Hoping Nostalgia Is What It Used To Be!

You may remember back in February this year that I got back in touch with my best mate Jim from childhood.

We used to play together, eat together, occasionally get in fights together, started going to the dancing together .. You get the idea!

Jim was a Rangers fan and I was a Celtic fan, we still are, something’s change but your team remains your team forever.

Did it make any difference when we were growing up and some bigger boys tried to steal our ball?

Did it heck!

We ran away just like everyone else!!

Anyhoo Jim and I lost touch when we were about 20, life just seemed to get in the way and back then we didn’t have mobile phones or Facebook.

When I contacted him I was going to see The Stranglers who were the first band we saw as kids.


I wondered if he was going, but as it turned out he was going camping with his brother Tommy up to Tighnabruich were we used to go as kids, cycling from Dunoon on a 30 mile journey along a few mountain roads and around the hilly coastline that would challenge the Tour De France with our fishing rods on the bar and our tents and gear on our backs, including a load of canned food that my mum packed for me.

The thought of it!! 🙂

I can remember listening to The Stranglers and The Sex Pistols, pogo-ing round the campfire on the beach and slagging Tommy for his love of Elton John.

Back in Feb, Jim said that I’d be welcome to come along another time.

Continue reading “Hoping Nostalgia Is What It Used To Be!”

The Platform Lovers – Curves!

The bye-bye email didn’t come as a surprise.

Graeme knew it was coming, knew that Mari was already having doubts, so when things had gone quiet, he knew that she had lost her enthusiasm and her thoughts were elsewhere. Her comment about her ex Mark, told him that she wasn’t over him and ready to move on to a new relationship.

He’d had fun while it lasted, she’d boosted his confidence and made him feel alive.

It made him realise that there was life after Jacqueline and that there were attractive woman out there who might like him, maybe next time he’d find a keeper rather than someone who was still hanging on to her past.

Mari was gone and he was surprised that he wasn’t actually grieving for, he’d already done enough grieving in his life.

Fiona, his PA, saw right through him,, she knew him too well to miss the signs, no longer bouncing into the office, wearing casual clothes and smiling all day.

He was a good boss but had his crosses to bear since Jacqueline passed away and looking after the kids on his own. But the past few months he’d had a new lease of life and it was all down to the fun he had with Mari. Fiona had never met Mari, but she looked lovely in the pics that Graeme had showed her on his phone.

It was great to see him enjoy life, even if it hadn’t lasted that long, she was pleased to see him smiling again.

Fiona was genuinely surprised when Graeme told her that Mari had ended their relationship, they chatted about it over coffee with the office door closed.

Fiona asked him how he felt and if he’d miss her.

“Fine” he said, “I’m absolutely fine and it was fun while it lasted, but if someone’s not right for you, or in this case I wasn’t right for them, then it’s better to be honest with each other and move on to someone who is right for you and isn’t still holding on to their past.”


Continue reading “The Platform Lovers – Curves!”

Debbie Does Glasgow!!

Once I had Love .. And it was a gas!!

I love that song, even used it as the title of a previous blog for the Dirty Harry Blondie Tribute act.


But tonight, it’s the real thing,

Debbie and the band are playing The ABC, Sauchiehall Street Glasgow.

A slightly strange choice of venue as the last time I saw them in July 2013 was at The Clyde auditorium, which can handle a lot more bums on seats .. and there we have the problem .. seated for a Blondie gig .. why would you?

Look at that Setlist from last time .. all the hits .. and even a surprise version of Relax, the old Frankie Goes To Hollywood hit.

What is missing on that Setlist is the Glasgow crowd singing Happy Birthday to her, I’m sure that she was quite touched even although she played it down.

When I was a kid, Debbie was part of my growing up and becoming sexually aware, I remember seeing the video for Denis back around 1977, she was stunning, Marylyn Munro-esque in her glamour and femininity .. and this boy fancied her rotten although I didn’t have a clue at the time.

Something I really like about Debbie is that in their heyday, when her partner and Blondie Guitarist Christ Stein took ill, she didn’t take off and stood by her man, despite his illness.

I like that, it tells me that she has depth, despite her beauty, there is someone real there that supported her partner taking the more difficult path when an easier way was available.

