Archive for the ‘funerals’ Category

Yaffayat? Whityatyaffa? (Bud Neill)

February 14, 2020

And so, dear listener, let me start with an apology. I have let the weather get to me. And as I say that I have to acknowledge that millions of people have gone to work, have taken advantage of school holidays to get away, or otherwise, just got on with things and, yes, that used to be me. 🙂

However, I now wake at about the back of six and can’t get back to sleep and listen to the radio as I slowly come to. I hear the weather forecast. My basic TV viewing is a news channel and I see the weather forecast. My front bedroom looks out to hills in the north and from my back bedroom window I can see the wind farm over Eaglesham way. I see the weather full stop. 😦

In addition, I live alone (have I ever mentioned that?) and that plays a significant role in my decision making as it used to do in my working days if I felt (genuinely) not well.

‘Eh?’ I hear you cry as one!!!!!

I have nobody to discuss these things with and I feel stuck. With the weather this week, I think I may have cancelled a couple of things too soon cos the sun shone almost as soon as I spread word of my decision and I felt guilty having decided too soon. 😦

And the connection with feeling not well? I felt I was doing the right thing but I’m sure, at the other end, it felt like I was pulling a ‘sickie’ (and let’s just ignore the fourteen or so months leading up to Cold Turkey)

But we’ve been not too bad with winter weather so far and so, by way of an apology, here’s one of my favest poems about the weather…ever….

“Winter’s come, the snow has fell

Wee Josie’s nose has froze as well

Wee Josie’s frozen nose is skintit

Winter’s diabolic, intit?”

The great Bud Neill, whose description of bad weather would have fitted as a reaction to the effects of Storm Ciara;

‘See they’ve snaw’n’ice. ‘Snaw nice, snaw’n’ice.’

Bud, and this is slightly different from last week’s blog, was a cartoonist for some Glasgow based newspapers from the end of World War II onwards and is well known for the cowboy Lobey Dosser, and his two legged horse, always fighting his enemy Rank Bajin.

He also invented a wee Glasgow woman called Mrs Thomson (with a cloche hat) who never spoke but people were always willing to speak for her. She was a typical wee, gallus, Glasgow woman. Y’know the sort. Her umbrella is always open and carried just above her head so that it pokes you right in the eye. 😉

He described her in the flowing terms,

‘A couple o’ vodkas don’t hauf murder Mrs Thomson’s decorum, don’t they, Mrs T?’

How well I knew that feeling and the IKEA wardrobe had nothing to do with it 😉

Well, that and some other news, fair cheered me up.

And finally, a wee word with regard to last week’s blog. I do know that anything and everything I say online is liable to be trolled and I am careful on Twitter after trying to explain, once upon a time, that a court reporter can only report what is said in court. Cybernats had a real go at me when I explained that the political leanings of Natalie McGarry’s husband were irrelevant to the case in court. ‘yoon bastard’ was one of the mildest. 😦

But what amazed me about last week was that an advert advertising my editing services could elicit such bad feelings as to prompt someone to send me a gif of a dog evacuating its bowels…….

Tioraidh, and I’ve forgotten what all I say here but keeping it simple anyway…

Iaint850 and next week I might tell you about the exciting news I’ve just received (Friday lunchtime) that caused me to forget what I normally say at that point.

So, I know that I said that I was moving on from my sister’s passing away but an interesting document came my way this week. It’s nothing to do with her interest in family history but there are some nuggets in that black samsonite case that every family has. What? Don’t you?

No. The document is a draft version of the Executry Account of my late sister’s estate and it’s basically a snapshot of her financial position at the time of her death – although, obviously, much of it refers to financial comings and goings after her death when various people and organisations caught up with her passing on.

I’ve been aware of much of it as various lawyers (past and present) have kept me posted as to what’s happening but it is still strange to see items such as various pensions (and it’s never too soon to start one) and I am now a Celtic shareholder (as she had bought some in honour of my dad – a lifelong Celtic fan) and various small amounts paid to some small charities and community organisations down Garelochead way where she lived.

But what means most to me are the things that I closed down for her. I was the one who wrote to the RNLI, the National Trust (both local and national) and some animal charities just to explain what had happened and that she wouldn’t be renewing her membership. I got nice letters back.

