Archive for July, 2018

I don’t know what else I would be if I wasn’t me. I am not looking from the outside, looking back. I am who I am. (Cher)

July 20, 2018

And so, dear listener, football has come home to me in Summerston following a very successful World Cup. Well, successful for me. 🙂

I did watch those scenes in Paris after the French had won the World Cup – well they were pretty febrile – whereas my own celebrations were less so but equally deserved. After all I had won £55 and the returned stake of £10 went straight on to Partick Thistle to win the Championship at 3/1. 😀 😀 😀

And I returned to Firhill during the week. Have I actually been back during the last couple of seasons with my periodic depression and heart scare? Leaving aside all the jokes about my heart (not) being up to watching the Harry Wraggs and was it (not) watching them that made me depressed, it was good to be back and to catch up with folk. I like catching up with folk. I miss social intercourse. 😦

I have no canteen for coffee breaks. But I’ve got a car that can get me to one. Or Tinderbox.

There’s a lot of people I haven’t seen for (almost) years. I have a list. But if I put a built-up sole in the left shoe, that usually sorts it. 🙂

It was funny. (But not as much as the list gag) When I was trying to explain the depression and anxiety of the last couple of years to people I’d often use the ‘What if’ question. I’d talk myself out of going to things like Firhill (and will I ever get used to calling it by its new name of the Energy Cheque Stadium?). I’d say to myself ‘What if I don’t get parked?’ FFS! It’s Partick Thistle we’re talking about – even when they were in the big league.

And on Wednesday night, I got parked in my usual space. No problem. And my usual seat. And the crowds are smaller, so if there are people out there with weans who’d like to go to a big(gish) game where under-16s get in for free, then give me a shout. I’ve done it before and it was good fun.

And I’ll go back. Again. Want to come with me? 😉

But it was a tremendous boost to my confidence and I’ve maybe got a couple of interviews coming up for part-time and/or voluntary work back in the glamourous world of social care……..maybe.

And finally, I did catch up with a couple of folk last week that I’d not seen for ages (this year anyway) and they both have new jobs since I last saw them…….how time passes.

Tioraidh, still wearing that badge and still keeping it simple even if it’s pictures of sheep on a beach that prompts memories.

Iaint850, learning the difference between reflux and a heart scare pretty quickly.

And so the editing is not going well. Usually at this time I get work from a Glasgow University Summer School who find me and others on a University website called the Peer Proofreading Register but it doesn’t help when I get exasperated and annoyed at a potential client. 😦

Somebody that I had done work for in the past contacted me on Saturday morning (and ‘undisclosed recipients’) to see if we’d like to proofread his 16,000 words and return them by Wednesday. GU guidelines suggest a week’s turnaround for 15,000 words. I mailed him and told him this but said that if he couldn’t find anyone else I’d do it………a lot of coffee. A day later (and a day missed) I spoke to him on the phone and he started asking me about my relationship with GU and what my qualifications were.

‘But I’ve worked for you before and time is running out’ but he continued, so I just said, ‘I’m sure you got lots of other replies.’ and finished the conversation and let the depression kick in…… was an attack on my professional integrity that sparked the original depression of two years ago but I realised it too late to do anything about it.

Later that day I got a phone call from another student for whom I’m enjoying working and would quite happily work with more like him. He wanted to bring forward a deadline for 40,000 words. Not a problem.

And as far as Donald Trump’s blatant lies about giving in to the trained KGB interrogator without any preparation for that meeting. Well he would, wouldn’t he? (said the gorgeous Mandy Rice-Davies a long time ago)

Anyway, here’s a band that always cheers me up. A country band I liked before I realised I liked country. So here’s David Letterman to introduce the Jayhawks. 😀

(Oh, and I’m now short of a companion to accompany me to see the Pretenders at the Bandstand on the 30th….that sounds so sad, doesn’t it?) But first, there’s editing to finish.

I was a great student. I was good at everything. (Donald Trump)

July 12, 2018

And so dear listener, for the first time in my recent life, this week, I had to remember things from my own life of over forty years ago. It was weird. And this was nothing to with any counselling that I had planned to talk about following my reading of ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ by Gail Honeyman. 😀 😀 for the book.

