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

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 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. 


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.

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