Archive for September, 2018

‘Massachusetts shark attack victim ‘dies doing what he loved.’’ (BBC World News)

September 27, 2018

(And Social Media was jolly inventive as to what that might be)

And so, dear listener, we begin with a journey back in time. Every so often Social Media flings up a wee memory and a wee re-post of one rather special event did bring back memories to many people. 🙂

Alien Wars in the Arches in 1994 – a battle between Aliens and Marines and people who paid to get in to get scared. The memories were basically of people so frightened that they were willing to grab complete strangers to protect them or to hide behind them. Most people just wanted to get out of there. And eventually did. 🙂

There were rumours that some of the best of Glasgow’s young teams went in there to prove how hard they were and were never seen again. These after all were real Aliens. These were real underground arches.

Do you have any memories?

They’d been used previously (The Arches not the Aliens) in the Year of our Culture, 1990, for something called Glasgow’s Glasgow which was a representation of the history of Glasgow and in the way that everyone knows someone who was the dead body in the lift in the opening sequence of Taggart, everyone knew at least one actor in Glasgow’s Glasgow, which took some of the fantasy away.

And then I went on to become a zombie for M&D’s one Hallowe’en and I, then, genuinely understood the fear felt by the punters in Alien Wars. But this time I was doing the frightening.

But I do know someone who worked on Alien Wars. And suddenly a lot falls into place. Maybe she and I should have a chat about what’s NOT in our CVs 😉

It wasn’t the good Dr W altho’ she, at one time, was certainly an Arches regular. I went to an event there once with her (not a club night) but something else. She pointed out a woman who she said was Head of Security and a good friend of hers. She had one of those looks that could strip search you from about six feet away.

Happy daze. 😀

And now over to Skippy, our Royal Correspondent (being an Australian republican) as he watches Princess Meghan at a royal event.

‘Bloody foreigners, coming over here and closing their own car doors.’

But it is with sadness that I note the passing of John Cunliffe, the creator of both Postman Pat, and Rosie and Jim. Rosie and Jim I know of but never really watched, but I watched both Postman Pat and his fierce rival for ratings – Fireman Sam. Indeed at one stage, my ex-wife, our son and me were privileged to watch the stage versions of both TV hits and rather good they were. Am I correct in thinking that John Hurt or Ian MCKellen played the title role or is memory playing tricks with me?

But I mention social media a lot in today’s show and hopefully the Royal Mail will continue. Cunliffe, himself, explained much of the attraction of Pat’s character to children;

‘The postman to a child is someone who brings birthday cards and birthday presents.

‘They are not aware that he also brings tax returns and bills.’

I like sending cards to people.

And finally, I did watch some of Bodyguard. I wasn’t that taken with it but I’ll do no spoilers. There’s probably people still out there who haven’t got round to watching it yet.

There’s probably folk who don’t realise yet that we, as the United Kingdom, have voted to leave the European Union. 😦

I wasn’t mad keen on the bodyguard himself nor what he was scripted to say, ma’am.

But it was that last bit on the open park in London that annoyed me. The suicide bomber bit where everyone and his/her auntie was trying to talk him out of it….whatever it was. They did send for a negotiator but no show. And then, whilst I was prising my eyes open with matchsticks (I burn candles and incense), it hit me.

If only they’d sent for the late, great Blanche, Deirdre Barlow’s mum.

Some of you may remember this scene.

Can I say that many AA meetings are open and altho’ I only went to four (and a couple of those were slightly different e.g. the one at the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood) much of this is more accurate than many other representations I have seen on TV. If you have/had a sibling or another member of the family who goes to the meetings, ask if you go can as well….or maybe to a different one. ‘Anonymous but not invisible’.

And then, as you keep watching the clip, the dirty washing begins to emerge 🙂 It’s actually much better than any of the Bodyguard. 🙂

Yes, Blanche would have sorted them out. She’d have sorted the Aliens out as well.

Cya, still wearing that badge (and the sky remains big) and still keeping it simple.

Iaint850, happily getting to grips with volunteering.

So, just a quick mention about the football and that’s to be expected after last Saturday’s victory over Queen of the South (an answer to a well-known pub question). Twice Thistle were a goal down and twice they came back and then scored what proved to be the winner.

Indeed a similar match to the one attended by AJ and e a couple of seasons back.

