Archive for the ‘Glasgow University’ Category

I never knew a guy who carried a mirror in his pocket And a comb up his sleeve-just in case (Shania Twain)

November 1, 2018

And so, dear listener, does that impress you much and do you know anyone like this? And, friend Debbie, I will always deny that story about me using a window in the project as a mirror at 3 in the morning. 😉

So let’s move on swiftly but before I do, can I just say that my sixtieth birthday was much more a milestone than a millstone. 😀

I have an idea which may reverse the tide of digitalisation and I want to share it with you. I even have a name for it. I am going to call it Fulfilment by Personal Service (which is in no way derivative).

It hit me last week. I have spoken previously about my dislike of 151 and 789. I don’t understand what they’re talking about (altho’ I did have brilliant service from one of them who helped me through a TV problem that was not a Virgin problem and introduced me to the buttons down the side) 🙂

A few months ago I was concerned about how much I was paying for my phone. Instead of getting rollovers I was getting bills and I put that down to the increased usage when I was in hospital.

But they continued. I spoke to both the above numbers and they told me I was well in credit but that wasn’t the problem. I happened to be passing the Virgin shop in Sauchiehall Street one day and I went in. Two questions later, I was told that my WiFi had been switched off and that was it back up and running. 🙂

Saturday there…a wee date storage issue and I was straight back. Again some questions, some stuff added to my SD disk and some stuff deleted, and storage problem gone. I went to Waterstone’s and looked at books and bought two. Amazon is great if you know what you want but you can’t browse………not browse in a bookshop sense anyway.

Waterstone’s also does coffee and cake. 🙂

And then I got a couple of messages (text as opposed to bread and milk) from the Green Zone aka Maryhill Health Centre. One was explaining that it was now possible to book Skype conversations with my doctor or, in a separate message, the nurses were telling me that it was at least six weeks since they’d seen me and would I like to arrange to pop in and see them? I know which I’m going for.

Incidentally I think all the nurses in the Zone are female and, do you know what? Nobody cares as long as you ‘get seen’. 😉

Supermarket shopping? Self-scan or staffed aisle? Altho’ at Morrison’s this morning finding a staffed aisle was difficult ……until I asked.

So, are you beginning to get the idea? Have you had similar experiences? Please share them here or with me in other ways. I’m not too sure where I’m going with this but I do think we, as people handing over our money, deserve good personal service whether it’s in a shop or at the bit where you go to metaphorically fill your basket and hand over your credit card security number.

Indeed word reaches me as I write this that Ikea have opened a small store In Tottenham Court Road in London to offer a design service before people go online to buy things………

And if you’re interested, my academic editing service (available from john.thompson850@ntlworld.com) is a service designed to meet an individual’s needs albeit all done by e-mail.

And finally, a drugs training workshop I was due to attend was cancelled but I was offered an interesting alternative the following Tuesday.

‘Would you like, jt, to do alcohol in the morning and drugs in the afternoon?’

My smile was of a very wry nature.

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

Iaint850, deeply envious of the multi-talented Bradley Walsh who I once spoke to on the phone.

Now, long term listeners of this blog will remember that, from time to time, I have attended formal dinners at Glasgow University and one of them is due up soon and it is a significant anniversary of that dinner club but I’m not going.

It’s nothing to do with alcohol itself. I don’t miss it and I get no cravings and I put that down to working with a professional addiction worker and not going to meetings where alcohol is the only topic. That wouldn’t have worked for me.

It’s just been so long since I’ve seen many of the folk who’ll be there and there’s a wee bit of anxiety that’s been hanging about that I won’t settle and I’ll get up and walk. I do like to talk to people and I do like to catch up but in smaller settings, e.g. curries, lunches, coffees or conferences on Hep C (coming to a Hilton Hotel near you next week).

It’s no big deal for me but it’s good that I’ve decided now. How will I fill that gap in the diary? Will I do anything social? Well, from time to time recently I’ve been going for walks in the dark, mostly designed to keep me out later and to make me sleep longer. It’s not as sad as it sounds. I have no dog to walk and I don’t jog/run.

I’ll maybe drive the car down to the University and go for a walk in the West End Perk where the phantoms might be dancing (Bridie).

Here, by way of a special request, is/are Bauhaus and their tribute to a great Hallowe’en hero – Bella Lugosi.

