Archive for the ‘proof reading’ Category

Never underestimate the strength of a recovering addict; they’ve walked roads you couldn’t imagine.

May 22, 2020

And so, dear listener, the Government has spoken to tell us where and when we can see family and friends (including grandchildren); when children might be able to go to school; and when we might be able to use public transport. Our freedoms have, understandably, been curtailed but there is still a daily death list. People need to be patient and to be aware of others. There is still a long way to go.

I thought the First Minister spoke well the other day (as she has done, cautiously, all the way through the crisis) but that doesn’t mean I can’t have reservations about her, her predecessor and their party after all their years in power.

It’s natural and to be expected. It’s what we expect of an opposition, but we currently don’t have one other than the press. Even the comedians are on her side. Whatever happened to political satire? 😦

The last time we had a decent opposition was when it was the SNP. It’s easier in opposition. I remember (2004?) being an Assistant Producer on a series of BBC programmes from the old Royal High School leading up to the Scottish Elections. I was the Election Unit’s Research Team. Nicola was one of several Scottish politicians put on the spot by an informed audience and she was superb.

But it was her blatant sexism the other day that got me. 😉

Dear Nicola, it is not only women who are missing hairdressers; I am.

I get my haircut every four to five weeks because I do not want to look like an old man who does not get his hair cut. 😦

Another few weeks and they’ll be calling me the Freddie Boswell of St Kentigern’s Cemetery, Maryhill

Just sayin’, that’s all.

(And please don’t work Erik the Floodstalker too hard. He’s a PT fan. It’s been a difficult enough year even without the Corona boy.) 😉

Moving on.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Eurovision Night the other night (well when else?) and it was superb background against which to do nothing (again) but did I miss a re-run of the lady Polish butter churners of a wee while back?

This is the Icelandic entry and I thought it was superb. Eurovision for the Tik Tok generation. 🙂

And a big thanks to Missie K who seems to have persuaded me, some friends and several thousand others to buy some clothes from this charity. 😀 And in doing so we help a lot of workers in Bangla Desh. 🙂

https://loststock.co/

It would appear that I have agreed to buy at least three tops in dark colours with no patterns, of medium size and I lied about my age. I have no idea what I’m getting and when it will arrive. It sounds to me a wee bit like how some people have described supermarket deliveries. The ASDA down the road is still good enough for me.

Once I find out what’s in my ‘man box’ I will describe it to you in great detail. 😀 😀 😀

And I’m afraid I killed off some herb plants I had growing in the porch – but not in the fiesta. They were all doing well but I’m afraid that next to the water sprayer that I used for them was an anti-bac spray that I use for the letter box and the door handles. I don’t really need to go any further do I?

And finally, I think my editing empire has reached the end of the road – at least for the very foreseeable future. Currently I have some PhD chapters to come in and maybe some conclusions from social work students but, after that, nothing.

There’s usually post grad dissertations around about now so I may still get a shout there but my big earner of the year is not happening. Glasgow University hosts an annual Adam Smith Business School for students from all over the world and that is a really big earner. For about four-five weeks in July and August it’s wall to wall editing and I, and the others, do not get much of a chance to leave the house (hahahahahahaha) so maybe it’s no bad thing it’s not happening and I will get to see friends, family and hairdressers instead.

The jury is out on the next academic year but as most of my work comes from recommendations (especially from the Chinese community) if they ain’t here to discuss things over a cup of coffee in the Hub, then I have no chance. How much will the unies go over to online lecturing which takes away so much of the university experience? Still, mustn’t grumble. As Dominic Cummings said when he and his family finally reached Durham. Again.

Tioraidh, still keeping it fun and simple and still washing my hands – are you?

Iaint850, who hopes to hell and back that the idiots don’t spoil it for the rest of us.

So I’d a very pleasant online chat with the rainforestriverman the other day. Coincidentally, it took place on the 180th anniversary of the birth of Brother Walfrid which was also the day that Celtic won/were awarded the League title. 🙂

He very kindly passed on some podcasts and listening to them and some from the Scottish Drugs Forum has been very therapeutic*.

(*And the suggestion for this Month’s Word of the Week came from Kenny the Shed Pimp)

One of the podcasts was about the false imprisonment (twice) of a man called Rubin Hurricane Carter and it was really well told but it’s story I already knew (from 1975) from a time when Bob Dylan (19 today) wrote short, pithy and straight to the point songs.

