Archive for August, 2010

I’ve been to Nagasaki, Hiroshima too I did to them baby I can it do to you, cos I’m a Fujiyama mama and I’m just about to blow my top – Fujiyama – And when I start erupting ain’t nobody going to make me stop

August 28, 2010

And I throw that in, dear listeners, in what could be an interesting week for prostate cancer in Scotland but with an embargo. I may have to do a special edition on Wednesday (what a difficult word that is to spell correctly. Still :D) and it is possible that my alter ego may break surface that same day televisually………but not erupting. Actually, that’s maybe not a bad idea 😉

Music tonight is rockabilly from the very talented Carmen Ghia and the Hot Rods (what a lovely name Carmen is. Still) and their MySpace link is http://www.myspace.com/carmenghiaandthehotrods. I notice, Son Brian, that they’re playing the Steel City Car Cruisers Club in Rotherham on the night of your birthday. What do you reckon?

And a quick follow up to a bit from last week…. I didn’t go to the opening of the Corinthian Club on Friday night. No. No partner. Still. No. No reason. 😦 But that would have been a nice one to start with.

And my thanks to a hastily convened meeting of a special sub-committee on Tuesday evening. It comprised six women and one man. I’m going with the women on this one.  

Wistfulness over. Back to being 110% pure mental if only for Doctor Paul.

Actually can I say something that is nothing to do with the above but has been bothering me for a while. There are times when I think sobriety sucks; when I just wish I could have a drink or ten; and I wanna do shots and drinking games; ‘cos sometimes I feel a real boring bastard. Sorry, folks. I’ve been wanting to say that for some time now. (I’ll asterisk it later).

Actually, to make up for that rant I’m going to name myself as this week’s Poseur of the Week. It was that same Tuesday. Lunch in Prince’s Square. Upstairs. Somebody else paying. Obviously. Vegetarian risotto since you ask. And elderflower water. Mobile went. On silent. Had to take the call. Business. But did I have to hang over the glass balcony so that everyone in the place could see me? (Yes. Obvioulsy. And, boy, did I make the most of it? Yes.) And when I recognised a former BBC colleague did I have to do that twee little wave? (Uzmah Mir, since you ask)

At least, W, I waited until the lights dimmed at the BookFest before I tapped Karen who was sitting in front of us. It was her tenner that got us back up the road ‘cos we had to pay top ups ‘cos we’d Off Peaks. So to get my own back on people who were just doing their job, ‘cos I like to flout authority awfully much, I know how to get into the toilets in Queen Street Station for nothing but not if you’re smartly dressed.

I am just sooooo mean. I am defo mofo. I am real bad. I am so hinky. (Hey, I’m trying my worst. Oke?) I even cheated at chess when I was young. Which is not easy.

Actually, as a kid, I was made to walk the plank. We couldn’t afford a dog.

(borrowed from Gary Delaney)

And c’mon, which of us hasn’t walked past a cat and an empty wheely bin and thought, ‘no-one’s looking…..’ * It was a random act in a world where if we don’t encourage randomness, then we encourage sterotypes. (Yes, I am a divorced alkie living in Maryhill, existing off tax credits, basically) But we don’t like randomness. We like straight up and down conformity. (Oooo-er matron)

I mean how often, when I ask for a black coffee, am I given a small jug of hot milk? Obvioulsy that’s a very stupid, possibly rhetorical, question as only I know the answer to that. And even then I’ve never actually counted. 

How many people out there claim that the thing they like about their job is that they don’t know what to expect each day but have a diary full of meetings? Or if it seems quiet go in thinking ‘I’ll catch up on marking/correspondence/filing’. So here’s a challenge, genuinely go into work (if you can) with nothing planned other than a quick look through the tabloids for the daily pic of Michelle Mone. But be the first to answer the phone. Or the knock at the door. See what happens.

And if you want a motto for this, then Pauline (ASDA person but in this universe) has it. She said, earlier this week, ‘Ever just wanted to stab someone in the eye with a rusty spoon?’ It’s the detail in that, that I really liked.

It’s like running away on a barge. A big barge. It is random but possible. If a bit slow. I’ll maybe check out some prices.

* I sped up earlier today when I saw a squirrel crossing the road. I bet you do as well, don’t you? And the cat’s name was Lola. L-O-L-A, Lola. C’mon, everyone did that when they heard the cat’s name, didn’t they? Didn’t they???

