Archive for July, 2009

I’m gonna take you out tonight, I’m gonna make you feel alright. I don’t have a lot of money but we’ll be fine. No, I don’t have a penny But I’ll show you a good time.

July 25, 2009

Little Boots (got the name right there, Nick and Missie K) offering my services if you want to get more out of the West End of Glasgow; from Offshore in Gibson Street, where we have our own hookahs Rainforestriverman, to Oran Mor at the top of Byres Road, to, well maybe not the Three Judges at Partick Cross.

No. Not for that reason. I just wasn’t a real ale drinker and a pint of lager with a twig in it was not my fave beverage. 😦 But maybe one day I should bite that particular bullet and walk that particular plank.

So no angst this week. We’re back to the original mantra and ethos of ‘keeping it fun’. And I’ve been ‘drinking’. I think my fave bar of recent years is Bar 10 in the city centre, but I hate the tall swivelly stools. Is that vertigo? Aye, it’s about four feet to the floor. (Kerrching!) Really nice place, tho’. I just like it.

And no, I didn’t go to Airdrie for the football (Death to the Diamonds). It was a combo of a dead washing machine (death confirmed by AS Electrics of St George’s Cross) and a rubbish bank, Lloyds TSB, who have mucked up my credit card account. Can I say that the frontline troops are doing their best but the wankers (polite rhyming slang for bankers….how soon we forget) at Head Office can’t be arsed sending out extra helicopters.

And can I say I have nothing against the town of Airdrie? I know some really nice people, okay, some really nice young women from there* but it’s the football club and Section B I hate. (I didn’t need to ask BBC Al, the blog’s bad taste pal, if I could do a Section B inbreeding gag. I just didn’t)

Sorry, but I do feel better, and they’ll try to get their own back. They tried once before. (News just in. Gubbed one-nil by the mighty Jags)

*and Coatbridge and Cumbernauld and Bellshill and other parts of North Lanarkshire as well and they’re all Hyperbolic Syllabice Squedaly Mistic.

William Dafoe is 54. No. No reason.

So, conversation of the week? It took place today with a young female student (I don’t know how or why either. It just happens. Okay?) working part-time in Homebase who, in helping me find an appropriate ‘stop end’ (don’t ask), told me ‘I tried some welding once but it didn’t work out.’ Some follow-up questions, you don’t ask…..just in case.

Which brings me to Facebook. Y’see, I naively thought the ppl I was in touch with were either loosely academically linked or back to me and my BBC days. No. The latter link is Son Brian and BBC/media daze. Let me explain. Big breaths (and we all know that punchline) 🙂

I was talking to Dr Paul the World’s greatest quizmaster about Mollie Sugden’s pussy and Dr Paul once swopped football cards with Son Brian in Room 211 in Queen Margaret Drive which you can see from some benches in the Botanic Gardens, e, but not some others, when the conversation came to an end with someone saying that her boyfriend had produced the tribute prog to Mollie Sugden, which had gone out on BBC 2 that Saturday and I noticed that one of the other people was called Kevin, but not the blogmeister, who I inadvertently outed last week, but worry not Vampire Slayer cos your identity is safe with me, particularly after what I said  last week, in the same way I was beholden to my gd frnd Clr the day I told her to F**k Off in class (pause for breath while I think back fondly).

Anyway this Kev, who knows Heather C, top pop picker, once played football at Son Brian’s tenth birthday party, which was about four years after SB (and me) were called into the Beeb at very short notice one Boxing Day where Max allowed him to use equipment including editing with a razor blade and Tam Cowan told the rudest visual gag I have ever seen on radio (Why do monks have double chins?) but the Production Assistant was Pen Lee (the greatest smile in the history of the world) and not Shona who I met in town the other day (but also with great smile) who was my PA when Son Brian was about one month old and came into the Beeb and left with about £20, in the way that he always leaves the Beeb with money, and since you ask SB, clearly £5.50 at the moment…….professional fees. I blame Jayne. Not Jayme.

Any questions? And see what you’re missing if you’re not a Facebook friend of mine or Facebook fan of Janice Forsyth, purveyor of pure dead brilliant music.

And whilst everyone’s catching their breath, a quick word to Emma J….. thanks. I’ve never been asked that before. That was really nice. And thanks for your offer of taking in my washing (or did I mis-hear that?) but I checked. I have nine pairs of jeans in the pret-a-porter section of the wardrobe in the master bedroom (and the cheap point I could score but mum’s the word) and seven pairs in the overflow wardrobe in the West Wing.