Enjoy

Be Aware (Skippy came up with that one and I think it makes much more sense)

May 15, 2020

And so, dear listener, I am going to attempt to do this without talking about ‘the corona boy’ as Kenny the Shed Pimp refers to him. I suspect, therefore, it will be a lot shorter than usual but I want to avoid some of the things I’ve been talking about in the last few weeks cos I get depressed. 😦

Such as last Sunday when Boris’s speech, and Nicola’s reaction, really plunged me into the valley of despair but, coincidentally, an hour later and totally separately Son Brian sent me some pics of him and KT and the grandkids and I was all smiles again. 🙂 🙂

And, no, these pics don’t get shared on social media. They marked the X box for no publicity.

So let’s start with the carrot and coriander soup. I don’t bake but for many years I have made soup. Carrot and coriander with lentils and a veggie stock. Shouldn’t have been a problem. 😉

All the ingredients from the ASDA fresh that morning, cook them up in a stock pot, let them cool and put it all through a blender. Done that many, many times. But then I noticed some lumps and thought I’ll let it work its way through a sieve.

When attempting to do this, please always make sure that the handle of the sieve is pointing away from you so that, when you bend down and then back up, you do not knock the sieve and spread its contents over the kitchen floor. 😦

Not just over the floor but the top of the cooker and the worktop and into some drawers of crockery and cutlery and so on. Despite wiping it up and washing the floor there and then, the stickiness and the colour remained for some time (like a couple of days) and it may be a wee while before I return to soup making.

But I take solace from the amazingly trouble free process of buying a Partick Thistle season ticket. As regular listeners will be aware going to Firhill a few years ago became part of my recovery from alcohol and stuff but I’ve not been a regular attender for the last couple of seasons but had planned to go back this Spring. Which we’ve just missed.

But one e-mail and one phone call and it’s all settled and it only needs the ticket office to open and it will be sent out to me. Mentioned it on social media and was delighted when the PT chairperson, Jacqui Low, thanked me in person. 😀

An interesting season beckons. Whenever.

And despite the rumours I keep spreading of the editing coming to an end, there’s still a couple of PhDs and a couple of dissertations to finish off and whilst I am getting no new enquiries, some students may have moved on but still remember me and I’m editing stuff they have written for journals.

And I’m doing a lot of reading. Good friend e dropped off some books but it was done in the same quasi-military manner as when her husband c picked up all those newspapers for Holly the dog – a real newshound.

I have a porch. Okay it’s a fiesta that sits on the drive but the porch is handy. It means I can open the front door, the books get dropped off and the reward of some fresh rhubarb gets picked up. All done at an appropriate distance. Not quite the long walks of yore with a cup of coffee in a dog friendly coffee shop but I’m sure that’s not far away in terms of years.

Sorry. 😦

One of the books is called The Assistant and without giving too much away it is about those friendly listening devices we think we command but what if they start giving out the instructions?

Some times books get to me and this one did. Whilst I do not have one of these listening devices because I believe that’s what they do – listen – there are times when technology gets to me. This was one occasion.

I saw things that might not actually have been there. Why, for example, did my computer tell me that I had arranged an update for 1.36 a.m. when I hadn’t? So, yes, I was awake between 1 and 2 that morning to see what happened. Nothing.

And, yes, that’s been all and it’s not a lot but it does mean I need to stay alert……..Aaaaaargh! I’d almost reached the end without alluding to Covid-19 but I do have one question, if I may. If people in England are allowed to play tennis and golf under certain restrictions, why isn’t there this slogan?

PLAY WITH YOUR OWN BALLS AND NOBODY ELSE’S

Tioraidh 🙂

Iaint850 🙂 I AM NOT MAN

And this week’s piece of music from the cassette collection is by the Robert Cray Band with the very unsexist Nothin’ But a Woman

You should ask yourself if going for a drive-through coffee is an essential journey. (Nicola Sturgeon)

May 8, 2020

And so dear listener, we start with the wise words of Nicola Sturgeon, and one of the reasons why my moods have been up and down this week is I get annoyed at the informal unlocking which does not seem to be condemned……..and as I write this (Friday afternoon draft) I know there will be things said on Sunday which may affect the narrative of this show.

