Archive for January, 2015

I’m your dope-ass divinity, trollin’ with my trinity, droppin’ top tweets in your immediate vicinity, flingin’ fly phrases of infinity @TheTweetOfGodBio

January 30, 2015

And so, dear listener, I have a dream that one day I will be asked to devise a joint Media and Modern Studies course. Such a thing was obviously needed during, for example, the recent Referendum campaign where people did not realise there were laws regarding broadcasting at times like that and, for example, that broadcasters have to give appropriate time to all parties. Or there are legal repercussions.

No. One of the things that I would like to explain is that weather forecasters aren’t always sure of their predictions. They do it on the basis of the last time a cold front came in from the East and Jupiter aligned with Mars, then peace will guide the planets and love will steal the stars. This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius but it only needs Boris Johnson to make a statement about the sexual inadequacies of those fighting for the ‘so-called’ Islamic State and it’s all up in the air.

Clear? Good. Let’s crack on.

Actually some of you may not know that the Age of Aquarius came from a stage show called Hair which I saw twice. 🙂

This is one version of it (watch the police horses) and as Kim Sears would say, ‘It’s fuc*ing freaky man.’

Meanwhile, back on Earth (or Clydebank Shopping Centre as I know it) I decided to go do some clothes shopping.

First stop was Brantano (sp?) Shoe Shop where, in addiction to a normal pair of shoes, I spotted the ‘manager’s special’ of a pair of canvas shoes (which I wear about the house) for £5. So what made them so special? One was a size 7 and one was a size 8. I bought them. 🙂

And in TKMax (not my favest of shops) I bought three shirts. The young lady at the Cash Desk was putting them very carefully into a TXMax bag (I didn’t have the heart to tell her) and she saw me watching, so she said, ‘I’m a wee bit OCD about these things.’ (I had to tell her)

‘I’m afraid, young TXMax lady, that the first thing I will do when I get them home is to throw them in the washing machine…… ‘. She smiled but carried on. Carefully. And I liked that. I wore one of them on Saturday night but more on that next week. 😀

And then the next day was gd’s baptism. She liked my pressie to her (approx. 20 weeks since you ask). It was a pirate ship money box. The man I bought it from (halfway down Byres Road said) it was silver but not to take it out in the rain.

gd has amazing eyes. They are dark and piercing and are very like the Mona Lisa. She was brought into the church and made her way to the font. (I should maybe mention she was carried as opposed to striding purposefully across the floor). At the point where the minister got ready to get the water, gd gave him such a stare; ‘there’s no way you are going to do that to me, dude’, she defied him. But he did. Man of cloth, eh?

She then treated us all to lunch. Must have put her credit card behind the bar cos I never saw her dip into her pocket or, indeed, anyone else’s. Stick with me, gd, and we’ll have you running the streets. Soon. 🙂

And finally, my press card that takes me up to Jan 2017 has arrived. No. I earn very little from journalism these days but I still pay my union dues because I believe in the strength of the union. No. It does not get me into gigs or football matches for nothing. But I like the bit on the back that reads ‘The Association of Chief Police Officers of the United Kingdom recognise the holder of this card as a bona fide newsgatherer.’ Last week someone called me an Editorial Consultant (I edit essays on ); this week I’m a bona fide newsgatherer…….

Cya, still wearing that badge and defo going for it.

Johnt850, still throwing shapes but not pottery

So from time to time, I try to explain that alcohol addiction (or indeed any other form of addiction) is not necessarily an irreversible disease but to many in the general public it is. I blame Lost Weekend with Ray Milland and Coronation Street. It is a learned behaviour. A ‘what’ they say?

So here’s an example.

Recently, I’ve been doing some shifts that finish at 10 at night. If I do that then I go into town by train (cheaper than parking) and then on the way home I buy chips. Every time. It’s become a ritual; a marking of the end of the shift and safe home. They’re not even that good. I don’t think any of the chip shops down the nice’n’sleazy end of Sauchiehall Street are any good – maybe the Bistro at 4 in the morning but I’m not going home then.

This buying chips has become a learned behaviour – part of the going home ritual. It stops now. Before it does me harm and makes me fat…not obese but fat (ter). That is what I mean. I may have cravings initially but they will go away. Trust me. In approx four years’ time I could be a Doctor. 🙂

So Zoe, I will mention your birthday next week. But this is for you. It’s also from Hair and it’s as f*cking freaky as the earlier one……enjoy everyone and watch it to the end. Next week Apocalypse Now – The Director’s Cut.

