Archive for the ‘Gail Summers’ Category

“And it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!” ― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

December 14, 2017

And so dear listener can I just say a big thanks to all those who commented in some way on last week’s blog. Most people offered some variation of ‘Well done’ and some updated me on their own roads to recovery. I am proud of what I’ve achieved but am never arrogant. Too many people have been involved in my recovery to allow that and I can never forget that. 🙂


And the weather’s been a real pain hasn’t it? Forecasts are too accurate and too fast moving – they change so quickly – so what I do (on either BBC Scotland or STV) is just to stare at the bit that is Glasgow or Paisley and watch while Judith or Gillian or Kawser (or Sean) tells us what’s happening as the clock and the wind move. That’s good enough for me.

But stuff all those people earning money for their opinions on the weather in the papers. None of them can ever replicate or beat the words of the master poet Bud Neil;

Winter’s come, the snow has fell

Wee Josie’s nose is froze as well

Wee Josie’s frozen nose is skintit

Winter’s diabolic, intit?

But it shouldn’t affect me too much should it? After all my current work/lifestyle is based on earnings from the editing I do but that’s been presenting problems. Let’s leave the question of me working in Latex for a moment.

It’s the person who approached me at the weekend with 80,000 words (not all written yet) and who, when I told him what my fee was, suggested reducing it by about 50% because of the number of words and he thought they were good ones. 😦

Aye, but they weren’t in the right order or they were made up or were too complicated AND the second sentence was about nine lines long with an amazing number of clauses. It was appalling and you got a sense that he was not expecting that many changes cos it was ‘a good piece of writing’. Yet this person’s doing a PhD. 😦

I made an excuse and left.

But did I actually want to do a PhD? No. No really (which is still my favourite knockback of all time – well the last eleven years). Actually, I did. I just get annoyed when I see money talking like that. Bitter. And twisted.

But I have started eating a little meat. I had some chicken recently. Somebody told me it was fowl but I thought it tasted okay.;)

But back to the weather. Yup. I miss summer.

This gratuitous piece of music reminds me of summers in my home town of Peterhead when I was much, much younger.

But still talking of the weather, I took a delivery, like many, from the Rainforestriverpeople and thought nothing of going out in the rain to collect it. Ten minutes later I had collected all the wrapping (seriously….. just ten minutes) and went out to the bin and OMG, Son Brian came very close to collecting his inheritance a wee bit before I intended it – it was that icy!

And I hate that Beagle Street advert – the one where the wimp stops sorting out the kitchen in their new flat just cos his girlfriend wants him to sort out life insurance cos Emma (!) says so! Don’t be such a wimp! Finish the kitchen first! Or has she booby-trapped it?

And finally, on behalf of all those doing things to help all those skippering out there, can I just say that numbers actually reduce at this time of year cos of brilliant places like the Glasgow City Mission who run a night shelter from the beginning of December until the end of March, but the homeless are with us fifty-two weeks of the year. Either as rough sleepers, living with their kids in B & Bs, staying in projects like the Blue Triangle where I worked or in hostels and shelters on a nightly basis where, altho’ these places sometimes get a bad press, they feel really safe. Fifty-two weeks of the year.

Tioraidh, still happily and friendlily wearing that badge and keeping it simple.

Iaint850, about to start my revolutions for 2018

So the next two blogs are the special ones for this time of year and I may have to put them out early cos one’s due on Christmas Eve and one’s due on Hogmanay (which, for the first time in four years will not be spent (by me) in a homeless project in Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow).

The first is the annual Christmas Cracker edition of the blog.

For example;

My dad used to be a road worker and had been accused of stealing from his job. Obviously I didn’t believe all the accusers but, when I got home, all the signs were there.

(RIP Keith Chegwin)

And the final one of the year is the Annual Blog Personality of the Year and nominations for all the various prizes are open to anyone and everyone – regardless of how well you know me – but that was a good shout, e.

