Archive for February, 2013

It’s not the game, it’s how you play and if I fall I get up again now…..I get up again over and over I get up again over and over (Madonna)

February 22, 2013

So it wasn’t so much a car crash I had on Monday; more a crashlet. Compared with the other five I’ve had in the last three years this wasn’t too big on the Richter Scale of Crashes, but it does involve a neighbour so I’d rather not say too much ‘bout it. Suffice to say this one saw me shunted across my front grass but, hey, it’s in the hands of insurance companies……

But what I liked was that, when the man from Solus the really nice bodywork repair company from Cumbernauld, phoned to tell me when he was going to deliver the complimentary car, he also said, ‘I think I know where to find you Mr t850.’ And he did. And I removed all the valuables from the glove box, including a Naloxone kit and the last surviving Red Bull shot from, let’s say, well back…….

And he showed me round the car I was getting and the bit that I’m going to have to get repaired no matter what? The Corsa they gave me has a big black piece of tape right over the same place….not a bodywork repair. Had I not known them from the recent past I might have worried. 🙂

And it’s a semi-automatic. Sounds like a rifle to me. But what it means is that…well to be brutally honest (tbbh), I have no idea what that means, other than sometimes numbers appear rather than the letters A, N and R. And I seem to have to take the handbrake off before I can go in reverse. But I think I will exist if I only use the right foot* and keep driving ahead…A for ahead?

*In the first draft of this I wrote ‘food’ hahahahahaha (Lol as Carmen would say!) 😀

The last time I drove an automatic was in Orkney a few months ago but there is no similarity between driving on the single track road on the cliffs of Birsay and Anniesland Cross. I’ll be fine. And I should know the result soon time…….. (And the good Dr W, it was a BMW……not a Jag but pretty damn fine and excellent)

And speaking of Jags (How do I do it?) I have now got my tickets for the Ramsdens Cup Final (nothing to do with chips, blogmeister but well done on the sale of your house…we have drinking to arrange). My season ticket holder mates already had theirs and so I went for the General Sale. Very pleasant and well-mannered queue (Glasgow West End – what do you expect?) But you know when you’re in a queue and you’re talking to someone and every so often the git in front turns round and contributes to your conversation. Well I was that git…….sorry to the two blokes behind me……. 😦

But yes I have the briefs (No. I have never understood why they’re called that either) One adult and one student concession (me in case you’re wondering) sold to me by the legendary Ian Maxwell……a Goal Machine amongst Gods (for a centre half type person that is)……so 7th April I will not be working any shift and it’s a 5 past 4 kick off that afternoon to suit the media empire that is BBC Alba. (The only Gaelic I know is ‘helicopter’ altho’ young AJ speaks it pure dead good, man)

But it was a shame ‘cos apart from the shunt, it’s been a good week. Most of it has been to do with drink’n’drugs so the usual rules of confidentiality apply but highlights include a visit to a park in West Dunbartonshire and what a gem amongst parks it is. Let’s just say my guides have a knowledge of it which will never appear in any guidebook but the view of Erskine Bridge was amazing.

And I done a Suicide Awareness training which was really good and what was really nice was sitting with a female volunteer from the project I volunteer at……..she recognised my voice when we were registering which must say something (and to those who know what I’m talking about……… ‘perfect demographic fit’). When I fish properly I will be realistic. Honest. 😉

And a couple of shifts with the homeless charity I do the paid work with – where I was doing a check of the building with ligature cutters, Naloxone and a panic alarm and my mobile phone rang……Jeeeeez! Let’s just say it was a kinda wrong number (lol as Carmen would say, appropriately enuff!)

But I continue to meet lots of nice people and I have met a (female) student from the primary school in Paisley where I spent so many weeks last year who may well be of use to me at some point in the future……..cryptics’r’us.

And, I also met a Stirling academic, whose work I’d read, in somewhat unrelated circumstances but it was soooooo nice to see her smile when I told her I’d read some of her academic work and liked it…I felt like some kind academic groupie rather than my usual (and well-liked role) as an academic roadie (lol as Carmen would say if she answered her phone)

And finally Happy Birthday to Jay the Boy Wonder – hope it was a good one. 😀 😀 😀

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? Yes, and it’s enjoying getting to know new people.

Johnt850, enjoying getting well known in the drink’n’drugs world of West Dunbartonshire.

The Stirling academic (Liz) was speaking to a prostate cancer support group, to which I don’t go that often but she was speaking about relationships and prostate cancer…..and the effects it can have on relationships and how you should discuss it with your partner but I wasn’t in one (relationship not my partner) at the time I was told I had cancer……… 😦

But a couple of years ago, when the Charity wanted someone to talk to the Record of Daily about their sex life after treatment, it was me, not a partnered person they volunteered (I now take that as some kinda compliment). I was asked by the reporter at what point did I begin to think that I might have the cancer….”Well, when the nurse stuck her finger up my bum, alarm bells did begin to ring” and they used the quote! Wonder if I should tell that story when I do my presentation to this year’s Post Grads?