‘The idea of coming to the end of things makes me think I ought to do more rather than less (Sir Richard Attenborough)

January 24, 2015

And so dear listener, as I prep today’s show, you find me eating, or rather nibbling on, a cracker and Cheezly – described as a dairy free alternative to cheese. And it’s okay, considering it’s made out of potato starch and soya and stuff. Thanks Rosie and it’s been worth giving it a go. I’d eat it again. 🙂

Later for my tea, I will have a Linda McCartney country pie, and thanks for the ‘heads-up’, Dr W, and joy of joy and as a really special treat, I have also bought a vegetarian toad-in-the-hole…….I am nothing if not experimental as someone once said to me under a totally different set of circumstances and in a world before orange juice – the drink, not the indie band of Postcard Records fame. It’s just nice trying new things and not sticking to what you’ve always done……I won’t bother with the circumstances of that. 😉

But it’s been a week when memories of times past have quietly flowed past but in that turbulent manner that often throws up the odd mackerel but fresh – not in a tin – and if I were the great Eric Cantona or ageing Lothario, Stephen Fry, you’d have a t-shirt made up with that on it.

So, I happened to mention to Dr W that I was hosting a quiz at the project where I work and she replied something to the effect that was that not something you did down the pub when drunk (I’m saying nothing) but, actually, on reflection (e, can we add a mirror to the list?) I used to do that and I was okay at the more straightforward ones (those done by Doctor Paul, (AKA Paul Diamond) the world’s greatest pub quizmaster, were over my head as was the pound of mince that seemed to be part of the quiz) but the drink eventually done in that part of my brain that could handle obscure questions to which the answer was ‘John Lennon but it was with Cynthia; not Yoko and Pete Best and it was 1964’

But not now. It can take me ten days sometimes to come up with an quiz type answer…..everything else is fine but having a whole list of contacts and possible contributors for broadcast used to be my strongpoint but with that gone what had I to offer? (Please say ‘lots’) Replaced by a digital database. 😦

And then something from the past came out this week – from several directions. The phenomenon that was Enid Blyton…….and the Famous Five……adventures’r’us…….There were five of them (I often wonder where Scooby Doo got the idea for their line up) Julian, who was the organising one, Dick, who was one, Anne who was a girlie girl and George who wasn’t……can I tell you, boys and girls, how Enid Blyton described George?

‘George is actually a girl who wants so desperately to be a boy she crops her hair and struts about doing boy things. She hates it when people call her by her correct name, Georgina.’

I can’t help but feel there was an issue here that was never fully examined or brought out into the open…….and the fifth member of the Famous Five was a dog called Timmy and they had access to an island and George’s mum and dad were known as Uncle Quentin and Aunt Fanny. Not to George but to the others. That would have been weird if George had called them that.

I’d the North Sea at the bottom of my garden. Just didn’t have any friends. 😦 😦 😦

But if we’re talking sexual ambiguity and racial stereotyping, my own particular favourite was Captain Bigglesworth (Biggles to his many male mates) of the RAF and his chums, Algy and Ginger. Not that I’m saying theirs was anything more than a proper bromance but looking back there was a lot going on between the covers. Of the books.

And as for the Chalet School for Girls…….I’m saying nothing. 🙂

So does all that make sense, Zoe?

Tbh, I’m totally lost and I write the freaking stuff. But we (the fussy eaters) should be there on Saturday but I can’t help but notice that Javi Bora, Yousef and James Zabiela are at the Arches the same night to celebrate twenty-five years of Space Ibiza…….mmmmmmm…. 🙂

And finally, legal highs are the bastards. For professional and confidentiality reasons, I will say no more than six people died in Edinburgh last year from what are now known as new psychoactive substances. The fits and seizures I have seen make it surprising that the figure ain’t more. One day we may have a proper and considered debate on the legalisation of drugs other than alcohol and tobacco. In the meantime we will continue to watch people die cos they have no idea what is in whatever it is they are taking.

cya, still wearing that badge and defo going for it

Johnt850, and I think the reason I didn’t rate Wolf Hall the other night is that I confused Thomas Cromwell with Oliver Cromwell.

So, my granddaughter is about to be/has just been baptised (depends whether you’re reading this just now, on iPlayer or on Dave) and she remains folded in a veil of secrecy. Or to put it another way, her parents don’t want me to post pics of her on my Facebook, which is fair enough. There’s a kind of olde world feel to that.

