Archive for June, 2013

Send in your skeletons; sing as their bones; Come marching in……What if I say I’m not like the others? …..What if I say I’ll never surrender? (the foo fighters)

June 23, 2013

And so, dear listener, there is one week to go to the wedding of this, and any other century – the nuptuals of Son Brian and the lovely KT. I noticed that one tabloid newspaper referred to the wedding of Tom van Straubenzee (30) and Lady Melissa Percy (26) as ‘the society wedding of the year’….I think not. Even the surnames are daft, especially when compared with the dynasty that is t850. I am not nervous, but why should I be? 🙂

I take my instructions. I had Father’s Day food with Son Brian in a pub in Bearsden and it was good. I got a new shirt; he spoke a lot about his golf. I mentioned to someone else (of my generation) about the golf and she said ‘Yes. He talks about it a lot on his Facebook page.’ But I am not a Facebook friend of his, altho’ every so often he is offered to me as a potential friend. I decline. Him and Harriet Harman. She used to be offered to me. Like a ceremonial sacrifice I suppose. 😀

I have been told; ‘no waving to the assembled populace when you arrive at the church’ (as if); ‘no impromptu speech at the wedding’ (as if); and no running off with one of the bridesmaids (No. No comment).

Actually it is possible that I may have no need to do that but cards are being played very close to chest at moment but Largs was nice the other day….once I’ve worked out the appropriate psued, apseu, pen-name…….

But a quick word to uni-Sharon;

Yes. I agree.

Better to find our feet rather than to jump in with either or both feet; otherwise I might remain footloose and fancy free reading share prices on the Futsi whilst footering around with a foot long ruler. (There is a rude alternative to the word ‘ruler’ but not in the week of a wedding)

Where was I? Oh, aye there’s not much for me to say or do and I’ll be told where to go. e and c are coming along and I know lots of other ppl who know me and much about me. And if they’re new to me…..well let’s learn about each other. Son Brian said something very sage the other day bout the seating plan; ‘if they can’t sit and be nice to ppl they’ve never met, or don’t like, for two hours, then maybe they shouldn’t be at a wedding at all.’

And I’m getting a veggie dish and I must not make any suggestions to the minister at the rehearsal…I will keep you posted. Apparently the words to the hymns are going to be on Powerpoint type slides and, yes, Rainforestriverman, I will txt you with details of much of what the bride is wearing and bulletpoints of the highlights of the sermon and, of course, any jokes used at the wedding that you can steal, sorry, adapt, adopt and improve, for your own use.

I used to go formal university dinners and get pissed. There is no other word. Well, there are millions but you know what I mean – and I would wake up the next morning with scribbled words on a scrap of paper which were supposed to remind me of what the punchline to the gag was. No. Never worked. 😦

But Largs was nice. Only good thoughts unlike some previous times……I’ll move myself on. Swiftly.

But other than that it’s been quiet. The domination degree makes good progress. My own first draft needs a concluding chapter and then I can go back and work on it before submitting official first draft to supervisor. It makes for a good radio documentary but rubbish academic treatise.

(Incidentally, the editing work is quiet but I have just received a confirmation from somebody re some work they want me to do for them……’some of my supervisors tell me the sentences are in the wrong order.’ This could be a challenge.)

Shifts continue. And it adds a certain irony when I donate money to homeless ppl in the streets that it comes out of my wages for working with the homeless. I do like it when they say. ‘Truthfully, I won’t lie to you. I’m an alcoholic. It’s for drink,’ and I say, ‘So am I. Get a decent bottle.’……Sounds daft but I do. 😉

And World War Zeeeeeeeeeeeeee as I like to pronounce it has arrived. It sounds sooooo much better than Zed……I think the good Dr W is away signing autographs.

And I cleared out the shed……and a few memories – not all of them good.

And finally, I have paid £190 to Partick Thistle for my Early Bird (full-time student) to stand in The Shed (PT’s; not mine), only to find out that when Celtic come a-calling WE get moved cos the police don’t want flares exploded in the all-wooden stand that away fans go to……Why? It sounds to me like being in a club and a fight breaks out and the bouncers throw out the victim rather than the six guys doing the attacking. (It was a long time age; a long story; and I’m not proud of it.)

So here’s an idea. Why not let them into the old wooden stand and get Peter Lawwell and the rest of the Celtic board, who sing the praises of these fans, to act as stewards? If they are as good as Peter says they are, then it makes for an easy afternoon.

Cya, keep(ing )it fun and still wearing that badge? Maybe not at the wedding.

Johnt850, of the House of t850s.

