Archive for the ‘Blue Triangle’ Category

‘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.

“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” (Toni Morrison)

March 6, 2020

And so, dear listener, I suspect this may be a shorter show than usual. Not because of Covid-19, although most of it will be taken up with some personal thoughts on the virus, but because I seem to have a number of writing and editing projects on the go, which I need to finish off – and my grandson turned three this weekend. Cue grandparents’ party…….and maybe it’s time for a company development meeting or a kitchen extension or……..

I mean, I’m pretty well sorted. I live alone and have no special, regular visitor (and that’s not a complaint); I work from home; and I only really have one group activity at the moment and that is my weekly visit to the Scottish Drugs Forum offices in Glasgow City Centre – and therein lies my slight concern at the moment. Not the SDF itself but the train journey in. 😦

Once a week I catch a commuter train to go to work and it’s not a pleasant experience at the best of times but this last couple of times I was very aware of coughing and hacking and sniffles and I do sit beside a neighbour but, really, there’s a lot of people not using paper hankies and binning them. I can catch a train about half an hour later and it will be more relaxed. 🙂

And I was on another train this week……to Helensburgh to see friend Rosie, who’d been such a help with looking after my sister’s property in Garelochead. There were two men of a certain age on the train, unable to get into the toilet as it was out of order. Were they really going to go into a corner and….. 😦

Thankfully no.

But it rather knocked my own thoughts on the head as I’d planned to wash my hands just before getting off the train; however, my knowledge of Helensburgh paid off. I have never known the toilets on the peer to be shut and, well there you go, they weren’t.

But, yes, if the current problems remain then we may have to re-think out attitude to providing public facilities for personal hygiene. People who drive through Anniesland Cross may not realise that, at one time, there was a public toilet in the middle of one of the ‘islands’ on the Glasgow High School side and when its usefulness had gone, there was talk of it being turned into a café or restaurant – not unknown in Glasgow as there’s at least two in Kelvingrove Park that were once toilets…..a long time ago. 😉

But it didn’t happen. Maybe too many cars and maybe too many traffic lights.

I mean I’m pretty clean. Sometimes a second shower at the end of the day and, of course, I have my new vacuum cleaner PLUS, dear listener, I am the kind of person who washes their clothes at 40 degrees. Do you? I always have done…….. 😉

But clothes washing relates to one of my two foibles where cleanliness is concerned. Whenever I buy clothes that are new to me, be they brand new denims from Debenhams or much loved sweatshirts from the Save the Children charity shop, they get washed. On their own. At 40 degrees. I don’t know why. I feel happier. 🙂

And the other one? I don’t have a dishwasher, so all the dishes are washed and rinsed by hand and then, once they’re on the drainage board, I boil water in the kettle and pour that over them. You can’t be too careful.

But on a very serious note, I am aware of the possible problems that support workers in social care residential work might be about to face if self-isolation does become more common. There’s a lot still to be thought about and, whilst there’s no scientific reason to believe that warmer weather will help to reduce the incidence of the disease, it would be nice to think that it would.

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

iaint850, who’s been preparing for the last two years for self-isolation.

In the meantime I will continue to wash my hands, including the crevices between my fingers and thumbs, whilst singing Happy Birthday. Twice. Here’s Clare from the Spaghetti Factory.

Don’t forget you’re human. It’s okay to have a meltdown. Just don’t live there. Cry it out. Then re-focus on where you’re heading.

August 30, 2019

And so dear listener, apologies for the lack of a blog last week.

As some of you know there have been hiccups with regard to the settlement of my sister’s estate. I can’t say much as, by its very nature, it’s a legal process, so I can’t say much. But I have changed lawyers and I have known my previous lawyer since university days (the first time) so some decisions have been hard.

I have a new lawyer and I think we’ve found the tunnel but I’m still not sure whether that what we’re seeing is the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel or the light of an oncoming train.

