Archive for February, 2014

It can take all of three hours and then it comes down to the final ten seconds (Eve Muirhead)

February 23, 2014

Curling. She’s talking about curling. And in a week when, dear listener, everyone in England-shire seemed to believe that we all know how throw a carefully hewn (sp) piece of round stone, carefully quarried out of the island of Ailsa Craig and nowhere else, can I just say that I have never ever curled nor tossed a caber, danced on sword sticks nor chased after haggi and that the first time I ever wore the kilt was last year (twice) to my son’s wedding and my own MSc Graduation? 😉

You may tak’ my land but you’ll ne’er tak’ my bonspiel and that goes for all of us who live in Brigadoon.

(Summerston now has its annual Highland Games. Seriously. Just behind the Ardgowan Tenents’ Hall. It makes use of the spare ground where they knocked the high rises down. Naw. I’ve never been. It’s in August.)

And I would like to thank David Bowie for his contribution to the great Independence debate but has he ever played a cold, wet November night in Somerset Park, Ayr? I think not. 😦

And there was another fascinating contribution to the Independence debate from E Anne Stuart of Milton of Campsie in her letter to the Record of Daily when she finished it with, ‘I consider myself Scottish but 42 per cent of my DNA markers are the same as the Saami people known as the Laplanders. We all descend from one woman who lived in east central Africa so there is no place for racism in the 21st century.’ Why is more not made of this information? And who was this woman?

But a big well done to all those who did so well in the Winter Olympics – whatever it was they did. I was going to have a go at the snowboarding commentators and the language they use but David Attenborough (Attenburgh for Scottish listeners) on curling did it so much better;

Ah, ‘thrusting your nuts down earlier’. It’s oor new national sport. 😀

But we(e) Scots are tremendously friendly. I was at a training day on Challenging Behaviour the other day and three of us (me, Raymond and Liz) decided to go for some exercise at lunchtime. So we walked across the road to Gregg’s. I bought a ploughman’s lunch and a ploughman next to me bought mine.

As I walked to leave the shop, people started shouting at me; ‘John. You’ve left your change.’ And so I had. ‘But how,’ Liz said, ‘did all those people know your name? Are you that well-known?’ I nodded sagely but Raymond pointed to my name badge which I was still wearing. 😉

The training session was good; there’s been a lot of challenging behaviour recently but there’s been some real good things happening as well. But that’s confidentiality for you.

But I did meet a woman who got a job that I had applied for some time back. Many, many years’ experience in mental health.

And speaking of training sessions (you can always tell when I add a sentence), a big ‘well done’ to the boys of Partick Thistle who took on the men of Aberdeen and beat them 3 – 1. At one point we were dead worried about losing our lead but ‘naw’ it all came good in the end. Claire Baulding, you should have been there. No. No real reason. Crowds aren’t as big as they were at the start of the season, that’s all. 😦

And finally, all around me, people are taking annual leave. It’s difficult for me to do that without losing income but I’m going to go for it. I’m not doing the vol work for a couple of weeks and I’m not sure ‘bout the homeless shifts for the same time. There is some editing work but I can do that at any time of day or night and in any state of dress/undress but some of you may well get messages from me or, hey, some of you could always message me about meeting or going places…..or???

Cya, (keep)ing it fun and still wearing that badge? More in hope than expectation.

Johnt850 but there’s nothing wrong with hope.

And so, some of you will have noticed that inflation is down and that includes the price of alcohol and that must terrify the A & E staffs who are all over our TV screens at the moment and all the other emergency services. And whilst, deaths from alcohol may be coming down, that just means fewer people aren’t dying – a gain a real pat on the back for the emergency services – of whom I have seen a lot recently.

Alcohol has been getting relatively cheaper over the years compared to anything else – cos of all the promotions and stuff like that. If anyone doubts that, contact me and I will pass on well evidenced studies. It seems at times that the only people who don’t accept that are the people who make and sell the stuff.

And, if you are a responsible drinker then you will make certain changes in your lifestyle the way you do when petrol, bread and coffee go up in price. You won’t even notice those changes until a TV or radio interviewer comes up to you in the street. A pricing policy that works would be good.

And don’t get me started on legal highs. Not this week. That’s something else we can discuss another day.

