Archive for May, 2009

Some people like to rock, some people like to roll, But movin’ and a groovin’ gonna satisfy my soul Let’s have a party, oooooh, let’s have a party

May 30, 2009

A feelgood lyric there from Wanda Jackson, ‘the first lady of rock’n’roll’ and did you know that she first toured, in the fifties, when she was 18, with Elvis Presley. Trusting parents, or what?

Oh, and L frae Troon, I appreciate all your suggestions. Don’t worry. I don’t worry about possible personal comments, I just do lunch. (Almost a lyric in itself, as a twelve bar blues, guitar  heroes)

And it’s been a good week, but much of it commercially confidential. But I can tell you things like I’m going to my first ever Breakfast Networking Event next week. Eh, what’s breakfast?

But it doesn’t stop things happening around me. Plus will I have major anno to make end of June or will it be a major disappointment?

Tuesday, for example, there I was in ASDA discussing the price of sliced salami with Jaymi (you have no idea how many versions of that line I had to run past BBC Al, the blog’s bad taste pal. See pre-recording the blog? It’s a nightmare. Ask Jonathan Ross) Anyway, as I was saying…….when the tannoy went, “All Staff. Code 10. Clothing.”

Yes. It was a Harry Hill moment. A fight. Girl on Girl since you ask. No. Not a pretty sight. I made an excuse and left….just in case. I try not to get involved.

And then there was Sunday. 

As many of you know I was a guest of Celtic plc at the Hearts match last week. Boardroom hospitality (no tomato juice), a seat in the Directors’ Box (ever wished the ground would swallow you up?) and a conversation with Rod Stewart (‘Hi John’, ‘Hi Rod’ was roughly it), but did I know Wee Gordon Strachan was about to leave the club?

Well, yes, I did. The taxi driver on the way to the ground told me. His brother’s son-in-law knows the chef who defrosts the prawns for the cocktails that they serve at that table in the Brother Walfrid Restaurant next to the table the depute assistant head turnstile attendant uses. That is a source and a half.

‘So, Son Brian, when you were very young, your dad, was he a typical divorced dad, taking you to the park and places?’ ‘No. He took me to corporate hospitality.’

Me? I didn’t do my first free bar until I was eighteen and at University and that was a proper optics thing, not free yellow wine in plastic cups. Not, Jung Wan, that there’s anything wrong with drinking out of plastic cups. And thanks, btw, for the non-advice. I am putting it into practice this week…..just in case.

Incidentally, another first rule of journalism is that you do not get drunk before an event. Journalists buy, journalists ply. By the time I hit my alcoholic gap year I wasn’t a practising journo, but I was never a lecturer. I was a tutor. Accuracy, accuracy, accuracy.

And since I’m pre-recording this I can’t possibly comment on the result of tonight’s BGT. Naw, today is about ‘drinking’ down Byres Road and then getting ready for tomorrow’s Cumbernauld (Keeping It) Fun Day when I might meet Missie K’s family and friends, my gd frnd clr’s family and friends, and the Dykeenies would be a bonus 😀

Prostate Cancer Charity? Ours is the stand with the black tablecloth. Seriously. I’m looking forward to it, and it’s an amazing way to celebrate a strange anniversary. 

Incidentally, just before Holly Steel broke down in last night’s BGT, Simon Cowell gives her a sign…. a chopping hand. Watch it. That’s a factoid.

And that’s a seamless seque into  http://www.planet-holyrood.co.uk/ which has just returned from its own mini-recess. My own little column this week comes from an idea suggested by an academic called Kerry, albeit unwittingly, but I like to give credit where credit’s due. ‘Thanks’ is such a nice, simple word. isn’t it? No-one could possibly misconstrue it, could they? That’s not a ‘dig’. No. 

Y’see I don’t do ‘digs’ at people. I’m the kinda nice guy who, earlier this week phoned a wrong number and left a message on the answering machine. C’est tout que je peux dire.

Incidentally, for those of you who are interested in the rustic but male editors of P/H, for that is how I see them, one has spent the week fighting off the Korean World of Warcraft Goldfarmers (eh?) and the other described himself to me as a ‘neopolitan ice cream’. I’m supposed to be meeting up with them this week. I’m the sensible looking one! 

