Oh don’t lean on me man Cause you ain’t got time to check it You know my Suffragette City Is outta sight…she’s all right (Bowie)

And so dear listener, last Sunday I had brunch in a coffee shop just off Byres Road – which must be one of the ponciest (sp) opening lines, I’ve ever opened with but please bear with me on this. It’s a friend (male) called Stuart who lives out of town with his wife Anne, and who pops into Glasgow from time to obscure time.

They travel a lot. I mean, they have full time jobs but they seem to manage to travel a lot. So they’re not long back from Nepal, Tibet and India (I’m considering a couple of days in Amsterdam at the end of March) and he has good stories. 🙂

Some of them are quite mundane – like having to get a large musical horn through Chinese customs and wondering what the hell they were eating…..the usual kinda thing but one stood out and put a lot of my life into context. They became friendly with a Sherpa, who, at the age of 27, had eighteen children. I made a disparaging profligacy comment but I was then put in my place. He had adopted them (those that weren’t his own) after the most recent avalanche had killed some of his friends and colleagues and he was bringing them up as part of his family.

Through his Sherpa-ing he had made many contacts with rich foreign people and they were all contributing to his ‘project’ and I was spell-bound. How had he met all these rich foreign people? Well, he had been, and had guided them, to the top of Everest six times………..my scrambled eggs had gone cold but I never noticed.  🙂

My most exciting event of the week had been to buy some books (not strictly ‘the most exciting event’ but some other coffee bar conversations must stay in the coffee bar). 😉

One was a book of Glasgow maps over the years. A fascinating read but the maps are awfy small to look at. However, there, on page 115, was a map of Partickhill in Glasgow. I had stayed in student halls of residence and then an all-male flat in the Woodlands area before graduating and going back to Peterhead and making a lot of money in the oil industry before returning to Glasgow to do a Post Grad/community work traineeship with the old Strathclyde Region.

I came down with nowhere to stay but within a day I was sharing a flat (single bed in front room) with Jane and Viv in Partickhill. (Yes, rrm, that very flat where you and…hang on! My screen’s flashing LAWYER’S LETTER, LAWYER’S LETTER…….) I’ll move on. No. I have many memories of that and a number of strange flats I was to share with Viv over the years but Partickhill had a really weird Victorian shower/bath thing with loads of knobs and stuff. The building was eventually knocked down but the bath/shower thing was saved and is currently in the People’s Palace on Glasgow Green. Well worth a look.

And finally another book I ‘had’ to buy was the Ladybird Book of Mindfulness (Hazeley N.S.F.W. and Morris O.M.G.) cos I didn’t get one for Christmas. I think I’m okay on the copyright front (J?) if I lift one quote from it;

‘Catriona is in love with the earth but she worries that it does not love her back. Maybe joining Friends of the Earth was a mistake. Now the earth will never see her as more than that.’

Cya, still wearing that badge and still keeping it simple

Johnt850, wham, bang, thank you, ma’am.

And I’m not going to say much about the death of David Bowie other than he was a big influence on me in the early seventies in making the transition from Peterhead to Glasgow. 😉

I Facebook shared a photo of him in Cumbernauld Town Centre which many people, including those from Cumbernauld, enjoyed. But some others claimed that it was a gentle fraud and put up a similar photo of him in Munich, but I reckon that the Munichians had photoshopped the original from the Cumbernauld Years which David Cameron totally forgot about when paying his tribute.

But does it matter?

Many years ago, I was doing some work experience, for my first Post Grad, down Ayrshire way and I was staying with a family in Irvine. The man of the house told me a story that he had been reserve goalkeeper for Aston Villa and minutes before the English Cup Final was about to kick off at Wembley the first choice keeper had been injured and he had had to play in goals. My scrambled eggs went cold…it was all they ever fed me.

But, dear listener, I made a big mistake. I looked the game up in my Rothman’s Football Annual, the printed Google of its day and found he hadn’t. I should just have believed him. What harm would it have done? 😦 And his stories were good.

If something makes you happy, then don’t analyse it. Accept it for what it is and keep smelling the roses. And smiling. You have no idea what’s round the corner. It could be an avalanche and that could change your life in many, many ways. Hopefully, always for the better.

And is it the Partickhill shower/bath in the Peoples’ Palace or do I just tell people it is? Only I know.

And I don’t think this Bowie track ever got the full recognition it deserved, but in this world of Dungeons, Dragons, myths and mystery and Neil Gaiman and JRR Tolkein, here it is in an appropriate context. Enjoy…..whatever story you believe to be true.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: