ForgetMeNot

With friends like that?

Friends like what?

Well it’s kinda hard to explain.

Have you ever had or do you currently have a friend that you love dearly,  that you’ve went through lots together,  marriage,  divorce,  in his case re-marriage ..  long term friends who have went through the good and bad together.

I was best man at his wedding,  the second one that is,   been there when the twins came along,  advised him to play more of an active part and stop using work as an excuse to avoid dealing with the kids as his wife needs the help.

Not that I’ve ever been a fan of his missus,   I never thought they were right for each other,   particularly as during the pre-marriage days he had a few misdemeanours,    one in particular where his future wife turned up at my door asking me if he’d stayed at mine the previous night.

Now what can you say in that situation?

Tell the truth and stick your bestie deep in the doo-do?

Or lie your ass off and swear to the big guy in the sky that you’d been out for curry and beers,  came back to mine for some more drinks and he’d fell asleep.

Nobody sticks their mate in the shit,  it just isn’t done.

The missus couldn’t prove I was lying and although I was deeply uncomfortable with it,  what else could I say?

He’d texted me that morning in a panic,   he’d met a girl a few weeks ago and unbeknown to me,  was out with her on the Friday night, telling his girlfriend that he was out with me for the night.

Boys will be boys and all that.

They go out for dinner and drinks,  he goes back to hers,   nature takes it’s due course and the fud then falls asleep, waking up at 7 in the morning in a panic and calling a cab.

He then texts me from the cab to ask me to cover for him if his missus gets in touch.

What can you say?

Errr .. Nah mate,  your on your own?

So he gets home,  the missus suspects he’s been up to no good and rightfully gives him the third degree.

He feigns innocence and has deleted the text to me from his mobile.

I wake up at 8am .. well it is a Saturday .. and see his text, I  can tell he’s panicking and on the way home and know that he’s in it deep as he has a bit of previous.

I swither on sending him a text,  but don’t want to say anything that drops him in it and don’t’ really want involved either.

Nothing happens the rest of the day,  she’s obviously watching him like a hawk and he’s on best behaviour.   But later that evening,  while eating a take-away with the kids, the doorbell rings.  It’s his girlfriend asking if she can come in for a chat.

“Of course you can,    I’m surprised to see you,  hope everything is okay?” .. and I was surprised to see her .. hoping that my genuine surprise is masking my discomfort.

So she comes into the kitchen and I put the kettle on,  any excuse to buy a bit of thinking time.

I turn to face her and although her blue eyes are red as she’s clearly been crying,   they’re intensely staring at mine and she wants a straight answer.

“Did Robert stay here last night?”

Short, sweet and straight to the point.

It’s the moment of truth .. or lie.   It’s the moment of choice.

To choose the path of the hard and hurtful truth or to tell a horrible but gentle lie?

What would you do?

Back your best mate up or tell the truth and drop him right in it?

Call me weak,  I chose the easier path and lied .. yep,  as brazen-faced as I could manage,  I put surprise on my face as if the question had came out of the blue and lied through my teeth.

“Yes,  he was here”  .. and I’m doing my best to look as if the question itself was a surprise  ..  “We went for a curry and a few beers,  then he came here and we put on a Bowie concert and that Depeche Mode one that we had been to,  he fell asleep on the sofa,  so I went to my bed and when I woke up this morning he was gone”

Bowie and Depeche mode an easy and convincing add-on .. my bad …  but she knows we are both fans and have been to see them and watched these concerts at his house after nights out when she’d been there and went up to her bed.

“Is that what really happened?”

“Not sure what you mean?   Yes that’s what happened,  did he say that we did something else?  Is everything okay?”

“He says that he stayed here last night,   but I don’t believe him.   He’s been too secretive lately and disappeared a few times without saying where he’s going or where he’s been,  making excuse to go shopping on his own,  anything to get out the house for a while”

And she stares at me,  almost pleading to hear the truth  “Are you sure that’s what happened?”

And she knows,  of course she knows,  she just can’t prove it.

And I lie again, shamefully,   brazenly,  I’m even embarrassed about it now 15 years later.

A lot has changed in that time,    their married,  got the twins,  I’ve never had to lie for him again.

Back then,  after the dust settled and we met for another beer and curry night .. I ripped him up for putting me in such a horrible position.

If his missus was to read this now,  how would she feel,  knowing that despite him being a good dad and husband,  he had lied to her back then,  would it change anything .. or does time heal and we move along and close off the past,  preferring not to look at its dark secrets?

