Archive for the ‘Titan Crane’ Category

It’s like you have to be strong for everyone else but they forget to ask if you’re okay.

October 26, 2017

And so dear listener, this week I experienced a feeling I have not experienced for some time but is it right that a man, my age, should experience that feeling. Sorry? Oh, first day nerves, that’s what I mean. I have now seriously started as an SVQ assessor-candidate who is to get assessed as an assessor assessing candidates.

Some people, such as j, seemed to pick it up straightaway but others, like me, have to keep everything in a separate pile in my head and it’s not easy, having piles in your head. 😦

And I don’t think I ever told you, dear listener, what an SVQ assessor does.

NVQ/SVQ assessors help and assess people who are working towards National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) or Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs). In doing so, they make sure that the candidates meet the required standards.

And, yes, that is Copy and Paste. Did you notice? Any questions?

Yes. I am looking forward to yet another new career. In order to get it all on my CV I am now using font size 8.5 and A3 paper. And have I finished yet? What would be nice would be to get my income back up to pre-resignation levels but with the same free time I had before.

And there are some signs that the editing might be kicking off again and my thanks go to the marketing team for their sparkling efforts. 😀

Ah, that lovely word ‘team’. I have met people who say things like ‘there’s no ‘I’ in team.’

To which I reply, ‘Yeah, but there’s a ‘me’.’

But then I’m the kinda guy who criticises the well-known Pavlov’s dogs experiment cos no-one asked the dogs – and to me that’s a fundamental flaw. 🙂

Ah, yes… Last week a couple of photos appeared on Facebook showing the BBC Radio Scotland team who covered the Commonwealth Games of 1986. One photo showed us on our way to the closing night disco (yes, disco – and it may even have been Tom Ferrie who was the deejay) and the other was in the bunker we called home for the fortnight. 🙂

I was a producer and, in addition to everything else, was responsible for putting together a two minute sports news after the main news. With me? And I had a presenter to read it.

Except one night, at about half past ten, I was sitting with a pint in the BBC Club next to the bunker and became aware I had no reporter. I had to do it. And so dear listener, I had the amazing privilege of saying, ‘And now the moment all Scotland has been waiting for….’

And played a piece of tape that was Liz Lynch winning her Gold medal before reading out some results from the shooting at Barry Budden in Angus and then back to the hotel for my second pint of the night. This one well deserved.:D

And as I write this, speaking of matters athletic, I’ve still not heard back about my x-rays of last week. But it has not stopped me walking. One jolly interesting and recent walk was with e and Holly the Dog though the Botanic Gardens and its environs. We helped reunite a young girl with her dad; cheered on some young athletes; and remenisced (sp?) about our pasts and one shop in particular. Anyone who ever lived West-endish in the seventies and a wee bit beyond will remember Goodies – the first ever twenty-four hour dairy I had ever known; pints of milk and chocolate biscuits after two in the morning; a strange woman who seemed to sit in the same seat 24/7; and a very unhygienic cat who sat in the window, seemingly, also for a full day at a time.

Yes, we have Tesco’s in Maryhill and the Asda in Govan – both of which are also twenty-four hours a day but they lack the magic of Goodies. 🙂

And finally, I did go to see George Monbiot – a man with some very interesting ideas. I would have thought it of interest to anyone claiming to have environmental credentials or looking for original thinking. Maybe those who missed it were too busy slagging each other off on Facebook

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

Iaint850, and surely I’m not the only person who still says Bloody Norah.

And I was talking to a friend recently and she was telling me of her recent regular visit to a Costa Coffee Shop (and other chainstore coffee shops are available) and she spotted someone she hadn’t seen for some time.

‘Is everything okay?’ she asked.

‘I’m cutting back on caffeine.’

‘Well there’s plenty of good de-caff stuff out there these days.’

‘No. It’s not that. I just don’t have the money these days.’

This was in a douce, middle class town not that far from Glasgow. I had travelled there by train and before I got the train back to Glasgow I bought a newspaper. The vendor was smiling and whistling. I asked him why he was so cheery.

‘The Tory Party is falling apart at the seams. We’ve got them on the run.’

The two conversations prove nothing except to add to my sadness that so much political debate takes place online by people just shouting at each other. Politics is about real people – not sitting in front of a laptop shouting at people through your keyboard.

Why not help out at a foodbank?

There’s often a single piece of music that you hear on all the radios stations you listen to as part of your regular listening pattern – in my case Radio 1 and Clyde 1 in the car and often Chris Country at home – but often you tire of it. Not this time.

This is Pink and What About Us. Stick with the video. It gives an extra meaning to the song.


