Archive for the ‘Drug legalisation’ Category

‘I’m entering the world’s tightest hat competition. I just hope I can pull it off. (William Andrews)

September 1, 2018

And so dear listener I watched World War Z and thought it was awful. I didn’t even stick it to the end. Shame, really, as long term listeners will remember that the Good Dr W was an extra in the film, playing an office worker.

I didn’t apply for an audition for this movie but was turned down for the Scarlett Johannesson (sp) one where she cruised the streets of Glasgow, and similar places, picking up men. 😦

I have two memories of W’s time there. One was her second audition. Many people had been told to come back dressed as office workers to see how they would suit the role. Many people did not have appropriate clothing so what they did was to go to Primark in Argyle Street, buy an outfit, and return it an hour later, saying they’d changed their minds (but they’d got the part). 😉

Long before the days of ATMs, I am told, if you needed cash you went to M & S and bought something, paying by cheque, and returned it an hour later, getting an immediate refund.

W’s other memory (and, no, I’ve not seen her for a very long while) was of the smell of Fabreze. For continuity reasons, the extras had to wear the same outfit over eight or nine days, so every night the wardrobe staff sprayed the clothes with Fabreze….I’m told it stopped helping quite early on.

But the movie was still rubbish.

We did work together on Lip Service (the Glaswegian based lesbian drama set in the Merchant City) but we never made it past the cutting room floor (or the offline editing suite) but W did go on to do the Fast and Furious that was shot in Glasgow as well as a Virgin Trains ad……..

Moving on. 🙂

But I did like the Adrian Chiles doc where he tried to work out whether or not he was an ‘alcoholic’. Less and less and less, that word is used in professional treatment and recovery. There is one obvious group where it is the key to ‘membership’ but mostly we talk of problem drinking or alcohol dependency and trying to help with the motivation to give up but, yes, many are too far gone and giving up on the drink is one very big ask.

But I was delighted to see that Adrian and another drinker attended a group called Smart Recovery which is much more like the groups you see on TV and has a flip chart and a leader and everyone is encouraged to talk. At the majority of AA meetings, with the exception of the chairman, they tend to be One Singer, One Song.

But Adrian, I’m sorry, and you already know it, you have a problem.

On a lighter note, one of my grandchildren celebrated her fourth birthday the other day and I did buy some pressies for her. Indeed I’ve been buying so many recently that my downstairs room looks like Christmas but one of the things I bought her was a cape you made up into a set of butterfly wings and the next day I got a couple of pics from my son of her wearing those self-same wings. 😀 😀

(I have yet to tell Son Brian that I do not have over fifties life assurance but he is getting the house, the pension pot, and I have yet to decide what to do with the business as the website is currently no longer)

And that, dear listener, is a kinda example of the Oxford Comma……kinda. It was an answer on The Chase the other night.

And finally, the pics fair cheered me up as the next day I took my car to the garage for its final service before the Warranty expired and it was not good news. I know coil springs are important so they need to get fixed. It was a bad shunt at an obscure angle into the pavement, thankfully missing any pedestrians and other cars, about seven years ago that convinced me of that.

I so hate being a grown up.

Tioraidh, still wearing that badge and still keeping it simple

Iaint850, and then a certain record was played on the car’s stereo.

And then a day or so later, things got worse. Scottish Water had shoved a card through my door asking me to arrange access for them (‘but I was told you would phone me the day before’) but they turned up the next day anyway but despite the call centre giving out my home number to Goodness know who, it’s not yet finished; an attempted meeting with the rainforestriverman was delayed cos the concierge in a fancy Glasgow hotel seemed not to pass on a message; I got home with toothache; Arnold Clark’s told me that my car might not be ready at 0800 the next day when we had agreed a day or so earlier it would be (but It was at 0900); TSB online wouldn’t recognise my password; and good news, of a fashion, in that I have got dates for some consultations with regard to the heart condition.
And a neighbour chose to tell me that he’d put my bin back in my drive cos it was blocking his drive after the binmen had been. Big effing deal!!!!! I’ve done that for you tons of time and not made a big sodding deal of it!!!!!!

