Archive for the ‘Partick Thistle’ Category

Being homeless is like living in a post-apocalyptic world. You’re on the outskirts of society. (Frank Dillane)

May 25, 2017

And so dear listener, this will be a short blog as it has been on several occasions before – ranging from the day after the Clutha tragedy through to Charlie Hebdo. Much has already been said and I’m not long since from watching the Queen visiting Manchester hospitals through to a SKY News corr telling us the latest word from MI6 and 5 about the latest terrorist threat.

Nor will I say yet again, why oh why does the egotism of politicians mean that we get involved in regime change in places like Libya and Iraq without thinking through the consequences? That’s why reading books is good.

So nothing this week about my job interview, my first walk with Holly the dog for some time and some really happy smiley Communion pics.

Instead two things;

One, ever since Hillsborough and Bradford Park Avenue many of us have been fearful about leaving a venue; not cos of a bomb threat but because it can be so difficult to get out. I’ve not been to Cappielow, for example, for some time but at one point away fans (unless you were Old Firm fans and you needed space to let off flares) were stuck in a pokey, wee stand with two enclosed narrow stairways which, if someone was coming up the way, you could not get down.

The fear was always fire and as new venues developed with large concourses and proper sized exits, that fear disappeared. Slowly. There can still be bottlenecks at the end of a game or a gig or a film but these are fewer. e and aj came to a Thistle game at the start of last season and leaving the Jackie Husband stand is much easier than the North Stand but there’s not feeling of panic. No feeling of bombs.

But in a world where an Islamic State terrorist is willing to join mums and dads picking up kids from an Ariane Grande concert before detonating a bomb, then anywhere is a target – even more than before.

Secondly, there’s been lots of headlines and social media praise for ‘homeless heroes’ helping the wounded and injured and I know people are well-meaning, but what would you expect them to do? Ask for spare change from the ambulance crews?

I work (part-time, paid) in a project which offers supported accommodation to the homeless in order to get them ready for a new tenancy. They can get used to all sorts of things, including living in their own room and other communal facilities, getting proper benefits, and support to find work. Some have various issues and we do what we can to help there.

Some make it; some don’t but at no time do we forget that these are people with feelings like you and me.

Maybe if I’d been there and helped, the headline could have started with ‘ex-alkie’……..

Or if my downward spiral hadn’t been stopped with so much help from professionals, friends and family, then maybe, ‘homeless’ would have applied to me.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but stereotyping can be a real bummer.

iaint850

This is Stone Roses and did I ever tell you that I got drunk once with Ian Brown?

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” ― Oscar Wilde

April 27, 2017

And so, dear listener, I wish to give plenty of notice that this show may turn out to be a bit of a moan. I don’t know for sure as the blog is never properly planned but a lot of it goes through my head and I’ve just had a sleepless night but not for good creative reasons. 😦

So beware before you step any further.

But at the same time don’t worry. This is nothing to do with depression as a mental health issue; I suspect this may come down to my butt needing kicked and I may be looking for volunteers to help to do that. Depression as a mental health issue is getting a fair amount of publicity at the moment but, from personal experience, I do know the difference.

The origins of the current mood do lie, though, in the anxiety and depression of last year which was work related but I’m handling that and I did emerge with an SVQ3 and I am enjoying the shift to days but the early starts are really early and an opportunity has come up, which, well I’ll know more in May. But the anxiety did slow me down and stop me going out – even to football matches. 😦

And this virus/allergy/infection is proving harder to deal with than expected and the original medication was really debilitating; gave me plenty of sleep but left me tired a lot of the time. I’ve been to see the doc and I have new tablets but in the three days between stopping the old pills and starting the new, my sleeping patterns were awful and I’m not sleeping, which gives me too much time to think.

And what these have all done is to cause the serious medical problem of ooomphless. I need ooooomph. I’m going to play a piece of music while you take all that in.

My Gaelic teacher, Joy Dunlop. 🙂

So yes, let’s take one example and on this occasion offer a positive solution. Gaelic.

The first block was great but I missed a lot of classes and a Gaelic night out (sorry e) in the second block because of the virus and I never really caught up. I’ve been talking about going to the Gaelic College but the solution is a lot simpler – after this very busy work weekend, I intend to go to the Mitchell Library (spiritual home of missing USB sticks) one morning a week and do the work. 🙂

So I’m not going to Skye for my holidays but again, after this weekend (and I’m not prevaricating. One shift sees me getting home at 11 at night and back in again at 7 the next morning) I plan to select a week at random in the Summer (watching out for an existing Gaelic commitment and a gig), book that week off from the project and devise a trip possibly based on Oban. 🙂

And let’s take on the elephant in the room – companionship. I am carp at computer dating. (plenty of fish gag in the typo) and can’t start an e-conversation to save myself. But I can talk to people. My friendship with R from Cardross started at a suicide intervention course and the friendship with J, the blog’s favest librarian, started over an Inter-Library Loan. 😀

If it’s that big a deal, then set me upon a blind date. I will go.