And many newspapers and broadcasters have been pulling together the best Christmas songs of all time – but it’s all been Slade or Bing Crosby and David Bowie or the Pogues. This is much more traditional and has always been one of my favourites. The tempo change quite early in and reminds me of Steve Earle and Copperhead Road. 🙂

Listeners, this is Annie Lennox, GCU’s first female chancellor.

I got this feeling that theyre gonna break down the door I got this feeling that theyre gonna come back for more See I was thinking that I lost my mind But its been getting to me all this time And it dont stop dragging me down (The Killers

March 8, 2014

And so, dear listener, this has been the week of the ‘selfie’ – be it Oscar winners or contenders or David Cameron trying to look tough on the phone and getting pilloried across social media. And his latest pic of him talking to ‘another US President this time face to face not on phone’ was stupid in that it re-drew attention to his first gaffe (sp).

Face to face is good but not always possible. I am a creature of the moment 😦

(altho’ I did feel sorry for Blackpool beautician, Gemma Worrall, who tweated that ‘if barraco barner is our president then why is he getting involved with Russia, scary’. It was an honest mistake and she has a nice smile).

Yeah, honesty. Not always appreciated – even in the confines of the blog. But it is appreciated by some and some comments don’t get posted. Folk contact me cos of the stuff about alcohol as a problem and the cancerly stuff. It is a separate issue and is confidential replies.

Anyway. Honesty. Selfies. 😀

I have a friend.

He’s called Austin Lafferty and he’s a well-known legal eagle with a good pedigree in the media. He used to present a smashing show called NightMoves for the then Radio 5 Live at midnight on a Sunday from Glasgow. I produced it from time to time. It was a phone-in in the days before interactivity and very reliant on the people answering the phones and making the initial contact and I feel I should make it clear that all three were sober and drug-free all the time.

(Oh, if only Queen Margaret Drive could talk. The stories it could tell. The reputations it could dissolve.)

Austin is also a good artist, runner and a Seventeenth Dan in a martial art…..

He has decided to paint the portraits of six people and I am/was one of them. I’m not sure exactly why he’s doing but it I suspect, somehow, that there is a charitable intent.

My sitting was in Costa Coffee in Bothwell Street Glasgow and it was relatively painless. Austin paid for the drinks. And the pencil pic was completed just days ago and I sent it out on Social Media. The response was brill and I was sooooooo tempted to claim credit but wiser counsel (Skippy) prevailed. I wanted to claim that I’d done it. I had planned to defy tradition and put it on the blog but then my (theoretical) anonymity would have been blown. 😦

I was also soooooo tempted to put up my driving licence beside it. The DVLA pic was taken at the peak of my troubles. Comparing the DVLA pic and Austin’s portrait of me shows how much I travelled at one point in my life. Physically I do look younger now that I did in that pic. Mentally at times, I will confess, I’m still in a bit of a mess….. 🙂

That’s why when I read a post (Jeff Z) being mildly ironic (I think) about having a good time by ‘drinking green tea, walking and no booze’ I thought I’d love to show him the compare’n’contrast between the two pics and say, ‘yeah, I’m having a better time now than I was then. The best bit is I’m still alive……’ 😀

Anyway, a mild feeling of ‘being down’ was alleviated by the marvellous response to Austin’s portrait and my ego certainly did not suffer either. Thanks, pal.

Apparently tho’ (a tabloid newspaper columnist – so it must be true) says that there has been a rise in teenagers with head lice and this could be the result of group selfies. She actually said ‘due to’ but that is one of the most badly used and inaccurate phrases in the world. And is probably worth about 5% of my editing income but I do get visibly upset when I hear BBC people use it. The old style guide advised against it………do people use these things these days? 😦

I saw a BBC post which described Lynne Truss as the author of Eats, Shoots & Leaves. I think not quoting correctly the title of a book is insulting. She was appearing on a BBC Radio Scotland programme and I added a comment that it might be worth asking her about the over-use of the ampersand. I got no reply…it wasn’t me being smart. It was me giving an author her place.

