Archive for the ‘Byres Road’ Category

‘I like being hunkered down, having the chance to recalibrate. We usually live in such a rat race.’ (Martie Maguire)

July 24, 2020

And so, dear listener, I had a really challenging start to the week.

Sunday morning saw me down at Victoria Park with Son Brian, Miss E and Master F, doing some serious scootering – them, not me – and at one point I saw that Miss E’s lace was undone.

‘Hang on, Miss E, ‘I said, ‘I’ll need to tie your shoelace.’

‘Do you know how to?’, she replied.

And, although the shoelace was upside down (think about it) I did manage and I smiled broadly. 😀 😀

One of my mother’s many talents was the ability to look at me and to tie my tie whereas any man (?) who tried it had to stand behind me to do it. She could do it as if it were in a mirror. Brilliant, eh? 🙂 🙂

And I was in a park on my own this week (and that’s not meant to sound as sad as it may have sounded) I was down Byres Road planning to go to a shoe shop only to discover it was shut (as in permanently) – Clinkers.

So, to cheer myself up I bought a single nougat with raspberry sauce from the van by the Botanic Gardens but by the time I found a bench to myself (which also sounds sad) the ice cream and raspberry sauce was melting all over me. 😦

And I am making contact with folk but there’s a real sense of people returning to work (altho’ some have never been away) and others taking what remains of the school holidays to get away. 😀 But does a return to normality mean a return to editing.

I had just explained (in various places) that the current spat between the UK and China could have serious consequences and when I heard Sir Anton of Muscatelli say that 31% of Glasgow University’s income came from Chinese students, my heart sank. A very large part of my editing income (over 50%) comes from Chinese students at Glasgow University, and their friends.

But, there then came five enquiries from this market and I was happy and I replied with the usual covering note and a copy of my Terms and Conditions. And I waited and waited and then I sent the usual ‘Any Questions?’ follow up. And then I gave up.

It’s my equivalent of a no-show at a restaurant. If they’d even tell me why they have decided not to use me………..

And then, of course, as soon as I write these words, another request, one confirmation and one actual piece of work arrive……’What? You liked the trial 2,500 words I did so much, you want me to do the full 15,000? Let me look at my diary? I can squeeze you in. We’ll be fine.’

But it has been a week of learning for me and, following one Zoom call, I intend to look for Liquid Smoke and see what it can do for my cookery skills, and good luck with the new job, Ann. 😀

I say ‘look for’ but I wonder if I may do the same as I did when my kettle packed up on me earlier this week. The replacement for it arrived the next day from Amazon.

And my apologies if I’m about to upset you but Celebrity Masterchef has been bad for years but this must be the worst. Judy Murray just couldn’t be bothered and her crumble was garbage given the time she had to prepare and cook it; and I don’t think the actress from Alan Partridge has ever seen the show cos her presentation was awful; Gethin Jones keeps looking at the camera and not his food; and Jeff Brazier spent ages feeling up a plastic garlic bulb…….bring back the Galloping Gourmet (Yes. I am that old and apologies to anyone else who remembers him) for a decent cookery programme.

Each dish would benefit from a daud of Liquid Smoke, I reckon. 😉

And finally, I too took that cognitive test that Donald Trump took. I did mine four days ago so, for those who know what I’m talking about, here goes;

TV, camera, man, woman, person!

Sorry, I did it backwards there to show off 😦

Tioraidh, and continuing to keep it simple and fun.

Iaint850, who had promised to return to his recovery roots this week but delighted, instead, to keep the blog Covid-free.

But I did promise to explain why I thought it was wrong for the Dixie Chicks to change their name by dropping the Dixie bit. It’s not cos I think they’ll get attacked by #MeToo (haven’t heard much from them recently) for just calling themselves The Chicks, but to remember what they, and Steve Earle, did in 2003.

This, in fact, is what drew both of these acts to my attention and I’m delighted to have since seen Steve Earle at the Kelvingrove Bandstand. Both stood up and were counted as being against the 2003 Iraqi war and George W. Bush. This did not stand them in good stead (?) with the establishment and the music industry.

Their careers suffered, death threats were issued and it was a major struggle for them but gradually more and more people recognised their right to say what they said and the significance of their stand was understood and appreciated.

It wasn’t The Chicks who stood up and were counted, it was the Dixie Chicks. And I worry that their stand won’t be fully recognised by many of today’s ‘liberals’ because of the name change.