And I’ve spoken about friendship before and I know I can be a pain but I can be told and take that telling.

After all, I am the man who, on returning to the college after Cold Turkey, was told by some line managers that alcoholics were scum, couldn’t be trusted and were bound to lapse. A few months later I was diagnosed with cancer.

Don’t hold back about telling me things. 😉

But so many friendships have added so much to my life; be it a change in my eating habits to introducing me to new music (and the world of the Inukshuk) to being aware of other peoples’ issues and babysitting……and indeed, going to Partick Thistle came out of an existing friendship and helped to create new ones.

(How are we doing for word count, Skippy?)

I have purchased my PT season ticket (the £308 has been deducted from my bank account this year) and I intend to be more of a full-timer than I was this season and will try and persuade other people to come; I will cut back on the editing because I did so this year and made more money and even in the last few weeks, when an Out of Office sign was up, I have done okay; and I have a brochure of Glw Uny short courses beside me and will pick a couple.

And then there’s the pencils. At Christmas I became the proud owner of twelve pencils which came ready sharpened and I’ve been using them, but when they became less than sharp, I put them aside and used another one.
Now they’ve all been re-sharpened. Once upon a time that would have been procrastination; now it’s a positive move. 🙂

And I needed to cut my toenails. This was a real frightener. My head was saying ‘why do you need to get up? You’re not working until the afternoon’; whereas my toenails were saying ‘Howard Hughes’.

Again after the weekend, please ask me how I’m getting on with these promises (maybe not the toenails) and I’m serious about the blind date idea…….

But I come to the end of tonight’s show with a positive vibe and a declared intention to stay in touch.

I genuinely would not be here today if it were not for various folk and the things I have been encouraged to do. 🙂

That is the biggest debt of gratitude I can pay and I say that with a lot based on much of my current job.

Iaint850, keeping it simple with one of my most favourite up-beat pop songs of all time;

I’m dancing already

‘A vain, outlandish, anti-immigrant, fear-mongering demagogue runs for President of the United States – and wins.’

April 13, 2017

And that, dear listener, is the blurb for a fictional book written in 1935 called It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis and I think it’s more about the rise of Hitler than Trump altho’ so much of it does apply to Trump’s America. However, it’s been written in a very strange style and I’m doing, like, one chapter per night.

But it does mean that events register in a way they might not otherwise have done.

For example, I was reading about the concentration camps (or Holocaust Centers as Sean Spicer describes them) that American President Berzelius Windrip had introduced for dissidents when, low and behold, it was reported that Chechnya had introduced them for gay men.

And United Airlines’ way of removing that overbooked doctor from one of their plans seemed to stop just short of the firing squad as described in the book when they took away someone who was a bit belligerent, although I think they were justified as they knew a firing squad awaited them (in the book).

As yet, as I say I’m reading it slowly, I’ve still to reach a bit where the President is eating dessert cake (‘really beautiful dessert cake’) when he’s told that his country has dropped 59 (‘unmanned’ as in no pilots) missiles on some country in the Middle East but he gets the wrong one, but there’s a bit to go.

It could be a while before it ends up on the book club shelves.

[Oh, and I a quick word to j, if I may……No I don’t think I’m excluded and I was reasonably happy with what I wrote. I just got a shock.]

And so, dear listener, that was a pretty heavy start to the show so let’s go lighter. Let’s talk about my first ever media appearance. 🙂

I was reminded of it when I noticed a couple of weeks ago that Songs of Praise was coming from my hometown of Peterhead. Many years ago, when the world was black and white, it came twice from there in the space of a few months and I appeared in both – well I did and I didn’t.

Was I in primary school or early years secondary? It matters not, but I was in a choir (and somewhere in my house there is proof of a very fresh-faced young man but with a wee bit more hair than was usual at that age. It’s an early version of a screen grab where a professional photographer took photos of the TV screen)

Anyway, Peterhead played a blinder in the first one (no doubt due to my charms) and the BBC came back and the choir was also invited back. Now were you ever to see this prog, you would notice me at the start, in position next to the font, and marvel at my good looks. However, when the camera next returned to that position I was gone – I had fainted and had to be got out, without being spotted by the cameras, down an aisle to the side. But I was smitten by broadcasting. And as regular listeners know, I am often smitten, but by ‘eck, they’re quality smites. 🙂

And some other good newses in that the Queen Street to Summerston railway line (or as some may know the West Highland Line to Oban, Fort William and Mallaig – and that’s just given me an idea) has re-opened following the landslide somewhere along the line near Possilpark and Parkhouse. 🙂

And my gardener is due to do the first work of the season very soon and the shed has been tidied and this will be the first full season of the garden furniture and patio with plants, so who knows what that might lead to.:)

And finally, obviously delighted to see Partick Thistle make it into the top six and I just wonder if, mathematically, we can get into Eorpa if results go the right way; also delighted that we are going to spend £4 million on a new training ground. Shame we don’t where it’s going to be – just yet.

