Archive for February, 2015

Go not where the path may lead…go instead where there is no path and leave a trail (anon)

February 28, 2015

And so, dear listener, I am leaving the country. It’s something I have been considering for some time and I think those people to whom I’ve spoken appreciate my feelings. New challenges; new people; new beginnings*. 🙂

Altho’ that might be asking too much from a couple of days in Lisbon in March.

(*No. I know. I’ve never had an old beginning either).

It’s been years since I’ve been abroad – well over ten – and it’s time to put that right. So a couple of days later in March have been booked. Flights early from Glasgow via Manchester to Lisbon and back early afternoon a couple of days and getting back to Glasgow at night. It’s an alright hotel slap bang in the middle of Lisbon’s ‘young and vibrant’ quarter so that’ll be interesting. 🙂

Unlike me. I think many people are now finding me boring. Maybe it’s the blog but it’s my hobby. I could never ever play golf for four to five hours every Sunday morning with the same three people. Maybe it’s just me. I enjoy meeting people but if they’re too busy then I do understand and that’s not me ‘guilt tripping’ (which is a phrase I hate) or being deliberately sad….it’s life. 🙂

There are some people obvs excluded from that even if, Dr W, our conversations are about quotation marks. You’ll have noticed I didn’t reply to that last mail for some time……it was a lot to take in. Okay. I fell asleep for an hour. Do you have views on the Oxford Comma? Here’s a lovely song about it.

And Blogmeister, I’ll be in touch later this week. The new rota’s out.

There’s a lot about to happen in my life and to my house and the sun is out and the sap is rising (is that an innuendo?) and the mighty Harry Wraggs are, as ever, unpredictable..

[Incidentally why don’t I give you my name and password and you can choose and write one for me?]

Many years ago, a BBC colleague wrote a dating message for me that went into the List – jolly interesting results. Maybe it’s time again. I still walk past that flat. And smile.

I think it’s the small things that are doing my head in. I’m getting my bathroom gutted soon and the bath is being replaced by a shower. It’ll happen in a couple of months. Today the toilet handle broke. Now, do I replace it? Obvs, yes but it’s annoying.

For some reason I have two ‘cash in the wall’ cards and I thought they had the same number. I lost them both this morning. One is for my current account; the other is for a savings account….Get Thee Behind Satan. The idea is that I don’t touch that account.

And why did my son send me photos in OneDrive with the message ‘all you need to do is download them to another folder’? It took me twenty-four hours of banging my head against a brick wall [but not Chinese accountants] until he told me, ‘No, you download them as individual pics.’ On Wednesday I took some photos of a smashing dog, stuck a cable in my camera and in my laptop, switched on the camera and named a folder…..(I’ll say more about the dog another time. Early days yet) and was able to send some pics back to the dog’s owner and one other……..(e, it was another dog owner who may occasionally feature in my conversations from time to time)

So maybe I’m fed up and a bit at a loose end. But I feel busy. Maybe if I was 9 – 5 it’d be different. But the editing keeps irregular hours as well.

But finally, even the irregular hours which suit sometimes go against me. I got a mail on Saturday lunchtime between two sleeps for two shifts (from a regular) saying, ‘Here’s 4,000 words. Can I have them back on Sunday night?’To which I replied, ‘No. Too short notice.’ See me? See masterful 😉 And as I get rady to publish this on a Sunday afternoon, there has been no reply. Maybe he thought Johnt850’s a good guy and has been playing golf 🙂

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

Johnt850 (who’s not usually a moaning git) 🙂

Y’see someone who I know well but will remain anonymous was kinda challenging some of the blog’s ethos (the cancer and the alcohol) but also the fact that neither of these are real considerations in my life these days. I just don’t drink alcohol (maybe I’d meet more people if I did?) and I’ve no reason to expect the cancer to come back (the evil bastard will make up its own mind) and I’m neither impotent nor incontinent (the two big worries why some men don’t go for treatment)…..and that’s fair comment….about the blog.

And then I got a call from one of my Post Grad mates teaching nurses in South Lanarkshire. Any chance I could talk to a couple of her classes about my cancer and the answer is Yes…..altho’ I did tell Prostate Cancer UK that I was ’too busy’ to do talks.

