Archive for February, 2020

‘Sue, you’re shouting at tea!’ (trending on social media earlier this week)

February 28, 2020

And so, dear listener, let me take you back to North East Scotland in 1964. I was nine, approaching ten, and becoming aware of world events. 1961 saw the building of the Berlin Wall, 1962 saw the Cuban Missile Crisis and 1963 was the Great Train Robbery and the Profumo Affair and I took all these things in. It’s where I developed my interest in news and stuff like that 😉

In 1964 something happened that was much closer to home – a case of typhoid was discovered in Aberdeen and it spread.

The first case was identified in May 1964 and eventually there was a total of over 400 cases before it was brought under control. We lived thirty-two miles up the road from Aberdeen and it was as if the city was locked down but I’m sure that’s not totally true.

The city’s reputation as a safe and nice place to visit, live and work was harmed. Eventually it was all brought under control and that was marked by a visit from the Queen (the same queen as now but a bit younger).

Apparently, the cause was a contaminated tin of corned beef sold in William Low’s (whatever happened to?) which had originated from Uruguay where, apparently, these tins were kept in a river and one got contaminated with contaminated water entering through a small hole in the tin. 😦

The infected meat then contaminated a meat slicing machine in a William Low shop but, hey, nobody died. So, we were brought up to wash our hands a lot and regularly. And still do.

And a few years ago, I had a week’s gainful employment as a freelance trainer working with some unemployed people who were hoping to gain jobs as nursing assistants. It was a week long session in basic hygiene with a lot of time spent on washing hands and putting them through the machine that then shows you the blue marks that indicate whether you’ve washed them properly. One of my personal contributions was to talk about the number of times I’ve seen men wash their hands in the loo, put them through, or under, a dryer and then wipe them on their jeans.

And I was recently on a commuter train where lots of people, it seemed to me, were coughing and spluttering and it seemed to me to be all through the carriage but maybe I’m getting old.

Now I’m sure that many people of a certain age will be expecting me to play that clip from Tony Hancock’s the Blood Donor with a very young and attractive June Whitfield but I’ve found one from even further back; possibly the original ‘Coughs and Sneezes Spread Diseases’…… 🙂

Watch for the boat going down the slipway 😉

Let’s be careful out there.

And finally, and nothing to do with the above, I have done drag twice in my life; both times were during my first time at university first time around. One was in connection with a successful Rectorial campaign (and no, I’m not sure of the connection either) and the other was part of some students’ charity event, which makes a wee bit more sense.

I did both properly and with the assistance of some female friends, I was given some training in walking in high heels and was given some gentle and subtle make-up and a couple of very nice dresses.

And I had no beard or any other visible hair and I’m not sure where the wig came from. But, on both occasions, I seem to remember visiting the ladies loos in the Queen Margaret Union and, no, I don’t remember how much I raised for charity. 🙂

On neither occasion did it feel like what I’d imagine being a pantomime dame would feel like and I have never bought anyone Grand Theft Auto – any of them. One day, we’ll think before we rush to social media. Or consider the possible consequence of our actions in advance. ;0

Keeping it fun and simple and still wearing those badges…..was that what I used to say?

Iaint850, fed up with the weather but I suppose everyone is.

So, away from the world of social media, I’m thinking of planning this year’s weekend away. I mean, it’s never been planned that way, but that’s how its been with Lisbon, where drug taking is decriminalised but I was offered so much on the streets, Oban, where the sun shone beautifully on the Saturday but on the Sunday, the heavens opened and I was delighted to find both the Chocolate Factory and the local museum, and, last year, Arisaig which I had confused with Morar…… I’m looking for suggestions and just to show that my week’s not been totally social media dominated here’s a band from long before the Internet existed. I found them on Youtube.

