What if I hadn’t missed the last bus? I watched Margo return to her two chums, admiring the rear view as it were, but thoughts did not stray any further than “nice view”… well she was 14 years (and eight days!) younger than me, and she was wearing a wedding ring. Did I not say she was married? Oops, me bad. She was 4 months into her marriage….. by the sixth month the marriage would be over. Anyroads, I finished my beer and I was about to head for the last bus home when Bruce the DJ/QM came over and plonked himself on the stool beside me and asked me if I liked the kinda music that was on my prize….What? Do bears shit in the woods? Does Billy Bunter like cream buns? He bought me a beer and we talked music…. I can do this all night, and then it was now 11pm and I had to go home, I had work at 8am…. I needed to get a taxi, and the taxi rank was at the far end of the Bus Station, so off I toddled. The Bus Station was deserted apart from three people…one was Margo (her » Continue Reading.
….what if a different bus had arrived first? What if I had decided to stay in? What if? We all have seen the film “Sliding Doors”, about how a seemingly random course of events change Gwyneth Paltrow’s character’s life, yes? It is a sunny September Tuesday evening in 1988, and I’m all of 35 years old and I’m waiting to get picked up by my buddy Scott’s wife who will take us both for our weekly game of snooker… a couple of beers, a couple of frames and a laugh, a nice way to pass a school night My phone rings, it’s Scott. His wife’s cat has gone on a walkabout and she is frantic with worry, so Scott has been roped in to lead the (successful) search party, so no snooker for us tonight. What to do? Stay in or go out? I’m suited and booted, so I decide to go out and I walk to the bus stop at the end of the road and catch whatever bus comes first…one goes to the east of the city centre, the other goes to the west, I’m not fussed. It’s the east bus that comes first, so a ten minute » Continue Reading.
I’m retiring in September and I’m heading off to that there Europe before they close the borders on us. I intend to go to London and spend a few days there then off to the mainland, but where? I’ll be alone, I won’t be on a budget, but I’m not looking to travel first class either. I would prefer to travel by train and boat if possible and I would like to include Berlin in my itinerary if possible, but not essential and I’m Amsterdamed out. My thoughts right now are heading East to Berlin the Czech Republic and or Poland and all ports in between. I have unlimited time, but 10 to 14 days would be fine. Any advice on where to go, what to take, tips or advice would be welcome.
Well we are nothing if not a pragmatic bunch, and the vote goes to “lights out”, but….. About four years I was urged to go and see a Tarot Card Lady, a lady that I had never met in my life and whom I knew nothing about and I assumed that she knew nothing about me. Right at the start she said that in order to prove her “credentials” she would tell me things about my past in order to make me trust her predictions about my future. I was more than a tad sceptical, but after a minute of what appeared to be meditation-concentration, off she went. My Granny was apparently in the room at this time. Gimmee a break, please. The Clairvoyant wifie, receiving instructions from Grannie I shouldn’t wonder, then proceeded with her monologue…..amongst other things, she said that I wasn’t allowed to play in the back garden as a kid, I could only play in the front one (true), I was brought up mainly by my Granny (true), my Granny had a big cauldron (true), but all very generic, scenarios that fitted a hundred people in a hundred homes, then…… then she nailed something. She stopped » Continue Reading.
I am 25 days away from being *officially* old aged. What the actual fuck, but there we go, 65 here we come. Thoughts of mortality come with this stuff and thoughts about about what happens to me I when I die. Where do we go? Is there an afterlife or is it just *out go the lights?* Death scares the shit out of me, it really does, and that is one of the reasons, the main reason I think that why I still run… as long as I can run then I am still healthy and alive. Without getting in to deeply to the religion thingy, what do YOU think happens to you when you die? Lights out, or the Happy Ever After?
I was brought up and went to school in a remote town in the West Highlands of Scotland. How remote? Well, we like to boast that we are the “nearest town to nowhere, furthest town town from everywhere,” and the nearest point of civilisation is Oban, which is eight days travel by sledge away. Anyway, what it means is that the wee boy shaking in the seat next to you in day one primary one is the same big boy that is telling you how he got “double tops” from Big Mary behind the bike shed last night 11 years later as you all await to see whether your exam grades are good enough to get yourself out of here and up to university in the BIg City. Any Big City. However lifelong friendships are forged through shared childhood and teenage experiences, and y’know, you get to love those guys and gals…… Lets go back to the summer of 1970 and we are all entering our sixth year… and rumour has starting to spread that one of our gang is missing… we’ll call her Louise. Louise at 16 has only done and got herself pregnant by a guy she met » Continue Reading.
I think we did this a few years ago in the old place, but there has been a lot of newbies join since then so we may get some new ones. I was in convo with an Afterworder earlier today on a completely unrelated topic when I was reminded of this story. My chum Ian regularly works for the Scottish Professional Golfer’s Association (SPGA) at the Scottish Open and also the (British) Open when it is held in Scotland. They work for sod all but get to *mingle* and see some free golf. They have a good time. One year the Open was at Carnoustie, and Ian was looking after the VIP car park. He was manning the barrier type thing when up rolls Colin Montgomerie in his car. Now my chum (who I should add was then in his 40’s and a fairly wealthy man, he just loved this wee sideline he had) was well aware of who the driver was, but he asked the Scotsman anyway “Name?” Montgomerie rolled down the car window and said “Colin Fucking Montgomerie.” Ian made a great palaver of looking through the list of accredited names on his A4 clipboard for a minute » Continue Reading.
