Archive for the ‘Summerston’ Category

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” (Robert Frost)

September 18, 2020

And so, dear listener, how did Brian Masters do it? All these hours spent with Dennis ‘Des’ Nilsen discussing the mysteries of life and the practicalities of death and yet, and yet, and yet…….he didn’t write anything down but still managed to get a whole book out of the conversations. Amazing.

I refer, of course, to the amazing drama ‘Des’ which told the story of the mass killer Dennis Nilsen and featured an amazing performance by David Tennant who looked amazingly like Nilsen but also looked amazingly like ITN reporter Robert ‘Pesto’ Peston who, on Tuesday night, turned up ten minutes later on the ITN News to tell us about the certainty of a second wave.

It was impossible not to have nightmares that night. 😦 😦 😦

Incidentally, Dennis Nilsen was born in Fraserburgh – not Peterhead – and Fray Bentos is a place in Uruguay – not Argentina.

And anyone who says anything different has my mate, Doctor Paul, Edinburgh’s top Quizmaster to answer to. 🙂

But this week’s saddest headline of the month for so many reasons, was in the Daily Record this week – Probe into Singing at Care Home.

And it’s been a quiet week – some catch ups and coffees cancelled but hopefully will be re-arranged once we know what the First Minister has to say. And it’s quiet in the cul-de-sac. People have gone back to work, like, actually, in a place of work. I was aware of that the other day when, without realising it, I spent most of the day out the back reading. I felt a certain amount of guilt for some reason.

And as we go further back into lockdown there are people and places I miss. 😦

However, domestically, things are about to change and I’ll have more to say at the end of the show but, just as I’d given up on editing until, say, October at the earliest, someone I’d worked for before has asked me to look at a large piece of work for him (or her) and I’ve agreed to do it in a ridiculously short timescale beginning Monday. 😉

At the same time as a lot of hammering will be going on around me. 🙂 NOT 😦

And I’ve strained a muscle or something at the top of my left arm. It’s not debilitating or anything but it is the side I sleep on and that negates anything good that has happened to it during the day.

So, I’m trying to go to sleep with the smell of Deep Heat in the bed with me. 😦

And finally, I was going to say something erudite about the ‘rona but, given that we have approximately sixty people in hospital, nine in intensive care and (until yesterday) occasionally one death a day and that would have been marvellous six months ago but are rightly worried about the number of positive tests and testing and I’m not sure why we didn’t get health centre nurses to do the tests in the first place and I see Neil Ferguson is back in vogue and you do know that Karl Sikora is a cancer specialist and closing the pubs at ten at night not long after you’ve encouraged them to open in the first place will just lead people to drink more quickly and folk are suggesting herd immunity again on the basis that the bug is not as virulent as it once was and hygiene is so much better but lockdown gets earlier every year, I’ll maybe not bother.

Tioraidh, finding it a wee bit hard to keep it simple and fun

Iaint850, always keen to catch up

Now (as opposed to So or Well), some of you may watch this radio show in colour on Facebook. If so, you will have seen photographs of a kitchen very definitely on its last legs. It’s mine……..but it hasn’t always looked like that. I’ve been running it down over the last few weeks as I’ve been in discussion with a kitchen fitter and the good news is that, as I write this, they are due to start on Monday.

I won’t name them just yet.

But they’re doing it all. I will not be painting the kitchen, as I once did to prove how crap I am at painting, but unfortunately the shelf I put up will have to come down. The colour scheme is blue and grey and all the new utensils will be red.

Once that’s done a new patio will be created. Well, old slabs will be lifted and a lot of new ones will be put down…….and then some planting. This is obviously all being funded from my late sister’s legacy and might have taken a different shape earlier this year had it not been for the ‘rona.

So, the last few days have been about emptying and clearing the kitchen which kinda explains the photos. I have one question. It’s an unopened pack of lentils dated Use By May 2015. What do you reckon?

And I’m not sure what I’ll do about eating…….

Here’s some music that’s nothing to do with the ‘rona. Last week the Cranberries proved popular with a few folk.

Combine them with a song called Zombie and it’s a match made in heaven.

“To be full of yourself is to make a fool of yourself.” (Ashly Lorenzana)

August 6, 2020

And so, dear listener, as someone who worked from home before the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, I tend to be very careful about daytime TV. I defo avoid property programmes and only like antique shows when Catherine Southern (sp) is on and then there’s that repair programme with Suzy (?). She works in leather, y’know. 😉

And it’s just as rare that I indulge in unbridled sexism for the sake of a good innuendo. It’s been a long lockdown.