I am very proud of Son Brian and the lovely KT even if they don’t like my choice of music – I am Friday night on Radio 1. They are so Shooglenifty.

And here’s Edwin Collins and the rest of Orange Juice and the great John Peel but this was not one of Top of the Pop’s finest moments;

My hands are locked up tight in fists, My mind is racing, filled with lists of things to do and things I’ve done. Another sleepless night’s begun (barenaked ladies)

January 17, 2015

And so dear listener, this week’s events have very much been defined by the weather. Plans made early in the week were knocked on the head by the snow and yet, it wasn’t that bad…it was how it reacted with the roads….and I’m not going to do the usual bloggy/opinion column/pub conversation thing of saying ‘where were the gritters?’ I can tell you exactly where two of them were. They were following me through Kelvindale and on to the Maryhill Road!!!!!

And the last bit of road into where I live in Summerston is a nightmare. It’s the one where you appear naked at a job interview eating a dripping jam sandwich. Freaks the neighbours out every time it snows. 😉

No. There are some things people say that I don’t understand.

Why do they claim that British weather has four seasons in one day? It’s a pizza for goodness sake!

And the search for fresh furnishings continues. In particular I would like to thank two year old RJ for climbing over various settees in various furniture shops in Abbotsinch Retail Park the other day. All these things help in making the decision. Unlike the person at work, to whom I was showing my almost favoured choice, who said ‘but have you tried the DFS in London Road?’ NO. I haven’t tried that shop. It’s a miracle I’ve been to more than one shop (and thanks, e, and it will be dark brown and not black).

The last time I tried to introduce colour into my life was an ill-fated romance of about one and a half years ago, when I decided to buy two stripey, but coloured, t-shirts from Officers’ Club at the behest of the lady involved (two for £10)……it lasted another two days……. 😦

Why do they claim that British weather has four seasons in one day? It’s a chain of holiday hotels for goodness sake!

Now what’s in my diary for 31st January? Ah, yes, Bombay Bicycle Club are playing a DJ set in Firewater in Sauchiehall Street…

And things are moving on the PhD front but I’ve got a wee idea for another piece of writing or research. I’m sure it’s already been done ‘tho’ and I need to do some reading. Somebody at work was telling me about the ‘penny rope’ of years ago. I work in supported accommodation for the homeless. We are not a shelter or a hostel or an old fashioned ‘model’ lodging house where many years ago, if there were no beds available, you paid a penny to have your hands tied to a rope and you were then able to spend the night sleeping whilst standing up.

And there was a time in Glasgow tenements when the stair and close lighting was by gas and men and women with an alcohol problem (or ‘jaikies’ as I may have called them before I realised how close I was to becoming one) would hold a bottle of milk under the gas tap and add a daud of gas and it became a fiery drink……but for the life of me I can’t remember what it was called.

Why do they claim that British weather has four seasons in one day? It’s classical music by Vivaldi for goodness sake!

And I’ve still to book a City Break for myself in March. It strikes me there are three possibilities; Amsterdam, Barcelona, Palma (Majorca) and Amsterdam…… any thoughts? 😀

And finally I watched the superb Cyberbully the other night on Channel 4, I think it was, with a superb young actress, whose name I forget……..I was so spellbound by the programme I didn’t take in the finer detail. (And can I just say that OnDemand television has killed the art of the ‘next day conversation about last night’s TV programmes’…….if you don’t want to hear that kinda thing just put your hands over your ears and go lalalalala).

It raised a whole range of questions, which I think relate to the whole freedom of speech debate. Such freedom must allow the freedom to criticise and offend and poke fun and raise concerns about alternative styles of life and lifestyle without being criticised for having those thoughts but it comes down to how you do it. And why. But we must listen. And understand.

Cya, still wearing that badge and defo going for it

Johnt850, still crazy after all those gears 🙂

And Facebook has got good and bad qualities and the passing on of traffic and weather info is good, but one of the things that annoys me is when people use aphorisms (as in someone else’s words) to say how much they love their daughter or miss their mum……..I think it means much more when you use your own words.

So can I just say that sometimes friendship ain’t easy, especially this time of year but I think it’s worth it? 🙂

Why do they claim that British weather has four seasons in one day? It’s a late fifties group of singers for goodness sake and here they are!