And finally, I think the reason for the success of Line of Duty is its use of audio (sound); not just the tone from the tape machine as it begins recording (tension or what?) but the noise of the prison cell opening (tension or what?) and the prison transport van being overturned (tension or what?) or the kettle boiling (tension or what?). There’s two episodes to go. Keep listening.

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? Yup and I may be meeting its original dodnor9 this coming week

(Sorry about the typo but I had to lift a grey hair off the keyboard there and in my spirit of honesty I’ve left the word was spelt).

Johnt850, wondering whose hair it was.

I was going to say something in this bit about the fact that I did warn against sugar some time back in this blog and that I consider it a much more dangerous white powder than some illegal lines. I take no pleasure that other people are now becoming aware of the dangers posed by sugar and its acolytes. But all I’ll say is that just cos it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s safe. Have you seen the prices of Supermarkets’ own label alcohol these days or maybe it’s lost in the huge online shopping you do?

Anyway I have had a good week work-wise and have a good week ahead. Hope you do too.

So I first played this a few weeks ago and since then it has gained great popularity. Not saying the two things are connected but for many of you it was the first time you’d heard. Eh, you did listen to it then, didn’t you? You’d have been well ahead of the game if you had.

And does your granny always tell you all the old songs were the best……?

December 21, 2013

Rather ironic given how often Slade’s ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ gets played over the festive period…..but, given that soooo many Christmas records recently have been X factor winners, there are few coming to take its place.

Anyway let’s not think too long and hard about these things. This is the very special, and much awaited, Christmas Cracker Edition of the programme and Skippy and I have been combing the world (or the Daily Telegraph website) for some of the best. 🙂

Some amongst you will turn your noses up but I guarantee you will be using them yourselves over this festive time. :p

Q Why does no-one bid for Rudolph and Blitzen on eBay?

A Because they are two deer………

And so some news about the Vampire Slayer. Her work seemingly done, she has announced her intent to travel abroad and save other people elsewhere and we wish her good luck and all our best. But her final words filled me with dread. She has seen the Evil One…hopefully just passing through. News like this I will not dwell on. Skippy, fire up the next gag.

Q What does Miley Cyrus have at Christmas?

A Twerky

But I have lapsed. No. Not alcohol. Altho’ it did come in the form of a six-pack. As you know I have been a lifelong pescetarian for well over three and a half years and eschew (great word) anything that is not fish or veg including wine gums and certain mints (gelatin bovine)…..well this week I bought, by mistake, Walker’s Deep Ridged Flame Grilled Steak crisps. And I ate them. Get thee behind me, Lineker.

Q What does the Queen call her Christmas Broadcast?

A The One Show

I also made a mistake by adding cream instead of yogurt to ASDA own label muesli…….nice mistake……Skippy lapped it up as well. 😀

Q Why can’t you wash up at Christmas?

A Because the Fairy is on top of the tree.

Nice also to see during the week various ppl at Paisley Uny (wistful pause) including the man who helped so much with my Masterful dissertation who said there was no academic reason why I couldn’t do a PhD (academically) but expressed serious concern for the mental health of my possible supervisor. Some thinking may be thought but whilst talking to the very svelte uni-Sharon, I did admit I miss what I would describe as focussed reading…..mmmmmm……

See that Mary and Joseph…now they had a stable relationship.

And Missie K asked a very good question the other day. What kinda music did I listen to when I was, well, drinking? And tbh, I’m not really too sure but the MP3 player I found with no idea where it came from a couple of years after I cold-turkeyed has the Wu-Tung Clan on it……and, dear listener, I was taking my turn at a Hole-in-the Wall cash machine when I found myself singing their lyrics out loud….not a good move. Skippy was mortified. 😦

Q Why don’t you see Father Christmas in a hospital?

A Because he has private elf care.