And, get this, the new washing machine has a special programme for washing jeans!!!!!! Party, party, party!!!!!! Caitlin, as my personal shopper and bestest friend, is this not amazing news? And it does sports shoes, but I’ve only got trainers. Damn.

So, moving swiftly on, I wasn’t so taken with True Blood last night, but that titles sequence is fantastic and Tara is amazing.

Johnt850 will always be 42. No. No reason. But I also cook on three burners (eh?).

And Jayme and e are a year older as well, so Happy Birthdays. I’m just so glad I don’t age, and see what you’re missing, see – I think that’s quite clever, C – oh, never mind.

But I’d better finish soon as it’s almost time for my daily cagefighting workout at the Griphouse Gym, in Possil.

So, and finally, speaking of my brill support team; thanks to all those who asked. The PSA blood test was fine. I am okay for another few months. I don’t know why I worry. Just ‘cos, I suppose. C’est juste moi et je fais du souci pour tout le monde, c’est tout. 😉

But there’s a cancer online site to which I contribute. The heading for someone else’s thread? ‘Terminal but well‘. Perspective time? It’s your call. Please?


Johnt850, and see if people can get their hair cut short, then surely it’s only accurate to say that I get my hair cut long.

I won’t be the lonely one sitting on my own and sad

July 21, 2009

The band (Glasvegas), but not the lyric, suggested by top pop picker Missie K. And the point is that if I can use my medium (the blog) to give rise to my feelings then it would be wrong to ignore James Allan, just cos his lyrics worry me a bit.  And thanks to everyone who got in touch by various means after last weekend’s blog. Ta.


I was never faithful And I was never one to trust Borderline schizo And guaranteed to cause a fuss I was never loyal Except to my own pleasure zone I’m forever black eyed…………

July 18, 2009

(Placebo, the band)

And so I’d been to Doctor Dave and done the PSA blood test and now I wait a week for the result and worry, cos I do….sometimes even about me. 😦

And I went across the road to a cafe I know on the Maryhill Road (y’know the one, e, by the jeweller’s that sells the pseudo-gold necklaces with the word ‘bitch’‘ on them) and I ordered a big breakfast and I’m reading about John Hartson and I hear Jeremy Kyle on TV talking about people with alcohol addictions ruining other peoples’ lives and I let out a big sigh.

And then I saw her. She’s about ten, eating a roll’n’square and watching Jeremy. Turns out her mum had gone to the hairdressers next door (Jade it’s called). And when she finished she took her napkin and wiped up the crumbs. And I thought, I bet her mum taught her to say please and thanks. Willingly and wittingly.

Maryhill, Glasgow, where common courtesy is common. 😀

So I went home, cleaned out my wheely bins with Jeyes Fluid and was asleep by nine thirty that night.

So, common courtesy says Well Done to Son Brian for passing another ICAS exam. I could have had a Ferarri Testosterone by now, but it’s money well spent.

Well Done to this blog’s Personality of the Year 2008, Ruby, who helped bring her sister into the world and congrats too to BBC Steve and partner Alison, but to name her after a lager and that lager as well………Brave.

And so I woke up on Friday morning inside this wheely bin with a solvent hangover and they are the worst, aren’t they, J?

And I staggered indoors to find an e-mail asking me if I feel the blog has been too honest and has there been a cost to my personal and professional life to which I can only reply…….Yes.

But when it started I was encouraged by my gd frnd Clr and Kevin the blogmeister to replicate the honesty and openness I was showing in real life and it certainly had an effect on my eventual decision to resign from the College cos, well, cos…….

Well, everytime someone’s jaw drops that I am a recovering alkie (30 months) and that alcoholism is not a lifestyle of choice, then it’s worth it.

Similarily if the stories that encouraged me can encourage others on the cancerly front, then brill. But it’s why the blog has stayed in existence even if, ironically…………..but then not every mind can be an open one, not unless they ask and not pre-judge……just come see me, just in case. That’s all I ask.

And the person who posed the question? Can I just say how much I’ve enjoyed listening to John Collins on this afternoon and Craig Charles on BBC Radio6 this evening. No. No connection. Seriously.

(Incidentally JC played Birdhouse In Your Soul by They Might Be Giants who also do Whistling in the Dark.…thanks JC)

So Well Done to Top Pop Picker, Emma J and her dispatches from T in the Park, but bloody hell, what a tan. Golden Brown suits. You’ve been in the sun (Wah, wah waaaaah). But see what I told you about Katy Perry, Britney Spears and me, tell no-one else.

And Friday nights used to be so simple; a few drinks down Byres Road, something to eat, the Lap Dancing club down Elmbank Gardens, the casino and a quick sauna on the way up the road. So far, so good.

