Monday, 29 December 2008

Just a branch of science

Now we're on the countdown to the New Year. Wednesday night will be another hogmanay and another new year will dawn. We'll be spending ours in Glasgow at a nice Chinese restaurant and then a night at a hotel on Charing Cross. Makes a change from Paris I suppose.
Boxing night was good fun with the majority of the family gathering in Chapelton. The Reids, Sloans and Taylors came together with a few other friends and family to play, eat, drink and generally be merry. Playing involved a game called Partini which Ka and myself had bought Patricia and Tommy for Chrimbo. Patricia and Tommy immediately got the game open on receival and ran through the rules, sussing it out the best they could. The whole room was then put through an introductory game which was only getting warmed up when the winners were announced an hour or so later after reshaping play-doe, humming pop tunes to team mates, throwing balls at cups and listening to complicated sounding riddles. We then had a less complicated general knowledge quiz comprising of six rounds organised by my good self but only read directly from a giant quiz book. This was the best I could manage at short notice. I should know by now to turn up at these parties with a quiz set aside, just in case. The Boxing night quiz was mostly always my job when I was younger, from about the age of ten (or earlier maybe - I'm not sure). Half the assembled then made their way home leaving the stragglers to to gather around the stone table in the centre of the living room as Lynsey Ann fell asleep on the couch and James talked to his friends on Facebook via my Mum and Dad's PC for a couple of games of cards, Chaz acting as the main dealer. After someone else won (I wasn't paying enough attention) we made our way home in a hackney cab, my Dad, unsurprisingly, realising he knew the cab driver just as we were about to set off. My Dad must know approximately a quarter of East Kilbride's taxi driving population. He seem's to have played football with a good number of them. Some of them recognising myself and other members of the family on other occasions, knowing a Reid when they see one. I'm not sure whether it's the high foreheads, the silver/grey hair, the nose, the chin or a combination of them all. The Reid gene. Unfortunately I never really inherited the football side of the gene. The taxi drivers seem to nod knowingly when you jump into a taxi and introduce themselves as a football field position and a story about my Dad, an Uncle or my Granpa and are usually disappointed when I can barely hold a conversation on football together.
Woke up the next morning and was surprised to discover I had the Setanta channel until the 29th. Quite handy considering it was the Old Firm game. Sat and watched the second half of the match, seeing McDonald score for the celts. I doubted Rangers would be eating fast food that night. Afterwards we headed to the gym to run off some of the beer comsumed the night before. Ka and myself then relaxed for the rest of the day, taking a short break from Christmas get togethers by catching up on some chrimbo tv before heading back over to Uddingston on Sunday afternoon for another family meal, this time to meet Colin's new girlfriend, Gillian and two of the family friends, Roy and Tom. Roy, a jolly little fellow whom Dougie worked with up until he retired a few months back and Tom, a retired plumber with an exquisitely combed head of hair. Too exquisite, if you get my meaning. It was the first time Ka and myself met Colin's new girlfriend and she turned out to be very nice, friendly and, Ka was relieved to say, good enough to go out with oor Colin. I know what it's like to be the outsider in the McGarva household so I sympathised with the girl. Kidding aside, I had no need to, of course, as Dougie and Grace are always the most welcoming and generous of people, always going out of their way to make you feel at home. Except when it comes to scooshy cream. Dougie does not like you using his scooshy cream. On one of my first visits to the McGarva household for dinner, my cards were marked when I overstepped the mark with the scooshy cream when it came to dessert time. Ever since that day, at the third course, I've had the strange feeling of being watched, like a hawk, eyes boring into me, as I've made a move for the whipped cream.

Friday, 26 December 2008

Tabs, shelves and loop-de-loops

Christmas Day is over once again. Boxing Day now and I'm back in the flamin' office putting a Paisley newspaper together. Hopefully won't be hanging around for too long though.
Another enjoyable Christmas Day yesterday, even though I stayed sober for driving duties. Not that I was desperate for a drink or anything. Sometimes you just feel slightly left out when everyone's enjoying a glass of wine with their dinner and you're on the Shloer or the Irn-Bru. Enjoyed breakfast in Chapelton with Mum, Dad, Lynsey-Ann and Kenny. Mum and Dad serving smoked salmon and scrambled eggs accompanied by a celebratory glass of buck's fizz. Afterwards the usual exchange of presents with christmas carols ringing out from the tinny radio in the kitchen in between music on the living room stereo from Duffy and The Killers. Mum and Dad spoiled us again. Amongst other things they bought me a rather impressive amp and speakers for my Mac. At least I think it's an amp of some sort. Will need to check it out when I get home. Not bad at all. Uncle Jim and James, my cousin from London, arrived a little later, each greeted with a bottle of beer, just in time for photos, much to Jim's displeasure. Leaving everyone around two, Ka and myself then headed over to Uddingston for dinner with Dougie, Grace and Colin. After a quick game of guess who - involving sticking notes to each others foreheads and waiting for obvious clues - we sat down to dinner. After dinner the McGarva's went outside for a quick chat with the neighbours which ended in Grace getting Dougie's shoes covered in dog sh*t. Needless to say Dougie was not too chuffed and the first Chrimbo arguements ensued. Colin claimed it had been the neighbour's dog, Megan, as she was now old and finding it difficult to control herself, leaving her deposits in their front garden more often. Must have been one hell of a poo as Dougie was shouting about it being all over his laces. We were all laughing about it later, of course. Once that was concluded we then headed up to Bellshill for Supper at Ka's sisters. Angela, Morgan and Steven were waiting patiantly at the window when I taxi'd the first lot of McGarva's up to their drive. Steven cooked us a splendid buffet while Morgan entertained us with her new guitar, yelled at us for a few hours, ordered Colin and myself to build her new game, the classic Mouse Trap, and then eventually got grumpy with tiredness. The Mouse Trap was a lot more complicated to build than I remember what with all the tabs and elastic bands. Lynsey Ann owned it when we were young and I couldn't remember it being as difficult to set up as it was last night, and I was sober. Eventually got it built and ready to go just in time for Morgan to head for bed. Determined to get some use out of it I ended up playing the game with Grace. The loop-de-loop never worked. Something must have went wrong in the construction process. The ball bearing was not gathering enough speed to go right round the loop track. Grace ended up winning the game by a whole four peices of cheese. Damn that loop-de-loop. It wasn't as good as it used to be. The game's design had changed and was, as a result, flawed. Gone are the bathtub and rickety staircase. Now there are wonky shelving, a toy box and the loop-de-loop. They don't make 'em like they used to. We finished the night on the Wii, on the Mario Kart, laughing at Ka fail to navigate the mushrooms with the Wii's excellent cordless steering wheel and Grace's difficulty in performing a U-turn without burning her tyres against a fence. Ka and myself then headed off home, collapsing in a heap as we got in through the flat's front door.
This morning I left Ka snuggled up in bed whilst I forced myself out again to get into the office for ten, managing only ten past ten. Work will then be followed by the Boxing Night gathering tonight where I will have a wee beer, finally.

Thursday, 25 December 2008

It's Chriiiiiiiissstmas!

Happy Christmas, one and all!

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Christmas and the walking dead

Christmas Eve and I am sitting in the office flicking through editorial pictures as there does not seem to be much else to do. Band Aid has just started ringing out from the small radio behind me tuned into Real radio. Gary is flying his remote control helicopter around the office, Linda is watching Will Ferrell's Elf on the email monitor, Paul is shouting about something and Anna is quietly reading whilst waiting on Barry sending through more pages in their journey to the printers. Everyone just seems to be looking forward to the moment we all leave for the day, some for the weekend.
It was a foggy start this morning. A grey layer of cloud hanging low over the fields and trees at the rear of Calderwood, shrouding the back entrance to Calderglen Park. It may well be a very grey Christmas if not a white one. All presents are wrapped though and preparations made for the few days ahead. A time of sharing and giving, putting up with relatives you wouldn't normally have to see during the week, another Two Ronnies repeat, eating giant amounts of turkey and the kids of the family jumping around like lunatics and making insane amounts of noise. Gargantuan turkeys. I remember my Mum used to make massive turkeys for Christmas dinner. Birds that could barely fit in the oven, and that was after the loss of a head and feet. I used to wonder on which far off Lost World they produced such turkeys. The amount of stuff the kids get now is crazy. Ka has one niece and we've, partly inadvertantly, got her a whole bag of stuff! We were all spoiled as kids but the kids these days just seem to get so much more. It kind of stretches the credibility of there being a real Santa to the absolute limits. Do kids still actually believe Santa brings everything to their house by magic sleigh? What Ka's niece got last year would have filled two sleighs and he would have needed more than eight reindeer to pull that lot. Santa on an articulated lorry does not quite have the same Christmassy romanticism about it, no matter how much the Coca Cola adverts try. I remember going through a phase of trying to stay awake and catch Santa at it, at the bottom of my bed. When I say at it, I mean filling my sock with toys of course. My head propped up by my pillow, a torch at my side waiting for the bedroom door to open so I could quickly blast his face full of light when he crept into the room. Of course, it would never work. You'd always be asleep by about half four in the morning. Then, when you woke up at six, he would have been and gone and the house would spring into action. Or some of the house sprung anyway. I would always wonder why my parents were like the walking dead the next day, watching us open our presents with their eyes slowing closing, heads lolling and then snapping them open again and forcefully sitting themselves up straight. Collapsing later in the day immediately after consuming the dinner which my Mum had just managed to stay awake over the hobs to produce. We'd usually be left playing with our new pressies as the old yins slept infront of the telly. One Christmas you could barely hear the telly due to my then Uncle's snoring. He was asleep on the dining table at the back of the living room, hoovering up the tail ends of the back curtains with his nose, a yellow paper hat tilted over his eyes. That was before he'd even had any kids of his own. He had no excuse except from that massive turkey breast perhaps. I'd always wonder why the parents would last till five or six in the morning at the traditional Reid's Boxing Night party but barely last till five in the evening on Christmas Day.
It will be good to see the family over Chrimbo though, do some catching up. Dinner at the in laws tomorrow and then on to Ka's sister's place. Unfortunately I'll be driving but maybe that's a good thing as on Boxing Day I'll be back in the office for a while. After work I'll then be heading off to the Reid Boxing Night party. Where there will be quizzes, drinking and more eating. Better get back in that gym on Saturday.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Shadow Laureate

SONG IN SPACE
When man first flew beyond the sky
He looked back into the world's blue eye.
Man said: What makes your eye so blue?
Earth said: The tears in the ocean do.
Why are the seas so full of tears?
Because I've wept so many thousand years.
Why do you weep as you dance through space?
Because I am the mother of the human race.