This is intended as a warning. For those who may about to be working from home longer than they thought. 😦

As schools return next week but many people are still told to work from home rather than go into their office, then the distraction of children will be no more until it’s time to collect them from school or nursery. You may be tempted to watch property programmes or, as I was last week, unfortunate enough to catch the first two minutes of one. 😦

It was three o’clock and I’d switched on to get news of the Beirut explosion and the Aberdeen lockdown. It was already on a property programme channel. It was an English couple and that was a description rather than a criticism.

She did my head in. She wanted a nice house in a village so they could become part of village life. ‘You condescending ******* ***’, I thought. ‘You want to organise the village, don’t you?’

And then he spoke. He wanted space to land his helicopter and he had an airplane restoration project on the go for which he required space. And his wife had a pebble painting business for which she needed an outhouse.

I immediately switched over, thinking I’ll never see them in Summerston. But my thanks to Twitter for the annoying news that they found a house well within their budget.

Boke, and not very dry.

Mind you, sometimes random TV can work to my advantage. Thursday I switched on the TV to hear what the FM had to say about the Aberdeen lockdown but instead found a Michael Portillo railway programme that took him from Ayr to Paisley (maybe train to Paisley next week?) and the promise of another programme or two (somewhere) which took him onto Skye. 🙂

He stopped at Prestwick for a wee while. I like Prestwick. I may yet return. 😉

And finally, a wee word about the editing.

Yes. I am doing well this month and thanks for asking and, yes, all the work has come from Chinese students. Over 100,000 words, and very late nights.

But earlier in the year, I and business partner e had done some work for some Strathclyde Uny students.

I don’t re-write; I don’t have enough knowledge to tell a Physics student that their equations don’t add up but if I feel a re-write of that paragraph would help to get their message across a wee bit better, then I am allowed to make that suggestion and possibly how to do it.

Rarely do people tell me how they get on but last week one of the Strathclyde Uny student did, saying she got a First and thanking me for my help and I explained I can only work with good basic material. 🙂

But in the midst of her chat was one phrase which really stood out;

‘Iaint850, you’re some guy.’

Tioraidh, and still managing to keep it fun, and simple.

Iaint850, proud without being arrogant and anyway, it’s my show.

So I have had lunch out twice in recent weeks. Both in the west end of Glasgow and both in restaurants well known to you, my listener, cos I have occasionally mentioned them – Hanoi Bike Shop and Caffe Parma – and both of which had detailed hygiene measures in place; booking in advance, hand sanitisers, staff with masks where appropriate, and contact details and so on.

The second lunch, one other adult and two children eating adult portions, saw me get money back as part of the Eat Out and Salve the UKPM’s Conscience Scheme. But unlike Jeremy Hunt’s well publicised tweet, I wanted to say good luck to three folk returning to school (but in different roles) and not to take them out just cos I could save money.

I’m sorry if I sound as condescending as the woman I was complaining about at the start of the show (it is my show) but given that I could afford to do it, coming away with that money didn’t seem right.

So I am grateful to a fellow Partick Thistle fan who had already thought ahead about this and suggested paying money saved like that into the @ptfccharitabletrust which has been delivering food and cooked meals to various households in North West Glasgow.

Am I virtue signalling? Frankly, my dear, if I am, I don’t give a damn. 😀 I just think it’s a good idea and one I’m happy to share.

So I did watch some TV and one of my favest was a prog on BBC Alba which showed the best of the Belladrum music festival from recent years. My own particular favest bit was this which reminded me so much of the Edwin Hawkins Singers from years ago.

Not only is it excellent singing, it’s excellent social distancing. Remember from last week that it’s not the new normal; normality evolves but there ain’t never ever going back to what was.

This is a choir called Highland Voices;

“The train rolled right through dinner and over the sunset and around ten o’clock and into a nap and out the next day…” (Lindsay Mattick, Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear)

July 31, 2020

And so, dear listener, earlier this week I took a train into Glasgow city centre. Now, once upon a time, that is not something to which I would draw attention but these are ‘interesting’ times and that was an unusual event.

I’d been thinking about it for some time as part of my own personal return to normality (and can I just say, and I’ll only say it the once, there is no such thing as a ‘new’ normality – normality evolves, but I’ll not mention that again. Honest) and I was talking to a friend (as in real talking) and she was saying that she had heard, from a friend, (and if Twitter people trust that second hand approach to things, then who am I to disagree?) that a recent train to Mallaig had only one passenger and as this friend – the one I was talking to – is one of the few people I know to have had the Corona, then I believe her.

