Archive for May, 2012

So if I decide to leap for the Fountain when I finish this, then I want to make one thing perfectly clear – I would genuinely love to make that leap and if I don’t I will always consider it a mistake and a failed opportunity (Hunter S T)

May 27, 2012

Some weeks the blog has a message – a thread that twists and turns its way through a narrative of cornucopiae of life’s malestroms ; sometimes it reflects the fact that there is often no rhyme nor reason to certain aspects of my life – a time of confusion over one matter which grips me at the very basis of the stem of existence. Sometimes it’s so frisking* hot I can’t be f**king bothered to string two coherent adverbial clauses together and this is one o’ they clauses…beware listener, be very aware. 😦

*’frisking’? Skippy?

For example, I bumped into an old friend the other day who I’d not seen for a long time. I do wish he’d stop wearing that camouflage jacket.

And I spent a very pleasant evening in a basement bar in Bath Street Glasgow with the Vampire Slayer, where we discussed our plan to keep the world safe. We drank fruit juices. And no-one said Boo! I was in a drug rehab unit near my Paisley school the other day and there was a discussion based on the fact that it’s not that long since pubs did not allow women in. Heraghty’s on the South Side of Glasgow did not have a ladies toilet, once upon a time, and if a lady wished to use the toilet, all the men had to be turfed out and the gentleman stood guard while the lady did what ladies do……PMSL

Pubs and the whole drinking culture has changed and is changing. I won’t say anything again bout alcohol pricing levels but I do trust the World Health Organisation research on the matter but the letters page of the Sun and the Record is, I suppose, like Pavlova’s dogs and must be listened to.

Anyway, VS, congrats on doing your first ever weekly shopping. Silver bullets and big stakes are half price this week in the ASDA Summerston, and can I apologise to the M&S petrol station in Paisley – it’s between my school and the top of North Ayrshire – cos I thought they were getting behind Rangers with the balloons and bunting. What queen? What jubilee? 🙂

And well done to school pal Sharon for finishing your work experience this week – even if finding a teacher on a Friday afternoon proved difficult. And it’s true. I was there for about six months and I really only got to know one bit of playground, one tuck shop and a couple of classrooms and the bike sheds…..What? Study buddie Fi smoked, that’s all. But I appear to have lost a library book. The Journal of Mental Health vol 7 1998…….Shit! I’ll maybe tell one of the lady librarians rather than a man. No. No reason.

But why does the TV advert for Tombola Bingo not show people paying bingo and Art Sutter says Yes to an Independent Scotland….what should I make of these portents of mediocrity?

Anyway, moving swiftly on to the weekly voyage of discovery with Fi, Jay the boy wonder and sasha the dog…….this week we went to Millport. And came back again. And I also found myself in a Beithian chip shop buying traditional hot weather food fare – fish suppers when it’s 26 in the shade – only to hear a man in front of me complain about his holiday in Italy; in particular the food. ‘All we had to eat was omelettes,’ he said. ‘Of course you could have had that spaghetti and stuff but it just didn’t look right.’ Totes hilair, I thought. 😀

I immediately txtd the rainforestriverman with details of the temperature. He was in Florida and said it was 100 in old money there. Son Brian is down at Wentworth watching the PGA golf and I was deeply envious of Jay’s paddling pool.

Kenny the Shed Pimp has started major work on my house. No. He just turned up one day and knocked the shed down. Yes, Kenny, the stuff in the window was glass and not plastic and No, I did not drink the creosote* rather than paint the shed. I swopped it for crack cocaine.

*Other wood preservatives are available for all sorts of purpose – not all of which are on the tin.

And finally, neither me nor the good Doctor W actually appeared on screen in the BBC 3 lesbian drama, Lip Service – or, at least our scene remained on the cutting room floor – but we did get paid for our efforts. And I have learned a lot over the last six weeks of watching this BBC3 lesbian drama. About Glasgow. No. Nothing else.

Cya, keep(ing)it fun and still wearing that badge? Not in Millport. After all Chick Young has a holiday home there and I’d hate to cramp his style. LOL!

Johnt850, who means what he says in fb msgs…..Obvs.

So nothing too deep below the line this week. Too hot and too many people were watching granddad Englebert on telly last night so here is my favest Eurovision clip of all time. Why? Cos I know Lana, that’s why.:)

We are young but getting old before our time We’ll leave the TV and the radio behind Don’t you wonder what we’ll find? Steppin’ out tonight (Joe Jackson)

May 20, 2012

So last week’s blog rubbishing social science caused a wee bit of a stir. But much more importantly so did the fact that a dog won a talent contest open to human beings from all over Britain. A dog. With talent. Named after a bear with a patch over one eye who raises millions for Children in Need. Or maybe named after something or somewhere else called Pudsey.