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“Ignorance is a lot like alcohol: the more you have of it, the less you are able to see its effect on you.” (Jay Bylsma)

October 4, 2018

And so dear listener, as you possibly know, I don’t watch that much TV but I do catch the ends of programmes and trailers and I do read the tabloids. In most cases I keep up to speed with what’s happening – particularly as some papers do previews and reviews but it obviously doesn’t replace watching

But I do get annoyed with folk who, on social media and in real life, ask folk not to talk about what they’ve seen on TV as they have yet ‘to catch up’. Well, don’t read the bloody thread then or walk away from the water cooler until you’re told it’s safe to go back!!!!!

Yes. I do understand the problems. I used to work shifts and found it difficult to catch up at times but eventually me, Line of Duty and my tablet became inseparable.

And before then, you actually had to record these things onto VHS or Beta and the pile would pile up and woe betide anyone who taped over something that had still to be viewed even if it was weeks since it had been recorded.

And even before all that, the only chance you had of seeing something again on TV was the repeat and even then, someone would complain about too many bloody repeats on the BBC.

So I’m going to say nothing about Bodyguarding Eva with a Stranger’s Cry or whatever it’s called and say I’ve just read a smashing book called our house by Louise Candlish and it’s about a house and the part it plays in a marriage break up – and it’s really good. Nice and easy to read with a few unexpected twists and turns. 🙂 🙂 🙂

And no spoilers tonight – except the new Doctor Who is a woman. :p

And it was nice meeting up with uni-Sharon the other day in a café in Paisley that is just off the street that is high (as were at least two of the people in the street but nicely so) and you’re right, Sharon, my hair is a lot shorter that it’s been in years…..and I quite like it.

It’s modelled on the style of my grandson who’s one and half years old. 🙂

(But I am fat)

And it was also good to go for a walk with good friend e and Holly the Dog onto the Uni-playing fields on the old Garscube estate and then my day was made. At 11 o’clock, a group of footballers went across a very historic bridge to do some warm up exercises.

Yes. It was the mighty Partick Thistle Football Club preparing for, well, I’m not sure what. We’re not doing too well at the moment but we’re now looking for a new management team.

But it was with some pride that I pointed out some of the players; household names like Brice Ntambe, Souleymane Coulibaly and Andrea Mbuyi-Mutombo and, my own favourite, Max Melbourne, who sounds like an Australian Comic book hero.

I did start to explain the phrase ‘straight off the training ground’ to e but she and Holly seemed to have moved on. About fifteen minutes previously.

And I too was saddened to hear about the death of Geoffrey Hayes from Rainbow.

Incidentally, I loved the tales of those who worked on Rainbow and moved on. For example, ‘Matthew Corbett (70) was part of the show’s original band, Rod, Matt and Jane. He quit to team up with Sooty.’

The madcap and cut-throat world of Glove Puppets. Probably banner headlines at the time!

And finally, I was in Glasgow City Centre the other day but was in a lot earlier than I’d intended because I’d caught an earlier train that was already running late.

There’s a lane between Queen Street Station and Buchanan Street and I sometimes know the rough sleeper bundled up there and stop and talk and give some money.

I didn’t know this guy but he was asking how I was, that I was looking so much better than the last time he’d seen me and was I ‘still off the gear’? I could only mumble replies as he asked more non-relevant questions and I gave him some cash and told him to ‘stay safe’ to which he replied ‘and you bud, and you.’ I think I felt better for that but some people did look at me out of the corner of their eye as I walked into the station.

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

Iaint850, happy to be alive……

So, research this week shows that weekly drinking among 15-year-olds has declined from 41 per cent to 11 per cent in girls and from 41 per cent to 14 per cent among boys. And I think that’s brilliant. I’ve nothing against alcohol and do believe that inebriation has been part of the human psyche since caveperson days.

But that must, in itself, lead to healthier people but some commentators (my age and younger) seem to think this younger generation were missing out by not drinking beer (or whatever) and getting into scrapes and mis-spending their youth and waking up in places they shouldn’t be.

No. They’re not.

That’s also the generation that will remember defence lawyers suggesting that their clients were innocent as they were normally well behaved but ‘the drink made them do it.’

Maybe this younger generation is moving in the right direction.

Not everyone can be as careful as Brett Kavanaugh;

‘I liked beer. I still like beer, but I did not drink beer to the point of blacking out.’ He went on to mention ‘beer’ again another 26 times.