Let me explain. For some time now I have been talking of this informal unlocking (and I, too, have broken the rules – by taking extra walks for exercise but now that’s legit so I can stop worrying) and still hope that grandparents will, for example, be allowed to go see grandchildren soon. 😀

Instead people are allowed to go and get takeaway cups of coffee in their cars, thus giving the impression that more and more places are open. Thus, encouraging people to get in their cars, and so on……But this is not being condemned. I think it should be. 😦

But what has caused more confusion is the fact that some people, globally and outwith Scotland, think that the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom speaks for the United Kingdom. One poor unfortunate was Michael Palin who, on Andy Marr’s Sunday show, spoke of the difficulty of travelling abroad after the lockdown and that there were plenty of places like Cornwall and Scotland to visit in the UK.

The National cherry-picked some stuff from that interview and put it in a headline. I do not think that Michael was talking about charging up the road this coming Monday but it does show that people have to be careful in what they say and how others read it.

This is why this show avoids current affairs and I don’t just mean between Professor Neil Ferguson and his ‘married German lover’, Antonia Staats (and I have no intention of doing a professor interested in vital stats gag). 😉

As have been the Government spin doctors. who thought they could leak good news through certain press friends that there would be much to look forward to after this bank holiday weekend when there would be much bunting and celebration of Victory In Europe just months before we Brexit (eh?). And some of those street party photos showed little social distancing but VE Day and all those who died in WWII were remembered by an impeccable conga line.

But Boris is a buffoon, who speaks in metaphors and classical allusions and has been caught out as such this week by both Sir Keir and Nicola. Will he actually want a second term?

Anyway, Scotland remains locked down and most people seem happy to go along with that (at this stage on Sunday afternoon)

As the above is a tad serious I suspect I may make many changes even after it’s published.

But I would like to say big thanks (it must have been something I said last week) to people who contacted me cos I live alone and asked was I feeling lonely? 🙂

No. But I do miss casual conversations and random travelling and that’s something I thought about too much this week, wondering what the future holds for us all……..standing (socially distanced) at Summerston railway station, travelling on the train (might be okay after 10, say), walking through the new and recently refurbished Queen Street Station (with no planning for social distancing), going into a socially distanced office with appropriate equipment, and then coming back up the road (with no idea of how many will be looking for that same train). Some things I’ll just take my time with.

However, I am still exercising through the streets of Summerston or in the graveyard (other than Saturday or Sunday afternoons when people coming to pay their regards to their dearly departed are now having to watch for dog walkers and, maybe even cyclists, from elsewhere in Glasgow who are using that as their piece of green grun for exercise). I’d like that to get back to ‘normal’.

I’m now depressing you. I’m sorry. 😦

On the plus side. Did I really see a six week old baby at an appropriate distance in a neighbour’s garden? Obviously not, but she did look so content and was dressed in yellow. 😀

Have I planted some herbs in containers in my porch which I got from the rainforestriverpeople? Yes. Fingers are crossed. 🙂 🙂

And finally, is the editing still continuing? Yes, it is, which is why I am not eligible for any self-employed help from HMRC as I have not been ‘adversely affected’ by the pandemic in a workwise kinda way. But yet……..

One of the two remaining PhDs that I’m working on, without giving too much away, is based on research that was done in Nursing and Care Homes for the elderly about five or six years ago and that’s been a strange reading. The point is that the research was done before Covid-19 was around but another dissertation takes a look at airline marketing again with the research being done a few months back. It is not for me to decide anything but merely to point stuff out…….strange times

Tioraidh, still keeping it simple and fun and still wearing the badges

Iaint850, and my hair still isn’t annoying me or anyone else cos you can’t see the back of it in a Zoom call

So, now I’ve started to play music that I’m finding in a box of cassettes which was stored in the shed but there is a story to this one.

Not only is it the music that plays at Firhill when the teams come out for the kick off but very many years ago, I’m sure that this was chosen, at my suggestion, as the theme tune for a BBC TV programme called Asking Around for which I was the researcher and which I can’t find on Google.

Anyway, enjoy Focus and Sylvia.

Yaffayat? Whityatyaffa? (Bud Neill)

February 14, 2020

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

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

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

‘Eh?’ I hear you cry as one!!!!!

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

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

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

“Winter’s come, the snow has fell

Wee Josie’s nose has froze as well

Wee Josie’s frozen nose is skintit

Winter’s diabolic, intit?”

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

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

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

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

He described her in the flowing terms,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s Jessie Buckley again – with Born to Run

‘It’s not enough to just survive something, right? That’s not the point of life. You’ve got to thrive, you’ve got to feel happy.’ (Duchess of Sussex)

January 10, 2020

And so, dear listener, I had actually taken a note of those words from the Duchess of Sussex (or Meg as we call her down the Elephant (and Bugle) down the Maryhill Road – a boozer with strong connections with the Highland Light Infantry whose barracks were where the Wyndford flats now are) long before she chose to announce her decision to move on and become independent and earn her own living ……..and Harry……Harry knew about it as well. He was consulted. He’s doing it as well.

