Being A Couple?

Hello to you,

been a strange week .. there’s been a few of them recently.

My daughter Claire is on holiday from school so has disappeared over to her mums for the week.

I should be making the most of that, having fun, doing what I want with the house to myself.

In truth tho, I miss having her around, but if I’m completely honest, its not just Claire I miss, I miss having company of any kind.

You know how it is, you go to work, try to keep yourself busy, go and see friends or the movies.

But at the end of the day,, when everyone ihas said goodnight, you are on your own.

I fell asleep at 9pm last night, right out of it, woke up at 3, did a little browsing, watched tv, then felt tired again and fell asleep til 7am.

Woke up, made tea, played piano and was late for work .. how did that happen? 🙂

I’ve been on my own for a while now, I should be used to this and I thought I was, but maybe thats not quite honest.

Sometimes having Claire living with me means its not really practical or feasible to be with anyone else.

But and this is a bit difficult for me to say, the more I live alone, the more I realise that I miss being part of a couple.

Theres a shocker .. that wasn’t easy to admit it, but I do.

What makes you a couple? Is it lvinig together? A shared home? kids? A mortgage?

All that would be ideal, the fairytale of youth, but I don’t think you need any of that to know that you are in a secure loving relationship.

For a while, I thought that what made you a couple was having common interests and doing exciting things together, concerts, theatre, holidays, hill-walking.

But thats all pish really.

Doing fun things is great, but it just hides the reality of day-to-day living separately.

Now I realise is that what really makes you a couple is when you are happy to do the ordinary everyday banal stuff as long as you are doing it together or as part of a team.

You know the daft things, food shopping together, or separately and buying things because you know that your partner likes them.

Knowing that its your job to takes the bin out and that she will put the washing on .. or vice versa.

I’m quite a domesticated kind of guy, I like to enjoy life and have lots of fun, but I’m also very capable and I do everything that needs done around the house, I don’t “need” anyone else to do it for me.

I’m not looking for a little woman or a mother replacement to come along and do all that crap that most men can’t do on their own.

I like having a nice comfortable home, I do everything that needs done .. okay that includes having a cleaner in one day per week.

But when it comes right down to it, there is no point having a large family home on my own.

What has taken me a while to realise is that I want to be part of a couple rather than a single man.

But it is going to take one very special lady to change that!! 🙂

Right, enough of the self analysis ..

Actually it wasn’t analysis at all, I just wrote that off the top of my head, hope it makes sense, kind of tells you were I am.

Love this song from Texas … But still prefer the Al Green original .. no competition really.

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Sunshine On Leith – No More

Bloody hell ….

You know that song by the The Proclaimers – Sunshine On Leith?

Well if you read back here on here, you know that I love it.

It’s such an open-hearted love song, that cuts to the chase, the guy puts his feelings right out there and tells the girl how grateful he is to have her in his life and to help him live again.

Idealistic?

Maybe, but we’ve all been there.

I was at The Proclaimers on Saturday night at The Hydro.

Lets say they were average, the anthems Letter From America, 500 Miles, Lets Get Married etc, were superb.

But the rest, or most of the rest was filler, mundane at best and dirge at worst.

Okay, they finished on a few biggies which had the crowd going, including me and there were smiles all around when leaving the stadium.

Harsh but fair? I hope so.

As for The Hydro itself, I’ve been a couple of times now and its undoutedly a great venue, stunning looking form the outside with its bright lights and easy access to the important tjhings like bars and toilets.

But this was the first time I’ve been in the seated area .. hopefully the last.

The arena itself is too big and you are too far away from the performers to feel any connection with them. You can only really watch it on the big screens at the side, so you’d be as well just watching it on DVD in the house.

Very Disappointing.

Anyhoo, thats all preamble.

Having left the gig with the feel-good factor, I went to see movie Sunshine On Leith, a tale of love and loss set in Edinburgh and based around The Proclaimers greatest hits and feeding on their popularity with the Scottish audience.

I should have bloody known .. seriously .. slaps himself in face and asks will you ever learn?

What was I expecting?

A Scottish version of Mama-Mia?

