Wednesday, February 28, 2007

I Was Here All The Time You Know......

After spending the last week or so slowly disappearing up my own arse, I've decided to return and blog properly. The short story thing is ok once in a while, but I'm sure most of you are fairly non-plussed by them. I smell a new blog in the offing.......

To be honest, I sometimes find it easier to write something fictional(or at least semi-fictional) than to sit and let you all know what I've been up to, or what's rumbling around my head, or whatever it is that very good bloggers do to entertain their readers. It's time I stopped being so bloody evasive and engaged with the world.

Ok, first up, some blogging news. Clairwil is still obsessed with Councillor Terry Kelly and I have to say, I am too. I think you'll agree, he has a unique and alarmingly peculiar style of debate. We could all learn so much from him.

Flying Rodent is in fine form at the moment, what with this post and this post putting me in what the youngsters call a 'ROTFLMAO' situation. I believe it's popular amongst the under fives.....

Sandra, who used to be Over Here is going back 'Over There'. There is speculation about what what she'll call the blog now that she's back in Northern Ireland but hopefully she'll take no notice of my suggestion that she rename it 'Dr Danger & The Ketchup Incident'.......

Sunday saw me slope into Fopp to do some CD comfort buying. Two compilation albums were bought. One being a sort of round up of Glasgow bands old, new and obscure. It's ok, but I haven't the heart nor the patience top listen all the way through. The other comp cd got even shorter shrift. It's a collection of what the packaging rather enigmatically dubs "Soft Pop". basically it's sugary sweet sixties AM radio 45's released by Warner Bros. Fine in theory, I like that sort of thing in small doses, but to be honest a lot of it's utter dreck. Track one, 'Come To The Sunshine' by Harpers Bizarre (written by Smile co-writer Van Dyke Parks) was as far as I got. The next three tracks almost had me sick on the carpet.

Also bought a Buffalo Springfield album. Love Neil Young, not so sure about Steven Stills. Sorry.

Scott 4 was also picked up for a fiver. That whole baroque pop thing can be a little hard to take when it's done really seriously but I think it'll fall into that "when I'm in the mood" category. failing that it'll get played twice and never again, I'm fickle like that.....

The last purchase was Marquee Moon by Television. I will make no excuses for my utter love and devotion to this album. If I had to listen to only one Rock'n'Roll record for the rest of my life, this would be it. I have it already on CD, but for once the bonus tracks swayed me and the chance of hearing Little Johnny Jewel outweighed the inevitable disappointment of the "Alternate Takes" also available. Alternate take? Oh, you mean the shit version they did just before they got the song right? Well worth the cd space if you asks me......
Right, I'm off to do the dishes....

Monday, February 26, 2007

1Hundredwords (4)

She sat where he lay and stared at the opposite wall. His eyes never left the ceiling. Her hand strayed to his head and wandered through his thinning light brown hair, her finger nails smoothing and combing as they went. She looked down at him and continued the motion, but his eyes remained locked on an unknown point above the bed, placid and pained in a way she couldn't comprehend.

"You don't mind?" she said flatly.

"No..." he replied, almost silently.

Her hand continued with it's absent minded stroking and she returned her gaze once again to the faraway wall.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


The lights of the distant oil refinery smeared themselves across the rain speckled coach window. I'd never seen it at night and had to admit that it was quite a sight. I watched as the guy opposite pulled on a bottle of red wine and examined his mobile phone before glancing up, forcing me to avert my gaze like a chastened child. I looked down at the bag between my feet and decided that I too needed the warm burn of alcohol in my gut. The headphones went back on and I settled back, waiting for the city to return.

Friday, February 23, 2007

The Mouldmaster Ritual

The ball was launched aimlessly into the grey drizzly sky from the other end of the pitch and began to drop midway inside our half. I watched for the movement of the blue jersey on the other side of the pitch and stepped up with the rest of the defence just as the ball was passed to the now offside centre forward.

Job done.

