I’ve got the ticket if you’re my collector, I’ve got the fare if you’re my inspector, I’ll be the luggage if you’ll be the porter, I’ll be the parcel if you’ll be my sorter (The Damned)

So me and WordPress seem to have made up. 🙂 The weekly blog in its natural state is back up and running. And I have no idea what came between us. So new listeners might as well start here. Because it makes as much sense as starting anywhere else. Because this week  my wallet was stolen. And that, dear listeners, set the scene for the week.

It was to have been soooooo simple. A meet with Missie K to set the world to rights. I had booked a discreeet table in a top Glasgow City Centre eatery – or Pret-a-Manger as some of you may know it. The hot chocolates had been ordered and calm was about to be unleashed on an unsuspecting world, but dear listener, I had made that basic of all basic errors.

I had sat with my back to the door. I had played the Wild Bill Hickock card and lost. Like Bill.

Bill was a well known Wild West frontiersman, sheriff, gambler and drinker and followed loose women and wild buffalo……. (okay. Let’s get the Clatty Pat’s gag out of the way)…and was a real showman. In one of my many previous existences (or was it a parallel universe?) I think I handed out flyers for Wild Bill and his show when it came to Glasgow in 1892…….. (or was that my elderly alter ego?) See below for details.


I was certainly there that fateful day when Bill sat down for a game of poker in the Number Ten Saloon  (how weird…my favest drinking place in Glasgow City Centre is Bar Ten) in Deadwood, Dakota.  It is said that Bill sat where he could see the door altho’ me, being pedantic, think he was actually watching the people who came in. One day a rotten, no-good, stinking varmint, said to Bill that he had a cold and would Bill mind swopping seats with him.  

Seconds later Bill was shot, dead, in the back.

Suddenly Pret-a-Manger should be seen in a totally new light. (A quick word with study buddie, Fi, if I may……..see how I return to something you’ve already forgotten about?)

No. Basically what happened was that it was cold by the door and Missie K and I moved seats. It was then that I did a very manly thing. Unusual for me, I know. (I have this urge to buy and wear eye-liner. Black). There was a significant weight difference in my jacket. My wallet was no longer there. We re-traced my steps to a sports emporium where I had purchased a replica Partick Thistle strip for a four year old’s birthday in February, only seconds before the club sponsor announced they were having financial problems. But no. 😦 (and Very Happy Birthday, Missie K…x….sorry for spoiling it)

Cards are cancelled and replacement ones have flooded in (except from UWS – why does that not surprise me?); an insurance claim has been submitted (I often carry £5,000 in cash); the police have not asked, as yet, why I carry a small mirror next to my credit cards (if I wore eye-liner, there wouldn’t be that suspicion, would there?); and the pills therein were totally legitimate.

I think the biggest problem has been re-setting my payments to Facebook and Google for the ads I have for the business www.thewordprocess.net  and trying to return Strathclyde Police’s phone calls….. ‘cos it was all caught on CCTV! The blaggard had been spotted and the game is afoot. The Baker Street Irregulars are all over Irene Adler even as we speak (eh?)  and Professor Moriarty is, I’m told, wrestling with Ideal Holmes over that waterfall in Rouken Glen Park…….The Sweeney it ain’t but I will keep you posted. ‘Put your trousers on…you’re nicked!’  


(Incidentally last week’s blog which had restricted publication is tagged on at the end of this)

But, finally, that has not been my entire week. A planned kinda mini mid-week break was put on hold ‘cos of illness and pestilence, but I’d like to say a big Well Done to study buddie Fi for rising from her sick bed and taking me to a place where no woman had taken me before – Tesco’s, Kilbirnie. 😀  To the rainforestriverman for sending me what I thought was a photograph of a glass of wine but I now realise was the view from your holiday balcony; to the good Doctor W, whose attempts to take over the academic world by yomping round it are just slightly on hold; and to Son Brian, you were right about the IKEA notion……..

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? It’s taking North Ayrshire by storm 😉

Johnt850, who was there at the Battle of the Little Big Horn but on whose side?

No I want to take a minute to update you on what’s happening over the next three months – in university terms. I, and some others, return for one day a week for classes but for three days a week for the next eleven weeks I will be out on placement in a community drugs rehabilitation unit in the Greater Easterhouse area.

It is obvious I respect all confidentialities I ever encounter in this blog. I still pay my NUJ dues and journalistic ethics are higher than those of any politician, banker or, indeed, uny lecturer. After a couple of weeks shadowing, I then do the things (under supervision) that the other workers do and hopefully support people as they begin to return to a world that many consider ‘normal’. My own addiction is that of alcohol – for others it’s over-prescription of benzodiazepines by over-enthusiastic doctors.

