Archive for March, 2013

Paint a picture of a sunset, Scratch the writing on the wall, Roll the credits on your edit, Play it back and watch it all (Django Django)

March 29, 2013

Last week, dear listener, I said that this week I would celebrate the fifth anniversary of the blog and it may be that the blogmeister, the rainforestriverman, Missie K and the Vampire Slayer may have thought jt’s going to do the thanking his support team thang but ‘No, I’m not.’ (whatever happened to my gd frnd clr, btw? No, No reason.)

But I’m not. Cos it struck me that much of what I’ve achieved (proud but not arrogant) was replicated this week, including some prostate cancer stuff. For example;

Monday – I did my presentation to this year’s Post Grads on the News Media and Addiction. I was okay. I think I needed a bit more structure in the way I used my time. There was a wee bit of uncertainty whether one of the teachers was going to follow me and stuff like that and I should have signposted questions and stuff but some of them talked to me over coffee and a couple have been in touch by other means. My domination degree Super Visor gave me some feedback which was good. His most perspective comment? ‘I won’t ask if you enjoyed it. You are Johnt850 and you had an audience.’ (proud but not arrogant)

Tuesday – I did some summer clothes shopping. Two black t-shirts and two white t-shirts out of Matalan in Clydebank and a hoodie kinda thing out of the Next Warehouse (or the one before it….see what I did there?) Oh, and I got the ethical approval for my domination degree…..after I sent a moaning e-mail……..(depths of despair type stuff)…so I am happy. Now, I needed this before I can (officially) contact some organisations in the world of addiction treatment so…….

Wednesday – I was in one of their offices but I can say nothing at this stage. However Wednesday was dominated by another event (oh and Happy Birthday, Study Buddie Fi x). I was invited into the BBC studios to discuss prostate cancer on the John Beattie lunchtime show – me and the Chief Exec of Prostate Cancer UK. However I don’t know what he was there to talk about. I managed to get  child-birth, the old finger up my bum and the state of my sex drive into the five minutes I was on. Here’s the link and it’s exactly thirty-nine minutes 45 seconds in and it’s worth a listen;

(proud but not arrogant) and, incidentally, I’ve not heard anything from anybody connected with the charity since……….oooooops………was it something I said? 😀

But the real story of Wednesday was the getting there. The taxi driver took an amazing route through all and sundry roads through Maryhill and Kelvinside and Gibson Street before we reached Argyll Street and the approach to the Squinty Bridge and it was a snow storm. Turned out that his brother had died of prostate cancer and that he, the taxi driver, had been a whisky barrel cooper before taxi-ing but he never drank whisky…’hahahahaha’ (I’m not sure even Carmen would have lol’d at that). He then asked, conversationally, about my favourite brand and I explained, conversationally, that I was a recovered alcoholic so he went quiet and then I said, ‘So I suppose I liked all of them’ (I think Carmen would have lol’d at that) and we had a good conversation after that. 🙂

Thursday – was quieter in that I had a shift with the homeless housing association for whom I do (paid) relief work….7.30 start…..which was nice. Mind you it did get busy bout lunchtime but I can say nothing but I also got a nice surprise in that I got a payslip and it had £90 of holiday pay! Unexpected holiday pay! I was going to sleep for an hour or so when I got home but there was editing work….like ‘can we get it back tonight editing work?’…….which is annoying for all sorts of reasons……but it was done and they have paid……and they are comparatively new regulars (you know what I mean) which justifies the occasional asking of someone else to do some work when I can’t……(another new regular is pleased that she got an A3 which is, ‘like, perfect’.) Someone else done that one…..mmmmmmm….proud and very.

And I got an interesting website sent to me by the good Dr W. As yet I’m uncertain what to do with it, altho’ the list of forthcoming attractions I thought might be of interest to e, AJ, C and RJ, so I passed it on to them……which brings me to…..

