Archive for the ‘anxiety’ Category

“I was brought up to respect my elders, so now I don’t have to respect anybody.” ― George Burns

July 3, 2020

And so, dear listeners, I have just celebrated my birthday. I won’t say which one – suffice to say I appreciated belated birthday greetings as it gave me a day more to play with.

One of the nice things about Facebook is that it does remind (most) people of birthdays and that, coupled with me posting some memories of Son Brian and KT’s wedding (seven years ago), prompted a lot of nice messages and so, many thanks to all the people who contacted me through fb but other ways as well; in person, by phone or by card.

The purpose of the wedding photos was to show the extent of my hair’s growth over the last few months but I wear it slightly longer anyway and apart from the odd snipping I’ve not minded its growth too much.

But I now have a haircut booked for later this month so that is a really big YES!!!!!! moment. Things we take for granted, eh?

But delighted to have had my birthday tea with grandchildren and I don’t mind admitting I was nervous going over. After all, up to this moment, other than back gardens and kitchens in which to wash hands, I’d not been in anybody else’s house. I’ve had periods of depression and anxiety in the past but the anxiety usually related to large crowds (do your own gags about Firhill) but this was just to be a group of four people including two children and I was made most welcome. Miss E wrote the card but was very impressed with Mr F’s actual ‘F’ or X as it was on the card. 🙂

I received pressies and cards and was well fed (fajitas) and chatted away and was well looked after so I don’t know why I was nervous – well possibly no more than other folk venturing out. It all went well and I do hope the next few months are the same. Things we take for granted, eh?

I’ve done well for Amazon vouchers and I’ve ordered a new camera.

Oh, and whilst I remember, I got an actual letter from my lawyer and we’ve finally settled all the tax on my late sister’s estate, we’ve agreed lawyers’ fees and there was a wee amount of money which was due to me. Now all I want to do is to spend it. Which ain’t that easy at the moment. I have a list but I don’t want to buy everything online. I’m plucking up courage to go into town and do some serious shopping but I’m just a wee bit apprehensive. Things we take for granted, eh?

And finally, last week I did say that I’d say a wee bit more about Friday’s ‘incident’ in Glasgow city centre but a lot of people have covered a lot of ground since then. Incidentally, there’s been some thoughts from the National Audit Office on the poor performance of the Mears Group and I think it’s worth listening to the Scottish Refugee Council and Positive Action on Housing to understand what life is like for those asylum seekers stuck in hotel accommodation.

This is no Citybreak hotel with all you can eat buffet breakfasts; this is neverending, ‘stuck in your rooms’ stuff. You’re not there to view the sights of the city; you’ve no money to do that anyway. Things we take for granted, eh?

I used to be a paid project worker for a housing association called Blue Triangle which offered supported accommodation for homeless people, including asylum seekers, until they got a place of their own.

Part of it was about introducing the ‘service users’ to new experiences or reminding them of old ones and one day we (two co-workers and me) took a group of folk to a theme park near Motherwell, where only weeks previously I’d spent a month as a zombie (long story and well enough known to long term listeners)

We had given them disposable cameras so that they could keep their own record of the rides but some of them almost used up all their pics between the bus stop and the place itself. There is a very small beach and some of the asylum seekers had never seen this before. Before we knew it, it was click, click and click, and all for a small daud of sand. Things we take for granted, eh?

And then there was the time I’d to go with one of the refugees to get keys to a flat in Anniesland, the high flats by the supermarket, and he was excited but on the bus there (I know! Me? A bus?) he asked if he could show me some photos.

I expected to see his family or similar but no; it was his old street in Syria which had been bombed just days previously and a neighbour, who had survived, had sent him the pictures to let him know what had happened.

Things we hope our grandchildren will never experience, eh?

Iaint850


Here’s the Carolina Chocolate Drops again with a track called Hit ‘em up Style’

Football fans who won’t recognise the gross unfairness of Thistle’s situation are not worthy of the label.’ (The Guardian)

June 19, 2020

And so, dear listener, let me start with a tale of the unexpected, of something so shonky, that I still remain uncertain as to whether it happened or not – which may be typical of much of what happens in night-time Pandemic-land.

Was I fully asleep or merely drifting off when I heard it? The noise? A door creaking somewhere in the darkness but the doors in my house – a straightforward Barrett’s semi – don’t creak and, as I mention from time to time, I live alone. 😦

I was now awake and there was a pattering noise. Birds on the roof maybe? I realised that I was stock still in bed and had gooseberries running up and down my body. Then, as happens, I needed the toilet. Was all this connected? I made it to the toilet and sat down on the loo – with the bathroom door wide open. This was to keep my eyes on the stairs as much as anything else.

I just sat and stared at that bit of the stair where a head would appear before the rest of the murderer’s body (OMG! Can you imagine seeing that?)……….but nothing. I finished and washed my face and hands and stared at the bathroom mirror (OMG! What if a strange face appeared then?) and I risked the walk back to the bedroom. 😦

I switched the light on and looked in the wardrobe and under the bedclothes and I risked it. I shouted out. ‘If there’s anyone in this house I have just dialled the first two numbers for the police and it just needs one more nine.’

But nothing. I lay down and drifted off and woke up the next morning. Alive. Obviously. 😀

Apart from that it’s been a quiet week. I must stop watching programmes like Evil Killers and Killer In My Village at weird times just cos I’m bored. That may have contributed to my midnight caller. The worst ever was The Human Centipede.

