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 ..”

Advertisements

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.

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

Brothers From Different Mothers? .. #RobertBurns

img_1377

 

A mans a man for aw that?

Ye see yon birkie ca’d a lord,
Wha struts, an’ stares, an’ a’ that;
Tho’ hundreds worship at his word,
He’s but a coof for a’ that.
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
His ribband, star, an’ a’ that,
The man o’ independent mind
He looks an’ laughs at a’ that.

Or ..

You see that fancy dressed poser called a lord
Who struts and stares and all that
Although hundreds worship at his word
He is but a fool for all that
For all that and all that
His fancy style and all that
The man of independent mind
He looks and laughs at all that

A Mans A Man – Robert Burns

 

What do you think of the poetry of Rabbie Burns, Scotland’s national Bard?

At times in the past, I hated it. Sitting at school being forced to learn it by wrote and how to pronounce these old Scots words and to understand their meaning.

It was pretty dull and dry and certainly not a labour of love, when you’re 12.

Back then I resented being forced to learn this crap, it meant nothing to me.

The only entertainment was listening to Mr Linus in P7 at Saint Constantine’s Primary School Govan, getting excited as he enacted every line from Tam O’Shanter.

My old dad would often and still does quote the wisdom of Bums.

E.g. A rose by any other name still smells as sweet.

My brothers and I would look at each other as if to say .. What the F**k is he talking about?

In our house, you dare not curse in my father’s presence, even today, he’s old and frail but a stern look quickly lets you know what he thinks of any industrial language.

But the years change us, experience gives us wisdom and a perspective to look at life differently from our younger selves.

“What a gift the lord to gie us, tae see ourselves as others see us.”

Do you ever look back at yourself and think, look at the state of my clothes or my hair, which were the height of fashion at the time and think what a plonker.

Continue reading “Brothers From Different Mothers? .. #RobertBurns”

Facebook Stalkers!

David Bowie

4am and wide awake, browsing the web and checking social media.

A cousin of mine shared the following potentially scary post –

This is creepy. Go to your Facebook account settings, then blocking, then block users, and type in “following me” without the quotes into the text box then hit the “block” button.

You will find 15-20 or more people

FOLLOWING YOU that you do not know! I just blocked about 17 accounts from random Middle Eastern and Asian countries that were following me, who I do not know. You have to block them one at a time.

Check your followers and tell your friends and family to check theirs as well. Feel free to share this or copy/paste.

This is not a joke. How many foreign “followers” did you have?

Try it yourself. You’ll be surprised.

At first I was a bit concerned, I followed the instructions above and sure enough there were all sorts of weird foreigners following me.

But why? .. I thought.


So I checked a few of them out from different parts of the world.

All strangers with no reason to follow me.

Then it clicked that it was a hoax or someone was being really stupid.

Here’s why!

It’s a hoax. FB doesn’t work like that as there is no “following me” keyword built into the system.

Try doing the same search only using “following”. You’ll probably get one user with name “following the lights”.

Now do the “following me” again and look at the list of names.

They all have “me” in them.

These people are not following you.

Basically you just did a name search and they happen to be first on the list.

If you blocked them , then searched again, you’d have another list of “me”‘s.

Keep blocking and searching. You’ll be there a long long time.

And nobody is that popular! 🙂

It’s a hoax, a wind up or originally posted by someone who doesn’t know anything about search systems.