Archive for December, 2018

“Many years ago, I made a New Year’s resolution to never make New Year’s resolutions. Hell, it’s been the only resolution I’ve ever kept!” ― D.S. Mixell

December 29, 2018

And so dear listener, this is the Annual Blog Review of the Year where you, the listener, have the opportunity to look back at what has been an eventful year in soooo many ways and looks like it will continue to be so in 2019. 🙂 OR 😦 ?

Your votes have been counted and objectively invigilated so thank you for taking the time and trouble to vote.

However, before we look at the various categories and see who you’ve voted for, can I clear up a misunderstanding? I am no longer able to describe myself as pescatarian. It’s not been a conscious decision. It’s just that there have been times this year when I’ve eaten meat for a range of reasons.

For example, I was in hospital for a few days at the start of the year and there was not really much of a non-meat alternative and I did enjoy being reunited with food I hadn’t eaten for some time. It lifted my spirits. It made something of mealtimes as well. 😉

And there have been other similar occasions. Christmas Day for example and the contents of the doggy bag I was given were wolfed down immediately after I got in through my front door. 🙂

However, I am now much more aware of alternatives to meat and the importance of sourcing what I eat and I have introduced myself to lots of new tastes and so on. I have no intention of returning to the meat and two veg option and most of what I eat will continue to be non-meat. It was never ethical or medical; it was a lifestyle thing.

Let’s move on. Swiftly.

The Track of the Year comes from that period earlier this year when I was a patient at both the Royal Infirmary and the Golden Jubilee and when I say it’s the Undertones, well, then, you know exactly what it is but tied in with that is the award for Lifetime Achievement which must go to the National Health Service which celebrated its seventieth anniversary this year. I’ve also been to Stobhill as an outpatient and have been visiting someone in both the Beatson (still am)and the Queen Elizabeth and am knocked out by the dedication of all those who work, in some form, for the NHS. 😀

(A small point. When I talk about visiting the Beatson, that is not a euphemism for going there as a patient. This blog started life almost twelve years ago to inform, educate and entertain people about my own successful treatment for prostate cancer. Let’s never forget that and I will never use euphemisms for anything related to me but not everyone is as willing to share or feels the need)

And this year I’m not awarding a Team of the Year and it’s nothing to do with those disgraceful scenes at the BBC equivalent #SPOTY . I have high hopes for the Scottish Drugs Forum but I had to cancel a few things that I was supposed to do with them….maybe next year?

So, and this is where Skippy gets excited, to the actual Personality of the Year. A drum roll and a fanfare of strumpets please;

In Third place is Glasgow favourite Lulu. Seriously. Y’see I’m still not sure why but good friend e had got two tickets but seemed to be short of someone to go with and she has helped me out on similar occasions before and I’m glad I went because not only did I get to see Lulu sing Shout in the Kelvingrove Bandstand but I witnessed the longest ever tea break taken by a celebrity in my life. The beer sales did really well (it seems) but, hey, I’m glad I went. 🙂

I notice that Lulu is doing (possibly) exactly the same show (I suspect but maybe without the David Bowie mention) on STV at Hogmanay. I also notice that the current Radio Times (page 200) suggests that she will be ‘hyping up the bongs’ in Glasgow. Please feel free to copy and paste that exact phrase into Google and see what you get. 😉

In Second place is a young (anonymous) lady for whom I child-sat one night along with her brother.

Some of you know what happened after I got home that night and the phrase that helped me cope through that night was that young lady saying to me;

‘thank you for looking after us.’ 😀

It got me through a few days.

And in First place is a book and a badge; the book is Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman and is a lovely tale of humour, sadness and what can be obtained by having good friends. It sold 800,000 copies in 2018.

The badge? Well it fell out of a Christmas Card envelope and says simply, ‘I’m Completely Fine’. I read nothing into it other than my coping mechanisms these days come in different forms but are all so welcome. 😀 x 😀 x

Bliadhna Mhath Ùr agus tha mi an dòchas gu bheil deagh chuairt agad ann an 2019


“Christmas is a day of meaning and traditions, a special day spent in the warm circle of family and friends.” ―Margaret Thatcher

December 20, 2018

And so, dear listener, sorry for the lack of a blog last week but I’ve been heavy with the cold and my brain’s not been in gear. I spoke to pharmacists about what I could do to get better but because I’m on blood pressure pills, I am restricted in what I can take.

So, I’d like to thank young AJ who, realising that there was still one week to go before this very special edition of the blog – the Christmas Cracker edition of the blog – stepped in last week with this gag which sets the scene for today’s show.

q) Why did the teddy bear not eat any ice cream at his school party?

a) He was already completely stuffed.

Get the idea?

And can I also make a point about having the very sneezy cold I had? Don’t stuff a large amount of crisps in your mouth if you’re just about to sneeze……….what a mess. Moving swiftly on and still hoovering it all up.

q) What do you get if you eat Christmas decorations?

a) Tinsilitis.

And I think that at one point in my life I’d have enjoyed staying in the original Pottersville. Ah, what would this time of year be without obscure cinematic references?

And indeed without Christmas music. A couple of years back, j my favourite chooser of Christmas tracks, gave me a CD with lot of ‘weird’ Christmas music but I don’t think that this was one of them but it is Christmassy with its very sweet reference to Christmas tree lights. It’s the Sensational Alex Harvey Band with added John Peel…..

Ah, the wrapped present that remains under the tree waiting to be delivered. Do we all have one?

q) Why don’t penguins fly?

a) They’re not tall enough to be pilots.