I once watched this at about 3 in the morning. OMG! It is awful. How could any movie show such degradation and horror I wondered? It is the pits. Apart from any plot inconsistencies.

There is actually a sequel. It is called The Human Centipede 2. No. I haven’t and I don’t intend to.

So, not a lot has happened this week. Like a lot of people I’m slightly disappointed with some of what the First Minister had to say and it looks like I may be meeting people for coffee in the middle of the Botanic Gardens rather than the pavement on Highburgh Road next to Tinderbox. Fine. I prefer the picnic benches next to what used to be the Herb Garden there anyway. 🙂

And I know I’m not the only one who has already let people (my grandkids) use the toilet in my house – two weeks ago – although technically I wasn’t allowed to and I did nip into someone’s kitchen last week, whilst visiting them in their back garden, to wash my hands. There has to be an element of common sense, of taking responsibility for ourselves and our actions.

And the NHS continues to function efficiently and effectively as far as I am concerned. Not only did I receive my usual two-monthly repeat drugs but I did get a letter from the delightful Dr Shona who is the heart specialist I see once a year at Stobhill. Except I’m not going to this year. Instead it’s all going to be done by phone.

But how are they going to ultrasound test my heart this year? Will someone be sent round to my house with all the kit and that jelly. Who knows, dear listener, who knows? I make no apology for the fact that the last few months, for me, have been about me staying alive. I have lost too many months over the years. I have much still to achieve.

Dominic Raab, that sounds like a line from Game of Thrones. Is it?

And finally, there’s been a certain amount of chat about the Scottish Government’s adoption of ‘Stay Safe’ as opposed to ‘Stay Home’ and the English ‘Stay Alert’; some people asking what does it really mean and others saying, ‘Well I’ve been using it for three months’ and both are pretty valid points of view.

I’ve been using it for almost fourteen years now and first became aware of it after Cold Turkey when I started to go to an addiction worker called Moira and met more folk in recovery (see blogs passim) and it’s a way of saying cheerio to someone and hoping that they stay safe (sober or clean or whatever) until the next time you meet and that somehow they, and you, manage to chart a path through various lifestyle issues.

You’ll hear me use it, for example, when I give money to someone in the street and it may have connotations of me knowing what you’re going through but it also suggests that you have got to work hard to stay safe.

These are still challenging times; staying safe is a challenge and we need to continue to abide by government guidelines for a wee while longer yet.

Please.

Tioraidh, still keeping it fun and simple and looking forward to Coffee in the Gardens (available on pre-order from the Rainforestriver)

Iaint850, astounded at every parent who still has smiling children after all this time. Well done.

A wee while back someone mentioned a black singer and musician to me called Rhiannon Giddens; she has appeared in a television programme called Wayfaring Stranger presented by Phil Cunningham; and she plays a prominent part in a very long but well researched box set on country music with Ken Burns explaining the links between black music and country music……….

She also recently took part in a facebook live performance (thanks Ann) from Carnegie Hall which looked at the roots of much of American music over the years (and that does not do the performance justice).

You may not know the name but you may recognise this song. The title is a phrase from a contemporary slave advertisement that Giddens read but she can better explain that. This is ‘At The Purchaser’s Option’

“History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.” – Maya Angelou

June 12, 2020

And so, dear listener, it’s been a quiet but interesting week. I’m delighted to say, as I ‘stop pressed’ last week, that last Saturday I was visited by Son Brian, and my grandkids, Miss E (5) and Master F (3). The first time in three months. Now, I think it’s worth stressing that there were no concerns about hugging and I’m quite pleased about that. 🙂

There wasn’t any.

Meeting up with me seemed pretty natural to them and that’s good. Despite the time gap. They kicked a football about and threw hoops over sticks and stuff like that but, just in case, their dad had brought their scooters and we decided to go exploring. 😀

To the graveyard.

Now can I just explain something. This place is massive. Look at it on a map or Google Earth. It’s Lambhill and St Kentigern’s cemeteries with lots of space, great views and surprises around every corner.

Miss E, as with her not quite namesake, good friend e, was fascinated by some of the gravestones as she scooted and stopped to look at the toys and bears and other stuff that had been used as an ‘in memoriam’ for people long since gone. 🙂

I think it’s a lot better that the likes of the Botanic Gardens or Vikky Park or Rouken Glen. It’s not designed for visitors and may well be boring to some folk. No benches or teas or coffees or ice creams…well you get the idea.

And parking is limited although of the above are available at my house, including a heavily sanitised corridor between my kitchen door, up the stairs and into my bathroom.

If you’re ever in the area, give me a shout. But we had a good time. And back at my house Miss E drank water but Master F was given a choice of small juices and he chose Tropical although his dad said he’s never tried it. Well, he seemed to like it. 😀

I think, tho’, the big thing for them is to get playing again with their friends of the same age. Hopefully soon.

And in some respects it was a week for me and kids and memories and I was knocked out when the brilliant Lost Glasgow site put up a thirty minute BBC Scotland feature from 1979 called A Child’s Guide to Glasgow. It was a delightful wee film about children from three different primary schools in Glasgow who were driven round Glasgow in an open topped double decker and they got off every so often and discussed serious things. No grown up voices – not even as a voice over. 😀 😀 😀

I was the researcher on that !!!!!!!!!!!!

I facebooked about it and sent mails to people and………..by the time people started looking for it the BBC had got wind of it and it was taken down for copyright reasons. Ho, and most definitely, hum. 😦

And that got me thinking about some of my broadcasting career and given the current climate we are in I was reminded of the time I featured capoeira in a live radio programme. It was probably The Mix with Anvar Khan (!) who went on to achieve a certain notoriety. Do your own Google.

