The Most Memorable Moments of 2013?

Oh thats too easy isn’t it?

The BBC, Guardian, Telegraph etc compile them for you …

There’s all the obvious world news, Nelson Mandela’s death, Margaret Thatchers demise, the new royal baby, only 2 of which events I reckon were worth writing about ..

Sporting news Andy Murray winning Wimbledon, Celtic winning the league again .. cool but its getting a bit boring.

My own personal event of the year was being woken up at 2am to be told that a member of my extended family had died in The Clutha tragedy.

Hardly a highlight and has caused untold sadness on the family and particularly those closest to him.

( I’ll keep this anonymous , i’m sure you don’t mind, which is why I never mentioned at the time )

Personally, I had a pretty good year, my kids all a year older and a little wiser, growing up in their own ways.

Meeting my daughters Laura’s boyfriend, now theres a first, poor guy was visibly shaking.

Laura qualifying as a nurse and getting her first job.

Steven going back to uni to do his masters degree.

Claire doing her highers and becoming a young lady rather than a wee girl.

Apparently, she kissed a boy last week, so i’m told .. my wee girl is definitely growing up.

Me, working and doing the best you can to keep everyone else in the comfort to which they’ve became accustomed!

Taking the family to Rome and then crusing around the Mediteranean to Athens, Crete, Sicily and Turkey was probably my highlight of the year.

My favourite concert has to be the T In The Park Music Festival, 4 days of top acts from all over the world Rhianna, The Killers, Mumford And Sons, The Script etc.

My own favourites .. and perhaps showing my age were Deacon Blue, Johnny Marr from The Smiths and the legendary Earth Wind and Fire who absolutely rocked.

Romantically, I met some new friends, some chat and some romance, kissed and never told .. well maybe a little ..

Like the fun we had at The Rocky Horror

Or this traumatic incident from April

So romance has came and gone, it seems that for over 40s thats the world we live in.

Last night as most nights, I slept alone, I’d like to change that in 2014 …

To change it .. you need to buy a ticket .. right?

So lets get the New Year celebrations out the way and get it going big style.

Life is too short not to have some fun .. but I want more than fun .. I actually want to be with the girl I want to share the rest of my life with and make lots of shared memories.

Is that too much to ask?

My problem seems to be partly circumstancial and that I’m helluva fussy! 🙂

Whatever you are doing as the clock strikes midnight, whether you feel happy or sad, I hope that you are with the ones you love and that 2014 brings you everything that you desire.

Me, I’ll be with family, relatively quiet, then London for the weekend and taking my girls to the Harry Potter Studio Tour, Spamalot and Billy Elliot

All my best for 2014.

Christmas Charity Dilemma!

Well that’s that then!

Christmas has passed for another year, I hope you had as pleasant a time as I did.

A day of family, a few messages from friends and so much food that we couldn’t finish what we had.

I looked at the remnants of the turkey thinking what a waste as I binned it because we couldn’t face another piece.

Today on the way to work, the immigrant beggars are sitting on the cold streets, their cups out.

I generally ignore them, I can’t give to them all and not every day, but it doesn’t sit easily with me and causes me some inner conflict.

I see one of the men, sitting at the same spot every day, he recognises me as I also see him selling The Big Issue ( a magazine for the homeless ) on a Saturday on Cambuslang Main Street.

I frequently buy the magazine from him, it costs a few pounds but I give him 5.

I wonder, why has he been selling the homeless magazine for years but still begging on the streets of Glasgow?

I wish I could help, I wish I could make a difference, but it seems that giving a few pounds just isn’t enough.

On the other hand, why should I give my hard-earned cash to someone who sits in the street all day?

Why don’t they go get a job?

Why are they in my country anyway?

Are we the land of milk and honey, providing free healthcare, housing and benefits to all?

If you read back my blog, even as recently as last week, you’ll see that I have some issues related to immigrant workers and I will be unempoloyed in the next week but they will still be in their roles.

Even although they are not even from the EU?