But the dog must have something going for it/her/him. I have yet to check the gender. Apparently Simon Cowell wants to breed with it. Maybe he has still to make the same check. This is not a pleasant prospect by any stretch of the imagination. 😦

However Pudsey has been open to many offers. Apart from the £500,000 prize plus place on the Variety Bill for the Queen’s Concert coming Puds’s way, she (I’ve just checked…page 3 of the Sun next to Amii from Birmingham) jigged on Daybreak; is to judge, along with Ashleigh (17), a canine talent show called The Bow Wow Factor (to enter go to ); has had a security wall installed to keep out dognappers; has been told by his owner that she will split the winnings 50-50 (em, sorry Asleigh but without Pudsey you are a nobody); has put on 6lbs since the show; and has turned down an invite to go on the final of American Idol.

But there was another dog story; the Daily Record highlighted a springer spaniel called Billy who is to be Scotland’s first full-time Fire Investigation Sniffer Dog. Eh, not a lot of ppl know that. But there will always be nurses and pop stars. 😦

Meanwhile my favest dog remains Sasha to whom I owe an apology. Y’see when Study Buddie Fi threw that stick into the water at Largs and shouted ‘Fetch!’ I naturally assumed…… honest mistake. Anyway this week’s voyages of discovery weren’t new as I’ve been to Tesco’s Kilbirnie before BUT word is getting round. The Olympic Torch may not be making its way to the ASDA, Summerston, but it is going to Beith and Lochwinnoch on Friday, 8th June. I must get hold of the route. Hang on a second….  So, no it doesn’t. Sorry Fi.

The other highlight of Largs beach was a wee boy, ‘bout two, called Ryan or Brian, who made a bolt for freedom from some adults towards the sea; almost made it to the water but tripped; the woman (his mum?) who had run after him, then picked him up and shouted to some man – ‘James will you tell your son off!’ and from a distance of about fifty yards away, James proceeded to do so….No. No comment.

There was, however, reaction from my (now ex-)teachers to my comments of last week. One in particular, having read it, spoke to me over a cup of coffee and said, ‘I think you and I, jt, will always agree to differ’ – which doesn’t fill me with any fear or foreboding given that he’s the one to mark my Applied Theatrical Revue – which was how last week’s gag should have looked. 😦

And I was of course going to make mention of the naked romp nightclubbers at Level 2 in Coatbridge but today’s Sundays bring tales of more sleaze of this sort – so I won’t but my own tales of my days on the deejaying scene years ago were nothing like that. Our favest comp was to award a prize to the first man who could bring his partner’s tights or stockings to the deejay’s desk. Many men spent ages trying to get the woman they’d been dancing with to em, well, em, remove them. The winner tho’ was the guy who picked up his lady so that her legs were dangling over his arms. Subtle, eh? Mind you this was mostly weddings and similar where, if things were not going too well, you threw on Beautiful Sunday and everyone got up and did the Slosh.

No. I didn’t spin that many discs. I humped a lot tho’. Amps and record decks mostly. Mostly. 🙂

And finally, I watched The Voice last night. And enjoyed it. The judges are sooooooo much better than BGT or the X Factor.

Cya (keep)ing it fun and still wearing that badge? Yup. It’s something Pudsey can’t have.

Johnt850, the owner of a proud new Belling Cooker. Serioulsy.

So this bit was going to be reflective about school and my new search for working beginning soon. But it’s just been announced that al-megrahi has died. I shall say nothing. Except the drug abiraterone, which is the one that kept him alive for about three years, is still being denied to prostate cancer sufferers for whom chemotherapy has not worked and they are given just three months to live. If they got it, it would do so much to improve the quality of their lives. Yes. You comment.

And this is the dog they’re all talking about;

what a field day for the heat, a thousand people in the street, singing songs that they carry inside, mostly say hurray for our side….it’s time we stop…hey what’s that sound..everybody look what’s going down (Buffalo Springfield)

May 13, 2012

The theme for this week’s blog was long decided before Cameron’s Britain was summed up by a dog(!) called Pudsey winning Britain’s Got Talent. No. It’s been festering inside me since I started school in Paisley about six months ago and watched all the teachers get excited about something called Pavlova’s Dogs.