Other factoids? ‘Muesli is more carcinogenic than Coco Pops.’ Pass it on. See if it works. I copied that from a magazine. I’ve still to try it out. I’m also about to try out an M&S curry and pilau rice that are supposed to cook for twenty minutes but at different temperatures. Eh? And I’ve got cooking down on my CV.

Now who gave me advice on my CV? Oh, yes. And it may yet work. As might I.

But talking of original work, can I say a big well done to Erik the Floodstalker for his triumphs in The Write Stuff Awards. Erik the Scoop does not sound quite as healthy, but well deserved. As is the whisky I keep promising you.

Just as well deserved are the recent nice things said about Glasgow’s West End and the Ubiquitous Chip, which I still think is Glasgow’s best restaurant. Did I once offer? Yes. I did and all offers still stand, as long as I do. 

So, Vampire Slayer, many thanks for yours….offer that is. (It only works as an innuendo if I don’t explain it)

Less well deserved are any thoughts for those MPs still being exposed by the Daily Telegraph, for whom Julie Kirkbride worked. Although I couldn’t help but stem a tear for the Tory MP, him who claimed for the servants’ quarters, when he started an explanation of his conduct by saying, ‘But I sold my first house for only £1.3 million, therefore…..’ I switched the TV off as quickly as Amanda Holden switches on her tears.

And finally, I don’t know when you will read this, but I am reasonably full of emulsion about this cancerly stand I’m doing at Cumbernauld for all sorts of reasons. If you’re passing, please drop in. I feel a I owe a lot to a lot of people.

You can let me know how well I do. Marks out of ten would be nice. After all it’s your vote that counts. I’m keeping the freebie pens and keyrings under the table. Just wink.

cya

Johnt850, back next week, unless I get thrown down into Craighalbert Quarry. No. No reason. It’s called ‘dropping in’ but not as I know it.

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I would prefer no choice One bread, one milk, one food, that’s all. I’m confused, I only want truth I really don’t mind being lied to

May 23, 2009

Or do I? The track All Is Vanity is from the new Manic Street Preachers‘ album and most listeners will be aware of the Richey Edwards backstory but are they aware that Tesco’s (the Daily Telegraph said so) were one of a number of supermarket chains who banned the CD cover and replaced it with a blank white sleeve cos it featured a painting of a boy with a bad birthmark?

Tesco’s – home of open minds. Every little hinders.

Yeah. I’m in a bit of a mood. It’s coming up for an emotional week but before I explain why, can I just continue briefly on the idea of freedom of information (deliberate lower case)? Can I quote from the brilliant Paulo Freire’s sexily titled Pedagogy of the Oppressed (p64, published 1972)?

‘To say one thing and do another – to take one’s own word lightly – cannot inspire trust.’

Lindsay C, the Record’s Top Teen Angst Queen….you can have that one. I’ve used quite a few of yours over the last few weeks.

That line’s not just applicable to MPs though, is it? Altho’ it’s not to say that there hasn’t been some fun in the expenses’ stories.

Step forward, usually media friendly Michael Connarty and the £250 alarm clock. According to one source this week, he was in Stockholm; according to the Labour Party, he was in communicado. C’mon, he can’t be in two places at once.

And Gordon Prentice MP, who led the revolt against the Speaker is another G.U.U. ex-President. They get everywhere. They’re all in my contacts book. It’s all real social networking.

And then there’s the Curry Lover of the Year (official…..awarded this week), First Minister Alex Salmond, who has made certain arrangements regarding the salaries he receives for his three jobs, including being an MP.  But how he did manage to eat his way through £800 of food when Westminster was in reverse?(I meant to write ‘recess’. Honest. I’m just leaving it. :D)

Mind you, looking at Big Eck, he managed it. No. I don’t like him. I just don’t. No real reason.

And is it true that Beyonce‘s sister Solange is playing a gig in Byres Road this week? That ‘s the other Beyonce and not the R’n’B Sisters who this blog knows and, well, ‘knows’ so well. (I know what I was going to say but I’ve gotta be soooooo careful…just in case) 

Well she is, and Beyonce is apparently coming up for the after gig party. But it’s the same night as the Barca v Man U game. Barca – my second favourite team of all time (!) from my second favourite city of all time. I’ll get a taxi.