But I’m happier and what I refer to as moments of anxiety and depression are beginning to recede but they are real and usually the coping mechanisms that I talk about help but no amount of going for a walk can sell a house you thought was already sold altho’ it hasn’t not been sold.

But I did have to clear away a lot of dead wasps from my sister’s house last weekend AND altho’ she’s dead I don’t think I’m unusual in still thinking about her and what she would make of the various happenings.

But I did mention some of this to another friend from my first time at university and therefore of that generation. His advice was to ‘wake up and smell the flowers’. It’s funny. I’ve done suicide intervention training on two occasions, and used it successfully twice, when working for Blue Triangle.

It wasn’t easy and it might have been so much easier had I been able to say to them ‘Wake up and smell the flowers!’ No, I didn’t get thanks and I had loads of paperwork to do after it.

And then I got a message on social media from someone from whom I had not heard for years but who does seem to follow me and this show somewhere.

Here’s one quote; ‘I have to admire that you can pull out the positives and I wish I was more like that.’

So, dear listener, which of the messages had the more positive effect? Or need I ask? Thank you Chris. 🙂 🙂 🙂

And finally, it’s been a bit of a one-subject blog but there have been good things this week. It’s my grand-daughter’s fifth birthday this week and I did get her a proper card as opposed to the one that said ‘Sorry, I forgot your birthday’ that I started the week with, I was at a smashing conference organised by the Scottish Drugs Forum (#stopthedeaths), it’s been a wee while since I’d eaten at the Hanoi Bike Shop so thoroughly enjoyed eating there again , I’m slowly working my way through a 100,000 word edit and I’ve been shown the actual bin where I can drop off used coffee capsules for re-cycling.

But maybe more of that next week,

Tioraidh, and an Oxfam collector in Buchanan Street recognised the Prostate Cancer Awareness badge and let me past, and still keeping it simple.

Iaint850, and what I do do is take a wee walk in the garden when it’s dark but I do have lights so it’s very pleasant and very relaxing,

Last week, when the blog didn’t happen, I had planned a political ending.

I was, either, going to have a go (as I have done before) at Iain Duncan Smith whose think tank has proposed setting the date for your pension at 75, or Harry, Meghan and Sir Reg Dwight.

IDS is the idiot who approached Alcoholics Anonymous in 2011 or 2102 and suggested that convicted drunk drivers should be compelled to attend AA meetings. What he didn’t realise was that AA meetings are voluntary and the word ‘Anonymous’ means you don’t have to give your name and so there is no record of attendance. What an idiot!

As is Sir Reg Dwight who felt that paying for H & M’s private jet AFTER the event (and I’m saying nothing about the ecological impact) would stop the criticism of them taking a freebie rather than a commercial flight.

Have you ever been on the Glasgow to Edinburgh train (on quieter times than last weekend) and decided to chance your luck in First Class but you only have a normal off-peak return and the conductor comes in and you offer to pay the difference but he says ‘no’ and he chucks you off at Linlithgow saying, ‘try it on the next train’ (a friend, honest, and a long time ago).

Where’s Sir Reg when you need him?

So, in the real world, I note that there are concerns that children no longer have invisible friends but they have friends they ‘make’ through computers.

Skippy’s doing fine thank you. She’s travelling the world at the moment and sends postcards from time to time – invisible postcards of course. She seems happy and I’ll pass on your best wishes.

Skippy is/was a coping mechanism but you’d guessed that a long time ago, didn’t you?

Maybe so are you, dear listener, and I thank you for listening.

So, in the latest in the well received series of good looking women in country music, here’s Dolly, Lind and EmmyLou……..

‘If Liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear’ (Eric Blair, or George Orwell as most people know him)

June 14, 2019

And so dear listener, last Saturday night saw me start a voyage of discovery to some of my recent roots……..No, Skippy, that isn’t right. Keep the tape running. I’ll ad lib. 😉

And so, dear listener, I’ve done a lot of travelling and catching up with folk over the last few days. One trip, for example, was with friend Rosie around the part of Scotland where my sister lived and going into a café (for lunch) that she used to frequent and saying ‘can we maybe not mention her or her house, in case anyone overhears and asks questions?’