Anyway capoeira is known as a dance and we put down boards on the floor so that the listener (you) could hear all the dancing…….except, as was explained, it was originally a way of fighting that was developed in the slave plantations and the masters never knew that cos they though it was a Saturday night dance routine. We had an expert explain the moves as the dancers, well, danced.

And in some other news, a neighbour of mine passed away during the week. She’d been ill for some time. A number of things. One morning, I was aware of a large unmarked vehicle parked at a funny angle with its back doors wide open backing onto the front door of the house across the road. I had an appointment at the health centre and, as I reversed out of my drive a few minutes later, I saw the men carrying out my (now) late neighbour wrapped, in a shroud, on a stretcher. I’m glad the roads were quiet as it took me a few minutes to realise what I had just seen and to concentrate on driving.

But I made it to the appointment okay. The health centre was quiet and I was given a mask and gloves before seeing a nurse for blood tests and blood pressure and stuff like that. All was going well until I asked after one doctor but got his name mixed up with another one who had been struck off some years previously. Ooooops. Major pause. The advantage of the corona mask is that you cannot see someone blush – well not that much anyway.

But my blood pressure’s fine btw.

Tioraidh, keeping it simple, keeping it safe

Iaint850, Lonely? Moi? At times. Would a wee bubble help? No. I’m no’ one for tears.

And I’ve been playing a lot of music this week. The editing side of my life is currently dead. So, I do remember seeing this band at the Kelvingrove Bandstand but here’s the time the Waterboys all crowded into a Radio 2 studio and sang Purple Rain.

You can do anything in a radio studio. Just make sure none of the mics are open. Don’t worry. I’ll move myself on.

‘First they came for the journalists; so, after that we have no idea what really happened.’ (adopted and adapted)

June 5, 2020

And so, dear listener, that is a theme I may return to later in the show. Or I may not.

But first, I’d like to thank good friend of the show, Craig Williams, for not only suggesting a lively piece of music which will cheer people up, but in doing so, reminding me of a significant meeting in my life. 😀

As I’ve explained before, my sister and I were brought up in Peterhead, but because both our parents had relations in Glasgow we came down to Glasgow on holiday on many occasions. 🙂 🙂

‘But’, said people in Peterhead (and I won’t do the accent), ‘isn’t it dangerous in Glasgow? Aren’t there razor gangs and so on in Glasgow?’

‘Yes.’ I would proudly reply, with not a clue as to what I was talking about, but conscious of the fear on the faces that I was provoking. 😀

Anyway, in the same way that there was an amazing shop called The Clyde Model Dockyard in the Argyll Arcade, there was also a brilliant department store called Lewis’s in the building that now houses Debenhams. It had a record store in the basement, which I grew to love once I’d hit double figures, but my main memory, which I had forgotten until Craig got in touch, was that was where I once met the Lone Ranger (but without Tonto).

Now, I refuse to speculate on the relationship between these two but to a boy of single figures and short trousers, to be introduced to the man with the black mask (around his eyes – but not his nose and mouth) was the epitome of cool in those days. It was only later in my life, I was touching forty, when it struck me that this may not have been the real Lone Ranger but a man masquerading as such. Happy daze. 😀

The title sequence was the LR on his marvellous silver steed doing some kind of horse wheely to the tune of the William Tell Overture. Craig’s special request was for the version by the great Glen Campbell, so here it is.

It’s not normally a request show but these are not normal times. But if you do have any requests, please ask.

But there are some hints of normality around. On Wednesday I paid a visit to another household in Glasgow on the other side of Anniesland Cross and that was very pleasant and very normal but it was a phone call I got later that afternoon that said NORMAL once I’d finished the conversation.

The landline rang. Which in itself is unusual. Other than my son or my ex-wife. ‘No. I have not been in a car crash and the two rooms I’d most like to decorate are the groom’s quarters and the maid’s boudoir.’ But like most folk I have voice mail and I’ll let the message start ……just in case.

It was the Maryhill Health Centre!!!!!

OMG!!!! Aaaaargh!!!!! Contact!!!!!! 😦 😦 😦 !!!!

But no. It was a nurse. (be calm, beating heart!) It had been some time since I’d had my bloods done and my blood pressure checked. Would I like to come in next week to see a nurse? ‘Well, yes.’

And we’ve agreed a time. I’ll be given gloves and a mask and it should just be as per usual. Except it won’t be cos I’ve never had my blood stuff done with someone wearing PPE and I’ve seen some of Quatermass on Talking pictures and
I’ll be fine. Won’t I Skippy?

But it threw me. It’ll be interesting. 😉

And finally, on the downside, there is a slight feeling that some people think it’s all over. Not just the thirty total tossers and their journey to Largs the other day. Indeed I went onto Twitter and said how ignorant and selfish they’d been (only slightly longer and slightly more venomous) and I got, the last time I looked, over 200 likes. 😀

No, there’s still people going the wrong way round in the ASDA and I still bang into them (even if it’s just a basket) but they’re now complaining about me running over their foot and when I tell them to stick to the arrows, they tell me to watch where I’m going and, yes, I’m following the arrows. That’s me watching where I’m going.

‘Well, you should watch where you’re going’ is their final riposte and I’m not actually on the set of Quatermass. It’s actually Shaun of the Dead.