On the way in I was told, ‘that lassie is giving away free soup.’ I went over and asked what it was. I was told, ‘I think it’s lentil’ and I think it was lentil too. I hid my unfinished cup behind a floodlight pillar. I didn’t want to hurt the lassie’s feelings.

Didn’t quite make it to Dunfermline this week but I hadn’t quite allowed for the game going to Friday night. Tapadh leibh, BBC Alba, although not going because of that change, I was able to see it on BBC Alba.

Given that I happen to be playing The Waterboys as I draft this, I thought I’d go out on one of their tracks.

Advertisements

I still get wildly enthusiastic about little things… I play with leaves. I skip down the street and run against the wind (Leo Buscaglia)

September 21, 2018

And I still say ‘Wow’ a lot 🙂

And so dear listener I was once a subject tutor for what is now known as the City of Glasgow College (and, indeed, enrolled as a student there last year and seem to have set a trend) and basically enjoyed my time there. 😀 😀

Before the magnificent building in Cathedral Street, it had kinda absorbed various buildings as various campuses including the very lovely Florence Street, which was an old primary school in the Gorbals and which I loved and the, eh, not so lovely Rogart Street which was a throwback to the days of the College of Building and Printing where apprentices learned to paint and build walls; and knock ‘em down again before the end of class so they could be built again by the next class. 🙂

So one day I was sent there for one day a week for ten weeks to teach the floor and wall tilers how to use computers to set out a brochure/flyer to advertise their services. Now, not every tiler wanted to learn how to do this so on that first day I split them into three groups; one was men of a certain age who had never used a computer before and then I showed how to play patience/solitaire thus teaching them how to click’n’drag; one was men of a certain age who just wanted to play pool and snooker on the computer and I managed to persuade them to turn their computers round and to turn the sound down so I wasn’t aware of them; and one was men of a certain age who genuinely wanted to learn and with them I made a good start.

In subsequent weeks, I managed to get them all working and at the end of each lesson they just saved their work to the computer unless they had a floppy disk (and do you think if I’d have used a floppy disk rather than a USB stick, life would be any different?) All was going well until Head Office decided to send a technician down to clean out the computers and eradicated every piece of work – including all the work done by the floor and wall tilers. I managed to stop the near-riot the next week and they all managed to pass. Well that’s what it said in the register so it must be true. 😉

Apparently the Theatre School of Scotland’s new studios are in Rogart Street. Wonder if it’s the same place? Just be careful what walls you lean against.

And talking of tilers….I did go to the dentist this week and, for the first time for a long time, I have serious work to do on my teeth and, in a similar vein, the Roads people have patched up the holes in my street and tell me permanent work will be carried out before the end of the financial year. So, several gaps being filled all at one go. 😉

(And, with absolutely no connection to anything else, it was exactly seven years ago that I started at UWS (Paisley) which was an amazing experience for soooooo many reasons (soooo many brilliant people) and the training for suicide intervention I was talking about last week is ASIST)

And finally, it seems that whilst the rest of the world measures typhoons, hurricanes and strong winds in miles per hour we, in Scotland, measure it in trampolines. I heard Scotrail spokespeople, weather forecasters and TV and radio presenters use it but Jackie Bird seemed uncertain when she heard it.

Dear listeners, a least one trampoline and an unharmed dog went viral this week but this is still the original and the best from Hurricane Bawbag of six (?) years ago, I give you ‘OMG Trampoline’

Tioraidh, still wearing that badge and quietly keeping it simple

Iaint850, and I’d describe myself as an ‘erotic spasm’ if only Vince Cable would tell me what it means.

So I’m very proud of something I did this week – on Wednesday, Storm Ali day. I’d given up on getting a train out of Queen Street Station and took the subway to Hillhead expecting to get a taxi up the road to the ASDA, Summerston but there were no taxis at any rank. I then thought about going through the Botanic Gardens and walking along the Walkway and slipping through a shortcut (somebody’s garden) to get to the Maryhill Road but the Gardens were locked (worries about trees falling over) So I just kept walking and it’s worth a wee look at a map. I did okay. At one point, going up the hill that is Sandbank Street, I was aware of my heart but decided that was a good sign and kept going. And then I got blown into a bush and it was then that I saw a train drawing into Summerston Station. They were still running after all. 😦

So this is a piece of music for me. It’s in black and white but it is the karaoke version, so please feel free to sing along.