Tioraidh, still wearing that badge and always glad to see other people doing so and – still keeping it simple.

Iaint850, who can’t stop worrying, especially when he’s not sure what he’s worrying about.

And so, dear listener, I was supposed to be meeting uni-Sharon on Wednesday but the installation of a new washing machine took precedence (much more useful than me I would suggest) but I had additional reasons to be in town.

However having discharged those duties I happened to bump into my PT (Partick Thistle, the Harry Wraggs, the Maryhill Magyars) mate #soulboydaviebee (Tamla discos’r’us) who works part-time (p-t) in the brilliant indie record shop, Love Music, who persuaded me to give him £10 and allowed me to take away four CDs of my choice but based solely on the covers. 😀 😀 😀

One of the CDs is from a band called House of Fools. It takes a wee bit of getting into, as does this viewing of them but give it time.

‘Maybe just not every week……..’

July 28, 2016

And so dear listener, last week’s blog seemed to strike a chord with many people and can I just say that the train to Ardrossan Harbour was a  kinda metaphor for what I’m talking about – altho’ if anyone wants to go there, I’m more than happy to go with them. It’s more about re-examining things I do and seeing them in a different light, like two of my favest places – Byres Road and Firhill Stadium – ‘the field of dreams’. 🙂

And sometimes it’s seeing things you’ve become accustomed to through the eyes of someone else. 😉

Take for example, Firhill – the home of the mighty Partick Thistle. Young AJ had spoken to his mum, e, about going to a football match and it had been decided that a home game against Queen of the South was the obvious choice. I was more than happy. 😀 😀 😀

I won’t go into all the detail of the afternoon but there was a certain amount of explaining what was happening but not a lot. e has a coaching badge and AJ has seen it on TV and, whilst I was worried that boredom might set in by half-time, it didn’t. I liked the way that ‘our’ team kept the suspense going all the way through the game by leaving it at one-nil down before scoring the winning two goals in the last ten minutes……’we are Partick Thistle, we score when we want.’ 🙂

And we watched it from the Jackie Husband stand which gives a much better view than where I normally stand – in the North Stand (red’n’yellow) – and yes, I’d be happy to go back with e and AJ and, indeed, anyone else out there who’d like to take son or daughter to the first ever football match.

The downside? There’s not a lot of singing in the Family Section, 😦 but I’ll live.

And then there’s  Byres Road which I used to know intimately but I still know it pretty well but a lady called R, from out of town, who I should stress I know, told me she was coming uptown and would have her young boys with her and would I like to join them for tea? To which I said ‘yes’ and I did. 🙂

The younger was having his birthday the next day so I’m not sure whether this was part of the treat or not, but we ate burritos – and I wonder what the difference is between them and fajitas and we spoke of Casio watches.  So the next day, I went to the jeweller’s down Byres Road that sold it to me many, many years ago and priced exactly the same watch that I bought all that time ago. It is now £20 as opposed to the £9.99 I spent all those years ago and I can only accept Casio’s word for it that it’s water resistant to 50 metres. I don’t swim. 😦

But I was down Byres Road the next night with the blogmeister and we drank in Vodka Wodka – which I like. My appreciation of it was enhanced by the barmaid who, having poured my orange juice, put a straw in and took a sip. ‘That’s not right,’ she said and poured it out.

She opened another carton and gave me a fresh glass. Now, that’s what I call service. 😀

The conversation ranged far and wide but at one point touched upon a man called Billy Graham – an evangelist – who held meetings at Kelvin Hall in Glasgow which attracted thousands in the fifties and sixties. This was in the early days of television. There was no internet – no tweeting nor nothing like that. So how did he do it? Radio, and word of mouth.

Billy himself just trusted the word of God and spoke it like it was and it worked.

And finally, I bumped into former Divinity student and would be writer and former student of mine of so many years ago, Cathcart minor, who was clutching a decorated, 18 inch long, shoe horn (and I think Carry On movies have been made on less of a plot device). Basically, it was an interesting chat, but James, I have seen you move from boy to man over many, many years, but that beard…..maybe one day. 😉

Good luck with the writing and, as ever, if I can help……….

