every time i manage to get one more breath into this body, i will sing a song of thanks to you, my brothers, my sisters, my friends. may your sleep be peaceful and angels sing sweetly in your ears (alabama 3)

And so, dear listener, on a night when trees were bending back cos of the wind and the rainwater was already cascading into that gap under the railway bridge outta Summerston, I got the call. It was from uni-friend Sharon; ’My dad can’t make my graduation tomorrow. My mum will be there. Can you take his place?’

I may have misunderstood the message. Briefly. But, yes. I would be there.

And so it came to pass that on Thursday morning, I mounted the steps of Thomas Coats Church, Paisley (helluva high. You can see Arran. On a clear day) and sat and waited and waited and then Sharon and Shirley and Cameron and others from last year’s Post Grad did the Walk and dipped their heads and got the thing and done the what. It takes seven seconds but it’s recognition of what you’ve achieved. 😀

My own particular first grad way back was no big deal altho’ the half bottle of whisky  a guy called Aeongus produced in the robing room off Bute Hall may have helped and I’m not sure my folks were that impressed having seen my sis already graduate a few years before. Or maybe it was the history lecturer stumbling past, who’d once tried to seduce me with cheap sherry, and his words, ’the devil looks after his own.’ 😦

But I saw my son graduate from Strathclyde Uny a wee while back and that meant so much to me as I wasn’t sure I’d live to see it cos of the alcohol and the cancer, but I did with his mum, her man and the lovely KT. And then there was this pub crawl through Glasgow until we reached a restaurant in the West End and then went to Vodka Wodka and I had said I’d pay the drinks bill……but it was worth it just to be there.

And then not that long ago I was there, wearing an old suit of his, when he graduated as a Chartered Accountant and what impressed me so much about that was the number of ppl who came to that graduation from abroad – that massive country – to be there and not just graduate but to be with pals they had spent so much time with. And studied with. And shared with.

For the rest of us from that Post Grad our time will come – be it a master’s holding us back or a wee deferment at present and even if I am deceased and in an urn, I want to be there……altho’ my hair was a mess on Thursday………but Kelly’s was amazing. 😀

And that includes Jo with whom I was studying in the Early Learning Centre at Paisley and only she knows why, the next time, my supervisor is referred to in this blog, it will be as Little Balloons but I think it is fairly obvious why we both agreed that this week’s Most  Annoying Man of the Month was the guy in the red shirt who brought in the chips…….

Anyway, Sharon, it was brilliant to be there and thanks for asking. I well remember the first thing that you said to me in Research Methods. And your mum was smashing….so proud of your TWO degrees and the millions of other degrees in the rest of her family.

I’m away for a wee greet. Skippy, play something.


Alabama Shakes. Good Choice Skippy.

But it’s been a busy week. For lots of reasons. Lots of editing came in there giving me little or no notice at the same time as I discovered that there’s a button that switches off the internal mouse. It was the next day that Simon at Resolve in Drumchapel pointed it out to me (0141 944 8052). And thanks also to Study Buddie Fi for helping out at ‘little or no notice’ and for the asap gag. I laffed. (It’s that very small button in front of the mouse pad thing….not my laff but the internal mouse button)

And finally, lots of ppl laffed when I said recently that sugar was a really invidious white powder – worse than some other powders with a bad name – and that cupcakes were the next addiction. Wish I’d put it in as a programme idea. Watch Addicted to Pleasure on Monday night at nine o’clock on BBC 1(or on iPlayer). Maybe you’ll believe Brian Cox rather than me. Coming next – Stephen Fry on why age is an identifier and not a definer…or why it is possible for me to be 42 for the rest of my life. The notion of televison was laffed at once. As was I. You heard it all here first.

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? So indebted to all those raising money from Movember. I will spend it wisely. On raising awareness.

Johnt850, disappointed that I didn’t make that wedding on Friday night but I was frightened I’d fall asleep at the wheel. Instead I fell asleep at nine. In my own bed.

So as I approach the 12th December and my Sixth Anniversary, a very good question from the rainforestriverman –  ‘do you not invite the Demons by thinking about them in advance?’ To which I can only say that I don’t invite them and I know lots of ppl out there with the demons being there all the time. One man, who I have known for a long time, once told me ‘bout the time he had voices in his head telling him either to kill his wife or not kill his wife – heavy enuff in itself but he was driving a van on the motorway at the time. He has had brilliant NHS treatment and the depression went a long time ago.

One day last week, I was sitting in the café in the St Mungo’s Religious Museum with some men with a similar background to mine, when one of them told a story of alcohol withdrawal which ended with the words ‘And then he woke up in Gartnavel.’ Change the pronoun and that’s how the first chapter of my own Cold Turkey story ends. Damned clever these Demons.

Here’s the Blind Boys of Alabama with Doctor John doing their very distinctive version of Louis Armstrong’s Wonderful World.



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