Skippy, that is one of the worst sentences I have ever written. We need a good editor. Where can I get one and what do they do anyway?

Well, to cut a long story short, I thought there’s nothing to stop me taking a train from the independent suburb of Summerston to the newly refurbished Queen Street railway station. And so, having checked websites and all sorts of instructions I wandered down to the station and bought my ticket from the machine.

Trains are running one every hour instead of every half hour and the guard/conductor does not collect fares. This caught some people by surprise and they had to join a long but socially distanced queue at Queen Street to get their tickets. 😦

I walked through the automatic barriers, saw the arrows on the ground and followed them to a brand new exit (and entrance) and left the station. Up to this point, everyone was wearing a mask (and this is obviously part of the continually evolving normal).

I walked past the office of the Scottish Drugs Forum for whom I did some work on a voluntary basis until the pandemic and then I went to Fopp in Union Street and spent some money – well, I flashed my contactless card. 🙂

I then went to the men’s bit of Debenhams and bought some t-shirts. This despite the fact that, like many people, I have ordered some tops from #LostStock which will go to help some Bangla Deshi workers but the summer will soon be gone and I’ve gone off black as my main colour.

And that was me.

Now this was the bit that worried me. I was going back to the station some ten to fifteen minutes before my train was due to leave. What would it be like hanging around, waiting for my train, in the midst of the seething masses that might be wanting to travel to, say, Edinburgh?

Well, that wasn’t the case. The station was still quiet. Everyone was wearing a mask with one and a half exceptions – and both, at that stage, were quite far away from me. One was a youngish guy with a bunch of flowers which he held over his face (?) and the half was, well I was going to write an ‘older guy’ but Skippy has just reminded me that some people might describe me like that. Anyway, he had a mask on but was not wearing it over his nose. What was the point? 😛

And then my train was called and I, and some others boarded it. And it was quiet like the one on the way in AND then I had a wee moment. I felt a sneeze coming on and sometimes, I can have a really violent sneeze so, I went to lift the mask up, and then I caught myself………..cos that’s the point of the mask, isn’t it? To catch coughs and sneezes cos they spread diseases. 😦

And not long after I reached Summerston I shoved the mask in one of the freezer bags I now normally carry in the passenger seat of my car and when I got up the road I put it in the washing machine and washed it within an inch of its life.

And that, dear listener, was my morning on a train. I will do it again soon time but will follow the rules and just be careful. 😀

It’s a shame that Michael Portillo and Chris Tarrant have made second careers out of TV programmes about train journeys, cos I think I’m quite good at it; don’t you, dear listener?

And that’s me used up most of my words for this week so just one other thing if I may. Despite the slow unlocking of lockdown and all that progress, I still have ups and downs.

Like many people, I had plans for 2020 but these were to be built upon my existing routine and that has gone. I’ll be honest. Some of those plans were only to be possible because of my late sister’s legacy but they, and some of the ones that would cost no money, have yet to happen.

I know I’m not alone in that feeling. I’ve just got to keep living to make it all happen and maybe losing weight would help but life, and normality, evolves and I’m sure I will be fine BUT sometimes, at times like these, you need a sign (dangerous territory there, iaint850)……..

I now have in the region of 80,000 to 100,000 words to edit in August and every one of those words is from Chinese students to whom I’ve been recommended or for whom I’ve worked before.

This gives me a focus and a platform on which to build for the rest of my future and I have learned a few lessons over the last few months. I’ve had some interesting times over the last (almost) fourteen years and long term listeners know about all the health and lifestyle stuff but I have interesting times ahead…….and more train journeys. Ardrossan Harbour, here I come.

So one of the CDs I bought was country legend Marty Stuart (and I know a great fan of his) and this is him and Travis Tritt and ‘The Whiskey ain’t Working Anymore’ and this is from 1991 and what was normal then ain’t normal any more. In so many ways. Almost fourteen years 🙂

Laughter is brightest in the place where the food is. (Irish Proverb)

July 17, 2020

And so, dear listener, this week I got my hair cut. On Thursday. And it was a totally different experience from any haircut I have had before. It was still Sandra, who works on her own, and the room was very, very different from before. Minimal was the word that came to mind.

