The Things That Dreams Are Made Of ….. #HumanLeague

You’ve probably heard all the clichés …

Carpie Dieum,
Seize the Day
You Only Live Once

They are all basically the same message just for different times, people have always been aware that their time on this earth is limited and they have to make the most of it.

I have this theory … a belief .. that there’s no point in being here unless we function as we want to and when we can no longer function times up.

But when is that point of non-functionality reached?

The big book of Christianity says that we have 3 score years + ten, that’s seventy years to you and me.

A pretty good average, unless your life is cut short through illness or some other tragedy.

But who wants to live until your 70 and realise that it’s too late to do all the things that you want to do?

You see, my theory is life is only good while we are capable of living and doing all the things that we did when we were at our peaks.

As soon as we pass our peaks, then it’s a slippery slope with no return until eventually you slip off the edge.

Fuck that.

So where’s the cut off point?

When do you know that the point of no-return has passed?

I have a simple measure .. nothing complicated and you either pass the test or you don’t

And if you don’t your basically fucked .. start making arrangements.

This morning, I parked at the train station car park, about 250 yards from the platform just as the train arrived.

Feck .. I thought .. if I miss this its 20 minutes waiting on the next one and I want an early shoot home today.

So I sprinted, passed a few saunterers along the way and jumped on the train as the doors closed.

I stood there breathless, but smiling, getting looks from the other passengers but feeling alive.

That’s my measure of general fitness, when I can’t run for the train, my capabilities have gone ..,

Expand that a little .. I’ll not be able to have sex the way I do, then I’m really really fucked.

Then I’m not the guy that I have always been.

Game over.

But until that day .. live every day as if it’s your last .. do all the things you want to do, dance, travel, see the world, enjoy life and don’t give a fuck about money, it won’t matter when you’re old or dead.

Today is my son’s birthday, 25 years ago he was a skint rabbit in an incubator in a hospital ward, now he’s 6 foot 2 and making his own way in life.

Proud .. you betcha!!

Last week was my daughter Laura’s graduation and she’s working as a nurse ..

See what I did there .. she’ll look after me when I’m old and dithery .. ( what like now – Ed )

Claire has done her higher and will be at Uni soon enough.

So I’ve done my job .. it’s time for me to live the life I didn’t get the chance to when I was younger and married way too young.

If you’ve read my blog, you’ll see that I’m doing not too bad!!

Tonight we celebrate the boy’s birthday with family.

Tomorrow we make the journey south and head off on a cruise around the Mediterranean for 2 weeks of sun and fun.

We did a cruise last year and loved it, but this time it’s for 2 weeks

Can’t wait!

I’ll leave you with a song from my youth, something that inspired me, but I was too afraid to seize a life of adventure then.

I only hope that I instil this in my own kids .. and hopefully I am, see the following and the lyrics below.

On last year’s cruise, Steven and Laura were clubbing till 3am, then Steven came in looking for his swim-shorts.

What are you doing swimming at this time son?

I met a couple of Norwegian Girls dad.

That’s my bhoy!!

Would it be the same for my girls?

That’s another story!! 🙂

BTW The Human League were fantastic at T In The Park last weekend, Looking forward to seeing them later in the year in Glasgow

Take time to see the wonders of the world
To see the things you’ve only ever heard of
Dream life the way you think it ought to be
See things you thought you’d never ever see

Take a cruise to China
Or a train to Spain
Go ’round the world
Again and again
Meet a girl on a boat
Meet a boy on a train
And fall in love
Without the pain

Everybody needs love and adventure
Everybody needs cash to spend
Everybody needs love and affection
Everybody needs 2 or 3 friends

These are the things
These are the things
The things that dreams are made of
These are the things
These are the things
The things that dreams are made of

The Platform Lovers – Intuition?

Michelle’s call to the detective agency was disappointing, she’d swithered about getting them involved for a long time but now it was affecting her sleep. She had her suspicions but wanted to know exactly what Charles got up to on his late nights downstairs or on his trips away.