I obviously can’t do Tales from the Front Line for all sorts of reasons, but my motorway driving may prove to be of interest…..and if I fail to be in touch with some of you, it’s not ‘cos I’ve forgotten, it’s ‘cos those I’m working with have attracted my attention. I’m scum and I know I am (Clydebank FC chant of a few years ago)

Incidentally, ceteris paribus, me and Fi won’t be down by the schoolyard on Wednesday. We’ll be at the Royal Concert Hall celebrating one hundred years of Woody Guthrie (I was a schoolboy chum) This is he;



When I was very young, which, given that I am 42, wasn’t that long ago, my father took me and my sis to football matches. Sometime my alter ego went to see Peterhead, then in the Highland League, at a place called Recreation Park. I got to stand with the grown-ups, which was good, ‘cos I learned a lot. And had no friends, anyway. In those days football matches started at 3 on a Saturday afternoon and the half time was ten minutes long and footballers drank cups of tea and sucked quarter oranges.

(Don’t worry. This ain’t Nick Hornsby)

Occasionally we came to the big city where football grounds were slap bang in the middle of the town surrounded by shops selling food and pubs selling beer and how often have I been that waif standing outside the pub with a bottle of cola and a packet of crisps whilst my dad and Uncle Willie nipped inside ‘just to use the toilet but there was such a long queue’……… but my thanks to the odd passer-by who let me have a sip out of their ‘bottle’………I was about ten.

Oh Happy Day(s) (when Jesus walked…Edwin Hawkins Singers and thanks to the great John Peel for playing that. Anybody got any good books about the man I haven’t read?)

Nowadays football times are dictated – sometimes indirectly – by TV companies and football stadia are created out-of-town to raise money and have big car parks and seem to be in the middle of huge retail parks and so it was that, on Friday night, me, #soulboydave and Mad Dog Rab found ourselves in Hamilton walking towards Hamilton Accies football ground (it’d have been daft going to any other football ground), thru a car park more suited to filming Spooks than anything else and surrounded by Morrison’s and Sainsburys’s and Asda, that it hit me.

I love supermarkets!!!!!!!!

There. I have said it. I have come out of the frozen foods aisle. As well as the drinks cabinet.

I’ll be honest. I’d hate to work in one. I am a voyeur. I love looking at new shelves and seeing things I’ve never seen before. I think that’s one of the reasons I’m glad I became a life-long pescatarian just over a year ago. Each supermarket is different. Take Morrison’s in Largs. What brilliant pixs of the esplanade and I did not realise that gluten free pasta was not next to pasta…….supermarket porn…..I feel a professorial chair coming on.

Can I incidentally say thanks to #soulboydave for this gag – ‘following a credit agency’s review of Sweden’s economic policy, it has been decided to downgrade its credit rating from AAA to ABBA’ – and can I express my concern for the future of Scottish comedy that Mad Dog, the new head of the Comedy Unit, laughed at that. (And to the rainforestriverman, it’s another leading Scottish indie).

Also I was told that when MI5 recruit, as they did recently at my school in Paisley, the recruitment people get app forms that say ‘I’d be very good at handing over documents in car parks cos I blend in so well’. How the hell do you practise those skills? Apart from acting out Spooks?  No. The dogging accusation against me in Airdrie was never proven. Honest. One lousy sheep and you’re tarred for life.

But speaking of supermarkets……….and thin ice………can I say a big thanks to study buddie Fi, for the day out to Largs in her charabanc, complete with dog and small boy. Lots of highlights; including being refused entry to a council car park on the grounds that we weren’t in a car, altho’ we were. This raises two questions;

Why did the machine think we were not in a car when actually we were – and it’s a big one. The car.

And why would people without cars pay to get into a car park on the front at Largs?

But finally, my thanks to Fi and the ensemble for a nice day out and to four year old J, who, when I asked if he would recommend investing in property in the Garnock Valley, said ‘NO!’; my apologies to Morrison’s for the incident with the iron brew sorbet; and I won the argument that the farm that offers rugwashes does exactly what it says on the fence. But we did pass this amazing building, which suggests that maybe we should have looked at football grounds in situ, before selling them off. It’s an old cinema, now called Radio City, with apparently a radio studio (think the RKO building)………I don’t think it does much broadcasting but seems to be more of a community centre but it must have made quite an impact on me. Cos it featured in a recent dream of mine with Bruce Springsteen and and, and….Gosh is it that the word count? Well it can all wait ‘til later.

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? It’s about the only thing that supermarkets don’t sell. It came from Fopp.

Johnt850, who thinks that being a mudda is tuff enuff in itself – but wtf do I know?

So I’ve not talked about cancerly stuff for some time. Regular listeners may remember about a year ago that I mentioned two people , important to me, who were about to go through cancer treatment and both have come through their treatment without any real problems – as most people do these days. The image of the Big C should be done away with.

My own cancer remains the subject of regular checks every six months and that specific blood test remains steady at 1.1 (worry not about that figure’s meaning) but I think one of the big things I get from going to the Beatson Clinic (and not research centre but they’re doing amazing work there as well) is a reminder of how lucky I was that mine was caught – not early – but just in time.

It’s a wee bit like the fact I call myself a ‘recovered’ alcoholic and not ‘recovering’ – we can debate all we like about certain semantics but one thing I can never ever forget is the word ‘alcoholic’. An addict by any other name. Sorry. Just felt the need to say that. No. No reason.

Last week I used lyrics by Silver Apples for very good and special reasons. This is they. Yes. I’m not sure either but I reserve their right for them to be they. John Peel would.


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