How can my country and specifically a Government bank employ non-EU workers and allow UK workers to become unemployed?

Is that fair?

No its not fair.

I don’t have the answer to all the problems brought on by immigration, but I do appreciate that people want to better themselves and provide a decent living for their families.

I also know that two wrongs will never make a right.

That my own personal dilemma does not change the fact that fellow humans might be hungry and cold and deserving of whatever we can give and we should do what we can.

So I will tell you this, sitting in the comfort and warmth of our homes, stuffing ourselves with turkey and all the trimmings, opening presents and spending time with our loved ones, we should appreciate how lucky we are.

Merry Christmas!!

Hello to you,

if you’ve been reading my blog over the past year or so, then you’ll probably know quite a little about me, my ups and downs, love of family, love of music and living a full and happy life although it doesn’t always work out that way!

It’s Christmas Eve and I’m finishing work early, a last mad dash to the shops and then its home to start wrapping .. because I’ve been lazy and busy and can’t really be bothered with it.

To be fair, I did buy my dad an ipad and a large part of last night was spent customising this with the songs and films he loves as well as lots of family photos, some family video and all the tv catch-up apps that I think he will enjoy.

I should have added a few bookmaker apps too as he loves the horses – theres still time.

Tonight, my younger daughter is coming over, maybe we’ll go into town for a bit to eat and sample the atmostphere at George Square and the Glasgow Christmas Market or maybe we will just eat at home.

Tomorrow, I ‘m picking up my dad and my other 2 kids are coming over.

Then the festivities will begin!!

A few of my favourite Christmas Movie scenes below .. from the comedy of Elf to the redemption of A Christmas Carol through the the reflection of It’s A Wonderful Life.

Christmas is a time to reflect, appreciate what you have, spend time together make your bonds stronger.

I always loved the end of Love Actually .. the airport scene where all that really matters is the love that people have for each other and being with the ones you love at the time that matters most.

Have a fantastic Christmas whatever you are doing, hopefully you are spending it with the people that you love the most.


The Platform Lovers – 21 – A Christmas Cad!

“Jesus-bloody-Christ, I’ve had enough of this Christmas nonsense”

The irony of his near silent blaspheme was lost as he pushed his way through the crowded pedestrian precinct of Buchanan Street, occasionally bumping against some other shopper with his handful of bags, occasionally bumping someone deliberately just to nudge them out of his way..

He stopped for a few moments to listen to “Hark The Herald”, he always enjoyed listening to the Salvation Army play their Christmas Carols and this was his favourite. It brought back memories of his happy childhood and those warm nights sitting around the fire with his mother, so excited for the day ahead and then sent to bed early because his she insisted they went to Church at least once per year.

The next few hours seemed to last forever as he tried to stay awake, hoping that he would catch a glimpse of Santa and dreaming of the presents he hoped he would receive. He’d told Santa that he wanted Scaletrix and a brand new bike when his mum had taken him to see him at the grotto at Lewis’s, but even then queuing up with his mum, even although she seemed more excited than him, he knew in his heart that it was all fake.

His father never went to Church, not even at Christmas. He would still be hung-over from the night before and waiting on them to arrive home and for mum to make breakfast.

Then they would open their presents, he never did get a brand new bike, the closest was nearly new, just a few scratches on the paintwork, but he liked it.

Well he liked it for a few hours until he took it out proudly to show it off, Tommy, an older kid from Langlands Street laughed and told everyone that his dad had came to their house to collect it after a few days ago after their fathers were at the club together.

He hated Tommy for causing him so much embarrassment, hated him for making him feel like a second class citizen, he swore that some day he would get him for this.

He never rode the bike again.

He looked around the crowd, standing around the band, wrapped up for the winter cold, scarves, gloves and smiling faces as they dropped their coins or an occasional note into the collection tins.

It’s all bollocks he thought, good natured bollocks for the fools in the world, allowing them to think that the world was a better place and their paltry donations could actually make some difference.

As for the immigrants and the people waving buckets for Charity, he already paid his taxes for that.