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. (Aristotle)

September 14, 2018

And so, dear listener, I need your help. I would like to sleep longer in the morning. I think I’m still in hospital time from earlier in the year but it’s just my head. Much the rest of me stays in that one semi-asleep position but my head and my brain are wide awake. It sometimes helps if I keep saying ‘drift’ over and over again in my head and I drift off but then my neighbours who work night shift come home but I’d my car radio on loud as well when I came home from night shift. 😉

And there’s a couple of folks who get picked up; quite a few dog walkers; but I do resist the temptation to look at my phone and see what messages there are.

(Who am I kidding? I’ve just finished writing a blues song called ‘If it wasn’t for Groupon, I wouldn’t get no mail at all.’)

We’re talking about a totally unnecessary 0530 here. Funnily enough I slept much better when I worked funny shifts. 🙂

(And the day after I drafted this, I woke up at five to six and fell immediately back to sleep until 0723)

Let’s move on. Swiftly.

And a quick Happy Birthday to Son Brian. Amongst other things was a lunch at a place called Las Iguanas in Glasgow City Centre. I’d the Veggie Chilli. And then I’d to go to work.

I’d almost a disaster. I was convinced my breath was honking and I felt the spray tube in my pocket. I almost reached for it but, of course, it wasn’t Gold Diamond Spearmint Spray; it was Heart Failure Bring-You-Back-Alive Spray with those lovely blue flashing lights and a kind of feeling where the ceiling seems very close – or is that just me?

And Happy Wedding to Audrey and Paul. 😀

Oh, and I’ve got to go to the dentist this week. With my fillings. Actually without them. That’s why I’ve got to go. 😦

And finally, Serena Williams, whose behaviour was appalling and resembled a very very spoiled brat who was threatening to scweam and scweam and scweam until she was awarded the match. It was nothing to do with racism or sexism.

This was not her chaining herself to the railings knowing a prison sentence was beckoning like women did one hundred years ago nor was this her crossing a line of Alabama National Guard to get into a segregated school.

This was a woman so used to getting her own way that she actually said to the umpire, ‘You will never umpire on my court again.’ She has loads of previous.

The winner was a twenty-year old Japanese woman called Naomi Osaka who also some Haitian blood in her whose day was completely ruined.

Well done to Partick Thistle who, despite Kris Doolan’s perfectly good goal being chalked off the previous week, still gave him his goal scoring bonus which he straightaway donated to a Beatson Cancer Fund. 🙂

And Happy First Day to good friend e on her, well, first day. Maybe one day I’ll give her a guest spot and she can tell you all about it herself. 😀 😀 😀

Tioraidh, still wearing that badge and still looking at the sky whilst keeping it simple.

Iaint850, still dancin’ on the hood in the middle of the wood.

But before I do the serious bit, nice bumping into @soulboydaveybee in the toilets at Queen Street Station and I do know there is one day of the week when he is actually in town so it was with great delight I was able to say to him,

‘Is this Wednesday?’

To which he replied,

‘No. It’s Thursday.’

And then we both said,

‘So am I. Let’s go for a drink.’

There was some applause from inside one of the cubicles but sometimes it’s better to make an excuse and leave.

So last week saw Suicide Prevention Week but I’ve not been trained to use the word prevention.
Intervention’s a good word.

In Social Care you get training in this area and one of the first things you get told is we no longer talk about ‘committing suicide.’ It’s not a crime.

First of all, thanks to Alternatives down in Clydebank and Dumbarton I did Safetalk which helps you to identify someone at risk and to point them towards an appropriate person. I have used it once. Successfully.

Then, thanks to Alternatives and Blue Triangle I did ASIST training which helps to recognise the signs of someone seriously close to taking their own lives – bridge-jumpingly close – and intervening enough to stop them doing it by knowing how to talk to them. I have used it once. Also successfully.

Obviously then there is longer term work which needs to be done by more skilled and experienced and better qualified people.

We all know people who have done First Aid at Work Certificates (and I got my two latest last week). Check with the folk you work for as to whether they can also put you forward for something like these two forms of training.

Here’s Big Country with Stuart Adamson who took his own life in 2001. His daughter was talking about it earlier this week.