Cya, still wearing the Big Sky badge and continuing to keep it simple

Johnt850, broadcasting to you all and at the same time I’m talking to a student who is asking me things he or she should have asked his/her tutor months ago.

So when I was in Vodka Wodka I paused to look at the booze in the gantry and I don’t miss it but am intrigued at the range of alcohol available. When Billy was preaching, pubs were smoky places with a limited range of ale and whiskies and that was the scene when I started my drinking at the age of 16/17 but it is coming up to ten years since I cold turkeyed.

The blogmeister remembered the bit of the story of that night where I believe that I fought the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (an hallucination or not?) wearing only a freebie sweatshirt from the movie, Interview with a Vampire, and how I remained convinced that one of the horsemen was now a demon who lived in that sweatshirt. Obviously, I don’t now but I don’t dare throw it out. Wonder what Billy G would make of it all.

It’s a few months since J, my favest country music fan, introduced me to Brandi Carlile. I have a few songs which are part of my listening when I’m a bit down. Lots of Alabama 3, Boulevard of Broken Dreams (Green Day), Hey, You Come On and Dance (Walk the Moon) – all lift me up when I’m down….so does this 😀 😀 😉

Brandi and Hard Way Home. Inspiration in a CD. No. No reason.

Then the order came down, dump everything and fix bayonets. You have got to fight for it today. (Private Walter Hutchison)

July 1, 2016

And so dear listener, I have just turned 62. Not bad, given that coming up for ten years ago, a friend of mine looked at me, lying comatose in a hospital bed, and gave me no chance of surviving the night……… but I did and survived much else a few months later. 🙂

It made me the man I am today (which is not necessarily as other men my age) ………..I will say no more than that but I do enjoy life in many ways. 😉

But the death of Caroline Aherene has hit home. My alcohol and cancer issues are, thankfully, well behind me.Hers never left her. I found dealing with the after effects of both at the same time the hardest thing to do. I will never forget my support team who were there for me (and the people who weren’t) and that is partly why this blog exists.

But my thanks to the many ways that people got best wishes  to me and my thanks to a co-worker who brought in buns which made a nightshift go very quickly.

But long term listeners will know that at one stage I talked of being 42 for ever (it’s an Alabama 3 thing) but various things that have happened in the last two years have made me adjust to being what I am (a private pension kicking in helped).

But I’d a great day on Monday (so maybe my birthday came early) and I went to bed that night looking forward to the next day, altho’ I’m always pleased to wake up. It’s a much under-rated pastime. 🙂

Basically, there’s been the money thang with the TSB. I got a phone call from a man whom we’ll call TK who admits they’re in the wrong but is still uncertain what to do as he can’t understand what went wrong. But I am promised my money soon time with goodwill payments and refunded charges etc. TK is not a man to be argued with. I obvs checked out his Linkedin and Facebook profiles and the latest pic in his Facebook profile sees him with a very powerful chainsaw……TK is most definitely not a man to be argued with. Turns out he is the TSB’s Senior Customer Services Executive.

And finally, but not the usual ‘and finally’ but a Monday ‘and finally’, a very good friend, about whom I was slightly worried, phoned and I felt much better. No. No names. No pack drill.

I know I could fire up the Google but I always thought that if you gave the names, you would avoid the packdrill but what do I know?

And so, a final word on Brexit. It has been said that much of the voting was a protest against well educated people as people decided they were in charge and not the experts who actually do know what they’re talking about. However, this was kinda put in its place, and I pass this on without comment, by the number of people (some of whom I spoke to) who didn’t realise that by voting to leave they were actually voting to leave.

And my thanks to an Englishman living in New York – John Oliver – for pointing out that the second most Googled question last Friday morning was, ‘What is the EU?’

And finally,  Roy Hodgson, you did not have to be an expert to know that Iceland were pretty good with long throw-ins, but a lot less arrogance in your players might have helped as well. 😉

And on the question of the Euros, J’s choice (France) has made better progress than mine (Spain) but there’s a long way to go, but I was intrigued by her question the other day,

‘jt, you know about Partick Thistle, but do you know anything about football?’ I think I know what was meant. 🙂

Cya, still wearing that badge and happy to be keeping it simple

Johnt850, and as Anna Magnusson would say, Afram Island!!!!!

So, as many of you know J very kindly gave me a bee house as a gift for the garden but there’s been little happening in terms of bees using it.

So I went on Facebook for help and changed my profile picture to that bit of my garden fence which supports the house and various people got in touch.