Actually, while we’re on the subject of my ideal woman (No. No reason.) I hate to disappoint every mum, aunt and granny who has marked me out as an ideal catch – single, okay looking for my age (42), and reasonably well off (cash rich, pension poor, but I only give myself a rolling five years to live….still it’s longer than one day at a time).

Can I just say Carrie Gracie? Born in Dubai, fluent in Mandarin, good looking and openly admits on live TV that she earns £92, 000 per year. I’m sorry. That is one helluva benchmark.

So sorry, G,C,C,G,C,L,e,K,J,A,C,K,J,J,B,T,S,C,E,H,J,K,O,S,A et al – all of whom exist.

And to the Sun columnist whose ghost writer claims he’s never heard of Carrie? You’re the kinda columnist who, if I described you as ‘ignorant’, would want to know what I meant by it. (It’s from the Latin)

Not applicable to every journo who writes for the same ‘paper. There’s the brill showbiz guru, Emma J, and also Bill Leckie who reported on the best anti -drugs slogan I have seen in a long time; ‘Ketamine – just say Neigh.’

Good neighsaying as my PT mates would say.

And talking of mates. I’m worried about the rainforestriverman. He mobiled me during the week to say he was going to a formal dinner with someone called Clarence House. I could hear the pub in the background. Mmmm.

Sorry, there’s a voice in my ear…..Oh, at Clarence House, and there will soon be some form of video footage to prove it. Apparently.

Typical isn’t it? Days after I say I’m going to the House of Lords he does a gig with the next King. Still, in fairness, his market traders are good, particularly the one at Caiman. Whatshername? 

Incidentally, y’know that Lynx bullet pull-the-birds thing? Can I just say, Gold Spot Breath Freshener it ain’t? Yes. I did. Yeugh.

And btw, Barry Ferguson, that tattoo you got? The quote from Oscar Wilde that you got done at Kenny’s House of Pain in Hamilton? Do you know who Oscar was and why he went to Gaol? Of course you do. You’ve an open mind. I’m sooooooo proud of you.

So why, then, is this an emotional week for you, Johnt850? The hormones which were injected into you a wee while back are obviously playing up. I remember Laura F and the prick gag from about a year ago. How’s she doin’ I wonder.

Exactly. 31st May last year was the final day of sandblasting (sum txts r hrd 2 delete) and to celebrate the anniversary, the good people of Cumbernauld, home to Missie K, my gd frnd Clr and the Dykeenies, are marking it with a Community (Keep It) Fun Day at Craighalbert Quarry (eh?). Apparently they roped off the quarry itself last year.

I’ll be there ‘manning’ my first Info Stand on the behalf of the Prostate Cancer Charity. (Can I just say a big thanks to my referees for their references?) I still can’t believe that the ‘recovering alkie with prostate cancer in his early fifties’ thang happened. But it did. I may be unique. Actually, for the best of reasons, and not just my membership of the High Horse Level Committee, I hope I am. It’s not something I would wish, etc, etc……

So I am doing just a wee bit of crying this week. Albeit unwittingly.

But I notice that my parking is at Tesco’s. That won’t be a problem for me. Paulo F also says that where there’s dialogue there’s hope.

I’ll be in the white Renault Megane, playing the Manics, probably the track about skin cancer and neophobia. It’s a fear of anything new. Some psychologists say it’s particularly true of some parents. Well, wikipedia says ‘some psychologists……’ but the Daily Telegraph, it ain’t.

But tomorrow comes first, and then the day after……for all of a rolling five years.

cya  (if you’re anywhere near the Quarry on 31st May. Seriously. It sounds a great day out….for all the family. Cumbernauld can be fun. Apparently I have a large gazebo. The innuendo is too easy)

Johnt850, triple mod, as Craig Charles would say and did.

Thought I ran into you down on the street, Then it turned out to be only a dream…..I remember the face, but I can’t recall the name, Now I wonder how whatsername has been.