Adrian Mitchell
24.10.32 - 20.12.08

Monday, 22 December 2008

The magic touch

Christmas is fast approaching, more so now after our weekend of excess involving much drink and food. Ka and myself hosted our now traditional Christmas Party on Saturday night and it was a enjoyable success. The first few hours were split with the blokes in the kitchen and the women in the living room. As the night went on, however, things relaxed as they always do, especially with a little help from my own Chrimbo quiz and Ka's Pass the parcel. Yep, pass the parcel. I controlled the music while the four oddly shaped parcels spun around the room behind me. Eileen seemed slightly disappointed after she excitedly unwrapped her big rude looking long present to find a large Scotland pen bought from the local pound shop. Claire won the musical Christmas mug, which had stopped being musical at the time of wrapping but somehow came back to life with Claire's magic touch. The jagermeister also made a long awaited return. Approximately five years ago I bought a bottle in America and have been trying to finish it ever since. It is now kept in a low kitchen cupboard among some other vials and potions. Iain was quite impressed when I produced the large green bottle from the low kitchen cupboard, blowing the dust from it's glass shell. Together with Martin and Steven we immediately drank to each others health. Apparently it's good for medicinial purposes - the digestive system and throat infections. It also has a tendency to get you drunk - fast. The Four Fandangoes team won the Quiz, storming ahead easily by at least ten points. Everyone did fail to answer the last question correctly. What christmas symbolic item is currently being investigated as a possible cure for cancer? Three imaginative answers came from each of the three teams for this one. Frankinsense, Myrrh and Tinsel. The three teams kidding on they were the three wise men. Well, two of them anyway... but then maybe the third wise man had taken gold tinsel to the stable, all those years ago, with the intention of decorating the manger or the stable? Trecking all that way from the Eastern lands with a pile of gold would have surely been pretty tiring. The three trekkers were also, obviously, astronomers as they followed the mysterious star. Either that or they were following a UFO. The same UFO on which the baby arrived. Perhaps from Krypton. Anyway, the correct answer was, of course, Mistletoe which, it turns out, is actually prescribed in Europe. Drunken quizzes are usually quite fun with all the weird and wonderful answers you get, but marking them whilst slightly inebriated yourself is pretty difficult, especially trying the read the drunken hieroglyphics scrawled down on paper. How Les Dawson managed all those years on Blankety Blank I'll never know. I doubt he'd been drinking jagermeister though.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Road rageous

After an early morning call from a Virgin Television man yesterday (we have more than 5 channels again) we drove out to the Silverburn shopping Centre in Pollockshaws. Our mission, which we chose to accept, was to complete the Christmas shopping. On arriving at Silverburn I was surprised to find it quite posh. I had been expecting yet another run-of-the-mill shopping centre but ended up quite impressed by it's enormous high ceilings, nicely designed walking areas, seating and designer shop fronts. There certainly was not going to be any Bargain Books or Poundlands in here. There was, however, the usual discorteous shoppers, elbowing, shoving, and marching without any form of consideration or the ability of moving slightly to the side to evade a collision. That job seemed solely down to me. It was like a game of chicken, except instead of sitting in the front of a car, or tractor if you've had the pleasure of seeing Footloose, you were on foot and up against either a woman with a pram, a yuppy dressed for the catwalk or just one of the many ignorant people that flock these department stores. Later in the day, after leaving the joys of Silverburn for the local EK centre, I had a near miss with an old women in one of those mobility scooters. Honestly, they have been the worst thing introduced to the pensioner race in a long time. Sure, great for the less able to get about in but when it comes to the older woman i think the power goes to some of their heads. They get completely road rageous (a new term, in case you had not guessed). They seem to have it in for those of us that still walk on two feet. Some of these older folk belt up through the shops, with little use of the brakes like a speeding Davros, assuming everyone will simply move out of their way. Which, of course, people do, but not before annoying some other pedestrian behind them or accidentally nudging into someone at their side. After my encounter this particular old woman sped by and nearly ran over two little girls who were between two parents. The old woman fought the urge to press her brake but in the end just had to surrender. The two girls frozen on the spot and merely inches from her front wheels once the scooter had ceased skidding. The old woman sat for those few moments glaring at the girls testily, as the parents were forced to split their unit and rejoin on the other side of the scooter.
Anyway, after fighting the Chrimbo crowds we managed to finish the present buying and returned to base and that should be that. We are now organised for Christmas... In a week's time it will all be over again. Looking forward to seeing slightly distant members of the clan again and doing some catching up with friends.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Pantos, pakora and peanuts

Our tree is up and the Christmas stench flows freely in the flat. Yes, on friday night we carried out the strange tradition of installing a cold, wet, smelly fir tree into the middle of our living room and decorating it with beads and baubles. Our wee flat now feels officially 'christmasy'. We helped welcome it with a wee bottle of wine. Maybe it was the wine that helped with the 'christmasiness'.
The next morning I was driving up to Chapelton on Saturday morning when I witnessed one of the most stupid examples of driving I've ever seen in my life. Driving up St Leonards Road, towards the roundabout at the Bonnie Prince Charlie pub, there was a row of traffic coming off the roundabout up ahead and heading down towards me on the other side of the road (nothing surprising there). As I approached the junction for Morrishall Road on my right, a car speeds up to the junction and decides to refrain from braking. Not only does he go straight out on to the road infront of the oncoming traffic, driving down from the roundabout, but he decides to drive into their side of the road, belting straight into the unfortunate car, at the front of the line of vehicles, head on. Both cars thudded to a halt as I drove past. It was a moment of sheer disbelief, almost incomprehension, for me as I'd never actually seen a car accident happen, never mind such blatant stupidity on the road. As the drivers of each car moved to leave their vehicles I drove on safe in the knowledge they would sort their little bang out between them (perhaps with more little bangs involving fists and faces). Sure enough, on my way back down from Chapelton, a police van was parked on the kerb where the cars had been, with its side door slid open and two busy policemen leaning in, obviously talking away to someone, hopefully breathalising them.
Afterwards it was a slightly less eventful drive into Glasgow's West End to see Colin, Ka's brother, in his latest Panto extravaganza. Colin works for a travelling theatre group and on Saturday morning he was performing with the group in the Kelvin Stevenson Memorial Church, just off Great Western Road, with their take on Jack and the Beanstalk. After having built up a bit of a thirst on the drive in, I tried to take a carton of juice and a packet of crisps from the entrance table at the front door as we bought our tickets. Unfortunately the stubborn old ticket woman stopped me saying the free juice and crisps were for the kids only. As I tried to persuade her with money Ka ushered me away hurriedly. We sat down in a large empty hall with the stage set out infront of us, surrounded by empty chairs. It did not look good and I was beginning to think I would be shouting at Widow Twanky on my own, without any crisps or juice. However, with only five minutes before the start, families and kids started flocking in and within moments, every seat around us was taken, most of the kids gathering on the dusty, wooden floor at the front in eager expectation, munching their crisps and drinking their juice. As I suddenly noticed a few parents with juice of their own the production began and Colin and his band jumped out on to stage, shouting, yelling and singing. For me, Colin's best performance was as Daisy, Jack's man sized, two legged cow, but he also played the Giant, that lived in the Castle at the top of the Beanstalk, a role that best suited his stature and loud voice. Afterwards he approached us and after a few words with his sister he looked at me accusingly and shouted 'You weren't doing any of the actions!'. A little taken aback, I stammered something defensively about how I had been singing and clapping enthusiastically. If I'd had a juice and a packet of crisps I might have been more eager to participate in the song actions. On the way out the church hall the old lady at the door gave us a cheery goodbye. I humpfed in response.
Saturday night arrived and Ka dolled herself up and ventured into Hamilton for her work night out with the girls, so Chaz and myself decided to head out for a carry out, to the Atrium, where the owner talked us into taking a table. The place was packed with Christmas nights out of all shapes and sizes. After waiting a few moments he sat us upstairs beside three large tables of drunken workers scoffing pakora, unwrapping secret santas and spitting lager into each others meals as they talked. The dreaded Karaoke soon started up on the temporary dance floor downstairs and before we knew it the drunken workers were all singing the same old songs that karaoke singers usually sing - you know, Sinatra, Neil Diamond etc. Nothing vaguely original like, say, Orbison. So Chaz and myself headed into Glasgow for a drink witnessing a massive brawl, on the way, in the middle of Argyle Street with a large bunch of Glasgow neds. Unbelievable. Makes you wonder why you stay in Scotland. Neds, alcohol and violence. All in a good night out. Anyway, Bunker was, as always, busy and Chaz and myself mused over women and how they think(that old chestnut!), Bill Paxton movies, Apparitions(the BBC series that's on at the moment), Christmas, New Year and hotels to take y'er woman. Afterwards we headed back to fetch Ka, Gillian and Louisa from Hamilton, the latter two hitching a lift to Ek's Centre Point. For some insane reason they continue to spend money going into that place.
Morven, Sean and Leo visited us yesterday for dinner, travelling up from Hawick. Ka and myself arrived home from the gym with only half an hour to get ready for them coming only to find them sitting on the doorstep waiting on us. We welcomed them in, still in our sweaty gym gear, quickly kicking away any newspapers lying about the living room and throwing the drying clothes hanging from doors into the bedroom. Unfortunately Leo spent the first hour moaning until I presented him with two bowls of peanuts. One Bombay mix and one salted. This helped cheer him up considerably and he took up position at the side of the coffee table, munching away. I was not sure about the way he was eyeing me suspiciously if I reached out to take any myself. Considering they were my nuts I thought this quite rude really. I'll let him off this once though, as it's almost Christmas and he was just recovering from a flu. There's also the fact he's only three... Shouldn't be an excuse though. Flamin' youngsters. Coming into this world and getting all our crisps, nuts and juice. Without so much as a by-your-leave. Do they have the right? Ageism that's what it is!