So not a lot below the line this week. James Gandolfini died. He starred in a TV series based on Alan Warner’s tale of Oban Schoolgirls – The Sopranos. No. I never saw the TV series. Why do you ask?

Anyway, when I was coming thru the early stages of alcohol recovery b4 I started the cancer recovery, one band meant a lot to me and I did see them at Loch Lomond not long after my cancer treatment finished – a special moment, except they weren’t very good.

This is Alabama 3 and the theme to The Sopranos.

There’s a bird that nests inside you, Sleeping underneath your skin, When you open up your wings to speak, I wish you’d let me in (Counting Crows)

June 14, 2013

And so, dear listener, it was on Wednesday that I found myself inside a children’s play park with my mobile phone on camera and several mothers keeping a wary eye on me but it was for extremely legitimate reasons. I can explain.

First, (and I don’t like the use of ‘firstly’) I had been invited in by young AJ to bounce up and down on the embedded trampoline……as long as you’re with someone….and I spotted a grey haired old man (actually, okay for has age) and no, it was not a reflection. It was a celeb and I was jumping up and down (literally) because I had worked with this man years ago – and now here he was sitting outside the same play park that I was in. 🙂

Discretion played the better part of Valerie here and I thought it best not to re-introduce myself to him in this situation.

But I do hope all those mums who were wondering about my agitation were watching Question Time when David Dimbleby introduced it and his audience of 16-17 year olds.

Yes. He was wearing a brown raincoat but he seemed to be with friends and he never turned round all the time I was there…I have photos of his back if anybody is interested……(wearing the brown raincoat).

Secondly, (from now on the suffix ‘ly’ is acceptable) e and I were recovering (with RJ) from a very long walk which had been my idea using both sides of the Clyde Walkway – but unfortunately we had to go through a part marked Private. No Access. I, being swollen headed and arrogant, thought we’d be fine. Until we got to the gate that has no lock nor handle that we had to climb over with baby RJ and buggy…. 😦

I’m sure my Keep-Fit guru Jeff Zycinski, once talked about being able to run to Glasgow Green and back using both sides of a sheet of paper – sorry – both sides of the Clyde walkway. 😉

We were discussing school sports days –not me and Jeff but me and e – and I well remember one I went to with Son Brian – it was when his primary school was next to the church where he and the lovely KT are getting married. Two weeks now but you’ll know that.

Yes. There was a dad’s race; and yes, it was a sack race; and yes, I was the first to take to the field; and yes, I was exuding (sp) confidence……but those primary school teaching bastards gave me a duff sack! I fell over early on!

Obvs I didn’t quite explain it to him in those terms.

And on Tuesday, I put my car into get serviced (lucky car) and I had to explain why I felt it needed thus;

Hell Mr Thomson, what can we do for you today?

Well y’know how the last time I brought in I explained that it had a new front end cos it had been in a crash? Well, it’s also got a new back end, cos it’s been in a different crash since then, but that’s nothing to do with the new suspension spring you had to put in when the AA (Automobile Association) had to tow it round and while you’re doing that can you replace the shattered passenger wing mirror (no. I don’t know what happened there but you should see the other driver) and the driver’s door needs re-hung…..hello, hello, hello……

But they did –at a reasonable cost.

Nationwide – with David Dimbleby. Long time ago. I was vaguely connected with the idea on the TV prog to put two men in a panto horse costume in a field of rutting stallions. The helicopter doing that filming got them out just in time…….Risk assessment? What risk assessment?

Which is a good point to mention a good friend of mine down Dumbarton way (Hi Mo) who describes my hair as salt’n’pepper and say she’s going to get it cut as short as mine. Eh? Remind me to show you my Driving Licence and the pic on it. I have no idea what I was on when that was taken but I don’t do it now…….as I was explaining to Sunny D in the ASDA the other day…..but that’s my hair – when it was short.

And finally, I have a bathroom bulb that is haunted. Or is about to die. It does however seem to work during the day but goes to sleep at night. I’ll miss it when it goes.

And double finally, for those who know what I’m talking about, Maria wished me Good Luck. Wasn’t that nice of her?

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? I may hide it for a few weeks….better to be careful.

Johnt850, aka Dr Smooth, for reasons that are best known to uni-Jo.

So I fancied an alcoholic drink this week. Not cos it was warm and sunny and a cooling pint; not cos I’d had a bad few days and needed help in coping. No. It was cos I had a lot of good things going thru my head and I needed to help my head chill. One decent sized whisky and then crap TV ws all I wanted……(‘one decent sized whisky’ – and if this was TV, then it would now be all cloudy and wistful)….one decent……

But I didn’t. I fired up the MP3 Player and went out. Twenty minutes was all it took. And then I came back in and watched a damn fine and excellent programme presented by Dan Snow on the D-Day landings and felt good.

