Archive for August, 2013

That holds the first and I’m the last; I wasn’t good at arts and crafts. Move, my mood. You’ve got the thirst and that’s too bad: I’ve got the water and it’s the last. Move, my mood (Red Light Company)

August 24, 2013

Red Light Company there, dear listener, and about five years ago, not long after my radiotherapy had finished I went down to Balloch for what was loosely called a music festival. Basically I wanted to see Alabama 3 and found myself with a small crowd watching Red Light Company. And enjoying. I was standing at the back. A young lady stood next to me; listened to the band for a few minutes and then she turned to me…..

‘That band there? They your boys? They’re shite.’ And walked on. I am soooooo glad I am not involved in rock band management…and that, dear listener, this week’s calming paragraph. Because….

I’ve done it! I’ve fu*king done it! I’ve passed my Master’s degree at UWS (Paisley) in Alcohol and Drug Studies (which is a real department altho’ some people take some persuading). I feel so dominant. No more vanilla for me! (I think I’m mixing up my own messages here…..) but I ain’t doing no PhD. 🙂

I think I did a little bit more than just make it; but I realise that I reached the end of my academic limits there. But I am chuffed and my thanks to all those with whom I shared it on Friday night – altho’ running naked through the streets of Summerston, shouting Eureka was maybe too much. I do it too often; it dilutes the massage.

I think tho’ my fave day was Tuesday when I handed it in personally. I sooo much wanted to be there when it was handed over, if you know what I mean?

Can I say that Robin the bookbinder in Partick opens his doors at 7.30 altho’ I don’t necessarily think he expects customers at that time?

Straight over to Paisley where I went to the office but Alison was on the phone. So went down to the library with chox for librarians and who was on the desk but…………see last week for very little detail…….so I handed them over. Yeah, attractive female librarian person, me nice guy….born loser.

Handed over miniature of whisky to supervisor and then Ewelina arrived to hand hers over. Typical Pole. Comes over here and steals all the addiction worker jobs. So we went for coffee. She had two friends. One just about to start uny so I should maybe apologise for some of the things I said but maybe she shouldn’t say she’s doing Social Sciences just cos she couldn’t get into Primary School teaching. 😦

The other? Possibly the most beautiful female Zorastrian Iranian I have ever met. Yes. In Paisley. She has nine cats and eleven dogs. Yes. That’s Paisley. And has a mango orchard. Okay, that’s maybe more Johnstone than Paisley. 🙂

And I felt sooo pretentious for when she was talking about Camus’s Outsider. I just had to say that I’d read it in French and L’etranger was so much better as a title than the translation. I used to read Asterix the Gaul in French as well. Now I read books about drink’n’drugs altho’ e has lent me The Hunger Games….I’ll be fine.

And then home. To worry. As I think I said last week, I was doubtful…..lots of good stuff but the message has to be got across in a certain way……but I did it. During last year’s Post Grad, I avoided telling people what mark I got but cos sometimes you forget how public facebook is, I did tell people in one bit of correspondence…….Let’s just say I think it was an accurate reflection but I ain’t doing no PhD……(Yes, Skippy, there is a large cock outside waiting to crow. It ain’t getting the opportunity.)

Em, that’s it.

Not much else of note. Oh hang on. The rainforestriverman was in town and he likes to go out for a late afternoon drink and expects me to know places to go to….So we went to St Jude’s, which at one time was marketing itself as Groucho St Jude’s after a place in London…so we sat there with our first drinks – orange juice for me since you ask, Kirin for him – and the barmaid came over. She had made up two cocktails by mistake and would we like them? ‘Yes’ said the rrm, and then pointing at me, said, ’It’s okay. He doesn’t drink.’…….and got them both……..Can I stress that I do take sugar and that I can stir it for myself? But not as often as Buttons stirs her sugar…… 😀

And finally, this week’s Football Story of the Month. Aston Villa have a new Spanish full back called Antonio Luna. Apparently his nickname is Tony Moon, but Villa ‘gaffer’ Paul Lambert admits he has no idea where the nickname came from. Antonio. Luna. Antonio. Luna. No, Lambo, it’s got me beat as well.