It’s interesting. tho’, isn’t it?

Y’see in the same way I confessed last week to reading the Daily Mail from time to time cos I get bored with reading things that I agree with, I have another peccadillo (sp?) to ‘fess up to. 😉

I am fascinated by stories about the Royals.

I mean, I’m not one of those people who still has a Charles’n’Di mug or wants to be on the streets of Windsor when there’s a wedding or cries when one child or another starts school.

I love the behind-the-scenes TV docs on Channel 4 or 5. 🙂

It can be a look back at Mrs Wallis Simpson and her love affair with Thingy (I can never remember the men’s names) or why the current Queen loves Balmoral or, and this was the most recent, a look at how they prepare for a banquet at Windsor which I saw a few days ago.

They get through one helluva lot of bevvy if the number of glasses at each setting is anything to go by and do you know they even have two men with a big stick so that they make sure that every seat is exactly the same distance from the table?

It’s stuff like that that fascinates me and they, even the servants, seem to live in some kind of existence that is totally cocooned from life as you and I know it and I’m never sure quite what to make of that except to wonder why the Queen Mum was allowed to build up such a massive overdraft at Coutts and I have heard some good stories about her and some others which have made it onto these programmes but the Royals have good lawyers (as do I but they’re maybe not that experienced in these matters) so I won’t say too much openly.

See me in the Elephant (and Bugle) and I’ll tell you but I trust the former SAS officer who told me about what happened on the old Royal Train when it was parked overnight in Central Station a few years ago.

And none of the above should be taken as approval of the Family or certain members of it, especially Andrew…..except, maybe, Anne……..

And if we’re talking about people for whom we have respect, can I just highlight Son Brian who, as well as helping me so much over the last year or so, found time to undertake some kind of challenge which saw him running a distance of 5k on a daily basis for the month of December.

I don’t think it was ever seen as a fundraising exercise but funds were raised and I know a reasonable donation was made to Prostate Cancer UK. No. No reason. 😀

And finally, the ‘proof reading’ is back up and running. The reason for the quote marks is because I don’t actually read proofs; I, and business partner, my good friend e, copy edit. But I, cos I’m the main man, am getting a wee bit unhappy. In fact, it’s a wee bit of a dilemma. What is acceptable short notice?

So, what I’ve started to do is to give students deadlines so I get work in in in plenty of time and it is realistically do-able but I did say no to someone who sent me stuff late Thursday night (so I didn’t see it until Friday morning) and wanted it back by two o’clock on Sunday afternoon. I turned that one down. I felt bad. 😦

And then I think about trying to book my car into a busy garage for its MOT, or me to a busy dentist (not ‘til 3rd Feb cos I want early morning), and then I don’t feel so bad. 🙂

Tioraidh (and I’m considering duolingo), still wearing the badges and still keeping it simple but with a smile.

Iaint850, and don’t worry. I think that’s enough personal outing for one year.

So I’ve spoken a wee bit recently about some of the debate currently raging within the world of addiction (or dependency) and abstinence (or harm-reduction) and how do you recover – if ever.

I’m not going to say too much tonight, and there is a danger it might become too academic and this blog was never meant to be that, was it, Skippy?

But there’s a number of politicians making lots of statements at the moment and they’re coming in for lots of criticism for doing so but not everyone who talks the talk will have walked the walk. Do you always need that lived experience in order to make good suggestions or is it possible to bring everyone together? My addiction worker did not have lived experience but had the skills and expertise to help me considerably – motivational interviewing – and it worked.

It used to be said that there are many roads to recovery and one of them will be the right one for you……….

So, as you know, Ted Danson (and it’s not his birthday) is married to Mary Steenburgen who wrote Glasgow which was sung by Jessie Buckley in the film, Wild Rose

‘What doesn’t kill you gives you a lot of unhealthy coping mechanisms and a really dark sense of humour.’ (Monica Lewinsky)

December 13, 2019

And so, dear listener, I feel that I should make some kind of political statement after Thursday night but I’m not sure what to say.

Except……….