And my thanks to all those who made suggestions about parking at the QE Hospital. I got told about the multi-storey car parks (crime in a multi-storey….wrong on so many levels) and taking a bus was recommended. My response? Son Brian offered to take me and I said yes.

And now I’m back to visiting at the Beatson.

q) So what happened to the man who stole an Advent Calendar?

a) He got twenty-five days.

And whilst next week sees the Blog Annual Review of the Year, I’ve been doing a wee review of my own. Since 2010 I have been pescatarian but this year I’ve been more flexitarian (I think it’s called). It’s been a combination of things. At the start of the year I was in hospital and the only non-meat alternative was a baked potato. I ate meat.

The beast from the east saw me reliant on my neighbours getting me food or what was in my freezer. I ate meat.

And it’s been a wee bit like that in the last few weeks. Grabbing food rather than planning menus. I’ve enjoyed the eight years cos I feel I’ve experimented a wee bit and I’m more aware of alternatives to meat and the importance of sourcing. I need to do a wee bit of thinking.

Time for more music. It’s country and it’s Charlie Worsham.

And finally, there were two biscuits on a plate, all ready for Santa to eat. One biscuit decided to go and hide in the biscuit tin as it didn’t want to get eaten. As it was going to the kitchen, Santa came in and stood on it and all the other biscuit could say was ‘Crumbs!’

Tioraidh, and I have a new badge to wear and yes, I’m completely fine 🙂 x

Nollaig Chridheil


So, here’s unexpurgated Pogues and a song about immigration to a land that wants to bar immigrants and the dreadful fade at the end is nothing to do with me but it’s not my favourite Christmas song but I’d rather you discussed ideas, and why words might be inappropriate now but not then, rather than just ban them, and it’s 18 years since Kirsty passed away. Her dad Ewan was a brilliant man and his Radio Ballads were instrumental in encouraging my own early love of radio once I’d discovered them and I have this memory of him living in Wilton Street for a short while but hasn’t everyone? Lived in Wilton Street or partied there, I mean. Snow Patrol did for a while as well.

‘Thank you for looking after us’ (anon)

December 6, 2018

And so dear listener, I suspect this may be a wee bit shorter than usual. Not the first to be cut down a touch but does size really matter? I’ll go make myself a cup of coffee while you debate that age old question but can I also say thanks for nice comments (and good audience figures) re last week’s blog. I enjoy writing them all but it had been a wee while since I’d just sat down and written from the hip – so to speak. 🙂

I also had the strange experience of sitting next to one of my new colleagues at the Scottish Drugs Forum whilst he read it and he seemed to enjoy it and it led to a rather interesting discussion about old Glasgow and the changes to it in recent years and one of my favourite websites The Glasgow Motorway Archive

I’ll now go and make myself another cup of coffee whilst you peruse this website and if I could travel back in time just once it would be to Glasgow just as they were beginning the motorway and all that was involved and the dark, Siamese twin-like tenements that hung so closely together until the bulldozers moved in.

Just one day and with a guide/bodyguard.

This was part of our discussion as three of us made our way towards the Glasgow Drug Crisis Centre in the Tradeston area of Glasgow – a strange part of the city which is where the Kingston Bridge pours out the traffic that is heading for the south side of the city which is not a part of Glasgow I know that well. ‘Through the tunnel’, yes; the southside. No.

It’s the bit across the squinty bridge where they’re starting to build a big bank but it’s also home to a large number of warehouses and cash and carries and, indeed, homeless shelters and projects.

The event was an HIV Education Event organised by Turning Point Scotland following World AIDS Day on 1st December and SDF were presenting there. I may write more about the event for elsewhere but it was good to see a mixture of workers and what I still refer to as service users, including a couple I knew from my days at Blue Triangle who were both doing well. 😀

I think that, during the summer, if it’s anywhere as near as nice as it was last year, I may take one of my own cameras, with buttons that I know so well, and spend the day in the area and see what I can come back with. 😉

And what would I have for lunch?

Well, dear listener, the area is awash with curry restaurants – almost as many as Gibson Street had in its heyday before the Kohn-i-Noor fell into the river.

And then later that night, this week’s favourite night out of the month. I babysat AJ and RJ. I won’t say too much as they are entitled to their privacy but I watched, bemused, as they played a boardgame called Dragonwood. And strangely enough it came to an end just as it was time for their milk and biscuits before getting ready for bed and a wee bit of reading. 🙂

And finally, I won’t tell you what they said, just before they fell asleep, but I felt appreciated.

Tioraidh, still wearing that badge #stopthedeaths and still keeping it simple

Iaint850, who quite happily admits to putting up his Christmas tree last weekend. It fair cheered me up 😀 Self care isn’t selfish.

And this weekend is an anniversary.

It is now twelve years since I cold turkeyed (alcohol) – an unplanned event which saved my life and was the making of me.

(I sometimes worry that new listeners may get confused but in the time since then I’ve also had bad prostate cancer sorted and we’ll see what last week’s MRI scan for my heart brings about. The depression? I’ve no reason to expect it to return to any great extent but you never know)

Anyway, I think, probably over the years, that I’ve said as much as I can about it but one thing does come to mind. Whilst there may be the odd time that I think that a drink would help me to cope with a situation, I just think of one of the many people who have helped me to cope in other ways.

Over the years, there’s been an entire alphabet of them who have passed through this show – and some others beside – and whilst some have drifted away, every one of them has contributed, or contributes to, whatever it is I am today. The blame lies with you. 😀 X 😀 X

So, AJ and RJ’s mum and dad returned a CD to me that I’d forgotten I let them borrow. I’d happily go and see this man again, particularly if he had his backing band The Dukes with him. I have no idea how often I’ve played this track but, hey, it’s my blog!