“The cat sat on the mat is not the beginning of a story. The cat sat on the dog’s mat is” (John Le Carre)

And so, dear listener, for me the new year didn’t start until Monday, 4th January and that may be no bad thing. Aye, I was working but only the New Year/Hogmanay week. Our rota gets changed over that period. 🙂

And it was so heartwarming to see (social media) and hear (listening in) all those people who were so glad to get back to work and normality after being off from the close of play (3pm) on the Wednesday (23rd) before Christmas until Tuesday, 5th January. All those working in bars and restaurants, in hospitals and shops, over that period serving you ‘salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability.’

On a personal note, I’d like to say a personal thanks personally to those police and para-medics working over that period and their pretty damn good response times and to those nice people from Victim Support Scotland who phone up to see if you’re okay. ‘Thanks. I am.’

A number of things make/made the Fourth a good day to start. 😀

Let’s take revolutions. I heard someone on Radio 1 make the point that the First is a bad day cos, in addition to that possible hangover, there’s an awful lot of food and drink in the house still and who’s going to ignore that?

My other revolution is to lose a couple of inches (from my stomach area) so leaving that for a couple of days before starting doing anything about it is a good idea. It’s too easy to graze and nibble in my house, particularly when writing the blog or doing the editing. 😦

I will keep you posted. 🙂

The year the Fourth was also good cos I met up with Jenny H, a PhD student for whom I had done some work. Most of my interaction on the editing front is done by e-mail; so to meet up with a ‘client’ can be quite nerve-wracking. This time, it wasn’t.

Can I also make a point about meeting in coffee houses (for want of a better term)? I still find it amazing that despite having drunk and eaten our full, as long as we keep our cups with some coffee in them, no waiter/tress asks us if we want another – a good hint to leave. Or maybe that was just the pubs I drank in. 😦

And on Tuesday I celebrated uni-Sharon receiving her lifetime achievement award in a café in Paisley, which resembles the TARDIS in having so many rooms through the back…..and a smashing goats’ cheese salad.

And it was also nice spending time with J and e before Christmas.

The two questions I am most commonly asked;

  1. Do I still get alcohol cravings? No. and never really did. Nor do I get cravings for meat.
  2. Do I have any male friends? Em, yes……….a few. I’ll get back to you with some names. Indeed, one of them, the rainforestriverman was the one who gave me a signed copy of Volume Two of Charles Moore’s biography of Margaret Thatcher….I’m not sure that’s being a friend, tho’…….

And I despair at the diminishing ability of we Scots to out things in context. I blame #indyref.

The Tunnocks family have done millions for portraying a vision of Scotland with which I’ve not always agreed but I respect their right so to do. Not so the cybernats who are sooooooo blinkered in their vision that any action taken with which they disagree is a slight to Scotland – it doesn’t matter what the family have done for Scotland and the Scottish people over the years.

The decision to remove the lion from the wrapping as part of a rebranding campaign to take advantage of the great British Bake-Off has been seen as slight to Scottish manhood equivalent to the hanging, drawing and quartering of Wallace himself. Listen, if you can’t get a grip, get a context.

And finally, I had an Alan Partridge moment on the night shift the other night. The project in which I work occupies an entire Glasgow tenement. At 3.30 in the morning there was a problem with the water in the top flats so I phoned Scottish Water.

‘Hi this is Alison.’

‘Hi Alison, this is John.’ And I explained what was happening.

‘No,’ she said. ‘There’s been nothing like that since I came on shift at ten.’

‘Oh,’ says I. ‘I came on at nine. When do you finish?’

‘Eight. When do you finish?’

‘Seven.’……..but no, I didn’t ask her for breakfast. Sometimes, you just want to go home. 🙂

Cya, still wearing that badge and preferring to keep it simple.

Johnt850, more of a Caramel Wafer Man.

So lots of stuff about guidelines for the consumption of alcohol and I’m sure I’m expected to comment on these.

So I just want to say two things.

The biggest problem, in my view, is people drinking at home before going out – getting tanked up before the night starts or even taking booze with them on the way to a night out. Do you measure out your drinks at home or do you just pour?

The other is that objective consideration of the number of units consumed diminishes as more drink gets drunk. I have no idea how many units were/are in a bottle of whisky….each night. That was the least of my consideration. It didn’t stop me drinking one – at least – each night of that last year.

Drinking at home. How much do you do?

Last week, I played half of the game; you play me some of your CDs and I’ll play you some of mine. I played Mariachi the Bronx. This is The Bronx. The video? Consider it as part of my own Glasgow Effect and the resulting Poverty Safari.



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