Naw. I was lucky with both my lifestyle hiccups. Plus professional help. Others may not be so lucky. And I do it with humour. 🙂 I’m getting happy again. 😀

I noticed that Sam Smith, who has a brilliant voice, is being described as a soul singer. He’s not. Otis Redding was. It’s a lovely video. It’s a record shop and it’s vinyl.

Take a hand and hold on tight, ‘Cause this is what we’ll do. We’ll stick together. I’m what you need to take (you) there. I can’t feel this, I can’t feel this (Twin Atlantic)

February 21, 2015

And so, dear listener, this week I broke the habits of a recent lifetime and watched Eastenders – the live edition. Some of the people with whom I work watch it and also some folk on fbook so I thought why not? I was able, at the same time, to monitor events at Celtic Park so my plan was to remain seated for more than ten minutes, e. 😉

It was the thirtieth anniversary so we had the throwback to the very first minute of the very first edition when some extra was found dead when, this time round, Nick, who I thought was already dead, was found dead. By men wearing dinner jackets in a way which was meant to be redolent of Agatha Christie and the denoument (sp) was bound to be announced in a drawing room with men and women wearing that type of clothing.

Meanwhile Celtic had lost two early goals. 😦

And there were faces of people who I thought had previously left to make their fame and fortune in Hollywood but had obviously decided to decline it and others who had names of people who used to be in the programme but looked nothing like themselves.

At least the Lisbon Lions looked like themselves. 🙂

And a baby was born and Cath Beale showed up in a taxi and Danny Dyer out Chuck-Norrised Chuck Norris but the ‘face in the cake’ gag was very poor (difficult to do live…..…trust me) and the doofs doofs came in with Jane from Waterloo Road obviously the culprit. And I concentrated totally on an enthralling game of football as it was obvious that the Celtic players had been waiting for the result from Albert Square before they started playing. 🙂

Which leaves me with the one question I had to ask when I actually heard;

‘Who the f*ck is Bobby Beale?’

The rainforestriverman was up for the game and we went for coffee. Or so I thought. We were actually recce-ing (sp) an Italian restaurant where he was planning to take some important people later that day. And, e if you think I can’t sit down for more than ten minutes, you should have seen him as he inspected the toilets, the menu, the wine list and the toilets.

But his opening gambit to the waiter did not bode well.

‘Are you Italian?’ ‘No. I’m Egyptian.’ DOOF DOOF!!!!!

(Whatever happened to OZcabs?)

And the good Dr W and I almost had our first adventure of the year. (Not that your party wasn’t an adventure, Zoe. I had never been to the car park of the Carousel Bar at Bellshill Cross before and that’s the second time I’ve found my way to Glasgow from there and anything which extends my knowledge of Bellshill can only be good. There was a time, not that long ago, that the only way I knew to get to Bellshill involved driving into the Bothwell Service Station, going through the car park and out the other end driving the wrong way down a one way street but that was before……..)

Anyway, the good Dr W and I almost had our first adventure of the year. It didn’t happen but it will and I have some ideas I need to research. What is canyoning? And where does it happen? And is there is a decent restaurant next to it? That caters for vegans and pescatarians? And there are questions that need, not be asked, but answered. 😛

(That’s almost too cryptic for me and I write this stuff.

And finally, I had intended to write a serious treatise on the situation in Greece and its impact on DOOF DOOF!!!!!!

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

Johnt850, who did recently bang his head against a brick wall and has the mark to show for it. Or is that a third eye coming through?

[Chinese accountants]

So I was in contact with some folk, recently, discussing Channel 4’s Jon Snow’s plan to ‘smoke skunk’ on TV so we can see its effects and I was explaining that there is a saying in addiction work and research – ‘the drug, the set, the setting’. It means that no drug in itself is problematic or really good. It also depends on the mood you’re in and the environment. An apprehensive 67 year old ‘smoking skunk’ for the very first time and being filmed doing so is not an accurate reflection of using a drug.

Dropping acid in a certain club in Glasgow on a Saturday night with your pals and you’re ‘up for it’ has a totally different effect from dropping a tab on your own on a boring Sunday afternoon. I am told. By a friend. And it wasn’t something someone had once given me earlier in the week and I’d not yet had the courage to use.

That’s why when I go out, my drug is orange juice, my mood is to enjoy myself and my environment is with friends (or occasionally one) who keep getting me up to dance. And I do (but I need to practise the locomotion!)

That’s why it’s not a disease but a form of behaviour which we can change – sometimes fairly easily – but if you’re running an over-priced clinic you don’t want people to know that, do you?