I had been playing now for about fifteen minutes and hadn't touched the ball once. This suited me fine because when I did go near the ball bad things happened and I think my team mates understood this. I also shied away from the general play because the footballs they used were evil. They were harder than granite and dotted with little rubber studs like a basketball. They were regarded with fear by all but the most foolhardy players and I considered their use to be a form of child cruelty. Grown men in professional teams didn't use them, so why should ten year old boys?

The shouts went up again and this one was incoming at Two O'Clock and I had to deal with it. This time I felt it best to use my head rather than make the usual hash of trying to control the ball and pass it to a team mate. Thirty seconds later the ball was in our net and I was still dusting red gravel from my strip and wondering what had happened. People everywhere seemed to be yelling at me, indistinct yet recognisably angry and all I wanted to do at that particular moment was be at home playing computer games or watching TV. Pleasing people had never been one of my talents.................

The game kicked off again and the ball was once more thumped into our half. Again I watched for the raised arm of the guy on the other side of the pitch and moved forward accordingly.

At last, something I was good at.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

There Have To Be Easier Ways To Make A Living.....

On the whole I don't get many callers here and I like it that way. I have my regulars(y'all know who you are....)but on the whole it's fairly quiet. The last few nights however have seen my hits treble and I have to say, the referrer tracking doesn't lie. I wrote a slightly bemused piece about a story in The Digger some months ago and to be honest I thought nothing more of it. A few nights back, a documentary aired on prime time TV about the very same local Glasgow magazine and it would seem that the world and it's wife has gone "Digger Mad" and guess who comes near the top of the results for "The Digger, Glasgow"?

I hope you found what you were looking for.......

In a day and age when most amateur publishing is done online(blogs, live journals etc)it's almost disturbing to find someone publishing A5 pamphlets and actually flogging them fairly successfully in small newsagents around a city. Scandal sells though, and whilst every other one man band publisher has perished under an avalanche of indifference(see: football and music fanzines), The Digger seems to be thriving on it's notoriety. It also helps that the chap who writes it seems to driven in his desire to expose crime, corruption and general wrongdoing. He won't get bored and give up one day, he doesn't strike me as the type who craves the quiet life.

There are problems with this approach. Everyone hates yr guts. The gangsters, the Police, the courts......There is an element of minor celebrity to be gained from appearing in the 'rogues gallery' section of the mag, but on the whole I don't think he's out to make friends......

So, three cheers for The Digger. God loves a masochist.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Cathkin Park

Tedious posts on the subject of football. No3 in a series of 3.

I'm starting to feel like Gordon Ottershaw from Riping Yarns. Spent most of Monday afternoon looking for the fabled home of Third Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers Football Club. Third Lanark AFC for short. Their infuriatingly sad demise can be found summarised here.

(A favourite (apocryphal?) terrace sport of the sixties and seventies was urinating on the backs of the legs of the person standing in front of you. This usually took place when the toilets (an El Dorado bottle) were enagaged and you were too drunk to find the stadium latrines. )

I made my way to Mount Florida expecting to spend a few hours going round in circles before going home with nothing in the camera. That was until out of the corner of my eye I spotted something resembling a dilapidated and disused football ground. Within a few minutes I was ankle deep in mulched leaves and looking down a fuck off big wedge of concrete terracing. Hard to believe that tens of thousands of people used to stand in this now ruined and overgrown stadium and watch a really quite successful football team do their thing. It was actually originally called Hampden Park and was the second home of Queens Park FC. It also hosted a Scotland vs England International in the late 1800's. The 'Hi Hi' as Thirds were known (not 100% sure why) moved into the ground in around 1903 when Queens Park moved over the hill to the third and final incarnation of Hampden Park, where they play to this day in tandem with the Scottish national side. The ground was renamed New Cathkin Park.

Cathkin Park is a remnant from an age when major football grounds were breathtaking amphitheatres of deep, curved terraces designed to hold vast amounts of people and not a lot else. Facilities were usually negligable and shelter from the elements was minimal unless you got under the enclosure or you had a main stand seat. You only really see these sorts of stadiums on the continent now, the vast majority of clubs in Britain opting these days for grounds that look at first sight to be made of lego, all tidy right angles and lovely plastic coloured tip up seats.