Let’s face it, you have a 365/1 chance of sharing your birthday with someone famous…I got Bryan Robson, Mary J Blige, Jamie Vardy and a zillion trillion others..who cares? But who was born on the same date as you, in the same year? 11th January 1953, me & John Sessions were born. So far I win. Can you do better?
I’m not sure whether this will be of any interest to anyone on here, but it is a wee story that is going to be published in a local magazine in its next issue. As it is for local publication, it is a bit heavy on people and places that most folk around here will relate to, and this this is the edition I have sent to the editor, so hopefully any errors of spooling and punc;tu:ation will be fixed by him.
1968, the year after the Summer Of Love, and I was 15. It was a sunny summer in Kintyre, and my friend Malcolm Kelly and I were both milk-boys for Bill Davidson at Kirk Street Dairies, and we both had other jobs…for me it was cycling out to Stewarton, Drumremble and Macrihanish every Sunday to deliver the Sunday Post, and for Malcolm it was cleaning the grates and laying the fires in the council offices up at Witchburn, so we had plenty of free time and most important, we had money to spend! Happy days! A lot of our time was spent on the public tennis courts down where the playpark opposite TESCO’s is now, and we » Continue Reading.
So after the events of June 8th, is independence cause dead in Scotland? I do not think so, but it has been grieviously wounded that is for sure and tho’ the party faithful will still point to the fact that the SNP got more seats and more votes than all the other parties combined, it was a pyrrhic victory, no doubt about that. Compared to the 2015 GE, the total votes cast for the SNP fell by nearly 480,000 and they lost 21 seats in total, and as a party they lost 13 percentage points of the total vote, the biggest in the UK by far and a colossal amount to drop in two years. More damaging perhaps to the cause tho’ is the loss of their two best politicians, Angus Robertson, the Deputy Leader of the SNP, the SNP House of Commons spokesperson and a politician of consummate skill and also Mr Marmite himself, ex First Minister Alec Salmond. So why did it come to this? Who is to blame? Before I get to that, you need to understand the hegemony of the Scottish National Party. There is a triumvirate at the top…First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Education Minister (and » Continue Reading.
I’m for him, and he really really couldn’t do much worse than his predecessors, could he?
I am that rarest of beasts, a Scotsman that supports Engerlund when they appear at any major final, only to be disappointed (not overly tho’) when they make a pigs ear of it when they get there. There have been many false dawns since 1966, not least the “Golden Generation” of 2006, but this time I think they really really have a chance to win… The Spanish and Germans are on the wane, the Dutch aren’t there, the Belgians are overrated, the Italians anonymous and the French.. well they always fold when the pressure is on, don’t they? And Engerlund have some cracking young players. But after the performance against Portugal, I’m now not so sure, and it is Hodgson’s fault. Let me explain. It was the last warm up game before the finals, and what an donkey’s arse of a team he put out. Three #9s…. one that scored in what seemed to be 300 consecutive games in the Premier League was played as a left winger and had precisely zero touches -yep, not one-in the Portuguese box. Another, the best centre forward that England have had since Shearer IMO, played as a right winger and had two touches » Continue Reading.
Just an annoyance as opposed to a real problem, but I’m bloody annoyed! I own a shop and I have been dealing with a local supplier for six years now and they were recently bought over by a multi national company who have without notice or consultation completely changed my terms and conditions to ones that are less favourable to me. The solution for me is simple, I’ll just stop dealing with them, but can they do this legally? I know for example that TUPE regulation exist to protect employees from changes to their contract, but in this situation? It will be an inconvenience for a while until I find a new supplier that deals with the things that they supply, but meantime it’s a nuisance. Any solutions out there?
What if the council had allocated that nice Mr Davies the basement flat in Acacia Gardens rather than the two bedroomed second floor flat in Dead End Street? What if…..?
During last September’s referendum, I along with a substantial majority of my countrymen voted “NO” to independence and to stay in the Union. That folks, should have been that. But no, not a chance, for what we have had since then is an outpouring of bile and vitriol from the SNP supporters claiming that the vote was corrupt, the media was biased, the BBC was anti Scottish, Cameron, Milliband, Brown et al lied etc etc etc. The SNP do not do grace, they are indeed nippy little fuckers. Since then their braveheart bandwagon has gathered impetus, fuelled by idiotic internet sites and forums, stoking up anti English and establishment sentiment (freedom from the oppressors!) so successfully that now one in 50 Scottish person is now a member of the SNP, a tenfold increase in membership in the last year. Now we have a General Election coming up, and it is forecast that the SNP will garner some 40 something seats of the 59 available, wiping out Labour in Scotland, and the whole independence shebang will start again. “Ah well, that’s a problem for you Jocks” my British friends may think. Not so. Regardless who gets into power in May, the » Continue Reading.
Yep, the legendary tub thumper of Fife’s finest beat combo, The Skids visited my shop again last week. What, I hear you say, was he in for? A bottle of Moet and some Bulgarian caviare? Nah, he is now a driver’s mate for a retail supply company that operates out of Dunfermline. Sadly not for him the trappings of retired rock royalty with a mock tudor and a regular gig on the nostalgia circuit and endless royalties, but a steady though low paid job… “need to pay the rent Geach”…… but he has no regrets. Toured with the Clash, TOTP, groupies, substances on tap, he was a bona fide rock star if only for a couple of years. Which is a couple of years more than me. Who next? KD Lang delivering the mail? Bill Nelson dropping off the milk of a morning? Mick Abrahams coming to read my electricity meter? Have any of the you guys met any *rock stars* after the thrill had gone and after they ditched the glitter/stack heel boots/safety pins/tiedye tshirt for more mundane attire? Over to you.