Elsewhere I thought the two drugs mules in Peru could do with a Herbalife* weight loss plan but their nails were looking good; this month’s Favourite Sign of the Week was ‘Floor slippery when wet (obviously)’ ; and I hope you all have a very, very, merry Christmas. I caught up with a few folk in the last few days but with some others it will now need to be New Year – there are shifts to be worked

*other weight loss plans are available but Herbalife is the only one where I know a distributor.

And I like sending Christmas cards. To people’s home addresses if possible. People seem to get such a pleasant surprise when it happens. I even got texts saying thanks. For me it’s a way of saying I am still alive. And saying thanks to people who’ve helped me this year and with whom I many never have contact again. You can’t say that if you don’t send cards but ‘give to charity’ instead. Mine are from Cancer Research UK. I give them free publicity.

Q What did Father Christmas do when he went speed dating?

A He pulled a cracker.

And don’t forget next week’s Blog Personality of the Year Award…there’s still time for nominations and you don’t need to register and neither of Louis Walsh’s two faces are involved……however much he may have got carried away with the emulsion of it all.

And finally, my own favourite;

Q Why is it getting harder to buy Advent calendars?

A Because their days are numbered.

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? I’ve left it at home recently it’s too wet.

Johnt850, quietly pleased with himself and quite proud but never, ever arrogant. Hopefully.

And one serious moment if I may.

Sean Devenney of Clydebank admitted last week, in Perth Sheriff Court, to three charges of sex assault and one of an indecent act at T in the Park last year. The charges were found Not Proven. He claimed he was not responsible for his actions because he was under the influence of drugs (eccies) given to him by a complete stranger as he entered Balado.

The jury agreed with him. Hopefully this jury was an aberration and we are not returning to the bad old days of solicitors pleading ‘it wasn’t my client, m’lud…it was the drink’.

As we enter the time of year when drink (the deadliest of all the drugs) is consumed in vast quantities (often by rank amateurs) please stay safe out there. And stay responsible. In the correct and proper sense.

Here’s some Christmas cheer from the Waitresses. Does anyone know why these hyper-links are so long?

Love struts around on stilts of balsa wood. Love cuts. Love gives you a sweeping bow then ploughs a furrow deep above your eyebrow. Love cuts. Love curtseys. Then nuts you where it really hurtseys. Love cuts (John Hegley)

August 3, 2013

And indeed poet,John Hegley, was at the PT game the other night. He’s a mate of #soulboydaviebee – Glasgow’s fourth oldest dee-jay currently gigging at Ad-Lib in the Merchant City on Saturday nights. John is not ‘doing’ the Fringe this year but was taking his poetic show to Belladrum and Cromarty. The previous times John had been to a PT match were at Stenhousemuir and Cowdenbeath – at the latter I seem to remember spending half-time at that game doing ‘colouring-in’ with the offspring of a rich woman who had made a fortune out of gourmet soups in the West End. Or was I on acid?

Anyway, John is a very gentle man. He is not used to standing in the manic-ness that is the Shed at PT games – behind the goal, at the back and in great danger as the opposition practise their kicking skills before the game starts. Most of the game is spent chanting and fans of St Mirren – a random example – you will be amazed at the choreography of Maryhill is Wonderful. John spent the second half ‘on the fringes’, by which I think he meant ‘quietly at the side’. 🙂

But one set of chants may have puzzled him. One of the Dundee United players, David Goodwillie, has had several convictions for assault but a rape charge against him a couple of years ago was dropped because of ‘insufficient evidence in law’ for the case to proceed. Therefore, I have no reason to believe the chant of ‘No means No’ was directed against him or the scum who organised a recent pub quiz in the Radio Bar in Ashton Lane who thought a question about rape was funny.

‘No means No’.

We are Partick Thistle – we occupy the moral highground.