So that’s okay, then. His wife, in the row behind him, looked a very patient woman.

Donald Trump does not drink. He is just an awful man.

Here’s a happy song. Well, it cheers me up. Cheers 🙂

I was a great student. I was good at everything. (Donald Trump)

July 12, 2018

And so dear listener, for the first time in my recent life, this week, I had to remember things from my own life of over forty years ago. It was weird. And this was nothing to with any counselling that I had planned to talk about following my reading of ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ by Gail Honeyman. 😀 😀 for the book.

I was being interviewed by a Glasgow University student for her Master’s and it was about values and ethics for those taking Higher Education with an historical perspective. And Chloe done a good job.

Indeed it got off to really good start.

I had described myself as wearing glasses and looking incredibly old; her early words included, ‘you don’t look incredibly old.’ We got on well………but I ended up feeling incredibly old. 🙂

My first time at university was in 1972 – twenty-seven years after the end of World War II. My second time at university was almost forty years later.

It was a different time then and I think much of it was because so many people had survived the war and all that that had involved….from active participation to existing on rationing and indeed it was twenty-three years after the NHS came into being. But don’t worry. This isn’t going to turn into a Daily Mail/John Major rant about warm beer and respect.

For me, it was about how much my thinking and ambitions and my life had changed over these years and some of the reasons why……..but a lot of good stuff as well.

Did you know, rainforestriverman (and she’s not called Princess Kate!!!! That’s such a motire!!!!!), that the Green Gate Curry Restaurant opened in Bank Street in 1959 (boiled egg curries were 7/6 by the time we got to uny) and that England won the World Cup in 1966. Lots of people seem to forget that. Incidentally, it was in 1976 (great summer!) that the Koh-i-Noor fell into the River Kelvin?

But if I were to do the Daily Mail thang it would be the demise of the bank manager. I have long since stopped watching re-runs of Dads Army but my memory of a bank manager in a small town like Peterhead was of a man (but of course) who was heavily involved in the community and highly respected.

Now? Well, leaving aside any comparison with Fred Goodwin, do they even exist? Do banks even care? I remember my first cheque book – when did you get your first contactless card and when was it first rejected?

And amidst the other memories that were prompted that had nothing to do with Chloe’s research were tutorials in a history lecturer’s study somewhere in a cloister in a quadrant where I was offered cheap sherry but realised the best thing to do was to make an excuse and left. 😉

But this week it was a case of what might have been. I know Jenny H was telling everyone when she tweeted about a lecturer’s job at Stirling Uny (in Substance Use I think it was) but it was my second time at Uny when I realised how much academically there is to gain from relevant research.

And, apart from anything else, I went to UWS (Paisley) as a recovering alcoholic and came out just as someone who doesn’t drink. 😀 😀 😀

And finally, a woman is sitting in a church during the funeral service for her late husband. Another man comes up to her and says, ‘do you mind if I say a word?’

‘No,’ she says. ‘That’ll be nice.’

He coughs, clears his throat and says, ‘Plethora.’

‘Thank you,’ the woman says. That means a lot.’

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

Iaint850, financially better off since I cracked open the penny jar (£9.75)

And I was in conversation with a friend discussing how, emotionally, I felt after the heart scare and I was going to talk a wee bit about mentally standing up to things but one image changed my mind……well, actually, two.

The first was TV footage of all the Police outriders driving off as soon as it was confirmed that Boris Johnson had resigned as Foreign Secretary. It was as if I was watching all the pomp and circumstance as being removed from the man who refuses still to acknowledge his children born out of wedlock and who is responsible for the continued imprisonment of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. The man is a buffoon and it shows the weakness of Theresa May that she felt the need to give him a major role in her government to keep him quiet. Ha!

No. The big image was the BBC’s Dan Johnson doing a piece to camera as two ambulances whizzed off behind him and he was able to say, ‘That’s the tenth and the eleventh boy being taken to the hospital.’

They got them all out!!!!!! Everyone, Thai Government and police and army and divers from all over the world combined to get thirteen frightened ‘Wild Boars’ out of all those caves and water and Goodness knows what. Everyone was very calm and just did it.

No pricked egos…….but one death. Saman Guana, a retired navy SEAL (but not that old) died from oxygen problems, but the rescuers will have learned from that.

A fantastic achievement.

No reason for this piece of music other than I like it. It’s a ‘step’ dancing tune from the unlikeliest of sources but a very appropriately named band.