It sounds daft I know but I didn’t want anyone to overhear her being mentioned and me being asked how she was and the house and so on.

I didn’t need to worry. It was deserted. We could have been discussing nuclear submarines and no-one would have known…………but it’s a beautiful part of the world. 🙂

As is Paisley. With friend uni-Sharon. And her liking of a café that sells goat’s cheese quiche.

I’m beginning to realise that I am very died-in-the-wool and like my cheese and onion toasties with plain bread……not sourdough bread but it is very nice when a good looking waitress tells me that if I don’t eat the crusts, my hair won’t grow curly. 😉

And then a quick cup of coffee in Cafe Nero with friend Debbie from the homeless project I used to work in and a quick resume of what’s happening in the world of the homeless. They’re still out there you know. The homeless are for all year round and not just Christmas.

But I did start off the week like many parents and grandparents at this time of the year…….at my grand-daughter’s annual Dance Class Dance Show. She was undoubtedly the best but was that her…or was that ….well, they all did well especially the Seniors who danced to a techno version of Singin’ in the Rain.

I did find the clip I was looking for and it is an edited techno Gene Kelly but it ends as an ad for VW so instead here’s a montage of Gene Kelly and some other well-known hoofers dancing to a jolly interesting piece of music. 😀 😀

Anyway it all took place in Clydebank Town Hall, just yards away from the Titan Crane down which I once abseiled……..but a wee word about the hall.

The Town Halls of Scotland is a book which, if it’s not yet written should be. They’re brilliant. They’re all basically the same design – a lovely auditorium with an upstairs and loads of rooms off and can turn their hands to almost anything.

I once attended what was described as Service Users’ Forum in Clydebank which was basically an opportunity to meet workers and service users from Blue Triangles all over Scotland and to chat and go through an agenda.

I and another worker, Caitlin, went from the two main Glasgow projects with about three service users (late teens) and it all went well. Except at one point I realised that one of my team was actually face-timing me on his tablet to his pals with a running commentary about how I was ‘single and desperate’……..I don’t think he got any replies. Well if he did he never told me.

But something happened that was really nice on the train back. My team were really excited and talking in a loud voice. The young guy who was sitting across from us leaned over and spoke:

‘Youse homeless? I was as well but I’d got a good worker like youse have (insert blushing icon) and I got maself sorted and now I’ve got my own flat and I’m on a college course……’ and left the train. (It had stopped) Possibly better than anything me or Caitlin could have said 🙂

And Holly the Dog has moved….along with the rest of her family. We’re still talking the west end of Glasgow but in a new part of the world for her and it has been fascinating watching her come to terms with new paths and roads and presumably new smells as she adjusts. There’s a big dod of green grass near where she now lives and it was also nice to say ‘hello’ to other dog owners in the area.

(No. I’ve not moved. I sometimes do dogwalking with Holly and, yes, that’s when it becomes apparent that having a dog can be a good way to meet people…….yes, ‘people’……not necessarily women, but………but whilst I do enjoy the walking I’m not sure about the looking after them in the house bit)

And just a wee word about politicians and drug taking. There’s nothing wrong with it – apart from some of it being illegal. The laws need to change. We need a legal system that offers proper controls over the manufacture, distribution and sale of drugs other than alcohol which is legal but deadly.

Instead we get ‘muffling and veiling’ from them all including a man who, like Donald Trump, is an inveterate lier but even more importantly (like Trump) has no interest in evidence-based policy. Just his own self-interest. Lives could be saved and people could make a return to useful life in society. Instead the rich will get richer and people will continue to die. Let’s discuss drug use openly and honestly with evidence and not pre-conceived out of date notions.

