky one to explain, particularly as one of them asked for my advice on a relationship – his. Now many of you will know that, as helpful as I am willing to be, there are two things I will not do; lend large sums of money and give relationship advice, well, not that often. Okay, but only if asked.

However, I did tell him, “He may be your best mate but if she’s finished with him then get right in there.”, which is what I think he wanted to hear, and advice, which once upon a time….and which is why Aerosmith’s Dream On might be really appropriate.

But, yes, I do wear my sleeves rolled up like Don Johnson did in Miami Vice. Nothing wrong with that until I read fashion guru Gok Wan does it. (Wonder what it’s like having the World’s simplest anagram as your name? Mmm). My son’s been telling me about that for years…the sleeves thing, not Gok’s name being an anagram.

But gurus are good, particularly in the world of cancer awareness. Jimmy Calderwood, “owner of Scottish football’s most famous sun tan” has been publicising the need for a full body mole examination to highlight the dangers of the sun. Good thinking.

The British mens’ coxless fours have been appearing naked in the pages of Cosmopolitan to “break the taboos about prostate and testicular cancer”, their modesty protected only by strategically placed oars…..just in case.

The rest of the gag’s yours to complete (it’s in the spoken word), but I’m not too sure what the taboo is. Any questions, just ask and I’ll do my best to answer them. And if I can’t, I know people who can.

Now, is it me or is there a certain “Carry On” element slipping into today’s blog, albeit unwittingly? Apart from the odd line, I never really liked them as movies, he says, only too aware that the Laura F element is missing from these blogs. (You need to see C, She-with-the-twelve-votes, LF, but NCIS is on every day of the week. You’re doing a brilliant job, bytheway)

The other raising of cancer awareness that caught my eye was the story that giving cannabis to cancer patients could cause tumours to shrink. The tests were on mice. Except, for me, this raised many more questions than it answered. I’ll move on. You think your own thoughts.

But, yes, the decorators are in. Which is why I’m writing this standing up. Does it show?

As no-one ever accepted my offer of being the first to colour in the squares on the wall, Martin and Jed have stripped all the paper off and it’s being replaced with the colour…..em, except I can’t remember what the colour is. Angela across the road picked it for me. I must take more responsibility for my own decisions. What do you think?

Mind you, I’m now exactly twenty months “sober and solvent free” (Sunday, when it’s the 10th of the month is the measure), or “clean and clear” as I like to call it, “at the moment”. So far, so good, so fingers crossed.

Which is why I’ve bought an electronic notebook. I plan to do some more writing. There might be some developments on the online front. (There might not). I enjoyed writing the piece for Days Like This and I’m pleased to see some of Scotland’s top writers (to be) getting involved in that.

And speaking of former students of mine (what a clever college segue, eh? 2B? Oh, please yourselves, he said sounding like Kenneth Williams. This is worrying. There is a very strong Sid James/Barbara Windsor influence creeping in), how nice it was to meet a former first year journo student on her way back from ASDA this afternoon, on the other side of the Vampire free cemetary, complete with carrier bags and cheap wine. Kind offer. Thanks, but I did have other things to do. Honest.

Which brings me to today’s big favour. The book. I’ve done some planning for it already over the last few days and there has already been some quite high quality input although bringing back that particular memory was not intentional, I know, but thanks. It’s a man thing.

It’s going to be a fun look at my alcoholism and cancer and stuff. No, seriously, I mean fun. Good people, good attitudes, you know what I mean. Whether it gets published, it will at least be written and presented to a literary agent or ten.

Which is where I need your help. There are gaps. Do you have any thoughts, theories, stories or opinions about me over the last three and a half years, say from October 2005 onwards, especially for the following year or so? (NQ Communication and Media as was, that’s you that is, and some journalism students as well) but anyone who knows me, please tell me, either through the blog comment (gulp) or the other address. And ask around.

I’m sounding like Kirsty Young on Crimewatch….well more like one of the male ones on Crimewatch, anyway. The testosterone is returning. But please feel free to pass on your thoughts.

And finally, speaking of addiction but in a fun kinda way. I recently mentioned that, much as I enjoyed Alabama 3’s set at Balloch, I was slightly disappointed with their music. Some good friends, I keep telling you I have more than just the one, have pointed out that they’re playing the Carling Academy on 11th December. Tickets go on sale later this month (23rd).

I think I’ll go. Anyone else fancy it? Mail or text me.

I promise I won’t sing all the words to Hypo Full Of Love and I won’t do all the actions to Bulletproof, just the little dance. Honest. 

Some of you will just be back from a holiday abroad by the 23rd. Some of you may be about to go. Think of your feel-good factor. Think of your sun factor. And think about Alabama 3. The perfect combination. Tell me soon.



Why would the world stop spinning and if its too late for this I dont feel the same, you can’t hide from the things you cannot see.