Friday – when e, AJ and RJ and me ended up in the Jungle in the City which is not a new club but a soft-play area in Partick – you know the kinda place. Think Fun House, Pat Sharp, and whatever happened to those twins? Normal playing except when AJ built a tower and the other boy knocked it down and AJ built it again and the other boy was prevented (by me) from knocking it down and then the other boy started to follow me (in a menacing kinda way) and I told him to go away, which is not proper etiquette in these places, apparently, but he got the message….. ‘there is traffic…go play in it’

So that dear listener, is roughly how I spent the week of the fifth anniversary of the blog. (proud but not arrogant)

Cya keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? Each one of those phrases has been part of my recovery.

Johnt850, in perfect working order and looking forward to seeing lots of you soon…it is always your call….I just make the suggestions.

No. No serious bit this week. I just wish I could thank every one of you who has helped me over the last few years.

Last week I saw a David Bowie ticket for which the JSD Band was the support. I can’t find any actual footage of the band themselves but this is worth watching under certain circumstances. Throw a Proplus in your mouth and pretend. Oh, and stick a finger in your ear not up……….

It’s Finally Spring (a current TV advert for Weatherseal)

March 22, 2013

And so dear listener next week sees the fifth anniversary of the blog – the blog with no real name as there aren’t that many of us out there with the surname t850. Technically it’s the week after next but that Sunday sees the final of the Ramsden’s Cup – the ultimate sporting trophy of all time – and that blog won’t be written until long after Son Brian and I have stood in the streets of Maryhill marvelling at the wonders of an open topped bus waiting for the victorious players to stand on the balcony of the Community Central Halls and get drunk in front of us all. 🙂

Like the St Mirren boys did last weekend altho’ they seem to have pub crawled their way round Paisley that night and next day – and well done to them – including the amazing Gary Teale (Oh God, here goes jt again………….zzzzzzzzzzzz) the former Scottish internationalist who turned up unannounced at Son Brian’s birthday 5 – a sides a few years ago. Anyway, well played uni-Sharon and the rest of the team.

I would do the bit from Chewin’ the Fat….…y’know ‘the Partick Thistle, the Jags, the Harry Wraggs, the Maryhill Magyars’ but I never found their middle class interpretation of the Glasgow Banter that good, whereas the wee ned in the top left hand corner of the screen interpreting for other neds was f**king amazing, man. To be honest there’s very few vowels and consonants that you can actually replace ** with and still make sense.

I saw the comic character, The Wee Man in the Arches a couple of years ago; It was  parents’ night for the good Dr W; and Happy Birthday Carmen (lol x). Every juxtaposition a quantum leap, I always say. 😉

But I’d my own crisis of confidence the other day. No. Not turning up at the school in Paisley to meet one of the teachers at an annointed (eh?) time only to find that it had been agreed (for good reasons, I’ll give you that) that I’d see another teacher at a different time but nobody told me about the change in arrangements…….but then Pavolva never asked his dogs what time they wanted fed. I’m not hurt; I’m a diva. I will survive.

And I voted Adele for Union President. I always worry, uni-Jo, when women come up to me and say, ‘I know you, don’t I?’ And she did. From a place far away. Or Dumbarton as I know it. The new printers, btw, are okay, as long as no-one does want to scan or copy War and Peace.

Oh, yes, crisis of confidence. I was down at the ASDA the other morning to buy newspapers and I was in the queue behind this chap who was buying fags. As he finished his transaction he turned, bumped into me and said, ‘sorry love’ and then looked more closely at me and said, ‘Sorry. I thought you were a woman.’ 😦

But I am still seriously considering getting a tattoo. It may have been ordained. I was passing thru town (or Glasgow City Centre as I have to refer to it when I’m in Clydebank.Or Dumbarton. Or Paisley) and the young lady giving out a flyer for L.A. Fitness totally blanked me but the other young lady giving out flyers for Forevermore Tattoo Parlour made a beeline straight for me. Upper arm, maybe. A Buddhist symbol for a word that personifies me. Positivity, maybe, or optimistic?