On the dissertation editing side of www.thewordprocess.net I now have a client called Jude. No. I don’t start mails that way.

And finally, Cowdenbeath. A very pleasant if packed train to Haymarket, a smashing pub called Carters in Morrison Street Edinburgh, a jolly interesting pub called The New Goth in Cowdenbeath, the rather fine football ground that is Central Park, a couple of interesting additions to our usual ratpack in the shape of John Hegley and an Edinburgh gallery owner whose foot ended up in a tray of curry sauce and, and, and was there really a football match played this afternoon?

cya, keep(ing) it fun and wearing that badge. Still.

Johnt850 with a head happily full of wee motors. Or maybe a campervan?

Hey, look. No below the line this week. Other than to say I don’t know what I want. And I don’t mind too much. But if I did, how do I know what universe it’s in anyway? Or which Christmas? That one or that one? But I do genuinely believe in both of them. And if I could make dreams come true, I would but windmills are there to be tilted at.

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So I’ll wait ’til I find the remote part of your heart When nowhere else will let us choose a comforable start And even if the breath between us smells of alcohol We call it confusion in the best way possible

August 21, 2010

But a lyric like that depends on who reads it, of course, and when…… but the biggest date in my calendar seems to be this Friday ‘cos the Corinthian Club keep sending me invites (plus partner) to their launch following refurbishment. But I don’t drink champagne or nibble canapes and never really did. http://www.thewordprocess.net/ must be doing reasonably well for itself that’s all I can say. Wonder who I could take?

(Obvioulsy today’s lyric is from the compilation between Idlewild and the Scots Makar Edwin Morgan who died this week – how incredibly apposite, a song called In Remote Part/Scottish Fiction, for so many reasons. A reminder of elsewhere) 🙂 

Actually the dissertation editing and proofreading is beginning to do okay, with student discount, but of course……BUT ENUFF!

The World’s top Pub Quizmaster, Paul Diamond aka Doctor Paul, recently described this blog as at least ninety per cent mental. But, I’m sorry, the remaining twenty per cent has been too serious. So, in a week which has had its highs (mmmmmmmmmmmmm) and lows (booooooooooooo), today’s text (note the ‘e’) is taken from a real, and not an e-, book; Phrases & Sayings by Nigel Rees. I quote verbatim, and exactly word for word;

frogs have watertight assholes?, do. See IS THE POPE A CATHOLIC?

Now, dear listener, you may wonder why I was looking up that quote about frogs. That is for another day and another ASBO. But if you don’t believe me, it’s on Page 171 in my edition, altho’ why I should tell people what page it’s on in a book that’s alphabetically organised I don’t know.

Actually, yes I do. I heard a jobless journalism graduate on BBC Radio Scotland the other day discussing the lack of employment opportunities and who said ‘I have went to University’. There might just have been an ‘old fashioned’ potential broadcast employer in Pacific Quay who would have preferred to hear you say ‘I have gone to University’.

Altho’ can I congratulate my old College where at least one department has recognised the harsh reality of all they’re training people for is to work in Call Centres by turning the lecturers’ office into an exact model of a Call Centre. Forward thinking.

And can I reassure people to whom I’ve been showing a mobile photo of a male child in a Partick Thistle strip, that i do know him. I keep forgetting to ask his current name. e ?

And top BBC man of the week is Thomas Sch, Thomas Sh, him who flipped the finger at Simon McCoy, which is something every viewer does every day and, yes, Thomas is gay. Do we still need heavy handed hints like ‘he has posed for Attitude magazine’ in 2010 like wot was in the Sun? Sorry. I forgot.

David Laws, MP, would rather steal £40,000 from the taxpayer than admit he’s gay.

Altho’ a big well done to Hugh Sykes in Baghdad who put a lot of the English news in context when he said, ‘I wish I was reporting the Iraqi A level results’. I think he’d been kept waiting whilst we watched the traditional exam-result-celebrating footage of schoolgirls jumping up and down. 

The Americans are not pulling out of Iraq. They are leaving about 50,000 support soldiers including Special Forces! Like Vietnam….only in reverse. Does nobody understand the importance of history as opposed to nostalgia? See below, at the end.

Anyway, back at the Edinburgh Festival where I was the other day with a gorgeous female colleague. (Hang on? Colleague? The company seems to have expanded. I blame the red wine sauce I had with the vegetarian haggis I had in Henderson’s. I was living life to the Max, okay? Me and a bunch of Argentinian cowboys – really rough chaps with large boleadoras)

I thought it was a bolero but Bolero is the music that was played in the movie when Bo Derek makes love. Okay, to everybody else, it was the music when Pearl and Dean danced about an ice rink on a pair of razor blades but  to me……. 