Great game tho’. It’s going to be a long season. But in Stephen O’Donnell and Aaron Taylor-Sinclair and Aaron Muirhead and Conrad Balatoni and Gabriel Rojo de la Vega Piccolo we have the most imaginatively named defence in the SPFL….. 😀

Wonder how long that cooked rice and prawns has been in the fridge behind the eggs and juice? Wonder what it tastes like? Here’s some music while I find out…….and read nothing into this week’s choice of music…I am currently available. Again. 😦 I still think she’s a lovely lady tho’…..I’ll maybe wait a few weeks b4 I advertise my availablity. 😉

And very nice it was.

So I’m writing this whilst taking a break from revising, again, my domination degree. It all seems so different in the hallowed halls of academia that are UWS (Paisley branch) where every corridor breathes academic achievement and men and women who have gone on to achieve so much. My tutor, clad in cape and gown and mortar board, makes a number of suggestions whilst quaffing a glass of sherry. (I decline, having had an awkward experience with a male history tutor many years ago who I think ‘fancied’ me. Or was I on acid?)

And then I come home to my semi in Summerston where the CDs remain in alphabetic order and parking has become a nightmare and the ASDA is out of quorn bacon. I try to recreate the ambience and fail miserably. But that will not happen with the big essay,…….will it, Skippy? Skippy? Skippy? But we can still be friends?

Hang on. The postman has just been. I’ve been cited as a witness following an ‘incident’ at one of the projects where I work (paid) as a relief housing support worker. That’s the one where the police took forty minutes to respond to my 999 call…….. and that’s the last time I’ll mention that. The citation that is. And anything to do with the incident.

Okay. I think we need This Weeks’ Innuendo of the Month Award.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you what Boris Johnson described as ‘a ginormous blue Hahn Cock’. (It’s an interesting Google). It is a big blue cock* made of fibre glass and painted ultramarine blue. Regular listeners may remember me drawing attention a few weeks ago to an ad for apples, that never made it to broadcast, that said that ‘English Cox were bigger than French ones’. Not now. This French cock is 15 foot high and has its own plinth in Trafalgar Square. I wonder if listeners have ever seen a bigger cock. (Yes. It’s tasteless innuendo but it’s harmless)

*I believe the whole word is cockerel.

Older listeners may remember a gifted but flawed comic actor called Tony Hancock. No. No relation.

And finally, last week I mentioned the two people who strolled out in the grounds of Buck Pal last week to tell the world that George the son of Wills and Katie (in the registration documents she gives her occupation as ‘Princess of the United Kingdom) had been born. I mentioned the Sloane milking it for all it was worth. (It’s a tasteless fantasy).

The other was a footman called Badar Azim, a graduate in Hospitality Management from Edinburgh’s Napier University, whose visa has not been renewed. Maybe his boss could have a word with someone in authority; if not, then he just becomes another paragraph in Wikipedia. Or a pub quiz question.

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? I seek comfort from it from time to time. 😦

Johnt850, and often, when in doubt as to what to do in a situation, I often ask what would uni-Sharon do……It provides interesting results.

And it was nice seeing New Horizon Community Rehab in Easterhouse on TV the other night. This was where I did my school work experience. It was an item on the administration of Naloxone to someone who has overdosed on opiates such as heroin. It’s basically jagging them with a prepared syringe. I did my Naloxone training there and carry the gear in my car. And for anyone else who’s done the training – as long as it’s an overdosed orange we’ll be fine.

The original choice of video for this piece of music was a touch sexually explicit and in the light of what I wrote I above, I decided against using it. This is another version but it’s the choon, in’t it?

It was all to stay awake for the longest time. It was long; it was wrong but it felt so right. See you at the finishline if you got the heart to join us (Stay Awake)

June 1, 2013

And so, dear listener, there are exactly four weeks until the wedding of this and any other century – depending on when you read this. I have started my own checklist as father of the groom;

Kilt fitted and booked and I have been shown how to tie up the brogues;

Present bought and, hopefully, delivered;

Haircut booked and, eh, that’s it…..I think. I’m not really too sure if there’s anything else I should be doing – or will be asked to do.