Speaking of which (every quantum leap a juxtaposition, I always say 😉 ). The Vampire Slayer and Missie K and me had a summit recently. In a fortress far way. Or Bar Ten off Buchanan Street as it is known. Not only is the Vampire Slayer continuing to look after us and protect us from creatures of the night and the living dead and so on, but Missie K has become our own little St Christopher and may soon be doing traffic and travel reports on certain commercial radio stations.

And finally, I noticed BBC presenter John Ross Beattie asking on Facebook for people’s favourite stadium of all time. Some went straight for the San Siro; some went for the Millennium Stadium. I posted New Kilbowie . I used to be a Clydebank fan. It was where I took Son Brian for his first ever football match – Clydebank v Falkirk. It was where I introduced him to the magic of Gerry McCabe, Davie Cooper and Gary Teale. And now in two weeks ‘ time we are going to the Braidwood Motor Company Stadium Livingston to watch the Partick Thistle, the Jags, the Harry Wraggs, the….oh shit I’ve fell into the trap.

Cya (keep) ing it fun and still wearing that badge? tbh, it’s not been out as much recently as it should have been 😦

Johnt850, defo all man!

One of the things I want to write about in the domination degree is ‘recovery’ and one of the questions I want to ask is what it really means. Will I get a consensus? We’ll see, but for me a major part of it is telling my story; for soooo many other people it’s telling their story in a variety of circumstances. I remember, in my early days of recovery from the cancer and the cold turkey, being told it’ll put people off when you tell them all about that. (I think they meant women).

Including recent personal history, I’m pleased I do tell my story, thru the blog and elsewhere, but it’s not to offer help and say, ‘do it my way’ or ‘do it the way that helped me’. It’s to say people do come thru it and get on with the rest of their lives….

Someone out there knows, currently, what I mean. My fingers are crossed.

Word on the streets is that top Drumchapel/Clydebank dance combo TTF have got together again and are playing places. The amazing Mary Kiani sang with them. Some interesting memories have come back. I genuinely thought they were Smarties in that bowl. This is bootleg of her in Bennets. Defo all woman! 😉

‘I want some booze but I’m a reformed alcoholic. Don’t ever ask me that question again.’

March 16, 2013

And that was Frank Skinner to Graham Norton who was asking him if he wanted an alcoholic drink on some kinda Red Nose Chat Show-a-thon that I didn’t see. Tbh, I very rarely feel like that these days and it’s something we’ve discussed a lot in the show – the importance of friends who know my predilections and who joke about them. So far. So good. (Incidentally does any of the money raised in these things go to voluntary projects in drink’n’drugs rehab? I have no idea and will look one day.)

But part of my problem is that I am impulsive – altho’ I may not seem it but the number of times in my life I have said. ‘Yes. Let’s go for it.’ before thinking it through and that shows when I take on a night shift before an away Thistle game. But sometimes I need some encouragement.

This week encouragement came from e on an epic stroll through Glasgow when I was encouraged to do something I have never done before.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I paid £6 to have two new batteries supplied and fitted to my electronic car keys……..I have had some lifestyle changes in my time but…..

But I might not have had to. There I was raking compost in some built up veg and flower beds in Dalmuir Park and the guy I was working with told me that if you point the key at your head, then it works from a really great distance away. I have yet to try that but apparently it was on Top Gear so it must be true.

And speaking of celebs…… Paul Gascoigne, I don’t think your agent Terry Baker is doing you any favours by getting you to talk to the Sun about maybe appearing in I’m a Celebrity….if you think the way ahead is AA meetings then go for it but maybe get some professional help as well. Bill Wilson, one of the founders of AA, said there were many paths to recovery so I wish he was in a position to have a word with Russell Brand who is as close to a zealot about abstinence based recovery as Nick Knowles is about sunbathing in Skye. Oh, and apparently, Nick is twice the age of his relatively new wife – old enuff to be her father! (at that point, dear listener, if there was an smiley icon for tongue-in-cheekness , I would have used it. 🙂 )

And I very rarely do that kinda celeb name checking and I won’t again for a long time.

