Archive for the ‘depression’ Category

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

July 3, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Things we hope our grandchildren will never experience, eh?


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

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

June 19, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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’

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

June 5, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was the Maryhill Health Centre!!!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 29, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And then there’s the car-driving thing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then it hit me……well thankfully not literally.

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

If only all foul smells were as easy to eradicate.

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

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

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

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

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

May 22, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just sayin’, that’s all.

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

Moving on.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

May 15, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An interesting season beckons. Whenever.

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

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

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

Sorry. 😦

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

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

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

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


Tioraidh 🙂

Iaint850 🙂 I AM NOT MAN

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

“We do consider both the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny to be essential workers but it’s a bit difficult at the moment for the bunny to perhaps get everywhere.”(the Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern)

April 11, 2020

And Jacinda is a Prime Minister who is not only a human being but who seems to know what she’s doing in a country with seemingly only one death from Covid-19 the last time I looked and considering ending lockdown, whereas we have a buffoon of an after-dinner speaker as ours and that’s all I’ll say……….. 😦 😦 😦

(other than I am glad that he and others are getting better with millions of thanks to the NHS and all the others involved in care of one form or another)

And so, dear listener, how are you? Me? I’m fine at the moment. Still keeping myself to myself but not self-isolating.

Y’see, I’m old enough to remember when that was to be applied to people with coronavirus symptoms who had to shut themselves away but it seems to have extended its use to cover the rich and famous (or now infamous like Gordon Ramsey and Prince Charles) who made their run to a second home just before the regulations changed.

I also remember washing my hands and signing Happy Birthday twice (and still do) in the hopes that that would keep the virus away. Not leaving the house that much will hopefully do the same. 😉

And, yes, I am coping okay because I live on my own and I’m used to working from home but, as I said last week, I miss Café 13 in Govan, Café Nero in Sauchiehall Street, The Canal in Paisley (how did that get in there?), Tinderbox in various places and a whole range of dog friendly coffee shops in the West End.

And a quick word about the Chief Medical Officer of Scotland who broke the rules about second houses as was highlighted in a news release by the Chief Constable of Scotland……….and breached her trust with the First Minister at the same time.

All of which made me think about my sister whose birthday it was last week. The CMO explained that she and her family were ‘checking’ their second home which was why they had to stay over. When I ‘checked’ my late sister’s house in Garelochead on a regular basis, I (sometimes on my own and sometimes I was driven cos nobody seemed to trust my driving) drove down early on a Saturday morning allowing for an hour, and then five minutes or fifty (depending on many wasps were still alive) to ‘check’ it and another hour to head back up the road………

And as I write this I expect the lockdown to be confirmed for at least another three weeks on Tuesday……..

So I’ve made a decision (almost) which might seem a very material decision but I see it as a testament to me and a positive view about the rest of my life. 😀 😀

As some of you know it took a wee while for my share of my sister’s legacy to reach me, for legal reasons, (but yet how simple life seemed last year) and I’ve spoken about extending the kitchen out the back and out the side. However, here we are in the middle of a pandemic and not only has not a single dish been washed in this connection but I’ve postponed the architect who would have made his first visit this coming Monday. No visitors here but I almost had one recently and more of that later.

My mind is veering towards losing the extension idea and putting together a whole range of projects which sees each room refurbished, especially the kitchen, including replacing incredibly old MFI furniture which is literally bursting at the seams with books and academic journals – none of which will require planning permission or even detailed plans – but will see me with my nose in an old Argos catalogue for some time. 😉

I feel it gives me a focus over the next few months and whilst there is still some editing to do (PhDs to finish and existing customers but few enquiries) and some SDF stuff, I feel a wee bit happier about doing things that way. I am starting a book of lists.

Any thoughts?

And my thanks to Son Brian, Kenny the Shed Pimp and good friend e who have made their thoughts known in a range of ways – by phone, in the middle of the street but at a suitable distance and by e-mail………..I’ll keep everyone posted.

And this needs no introduction

And then there was the almost visitor.

Some of you will know that Holly the Dog had several puppies a few weeks and they have all gone to new homes. As you will be aware, puppies poo and pee a lot and I had been in the habit of keeping newspapers for her and her owners.
(Please don’t make the obvious comment about peeing and pooing on newspapers. You are much better than that.)

But we were entering lockdown and I do not want people to make unnecessary journeys. C, however, is a key worker and it was arranged that he would detour via me after work. Two minutes extra on his journey home. Military precision.

The newspapers were in M&S carrier bags which had been sprayed beforehand (anti-bac and nothing doggy); I also anti-bac the front door handle and letter box; the front door was left open and the bag was left leaning against it and two freezer bags were left for him as gloves.

I hid behind the settee and spoke to him after he had zoomed up the driveway (in his car), rolled out in a way not seen since Bodie and Doyle in The Professionals and grabbed the ‘gloves’ and the bag, and we had a quick conversation before he was out into the night again.