Here’s Jessie Buckley again – with Born to Run

‘Just noticing patterns we slip into is half the battle. If you are lucky, the rest comes naturally.’ (Darren Loki McGarvey)

January 24, 2020

And so, dear listener, I have lived in the city of Glasgow for over forty years and still find it a fascinating place. 🙂

I don’t get around it as much as I used to but that’s partly because I don’t have that much need so to do. Indeed I’m sure I’ve explained how rarely now I travel to the south side – although I do distinguish between that and ‘through the tunnel’ and some of the travelling these days is done by train as I have that time to myself. 🙂

However, I had a fascinating view of one aspect of Glasgow just the other night – the surprise and joy you can get from staring into a basement flat. Let me explain.

I was meeting the blogmeister in a coffee shop in Byres Road on Monday evening and I was early (‘Now there’s a surprise’ says Skippy) so I parked at Kelvinside Academy and started to walk – through places like Horselethill and Dowanhill and then down a back road to Dumbarton Road and back up Byres Road. Even in that short trip you see the attraction of Glasgow and the tenements but it’s an area where you can see into massive basement rooms in massive basement flats…..curtains and blinds are not always drawn but it was on the way back that I saw something that rang a bell with the wordsmith in me – if I may describe myself as that. 😉

(but first, a very pleasant couple of cups of coffee with the blogmeister and the world was put to rights)

On the way back to my car I looked into one basement and was really intrigued by what I saw. Seated at a large wooden table was a man with long fairish hair and he was reading – not a book but a large manuscript wrapped in some form of book binding which wasn’t normal book binding and not only that he was surrounded, not by bookcases, but by shelves full of more manuscripts wrapped in the same binding.

I stared; trying to work what he was – a warlock, maybe? Somebody with a house full of potions and pills and the recipes for them? And it wouldn’t be the first time that I’d been in a flat like that in Glasgow’s west end. 😉

And he looked up. And he stared. And glared and I made an excuse and left……..embarrassed. (Huntly Gardens if you’re ever in that area)

And I was actually in an old building in Glasgow city centre the other day with something that not only took me back but took me up when I had to go and see my son (professionally – and his profession, not mine)

His firm’s office is on the sixth floor and there was a lift but it was one of those lifts which is actually a cage where you have to open and close the gates before it travels and not only that but the commissionaire did that for me on the way up and came with me…..just to be sure.

Glasgow – a city of surprises. 😀

And finally, if I may, some criticism of Meghan Wales (gulp!)

There was a photograph of her walking through a park with two burly security men behind her (that somebody’s paying for). She was carrying a baby (stunt double?) in a chest papoose which she was steadying with her right hand; her left was holding on to the leads of two very strong looking dogs. Did this worry anyone else? I know that sometimes, when walking my friend, Holly the Dog, I sometimes am pulled away when she sees something she wants to go and investigate.

It’s enough concentrating on one dog with one lead and two hands.

What a shame Meghan doesn’t live near a gran-in-law who knows about dogs.

Tioraidh, still wearing the badges and still keeping it simple (and ever optimistic)

Iaint850, choosing to eat ethically, economically and environmentally friendly.

And so, a wee word about my sister, one year to the day since she passed away. I posted on facebook that I had started to spend the inheritance by buying a Shark corded vacuum cleaner – slightly tongue in cheek but a sign that I felt (with others) that it was a good time to move on.

With the exception of the legal hiccup which saw me having to change solicitor (and I see no need to go back over that story but I found new dead good people in Paisley), every aspect of it has gone well – from the funeral and cremation to the will settlement and all the other things that pop up in a situation like that.

Legally and financially, there’s some things to be tidied up and I still have things to sign but it’s more or less over and we move on. Sheila will not be forgotten but I’m not the sort of person to mark the fact that members of my family have moved on, on an annual basis.

But that doesn’t mean I won’t miss her. Sometimes there are times when I (will) miss picking up the phone just to tell her something………

For example, I have bought tickets for myself and good friend e to go see The Jesus and Mary Chain at the Kelvingrove Bandstand later this year and I’d have been interested in her reaction to that – if I could catch her when she wasn’t at Celtic Connections.

So here are The Jesus and Mary Chain with Happy When It Rains….except we won’t be if it does.

And what’s a proof-reading baker’s favourite joke? A cinnamon pun

April 4, 2019

I’ll maybe explain that joke later but I got the basis of that gag, dear listener, from the end of a Celebrity Bake Off which I don’t normally watch (as I don’t like any of the presenters) but it does come immediately before the amazing Derry Girls (Ch4). Which was slightly different this week.