The hand sanitiser at the front door is automatic and you don’t need to press it. Sandra was wearing a visor. Which is not normal. And there were all sorts of disposable P.P.E. And at one stage I’d to unclip my mask from behind one ear and hold it over my mouth in a style reminiscent of a Carry On film I once saw with Barbara Windsor playing volleyball

(Skippy, we may need to chat about that line before the show goes out). 😉

And I confessed to snipping some of my hair in the early days before I realised that most people were in a similar position to me. After all, we can’t all be First Minister of Scotland and Leader of the SNP who got a man to cut her hair. It’s just a coincidence he also happens to be Chief Executive of the SNP and married to her (and Happy Anniversary which is round about now). 😀

My late mum used to do that – not cut Nicola’s hair – and apparently she used to deny she had snipped her hair, not fully realising that Sandra was looking directly at the bits that had been cut. Anyway I feel so much better for it and reckon it’ll take another cut before it’s back to what it was (which is still reasonably long according to some) but it does look good and, Shirley, I can still flick it! 😀

The haircut was part of a day out. To Bearsden.

Y’see I combined it with a visit to ASDA Bearsden, which is totally different from the ASDA in Summerston (Yes. One does have the definite article and the other doesn’t).

Let me explain. I was out for lunch with good friend e. Amongst other things I had childminded for her and her husband to let them get out for lunch a couple of days earlier and this was a kind of thank you.

We went to the Hanoi Bike Shop just off Byres Road which is basically Vietnamese food. Interestingly enough, I did run a wee competition on Facebook with a photograph of me standing outside the restaurant asking folk to guess where I was but not enough clues cos no-one was bang on but the judges are still conferring and if you think you were close then please get in touch. Particularly if you know how to work a OR (or is it QR?) scanner. 😉

Anyway, the ginger beer that they serve at the Hanoi is the ginger beer you get in foreign stumpy bottles which they don’t sell in the ASDA in Summerston but they do sell in ASDA, Bearsden.

Except Thursday. The day I went. 😦 They had sold out. But they do sell ginger beer in large Fentiman’s bottles, so I bought two of those.

Ah, Vietnamese food………fish cakes and spicy tofu.

I was brought up many years ago in Peterhead where, I think, we had two Chinese restaurants with takeaway facilities and a chip shop that sold pineapple fritters was deemed exotic. In fact, I remember having an Uncle Jim in the Milton in Glasgow who had fritters (potato) with his chips.

When I came down to Glasgow all those years ago it was sophisticates (?) like the rainforestriverman who introduced me to such delicacies as boiled egg curry (7/6) from the Green Gate in Bank Street and later there was great pleasure in joining the queues for the Shish Mahal and the Koh-i-noor in Gibson Street, before the latter fell into the river (or a bit of it anyway).

I also have fond memories of Chimmy Chungas and the Mexican food there – now I have grandchildren who eat fajitas. And my lunch today was roll and crisps – Tyrrells. Ah, the pleasure of good food. 🙂

Tioraidh, still keeping it fun and still keeping it friendly and still keeping it simple.

Iaint580, who wants to be described as a Utopia prepper from now on.

And so, dear listener, as I was prepping for this show, I heard a news summary telling us what the UKPM saw as the future, basically for England, with employers being encouraged to get employees back to work and public transport being allowed to take anyone on board and fans being allowed back to sports events.

Now this is either a far-sighted and positive and confident view of the future by the UKPM or he’s bored. Let’s get it all out of the way

I, personally, am slowly getting used to getting out and may be in the fortunate ‘self-employed but not very busy’ situation of being able to take my time. There are folk I want to meet up with in places where we’ve met before or maybe new people in places where I’ve never been before or….well, you know what I mean……..but only if everyone is happy.

In the meantime, wearing masks is with us for a very long time, social distancing may reduce but slowly, and washing and sanitising hands is good. I’m staying safe but then again I’m young with time on my side.

This is a band called Skipinnish (they’re like Skerryvore) and this is Walking on the Waves. Next week it’s the Chicks and why I think dropping the Dixie from their name could be bad idea and maybe a return to the show’s roots in recovery and cancer and stuff. #StaySafe

‘Do not be shy to share your thoughts. Do not think they will look stupid. Imagine you are talking to a friend and proving your point of view.’ (Tips on Reflective Writing)

June 26, 2020

And so, dear listener, we live in interesting times – which are well documented through social media. Amongst the more endearing aspects of Facebook are its reminders of what you were doing this time a year ago, two years ago and so on.