This is the title track from their new album Gaslighter which I seem to have played a wee while ago before it was released. Now how did I manage that?

Laughter is brightest in the place where the food is. (Irish Proverb)

July 17, 2020

And so, dear listener, this week I got my hair cut. On Thursday. And it was a totally different experience from any haircut I have had before. It was still Sandra, who works on her own, and the room was very, very different from before. Minimal was the word that came to mind.

The hand sanitiser at the front door is automatic and you don’t need to press it. Sandra was wearing a visor. Which is not normal. And there were all sorts of disposable P.P.E. And at one stage I’d to unclip my mask from behind one ear and hold it over my mouth in a style reminiscent of a Carry On film I once saw with Barbara Windsor playing volleyball

(Skippy, we may need to chat about that line before the show goes out). 😉

And I confessed to snipping some of my hair in the early days before I realised that most people were in a similar position to me. After all, we can’t all be First Minister of Scotland and Leader of the SNP who got a man to cut her hair. It’s just a coincidence he also happens to be Chief Executive of the SNP and married to her (and Happy Anniversary which is round about now). 😀

My late mum used to do that – not cut Nicola’s hair – and apparently she used to deny she had snipped her hair, not fully realising that Sandra was looking directly at the bits that had been cut. Anyway I feel so much better for it and reckon it’ll take another cut before it’s back to what it was (which is still reasonably long according to some) but it does look good and, Shirley, I can still flick it! 😀

The haircut was part of a day out. To Bearsden.

Y’see I combined it with a visit to ASDA Bearsden, which is totally different from the ASDA in Summerston (Yes. One does have the definite article and the other doesn’t).

Let me explain. I was out for lunch with good friend e. Amongst other things I had childminded for her and her husband to let them get out for lunch a couple of days earlier and this was a kind of thank you.

We went to the Hanoi Bike Shop just off Byres Road which is basically Vietnamese food. Interestingly enough, I did run a wee competition on Facebook with a photograph of me standing outside the restaurant asking folk to guess where I was but not enough clues cos no-one was bang on but the judges are still conferring and if you think you were close then please get in touch. Particularly if you know how to work a OR (or is it QR?) scanner. 😉

Anyway, the ginger beer that they serve at the Hanoi is the ginger beer you get in foreign stumpy bottles which they don’t sell in the ASDA in Summerston but they do sell in ASDA, Bearsden.

Except Thursday. The day I went. 😦 They had sold out. But they do sell ginger beer in large Fentiman’s bottles, so I bought two of those.

Ah, Vietnamese food………fish cakes and spicy tofu.

I was brought up many years ago in Peterhead where, I think, we had two Chinese restaurants with takeaway facilities and a chip shop that sold pineapple fritters was deemed exotic. In fact, I remember having an Uncle Jim in the Milton in Glasgow who had fritters (potato) with his chips.

When I came down to Glasgow all those years ago it was sophisticates (?) like the rainforestriverman who introduced me to such delicacies as boiled egg curry (7/6) from the Green Gate in Bank Street and later there was great pleasure in joining the queues for the Shish Mahal and the Koh-i-noor in Gibson Street, before the latter fell into the river (or a bit of it anyway).

I also have fond memories of Chimmy Chungas and the Mexican food there – now I have grandchildren who eat fajitas. And my lunch today was roll and crisps – Tyrrells. Ah, the pleasure of good food. 🙂

Tioraidh, still keeping it fun and still keeping it friendly and still keeping it simple.

Iaint580, who wants to be described as a Utopia prepper from now on.

And so, dear listener, as I was prepping for this show, I heard a news summary telling us what the UKPM saw as the future, basically for England, with employers being encouraged to get employees back to work and public transport being allowed to take anyone on board and fans being allowed back to sports events.

Now this is either a far-sighted and positive and confident view of the future by the UKPM or he’s bored. Let’s get it all out of the way

I, personally, am slowly getting used to getting out and may be in the fortunate ‘self-employed but not very busy’ situation of being able to take my time. There are folk I want to meet up with in places where we’ve met before or maybe new people in places where I’ve never been before or….well, you know what I mean……..but only if everyone is happy.

In the meantime, wearing masks is with us for a very long time, social distancing may reduce but slowly, and washing and sanitising hands is good. I’m staying safe but then again I’m young with time on my side.