There was a tremendous poignancy as, amidst the beauty and the horror of the school prom, the producers had interwoven clips of the celebrations at the news of the IRA’s decision to announce a ceasefire all those years ago.

(And I feel as if I’m presenting this week’s show in a Nor’n Ireland accent)

This came just hours after Theresa May’s announcement to have talks with Jeremy Corbyn and, suddenly, set against this backdrop of these two current but hopeless leaders, politicians like John Major become statesmen. Locking her current cabinet in so that none of them could let the world know what was happening before she could tell us sums up the poor state of politics in Britain.

And I’m against a second referendum. Why should its result be more accepted than the first referendum? I elect people to make decisions. These days I don’t vote for a party; I vote for the person and if I don’t like anybody I go in and write something on the voting paper.

Doolan!!!!!!! (or similar)

So it’s good that the TV’s good as we hit the light nights. 😀

I’m still not sure about Fleabag; Scot Squad returned (albeit to the new BBC Scotland channel where Wonderball was replaced by Championship football, so little chance of an arts or book programme in the near future); and of course the ever excellent Line of Duty. 😀

ALTHOUGH can I say to everyone, on social media, who applauded themselves for guessing Stephen Graham to be the UCO, not only was it bleeding obvious but all the pre-programme publicity had shown him in the same photo as the AC-12 people AND it is only the first episode. 😦

I was brought up on The Fugitive in the early sixties so I take nothing for granted and, yes, I am that old. 😉

And I got a mail through from LinkedIn the other day headed ‘How to conquer procrastination’.

I’ll maybe read it later.

And the joke at the start? Cinammon = synonym.

And whilst there was general approval of last week’s Dance Special, word reached me of a much better version of the Slosh than the one I used;

And finally I couldn’t help but notice that Lulu had turned seventy. She apparently started off one night by appearing with Take That at the Albert Hall, disappeared for thirty minutes to go to sing with another band in another place, and then came back to the Royal Albert Hall to finish the night off with Relight My Fire.

It brought back memories for me and good friend e of last year at the Bandstand when she broke off halfway through as well; only this time it was cos her family had turned up and they all went round the back for a cup of tea. 🙂

Tioraidh, still wearing that badge and rethinking the plan about keeping it simple. Ot maybe not.

Iaint850, who, like Lorraine Kelly, is hotter at sixty than he was at thirty. 😉

And in a stunning link and showing how carefully thought out this blog is and not just cos I saw Lulu in a newspaper, it would have been my sister’s seventieth birthday this week and I know that she and many of her friends from university had plans to do things to celebrate (and it was nice to get a couple of messages from those friends).

Well I had things to do this week and one of her (two) properties is about to go on the market.

It’s about an hour outside Glasgow and Son Brian and I have done a lot of tidying up down there but it is now in the hands of an estate agent.

I’ve arranged for cleaners and the estate agent has arranged for a photographer and a home report and OMG!!!……….it was all a wee bit too much for me…..not cos it was my sister but it’s possibly the most grown up thing I’ve ever done in my life.

When our folks passed away it was all done through my legal and the, then, Solicitors’ Property Centre. Now I’m being asked to make decisions and it’s quite frightening.

My thanks to good friend Caroline who listened to all this and then got me a bottle of water cos, frankly, my dear, I had had too much coffee by that point……phew.

Recently I saw a documentary on Sky Arts and it was about The Band. No. It was about the band called The Band and I’ve been listening to them a lot recently. It fits the country vibe with a bit of rock. Friends and family? They do help to take the weight off, don’t they? I’m not sure where I’d be without them.

“What i like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.” ― Karl Lagerfeld

February 22, 2019

And so, dear listener, we are well and truly into the next phase. Someone did say that I was moving forward but, tbh, there have been times in the last fourteen years when I was quite happy to stand still. I suppose the two years at UWS (Paisley) followed by most of my time with Blue Triangle represent much of that and the people who contributed and, indeed, the time at Oran Mor when both, plus a good friend, all coincided, well that kinda summed it up. 🙂

But we are moving on and it is fascinating what I am learning about my sister from all her files and folders. I did once ask her (a la Theresa May) if she had ever broken the law. She explained that she had once used her position as an auditor to see how her mortgage for a new house was doing. 😉

She then looked at me and said, ‘I don’t think I’ll ask.’