And I do hope the puppies are all enjoying their new homes albeit in very strange circumstances. 😀

And finally, I enjoy reading about all these people discovering that the local corner shop is a mixture of an artisan baker with an amazing range of locally grown vegetables; my Lifestyle Express in the centre of the original scheme has a well stocked basic range of goods including every flavour of Pot Noodle known to man (and every other gender) – and a welcoming smile. 😀 😀

My hair has another two weeks to go before I start snipping bits of it but there is some kind of grooming set on order from the rainforestriverpeople and there’s also another two weeks before I need to think about repeat prescriptions; the ASDA down the road has got a good queueing and one way system and I’ve stopped using cash (and do you say spring onions or sybies?); I think I’m now Skyped up and I may be in touch soon with people but if you’d like to contact me (again) on Zoom or through Team Mates or whatever it’s called that’d be good; and I’ve just finished a disappointing John le Carre – the Argos catalogue is much more fun. 😉

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

Iaint850 missing the real human contact but I think we all are.

So let’s continue my choosing music just cos it means something to me.

My late dad was a great Glen Miller and Vera Lynn fan but in the last few years of his life he took a liking to a singer whom he described as the ‘big fella’. The minister of the church in Kelvindale who took charge at the cremation does not know how close he came to hearing this as my dad’s coffin hit the flames.

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.

“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.

To those of you who received honours, awards and distinctions, I say well done. And to the C students, I say you, too, can be President of the United States. George W. Bush

December 26, 2019

And so dear listener, it is with great pleasure that Skippy and I present the blog’s Annual Awards Ceremony – something that started way back in the early days of the blog when we (Skippy and me) felt that the people and events who make this blog the worldwide success that it is deserved some form of recognition. 😀

I’ve never ever taken any records of the music played on the show or who has won what or whatever but the first couple of announcements may see some eyebrows rising.

We know it’s not been the best of years for me for many reasons but I must always stress that I do not compare myself with other people – or at least I try not to. I am not of the fellowships but one of the things I did learn in the early years of my own recovery was not to compare myself with anyone or to comment on their situation……….’there but for the grace of God go I’ and if you don’t recognise a God, you may still understand what I’m getting at……. 😉

And, yes, in answer to one criticism that I had this year, there are reasons why I didn’t enjoy my regular trips down to Garelochead to check up on my sister’s house but by no means was I having a go at people who make that A82 trip regularly. They choose to do so. I was checking for mail and dead wasps………but this house was sold to people happy to make that journey.

So, I’ve got that out of the way…….

Lifetime Achievement Award goes to my late sister, Sheila.

Now I’ve checked the Rules and Regulations, Terms and Conditions and the Constitution and there are no rules against this………up to 23rd January is good. In addition, much of what we (and that’s a large ‘we’ which includes Son Brian, good friend e , Rosie from Cardross and Kenny the Shed Pimp) did was influenced by my sister…….or done in her name. Our work is almost done here and we move on, like a granddaughter on a new scooter paid for by all the grandparents. 🙂

And the Team of the Year Award goes to the Beatson staff – not just for what they did in the first month of the year but the help they gave to three others I know – either directly or through some form of Beatson Outreach.

But there were lots of good moments as well, including hearing my grandchildren, on being asked by their dad, what the best part of Christmas Day was, they replied Grandpa iaint850…….I suspect it would have been Santa Clause earlier in the day.

We will play ourselves out with the Track of the Year later but first, let’s do the actual Personality, which doesn’t have to be a person……and in Third Place is Holly the Dog.

Now, Holly may have news of her own later, and I will keep you posted but she was instrumental in changing my mind about something. I was looking after her and the two children with whom she lives – AJ and RJ – and it was about four days before Guy Fawkes night and I could only just see and hear them, but she was terrified by the fireworks. I had seen dogs scared before but that was when they had to be kept in the house when fireworks were in the garden. This was different and was a reminder to always think of others……..

In Second Place is the Decision to Change Lawyers.

It may seem an odd choice but that decision to replace my existing lawyer, prompted by my son, who is aware that I do get moments of depression, made a big difference to how I viewed the estate settlement and the effect that the seeming lack of action by my first lawyer was having on me.

I’m still being careful in what I say, but my first meeting with my new lawyers and the first piece of written action saw me sighing relief – and then again and again and again……. 🙂

And in First Place (and cue the Fanfare of Strumpets, Skippy) is a very latecomer – Scottish Water. My toby was leaking and once the innuendo was over, Scottish Water stepped in (not quite glug, glug, glug) and the biggest thing was that they kept telling me what was happening and they fixed it and reinstated things and I have recommended the entire team for something called a Gem Award so I hope they win it.

They’ve won this Award and I hope they do well with Gem. 🙂

So that’s it from me, Iaint850, and I am about to look forward to the new year. I almost have a list of ideas and some of them do affect other people – but positively. There have been other people (and you’ll have seen their initials) who have helped and I want to thank them.

I’ll maybe try and go to Morar for a weekend (and get it right this time) and maybe somewhere else and I need something more in my life – something, well something, but I always will keep it simple. Someone taught me that and I’ll never forget that……..even if……..

And I will continue to keep you, the listener, informed and involved……. 😀

Track of the Year?

It’s the Highwomen with Highwomen………have a wee listen to the words and then have a Happy New Year.