More than ever before, I feel that, politically, Scotland is a separate nation from England. I’m still not sure about Independence but was appalled during the various leaders’ broadcasts how little was appreciated of the devolved nature of Scotland and issues such as the NHS in the Scotland. I voted SNP as I believe they offer the best opportunity to protect things like health, education and legal rights against the Boris Johnsons of this world…… 🙂

And it didn’t do Boris Johnson any harm to say ‘no’ to going up against Andrew Neil. I think all leaders will question these invites in times to come. I think political journalists will also question their ‘sources’ and may slow down their responses when posting on Twitter. :p

And it might do Labour activists some good to look at life outwith London. 😉

(And I chose the word ‘outwith’ deliberately because it is not a recognised English word. If you don’t believe me, then do a ‘fact check’. Google it.…………there are academics who will not recognise the word, in the way that many political activists do not understand life beyond the M25)

That’s enough!!!!!

Apart from the fact that I notice that every losing politician and political party is now about to go through a period of reflection…….Don’t effing reflect!!!!!!! Effing act!!!!!!!

But I’ve been doing a wee bit of reflection as well…….a wee bit of counting blessings as we approach Christmas and the Christmas Cracker edition of the blog (next week).

For example, Scottish Water have been and they are going to excavate my driveway next week to fix my seeping toby without any question but I have running water unlike some of the people from Lancefield Quay who have no homes after the fire. 😦

Legally there’s still a wee issue with regard to the settlement of my sister’s will but I do feel you folk have lived through much of the legal process but it must be recognised that the need for a settlement only came about because of the passing away of my sister. She had a house in Garelochead and a flat in Glasgow but she had worked hard during her life and she loved that part of the Clyde……..

I can now begin to make some plans for myself.

I may extend my semi. I may buy a new Casio. And, and, and………..I’m not too sure after that. Any ideas?

But I have started to catch up on meeting up with folk. For example, I’d a wee catch up with Missie K in Princes Square the other night and whilst the whole place was busy we managed to find a comfy seat in D’Arcy’s and we discussed the environment.

Can I just say that I learned the word ‘bio-degradable’ in the seventies and think that organisations like Greenpeace, FofE and WWF have worked really hard for the environment and should be recognised as such? They may not do New Age dancing but I do feel that being ‘woke’ may be a little bit more difficult in the years ahead. There are difficult times ahead under what could well described as a ‘no-nonsense’ government……. 😦

And I grew up in the North East of Scotland where it was almost impossible to do anything other than buy locally and eat seasonally…..Tricky in Summerston, mind you but that’s no excuse.

And finally, I’d like to say thanks to all those who made contact in one way or another when I highlighted the fact that it is now thirteen years since I ‘cold-turkeyed’ and I just don’t drink these days but there are so many people who I have to thank. And did. 😀

Incidentally I’ve been trying to explain to people how I perceive the difference between being ‘in recovery’ and someone like me who quite happily says ‘I don’t drink these days’ and all the roads that exist on that road to recovery. Another time.

Tioraidh, still wearing the badges but always looking out for more and always keeping it simple.

Iaint850, who went to bed not long after he heard the Exit Poll.

And just a brief word to say thanks to all those who’ve been in touch about the Blog Personality of the Year Award with suggestions for the actual personality (which doesn’t have to be a person); we’ve had good suggestions for both the track of the year and team of the year but I’m short of suggestions for Lifetime Achievement Award. Any thoughts?

This seems to be very popular at the moment. It’s David Bowie and Bing Crosby.

But when you’re in zugzwang, one possible strategy is just not to make a move. But, in the end, the game has to end. (One view of where we are with Brexit negotiations)

September 19, 2019

And so, dear listener, last week’s show reflected a Government minister’s unwillingness (cowardice?) to voice his own views so he did it in a slimey and snidey way. This week is totally in my voice and all the feelings are mine but I am going to speak about a lot of other folk but mostly in a nice way……. 😀

Let’s start with Son Brian who has been a tremendous help in so many ways in recent months and who has recently set up my new PC altho’ I have not yet made a full transition from the old one (this one) to the new one as I’m trying to stay a wee bit away from computer screens after all the editing and writing I’ve been doing recently.

Anyway Happy Birthday Son Brian (and RJ as well)……. 😀

(and can I be a wee bit editorially geekish here and say there’s an amazing range of templates on Word 365…….I spent an afternoon going through them). 😀

So I’m going to talk about people like Rod Stewart, and I’ll finish with a wee story about him later, but I don’t share the view that it’s ‘good’ when a celeb tells their story about their cancer*. I just think it’s great when anyone tells that story. Sharing is brilliant and if you’re telling that story it’s cos you survived that experience. But well done Rod……..and d’you remember that time when….but later…… 😉

(And a personal hero on the Prostate Cancer front was a guy called Roy Stewart who, despite being seriously ill, was an amazing man to do Information Stands with. ‘Back off Roy, let them get in through the door first’ (lol))

*and I instinctively used third person plural pronouns, Sam, because we already do in certain circumstances. I mean I have no issue with gender transition, but, as an editor, I’m not sure why you still use first person singular pronouns when talking about yourself. Why not third person plural for consistency?