Well thats exactly what I got only on a miniscule scale, lesser stars and a much smaller budget.

Jeez .. it was terrible from start to finish.

The funny parts weren’t funny, the sad parts were so obviously trying to manipulate your emotions that it was cringeable.

One of the main stars, Peter Mullan has always been a hero of mine, the man has a great social conscious, I’ve been a fan since his early days in the 9:84 company at The Citizens Theatre and his first drama I was aware of The Steamie has a personal significance as I remember helping my mum along to our local baths with the bags of laundry.

But this was awful, terrible screen-writing, predictable dialogue and the singing was woeful.

The big love scene at the end and the dance routine at Edinburghs Mound was particularly cringe inducing.

I hate to say it but I laughed out loud with nervous embarrassment. I wasn’t the only one.

But don’t take my word for it, go and see it, you won’t believe how bad it is.

A fantastic advert for Edinburgh tho, it is indeed a beautiful city.

I have a great affection for The Proclaimers, they were fantastic on their short set when they opened this years T In The Park.

But no more please!!

How Soon Is Now?

Love this song, love the video from Johnny Marr covering The Smiths song playing the guitar riffs he made so famous.

Particularly love the following lines ..

I am human and I need to be loved
just like everybody else does

The full crowd singing that at T In The Park earlier this year was pretty special.

Love those lyrics of angst and desperation.

But just how soon is now?

How Soon is Now?

I am the son
and the heir
of a shyness that is criminally vulgar
I am the son and heir
of nothing in particular

You shut your mouth
how can you say
I go about things the wrong way
I am human and I need to be loved
just like everybody else does

I am the son
and the heir
of a shyness that is criminally vulgar
I am the son and the heir
of nothing in particular

You shut your mouth
how can you say
I go about things the wrong way
I am human and I need to be loved
just like everybody else does

There’s a club if you’d like to go
you could meet somebody who really loves you
so you go, and you stand on your own
and you leave on your own
and you go home, and you cry
and you want to die

When you say it’s gonna happen “now”
well, when exactly do you mean?
see I’ve already waited too long
and all my hope is gone

You shut your mouth
how can you say
I go about things the wrong way
I am human and I need to be loved
just like everybody else does

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_-wrbe77xkA

Sunshine On The Clyde!

Friday again!

Where are the weeks going?

Been a mad few weeks since the trauma of 2 weeks ago, I didn’t really mention it on here apart from that I’d had a really shit weekend.

I don’t really want to go into it, but truth is I was smacked in the face while I was looking the other way and left bruised and marked.

The physical side of that was bad enough, but trying to figure out why has been completely stressful.

I’ve not been sleeping well and have lost over half a stone, even my skinny jeans today are falling off me.

Thats the last I go to a friends works night out when they’ve been drinking since 5, it was a disaster.

Anyways, I’ve had great support from a few friends who have listened to my woes and made me tea, they’ve been a great help and its really appreciated.

Thankfully, things have settled down a bit, I slept well last night and feeling back to my old self.

Moving along …

Tonight, supposed to be meeting Stephen and Pete for a few drinks, but no definite plans as yet.

I’m not really too bothered, I like to know in advance what I’m doing and if people can’t make the effort ..

Tomorrow, The Proclaimers at The Hydro .. can’t wait .. they were superb when they opened this years T In The Park.

These 2 geeky hibs fans from Edinburgh have captured the hearts of the nation and now open most rugby, football or national team events.

Theres even been a musical and a film based around their songs, I haven’t saw either yet, but will need to get round to having a look.

My favourite Proclaimers song is Sunshine on Leith .. okay, its a bit Scottish and is completely cheesy … But the sentiments are very genuine and wouldn’t it just be great to have someone who gave you that feeling, that you knew that you’d always want to be with them?

Tomorrow, with The Proclaimers at The Hydro there will be Sunshine On The Clyde.

Whatever you are doing, have fun!