Apparently the world revolves around the idea that these dogs got excited at lunchtime not by the prospect of getting food – but a bell ringing. Now not only does that sound like any other school – the bell ringing at lunchtime does not mean everyone is looking forward to school dinners, but to an end of the teacher going on and on and on – but it did seem to me and the other (former) journo in the class (Study Buddie Fi since you ask) to lack one simple piece of research.

In all the excitement that the boffins in their white coats with their clipboards and stopwatches and Joe 90 spex  and Pavlova himself were experiencing, one vital thing seems to have been ignored. NO-ONE ASKED THE FREAKIN’ DOGS WHAT THEY THOUGHT! 😦

Think about it. You’re a dog and your agent has got you this gig where you eat as much as you want but you know that somehow you gotta keep it going cos there’s not a lot of work out there (Blair and Brown’s Britain)… you give the guys paying the bills something different. (There is an obvious laddish comment here which I will ignore). And the more excited they get the more you give them (That’s why)…….and suddenly you’re front page news all over Social Science World (I get it for Page 3)…….simples (and No, I haven’t forgotten the Vampire Slayer or the meerkats)….you keep it going……and you say nothing. Pavlova gets all the credit….you get all the food. 🙂

Animals are smarter than us, aren’t they Skippy? Sitting quietly and peacefully on Largs beach the other night, a man on a push bike pulled up and started shouting at his dog, Martin, to travel about four hundred yards across rocks and rock pools. Martin the dog gave him the canine equivalent of the two fingers and happily romped with another dog. 🙂

But yes, it does sometimes come down to the owners. Two brilliant cameos down on Irvine Beach (and honest I am still studying) where two women had three devil dogs fighting amongst themselves and did not realise that the best way to stop that happening was to take at least one of them away. Instead they were shouting, ‘Someone help us please.’ Like that. Without punctuation. 😦

And then yesterday a man with three terriers was out walking with them. Not taking them for a walk. But walking with them. ‘That is so nice, isn’t it?’ said Sasha, the Golden Labrador.

But it’s not just dogs, or indeed technically, animals. I note that the stage production of Douglas Adams’s Hitch Hikers’ Guide is coming to Glasgow. As everyone knows, in it the Earth is bulldozed to make way for an Inter-Galactic Super Highway and no-one knows this is going to happen. Except the dolphins who vamoose as soon as they know it’s going to happen………and their final message to those of us left on Earth?

‘So long and thanks for all the fish.’

(Listeners worrying as to whether the bulldozing of earth was true or not may be reassured by the parallel universes theory………)

And it’s the same with something called the Leikert Scale (Greatly like, couldn’t give a toss, greatly dislike). I asked if there was any research that told us what influences our decisions about these things. The boffin didn’t think so. Cos I’m sure I can’t have been the only one filling out a Scotrail questionnaire on the 4.30 from Queen Street to Summerston many years ago, necking my first drink of the day from a bottle whilst sitting at the front of the train so no-one could see. That’s when I wasn’t filling out Army application forms in my mates’ names.

And finally yesterday was a good walking day (Irvine to Barrassie by beach) for the travelogue ‘Every week a Voyage of Discovery, even if, for me, it ended with the Chinese takeaway that reminded me why I don’t go to that Chinese takeaway.  And for those of you who know the real purpose of Study Buddie Fi’s tour of the beautiful North Ayrshire countryside with me and Jay the boy wonder, can I just say….Lidl, Dalry. Twice in one week.

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? Yes and Dog is God backwards. Says it all.

Johnt850 who sometimes wishes his hair was more Phil Redmond than Roberto Mancini.

So I’ve been writing this thing for school called an Academic Theoretical Revue – it’s a comedy script and it’s about the stigma of the alcoholic returning to the workplace and has nothing to do whatsoever to my own personal experience when I was called scum (Thatcher’s Britain) and couldn’t be trusted cos I’d be bound to relapse.

So I’m now over five years clean and clear. But what if I had ‘relapsed’ occasionally? Surely, old timer, it’s about the quality of the sober days. Not the quantity.

And after a blog like that there can only be one youtube clip.

or is it this

but boys will be boys and girls have those eyes that will cut you to ribbons sometimes and all you can do is just wait by the moon and bleed if she says you oughta do

May 5, 2012

The Gaslight Anthem there and no, no reason why not.

I honestly didn’t realise that Spotify had a ten hours per month listening limit. There I was happily listening to various peoples’ playlists when suddenly this message came in. Completely spoiled my appreciation of Juicy, which was noticed by at least one of my school chums. Juicy, that is…not the spoiled enjoyment.