So what stars (?) did we spot in Edinburgh? Stewart Lee, Ian Rankin, Denise Mina, Alan Warner, John Byrne and the MSP and Minister for Culture Fiona Hyslop, not the sort of woman who should wear hoops if a mad dictator ever gets into power.

Our fave show? Do you know if you stand on the steps (outside) of the Commissioner for Northern Lighthouses in George Street you can actually see a really good video (no sound, and inside) about lighthouses and the ships that tend them? Really. Our case comes up on Monday.

So, W, just for you, by way of thanks, here’s a Youtube clip that might be of interest. Don’t worry. Nobody else will look. 😉

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gp0U8TFHWXM&feature=related

Some of the comments are awfully interesting. I like the one from CHOCO666NSR.

And whilst I remember, a quick thank you to the female member of staff down at the ASDA this morning for sharing her secret for successful grooming with me before a night on the town; ‘a quick shower, a quick shave and that’s me’. 

Which raises another question; I can understand why some women apply some make up on the train going into town in the morning, but this young lady on the Edinburgh-Glasgow via Shotts train the other night used the entire contents of the Boots No 7 counter on her face and then gelled her hair………just by the miners’ houses in Mossend.

And why do some womens’ clothes shops mean different things by the word ‘small’ when they mean small? No. No reason.

So and finally, a very pleasant drink in Bar Ten before a very pleasant trip to Greenock, and a very pleasant trip back up from Greenock and a very pleasant drink in Sloan’s and let’s forget the football match in the middle……. 

cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge

Johnt850

So I’ve decided not to comment on the fact that BBC Scotland’s TV Commissioning Editor has told us there are no funds for a BBC  Scotland documentary this coming March looking at the fiftieth anniversary of the US Nuclear fleet arriving just off Dunoon, the secret negotiations that led to that decision (it was almost off the coast of Largs) and the smashing stories of Dunoon women marrying American men. But it is history, not nostalgia, and comes from a time when the West of Scotland was the main global nuclear target for the now defunct Soviet Union.  

Financially, professionally and personally, it’s a nuisance – money goes out, none comes in – and there is certainly no copyright on ideas commemorating anniversaries, but, hey, you heard it here first, and there are no worries about me walking down the Boulevard of Broken Dreams. Again.

Maybe we should have went and gotten a River City actress to present it………..

Magic Mirror won’t you tell me please Do I see myself in anyone I meet? Magic Mirror if we only could Try to see ourselves as others would

August 14, 2010

Written and performed by the amazing Leon Russell, who was possibly the first Mississippi Delta rock star that I discovered – I was at Peterhead Academy at the time – who nobody else had ever heard of. One day, when I grow up, I want hair like his.

http://www.leonrussellrecords.com/

Because, dear listener, one day I will grow up. I fully intend to get a nine to five job with pension and PAYE tax and the train into town and, and………sorry, I must apologise. I got my medication mixed up last night. The repeat prescription stuff I get? This time it was all new colours and new shapes and last night’s sleep (?) is now explained when I look at the boxes lying on the shelf in the bathroom. Serioulsy. 😦

All that, and a large root beer. Ah, the memories….if only I could actually remember them. 

Actually my sobriety was questioned by a friend this week who received, by e-mail, about five copies of one sentence, because it said, it couldn’t delete a graphic thing I’d already sent but the devious little electronic mail man was already sending it. So, there is no unsend button, so I did the Oooops thing and, jeez,………and that’s me ‘sober and solvent free’. Just imagine, What If………

But (relative) poverty has its own freedoms and surprises.

As many of you know I am one of those working people to whom the Government gives money in the form of Working Tax Credits and very grateful I am for them. I would, however, like to pay public tribute to my son’s mum (to whom I was married last century but not this) who is also my accountant. A tax rebate of just under £100 arrived this week. Which considering I don’t pay tax is pretty damn good.

Her suggestion of how to spend it – a day out in Marks and Spencer’s Food Hall – was a good one but I have found a frozen turkey giblet I can make soup from.