No. It doesn’t prove that it’s a disease. It proves that I am capable of weighing up the options and coming to a good decision. I was talking to a young lady the other day, still going thru difficult times. She, too, had to weigh up certain options before making, what I felt, was a good decision but it wasn’t so much the decision that made me proud of her – it was considering the options….

This is for her, altho’ she will never know

Words are important. If you want to care for something, you call it a ‘flower’;if you want to kill it you call it a ‘weed” (Don Coylis)

June 9, 2013

And so, dear listener, it is three weeks until the wedding of this and any other year….which means it is three weeks until I stop starting the show with a countdown to the wedding of this and any other year.

It’s the attention to detail I like. Yes. I do have a dress shirt and yes, (somehow) I will iron it before the actual service. Yes. I do have the date and time of the rehearsal. I think it’s amazing all the things they have to think about. (Whisper it, but the groom’s estranged dad is an alcoholic pescatarian)

Oh such a contrast to my own big day all those years ago. Paisley Registry Office; the Brabloch Hotel (where the first person I bumped into was an old girlfriend – sorry ‘former’ girlfriend); the Normandy Hotel: and Paisley Gilmour (sp) Street the next day for the train and ferry to Arran. The divorce was as quick. I also remember going to the Geigy Social Cub somewhere in Paisley one Sunday night to check out the band apparently we’d booked…….

The band for the wedding of this, etc, etc is a ceilidh band. I have been practising Big Box, Little Box to the sound of Jimmy Shand’s Bluebell Polka. It looks ridiculous but will draw attention to me. I have been told it’s the bride’s big day and not mine. Aye. Right. Just watch. 

Moving swiftly on but staying boring…….

I have started writing the actual words to the domination degree. The hot and raunchy thematic coding is done. The coloured pens remain out…..just in case. There are 12,000 words to be written. Which is not much considering the state of the living room floor. There are six folders of academic articles and interviews and books……one of my fave books is called ‘The Illustrated Directory of Recreational Drugs’. Honest officer, I was only buying that tab to see if my book mentioned it.

No. The big thing is not just to write 11,999 words but to make sure they’re good ones, appropriate and in the right order. But I’m happy. I didn’t go to the West End Fest’s Mardi Gras today cos of the desire to write. So no pretend Brazilian woman shaking her bosom in front of me whilst dressed as a large carnation………or was that last night’s DVD? I will go to the Meela next week. It’s quieter and really ‘diverse’ from a time long ago when that word really meant something and was not a tortured way of saying multi-racial or racially mixed. Blue Mink may have been naïve but their heart was in the right place. 🙂

I got petrol this morning (I may be about to go back to the days of doing lots of weekend driving) and the van behind me was for the big Herbalife franchise. The registration plate was PI5 AFF. Not interested in your product mate, cos you ain’t a nice person. 😛

Whereas the person who threw eggs at Simon Cowell was smiling all the time. I liked her. One comment on Facebook on the night was that she shouldn’t have done that cos ‘eggs are dangerous. They can cut you.’ I think that is a wee bit over the top. Not only do I use them on a daily basis but they, and rotten tomatoes and flour, are the basic tools of protest……..I am more of a hell-raiser than I thought. All these things are in my kitchen. Actually give me a second.

No. I can’t find it. I used to have a book called ‘The Citizens’ Guide to the Militia’ which was a hard copy book produced by some anarchists who lived in a lighthouse in Orkney which shows that these things were available long before the internet.

What else?

In a quiet week (he lied, protecting the innocent) I would like to say well done to AJ for his first ever presentation (at the age of almost four) to his nursery school group on the role of the fireman in the twenty-first century (or similar); to his sister RJ, who chose the moment when her mum was as far away as possible and I was in charge of her to burst into the largest bout of screaming and crying that I have heard in a long time but, hey, I calmed her down; to uni-Sharon for a superb decision but we’ll give it time; and to Jo for keeping a seat for me in the incredibly busy school library in Paisley.

It’s amazing how big a part Paisley has played in my life. I also used to go out with a girl from Foxbar.

And finally, it’s not those who hog the middle lane that annoy me. After all I’m sure everyone does the same as me i.e. overtake them on the inside, flip the finger at them and pull out sharply in front of them (lol as Carmen would say). No the people who annoy me are the ones who hog the inside lane and won’t let people onto the motorway from slip roads but how the hell are the police going to police it all?

Cya, keep(ing it fun) and still wearing that badge? Yes, but it may be about to meet new people.

Johnt850, the one in the black top.

