So when the sun sets and we think about what tomorrow will bring, we understand that better is not what we do. It is who we are. (Timberland shoe box)

And so dear listener, I started off the week with a visit to the dentist. Out of nowhere my teeth have become very, very, sensitive – as indeed is their owner – so I felt I should do something about it. I have no problems with my dentist other than he talks too much, but when I got there I found it wasn’t him. It was a locum. On his first day in the practice. And I was his first patient. 😦

But he was good. There is nothing that he can do ‘cos my teeth are in good nick and there’s not much that they can do for sensitive teeth in that case. Sensodyne toothpaste. But he also gave me a prescription for toothpaste. And then did a scale and polish (£10)

I’ve had lots of prescriptions in recent years but toothpaste?

(Incidentally, there was a sign in the dentists that read, ‘If you are, or think you may be, pregnant then please inform your dentist.’ I sniggered)

But I’ve been doing a lot of thinking in the last couple of weeks and those of you who don’t like ‘thinking’ blogs can switch off now. 😛

(Incidentally, If you know the East European Big Issue seller then you really should buy a copy, shouldn’t you? So, I did.)

On the homeless front I’m working mostly in the one project and getting to know the folk who live there; and on the vol front, I’m moving from working with one group to helping out at a recovery House. And I’ve been having lots of conversations with some of the folk I’m there to help. In one way or another.

(Incidentally, you may remember the house across from me was the subject of a police raid a few weeks ago. Well this week they’ve had workmen in and taken a delivery of a new lawn – almost as if they were digging a hole and covering it: and there was a burnt out car down the road the other day; and a man was hit in the face by a hammer – wielding other man down by the ASDA (I wondered what had been happening that morning); and counterfeit music worth £700,000 was seized from a flat along the road the other day.)

Sorry. Where was I?

Oh, yeah. I’ve had quite a few conversations with people discussing various parts of my life; including being interviewed by a reporter from the Eastwood Extra (bout the cancer) who videoed the three questions on a mobile phone for use on the video section of the Extra website;

through to talking to one of the guys down in Dumbarton with whom I shared stories of my recovery and how he was doing with his.

(Incidentally he was the one the other day, as we (eight of us) walked from the project’s HQ to the wildlife garden where we’re working who said, ‘Well, jt, this may be the last addiction pride march you take part in down Dumbarton High Street.’)

As many of you know this July and August see the latest biggest event(s) ever in my alter ego’s life (and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, then find me and I’ll tell you) so it is a natural time for reflection. Whilst I’m not a member of any organisation which has ‘one day at a time’ as one of its best known phrases, there is not a day goes by when I’m not grateful for my recovery from both my alcohol dependency and cancer. Maybe if the bosses at the college where I worked had been more welcoming I might have gone down a different route, but, then, well, they weren’t. But that’s going over old ground as is talking ‘bout my support team, the blog, family and friends and the Partick Thistle fans. 😀

But there’s been two other areas which have kept me going. One is the editing – – which I began four years ago and not only have I found a profitable niche, but when I started to do it, it gave me a structure (becoming self-employed with business plans and business cards and a website and having to come off incapacity benefit) and a status. If you’ve never been seriously out of work, then it is difficult to understand what it is really like. For example, I was tested at Cadogan Street and it was an awful experience. The editing helped deal with some of that.

I think some folk don’t fully realise how much editing there is at times but I have been seriously busy this last few weeks and so has my bank balance. But very importantly, I have helped lots of students to realise much of their potential and done the same thing for me.

The other thing is meeting people for lunch and coffee and a daytime social life. I don’t think folk now realise how hard it was for me to get back into any form of social life after the two issues came to the fore. So lunches and coffees were the order of the day until people realised I could cope on licensed premises. I remember the rainforestriverman always suggesting we go for coffee rather than a drink in a pub the first few times we met once he’d heard about my problem. And on one occasion, on one of these University dinners I used to go to, he actually passed the port to the right so I wouldn’t have to touch it. 🙂

And I helped my sis to find a flat in Glasgow for when she moved back up here and I can still remember eating a fish supper sober one night whilst waiting for a man to come and show me round a possible purchase. That was recovery. It doesn’t have to be restricted to meetings or whatever.

Things like the lunches and coffees still exist, altho’ that’s partly cos I’m doing so many night shifts at the moment, altho’ it’s also partly ‘cos I meet a few women who are actually happily married/partnered or otherwise not interested. It’s safe. 🙂

And cos of the events in a few weeks’ time, I’m not doing any ‘fishing’ at the moment or indeed anything similar. I’ve got a lot to think about and be thankful for just now.

I don’t know how many of you out there are aware of the concept of a Gratitude List. Well I think I’ve just written one.

And for those of you unsure about Steve Earle, here’s another track.


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