It also tells you when your friends’ birthdays are. 🙂

Maybe it should tell you that now is a good time to go through a period of reflection which is what I’m going to do.

(Don’t panic. It’s not a ‘poor me’ rant but if I can’t use the show to share these things with people, then there’s not much point in having a show, is there? And I do worry about the same people getting landed with my strange thoughts when they might have thoughts of their own that they’d like to share. Proper sharing is good. I’m here.)

Y’see, last year, at this time, it had been about five months since my sister had passed away and I had got over that.

We were in that phase of settling the estate and I was getting full support from Son Brian, and friends such as Kenny the shedpimp and good friend e were doing wonders with their help but I was a bit down. 😦

So I walked into Queen Street Station (will I ever have the courage to do that again?) and looked at the destination board, and at the stations for Mallaig and decided that Arisaig was the place to go. Actually it was Morar that I was thinking of but sometimes I leave my brain in the kitchen.

It was a pretty good weekend and I ‘bumped’ into friends Sharon and Kenny when I was up there, just across from the Spar. 😀

Anyway, I did some thinking and I realised that I was unhappy with the lack of action, it seemed to me, on the legal front. My lawyer was a friend from my first time at university and had legalled for me for years but there was something that was not right. 😦

Another couple of meetings seemed to go nowhere and a chat with my inner circle led to a decision; I made contact with a firm of solicitors in Paisley and they took over. And things picked up. And it’s that that I miss. A definitive moment.

In a way I’m slightly jealous of folk with dates to go back to shops and offices and also schools ALTHO’ I know teachers and classroom assistants who have been looking after the children of keyworkers and are involved in setting things up for (maybe) mid-August. It’s been more or less the same faces working at ASDA and I seem accepted in the local Lifestyle Express and I do know folk with no job to go back to.

It’s an advantage of being self-employed that you assume no work is going to come in and the last few weeks have been zilch – but I’ve just taken on two small pieces of work which is good. 🙂

I know that, for me, the definitive moment will be when I can, without worrying, get on to a train from Summerston into Glasgow Queen Street and go to a couple of non-essential shops (Love Music and Waterstones) and then take the train home. 😀 😀 😀

In the meantime, it’s my XXth birthday this week. This time last year, I was driving up and down to Garelochead every second Sunday to check on my sister’s house before it was sold. Oh, and her Glasgow flat.

Maybe I should take another trip down the A82 and call in somewhere where I can get a cup of takeway coffee and just sit there with a pen and a pad, and brainstorm. Somewhere picturesque with a good view. Maybe the Quay, Dumbarton, overlooking the River Leven, just along from Alternatives Community Rehab……good memories as a volunteer worker – we’ll see. And it doesn’t have to be that day itself. 😉

For my 60th I abseiled down the Titan Crane in Clydebank and zip-wired over Aberfoyle. Now I just want to sit down with a cup of coffee and plan my future. How times have changed. But I have one. A future. Hopefully. And that is the big thing. And patience.

And finally, speaking of futures, the grandchildren were over for Father’s Day (with their dad – my son who got married seven years ago this week……busy week over the years) and I have a Tassimo coffee maker so I was given a selection box of coffees for that. It’s interesting. Just over fourteen years ago I might be given a range of German lagers from M & S. These days, I’m still getting psychoactive drugs as pressies. 🙂

And it seems I make my instant coffee cups too strong and that maybe explains a lot. If we think back a few years. You get to a stage where you need to up the quantity to get the desired effect.

Tioraidh, keeping it simple and fun.

Iaint850, did you know that the public toilets in Arisaig were looked after by local volunteers. Would that work in
Kelvingrove Park? Answers please.

So I played a wee bit of Rhiannon Giddens last week but she’s also a member of a band called the Carolina Chocolate Drops (and I’ve not checked its derivation) and this is from the album ‘leaving eden’ and it’s Country Girl.

But before I do, my thoughts are with (as much as they can be) all the people caught up in the ‘incident’, in one way or another, in Glasgow City Centre on Friday. Maybe next week when we know a little more about what happened I may say a little about my own experience of working with the homeless, some of whom were refugees.

“History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.” – Maya Angelou

June 12, 2020

And so, dear listener, it’s been a quiet but interesting week. I’m delighted to say, as I ‘stop pressed’ last week, that last Saturday I was visited by Son Brian, and my grandkids, Miss E (5) and Master F (3). The first time in three months. Now, I think it’s worth stressing that there were no concerns about hugging and I’m quite pleased about that. 🙂

There wasn’t any.