And now for tonight’s final DOOF DOOF!!!!!

So I was having a case of moaning, griping and bitching. So the good Dr W recommended a solution to my problems……’Man The Fuc* Up’ (Adopted from Anon)

February 14, 2015

And so dear listener, something annoyed me this week and that’s an unusual start for me to the show. Sometimes I catch Channel 4 News if I’m about to go out to work and recently they’ve been kidding on that Michael Crick is somehow Hunter S Thompson, but not only have they got their Fear and Loathings mixed up, there will never be any chance that they can cover a campaign like Hunter S Thompson did. 🙂

Is this Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas or is this Channel 4 News?

Is this Michael Crick or Johnny Depp as Hunter S Thompson as Raoul Duke?

Right. I feel better for that. The rant. Not the drug collection.

And I actually have read Fifty Shades of Incredibly Bad Writing. However, I am eternally glad for its publication (and now the movie) as I no longer have to remove Redtube and Pornhub from my Browser History every ….eh, every so often……. 😦

It’s interesting cos I’ve never really been asked much about my ‘bad days’ as a lot of people, who always associated me with the BBC and being a good but estranged dad and because it came as a surprise to them that I had an alcohol problem, have never really asked about my Maryhill and West End life at that time. A lot happened which I very rarely talk about – unless asked. If things had not gone as well as they have done, then much of that behaviour (what I can remember) would have brought shame and certain consequences upon me and my family. I am more than happy to answer questions.

Let’s move on.

I well remember my first ever BDSM gag… (What’s that Skippy?) I well remember my first ever BDSM joke.

Did you hear about the masochist who liked a cold shower every morning? So he didn’t take one.

And as I write this, I realise that I will not be seeing I Survived A Zombie Apocalypse on BBC 3 but will be watching it on iPlayer – but they won’t be half as good as we were and, indeed, will be later this year. 🙂

And early finally, I’ve been talking to a few folk about various things recently that I’ve not had the chance to talk about; for example I was at a workshop/conference café about the homeless which was really good (but it was immediately after a nightshift so I’m afraid I never made it to Firhill on Wednesday night to see them getting gubbed by Celtic) and it was held in the not-that-long-ago-refurbished Maryhill Burgh Halls which, if you ever need a venue in the North West of Glasgow, is superb. Very light, very airy and very close to where I live. It was the first time for a long time, I’d been sharing views with other support workers and high heid yin housing people and some service users.

And I’ve been out to the old primary school in Paisley for all sorts of reasons and working and…….it’s been a good week for talking drink, drugs and homeless with people in the field and in the lecture theatre………and whilst I keep saying that legal highs is the bastard, I do have to explain to people that they are legal despite the damage they can do…….we can’t really be sure what’s in them. And, no, they’re not advertised. They are a perfect example of word of mouth.

But it’s been something else that folk have been talking to me about – and again it’s perfectly legal but is popular among young(er) people;

Wow! I used to have to mix up my own serving of vodka and caffeine. Now it comes in cans; a wee bit like those cans of Gordon’s Gin and Tonic that posh people take on picnics – or on one occasion during my brief period of involvement with Beavers – to Beavers’ days out at Auchengillan Scout Camp. (Mmmmm…teaching people to tie knots…what were they thinking of?) 😉

Cya, still wearing that badge and defo going for it

Johnt850 (or Violet Wand to his friends)

So kinda mixed news on Friday which I will come back to soon time but big thanks to the good Dr W for her help and encouragement (see above) but time may now be against me 😦 ………but I will keep trying. It’s left me a wee bit down hence the early finish. Continuity will cover.

So I’ve done the heavy stuff above but there is a major point of debate on PhD circles that worries me. It’s called the VIVA and it’s a kinda question and answer session at the end of the journey about some of the things that have come up during the research. Everyone I know, including the good Dr W, super(visor) Claire and Jenny H pronounce it VYVA.

These are the Dead Kennedys. They know what they’re talking about;

‘…..and it also gives us a good chance to make the quarter finals of this (Scottish Cup) competition’ (the Thistle manager before yesterday’s defeat)

February 7, 2015

And so dear listener, my very good friend, the Rainforestriverman was in Barbados last week and was then invited by a sponsor to the Old Firm game at the national stadium with the grotesque grass pitch; I was in Bellshill cos I’d been invited to Zoe’s eighteenth birthday party at the five-a-side football pitches in Bothwell Road Hamilton. A close call but I think I got the better deal.