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? Yes and with a sense of achievement.

Johnt850, currently resting his neurons.

Music, as many people know, has helped me a lot through the last few years, altho’ my choice is not to everyone’s taste. I like it loud and I like it with lots of BPM but I am open to offers and well remember the early days of the blog when pop-pickers like Heather C and Emma J suggested music. It added a lot to the collection.

And so on Friday night, as I lay there in a state of shock, at about 10,30. there, on BBC3, as if by magic, was one of the three bands who, more than any, have seen me through the last almost seven years; Alabama 3, Gaslight Anthem and Green Day……..This song has helped me through a dark place on many, many occasions

And it’s going trouble since I was seventeen, they say hey! Cause the hurricane trouble is my middle name But I don’t look for trouble Yet the trouble looks for me. (Neon Jungle)

August 17, 2013

And so dear listener, the deed is almost done. The domination degree dissertation is finally put to bed. Or at least it’s with Robin the Binderman in Partick. I just went there to oversee it. There was a woman in there getting a massive bible re-bound in new leather as a present for her dad. I’m glad I went. Much more fun than sending a pdf to a place you don’t know.

I go in on Tuesday morning to collect it and will deliver personally to the office. It’s a mess. I am over the word count; I see typos; and I forgot to put in a date…….it’s a mess. Guys, I apologise if, at the end of the day, I don’t get it. I gave it a go. There are some good things in it – don’t know where some of the words came from tho’ – but I have shown little mastery of Social Science and that’s what it’s supposed to be about.

I am not being self-deprecating. I reached a limit. Maybe I should have stuck at Post Grad. I just believe that we are ignoring the whole question behind addiction and just not helping as many people as we could….ho and hum.

I heard Princess Kate a few months ago talk absolute codswallop about addiction. I should maybe send her a copy.

Good that she’s getting back to work after just seven weeks. Em, she’s attending something with Wills. That’s work. Good to see well known swordsman, Prince Philip up and about……even if he didn’t seem to know where he was….but he did joke about it.

And whilst I remember I must get chocolates or something for the very patient library staff and don’t they say ‘no’ in a very nice whimsical, sweet and regretful way…….or am I just putting a brave face on the knockback?

But I’m coming back to the real world. People have got new jobs whilst I’ve been procrastinating. Well done to both uni-Sharon and Mo from down Dumbarton way. Sharon I met on Thursday; Mo you are on the list…as it were…..

And there’s this independence debate. I was trying to explain to a friend (down south) that every time the BBC News opens with a health or education item and the words ‘this applies to England and Wales only’ ..well, that’s a vote for independence. He disagrees saying that 50 million people live there so it’s of interest to the majority of UK people. I explain it’s perception.

Like the new BBC puppet show which, apparently, featured ‘five talking hot dog sausages, swathed in tartan, talking in Brigadoon accents about Partick Thistle and deep-fried foods’. What kinda perception is that? (For the truth ‘bout the Scots diet, i-Player the gorgeous Samantha Polling in Scotland the Fat from Thursday night)

Or the ‘Scottish’ Sun, who this weekend, did a consumer feature on new school clothes…eh, the vast majority of Scottish schools went back last week. Yes, I will be voting for independence and confirmation that we are a separate nation.

Incidentally my ASDA in Summerston has intro’d a lot of new Self-Scans calling them The Fast Lane. Boy, am I looking forward to doing some tailgating in The Fast Lane and seeing what happens. Actually it might be a way of meeting someone.

Talking of gorgeous women (as I do) Happy Birthday to Dr W (who I use to refer to as gorgeous until I met…anyway). The acid reference was about stomach upsets. What did you think it was? Or, maybe more importantly, your children?