But when the pretty young woman arrived, he put a pound coin in her tin, he always believed that effort should be rewarded and he was after all a man of principle.

Charles was not a nice man.

His arrogance was palpable even in the festive season, this was his world, everyone else just happened to be there, bit parts to be looked down upon. If they were occasionally useful, like the office staff or waiters then he’d smile and turn on the charm. He liked to be liked by the minions, but he couldn’t really give a toss about them.

But yes, dear reader, I know you’re already thinking that this is an updated version of Ebenezeer Scrooge.

I know that you’re now waiting for a punch-line, were the bad guy has a moment of revelation and becomes good, unfortunately life isn’t like that.

Today he was rushed, he had plans for later, but first he had to get to the shops and pick up the few gifts he had for his long suffering wife Michelle.

Michelle, small, kind-hearted, and far too generous with his money, buying gifts for all her family even the relatives that she only saw a few times per year..

She did all of their Christmas shopping, well actually it was all for her friends and family so it wasn’t as if he should be doing it.

But he knew that she expected some gifts from him, he knew that she expected these to be personal, to show some thoughtfulness.

“Yeah whatever makes you happy” he thought and he had become used to managing her expectations.

Earlier that year she had expected him to go to her graduation. For an HND, its not even a degree he had scoffed, belittling her achievements and the three years she had spent working on her course in the evenings after her day job.

She was a devoted wife, not the brightest, but she seemed happy and if a few small trinkets kept it that way then that was fine by him.

He had already looked online, House Of Fraser, a one stop-shop for all of the goodies that she expected. Some jewellery, a dress and some lingerie, maybe a bag and of course perfume and chocolates.

Never forget the chocolates!

He knew her sizes but always made sure that he bought gift receipts because he wasn’t sure if he knew her taste, she never seemed sexy, not like the girls in his office.

Not like Monica, the new girl, slim, dark and so attractive.

They had already met for lunch, he had told her that her proposal would go ahead if she got the right nod.

This was lies, he could give the approval himself and her proposal was good, even although she had only been with the company a matter of weeks, she seemed to have a firm grasp of the business and their desire to become nationwide.

But he wanted Monica to think that he needed persuading, he wanted her to convince him. He wanted to see how far she would go.

They had flirted in the restaurant and kissed in the car, she had even allowed him to touch her breasts, but that was as far as she was prepared to go in the car-park.

He had promised to get a hotel room for their next meeting and booked it for later this evening at the Hotel Indigo around the corner from his office.

Monica was going to meet him there, she said that she had a few surprises and she wanted to be ready for him.

Oh yes, ready for him, he could barely contain his excitement.

Charles clicked the boxes, made the payment and arranged too pickup at their collection point. It was all simple and minimum hassle apart from getting through the crowds.

He hated the commercialism of Christmas, not that he was in any religious, far from it, he couldn’t stand al that falseness, all these smiling faced fakes, singing their carols and pretending that they have some sense of community.

Fuck that, its every man for himself in his world his father had told him and he had been right.

He’d never asked for anyone’s help and never expected it, he’d make it on his own way in this world.

That’s why he married Michelle, she wasn’t the best looking, actually quite frumpy and well below his usual standards, but she kind and generous and her parents owned the largest independent insurance agency on the west coast.

Her father treated him like his own son, welcomed him to the family and the business and privately told him that he was pleased that he had someone to take over the running of the company as he really didn’t think that Michelle was up to the job.

Poor Michelle he thought, but she seemed happy, she waited on him hand and foot, even when she did begin to take more of an interest in the business, she always seemed content to take a secondary role, managing the office whilst he met corporate clients.

Charles, dumped the bags in the boot of his car as soon as he got back to the office. Then he sent Michelle a text as she had already left to look after the kids, it was nearly Christmas and they would be expecting lots of her time as well as the presents she had bought them.

“I’ll be home a little later this evening, going to meet a few of the guys for a Christmas drink. X”

“That’s fine, I’ll see you when I see you. X”

Charles smiled, it was nearly playtime and everything was coming together nicely.