(One thing I learned from an early age was that, if you’re running from the police, don’t run home or even in that direction)

My sister was a great respecter of rules and regulations – very much like A Man Called Ove in a Christmas present I’m reading and is a really lovely book – and she would not park in a parent and child parking space even if she was the only car in the car park. And it was half past nine on a Boxing Day and ASDA didn’t open until ten.

So, it was with some surprise that, looking through one of her many folders, I found a parking ticket! It seems to have been paid straightaway and, unusually, for my sister, there does not seem to have been any series of follow up mails explaining how the police had got it all wrong and getting them to apologise.

She usually won all those battles even if it was just a case of wearing the opposition down. 😀

I’ve also found the letter welcoming her to the Civil Service (Gosh…….all that actual typewriting!!!) and also her copy of the Official Secrets Act that she had to find.

I do wonder what I have lying around (or more probably in the attic) that reveals secrets about me…..and there was I thinking that clearing my browser on a daily basis was enough to put people off.

But there is a downside to this. You’re going through someone else’s possessions knowing that they will never see those possessions again. Wondering what their memories were.

But then your task takes over.

Does anyone know a charity that might be willing to collect a lot of good quality women’s clothes and shoes from a flat in Maryhill? Good parking. And there’s a vast amount of books and pictures relating to Mary, Queen of Scots – a big interest of my sister. Maybe a collector or a society. If you know anyone let me know. Otherwise it’s a Google.

And I was reminded of when I was doing the tidying for our mum. I seemed to have a lot to shred and started to do so with a glass of whisky to keep me going. Shredding is really boring; so I stopped the shredding and just drank the whisky. 😦

Moving on and to lighten the load this was highlighted by a number of people;

Warwick Davis is the host of a daytime TV programme called Tenable, which I don’t watch, but apparently his response to a Tenable contestant who said, ‘I would describe my music as an ethereal, electronic-driven experiment rooted in R & B, hip-hop and jazz.’

was

‘Do you do any Westlife covers?’

And finally, I am beginning to catch up with folk – especially those with whom I had to cancel lunches, dinners and coffees during my sister’s illness. One such person is Ann from Prostate Cancer UK and it was nice to catch up at the reopened Café 13 in Govan.

I have a problem with some of these places. I do like toasties but the problem with sourdough bread toasties is that I find the crusts awful difficult to eat and because of the size of those crusts it does look as if I’ve left a lot on the plate. But it was nice.

And I have been trying to arrange a catch up curry with a couple of guys I was at uny with first time round. Because they’re so busy it’s going to happen in April. I remember when I had a social life. It’s on its way back.

Tioraidh, still keeping it simple and still completely fine

Iaint850, glad that the weather’s so good but I dropped my phone and it’s not too well at the moment.

So, when the train between Summerston and Queen Street works, it works well (12 minutes) but oh, when it doesn’t……

Wednesday, after my return to SDF (and more next week) I went for the 1604 out of Queen Street. I thought I was late but the ticket gate man said, ‘No, you’re fine. Just join the crowd at the front train……they’re just waiting for it to arrive.’

So I did and by the time I got there, it had been cancelled and I’d to wait thirty-five minutes for the next one.

And then on Friday, the conductor on the train told us that the train would be terminating at Kelvindale as there had been a fatality at Anniesland.

I am disgusted with myself to say that my first thought was that I’d be getting off long before then anyway.

The Monkees were, possibly, the first manufactured boy band in television times but despite doubts about their musical skills, they still produced some top pop tunes. Pete Tork was a big part of that process.

‘Like all big sisters, Sheila knew where the sticking plaster was kept and how best to apply it’ (anon, kinda)

February 7, 2019

And so dear listener, yes, most of this will be about the funeral but in a nice way.

But first, a couple of wee rants;

I think the O2 ABC in Sauchiehall Street is as much a cultural icon as the Art School. My last trip was on 10th December 2016 when J, the blog’s favest librarian, and I went to see Alabama 3 on what was the tenth anniversary of my Cold Turkey and had a great time.

Funnily enough, my sister was a great supporter of Celtic Connections and saw a few gigs there but I think she would have gone to the seated area upstairs.

I think it’s also a shame that Campus next door looks as if it’s going to be demolished as well.

