(2 minutes silence)….In Flanders fields the poppies grow between the crosses row on row that mark out the place. We are the dead…….

It’s funny. I don’t think Siouxsie and the Banshees were ever invited to the Festival of Remembrance that the BBC televises every year. This year saw people like Sir Cliff Richard and Katherine Jenkins, paying tribute. It’d have been nice to see someone like Siouxsie at some point over the years.

Anyway, my first three essays have been handed in. So can I say to all those who have supported me in recent whiles in this venture that I am doing everything you asked of me. And more.

I sit quietly at the back of the class (me and Skippy), quietly taking notes, quietly absorbing what is being said and quietly not speaking to anyone.  The teachers hardly know me. I say nothing. Quietly.

The details of the next three assignments are now on my kitchen wall, hiding the dirt. Altho’ with working light*, I can at last read them and plan them. Phrases like ‘harm reduction’ and ‘the disease model of addiction’ now pepper my everyday thinking and conversation – which should make it so very interesting this coming Friday when I’m at one of those formal dinners I attend from time to time.

The name of the group? The Winers’ Club. Altho’ food is taken, it’s like a West of Scotland version of the Bilderberg Group. Kinda. Without those leaders of the Western world who have dropped us right in the Euro-shit.

  • I confess. I did have to get a man in eventually. The motor had gone. Unlike me.

Anyway, back to Academia, and whatever I may or may not achieve (a pass and a job in addiction work are the targets), I want to say Well Done to friend and colleague, the gorgeous W. I won’t say for what (publicly) just yet ‘cos you will have hunners of people to tell down (the) ASDA.* Wow……I’ll tell Nick and Linda. 🙂

*Y’see I honestly have no idea who listens to this blog, and I don’t want to spoil things.

* Why do some asterix work and some don’t?

Elsewhere, me and my school friend Fi  – also quietly spoken. Also sits at the back of the class. Quietly – recently carried out a recce for the class Christmas party. What is it about women and hunky, Italian waiters in (wait for it) black shirts? Don’t they understand the inherent symbolism as they look closely into the eyes of good looking women but they give me the bill. (The unintended  use of the plural there intrigues me as much as anyone else)

Still, whereas some places give out mints at the end, this place gives out small lollipops. Don’t they understand the inherent symbolism……… (*bangs head against brick wall and retreats into parallel universe for fully five minutes*)

Incidentally, also saw the movie The Rum Diary, which is an adaptation of the amazing book by Hunter S Thompson. It’s the story of an alcoholic journalist played by me, oops, sorry, Johnny Depp. (It’s like looking in a mirror. It’s uncanny). It is so much my life story.

Well, Tennent’s down (the) Byres Road, or the (Ex)press Bar in Albion Street or Off The Record down Anderston way on a Friday are incredibly similar to a Puerto Rican carnival. I think.  I shared the ambitions to expose corruption in society altho’ can I stress, as former BBC person, that Santa Claus does exist – to say otherwise was a sackable offence . Or at least a letter of apology to a young listener (cf Tam Cowan). But I have never, ever, done that thing in car. With another man. 😦 ooops that should have read 🙂

Amd maybe it is the essay writer in me but I want to quote some folk this week. For example, Andrew Eaton-Lewis of SoS;

‘I wish the media (or other folk) would stop obsessing over what different ages of people should be doing with their lives. Yes, lots of thirtysomethings (and fortysomethings and fiftysomethings) listen to pop music aimed at teenagers. Why on earth, shouldn’t they?’ Well said, Andrew (38) from me (42).

Incidentally, MI5 are recruiting via the school playground. Their very subtle leaflet – ‘Do you have what it takes to be quietly successful?’* – suggests that you only discuss your application with a partner or close family friend. She’s called Katzia Zatuliveter, 26 from Russia and she’s just finished her latest affair with a bearded Lib-Dem MP. Shouldn’t be a problem, should it?

  • This week’s three letters of the alphabet are Q and R – for quietly relaxed.

And finally, can I quote the wise words of the smashing Grainne Braithwaite, concert promoter, talking about Frankie Cocozza’s nosedive from The X Factor; ‘I know more people who work in offices who take cocaine than do musicians. Frankie is behaving like a DJ or a footballer. Not like a rock star.’

Me? I just wonder how many other Scottish entrepreneurs are out there. Waiting in line.

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? Yup, and it’s bringing lots of good luck all around. 🙂

Johnt850, quintessentially robust in a quietly relaxed kinda way.

Long time ago I helped a Second Year Newswriting class discover that the poppy is used as a symbol of remembrance because it was one of the very few plants to grow on the otherwise barren battlefields at the end of the war to end wars.

Recently an American SWAT team burst into the apartment of an author called James Hogshire, claiming he was running a drugs lab. The police team confiscated several bunches of dried poppies wrapped in cellophane which had come from a florist. He was charged with ‘possession of opium poppy with intent to manufacture and distribute’.

One flower meaning so many things to so many people. No. No reason. No moral tale. Except this week it became a political football. That shouldn’t happen. I was in the George Square area of Glasgow on Sunday morning. Those men and women there are what it’s all about. Despite everything in recent years we are in danger of forgetting.

This next clip was probably Rowan Atkinson’s finest moment. He should maybe have stopped then.

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