And I was glad to see that the British Government has decided to change its policies on covert surveillance. Shows they’re actually listening to us, doesn’t it?

And I got a letter recently which suggested that if it wasn’t delivered it should be returned to the Central Fulfilment Unit. One day I’d like to be fulfilled. Now I know where to go. BBC Scotland has a group of people called the Content Processing Unit. Maybe one day they’ll progress to being the Happy Processing Unit.

And finally, I was in Mothercare in Anniesland on Thursday (worrying about my domination degree) and I spotted a sign that said for every pair of worn shoes donated, Mothercare would donate an exercise pad and pencil to a charity……One day I will make help fifteen African children to do a lot of writing. Maybe one of them will be an academic. I ain’t. So no PhD for me.

Cya, keep(ing) fun and still wearing that badge? It’s blinking in the sunlight it hasn’t seen for a many days.

Johnt850, not a material man but I do like material things

So I’d parked the car in Partick close to Robin the Bookbinder and also close to a certain church in Partick. I got back to the car at 5 to 12 (noon) and saw a very varied group of people standing round the back, having a fag before going in…’round the back’.

It was an A.A. meeting and just for a second….cos there is nothing to stop me attending one….I didn’t. I just sat there quietly and thought. Y’see part of the diss is about stereotyping. To most people, alcoholics are a type but this was a varied group of people seemingly going to a church group…on the surface. But are they, and their view that alcoholism is a disease with no cure, contributing to the stereotype?

It’s one of the questions I ask. If I fail (and I don’t think I get a second chance) I’ll publish it on the ‘net and you can make your own mind up.

I may have played this before but it’s Armando Iannucci’s views of television, except for viewers in Scotland. You can find Part 2 for yourselves 

I get my friend when I need one, I need someone to be one, I take anybody I can get, And sometimes I wanna call you, And I feel like a pet. And I’m lonely, but I ain’t that lonely yet. (The White Stripes)

August 10, 2013

I am afraid, dear listener, that I am not a great fan of the movie ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ but there is a scene in it where Clarence, the trainee angel, is sent to Earth by St Peter to help Jimmy Stewart. ‘What’s wrong’, asks Clarence. ‘Is he ill?’

‘Worse than that’, says St Peter. ‘He’s discouraged.’

And I was. The big essay had come bouncing back to me with another’s voice added. The criticisms are well-meant and I understand their rationale. But are there limits to my academic ability? Yes. Have I reached them? Maybe. Am I going to give up now? No fuc*ing way!

Sorry. Up to that point I meant to sound spiritual. I was going to talk about some intervention that played a part in reviving my determination but that did happen. Within minutes of the txt arriving. In a drink and drugs rehab group run professionally – and geographically not that far from Bearsden……as Concorde flies (younger listeners please Google). I’m not allowed to break confidentiality but I won’t let these folk down. Not a single apostrophe will be out of place. Not a single typo. Not a lot of point coming this far and giving up. A bit like staying off the booze and if I can do that, I can do almost anything.

(We’ll leave the question of relationships out of the current equation, I think. I don’t think even Clarence, the trainee angel could solve that. What do I do or say that scares them off? Skippy? Any thoughts?)

Anyway. This is an important edition of the blog. It’s the 300th.

Excuse me a second. I was on a night shift last night – 2130 to 0730 – and it was quite difficult and 999 don’t seem to want business these days. And one of the downsides of a busy night shift is that you don’t get to eat your whole piece. So I’m currently munching my way thru a feta and roasted cheese wrap. I know it’s trendy. But I am. I kinda kid on that I am a trendy West Endy or a trendy Wendy as they’re known. And can I just quantum leap and say a big thanks to the good Dr W for the lovely offer (or two).

Now. Where was I? Oh, yes. Being trendy and in the West End. I ate, for the first time ever, in the Hanoi Bike Shop just off Byres Road (rainforestriverman, you’ll love it) and tofu has never tasted so good but why, oh why, was the seafood soup done in a chicken broth?