She was sure that that it was more than just watching porn, even although that is what he claimed and she had caught him watching on a few occasions.

Unfortunately, the moment she spoke to their investigator Jim on the phone, she knew that she was dealing with the wrong agency and that they were more interested in o making money from her than investigating her issues.

Jim sounded like the stereo-typical heavy drinking, smokers coughing ex-cop and was clearly the old-school type of investigator, used to dealing with divorce cases, all night stake outs trying to get the photograph that made the case but not sophisticated enough to determine what Charles was up to sitting in their lounge downstairs on his laptop.

This was no use to Michelle’s, Charles barely ever stayed out all night and his weekends away had stopped since he had sacked Geraldine his PA. Her apparent leaving for ~family reason” just wasn’t washing with Michelle and like anything that itches, she just could not help but scratch.

What had mainly put Michelle off Jim’s investigation agency was his upfront and unapologetic demand for expenses, she appreciated that everyone has business expenses, costs needed to be paid, but she had read that a lot of modern detective work can be done online if you know where to look so expected minimal start-up expenses with some preliminary investigative work done for costs only.

Michelle hung up he the call, promising Jim that she would be back in touch if necessary. Thankfully, she’d hidden her number only gave them scant details of her situation in case there was any unwanted comebacks but the call hadn’t filled her with confidence.

Michelle had noticed that Charles guarded his laptop as if it was his most precious possession, locking it in a drawer in his study or in the boot of his car, never leaving it without it and even when Michelle had tried to look at it while he was in the shower, it was locked with a password that she had no chance of guessing.

That only made the itch worse, the more he was evasive, the more Michelle felt that he had something to hide from her.

His evasiveness continued over the following few weeks, making excuses to work late or be out with clients on two occasions.

He said that these were for drinks and a meal, but she had spoken to Lucy in accounts on the pretence that she was looking at someone else’s expenses then stayed later in the office and the checked the last receipts which he had submitted finding that they were time-stamped long before he had came home.

She questioned herself, was she being paranoid?

Was he really just out with clients or was he on the make with some other female?

Charles never came home after midnight, or at least very rarely and always before 12:30, on these occasions he’d come directly to bed apologising for being late then speaking about who he was with, usually some potential client that she had heard of but never met.

But her female intuition told her that he was hiding something, she could feel it gnawing at her, growing like a tumour of mistrust.

But she knew that if she questioned him, he’d make excuses, accuse her of being paranoid, deflect her questions, then play the good husband again until things quietened down to normality, then he’d play his games again.

Somewhere inside, she knew that’s what had happened with Geraldine his PA, but she couldn’t prove it.

She knew that she didn’t want to go through that cycle again. She needed to know what he was up to and the sooner the better.

That’s when she decided to call her family lawyer and arrange a meeting, the family had used the same firm for many years, her father had been friends with the senior partner and she was on good personal terms with his daughter Amanda, perhaps she could recommend an agency capable of a discreet investigation.


I took a couple of days to write that .. a few edits on the sequence and it still feels a bit bitty!!

It’s been a busy week at work and majorly busy at home, packing for my holiday starting on Saturday.

Can’t wait!

Box It Up?

Take that polyester shirt you used to love to touch
All the records that we scratched when we drank too much
Al the tickets and the trinkets and the toys and such

And box it up for me

Al the second had books we bought but never read
And the kinky little secrets underneath the bed
The blood sent to tell us our futures dead

Box it up for me

And so it turns out
That we’re exactly who we thought we were
There’s no redemptive ark
There’s no shocking final twist

Just the corniest of clichés
And the ending that everyone predicted
And the fading flavour of the wrong lips kissed

Find that little check dress you wore on holiday
All the letters full of words we could never say
Every tender token we left on display

And box it up for me

All those Polaroid’s you hated of you in the shower
And the picture of us dancing at Blackpool tower
Ever burned out candle
Every dried out flower

Box it up for me

Box it up for me

Aidan Moffat and Bill Wells

I absolutely love that song, came across their melancholic version Cruel summer in the car the other day and bought the 3 track EP from iTunes just to hear how this story ended.

