‘I never miss a chance to have sex or appear on television’ (was this Johnt850 or Gore Vidal?)

So there I was. Standing in Maryhill Library with Missie K. She was working there. That day.  Hey, the school library hasn’t a monopoly on nice lady librarians. And my phone vibrated. Left trouser pocket. 😀 So I made an excuse and left. And listened to the message. ‘Elaine….piece to camera’ was all I could hear above the traffic on the strip. So I phoned back and said, ‘Yes. When, where and what am I talking about?’

It turned out to be at Prostate Cancer UK’s HQ and it was for STV – it was more about the Scottish Government’s disgraceful decision not to make abiraterone available to men dying of prostate cancer; men for whom all other treatments have failed; men like George Fraser who I met who has cashed in his pension to pay for his treatment. And I was going to go big on it just now.

And then I noticed that I/it was only used at lunchtime that day ( http://news.stv.tv/scotland/113251-health-bosses-urged-to-make-prostate-cancer-drug-available-on-nhs/ )  ‘cos three fathers had died in a car crash near Cumbernauld Village which could have been prevented by spending £20,000 on a barrier and I joined another Facebook group. It’s what you do these days isn’t it? Rather than actually campaign but that wasn’t Malcolm X’s style was it, nor Nelson nor Martin Luther……I’m going out for a walk. Calm down. Skippy, some music please.


That was jolly. The Waterboys. I could hear it out in the street. Amazing row there the other day. Can’t help but notice Martin is parking his car at the very front of his drive. Says it all.

Anyway I feel I have to mention the Olympics and the amazing opening ceremony and Danny Boyle’s memorial to that day in Dallas when JFK was gunned down……or did I mis-read the symbolism? And why was Evelyn Glennie dressed as Gandalf? And I loved the Mary Poppinses…Skippy, those mushrooms that night…where did you get them?

And can I ask you to please excuse the excesses of the broadcasters cos it’s awfy exciting to be at these things? My alter ego was a broadcaster at the Commonwealth Games in 1986 and it was great fun. Happy daze. No. I didn’t see anything other than on a monitor.

1986 rings a bell for some reason.

Oh, yes I did a freebie to Malta with the Maltese Tourist Board. And the Vampire Slayer’s just back from there and I have memories other than those I mentioned to you, VS…… I suffered one of the worst hangovers of my life coming back. It was a simple four days, courtesy of the Tourist Board and on the last night every other journalist had left except me, a guy from Today newspaper and the Tunisian Sloane Ranger who was our rep and we hit Valetta at 4 in the afternoon and, hang on a second, I want to Google something,….No. Club 19 doesn’t exist any longer. 😦

Got back to hotel ‘bout 2, which isn’t that late unless you’ve arranged to be knocked up at 5 for the car to take you to the airport. I was ill, as the man next to me recognised when I borrowed his brown bag as well. Made it to London and brushed my teeth with one of those teeth brushing things from the Gents (note to alcoholics and drinkers…brushing your teeth doesn’t sober you up. You just think it does). Made my way to next Terminal and caught my plane to Edinburgh. Which was good, cos that’s where my car happened to be parked. And then drove back to Glasgow. Smiling. 😀

Interesting year, 1986…..Son Brian was born then as well, I seem to remember. I was there. So was his mum. I think it was the first thing we did together as a family (a quote 26 years later from Study buddie Fi has just come to mind…. 🙂 )

My favest Olympian so far? Ruben Limardo, the fencer who won Venzuela’s second ever Gold Medal ever and travelled back to his B’n’B in London with his entire squad by tube. And I’d like to thank school pal, Cameron (obvs fee-paying school before Paisley Primary) for introducing me to women’s handball. That is tough and mean and ten times better than perving on women’s volleyball and you know who I’m talking to, rrm. Tell me, Cameron, when the men play this, do their balls end up as sticky as the women’s?

And finally, I was going to be frightfully ironic in a post-modernist kinda way and have fun at the expense of the ‘cheating British cyclists’ comparing them to the cheating badminton players, but then I heard Victoria (?) say that some times you just have a ‘rubbish day’. And I fell in love. Briefly.   

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? Not this week. Ruben’s the man…….

Johnt850, who keeps his promises – not because he has to but because he wants to…..and starts his tai-chi lessons on Monday.

So in connection with my Domination Degree I’ve been chatting to some folk about stigma and stuff and one of them asked me whether I was ever out of control through drink and, at one time, I’d have said just in that final alcoholic gap year. Now I know different.

Leaving aside the Maltese hangover, when I worked in PR in town, I would collect a very young Son Brian every two weeks on a Friday night – other weeks I’d go to the pub on a Friday after work. And drink. And food. And stuff. And sensibly I’d leave car in car park. And most Saturdays I’d wake up at home. With hangover……..and then think, ‘FFS, where’s the car?’ And somehow go back into town to get it and then get over to Son’s house to get him or messages or whatever. And look cool. And unperturbed. And what is frightening is I got away with things like that.

I felt in control of that specific situation, but just wish I’d had a better overall view at the time. Interesting the direction in which some conversations go, isn’t it? Not all research is academic – sometimes it’s a jolly interesting, sharing experience. Just a matter of yards from that very car park.   

You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone. Joni Mitchell. Big Yellow Taxi. For lots of ppl this week.


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