This is a band called Skipinnish (they’re like Skerryvore) and this is Walking on the Waves. Next week it’s the Chicks and why I think dropping the Dixie from their name could be bad idea and maybe a return to the show’s roots in recovery and cancer and stuff. #StaySafe

‘I love playing with words, tangling and untangling them, erasing and replacing them to make a story better, clearer and more captivating. (Vaani Nagallapati)

July 10, 2020

Yup. I know the feeling. That’s why I enjoy editing.

And so, dear listener, this week I made use of a new office. It’s in Glasgow’s leafy west end and almost in touching distance of an old office or two at the former BBC in Queen Margaret Drive. 🙂

I’m pleased to say it’s open plan and definitely environmentally friendly with lots of green plants scattered all around. It’s handy for public transport but curiously enough, at the moment, parking is much better than it has been recently. And there’s a coffee facility with a good range of coffees and some food. 🙂

It is, if you haven’t already guessed, Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens. 😀

It seemed ideal for two meetings I had lined up this week. It’s outdoors, so it’s healthy, and you can grab a coffee (as long as you pay for it) and I’m not aware of that many pavement cafes in the area, although I see plans to increase the pedestrianisation of Byres Road.

The first was with former PR colleague, Jill, who I should stress is still very active in PR, and it was scheduled for four o’clock on Wednesday afternoon and, just after we had acknowledged each other, it started to rain. 😦

None of the glasshouses are open (understandably so) so we, along with everyone else, sheltered under a tree (but not all under the same tree) and this is something the ubiquitous Jason Leitch has yet to advise us about. Social distancing between households in the pouring rain under a load of trees. There was a lot of dancing going on as people tried to achieve a balance between staying safe and staying dry.

We talked some business but we were getting soaked and, so, we bade farewell and I got a fish supper on the way up the road. It was ‘okay’. I think it had, perhaps, been in the thing for a wee bit too long and wasn’t as crispy as it might have been but it had just a touch of normality about it. 🙂

The other meeting was on Friday with former BBC colleague, Helena, who works as a successful freelance TV producer.

This was more successful in terms of the weather and we sat on a bench for about an hour with coffee and stayed dry. A lot of ground was covered and I left with food for thought. So I didn’t need a fish supper. 😀

These are crazy times, aren’t they? I wonder how long it will be before I’m out for an actual meal out – in an actual restaurant, indoors or out.

But sometimes it seems as if the BBC has never left that area. I was watching Reporting Scotland the other night and two separate reports on the same programme featured two separate Byres Road shops. There are shops in Govan, y’know.

But, speaking of shops, (yes, sometimes this show is planned) I have been wearing a mask to go into shops. I think there are people out there who have perhaps seen too many Chinese students, for example, on TV or down Byres Road, wearing masks to protect them from car fumes and think the mask is to stop them possibly catching the virus but they don’t think that’ll happen.

No! You tube! It’s in case you have symptoms and may pass them on to others and more and more of us are out and about and, even in normal times, I have quite a sneeze. Honest. My nose has been about a bit 😉

Yes. I do take the covering off as soon as I leave the shop but I’ve already snapped a couple of the cheaper ones so I am about to use the more expensive ones that came from Amazon Prime – black with stars. Next week I have a bank to visit. Let’s see how I get on. If you hear sirens then the mask has been misinterpreted.

But if wearing some form of covering means there is more of an easing of lockdown, then, apart from any other reason, it does make sense, doesn’t it?

And finally, I wonder if parents who have had to worry about homeschooling for the last few weeks are any happier now it’s the school holidays? Same kids as before but with no pressure to educate them. I suspect so. x

tioraidh, keeping it fun and simple but also parts of this week have been quite inspiring and that’s before I get my haircut.

Iaint850, and they said I should get out more and I am.

And so, a quick word if I may, about the homeless in Glasgow.

Some of you may have noticed a lack of rough sleepers on the streets of Glasgow – or you might not have. It depends whether or not you’re been on those streets.

Most of them are now in hotels but not sure for how long. The big difference between that and what Mears have been involved in is that organisations like the Simon Community were consulted and have been supporting them all the time they’ve been in hotels.

Also there’s organisations like the voluntary Help the Homeless who usually help the folk in the streets but have changed direction slightly and are cooking and supplying food to a range of projects.

And I caught up with former colleagues from Blue Triangle and have learned a wee bit about the good work they’re still doing. Oh, how I miss having an alarm lanyard on every time I leave the staff office, well not my Botanic Gardens office 😉

So, I’ve just run out of things to say while I think of good people doing good things and where profit is not the main aim.

