The last hour is the longest (Carol)

And so dear listener, it may not be a line on a par with ‘the first cut is the deepest’ but for me and my neighbour across the road, Carol, and every other nightshift worker, it is so the truth. For me, it was even more meaningful the other day, when I had been asked to stay on an extra (paid) hour for a nightshift staff meeting. Time can so drag when you’re looking out for some relief.

I’ve also been doing a lot of backshifts….out in daylight…it’s weird. Going to work in daylight and back home again. In daylight. Carol, my neighbour, works with senior citizens. I couldn’t do that. I don’t have the patience. For some reason, I still have more in common with the folk with whom I work than the elderly.

End of self-assessment. 🙂

So, I went to see Irvine Welsh on Friday night in the Mitchell Library, which has, you might be interested to know, rainforestriverman, a licence to sell alcohol – after that time we couldn’t get a cup of decaff. It’s Aye Write, the annual writers’ extravaganza, here in Glasgow…. And it has little competition from any other cultural event on Glasgow other than the Museum of Water in the Botanic Gardens…..So far, I have been able to restrain myself from going.

But is Irvine Welsh culture?

Leaving aside the famous Trainspotting, Filth, Porno and the Skag Boys, his last novel was about Siamese twins having sex and the narrative was by the women, leaving one lady, apparently, at a reading in Germany, asking him how he managed to slip into a woman……oh, how the audience laffed. And so did I. 😀

He was good ‘cos he does the readings in real voices and was one of the best from that point of view that I have ever seen, but I did get annoyed at the way that the middle class, middle aged mostly women laffed whenever they heard certain words e.g. f*ck, sha* and *unt plus a whole range of East Coast words for things to do with sex…….I hear them a lot during my working day/night and I don’t find them funny…..but it’s different in a theatre with a glass of wine.

But my favourite moment came when someone (German accent) claimed to have moved to Scotland cos they’d read Trainspotting (wtf were they looking for and expecting to find?) Compare and contrast with an Embra friend (Catherine)who told me that she’d once told Irvine that Trainspotting had ruined her childhood.

And finally, it may look okay in Glasgow Centre to wear blue Spandex gloves when you’re carrying rubbish into the skips, but see when you come back with nothing in your hands other than those gloves you don’t half get some funny looks. Inspiration for Irvine Welsh?

And finally, finally, this has not been the best of blogs; nor has it been the worst of blogs but I feel awful. I did a twelve hour shift the other day and a simple frog in the throat has become a horrible phlegmatic cough. I would take cough syrup but I like the taste too much and what it does to me when I drink too much too quickly…….all suggestions gratefully received…..but I won’t be at the Mitchell tonight. I just want a decent night’s sleep.

Cya, still wearing that badge and defo going for it….once all the work to the house is done.

Johnt850 and the harder I work, the tastier the apple gets

A few weeks ago I went for coffee with a friend and the subject of the Sandyford Clinic came up. I may explain more why on another occasion, but the Sandyford Initiative is a well-known oasis of health advice on matters sexual, drink and drug related issues in an incredibly wide sense (in sexual also read gender issues). It also plays a part in one of these wee stories of friendship I throw up from time to time – kinda like a Church of Scotland minister…which is what my mum always wanted me to be.

Let’s go back ten years when my mum had died but the alcohol dependency had already kicked in. I was ‘teaching’ (?) Public Relations to a class (HNC?) at what was then Glasgow Metropolitan College and I told them to run a real campaign and choose a charity. This was novel, particularly as all the previous tutors had got classes to do things in the College and get Brownie points. They thought I was weird. Little did they know. (My current co-workers thought the same when I first started)

Four good looking young ladies (18/19) chose the Sandyford as their charity and ran a kinda raffle to raise funds for it. The ruse was simple – ‘Guess How Many Condoms are in this Jar’. A lot of people chose 69 as the answer. Some of my boss people were critical of me for doing this but it worked………they passed with flying colours and went onto greater things.

But something else happened; three of the four became good friends of mine – Missie K, the Vampire Slayer and Blondie – and were of tremendous help in my recovery. All students were told of my cancer; these three were the first to be told of my Cold Turkey. Interesting, eh, where friends come from……..brilliant place, the Sandyford.

No. No reason.

This is Hector Bizerk. I’ll explain why next week.

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