So part of the big essay involves discussing various theories about alcoholism like disease or learned behaviour and like most modern thinkers I’m in the latter camp…in fact personal experience confirms this. I cry myself ‘recovered’ and it’s thanks to various ways of changing alcohol-related behaviour.

But then I was in a restaurant the other night – not a big night – but there was a bottle of Merlot on the table and its bouquet was good. It smelled nice. And then it comes back to me. The basic reason why you, me and so many others do drink and drugs is cos we like the taste and what they do to us. Simple, eh? Just some of us take/took a touch too far.

Ponder on that policymakers and pontificators.

This is Doctor John as was promised to Jo the other day x

It was all to stay awake for the longest time. It was long; it was wrong but it felt so right. See you at the finishline if you got the heart to join us (Stay Awake)

June 1, 2013

And so, dear listener, there are exactly four weeks until the wedding of this and any other century – depending on when you read this. I have started my own checklist as father of the groom;

Kilt fitted and booked and I have been shown how to tie up the brogues;

Present bought and, hopefully, delivered;

Haircut booked and, eh, that’s it…..I think. I’m not really too sure if there’s anything else I should be doing – or will be asked to do.

But it’s not on everyone else’s mind. Take for example, the woman who spoke to me on the way out of (the) ASDA the other day – the subject out of nowhere;

‘I’m cooking for ma brother at the moment and he always comes in wi’ a wee drink in him and complains about my cooking…nothing serious but….then the other night, I dropped it on the floor and scraped it back together again and put it on the table for him…..never said a word….just shows you, doesn’t it?’

Or the rainforestriverman was in Glasgow the other day and we met for coffee. On the way I came through the Botanic Gardens and had cause to visit the toilet there. As I was standing there trying to unbutton my flies (which was difficult as it was a zip fly) I noticed a man washing one of his feet in the sink whilst standing on the other one. Before I could do anything he then tried to get the other in and fell over……

Obvs, my first thought was, ‘Why me?’ and, of course, I stopped doing what I wasn’t doing and helped him to stand up. As he stood there, putting his trainers through the Dyson dryer he explained that he’d been paddling in the River Kelvin and he felt his feet needed washed. As he cried out to me, ‘You’re a star, fella’ he picked up his half full bottle of Smirnoff with added orange juice for healthy drinking and wandered off, shouting into the bushes, ‘Billy, this is no’ funny. Are you in there?’ 🙂

Incidentally rrm, did you notice the ‘elderly’ gent sitting behind you? He spent most of his coffee smiling at our conversation but got up and left when I suggested that Tinderbox on a Saturday night is a singles bar for coffee drinkers.

He really liked my story about the charity shop denims. 😉

And so, my domination degree continues. I’ve reached the Thematic Coding stage. Don’t ask but part of it requires compiling lists and doing notes to yourself – which is fair enuff – and I use a lot of Post-Its anyway….leave them all over the house, but was a wee bit thrown when I came across one that said ‘Crack Cocaine – need more’……..but I’m researching alcoholism and speaking up for the problem drinker in recovery………Skippy? Is there something you want to tell me? You can squeeze my carrot if you want…Skippy?

And finally, just over a year ago I, and study buddie Fi, had the pleasure of flying with the just-retired Capt Stuart Linklater of Loganair who for 24 years has flown within the Orkney Isles, including the amazingly short journey from Papa Westray to Westray – the only flight I have ever been on where the pilot shouts out ‘Are you alright in the back? Okay. I’ll take off then.’ I have the certificate to prove it. And the photos. 🙂

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? Yup and to pastures new as well.

Johnt850, still giving you more of what you’re funking for.

And so Con-Dem MP and auntie Jo Swinson says we should stop saying to our daughters that they look beautiful cos it sends out the wrong message……I was tempted to tell a story here about when Jay the Boy Wonder was asked which of two dresses his mum wanted to wear to uni-Sharon’s wedding was the most suitable…….’Good choice, Jay’……….first step to being a man.

But then I realised I work in a world/am associated with people who are so unused to hearing complements. About anything. The creative writing group that I was involved in in Easterhouse were so chuffed when good things were said about what they’d written and I recently gave a guy some money for milk for the project (cos he was on his way out to the shops) and I was told later he was amazed cos it was the first time in years, anyone had trosted him with money.

And as for seeing someone now in one of the projects I work, making an effort for going somewhere, and being able to say to them, ‘looking good’ and meaning it…….priceless and it makes such a difference.

It’s about boosting self-esteem, Jo……that’s part of the reason for doing the domination degree. I’ll send you a copy.

This is the incredibly lovely Daft Punk before they sold out and got lucky.