Here, by way of levity, is my fave song of the week, this month. Young person guidance advised. Some bad language on the T-shirts. 🙂

Mad sounds in your ears make you get up and dance. They make you get up. Yeah, they make you get up (The Arctic Monkeys)

February 15, 2014

And so dear listener, I want to start this week’s blog with a rant against a tosser called Cammy Mather (‘tosser’ as in the fact he used to toss an oval shaped ball about for Scotland some time back. Maybe he was a flanker…….)

Some of you may have noticed that the Scotland rugby team were trounced by England last week. I watched it altho’ I know nothing about the game.

According to Mather, one of the reasons Scotland got beat was that too much money was spent on pre-match entertainment but he continued with a dig against me and many of my mates. The quote from the Daily Record (11th Feb) was as follows;

‘Rugby fans are an educated bunch and are not taken in by that nonsense. It might be fine for the Tartan Army at Hampden but it’s not right for Murrayfield.’

Listen, Cammy son, I will match my Masters, two Post Grads (different subjects) and my original Arts degree against 99 per cent of Murrayfield any day. Yes, it’s a wee while since I’ve been to Hampden but the last time I was there was in the company of my Chartered Accountant son who watches both disciplines…….and the guys I go to Firhill with encompass a wide range of professions and trades.

Jeez. What a snob.

Maybe Scotland lost ‘cos they were crap. See that bit where somebody throws the ball in from the side bit and you’re allowed to lift a man to catch it (eh?)…Scotland never won any! And in a game presumably where you are taught to catch the ball when it’s thrown to you..why did Scottish players drop it so often?  😦

And then there’s this nonsense where you have a temporary coach in a room out of Space Control Houston watching the game on computer (or at least that’s what it looks like)……why the hell is he not down there on the touchline shouting abuse…sorry encouragement…at his players? 😦

Cammy, boy, you have a lot of learning to do…….and don’t patronise your fellow Scots.

This cold is doing my head in but I do feel better now. No. No reason. No. Really. 🙂

It was a hard shift the other night. And I am reluctant to take LemSip. There is a reason why it says ‘do not exceed four sachets in twenty-four hours’. (I think one sentence is in the wrong para there…..mmmm…Skippy……)

And I’ve just banged my knee….Ow!

And I have a kidney scan on Monday afternoon. In the Southern General. Should I take my own CDs or rely on them having a decent supply? When I was in hospital after the Cold Turkey I had two brain scans and I had several for the cancer……some of the music in the cancer scans was good cos you were scanned for up to an hour. 😦

So I’ve seen some good television and some bad television this week (Danny Boyle’s Babylon was sooooo disappointing). By chance I caught, for the second week in a row, the second half of a kinda doc called The Restaurant Man. It’s brill and is about a guy who genuinely wants to help people open restaurants. It is not Ramsey shouty-shouty or Oliver matey-matey.  It is a man who genuinely wants to help people who have no idea what they’re doing…like they don’t taste the meals their chef suggests before they go on the menu……!

And this week it was followed by a police drama called Line of Duty. Lots of deaths but see the scene where the policewoman is left to eat her sandwiches on her own……that was a tearjerker. Trust me. 🙂

And finally, this week’s Surname of the Month is Ayr United’s Operations Manager. She is called Tracy McTrusty. I would. Trust her, that is.

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? I came close to buying a simple black suit out of M & S the other day but I would need to see how the badge suits

Johnt850, with a very, very busy week ahead. Looking forward to a week on Tuesday. No. Nothing. That’s its attraction.

So my day of the week when I work down Dunbartonshire way has changed (temporarily?) to a Wednesday. It has a kinda knock-on effect on other aspects of my life but that is life, isn’t it?

So I lapsed. Not drinkingly lapsed but I ate meat. Someone had made up some sandwiches and choice was limited but my thanks was grateful. It’s allowed. It was ham.

The project I work with down there is involved in some painting work in a community centre in the area and so it was that I found myself emulsioning a toilet with ‘Billy’, someone I’d not met before.

He said, ‘You a volunteer then?’

‘What makes you think that?’

‘You just don’t look like an addict.’

‘Well let’s just say I used to dress differently.’

He smiled and a very pleasant day’s painting followed on………

There are many roads to recovery and just as many ways of sharing.