Aidan’s soft but rasping vocal and Bills melancholic haunting piano work so well together.

But it’s the story telling of the content that holds the attention, painting a picture in the mind, becoming more graphic with every phrase, waiting to see where the story goes.

Such a sad circumstance, sad but the writing is expressive and draws you in.

Absolutely love it.

Hope you do too …

@TITP2014 – Day 3 – #ByeByeBalado

Day 3 opened at 5am with the sun lighting up the tent.

I’d only been sleeping since around 2am, sometime after Calvin Harris closed and bouncing home in the rain with the happy crowd.

The empty pizza box was lying on the floor beside me. Salami and chill, nice at the time, but my teeth were needing power-washed.

Stumbled, okay slightly staggered over to the fridge .. yeah the fridge .. bleary eyed realising I was probably still pissed from the night .. day .. before!

Thing is, on the day before, I wasn’t actually drunk, it was just a lot of refreshment , generally alcoholic, over a long period of time so it had to take its toll.

Back to bed and opened the can of Fanta as silently as possible, but the fizzy pssssstttt wasn’t playing along.

Can’t even remember closing my eyes but 3 hours passed in a blink and the sun was now frying the back of my retinas.

Tip – bring an eye mask next time!

Showered before The Residence rush, tea at the chill-out cafe and some breakfast just because the pizza wasn’t enough.

Spent some time lazing around in the sun, today there were no plans, no one we desperately wanted to see apart from The Red Hot Chilli Pipers opening at the back of 12.

Their blend of bagpipe rock didn’t disappoint and will go and see them at some other point, particularly if they have the same stunning dancers.

Wandered down from the main stage to the Radio 1 stage, caught The Inspiral Carpets whilst lying on a picnic blanket drinking a glass of White Zinfadel from the carton that we had smuggled in. The Carpets have been on the go a long time, I’ve heard them compared with James and Echo And The Bunnymen, I thought they were more like The Stranglers but its all the same sound after a while and you either like it or you don’t.

I liked it, particularly their next single which they played second last. The last song, was obviously a biggie from their distant past and I must’ve been dad mode at the time and missed it but was enough to make me want to see them when they play Glasgow later in the year.

Still sitting in the grass, Reverend and The Makers were much better than I’d anticipated, Love that single of theirs Heavyweight Champion Of The World, but they had a lot more to offer.

The hours passed and we wandered, from gig to gig, dancing in the sun at Cocktail Cocktail

By this time I wasn’t drinking being the nominated driver and we were heading home right after the fireworks.

Paul Weller on the main stage, looking fit, tanned and toned was his usual indulgent self. He has a huge back-catalogue and could play 3 hours worth of hits o get the crowd going, but in this hour long set he played 4 songs that I knew and probably only a couple known by the majority of the kids in the audience. Even the die-hard fans were disappointed because they hadn’t heard their favourites That’s Entertainment or Town Called Malice. I’ve saw Paul on many occasions before and knew what to expect.

The music industry is in decline, artists have to tour because they aren’t making as much money from record sales as they used to.

As a regular concert goer, that can only be a good thing, but I wonder, why do artists go on trying to push their new material when what people want, including the youngsters who don’t already have their oldies, is the old familiar tunes, surely by playing the hits and getting people onside from the off, then people will be more open to listening and spending their hard-earned cash on the new stuff?

The Kaiser Chiefs had this bang to rights, banging out the hits with a modicum of filler; we can all live with that.

Took in a couple of shows, Jake Bugg rockier than I expected, Franz Ferdinand banging out the hits and Example had King Tuts bouncing.

Surely that’s what festivals are about .. seeing old favourite and making new ones?