There’s never a right time to go, but there could be a wrong time to go (Terry Wogan)

September 6, 2018

And so dear listener, this week, for the first time in a long time, I suffered from first day nerves at a new job…..except it’s not like a full-time job with a wage and stuff. And it’s not as if I’ve had a first day recently. 😦

As many people know, I’ve started to do some voluntary work with the Scottish Drugs Forum on the social media side and attended a very successful conference last week. This week saw my first day in the office and all I will say is that it went very well indeed. They seem to be a very nice bunch of people and I knew some of them already which always helps. 🙂

But I was reminded of some other first days as I washed behind my ears and sharpened my pencils the night before.

Like my first relief shift with Blue Triangle. I’d been inducted for various projects and done shadow shifts in various places but a text had come in offering an 11 – 7 n/s in Clydebank on Sunday and I got straight back and said Yes. I got it.

So I turned up at 11 on Sunday morning only to be told that n/s actually stood for night shift…..so I came back home and got a wee disco nap.

And going back to my days doing a Youth and Community Post Grad and I’d a placement in a community centre in Hamilton (Fairhill known as Whisky Valley) and on my first night in the café I’d to stop a fight between two girls – always the worst.

So we’ll see how the volunteering works out.

The possible working with homeless refugees may have been put on hold as I have enough to be concentrating on.

I’ve also not done too badly financially out of the late Summer rush of editing, including, intriguingly, three International Relations dissertations from Durham University. Let’s just say, challenges were offered by their English.

But there was also a retro moment when myself and good friend C went to TGIFs just opposite the blue police telephone box in Buchanan Street. It has been a long time since I was there. I’d forgotten how much it lacks non-meat options but it still bangs a lot of balloons for birthday parties even early evening. 😀

And what do you do if you give someone a surprise present and leave it in the boot of their car but they don’t get back to you? Do you drop hints in some way or just come out and say something? No. No reason. But it worked out okay.

No such problem with my son and his birthday (this week) where (often) you get the idea, and the link, sent to you but I’m not sure he’d suit a butterfly cape (see last week’s blog for details)

And some news on my own health front. I’ve now got to be tagged for twenty-four hours so that my blood pressure can be measured and recorded over that period but I’m also not allowed to shower or have a bath either over that same period…….

And I’ve been asked to take part in some heart failure clinical research. I do wish we could find a better phrase than heart failure but I’ll read it closely and maybe check with Dr J, my consultant. and it pays.

And finally, a big well done to the Scotland Women’s football team – not for being the first Scottish team to reach a World Cup Finals since the men did in 1998 but, quite simply, for reaching a World Cup Finals. 😀

BBC Scotland’s Reporting Scotland did a nice wee feature on this and then a couple of minutes later talked about ‘the Scotland team manager’ Alex McLeish. Know your place, Shelley Kerr.

(This blog was written well before Friday night’s defeat to Belgium)

Tioraidh, still wearing that badge and a couple of others as well and still happy enough keeping it simple.

Iaint850, feeling very indecisive at the moment.

So a lot of discussion about adverts for a Gin Society which were not appreciated by Aberdeenshire Alcohol and Drugs Partnership. I didn’t think they were too bad.

But I was reminded of a very famous cartoon from the New Yorker of the fifties and a woman shouting down the phone, ‘But I’m not an alcoholic. They’re anonymous and go to meetings. I’m a drunk and go to parties.’

It was at the time that AA and the basic theory that ‘alcoholism’ was an untreatable disease was taking off – that the actual problem lay with people being allergic to alcohol and it was ‘the drink that done it’ as Scottish lawyers used to say in defence of their clients.

It was the early seventies before it came to be realised that ‘addiction’ was much more a case of learned behaviours and there might be other ways of helping people, including a life changing event or a basic change of circumstances ….for which me, and all those GIs who came home from Vietnam (stoned in Saigon but clean and clear in Smalltown Arizona), are eternally grateful. 😀

And this is the best song ever written about working and it has the most amazing intro for any song written about working and it has Dolly Parton:)

‘I’m entering the world’s tightest hat competition. I just hope I can pull it off. (William Andrews)

September 1, 2018

And so dear listener I watched World War Z and thought it was awful. I didn’t even stick it to the end. Shame, really, as long term listeners will remember that the Good Dr W was an extra in the film, playing an office worker.