I don’t have a wife or kids and I’m not scared…..I’d rather die standing than live on my knees (Stephane Charbonnier the editor of Charlie Hebdo)

January 10, 2015

And so dear listener, I don’t often talk about my job on the basis that much of it relates to people in unfortunate circumstances. I work in a project offering supported and temporary accommodation to homeless people and it is based in Glasgow city centre. On Friday, the fire alarm went and all the procedures were correctly carried out and everything was okay but it did lead to me being out in the middle of Sauchiehall Street at the Nice’n’Sleazy end wearing a yellow Hi-Vis jacket signalling to a Fire Brigade appliance or two. Some people might have been embarrassed but moi….? The ego had landed. 🙂

Je suis Charlie.

And there are changes afoot chez moi. And I’d like to thank RJ (2) for escorting me around IKEAE and sofa shops in Braehead, Her mum, e, was there too. My last venture to the home of the Swedish meatball was not a good one, but this was good. I move in next week. And the Pret-a-Manger was good as well. Big changes may be about to happen and later in the year it may become the Adventures of Kenny the Shed Pimp…watch this space, especially in the bathroom……I’m quite excited but then I don’t get out much. Care in the community has still to reach Summerston.

Tu es Charlie.

And I’ve been doing some shopping of my own. My granddaughter gets baptismed later this month, so I have bought something for that event. Should I be worried when a co-worker at the project laughs at what I bought and says, ‘but she’s a girl’? Pfft (with hands held out in a stereotypical French kinda way). I did worry about writing anything about gd’s pressie but I don’t think she’s reading the blog just yet. However she is a bit of a prodigy (but not a firestarter……..) 😉

Il/elle est Charlie

And me and the good Dr W have bought a present for a young lady aged 17 turning 18 soon. No need to look away, Zoe. I buy lots of pressies for young women that age. (Skippy, I’m not too happy with that sentence…….can we work on it before broadcast? Merci) Actually the original idea came from Dr W and in that faithful roadie kinda way, I did the legwork. Down Byres Road. And, W you do trust me when it comes to buying cards and paper, don’t you? 🙂

Nous sommes Charlie.

And one of the raisons-d’etre for this blog was to highlight certain aspects of alcohol and cancer. So can I say well done to a man I know who, hopefully, has successfully come through breast cancer surgery; a woman I know who had certain health concerns, went to the doctor and ended up going for a scan, worried about cancer, but there is none; and someone else I was talking to who is ten years without a drink. These are not uncommon stories. 😀

Vous etes Charlie

And If I’m allowed one slightly humorous aspect of the tragedies in France to which I am not referring it is the fact that the neighbour of one of the terrorists said, ‘I never thought he was an extremist – but he had grown a beard recently.’ On that basis we should be checking out half the footballers in the SPFL, n’est-pas?

Ils/elles sont Charlie

And finally, one of those Facebook challenges is going the rounds and in this one you are expected to put up your original profile pic and looking thru my pics, (you’re right, Jenny H), it’s interesting just how important my hair is to me and the second pic I put up was a screen grab by one Thomas Alexander of an STV prog a few years ago called The Hour – the good one – at tea-time which some of us liked cos Michelle McManus during the food prep always asked for another piece of cheese in the dish or during the wine tasting, actually finished her glass. 🙂

Instead of a piece of music finishing the show I’ve managed to find the footage from the show a wee while back…….by all means look at the hair, but please ignore the fleece and the shirt……..I think my wardrobe needs updated as well and I mean the inside rather than the outside……

Cya, still wearing that badge nd defo going for it

Johnt850 who had to hand the Hi Vis jacket back.

I was going to write something about us in this country not believing as much in free speech as we think we do (how often did you hear a YES person or a NO conceding that the other person had a valid point?) or that Katie Hopkins is not so much a racist but more professionally and profitably deliberately offensive or that……but I’m not going to….

I have a Banksy desk calendar; I know someone whose dog is called Banksy; and there’s a large Banksy downstairs (it’s okay Son Brian and the lovely KT, I know it’s not an original). A few years ago I went to a Banksy exhibition in his home town of Bristol and on the way in I met a man of West Indian descent who was rolling the largest spliff I have ever seen (an eleven skinner I would have guessed had I known anything about these things) and my favourite exhibit was a model of a rabbit sitting in front of a mirror trying out various cosmetics.

I obviously disagree that a picture is worth a thousand words Mr/Miss/Mrs Banksy, but I’d love to chat it over with you……..and I don’t see us falling out.

Salut Charlie.