Sunshine on Leith

My heart was broken, my heart was broken
Sorrow Sorrow Sorrow Sorrow
My heart was broken, my heart was broken

You saw it, You claimed it
You touched it, You saved it

My tears are drying, my tears are drying
Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you
My tears are drying, my tears are drying

Your beauty and kindness
Made tears clear my blindness

While I’m worth my room on this earth
I will be with you
While the Chief, puts sunshine on Leith
I’ll thank Him for His work
And your birth and my birth.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

The Platform Lovers – 17 – Paradise Regrets

17 – Paradise Regrets

John often thought about her, he couldn’t help it, they had been a couple for the vast majority of his life and he had known her before he could remember anything else.

Carol Ann had always been a part of his life.

His earliest childhood memories were playing with her in the small plastic pool in her family garden, their mums sitting together on the patio, knitting and making casseroles or stews waiting on the fathers to come home on the train to Cambuslang from their offices in Glasgow.

In their teenage years, lying fully clothed in her single bed, cuddling and laughing. They had agreed that they must have been about three at the time. Aged three, but they had known each other since birth as the evidence was in the photographs tucked away in the family album from each others christenings. Those grainy faded images showed that they played together as babies, crawling round under tables, playing with teddies, slept together in his parents large bed surrounded by pillows.

They had looked at these old albums many times over the years, laughed about them.

But although the evidence was there, they were far too young to actually have any real memories, only those pseudo-memories that the brain magically manufactures when you get told the same story time and time again, making it real.

Having such close documented memories was very reassuring, it was something that they had both held close to them. These secure memories kept them together even when things were tough, when he was made redundant in the early 80s when Thatcher made her cuts and mortgages rates went sky-high a year or two later.

Times were hard but they had each other.

Isn’t that the way it’s always meant to be?

As was expected, and had been agreed by their parents, they got married, both of them aged 21, because her dad wouldn’t allow it any sooner.

Their wedding was a huge affair, 400 guests at Saint Brides Church for the formalities and the reception at The Burnside Hotel, back when it really was quite a plush place and it was difficult to get a booking for a Saturday in June then.

But they were both well known in the area and Carol Ann’s friend Julie worked in the reception and made sure that they had their name down for the first cancellation.

They must have heard the phrase “childhood sweethearts” at least a zillion times, as their aunts on both sides, neighbours and everyone they knew from growing up next-door to each other in Wellshot Drive had called them over the years.

Childhood sweethearts, a match made in heaven, now Mr and Mrs John and Carol Ann McIver and fulfilling their destiny of carrying on the family lines.

Well so everyone thought.

But John, Carol Ann and her mum Ruby knew a little differently.

Carrying on the family line had been the least of their problems in the days before the wedding. The only good thing was that the timing was fortunate.

Carol Ann was a good Catholic girl, she’d told him straight “If you want to get into my knickers John McIver then you’ll have to put a ring on that finger” pointing the said finger into his face and letting him know her expectations in no uncertain terms.

He’d begged her for a little, just a little, but eventually relented, it was going to happen anyway, their future was already mapped out for them and the parents were already talking about where they would live and the size of house they would need for a growing young family.

“He could remember everything thing as if it happened only yesterday”

A line from Meat Loaf’s “Paradise by the Dashboard Light”, how they loved that song at the time, it had been one of their favourites when they were 15 and now at 20, engaged to be married this summer and John almost finished his apprenticeship as an engineer at the Hoover factory just of the main street.

Whenever they could, they would tell their parents that they were visiting friends or going to the cinema and would spend their nights kissing and fumbling in the back of his dad’s Ford Cortina parked at the top of the Cathkin Braes.

Those fantastic night views of Glasgow being totally ignored for a glimpse at her bra, then months later her breasts, then as time passed her nipples, a kiss at them, a small suck at each of them, just for a minute but that was as far as she would go.

There was no way she was going to do anything else or let him do anything else.

Well not until that night that they went to see Julie’s baby, a short drive from Cambuslang to Carmunock to Julie and Roberts small flat.

They had already seen the baby in the hospital of course, but this was more a wetting-the-babies head, a small party for close friends with Julie’s mum taking the baby away at 10pm so that the young ones could have a bit of time on their own to celebrate.

Carol Ann didn’t really drink, she never has so the wine went straight to her head.

