Archive for January, 2009

Oh mama kiss my name I am trying to be sane I’m trying to kiss my friends And when broken, make amends

January 31, 2009

Beautifully wrist slitting music there from Anthony & The Johnsons; a suggestion from Missie K and can I just say many thanks to her and the Vampire Slayer for a brill afternoon just off Byres Road the other day? No vampires in Ashton Lane that Tuesday. Just a lorra lorra laughs.

Better than the Blues brothers are the R’n’B Sisters. But what do I know? (And for older listeners who really don’t know….R’n’B refers to Rihanna and Beyonce….it’s an MTV thang)

And I never knowingly break a confidence. What was discussed in the attic stays in the attic. And that was such a fun sentence to write I have no intention of explaining it. And I plan to keep it that way; keeping it fun is good.

But it’s been an interesting week, he says in that boring way that many bloggers have, but it has, he says in that defensive way that many bloggers have.

I began by putting my PC in to get upgraded, upspeeded and a lot of useless stuff removed but the guy at the bottom of Byres Road who was to do it for me couldn’t get his car to start so I had to drive over to him to help battery start his car which saw me blocking half of Byres Road whilst it happened. Which was bad enough but I have no idea where the catch to release my car bonnet to get into my engine lives. “Your battery’s flat. Why, what shape should it be?” applies to me.

However, I am very happy with the new position of the steering wheel. If I could only work out how to move the driver’s seat.  And I am very happy with the PC. 3-d makes such a difference to some of my regular sites.

And the week also finished with some good news for the Rainforest Riverman, whose corner shop seems to be doing well. Altho’ I did notice in one paper that you’re going to be stocking groceries. However apples don’t interest me. I’m quite happy with my PC.

It’s a shame that that student you employed at Christmas is still spreading ill-founded gossip. Bums and tax-dodgers the lot of them, says he who has not done a day’s paid employment since last March. It’s the way banks keep giving me money. Albeit unwittingly. But gratefully received.

….and other things from them as well. I recently received a letter from them asking me to reply to the Central Fulfilment Unit in Birmingham. So I’ve made up a wish list. Fingers’r’crossed.

Oh, and I was talking to my gd frnd Clr the other day about multi-tasking. No. No connection. Can I just say I manage beauty and brains at the same time? But you’ll learn. You have youth on your side. Gulp, sob, gulp.

As for the rest of the week….at one time in my life Iwas PR consultant to Celtic Football Club and during a management interregnum, I used to tell sports journos that “Nothing continues to happen”. (Ultimately I announced Liam Brady as manager. To all Celtic fans, I didn’t choose him, altho’ to be honest I did have a hand but only strong drink will drag the true story out of me)

Anyway, I had some good news recently when someone told me that all my offers were continuing to be ignored. This is progress. I feel I have discovered the tunnel. The light at the end of it can only be a matter of time. So far, so possibly getting closer.

“I refer you, members of the jury, to the first track on the album, Cammell Laird Social Club by the popular beat combo, Half Man, Half Biscuit.” It might just be an oncoming train.

But referring there to a previous work experience, can I almost act my age? (Son Brian has given me an extension on line drawing but it will cost me a lunch. There’s a surprise. And well done, B, on passing that tax exam. I know some students who’d like advice)

Oh God! I’ve just bitten into a clove of garlic that was in amongst the brazil nuts. Jeez. Seriously. Don’t think I’ll bother with my new glowstick down the Arches tonight. That’s honking. Yeeugh! Excuse me, a second…….

Anyway, I’d like to point out a BBC 4 prog on Thursday night called It’s Time To Go Nationwide. I worked on the programme Nationwide. (I was very young). I must be the only person who ever worked on it whose favourite Frank Bough story does not involve drugs or prostitutes. And Sue Lawley once kissed me. Nae tongues, tho’.

And the skateboarding duck film actually won an award. I know people who worked on the sequel, but unfortunately they killed the duck before they filmed it, accidentally of course. My own fave piece of filming (true story) for Nationwide involved putting a panto horse into a field of real horses, or as we discovered very quickly, a field of stallions in heat. Oh, how we laughed. Well, the people inside the panto horse didn’t. We settled out of court.