Now J had said to me that it was not a hive but I was to think of it as a Bees’ B’n’B. Ah, said I down the phone, ‘a kind of Bees’ backpackers’ hostel.’ ‘Yes’, said she……… So I shared this notion on fb and I would like to thank Julie, with whom I used to play hockey and who has more international contacts than even you, Rainforestriverman, for progressing this metaphor with a lovely word picture of ‘tiny bees with tiny rucksacks strumming tiny guitars and eating tiny pot noodles.’ 😀

Later the next day, I walked past the Blue Sky Backpackers’ Hostel in Berkeley Street and smiled. It still doesn’t stop me, listeners, from standing at the kitchen door window, shouting, ‘Where are you bees? Where are you?’ My next door neighbours gave up on me long time ago.

And tonight’s closing piece of music has been played many times before, but I was told recently that someone else’s grand-daughter really liked it, so I am under instruction here….

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JCLY0Rlx6Q

‘Life is just a party and parties weren’t made to last’ (Prince)

May 6, 2016

And so, dear listener, it’s done and dusted. Our leader of the last wee while is to stay our leader for the foreseeable future. Done with little fuss and with only a little coverage in the press. A popular choice despite recent results not showing ‘our leader’ in a good light. 😦

Yes. Alan Archibald is to remain as Partick Thistle’s manager. Aye.. We had kinda drifted into the play off zone area but we’re fine. Actually Alan is a popular choice but not being married, I can’t join in the chant where the fans offer him their wives. I wonder if the wives know. 😛

And despite being turned over last week by Inverness Caley Thistle, we still came away with a smile. One of the guys had turned up with a rucksack which was quietly opened by friends in the row behind him. During the course of the game, all sorts of rubbish was piled into his bag and he did not notice until the end. Oh, how it took our minds off the game. Almost. 😦

I will say one thing about the Scottish election. I was saddened that so many SNP followers wanted a one party state system where opposition is frowned upon. My first vote went to Patricia Ferguson (Labour) as she has been helpful when I needed her help. My list vote went to the Greens as I believe in a democracy of ideas. 🙂

I am happy, however, with Bob Doris (SNP) who I have met and who has promised to sort out the Summerston Railway Bridge problem. 😀

Incidentally, whilst talking of Thistle, many of you will know of the link with David Shrigley, the Turner Art Prize nominee (2013). At a recent home game, we were given a free foam thumb (mine is in my boot with ASDA and Morrison bags) having been give cushions and scarves and stuff as well as Kingsley the mascot. Except I never made it to those games. 😦

Well, apparently, they’re selling for between £90 and £110 on e-Bay. I know of a few defenders who should be punted for that amount. 😦

So the refurbishment of t850Towers is almost over. Lots of good work done by lots of good people, and whilst it may have taken the electrician a wee while to get here to get the work done, once Craig was here he just got on with it. Would I recommend him? Whereas that’s a resounding Yes to all the others, I feel he needs pinned down.

However, the idea that J came up with, which was to give him a rough idea of what I wanted and let him choose the actual lights, seems to have worked in that he’s chosen well, but I had hoped to have been out of the house whist he was working and to have come back to a pleasant surprise. 🙂

Anyway, should you find yourself in the Summerston area then please find me and come walk the estate with me; that’s ‘estate’ as in back garden – not ‘estate’ as in the scheme.

Oh, and to e, the blog’s favest interior designer, I’m looking forward to hearing how your football injury came about. And it was nice to hear from Becky G, the Miss Marples of North London, who advises me that the teenage years start at five. Wonder when they end? I feel as if I’m still enjoying them. 😀

And finally, for once, a few political thoughts. I had been worried about the changing political climate in Scotland, as it seems to me that many folk have got involved post-referendum, which on the one hand is good, but much of that interest was focused on another independence referendum and ignored the sad state of the Scottish economy and the fact that the SNP is a party of austerity and decisions such as freezing the council tax have led to council cutbacks meaning people are out of jobs and much social care is in danger.

Education at all levels is suffering and whilst our health system may be under less attack than in England, I do hear concerns about it from many people altho’ I have few concerns in my dealings with them.

Would I vote Yes again in another referendum? That is soooooo rhetorical as I don’t think the fragrant Nicola is that keen on such a thing, paricularly after the election results. We have greater powers than we had before #indyref. Let’s make use of them but let’s also encourage and not stifle debate. Those who did not vote SNP have as much of a right to criticise as those who voted for the SNP have a right to eulogise.

Cya, still wearing that Yes badge and still keeping it simple.

Johnt850, often flashy but never trashy.