And, e, boy, did I miss an opportunity when that woman in the library asked how old RJ was. I must get tee-shirts printed that say ‘only a friend of the family’ on the front and ‘divorced nd looking’ on the back. (Altho’ recently I was quite happy…….)

Anyway. Where was I? There’s a famous revolving door that allows you to enter the school building where the school library is. It’s not working at the moment. There’s a sign that says ‘Revolving Door Not Working. Please Push.’

Except students don’t seem to be able to read these days. And they certainly can’t push. So they give up and walk round to another side to the building and come in that way.

And Kallum Higginbotham has signed for the mighty Harry Wraggs. So we’re happy with the exotic sounding defence. Now we’re going for a stereotypical Northern Soul frontline.

So. Where was I? Oh, yes. The 300th edition of the show. Eh, what else can I say? Other than it was never expected to stay this long. It was supposed to be your basic ‘I’ve got bad cancer. Can I share it with you?’ type of newsletter. Only it developed and took on a life of its own. It’s written to a template but not an obvious one. One of the school teachers talked about me plagiarising for the blog but, no, it’s all original – all my own observations, both mentally and of people.

It reflects much of my life as a radio broadcast journalist both in documentary work and live broadcasting where, more than any form of journalism, you hear people’s voices speaking their actual words…….with only a little context. One of the most amazing books I ever read was Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed. I stole it from a Mobile Educational Resources Unit during an Adult Literacy campaign of many years ago…. yet we’ve never ever solved the problems caused by teachers failing to teach some but not others. Freire’s book was about overcoming a new culture of silence in industrialised countries, where education often means socialisation.

And finally, I enjoy writing. I enjoy using words. Maybe it’s time to buckle down and write to the template. Grindstone, here is my nose; laptop, here is my soul.

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? Yes and it’s only two words and gets its message across.

Johnt850, kinda missing the Russian Roulette that is getting from Johnstone onto the motorway…..

I make the point that so much of what I do has only been made possible by the amazing support team I have had over the last six and a half years. I was going to attempt a full list but time and tiredness is against me. There is nothing to stop me publishing the list separately. I may do so.

So one final tale at the end of what has been an emotional blog in many ways… is so embarrassing, isn’t it, when you’re paying at the Self Scan and a condom falls out of your wallet…..isn’t it? No. No reason. (Wonder where the use by date is?)

When I was younger, so much younger than today, this was a piece of music that, when I heard it, I knew everything was going to be alright. In it, faith I have.

Love struts around on stilts of balsa wood. Love cuts. Love gives you a sweeping bow then ploughs a furrow deep above your eyebrow. Love cuts. Love curtseys. Then nuts you where it really hurtseys. Love cuts (John Hegley)

August 3, 2013

And indeed poet,John Hegley, was at the PT game the other night. He’s a mate of #soulboydaviebee – Glasgow’s fourth oldest dee-jay currently gigging at Ad-Lib in the Merchant City on Saturday nights. John is not ‘doing’ the Fringe this year but was taking his poetic show to Belladrum and Cromarty. The previous times John had been to a PT match were at Stenhousemuir and Cowdenbeath – at the latter I seem to remember spending half-time at that game doing ‘colouring-in’ with the offspring of a rich woman who had made a fortune out of gourmet soups in the West End. Or was I on acid?

Anyway, John is a very gentle man. He is not used to standing in the manic-ness that is the Shed at PT games – behind the goal, at the back and in great danger as the opposition practise their kicking skills before the game starts. Most of the game is spent chanting and fans of St Mirren – a random example – you will be amazed at the choreography of Maryhill is Wonderful. John spent the second half ‘on the fringes’, by which I think he meant ‘quietly at the side’. 🙂

But one set of chants may have puzzled him. One of the Dundee United players, David Goodwillie, has had several convictions for assault but a rape charge against him a couple of years ago was dropped because of ‘insufficient evidence in law’ for the case to proceed. Therefore, I have no reason to believe the chant of ‘No means No’ was directed against him or the scum who organised a recent pub quiz in the Radio Bar in Ashton Lane who thought a question about rape was funny.