He closed his eyes and imagined Monica dressed in one of those sexy Santa uniforms.


Note to reader :-

For more on this story, key Platform in the search bar on the right.

If you only want to see the parts related to the above, key Charles

Christmas Starts With A Bang!!

Well .. the Christmas Party season started with a bang!!

Surprise last minute tickets to see Deacon Blue at The Hydro.

How good does Glasgow look in my pics below?

Right time to head towards the football,  Celtic vs Hearts an easy home win,  then partying in the town with brothers cousins and pals ..

Yeee-haa!   🙂

The Glasgow Hydro

The Glasgow Hydro

IMG_4444 IMG_4415

And So This Is Christmas …

And what have you done?

Another year over and a new one just begun …

Well not quite yet, but what have you done this year?

I’ve just had a look back at the resolutions I wrote at the beginning of the year.

Take Chances.
Tell the truth.
Fall in love.
Sing out loud.
Laugh at stupid jokes.
Spend all your cash.
Tell someone special how much they mean to you.
Tell a jerk what you think.
Laugh til your stomach hurts and your eyes water.
Live life
Have no regrets

I think I’ve pretty much covered all of them, thats pretty much how I live my life ..

All except for the last one .. have no regrets .. thats not really me, I have too much of a conscious and I’m far too self-critical to go through life without having pangs of regrets for events that I could have, with hindsight, handled better.

Fortunately these events are few and far between, experience has taught me that it’s better to avoid them or if events occur, then to do the right thing rather than do something that you’ll regret later.

So iI’ll play the Sinatra card .. Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again too few mention.

But .. Christmas is a’coming .. it’s time to party and put a smile on my face .. with no regrets!!

Last night, the munchkin met me after work and we went shopping in town, so many bags that my fingers were hurting carrying them .. and its still not enough .. at some point over the weekend I’ll be out for more.

We stopped in for food at a Carluccianos, a modern Italian Bistro, lovely food, a small glass of wine for the wee one, since she is looking so grown up and a pint of Peroni for me.

My wee girl is/has grown up pretty quickly and I’m a very proud dad.

It felt strange to be sitting there with her, surrounded by mature couples having dinner, couples on dates, groups of girls getting together and sharing desserts, but strangely no groups of guys … guys don’t do Italian .. guys do Indian!!

Looking round the office today, people in party hats all getting ready to go out for their team lunches.

Smiley happy people, good for them.

Funny enough, given yesterdays news, I don’t really feel part of that.

So I’ll avoid the fake-frivolity with people I don’t really know and meet my old workmates who have become real friends later this evening..

The last Friday before Christmas is known as Black Friday in Glasgow, all the pubs, clubs and restuarants are full.

Me, I’m taking the wee one to her mums, then driving into town .. no alcohol for me.

I’m saving myself for tomorrow …. early kick off at football with my brothers and some friends, meeting more friends later for drinks and an Italian and then a concert and going to party like its 2014.

Sunday, recovery and back out Christmas shopping .. the clock is ticking!!

If you’re reading this, maybe we’ve met, maybe we haven’t, maybe we never will, but thank you for reading my gibbering .. I enjoy expressing myself on here .. whether thats thoughts on life, concert experiences or made up stories .. its become part of what I do … maybe I need to get a life!! 🙂

Whatever you are doing … I hope that you and yours have a lovely Christmas.

Christmas – Contract Cancelled!

Do you remember aboiut 6 months ago when I was telling you about my contract not being renewed and the bank I’m working for starting a few non-EU workers to take my place?

Do you remember that they realised at the last moment that these guys couldn’t do what I actually do and offered me a last minute renewal to my contract?

I was obviously pissed off, but renewed because with all these non-EU workers around, meeting the supply at much lower costs than us UK workers then contracts are pretty thin on the ground at the moment unless you have a particular technical skill that is in demand.

Well, I finished my piece of work last week .. and had a bad feeling about my contract not being renewed.

I was right .. it isn’t.