Let me give you a wee bit of advice … if you’re ever in that situation where you know your partner has cheated but can’t prove it and he has his best friend backing him up.

Trust your instincts.

 

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Brothers From Different Mothers? .. #RobertBurns

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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”

Free Fallin’. #TomPetty

He’s gonna free fall

Out into nothing

Gonna leave this world

For a while

Now he’s free, free fallin’

Sad to hear of the sudden death of Tom Petty today. I can’t honestly say I was his biggest fan as he was a little before my time.

But good music lives forever, it’s melody and message touches people in ways they never expected.

Take me and the boys playing Free Fallin’, such a simple tune to play, repetitive but mesmerising.

It’s the kind of song that you get lost in and when you find your groove you never want to end and we’d play on well past any reasonable duration just because it feels good, looking at each other and knowing we’ve overdone it but don’t want to stop.

To create that magic so simply takes a special kind of talent.

Free, free fallin’.

Glasgow Memories – RainTown

I’ve got a love that I cling on to
And I’ll stay there til the end
Just you laugh
Cos you’re loaded
Things look different from there

My favourite Deacon Blue song,  happy memories of growing up in Glasgow in the 80s.

Christmas 1988 and I listened to that album RainTown on repeat sitting in my flat on my own while a few miles away a family party was in full swing.

Sometimes you just need to be alone.  Continue reading “Glasgow Memories – RainTown”

The Wild Wild Wood?

Welcome

High tide,  mid-afternoon
People fly by in the traffic boom
Knowing just where you’re blowing
Getting to where you should be going

Last night,  Celtic made the Champions League Group Stages by the skin on their rinny-chin-chin.

After the 5-2 home win last week,  last night turned out to be a tense affair.

Essentially last weeks victory is a 2.5 goal win,  if our opponents had scored 2,  then we are through but if they had scored 3 to bring the tie to 5-5 on aggregate then Hapoel go through on the away goals rule.

I had the boys round last night,  wee practice session for an upcoming gig.

The football was on the telly,  but not-a-one of my fine church-going,  god-fearing friends showed the slightest interest until the game was nearly over.

Funny that.

Last night was our Cup Final,  most likely the biggest game of our season,  worth 30 million not including any extra money for points scored.

We played Wild Wood by Paul Weller as the game played in the background,  I’m glad it didn’t have my complete focus,  but with minutes to go,  we were all standing watching the tv and I’m certain that I was the only person praying that Hapoel didn’t score.

But we held on,  battled through 4 qualifying stages,  8 games in total, which is an absolute disgrace when this competition is called the Champions League and the 4th team in England, Spain and Germany get automatic entry.

The draw for the group stages is on Friday and I’m hoping to get one of the Madrid teams as I’ve never been and I’m due some holidays.

Celtic have found their way out of the wild wild wood.

 

Who’s the Campest Of Them All?

She packed my bags last night pre-flight
Zero hour  9 am
And I’m going to be high ….
As kite by then

I miss the Earth so much
I miss my wife …

 

Right Elton,  can I stop you right there … Naw .. I don’t miss my wife!

What are you singing about wifes for anyway? 🙂

I’ve always loved that song .. but somehow when it gets to that part I just can’t help myself.

My best pal as a kid was Jim,  his big brother Tommy was an Elton fan and beng a few years older he had money to buy albums when we didn’t,  it influences your thoughts in your formative years.

When I started working in the shipyards,  it was a rude awakening for this quiet wee guy from Govan.

That first week in the training school,   the “bigger” boys were all talking about the music they loved … Freddie Mercury of Queen was a favourite and they asked what I liked ..

“Elton John” .. I innocently replied.

“He’s a fucking poof” came the reply .. “you must be a poof too .. ”

If only they knew then that Freddie was the campest of them all.

Anyway .. Jim and Tommy and I are still good pals and after years of not seeing each other we now see each other every few months for our camping trips and  every few weeks for band practice … more so as we have a wee charity gig coming up soon .. and you can tell we need the practice!

Nothing quite like being on public display to make you raise your game.

Heres my version of Rocket Man. 

 https://m.soundcloud.com/user-535339296/rocket-man

Changing The Future For The Better?

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A friend of mine was recently telling me about the depression he suffers,   how it is always there even when he puts a brave face on it.

I would never judge him,  how someone feels is how they feel .. they can’t help that, even if things are better than they percieve,   it’s a mind-set and difficult to break out of.

It’s too simple to say to someone that they need to look around and appreciate how lucky they are .. good home,  great job,  a decent regular income.

Continue reading “Changing The Future For The Better?”