He and I weren’t quite separated at birth but…hey, hang on, that would make sense. No. No reason. I’ll move on. Of course……. 😉

Anyway I drove out to the good Dr W’s palatial mansion and from there she and I went and picked up some of the zombies (from Outbreak Zombie) who had been invited and we set off in convoy, me keeping my eyes on the good Dr W. From behind. Ah, the memories of Go Ape that brought back. She had someone, who knew where we were going, navigating for her. Who didn’t drive. So we followed the bus route. But we got there. 🙂

My heating had packed up it seemed but it got a jolt from a bump in the road as we passed by the doggers in Strathclyde Park (or possibly over them) and it started working again. It’s since done that a couple of times but I seem to have found the bit in the dashboard that I need to hit to get it going again. 🙂

(The location for the party seems to be called Lucozade Powerleague and is one of those places, blogmeister, where they play football wrapped in bubblestuff and I’d be up for that but we’d need lots of water and lots of substitutes)

So we arrived and my only complaint of the night happened – I wasn’t age ID’d on the way in. It was a smashing night. Food was good and lots of it (with veg pakora thoughtfully provided for us fussy eaters) and drink was drank and dancing was done and selfies were taken and Zoe got lots of presents.

Ah, yes, the dancing was good:

(Thanks Graeme)

And then we (the zombies) left. To go elsewhere. Or as they know it in Bellshill – the Carousel Bar at the Cross.

Again I followed W’s rear. And then she turned right! ‘No! Straight on!’ came the cry from the backseat. Now to be honest, I wasn’t too sure who I had in the backseat (or indeed how many) but such is the nature of the Zombie fellowship that I trusted them and we arrived in the car park of the Carousel and I turned down the invitation of the drink but got a nice hug……and I found the road home to Glasgow safely. 🙂

And sent the txt that that was me ‘home safe’. A night of new experiences and a bunch of people that have become part of my life.

Soon time there is a programme coming to BBC3 called ‘I Survived a Zombie Apocalypse’ – I bet any money that in the three nights week for five weeks last October the Zombies at M & D’s in Strathclyde Park were ten times scarier…….Happy Birthday Zoe…..x 😀

(Oh and I discovered a DVD in a drawer (of mine) the other day called ‘Zombie Women of Satan’. I’ll maybe watch it soon time and let you know what it’s like)

Elsewhere I also investigated Port Glasgow. I was meeting up with some alcohol and drug information workers to discuss some aspects of the PhD stuff. Why is it that every time I drive down that way they seem to have added another roundabout and altered the direction it goes in? And they kept the original roundabouts so wherever you get the instructions from (SatNav or AA Route Planner) it becomes very confusing.

So can I apologise to the driver of a sliver grey 4 x 4 big car thing? No. I had already stopped after I realised you were going for the same turning as me but you had indicated the left turning previous to that. Must be reassuring to know your brakes work so well. And I misunderstood the final direction for the Wellpark Centre and found myself driving towards Kilmacolm on a road that shouldn’t have been wide enough for a U-Turn. But it was. A good afternoon and again I got home safely but didn’t text.

And finally, the news that Public Health England has urged supermarkets to move daffodils away from the fruit and veg because they’re dangerous if eaten has left me speechless.

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

Johnt850, still worried about if a man or a chimpanzee would win in a fair fight.

So, one of the other plots in Eastenders (which I don’t watch but occasionally see bits of when working) concerns an old man dying of prostate cancer (at least I think that’s where the plot’s heading).

It’s now almost six years since I started the second half of my treatment for the same cancer. The first half was having oestrogen jagged into me to kill the testosterone which feeds the cancer (and I still have the bosom to show how powerful it was).

I had two months of daily radiography and I can honestly say that the guys (and gals) with whom I shared Treatment Area C were amongst the funnest people I have ever spent any time with and were one of the reasons this blog was started. None of us wanted to be there but we made up for it with a form of gallows humour which made my time down there so much easier……No. It would be nice to see a soap that reflected what is on offer to help people with problems but they don’t do it with alcohol and other drug issues so why should cancer be any different?

So Sheena Easton or Teenage Fanclub or Soup Dragons or BMX Bandits? It has to be BMX Bandits with a long haired Duglas T Stewart – Bellshill’s second finest…..