Friday, 12 December 2008

Don't look back in anger

Enjoyed Chris Moyles' show on Radio 1 this morning. On Friday morning he talks less and plays more, playing great tunes from years gone by, chosen by him and his team. Whilst driving to work I was pleasantly surprised when he played Sleeper?! The small, britpop band from the early to mid nineties fronted by the superbly beautiful Louise Wener (slightly unfortunate name there). My first ever proper gig back on the 26th May 1996. At least, I think that's when it was. The first of many, and the first visit to the Glasgow Barrowlands too. Chaz, Colin and myself being successfully crushed, battered and bruised in the rocking Glasgow crowd. It was absolutely mental and I'm pretty sure we were lucky to survive. The sheer pain involved I don't think has ever been surpassed at any gig since. U2 at Murrayfield in 1997 came close though. At the beginning of the Popmart gigs the band would march down an avenue cutting through the crowd, fencing off the fans at either side with waist high, metal barricades. My stomach was pressed up against one of these barricades by the 50,000 people behind me. Not pleasant. I'm surprised I did not crack a rib in that crowd as I managed to stay up against the front of that barricade for the majority of the concert, up ahead of the others who suffered behind. Great gig though considering it was a fairly middling point in U2's excellent career. It's about time we had some new material from them. Going back to Britpop, we heard yesterday Blur are getting back together again for some special gigs next year. Always liked Blur but for some reason opted for Oasis in my younger, foolish, days when the whole Blur v Oasis Britpop war was going on. When Blur grew more experimental with their tunes I definately started liked them more and more, their sound moving away from traditional Britpop and maneuvering into more electronic, atmospheric art rock with the '13' album and 'Think Tank'. Something Oasis have never done. They've stuck firmly to the good old strumming and whining routine most of the time. However, I have to admit to almost liking Oasis' new tunes that are getting the airplay at the moment. After 'What's the Story Morning Glory' I mostly lost interest with them, revisiting them briefly with the 'Heathen Chemistry' album a few years back but again, not paying much attention following that. A band that have had definite flashes of brilliance in their music over the years but have suffered terribly with ego problems. That was always a Manchester thing though wasn't it? The Stone Roses were the same. Egos the size of Manchester itself. Liking the new tunes from Snow Patrol and the excellent Killers. Not sure what the new Killers' Song lyrics are all about ('Are we human or are we dancers'?) but who cares, U2 and Oasis have got away with shoddier than that (not that the two of them are in any way alike). You'd have a field day in a shoddy lyrics competition with Oasis.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Fighting the humbug

Gran is in the Christmas mood. Whether she likes it or not. Early afternoon, after posting the last of our Christmas cards, I visited my Gran. Poor Gran is not in the best of shape at the moment but I did manage to talk her into helping her put her Christmas decorations up around the wee house. After a bit of a huff and a puff she grudgingly agreed and before I knew it I was up a shoogily ladder pulling the small, artificial electric tree down from the cold darkness of the loft. She had also bought a funky plastic Christmas star recently which eerily glows different colours as it hangs. It looked more like something that had fallen from Krypton and would be more likely to guide Superman home rather than three kings. I want one. After Christmasising (okay, there's no such word!) the place I left happy in the knowledge that my Gran would no longer be sitting in a humbug state as she had been before. Saying all this, of course, Ka and myself do not even have a tree to speak of yet. Tomorrow I'll no doubt be dropping round the old B & Q for a nice fresh Norwegian Fir as soon as I get out of work. Nothing beats a nice real tree sitting in your living room stinking the place up with it's nice pine odour. Gives you that Christmas high... I'm just getting carried away now.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Mind bloggling

It is always surprising to read messages from folk that say they enjoy reading your blog or in my case, diary, or even, to give it it's official, perhaps slightly ostentatious title, 'journal'. This is my 100th post and I never once thought I would get this far. The whole experience of writing life's thoughts, happenings, meetings and conversations has actually turned out to be more fun than I thought, even though I'm certainly not documenting anything particularly spectacular. Then again, that depends how you define 'spectacular' I suppose... Everyone's ideas of 'spectacular' are very different. The fact I've kept this up is spectacular in itself perhaps. Looking back, I reckon it was hitting the grand old age of thirty that did it. On the event of the birthday I think I panicked as I could not remember where the last thirty years had gone and what the hell I had done with them. There was school, school, uni then work. But what happened inbetween, and during, come to mention it? Where does it all go? Where did it all whizz off to? They say life is fleeting but this is ridiculous. In the beginning I reckon this was all an effort to try and document something... anything?! Together with the odd rant, review and other extraneous thoughts thrown in for good measure, of course, I discovered what this blogging thing is all about.
When I first activated my own website (www.reidnet.org.uk) I had the intention of using it as an online portfolio, which I still use it for, but also as a place for family folk and mates to hang out. I engineered a messageboard for it, with much difficulty at the time, which only a few folk ended up using, usually arguing. This made it considerably pointless. That's where I went wrong. It was not a messageboard I wanted but a proper writing blog. A much better, easier way of saying something online. Okay, Bebo, Myspace and all these other online communities are great at that but more often than not you get a whole bunch of emails from complete weirdos, who you don't know from adam, asking you to be their friends. People sitting at home, on their computers, jumping with glee when they hit the fifty friend mark (or whatever friend amount would make you jump with glee). I'm not particularly interested in what celebrity I may or may not look like, adopting a computer generated duck or what kind of alcoholic drink I would be. Well, okay, the alcoholic drink I'm curious about, but usually I'm quite happy to just sit and type. This blog has been great in talking to folk on other blogs, some on other countries, reading other peoples' writing, getting inspiration, ideas, motivation and generally gaining a better way of exploring the web. In short, I'm having fun writing on this journal, whether people read it or not.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Liver damage

Semi successful little trip into Glasgow yesterday for the S&UN Christmas Dinner, hosted by Óran Mór. Started off well with a few pints along Great Western Road with Gareth and his mate Gav, meeting a hairdresser named Joe along the way, another of Gareth's best mates who it turns out is cousin to Claire, of Claire and Martin fame. This fact I realised when faced with Joe the hairdresser's receptionist - Claire's Auntie Maureen. All very confusing but another one of these weird 'it's a small world' instances which we encounter so often in our fleeting little lives. Anyway after that, window shopping at the book shops and considering the purchase of a rather skinny looking Santa outfit in the local Shelter shop we met up with the rest of the S&UN crew and enjoyed our dinner. For starter I tried the pigeon. Something I've never eaten before, and probably something I'll never eat again but an interesting (only as it was 'different') menu choice all the same. Some diners perhaps inspired by the final of the dreadful 'I'm a Celebrity' tv programme the night before. Pointing out that pigeons are not quite the same as camel testicles I quickly shut up in case I put someone off their dinner. Creamy Chicken John spent some time wondering where they got their pigeons. Maybe the restaurant hired a tall, thin cackling man with twirling black moustache and a complaining mutt to snatch them in stupidly small aeroplanes from in and around George Square. Matters did not improve when people started comparing it to eating liver. Never eaten liver. Quite frankly, liver has always been as appealing to me as camel testicles. However, I have had a nice chianti before... ssssisisisissssss.
Talking of eating flesh, for main I had a lovely sirloin steak, cooked to perfection. No chianti with it though. As always with these company outings/meals some of us ended up paying more than what was originally planned. This was partly due to some pregnant women complaining about how they never drank anything, wanting special treatment when it came to tally up time discounting the fact some of us were paying over the odds for the two course option. Flamin' pregnant women. It was their own choice to get pregnant and stay sober not the rest of us. Why should we have to overcomplicate the bill payment just because they've got one in the oven? In the end they got a fiver back each. Whoopee! Don't spend it all at once girls! How long will that feed y'er screaming wean for eh?
Afterwards we retired to the general bar area and had too much to drink over various conversations including baby name calling, David Bowie's pianist (not penis Anna), how George Lucas should not be allowed to make movies himself, kilts, tartans, the Red Hot Chilli Pipers and Latvian Wonder women amongst other things which I probably have absolutely no hope in remembering until Wednesday, at the earliest. Even now, late on Sunday evening, after having regained my full senses after the damage and trauma from the alcohol abuse the night before, I cannot fully remember what the hell I was jabbering to folk about all night. I do, quite definately remember the bus journey home though, as the No.20 took the longest time ever to crawl up to Calderwood. Moving slower than walking pace at times and at others playing whacky races with the taxis. Gawd, how I wish I could afford the taxis! Maybe I should have went to George Square to see if any of those small aeroplanes were buzzing about.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Wall street