I, for reasons known to some, have become a wee bit more of a country music fan than I once was and whilst I didn’t squeal with teenage delight (no names, no pack drill) when Kris Kristofferson walked on at a gig a couple of months ago, it was brilliant to see him. 😀 😀 😀

However, I have been great fans of Steve Earle and the Dixie Chicks ever since they took a stand against the US Government (and us) for the unprovoked attack on Iraq which was destined to failure as has every Western military expedition in that part of the world and with the benefit of hindsight helped, eventually, to create Daesh.

Steve Earle, I saw at the Kelvingrove Bandstand gigs two years ago, but I did not realise until it was over that the Dixie Chicks were at the SECC this week.

I spoke to an old friend, John Collins, who is the Country deejay on Bauer’s City 2 network of fifteen stations around the United Kingdom including Clyde 2 in Glasgow and the west on Sunday nights at seven.

He described them as ‘still having attitude, edge and even anger; combined with astonishing stagecraft and musicianship’. You should hear John when he gets really enthusiastic about a band. Sunday nights at seven. 😉

This is their tribute to Prince and it’s slightly bootleggy and it ain’t the SECC but I won’t say where…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AB_QlH5j4_I

 

 

 

 

 

It was to have been Doctor, Doctor by the Thompson Twins but on reading the lyrics…….

June 7, 2014

And so, dear listener, I have just been banging my head against a brick wall cos, without being too specific, an online job application has asked me to circle which of two positions I am actually applying for……But how? 😦

And if the London-centric BBC News has ever angered you with the phrase ‘and now time for the news where you are’ this is author James Robertson with the perfect riposte;

The smile is back on my face. 🙂

And I have just received my Partick Thistle season ticket for the coming season. It tells me I’m a ‘grown up’ and must pay ‘grown up’ prices. Student discount over the last two years or so has been good. In cinemas. And similar places of entertainment. If I’m not careful, I may be paying tax soon……wow, that would be really ‘grown up’.

Mind you, there is a certain ‘date of birth’ celebration coming up when I may have to consider my age and maturity. Mind you (again) having had a look at a reverse bungee jump on Youtube, I think it’s do-able with appropriate buddy…..I have an idea. 😉

But the important thing is that the North Stand stayed red’n’yellow. 😀

And the quasi-autonomous dictatorship that is the Empire Games continues to ride rough shod over everyone. Ask the residents of North Lanarkshire and the people of Dalmarnock. However, my rank hypocrisy in this matter may well reveal itself in a few weeks’ time but no matter how good my seat, I will be cheering for St Lucia.

Incidentally, I was involved in the Empire Games in 1986 for BBC Scotland – pure unbiased BBC Scotland – and I do not remember similar disruption but I also remember the Glasgow Eastern Area Renewal (GEAR) plans of the late seventies and early eighties. Legacy? What legacy?

And I did a wee interview for Radio Clyde this week for the good folk at Prostate Cancer UK on the subject of what is described as a ‘risk indicator’. Basically it is agreed that the symptoms to which I refer – such as going to the bog too often in the night – and that very specific blood test – PSA – are not enough in themselves. With which I agree and I seem to have called on the Scottish Government to look into the possibility of researching into and supplying such a thing.

But in the meantime, ‘Any doubt, get it checked out.’

So where do I stand on the issue of paying 5p to supermarkets so I can advertise their names just so it goes to ‘charity’? Well, I’m currently eating an apple…….sorry, I’m currently collecting Tesco bags, Morrison bags and ASDA bags. And when the time comes, I will walk into ASDA with my Morrison bags and into Tesco with my ASDA bags…… get the message? It’ll be fun. :p

And finally, I rarely tell tales of the project(s) where I work but I will this time.

Somebody came into the office and said there was a wasp in the room where he was preparing food (I don’t know why I didn’t call it the kitchen there) and he hated wasps. So I went thru with a copy of that day’s Metro. ‘Bill’ left the room.

But it was a buzzy fly. I counselled it with a brief intervention and it left. But I thought that was too easy. I should make something of it. So I started to thwack surfaces and walls and shouted out, ‘take that you ruffian’ and ‘oooh’ and ‘you little bast……’ when the door opened to see how I was getting on. Or so I thought. It was not ‘Bill’. It was another service user……..

Prat is now my middle name. 😦

Cya (keep)ing it fun and still wearing that badge? YES.

Johnt850, who was not the guy in the tartan boxers on the M8 altho’ it did bring back memories of a night at Anniesland Cross……..