Tioraidh, and still keeping them all simple and fun as well as still wearing that badge

Iaint850, and since this was first published, my grandkids (and their dad) have been over and they brought their scooters (not their dad’s scooter) and we went over to the graveyard (where else?) and scooted (not their grandpa).

And I can’t finish without saying something about the USA which is led by a man who has never read a book in his life, let alone the bible which he held, upside down, as if he were taking the oath in a TV courtroom drama rather than the beautiful book he claimed it is in a 2016 interview and even the much maligned Richard Millhouse Nixon, when President of the USA, went just outside the gates of the White House to talk to protestors without gassing them and as for claiming he was inspecting the bunker rather than taking shelter in it reminds me of the time when I was caught watching porn and I explained I’d been looking a for a recipe for corn and it was a typo……….

At what point, in that last paragraph, dear listener, did I run out of steam?

And then I watched a rambling, incoherent President of the United States speak for about forty incoherent, rambling minutes on Friday afternoon and I despaired for the future of the world; not just the USA.

Anyway this is Sam Cooke and A Change is Going to Come……..let’s hope so.

‘Dom Cummings followed the guidelines and looked after his family. End of story.’ (Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden) ‘I know ending stories and this ain’t it, chief. (JK Rowling, well known author)

May 29, 2020

And so, dear listener, a wee word if I may about blogging and, please, bear with me. I’ve been doing it now for just over twelve years and it’s basically a fun couple of hours when I hammer words into this typewriter and then re-arrange them to make sense. 🙂

I used to do it live, straight onto the WordPress template (which they’re about to change yet again) and do final editing then…….in the days of tape, razor blade and sticky tape…..but that was creating pressure so I stopped doing that and instead started drafting it during the week and did the final topping and tailing once I’ve transferred it on a Friday….and then hit the Publish button (still a thrill, not that I get………) 😦

And yes, I do wait until Sunday before I tell the world of Facebook at which time I may use the Update button. This means that if something has happened between hitting the streets on a Friday and it being read by the more sedate burghers on Facebook on a Sunday, I can make a change.

And then I leave it. It’s gone. 70-80-99-120 people read it. That’s fine. I write it for me………maybe part of my therapy?
Somebody else described it as such. 🙂

It would never, ever occur to me to go back several months and add stuff.

So, if you ever do drop into my back catalogue and discover that I wrote about my discovery of penicillin, well it’s there cos it’s true. And, yes, I was the first man on the Moon. I just didn’t say anything about it at the time but if you re-arrange the letters of iaint850 you can come up with Buzz Aldrin. That’s how we hid it.

And that night with Naomi Campbell did happen. She is one helluva a Bagetelle player. 😀

And Skippy, the invisible bush kangaroo who has been with me since this blog started does exist. Honestly.

And then there’s the car-driving thing.

I think I can safely say that during my alcoholically dependent period I did not drive while drunk but it wouldn’t have been the first Saturday morning that I woke up and realised that I had to go back into town and get my car down from a multi-storey car park where I’d left it the night before. So safe, on so many levels. 😉

I worked for a PR consultancy in Bothwell Street at the time so it would have been Waterloo Street car park – not that far from Bonkers Showbar.

However, see when you read on a packet of Lemsip (or similar) that you’re not supposed to exceed six in twenty-four hours, there’s a reason for that.

It was in the immediate period after the cold turkey, and the cancer treatment – a time when your head is clearing of so many things but you’ve still got a long way to go.

I had a bad cold. I seriously overdid the Lemsip. I got the munchies. It was a paracetamol high. I thought I’ll drive down to the ASDA and get something to eat. It’s a four minute drive.

After two minutes of that driving, I realised it was wrong and that I should turn round and go home. So, paracetemolly, I drove onto ASDA, drove in through the IN bit and back out through the OUT bit and went home.

It was only when I crunched into the drive that I realised how stupid I’d been.

Almost as stupid as Michael Gove and Dominic Cummings who claim that the best way to check your eyesight is to go for a drive. Listeners of a certain age may remember the short sighted Mr Magoo and the carnage he caused cos he couldn’t see what he was driving into. 😦

And then there’s been a smell this week – other than at Westminster. It’s been in my kitchen. Which is quite reassuring as it means I still have my sense of smell, and I can taste toothpaste.

Like a lot of people, I seem to be spending much of my time (I live on my own – have I ever mentioned that?) cleaning and tidying the house until the next time I clean and tidy the house.

I narrowed it down to the fridge which I keep tidy and I’m very careful about Use By dates.

So I washed and wiped and wiped and washed the fridge and its contents. I moved it out and washed behind it.

I used to work for Blue Triangle (supported accommodation for the homeless including refugees with ‘no recourse to public funds’) and every time I tell people that and they say ‘that must have been worthwhile’, I think of the number of nightshifts when you cleaned a room for a new service user moving in in the morning and one of the worst tasks was the fridge. 😦

Then it hit me……well thankfully not literally.

I had assumed that if it was a fridge smell, it was in the fridge. It was actually on top of the fridge. There was a box of twelve eggs on top of the fridge except two of them were cracked and had seeped through the box. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, after that. 🙂

If only all foul smells were as easy to eradicate.

tioraidh, and still keeping it all those things I like to keep it.

Iaint850, and it’s all a bit of a clusterbourach isn’t it?

So there’s a new Steve Earle album on the turntable even as we speak and thanks to a tip-off from top PT fan, Ken, I watched Steve intro many of the tracks on a Facebook live streaming session and I did do the fan thing where I sent the message ‘hi steve, I’m from Glasgow and me and good friend e saw you a few years ago at the Kelvingrove Bandstand’ and, in hindsight, I realise the phrase, ‘good friend e‘ may have sent the wrong message unless Steve is a regular reader.