Meeting up with me seemed pretty natural to them and that’s good. Despite the time gap. They kicked a football about and threw hoops over sticks and stuff like that but, just in case, their dad had brought their scooters and we decided to go exploring. 😀

To the graveyard.

Now can I just explain something. This place is massive. Look at it on a map or Google Earth. It’s Lambhill and St Kentigern’s cemeteries with lots of space, great views and surprises around every corner.

Miss E, as with her not quite namesake, good friend e, was fascinated by some of the gravestones as she scooted and stopped to look at the toys and bears and other stuff that had been used as an ‘in memoriam’ for people long since gone. 🙂

I think it’s a lot better that the likes of the Botanic Gardens or Vikky Park or Rouken Glen. It’s not designed for visitors and may well be boring to some folk. No benches or teas or coffees or ice creams…well you get the idea.

And parking is limited although of the above are available at my house, including a heavily sanitised corridor between my kitchen door, up the stairs and into my bathroom.

If you’re ever in the area, give me a shout. But we had a good time. And back at my house Miss E drank water but Master F was given a choice of small juices and he chose Tropical although his dad said he’s never tried it. Well, he seemed to like it. 😀

I think, tho’, the big thing for them is to get playing again with their friends of the same age. Hopefully soon.

And in some respects it was a week for me and kids and memories and I was knocked out when the brilliant Lost Glasgow site put up a thirty minute BBC Scotland feature from 1979 called A Child’s Guide to Glasgow. It was a delightful wee film about children from three different primary schools in Glasgow who were driven round Glasgow in an open topped double decker and they got off every so often and discussed serious things. No grown up voices – not even as a voice over. 😀 😀 😀

I was the researcher on that !!!!!!!!!!!!

I facebooked about it and sent mails to people and……… the time people started looking for it the BBC had got wind of it and it was taken down for copyright reasons. Ho, and most definitely, hum. 😦

And that got me thinking about some of my broadcasting career and given the current climate we are in I was reminded of the time I featured capoeira in a live radio programme. It was probably The Mix with Anvar Khan (!) who went on to achieve a certain notoriety. Do your own Google.

Anyway capoeira is known as a dance and we put down boards on the floor so that the listener (you) could hear all the dancing…….except, as was explained, it was originally a way of fighting that was developed in the slave plantations and the masters never knew that cos they though it was a Saturday night dance routine. We had an expert explain the moves as the dancers, well, danced.

And in some other news, a neighbour of mine passed away during the week. She’d been ill for some time. A number of things. One morning, I was aware of a large unmarked vehicle parked at a funny angle with its back doors wide open backing onto the front door of the house across the road. I had an appointment at the health centre and, as I reversed out of my drive a few minutes later, I saw the men carrying out my (now) late neighbour wrapped, in a shroud, on a stretcher. I’m glad the roads were quiet as it took me a few minutes to realise what I had just seen and to concentrate on driving.

But I made it to the appointment okay. The health centre was quiet and I was given a mask and gloves before seeing a nurse for blood tests and blood pressure and stuff like that. All was going well until I asked after one doctor but got his name mixed up with another one who had been struck off some years previously. Ooooops. Major pause. The advantage of the corona mask is that you cannot see someone blush – well not that much anyway.

But my blood pressure’s fine btw.

Tioraidh, keeping it simple, keeping it safe

Iaint850, Lonely? Moi? At times. Would a wee bubble help? No. I’m no’ one for tears.

And I’ve been playing a lot of music this week. The editing side of my life is currently dead. So, I do remember seeing this band at the Kelvingrove Bandstand but here’s the time the Waterboys all crowded into a Radio 2 studio and sang Purple Rain.

You can do anything in a radio studio. Just make sure none of the mics are open. Don’t worry. I’ll move myself on.

‘Dom Cummings followed the guidelines and looked after his family. End of story.’ (Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden) ‘I know ending stories and this ain’t it, chief. (JK Rowling, well known author)

May 29, 2020

And so, dear listener, a wee word if I may about blogging and, please, bear with me. I’ve been doing it now for just over twelve years and it’s basically a fun couple of hours when I hammer words into this typewriter and then re-arrange them to make sense. 🙂

I used to do it live, straight onto the WordPress template (which they’re about to change yet again) and do final editing then…….in the days of tape, razor blade and sticky tape…..but that was creating pressure so I stopped doing that and instead started drafting it during the week and did the final topping and tailing once I’ve transferred it on a Friday….and then hit the Publish button (still a thrill, not that I get………) 😦

And yes, I do wait until Sunday before I tell the world of Facebook at which time I may use the Update button. This means that if something has happened between hitting the streets on a Friday and it being read by the more sedate burghers on Facebook on a Sunday, I can make a change.