May 16, 2009

And nobody go making any assumptions. There’s a few out there. But I heard Missie K telling someone the other day that my band of choice was Alabama 3 but I’ve kinda moved away from them when looking for angst-ridden addiction pop (a new genre, maybe, Heather, Emma?). So today’s band is Green Day from the American Idiot album. (New album is amazing)

But what really worried me in a really worrying week was a conversation with the Vampire Slayer aka the Torrance One, who posed the question; ‘What is happening to the world?’ Vampire Slayer, you are meant to be saving the world, not worrying about it! Too much time posing for the Paparazzi, me thinks.

No. Only one story this week and it happened on Tuesday. My gardener was over tending the estate’s lawns. He cuts a lot of grass in Summerston. (When I say ‘cuts a lot of grass’…… ).

Anyway the door bell rang and it was Ami from next door, 22 year old female student whose mum was one of my first visitors after Cold Turkey Sunday, which kinda epitomises the support team ethos, so why….? Aaaaaaaaaaaargh. Sorry. I was miles away.

I  had been summoned next door. My gardener had put a stone through their patio doors. Not deliberately, but had wheeched it with his strimmer from my garden straight through the glass, albeit unwittingly. It shattered but didn’t fall apart. Bit like myself at times.

But all the time a wee boy called Charlie continued to practise playing the piano. What a hero. And if only next door were an MP, they could just have claimed it all back on eckies (short for expenses…nothing else).

So. Yes. That is the story. And my gd frnd Clr and Caitlin, when I recently met up with BBC  Al (the blog’s resident expert on bad taste) not only did we sit down to discuss a recent visit to Pacific Quay, we tried to swop journalists’ expenses stories. We didn’t have any. Any BBC expense claim has/had to be signed off by at least two people before it gets anywhere near the virtual Cash Office. That’s the big difference between most expense claimers and MPs!!!

(First rule of journalistic expenses. If you use any hotel’s in-house services such as internal TV channels, mini-bar or ‘extra pillows’, then settle that bit of the bill separately. Safer in the long run.)

But can I, for once, pretend to be Guido Fawkes? No. I’m not going to comment on the injunction that may or may not have been served against the Telegraph on Thursday night by a former Defence Secretary….., nor am I going to say ‘didn’t the Telegraph get value for money for its £70,000?’

No. There was a time I might try and explain the system but there is no way that the ‘unforgiveable error’ can ever be forgiven. We can laugh at the trouser presses but the thousands being claimed for mortgages that no longer exist? That is a crime. It is not an oversight. The next time you’re caught in a first class compartment without paying the correct fare, ask to pay the difference. It doesn’t work, does it? 

Rant over. You can take your hands off your ears now unless you’re Vincent van Gogh. I’m back to being Johnt850, so lock up your daughters…..just in case 😀  

It’s okay. I’m miles away.

No.  I took the subway out of town late one Saturday night recently. My MP, Anne McKechin was on it. She put her Underground ticket in the Byres Road bin with the rest of us.

‘I walk a lonely road, The only one that I have ever known….

was the other Green Day lyric I was considering for today. So far, so good.

Actually there are some new dates in my diary. I exclusively revealed to Caitlin, for example, during the week that I’ve been invited to a reception in the House of Lords at the end of June. I’m not sure what it’s all about but it involves Glasgow University and some women. Yes, Auntie Jeanette, it intrigues me as well that most women see me as safe company but not for the reason you suggested. You weren’t the only one to do well in Gleneagles that night. Sorry. I was miles away. Perth.

And I am coming to Cumbernauld on Prostate Cancer business quite soon which will mean missing a key game for Clydebank (Death to the Diamonds) but, hey, to be where Missie K, my gd frnd Clr and the Dykeenies were brung up, and in a good cause…….See me, see speechless.  Watch blog for details next week. Lucky it’s not miles away. 

Incidentally, anybody wanting to be part of the audience at some TV recordings at PQ in June, check out 12yard.com. In fact they’re also looking for contestants for some National Lottery programmes. So there you go.

Oh, and on the cancerly front, this time last year, with some fun prodding, I was reminding folks about the dangers of skin cancer. So, yes, I noticed that Michael Jackson has been diagnosed with it, but tucked away in a different edition of that newspaper was news that spending on skin cancer awareness campaigns, in parts of the country, has plummeted…yet cases are on the increase, like they’re doubling. Check out http://www.skcin.org. 

Is that okay?