Except you don’t see them; what you do see are lots of pictures of ducks, dogs, cats and other farmyard animals,,,,and there’s a wee message in the intro and outro. 🙂


Yaffayat? Whityatyaffa? (Bud Neill)

February 14, 2020

And so, dear listener, let me start with an apology. I have let the weather get to me. And as I say that I have to acknowledge that millions of people have gone to work, have taken advantage of school holidays to get away, or otherwise, just got on with things and, yes, that used to be me. 🙂

However, I now wake at about the back of six and can’t get back to sleep and listen to the radio as I slowly come to. I hear the weather forecast. My basic TV viewing is a news channel and I see the weather forecast. My front bedroom looks out to hills in the north and from my back bedroom window I can see the wind farm over Eaglesham way. I see the weather full stop. 😦

In addition, I live alone (have I ever mentioned that?) and that plays a significant role in my decision making as it used to do in my working days if I felt (genuinely) not well.

‘Eh?’ I hear you cry as one!!!!!

I have nobody to discuss these things with and I feel stuck. With the weather this week, I think I may have cancelled a couple of things too soon cos the sun shone almost as soon as I spread word of my decision and I felt guilty having decided too soon. 😦

And the connection with feeling not well? I felt I was doing the right thing but I’m sure, at the other end, it felt like I was pulling a ‘sickie’ (and let’s just ignore the fourteen or so months leading up to Cold Turkey)

But we’ve been not too bad with winter weather so far and so, by way of an apology, here’s one of my favest poems about the weather…ever….

“Winter’s come, the snow has fell

Wee Josie’s nose has froze as well

Wee Josie’s frozen nose is skintit

Winter’s diabolic, intit?”

The great Bud Neill, whose description of bad weather would have fitted as a reaction to the effects of Storm Ciara;

‘See they’ve snaw’n’ice. ‘Snaw nice, snaw’n’ice.’

Bud, and this is slightly different from last week’s blog, was a cartoonist for some Glasgow based newspapers from the end of World War II onwards and is well known for the cowboy Lobey Dosser, and his two legged horse, always fighting his enemy Rank Bajin.

He also invented a wee Glasgow woman called Mrs Thomson (with a cloche hat) who never spoke but people were always willing to speak for her. She was a typical wee, gallus, Glasgow woman. Y’know the sort. Her umbrella is always open and carried just above her head so that it pokes you right in the eye. 😉

He described her in the flowing terms,

‘A couple o’ vodkas don’t hauf murder Mrs Thomson’s decorum, don’t they, Mrs T?’

How well I knew that feeling and the IKEA wardrobe had nothing to do with it 😉

Well, that and some other news, fair cheered me up.

And finally, a wee word with regard to last week’s blog. I do know that anything and everything I say online is liable to be trolled and I am careful on Twitter after trying to explain, once upon a time, that a court reporter can only report what is said in court. Cybernats had a real go at me when I explained that the political leanings of Natalie McGarry’s husband were irrelevant to the case in court. ‘yoon bastard’ was one of the mildest. 😦

But what amazed me about last week was that an advert advertising my editing services could elicit such bad feelings as to prompt someone to send me a gif of a dog evacuating its bowels…….

Tioraidh, and I’ve forgotten what all I say here but keeping it simple anyway…

Iaint850 and next week I might tell you about the exciting news I’ve just received (Friday lunchtime) that caused me to forget what I normally say at that point.

So, I know that I said that I was moving on from my sister’s passing away but an interesting document came my way this week. It’s nothing to do with her interest in family history but there are some nuggets in that black samsonite case that every family has. What? Don’t you?

No. The document is a draft version of the Executry Account of my late sister’s estate and it’s basically a snapshot of her financial position at the time of her death – although, obviously, much of it refers to financial comings and goings after her death when various people and organisations caught up with her passing on.

I’ve been aware of much of it as various lawyers (past and present) have kept me posted as to what’s happening but it is still strange to see items such as various pensions (and it’s never too soon to start one) and I am now a Celtic shareholder (as she had bought some in honour of my dad – a lifelong Celtic fan) and various small amounts paid to some small charities and community organisations down Garelochead way where she lived.

But what means most to me are the things that I closed down for her. I was the one who wrote to the RNLI, the National Trust (both local and national) and some animal charities just to explain what had happened and that she wouldn’t be renewing her membership. I got nice letters back.