I’m looking forward to the show, just a shame that it’s a school night.

The Platform Lovers – Choices?

Carol Ann was browsing profiles, largely looking at the pics online and deciding if they were interesting or not.

She wasn’t exactly sure what she was looking for, strangely it seemed easier to know what she wasn’t looking for and then dismiss the profiles which were obviously unsuitable.

Men dressed in football tops, particularly guys who looked as if they hadn’t ever ran for a bus never mind played football.

Men showing their bodies, she wasn’t impressed by muscles, physical attraction was important but she was hoping for more of a meeting of minds.

Men with tattoos, something small and discreet she could live with, but it seemed that people were OCD about having full arm or body tattoos. Each to their own and she was certain that someone else would appreciate and enjoy their body-art.

Men with beer bellies, looking as if they had lived a single life of curry, pizza and beer for too long were still adolescents, used to living a boys-life and nowhere near ready for a proper grown-up relationship.

Men who looked as if they hadn’t visited a dentist in years and there were lots of them.

That same criteria of lack of personal maintenance and grooming was prevalent throughout the website. She wondered if that’s how it is for people over 40? Some guys said they were in their late 40s but their pics showed them wearing clothes and hairstyles from 10 years ago.

Carol Ann might be a newbie, but she wasn’t stupid, If a guy said he was in his late 40s but looked older then he probably was but trying to stay under the over-50 bracket so that he was picked up in younger females selection criteria at least then he would have a chance rather than be dismissed.

Yes dating is ageist, racist, by definition homophobic and quite possibly sectarian if you are the type of out-dated relic whose religion is so important that you’ll only be with someone who is a member of the same church rather than just another decent human being.

Continue reading “The Platform Lovers – Choices?”

Staying True To Yourself ….

Insecurities .. dealing with other peoples is just the worst.

You care, so you pander to them, massage their feelings and manage their expectations, perhaps changing what you are to make them happy.

A little bit of change is okay, but it can drain you, cause internal resentment and ultimately destroy you.

It starts of small, they want to see you more than you have been, so you think okay. That might be good, the relationship is developing and I’d like to see you more too.

So you change your schedule, fitting them in, keeping them happy, this means being a bigger part of their lives, having dinner with their friends, spending time with their kids, watching the mind-numbingly crap tv that they like ..

Do you see where I’m coming from?

It’s all about them.

Continue reading “Staying True To Yourself ….”

On A Knifes Edge!

She says that she needs a little time .. that she wants to do some thinking.

Hmmmm … I think .. either you’re in or you’re out.

Besides, does she think that she’s the only one who wants to do some thinking?

“Well that’s up to you” I find myself saying “But that doesn’t really work for me”

She pauses, silence on the mobile, I’m wondering if she’s still there, it’s not like her to hang up the phone, well not unless she’s angry and that seems to happen a lot recently.

I’m looking round the half light of the room, the tv is still on from last night where I fell asleep on the sofa, but the media player timed out so a silent message is telling me that there no video being received.

Light is starting to come through the trees in the back garden and the birds are singing, it must be 4am.

The silence seems to last an interminable amount until quietly she says “two weeks, I need two weeks to get my head straight”

I’ve never been in that situation, but I’ve heard the song, you have too, you know the full situation and if you could look back from some point in the near future then you’d know that its fecked really.

The harsh reality is, although you love them, you can’t be bother playing games, you’ve already told them how you feel, let them know how important they are to you and you’ve been pandering to their insecurities, simultaneously wondering why you put yourself through this sh1t.

You’ve told your mates about the situation and they’ve asked, why the feck do you put yourself through this sh1t?

And you know that they are right, but you do, because you’re crazy about them.

That old heart and head dilemma. You’re head saying go and you’re heart saying stay.

When they are out of sync it just messes you up. Losing sleep, losing weight because you’re constantly anxious and can’t eat.

“I don’t want to be out of a relationship, so if you’re taking time, does that mean we are on or off”

The relationship hangs on a knifes edge.

“Off” she says, picking the knife up and sticking it where it hurts.

At the back of your mind Sting is telling you that if you love someone set them free,

Fuck off Sting.

Why don’t you stick to Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, or the do-do-do da-da-das?

But you know it’s gone, so you tell yourself to have some dignity, stop fighting it, you’re only prolonging the torture, trying to hang on when you should be letting go.

“That’s okay” you say adding in a petulant “But that works two ways”

The phone goes dead and she is gone.

That could have been better says a little voice in the corner of your head.

This time last week she called me honey.

This time last week she called me honey.

Not even a week, just a never-ending weekend and a couple of days.

It just goes to show you what can happen in such a short time.

One day, you’re in, the next you’re out, a whirlwind of what the feck happened there?

A stupid fallout, a nothing, a misunderstanding, not even a difference of opinion.

She says that she is feeling taken for granted, when the opposite is true.

But now she’s gone and you wonder why she thought that way?

Were you so blind not to notice?

Were you complacent to a fault?

A weekend of self-righteousness and refusing to pander to her insecurities.

Then a few days of self-doubt, because she’s gone and no matter who’s to blame, you miss her.

No matter the circumstances, it’s stupid, you know it is.

You hope that she knows it too and you don’t want to lose her.

So you send an olive branch, a friendly message telling her how much she matters to you.

But it comes back sharpened like a spear and stabs you in the heart.

This time last week she called me honey.

The Platform Lovers – No Kisses?

Charles kissed each of the kid’s goodnight, promising that he’d take them to Disneyland in the summer holidays then popped next door to check on Michelle.

He could hear their excited shrieks as he walked along the hallway and entered the master bedroom maybe that was a bad idea to mention the holiday right before lights out.

Michelle was propped up on a couple of pillows reading and didn’t look up when he entered the room.

He hated her glasses and the way she tied her hair up at night. It’s not like the movies he frequently watched downstairs after everyone else was in bed.

You’ve probably saw the story a thousand time, where the boss takes of his secretary’s glasses and she shakes her hair free morphing from staid spinster to sexy temptress, then they fuck like rabbits over his desk.

If she was slim with long dark hair like that new girl in the office Monica then it was even better, there was just something about that Mediterranean look that just did it for Charles,  He liked woman of all kinds, he loved their attention and closeness but long dark hair and a shapely figure just worked for him.

For a minute, he thought about making an approach, sitting down beside her, starting a conversation, attempt to generate some interest, if he was really lucky they might have sex.

He’d even settle for a grudged compensatory hand-job if it was that time of the month, as long as he got to finish over her breasts.

But then she looked up, and her faced said No.

Well it didn’t, it actually said fuck right off and don’t even think about coming anywhere near me.

Continue reading “The Platform Lovers – No Kisses?”

Welcome Home Fergus! @CelticFC

20 years ago, a small quietly spoken giant of a man came to Glasgow.

If you passed him in the street, you’d think he was just another man of a certain age walking through the streets of Glasgow in his coat and bunnet ..

At the time, my football team Glasgow Celtic Football Club were in dire straits, trapped in a financial war to buy players that they could barely afford with bank debts piling up and no access to the riches of Champions League football or Sky tv contracts.

On the other side of the city, Glasgow Rangers were on their 5th league title in a row. Funded by the entrepreneur David Murray and his then booming company Murray International Metals.

Celtic had no sugar-daddy to fund the expensive player contracts and could only watch as Rangers brought in a raft of expensive English and European Players, global names and superstars in their own right, Paul Gascoigne, Brian Laudraup, Frank de Boer even the England team captain Terry Butcher and first team goalkeeper Chris Woods.

Of course what we didn’t know then was that Murray was paying the players through illegal methods and had side contracts with the players. Rangers have already been fined for these illegal payments and there are ongoing legal disputes between the former club and HMRC.

But in this cold war, Celtic were losing and the bank were about to pull the plug on the club, essentially it was hours away from Bankruptcy. The bank were going to pull the plug for a relatively insignificant and serviceable debt of 5 million pounds which seems trivial when compared with the money in football or being spent on the other side of the city.

But regardless, we were in trouble.

At the time, there was dissent between the fans and the members of the board, largely the Kelly family, who were perceived as using the club for their own benefits and not funding the management to buy players.

There were various fans groups, calling for change, a figure head of this was Brian Dempsey. A mouth piece for the rebels, but time would tell that he was all talk and very little substance as when the bank called in their loan, he was incapable of putting his money where his mouth was.