But things were better after a good night’s sleep.

So the island of Iona has always held a special fascination for me ever since BBC Religious Broadcasting paid for me to spend a couple of days there in the company of the amazing Lord George MacLeod and it was when I was watching a TV prog the other night with Neil Oliver (he is sooooo much smaller in real life) that I remembered a band I saw many years ago (I think in QMU). This was one of the other places Neil visited in the same prog.

I bet you recognise it as soon as you hear it;

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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad (various)

August 24, 2018

And so dear listener, I’m back. Well, not totally back and not too sure that I actually went away but I’ve had to think long and hard as to what I actually do when Skippy and I sit down to do this show every week*. It’s not (yet) the blog of old, but the blog, oh the blog, yes the blog is back. Stone cold sober as a matter of fact. 😀

*but does it have to be every week? 😉

I stopped for a number of reasons. I was tired of writing it. The sun was shining. I knew the heavy editing period was coming up and that I’d get tired of the screen. And then there are the memories. Two years ago was the loss of that USB stick and that still kinda hangs over me – for all sorts of reasons as was discussed on the balcony of Tinderbox a few weeks ago. Thanks C….and I think you’re doing really well. 🙂

Altho’ I’ve been told my old project has a certificate for me so I’d better make arrangements to go and collect it, I suppose………

And I still owe some people a gig (as it were) but it was good fun to go and see the Pretenders with former student and one of the Sticky Toffee Pudding Gang of Four from way back – Missie K. 🙂

And I didn’t stop writing. I wrote this a week ago but it’s not bloggy style but that doesn’t mean I didn’t mean every word of it

‘I have only, in the last day or so, become aware of C4’s Born Famous (Michelle Mone and daughter) but I am old enough to remember Kay Carmichael filming under cover in Lilybank in Glasgow next to Dalmarnock (1977). Four years later, BBC Scotland (David Martin) sold the idea to BBC 2 to produce a series based on a book (The Politics of Poverty) being written by David Donnison, who was the chairman of the then Supplementary Benefits Commission and Kay’s partner, and I was on board as researcher. My job? Long before filming started I travelled the UK talking to folk involved in working with ‘poor people’ – many of whom were involved in self-help groups and more than able to speak for themselves. They were happy to help. Others like the Child Poverty Action Group got involved and the then Department of Social Security let us film and talk to employees and claimants in Doncaster. The idea was for David to talk to folk dependent on benefits and working in that field as to how the system could be changed so that it helped people, rather than demonise them e.g. single mums were a popular political target and not just at the hands of the Tories. Did it make any difference? It was thirty-seven years ago (1981). You tell me, but I can take pride in four half hours that were anything but poverty porn.’

And I’m going to be doing some voluntary work with the Scottish Drugs Forum but some other (paid) stuff doesn’t look as if it’s going to happen (yet) but I’d like to thank good friend e and her very sophisticated children for the good luck charm which helped me to get the SDF gig. 😀

And finally, I seem to have a leak. In the road outside but at first the Scottish Water said it might be in my drive but their supervisor came along with a metal dowser and found it in the street. But I’m still slightly worried. I hate being a grown up. 😦

tioraidh, still wearing that badge (and I have a new one that says #stopthedeaths) and still keeping it simple (and why not?)

Iaint850, and getting used to my hair being shorter.

Oh, and I did get a letter from the Origami Academy rejecting my application but I didn’t know what to make of it.

It was good writing that. The blog that is. Thanks for reading it.

And tonight’s music is by a band of which I was reminded by good friend Ann from Prostate Cancer HQ. The band is The Hold Steady and the track is the mission statement for the blog (and me and Skippy) from now on – ‘Stay Positive’.

“I’m glad mushrooms are against the law, because I took them one time, and you know what happened to me? I laid in a field of green grass for four hours going, “My God! I love everything.” Yeah, now if that isn’t a hazard to our country … ?”― Bill Hicks

June 21, 2018

And so, dear listener, thanks for asking. Feis Spors Ghlaschu 2018 went very well, despite the rain. A pair of gazebos was purchased and it’s hoped that they will breed and the resultant offspring can be sold to raise funds. :p

No. They kept the rain off some of us and, more importantly, our goods. The tuck shop didn’t sell as much as previous years and I won’t mention the fact that the shinty people had their own crisps’n’ginger outlet. Oh. I just have.

