Archive for the ‘Plantation Video’ Category

‘Ankles are nearly always neat and good-looking, but knees are nearly always not.’ (Pres Dwight D Eisenhower who also served as a US General; the current President never served and it shows)

October 19, 2017

And so dear listener, ex-hurricane Ophelia came and went and caused deaths and havoc in Ireland but by the time it got here, it had run out of puff and whilst it still did some damage it was not on the scale it might have been.

I watched it on TV and some memories came back; not of other ex-hurricanes but of my teens in Peterhead before I moved down to Glasgow and never left. 😀

If we leave aside the prison, Peterhead is best known these days as the biggest white fish port in Europe and as a base for North Sea oil and I’m pleased to have played a part in both of those – one as a regular holiday job with Peterhead Harbours as a Clerk to the Collector of Shore Dues and the other as a radio operator from BOC base to rigs and supply vessels with the call sign Barge 701. 🙂

But before Peterhead Harbours were (re-)developed they were a playground of nooks, crannies and places away from parental eyes. What was known as the North Breakwater was brilliant for guys with some cans of lager on a sunny Saturday night listening to David Symonds and John Peel on a large tranny (I’m not even going to bother explaining that) 😀

Winters were bad in Peterhead as its location meant that it was exposed to the North Sea on several sides. So when the weather was really bad and nights were dark we played a game of chicken by seeing who could climb up the steps to the top of the North Harbour sea wall and stay standing when the next wave came over.

Simple, if damp, pleasures. 😉

Once, somebody, not one of us, didn’t actually stay standing when a wave came over and we never played that game again.

Moving silently on.

And I opened a new bottle of Listerine the other day and just took the first slug from the bottle. A memory came back.

And I did make it to my Psychology evening class this week where the tutor was discussing altruism and gave us a brilliant example by explaining how supremely altruistic bees were as they had no hesitation in giving up their lives to save the hives by stinging aggressors knowing they would die by doing that but those of us who had read Laline Paull’s The BEES (either on kindle or as a book) knew that anyway.

Anyway, I was at the doctor’s this week. Went there with my knees. Well it would have been difficult not to. I can walk for miles with e and Holly the Dog and other people but boy, can I feel it going up stairs – especially the semi-spiral ones here at t850towers. So I got an open invite to an X-ray unit, that just needed a letter from my GP, and I got a flu jab whilst I was there. Strange not to jag a vein.

And we both agreed I was over the depression – mainly because I’d found its pretty big cause and was using basic coping mechanisms again to bring back an air of positivity…..kinda Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. And walking.

Positivity’s good at the moment. The SVQ Assessor thing is taking the time it was always going to take but I am a wee bit concerned at the lack of editing. One problem is the lack of open noticeboards. I was in the Students Association Building at GCAL and the cleaners were still there and I got the feeling that the cleaners were defying me to be the first to stick a poster up on the newly painted pillar. Lesson? Go back later in the day. 😉

And finally, please excuse me while I catch up on some personal stuff.

Jenny H – delighted to help out with the research project at UWS (Paisley)

e – well done to AJ on his medal at the National Mod and looking forward to the pics

Sharon – congrats on the latest edition to the family

Caroline – I think that’s the right decision and still happy to help

J – thanks for the cracking knees stories

Alan Archibald (PT manager) there’s nothing to worry about (at this stage)

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

iaint850, beginning to get bored but I still have the price of two coffees. And the odd curry or similar. 😉

So comedian Sean Hughes died during the week. I knew of him from Never Mind the Buzzcocks fame but I became aware from social media how much other people regarded his talents.

I was saddened, therefore, to read the next day that he had died of a liver disease following ‘years of hedonism’. He was 51. I am 63. I was 52 when I stopped drinking but it was not a choice I made; cold turkey made it for me.

But I was also saddened when I read that, at one time, he had been off drink for a couple of years but his sobriety made his friends uncomfortable, and when he started again his friends ‘welcomed him back’. That’s sad. For me, the help of friends was, and still is, the biggest factor in me not needing alcohol.

On one or two occasions I was told, ‘you’ve obviously got it under control. Why not just the one drink?’ Eh, no thanks. I just don’t drink, but not ‘worried’ about a disease that doesn’t exist.

However, I have known several people for whom being sober, and therefore, boring is a concern. I don’t think that can ever be said about me and I enjoy the clear head I now have but I can still be a pain.

But one of the nice things about writing this blog is the occasional responses I get. I know not everyone listens to the music I play at the end altho’ I make it as easy as I can. Maybe people still think I’m going through the techno/trance phase. Therefore, I am happy to play Rihannon Giddens again.


All I want is the wind in my hair, To face the fear but not feel scared. Wild horses, I wanna be like you. Throwing caution to the wind, I’ll run free too.