August 3, 2008

The Dykeenies there, who I missed at Loch Lomond yesterday, for reasons I will explain later but it does involve a lady called Linda, and I notice, Missie K and my gd frnd Clr, that one website decribes the Dykeenies as coming from “Glasgow’s satellite town of Cumbernauld”. Mmmmm.

Damn. One opening paragraph and three hat-tips. This canning (sp) the “hot air” et al ain’t going to be easy. Sorry al.

My thanks to the Parfery person for brilliant encouragement and making me go there and to Emma J and Heather C for their suggestions. Alabama 3 were brilliant but there’s always the problem when you see yr heroes (eh?) for the first time that there will be a slight disappointment, but my faves were the Infadels who cranked out some serious hot jams (eh?).

Sorry but that’s all the new rules broken right at the start of today’s blog. Sorry, high horse level movers and shakers. I’ll move swiftly on.

Serious moment.

Despite all the advice I’d received from good friends (I have more than just the one I mensh from time to time) I didn’t put enough SPF on (Sun Protection Factor). This in a week when a proper survey pointed out that fewer than 50% of all new creams offer complete protection against the sun and I went to an area with absolutely no physical cover, except the dance tent (when it rained. Nice smells). Will I ever learn? Yes. I will.

No wonder my face was so red at the party I went to later on on Saturday night and not just because of my chat up lines, which are so obviously four years out of date. But, hey, I got a phone number. So far, so good.

It’s not “cancer paranoia” that causes you to notice things like reports about skin cancer and stuff and news of wonder drugs but it sure as hell means I do not take seriously, badly edited adverts on behalf of a cholesterol challenge. Some things just need a compromise of lifestyle. I served a roll and fried egg to myself this morning with Flora spread on the roll. What do you think of that then, Gloria?

But, by now dear readers you’re probably looking for Linda.

Have you ever been standing at the gates of Balloch Country Park clutching your day ticket for a Music Festival when you’re approached by a complete stranger asking you to help get his partially sighted sister through that gate cos his ticket is for the Weekend Gate? Well I have. Yesterday.

Linda can see lots, mind you (what was that on my lip?), but the black glasses were quite attractive, as, indeed, was Linda, 43, divorced, with a degree in Home Economics, now living in Sydney, Australia but originally from Clydebank and just back from a holiday in Barra with her brother. Shows how long it can take you to get through those gates.

And what does Linda drink? Red Wkd vodka. And how do I know? Because she produced a full bottle of it from underneath her mini-kilt once we were through all the gates. No wonder the sniffer dogs were confused. Vodka has no smell. I made an excuse and left…just in case.

It took half an hour for her to meet up with her mates, which was not unpleasant, but it does give a certain irony to the Dykeenies’ lyrics about “things you cannot see”. And as I write this I see the rain pouring down, again. I’m still washing the mud out of yesterday’s clothes. I took part in a mud fight (eh?). Albeit unwittingly, but not unwillingly.

But away from the Elysian fields of Balloch.

I know I’m not now supposed to mention lunches, which is a good job, as I met a friend for one the other day in an Italian restaurant in Glasgow. The scene was set when the waiter asked us what we wanted to drink. I said tomato juice and he, without even checking with the kitchen, said “No. We have no tomato juice.”

Howver the background music was good. Yes. The Infadels. How cool and how “pivetal” (I remain to be convinced of spelling) to my enjoyment of the weekend was that?

But there are other changes to my life and not just the evolution of a blog (stay with me readers as I adjust to a once a week writing journey).

Being clear and clean means I no longer visit the Health and Addiction Centres, and the Job Centre gets a note sent in every week. There is now a large part of Maryhill centering (sp) on the Co-Op, sorry Tesco, which saw me as regular visitor. Ruchill no more, Shawpark no more.

On the job front, the search starts now and no reasonable offer will not be considered.

But equally as important to anyone who has visited my house over the last twenty years, I have accepted the decorator’s estimate. I have still to decide on the basic colour of the downstairs room and all the way up the wall to the top of the house so all suggestions gratefully accepted.

And once that’s done, maybe a party, although given the size of my house, it will be the equivalent of getting students (I will invite other people as well but should I invite partners? Advice?) into a telephone box. Remember them? They’re for when your mobile phone battery runs down.

Invites will be done properly and individually. But not through the blog.

And, being topical, my take on the Olympics? Y’know those conversations you get into at parties? Did you know there are 107 million bloggers in China and that the most visited blog in the world is that of the Chinese actress Xu Jinglei? What is really worrying is that it was me supplying those stats. I really do need to work on my chat up lines.

But, from a good source, I now have some good English speaking website addresses for China. If anybody wants, just ask.

And so, finally, I know I have said I’m going to cut back on apologies and thank yous (too much/too many recently) but sorry if there’s been too much hot air today and not enough canning (sp). But seriously, thanks for reading.