And finally, I went to the library recently and asked if they’d any books on paranoia. Very quietly, the library assistant whispered, ‘They’re behind you.’ 😉

Cya, still wearing that badge and still completely fine*.

Iaint850, about to put his feet up but there’s still editing to do……..

*Maybe next week Rosie…….

And so, at one time, whilst I was working night shift with the homeless, I was considering doing a PhD. Had I done that, I would then have called myself, Doctor John, the Night Worker.

But I didn’t, so here’s Doctor John, the Night Tripper

His last words, which we have yet to decipher, were: Tweet Tweet, Possil Fleet!” RIP Reverend Love

May 23, 2019

And so, dear listener, Jake Black of Alabama 3 has died. Jake was from Possil in Glasgow. The official Facebook account posted a tribute to Black, one of its founding members, who was also known as The Very Reverend D.Wayne Love. 🙂

“Early this afternoon, on a beautiful summer’s day, our friend, comrade and spiritual teacher, Jake Black AKA The Very Reverend D.Wayne Love, passed over to the higher ground,” the post began.

“After a magnificent performance at the Highpoint Festival in Lancashire, D.Wayne in his supreme wisdom, decided it was the appropriate moment for his ascencion into the next level.”

Revealing that Black was surrounded by his “brothers Larry Love, L.B. Dope, The Spirit, Jonny Jamm and Sister Therese Mullan,” at the very end, the group said that his passing was “painless and peaceful.””

Long-term listeners will be aware that Alabama 3 played a major role in my recovery after Cold Turkey Sunday and the cancer stuff. I did go down to see them at Balloch Country Park after the all-clear on the cancer front, but it was on 10th December 2016, ten years exactly to the day and the date after Cold Turkey, that I went to see them, along with J, the blog’s favest librarian, at the now ruined O2 in Sauchiehall Street. 😦

It was a brilliant performance and a good night and for me, a circle was squared. I had fully recovered. It’s a difficult feeling to get over, particularly if you’ve never met me, but one that gives me hope I’ll live for at least another seven years. No. No reason.

And so to other matters;

I couldn’t help but notice that the Queen was asking about whether it was possible to cheat a self-scan checkout.

‘C’mon Liz. It was you who taught me the double onion scam!’

And is the SNP’s clarion call still ‘It’s Scotland’s oil’ or has a passing bandwagon just went past and a new slogan will do until 2022 which, I think, is the earliest we can have a second Independence referendum, although I am opposed to second referenda on a similar topic unless there’s at least twenty-five years between them.

My thanks to Radio Clyde presenter, George Bowie, for an unwitting trip down memory lane for me when he mentioned Frampton’s, a pub and club and formerly a disco (only a couple of times, honest) which was never, ever part of a golden triangle in that part of Maryhill. 😉

He then sequed to kids going to school on the Bonkers bus. Bonkers was a trendy showbar in Hope Street many years ago (only a couple of times there as well) and it was one of those where the barstaff also ‘performed’ on the bar counter.

And I saw a lady on TV the other day called Lucy Worsley (sp?) talking about Queen Victoria who I thought was very good. If I worked in television, I’d get her involved in making history programmes……but what do I know?

I mean I remember recommending a young actress called Keeley (sp?) Hawes to someone after I saw her in some police drama. Never heard of her since. I wonder what she’s doing now?

And I met up with my ex-wife and my now former accountant for coffee in M&S at Anniesland the other day – a bad corner for traffic, isn’t it?. My sister went there a lot and we’d a couple of things to discuss (but not yet arrangements for my 65th birthday which isn’t that far way #pleasefeelfreetopushtheboatout) 😉

And we’re standing and we’re ordering and I’m paying and I happen to mention that Virgin had gone down but was now back, at which point one of the folk serving said,

‘Oh, is it definitely back on? I must go and tell my mum. She thinks the world has ended’ and off she ran.

She did give me a fresh cup when she returned……..