But this week it doesn’t have to be a health thing.

Last week the European Ladies Golf team (under the captaincy of Scot, Catriona Matthew, who played a major part in my PR career many years ago) beat the Americans with the final putt on the final hole in the final match of the Solheim Cup. It was sunk by Suzann Petterson who had hardly played in the last two years, was something like 630th in the World and was a personal pick by Catriona……… 😀

Everyone was a heroine (deliberate use of female of hero) in the team but to be have been written off and then to have written her own chapter in sporting history was amazing….wasn’t it?

And Fernando Ricksen? A hero. Not my favourite as a player altho’ I’ve no real views about Old Firm players but in recent years, he played a blinder spreading the word about MND. And his wife and the rest of his family. There’s an amazing shot of Fernando on his super dooper wheelchair going into some event and his wife leans over and adjusts his head so it’s up and looking forward and looking cool and commanding and not slumped…… 😀

And Gareth Thomas…… Now, I’m not 100 per cent sure why he spoke when he did. The documentary was more or less recorded and about to be broadcast and he was going to talk about being HIV in that and that was one of the reasons why he had done the Ironman Triathlon challenge to show that being HIV did not mean being a wimp….he just hadn’t told his parents and then had to go public because it was about to become public.

I though Gareth came out of it with grace and courage and it may make more people think about overcoming stigma. Well done….. 😀

And I was asked recently…….’wouldn’t it mean more to people if you described yourself as a recovered alcoholic….give more people hope of recovery?’

Seven years ago, I set myself a target of just being someone who ‘doesn’t drink’…….I think I’ve been pretty open about the reasons why I don’t drink and am more than happy to discuss those reasons but it’ll soon be thirteen years so I’m quite happy with the way I’ve done it.

Plus I think there are still too many connotations and stigma that still surround the word ‘alcoholic’. Lapsing is not inevitable.

And I did see one journo on TV saying that David Cameron’s depression wasn’t clinical because he had never taken anti-depressants. Nor have I but that doesn’t mean that my moments of anxiety and depression aren’t real.

And a new GP that I discussed this with last week shared my views. She was good…..’but there was a letter from your urologist in 2014 that said such and such but you never tried it……..I think we should give it a go…….peppermint or aniseed?’ 😉

#copingmechanisms

And finally a wee word about the furore (eh?) surrounding some Head of a Fire Brigade (Lincolnshire?) who thought that Fireman Sam being white and male put people off. So I wonder if he (of course it’s a he) has ever seen Flora the Firefighter who is a real person and this should be standard viewing everywhere.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p07cdm4x

tioraidh, still wearing the badges (with pride) and still keeping it simple but I may send a birthday card

iaint850 who’s nobody’s hero but is happy waking up every morning.

And many years ago, at the age of 12 or so I was allowed into the adult, let’s call it the grown up, section of Peterhead Library cos I’d read all the kiddies’ books; and I seemed to be heavily into World War II books. I picked out one about Arnhem (seventy-five years ago) and happened to go into the newsagent that my dad used and the man behind the counter asked to see it and he looked at it, especially the photos.

‘Why?’ I asked my dad later.

‘Because he was at Arnhem and he survived but he doesn’t talk a lot about it.’

That night I stopped reading books by generals as I realised who the real heroes were. Many of mine over the last few days are listed above.

The Rod Stewart (and rainforestriverman) story can wait until next week.

Here’s Chumbwamba and their famous appearance on TV in the states and a song that is appropriate for so many people in today’s blog. If I’ve missed anyone out, for once let me know.

“That’s how the first lady got involved. She’s got a son, together, that is a beautiful young man and she feels very, very strongly about it. She’s seen it. We’re both reading it, a lot of people are reading it. But people are dying with vaping so we’re looking at it very, very closely.” (Donald Trump and I think the ‘she’ is his wife and the ‘young man’ is their son)

September 13, 2019

And so dear listener, many people are asking – I’m not saying this – but many people are asking how my toes are after last week’s bloody interlude and I’m just saying what they’re saying.…..and so, I’m just saying what people are saying in the style of snidey and cowardly Government minister, Kwasi Kwarteng*, who didn’t have the guts to actually say what he felt………(I can’t remember what about tho’…….Brexit?)