But I’m enjoying my work with the homeless project – one of several strings to my bow at the moment. I quite like the planning and the making of sandwiches – which makes me feel like a real Hunter-Gatherer………Incidentally Nivea for Men Exfoliating Face Scrub is down to £3 this week in (the) ASDA. A bargain. I also like the fact that I work across five projects in the West of Scotland, even if Wednesday morning’s shift does start before the trains start running and the cost of a day’s parking in Glasgow City Centre is soooo prohibitive. I may yet take a bus, dear listener at about six o’clock in the morning. And ppl wonder where I get the ideas from for the blog……

Incidentally, the essay editing side of things is hitting a busy season but the vast majority of work that comes is fairly straightforward. But one of the things about it is we have clients/students from all over the UK but sometimes I think we give too good a service at too low a price.

Particularly if they quibble over whether they should pay £10 or £8 cos it’s such a small piece of work and then say they will send it to me on Saturday and then on Saturday say it’s not ready but can they send it on Sunday and have it back on Monday? I know what I will be charging and it won’t be £8……..I am such a ruthless entrepreneur!

And finally, I’m sure I’m not the only person to buy the Radio Times and I am soooo indebted to it for this piece of advice;
‘Never let a zombie bite you. That’s how the plague is passed on. If you’re bitten you will die and you will return as one of the walking dead. So, if a friend of yours is bitten, don’t hesitate – smash their brains out immediately.’ What a defence in court!

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? There’ll be a fight over it at the funeral (in several years’ time)

Johnt850 (slightly older than 42 and slightly less than 6 foot, but happy in the friendzone with sooooo many people) 🙂

I like the new Pope……Jim Bowen, the host of Bullseye, is a radical and wicked choice, man. I like the fact he got the knock back from 12 year old Amalia Damonte and then decided to be a priest (he was 12 as well I should point out….just in case). I like the fact that he went back to the hotel to pay his mini-bar bill (I wonder if he ate all the peanuts) and I like the fact that he travels on the Underground.

And in the same way we never mentioned the previous Pope’s previous membership of the Hitler Youth (think Jimmy Savile – think ‘context of the times’) I’m sure we won’t mention his belief and speech a wee while back that the Falklands should be returned (?) to Argentina. Not in the week when the vast majority of the Falkland islanders voted to remain British…but not all. Apparently some of the islanders are trying to find out who didn’t.

I have reservations about giving to the likes of Children in Need or Red Nose Day cos I like to know what charity is getting my money. Here’s some Celtic footballers doing their best to get a charity message across. Apologies if there’s an ad at the front….

All I ask is to live each moment free from the last, take the road forgotten. Don’t leave me here, oh, please let me stray far from familiar things (Crowded House)

March 8, 2013

And so it was, dear listener, that I found myself on a late night train into Glasgow approaching a night shift in a project for the homeless, wondering how life would have been if my alter ego’s own life had turned out soooooo different and I had stayed a staffer with the BBC. Would I be a high-powered Newsroom exec making up puns about Bonnie Tyler, turning it around, eclipsing the opposition and ending up a hero; or will she end up lost in France – none of which will make sense to a generation who doesn’t understand the significance of Eurovison and its effect on the break-up of the Soviet Union. (It’s actually a PhD by a Dr Paul Jordan.)

Or would I by now have taken some redundancy/retirement package with pension allowing me to sit at home criticising the standard of TV and radio programmes as not being as good as when I was producing? I’ve seen former BBC ppl on Facebook, doing that.

My idyllic reverie was interrupted by the ringing of my mobile. It was Missie K with matters of import and I realised that I have enjoyed much of the last six years even if certain things have not turned out as hoped. I have lost, loved, liked and learned a lot. There are one thousand and one stories in the Naked City and I was about to become one of them. I stepped off the train entranced by the lights in the darkness of Glasgow.