And finally, good luck to anyone who chose to move house this week, especially if they decided to move on Thursday knowing well in advance the school would be closed for Euro elections and they could give the kids to their grandparents while they actually moved. No. No-one in particular but that was a near missive.

Tioraidh, still wearing that badge and trying desperately to keep it simple in other areas as well.

Iaint850 #mymentalhealthisimportanttome

So, all I’d like to say at this bit is I saw the doc by Alistair Campbell about his depression. I met him once, at Charles Kennedy’s memorial service at Glasgow University.

He’d done one before about his depression and this one was more about possible solutions (involving all sorts of strange devices) and my ‘moments’ of anxiety and depression are nothing like his. Indeed, other than not understanding the thing that pushed me over at Blue Triangle at the time, I have plenty of coping mechanisms that can kick in once I’ve identified the trigger.

Playing Alabama 3 is obviously one of those mechanisms and this is one of their best-known songs.

It’s from The Sopranos which is also, coincidentally, the name of a book by Alan Warner about a group of schoolgirls from Oban. Enjoy

#mymentalhealthisimportantome

‘No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting.’ (Lady Mary Wortley Montagu)

October 12, 2018

And so, dear listener, last Sunday saw the return of one of my favourite TV series. No. Not Doctor Who but the very lovely Great Canal Journeys with the very lovely Timothy West and Prunella Scales. 😀 x

She has dementia but it doesn’t seem to stop her from being a significant member of the crew of two and coming up with some very lovely memories as they often reflect on where they’re going and where they’ve been; in life as much on their journey on the River Nile.

There is a love and affection between them that is a joy to watch. 😀 x

I think it is obvious that I have affection for people as well and I don’t think that it’s wrong to admit it. You see their initials and occasionally their names. For example, people who came to see me in hospital at the time of the heart scare; people who came to see me at home after the heart scare; and people who have been with me on significant moments in my life. 😀

Long term listeners will have realised that this week saw the third anniversary of the Fortieth Anniversary of Blue Triangle in Oran Mor in Byres Road and it was a delight to have e and j there.

Not that I showed off. As if. 😦

And I thought the new Doctor Who crew were very lovely as well in what was a very lovely scene setter altho’ I did notice one reader’s letter which finished ‘This show has tick-box multi-cultural companions and underwhelming opposition.’

Y’know, I never noticed that about the companions. I just thought it was very lovely that they mixed so well and I look forward to seeing them again in what is essentially a piece of fiction – even if Bradley Welsh played a grand-dad who actually had to talk to fellow bus-drivers whereas the woman who became his late wife talked to her fellow nurses through a WhatsApp group.

Sexist stereotyping if you ask me.

But you didn’t. 😦

And I feel quite a lot of affection for Partick Thistle but as a wee bit of Stop Press (that ages me) said last week that we’re looking for a new management team. The team played an important part in my early days of recovery and they’re good fun (usually) to go and see but maybe me and Holly the Dog should have taken training last week.

But I like the style of PT fans. No matter how disappointed we were last week, there were no shouts of ‘Sack the Board’ from the John Lambie stand that I heard – only ‘a bit disappointing that’ and then home via a Chinese takeaway.

Mind you, there was a false Kingsley who did have his picture taken with the real Kingsley (the PT mascot). It turned out this guy had lost a Fantasy Football tournament and his forfeit was to wear a Kingsley outfit – but he did meet the real Kingsley.

And I’ve still got a great deal of affection for the other team I supported in the dim and distant past – Clydebank FC. There was a time when me, Jimmy Mack and my dad went to the games and then there was a time when me, Jimmy Mack and Son Brian went to the games but never, ever, all four of us…………….

Somewhere in a box of memories is a piece that Tom Shields wrote about the demise of the old Clydebank FC and me and Son Brian are the first two paragraphs. 🙂 🙂

And a big thank you to my dentist (but no affection cos it’s his job) who did a lot of work to my mouth but this was the first time for years that so much work (old fillings) had been needed. A slight feeling of the financial meter ticking away as the drill was drilling but it’s worth it.