The Street Art Awards Party 2008 was held last night in London. An awards exhibition of artwork produced solely on the dirty brick walls, grimy, dark underpasses or the sides of tall buildings of the streets throughout the country. Banksy is of course the most 'commercial' and recognisable of these rebellious, vigilante type artists but these awards showcase so much other really impressive artwork and show that it, as a true artform, is getting more and more exposure and appreciation. The works of Adam Neate, Conor Harrington, Replete and Guy Denning are particular favourites of mine. The colour, vibrancy and sheer dynamism in their images is really amazing. Guy Denning is another who is featured in the online exhibition having become involved in Bristol. He is largely more famous for his portrait work and paintings but obviously still has a major following in the urban art scene there. His work combines collage and painting fusing colours, characters and messages together with powerful emotions, his subjects often screaming or twisting in movement. Adam Neate is another who is slightly more conceptual in his approach who, after finding canvas too pricey, started painting on cardboard, material and bascially any old shit left lying about the streets. He is now an internationally recognised artist after being approached by the National Gallery and having his work sold at Sothebys in London. Moving away from the portrait like images by looking at the likes of Replete's work, you can quickly tell the inspiration and styles he has picked up through his computer graphic animation. Though this style is perhaps a little more 'conventional' for street art it's impact and sheer volume cannot be lost on the viewer taking you into another world as you stroll down the street for a pint of milk. Fantastic stuff. If only i lived in London. There seems to be so much more of it down there. Unfortunately Glasgow does not have much in the way of Street Art except from the occasional cartoon willy. The most urban art in Glasgow I've seen has usually been around the Kelvinbridge area but even then it was pretty minimal and certainly no Denning or Banksy. Maybe there's a career opening for someone there..?

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

With scarf and spade

Winter is most definately here with ice covering the roads and the outside temperature near dangerous without a pair of gloves. My hands felt red raw with cold after scraping the frost from my windscreen this morning. It was a struggle to even get out the street both today, and yesterday, as we live on a uphill climb and the gritter lorries don't seem to ever pass down our way. People sat in their cars yesterday morning, halfway up our street, uselessly spinning their tyres on the spot to try and get up the road. I had a plan though. Armed with scarf and spade I strode out yesterday morning and made good use of the salt bin across the road, spreading the grit over the majority of the street managing to avoid an embarrassing fall on the ice. It's always more embarrassing when you fall on the ice rather than a regular trip on pavement. Regular trips or falls you can usually deal with. But ice falls are far worse. Before you actually hit the ground your body will assuredly twist, swivel, spin, strain in an uncomfortable upright position and then, with one final skid for effect, collapse to the cold, solid street. To make matters worse someone will undoubtedly always see or be watching you and may even be working perfectly normally on the other side of the street. After spreading the salt I set off for the car, parked further down the street, managed to turn it and started up the hill, only to get stuck further down the hillside. After a few moments i turned into one of the neighbours I had been tutting at not half an hour before, spinning the tyres uselessly in sheer desperation of movement. Yet more gritting was called for. For some reason with these conditions the Council has neglected their usual winter road attacks and left us all to suffer with the ice. Last week I passed a salt spreader lorry when they wasn't a single snowflake to be seen so where have they all gone this week in our moment of need? If I was grumpier I would phone the council up and complain... but instead I'll just complain on this journal. I've found this journal quite good for venting some spleen or as fellow blogger Miriam calls it, ranting. Nothing wrong with a bit of ranting as long as it's the truth.
It was Lost Ian's last day in the office today and we all bid him 'fare thee well'. Till Saturday anyway as it's the work's Christmas lunch. It's okay to mention Christmas now as it is officially December. Christmas should only be in December, not October or even November. It still seems very early to be having a Christmas night out but I suppose it's only 3 weeks away now. Another year almost over. Better get those baubles out again.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Mallowy goodness

Back in Glasgow last night for The Mighty Boosh at the Clyde Auditorium. Parked the car in a street filled with young girls in tutus with glow sticks. We had been wandering what the crowd would be like at a Mighty Boosh gig and were rather surprised to find the street filled with under agers in tutus, jabbering excitedly whilst buying glow sticks from various vendors set up at different points over the street. We entered the large red tunnel red tunnel, which crosses the Clydeside Expressway, amongst loitering policemen, in throngs of younger folk who looked slightly inebriated. I had not expected such a young mental looking crowd but it wasn't until we got to the lights at the end of the tunnel that we seen the signs for Clubland 2008 in the main SECC building. This accounted for the glow sticks at least, not sure about the tutus. After a brief run around inside the Armidillo trying to find our way we eventually took our seats. Vince and Howard both swept on to the stage singing about sailors from the future with the help of The Boosh Band who hid behind the main stage back drop for a good fraction of the whole night. The comedy was great and at it's best when Vince and Howard were out on the front section of the stage, infront of the closed curtain, squabbling and trading both thoughts and insults. The internal monologues of Howard's mind were particulary hilairious. Plus the inclusion of the infamous Hitcher. The strange green creation of Noel Fielding with green skin, a big nose and thumb, dressed in black with a top hat and voiced with a gnarly cockney accent. A brilliant show if your into the Boosh.
Woke up late this morning after having a wee glass of wine once we arrived home last night. Wine accompanied by a bit of Editors and Roxy Music. Today, here has not seemed to have broke yet as a thick white mist has hung over the streets of EK all morning and afternoon. I can barely see the opposite end of the street from the window. I'm half expecting a long line of mysterious shapes to emerge slowly from the mist and drag me away into the fog to a sorry, icy fate.
Evening now. Had to go and so the shopping there. Curse those money hungry supermarkets! Coaxing us in with their 2 for 1s only to get us to spend the saved money on other things. Other things such as Tunnocks Teacakes. Just had one with my tea. The first in years. Full of chocolatey mallowy goodness. Brilliant.

Friday, 28 November 2008

I like to move it, move it


Travelled into the rain soaked streets of Glasgow to see Roisin Murphy at the ABC in Sauchiehall Street. Decided to drive as the weather was so poor and could not find a parking space anywhere in the Sauchiehall vacinity. Eventually got parked on the other end of Blythswood Square, the Square that used to be notorious for it's ladies of the night. Trailing through the sheets of rain the show proved to be well worth the effort though. What a star Roisin is! It was the first time I'd seen her live after having listened to her and Moloko for so many years. Together with Murphy's weird but strong voice the music of Moloko appealed to me for it's brilliant, sometimes haunting, tunes that swing between pop, rock and dance beats. With the latest album 'Overpowered' Murphy has well and truly hit her mark as a solo performer, and was a job she does live too. Belting out her hits with her trademark whacky dress sense and fantastic band who helped the songs glide voraciously quickly over two hours. Excellent stuff.
Tonight Ka and myself sat and watched 'In Bruges'. A tale of two hitmen sent out to Brussels to escape the London authorities after a mission goes wrong thanks to the new start of the duo, Colin Farrell. Brendon Gleeson suffers as his mentor and Ralph Fiennes puts in a great performance as the angry, highly strung, crazy eyed boss who ends up joining them in Bruges. A great character piece with some brilliant moments. Missed it in the cinema so it was good to finally see it. Definately one to see if you haven't done already and contrary to what Farrell says I think Bruges looked quite nice! The city square especially reminded me of Prague with it's cobbled paving, old town houses and it's bell tower.
Tomorrow night it's off to the Armadillo, or the Clyde Auditorium as it is properly known, to go and see how Vince and Howard are doing. Before that I'm tiling with Dad. My Mum and Dad have decided to regenerate their whole kitchen space and have combined two rooms to do so and I, whilst feeling generous with my time, volunteered to help out with the tiling duties. Not that I've ever put up kitchen tiles in my life so this should be interesting...
Ka, meanwhile, will be going out with her Mum, sister and niece to watching a bunch of rabbiting African animals
with American, Hollywood star, accents singing, dancing and generally goofing around. Again, maybe with the odd long forgotten hit suddenly made popular again but this time for kids half the age of the original audience.
Talking of Africa, Harry Hillwalker is just back from a trip to South Africa and sent me some collections of the shots he took over there. Some great pictures and fabulous scenery. Whilst driving through the rain tonight it kind of made me feel more than a little envious.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Special delivery

Today I came home, tired and worn out to find a package from America waiting on me. It was my copy of David Byrne and Brian Eno's "Everything That Happens Will Happen Today". Fantastic. Purchased and downloaded from the official website around two months ago, the hard copy, the good old fashioned CD, can now be purchased in the shops. Nice package and good music.
Congratulations should go to Martin and Claire who now have a little baby in the house. Olivia Danni Dunn is now home.
Richard Serra is the topic on tonight's Imagine, the BBC's art documentary series presented by Alan Yentob. Serra is a true giant in Art and Sculpture so this should be a good one! Off to watch it now...