I was being interviewed by a Glasgow University student for her Master’s and it was about values and ethics for those taking Higher Education with an historical perspective. And Chloe done a good job.

Indeed it got off to really good start.

I had described myself as wearing glasses and looking incredibly old; her early words included, ‘you don’t look incredibly old.’ We got on well………but I ended up feeling incredibly old. 🙂

My first time at university was in 1972 – twenty-seven years after the end of World War II. My second time at university was almost forty years later.

It was a different time then and I think much of it was because so many people had survived the war and all that that had involved….from active participation to existing on rationing and indeed it was twenty-three years after the NHS came into being. But don’t worry. This isn’t going to turn into a Daily Mail/John Major rant about warm beer and respect.

For me, it was about how much my thinking and ambitions and my life had changed over these years and some of the reasons why……..but a lot of good stuff as well.

Did you know, rainforestriverman (and she’s not called Princess Kate!!!! That’s such a motire!!!!!), that the Green Gate Curry Restaurant opened in Bank Street in 1959 (boiled egg curries were 7/6 by the time we got to uny) and that England won the World Cup in 1966. Lots of people seem to forget that. Incidentally, it was in 1976 (great summer!) that the Koh-i-Noor fell into the River Kelvin?

But if I were to do the Daily Mail thang it would be the demise of the bank manager. I have long since stopped watching re-runs of Dads Army but my memory of a bank manager in a small town like Peterhead was of a man (but of course) who was heavily involved in the community and highly respected.

Now? Well, leaving aside any comparison with Fred Goodwin, do they even exist? Do banks even care? I remember my first cheque book – when did you get your first contactless card and when was it first rejected?

And amidst the other memories that were prompted that had nothing to do with Chloe’s research were tutorials in a history lecturer’s study somewhere in a cloister in a quadrant where I was offered cheap sherry but realised the best thing to do was to make an excuse and left. 😉

But this week it was a case of what might have been. I know Jenny H was telling everyone when she tweeted about a lecturer’s job at Stirling Uny (in Substance Use I think it was) but it was my second time at Uny when I realised how much academically there is to gain from relevant research.

And, apart from anything else, I went to UWS (Paisley) as a recovering alcoholic and came out just as someone who doesn’t drink. 😀 😀 😀

And finally, a woman is sitting in a church during the funeral service for her late husband. Another man comes up to her and says, ‘do you mind if I say a word?’

‘No,’ she says. ‘That’ll be nice.’

He coughs, clears his throat and says, ‘Plethora.’

‘Thank you,’ the woman says. That means a lot.’

Tioraidh, still wearing that badge and still keeping it simple.

Iaint850, financially better off since I cracked open the penny jar (£9.75)

And I was in conversation with a friend discussing how, emotionally, I felt after the heart scare and I was going to talk a wee bit about mentally standing up to things but one image changed my mind……well, actually, two.

The first was TV footage of all the Police outriders driving off as soon as it was confirmed that Boris Johnson had resigned as Foreign Secretary. It was as if I was watching all the pomp and circumstance as being removed from the man who refuses still to acknowledge his children born out of wedlock and who is responsible for the continued imprisonment of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. The man is a buffoon and it shows the weakness of Theresa May that she felt the need to give him a major role in her government to keep him quiet. Ha!

No. The big image was the BBC’s Dan Johnson doing a piece to camera as two ambulances whizzed off behind him and he was able to say, ‘That’s the tenth and the eleventh boy being taken to the hospital.’

They got them all out!!!!!! Everyone, Thai Government and police and army and divers from all over the world combined to get thirteen frightened ‘Wild Boars’ out of all those caves and water and Goodness knows what. Everyone was very calm and just did it.

No pricked egos…….but one death. Saman Guana, a retired navy SEAL (but not that old) died from oxygen problems, but the rescuers will have learned from that.

A fantastic achievement.

No reason for this piece of music other than I like it. It’s a ‘step’ dancing tune from the unlikeliest of sources but a very appropriately named band.