The last time I had massive work done was when I lived in the southside and it was done by a dentist called Bridges. It was at the time when I was working for BBC Religious Broadcasting and for six weeks only (and the only ever time) I was co-presenting a pre-recorded late night Sunday television programme.

The next day I went to the dentist and he was chatting to me and reached the bit, ‘y’know, there was someone on TV last night who looked exactly like you.’ And before I could say anything or bask in glory, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz and the drill was in my mouth.

And finally, there was wee spat between our First Minister (the blessed Nichola) and veteran news presenter Jon Snow who seemed to be accusing the FM of being directly responsible for the 934 deaths by (mostly) overdose last year whilst ignoring the fact that much of the UK’s drugs policy comes out of Westminster…..cos it’s the UK’s drug policy – not Scotland’s.

There are ways to help and, for example, more information about and experience with Naloxone, which can temporarily stop the effects of an opioid overdose would help. #StopTheDeaths

Tioraidh, still wearing that badge and still keeping it simple. You never know.

Iaint850 – I’m not a vlogger but am I an influencer?

So I’m fed up with complaining that I’m fat and I’m now doing something about it. It’s a smashing health and wellbeing plan called Get Fit. Not Fat.

No. I know you’ve never heard of it. I’ve only just come up with it. 😉

Basically I’m having only two fairly normal sized meals a day, no grazing and at least a total of one hour’s walking a day except when there’s storms with two ls in Callum. No. I have no major target such as weight loss or waist size other than that shirt – that one over there. I want it to fit me again……Wish me luck.

And I’m not going to admit flyering defeat with universities these days but there are fewer and fewer opportunities to put up details of my editing and ‘proof-reading’ services so I’m trying more electronic means.

‘The costs are minimal against expected returns.’ A wise man said.

But I do think getting my name up on an open notice board is much better.

Anyway, I’ve never been a big fan of Taylor Swift but apparently Donald Trump likes her 25% less since she came out as a Democrat. This is by her.

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:)

‘Whether you support the monarchy or not, the wedding was a wonderful expression of love that lifted spirits across the country and had diversity at its heart’ (Kezia Dugdale)

May 25, 2018

And so, dear listener, last week’s show was a wee bit on the serious side so I’m going to try to avoid that. Maybe dedicate it to a couple of folk. Purely hypothetically. 😀

Maybe celebrating their tenth wedding anniversary somewhere on the Iberian Peninsula. Maybe they had a humanist wedding by the very same tree at the hotel in Strathblane where Son Brian and the gorgeous KT had their wedding reception. 😀

Maybe I didn’t get there cos I was knackered after eight weeks of radiotherapy (exactly ten years ago this week) and I must thank this imaginary couple for all the help and support they have given me over these years. Thanks. 😀

And really pleased at how well my rhubarb was appreciated by all the young Gaels which was a David Bowie song….later he changed Gaels to Dudes.

All totally hypothetical. Except the Bowie bit. Possibly he wrote it on his famous visit to Cumbernauld Town Centre. 😉

Moving swiftly on.

And a mention for all the folk from my Post Grad of 2011-2013 and something I said in a class about AA and the Twelve Steps – which is the basic tool used within AA.

Apparently I made the point that my aim was for a time when no-one would know me as a ‘recovering’ or ‘recovered alcoholic’ – just ‘someone who didn’t drink’. Well that time came not long after but, recently, on a TV series called Genderquake (partly about transition and other gender issues), there was a contributor who asked, ‘when I can stop being trans and just be a man?’

I am proud that that story reminded a good friend of me. Thanks N x.

And I think what has made such a difference to me over those years has been the ability to meet people (okay women) on a friendly basis without anyone e.g. husbands and boyfriends or the women themselves panicking.