I’ll just play some music. I can always do a Dom Cummings and add more words in a few months’ time.

This is Skerryvore. It’s good. It’s political. But it’s true. The UK is led by a Prime Minister who still believes he’s a master debater. In a students’ union. And that nothing he says matters. Remember the cardboard buses he said he paints as a hobby? Was that a lie?

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.


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’

‘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.’

Roses are red, April seems grey. I hope we can get out by the start of May. (adopted from Anon)

April 3, 2020

Except, dear listener, it looks increasingly unlikely. If the lockdown does seem to be working then it makes sense to keep it going; if it’s not, then it will get tougher. The UK Government’s handling of things has been too little too late and too bloody inefficient, and whilst the Scottish Government paints a more honest picture, it is very difficult to be sure of where this is all heading.

And yes, there are too many conflicting messages coming over and that’s something I will return to, but first……last week’s show was well received despite some personal misgivings about what I was saying about myself so mega ta……. 🙂

Today’s show is a wee bit more random thoughts (some of which may apply to you) as I broadcast from home yet again.

And before I start randomising, in many respects I’m fine because I live on my own at home and am used to working from home BUT I very much miss seeing grandchildren, dog walks, coffee with people and lunches and randomly bumping into people in Byres Road…… many things to look forward to. 😀

And when I get a wee bit lonely I play music. I hadn’t realised how many crap CDs I had. 😦

Anyway, most of the people in my street (cul-de-sac) were out on Thursday night applauding for all workers who are caring for us, ranging from the NHS to social care to supermarket workers to the paid and voluntary workers with the homeless, and the dogs seemed settled. One household, which is self-isolating (and there may be others) came to the windows and applauded. They had a delivery from a well known supermarket which was left on their doorstep and the window chapped by a well gloved hand.

We’re only now learning how unhygienic we really are. 😦

The postman still delivers (why are firms still punting junk mail?) so I anti-bac the front door handle and the letter box.

And we don’t need a letter from Boris. That isn’t going to stop those idiots who fouled up Strathclyde Park last week.
We need a new Central Office of Information (COI) that can use TikTok to talk to people.

(Aye the COI was done away with in 2011. It’s thanks to their Public Service Advertising that if my kite gets trapped halfway up an electric pylon I don’t climb after it and I don’t get into cars with strangers cos Charlie told me not to. Charlie? No. Not that Charlie)

And I was invited to take part in a conversation on Zoom and it went well. If I ever do get my act together with regard to Zoom or similar, who pays? I had slight computer problems which have been fixed remotely by a good guy in Largs (or somewhere cos it doesn’t matter where if it’s remote)

And a big well done to my local ASDA which I’m still visiting. On Thursday they had two sets of barriers to form a queuing system – one for NHS workers and the elderly (I am neither) and one for the rest of us, but the ‘five in and five out’ seemed to work and it was well stocked apart from spring onions. And I’m checking use by dates and planning rough menus. 😉

There’s no doubt in my mind that some of the early uncertainty about the social effects of the virus came from those who went out and panic bought and put everyone else in a difficult position (see me – see last week’s blog) when it came to buying stuff. I take the fact that the supermarkets are almost normal as an optimistic sign and full credit to the workers therein. 🙂

And there’s been plenty of advice about home schooling your children* but what about your parents if they still live with you (and if they don’t then you staying at your home and them staying at their home may be proving hard)….anyway, one thought if I may…….maybe plan some trips with them for when this is over. Plan to visit places that are important to them, but in detail. Why are these places important, do they have photos (my late sis had lots of photos she never got the chance to describe to people) and what do they think you’ll get from these trips……..cos you are definitely going with them, aren’t you? And maybe dress up when you do it and there’s nothing wrong with a glass of wine** or nibbles as you do it.

**or orange juice if you prefer.

*If I may…….for the children? (And I’m not sure about the phrase ‘home schooling’. It seems to put pressure on parents when all you might want to do is to keep them smiling while learning)

One idea is to watch a TV programme together; discuss it afterwards; maybe do a drawing from it; and maybe even act some of it out. It’s a thought. No more. It’s Media Studies. 😀

And so before I sign off with tonight’s music a wee word about Sir James Gordon who passed away this week and who I had met on several occasions. Much has been said about his starting Radio Clyde and all the local radio spin-offs from that and his love for Glasgow University and the students’ union where it all started, but I just see him as someone from what seems now like a golden generation, and a different era, where if you were successful in business then you felt it was important to give something back to the public good. Until a few weeks ago it seemed that many people in politics (with some exceptions) were in it for what they could get out of it. Maybe they still are.

