He Ain’t Heavy ..

Bert Hardy exhibiton

There he was, lying sleeping, or so I thought.

A private ward on the 11th floor of the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow, fantastic views out the window looking north to the Campsie Hills then Ben Lomond and the Arrochar Alps beyond.

Not that he was in any state to admire the vista, he had more important priorities having just came through a kidney removal.

His wife and daughter had already been and gone, leaving him resting, recovering from the effects of the anaesthetic.

I waited outside the room, I didn’t want to go in, wake him or even chat to him. It didn’t seem appropriate.    I just wanted to see him.

I just wanted to know that he was alive and well and that he was on the way back and over the trauma of the operation.

I can see him through the glass of the door, head back, propped up on pillows, eyes closed, mouth slightly open.

That was enough for me, maybe a quick chat with his nurse and get his status, then head for home.

At that she appeared, Nurse Aboui, small, slim, black as the ace of spades, afro hair and a dazzling smile as she offers her greeting. Continue reading “He Ain’t Heavy ..”

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The First To Say Good-Bye?

 

The First To Say Good-Bye?

Well she actually said,  “Fuck Off”   .. delightful I’m sure!   🙂

It’s not that I haven’t said the same thing to her before,  because I have,  even although I didn’t mean it.

It was more a “Seriously?”  than a “Get out of here”.

Where as hers was more a ” Get out of here asap and never come back”  🙂

But the big difference is,  somewhere inside,  this time I knew she meant it.

This time I thought,  you really are pissed off with me.

What is it that I do to make piss her off so much?

How can I simply be out with friends and family enjoying the day,  then get a rattling angry text from her.

Truth is,  I was enjoying spending time with my closest brother before he goes through a major operation,  enjoying the football,   the sunshine and his last few days of freedom before going under the knife with life changing results and I don’t even want to think about the worst case scenario.

So we got caught up,  I hadn’t contacted her until 8:30,  but it was only 8:30 for fucks sake,  hardly the end of the night.

Yeah,  maybe I should have contacted her earlier to finalise arrangements,  let her plan ahead,   I get that,  but it takes 2 to tango,  does it not?

So what next?

Let it go?

Apologise?

Look for some middle-ground between eating humble pie and maintaining a huff.

You know I miss her,  she knows I miss her,   I know that she’s hurting,   probably waiting on a call  ..  or maybe not.

Here’s the truth,   good-bye isn’t always a one-sided decision and fuck off isn’t always the end.

We’ve came this far and its a lot to throw away for trivial reasons.


 

Anyway,   my closest brother is genuinely under the knife today,    they found a 4cm long tumour in one of his kidneys and are removing the kidney completely.

Only this time last week, we met for a curry and some beers before going to see Bryan Ferry at The Royal concert Hall in Glasgow.     He’d only just heard the bad news.

He’s a different kind of character to me,  he’s  more “get it done” where I’d be worried sick.

But you’ve really got to love the NHS for taking care of business so quickly.

So it might not be perfect,  budgets are limited,  but when you need it,  it’s there.

Last night,  I went over to see him ..  strange thing ..  I don’t see him every week,    we aren’t in constant contact,    but he’s my oldest friend,  a close confidante,  I just can’t imagine him not being around.

Right now,   waiting on the news from the hospital,  it’s a strange situation,  a pregnant pause,  when life is out of your hands,  big things are happening and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about them.

I’m not really religious,  but I will admit to having said a silent prayer.

I never ever want to say goodbye.

Celtic vs Rangers Perspective.

I regularly put on a post with odds before the Glasgow Derby of Celtic vs Rangers.

It’s by far the biggest rivalry in Scotland, the UK and certainly one of the most fiercestly contested derby matches in the world.

It’s more than simple rivalry, there’s cultural history involved where most people would presume that all Celtic fans are Catholic with an Irish heritage and all Rangers fans are Protestant with loyalty to the UK.

It’s a generalisation but it’s not as simple as that. Continue reading “Celtic vs Rangers Perspective.”

To Thine Own Self … #Kiss

4am, awake again …

Just watched Gene Simmons, the frontman of the band Kiss on BBC HardTalk.