At the 11th hour, two men came to Celtics aid, Fergus McCann the figure head and leader of the revolution and the understated and relatively unknown John O’Neil.

To save the club being closed, John went into the bank and transferred 1.5 million of his own money to save the club being closed down immediately. This allowed time for Fergus to arrive from Canada and get a business plan in place to pay the bank and oust the Kelly regime.

I remember watching tv that night, as the crowds gathered outside Celtic Park, Brian Dempsey appeared from the doors of Celtic Park with this quiet little man, Dempsey holding his hands up and shouting that the club had been saved, the rebels had won.

Fergus, sharp, quiet, understated, was not fooled by Dempsey’s theatrics and soon Dempsey disappeared.

The club were saved and the next few months were about putting a plan in place to build a stadium fitting the fan base that Fergus knew were largely untapped. It was about providing a training academy to implement training and sports therapy away from the stadium and to develop the youth teams.

It was also about moving ownership of the club from a few people to the fan-base in general.

Back then, I worked in heavy engineering, were the staff were largely Rangers fans and made no secret of their allegiances and contempt for anything to do with Celtic or by their own reference Catholicism .. Sadly that is how these people think and although I’m friendly with many Rangers fans, that attitude still largely prevails in this small part of the world.

They laughed at Fergus and his bunnet, fuelled by a mainstream media who mocked his plans.

I remember sitting there listening as they laughed telling us how the share issue would fail, how no fans would buy into his vision with their own hard-earned cash.

But they did, in their thousands, we queued down the street, around the block, thousands of us, business men, young people, old people, wee woman with their bags full of coins all buying their shares to play a part in something which is bigger than themselves.

Because that’s what Celtic is, it is not a football team, it’s a people, a movement, the football is only a representation, a mechanism for grouping people together and making them feel part of something bigger than themselves.

Fergus was true to his promises and stuck with his 5 year plan, building a 65,000 seat stadium, the largest in the UK at the time, funding the training academy and putting a team on the pitch which with time wrestle the league from the dominance of Rangers.


Fergus wasn’t perfect, he counted the pennies, every pound was a prisoner and his personality was often perceived as prickly, rubbing people up the wrong way, but for all he did I am eternally grateful.

When Fergus left, after the team had won the league for the first time in 10 years, The club were strong both on the field and in business terms. His shares sold at a premium passing the torch to Dermot Desmond who has been a largely anonymous major shareholder allowing the club to function within its means, it will survive regardless of whoever is at its head.

Tomorrow, 20 years later, Fergus McCann returns to Celtic Park to raise the flag for winning the league title for season 2013-4

Me, mine and my Celtic family will be there to show our appreciation..

Welcome home Fergus!!

Embracing The Change!


If you read my last blog .. you would know that I am seriously pissed off with work or working here to be specific.

But being a pragmatic kind of guy, I don’t have that kind of problem then do nothing about it.

So .. the other night, I was on the t’internet .. couple of job sites, couple of calls with agencies.

Did a telephone job interview in the back room of The Griffin pub yesterday and just got a new contract offer with a financial software company in Edinburgh … Fantastic.

Totally delighted.

Bit of an inconvenience getting to Edinburgh, but I’ll live with it.

Particularly as the money is better,

Anyhoo. Need I say, if I was you and I had something in my life which was getting to the point where it was affecting our quality of life, whether that’s a job, relationship or a personal issue … don’t be afraid to take a deep breath and change it.

Change is good, embrace it, every time you change, you grow, develop, drop all the old baggage and pigeon holing and move on to better things.

A Mark Twain quote that I have embraced …

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.

So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.

Explore. Dream. Discover.

Mark Twain.


Changing the subject, isn’t it interesting that Operation Yewtree which developed from the Jimmy Saville scandal and is now investigating various celebrities for alleged sexual inappropriateness back in the 60s, 70s and 80s has finally got round to knocking on Cliff Richards door.

That b@stard was always too holier than thou and squeaky clean for my liking.

Call me cynical .. but never trust someone who denies his own basic human needs.

Because repressed needs comes out in other ways.

Of course, Cliff is currently innocent of all charges and will remain so until proven guilty in a court of law.