But it’s not on everyone else’s mind. Take for example, the woman who spoke to me on the way out of (the) ASDA the other day – the subject out of nowhere;

‘I’m cooking for ma brother at the moment and he always comes in wi’ a wee drink in him and complains about my cooking…nothing serious but….then the other night, I dropped it on the floor and scraped it back together again and put it on the table for him…..never said a word….just shows you, doesn’t it?’

Or the rainforestriverman was in Glasgow the other day and we met for coffee. On the way I came through the Botanic Gardens and had cause to visit the toilet there. As I was standing there trying to unbutton my flies (which was difficult as it was a zip fly) I noticed a man washing one of his feet in the sink whilst standing on the other one. Before I could do anything he then tried to get the other in and fell over……

Obvs, my first thought was, ‘Why me?’ and, of course, I stopped doing what I wasn’t doing and helped him to stand up. As he stood there, putting his trainers through the Dyson dryer he explained that he’d been paddling in the River Kelvin and he felt his feet needed washed. As he cried out to me, ‘You’re a star, fella’ he picked up his half full bottle of Smirnoff with added orange juice for healthy drinking and wandered off, shouting into the bushes, ‘Billy, this is no’ funny. Are you in there?’ 🙂

Incidentally rrm, did you notice the ‘elderly’ gent sitting behind you? He spent most of his coffee smiling at our conversation but got up and left when I suggested that Tinderbox on a Saturday night is a singles bar for coffee drinkers.

He really liked my story about the charity shop denims. 😉

And so, my domination degree continues. I’ve reached the Thematic Coding stage. Don’t ask but part of it requires compiling lists and doing notes to yourself – which is fair enuff – and I use a lot of Post-Its anyway….leave them all over the house, but was a wee bit thrown when I came across one that said ‘Crack Cocaine – need more’……..but I’m researching alcoholism and speaking up for the problem drinker in recovery………Skippy? Is there something you want to tell me? You can squeeze my carrot if you want…Skippy?

And finally, just over a year ago I, and study buddie Fi, had the pleasure of flying with the just-retired Capt Stuart Linklater of Loganair who for 24 years has flown within the Orkney Isles, including the amazingly short journey from Papa Westray to Westray – the only flight I have ever been on where the pilot shouts out ‘Are you alright in the back? Okay. I’ll take off then.’ I have the certificate to prove it. And the photos. 🙂

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? Yup and to pastures new as well.

Johnt850, still giving you more of what you’re funking for.

And so Con-Dem MP and auntie Jo Swinson says we should stop saying to our daughters that they look beautiful cos it sends out the wrong message……I was tempted to tell a story here about when Jay the Boy Wonder was asked which of two dresses his mum wanted to wear to uni-Sharon’s wedding was the most suitable…….’Good choice, Jay’……….first step to being a man.

But then I realised I work in a world/am associated with people who are so unused to hearing complements. About anything. The creative writing group that I was involved in in Easterhouse were so chuffed when good things were said about what they’d written and I recently gave a guy some money for milk for the project (cos he was on his way out to the shops) and I was told later he was amazed cos it was the first time in years, anyone had trosted him with money.

And as for seeing someone now in one of the projects I work, making an effort for going somewhere, and being able to say to them, ‘looking good’ and meaning it…….priceless and it makes such a difference.

It’s about boosting self-esteem, Jo……that’s part of the reason for doing the domination degree. I’ll send you a copy.

This is the incredibly lovely Daft Punk before they sold out and got lucky.

Any organisation created out of fear must create fear in order to survive (Bill Hicks)

May 24, 2013

And so, dear listener, I never made it to the sober Recovery Night last Sunday so I never found out what it was like to sing karaoke sober or to disco dance (for want of a better expression) sober – or as sober as everyone else is in the company. I discussed this with one or two people and they said that they would find it difficult to do these things without ‘a wee drink’ in them.