‘No means No’.

We are Partick Thistle – we occupy the moral highground.

Great game tho’. It’s going to be a long season. But in Stephen O’Donnell and Aaron Taylor-Sinclair and Aaron Muirhead and Conrad Balatoni and Gabriel Rojo de la Vega Piccolo we have the most imaginatively named defence in the SPFL….. 😀

Wonder how long that cooked rice and prawns has been in the fridge behind the eggs and juice? Wonder what it tastes like? Here’s some music while I find out…….and read nothing into this week’s choice of music…I am currently available. Again. 😦 I still think she’s a lovely lady tho’…..I’ll maybe wait a few weeks b4 I advertise my availablity. 😉

And very nice it was.

So I’m writing this whilst taking a break from revising, again, my domination degree. It all seems so different in the hallowed halls of academia that are UWS (Paisley branch) where every corridor breathes academic achievement and men and women who have gone on to achieve so much. My tutor, clad in cape and gown and mortar board, makes a number of suggestions whilst quaffing a glass of sherry. (I decline, having had an awkward experience with a male history tutor many years ago who I think ‘fancied’ me. Or was I on acid?)

And then I come home to my semi in Summerston where the CDs remain in alphabetic order and parking has become a nightmare and the ASDA is out of quorn bacon. I try to recreate the ambience and fail miserably. But that will not happen with the big essay,…….will it, Skippy? Skippy? Skippy? But we can still be friends?

Hang on. The postman has just been. I’ve been cited as a witness following an ‘incident’ at one of the projects where I work (paid) as a relief housing support worker. That’s the one where the police took forty minutes to respond to my 999 call…….. and that’s the last time I’ll mention that. The citation that is. And anything to do with the incident.

Okay. I think we need This Weeks’ Innuendo of the Month Award.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you what Boris Johnson described as ‘a ginormous blue Hahn Cock’. (It’s an interesting Google). It is a big blue cock* made of fibre glass and painted ultramarine blue. Regular listeners may remember me drawing attention a few weeks ago to an ad for apples, that never made it to broadcast, that said that ‘English Cox were bigger than French ones’. Not now. This French cock is 15 foot high and has its own plinth in Trafalgar Square. I wonder if listeners have ever seen a bigger cock. (Yes. It’s tasteless innuendo but it’s harmless)

*I believe the whole word is cockerel.

Older listeners may remember a gifted but flawed comic actor called Tony Hancock. No. No relation.

And finally, last week I mentioned the two people who strolled out in the grounds of Buck Pal last week to tell the world that George the son of Wills and Katie (in the registration documents she gives her occupation as ‘Princess of the United Kingdom) had been born. I mentioned the Sloane milking it for all it was worth. (It’s a tasteless fantasy).

The other was a footman called Badar Azim, a graduate in Hospitality Management from Edinburgh’s Napier University, whose visa has not been renewed. Maybe his boss could have a word with someone in authority; if not, then he just becomes another paragraph in Wikipedia. Or a pub quiz question.

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? I seek comfort from it from time to time. 😦

Johnt850, and often, when in doubt as to what to do in a situation, I often ask what would uni-Sharon do……It provides interesting results.

And it was nice seeing New Horizon Community Rehab in Easterhouse on TV the other night. This was where I did my school work experience. It was an item on the administration of Naloxone to someone who has overdosed on opiates such as heroin. It’s basically jagging them with a prepared syringe. I did my Naloxone training there and carry the gear in my car. And for anyone else who’s done the training – as long as it’s an overdosed orange we’ll be fine.

The original choice of video for this piece of music was a touch sexually explicit and in the light of what I wrote I above, I decided against using it. This is another version but it’s the choon, in’t it?