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Kind you'd like to meet

Congratulations to Craig and Gillian for their engagement and the success of their engagement party on friday night. We all had a great time in the Rolls Royce club. A few drinks, a few dances and a few songs. Everyone was there to wish Craig and Gillian well. At first it seemed like a reunion night for Ka's work colleagues, past and present, but I soon relaxed as they're all a cool bunch. Maybe I relaxed a little too much as, for some reason, after a couple of beers, I plucked up the courage to get up on the dancefloor and perform 'Oh Pretty Woman' through the karaoke machine. Unfortunately, mike in hand, I felt the need to try and get the dancefloor shy relatives up and asked for all those accompanied by 'pretty women' to get up on the dancefloor with their own 'pretty women'. None of the relatives moved. Failing this I then shouted, 'get off your arse and dance!' at Craig and Gillian's relatives. Needless to say they did not look very appreciative of my comments, some of the older guys growling from behind their pint glasses. I'm not even sure if Gillian and Craig appreciated me shouting at their aunties and uncles in such a fashion. I suspect not. I think I just got a little too carried away. The girls at the ELU, including Chris, Margot, Amanda, Roslyn, Cheryl and the rest, helped me out though and filled the dancefloor the best they could. I'm not sure what possessed me to get up and sing karaoke as I was not even drunk and usually hate the bloody things. Looking back I suspect it was the fact that it was the same few people on the dancefloor all the time and stupidly thought I could do something about it. What a time to suddenly gain a rockstar ego! Feeling slightly embarrassed afterwards I ran for the safety of our tables and hid for the rest of the night. I did receive some compliments with regards to my singing talents, however. Maybe I should try X Factor next year?
When last orders were shouted and everyone started filing out we piled into Chris' car. With Margot, Bev, Ka, Amanda, myself and Chris driving we set off to the forever excellent Centre Point. When I say forever excellent I am of course being sarcastic - but it was a last resort. However, once inside we ended up having quite a good time, dancing to classic tunes of the nineties. Rhythm is a Dancer, Everybody's Free, Key the Secret, mixed in with some Prodigy and such like. Some really good tunes so a complete surprise to go into Centre Point and enjoy yourself. Almost weird.
Ka and myself met the great Martin Darcy with whom I used to work behind the bar with in the Auldhouse Arms many moons ago. Leaving Ka in the taxi queue I ran down to the nearest grease shop and ordered a portion for us to share. A comment was made over my shoulder whilst I stood waiting, leaning on the warm metal counter to which I looked round. I knew I was in trouble. His name escaped me completely and he had to gently remind me with the help of some swear words and the odd barrage of abuse. He was not best pleased but he got over it when he met Ka outside at the bus stop and started accusing her of insanity for agreeing to marry such a person as myself. He was having a laugh, of course, and let us escape to a taxi.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Black and white

Weather. Always a good conversation piece for folk when your struggling for subjects to talk about. On my way to work today it very much felt like winter was most definately here. The sky was clear with only the occasional strip of cloud hiding the luminous pale blue hanging overhead. These are the kind of winter mornings I like though. Freezing, but light and clear with the sunlight streaming through the tree tops over the edge of Calderglen. The sunlight in stark contrast with the cold temperatures. It is not as cold as it will get though. Today it has been around 5 degrees celcius but tomorrow the weather report is saying it will be more in the region of 2 degrees celcius but with less cloud. It is strange how I feel more at home in the winter weather than in the sweltering heat of a good summer. Perhaps I was an eskimo in a former life... or a penguin. According to religions, such as Hinduism or Buddhism, a human is supposed to be a higher form of life than the animal which would mean I must have been a good penguin in the former life. Maybe I caught lots of fish and shared them out to all my penguin pals. Not everything's black and white though.
The BBC Trust have finally got round to giving their final decision on the Russell Brand/Jonathan Ross nonsense stating there was no justification for the errors that were made in the production of the programme concerned. Really? No way! Who pays these people? Oh, yeah, that's right. US. It's been over three weeks for them to state the obvious. As the 'innocent' female concerned said on the news tonight - we are all so bored of this story. Why is it still in the news then? As I said when it first blew up in the gutter press three days after it actually happened - get over it. There are more important things to concern ourselves over. Getting Ross back on the telly! I've got to go out tonight now because there's no Jonathan Ross on!
Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe had a great ten minute piece on it, on Tuesday night, in his usual entertaining, sarcastic, indomitable way. The guy is a genius. Another guy with a similar humour is the brilliant Jack Dee whom I just happened to catch getting interviewed on This Morning yesterday. Not that I usually watch this Morning or anything... I was just finishing my breakfast tea with a bacon buttie. He was talking about his new series of Lead Balloon, his drama comedy series on BBC Two. Regretfully, I've not caught any of this series yet but it looks pretty good. May have to check it out.
The new car is flaimin' filthy. How come dirt on a car shows up more on black paintwork? You'd think it would be the opposite wouldn't you? I always thought it would be a nightmare owning a white car. JP says it's the salt on the road. Salt on the road? Haven't even seen any salt spreaders on the roads yet, firing it's load of grit at your windscreen. Soon we'll be scraping the ice off the windows and getting high on de-icers again. Could the snow be on it's way?

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Lost Ian

Well, we've lost Lost Ian. Rather unexpected twist to the redundancy horrors with the loss of our very own Lost Ian. The main crossword keeper. The fellow sci-fi buff with whom I talk Lost, Doctor Who, Spooks and generally anything a bit cultish in the TV department. Lost Ian, along with another colleague, Gordon Brown, (no, not the much maligned Prime Minister!) will be leaving S&UN at the beginning of the month. It's a right pi**er, to be frank and a devastating blow to us crossword crusaders who get together at tea breaks and lunches at the round table, talking our general nonsense whilst trying to suss out the answers to the devious Daily Mail's crosswords, codewords and connections. Lost Ian has been a good pal in there and I'll miss him as well as his DVDs! He must lend me a DVD every month. I'm going have to go and join a video shop now! Sorry a DVD rental shop. Actually, I'm a member of the Calderwood Square one already, but the women behind the desk scare me a little and they all look very alike with their milk bottle glasses. They probably have those glasses from watching too many DVDs. Anyway, the mood was sombre yesterday. You didn't know whether to be glad you still had your own job or depressed for those that lost theirs. Then we got news of Trinity Mirror putting a nationwide freeze on wages. Things can only get better...maybe.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Whatever happens

A rather pensive, grave day in the office today as we all know that we find out our fates with S&UN tomorrow. Nobody opted to volunteer for the redundancies so now it's up to the management. We are having individual meetings throughout the day now that the busiest part of the week is over. Speculation has been a bit rife but at the end of the day we can't do anything now. At dinner tonight in the small kitchen/canteen I was wondering if it would be the last Tuesday night with a microwaved dinner in the S&UN production centre listening to crazy talk, my colleagues' life problems and stresses and the desperate scrambling with the final clues for the Daily Mail crossword. Andrea was stressing about a Hitler look-a-like who has been employed by Hamilton Asda as a security guard who seemingly follows her around the aisles. Gareth was moaning about opening his front door this morning only to find an old fellow pissing in his tenement close. Creamy Chicken John was devouring one of his homemade chilli con carnes while Lost Ian was wondering what the connection was between Charles darwin and Queen Victoria. The joys of break time. One thing's for sure, tomorrow will be no joy, whatever happens.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Headaches and children

Another weekend almost over! They whizz by like a chettah on heelys. Wish they wouldn't do that as it always makes us smack into the brick wall of another Monday morning. A bit of a quiet one again this weekend with more painting yesterday afternoon and then a movie last night. Chaz appeared at the door at around half eight with two carriers full of crisps, chocolate and corona and joined Ka and myself in watching the brilliant 'Training Day'. This movie I've been meaning to watch for at least two years and with Ka and Chaz settled down to watch. Denzel Washington was indeed great in it and deserved the oscar he received for the role afterwards. Conversations ranged from Costco, Corona's need for a good bit of lime, the Wispa bar to relationships (that old chestnut!) and redundancies.
This morning I awoke to a neighbour piling some empty glass bottles into the bottle bin downstairs, each clatter and smash echoing through the close up through our letterbox, down our hallway, in to the bedroom and directly into my right ear, through a slightly diverted route in the channels of my brain and out my left ear, continuing from then to the nearest wall and bouncing back off the brick, making a disasterous u-turn hurling back towards my right ear again. Trying to ignore the signs lighting up in my head telling me it was time to get up I did manage to go back to sleep until Ka woke me with a glass of orange juice. My head was aching and I had not thought I'd had that much to drink last night. In fact I know I hadn't. Six bottles of beer. That was it. Is that what it takes to gain a hangover these days? That's got to be a sign of getting old. Forcing myself up though I went straight to the gym and forced the alcoholic blues straight out of me and after an hours workout, a quick swim and a short time in the sauna, felt brand new again. I say quick swim because everytime we go to the pool on a sunday, for some demented reason, we end up going in when it's 'family time'. Yes, family time in the pool is when young kids flock in with their mums, dads, grandparents or all of them, to jump about on giant planks of polystyrene that the kids themselves only take up a fraction of space on. They glide these straight across the surface of the blue water, giggling and laughing whilst aiming straight for the side of your head. If it's not one of those butting into your body parts, or at least into your swimming path, your sure to get a ball or hoop of some description slung at you from the other side of the pool while the parents just jump about not giving a hoot. Sorry, I didn't realise I was really intended in life to be part some kind of aquatic fairground attraction. I'm half expecting a loud alarm to go off and Derek the lifeguard to come out from his viewing point with a stupidly large cuddly toy the next time a plastic beach ball bounces off my head.
Talking of fairground attractions Ka was driving today. Only kidding. Ka is a great driver, not at all like a dodgem... or a roller coaster. It is amazing how many a**e's you get up your rear bumper whenever they twig there's a learner infront of them though. You'd think a learner plate is a license to distress and agitate the attached vehicle for some drivers out there. This, understandably, stresses Ka out a little but not only do they put the rear end of my new car at risk but they also put their own car at risk, not to mention the other drivers behind them. Ignoring that though, Ka will undoubtedly be passing her test shortly.
We were dropping a painting off to Angela and Steven's today. A belated engagement present/early wedding gift. The grey rose seen here. We then went home to EK only to find the same Angela and Steven, with Morgan, in EK Sainsburys, suspiciously close to the alcohol aisle. After meeting our pal Martin, who is currently a security guard in the supermarket, and getting an update on the pregnant Claire, I managed to get myself a bottle of Jack Daniels for £13. I'll call it an early Christmas present to myself. Unfortunately there was a slight casualty in the trip as Morgan managed to fall flat on her face after I, yes me, told her to go and get her mum after she had spied her near the checkouts. She broke into a run on my words and ended up sliding down the floor of the CD aisle head first. She got up from the floor screaming and shooting blood from her mouth after puncturing her top lip in the fall. Needless to say I felt very guilty and will do for the rest of my mortal life no doubt. Hope your lip gets better Morgan. Martin told me determinedly that I would not be babysitting his child when it arrives. I nodded in agreement.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Eat more cake