Oh, and talking of good friends, a good looking mate (42 for the rest of his life…sorry Son Brian) has asked me to mention that some e-mails are coming in late to him or going into strange boxes. If it’s urgent, text or phone him. He doesn’t want to be thought rude especially if you’re an academic keeping him up to date with exams and essays, but be aware there are subjects out there that he does not know much about. When did they invent Ethics for Journalists? Right that’s enough public service broadcasting. 

And finally, and businessly, my thanks to Tracey, my new business adviser. I have now re-focussed the business (I was at a marketing seminar yesterday). I have no idea what that means, but your cheque arrived this morning.

Y’know I don’t know if my parents ever fully understood what I did in life, work wise, but I suspect they would have had the same view of me that Son Brian sometimes has. So can I just say I took one step towards maturity the other day? I bought a new tie rack and new plastic coat hangers from Poundstretcher. Now all I need is a tie. 

cya

Johnt850

p.s. My folks might have mixed feelings about my reasons for a support team, but boy would they be amazed at its size. Particularly, this week, the Dundee branch. Serious Ta.

My mind’s not perfect but it’s sincere, You’d be amazed at what you can achieve in a year……So get yourself together Get your feet back on the ground

May 9, 2009

I can’t do the vocals justice but that’s The View there, from Dundee, and I have just returned, successfully from the Jags’ last game of the season and those who didn’t get bailed out in Dundee, stay in Dundee. Sorry. You were aware of the risks.

‘Dundee – a nice city to visit, but not for a whole day.’

And I, like every other away match, had my drink sorted for the train. Y’know when you go and visit a mate in hospital and you top up a bottle of coke with vodka or rum to smuggle it in (like, the nurses don’t know?). Well, I do the same with a carton of tomato juice and tabasco sauce.

But my thanks to the Tesco’s people in the Big Tent in George Square who supplied the ice and the lemon for the journey. Such nice people who work there and really, every little does help……in some way…….No. Really.

But what an afternoon. It was pouring rain and jute, the stewarding was unnecessarily heavy handed and we got gubbed four-nil. It was an amazingly brilliant afternoon and my favourite moment? When we walked into the bar of the Dundee Contemporary Arts Centre, by climbing up the fire escape. I have no idea how these guys know these things, but they do.

And John-Paul, my thanks for your contribution in my search for a realistic soul-mate. Maybe not that feasible a profile for internet dating, but an interesting, if ambitious, plan.

But business, ‘tho’, is slow with more, longer term, journalistic projects on the horizon, but there are some very nice sums of money going into my bank accounts. I’ll pick up that tab.

Actually it’s quite nice being freelance again, I thought, enjoying a recent sumptuous breakfast overlooking the urban sprawl that is Glasgow. Okay, it was a roll’n’square in a printer’s car park in the Possil but, hey, a great view of the M8.

And yes, I have been quiet on the cancerly front but there are personal reasons for that. Well, not ‘me’ personal cos I would say something….but you can kinda guess and you’d be right. There’s a kinda guilt.

But bringing it back to fun, I may have other news for you, and some more of you, and maybe you as well, on the prostate cancer awareness front…..coming soon to a venue near you. Check local press for details.

So let’s meander.

I was going to do something on MPs’ expenses, but how can you improve on the MP who complained his ‘old boiler’ was too hot? I don’t do sexist gags, but if I did…….

And no swine flu gags either, except to say all I’ve eaten this week is cured ham.

But alcoholically, I’m taking on an interesting challenge. Top showbiz journo, Emma J, recommends a band called Black Velveteens who are playing this Wednesday in a pub in Glasgow’s City Centre which is (competition time) ‘buckled and round’. I repeat ‘buckled and round’.

Yes, it’s her boyfriend’s band. Which means I should also mention Heather C’s boyfriend’s band http://www.myspace.com/sixpeopleaway Mellow but good. Hope you enjoyed the Big Tent, H, and all it had to offer as well. 

And to Missie K, thanks for introducing me to your comedy writing mate. I played his CD in my car. Usually hitchhikers stay in the car longer than 100 yards before they jump, and I was going pretty fast at the time 🙂

By the way you did bring the Vampire Slayer back with you, didn’t you? Lots of activity in the graveyard nearby and I’ve been doing a lot of thinking in there recently. A lot.