One Sunday newspaper described him as having ‘slimed into action.’

And then I saw his boss, Boris Johnson, being heckled and you realised that he, and they, can’t handle criticism. They have lived such privileged existences that they don’t understand what it’s like to be challenged. 😀

And I learned the art of handling hecklers when I debated at Glasgow University Union, where if someone heckled me, I’d say something like ‘If brains were taxed then my honourable friend is due a rebate.’ 😀 😀 😀

It was often said that I was a master debater.

Sorry. Where was I?

Oh, yes.

I was going to use that style of ‘some people say’ to talk a little about gender transition but not about people but about penguins and Fireman Sam and someone else but Piers Morgan and TV chef, James Martin, and someone else all got involved and it became a bit of a slanging match on social media and then my washing machine began to behave erratically and a cheque for £702 came in from my new solicitor but before I add two and two together and buy a new machine I will contact AS Electrics at Charing Cross and they will tell me if my very old washing machine is dead. 😦

And then I breathed out (see last week for details of my breathing) and reached for a pack of Thorntons Triple Chocolate Caramel Shortcake Bites available from the ASDA for 99p and ate three.

(They’re quite sickly, aren’t they?)

And all I’ll say is that I don’t think penguins give a toss about gender identity as long as they get plenty of fish and I love it when they jump feet first into the Antarctic and I was told that, during the Falklands War, never having seen helicopters before, as they flew overhead, the penguins would lean further and further back and land on their backs long before David Jason did it in Only Fools And Horses. 🙂

I also think Fireman Sam, Postman Pat and Colin the Coastguard (an idea I had from long ago that never made it out of my head into a programme proposal and only works if you say it out loud…….go on. Try it.) are all animated characters from some time back but should be used not be used as part of an argument in which they cannot take part but as props for conversation….discussing situations……….I think we’re in danger of rushing into so much cos we’re scared of being seen to be non-caring without thinking what we’re caring about.

#stopthedeaths

I’m also a wee bit tired. There’s been a lot of editing – which is good. It’s been a difficult few months with various moments of anxiety and depression but it has helped to have those words on the screen and I enjoy it and I feel I make a difference (and I do get thanked as well as paid).

And I do understand if people don’t want to meet up with me. Don’t be pressured but don’t be pressured not to…….(eh?);)

However the 100,000 word PhD on the social issues caused by a major dam project in China as seen by a Chinese accountant was quite a challenge but my work, so far, has been well received by the author and I think any time anyone says to me,

‘Still doing the editing, iaint850? What is it? Just checking spelling and apostrophes?’

I will happily send them the original work and the finished work after two readings.

(And a big thanks to my business associate who helped with some of the editing and whose daughter, RJ, turned seven last week and Son Brian turned thirty-three. Nick Cage at the Tramway, here we come!)

Sorry, Skippy……???

Nick Cave at the Tramway here we come!!!!!

And finally, I’d like to pay credit to the Queen in this era of climatic concern, who seems to never stop planting trees and who also seems to have a wee woman’s smile on her face. I’d much rather have a wee chat with her than many of those I gloss over on social media. 🙂

Tioraidh, and I’ve lost one of the badges but I am still keeping it simple

Iaint850, and, now that I am no longer totally pescatarian, I often spend my nights binging on wine gums after a hard day’s editing.

So, there’s quite a lot on all forms of media just now about the number of drug related deaths and that something should be done but not all of them are saying what they want to see done. The SDF Conference I was at a couple of weeks ago had a number of people who had lived experience and positive contributions to make on the basis of that. I’m in the middle of writing up the Conference Report and will post a link to it eventually.

One was the high profile Garth Mullins from Canada who describes himself as a drug user activist who used to use injectable heroin but is now on methadone. He is the executive producer of the Crackdown podcast where drug users cover the drug war as war correspondents.

The other was Fiona Gilbertson who has twenty-five years of advocacy experience in HIV and sex work and who believes that the fundamental way to tackle stigma and discrimination is through policy changes. Fiona works with an organisation called Recovering Justice and is in long terms abstinence based recovery.

It was like being at a meeting in the early days of the trade union movement. The talk was of getting organised. And if there’s a common link to the eight hundred words above it’s an attempt to recognise my own rights and those that other people have. Take care.