More job losses in BT now? Will this ever end? Things seem to be getting more and more depressing with all the redundancies and recession talk.
On a happier note it was my wee cousin, little Lauren's, birthday today. She was three. Ka and myself popped round to Laurence and Maria's after the usual Thursday night gym workout to deliver her present. We walked in to discover my Dad, Mum and Gran already there, lounging on the couch eating pizza and drinking Laurence's very own brewed beer while kids ran about the living room, followed by the two cats and the dog, Taz. Named Taz presumably because of his Tazmanian Devil tendencies of which I seen no sign of. He seemed perfectly at ease and calm, except from getting a bit 'excited' when Megan, Lauren's bigger sister, started having a tickling competition with Ka. Megan fell to the ground at one point only to be jumped on by a, let's say, over enthusiastic, Taz. Needless to say Megan made sure she quickly escaped. Lauren had her birthday cake presentation after Maria eventually had the lights put out for the full candle effect and everyone helped themselves to cake. Even though I was driving I did have a brief swig of Laurence's self brewed beer. 40 pints for a tenner, apparently, and not bad at all. Will maybe consider that for our tightened purse strings Reid Christmas (damn, said the 'C' word again). The other, younger, Michael, Laurence and Maria's eldest, disappointingly had not made another chocolate cake for us all and was annoyed that his mother had went out and bought one. Got to say, so were we all. At Megan's birthday a few months back, her big brother had made two giant, gorgeous cakes that Nigella Lawson would have been proud of. My mum used to be great at making cakes, especially of the birthday variety. She used to make us themed cakes of whatever we were into at the time. Lynsey Ann always got chocolate cake extravaganzas. Kenny, my brother, I remember, got specially constructed Thomas the Tank Engine cakes, castle cakes and a football pitch complete with players. Or maybe the castle was mine... anyway, she was an expert. Mum must have had a lot of time on her hands in those days as she doesn't bother so much anymore. Maybe it's more because of the fact the three of us are, or are approaching, thirty years of age though.

Black and blues

A blue rose this time. Today I've spent the day painting. A new rose, this time in blues and blacks. It's going quite well and now has all the basic layers in place and in colour. It is another rose but the way I see it, every rose I have done in the past year or so has been an original in itself. Although the basic form is the same they all contain different shades, shapes and tones. Last week I completed another, very different, painting entitled 'Angel or demon'. A female angel but with a fiery elemental look about her which could give the idea of her form being a deception - the fiery look being at odds with the angelic image (like some women I've known!). I've yet to put it up on Reidnet's gallery.
Have been listening to Roisin Murphy's latest album whilst working. There are some great tracks on it including the brilliant discoesque You Know Me Better. Great to jive to around an easel!

Saturday, 8 November 2008

A Brucie bonus

Picked up the new car on Thursday and it smells lovely. Drives good too. It's wonderful, truth be told. Nice to drive a car that doesn't have a leaking roof like the clio did. I used to have to drive the clio, whenever it rained, with a mini umbrella propped above over my head which wasn't good for when you had to make a manoeuvre. Looking through the back window was slightly tricky. Two years old but with only 2000 miles on the clock. Fantastic. Chaz reckoned the older couple that owned it before only drove it to church and back every sunday. I wonder how long the new car smell will linger. Even though it is 2 years old, somehow, Chaz's garage has gave it a new car scent. Perhaps they have a cannister of 'new car smell' in the garage. I wonder who bottles that? A strange, sweet, leathery, polish like smell. Chaz came with me to pick the vehicle up from his showroom and had the car all ready on the showroom floor, covered with a silk merc cloak and with one swish revealed my new mode of transport. The other car salesmen around paid little attention to his Bruce Forsyth impression, working away at their computers as news of the interest rates came through to which Chaz coincidentally remarked it was a 'Brucie bonus'. One of his car salesmen colleagues was quite happy in that he was going on holiday on Monday to Spain, only quite, he informed me, as he was unfortunately going to be escorted by his lady wife.
Friday was drab - nothing to report. Tea went cold twice. There are few occasions when I let my tea in work go cold. Friday it happened twice for some reason. Mind must be on other matters.
Today, early Christmas, sorry, c word, shopping. Never say the 'c' word before December. That's been a moral of mine for a while now but unfortunately I've even fallen into the horrific shame of it all. Managed to get a few pressies while I have the money though so that has to be a good thing. I hate doing the 'c' word shopping early as well. Once again I'll blame the media!
Tonight, vodka and butterkist popcorn with a movie.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

An American dream

So America has a new President at last - and not a moment too soon. Hopefully he will live up to the expectations. Did not see any of it live, for the simple reason of being asleep, but did catch some of the replays on the breakfast news this morning. The momentous gathering in Chicago seemed more like a concert than an victory speech. Ecstatic crowds swarming the streets of the cities of America. People shouting with glee into cameras and mikes. It's difficult to believe how McCain got any votes watching those pictures. Barack Obama has made people sit up and listen, take notice of the state of things and show them that there really is the possibility of change. Looks like they have grabbed that opportunity with both hands. But will it mean a whole new world..? It's one hell of a job he has on his hands.
On the same day as all the good news over in the States, contrastingly we have found out, in our ad team, that two have to go. They need two redundancies and it has been opened up to volunteers. Not good news...

Monday, 3 November 2008

A lack of exploding pens

After a week off I tired easily in work today. Andrea came to the rescue around eleven though with a batch of her sister's tablet. It was very nice but very sweet and did get us buzzing a wee bit with a major sugar rush. Coupled with the caffeine of the tea breaks I was wide awake again by mid afternoon, just in time for my surprise appraisal. Thankfully, that went fine. Considering the state of affairs nationwide at the moment I was glad to still have a job.
Last night we went to see the latest Bond flick, Quantum of Solace. An action packed, adrenaline filled movie sequel to the excellent Casino Royale. It was certainly entertaining and Daniel Craig was again very good in his version of Bond but the whole film did not feel like Bond. It felt more like another Bourne Supremacy. Most of the time it felt like it was just another spy thriller, a good thriller but nonetheless not quite what you'd expect for a James Bond movie. Casino Royale was a departure from the run of the mill Bond movies we were all used to with big changes and good changes. But, to me, Quantum takes it even further making it barely recognisable. Good film though and most of the stunts and action sequences just look great in the cinema. I do miss Q and the gadgets though. The exploding pens and remote controlled BMWs. Thought it would be quieter on a sunday night but the place was packed inside and out. Everywhere you walked in the Glasgow streets, surrounding the cinema, cars filled the parking spaces, alleyways, shop drives and straddled the kerbs of pavements. We were late, but unfortunately we still managed to catch most of the adverts trying to sell you cars, watches, computer games and aftershave showing large chunks of the film we were just about to see. Sometimes they ruin way too much with the overlong trailers. Not to mention the, now traditional, Orange adverts with the annoying Orange company boss and his minions taking the mickey out of some other contract quiet movie star. Ka hates them, as I suspect most people do. For some reason though I find them funny... is that bad?

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Practically perfect

Mr McKell has done it again. Chaz has found us a new car. A Toyota Corrolla. Ka and myself sat patiantly in a certain Glasgow motor dealership, drinking machine tea while Chaz finished another sale. He then came over and began by complimenting my new glasses. I told him he could dispense with pleasantries and was there to put him back on schedule, in getting us a new car. He took us out in a Toyota Corrolla which, although not as luxurious as the Audi Quattro, seems to be a very smart wee car. Well, when I say wee, I mean it's smaller than the Audi, but bigger than my old Clio. Although two years old it is in near mint condition with little mileage on the clock. Chaz informed us of the car's many selling points, including room and connections for baby seats in the back. Agreeing, I quickly pointed out that they would be good for Ka's niece, Morgan. After a ten minute test drive in the busy Glasgow city centre we stamped our names on it, considering it ideal and left as we had a pressing engagement.
Through to the traffic mayhem that is Edinburgh, Dad drove. Edinburgh traffic always seems so terrible compared to Glasgow with the sheer quantity of bus lanes, one way roads and road works that have been going on for, at least, the last five years. We spent Halloween in the Edinburgh Playhouse watching Mary Poppins with Mum, Dad and Lynsey Ann. The brilliant Cameron Mackintosh production version of the classic P. L. Travers tale about the weird, freakishly perfect nanny who gains employment in a troubled family's London house in 1910, eventually bringing the estranged family back together again with the help of dancing statues and suspicious looking bottles of medicine. The show was everything you'd expect from a Mackintosh production. Great music, fantastic sets, special effects, expert dancing, fun performances and a few surprise spectacles including Poppins gliding out over the stalls up into the galleries above, her brolley raised over her head. There was no tea party on the ceiling though which was a bit of a disappointment but there were a few scenes from the original book, missed from the 1964 movie, including a visit to Mrs Corry's magical Sweet shop in the park. She was basically a dealer based in the park. On one of the Banks' encounters with the Park Ranger he did start to go on about how he found many an odd person wandering around in the park. Bearing in mind the tale is set in London, I wondered if that included George Michael. Do you think George Michael, on being cornered by police and asked what he's up to, has used the excuse 'supercalifragalisticexpialidocious'? Maybe he claimed it only to be a spoonful of sugar? It was certainly a bit odd on leaving the theatre as we, and the rest of the Poppins mob, were surprised to find the street filled with drag queens. Apparently, or so we were to realise, the bar right next door to the Playhouse, the Cafe Habana, has a speciifc form of clientele. It's very popular in Edinburgh's gay scene and, since it was Halloween, the pub's crowd were taking full advantage of their mother's closet. Some of the looks on the older ladies and burly blokes coming out the theatre were a hoot. It was a bit like one of Mary Poppins' fantastical trips coming to life on Greenside Place, making our way through the wigs and feather boas to the car whilst people sang supercalifragalisticexpialidocious. Poppins was right, it does make you feel better!