Instead, without a grant from the Arts Council or whatever they’re calling themselves this week, I intend to take my touring company, me and my good looking female assistant, through to Edinburgh to perform, in Prince’s Street the drama, This Is What A Tram Is Really Like. She will stand there, dressed as a clippie, uttering the immortal lines, ‘C’mon, Geraff’ and my own Bud Neill* fave, whilst pushing folk aff;  ‘Y’deef? I said the caur’s flipping filup.’ (Say it out loud for full effect)

I meantime will be passing my old Corpie bunnet around, asking Japanese tourists for redundant half crowns and florists. Sorry florins. It might just work.

*If you don’t know who Bud Neill is, go to The Halt Bar in Woodlands Road and look at the statue of Lobby Dosser and his two legged horse Effie just across the road. It explains everything.

Oh, and Happy Birthday, W. No. No connection. 😀

Actually, on the subject of good looking women, and isn’t Naomi Campbell sweet, some sympathy please for the Vampire Slayer who’s been having well publicised aural problems 😉

As she put it; ‘I’ve been keeping an eye on my ear’ which I think is a lovely line, but VS, that club name I gave you? Imagine the L and the I close together to make a U  Now do you understand it?

Yes, last week’s conversations were about clubs I knew like Volcano and Clatty Pat’s and the original Victoria’s. It happens every time we go to Kirkcaldy (what 4 – 0 defeat?). You end up talking about Jackie O’s.

All except Northern Soul Dave, who was last seen driving in an open top into a Kirkcaldy housing scheme with a good looking (male) passenger. And if you’re ever looking for really nice bespoke curtains, can I recommend Flounce in Glasgow’s Great Western Road?

But it’s been a week that has seen the death of Jimmy Reid. The nearest I came to being a TV presenter was as a researcher on a BBC Scotland programme called Angles, a real cheapo production in which I stood to camera, on my mark, with clipboard in hand, introducing the guests ‘cos no-one knew who they were. Except for one guest.

Jimmy.

I’d gone to see him in his flat in Clydebank a few weeks previously to discuss his contribution. I hardly asked a question or spoke. I was mesmerised by his analysis of West of Scotland Labour politics and life in general. It was like having the Ragged Trousered Philanthropists in to decorate your house. 

Like many whose politics are maybe not quite so revolutionary as they were when they were young(er) (cough, squirm and red-face) he may have mellowed with old age and the odd malt but my own view of things owes much to him. And Jimmy Airlie. And the gateman Alex Stewart who was really the first to defy the bosses. He actually closed the gate.

Do y’know my first ever autograph was that of George Middleton? Naw. Don’t even bother with Wikipedia. He’s not there, but listen for him and James Jack and Bill Speirs speaking out for you and your jobs the next time you drive by Linwood. Or Bathgate. Or Lochaber. Or the ‘Craig. Or the call centre where you work. Or the nursery where you send your kids. Or the Old Folks’ Home. And the Tory Vince Cable was once a Labour Councillor for the Wyndford. 

Well that was cheery, jt. Aye, I’m not sure I’ve done that before. Maybe something, somewhere this week rattled my cage. Made me think about other peoples’ lives. Let’s move on. But slowly.

So, and finally, tbh, I have actually left myself speechless. Like I was the other night when I failed to explain, adequately, by txt, why I was unhappy at Thistle actually winning 2 – 1. Some things are just sooooooooooo difficult to explain. Under a streetlamp. But without trembling knees.

cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge altho’ finding it hard to justify down the ASDA 

Normal service will be resumed next week when jt and the lovely Debbie McGee explain why their visas to visit the Capital were rejected. Out of hand. By Capitalist lackies. In the Capital.

 

Though I don’t know when I’ll hit the bottom. I been falling for so long that I can’t tell. I know that you’ll never hear me callin, from the bottom of my sinful wishin well…..

August 7, 2010

What a gorgeous hedonistic notion – a personal, sinful wishin well, visited only by an invisible yet highly intelligent kangaroo called Skippy who only really special people can see, except when she’s on TV. 

(That opening sentence alone probably explains why no newspaper has ever approached me to reproduce any of this in their pages, but if you have influence, please do not hesitate to make approaches on my behalf. Maybe I should write more about the area? Let’s try it.)

Well they’ve arrested a 19 year old woman in connection with the killing of the 29 year old but in a separate incident a pub in the same area, down the road, was firebombed at 4.50 a.m. the other day. No. No witnesses. That kinda thing? Maybe not.