I was never a fan, but as an 8 year old Hungarian immigrant to the USA, he has had a life and a half and gives an interesting perspective on the music business, sex, drugs, immigration and Trump.

Well worth a watch.

Here’s a snippet of the wisdom learned from experience – To Thine Own Self Be True.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09hmc1j

#McMafia? Anti-Semitic?

First off, happy new year and all the best to you for 2018.

Have you came across or watched the new BBC 8 part big budget thriller McMafia?

If not, please do, having watched the first two episodes I found it particularly gripping with its plots and subplots involving drugs, human trafficking, money laundering and interactions between Russian, Israeli, Czech and Indian gangsters.

It’s not particularly surprising that in this twisted tale where capitalism meets criminality that the UK element is a fund manager who’s family have been expelled from Russia.

Is it coincidence that this family are Jewish and that his family escaped the Russian mob with enough funds to set up the fund management company?

Or is that an example of a possible real world situation?

Having worked in investment banking, I have personal experience of fund managers who were Jewish and whose family were from Russia and whose business was set up with family money.

It doesn’t make it dirty, it doesn’t make them bad people. Far from it.

In the situation in the story, the family were driven from Russia because of the mob, not because they were in the mob.

Alex Goldman, the main character played by James Norton, is a good, clean living, privileged guy, privately educated and running his fund cleanly until it gets in trouble, ironically by rumours put out by his uncle with the intention of Alex accepting Israeli investment with motives of getting back at the Russian mob who stole the original family business.

It’s a good yarn, full of intrigue and plot twists.

So why do various Jewish bodies think that it’s Anti-Semitic?

Apparently it’s stereotypical, uses gratuitous slurs, uses material not in the original book and misquotes the motto of Mossad, the Israeli secret intelligence service.

What a surprise eh?

The problem with these people is that they perceive that anything that contains content showing Jews or Israel in any perceived bad light is a slur.

Actually the biggest stereotype is probably that of Russians being gangsters or corrupt.

As for the Mossad motto “For by wise guidance you can wage your war” apparently misquoted as “by deception we will do war”.

Is wise guidance to deception that much of a difference? Particularly when it refers to one of the most efficient and connected intelligence agencies on the planet?

Deception is exactly how any intelligence agency wages war. It’s not a slur.

If anything, the lead character Alex Goldman and the Israeli businessman Semiyon Kleiman played by David Strathairn are the “good guys” in this story with the Russians being the nasty baddies.

Now how stereotypical is that?

Personally, coming from glasgow I was a bit disappointed with the title McMafia and it didn’t refer to any Scottish gangsters.

I’m so offended! 🙂

If you get the chance, give it a watch, you won’t be disappointed unless you’re a person who goes out of their way to be offended by any perceived slur.

BBC anti-Semitic claimshttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5232503/BBC-hit-complaints-anti-Semiticism-drama-McMafia.htmlMcMafia critics review http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-42540514—-

On a related note, this has vastly increased the chances of James Norton becoming the next James Bond.
He’s got the right build, tall, athletic, good looking, charming, brooding with cutting delivery of a sarcastic barb here and there. Additionally he looks as if he has been working out in the fight scenes and would be good in the JB role.

Life Moves On, Like it or Not!

IMG_0570

Sometimes, as you get to a certain age, you realise that life is moving on.

My world seems pretty static, I’m single, kids now 28, 27 and 20 and only the youngest is still with me.

Most of the time, nothing really changes, I go to work, go home, eat dinner, play piano, watch tv, fall asleep on sofa, repeat.

It’s Friday and I’ve just did my latest invoice for the company who currently employs my service.

That’s a straight 34 weeks I’ve worked without a break, that pretty bad .. huh.

In August, I was hoping for a family holiday, I was picking up the tab, but the kids all have busy life’s and partners/boyfriends/girlfriend ( delete as necessary)

Trying to get them all to agree to a week or two in the sun at the same time just wasn’t happening.

So unfortunately I didn’t get away and I’m missing the sunshine no my bones.

But I digress, life is moving on whether I like it or not.

The kids considering their partners more than their dad was inevitable, it’s part of life but it still hurts when they don’t want a family holiday. Continue reading “Life Moves On, Like it or Not!”