Not sure what that says about me but I’m eleven years five months older than looked possible in December 2006. So, yes, I may not drink but I still count the daze. 🙂

Always keeping it simple.

And my favourite piece of drama this week was the boiled egg eating scene in the Jeremy Thorpe drama. Do you hammer your eggs or do you slice them? And the subtlety of the glimpse of the petroleum jelly. But not in the same scene, I should stress.

Anyway I think I do prefer gluten free soy sauce and I’m perfectly happy with dairy free ice cream.

And Partick Thistle season tickets are about to go on sale so I will be buying one and I do hope that, healthwise, things are settled enough for me to go to games altho’ I long ago lost my seat in the charabanc for away games to young Sam…and deservedly so. 🙂

And it’s really weird having an early morning look at Facebook and seeing a photo of your main road and the entrance to your cul-de-sac and the headline;

Armed police swoop on flat in dawn raid in quiet Summerston street’

It was 6.20 and my neighbour was out walking her dog. Heavily armed police.

Drugs? Stashed in the graveyard? Connection with recent fatal shootings? And the white Audi? It was taken away.

Will it be in The Digger this week?

Still moving swiftly on.

And subway station platforms like Cessnock do worry me a wee bit. They seem awful narrow and remind me a wee bit of the rope ladders between trees at Go Ape where there was just a wee bit of 3-2-1- Go! and I was fine. 🙂

I’d be too scared to do that again.

And I didn’t know, despite my great use of the UWS Library in Paisley (all sorts of reasons) that it has a Special Collection. It chose to tell the world on Twitter that its collection of Philip Roth was kept there and chose to illustrate that with a pic of Portnoy’s Complaint! Cheeeeeky! 😉

But even now I pretend I’m back in there (it’s all changed now) at the table by the window that overlooked the entrance to the Robertson Building and idly searching through Google Scholar. Honest. There was a reason but finding stuff was a good feeling.

And I know I’m not the only person who, when North Korean expert Prof R. Kelly is on TV spends more time looking at the door to his study than at him.

I still can’t watch it without laffing

And finally I’ve got the new script for my Prostate Cancer presentation and I promise to stick to it word for word and when I get to the bit where I say ‘one man dies of prostate cancer every forty-five minutes’ I will not look at my watch, look round the room slowly and say ‘the clock is ticking.’

Tioraidh, still proudly wearing that badge and still proudly keeping it simple.

Iaint850, ‘old enough to know better; too young to resist’ (lifted from Steve Cropper who co-wrote Dock of the Bay)

And publishing that quote from Kezia does not necessarily mean I agree with her but for me freedom of speech means I listen to opposing viewpoints without being vindictive, vile and abusive.

So I’ve a lost a pre-loved (second hand) CD I purchased recently. It was a compilation of different line dancing tunes and dances. And was planned as a standby present. (Some things I don’t analyse). So I trawled through YouTube and I found this. It’s not the most exciting but I know which one I’d be. Look to the right of the screen and the lazy, languid fella, both his thumbs in his pockets, looking every inch a ‘two-bob gangster’. That’d be me. And according to Alice with whom I worked, I was never that. 😉

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. (Marcus Tullius Cicero)

April 26, 2018

And so dear listener, I feel a wee bit this week as if I’ve been playing Doctors and Nurses……but on my own.

Skippy! I can explain!

It was explained to me by the rapping Dr J that my cardiac problem may be something to do with high blood pressure so on Monday just past I got the call to go down to my health centre (altho’ I let all of Maryhill use it) and get my blood pressure tested. It’s high but let’s not rush into anything. ):

So I was lent a blood pressure monitor (and I genuinely did tell a couple of people that I was doing my own blood transfusion. I got confused) and I have been carrying out my own blood tests. They’re even higher! And then I started to make sure I was calm and collected before I did a test and they were just high. Phew…..

Mind you, given the problems from my bank of all my life (TSB) I realised that it is best to choose relaxed times of day to do these tests (two) and ignore the landline phone when it rings. I would say that 50/50 it’s still a real call and worth answering.

