Keep your head up: you are so much better than you believe. I promise.

And, yes, that is a promise. Not necessarily an easy one to keep, but certainly a worthwhile target. And I will do everything I can……………

And with absolutely no connection – seriously – I owe some people an apology. I got it all wrong over the Olympic Torch. I was awfy disparaging. The week’s voyage of discovery with Study Buddie Fi should have seen me on the front lawn of her palatial manor down North Ayrshire way but us inhabitants of Summerston weren’t allowed out of the scheme in case we interfered with them dusting the Maryhill Road. So me and the chocolate, and the red, white and blue umbrella I’d borrowed for the occasion had to stay at home and watch it on the BBC Interweb TV News Channel.

It was brilliant! And different from being there. But in a good way.

I switched on early, which was good cos they were early. I know those buildings! That’s the top of her street. That’s the swing park. That’s the primary school where I had to park when they were tarmacadaming (sp) the street. And, yes, that’s the row of manor houses and, no, I can’t see them but they’re there. And who the hell cares who is carrying the frisking thing? Well actually it is important but at this stage I am shouting to no-one in particular what I’m watching. It was smashing and over in seconds and my photos were crap cos of the flash off the flame but who cares?

And it was kinda the same on Saturday when I watched Byres Road, Queen Margaret Drive and the Maryhill Road (and, no, I don’t know why I use the prefix ‘the’ at that point)……no commentary but streets you do not see on TV normally, or at least from a PoV that you don’t  normally get (I’m not a great fan of PoV on the small screen but that’s more for the post watershed version of this blog)………not Buck Pal, or the top of Snowdon or Loch Lomond or some frisking tourist spot, but your own backyard or front garden or at the bottom of the street. So I said as much on Facebook and a BBC reporter (Willie Johnston) whom I’ve known for years sent me a msg (publicly) as follows;

The way places like Beith and Kilmaurs and Barrmill and all the other smaller communities the torch passed through today will live them forever. The response from all of them was unbelievable. It was a privilege being on the media vehicle to witness it all. Well done, everyone.

Willie came up through the ranks of local newspaper reporting before joining the Beeb but stayed loyal to Dumfries and Galloway.  I always smiled when my recent teachers talked about the rigorous demands of peer reviewed papers. Balls! I worked for the BBC in the Borders for a while when they had a local radio station output there and listeners like David Steel, his wife Judy and Bill Mclaren, as well as ‘ordinary’ people, often popped in to let you know what they thought or suggest a ‘line’ you should be following….It’s ten times harder if you’re a journo in local newspapers where the editor is a mason, a member of the rotary club and plays golf down the road. No, I think the torch showed the worth of local communities. It’s a shame the TV coverage didn’t reflect that.

(Wow! 500 words on the goodness of the torch. Not something I thought I’d write and not much room for anything else….except something I’ve wanted to share for some time…….)

So, finally, and bear with me on this – I had planned to write about how Fi and I had resisted a certain temptation on the steps of the Concert Hall, how Missie K and I had been too polite to have the last deep fried potato skin on the plate in front of us in Buzzy’s, how e and I had laffed when AJ turned his tomato upside down and spilled the contents all over himself, what a good job Kenny the shed pimp had made of the garden, and how the rainforestriverman thinks he had the best seats at the Royal Concert, but Pippa Middleton’s bum is soooooo over-rated ………but all these people took on a new significance this week.

As most listeners know I am a recovered alcoholic of over five years and am usually confident in my sobriety but it’s been hard these last few weeks. I think it’s the deflation after the intensity of university – the placement and the assignment writing. I feel deflated and jobsearch has to start. CVs and letters have gone out; job ads are scoured and reading about the subject matter is continued. But uncertainty has kicked in.

And the days and nights are long. Alcohol would help me get through them but the beauty of writing this blog is that I think back to what I’ve done and achieved this week, as have many others. The people I’ve named are important to me. And so is my time with them. And soooooo many others. Thanks.  

Cya, keep(ing it fun) and still wearing that badge? Dazzled by the flame, it was

Johnt850, quietly counting blessings

So I’ve done the serious bit, so all that is left to do is this week’s vid. It’s The Cranberries. No. No reason.


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