If only we had more like Jimmy and some others now………

Tioraidh, keeping it simple

Iant850, keeping it fun and keeping it at homw

So, tonight’s music carries on with me choosing music just cos I want to. Tonight’s choice reflects on friendships and I’m not going to highlight any initial in particular but all initials and pseudonyms that have featured in the blog, but it was a good gig……..and if the lockdown does continue for another ten weeks or so, then there may be little difference between me and Mike Scott from the hair point of view.

Take care and stay safe.

‘Methadone, for example, is associated with many deaths but we know that when closely monitored and prescribed, methadone works and people who are on it have a longer life expectancy.’ (Prof Roy Robertson in the Sunday Mail, 21st July 2019)

July 27, 2019

‘Robertson witnessed the explosion in heroin abuse during the early eighties from the clinic in Edinburgh’s Muirhouse where he still works.’

And so, dear listener, hopefully, this will be the last health update for a while but I was at the very pleasant and very sunny Stobhill Hospital the other day. I’d forgotten that my heart consultant, Dr J, had arranged to meet me something like a year previously, to discuss matters pertaining to my heart. 🙂

I say I’d forgotten but luckily those nice people at @nhsscotland hadn’t and I’d been sent a text to remind me. 🙂

It went well. It is now about a year and a half since I’d had the heart scare and I’m glad to say that over that period, thanks to careful monitoring of medication, my blood pressure is slowly coming down. Medical people say that 130 over 54 is good. 😉

She asked if I was had any problem running for buses. I had to explain no as I don’t use buses anyway as they don’t go where I want them to.

‘Good point’, she said, ‘nor do I. What about running up and down stairs?’

And I can certainly go up and down stairs e.g. some of those belters from the River Kelvin up to the Botanic Gardens or Belmont Street.

I was also echoe’d (not sure how to spell that but it seems to be how medical people say it; it’s that ultrasound echo test which bounces pictures of that heart area and gives some details of how leaky my aortic valve is)

Moderate is the answer in a gentle voice. 😀 😀 😀

I was told, and I may have mis-heard this, that the leaflets on my valve should be 1.2mm but that I had 1.3mm on 1.4mm on the other.

‘I can live with that,’ I said.

‘better than the alternative, jt,’ she said.

And we fixed a date for a year’s time. 😀 😀 😀

And Friday night saw me and good friend e going to see Burt Bacharach and his band at the Kelvingrove Bandstand (one violin as opposed to a string section and so on) but they did the business as did the backing singers but the real star is Burt himself.

He tells stories without name dropping (unlike Lulu last year) and he did a full two hours (unlike Lulu last year) and there was the odd wee political hint about his feelings towards Boris and Donald (unlike Lulu who was a great fan of Maggie Thatcher but did sing Shout so she was forgiven)

Burt – you’re a legend. And we even had a sneaky wee Justin Currie thrown in as the support act just in case ‘nothing ever happens.’

Let’s move on.

And one of my neighbours, basically at right angles to me, is building what appears to be a shed or summer house against the fence between us, which is not a problem, but he has covered it with a blue tarpaulin while he constructs it in case it rains.

All well and good, but for all the world it looks like one of those forensic science tents and people on the flight path into Glasgow airport must think there’s been a murder, next door to me.

And finally, there’s been a lot of chat about banning the sale of alcohol at family events such as fairs and highland games (no capitals needed as it’s the generic and not a specific games)….anyway……….the idea apparently is stop children being exposed to the abuse of alcohol.

No. Let’s not prohibit anything unthinkingly but look at our own attitudes. Is it better for children to see pints of lager bout next to soft drinks for children or for them to turn corners and find people surreptitiously bevvying from half bottles?

Tioraidh, still wearing those badges but will maybe transfer them to another jacket and still keeping it simple.

Iaint850, not the man who shot Liberty Vallance

So I had a difficult meeting ahead of me in Paisley on Thursday, one that would normally have worried me, and I took the train there, but it was hi-jacked at Hillington East by a Mad Dog 20/20 squad of teens using the train to get to Troon.

Neither bothered me.