Which kinda brings me to this week’s cancergytis news, but only kinda. I was going to mention the news report (The Sun) that frequent sexual activity in their 20s and 30s makes men more likely to develop prostate cancer, and do so with a quiet smirk on my face.

Except I heard three stories earlier this week; one from a man who’s waited five or so years for a benign prostate problem to turn into full blown cancer before he can get treatment; one from the wife of a man who had to get virtually untested surgery before current remission; and one from a man given a prognosis of six months, who decided to make big changes to his diet. That was several years ago and he’s still here. Well obviously, if I was talking to him earlier this week. 

My own story is so simple in comparison and my next check up is not until March. Even then, news that someone I know had a scare over what was supposed to be a routine check up but, after some horrible stuff (but good descripto words) got an all clear, fully removed my smirk but replaced it with a huge smile. You know who you are.

And finally for those of you who missed the broadcast of the Skins dialogue I referred to last week, it went as follows;

“I mean it’s just inexplicable.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“I just can’t explain it.”

“Well, suit yourself.”                                    

(Skins exclusive, Caitlin (how was your reportage, btw?)…..a song by Aberdonian Amy Sawers features in Episode Seven. Apparently it’s about Aberdeen’s nightlife. Suddenly Anthony and the Johnsons seem a fun band)

There is just so much good writing around at the moment. It’s seriously, like,  well, good to read. I just hope the blook is as good but we’re close, team, we’re close. Final draft version and beginners, please.


Johnt850, the scourge of Airdrie’s Section B. We chased them all the way into Section J, y’know. Do I have to act my age, btw? 🙂 It’s a football thang.

Libraries gave us power Then work came and made us free But what price now for a shallow piece of dignity

January 24, 2009

A typically happy little song there from the Manic Street Preachers, as suggested by L frae Troon, and the truth is…it was a bargain. A £5 box set from the ol’ Fopp shop and that gave me 42 audio tracks and 16 videos. Son Brian, it’s an investment just as safe as my shares in the Royal Bank of Scotland.

And bytheway, L, I note that All American Rejects are playing The Garage, Tuesday, 27th. Anything happening, let me know…anything at all.

But first to world affairs and my disappointment with Barack’s first decision. No. Not that one. Indeed I’m happy that it’s not just Gone Tomorrow Bay he’s closing but all the other rendition and waterboarding centres in places like Syria and Jordan, America’s favourite allies.

No. What really bothered me was his decision to go to all those balls wearing a white tie but without tails!! Caitlin, the man’s a walking fashion disaster area. He needs a personal shopper, or two. Seriously. I had to avert my butler’s eyes I was so shocked. 

And I’m not going to get involved in the debate as to whether he is the first black, or first Afro-American, President.

According to some historians he is, in fact, the seventh black President. This goes back to the time (kinda KKK rules) when any American with just one drop of African blood was black. My favourite, therefore, must be Andrew Jackson who had a black dad and an Irish mum. Plenty of reason.

He was the President who invited all his supporters to a party in The White House to celebrate his victory. They came, they drank his whisky and they trashed The White House and all this was before Facebook or Bebo existed.

I tried it once, but after all the peeps had drunk my whisky, they took a look at the wallpaper and assumed it had already been trashed. (Since then it has been changed. If you’re ever passing….)

So keeping to matters of international import, I couldn’t help but notice that Alex Salmond is planning a duet between himself and Sandi Thom. Goodness. I’m appalled. I mean there must be about thirty years between them. It’s, it’s ……hang on, it’s the phone. (Yes….Good point….What? Me?….I suppose so….particularly this last year…..Okay…..Ta) Yes. It’s a really good example of the generation gap being crossed in a simple, effective and platonic way. So far, so good, eh?

And I’d like to say something nice about Homecoming Scotland. I’d like to, but I can’t think of anything nice to say. Why can’t we celebrate modern day Scottish icons like A.L. Kennedy, The View, Jackie Bird (?), Gary Harkins, Grand Theft Auto and the beer garden(?) of the Salutation Inn, Dumfries? Actually I’m not sure about that last one but I’d a brilliant view of a wickerman type statue of a man on a horse on a barge on the Nith from there today. It had to be explained to me it was Tam O’Shanter so maybe I’m not best qualified to talk on the matter.