And so to the possible PhD;

I e-mailed a couple of academics asking for literally five minutes of random thinking but got nondescript responses. I was down. 😦

But a lovely lady at Paisley Uny Library (No. Not that one) came back with a positive response. And I’d a wee conversation with someone I’d met at a suicide intervention course who was also very positive in some of the things she had to say. I was back up. 🙂

I often speak of my support team; and recently I expressed my doubt about the existence of God or Karma or a Higher Power or some form of Energy directing me. If such an entity exists, then it is a collective made up of women aged in their late thirties or early forties and if they’re over that age then they don’t look it and if they’re under that age e.g. Missie K and the Vampire Slayer, then they have similar dominance over me and I’ll quit whilst I’m digging a hole here but one thing they do have in common? They’re gorgeous. Thanks. XX

And in a week when so many images of D-Day and D-Day veterans abounded, this was the one that caught my eye. No matter what your views on war and peace, this highlights the debt we owe to all the men and women who were sacrificed by a coalition government…….

(it may take a second or two to come up)

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/06/06/d-day-landing-sites-pictures_n_5458026.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

I’m never gonna look back, Woah, never gonna give it up. No, please don’t wake me now…This is gonna be the best day of my life (American Authors)

May 24, 2014

And so dear listener, I am beginning to get academic hunger pangs. The World has been warned. 😀

It was bound to happen. My Karma, my Higher Power, my God, my Energy, my Whatever has been in touch muchly recently. Let me follow it through. (I did once address a prayer to someone else’s Higher Power and it worked and I kept my share of the bargain)

But it had to happen. 😛

Last Monday I was out at UWS (Hamilton) for a prostate cancer focus group to help the PhD work of Gemma who knew me from Paisley but I didn’t know her (I don’t think I was the shrinking violet I sometimes portray myself); I was also talking to a Criminal Justice student who I knew from a suicide intervention course; and then I bumped into uni-Jo who is strutting her funky stuff out there.

The focus group was good and I was reminded of the fun times when I was being sandblasted about five and a bit years ago. And that was the big mistake I made on radio a few weeks ago when I described radiotherapy as ‘being zapped by a nuclear zapping thing’. I should have said ‘being sandblasted by a nuclear sandblasting thing’.

Tuesday I was out at UWS (Hamilton) to meet up with the good Dr W to discuss inter al (as we say in the academic world) her ideas for celebrating the biggest event ever in my life this year – the one in July; not the other one later in the year……..can someone please explain to me – what is a reverse bungee jump? 😦

So I met Dr W and I met Gemma from the day before and I did the gentlemanly thing and stood back and listened to a jolly interesting discussion before going for coffee. So interesting thoughts beginning to be thought.

Wednesday? Well I’ll come back to Wednesday in a minute and the voyage through time that it was…..

Thursday night I was working night shift and the worker who handed over to me had done the same drink’n’drugs course as me but one year previously; again the conversation was an interesting one. So I’m going out to see a man next week and I want to do some reading before then……mmmmm.

Aye, Wednesday…..in Chryston or was it Muirhead? No. Me neither. But the company was brilliant and it’s been a
long time since I’ve sat at a kitchen table in a kitchen with people passing through and chatting. The getting there was also interesting. Let’s leave aside the fact that I ended up on the M80 driving away from where I was meant to be (on the A80). All I did was leave the motorway; do a strange reversing manoeuvre at a filter bit and managed to get heading back and took it from there.

(Uni-Sharon and Buttons…….I could never master that strange filter turn out of Johnstone on to the M8 back to Glasgow. On at least two occasions I drove beyond it and then u-turned in the correct direction. That may have been illegal)

Anyway, the travelling back in time….older listeners will remember a time when you drove through Stepps, and you passed the Crowwood House Hotel on the left and you then knew that you were about to leave the civilisation of Glasgow and head north. The reason? It was the last set of traffic lights before you reached the next set of lights in, say, Perth……and then there was a Little Chef just outside Cumbernauld that made an early start worthwhile.

I told you it was a journey through time. 🙂

And finally, at the start of the week hospital food was a source of discussion on various TV and radio programmes and the almost-consensus was that it was not good. Going back to last week’s blog of gratitude, see that time I ended up in Gartnavel having cold-turkeyed, I have never, ever been so well fed (well I have but this is relative). I was offered three meals a day with a choice plus a cup of tea and a biscuit in the afternoon……well impressed and well fed……I wasn’t too sure when I had last done the lumpy stuff.

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? No. It’s been replaced for a few weeks by one that says ‘YES’ in Partick Thistle colours…….and I’m not the only one. Thanks blogmeister. 😉

Johnt850, who’s never been a big fan of Fearne Cotton on radio. No. No reason.

So, this week, I’ve been in touch, or am about to get in touch with, a number of men who have various cancers in various stages……..one of them confirmed this week altho’ he had said nothing to no-one about it….except to me cos he’d heard me on radio and had realised now was the time to do something about something that was worrying him and he did……And cancers were discovered…….Sometimes my positivity can seem a bit shitty in other people’s eyes…….but I make no apology for it.