And then I leave it. It’s gone. 70-80-99-120 people read it. That’s fine. I write it for me………maybe part of my therapy?
Somebody else described it as such. 🙂

It would never, ever occur to me to go back several months and add stuff.

So, if you ever do drop into my back catalogue and discover that I wrote about my discovery of penicillin, well it’s there cos it’s true. And, yes, I was the first man on the Moon. I just didn’t say anything about it at the time but if you re-arrange the letters of iaint850 you can come up with Buzz Aldrin. That’s how we hid it.

And that night with Naomi Campbell did happen. She is one helluva a Bagetelle player. 😀

And Skippy, the invisible bush kangaroo who has been with me since this blog started does exist. Honestly.

And then there’s the car-driving thing.

I think I can safely say that during my alcoholically dependent period I did not drive while drunk but it wouldn’t have been the first Saturday morning that I woke up and realised that I had to go back into town and get my car down from a multi-storey car park where I’d left it the night before. So safe, on so many levels. 😉

I worked for a PR consultancy in Bothwell Street at the time so it would have been Waterloo Street car park – not that far from Bonkers Showbar.

However, see when you read on a packet of Lemsip (or similar) that you’re not supposed to exceed six in twenty-four hours, there’s a reason for that.

It was in the immediate period after the cold turkey, and the cancer treatment – a time when your head is clearing of so many things but you’ve still got a long way to go.

I had a bad cold. I seriously overdid the Lemsip. I got the munchies. It was a paracetamol high. I thought I’ll drive down to the ASDA and get something to eat. It’s a four minute drive.

After two minutes of that driving, I realised it was wrong and that I should turn round and go home. So, paracetemolly, I drove onto ASDA, drove in through the IN bit and back out through the OUT bit and went home.

It was only when I crunched into the drive that I realised how stupid I’d been.

Almost as stupid as Michael Gove and Dominic Cummings who claim that the best way to check your eyesight is to go for a drive. Listeners of a certain age may remember the short sighted Mr Magoo and the carnage he caused cos he couldn’t see what he was driving into. 😦

And then there’s been a smell this week – other than at Westminster. It’s been in my kitchen. Which is quite reassuring as it means I still have my sense of smell, and I can taste toothpaste.

Like a lot of people, I seem to be spending much of my time (I live on my own – have I ever mentioned that?) cleaning and tidying the house until the next time I clean and tidy the house.

I narrowed it down to the fridge which I keep tidy and I’m very careful about Use By dates.

So I washed and wiped and wiped and washed the fridge and its contents. I moved it out and washed behind it.

I used to work for Blue Triangle (supported accommodation for the homeless including refugees with ‘no recourse to public funds’) and every time I tell people that and they say ‘that must have been worthwhile’, I think of the number of nightshifts when you cleaned a room for a new service user moving in in the morning and one of the worst tasks was the fridge. 😦

Then it hit me……well thankfully not literally.

I had assumed that if it was a fridge smell, it was in the fridge. It was actually on top of the fridge. There was a box of twelve eggs on top of the fridge except two of them were cracked and had seeped through the box. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, after that. 🙂

If only all foul smells were as easy to eradicate.

tioraidh, and still keeping it all those things I like to keep it.

Iaint850, and it’s all a bit of a clusterbourach isn’t it?

So there’s a new Steve Earle album on the turntable even as we speak and thanks to a tip-off from top PT fan, Ken, I watched Steve intro many of the tracks on a Facebook live streaming session and I did do the fan thing where I sent the message ‘hi steve, I’m from Glasgow and me and good friend e saw you a few years ago at the Kelvingrove Bandstand’ and, in hindsight, I realise the phrase, ‘good friend e‘ may have sent the wrong message unless Steve is a regular reader.

None of the tracks are up visually on Youtube yet, so here’s ten minutes of Steve Earle and the Pogues. Pure genius.

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. 🙂

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.


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.

‘The sun will shine on you again; the clouds will go away.’