I had travelled to Dumfries with Erik the Floodstalker, a man with a very strange mission in life. His motto? Never leave home without your dongle. I’d a follow up line there but I realised I was  going to sound like a young Larry Grayson.

(Younger listeners, ask older members of your family to tell you if they ever laughed at Larry’s joke about his friend Everard entering the ring and not coming back out again, and if so, why. Trust me, they’ll never complain about Russell Brand ever again.)

Anyway, it was in this pub in Dumfries I realised I sometimes get frustrated ‘cos I no longer drink alcohol. The others had travelled down by train and had a superb tasting of Spanish wines on the way down. It sounded such good fun. I was envious. Just sometimes… just in case.

I use to be a member of The Rioja Society, y’know. Apparently. I must have been a good customer because they keep inviting me to buy yet another case of the stuff. Every year I get invited to their annual dinner. It’s in Sheffield, or somewhere equally as exotic. I’ve never been. Wonder what happened to the Rioja, and did I enjoy it?

“But as the kids say, it’s my bad”. What exactly did Jonathan Ross mean by that? How patronising was that? There is nothing more embarrassing than an older man pretending to be in touch with the youth of today when he is so obviously not!

Anyway, I was watching Skins the other night and I think Pandora will get off with J J dead soon. And the sisters are real wicked. And what’s that Effy like?

For those who don’t know it, it’s a variation on the High School (not of Glasgow, obviously) theme of boy meets girl, set in an F.E. College with a lot of sex, drugs, more sex and disillusioned F.E. lecturers, so not like any F.E. College I’ve ever taught in then. Honest, Janis.

I like the writing, innit. No. No reason. My fave scene was the one in the Health and Beauty classroom where the blonde wannabe WAGs were being shown how to file a client’s nails with rhythm and then, once that was mastered, they moved onto the cuticles. Eat your heart out Lark Rise to Candleford. Clr, it’s the costume drama language I don’t like. It’s inexplicable.

Skins watchers will remember the rest of that particular dialogue.

But still quiet on the cancer front, so myself and a friend were talking to a guy whom we’ll call Al, cos that’s his name, who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, aggressive like mine was, and can’t make his mind up as to whether to go for radiotherapy or surgery.

I explained that the reason I had gone for radiotherapy was a true story told to me by my gd frnd Clr which had reduced me and the sandblasting consultant to stitches but had left the surgery man looking blank and without stitches (maybe it was in the telling, C) and my friend told Al that the effects of the erectile dysfunction were only temporary but that he had been given Viagra in the short term, but it had to be broken into four pieces for some strange reason.

Al left bemused, uncertain but with a smile on his face. At least we’d kept it fun. That’s important. The street should always stay open… both directions.

Can I say “Seriously Well Done” to former Met student, Emma J for the Lady Ga Ga exclusive and the byline was soooo cool? Even Erik the Floodstalker was impressed and he’s a top sports freelance. Quality. Sundays. In fact. 

And finally, in the coming week. there’s some serious business meetings ahead as various parts of the project reach important moments in time. A few sleepless nights, a few big decisions ahead. But, without saying too much, top of my bill is a meet with some really good looking West of Scotland ladies. Gorgeouser than Rihanna, Beyonce, Paris H and the Pussycat Dolls. That’s all I’m saying. And that dear listener is all I will ever be saying.


Johnt850….sometimes I just get so locked on.

Cause when the world doesn’t make no sense And if you’re feeling just a little too tense Gotta loosen up those chains and dance

January 17, 2009

Or relax. Relaxing is good as well. Altho’ I can dance. Honestly. Indeed I used to go clubbing down the original Clatty Pat’s, y’know. No. No reason. And I was divorced at the time. No. I’m not sure why I used the past tense there. 

