Archive for the ‘Alison Thewlis’ Category

‘These are dark clouds’, said the boy. ‘Yes, but they will move on,’ said the horse. ‘The blue sky above never leaves.’

March 21, 2020

And so, dear listener, welcome………

Again a slightly shorter version of the show as every time I start to record the intro, there’s another piece of the Covid-19 jigsaw that falls into place and they tend to come from sensible high heid politicians like Nicola Sturgeon and John Swinney and the new Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, and lots of tremendous medical and scientific people like Jason and Catherine but not the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, who looks as if he has changed his mind about the job and Donald Trump, who looks and sounds ill. 😦

Boris tried to equate current testing techniques with a pregnancy kit which is crap if he meant it as a joke and is also crap if he didn’t and Donald lost the plot when an American reporter offered him the opportunity to reassure the American public. 😦

Me? I’m fine. No symptoms as yet. I’m reasonably okay for food and non-food stuff. Things are relatively settled in the ASDA other than toilet rolls and soap and sometimes I buy based on what’s there so when I get home, I empty my bag and shout, ‘What’s in the green pepper bag today?’. To myself.

The corner shop is a Lifestyle Express standalone in the middle of the scheme and it’s also got stuff.

I have a wee routine which sees me go for a walk as well and on Friday I was joined by good friend e and Holly the Dog and we went for a walk in the graveyard. Social dancing was observed all the way round. (What’s that, Skippy? Social distancing? Hey, you weren’t there. I know what I’m talking about)

Oh, and Holly became a mum a few weeks ago to seven puppies whom I haven’t seen now for a few weeks and may not see again but, hey, I have memories. And photographs. 😀

So I’m pretty much keeping myself to myself and will tell people when I’m self-isolating. So things are reasonably okay but I don’t suppose this is the best of times to start online dating again. Mind you……’Have toilet roll. Will travel.’ could be a good opening line. 😉

And it’s a few weeks before I need to think about my hair. Well, I never stop thinking about my hair………I mean getting it cut.

And I’m getting nowhere with trying to get Skype set up. But I’ll give it another go soon time.

And another group of people that are having problems (but not insurmountable) are those people in recovery from drink and drugs and who go to meetings which involve hugging and shaking hands and being able to share. However, I know from someone else’s experience that there are meetings online these days and they may help in the short term (?)

And then, of course, with the pubs closing social media was full of people getting in big cargoes of drink and how this was going to help get them through the months ahead. Different strokes for different folks……..

I went for a walk around the streets of Summerston on Saturday night. Very quiet with the exception of one ‘street party’ but the buses going into town were totally empty.

But on the downside, I know of two people who have had their cancer confirmed and another two who are uncertain about their own treatment continuing. I know of two grans; one of whom has been allowed out of hospital and the other who has been kept in. What I don’t know is what visiting is allowed for those families. I hope things work out for all involved.

And I know of one wedding that has been cancelled. But it will happen. 😀

We will get through it, but even once the downward curve starts it will be a long time before things get anywhere near what we currently regard as normal. Indeed, think of all the controls that will need to be lifted if that is ever to happen, but I did see a very optimistic piece from China where the brilliant Stephen McDonald (worth the licence fee alone) was talking to first Chinese families who felt confident about leaving their homes again – albeit with masks still on. His grasp of the Chinese language was amazing. You don’t get that on any website 🙂


Iaint850, keeping it simple and fun.

And for the next few weeks or months or whatever, I’m just going to play you a piece of music that played a significant part in my life at some point but I’m not going to tell you what it was but I suspect there’s a common theme.

(How do you spell unrequited, Skippy?)

This is New Rose by The Damned

Old age, believe me, is a good and pleasant thing. It is true you are gently shouldered off the stage, but then you are given such a comfortable front stall as spectator. (Confucius)

July 19, 2019

And so, dear listener, some more good news on the health front. A few weeks ago I got some revised repeat prescriptions and a message from the GP to check in with a nurse (never a problem) and come in to get my blood pressure checked.