And then, at seven in the morning, as I was returning to the train station, walking past all the shops getting organised for the day’s retail therapy, I was soooo glad that I hadn’t; that no-one had overdosed; the police hadn’t been called;  and all the paperwork had been done. I could go home and sleep. Except I couldn’t. Friday morning is the unpaid aspect of my attempt to become a full-time worker in recovery. This one involves me in park renewal and a high vis jacket. And a lot of digging.

Speaking of high vis – not the best of links – I feel I must say something bout Man U the other night. Not the red card and not the decision not to pick Rooney but the inability of their highly paid players who, a goal ahead and a man down, found themselves incapable of running back and tackling the opposition. Oh how they needed a Hugh Murray or an Ian Black or a David Bowman. Had they never heard of Row Z?……(lol as Carmen would say) 🙂

And Rant Number 2 – At least Cardinal Keith O’Brien did not steal £30,000 from the taxpayer rather than admit his homosexuality to the Roman Catholic Church unlike Lib-Dem MP, David Laws……’s the hypocrisy (sp) over homosexuality and religion that annoys me…….mind you, does it matter against such matters of import as persuading your wife to take your speeding points until you have an affair with a trans-sexual and she seeks revenge. Ah, the party of Mark Oaten and Jeremy Thorpe never fails to amaze.  (Oaten had a sexual deviation that I could never have imagined….thankfully).

My notes for this week (and they do exist) say ‘there are Ten Commandments (The Bible), Twelve Steps (Alcoholics Anonymous and similar organisations) and seventeen Laws of Association Football – it’s good to keep things simple. Why do we make things sooooo difficult for ourselves?’ I think my point is obvious there. (tbh Skippy I haven’t a clue. What was I talking about?)

Incidentally as I walked  to the railway station the other night I genuinely heard some really weird cries from the graveyard – the Vampire Slayer has been too quiet recently. The world may be in danger. Something has to be done!

And finally, I’m not being interviewed for a job in recovery I wanted to be interviewed for. I admit to disappointment and a slightly petulant e-mail but, like soooooo many others, it is another setback from which I shall recover🙂

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? They may deny me my interview but will never deny me my badge.

Johnt850, wishing he hadn’t slept for an hour this afternoon.

And so the blog is slightly shorter than usual cos I’m a wee bit down 😦 but I will live to fight another day. It is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and I noticed a tabloid doctor doing an FAQ about it – including playing down the fact that ‘dodgy waterworks can be a sign of prostate cancer’. Apart from the fact hat I hate words like ‘waterworks’ and ‘plumbing’ when we’re talking bout the need to urinate a lot… was because of that very fact that I was sent for further tests as I was recovering from my alcoholic breakdown and my own cancer was discovered. As I’ve said many time since – being an alcoholic saved my life – I just wouldn’t recommend it to everyone. If in doubt, check it out.

This is Bonnie Tyler. No. No reason.

‘Your age is just a number, it’s all about attitude’ (Avril, 46, in the Record of Daily)

March 3, 2013

And so dear listener I recently found myself standing in a street in the Southside of Glasgow whilst a friend and colleague went into the Lidl looking for a bottle of wine at £1.99. (Research, she said). I looked across the road and saw a basic tenement block with the number 243 on it. And a memory came flooding back and not a drunken one – but one of an eight year old….my alter ego at that age. 😀

Our parents did not drive, and took us to Glasgow for our holidays. I loved it. We had relatives but my dad had a friend whom we knew as our uncle….Uncle Willie (Yes. I know) and he lived in that flat with his sister Peggy. One time he drove me and my dad down to Glasgow to that flat and whilst he and my dad went for a drink, I sat with Aunt Peggy who had to send me out for ice cream. In Glasgow. Where everyone carried a razor blade. And died of smog.  I ran. To the Bungalow Cafe. And back. I had forgotten that.