And you may have noticed that BBC Radio One had its latest Big Weekend here in Glasgow, well, this weekend……when the Glasgow School of Art went up in flames but maybe not as bad as was first expected. Time will tell. 🙂

Well anyway, the amazing Zane Lowe played an amazing set in the amazing George Square on Friday night. This amazing track gained him massif respect when he played it.

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.

It can take all of three hours and then it comes down to the final ten seconds (Eve Muirhead)

February 23, 2014

Curling. She’s talking about curling. And in a week when, dear listener, everyone in England-shire seemed to believe that we all know how throw a carefully hewn (sp) piece of round stone, carefully quarried out of the island of Ailsa Craig and nowhere else, can I just say that I have never ever curled nor tossed a caber, danced on sword sticks nor chased after haggi and that the first time I ever wore the kilt was last year (twice) to my son’s wedding and my own MSc Graduation? 😉

You may tak’ my land but you’ll ne’er tak’ my bonspiel and that goes for all of us who live in Brigadoon.

(Summerston now has its annual Highland Games. Seriously. Just behind the Ardgowan Tenents’ Hall. It makes use of the spare ground where they knocked the high rises down. Naw. I’ve never been. It’s in August.)

And I would like to thank David Bowie for his contribution to the great Independence debate but has he ever played a cold, wet November night in Somerset Park, Ayr? I think not. 😦

And there was another fascinating contribution to the Independence debate from E Anne Stuart of Milton of Campsie in her letter to the Record of Daily when she finished it with, ‘I consider myself Scottish but 42 per cent of my DNA markers are the same as the Saami people known as the Laplanders. We all descend from one woman who lived in east central Africa so there is no place for racism in the 21st century.’ Why is more not made of this information? And who was this woman?

But a big well done to all those who did so well in the Winter Olympics – whatever it was they did. I was going to have a go at the snowboarding commentators and the language they use but David Attenborough (Attenburgh for Scottish listeners) on curling did it so much better;

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/winter-olympics/26257895

Ah, ‘thrusting your nuts down earlier’. It’s oor new national sport. 😀

But we(e) Scots are tremendously friendly. I was at a training day on Challenging Behaviour the other day and three of us (me, Raymond and Liz) decided to go for some exercise at lunchtime. So we walked across the road to Gregg’s. I bought a ploughman’s lunch and a ploughman next to me bought mine.

As I walked to leave the shop, people started shouting at me; ‘John. You’ve left your change.’ And so I had. ‘But how,’ Liz said, ‘did all those people know your name? Are you that well-known?’ I nodded sagely but Raymond pointed to my name badge which I was still wearing. 😉

The training session was good; there’s been a lot of challenging behaviour recently but there’s been some real good things happening as well. But that’s confidentiality for you.

But I did meet a woman who got a job that I had applied for some time back. Many, many years’ experience in mental health.

And speaking of training sessions (you can always tell when I add a sentence), a big ‘well done’ to the boys of Partick Thistle who took on the men of Aberdeen and beat them 3 – 1. At one point we were dead worried about losing our lead but ‘naw’ it all came good in the end. Claire Baulding, you should have been there. No. No real reason. Crowds aren’t as big as they were at the start of the season, that’s all. 😦

And finally, all around me, people are taking annual leave. It’s difficult for me to do that without losing income but I’m going to go for it. I’m not doing the vol work for a couple of weeks and I’m not sure ‘bout the homeless shifts for the same time. There is some editing work but I can do that at any time of day or night and in any state of dress/undress but some of you may well get messages from me or, hey, some of you could always message me about meeting or going places…..or???

Cya, (keep)ing it fun and still wearing that badge? More in hope than expectation.

Johnt850 but there’s nothing wrong with hope.

And so, some of you will have noticed that inflation is down and that includes the price of alcohol and that must terrify the A & E staffs who are all over our TV screens at the moment and all the other emergency services. And whilst, deaths from alcohol may be coming down, that just means fewer people aren’t dying – a gain a real pat on the back for the emergency services – of whom I have seen a lot recently.

Alcohol has been getting relatively cheaper over the years compared to anything else – cos of all the promotions and stuff like that. If anyone doubts that, contact me and I will pass on well evidenced studies. It seems at times that the only people who don’t accept that are the people who make and sell the stuff.

And, if you are a responsible drinker then you will make certain changes in your lifestyle the way you do when petrol, bread and coffee go up in price. You won’t even notice those changes until a TV or radio interviewer comes up to you in the street. A pricing policy that works would be good.

And don’t get me started on legal highs. Not this week. That’s something else we can discuss another day.

Here, by way of levity, is my fave song of the week, this month. Young person guidance advised. Some bad language on the T-shirts. 🙂