She was drunk quite quickly, not falling around, but giggly and laughing because she couldn’t get up from the sofa to go to the loo.

And of course she loved everyone, hugging Julie and telling her and Robert that she wanted to get pregnant as soon as they were married.

By the time they were heading for home at 2am, John had to help her to the car as she wasn’t very stable on her feet. He was working the Sunday morning overtime and wasn’t really drinking, but back then everybody drove with more than the legal limit, it was only the four pints, who can’t drive a car on four pints, eh?

Carol Ann, hugged him the minute he got in the driver side, sliding across to hold him, slobbering over the side of his face and telling him how much she loved him.

A few minutes later, driving up the hill to the west end of the braes, he was shocked when she put his hand between his legs and told him that she wanted a baby, that she wanted to make lots of babies.

John took turned off the main Cathkin Road that crosses the Braes into the road that looped around the farms and led up to East Kilbride. They pulled into their usual place at the entrance to Coulter’s Wood, a quiet little spot where he could park the car behind the trees and they were shielded from any passing cars, not that there were many cars passing this way at any time of day and even less so at this time of night.

John wanted to hold her,, kiss her, tell her how much he wanted her, that he couldn’t wait to be married to her and that he would love her forever.

But she beat him too it, as soon as he pulled on the handbrake, her hands were behind his neck pulling him to her, telling him for the second time that she loved him, that she wanted him and she wanted to make lots of babies with him.

John had never saw her pissed before and liked her in this giggly state.

He allowed her to pull his head towards him, leaning over the seats of the Cortina, kissing her then running his right hand from her waist to her breast without any resistance or attempt to push him away.

She kissed him deeper, lustily, pushing her tongue in his mouth.

This was a new experience for John, he’d spoke about this in the factory, with the other apprentices and young tradesmen. Those bawdy conversations about the women they had fucked. John was sure that most of it was made up, guys all bull-shitting each other, it was setting a pecking order, he knew that.

But it was also informative, those little bits of secret knowledge about how to touch her, what girls like and how you can tell if they want you. Apparently if a girl puts her tongue in your mouth she wants you to fuck her.

He didn’t actually believe that Carol Ann wanted to have sex, but he was happy to go with the flow. He wanted her, they were getting married in a few months time so what difference would it make?

He tested his luck, unbuttoning the front of her red blouse, pulling away from her so that he could look her in the eye as he did so.

She looked doe-eyed, frightened and bit her lip as he undid the buttons. Pausing slightly before he pulled the blouse open to reveal her.

“You do love me John? Tell me that you love me and you’ll never leave me”

“Baby, I’ve loved you all my life, we’ve always been together, we’re getting married in June, we’ll make our promises in front of everyone, but I’m telling you now, I will never leave you.” He held her eye, making sure that she knew that she meant it.

“And now our bodies are oh so close and tight, it never felt so good, it never felt so right”

They made love right there on the front seat of the Cortina, the seat reclined and his jeans at his ankles. There was rushed desperateness about it, he wanted to fuck her before she changed her mind. He wanted to know what the fuss was about, he hoped that if took this chance and they did it once, then she would always let him do it.

But she wasn’t changing her mind, she wanted him, pulled him towards her as he entered her, then held him as he came inside her thrusting and grunting in ecstasy within moments of being inside her.

Then she started to cry, her tears sliding down her face.

He didn’t understand and asked her why. He wasn’t really used to dealing with female emotion and this was all new to him physically and emotionally. Not that he could have verbalised that at the time as he didn’t have anything like the necessary life experience.

“Because life will never be the same now” And she kissed him, saying that she had no regrets, but he had better marry her now.

Looking back at it now, it had felt so good and so right.

He had no regrets and would not change a thing. Back then he loved her with all his heart. He still loved her, he knew that would always be true.

“You got to do what you can, And let Mother Nature do the rest”

Sometimes what you regret are things that you can’t change, you just wish that it had turned out differently. That somehow it had meant to be and if you believe in angels that you’re angel had been looking after you better that day.