This Friday? I’d just finished reading the June edition of Soldier; it’s the mag of the British Army and it was the bridal special (hey, it was research, okay?) and I switched on Channel FX as you do at ten o’clock  and did you see True Blood? Jeez.

Watch with Mother it ain’t, altho’ one mum I’m aware of would have had a hairy, altho’ judging from the action on the screen that was the point. Everyone else certainly did. (rpt Sunday and Thursday)

I had switched on hoping to find a nice gentle innuendo for my weekly gratuitous mention of the Vampire Slayer. No way. Any ideas from that prog would have seen me going down for a very long time.

Oh, and Well Done to Missie K, one of the other Top Pop Pickers for persuading me to overcome my dislike of Glasvegas but Heather C, you’re awfy quiet there amongst the stables on the South Side (Yes, Jayne, the horses get everywhere, don’t they?)

And kinda Well Done to those BBC people who decided on pressies other than flowers as a way of saying thanks but would a £59.95 biscuit jar have been any better? At least it was my own credit card.

And then there’s that Cancer Research UK ad about being told you’ve got cancer and the lunchtime I was told, I honestly just said, ‘Cool’, and came back to the College where I was working with second year journos and it says so much for my teaching style (I was never a lecturer) that no-one noticed that something else was on my mind.

And it was a few weeks later that I told students and I got lots of good messages including some from people with their own experiences of cancer (one openly and honestly, two quietly and honestly) – Kerry and Caitlin, your classes got told later under slightly different circumstances.

But there were four good looking female students (G, C, C and G) who were the first students to be told about the alcohol (the first C under interesting circs) but it was the second G, or ‘the blonde one’ as she was known in staff rooms, who really settled me. She said, after explaining why she was once five minutes late (it was never marked as such in the register, don’t worry), and I’ve never told anyone this, she said, ‘See Johnt850, if it can happen to you, it can happen to anyone.’

So, honestly, what have I learned this week?

Well, I will never relapse. I would let too many people down and many of them are mentioned above but there’s also a strong Get It Right Up You to some people.

And see if I was told in a few weeks time, ‘we think the cancer’s back’, I would just say ‘Cool’, again, and think back to the above.

And see if I did relapse, I’ve learned that a large can of Jeyes Fluid lasts longer than a litre of Asda’s own brand of whisky but costs about the same (lol and tongue in cheek).

Question answered?


Johnt850…..and blogmeister, maybe you do need a haircut 😉 What a yelt! Moi?’Tea tree tingle’ conditioner out of ASDA. Honest. Just don’t tell anyone.

Now I’ve been happy lately thinking about the good things to come and I believe it could be something good has begun

July 11, 2009

The hippyish lyrics of Peace Train there from 10,000 Maniacs kindly kinda suggested by L frae Troon. The same band had a song called Hey Jack Kerouac and I always say I prefer Ken Kesey to Kerouac. However, as soon as I say that I worry that I might  just be about to go introspective which, as regular listeners know, I try to avoid.

Let me explain. I’ve been down in Englandshire recently, and doing some talking to neighbours and I’ve been doing a wee bit of thinking about things.

Can I just say btw that I sometimes give the impression that I live in an area populated by drug dealers, ‘security’ consultants and an alleged guns dealer? Well the alleged guns dealer actually lives in Lennoxtown. Apparently. Just through Torrance and keep going. Careful, Vampire Slayer.

No. I live in an area where my next door neighbours painted my side of the communal fence whilst I was away (and their own), and a young girl (about eight) put a written message through my door. Not what one closed mind out there might have expected. Instead it read HOPJLUHU LOHOOL. Oh, and then there’s the pregnant neighbour who roller skates everywhere.

There’s a challenge, e! 8)

Indeed I’ve often wondered what G, C, C and G thought of the area that night when they came over to taste my sticky toffee pudding (That is an innuendo). Oh, the slagging I got that night. (That’s not)

So I contribute to the Californian aspect of Summerston (eh?) by playing Gaslight Anthem dead loud and I hope T in the Park is going dead good Emma J. I look forward to reading all your words soon. And you did promise to bring me back one of The Saturdays, didn’t you?

No. I realise how lucky I am so far (in 2009), so good, in that only one thing has annoyed me and what is more annoying is the way that I over-reacted. Seriously sorry.