Yesterday seemed even busier than Saturday, a lot of people coming for The Arctic Monkeys and main stage was packed, we were way back enjoying the noise from a suitable distance, I’ve tried to like the Monkeys and even although I found myself bopping along, I’m still struggling with that, but they are undoubtedly deserving headliners as the kids love them.

Here’s the thing about festivals, it’s not all about the music, it’s about the atmosphere, the friendliness and openness of the people of all ages. People all chatting about who they’ve seen, who they loved, who they were disappointed with, sitting in the sun chatting with friends or the people sitting next to you, dancing like dafties at 2pm or 2am and no-one giving a feck, photo-bombing other peoples pics and them photo-bombing yours and everyone enjoying the moment.

Back at the daily grind today, I still have my TITP wristband attached, earlier I was sitting on the train into work, feeling chilled out and smiling, considering finishing with this place and doing something more appealing that stimulates my interests and allows the expression of my creativity.

A group of youngsters get on the train at Central, carrying their tents and all filthy black but looking happy and still raving about The Arctic Monkeys.

Theirs was probably a similar but different experience from mine, but good fun was had by all.

Bye Bye and thank you Balado,

@TITP2014 – Day 2 @wearejames rule!

This was the day I was looking forward to most.

From first light there was a slight chill in the air, the clouds were moving in and rain was on its way.

No one cared!

Up early, showered shorts and James tee with the blue flower from the 2010 tour with the orchestra of the swans.

The Stranglers got the crowd going banging out the old punk hits. We were down at the front and a few young kids around us knew every word. I love that. I asked one of them if their dad was a fan .. No he hates them …. So he’s a fan-nay then.

Killed a few hours then back down the front for James, they got the crowd going quickly with Come Home wirh Tim in the crowd at the other side of the stage.

For Getting Away With It he was right in front of us. Just love his confidence ability and stage presence.

Finished the show with Laid which had the creowd bouncing and then the lesser known Sometimes, but there were enough fans there to keep the chorus of … Someone’s I look in your eyes and see your soul .. Going after the band has stopped playing.

I absolutely love it, it’s my favourite live song of theirs. A near religious experience.

You have to be there maybe but please do.

Feeling pretty ecstatic it was time for food and drinks.

The rain had started but somehow we hadn’t noticed.

Up in the VIP area, the bar and disco area were jam packed as people sheltered from the rain. But there was enough space on the floor for us.

The Dj was in hits mode mixing songs from the last few decades and playing a minute of each then moving on.

Back down for Pharrell who was disappointing. Nuff said.

Along to the King Tuts tent for The Hunan League who played what the large crowd came to hear. All the biggies.

The rain was heavy by this point and didn’t let up for the rest of the night.

Back out with the jacket on for Paulo Nutini, I was hesitant about this as I reckon he’s overrated and in my opinion I was proven right

He thinks he’s better than he is, played unrecognisable versions of his hits and even my friends who wanted to see him were disappointed.

Calvin Harris and surprise guest Will Smith closed the night and had the crowd jumping to all his hits and the fantastic light show and fireworks.

Clearly giving the crowd what the want has better results.

Walked back to The Residence around half one, stopped in for a totally unnecessary pizza but ravaged it anyway.

Fell asleep soundly with only the briefest thought about how the kids up in the campsite deal with this level of rain.

Woke up today, sun shining and no clouds to be seen still got James in my head …

Sometimes when I look in your eyes I see your soul …


@TITP2014 – Day 1

Having a fantastic time at TITP.

The weather yesterday was absolutely fantastic. Spent the morning chilling out on a picnic blanket getting burned and drinking pear cidre.

The atmosphere in the arena was chilled in early afternoon as we wandered round getting a feel of the place. A buzz of excitement was in the air as people enthused about who they wanted to see.

A few highlights for me Imagine Dragons were great and had the crowd jumping with their versions of The Proclaimers 500 miles.