So I waited until the aneurysm scan was out of the way and phoned on Tuesday looking ahead to the next week. ‘Can you come in now?’ said the voice of NHS Scotland.

And so, dear listener, that’s how I learned that the revised medication seems to be working and my blood pressure is down. 😀 😀

But Tuesday was a mixed day. Facebook does this thing where it reminds you of something you said or did ‘on this day’. Apparently exactly three years ago I was enjoying working in the Mitchell Library so much (my home wi-fi was down) that I felt the need to tell the world. 🙂

Then, I got home and a certain USB stick was missing. Many listeners know the story. Let’s just say Tuesday was definitely a mixed day. With lots of walking. It’s my basic coping mechanism for anxiety anmd depression and is approved by medical and counselling folk I’ve spoken to. Informally. But my wee legs were tired. 😦

Monday was a good day. I met up with former BBC colleague Jayne and we went to a local garden centre where, even at the age of 65, I still feel and look younger than most of the clientele. 😀

We’d also like to say thanks to the young barista, Emma, who told us all about her grandad’s 60th birthday. Why? Well we asked. I’m not so sure the people in the queue were that impressed.

My wee legs were tired on Monday as well but that’s cos we took the furthest away table in the whole place which was 17 MILLION MILES away. I spilt so much coffee that I just tipped the tray and drank it out the corner. Nice catching up j (different j)

And nice birthday lunch on Thursday with good friend e, RJ and AJ but I made a big mistake. AJ had decided to try something new (calamari) and I agreed to share a starter plate with him. Schoolboy error. On my part. The schoolboy decided he liked them and I thought the one I had was very good……..never again. 😀

And finally, I spent Friday morning in a classroom of my first alma mater, Glasgow University, attending a kinda class on Illustrated Glasgow looking at a range of illustrations including maps and coats of arms and photographs and all sorts of stuff. And very good it was too and the lecturer was good and I’m going back to something similar next week. 😀

But what I found really strange was that everyone there was my age or thereabouts. The last time that happened to me would have been at secondary school. It was uncharted territory and whatever my reasons for going (read what you will into that) I may have to think more about this in the future.

Tioraidh, still wearing the badges (in my winter jacket cos that’s what the weather’s been like) and still keeping it simple (hey, you may say I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one)

Iaint850, and no, there’s not a lot happening on the settlement front. Maybe soon?

And you’d expect me to comment on some of the coverage of the Scottish Drug Deaths. So I have done.

First, a big well done to SNP MP, Alison Thewlis, who made the point that drug consumption rooms would be clean and hygenic. Bringing users into these not only allows them to inject safely but brings them into contact with addiction workers and health pros. Have you ever seen the health damage done by dirty needles? Botulism, blood borne viruses and leaking wounds.

Have you ever seen a serious drug user’s kitchen? Trust me. You don’t want to go there.


Most other politicians tried to make political capital out of it. Alison didn’t.

And then there was former policeman, Joe Duffy, on BBC Scotland’s fast improving Nine o’clock news, who made the point that, financially, the only people making money out of the illegal drugs industry are the criminals who couldn’t care less to whom they sell or what they sell.

‘Street valium’, and God know what’s in them, sell for approximately £1.50 for five.

In December four guys went down in the High Court for manufacturing street valium in a Paisley lock-up with a machine capable of pressing 20,000 tabs an hour. Do your own sums.

Imagine if it was legal, say along the lines of the alcohol industry………the tax taken alone would do so much for education and the health service. Imagine.

And then someone jumped on a personal hobby horse and said there was no need for charities. The government should provide – totally ignoring the fact that governments are slow and ponderous in acting and tend to do so for political advantage and that non-governmental organisations such as Addaction and Turning Point and (the one I volunteer for) the Scottish Drugs Forum can react more quickly and more directly and more effectively.

Most residential rehab is in non-governmental hands.

And can you see the Government even attempting to start, let alone run, an organisation like Alcoholics or Cocaine or Narcotics Anonymous? They started at the most basic of ground-roots with two men and one book and cost virtually nothing to run.

And here’s fifteen minutes of Burt Bacharch in concert…..eventually. No. No reason.