Oh, and the chanteuse? Caitlin Rose. I suspect a country singer of some description. Oh, and a quick Hi to bestest friend Caitlin. What jolly interesting F/book friends you have. How is my son, btw? (And there is an unwritten rule which I do observe as he does with me. It’s why we pretend not to know each other in lapdancing clubs)

But it’s been a week or sooooooooooo much dominated by getting ideas (well researched but unpaid unless commissioned) into the Beeb cos it’s that time of year. I shall say nothing as they’re all in the laps of the incredibly nice commissioning people at Pacific Quay, TV and Radio, but a big thanks to folk like Nick, Linda, Russell and Wendy for help and encouragement and thoughts. Serious thanks. Gulp. 😉

Moving limply on. (When did I stub my toe?) Incidentally, it was W who introduced me to Paul the Psychic Cephalopod. Oh, the hands I had to shake that day. Word reaches me that Paul (this is true, like everything else in the blog) is being signed up by Paul Daniels’s agent for a documentary, a range of Christmas toys and an album called Paul The Octopus Sings Elvis. And the Spanish World Cup winnings really were spent. Enjoyably.

A quick word re www.thewordprocess.net . e has noticed a flaw in my Glasgow University ad campaign (or postcard in that newsagent’s as it’s known.) The bit where it says ‘quotes given’? I couldn’t work out why people, going to a party, were phoning and asking if I’d something suitable from Shakespeare or were going to a wedding dressed as a pirate and wanted words a wee bit more exciting than ‘Shiver Me Timbers!’ Now I know.

But not a lot of housekeeping this week. Which is good. Because I’ve coped with the lack of Ellroy this week. Just as well. And I’d like to thank Paul G for this nugget about the great man. Apparently Ellroy, and another great writer Mark Ebner, both ended up on hospital trolleys (comme moi) after too much drink and drugs. I ended up on one cos I did without, one particular Sunday.

Both promised to God that, if speared, sorry spared, that they would devote their lives to writing. Me? I phoned my accountant. And I’ve been written off ever since! (Ker-ching!) It’s an accountant’s gag. (To the Tax people there is a reason why the Income side of the Tax Return is empty. Believe me if I could, I would)

And so to the start of the new football season. To Kirkcaldy. Home of the Harbour Bar. It’s a bar. Down by the harbour. And Starks Park. Home of Raith Rovers. A lovely ground from where you can see hills and the Forth Estuary and the Rosyth Ferry and the trains going past and the grass looking good and the parking is easy and we were three f***ing goals down by half time and a man sent off and I have given up. Completely. Until Tuesday. It’s the nature of the beast.

But that leaves me paragraphs to fill cos I was so optimistic about things. Just cos. We lost four nil. (This is the kind of thing you get on fans’ blogs. It’s remarkably easy to write. But doesn’t feel right. But I’ll keep going) We lost easy goals; no-one supported wee Liam; McCall must go; Sack the Board: etc; etc; etc.

No. Bill Shankly’s quote about football being more important than life or death was meant to be tongue in cheek. Men like him came from Ayrshire mining stock. Matt Busby from Bellshill, where many good things come from. Jock Stein came from Burnbank in Lanarkshire. Not only did they not have the benefit of University education, they didn’t have smiley icons to represent irony.

And yes. I did watch the programme about the Ibrox Disaster the other night.

So, and finally, a quick word about the stupid idea of making the final hour in a pub soft drinks only. Not only will the big drinks companies not allow it – they after all killed the relatively sober and safe ‘rave culture’ of a few years ago by persuading young drinkers back into the city with all sorts of drink promos – but they would have to improve the standard of soft drinks available.

I speak as someone who has benefited greatly by the changes in pub life of recent years but omg, compare the range of softs available with the range of beers available. Mind you pubs exist to sell alcohol. Drinking alcohol can, and should be, a pleasurable experience. It’s also a great way of helping forget a rubbish game of football.

Jealousy has just kicked in.  Would one glass be so awful? Worry not, dear listener, it’s rhetorical. So’s Thistle’s chances this season. Pass the wine gums.

cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge 😀

Johnt850

And I know I said I’d stop doing the below the line thing but a quick word, if I may, for Geoffrey Hughes who played Eddie Yeats in Corrie and whose prostate cancer has come back a year after treatment. That is always going to be the concern; no matter what the treatment, no matter what the illness, no matter what the addiction. The bastard might choose to come back. But I don’t let it worry me.

All I can do is talk about it. So some offers I made to a small number of people recently still stand. But, as I say, all I can do is talk. No. No promises.