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Renovation

Anyone watching Dead Set on E4 at the moment? It's a rather entertaining drama horror based around the premise of a Big Brother rudely interupted by a zombie outbreak in the best George A. Romero fashion except with a more 28 Days Later atmosphere to it all. It's actually surprisingly better than I thought it would be and a lot more dramatic with a lot less comedy. Charlie Brooker is the man behind it all. He usually writes for The Guardian and does a show on BBC four called Screenwipe in which he reviews and snidely slags of tv. Like Harry Hill except without the stupidity and a ladelfuls more sarcasm (and when I say Harry Hill, I mean the TV one, the one with the big glasses and collar, not the one that I go hill climbing with!). We've also been watching more of The Mighty Boosh, 'The Legend of Old Gregg', to be precise in which our hero Howard Moon has a scarring encounter with a strange, transsexual merman who likes watercolour. Brillaintly weird as always.
Talking of brilliantly weird what's all this about David Tennant leaving the TARDIS? Gawds sake. Gutted! Who could possibly replace the mighty Tennant as the Doctor?! It just cannot be done! When Tennant first donned the suit I wasn't so sure but his sheer enthusiasm and brilliance in the role got me hooked again (more than Eccleston's personification did). Steven Moffat is taking over the writing duties as of 2010 though (a great tv writer), so that should breath some new life into it. Was never a major fan of Russell T Davies' arc building and then disappointingly demolishing...
Passed Crystals in EK the other day. The other night my sister claimed it was being demolished and replaced with a very similar building. It is in fact being renovated and is now surrounded by scaffolding. Ah shame... those sticky floors always made those Crystal nights memorable. It was a bit of a dive. It got so bad that at one point, earlier this year, Ka, Chaz, Kenny and myself opted for Centre Point instead... and that's saying something.

Brand of intolerance

What a load of nonsense this whole thing with Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand is. Okay, they were being stupid, okay they shouldn't have left the daft messages on the answering machine, okay their egos may have got the better of them but is it worth all this uproar? Are they solely the ones to blame? They are both always well known for their mouthing off after all. Ross on his talk show forever making his interviewees squirm on that uncomfortable looking sofa of his and as for Brand, well, don't we all know by now what to expect from the ex drug addict, comedic nutter now? Generally I'm not that much of a fan of Russell Brand's, but I do know what happened and as far as I can tell he just pushed a joke too far, as he usually does and got caught up in the moment of supposed hilarity and garbage talking. Nothing he isn't used to, and nothing the rest of us are not used to with him. Same with Ross. Yes, they did go too far in leaving messages on, lets not forget, a comedy actor's, answering machine but they apologised and sent flowers privately soon after, before it was all picked up by the press. The mass media and press have led a witch hunt for the two of them as soon as they've all got wind of it and as usual blown it out of all proportion. It just seems that as soon as an opportunity arises to attack the good old BBC the commercial news channels and newspapers go wild with it. Losing his one or two nights on Radio 2 is no big deal to Brand. He resigned because he doesn't need the hassle not because of any guilt trip. He's never off Channel 4 and is now in pretty successful Hollywood movies for gawds sake. He doesn't even need the radio 2 gig. Ross, of course, is in a different position in that his BBC work is his life but if they were to sack him he would easily get work elsewhere and immediately pull the viewers in for some other channel. The buck should stop with the editors and producers who passed the programme in the first place. Did they not sense that the joke had went too far and needed a little tweeking on the editing table? The news report yesterday showed a crowd of protestors outside the BBC moaning, not one of them under sixty. That kind of says it all as far as I'm concerned.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

A ransoms worth


Autumn and today the sky was as clear as a bell. The trees around us glinting yellows, browns and golds under the clear blue sky. With Autumn, however, comes the sharp drop in temperature, especially in Scotland as it's bloody freezing up here. We put some washing out this morning to dry in the sunshine and brought it in with icicles hanging from it. We are also desperately trying to refrain from switching the heating on in our wee flat as it costs so much. Unfortunately our flat has some ancient form of underfloor heating which is not at all easy on the electric bills. We always get a large late unwelcome Christmas gift from Scottish Power every January in the form of a fat bill so we're holding off for as long as we possibly can. I'm wearing three layers as I write.
On our day off today we done the monthly shop. Exciting way to spend your Tuesday holiday eh? Wandering around a supermarket looking for 2 for 1s, skillfully negotiating the aisles and the growling pensioners with your trolley and arguing over which passata to buy. Apparently Ka is inviting her sister round for dinner soon so we had to buy organic. I'm not one to begrudge accommodating other peoples likes and dislikes and usually this would be fine, but organic passata is £1.20 more than the usual brand we get?! £1.20! Okay, it's not a ransom's worth but still - it all adds up!
Talking of ransoms, we then had a trip to the cinema to see 'Taken' starring Liam Neeson. An exciting revenge thriller which sees Neeson in a hard man type role, running round the city of Paris, cracking,chopping, knifing and shooting all the bad guys involved in his daughter's kidnapping. She went to Paris as the first stop of a U2 european tour and gets kidnapped to be used in the sex traffic trade which Mr Neeson, as a former spy, has to throw himself into to rescue her. Neeson does well in the role whilst the film edges on over the top at times it was still a good, gripping thriller with some brilliant, sometimes surprisingly, shocking violence. Talking of surprising, I can't believe Adam is dead? Spooks is back with a bang. A fairly big bang which seen yet another main character written out. The Spooks writers keep doing it, but it does make it all the more exciting and, dare I say it, realistic.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Throwing subtle shapes

Friday night was interesting as Ka and myself went into town to see Alphabeat. Yes, you read right. Alphabeat. The cheesy, danish pop band, that I have slagged in previous writing, hit the Glasgow ABC on Sauchiehall Street. It's a very strange feeling to be among the oldest in the crowd at a gig. Ka and myself joined the queue outside among small guys with trendy fedora hats and yelping girls with multi coloured tights and sparkly plimsoles. This all started because we missed Alphabeat at T in the Park in June this year, because I had delayed us in losing my wallet, so I had promised to take Ka along to see the grotesquely cheerful danes when they played Glasgow in the near future. Unfortunately, she kept me to my word. Being only thirty, it is a bit of a shock to find yourself in a small minority of folk as the elders of the crowd at a gig. Ka and myself played 'spot the old person' when we got in to the large club venue, looking for older folk. Looking for grey hair, middle aged girths or people who had refused to leave their coat in the cloak room, as if leaving your jacket at the mercy of some young cloak room attendant was unsafe or foolish. Not being one to be put off by any of this, however, I tried to get into the atmosphere, with the help of a few vodkas and jumped about to the music like the rest of them. Well, shuffled about, anyway. The two support acts were surprisingly okay too. A leggy trio named Pandering and the Golddiggers kicked things off with some interesting moves and some music that didn't sound unlike some eighties throwback electronica. The three singers/dancers, two girls, one bloke, dressed in very little and what little there was, was extremely tight. The trio's weirdest attribute was by far, the bloke singer's hairdo. They were followed by the Belgian band Das Pop who had none other than Brian Blessed on Lead guitar (or so it looked like with my old glasses on). They would probably have been better if it had been Brian Blessed on guitar. "Das Pop's ALIVE!". Alphabeat were actually better than I thought they'd be. Very energetic, colourful, kooky and fun, not to mention ridiculously happy, as they always are. The main lead singer, AndersSG (no idea what the name is all about) jumping about like a crazy person smashing his tambourine off various body parts, whilst the little lassie, Stine, threw some subtle shapes on the spot. Complete candy floss pop but good for a bit of fun. The worst part of the night was waiting in the queue for the cloakroom. Damn those sensible old people, they were right!