Y’see there’s a few pieces of music which, if I hear them by chance put a smile on my face and in my head. This is one of them and is possibly one of the most played pieces on the show. It has good memories and meaning attached to it. 😀

As I drove to the railway station, a deejay played it on the radio station

“Elsie Tanner’s heart is where a feller’s wallet is – and the bigger the wallet, the more heart she’s got.”

May 16, 2019

And so, dear listener, I have decided to take a wee break in a wee while and go away for a few wee days and go to wee Arisaig, where I’ve never been before, but I have booked some time in a wee hotel. I won’t say when as I suspect some of you may have links to an OCG (to quote Reevel Alderson the other night but did he say that for a bet?) 🙂

I always enjoyed working with Reevel. 🙂

I had been talking for some time of getting away now that settlement things were settling and Kyle of Lochalsh had been discussed as there’s a wee hotel just next to the wee station and just along from the wee pier but that would be quite an expedition with a possible overnight in Inverness.

Then, one afternoon last week, I was walking through Queen Street Station and I saw Arisaig on the destination board and saw that it went through some very nice places and thought….that’s the very place and went ahead and booked it. 😀

Skippy, where is Arisaig?

I discussed some of this with the blogmeister the other night in Tinderbox but I was coffeed out my nut by the time I left the coffee shop. By the time I got to my car, I was fine for driving but I decided to nip into my local Phillie for a fish supper. It wasn’t the usual young lady behind the counter and while she was wrapping up the tasty treat, she happened to comment;

‘There’s a fly, son. I hate flies. Do you know, they’re constantly regurgitating. I hate flies.’

I paid my £5.20 and left.

And then I got in and switched on the TV and it was a cooking competition programme and there was
at least two people cooking scallops in various ways. I left the fish and just ate the chips.

Sometimes, I do feel there’s something missing from my life. 🙂

And finally, I have had my first ever storm in a Twitter tea cup (and thanks Tricia W for that phrase).

It was all to do with the Natalie McGarry case and a well-known cybernat was talking rubbish about the BBC. The complaint was that the court reporter had explained that Natalie used to be an SNP MP but not that her husband was a Tory Councillor.

Well, said I, foolishly, that won’t have been mentioned in court because it won’t have had any bearing on the matter.

Aye, but she paid for a holiday for him and her.

Well, yes, that would have been mentioned but that would have been because he received that as her husband.

But he’s a Tory councillor and they never said that………..and so it continued. But not for too long as I left the house and when I looked again I had quite a lot of support including a former Daily Record editor and a couple of lawyers…………but there are times when you wonder………

And attention to the possible fraud had been drawn by two prominent female Independence supporters but that wasn’t mentioned in court either.

Tioraidh, still wearing those badges even if it is too warm for that jacket but if it means keeping it simple, then it’s worth it.

Iaint850, and not the only one who worries about drinking too much coffee. 😉

So, BAFTA recently suggested that dramas, soaps and comedies should feature more chat about climate change and I thought about recent conversations I’d had with friends and others. They included marriage break up (but in a perfectly straightforward way), cancer (similarly), drug use and homelessness (with some very funny stories in there), my grand-daughter’s dance class’s annual show (looking forward to it), house sales (those I’m involved in as well as somebody else’s), the travails of Partick Thistle (well documented)…..oh, ‘and isn’t it nice today?’

This is not to deny climate change, but if soaps, dramas and comedies are to have people discussing this, then, if it is to reflect the world out there, much of it will be denial and ill-informed and will involve people flying out to Spanish resorts for the sun. Let’s leave it to factual programmes (but drop the ill-informed Vox Pops) rather than impose an agenda on what is supposed to be fiction, reflecting life as we know it.

Therefore, I watched Corrie for the first time in ages. Ken Barlow is still alive and interfering; his son Peter is in a rehab unit which doesn’t want him to have contact with the outside world (eh?); Carla has physical and mental health issues but is portraying her character like an extra in a Hammer Horror movie (can the straitjacket be far behind?); and Steve’s taxi firm has financial problems. And, bloody hell, is that Rita’s foster daughter behind the bar at the Rover’s? BAFTA, you would have your work cut out bringing existing attitudes into 2019, let alone introducing climate change.

This was the UK’s Eurovision Song Contest entry in 2007. It’s probably still on the jukebox at Roy’s Rolls

Spot the Bucks Fizz gag and there are absolutely no innuendos.