This is Frightened Rabbit. I agree. Much better than Mumford and Sons

Carlos raised his glass. “To Las Vegas and new understandings.” Littell forced the drink down. The exquisite burn made him sob. (James Ellroy).

February 17, 2013

So that’s the line I’ve been trying to remember. The character Littell has not had a drink for some time but he’s mixed in with the Mafia, Jimmy Hoffa, the Ku Klux Klan, anti-Castro exiles and the Kennedy assassination and also some not very nice people. He succumbs.

Yup…the burn…..I got it from Benylin, black coffee and Black Label (altho’ to be honest towards the end it was Asda’s own label but that doesn’t start with a ‘B’). There’s just a part of the throat where it hits………….or rather, where it hit, cos papa don’t go there no more.

And I was talking ‘bout my drinking recently with someone and the TV was on in the background – Emmerdale it was (and whatever happened to the Farm and Amos?)…..not only are there countless scenes in the Woolpack, but at least two others in people’s houses, where bottles of wine were being poured into large gobblets (sp). Tbh, I have no idea what I was saying, I was soooooo entranced by the normality of what I was watching on screen……drink and conviviality personified in a bottle…… 🙂

But it has been a worrying week. This asteroid. Not the Russian one. Ours. And not cos it might it hit us. Cos it wasn’t going to. But the way the news media described it…… ‘the size of an Olympic swimming pool’.

I have no idea what size an Olympic swimming pool is. Was its shape going to be a rhomboid with square edges (cos that would be really worrying)? Does that size include seating for people? Would it be full of water? And I was driving down Alderman Road when I heard this. Now Alderman Road for those of you who do not know Anniesland and Knightswood has an incredibly high concentration of learner drivers cos that’s where driving tests are taken……and it is no excuse to say, having crashed into an L driver…..’I’m sorry but I wasn’t sure if the asteroid had a podium for the Gold, Silver and Bronze…..or not.’ 😦

Often things are described as the size of several football pitches or London double-deckers but there is no single size of a football pitch or London double-deckers……..

No Skippy, not those Double Deckers

Whatever happened to Gillian Bailey? And isn’t it interesting how the fat boy was part of the fun?

But the crassest bit of media stuff was on Radio Clyde where a new pill to help with skin cancer was discussed and ‘if taken daily it would help to avoid disfiguring (sic) surgery’. Now if I was at home and was considering surgery I know what this would do regarding my decision. One word has such an impact. Words …they don’t come easy but they should be used carefully………zzzzzzzzzzzzz

Sorry I almost fell asleep there. I did my first ever Saturday night night-shift last night with the housing charity I do some paid relief work with. It was busy and matchsticks are holding open my eyes. But not coffee……the problem is easing but my coffee tolerance had become soooo low that on Friday, without planning to, I had two cups and a Red Bull – and I was buzzing. Like a bee…….On Alderman Road and it is no excuse to say……

But speaking of doughnuts…or rather Kripsy Kreme Doughnuts (aaaargh to the spelling. See KKK above!)……why were there those queues for them at their newly opened eating place near Edinburgh? And I love the power of Facebook. When I answered Eamon O’Neill’s post by mentioning the Cupcake place in Sex and the City but couldn’t remember its name, someone posted ‘Magnolia and it’s just across from where I work.’….I can see the ASDA from where I’m typing these words just now. But I’m happy with that. 😀

I wonder if any of the publicity was because the likes of the Daily Mail Scottish Office apparently got six dozen of them in a simple PR stunt.

And finally, Cappielow the home of Greenock Morton Football Club was a strange place to be yesterday. Not just cos the mighty Jags lost 2-2 to the ‘ton. I was there in the company of top deejay #soulboydave and his cousin Ed from Hartlepool (monkey hanger). We started off in the away end of the small stand they have there but at half time we ventured out onto the terracing and this strange fungus they have growing there….a tactical error cos we were two-nil up until we did that. 😦

In front of me was a man using a kindle or some other form of e-reader and I lent(sp?) over to see what he was reading. It was a Guide to Reading the Bible. I remember bible studies classes when I was young and being asked to give up as a Sunday School teacher, but I never ever remember being given the chance to think about what I was reading. Now I have just deleted the sentence I had drafted there, cos suddenly I was into sermon mode. It was just a surreal moment but I thought it was a brilliant thing to see on a strange afternoon.

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? Is the Pope a Catholic? I mean is it actually in the job description?

Johnt850, kinda missing a few people at the moment. Just sayin’, that’s all.