There needs to be a public debate on the re-building of the Art School if public money is to be used……

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-44520030

And I make no apologies for using a BBC site as, at 42p per day, the BBC licence fee offers amazing value – all those TV channels (including two for children and a new one coming soon for viewers in Scotland) myriads of radio stations (including one for Scotland and the Gaelic as well), multiple websites and BBC iPlayer which altho’ currently free to use, still costs money to produce.

I’m about to watch a programme on iPlayer from BBC 4 from Wednesday night in which David Dimbleby examines a ‘landscape dotted with buildings unlike those anywhere in Britain’ as he travels throughout Scotland ranging from the ‘crofts of the Outer Hebrides to the tenements of Glasgow’.

What’s not to like about that?

The other rant? Liam Neeson.

I’m not so annoyed that he went out to kill a man of a certain colour of skin but rather that he went out to kill someone at all. I’m not sure I’ve seen that many of his films but doesn’t he always play some form of vigilante and isn’t there a lot of people being killed horribly? The USA, inter al, and its President often blame arcade shoot ’em up games as being responsible for many of the multiple shooting incidents that occur regularly in the States. What about appearing in your own violent films? Does that have any effect? There’s a PhD in that.

He will certainly not appear in the screenplay jokingly (?) discussed by a former BBC colleague and me earlier in the week. I won’t give too much away but my own favourite character is a man who, in an Edinburgh accent, introduces himself as ‘The name’s Knox. Hard Knox.’ And my suggestion for the name of the production company? Covenanter Productions. That doesn’t give too much away, does it?

And finally, did you know that my sister was a fan of the blog? Well, I’m not so sure the word ‘fan’ is correct but since I took possession of her mobile devices I have discovered that she had her phone alarm set for 11 every Saturday morning – ‘Read John’s blog’ – or did I tell you that last week?

The days seem to run together just now.

Tioraidh, still wearing the badge and back to keeping it simple.

Iaint850, beginning to catch up with people and all offers considered.

So, just a few words on my sister’s funeral.

It went well. She’d have been impressed by how well it all went.

Y’see my sister was an auditor and was continually looking for value for money both in her personal and professional life. She enjoyed complaining and took it seriously. So, whatever your faith, creed or religion it was impossible to get away from the feeling that she was watching us organise things for the funeral but I think me and Son Brian done okay.

He’ll be perfect when it’s my turn.

The service was taken by a Civil Celebrant called Karen who was excellent. There was no pretence that she knew Sheila but explained that the stories had been provided by the family and, yes, they were although I was delighted that she picked up on one glaring error in the script where I called my mum Agnes, when of course she was known as Nan.

The Order of Service card looked good as I’d found a picture of Sheila as a wee girl with freckles and lovely hair with a pencil and jotter (as we used to call them) and the question was posed as to whether that was her practising to be an auditor. I liked the words on the card about what being a big sister meant but then I would; I wrote them. See the quote at the top.

Son Brian chose the music.

The turnout was good altho’ not everyone came back to Café Source Too for soup and sandwiches.

This is based at Hillhead Rugby Club, Hughenden, and was where Sheila and other ladies of a certain age went for Keep Fit on a Monday morning and it says a lot for the camaraderie that Sheila continued to go down even as the cancers were taking their effect. She enjoyed the gossip but often the first question directed at her was, ‘Written any good letters of complaint this weekend?’

But then things began to get worse and everyone could see that. We all did what we could to help and to make her feel better. Someone at the Beatson cut her hair and styled it and it looked brilliant but it also looked as if personal care was their priority but the Beatson NHS staff were brilliant. Brilliant.

Outwith the hospital I/we did things like I got professional cleaners in to her Glasgow flat. The neighbours though that meant she was getting out but it was more a confidence boost for my sister.

It was not without humour. I explained to the two jolly maids (wee clue to the name of the company) that she was in the Beatson and one of them said, ‘That’s nice.’

‘The Beatson?’ I said. ‘Nice?’

‘Oh,’ she said, ‘I thought you said she’s in Ibiza. Sorry.’

She never saw what they had done, but it was well cleaned.

So it’s all over and we move on to the next stage but one last thought after the events of last week.

It would have been nice to phone my big sister after it was all over just to tell her how things had gone. 🙂 🙂 🙂

She would have liked this piece of music. She was a big Celtic Connections fan, as I said earlier, and would go to gigs on her own. It’s Ashokan Farewll by Jay Ungar and stick with it.

It was the period of the service designed for reflection on the life of my sister. Most of you didn’t know her but use the next few minutes for some reflection of your own.

See you next week. Hopefully.