We have but two ears and one mouth so that we may listen twice as much as we speak (Thomas Eddison)

May 10, 2019

And thanks to Tricia W for the quote 🙂 x

And so dear listener, let us return to the settlement of my (now) late sister’s estate. I know I’ve told some people individually but the blog, ever since my days of cancer and stuff, has long since been my method of getting the message across. 😉

I could do it like the Royals do it and put a noticeboard just outside my house and nail a bulletin on it and expect you to read it but I’d have to tell you where exactly where I lived and then the paparazzi would be around. 😦

But a couple of things before I omit to tell you anything in detail;

I was talking to my lawyer about various things and the subject of fees came up – and went away again. A memory of my dad came back to me. He was the first of three generations of chartered accountants in my family and practised in the North East of Scotland with many clients in the fishing and farming professions. Often he would go to meet his clients at their homes and would return, as was the custom of the time, part-paid in whisky, trays of freshly laid eggs or some fish straight from the North Sea. And a cheque. 😀

So my dad was a Chartered Accountant who married a book-keeper in his office in Glasgow many years ago, my ex-wife was a Chartered Accountant and so is my son. Indeed, my (now) late sister was an auditor in the Civil Service……….and yet people try to give me financial advice. I grew up with it and, indeed, worked as a Clerk in the Harbour Office in Peterhead.

So, I ended up as a broadcast journalist with a drink problem and met some of the most amazing people in the world. Some were well known names of their time like Jeffrey Archer and Michael Parkinson but my favest was a man called Studs Terkel who believed that it’s the ‘ordinary’ people who have the best stories and that influenced much of my broadcasting from then on.

Anyway, estate agents send you the blurb and, as an editor and ‘proof-reader’, I write back and point out their typos for correction – as I explained to good friend e to whom I sent the draft brochure for interest as she’d very kindly helped with some of the cleaning and tidying a few weeks ago. 🙂

‘Aye,’ she said. ‘I saw mantaining.’ I gulped. I hadn’t. It was three others.

‘But,’ I said, ‘did you notice that of the three external pics of the flats, one had six dustbins outside and two didn’t?’

‘No,’ she said. ‘But did you notice that it was dry in those pics but in the one showing the parking area, it had been raining?’

At which point I gave in gracefully and agreed to do some childsitting.

But it’s a good looking two-bedroomed flat just up the Maryhill Road from the West End – and things are going well thank you.

I can certainly afford coffees but maybe a wee tendency to overdo them at times. (where’s the emoji for high as a kite?)

And can I also stress that e is not related in any way to H in LoD but had met j from UWS a couple of years ago.

And finally, I have a quandary. For a few years now I have been a season ticket holder at Partick Thistle but for the last two seasons – football reasons aside – I have attended very few games.

Indeed I would have made a considerable saving had I gone on a Pay-As-You- Go basis.

Indeed, because of a certain disquiet about certain matters at the club and the way things are being handled (Doo-Laaaaaan!) some people are saying that’s the way they plan to do it this season.

Now I have already decided to get a season ticket again, so that’s not the quandary.

On 2nd July, I turn 65. Should I wait until the 3rd July and get my OAP discount (gulp) or give them the money now? That’s the quandary. 😉

Tioraidh, still wearing that badge and still keeping it simple

Iaint850, whose scariest moment of the week was when a nine year old boy told me, ‘It’s okay. My mum lets me go out to play on my own’ but he did come back when he was called in.

So, dealing with drugs, other than the three which the Queen declared legal a few years ago (coffee, alcohol and tobacco), is devolved legally to the UK Government as is the power to call a referendum on Scottish Independence so it is easy for the blessed Nicola and her pals to say ‘If only……..’

So I’d like to pay tribute to the Westminster Scottish Affairs Committee, led by SNP MP Pete Wishart, who spent a large part of last week listening to evidence from expert witnesses and those working in the field with a view to doing something positive about the wide-ranging issues involved in substance use.

There are some good people on that committee including David Duguid from the Tories but excluding Ross Thomson from the Tories and I got the feeling that they listened closely to the reasons why ‘Glasgow is a perfect case for the UK’s first consumption room.’

It will be interesting to see what results from this as Scotland faces a real drugs emergency. – one that has been in existence for a very long time and not just a matter of weeks – and I already recycle all my drinks bottles and cans.

The Dixie Chicks have an amazing story as well about standing up against war in Iraq. This is they/these are them with Travelin’ Soldier