Incidentally (and in no way related……well not a lot) on the News of the Screws allegations………no comment cos of legal stuff but in answer to some questions I’ve received:

Yes, I know the theory but would never do it from a listed number; No, I much preferred the days when you had to unscrew the mouthpiece of the receiver; If I was looking for surveillance equipment I would go to which is kinda like the Victor Morris of the spyworld; is good; How many police people do you know?; And when spindoctor Alistair Campbell was talking about writing porn he was talking about the time he wrote for a magazine called Forum.

Younger listeners, don’t google it, please. Just ask older male members. Curiously enuff, it didn’t have pictures I seem to remember.

But the biggest tool (innuendo alert) an investigative journo can have is the BT (hard copy) telephone directory, that and a bit of cheek. Sometimes you do need to phone more than one number to find the person you’re looking for but if it’s important enuff……. c’est tout que je dis.

And I assume the books by Peter Burden and Wensley Clarkson are on student journo reading lists everywhere as well as Nick Davies.

And how’s Facebook going, Lady Sawers was asking just the other day, as I was poking her? Really well, thanks.

Part of it for me is like a Broadcast Friends United, and just minutes ago I made contact with a guy called Richard currently working in TV and movies in New York, who I owe big time from way back. Interesting story.

Plus I’m enjoying the games. It’s good to know that I’m a ‘helpful drunk’ (just in case), and I like the photos. No. Not those. I don’t do stereotypes. Nice towels, Missie K and bestest friend Caitlin,…..there’s some really good landscape type pics from you. No. That’s the sensible side of Facebook. Me? Sensible? Next thing you know I’ll be acting my age (42) albeit unwittingly.

However was I right to publish my answers to what job I would do in a radio station (promo girl!) if it meant this morning, in ASDA, I had to deny sleeping with male breakfast announcers? The answer to the follow up question (had it been asked) might have made for interesting listening.

But I’m young. I’m learning all the time (but who are JD and Turk?)

Sometimes I react too quickly. It’s the albatross of all those years of live broadcasting. Sometimes, also, I don’t recognise irony. Honest. (That’s irony).  I realise all I’ve had today is an ASDA 3 item breakfast, two Beanscene coffees and two cans of Relentless….mmmm. Does it show in the piece I wrote for ?

My mate Stuart and his wife Anne were at the Wimbledon Tennis Cup Final, incidentally, where somebody beat somebody else 16 goals to 14. Sounds a good game but the goalies must have been crap.

And a couple of graduations almost slipped through there but I’ll maybe do my own list sometime soon but one of Son Brian’s Summerstonian mates has done really brill. Another student, another 3 item ASDA breakfast. Well done Cey… (it’s too distinctive, okay?) and you really did look like a very young Audrey Hepburn!!! Seriously well done.

And to you Planet H Al, but you looked nothing like a young Audrey anything, you’ll be pleased to hear.

And on the seriously cancer front (days before I have my own next test) there’s been a fair amount of debate on screening for skin and breast cancer and clrly I’d be interested in peoples’ views but the Prostate Cancer Charity has reservations cos a PSA based screening programme can, amongst other concerns, lead to ‘a significant level of positive and negative results’. In short the only existing test doesn’t tell us enuff. But be aware and if showing symptoms, go see GP.

No, and please squeamish listeners put your hands over your ears, I mention this because I agreed to take part in a bowel cancer screening programme. I have not, I stress, read all the instructions as yet but I’m not too sure about the bit where I send the sample through the mail. I’ll keep you posted, shall I?


Johnt850, and does anybody else remember when M People topped the bill at T in the Park and it was in Strathclyde Park and Joe Strummer walked amongst us mere mortals?

I have come to save the day And I won’t leave until I’m done. So that’s why you’ve got to try. You got to breath and have some fun Though I’m not paid I play this game And I won’t stop until I’m done

July 4, 2009

(Until The Appointed One takes over. I am a patient man. I can wait.)

And who’d have thought Lenny Kravitz would ever have made it onto this show but, even down in Englandshire, I had heard the rumours. Emma J and Lenny K. Linked. An item. There had even been a photo in a Scottish tabloid. I’d seen it.

So, as I walk the lonely road, the only one that I have ever known, or Sauchiehall Street as others call it, I was determined to find out the truth. Emma J had wanted me to see a band called Black Velveteens. The venue? A bar called Box.

Except that was how it was supposed to happen. The harsh reality is that my car is off the road (em,….what is a crankshaft and is it important?) and so I walked down to Summerston railway station. I got soaked. My train was cancelled (as indeed were most Glasgowish trains ‘cos of the flooding) and a txt from Emma J said the gig was now in doubt. I turned back. FUBAR, I thought, except, is that not an elephant on children’s TV?