 Missie K shared this band with me the other day;


If you hang around the barber long enough, you’re gonna get your hair cut (Narcotics Anonymous via John Cooper Clarke)

February 8, 2014

And so dear listener, I write this having returned to the scene of my greatest ever knock-back a few days ago…the knock-back wasn’t a few days ago but you know what I mean……I have joined the library at Paisley Primary (as I used to call it). I can access books but nothing online. Thank goodness I erased my browser history the last time I was in. 😉

Ah, the memories it brought back (the library…not my browser history). And it wasn’t just within the environs of the uni-that memories were created. How I remember the days of discovery when Study Buddie Fi and I used to talk of every week being a voyage of discovery when we went to a different supermarket. No. No reason.

I was just commenting on this to uni-Sharon just the other day in the ASDA, Robroyston, where the big gangster slaying of recent years back took place. (And congrats to uni-Sharon on looking so good… I’ve said before Herbalife certainly works for you..and yes, I would do the BBC thang of saying there are other similar products available but I don’t know any of them) 🙂

And congrats to uni-Jo on her forthcoming lecturing gigs and also to the Rainforestriverman on his latest appointment; of both of whom I expect to catch a glimpse, and maybe a coffee, later this week. And to my former client, Lana Shvilpe, the only Eurovision Song Contestant I have ever spent time with who is now Director of the Riga Symphony International Festival. I’m not saying I could get you tickets, but…..;)

The library membership thang is connected to the book which is taking shape in a shipbuilding structure kinda way and had nothing to do with the blook which was written a few years back.

And, rarely for me, I got something wrong. I had said I did not expect Usain Bolt and some others to appear in the Commonwealth Games cos they wouldn’t get the same tax breaks as they did during the Olympics. Well, blow me down with a David Cameron impassioned appeal but not only was the Government listening (and gave him this tax break) but someone has been and went and gone and arranged a meeting of the mega-millions Diamond League just two weeks before the Commonwealth Games…….He will be there. 😀

And I did have nightmares one night last week. I made the mistake of watching a doc about Gengis Khan followed by one about Gadaffi. Gengis Khan used to dispose of his enemies by boiling them alive in boiling hot water. Gadaffi signed an agreement with BP so they could both make vast profits from oil…….Yes, the same BP that made a pronouncement this week about Scotland and independence. Sure took the heat off their recent poor financial performance and their decision to invest in Aberdeen. 🙂

And I’m still waiting to hear from George Black, Chief Executive of Glasgow City Council about my longstanding claim for compensation following damage to my tyres on the way home from a night shift recently (Don’t worry if that means nothing to you) I will explain when I win my case.

(This is all a wee bit serious this week…..I have news to announce soon but it is embargoed…but it is good)

My thanks also to all those people who came up with some suggestions following my plea for help last week. I feel the problem may be more deeper than I first thought and was highlighted by the top Glasgow lawyer who is planning to paint my portait. He took lots of photos of me (head and shoulders….altho’ there are other dandruff shampoos available) in Costa Coffee in Bothwell Street and did I mind people looking? My ego can land anywhere.

But more of him and the ‘problem’ later. But he did articulate my dilemma.

And finally, I had considered doing the serious bit looking at the deaths related to Ecstacy compared with the number related to alcohol. I won’t. I realise I’m doing it the wrong way round. Maybe I should be highlighting how safe Es are compared to alcohol……? Maybe I will. But I suspect it needs to be thought through a wee bit more. Not because I’m wrong, but because I realised some time ago that people don’t listen. You mention that someone uses drugs recreationally and immediately they are pronounced as drug addicts; you mention that someone uses alcohol recreationally and all you get is ‘don’t we all?’. Maybe someone should write a book…….hang on, that’s what I’m supposed to be doing. That’s why I joined the school library. No. Really.

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? Damn. I should have worn it for the pix.

Johnt850, a natural for the camera, but for the pens and oils?…time will tell. 🙂

And now for the dilemma.

As you know, dear listener, I am 42 and will be for the rest of my life. However, my alter ego is much older, altho’ to those who do not know him and have only recently met, he does seem much younger. (Fact, not fiction)

The dilemma I was trying to articulate is a mental one. Whilst, legally, age should be no hindrance to getting a job these days, I think I have reached, sorry, my alter ego has reached a block in his head that is now telling him that he has left job-hunting in this particular field to a wee bit too late in life. There is mental over-coming to be done. Any thoughts, gratefully received.

Totally gratuitously, here are The Cramps with Bikini Girls with Machine Guns