And here’s me and Robert de Niro and Nelson Mandela but there may be a wee advert that precedes us…

Who’s that boy with the ocean green eyes, In rough trade every Saturday, Don’t he look cute in his eighties track suit? I wish I hadn’t thrown mine away (Ash)

January 2, 2015

And so, dear listener, we arrive in 2015 with good intentions and a feeling of mild hysteria following a recent twelve hour night shift during which I realised I had a clean mophead in my work locker in case we ran out. Inexplicable laughter lasted for about ten minutes and that was even before I’d opened the locker. Maybe there was ‘something’ in the air that night.

This is the pot-pourri edition of the blog which not only allows me a random selection of items but the chance to run the gag that when the late Ian Paisley’s wife suggested that she introduce fragrances to the house with a selection of dried flowers, herbs and spices he was aghast; ‘there’ll be no pot-pourri in this house’, cried Paisley.

But speaking of the project can I thank Secret Santa for his two part pressie which I opened publicly in dread of what was in. It was a two part pressie; the first was okay but the second was a book called How to Bonk in Public. ‘They know you really well’ said my sister.

It was the same when I explained to some people that I was being targeted by Filipino women (or men purporting to be….) for what is known as sexortation. ‘Maybe it’s my loose privacy settings,’ I opined. ‘More likely your loose morals,’ said my ex-wife.

But on the subject of pressies can I say thanks to e for what she had described as ‘it’s the wrong one but I don’t think you’ll mind’……….it was, of course, a picture of the Finnieston Crane which is more or less exactly the same as the Titan Crane down which the good Dr W and I abseiled last year;

My thanks to Maureen of Momac Designs (who can be found through Facebook or me) for her help with some very special jewellery at a ‘slightly’ discounted rate;

And my thanks to my granddaughter (gd) who knew that what I wanted, what I really, really wanted was a griddle pan and tongs. Only sixteen weeks and so perceptive. I know that deep down she wants to hear all of my collection of hard house and industrial strength techno.

So decorations are down (don’t know why they’re so unhappy) and preparations begin for the next Windy Challenge (as I’m calling it). It’s a kind of Blue Peter Challenge for the Twenty-First Century and suggestions are welcome.

But you may have noticed that the last few editions of the blog were rather special. One was reflecting on my eight years without alcohol by talking of a special day in Easterhouse (and I do hope that those who ‘liked’ it on Facebook meant they liked the blog rather than the anniversary ‘cos it ain’t that big a deal. Many, many people do it without drawing attention to themselves like what I do).

Another was a wee perspective on the Bin Lorry Crash and it was interesting that when I was paying my respects at GOMA, three bin lorries passed within a few minutes (and can I point out that the driver sits on his own up front with fellow workers sitting behind him often separated by a barrier?)

And some Personality of the Year Awards which were graciously received…..

And big well dones to Uni-Sharon who made into the pages of the Daily Record for a good news story about her phenomenal weight loss (twelve stone with a wee bit more to go but what I think has helped is there’s a lot of simple exercise involved)

But it did mean that I missed some of the big stories of the time. For example, did you know, did you really, really know that the inventor of the USB drive died during the year? Apparently they lowered the coffin into the grave and then had to pull it back up, turn it over and lower it again.*

And a student friend told me she was worried about her parrot. Apparently it kept saying, ‘I can’t go on. I hate my life.’ Her roommate was too selfish to notice. He was too busy crying all the time.**

And finally a cannibal once took my sister to see a Russell Crowe film. ‘Gladiator?’…’No. I really miss her.’***

*He’s alive **Humour with a serious message *** There is no ***..

And finally, delighted to see that research has indicated that changes in the last few years regarding the sale of drink (also known as the BOGOF ban) has seen a reduction in consumption of about three per cent. Surely, surely this helps the case for Minimum Unit Pricing which will have an effect on the sales of cheap booze through the supermarkets. Alcohol is 60 per cent more affordable that it was in 1980………..oh, and twenty deaths each week in Scotland are directly attributable to alcohol. I’m not against alcohol. I just worry that we’re more concerned about one case of Ebola than we are about cheap booze.

Cya, keeping it fun and defo going for it

Johnt850, Uptown Funk personified

So it was a quiet festive period and I did feel a bit down but then e was in touch and, a propos of nothing, reminded me, in a gentle way, of what a great year it had been. Batteries have been charged and I have things to look forward to, ranging from an eighteenth birthday party and baptism (actually separate happenings) at the end of January, through to the fact that I have two weeks’ paid annual leave at the end of March with no idea of where to go all the way through to a draft application for a PhD which I’ve totally ignored over the last few weeks.

Skippy, there is still much to do. Fire up the DeLorean, the car of 2015.

And my thanks to John Cavanagh for this little gem