None of the tracks are up visually on Youtube yet, so here’s ten minutes of Steve Earle and the Pogues. Pure genius.

Never underestimate the strength of a recovering addict; they’ve walked roads you couldn’t imagine.

May 22, 2020

And so, dear listener, the Government has spoken to tell us where and when we can see family and friends (including grandchildren); when children might be able to go to school; and when we might be able to use public transport. Our freedoms have, understandably, been curtailed but there is still a daily death list. People need to be patient and to be aware of others. There is still a long way to go.

I thought the First Minister spoke well the other day (as she has done, cautiously, all the way through the crisis) but that doesn’t mean I can’t have reservations about her, her predecessor and their party after all their years in power.

It’s natural and to be expected. It’s what we expect of an opposition, but we currently don’t have one other than the press. Even the comedians are on her side. Whatever happened to political satire? 😦

The last time we had a decent opposition was when it was the SNP. It’s easier in opposition. I remember (2004?) being an Assistant Producer on a series of BBC programmes from the old Royal High School leading up to the Scottish Elections. I was the Election Unit’s Research Team. Nicola was one of several Scottish politicians put on the spot by an informed audience and she was superb.

But it was her blatant sexism the other day that got me. 😉

Dear Nicola, it is not only women who are missing hairdressers; I am.

I get my haircut every four to five weeks because I do not want to look like an old man who does not get his hair cut. 😦

Another few weeks and they’ll be calling me the Freddie Boswell of St Kentigern’s Cemetery, Maryhill

Just sayin’, that’s all.

(And please don’t work Erik the Floodstalker too hard. He’s a PT fan. It’s been a difficult enough year even without the Corona boy.) 😉

Moving on.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Eurovision Night the other night (well when else?) and it was superb background against which to do nothing (again) but did I miss a re-run of the lady Polish butter churners of a wee while back?

This is the Icelandic entry and I thought it was superb. Eurovision for the Tik Tok generation. 🙂

And a big thanks to Missie K who seems to have persuaded me, some friends and several thousand others to buy some clothes from this charity. 😀 And in doing so we help a lot of workers in Bangla Desh. 🙂

https://loststock.co/

It would appear that I have agreed to buy at least three tops in dark colours with no patterns, of medium size and I lied about my age. I have no idea what I’m getting and when it will arrive. It sounds to me a wee bit like how some people have described supermarket deliveries. The ASDA down the road is still good enough for me.

Once I find out what’s in my ‘man box’ I will describe it to you in great detail. 😀 😀 😀

And I’m afraid I killed off some herb plants I had growing in the porch – but not in the fiesta. They were all doing well but I’m afraid that next to the water sprayer that I used for them was an anti-bac spray that I use for the letter box and the door handles. I don’t really need to go any further do I?

And finally, I think my editing empire has reached the end of the road – at least for the very foreseeable future. Currently I have some PhD chapters to come in and maybe some conclusions from social work students but, after that, nothing.

There’s usually post grad dissertations around about now so I may still get a shout there but my big earner of the year is not happening. Glasgow University hosts an annual Adam Smith Business School for students from all over the world and that is a really big earner. For about four-five weeks in July and August it’s wall to wall editing and I, and the others, do not get much of a chance to leave the house (hahahahahahaha) so maybe it’s no bad thing it’s not happening and I will get to see friends, family and hairdressers instead.

The jury is out on the next academic year but as most of my work comes from recommendations (especially from the Chinese community) if they ain’t here to discuss things over a cup of coffee in the Hub, then I have no chance. How much will the unies go over to online lecturing which takes away so much of the university experience? Still, mustn’t grumble. As Dominic Cummings said when he and his family finally reached Durham. Again.

Tioraidh, still keeping it fun and simple and still washing my hands – are you?

Iaint850, who hopes to hell and back that the idiots don’t spoil it for the rest of us.

So I’d a very pleasant online chat with the rainforestriverman the other day. Coincidentally, it took place on the 180th anniversary of the birth of Brother Walfrid which was also the day that Celtic won/were awarded the League title. 🙂

He very kindly passed on some podcasts and listening to them and some from the Scottish Drugs Forum has been very therapeutic*.

(*And the suggestion for this Month’s Word of the Week came from Kenny the Shed Pimp)

One of the podcasts was about the false imprisonment (twice) of a man called Rubin Hurricane Carter and it was really well told but it’s story I already knew (from 1975) from a time when Bob Dylan (19 today) wrote short, pithy and straight to the point songs.

Enjoy

Be Aware (Skippy came up with that one and I think it makes much more sense)

May 15, 2020

And so, dear listener, I am going to attempt to do this without talking about ‘the corona boy’ as Kenny the Shed Pimp refers to him. I suspect, therefore, it will be a lot shorter than usual but I want to avoid some of the things I’ve been talking about in the last few weeks cos I get depressed. 😦

Such as last Sunday when Boris’s speech, and Nicola’s reaction, really plunged me into the valley of despair but, coincidentally, an hour later and totally separately Son Brian sent me some pics of him and KT and the grandkids and I was all smiles again. 🙂 🙂

And, no, these pics don’t get shared on social media. They marked the X box for no publicity.

