In this trouble town, troubles are found; in this trouble town, words do get ’round. Kick the bottom, make troubles flee. Smoke until our eyes would bleed. Sparkle pop the seed. (jake bugg)

So, dear listener, I’m often asked where I get my ideas from for the blog. (He’s not. It’s a tired and clichéd way of introducing the blog – Skippy). Well, I had thought of words of wisdom from our parents. This after seeing a lady from Morrisons, in the light of some pension changes, saying that her father always said that it was never too early to start a pension, but the only thing I can remember my dad telling me was that ‘a good drinker never drinks the dregs’. I have no idea whether I took his advice so maybe not. (tbh, I have no idea what he meant)

Or I could advise against the martial art/combat sport that is badminton. The damage done to the right eye area has gone and my rib doesn’t hurt as much but I don’t think I’ll be doing any procreating from that area of my body in the near future. In fact, tbh…… No. The worst damage has been to my left wrist which has a very unpleasant black mark on it but, before the digital age, I only ever used it for turning the page anyway. 😉

Or I could do one of those messages meaningless to lots of people which sometimes folk quote as the reason they don’t understand the blog. But I won’t. But by the way, rainforestriverman, good luck with the new job. Worry not. Me and the blogmeister will watch your back for you in the world of online shopping. 😉

But I won’t. Instead I want to talk about a presentation, hosted by John Finnie MSP at Holyrood, given by Alcoholics Anonymous to professionals and politicians (and me). The serious bit will follow below the line but it’s a happy one – as was the whole evening. 😀

It started on the busy train from Glasgow to Edinburgh. I was sitting opposite an American lady and beside her husband. As we neared Edinburgh, I took my headphones off and ran my fingers through my hair. ‘You’re beautiful’, she said. I did it again. ‘No, you look really good.’ (seriously, she did – Skippy). ‘What is it you do for a living?’ asked her husband. So I found myself discussing the Twelve Step Programme, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Motivational Behaviour, knowing that the next seat might contain someone with a lot more experience than me of these, but also heading to the Parliament. I got away with it.

So I did that amazing walk from the station up to Holyrood; that strange mix of Tartanalia and Scottish history. I passed thru the airport security; went to the bog and then went to the reception desk. An usher approached me. ‘You’ll be here for the Commonwealth Games Reception, sir?’

‘No,’ I replied, ‘I’m here for the Alcoholics Anonymous Reception.’ (It must have been the badminton injuries – Skippy) He looked at me strangely. I thought ‘put that in your grumpy pipe and spark it up’.

And then when it came time for us to be called to the reception, the usherette came along and cried, ‘Alcoholic Anonymous Awareness, this way.’ Somehow, it was as if I was being guided along the way.

And, of course when it was over, I shared the lift down with three young women one of whom, of course, said, ‘I know your face.’ It’s happening a lot these days and I’m not sure why. But I’m not worried. Much. And we didn’t know from where…..

(When he says they shared a lift, they didn’t actually break it into four bits; they just all got into it together – Skippy)      

And finally, I’ve never had to walk from Paisley to Summerston in the snow. What route would you take? Dani?

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? Yes, and all open and above board and reproach.

Johnt850, one of the few ppl on Wed night to have his surname on his name card but yet……. 

For some reason, some ppl think I have a ‘down’ on AA. I don’t. I have a tremendous respect for them as part of the road to recovery. But, like all organisations, there are good and bad people in the organisation but, unlike tennis clubs and golf clubs, it is dealing directly with people’s lives. I just worry.

However, what I saw on Wednesday night was miles away from the ‘smokey’ church halls of black and white movies or the back room in a community centre. I saw a discussion between AA and professionals in addiction about how the two groups could work in tandem, whilst preserving the principles and traditions of the Fellowship. It was quite inspiring.

It wasn’t a proper meeting. There was no serenity prayer at the end but a couple of people told their stories at the start. I never had to face ‘the four o’clock tribunal’, incidentally; I just went and had a whisky and went back to sleep.  

Oh, and I didn’t have to say. ‘My name is John and I am an alcoholic.’ But, on this occasion, as on others, I would have done and said thanks for the hospitality and, truly, the whole night was inspirational………and I may be going to a meeting in Inverness. In November. I am happy to go to meetings. It does me no harm.

And in a week when everyone is going Gung Ho about a South Korean singing softcore Old Skool, here is the best piece of music around at the moment. It’s Rudimental. And it features real horses, not women as ponies……Actually, both musically and videolly, it’s pretty inspirational as well………

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8gS4QNcfcU

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