Some days you gotta dance Live it up when you get the chance ‘Cause when the world doesn’t make no sense And you’re feeling just a little too tense Gotta loosen up those chains and dance (Dixie Chicks)

And so dear listener, I’m getting bored of the one remaining issue involved in the anxiety diagnosis of a few weeks ago, so goodness knows how you feel. I hope it will be resolved soon and there is something important I need to clear up in these pages, but first….

Who was your first folk hero?

Mine was a man called Johnny Ramensky, who was born of Lithuanian parents, became a famous safecracker in the thirties, became a commando during World War II and ended up in Peterhead Prison. I grew up in Peterhead. There was a wee bit about him on STV the other night but it didn’t do him justice. 😦

Y’see Peterhead Prison was supposed to be impossible to break out of, but Johnny did it, according to the TV, five times but the TV got it wrong as my dad would have told it if he was still alive. Johnny had friends in Peterhead – ex-commandos and paratroops, including the father of a school-friend of mine who had served in Arnhem (think of a bloody Bridge Too Far) – and Johnny would break out of the prison, meet these guys and go for a couple of drinks and then break back in. 🙂

It was only when he couldn’t break back in that he would be reported missing but he’d give himself up a couple of days later when he was hungry. He died in 1972 with the Military Medal and with large looted Nazi treasure troves all over the UK.

So, as I say, who was your first folk hero? I’d like to know.

No, the thing I’d like to clear up is that I still like the job that I do, which is working with the homeless on a paid part-time basis, but as with any job when things change you do consider what you’re doing as a result of issues outwith the project.

So, it is time to look for an additional project but that does not mean another job. To a certain extent that was what the university involvement was or the voluntary work with Alternatives – the rehab in Clydebank and Dumbarton – and if there’s income or funding then so much the better. 😉

I work an average of sixteen hours per week and that’s a good basis to build on…….and with the universities back it’s time to go flyering again but with UWS (Paisley) I may need a guide or a ball of string.

So any, and all, suggestions considered. Seriously.

And I have my first Gaelic lesson this week. And spellcheck better get used to it. There’s not a materialistic end in sight – just a desire to talk to some bi-lingual children I know – but if it leads to anything else, then there used to be a person inside me who would welcome that. And hopefully still is. 🙂

Maybe at the moment, I’m still a wee bit anxious about things. I did something that I thought was for the best and now regret it. One day I will tell the world. But a big thanks to Holly the Dog for getting me out even when it’s wet and welly boot weather. Even if I do wear my jeans outside my boots.

Let’s move swiftly on.

Happy Birthday J. 🙂

You certainly don’t look it but then, as you so rightly said, neither do I.

And finally, for various reasons I found myself driving down to Renfrew (Happy Birthday, Debbie…..and the Dorritos are still fine 🙂  ) in my new car at midnight the other night.

Not every project has two workers on at all time – some have just the one and there had been a no-show. So I went and it was good fun, but as always, it’s nice to see the next shift at the other end of the front door camera knowing you can go home and this was when I learned how good my new car is.

I had been dreading the journey home at 7.30 – commuter gridlock time – but every other car on the M8 Eastbound seemed to know its place and gave way. As a journey it was fun – as I listened to one of the four radio channels I have programmed in the radio.

Yes. It did come with a full set of pre-programmed radio but, unfortunately my attempt to add a couple more led to my mucking up the whole cat’s crystal…and I lost everything. However, without knowing what I was doing, I have managed to tune in four channels – Gaydio, a Glasgow Celtic music channel, BBC Radio Scotland and Radio 1 – but two of those are completely new to me. Can you guess which ones, dear listener?

Cya, still wearing that badge and quietly keeping it simple.

Johnt850, still fairly confident about life but never ‘braggadocious.’

So I was never asked to audition for Glow, which is’s answer to The Only Way Is Chelsea, but totally agree with comedienne Janey Godley’s comments about it;

‘No-one with ginger hair or freckles, or even someone who wears socks….where are those really hip young Asian boys that are super cool with their fancy cars?’ Indeed, it is full of white men and women trying to look brown.

It is not the Glasgow that I have come to know and love over the years (did you know I was brought up in Peterhead?); and it is not the Summerston that decided to accept me about twenty-eight years ago.

But they’re not even all from Glasgow! I see that two of the young ladies are described as ‘models and bar workers from Motherwell.’

Beginning Thursday 20th October at 7 pm on

I only ever had one conversation with the late, great Sir Terry Wogan and it took place in a Radio 2 studio in London (Egton House?). I was introduced to him and he said ‘Hello, John.’ And I said ‘Terry.’ That meeting has lived with me for ever.

His broadcasts also introduced me Katie Melua and the ‘Closest Thing to Crazy’.



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