So let’s start with the carrot and coriander soup. I don’t bake but for many years I have made soup. Carrot and coriander with lentils and a veggie stock. Shouldn’t have been a problem. 😉

All the ingredients from the ASDA fresh that morning, cook them up in a stock pot, let them cool and put it all through a blender. Done that many, many times. But then I noticed some lumps and thought I’ll let it work its way through a sieve.

When attempting to do this, please always make sure that the handle of the sieve is pointing away from you so that, when you bend down and then back up, you do not knock the sieve and spread its contents over the kitchen floor. 😦

Not just over the floor but the top of the cooker and the worktop and into some drawers of crockery and cutlery and so on. Despite wiping it up and washing the floor there and then, the stickiness and the colour remained for some time (like a couple of days) and it may be a wee while before I return to soup making.

But I take solace from the amazingly trouble free process of buying a Partick Thistle season ticket. As regular listeners will be aware going to Firhill a few years ago became part of my recovery from alcohol and stuff but I’ve not been a regular attender for the last couple of seasons but had planned to go back this Spring. Which we’ve just missed.

But one e-mail and one phone call and it’s all settled and it only needs the ticket office to open and it will be sent out to me. Mentioned it on social media and was delighted when the PT chairperson, Jacqui Low, thanked me in person. 😀

An interesting season beckons. Whenever.

And despite the rumours I keep spreading of the editing coming to an end, there’s still a couple of PhDs and a couple of dissertations to finish off and whilst I am getting no new enquiries, some students may have moved on but still remember me and I’m editing stuff they have written for journals.

And I’m doing a lot of reading. Good friend e dropped off some books but it was done in the same quasi-military manner as when her husband c picked up all those newspapers for Holly the dog – a real newshound.

I have a porch. Okay it’s a fiesta that sits on the drive but the porch is handy. It means I can open the front door, the books get dropped off and the reward of some fresh rhubarb gets picked up. All done at an appropriate distance. Not quite the long walks of yore with a cup of coffee in a dog friendly coffee shop but I’m sure that’s not far away in terms of years.

Sorry. 😦

One of the books is called The Assistant and without giving too much away it is about those friendly listening devices we think we command but what if they start giving out the instructions?

Some times books get to me and this one did. Whilst I do not have one of these listening devices because I believe that’s what they do – listen – there are times when technology gets to me. This was one occasion.

I saw things that might not actually have been there. Why, for example, did my computer tell me that I had arranged an update for 1.36 a.m. when I hadn’t? So, yes, I was awake between 1 and 2 that morning to see what happened. Nothing.

And, yes, that’s been all and it’s not a lot but it does mean I need to stay alert……..Aaaaaargh! I’d almost reached the end without alluding to Covid-19 but I do have one question, if I may. If people in England are allowed to play tennis and golf under certain restrictions, why isn’t there this slogan?

PLAY WITH YOUR OWN BALLS AND NOBODY ELSE’S

Tioraidh 🙂

Iaint850 🙂 I AM NOT MAN

And this week’s piece of music from the cassette collection is by the Robert Cray Band with the very unsexist Nothin’ But a Woman

You should ask yourself if going for a drive-through coffee is an essential journey. (Nicola Sturgeon)

May 8, 2020

And so dear listener, we start with the wise words of Nicola Sturgeon, and one of the reasons why my moods have been up and down this week is I get annoyed at the informal unlocking which does not seem to be condemned……..and as I write this (Friday afternoon draft) I know there will be things said on Sunday which may affect the narrative of this show.

Let me explain. For some time now I have been talking of this informal unlocking (and I, too, have broken the rules – by taking extra walks for exercise but now that’s legit so I can stop worrying) and still hope that grandparents will, for example, be allowed to go see grandchildren soon. 😀

Instead people are allowed to go and get takeaway cups of coffee in their cars, thus giving the impression that more and more places are open. Thus, encouraging people to get in their cars, and so on……But this is not being condemned. I think it should be. 😦

But what has caused more confusion is the fact that some people, globally and outwith Scotland, think that the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom speaks for the United Kingdom. One poor unfortunate was Michael Palin who, on Andy Marr’s Sunday show, spoke of the difficulty of travelling abroad after the lockdown and that there were plenty of places like Cornwall and Scotland to visit in the UK.

The National cherry-picked some stuff from that interview and put it in a headline. I do not think that Michael was talking about charging up the road this coming Monday but it does show that people have to be careful in what they say and how others read it.

This is why this show avoids current affairs and I don’t just mean between Professor Neil Ferguson and his ‘married German lover’, Antonia Staats (and I have no intention of doing a professor interested in vital stats gag). 😉

As have been the Government spin doctors. who thought they could leak good news through certain press friends that there would be much to look forward to after this bank holiday weekend when there would be much bunting and celebration of Victory In Europe just months before we Brexit (eh?). And some of those street party photos showed little social distancing but VE Day and all those who died in WWII were remembered by an impeccable conga line.

But Boris is a buffoon, who speaks in metaphors and classical allusions and has been caught out as such this week by both Sir Keir and Nicola. Will he actually want a second term?

Anyway, Scotland remains locked down and most people seem happy to go along with that (at this stage on Sunday afternoon)

As the above is a tad serious I suspect I may make many changes even after it’s published.

But I would like to say big thanks (it must have been something I said last week) to people who contacted me cos I live alone and asked was I feeling lonely? 🙂

No. But I do miss casual conversations and random travelling and that’s something I thought about too much this week, wondering what the future holds for us all……..standing (socially distanced) at Summerston railway station, travelling on the train (might be okay after 10, say), walking through the new and recently refurbished Queen Street Station (with no planning for social distancing), going into a socially distanced office with appropriate equipment, and then coming back up the road (with no idea of how many will be looking for that same train). Some things I’ll just take my time with.