And then on Saturday night, when I unexpectedly had some time to myself, nobody told me that the FA Cup Final had changed its traditional kick-off time of 3 o’clock to the now traditional time of 5.15 pm….by which time I had gone out for a walk in the sunshine to the graveyard, acknowledging the wine club by the Possil Gates. Interesting bouquet, btw. Could have been one of several things – but maybe not the bluebells.

And the t-shirts are tidied yet again. And the shed (about to fall apart) has been tidied. And, and, and…….yes, I am a student. I am prevaricating. I have 9,500 words to write for two essays. And they are due. Soon. And, yes, if I light a candle and burn incense, Sunny D from the ASDA, they will write themselves. 🙂

Some nice prevarication on Friday with Study Buddie Fi (every week a voyage, etc……) but before I tell the world about the picnic, a word about your darker side, but in a light kinda way.

So I said, ‘No. No problem about taking your books back to the local library. That’ll be fine.’……Fine, indeed, was the word……I think I bought a half share in North Ayrshire Council that morning and I’ve 120 hours of community service to do. Difficult since they cut my right arm off as well……. 😦

I was sent a shopping list for the picnic. ‘random picnic stuff….’, it said.So I buy enough food to feed a developing nation (as Summerston seems to be…….have you seen the number of houses being built out the Blackhill Road? Probably not, it occurs to me) and what goes down really well are the cheesy crisps with shapes likes bears, tennis rackets and cameras. With Fi. Jay the Boy Wonder thoroughly enjoyed the crab and cheese flan, the mushroom quiche and the pate chicken pie wot I whipped up at a moment’s notice. 🙂

Serious note. I won’t say where we had the picnic but it does strike me that there are so many little pieces of ‘green grun’ dotted about our countryside that it’s a shame we are not more aware of them but yet, those places seem to have certain individual memories attached to them…so you want to keep quiet about them. I mentioned the graveyard earlier. My physical recovery started there over five years ago. It means a lot.

It was also one of the stopping points for the funeral cortege of the Gerbil a wee while back. He wasn’t cremated there. It was just a service on his way to an unmarked grave. I joined the mourners outside the service that day. Nodded to a few folk. They nodded back.

No, it’s really weird. I’m writing a lot about the stigma attached to being an alcoholic, especially when returning to work (possibly in a college of further education in North Hanover Street in Glasgow) but obviously it’s academic rather than personal experience. But I do pause every so often and think. About lots of things. And then I just get on with it.

There is no one way to recovery. But I was reminded of the problems faced recently. I was at a showing of a documentary recently – a premiere if you like. It was about a man who played jazz guitar and who broadcast a lot, especially about food. That will identify him to some so that’s enough. I was with a friend, Jayne (and well done with the Govan ‘Comedy Bytes’, btw) who also does stuff for children’s TV (long story), and a very well known broadcaster described the wife in the doc as a bit of a ‘boozehound.’ No. No-one deserves to be remembered like that but with attitudes like that we have a long way to go. Excuse me while I go and use a derogatory term about someone of African descent or in a wheelchair…….sorry. I thought I was writing my essay there (t850, 2012) as we say in the world of Harvard referencing.

So, and finally, not much else in my world. The edition of the lesbian drama with me and the good Doctor W has yet to be shown and delighted to write a reference for you, W.. Made such a change from references like

Noon, Dane and Lucid, Lex, (2001) Hash Cakes – how to make great snacks with cannabis, Spruce Publishing . London

Now that would have made an interesting picnic, but is probably why I got such low marks in Research Methods. Mind you, I have told a couple of the teachers that I have one question which will blow apart the whole of the world of Social Science and they have yet to ask me what it is. Fearties,

Maybe children’s TV presenters were reading the book when they made this episode of Rainbow. 

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? I think it’s why the librarians want me on Saturday mornings

Johnt850, Joint-keeper of the Donkey Stones.

Many, many years ago (I think I was married) I bought an album called License to lll. At least I think that was how it was pronounced. It was amazing. I have no idea which Beastie Boy was which, so I’m not really sure which one was Adam Yauch who died of cancer this week at the age of 47 but this is one of my all-time favest tracks. I love the food fight at the end. It reminded me of a stopover Sanjeev Kohli had for his daughters recently. Lots of pilau fights. Rice everwhere. (Sanjeev, it doesn’t work when I tell it…why not?)