But these fuckers are still here and will continue to be here for the next 6 months.

Not that they are bad people, I can’t blame them for wanting to make a living but they aren’t the best technically and they can barely communicate.

Never mind the fact that we are supposed to employ EU workers rather than import them from elsewhere.

Pissed off .. you betcha!!

Remember that this is a bank owned and operated by the UK Govenment and they are completely flouting EU employment law as well as UK immigration laws.

But its Christmas .. and we should be charitable .. right?

Nope .. fuck that .. these bastards don’t celebrate Christmas but I do.

To any of UK workers reading this .. please do what I did and contact your MP.

My original posts from 6 months ago mentioning detailing what happened at the time are here.

Christmas Insecurities?

You know the worst thing about relationships?

Dealing with other peoples insecurities.

You are in a relationship and things seem to be going along nicely, life is good, you know they have a damaged past .. but we all have a past and you feel a little sorry for them, and want to be there for them .. because you love them and most of the time it doesn’t show.

Most of the time they are lovely, kind, generous and thoughtfui.

But then you notice a pattern.

Every time that they have a drink, it comes out .. the comparisons, the pettiness and pre-judging your behaviour based on events that happened in their previous life.

They are pre-empting you’re percieved actions before they have occurred based on some previous partners actions.

You know that this is a defense mechanism, so you tolerate it, or rather you try not to react to the accusations, you talk to them and explain that not everyone is the same.

You cuddle them, pander to their insecurities, you find yourself even cancelling nights out with your friends, you hope that this is short-term and that with enough care and attention the insecurities and possessiveness will go away.

And they seem to.

Well they seem to, as long as you do as they say, don’t see your friends, be in constant contact with them.

You do this to keep them happy, but you resent this, its not you, you see your friends because no matter what happens in your relationship, your friends will always be your friends.

But you want an easy life and you go along with it and let them control you, you know that this is fundementally wrong, but while you behave as they want you to, then they seem to be their normal kind, generous self.

Until one night when you are out for a drink, it all happens again.

You think, why they hell do I put up with this?

You tell your pals about it .. your closest pals .. and they say .. Why they hell do you put up with this?

So you let it simmer, you don’t want to over-react, you don’t want to be like them and throw the rattle out of the pram.

You’d rather be calm and constructive and let them know how you feel without a shouting match.

You choose your moment, a quiet morning when you are alone without interruptions.

You explain how each time they blow-up or over-react it hurts you and that it skims a little piece off the amount of love you have for them.

They apologise, they try and justify their action .. but they can’t justify the unjust.

So you listen, and they say that they will try not to let it happen again.

You want to believe them, but you’ve heard it all before and you’re tired of it.

A friend in a similar situation says, better the devil you know … hhhmmm!

Theres some merit in that, but once the feelings gone .. its gone .. you just can’t get it back.

But its Christmas and who wants to be alone at Christmas?

So you think, I’ll get past Christmas .. I’ll put a smile on my face and do what I need to do to make the best of it.

You know that there will be drink involved and you already fear the worst.

Who wants to live like that?

If that happens to be you, then its time to stop looking after them and start looking after yourself.

No-one should be exposed to a destructive relationship.

The fact that it happens to be Christmas is an unfortunate conincidence..

My advice – Use the holiday to start making alternative arrangements, make a plan, be prepared for a difficult few weeks as they try to cajole or manipulate you back into their lives, but stay true to yourself and move on.

Christmas is for the people you love, that love you for who you are, not for who they want you to be.

And being loved isn’t just for Christmas.

I Love Edinburgh!

Check out this stunning view of Edinburgh looking from The Mound over Princes Street Gardens with the big wheel and The Balmoral hotel in the background.

Doesn’t Edinburgh just look fab?

Its my second favourite city after Glasgow and thats only because I’m a Glasgow Bhoy!

The Christmas Market on Princes Street wasn’t as jam packed as last year, probably because of the weather.

But it was pleasantly busy and the mulled wine with Ameretto was lovely!

3 of those sure does help keep the cold at bay!