The car crash was small, a bump, but Carol Ann had been thrown forward, no-one wore seat-belts back in those days. A week later, she was ill and it wasn’t getting better.

Her doctor at Stonelaw Road surgery ordered an emergency ambulance for Rutherglen Maternity, where after a few tests, she’d lost the baby that they never knew they were having.

This was the week before the wedding, the day itself became traumatic rather than joyful.

There were brave faces from the childhood sweethearts and promises that he would never leave her. Their dads looking so proud showing them off to all their friends. Ruby crying the tears of the Mother-Of The-Bride trying to put a happy face on for her girl and sobbing for the loss of the baby that never was.

John promised Carol Ann, that they would have another baby, that it happened once and that it would happen again, but his words were empty, despite all the tests, despite trying desperately, it just never happened for them.

Now lying beside Aileen, his new partner, heavily pregnant with their child. His only regret was that the loss of the baby had left him feeling unfulfilled for the vast majority of his life and that it hadn’t happened with Carol Ann.

Once I Had Love….

And it was a gas!!!

Friday … no yaaaay .. this week!

Had a nightmare of a Friday last week and was home early and sober.

I am never ever going to a works night out again when they’ve been drinking since 5, particularly when I don’t really know the other people.

Just not worth the hassle!!

Tonight ..

Tonight .. my hair is beautiful .. Atomic.

Dirty Harry, the fantastic Blondie Tribute band from Edinburgh are playing The Ferry, Glasgow.

I saw them earlier this year in Edinburgh and was well impressed, so definitely going along.

http://www.dirtyharryblondietribute.co.uk/

I was also at the real Blondie gig some time in July and Debbie was older but still fantastic. I wrote about it here at the time.

Now by definition, a tribute act can never be as good as the real thing .. but these guys and particularly the absolutely gorgeous Sarah Kennedy are fantastic, full of energy and have the Blondie sound ripped to shreds!!

A few of my favouite Blondie songs below … Wasn’t Richard Gere a handsome fellow!

Still is!!

Karma For Contractors!

Isn’t Karma a real bitch?

I wrote the following couple of articles a few months ago when I had my contract terminated to be replaced by Non-EU workers.

https://dancingbhoy.wordpress.com/2013/06/12/blowing-the-whistle-on-uk-government-bypassing-eu-working-practices-and-immigration-control/

https://dancingbhoy.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/dilemma-take-the-offer-or-walk/

I was a bit upset about it at the time, of course I was, contracts are a bit thin on the ground with the current economic climate and I really really do not want to go staff anywhere, I’m much too independent and opinionated for that.

So I did what I could, I discussed the offer, higlighted the skill differences, got a better offer and took the money,, so I’m still here.

3 months later, the project has moved on.

My part is about finished, well phase 1 anyway, there is a phase 2 to be started soon and I’ve just extended my contract for another 3 months.

However … the Non-EU guys, nice enough people, can’t actually write code to save themselves.

I’m currently reviewing their code and it simply doesn’t work, mnre so, they have done their own test documentation for this .. and they have stated in writing that it works and signed off on it, but their documentation and testing has missed the point.

Just because the code runs, doesn’t mean that it actually works!!

There is no evidence of positive or negative test cases, no evidence of testing each path in the code or validation of input parameters etc.

Am I loving it?

Naah, that would be below me!! 🙂

I’m just calmly higlighting the failings to the Project Managers and letting them decide.

But what did make me laugh today is that one of the main UK Contractor groups has published the following article, slating the use of Non-EU workers at the company where I work and highlightig the fact that these offshore workers pay less tax than us poor UK employees.

The UK Govenment getting more tax in was which was the full point of this exercise looks like its failed miserably.

Moreso, The HR people here have also confirmed that when they moved from employing independent contractors to offloading the work to managed service companies like Syntel, they never intended Syntel to bypass UK Borders Agency rules and employ non-EU workers,

Hopefully they change their policy as a result of this.

Have a read and smile with me.

http://www.contractorcalculator.co.uk/payroll_rules_backfire_contractors_replaced_tax_449010_news.aspx

Rod And The Hydro Opening Night .. Looks Amazing!