However, I am still exercising through the streets of Summerston or in the graveyard (other than Saturday or Sunday afternoons when people coming to pay their regards to their dearly departed are now having to watch for dog walkers and, maybe even cyclists, from elsewhere in Glasgow who are using that as their piece of green grun for exercise). I’d like that to get back to ‘normal’.

I’m now depressing you. I’m sorry. 😦

On the plus side. Did I really see a six week old baby at an appropriate distance in a neighbour’s garden? Obviously not, but she did look so content and was dressed in yellow. 😀

Have I planted some herbs in containers in my porch which I got from the rainforestriverpeople? Yes. Fingers are crossed. 🙂 🙂

And finally, is the editing still continuing? Yes, it is, which is why I am not eligible for any self-employed help from HMRC as I have not been ‘adversely affected’ by the pandemic in a workwise kinda way. But yet……..

One of the two remaining PhDs that I’m working on, without giving too much away, is based on research that was done in Nursing and Care Homes for the elderly about five or six years ago and that’s been a strange reading. The point is that the research was done before Covid-19 was around but another dissertation takes a look at airline marketing again with the research being done a few months back. It is not for me to decide anything but merely to point stuff out…….strange times

Tioraidh, still keeping it simple and fun and still wearing the badges

Iaint850, and my hair still isn’t annoying me or anyone else cos you can’t see the back of it in a Zoom call

So, now I’ve started to play music that I’m finding in a box of cassettes which was stored in the shed but there is a story to this one.

Not only is it the music that plays at Firhill when the teams come out for the kick off but very many years ago, I’m sure that this was chosen, at my suggestion, as the theme tune for a BBC TV programme called Asking Around for which I was the researcher and which I can’t find on Google.

Anyway, enjoy Focus and Sylvia.

‘we are not all in the same boat, but we are in the same storm’ (DDN magazine)

May 1, 2020

And so, dear listener, I had heard of Fear of Flying (a book by Erica Jong which wasn’t much about flying) but now I am aware of fear of supermarket shopping. 😦

An STV journalist, Gordon Chree (sp), wrote about it on Twitter last weekend explaining that he was afraid when going into a supermarket because of all the hazards that existed or something like that and a lot of people agreed with him (apart from one person who told him to ‘man up’ which didn’t go down to well with Gordon)

I have already explained my tactics in the local ASDA. I go early in the day, I have a list and I am quite happy to bump into other trollies if they’re going in the wrong direction and, on one occasion this week, into an actual person. I actually don’t have problems with couples provided they stay together in doing the shopping. There was no need for him to run on ahead. 😉

I was talking to Kenny the Shed Pimp earlier in the week at an appropriate distance – as in the other side of the street and it was a bit like playing verbal kerbie. He told me of a visit he had paid to another supermarket and an ‘old woman’ (or similar words) that was walking against the arrows. He pointed that out to her, but she replied, ‘but I’m no going down that way, son.’ There wasn’t much he could say. 😦

And I did break a habit of a lifetime, well the last five weeks, by going in on Tuesday. Supplementary Sunday had not been properly planned and I needed stuff but, as I draft this, I am fine for the rest of the week.

I will continue to supermarket shop for as long as I have to and leave the supermarket delivery to those that need it.

I will be careful and I will show common sense where necessary.

But I am not sure about a mask. I have a slight breathing problem (heart condition related) and I do need to lift the scarf or the mask at regular intervals. We’ll see.

But why tell us now? Could they not have told us on 3rd March when despite being told that between 250,000 and 500,000 people could die of this virus the PM said, “We should all basically just go about our normal daily lives.”

And he returns to work after his own illness and talks of our ‘apparent success’ in beating the virus.

And that night Hibs played Hearts and the players were told not to shake hands before the start but four goals were scored with all that that meant in terms of on and off-field celebrations. We ignored so much at that time and we may be ignoring it now. I have no intention of going to B&Q in the Great Western Road retail park and then going shopping at Sainsbury’s and finishing it off with a takeaway from a fast food outlet which I might eat in the car park. 😦

I will also avoid going down Byres Road to look at that mini-market that’s just opened and was featured on Reporting Scotland. 😦

Right. I didn’t mean the rant but there is an informal unlocking of the lockdown going on and it’s being ignored by the FM and the PM and I’d like to see my grandkids soon but I won’t break the rules, cos, apart from anything else, my daughter-in-law, whose birthday it was this week, is a nurse in Intensive Care and I don’t want to put her or anyone else at risk.

Right. Rant over. Fun break. 😀

Do you know the TV programme Eight out of Ten Cats Prefer Countdown? This is the Carrot in the Box game and its very funny. Parental Guidance obviously.

And finally, in the very few words I’ve left myself, I have decided not go ahead with a kitchen extension. I have now made an attempt to begin freshening up my kitchen. I bought two new baking trays and there must be an easier way of washing off the wee sticky paper things that tell you how to wash off the wee sticky paper things. But it’s a start.

And I’ve just noticed, before I hit the Publish button, that there are pubs selling and delivering pints of lager and other alcohol online. I hope it pours this weekend cos they’re obviously destined for folks’ back gardens as well as their front rooms. Party, anyone?