Add in some hot german sausages and spicey cheeses from all over Europe .. all extremely tasty.

If you get the chance, get along, make a day of it, take the kids.

You’ll have great fun.


Victims Of Love? – The Erasure Musical?

You say that I could
Show some emotion
But I’ve been
Keeping secrets from you
Cos I can see through
All your sweet talk
And all of your affection untrue
I’m gonna find you out
If you scream and I shout
You won’t break down my protection

I don’t wanna look
Like some kind of fool
I don’t wanna break
My heart over you
I’m building a wall
Every day it’s getting higher
This time I won’t end up
Another victim of love

I woke up with that song playing on my iphone in random mode, now I can’t get the tune out of my head!

I love it when I hear a song that I’ve not heard for ages, especially an upbeat uplifting song on a friday when I’m feeling good.

I’m still singing it, hopefully I’ve put it in your head too.

Erasure possibly the must overtly gay band on the planet, but does that matter?

Not at all, their songs convey every human emotion – love lust loss agony – everything you experience whether you are gay or straight.

A thought occurred to me .. Why has there never been a musical based on the songs of Erasure?

Jeez if the can do it for The Proclaimers .. then why not?

Have a look at their greatest hits, Respect, Love to Hate You, Sometimes, Oh L’Amour, Victims of Love etc

The story would more or less write itself ..

2 gay guys .. neitther of whom are camp. ( Cos unlike the stereo-typing .. not all gay guys are camp )

Andy – brought up in rough area, under-priviledged, tough, hardened, always been out, lives in crap flat, experiments with drugs and part of “the scene”.

Ben – posh guy, privledged background, gay but scared to come out. Has family expectations and sees a few guirls to keep the parents happy.

Ben on a Christmas night refuses the advances of young female co-worker coming on to him, he’s slightly drunk and wanders into a gay club by mistake on purpose.

Ben is both fascinated and repulsed by the going ons in the club, men openly gay, kissing, fondling.. never mind whats happening in the loos!

Andy approaches him at the bar, drunken chmistry ensues but no physical contact until they end back at Andys flat.

( Sometimes )

Ben wants to be like Andy, he wants to be cool and not afraid to speak his mind.

Andy likes Ben and is interested to see how the other half live and pays a visit to Ben’s house pretending to be his straight friend on Bens wishes, But Andy despises their snobbery and middle-class values and can’t help but be what he is and lets Bens parents know.

There then ensues a drama of Ben trying to live up to his family expectations whilst living a secret life with Andy.

Andy has money related issues .. so when Ben is not there, he fucks a few men for money or cash in kind.

One morning, Ben appears at his Andys flat just as some older guy is leaving. A fight ensues and Ben stomrs off hurt and in the huff.

( Love To Hate You )

The straight” hard-man that Andy was seeing comes back and beats him up and leaves him hospitalised.

( Victims Of Love -melancholic piano version )

Andy needs support which Ben offers and the relationship continues which Ben keeps secret and Andy resents this.

Andy pressurised by Ben tellis his mum that he’s gay.

His mother has always known and cries and hugs him saying that she will speak with his father.

She tells his dad who get angry and has internal turmoil as his son should be straight.

( Respect )

Finale .. will Ben come out to his family so that he and Andy can live happily ever after?

Of course he does!

His mother has always known and sheds tears of joy.

His father resented it earlier but accepts it as he loves his boy more than anything .. he just didn’t want him to be on the scene and is happier that he is with someone that he loves.

( Oh L’Amour )

If this musical ever happens as above then I’m claiming copyright!! 🙂

Anyhoo – I love dancing to Erasure and have saw them live a few times .. Andy Bell is an amazing character on stage, Vince Clarke is so talented but quietly anonymous.

Friday night and I want to dance .. as long as it moves me I’m on the floor.

But no Christmas nights out for me, its my daughters School Christmas Prom and I’m running her there and back and she’s at mine the rest of teh weekend.

I’ll use the time she is at her dance to get started with the Christmas shopping.