And as some of you know I do (paid) relief work for a housing charity and their projects are all city /town centre based. Last night’s/this morning’s was slap bang above a pub which closed at 1 and the Project was quiet. So I watched and listened as the pub closed and people went their respective ways – maybe with someone they’d never met before and who they may not recognise in the morning. But that does not make them bad people.

There is a dark place I dare not go, but sometimes I miss the instant camaraderie. More often than not, I don’t. But I do understand.

Scotland gave many things to the world including Prog Rock. This is/these are Clouds. My thanks to Nick at Demus Productions for this information.

I see your hair is burnin’ Hills are filled with fire, If they say I never loved you You know they are a liar (The Doors)

February 9, 2013

I don’t often remember dreams, dear listener, but this one was vivid. It featured some of you but worry not – you did not disgrace yourself/ves. I did. I drank. Alcohol. In some kind of village bar. In the South of Scotland. And on a bus. I have no idea what the occasion was but it had the feel of Cutty Sark in Tam o’ Shanter. Two whiskies and a pint of lager. As opposed to two pints of lager and a packet of crisps. People dancing. Ceildih-style. But wild. I can place most of it in a context but why?…. :-S

But I awoke with no great desire for booze. And indeed I’m not sure how I would feel about the taste of it now. In the most recent dark daze, I wanted to feel whisky down my throat; to feel that burn it gives you but not the taste. (One day I will find the exact quote from James Ellroy)

For some reason I also woke up to a note by my bed which read ‘car crash in Peter Holmes Nissan’ which was indeed a long time ago and I have no idea what that meant……..One day I will tote up the number of car crash incidents in which I have been involved. The first was a long time ago and kinda involved taking the car without the owner’s permission. I was the passenger. It was a country lane near my Alter Ego’s home town of Peterhead. The driver failed to perform a three point turn properly and we had to go and confess to the owner. ‘Cos he’d lent us the keys to get something out of the boot, so we were banged to rights…… 😦

Many years ago I dreamt I was eating a giant marshmallow. When I woke up the pillow was gone. Kerching!

I’m here all week and the Cod’n’chips is to die for. (And that’s the mood lightened) 😀

And can I just correct a friend in that the organisation Plenty of Fish Dot Com is not a regular meeting of Pescatarians but people with something totally different in mind. (But I take no pleasure from the current ‘scare’ about horsemeat being found in the middle of cowmeat and pigmeat lasagne or burgers but if it means that ALL concerned, at all ends of the food chain, start thinking about what goes into processed food, can it be a bad thing?)

But it’s been a week when I did another night shift – this time I did turn up at the right time. And it is a very strange feeling. Cos you’re not doing it regularly. Which would be a big help. But do you remember Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill trying to replicate the success of ‘Gonnae no’ dae that?’ with ‘Oy! We’re on the night shift’………..I just wanted three hours sleep before going out again……Thanks Scottish Gas but I am happy with my energy provider. Red Bull. Or at least it was before my cancer doctor told me to go caffeine free……..which I’m kinda doing. And it’s a long and winding road to Alexandria (near Balloch not the one in Egypt) but it may be worth the journey. 😉

And finally, I was sooooo pleased ‘bout them finding those bones under the Car Park in Leicester. Why?…….Because I can tell this gag.

A New York Mafioso type person walks into a public library and asks for a copy of Dick da Shit. ‘What?’ says the librarian. ‘We don’t have such a book.’ ‘Yes you do cos my boss, the Don of Dons says you do,’ says the very nasal Mafioso. ‘It’s by some guy called Shakespeare. It’s about a king desperate for a horse. For his burger.’

The librarian thinks for minute. ‘Oh, you mean, Richard the Third.’

‘Richard da Turd. Dick da Shit. It’s all the same to me.’…….

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? I’ve been rubbing it a lot lately. I need to get out more but soooooo many things got cancelled recently. 😦

Johnt850, sorry but the blog took rather a strange turn this week.

There is a convention that one addict should say nothing publicly about another addict. Therefore I can and will say nothing bout Paul Gascoigne, other than to wish him luck in his latest quest for sobriety and peace of mind.

But can I just say to every one of his ‘friends’ who always tend to get quoted at times like this, that if each one of you spent one day per year with him – maybe taking him out to the countryside he seems to love so much – and did so anonymously and secretly (some ppl will know where I adopted that from).

Then maybe, just maybe, he might relax and feel he does not have to please people quite so much. His is an obvious case of that………It’s not always that easy to work out who’s pleasing who, tho’, sometimes. Trust me. And I’d still like to dance under the stars some day. Paltonically would be fine. I saw plenty of them on the way to the night shift the other night… time I’ll concentrate on the road.

This is to please anyone who likes the Beatles or sings their songs. Youtube Yellow Submarine and you can navigate into the  entire movie with Spanish (subtitles)….how pleasing is that?