Thanks to the gorgeous Dixie Chicks for the opening music and thanks to the gorgeous Jung Wan who directed me to a relaxation class down on Maggie’s Farm last week. I thought she was coming with me to metaphorically hold my hand. But no. I ended up holding my own. Ah c’mon, we did all those gags months ago. Grow up.

But it was so embarrassing. (I don’t often do lycra catsuits. I thought everyone knew that) Between leaving the house and going to the class my left sock had developed a hole in the big toe. How can you relax knowing that everyone is staring at you and your big toe? So, the most settling thing, to be honest, was driving away and road raging two silver haired old ladies in a silver haired Fiat. Honest. I thought that roundabout was big enough for both cars. Well it was for mine. Let’s call it partycrashing.

I did think about using Thank You Too by My Morning Jacket as the opening lyric for reasons which will become obvious, but excuse me folks whilst I pass on a message; No. I wasn’t worried. Honestly. But I am pleased. Really. But what do I know?

I know McFly never came up with a good lyric, that’s what I know.

So, moving swiftly on. My thanks to the Rainforest Riverman for his help in publicising the unfinished blook in Hawaii. I received the message in the bottle he’d obviously thrown overboard from the Bounty and I could make out the following words; “gifts”, “hospitality”, “3 rounds of golf” and “they like their drink, don’t they?” Such devotion. Such indefatigability. And the full phrase is Mahalo Nui Loa. Don’t worry about the question. Son Brian wants to know if you need a caddy, I mean assistant, and the rest of the team want to know if we’re getting t-shirts.

And can I say a big aloha to Lindsay Cochrane (21), set to become the Daily Record’s new teenage angst aunt? About four years ago I met (there is a similar phrase which we don’t use, do we, Clr?) the twenty-one year old Lindsay at a three day journalism taster course at the College where I was then working.  The following week my teaching (?) methods were exposed all over the pages of Lindsay’s Teenage Chat Room, as featured in the Record. (Basically we taught a German student fifty Scots words for being drunk. Hey, it was in context, okay?)

Apparently when Lindsay was in the States recently at one of those Summer camps there was much consternation when the camp heart throb “came out”.  Unfortunately, L, that’s what many “camp” people do… 🙂 (lol). Young journo students. So much to learn about words.

Oh, the joy of poking fun at……Hang on. What’s this? She’s “a journalism student at Strathclyde University” (cue spooky music) but that’s where my gd frnd Clr and my latest bestest friend Caitlin are studying journalism. Gulp. “Dear Lindsay, I have this friend….” Oooops, when I say…..Y’know the word process is so important. You’ve got to be sure what you’re saying is not misunderstood.

But I’m kwl with the modern world, or so I thought until I realised the other day that I’d turned the TV sound down to reply to a txt, and I’ve now lost my Sat Nav. Wonder how I find it? But can anyone explain to me how an ad executive came up with the notion that an advert for a “stool softener” should be based on “Sex in the City”? No. Not even me.

Mind you. I am a big fan of Skins so I blend in well with everyone. There I was, for example, buying a specialist magazine in a newsagent in Byres Road to be told it was bought only by “students and other sorts.” Mmm….which camp did I fit into? When I say……

Incidentally young listeners, why not embarrass older male members of your family by asking them what they got out of reading Health and Efficiency, particularly the volleyball photos? Me? No. I never had to. We had Danish fishing boats coming regularly into Peterhead. That’s all I’m saying.

So let’s stick to the thanks stuff. My website designer (I’ll name him once we’ve agreed terms) has come up with a smashing idea for a logo which I ran past four very carefully selected people in a focus group plus about half a dozen people totally at random including Debbie from next door, Heather the top turpsichorean PR, The Vampire Slayer and Missie K all the next day, and everyone came back within hours and minutes with thoughts, all positive.

Aren’t support teams brilliant? I’ll be honest. I cried. A little.

I’m sensitive, okay but not “camp”…..just in case. 

But talking about the support I’ve received over the last two years, one month and three days (I’ve stopped counting too accurately) it seems fairly quiet on both the alcohol and cancergytis front but I did notice one article which suggested that too much coffee would produce hallucinations and strange happenings. Eh, no. I know why the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse came to see me that night and it wasn’t cos I’d overdosed on the Kenco. 