Black Velveteens. Listen to them on MySpace and see them live at G81, Clydebank Rugby Club start of August….just in case. 😀

Oh, and Jaymi tells me The Killers were pretty okay at Hyde Park as well, and L frae Troon liked AC/DC and………..aaaaargh!

Still, highlight of the week was that Son Brian bought me lunch. I thought, is this my birthday? It was. I love the way he extended the birthday experience by several days by forgetting my pressie. However, it was worth waiting for in that one of them was a book where the hero is ‘an alcoholic who cannot hold down a job’. Wkd. And your point is?

You’re dangerously close to losing your inheritance. I came seriously close to spending it in Soho the other day. Oh, the pleasures that area offers. I couldn’t believe the delight I came across. It was a record shop called Sister Ray. It was amazing.

(‘Mindless vandalism can take a bit of thought’ (Banksy))

And I ate in Chinatown and bought a magazine called ‘Weed World’ (a spliffingly good read) and Tim Henman does wear a tie when he does Wimbledon commentary and Krug Grand champagne is £135 per bottle in Canary Wharf and I spoke to a trainee doctor in London who told me how she was taught to break news of cancer ’empathetically’ and ‘cos the plane coming back uphill was going to be late in leaving a man did get up and get off and Guitar Hero is an arcade game and I am hooked on Caffe Nero iced drinks and I found a Waxy O’Connors and you should see my photo on my House of Lords pass and, yeah, London was okay, thanks for asking. 🙂

And thanks also to those who sent birthday cards, txts, mails and facebooked me with good wishes’n’stuff and a big apology to ppl like Missie K, the Vampire Slayer, L, Oonagh, Max, et al – I am so used to opening up a PC thing and then leaving it down on the task bar. I didn’t realise that on Facebook if you do that…….Missie K, you have an amazingly loud voice on Facebook, but well done to you, VS, and bestest friend ever Caitlin with uny results. So far, so good. Seriously well done. The rest of you?

And thanks to ex-wife (wkd sense of humour….nine years I think it was) for gifting me smallest bottle of Tabascan sauce in entire world ever in one of those really glitzy wine bottle bags. She always complained I never took her seriously. I just laughed. Wittingly.

(‘It’s always easier to get forgiveness than permission’ (Banksy))….mmmm, not sure about that one.

And I never found Molly Sugden’s ‘pussy’ gag funny. Whereas Steve Martin’s ‘pussy’ gag is just pure filth, but honestly so and says so much about the double standards of Are You Being Served? It’s on Google.

BBC Al, the blog’s bad taste pal is on holiday. Except, such is the culture on the BBC that, even after the watershed, a TV critic on BBC News Channel would only say the word ‘cat’. Em,… doesn’t explain the gag, doh! But it is safe, sensible and sane, if not funny.

And where was I when I heard Michael Jackson had died? In a newpaper shop in North London buying a newspaper telling me that Michael Jackson had died.

And word has just flooded in of a big drugs raid just down the road from me. Literally. Shuna Place, described by the BBC as ‘Glasgow’s West End’ 😉 just behind the Addiction Centre I used to attend in Ruchill. Seriously. Excuse me, whilst I nip out and shove my copy of ‘Weed World’ into my next door neighbour’s recycling bin. 400 plants apparently.

Mind you……given who told me, I suspect when they do the count it’ll be 399.

(‘People either love me or hate me or they don’t care’ (Banksy))

But on the cancer front, it’s almost the four months’ moment, when I get my blood tested again for the PSA levels. (Hopefully, every man you know over the age of fifty knows by now what that test is and why. If not, please ask me.) It’s pretty straightforward and I make the point always that, whilst my cancer was bad (8/10 on the Gleason Scale) the treatment was amazingly okay. Physically it’s almost as if it had never happened. (Mentally, mmmmmmm…..)

And then it’s the time for the little prick and the long wait of only seven days. (Sound familiar?) It’s a wee bit of a worry. Sometimes empathy’s a difficult thing to understand. Even sober. Even at one thirty in the morning……. Sorry. I was miles away there.

So finally, just to keep it fun again, my fave question from a Wimbledon press conference? Journo to Serena Williams; ‘Can you moonwalk?’ Serena; ‘No.’

What a brilliant attempt at a headline linking Jacko with another famous star. I’d never do that except maybe with the beginning of this week’s blog. You’d almost think I planned it.

Anyway excuse me while I go and break in a new pair of New Rocks. I go jogging in them. Aye…….Right.



(‘A lot of people never use their initiative because no-one told them to’ (Banksy)) Eh, bien……c’est toujours ton appel.