It seems odd that, as I sat there all that time ago, talking about this event, I had prostate cancer inside me. I just didn’t know. And it’s not just fundraising, it’s a chance to raise awareness and to get people talking about it (Kenny Jones of the Who and the Faces talking about a different event)

September 6, 2014

And so dear listener, this blog has been an enjoyable write and (hopefully) read over the last few years but it may come to a frightening end next week; I am plunging – screaming – to my certain death into the River Clyde – some of you may know it as abseiling down the 164 foot Titan Crane in Clydebank.

Yes. I’m doing it for charity – Prostate Cancer UK – but that’s not the real reason I’m doing it. I’m doing it cos the gorgeous Dr W gave me it as a birthday present. For the record, she also gave me a bottle of good ginger beer, which is still chilling (listening to Bob Marley), a DVD of Jackass Bad Grandpa (No. No reason) and a radio in the shape of a green water tap….but, yes, she also gave me the abseiling gig.

Some people know a wee bit ‘bout the friendship between me and Dr W and she has taken me to places I never knew existed (No, not those, Skippy – I’m talking about Musselburgh Primary School when she ran the Edinburgh Marathon and Drumlanrig Castle when she ran Tough Mudder – but not those other ones…… [Chinese accountants…must think of Chinese accountants] ) and her role on D-Day has still to be confirmed (D is for death-defying…hopefully).a

Dr W is the catalyst. But to make sure it happens, I needed to do it for charity. And my selected charity is Prostate Cancer UK. Please have a wee look at their site:

About seven years ago I was diagnosed with it and I had it bad – scoring 8 out of 10 on the Gleason Scale which ain’t good. But I was lucky. After millions of tests (finger up bum, mini-cam up penis, what felt and sounded like a staple gun up my bum) they had decided it wasn’t at that time spreading. So I had options – surgery or radiotherapy. Now, if you don’t know what the prostate does, it’s more or less the gland that adds milk to sperm to make semen – kinda life-creating and fun – so I decided to keep it……well you never know.

And I think most listeners know that the only reason I was diagnosed was cos I was seeing my GP regularly having cold-turkeyed (alcohol basically) some six months previously. The distinguished social commentator, Hogan Sinclair, reckons alcohol withdrawal is worse than heroin withdrawal and having watched the later stages of the latter recently I would agree but I’m maybe not the most objective.

But to quantum leap the story……everything worked okay and everything is working okay….seriously……altho’ I may never be invited back to do the money shot in some movies of a certain persuasion (‘invited’? ‘back’?). Hey, quality not quantity, I thought as I had my third tomato of the season so far.

And so having put those things behind me (Aye. Right) I have moved on but I still have a lot to thank the Prostate Cancer for – including an amazing hour’s counselling (from Ann and Doreen) over two years ago that had nothing to do with cancer but helped keep me alive in another way.

They organise information talks, fund research, supply specialist nurses on a dedicated Hotline and peer support amongst other things because this is a serious cancer for men. It kills one man every hour and two of those are in Scotland each day. But it’s a disease that some men won’t discuss or acknowledge – they won’t talk about it. But I will. I am a media tart. [I mean what did I know about John Peel?] STV live or pre-recorded; the Record and the Sun; BBC Radio or Radio Clyde; or local press. And there is no question I will not answer providing I do not reveal personal details about family or anyone else. It’s the same when I’m talking about my alcohol dependency. You’ll notice very few comments at the end of this blog – but they do come in and I do answer them but individually…..or refer them to their GP……

And I help in other ways. It’ll come as no surprise to learn that I was part of the focus group and correspondents for the booklet – Prostate Cancer and your sex life and the section Sex when you’re single – because sometimes it can be very hard (ignore that!) when you want to talk about things. In my early days my cancer buddy was…….well, those listeners who’ve been with me since the beginning will remember her name……

So, yes, I still talk about these things and maybe some of those who tell me I should move on are right – but then the next question is asked or I do an information talk to a Rehabilitation Unit or…….and it’s like when the shout goes and you run up the stairs with keys and the alarm buzzer……but the events of Wednesday night can be told another day…..

Sunday, 14th September is the day currently in my head. Part of me is frightened but then a few weeks the good Dr W and I did the Go Ape around Aberfoyle and it was superb – rank brilliant – and the big thing for us was making sure you listened to the instructor and each of us, a lot of the times, made sure the other was properly buckled and in my case, I shouted ‘3,2,1 Go’ and went. My fear will be in going up the frigging thing and walking along it.

The Justgiving website is

But I’m doing it for two women – Dr W (cos it was a pressie from her and you always want the giver to get some appreciation for the pressie) and my first ever grand-daughter (indeed grand-child) who I will not name for a while – but also for generations of men yet to come (Yes. I chose my word carefully)

Cya, keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? Possibly for the last time ever

Johnt850 – the Danny Dyer of flower giving.

Some music for you