So, bringing the above all together, Steve Earle, a hero of mine (recovering alkie and guitar hero; ‘a match made in Heaven’……I’m sorry, I’ve just burst out laughing. No. No reason, but I now have a smile on my face stretching from Summerston to Seafar. So good.

Possibly only my gd frnd Clr, Missie K and the Dykeenies will realise what a great Cumbernauld gag that is……oh, and parents, and friends, and so on), well Steve’s just released a new album. It’s not very good, so I’ll just play his old stuff instead.

He did, however, indulge in a piece of name dropping which even the High Horse Level Committee might allow; ‘I know both Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan a little bit.’  That is soooo cool. 

But Son Brian, my bestest friend ever Caitlin (I resisted another temptation during the week, C, despite all this money I seem to have) well, her Uncle Colin was taken to see Bob Dylan by his daughter. No. No reason for mentioning it. Bruce Springsteen is 59. Just in case.

Incidentally, for some reason the question of my own Uny degree has come up; an ordinary M.A. in things like Politics, History and Economics, an exemption in French Studies and a struggle with Moral Phil. But boy did I have a good time, albeit unexpectedly.

It’s a bit like giving presents, oh, and receiving them. My favourite ever was from Son Brian and it was a t-shirt. Interesting message from a twelve year old, but my second favourite ever was in my Beeb days when I had a really brill day, when I boasted about how good I was as a producer. The next day, everything fell apart, and a grad trainee called Clare (sp) gave me a cabbage. (Younger listeners, just say to people even older than me, the words; ‘It’s Friday. It’s Five to Five and…… ‘ and then ask the significance of the cabbage.)

I was well and truly put in my place. Not for the first, and not for the last time. I think about it every time I see her name on the screen as an executive producer. 

But I do hope all aspiring journos out there, including those shortlisted for The Write Stuff, saw stv’s smashing Susan Boyle programme earlier in the week. No. It was not about her singing. It was a great insight into the world of basic newsgathering. Almost better than any lecture I ever gave, except I never really did give lectures, did I?

And finally, but quite boringly, cos the day’s excitement is catching up with me, not to mention other peoples’ drink, my attention was caught recently by a locked gate on Summerston Railway Station. What a strange lock, I thought, and walked behind it to have a better look at it. It was then I realised that this was the must stupid locked gate in the entire world. 

cya

Johnt850, ‘but they never found the Picasso’.

To the guys with whom I’ve ‘drunk’ my way across Scotland whilst following the one football team I’ve always wanted to support, it’s been a privilege. Seriously. It may not be the Minnesota Theory of dealing with addiction but it’s worked for me. Ta.

I’m a rebel stuck with a label Trying to be someone in life We’re the people you don’t wanna know We come from places you don’t wanna go

May 2, 2009

And in a really strange week where my openness has caused me problems, many problems – but the good outweighs the bad – good old fashioned Sham 69 get us off to a really loud start. Oh, and the demons came back, btw, and not just angels with dirty faces. So a real mixed bag of a week. But no swine flu gags.

Businessly, I’m still rebuilding networks, making new, and revisiting some former contacts and if I can ever…. then just ask. If I get anything out of it, all well and good. It’s a freelance thing. Drop my name into the conversation. Thanks. I’ll return the favour. It’s how freelances work.

But let’s get the demons out of the way.

As many of you know I ended an alcoholic gap year by Cold Turkeying (albeit unwittingly). It was all of approximately two years, four months, seventeen days and several hours ago, but who’s counting? I did the usual things that Sunday, fighting off the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse at three o’clock in the morning, chasing them out of the house but one of them stayed and lives in a sweatshirt in the wardrobe.

Well, the previous week someone had said something that really bothered me and I couldn’t get it out of my head. Then on Sunday night I watched the brilliant docu-dram about George Best’s mum and her alcoholism, and that was it. The demon saw its chance and attacked. I seemed an easy target.

Well I won, although all my clothes ended up on the front grass, and I didn’t have a drink, much to the disappointment of a, believe it or not, small but seemingly growing number of people who want me to fall. Ach, there’s a smile on my face as I say that 🙂

I think it was one of them who suggested I need a holiday. Yup. Mexico, Seychelles and Sri Lanka are good suggestions.

Still pigs might fly.