‘I think….that I would rather recollect a life mis-spent on fragile things than spent avoiding moral debt.’ (Neil Gaiman 2006)

July 6, 2018

And so, dear listener, I do like a good book and I’ve just finished reading one. It’s called ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ and it’s by Gail Honeyman.

Now, dear listener, there is a fine line between reviewing a book and offering too many spoilers and I’m about to attempt it. Forgive me if I fail. Let’s just say that I’ve thought about it and I’m going to drop some comments in the blog from time to time over the next few weeks which I think it would be fair to say were prompted by Eleanor and the book: thoughts about connections (or lack thereof) and counselling (which in my own case saw some good and some bad because some of it was targeted in the wrong direction) and some other stuff including the very obvious gag based on the surname. 😀

Anyway, because of the public transport problems in my neck of the woods and also downtown Glasgow city centre, on Thursday I took the subway into town. I hate buying tickets from the machine (lack of personal contact) and I went up to the desk. The young lady was holding a tissue to her ear. ):

‘Are you okay?’ I asked.

‘No,’ she said. ‘I keep picking at my ear and it’s bleeding. It’s my own fault.’

I bought a ticket, anyway, and wondered….would Eleanor Oliphant have bought one?

Now, as regular listeners know, I’m not a great fan of 151, and when I realised that I was being asked to pay lots of money for data used on my phone, I knew there was a problem. So I phoned 151 who reassured me my payments were going through but when I tried to explain that, whilst it was good to know I’d ‘millions in my account’, that wasn’t the problem.

I had lost him at ‘millions in my account’.

So I wrote and was advised to call 789 or an 0800 number but 789 seemed very busy and I was wondering if lots of people had this problem.

Then I got a txt msg saying they would call me. But they never did.

And then I saw something on fbook about the shops that were still open in the non-cordoned off bits of Sauchiehall Street and the Virgin Media Shop was one of them. 🙂

I headed for town the next day, getting off at Charing Cross but careful not to put my hand on the arm rail up the stairs. ‘How many germs?’ Eleanor and I wondered.

I made it to the store and was the only customer. ‘Let me see your phone’ the young lady said and after a minute asked, ‘Did you know your wi-fi was switched off? Well it’s back on now.’ 😀 😀 😀

In these days of digital disruption, could personal contact be the next big thing? 😛

Tioraidh, still wearing that badge and I’m sure keeping it simple is still the right thing to do.

Iaint850 is ‘reasonably okay’

And as many people know it was my birthday recently and I spent part of it in Stobhill Hospital in the North East of Glasgow. And what a lovely hospital it is. And what was nice was the fact that I spent it in the company of the rapping Dr J who is my NHS heart consultant and who is very good. Either she does remember me (aye, in your dreams t850) or she’s a good reader of notes or more probably somewhere in between. 😉

I had blood pressure and an ECG done on arrival and sat in a nice waiting room with a large window out of which I could see lots of women in their summer dresses as well as lots of other appropriately dressed people with lashings of suntan oil. Dress appropriate, I say.

I was called through and we chatted. Things seem good but it is the NHS so that’s to be expected. I now have an appointment to see her again in a year’s time but before then we will continue to keep a close eye on my blood pressure (by tagging me soon for twenty-four hours) and also my leaky aortic valve. At some point I will get an MRI scan, but there’s no hurry. When I needed urgent assistance, the ambulances (real and metaphorical) were there for me. They would be again. 😀 😀 😀

Had I used the ‘emergency spray’, she asked, and, if so, what effect did it have?

Three or four times, I replied, and I felt it gave me mental control, lovely blue colours in my head and a lovely glowing sensation. 😀

I think the jury may be out on that returning to my repeat prescriptions.

However, one thing she and I did agree is that the current slight breathlessness after activity could be as much to do with my current overweightness as anything else. So, I have taken appropriate measures.

My favourite seat in my house is in the kitchen with the door open, reading a newspaper or book on a breakfast bar next to the fridge. I have now stuck a notice on the fridge door which reads


And I think it’s working.

And for all those folk watching the World Cup thinking that music in the background is familiar, this is what you’re hearing.