Just like moons and just like suns, with the certainty of tides, just like hopes springing high, still I’ll rise (Maya Angelou)

And yes, it’s been a wee while since there’s been a blog. Much has happened since the last one and I now have to cast my brain back to remember it all. There’s never been a break in the blog’s life of more than a week and those who’ve been with it since the start will remember when it was twice weekly and there’s lots of things that used to be twice weekly….

(Sorry, I’m writing this in the tuck shop next to the school library pretending to write an essay and a girl at the table next to me has just said; ‘and she’s never had a snog since…’. If it gets really interesting I’ll let you know.  Actually one of the teachers knows all about this blog and I was in making excuses about possible late delivery which sooooo won’t happen and on the way out he gave me this advice for this week’s blog (seriously). He said ‘don’t self censor’, or did he say, ‘don’t self centre.’?

No. School finished on Monday past but we weren’t allowed to bring in games like most schools. But we had a good chat and I will be spending most of the next few weeks in the library as I have a RAT and a TAM to write (omg, I can’t even get the TLAs right….)

Also a very enjoyable placement finished in a community rehab in Easterhouse. I’ve not said much about it for obvious reasons but on one tour of the place, in the old shopping centre, it was interesting to note that the two pubs were still the same. From the outside. I’ve had some amazing discussions about Charles Dickens with centre users and been reminded about the need to buy an easter egg for a smashing wee man. I took part in a meeting where the participants were told that they could keep asking questions of the speaker, but ‘nae mair questions about jagging the eggs!’ and I’ve been shown a lot of kindness and patience and eaten a lot of baked potatoes – being a  life-long pescatarian for the last two years. (Incidentally, can I just say a big thanks to the good Doctor W, for continuing to keep the streets of North Lanarkshire safe?)

But I do say that every week is a voyage of discovery with Study Buddie Fi. Two weekends ago we visited Orkney where I did not fall off any cliffs (and my thanks to all those people who advised me to walk several feet behind Fi. No. No reason) We went to Papa Westray (soooo like the Seychelles) and then did the flight to Westray itself, which is the world’s shortest flight. We each got a certificate, which I laminated back at the placement. No. It’s not a learning outcome but a handy skill. 🙂

(They’re now talking epidurals at the next table……….)

All three of us had a great time (Jay the boy wonder was there) and Birsay is an amazing place. With a burger van for sale. We had use of a BMW (thanks to Neil of Neil and Jenni fame) and I would like to thank Fi for her useful advice when I was attempting to reverse out of a space. The Ring of Brodghar is such a nice place to calm down after a row 🙂 and if you think that sounds JK Rowlingish, there is a place in Orkney called Harrey and it actually has a potter. Also a very pleasant memory of a youth hostel which was open but empty one Sunday afternoon. Great kettle. 🙂

This week’s voyage of discovery? Morrison’s in Johnstone. Why not? We’ve done the Asda in Linwood, Morrison’s in Irvine, the Co-op in Beith and the legendary Tesco’s in Kilbirnie. And I’ve been driving.

Which brings us to this week’s Quantum Leap of Logic. Or how many steps does it take to connect the murder trial of Kevin ‘the Gerbil’ Carroll to Fi. (I may have met him once. I can’t remember………and if that obscure reference means nothing to you, then you are soooo lucky. Google Gerbil plus alien abduction.

(One of them is now telling her pals that she’s killed her dad….omg. What should I do?…oh, she’s now said, ‘and then I woke up’. Phewwwww)

So to the Leap.

Right I get my own car washed and valeted at Anniesland Valet Centre. It is owned by Fraggles Green. Fraggles was the Gerbil’s closest friend and is an astute Glasgow businessman. So astute is he that he happened to be one of the first on the scene when the Gerbil was shot and swallowed not one but two of the Gerbil’s Simcards (No. He didn’t realise that….. eventually……and has obviously never seen CSI). Well Fraggles’s boys are about to face their greatest ever challenge. For the last two weeks my rear seat passengers have been Jay and Sasha the golden retriever………the very wet golden retriever. Yes. Largs has some very bracing sea air. Now in the back of my car. As is most of Sasha’s coat.

And finally, Son Brian was formally admitted as a Chartered Accountant at the weekend. In Edinburgh. Each time he does something like this I walk away very quietly but very proud. Not just the normal father-son pride but that of someone who, if things had not worked as well as they have done for me, would never have lived to see these things. I am not the most humble of people but do believe in spreading certain messages. The Support Team who have looked after me for over five years now all made this possible. They are like no other in the world. Thanks.

Cya, (keep)ing it fun and still wearing that badge? Yup and with a mega-thanks to the Wrigley Sisters of Kirkwall and their life-saving apple and cinnamon tea.

Johnt850, who dares to be different..

So it’s not quite the end of an era as I still have about 10,000 words to write by mid-May and then jobsearch begins. If you’re anywhere near the school library, then please come and distract me. It’s been an amazing experience and I’ve met amazing people. It’s a journey I want to continue. And will. But if I had to pick out one memory of the last six or so months, it would be the second floor of the multi-storey car park next to the library. For more than one reason. And should I ever forget, then the yellow post-it on the driver’s door window reminds me.

And this reminds me of the black BMW I was driving.



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