But here’s something to look forward to. Regular listeners will be aware that each year good friend e and I go to the Kelvingrove Bandstand for one of their summertime gigs. Well the Jesus and Mary Chain gig has been postponed until 13th August next year. Without sounding too morbid there’s something to keep me going but don’t ask what age I’ll be then……..don’t.

Tioraidh, still wearing the badges, still keeping it simple and I’m completely fine(ish)

Iaint850, and I’m sure my hairdresser won’t mind too much that I’ve just been snipping at my hair. Any tips Nicola?

So I mentioned last week that the music features for the next few weeks will be based around music I have on the audio cassettes I found in the shed but I found something else. 🙂

It was a cassette entitled ‘extract from Off The Ball’ and it was dated 2001. Now I used to produce OTB and I wondered what it was. One thought was that it might have been one of the two occasions my schoolboy son had gags that he had written that were used and for which he was paid and on only one occasion was I producing and the gag was in on merit. 😀

I was close but it wasn’t a coconut.

It was a midweek edition and Craig Brown, Scotland manager, had just been on and then Stuart went to the next caller on the line and it was a very young Son Brian who had phoned in as a PT fan, to complain about a stewarding issue at some game he’d been at and he sounded so young and so innocent. Of course, I cried.

So, on that note, I had recorded this track by the Small Faces onto a Sony 30 minute cassette probably by holding the cassette recorder’s mic up to the record player’s loudspeaker. This isn’t it. This is a pretty dodgy version, tho’, just to give you an idea.

‘The most powerful drug in the world is kindness. It works for everyone, it’s very hard to get the dose wrong and it’s free at the point of delivery.’ (a GP trainer quoted in Private Eye)

April 24, 2020

And so, dear listener, we didn’t get an exit strategy, but we did get an honest and straightforward appraisal of the possible way ahead from Nicola………..without any mention of hairdressers that I could see. 😉

The girl done good and what pleased me, particularly in an emotional interview on BBC Scotland’s The Nine, was that she talked of family and friends (and grandparents) and the mental health benefits that meeting up, under social distancing restrictions, would have for people.

Nicola has no children, but when she talked about her mum getting to see her (Nicola’s) nieces and nephews, there was an emotional pause.

And Martin Guissler seemed a wee bit emotional as well when talking about grandparents wanting to see grandchildren.

I’d love that as well PLUS I’d love to meet up with some friends in a park or other open space or along the front at Helensburgh, *he said randomly*. Soon time. 🙂

However, I can live without B&Q being open. And Five Guys?

But I am lucky in many ways. For example, I’m still editing. It may be just an hour or it could be four hours each day but it does give me a focus and some self-employed income and it means I don’t feel so guilty when I go into the living room and slouch on the couch before watching Celebrity Antique Hunters go Property Hunting in the Benidorm Countryside.

But it is slowing down and there are very few enquiries at the moment. And those that do come in are greeted by what good friend e calls my ‘Sod Off’ message……..I do get back to some of them. 🙂 but if a natural break happens, then I won’t complain.

And I parted company with a PhD student for whom I’d worked for a couple of years. I mean, I don’t comment on content, so why the hell does his supervisor think it’s okay to suggest changes to layout and the way that he uses quotations that make the thesis look crap. In a situation like that there’s only one winner – the supervisor, even when horribly wrong. 😦

And I’m not taking part in any of these Social Media challenges. I make a right pig’s ear of them. But I did come up with rather a novel idea for one.

Like many people, I have a notepad by the bed and if anything occurs to me during the night, I write it down and go back to sleep. I’d some really strange ones during my alcoholic gap years…….but I’d another strange one this week; did it say ‘online dentist’ or ‘online denim’?

And that gave me an idea. 😀

What about, ‘What are the six strangest things you’ve ever woken up next to?’

And then I wrote my own six down and decided this was not a good idea.

And in the world of getting back to normal, I’ve received a refund of some evening class fees and am waiting for my Aye Write refund and I’m waiting to see what happens to the Jesus and Mary Chain gig at the bandstand but I can’t see it happening and what’s the point of going to a gig if you and your friend have to sit two metres apart and how can the musicians keep that distance as well?

Anyway once the refunds are in I plan to round then up and, on the basis that I’ve already kinda deducted them from my bank balance, send an old fashioned cheque to Prostate Cancer UK.

One refund I’ve knocked back is the one from Partick Thistle who, despite being unfairly relegated, have contacted season ticket holders and said ‘you were due five home games. Do you want your money back?’ and most folk, I think, are just saying NO. 😀

And I’ll be honest. I am very close to doing more and/or longer walks or even driving down to the Botanic Gardens or similar and walk up and down Byres Road….. Tempted am I.

And finally there’s Donald Trump recommending that people inject disinfectant; his VP saying the warm and sunny weather will fix everything; and his fixer Rudy Guiliani (sp) saying we don’t do contact tracing for obesity and cancer. Yes, cos they’re not contagious you thicko!!!!!!!.

Dominic Raab, you are a giant amongst men compared with your American counterparts.

Incidentally, when I worked with the homeless, I was aware of a guy who ‘buzzed gas’. Basically what he did was to spray gas lighter refill fuel directly into the back of his throat to get high. Drinking disinfectant? Just be careful who you suggest it to.

Tioraidh, still wearing the badges and still keeping it simple

Iaint850, living in a household of one, with no-one to cut my hair and sagging now and again.

So, here’s the last in my recent series of music that means something to me but this week I’ll just play it. And say nothing.

Next week I start a new series called ‘Bands I’d forgotten about until I found some cassettes in a box at the back of the shed.’