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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Work, Rain, Home, Again?

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Work, work, work …
Rain, rain, rain  ….
Home, home, home …
Again, again, again …
I’ve not been doing much writing recently … kinda missing it.

Working too hard, long hours, long commute, tired all the time and too many other things to do.

This job .. which I quite enjoy at a technical level.. is sucking the life out of me.

I’ve always been a bit healthily disdainful towards my work,    I work for a living, not the other way around.

But that no longer seems to be possible in the world we live in. Where we used to have a knowledge gap and those with that knowledge were in demand and could command the bigger bucks, has been replaced by a culture where businesses can pull in that knowledge from other parts of the world on demand without considering the longer term consequences.

If younger generations don’t get the opportunity or the infrastructure or health system can’t support the influx then it’s not their problem.

That’s a general trend, but it’s this place, the Dickensian working practices, 8 hour days not including the mandatory hour for lunch, the 2-3 hour commute.

The day just seems so long .. Every day seems so long .. Tired .. Driving in rain and dark skies and not seeing the sunshine.

I need a holiday.

I need a change.

Like an alcoholic or some other behaviour addict .. the first step to making that change is to realise that you have a change to make.

It’s important to remember that even when it doesn’t seem possible, we always have a choice.

Now if I can only be arsed updating that CV and getting it out there.

The lyrics above are from Town to Be Blamed by Deacon Blue from their Raintown album, a personal favourite album and legendary around these parts with its image of Glasgow on the cover just at a time when dark, grey, stormy Glasgow put on some new clothes to become the European City Of Culture.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raintown_(album)

This is Not the Champions League. #UEFA

UEFA

Celtic are back in action tonight,  the second-leg of the first of four qualifying rounds to get to the UEFA Champions’ League Group Stages.

We are already 3-0 up from the first leg against Alashkert of Armenia and tonight should be a formality.

How skewed are UEFA in the decision making of their qualifying process that whoever wins between Scotland and Armenia’s champions are playing 8 games to qualify in the group stages when there are 26 direct entries to the group stages including 4 from England, 4 from Spain and 4 from Italy,  3 from Germany and 3 from France.

This is not a whinge saying that the above is not fair.    If that’s how UEFA want to play the game then that’s up to them.

What am I saying is that this is no longer the “Champions” league and should be renamed accordingly.

Tonight,  the walk from Dalmarnock train station along the wide thoroughfare of the Clyde Gateway with the stadium looking magnificent in the distance always brings pride in my heart and a smile on my face.

Mon the hoops.

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 ..”

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.”