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.

Treble Treble then 10 in a Row.

I’m a Celtic fan, It’s part of who I am. I can’t remember being anything else.

Even in those dark days of divorce, I’d find myself at Celtic Park surrounded by fellow fans and thinking no matter how bad things get, I’ll always have this and at least I’ll never be a hun. 🙂

Celtic has been not only part of my life but also my sons. In those dark days it was the glue that bonded us bhoys together. Him aged 5 sitting on my knee eating pizza, the seat beside us empty. The guys around us patting his head and giving him sweets.

20 odd years later, we’re still in the same seats in the Jock Stein Stand with the same guys sitting around us.

Part of my legacy with my Bhoy is that I’ll pay the season tickets until I’m not working then he’ll take the mantle and hopefully grandkids will fill that empty seat.

Today Celtic play Hibs at Easter road with a beam back to the Kerrydale suite at Celtic Park. A few of our fellow fans are meeting for a beer and to watch the game together.

It’ll be a bit different to talking to the backs of their heads.

If we win then that’s the league wrapped up for the seventh year in a row and a win against Motherwell at Hampden in May and that’s a historic second Treble in a row.

Would you bet against it?

I wouldn’t.

If you’ve read any of my nonsense, you’ll know I like an occasional flutter, but only really like to bet certainties and put enough on that the return is worthwhile.

Earlier in the week I contacted Ladbrokes for the odds of Celtic winning 10 league titles in a row.

As you can see from the response above it’s not a risk they are willing to take. I.e In their opinion Celtic will go on to win the 10 titles in a row.

Got to agree with them.

Enjoy your day, these are the good days. These are days to celebrate and remember.

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.”

Dating Dilemma? The need for positive affirmation.

Imagine, your dating for a month and have an amazing time and then you are invited into his/her home and you find this.

What would you do? 🙂


I came across the above dilemma on Facebook, two of my aunties and a few female cousins had commented.

I scanned the comments, most were from women, with a mix from :-

1 – They have mental issues, help them by calling social services.

2 – They have mild mental issues and can’t manage a household. Help them by tidying the place up.

3 – They may or may not have a mental health issues but they have a chaotic lifestyle, leave and end relationship.

4 – They have mental issues, potentially dangerous, run away.

Clearly whoever it is, may or may not have mental heath issues, But they do have lifestyle issues.

The fact that they function normally in public but have a chaotic home life is an indication of much deeper issues, clearly lazy, unable to manage their time and you bet a bad financial history.

Would you get your kitchen gloves on?

Really? That’s not going to help the deeper issues going on here.

Besides, you’ve known them a month, So why would you even considering spending time with such a loser?

Perspective people. Sometimes you need to recognise that people are their own worst enemies and it’s not your problem.

But why do people feel the need to comment on Facebook?

Is it something missing in themselves that they need to give an opinion?

That they need that opinion to be ratified by the number of likes they receive?

Did their comment change anything?

No it doesn’t, it’s a completely pointless waste of fucking time.

Personally I’d go with option 3.

Oh shit, I’ve given a pointless opinion.

The Gender Pay Gap? …. Man Up!

Where do you stand on this gender pay gap?

Do you believe there is such a thing?

If you do then you’re probably female and an idiot and too stupid to think past the headlines.

Still reading?

Good for you, I’m glad you’re still with me and my flippancy hasn’t made you run away like a cry baby.

Even more so if you’re female, I’m glad you stayed. You’ve got balls! 🙂

Let me explain why there is no gender pay gap for the hard of understanding.

Firstly, to pay men and woman different rates for the same job is illegal in most of the civilised world and has been in the UK since 1970 and the US since 1963.

Secondly, although it’s true in the statistics published yesterday, see link below, which provides details of the differences in mean and median pay between male and female employees, The reason that there is a difference is because of the roles that each gender is predominantly employed in with males having more senior or higher paid technical roles.

So let me condense that for you. There is no gender pay gap, Any comparison is invalid because you are comparing apples with oranges.

The difference in mean or median earnings is because women are underrepresented in the higher paid roles, That can’t be solved by employing people based on gender because higher paid roles are based on ability and education, not gender.

Note that employing people based on gender is also illegal.

That difference in education and ability between individuals paid higher or lower rates regardless of gender comes down to personal choice, effort and ability.

Am I saying that women are less capable than men?

Are you fucking mad? Of course not.

As a father of a son and two daughters, I’d never under underestimate the capabilities of my daughters, quite the opposite, my goal is to help educate them academically and in the school of life so that they succeed in their chosen careers.

After that it comes down to their choice and if they choose a lower paying position, then it’s not because they are less capable, It’s because that’s the choices they made.

Condensing and generalising that …

Hard or in demand degree = Maths, IT, Accountancy, Medicine. Law, Engineering = Well paid career.

Easy or less in demand Degree = Media studies, social science, history = low paid job.

Apprenticeship = Decent income based on ability particularly if self employed.

No education = it’s not the end, but it’s not going to be easy.

As I explained to my kids, it’s their choice, but there are long term consequences.

Of course education isn’t everything, there are lots of people making decent bucks without a degree, skilled plasterers, plumbers, builders, salespeople. People earning because of their individual abilities. Not bleating about invalid comparisons because they didn’t make an effort.

Let’s imagine a man is in a low paid job, he looks at his company and sees that he’s in the lower quartile, Why is that? It will be most likely because he didn’t try too hard at school, not because he’s got a dick.

But one things for sure, he’ll get on with it and not act like a fucking victim.

Besides, here’s the truth, If you’re not happy with your job and want more pay, ask yourself, how do I do that? Then make the effort and change it. It’s really up to you.

—–

UK Government data on all companies with over 250 employees

https://gender-pay-gap.service.gov.uk

An excellent info graphic from Sky clarifies it’s not gender, but representation.

https://www.skygroup.sky/corporate/media-centre/articles/en-gb/Sky-releases-Gender-Pay-Gap-Report

Jonathon Pie interviewing a feminist condenses the argument

Life On Mars? #DavidBowie

IMG_0742

Life on Mars?  ( don’t forget the question-mark!  )  by the inimitable Mr David Bowie has always been one of my favourite songs.    Although recorded in the early 70s its timeless,  ageless and some would say meaningless.

I’d say enigmatic, as what most people don’t get is that Bowie is painting a picture of a world gone mad, the girl with the mousy hair escaping her dull existence to see the same dull movie 10 times, people fighting for no reason, police beating up the wrong guy.

It really is the freakish show and he asks the question .. Is there life on Mars?

Is there any chance of escaping for this dull and chaotic existence?

Personally,  I like it because it just sounds and feels good.

Although Bowie wrote the song,  the piano was played by the classically trained Rick Wakeman,  two musical geniuses in my opinion who I could only ever dream to emulate.

On paper the song is written in the Key of F,   but thats only notional as it promptly forgets that and goes in and out of key at multiple locations.

Its probably the most complex song that I’ve learned and the below tab I’ve based it on doesn’t do the complexity of the song justice.   So I used this for guidance and filled the rest in from the Bowie songbook that I received for my birthday last week.

https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/david_bowie/life_on_mars_chords_570195

I’m off work for a week and catching up with bits and bobs,  including getting a chance to mess around with the recording features of the Roland FP-90 Digital Piano that I bought last year.

Finally had the change to record this and convert it to mp3,  a fairly painless process.

In my version,  its a quick round of an 8 bar intro in a more classical style and then the song in more accompaniment style so that my mate can sing along with it without guessing where the lyrics sync with the music.

Hope I’ve did it justice. 🙂