But I was pleased tonight to see Erik, another student journo and a male one to boot, also drinking tomato juice after the game, in the Doublet. Why, though, Erik, did the barmaid serve it in lab type specimen glasses?

And finally. I fell in love on Friday. It lasted fifteen minutes or thereabouts. She’s twenty. I think. No. No name. A supermarket in the West End of Glasgow. I was at the cash desk about to buy zingy lime and coriander soffritto. (No. I have no idea). She was, I thought, selling double glazing. A couple of old people brushed past her. Y’know the kind that say young people have no manners, that they road rage indiscriminately. She and I looked at each other. We shrugged our shoulders simultaneously. I paid for my soffritto. (No. I really haven’t a clue).

I walked across to talk to her. She was selling Talk Talk. I’m a Virgin user. The incompatibility was obvious. We spoke for a few minutes. We hugged. Seriously. I wished her “Good Luck”. I walked away. I didn’t look back. I’ve not been back.

And that, dear listener, is a true story. It’s been that kinda week. Wonder what Lindsay would make of it?

cya, and soffritto, so good.

Johnt850….is your reportage as good? Let me know.

This is my life and this is how it reads For every chapter, a thousand memories, A murder, a mystery where everybody bleeds A fantasy, a thriller with romance and disease

January 10, 2009

And my thanks to Son Brian for this week’s lyric selection, albeit unwittingly. I had just assumed the credit crunch was a breakfast cereal until he told me the financial facts of life and told me to listen to CDs I hadn’t played for some time. Hence, The Beautiful South. Ta. Lunch is on me….just by way of a change. How’s the writing coming along?

And that lyric! It is so much our blook (our? As in the team’s), except for the romance bit. Mmmmm. I could always make that up. 🙂 The rest is a perfect match. It’s okay. I don’t need to be told. I’ll move swiftly on. (Except to say that ours is so much better than anything written by Augusten Burroughs).

But finance is so easy, isn’t it? My bank has given me a business account with cheque card and cheque book (No. I have no money in the account) and today a letter has come in giving me an overdraft of up to £1,000 on another account. Simple correct answer to simple question, anyone, and lunch and/or coffees are definitely on me. (To a selected few, the answer is Yes. Don’t worry about the question at this stage. It’s your call and BBC Steve, you send those mails and you get a pudding)

So, Gordon Brown, don’t listen to Transformers’ leader Optimus Prime for inspiration. Printing money is what the Weimar Republic did. (No, my gd frnd Clr, I am not  that old. I did history. You didn’t. Remember?)

Instead, Gordon, read Chuck Palahniuk’s amazing book Rant (No. It is not about blogging) where the financial problems of mid-American town Middleton (it’s a made-up name, isn’t it? I’ve just realised) are solved by the Tooth Fairy leaving money in place of peoples’ molars and no-one suffers. It’s brill and so true to life.

And thanks to The Torrance One-the Vampire Slayer, from whom I had not heard for some time. Within minutes of  hearing  from her I had solved a server problem on my computer and later that day, the washing machine repairman had been and given my washing machine the kiss of life (not literally but hearing the machine at full spin did bring back a pleasant memory. Not sure how contextualised it was, tho’).

Turns out the washing machine man had had testicular cancer and had had surgery (just the one, since you ask). It was an amazing conversation, which won’t feature in our blook, altho’ maybe it could go in the chapter where I (not we, all of a sudden) talk, humourously, about the rectal scan. Mmmmmm. Romance, anyone? 

But anyway, thanks Torrance One, and best wishes to your mum (she sounds cool), and I’m still waiting for Missie K to get back to me as well.

Can I also say thanks to the Jung Wan, down on Maggie’s Farm, for a number of reasons. I’ll think about your suggestion of relaxation classes but as anyone who ever worked with me on live Outside Broadcasts knows, the last thing I need is……Shit! What was that? Sorry. I just heard a pin drop. It gave me a helluva fright.

Okay Jung Wan. I’ll be there. Will you? and that deeply incisive question you asked me? You are the only one ever to ask that particular question and get a true answer. I was seriously drunk at the time and now there is no getting away from that memory. The only other person who knows that truth is L frae Troon and she just guessed it. So far, so humble.