In stillness, be like the pine; in movement, be like clouds and water (Qigong proverb)

February 2, 2013

So last week, dear listener, I told you of how I wore a kilt for the first ever time. Well this week I did lots of new things as well – or at least things I hadn’t done for a long time. I paid tax; I went on a bus (twice); and I did a night shift (by mistake) :-S

Let’s start with the night shift. As some of you know I am doing relief shifts with a housing charity in the West of Scotland. A few days previously I had received a txt offering me an 11-7ns on Sunday in a project in Clydebank. I was talking to someone at the time. I did not notice the letters ns. I said YES and it was accepted.

So I turned up last Sunday morning at just before 11 only to be told it was (n)ight (s)hift I was doing and to come back later….like twelve hours later. 😦

So twelve hours later I turned up. At the correct and proper time. And stayed. Until 7… was quiet from about 2 onwards. There was a TV so I tried to while away the hours watching it. I have no idea whether through the night TV has improved since I was last watching it regularly as I tended to be nursing a whisky at 4 in the morning trying to get back to sleep……

However there is the dead hour between 4 and 5 and then at half past five….blessed relief. Trains started running and I can see them quite closely from the office window and then the most blessed sight of all? The Morton’s Rolls man delivering his cargo to the fast food shop across the road. But, hey I survived. 🙂

And the tax thing? I did hear a good friend of mine, formerly high up in a large multi-national, explain why it was good for this country that they didn’t pay tax. After all it gave them more money to spend on creating jobs. For the large multi-national. Meaning people had more money to spend. On books and records. I won’t begin to explain the whole argument. Indeed I may have mis-represented it here. But it is really weird to earn money and not receive it all.

I should explain. I am and I am self-employed. I tend to get paid the full whack within a couple of days or so and put it in a business bank account, every so often paying myself. I don’t earn that much (says my accountant – whose face is sooooooo familiar. Oh yes I used to be married to her) so I receive working tax credits rather than paying tax but I’m not on Housing Benefit so, if I ever had to, the room I now use as an office can return to being a bedroom without losing HB.

Yes. I will get it back eventually but the other aspect of being paid this way is I do not receive January’s money until the end of March and the new heater for the car cost £250…..I’ll be fine. And, yes I do know that this is how it is for many people.

And they use buses as well. I don’t. I should explain. T850 Towers in Summerston is quite far away from the terminus. Besides which the buses don’t seem to go where I want them to. Or they take an awful long time to get there. So I don’t use buses. I have a train station at the bottom of the road and I have a car with working heater. So it’s not snobbishness.

So I got on Bus One at the bottom of Kilbowie Road and handed over a pound coin and asked for a single. To where? asked the driver. My guide and mentor prompted me…….’to the top of the road.’ And so I went there. And when we got on to come back, I knew exactly what to say….’pound single to the bottom of the road.’ I really felt I had accomplished something. 🙂

One of the few pieces of advice dad gave me was when I first came to Glasgow. ‘Always sit on the top deck of the bus. That way you can learn more about where you are in Glasgow.’ How true….

And finally, I know no more really about where my Ethics app is with the Essex Committee but I have been asked (and have accepted) to do a session/Q & A with the current Post Grads on The Media and Addiction on a date in March. And can I just say to the extremely talented children’s author Dr W whose latest book is out and is really good, that this is not me telling of my drinking exploits when at the BBC but just a tad more serious and I’ll need to talk to W about how I give her the credit she deserves without breaching the bloggily traditions of confidentiality for what is an extremely good book on a Slimy Slug.

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? It’ll be the opening slide on my Powerpoint presentation

Johnt850, currently wondering whether he should wear his hair shorter.

And I’ve spoken a lot in the past about Alcoholics Anonymous and I do feel it’s a good organisation as a part of recovery altho’, like any golf club or tennis club, it has good and bad people in it. I am not a forgiving person all the time and there is someone (never ever mentioned on this show) who I will never forgive and Russell Brand, if you don’t like the Twelve Traditions, then just don’t go at all.

However I did get annoyed at the Daily Record columnist, Coleen Nolan, who, when commenting on a reader who had alcohol problems, recommended only Alcoholics Anonymous…..’As the name suggests it’s anonymous (sic). They are a fantastic organisation and can help you to address your relationship with alcohol. Or you can pay for private counselling.’ Seriously…….’pay for private counselling’.

Or you can do what I did, which is go to a free local authority addictions worker, or you can make use of one of the many very professional Third Sector agencies including Addaction, Turning Point, Alternatives or Phoenix Futures…or you can make up your own cocktail of them all. Or at the end of the day, I will slap people with a wet fish…..there are many pathways to recovery. How little knowledge Coleen does have. It worries me.

This is Django Django