April 17, 2020

The words there of Captain Tom Moore who has raised so much money for NHS charities and, by the way, the money cannot be used as a replacement for NHS funding. There are rules about these things. I’m not sure what they’ll do with all those millions. If it was just hundreds, then it’s jigsaws for childrens’ hospitals.

I would also like to suggest that Captain Tom be promoted to Major Tom. After all, he’s really made the grade. 😉

And so dear listener, how are you doing with another, and not unexpected, three weeks of lockdown ahead of us AND a few more #ClapforCarers events coming up? (Is that the right hashtag or have I made one up?)

I notice that some folk have poured a wee bit of scorn on these events, worried that an English based tabloid has taken them over or that, somehow, they are being used as a substitute for paying people properly or not giving them full PPE.

They’re not.

And, for selfish reasons, they are important to me.

Y’see, at the moment, I miss being part of a community. I live alone; I already work from home; I leave the house twice a day for shopping and exercise. It’s not a community. 😦

It’s not the ‘being on the platform on Summerston Railway Station when a train is cancelled’ community; it’s not ‘being in the offices of the Scottish Drugs Forum or Prostate Cancer UK when someone says ‘I’m making a coffee. Who wants one?’’ community; and it’s most definitely not the ‘Grandpa Iaint850, ‘will you read me a story?’’ community. It’s the cul-de-sac where I live community which comes together at 8 o’clock on a Thursday night for two minutes community clapping. 🙂

And this Thursday, just past, we added something after the clapping was done. We sang Happy Birthday to Jim in number 22…….No. I haven’t a clue either.

Next week me and my immediate neighbours are doing pots rather than clapping and who lets off the firework that tells us to start?

Before you know it, or maybe more likely in a couple of years, somebody will be organising a street party but, aye, maybe not just yet.

So, contrary to what some people on social media are saying, this applause is not a replacement for advocating better PPE and pay for care workers but is a sign of our gratitude for what they’re doing. A lot of Thursday night’s applause was directed at a house across the road where ‘the lady of the house’ is now out of Coronavirus hospital and it’s good to see her back. 😀

I worked for four and a half years in supported accommodation for the homeless – not the best paid job I’ve ever had but there was a range of reasons for doing it – and I know how difficult that job can be at the best of times.

These are currently the worst of times.


I would like to thank the Barclays Practice at the Maryhill Health Centre and the Maryhill Pharmacy which is next to G23, a human grooming salon, here in Summerston for getting their act together with regard to my repeat prescriptions for my heart condition and my blood pressure and which were ready for me so I went to collect them.

A wee bit quieter at the moment as I know some people are getting a week’s supply of Methadone in one go, so I hope that works out for them, but elsewhere the quality of drugs out on the street is really poor, so that is another community out there that’s not getting the attention it needs.

Remember #StopThedeaths from 2018 when 1,187 people died of drug related deaths. What will be the figure for 2020?

Meanwhile, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this, hopefully, soon there will be a time when I can go out without some freezer bags in my back pocket to act as gloves when opening strange doors.

And full credit to the staff at the ASDA where I go on a Thursday morning and most people do go in the right way round the system. And then on Sunday at about eight, I go for a wee run in my car but, whereas last year I was driving down to Garelochead to check my late sister’s house, these days it’s down the Maryhill Road, through Hyndland and back up Byres Road.

I would say I’m getting about four weeks to the gallon at the moment.

And finally, I’m staying away from twenty-four hour news and I quickly scroll through Twitter – except for one Tweet which caught my eye and made me smile. 🙂

From @Jaynesharp…….

‘Last night I drank gin and did karaoke to an audience of nobody for 3 hours. Judging by how my head feels this morning, I had a great night.’

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

Iaint850 and I have started snipping at my hair, particularly over the ears.

And so, I was going to finish by explaining that #PatrickThistle, despite being only two points behind Queen of the South with a game in hand and eight games still to go were now to be relegated because Dundee sent a No vote in to the @SPFL (and not the @sfpl) and then, after it arrived, were allowed to change it to Yes. But I won’t.

Watch out for me making the news at the next General Election by casting my vote and then asking to get it out of the ballot box because I’d changed my mind.

And now for this week’s music which, recently, has featured music that means something to me. This goes back to a gig I went to with the blog’s favest librarian j at the Royal Concert Hall about six years ago when Roddy Hart put together an ensemble cast of musicians. There had been rumours that this man would be appearing and he did and his song is one that means so much to me – as did the night itself.

I still cry. Various reasons.