Here’s Jessie Buckley again – with Born to Run

The one where John’s Facebook ad was trolled (J Aniston – maybe)

February 6, 2020

And so, dear listener, I had quite a shock as I decided to make a return to searching for work for the The Word Process – the paid editing that I do. I was trolled and I was shocked. I mean it is not as if I was wearing an off-the shoulder dress at my work or anything like that.

I should stress first of all that I’ve not been too short of work over the last few months but now that a year has passed and, also, we are so close to legal settlement, I feel I can look ahead. Business partner e and I have still to hold our practice development meeting for the year but there is room to look for work.

So, a few years back, when I thought I could make a full time living out of editing and reading I set myself up with the tagline

Does the word process worry you?

Then contact iaint850 (or a similar name)

I’d a website and domain name (both long since gone) and I set up a wee advert on Facebook (and it was later developed by ex-PR colleague Tricia Wa and she is an online whizz and if you need help in that direction then please get in touch and I’ll put you in touch). The ad is simple.

The Word Process, a pic of my specs on top of a pile of books, a wee line and then every three weeks or so some writing or researching advice e.g. a lot of students don’t understand the difference between i.e. and e.g. and I spent one ad explaining some of the Latin words that are used regularly in academic essays.

And I pay for it; and each time I do it I pay another £5-10 to boost the audience which I have set as ‘students in full-time education’. I have had some work from it but it’s part of being to help people and it’s good fun.

So last week I put up a new ad and just used the line that I’d been away for a while and reminded people of my services and did they have any questions?

What I got, inter al, was a gif of Putyn accusing me of being a ‘f***king idiot’, another of a dog emptying its bowels with the words ‘Your Spam’ at that point and a couple of written comments accusing me of writing gobbledygook and stuff like that……..and one that suggested that Facebook had mucked up and it was maybe sending the ad to the wrong people. So I checked.

It had been so long since I’d posted, that my specified settings had lapsed and it was being sent out to all and sundry. People were liking it and sharing it, so it wasn’t a total waste of time and I’ve learned and will use my next post on the Facebook site to help reinforce those lessons for students.

Always be aware of your audience and check everything before you hit that Post/publish button.

But why did people feel they had to express their feelings in that foul way?

I know it’s nothing compared to so much of the abuse received by politicians and celebrities, people of colour and people not of colour (eh?), people going through transition and people concerned about people going through transition and, well if you even look at Twitter occasionally, you will have an idea of the cesspit it is.

And yet, last week, I got 88 likes (unfortunate numeric) on Twitter. A day or so after Brexit, a photo was posted of English men in Trafalgar Square (not George Square) being offensive to someone and an Italian reporter stepping in to keep things calm.

One epitome of the word Troll could say nothing other than ‘Where you from? Where you from? Where you from?’ and I posted;

‘the obsession with ‘where you from’…….depressing.’

And as I say, 88 likes…….

But maybe what I should have done would have been to draw attention to the Italian reporter who stepped in and maybe we’re going though a period when we are going to have to do more of that kinda thing.

I was in George Square a wee while back when I was aware of a young boy being shouted at by some older boys. (It looked like a colour thing) I wandered in that direction (not too sure what I would do) but by the time I got close they had gone.

I asked the boy if he was okay. He said ‘Yes. Thanks.’ And went off in a different direction.

So you can maybe tell that I was upset this week. And grateful to the people (who I do not know) who saw what had been written as ‘comments’ on the Facebook ad site and took the time and trouble to contact me and say, ‘I think you’re right….Facebook mucked up.’

Thought for the Week is over.

Last week’s blog was dead good and if you’ve not read it yet, then it’s a million times better than this.

Tioraidh, still wearing those badges (I’m still fine and Prostate Cancer UK) and still smiling

Iaint850, feeling a bit of a snowflake but what a thing to get upset about!

And to that end, I have played this tune a few times and I am pleased to have championed it for some time now and it got national recognition in an Awards Ceremony last week and I think it’s really an optimistic song……..

This is a slightly different version for the one I usually play (which is the movie version)

Jessie Buckley and ‘Glasgow’