Friday, 24 October 2008

Diesel do the trick

Diana conversing on the phone, Lost Ian is surfing the internet, Cameron is playing his online games, Craig is reading and the admin women are going back and forth from the kitchen on their (many) tea breaks. Everyone taking a breather after the previous four days in the office. Friday's are always a bit strange though. Always busy enough, as far as work goes, but with a more relaxed, amiable atmosphere than usual as if everyone is just getting ready to switch off from the work for the weekend. Slowing powering down to the stop that is Friday evening when we all skid out of the car park.
Yesterday I bought my new glasses. Finally. I have been wearing spectacles for driving and long distances since 2003 but have found myself relying on them more and more over the past few years for things like television viewing and looking for mislaid people in clubs and pubs. Not only that, but I've had the same pair all this time. The final straw was on Sunday when the glasses just popped apart, screws, lenses and frame exploding from my face. After managing to put them all back together again with a knife I hummed as I looked at the heavily warped frame. Over time they have definately grown out of shape. It probably did not help either when, a few months ago, I sat on them while I was noseying at the neighbours through the blinds. I'd left them lying on the couch and on hearing the door to the communal porch/hallway area downstairs sprung up from my lying position on the counch into a sitting position, only noticing the definate feeling of tangled thin metal under my rear end after concluding what the neighbours were up to (which wasn't anything particularly interesting as far as I remember - certainly not worth bending a pair of spectacles out of shape for). Ka relates me to an old, nosey, grandad with nothing better to do than spring to the blinds whenever someone walks by in the street. My gran was always quite good at that come to mention it. In fact, I'm sure she has the uncanny ability to tell you what people are up to in the street without even looking out through the blinds. Anyway, got myself a nice pair of Diesel glasses with the help of Kate in Optical Express. Very nice they are too. Though my vision does go a bit wonky when I wear them. The Optical Express lady did warn me this may take a short while to get used to as my perscription has changed slightly since the last pair was bought. It felt like looking around after you'd just belted your head off something hard. Everything in focus but with a slight twinge to the eyes and some disorientation flung in for good measure. Not so much pain in the cranium thankfully. As a result I've not really worn them for any decent amount of time yet so far and am continuing to use my decrepit old pair for driving. The Optical woman did advise not to use them straight away for the driving and judging by the disorientation involved this was probably a good idea. Hope the Optometrist got his perscription right?! He did seem about fifteen... maybe slightly inexperienced... maybe on work experience?! Maybe he was not an Optometrist at all! Fooling me with his machines and his pink tie. That pink tie was suspicious...

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Nightmares

After a particularly busy day at work, tonight I had more car difficulties. A flat tyre. I had to change a wheel on the Audi A6 Quattro I'm driving at the moment after coming out of work at half past eight. You would think this would be straight forward enough, but no, there were four of us working through it. We all reckon that the wheel's bolts had been superglued. Paul, Craig and Lost Ian were all excellent help in removing the flat wheel and helping me replace it with the spare one from the boot. If it hadn't been for them, I would most certainly have been there till at least midnight. Paul with his surprising mechanic skills, Craig with his strength of a bear and Ian with his indispensable socket spanners. Thanks guys, owe you one! Chaz, the ever helpful car salesman that he is, managed to get me the Audi last week, little did I know it had a flat though. Thanks Chaz! Drives like a dream now but eats petrol like a nightmare.
A very real nightmare of a more serious and saddening nature was in the news yesterday, about the charity worker being gunned down in Afghanistan by the Taleban. She spread the word of Christianity, that was what the Taleban claimed was their reason for this latest murder. Gayle Williams worked for a charity organisation called Serve Afghanistan which primarily aided in the education and help for people with disabilities and special needs. A couple of guys sped up to her on a motorbike, as she walked to work, and shot the South African six times at close range, killing her immediately. She gave her life for the cause and highlights the plight of all the aid workers out in these war torn countries. By not taking the bodyguards offered her, Ms Williams obviously did not value herself enough and underrated her own importance and her own heroism. These needless deaths and terrible incidents always bring it all home and make you wonder why your bothering worrying about things like the price of bread and petrol.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Fry and apple tea

Have just sat and watched the second episode of 'Stephen Fry in America' and what a great series it is turning into. Throughout the series he is to visit all 50 states of America, some of them way too briefly but it has proven to be a pretty entertaining watch. Fry is usually pretty honest, witty and interesting in all television projects he has been involved in, so to see him hit the big U. S. of A. has got to be engaging viewing. He's so english he looks quite out of place walking about in some of the situations and surroundings he finds himself in and does not shy away from being blatantly honest infront of the camera. Tonight he was up in a hot air balloon in North Carolina, gliding slowly over the giant tree tops, at first gripping the sides of the basket. No camera work could disguise the guy in a state of absolute fear. He did seem to relax a little as the slow flight continued, however, collecting a few leaves from passing trees. I've always wanted to go up in a hot air balloon. Ka, I'm sure, would say something sarcastic such as 'how fitting' but it's true. I've always fancied it. I'm not great with heights so it's probably not the wisest thing to hanker for but that slow glide through the skies, over a mile above the ground, looks great on tv. In Tenerife I did do some paragliding so it can't be much different can it? Well, it probably is very different and generally much higher but still vaguely similar! The rest of the folk I was on holiday with at the time certainly didn't seem too keen and preferred to sit around the pool side all day. Personally, I hate holidays like that. Why spend a couple of hundred pounds to go abroad, to a different country, only to sit by a pool all day? It's great to walk and soak up the streets, try and experience a bit of the culture, the marketplaces, speak to the people, and just generally learn more about your new surroundings. You just don't get that with an uncomfortable plastic bed and a bottle of sun tan lotion. Don't get me wrong I've ended up in a few dodgy situations before in recent years, the most recent being in Turkey when a 100 year old Shopkeeper trapped in his shop in an effort to make me buy something to gain my release - which of course I did. Ka and myself were walking down from the tombs in Fethiye and in dire need of a drink so we strolled into a small corner shop to see if there was any fanta in the fridge. As we hummed over the contents of the fridge we were aware of a gnarly old man in a white hat, not unlike a very ancient man from Delmonte, getting up from a wooden stool behind the counter and walking round to the front of the shop. Ka and myself turned to see the old man grinning into out faces asking us if we would like a cup of tea. Never one to deny a cup of tea off hand, I considered, as Ka ran out the shop, ducking round another old man that had emerged from the shadows at the back of the shop, who seemed even older than the first, who growled through his tooth. Being a little slow in the uptake, as usual, I sensed danger and doffing my hat made to leave. But the old man sprung forward and almost tripped me with two small plastic crates which he upturned and offered as seats, producing another in between us to act as a table. As Ka and myself hesitantly sat down the second old man offered us some apple tea, which we gingerly accepted. Suddenly the first old man went up to the front of the shop, reached up and flicked a switch. The shop's front shutter shivered into motion and started to close before us. Ka and myself looked at each other in alarm over our apple tea. Grabbing the hat on my head I readied myself for a dive under the descending wall, imagining an Indiana Jones like dive followed by a quick grab of my hat from the ground level of the otherside of my escape. Fortunately the old man stopped the shutter and was only lowering it a little so shield the sun which had been shining in our eyes. How kind. After this Ka and myself drank a few more sips of our, admittedly, rather refreshing apple tea and went on our way, of course, not without a packet of apple tea under our arm, doubled in price thanks to the slightly unsettling table service. Looking back at this as I sip on my apple tea, I'm considering that maybe I'm actually better off just staying at home...

Thursday, 16 October 2008

If...

Fellow blogger, Music Monkey, over at MIND body MUSIC soul, stole a mini survey from another fellow blogger on her blog and challenged us all to answer. The 'IF' survey I think it was called. One of these little surveys that tells everyone a little bit more about yourself like the ones you used to receive circulating on email, but this way you don't have it clogging up your inbox.
My answer to question 3 is actually quite apt today as it is the fourth anniversary of Ka and myself meeting for the first time. It was a Saturday night and I was meeting up with a long lost friend from Secondary school, named Paul, formerly known as Bungle. We had a few drinks and realised that if we were to stay out we'd better find a club to go to. Unfortunately for us we chose the truly awful Jumpin Jaks. I'd never been in before, but was aware of it's dodgy reputation. It was exactly as legend had foretold. A club filled with, seemingly, every middle aged Glaswegian drunk under one roof complete with a karaoke band on stage. Some parts of the crowd were a bit like watching a giant Nesbitt family reunion. Feeling completely out of place, Paul and myself decided to make the most of it and continued to have our catch up. We'd actually paid to get in so we weren't going to waste that money. It was then, just off the packed dancefloor, I spotted her. She was dancing with a guy that could only be described as a tall shrek. Seeing the one diamond in the rough was taken, I gave up any hope until her friend sauntered up to me a little later and told me, in the best Secondary School like way, that her pal fancied me! Before the lassie had even finished I lept out on to the dancefloor only to find the girl in question had scarpered. She'd run off to the toilets in embarrassment. When she eventually came out of hiding I talked her into a dance. As we were being chucked out at the end of the night I asked for her phone number to which she replied she did not have a phone. Seeing this as a brush off I almost shrugged and walked off. Even though I did not believe a word of it, I left her my number on her friend's phone, just in case, and left it up to her to call. Afterwards I learnt that her pal had actually tried to get rid of my number, her finger poised over the delete button on her phone, as I 'wasn't good enough'. (Not sure if mobile phones have a delete number these days...) Ka persisted, however, and managed to get the number off her. The next evening I was standing drawing a rather large naked woman when I received a surprise text. Taking my attention away from my easel in life drawing class for a brief moment I seen that it was from KA. The rest, as they say, is history.
If I hadn't bothered to contact Paul, the long lost secondary school buddy, Ka and myself would have never met. If I hadn't plucked up the courage to venture into Jumpin Jaks for that one night, we would never have met. If her horrid, so called, friend had pressed delete on her phone before Ka realised we would never have met. One of the most powerful words in the human language isn't it? If.
Happy Anniversary Ka. Love and best wishes. If your reading...