The front suspension ring thing had gone in my car and my car was going nowhere…well to the garage to get fixed (thanks AA* man) and it was fixed the next day…….so a large part of Sunday was cancelled or re-arranged – ‘can you now come up and pick me up?’ 😦

*Automobile Association

I’m not too bad when the rest of the company is drinking and doing things (as opposed to just drinking) but a real test of that particular pudding will come at the wedding of this and any other century at the end of next month….omg! It’s getting closer! It’s a ceildh band… at some point I will need to sit down with Youtube or similar and look at those dances…the Gay Sergeant and the Dashing White Waltz and so on. I’ll be fine. 🙂

I’ve got an inclination to smoke tobacco cigarettes at the moment. No. No reason. As well as a tattoo. Maybe it’s the company I’m not keeping. Now that the transcribing is done I want to get out as much as possible before the school holidays which always seems to have some kind of knock-on effect on much of my recent life but I’ve never been sure why…(time to get real, jt!)

So I’ve not mentioned the prostate cancer for some time but I helped out at a Prostate Cancer UK stand at a Health Fair in the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank. It’s joined to the hip of the Beardmore Hotel where on Tuesday, as I arrived, a conference was registering. Can I just say thanks to them for having the politeness not to say anything as I helped myself to Danish Pasties and fresh fruit altho’ I was obviously so much not one of them?

So how do you measure the success of a health fair? Well, in my case, I came home with a glass which shows me how many units I’m drinking, lots of pens, two samples of Aloe Vera gel and a six inch long rubber carrot, which I’m supposed to squeeze when I’m stressed. I intend to carry it everywhere and take it out on trains. Should other people wish to squeeze it, they will be more than welcome 😉

I did one Health Fair in Bellshill which was really badly attended apart from the free haircuts. The only stalls to swap things with were the healthy eating stand and the Terence Higgins Trust. I came home with a large leek, two onions, a potato and a small pack of favoured condoms (chocolate was one of them)……..

In my days as a PR pro (ha!) trade exhibitions were good, especially things like Food and Drink exhibitions, where you received really good freebies (lots of whisky miniatures and big cheeses) and, because so many people had travelled up from, say, London to work at these, there was a lot of thematic coding*, really hot and raunchy thematic coding. :-$

*It’s my euphemism for partying…….It’ll help me to get on with it altho’ ultimately I will be disappointed. Excuse me a second while I squeeze my carrot.

And finally, I have drawn a personal line under much of what was happening on a personal basis at this time last year and events that led to me almost drinking again. When I say ‘drinking again’, I don’t mean having a weekend bender and putting things behind me; I mean drinking to black out. Nightly. It’s a difficult thing to explain if you’ve never been there. I have been asked to ‘leave it’ and I will. Matters of business import is a totally different can of cheese, though.

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? Yes, but I have still to introduce it to the carrot.

Johnt850, wild and misty, like the Isles.

So in America, the head of that Rifles Association say the only way to beat a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

In South London, they do it differently. There they leave it to the womenfolk who lie beside the dying serviceman and pray for him, talk to the two (alleged) murderers and prevent any carnage caused by Have-A-Go heroes or just ignore their meaningless rants and walk on by with their shopping trolleys.

In Edinburgh, they do things differently. The crew of HMS Edinburgh are given the freedom of the city as a thanks for their efforts both in protecting us and promoting the city and are then refused service in a pub called the Ensign Ewart cos they were in uniform….as one well-known Daily Mail columnist would say, ‘You couldn’t make it up.’

Drummer Rigby was not in uniform; apparently he was wearing a Help4Heroes top…..ironic after what I said last week, isn’t it?

Steve Earle was against the wars in Iraq and was ostracised by much of the US media at the time. This is he.

Recovery should be enjoyed, not endured………

May 18, 2013

And just minutes after this blog gets posted on Facebook (kinda its official publication) I’m off to an event down Dunbartonshire way which seeks to provide an evening out for many people, like myself, who don’t drink or do drugs. Amongst other highlights, there’s a karaoke disco.