I’m no longer a member of the NUJ but the last time I was in their offices in Union Street someone was singing this. They were good, but they weren’t no Bruce Springsteen, who’s just about to turn seventy.

My father said I always enjoyed the alphabet spaghetti he fed me, but I realise now he was just putting words in my mouth.

August 16, 2019

And so, dear listener, this may well be another short show. The editing is still pretty hectic but it is about to slow down and I was down at the Scottish Drugs Forum for two days this week.

But first, looking back at last week’s blog, a couple of you did notice that it ain’t always easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, between me and the students for whom I edit. 🙂

Of the two that I fell out with last week, one did apologise and I finished what I’d started but I heard nothing from the other. That’s fine.

And I’d a wee problem with another student this week. If you tell me that you’re going to send it at a particular time and don’t then I am well within my rights to mail you and to ask when I’m getting it.

And if you fail to reply to that, then stuff that for a game of sodgers, I may have turned down work in order to do yours and you have already cost me money, so my next mail is the one that says, ‘I hope you have good luck, at this late stage, in finding a new proof reader’. It’s all part of growing up, isn’t it? 😦

I mean it’s not as if I meet them …well very rarely…well I did this week. I did some editing for the SDF and realised, as I walked in on Wednesday morning, that the people whose work I’d edited were, in fact, reading my suggestions – and smiling….but that didn’t stop my face going bright red. 😀

They seemed happy. They’re a nice bunch.

I was actually in helping with some interviews for a job and I’ll maybe say some more in a few weeks’ time when decisions have been made and folk have been told and feedback given.

But I took it really seriously; I wore black denims and a shirt cos I felt it gave me a sense of gravitas……….but I then realise that I have to be careful what shirts I wear as one or two of them seem to have shrunk………I’ve spoken about the fact I need to lose weight before and I think I need to be ‘fat-shamed’ rather than to be told I carry it well. 😦

That does not help……But I promise I will never ever do the thing where I buy Ben Sherman shirts and wear them outside my jeans or whatever I happen to be wearing……..

But, yeah, the interviews went well and a big well done to my fellow volunteers and the worker who kept us all to time.

And I was given yet another variation on my real name……..I was called JoJo 🙂

And finally a slight ethical dilemma with my neighbours.

We are all reasonably good at taking in parcels for each other. So, on Friday morning I took in a parcel for Number 4. (I don’t think it’s giving away too much to say that I am number 3 and have
two massive rotweillers that never leave the house)

On Friday afternoon I heard voices outside and saw that Number 4 had gone to Number 6 and had retrieved a package from 6. Ah, I thought, 4 will come to me, 3, next but they didn’t.

So how long do I wait before I take their parcel over to Number 4 cos it looks a wee bit heavy and I don’t see why I should do heavy carrying? Any suggestions?

And, now, some very domestic catch up.

e and c’s house is now very warm; my grand-daughter is now at primary school; and I am looking ahead to daytime evening classes for next academic session, but I’m not sure what. 😀

And I have a new laptop and I am waiting for Son Brian to come over and to help me get it up and working. At the moment. for the editing, I can use my old one but the new one has features, well Windows Ten and all that kinda stuff……….and a female voice, that when I switched it on just to see flashing lights, startd to tell me what to do. It’s not Siri or Alexis and she does seem very helpful but it struck me I may have to switch some passwords so that she doesn’t hear them and if my son can do the installation downstairs I can do the new passwords where, what i thought was the old one, doesn’t seem to work……..and then dash downsatirs and do all the asterixes…..It’s a plan 🙂

And isn’t it nice to see people you worked with doing well. Lousie Pirie was a researcher I woeked with a wee while back who is now working as a documentary producer/director and has a documentary on Monday night on STV called From Syria to Scotland, which I feel will be well worth watching. WEll I certainly will.

And finally, signs, maybe, of a change in direction, finally, in the settlement of my sister’s estate but a long way to go……….but the depression’s lifting.

Tioraidh, still wearing the badges and still keeping it simple,

Iaint850, still not too sure of what’s happening but can’t help but feel I’ve missed the best of the Summer.

Last week I highlighted the good looking and very talented High Women but, before them, there were the good looking and talented Dixie Chicks who, in 2003, put their careers on the line by criticising George W Bush and America’s involvement in the war in Iraq.

This was possibly the first time I’d heard of them and also the amazing Steve Earle. It was said they’d never work again but they did.

The next year I walked out of the BBC newsroom and never went back apart from the prostate cancer stuff I later did.

This/these are the Dixie Chicks and Travelin’ Soldier.