(So, does that mean that Superman’s Smallville isn’t a real town either?)

But on the business front I’d lunch (black coffee – we’re creatives, okay?) with the man who will probably be my website designer (how do you give a man with a pseudonym a pseudonym?) in the trendy organically vegan cafe called Stereo. Caitlin, I had no idea what to wear. I’m not used to going out in the daylight. What would you have recommended? And whilst I’m hat-tipping…Good luck Jaymi with your ideas. Enjoying’s the big thing.

But progress is being made with The Word Process. I will keep you posted, dear listeners, I promise.

(But, hang on, I live in Summerston and it’s Winter? I’m getting confused here)

However, even more thanks to the Rainforest riverman who volunteered to carry out market research for the blook in Hawaii. 27 C it says in the paper for there. Enjoy the Book Fair. Aye right. Clr, me and the rest of the team are not jealous…much. (:

I was invited to go to a football match in Inverness this weekend but declined. I’m told I would be missing a “day out equivalent to a rolling Viking Funeral”. Mmmmmm. I was tempted to go as research for my next book, “A Sober Man Follows the Thistle”. It’s a Scot Lit gag, okay? But let’s be honest. Who wants a sober man like me sitting at the table watching the cairry oot on the train fast diminishing, and all I’ve got is a can of Red Bull? Except, in a previous sober existence, I was once quite useful in bailing out some friends from Kilmarnock Sherrif Court.

(But then why is Cumbernauld so called? Well, to be honest, it’s no caulder than East Kilbride! Ker-ching! The classic build up and then the punchline. The hook. The opening sentence pulling you in. Was it worth it? You, the listener, can decide, but I think so)

And finally, I did say last week I’d take my cancer minding duties seriously so I can do no more than quote the headline from last Sunday’s News of the World; New war on killer cancer and the news that there is to be a trial studying what mix of radiotherapy and hormone therapy works best. Can I be selfish here? Mine. For me. Altho’ the hormone stuff was both depressingly horrible and horribly depressing and I was teaching at the time. So did anyone actually notice? 

However, do we always have to be reminded that prostate cancer kills 10,000 men a year? Well, maybe, yes, if it means more men, particularly those as young as me, go and get checked.

So, on that cheery note, I leave the final words to a gd frnd,  who said to me earlier this week, “that’s enough Jerry Springers for one day.”  I’ve left the source anonymous…just in case. (I have no idea what it means but then I don’t understand what the stv sports presenter meant when she said, “The revolving doors are swinging” Eh?)

cya and updates’r’good……I still see it as a 2-way street. No. No reason.


Phony monkey toy money lose end soda hands pink plastic Jesus on the dashboard just saying He’s the alphabet pony He’s the alphabet pony

January 3, 2009

So farewell brill 2008 and hello promising 2009. No. No resolutions. Just threads. And I did have conversations with various people called Brian, and I agreed there’d be lots of line drawing under certain aspects of 2008, that I’d act sensibly, and my age, and that I’d show willingness by playing only sensible lyrics from well known bands.

So, that was Alphabet Pony from the album Midnight Boom by the minimalist indie rock, garage punk band, The Kills. It’s a Point of View. Sorry. I lied, albeit unwittingly.

So how did I spend Hogmanay? With neighbours around the village duckpond here in Summerston watching the firework display supplied by the Young Possil Fleet, aka Lisa B. (I don’t think anyone lived in that high-rise anyway). We’d all a glass or two of mulled wine, or in my case, mulled tomato juice, freshly seared with a red hot poker. Interesting earthy taste.

(Does anyone read Chaucer these days, bytheway? He’d give that Bret Easton Ellis a run for his money, Clr. It’s worth a Google search). 

Incidentally can I say a big thanks to all those who sent mails, cards, spoke, txtd (even at 3.30 on New Year’s morning), called and so on with a wee bit more than just festive greetings but with best wishes on the alcohol and cancer front. Thanks in particular to the friend who described me as having “amazing will-power” in connection with alcohol. No. I just have amazing friends, like you, and I’d like to keep them. So far, so good……mmmmm. It’s not always easy though, is it?