A surprise donation of lots of boxes of Haribos was welcomed by us and Glasgow’s dentists and just the usual gripe; parents sending children over with a £10 note and all they wanted was a packet of Rainbow Drops (10p).

For me it was a good day. No anxiety or tiredness about anything (grammatically that’s a crap sentence but two weeks before my next appointment with my heart consultant, I think you know what I mean) 😀

Nice drive home via Mosspark Boulevard and into the tunnel but on the way over – at St George’s Cross as I was negotiating my way onto the correct lane for Pollok Park – there was a strong smell of smoke. From the Art School and the other buildings that were burning.

Earlier this week I tried to negotiate Sauchiehall Street – not as a rubber-necker but as someone who got off the train at Charing Cross intending to walk to Waterstone’s. That end is a mess cos of the city council’s attempts to pedestrianise it and with added extra trees and talk of tidying up the back lanes. When I worked in the two homeless projects in that area I used to visit those lanes to put the project’s rubbish in the bins at about six in the morning. Not pleasant.

Further along you encounter the cordons around the area affected by the fire. Yes, Campus and the O2 have been mentioned as well as the Art School, but rumours that Biggar’s (a music shop that’s been there for 150 years) could well be about to close are just rumours but temporary closure is bad enough for them and the hairdresser’s and several newsagents and the others and that is when you begin to understand the true extent of the damage.

I spoke to quite a few people including traders (I was the only one in the shops) and also a couple of former Art School students who used to do tours of the School. Sadness and pessimism about the future.

And they’re still slowly knocking down the buildings affected by what has come to be known as ‘the Victoria’s fire’ and there is still no decision about the future of the Pavilion.

£100 million to re-build the Art School…..or should we looking at designing a new Sauchiehall Street and its environs? Or should we seek to make safe the other Rennie Mack buildings?

And finally, if we’re going to ask complicated and ethical questions, then what should I have done about the wee girl who came up quite early on with three x 5ps and asked for a 50p bag of sweets? My solution was to tell her to come back at the end of the day. She did. 🙂

Or the boy who complained that ours was ‘sweet’ popcorn but not ‘salty’. In such circumstances then my riposte is usually, ‘Listen son, this is Pollok Park, no’ Pollok Shopping Centre.’ :p

And Jeanette, (BBC pal) do you remember the time we almost did the Jimmy Mack Show from Pollok Shopping but didn’t cos I knew Easterhouse much better. Happy daze. 😀

Cya, still wearing that badge and still keeping it simple (let’s see what happens in ten days’ time)

iaint850, gu dearbh, b ‘e latha math a bh’ ann an Disathairne and thanks to the online dictionary for help with the translation.

And I think I detect the beginnings of a debate about long term legalisation of drugs beginning with the prescribed availability of cannabis oil with the THC left in.

Many people (including the PM) seem to be against the idea based on the view that if such as cannabis, heroin, LSD, illegal highs (formerly legal highs) and street Valium are illegal then they must be dangerous. Well alcohol, tobacco and explosives are also pretty dangerous but they are legal in order to control their manufacture, quality, distribution and to whom they’re sold.

All the illegal stuff is out there and relatively accessible and the ‘war against drugs’ was lost a long time ago and we have no control over it. It’s a market controlled by crooks and criminals and I’m desperately sad that so many people seem happy with this state of affairs.

There is room for an informed conversation as to how legislation could be carried out but the benefits would be good. Even getting people to come forward for help knowing they would not be prosecuted for ‘carrying’ (de-criminalisation) would be a start.

Have a wee think. I will return to this subject. And for every one of my generation and younger, who enjoys a spliff at the end of the day rather than a G&T, enjoy.

I looked long and hard for a piece of music for tonight and I suspect many of you will not be surprised by my choice and that it was written by a Dundonian and sung by two men from Coatbridge.

But this is they from 2009 at the ABC and I well remember my last visit there…..December 2016. Ten years on.