I didn’t apply for an audition for this movie but was turned down for the Scarlett Johannesson (sp) one where she cruised the streets of Glasgow, and similar places, picking up men. 😦

I have two memories of W’s time there. One was her second audition. Many people had been told to come back dressed as office workers to see how they would suit the role. Many people did not have appropriate clothing so what they did was to go to Primark in Argyle Street, buy an outfit, and return it an hour later, saying they’d changed their minds (but they’d got the part). 😉

Long before the days of ATMs, I am told, if you needed cash you went to M & S and bought something, paying by cheque, and returned it an hour later, getting an immediate refund.

W’s other memory (and, no, I’ve not seen her for a very long while) was of the smell of Fabreze. For continuity reasons, the extras had to wear the same outfit over eight or nine days, so every night the wardrobe staff sprayed the clothes with Fabreze….I’m told it stopped helping quite early on.

But the movie was still rubbish.

We did work together on Lip Service (the Glaswegian based lesbian drama set in the Merchant City) but we never made it past the cutting room floor (or the offline editing suite) but W did go on to do the Fast and Furious that was shot in Glasgow as well as a Virgin Trains ad……..

Moving on. 🙂

But I did like the Adrian Chiles doc where he tried to work out whether or not he was an ‘alcoholic’. Less and less and less, that word is used in professional treatment and recovery. There is one obvious group where it is the key to ‘membership’ but mostly we talk of problem drinking or alcohol dependency and trying to help with the motivation to give up but, yes, many are too far gone and giving up on the drink is one very big ask.

But I was delighted to see that Adrian and another drinker attended a group called Smart Recovery which is much more like the groups you see on TV and has a flip chart and a leader and everyone is encouraged to talk. At the majority of AA meetings, with the exception of the chairman, they tend to be One Singer, One Song.

But Adrian, I’m sorry, and you already know it, you have a problem.

On a lighter note, one of my grandchildren celebrated her fourth birthday the other day and I did buy some pressies for her. Indeed I’ve been buying so many recently that my downstairs room looks like Christmas but one of the things I bought her was a cape you made up into a set of butterfly wings and the next day I got a couple of pics from my son of her wearing those self-same wings. 😀 😀

(I have yet to tell Son Brian that I do not have over fifties life assurance but he is getting the house, the pension pot, and I have yet to decide what to do with the business as the website is currently no longer)

And that, dear listener, is a kinda example of the Oxford Comma……kinda. It was an answer on The Chase the other night.

And finally, the pics fair cheered me up as the next day I took my car to the garage for its final service before the Warranty expired and it was not good news. I know coil springs are important so they need to get fixed. It was a bad shunt at an obscure angle into the pavement, thankfully missing any pedestrians and other cars, about seven years ago that convinced me of that.

I so hate being a grown up.

Tioraidh, still wearing that badge and still keeping it simple

Iaint850, and then a certain record was played on the car’s stereo.

And then a day or so later, things got worse. Scottish Water had shoved a card through my door asking me to arrange access for them (‘but I was told you would phone me the day before’) but they turned up the next day anyway but despite the call centre giving out my home number to Goodness know who, it’s not yet finished; an attempted meeting with the rainforestriverman was delayed cos the concierge in a fancy Glasgow hotel seemed not to pass on a message; I got home with toothache; Arnold Clark’s told me that my car might not be ready at 0800 the next day when we had agreed a day or so earlier it would be (but It was at 0900); TSB online wouldn’t recognise my password; and good news, of a fashion, in that I have got dates for some consultations with regard to the heart condition.
And a neighbour chose to tell me that he’d put my bin back in my drive cos it was blocking his drive after the binmen had been. Big effing deal!!!!! I’ve done that for you tons of time and not made a big sodding deal of it!!!!!!

But things were better after a good night’s sleep.

So the island of Iona has always held a special fascination for me ever since BBC Religious Broadcasting paid for me to spend a couple of days there in the company of the amazing Lord George MacLeod and it was when I was watching a TV prog the other night with Neil Oliver (he is sooooo much smaller in real life) that I remembered a band I saw many years ago (I think in QMU). This was one of the other places Neil visited in the same prog.

I bet you recognise it as soon as you hear it;