Ask yourselves, dear listeners; have you ever spent the night doing karaoke or disco dancing without a drink in you? Some sober tasks are harder than others. I’ll let you know how I get on. It used to be Summertime Blues but that was a long time ago.

The wee line above is the tagline they have used for the event. It means there will be lots of happy smiling faces tonight 😀 and not people full of doom and gloom, going ‘woe is me’ 😦

For me, I suppose, it’s one way of celebrating one part of the Domination Degree being over. I have now done eight interviews – two of which have still to be transcribed – and then it’s a matter of thematic coding (No. Me neither) and then it’s the writing. I make the point again that soontime I will become more or less a hermit for about five to six weeks (weddings excluded) and that I am keen to catch up with some folk.

(It is at this point, a form of paranoia kicks in where I worry in case I’ve said something not nice to someone by one of the many means of communication I use – or even worse – not said something).

Mind you I’ve been a wee bit remiss. There’s not been a meeting of the High Council for some time. Actually, some people have been saying; Is the Vampire Slayer okay? Watch this space.

But I need to lose weight – kilt wearing or no kilt-wearing. There are at least two pairs of denims where I cannot do the top button. This time last year I was getting into waist size 30 no problem. What is the difference between then and now? Yup. I’m not walking as much; I’m eating too much chocolate and too many crisps: there’s not enuff tuna in my diet 😉 ; and I’m watching too much TV.

Speaking of which….whilst the nation was getting ready for its apoplexy at the sight of John Terry coming on fully-kitted after the game was over, me and the man they call Bean, and newly appointed dad Dougie L, and one or two others were watching a smashing football match on BBC Alba between Alloa and Dunfermline – a gem of a game. Over the years Dunfermline, like many other teams, have spent too much on mediocre players, but one of the sights that will remain with me for ever, after we’d played them in Dunfermline, was all the coke and pie-sellers (aged 16-17 ish) hanging around after the game waiting to get paid.

And I’d like to say a big thanks to young AJ for holding my hand as he walked alone along that big wall. I wasn’t scared that he’d fall – no. not me – I still have panther-like reflexes. At least in Hillhead Librray, but that dear listener is for another day.

And finally, a few months ago, the Good Dr W ran a challenge called Tough Mudder (see for a frightening video about what’s involved). The main beneficiary was a charity called Help for Heroes and I had purchased a wrist band in their name. A good friend of mine harrumphed; ‘Hadn’t I seen the Newsnight where the charity was accused of ‘mis-spending funds?’’ No, I hadn’t and continued to wear the band. This week Newsnight apologised. I owe my good friend £15. I’m sure he won’t mind if I give it to Help for Heroes and I’m sure he’ll match it……

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? Yes, but maybe not tonight.

Johnt850, for once not looking at himself in mirrors

So a few days ago a musician friend sent me a copy of his latest CD, which I will plug shamelessly on another occasion.

I’d known him at school and he also sent me a programme from a school performance of Orpheus in the Underworld in which I played Mercury, Messenger of the Gods. I genuinely don’t remember much about it other than I was given aluminium wings for my legs to give the impression of running through the sky.

I did no rehearsals with them and wore them for the first night. They tore my legs to shreds. They still had rough edges. Maybe they were put together by the tech teacher I’d once thrown a block of wood at. The bastard getting his own back.

But even then I had an ego and played it all for sympathy. I kept going much to the adulation of (some of) the female extras in the chorus. But the following night, they were made of light cardboard. These days I might sue for some form of compensation but we were a tougher breed then. Our thoughts were solely on the fact that we would not be able to get to the pub before it shut and hopeful that someone had got some cans in for the dressing room. Happy daze.

Wonder whatever happened to Anne Forman, AndreaTocher, Susan Tait, Gail Summers and Elizabeth Haywood? No. No reason.

This is The Who performing Summertime Blues on a quiet Sunday night in Monterey with no drink or drugs having been partaken obviously. Shows what you can do (the quality’s not bad for 1967);