September 20, 2013

And so dear listener, in the week that GTA V made its debut, a strange memory of fear came trickling back to me. It’s the reason I don’t play video games anymore. It was Doom. I had sat back, confident that I had handled everything properly when I got taken from behind. Unexpectedly. By an Alien. Altho’, tbh, had it been a fellow marine I’d have been equally as surprised. I have never been the same since. 😦

Angry Birds is Hitchcock; Tetris in any form is me being buried alive; and Scrabble is beyond me.

And I still don’t know what ghostly noises I heard in the project last week but I was back there for a 4 – 11 shift and nothing else similar had been logged. To me it was real but lone-working night shifts can do that to you. Even when they’re quiet.

Other memories of a fashion came back this week. My brain has been badly affected over the years by substance misuse, successful recovery from that and some of the cancer stuff – also successful recovery. It’s not False Memory Syndrome; it’s more Do I Really Remember That Syndrome? or Was I Really There Syndrome?

I was in Govan – the ‘for why’ will follow. I used to spend a lot of time in Govan a few years ago. ‘I knew people’ is the euphemism but I did a lot of programme making there as well. A smashing radio doc called ‘String of Pearls’ began life there. It was about the demise of the shipyards and the then future ideas for using the Clyde.

It had a smashing researcher (Jayne but more of her later) and a budget for a presenter. We didn’t use a presenter preferring to let the people speak for themselves. The budget, however, went to a great party. Thanks. 😀

I also researched a TV prog squillions of years ago in which a very diverse busload of children toured Glasgow and talked about the city they knew from a spiritual PoV. If Beta-Max ever makes a comeback I will let you see it. The credits were spoken by the schoolkids on a crummy site by WaterRow. It’s changed.

So I was invited over to the Pearce Institute to see the world premiere of Here’s Tae Yer Health, a community produced doc ( ) about our attitudes to alcohol. I parked outside what was once The Lyceum Cinema; looked in desperation for the Black Cat Café; and saw the other side of the Govan Shopping Centre for the first time in a long time. I am guilty of driving past Govan going to the Beeb or Prostate Cancer UK HQ or the M74 (I was lost). I also took a smashing pic of the Tall Ship leaning against the Riverside Museum with all of North Glasgow behind it…….yup…memories trickled back. 😉

Jayne and I went for a cup of coffee to Café 13. Highly recommended. Both going for a cup of coffee with Jayne. And Café 13.

The doc? There is editing to be done and there is so much good in it discussing, historically and currently, our fascination with alcohol and it was good to see after the rigours of Master’s writing.

I know the Campus frat bar area of Glasgow fairly well and the fast food outlet that is open until 4 in the morning. They were in the doc. That was not a remark out of nowhere, proving I’m down with the kids at 3 in the morning. I have watched terrified as people try to cross Sauchiehall Street, oblivious to the traffic at that time of day, including, recently some Belgian fans – one of whom was lifted. But it is the Master’s Class Nite Out this Friday…so you never know. 🙂

A lot of folk of all ages explained in the film why they liked to get ‘rat-arsed’ – ‘it’s fun’ ‘it’s what you do with your mates’ ‘I just enjoy getting mad wi’ it’ and ‘after the shitty day I’ve had, getting drunk is the best way of coping’…….all of them fairly good reasons. The only person to use the words ‘illness’ and ‘disease’ was the politician……..I refer m’learned friends to Page 44 of the dissertation……

And I have pleasant memories of Brechin’s Bar. Euphemistically, I used to do some business there.

Moving swiftly on.

OMG! How jumpy am I? I thought something weird was happening with The Chrome Icon but it was a very small fly walking in circles on it. I’m not that jumpy. I’ve just cut back so much on coffee and caffeine drinks, I feel their effect much more than I did when I used them. This time I’ve been cutting back slowly (harm reduction) rather than do the ‘cold turkey’ thang again.

And finally, I met Billy Connolly two or three times when I worked for the Beeb in Queen Margaret Drive – not long conversations. It was part of the fun of that building that when you spoke to someone famous you pretended you weren’t fazed by them and fair play to Billy – when he met me, he wasn’t.

Cya, (keep)ing it fun and still wearing that badge? New and old voyages beckon.

Johnt850,and I’m around.

Today’s really final word is about Connolly. Unsurprisingly. I know nothing ‘bout Parkinson’s Disease but I know a lot ‘bout Prostate Cancer and I get annoyed at the language used in the press. 😦

Some commentators talked about him ‘fighting’ or ‘battling’ prostate cancer and in the next para quoted his spokesperson as saying, ‘he had fully recovered from a prostate op.’ His problem had been found at a relatively early stage in a male seventy year old and, hopefully, is fixed. He is fine on the prostate front. It’s when you don’t get it checked you should worry.

My own specific blood test is 1.3 – which is a small rise in the wrong direction, but it is low. I go see the legendary Nurse ED on a date in November and I will get another blood test before then.

No. No battling. No really….like a lot of things in the past I had ‘it’. ‘It’ got sorted. 🙂

For Jo and the rest of next week’s team, here’s Bon Jovi. And this is what I mean when I say to people ‘I’m around.’