Ellie Goulding a talented stunning sun kissed festival babe. Not really my cup of tea but she rocked the place more than I expected.

But the best was yet to come.

Ed Sheeran one of the most talented individuals I’ve ever seen. On stage solo, no band or backing tapes, using electronic wizardry to start a beat, layer some rhythm then play and sing the melody.

Not only is he musically talented, but his content is strong, considered, thoughtful.

He had the place rocking and everyone seemed to know the words, especially of the campers anthem ..

Here we, here we,
here we … Go!

Caught the last 20 mins of The Manics, fantastic as usual.

Today, it’s grey outside but the sun is warm and hope it burns if the clouds.

Can’t wait to see James one of my most long term favourite bands.

Looking forward to The Stranglers and Paulo Nutini and finish did the night dancing to Calvin Harris.

The Work Life Balance?

Yesterday was my elder daughter’s graduation ceremony. She’s fully qualified and enjoying her job as a nurse.

The complete naivety of youth!

She’s working in the heart attack, stroke and dementia ward at a local hospital and has already been home in tears because a wee man that she was getting to know was unlikely to make it through the night and she wouldn’t see him again.

It’s a tough job and I don’t think that I could do it myself, but she loves it.

Yesterday was about celebrating her achievements.

But sometimes, some people just want to spoil the party.

2 members of my team are on holiday and the other guy was taking his missus to hospital for a check up.

So I thought, I’ll avoid the amateur dramatics the last time I needed a day off to take my dad to hospital and work from home.

This has caused me quite a bit of hassle, they seem to forget that I’m self employed and don’t work for them, I work for me and mine, if they have under-resourced the team so that it doesn’t cover for holidays and personal circumstances then that’s not really my issue.

But I did my bit, logged in from home in the morning, sent them an email saying so, did a little bit of work then hit the shower and got the suit on.

A little bit more work, then travelled over to the other side of the city and held a conference call in the car, as if I’m still at home.

When I got home I had a stinker of an email from some jumped up weedy little pip-squeak that isn’t fit to lace my boots, telling me that taking a day off or working from home without prior notification isn’t acceptable … and including every manager he wanted to impress.

I replied diplomatically appreciating his point, that the appointment couldn’t be avoided and saying that it wouldn’t happen again.

Which is a bit moot as when my contract is up in a couple of weeks time, I’ll be somewhere in the Mediterranean on a large cruise ship.

They’ve offered me a contract extension, but I can’t be bothered with this and going to move on.

Sitting here, beside pip-squeak today, part of me wants to tell him what I think of him, but I’m smiling thinking .. you’ve forgot I’m going to T In The Park tomorrow and then you really won’t have the cover.

Some people take this work sh1t far too serious … it’s not as if anyone has died.

Anyhoo, the graduation ceremony took place in the Thomas Coats Memorial Baptist Church, a fabulous Gothic building known as Europe’s Baptist Cathedral,

As I sat there waiting for Laura’s turn, I got chatting to the lady beside me, her daughter was in the same class as Laura and she herself is also a nurse at Glasgow’s Neurosurgical.

My mum used to work there and I asked the lady if she knew her, which she did and told me that my mum had trained her when she first started working as a nurse in the ward in 1989.

Not long after Laura started training and just before she passed away, Mum had bought Laura her old school nursing watch, you know the type that they used to wear on their tunics,

I don’t do spooky, this is simply a matter of coincidence, but somehow I felt that it was a wee sign that she watching.

Afterwards, I met up with my ex-wife, did the official pics, went back to mine, did a little bit more work just to play the game then the family including my ex went out for a meal.

Perspective is knowing what is really important and what really doesn’t matter.

I feel sorry for people who let their work rule their lives.

Roll on 5pm, I am so out of here, by 7pm I’ll be in a field in Balado enjoying a beer, looking forward to TITP2014 and this will all be forgotten.

Can’t wait for this on Saturday night