So I’ve come to some decisions. I’ve been in too much of a smug comfort zone recently.  Uncomfortable is good but only if you’re willing to face the challenge it offers. So, as part of my own personal twelve steps challenge (I don’t do the meetings but I am full of admiration for those who do) …..Emma J, I’m going to that gig…..and I’ll probably turn up on my own.

A guy I know, who’s a non-recovering druggie (has cancer, will smoke), says I’m to say I’m the uncle of one of the band….just in case. I think not. I will be me, as ever. Emma, I’ll be in touch. Gulp. So, if there’s no blog in two weeks’ time………

A big thanks to Phil and Rab (39 just), two of Scotland’s top Comedy (unit) gurus, who asked me to do some writing for them. If nothing else, guys, I extended your audience by all of seven on Friday night and I did explain that ‘not all’ writing gets used on the night. ‘Not all’? None. Or N1, as txtng fluologists might say.

I did once explain to my gd frnd Clr that I got my some of my best lines out of the addiction centre I used to attend. She thought I meant comedy (kerching!)

Son Brian, you know this guy, Phil, from the 5-a-sides. His hair is longer than mine and he intends to remain 32 for the rest of his life altho’ in reality he’s ages with me (42).

Smokey bacon crisp anyone?

And, yeah, I’ve never been to the speedway. I quite fancy adding that to my list of things to do.  Yeah, again, saying something in the blog means I mean it. My word is my bond. Speedway is on.

And Caitlin, I succumbed. Not a tin flute just yet, but a new black casual jacket. I wore it to a West End coffee bar with my friend, top tipster ‘e’ (Sorry Gazza but she’s got a better recent record than you.) But what good is an extended metaphor without the actual metaphor? No. No reason.

This place has a full length mirror. I had to be dragged away kicking and screaming. The voice shouting, “You’re real hot” sounded familar. It was mine.  

And the previous night, another coffee bar. The person I was with? I’m sorry. I can’t call you Jelly Jill. You’re not a wobbly person. (I win the bet) We ate cup cakes that had fallen off the back of a lorry. Seriously. The owner was offering round a box of damaged goods…for nothing. Some people might think I deserve to be in that, but I’ve been in darker places.

Driving away, I nearly knocked down the comedian Frankie Boyle. He reminds me of one of the Proclaimers, but I’m not sure which one. (second kerching!)

Where did these places spring from? Next Saturday I’m going to have to go to Dundee just to find a pub, and if it gets too much, I will walk back. I’ve come so far, so good. 

Oh, and Clr, Missie K, Torrance One and Parfery person, I’m sorry you weren’t the first, and I know it was special, as it should be (innuendo alert), but Jill and her mates from my PR days beat you to it, by a few months, well years. Yes. I have a track record. And a deserved reputation. Boringly safe! 

Incidentally, and maybe this is this week’s theme, I’ve just read an article about Jarvis Cocker. ‘He says he doesn’t want to grow up. But he thinks he’s grown.’ He’d been through interesting times.

I, too, feel I am a lucky man to have lived through such interesting times. I put it down to Ward 8a Gartnavel, oh and the Beatson, oh and the Wyndford.

But if I were a superhero, who would I be? Spawn.  That’s who. Apparently, ‘he’s an anti-hero who is a tortured soul sent back from Hell, but tries to do the best he can.’ No. No similarity.

But this week’s heroine? (We had an example there of where a good editor will beat spellcheck every time. The final ‘e’ is very important.) It goes to the barmaid in the Doublet who walkie-talkied down to the downstairs bar for more tabasco sauce for me. I felt so seriously ‘access all areas’ again.

So at the end of an introspective week but in an openly extrovert kinda way, can I wish Katie a Happy Birthday. Hope the Zoo Crew wasn’t too ‘boaring’ (sorry). Good age, twenty two. Stay there. The world is a sparkling blue cheese oyster, with an open mind. Keep it that way.

No. I was worried when I started writing this blog that it would end up doom and gloom ‘cos, well just ‘cos, but I feel so much better now. I will always keep it fun. Whatever.

Damn! I’ve just sneezed into my B & Q protective mask. How pig ignorant was that?

cya

Johnt850, so defo not cooking my mods for the PS3. I mean that’d be, like, trolling.