I won’t quote figures publicly but if you do have a nursing background and are interested let me know. You are more than welcome and I’m happy with any opinions. 🙂

Y’know recovering from the alcohol and the cancer was an awful lot easier.

And it is a wee bit like previous times in that I need to get out much more than I’m doing just now although one reason for that is a good wee run of editing but, leaving aside the blood pressure, I am in good nick now that it’s good weather (that was hail the other afternoon!) But I’m past being ‘on the mend’; I’m good to go. 😀

Mind you, with the cold turkey recovery, I had a job to go back to and I had an amazing addiction worker; in the case of the cancer my thirty-seven daily radiotherapy sessions were made so much easier by my fellow patients and NHS staff who were such a good laugh over that time. 😀 😀 😀

Ach, I’m just feeling sorry for myself. I still have that ‘stuck in the house/hospital’ feeling that I’ve had since the start of 2018 altho’ I have done a lot of brilliant walking in the West End of Glasgow with, and without, Holly the Dog. And e. Any other offers? I remember doing Millport a couple of years ago. 🙂

The reason I’m in that mood is cos I watched The Cancer Hospital on the BBC the other night. It was one of the few docs I’ve seen in recent years where the lack of a presenter worked as Dougie Henshall’s v/over was essentially underplayed so that the voices of the women had to be listened to.

Obviously I know those corridors altho’ my treatment happened in the Thomas Wheldon building next door and the other thing I remember is arriving early so I could go for a walk around Bingham’s Pond before my treatment – just to calm down. That was when I started to grow my hair slightly longer. 😉

This coming week it’s prostate cancer.

I should watch more comedy.

I did, however, watch the prog about Harold Shipman. Remember the good Doctor W? That was where her interest in medico-crime came from. She did write a book on the subject. I helped. A little. I wonder if it was ever published?

Should I maybe try and find out?

And finally, atm I have no idea as to whether TSB online is working properly and full-time and nor, I suspect. do they.

Tioraidh, still wearing that badge (how long is that now?) and still keeping it simple.

Iaint850, I don’t have much money but I’ve never looked at my bank accounts as much as I’ve done recently.

So it’s now thirty years since the Glasgow Garden festival but my interest in garden festivals was aroused four years earlier when my then wife and I were taken by friends to the Liverpool Garden Festival and I thought it was brill. 🙂

A few weeks later I took BBC Radio Scotland’s Jimmy Mack Show with presenter Jimmy Mack and production assistant Jeanette down to Liverpool to do the show from there but Jimmy was late in arriving for a slot on BBC Merseyside and I had to stand in for him. I was good but remained a producer. 😉

I then spoke ‘informally’ to people from the Scottish Development Agency about getting the BBC involved in the Glasgow event but I was too ‘informal’ and was quite shocked when a senior producer later said that he had had the first contact with the organisers but ‘they seemed well organised for BBC broadcasting ideas.’

When it comes to ‘informal’ where I was concerned, then read ‘lights well hidden under a bushel’. However, I did okay for season tickets and was offered a job by the PR consultancy that the Festival PR people all went and joined. I turned it down and later, the building in which that office was located became the home for the Blue Triangle Head Office and there’s a wee memory just come back. Knowing smile icon. 😉

Anyway, I had the immense pleasure of producing the (for radio) Royal Opening with Charles and Diana with my presenters (Jimmy Mack and Mary Marquis), reporters Lesley Riddoch, Christine Kinnear and Kevin Ruane (?) and production team of me, Max, Jayne and Amanda.

And I got a Pringle sweater with the Garden Festival logo and my name on it. Wore it once.

Live broadcasting and the memories, eh? 🙂

But here’s a John Martyn cover from an up and coming band of whom I think highly. If they turn up in your neck of the woods, go see them. What? No. I don’t know any of them. Honest guv! The Rain Kings featuring Neil Turner.