Although, on a seriously different note, I did get a wee fright when discussing cough syrups with a couple of mates and, laughing at the fact that I slug mine out of the bottle, I did say that I’d a spare bottle in the kitchen….just in case. Gulp.

You can take the boy away from an addiction……..(And doesn’t the green lem-sip syrup look like methadone?)

But to a lighter note. To all of you who turned up at Loch Lomond Shores last Monday hoping to answer an easy question and therefore get treated to lunch by my credit card, Son Brian and I had in fact decanted to the little picturesque village of Clydebank-sur-la-Riviere (sorry gd frnd Clr, I don’t know the French for canal. Oh, is it?) where we had lunch in a little bistro called Frankie and Benny’s. They weren’t in.

Son Brian was in the middle of teaching me how to deal with prospective clients when, and can I apologise to the waitress for this  – I didn’t know she was standing there – the burger flew out of the bun I was holding and, and, and how did the cheese stay in the bun?  But as you say, Son and heir, it can take ten seconds to create a first impression and up to 27 meetings to change that impression. Sometimes, for me, it works the other way round.

And I did buy some new shoes from a very exclusive boutique called Brantano. Black is so my colour, so professional. Caitlin, you are so right. A whole new wardrobe is called for. But what does anyone else you know think? Subleties’r’us.

Years ago, one of the first times I left the BBC, I went down to Ralph Slater’s with Sharon and the real Smiley Carol – my credit card, their choice of clothes for me. I’d do that again. No. No real reason. It was just good fun. And why didn’t we take K-J?

All good looking women, all spoken for, but 2009, hey I’m back in the market.  Blind dates, internet dating, any and all suggestions considered, although I did hear one relationship expert say today that the best chat up line is still, “Can I buy you a drink?”

Mmmm, can I get back to you on that? I’m still getting my tongue around, “Would you like to go for a coffee?”, and that’s just with friends. 

But all the usual offers still apply. It’s your call and all of you know who you are. There is still plenty of credit on the card and then the government will bail me out. It’ll have to. The value of my savings is fast diminishing and I have no mortgage. I own my house. I gain no benefit from falling interest rates and when I did Politics and Economics at University, the idea of a negative interest rate would have been laughed out of court.

Desperate times. My Son has banned me from the ol’ Fopp shop. It’s an inheritance thing.

But I have an address in Brazil, I assume that’s where it is, that I use from time to time. They’ve got a really nice person there who seems to spend their nights looking for books, DVDs and CDs for me and making recommendations to me for when I get up in the morning. Vampire Chicks with Chainsaws sounds seriously good. I’ll move swiftly on, I think.

On the politics front, I am interested by the movie on the Frost-Nixon interviews. I was inspired by much of Watergate, have some brill books from the time itself (second hand book shops -I’m not that old) and I have a copy of Nixon’s astrological chart. I have no idea how I got it and I have no idea what to do with it. But I don’t think any good will come of him, based on my reading. But what do I know?

But as to my own future, my own reading of the threads? The blook is at 40,000 words, some of them quite good, and thanks team for all your help and encouragement; business plans are now drawn up for my own business idea and a website designer has been identified; and my washing machine has died, not “popped its clogs”, but died. That’s when the coping mechanisms kick in, and these days, unlike the dark days of August/September, they work, and work well…..unlike the washing machine.

Incidentally, someone I know called Thom(p)son is still having some problems sending e-mails at times. The problem seems to be with renewing his security cover. It might be a password problem but he can’t remember the password. Aaargh!

And finally, there is one resolution for this blog. One of the reasons for doing it was to keep a fun message going where cancer is concerned, and I’ve been a wee bit remiss in doing so recently, maybe a wee bit carried away by myself and forgetting others. So, High Horse Level committee, I’m aware and will be even more ware in the future. That’s a promise. I owe it to some amazing people, some of whom I never met.

cya and take care and, Frankie and Benny, that waitress, it was just tomato sauce on her apron, wasn’t it? I did offer to wipe it down but she declined. Can’t think why.