(tbh I was in greater danger in Peterhead where, altho’ never bullied, I was picked upon quite a lot. I was different. I used the word ‘quite’. A lot)

I suspect quite a few memories will come back over the next wee while as we move nearer to the wedding of this and any other year. And the kilt fitting took place on Saturday. And, yes, I got fitted up by the stereotype (I thought we all knew that Richard Wilson was gay, anyway) but I am really happy except for the shoes. I have never worn brogues in my life. They have no flap/tongue and they have exceedingly long laces with tassles at the end. What the hell do you do with them? The last time I saw tassles like that I was…….(oh hang on. That gurgling noise means the water is coming back on. I’ll have a shower later)

Anyway…..there is some father’n’son bonding coming up. Son Brian nd me are going to the Ramsden’s Cup Final in the Braidwood Motor Company Stadium Livingston in April. And the irony is that he has to get the grown up ticket whist I have the student concession (I don’t mean that kinda concession. I will not be selling off students from a tent in the car park.)

And yes, I was at Dunfermline having missed a few games cos of drink’n’drugs. Their players did not try which, I suppose is understandable given their lack of wages EXCEPT, as we left the ground, it was obvious that the 16 and 17 year old pie sellers had not been paid either which, given the amount of effort they put into their wee Saturday job, is scandalous.

We  are Partick Thistle and we score when we want. 🙂

And can I plug the legendary #soulboydaviebee who started his new residency at Ad-Lib in the Merchant City. Just the place to go for a night out.

And it’ll soon be the Glasgow Book Festival. (Aye. Right. No, honestly it will be) And my eye was caught by one presentation; 101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die. There is an ambivalence in the title which attracts me but daft I am not.  It talks of ‘an eclectic selection of old favourites, stellar newcomers and mystifyingly unknown drams that simply have to be drunk’……mmmm……’that simply have to be drunk.’ Dear listener, at one stage in my life you could have put a bottle of Dry Martini in front of me and I’d say ‘that simply has to be drunk’. I’ll pass. I might go see Howard Marks and discuss recreational drugs with him. It’s safer….. 🙂

And yes, I still have courtesy car and it’s rubbish but I may have it for another week or so. Long story but some neighbours ignoring me still. Incidentally has anyone seen an IKEA (sp) concession store in Glasgow….not the biggy at Braehead but one much smaller? And for those of you who are aware that there is a cafe open to the public in the BBC at Pacific Quay…the coffee last week was as rubbish as my car. If only I knew a Non-executive Director on the Board of Directors……….Yes, you rainforestriverman, and that money I owe you is in an envelope on that desk over there as is the Good Dr W’s Christmas pressie. And can I just say a quick word to e? Honest. the derivation of the term ‘steaming’ is from the paddle steamers going ‘doon the watter’ and it was the only place on a Sunday where you could get alcohol. There were even temperance sailings.

And finally, can I draw your attention to Jason Manford and his cyber sex with ‘Stacey’ (I thought they were all called Jasmin. No. No reason). I was really taken with the fact that whilst she was ‘responding’ to his prompts she was also able to look up his entry in Wikipedia and asked him questions to which ‘only he would know the answer’.

cya, keep(ing) it fun nd still wearing that badge? It got jolly interesting looks in the kilt fitters.

Johnt850 who has been behaving inappropriately for most of his life. Me and Mother Theresa and Malcolm X and………and every man, woman or child who feels there is something wrong…….and stood up and was counted…….even if it almost led to getting barred from the ASDA that Sunday morning.

So nothing serious below the line this week. It’s been a busy week in sooooo many ways and I almost have the go-ahead for my Dominaton Degree but it struck me that this is almost the fifth anniversary of the blog. It started when I started the second half of my treatment – the radiotherapy – as a newsletter to let ppl know how I was doing. And it’s still here. 🙂

Here’s a hero of mine – Steve Earle – who is one of many musical ppl who seem to have been there for me along the road – the Copperhead Road.