(My guess is that the sections of terracing overgrown by trees consisted of old style, possibly pre-war gravel and railway sleeper steps. The modernised concrete steps and steel crush barriers seem to have been spared most of the ravages of time and nature. )

Anyway, there I am, wandering around in the fading light and damp air trying to imagine the place packed to the rafters , say season 1960/61 in which the team scored 100 goals and finished third in the league. Instead the derelict surroundings only conjour up images of what the atmosphere at the ground must have been like in 1967, during it's last days, with crowds of a few hundred turning up to watch a doomed team go through the motions.

( Looking towards the site of the now demolished main stand. Park benches fall sorely short of modern day all seated stadium requirements.... Still, I'm sure the SPL will make arrangements.... )

Like the abandoned Blaze pitches I used to play on the place has a ghostly aura, but there are no memories here for me to cast up and make light of the situation. The damp, oppressive weather and the bare trees growing out of the older sections of terracing can only put one in mind of the grounds sad demise rather than it's glory days.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Continuing The Footy Theme.....

Took a trip up to Lochburn Park to see Maryhill FC today. I will admit I'm a Junior football virgin and wasn't sure what to expect. The game itself was easily worth the fiver entry though. Recent Partick Thistle home games haven't been worth that, despite the fifteen quid price tag. Maryhill won 3-0, two early second half goals from their imprssive No7 breaking a poor Bellshill side who could have played until midnight and not scored. Without wishing to sound like a West End pseud, there was also some decent banter and good shouts from the crowd. Top notch pies as well.

I hope to be back again soon. I've always promised myself I would only have one true love as far as supporting a football club is concerned and this is still the case, but I can see myself doing a bit of moonlighting here and there when things get too awful to bear at Firhill.**


**Maryhill are currently third bottom of their league, so I'm probably not doing much to cheer myself up. I think I just need something to take my mind off the miserable, vaccum like atmosphere surrounding Thistle at the moment. It's all getting a bit poisonous for my liking.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Come With Me On Journey Through Time And Space.......

Ok, let's get this one out the way, 'cos otherwise I'll just mope about it and make everyone's life a misery.


65 today folks. Woo!

Anyway, in line with the "Feeling My Age" theme, I went for a walk today and happened to pass the football pitches where I made my debut as a schoolboy footballer. Most people will tell you they weren't up to much at football, even if they were captain of the school team.....I scoff at them for the self deprecating closet show offs they are. I on the other paw was truly abysmal. Playground football was another matter. That was fun, no pressure, no positions, just run about and chase the baw. The irony is that this is how I made it to both the school team and the boys club team attached to the school. I arrived at Dunard St in 1987 (P7) and of course I'd get involved in playground games. I think I remember once getting the ball one lunchtime and beating about four guys before falling on my arse as I tried to score. It made no odds though, they thought I was dead good, so I got nominated by my peers for trials with the boys club and I seemed to be a cert for the school team too. My first fuck up was to tell the guy at the Boys Club I was a defender. I WAS FUCKING NOT!!!! I couldn't pass water, I couldn't tackle a fish supper and quite frankly, I had my eyes shut a good two seconds before I attempted to header a ball. Why did I say I was a defender when I was quite obviously a winger or a centre forward? Fuck only knows.....Maybe it was to do with confidence. Maybe I thought I could hide in defence, not be too conspicuous as a right back.....

How wrong I was. I don't remember much, but what I do recall is not seeing much of the ball and when I did have the ball, passing it to the guys in the wrong shirts. I also once tried tackling someone with disastrous results. The poor cunt probably still has the stud rash to this day. The thing I remember most was his team mates talking about and pointing at me like I was Jack The Ripper. I also hated training nights. The five-a-side games were ok I suppose, but even then I was probably dreaming of fulfillment that didn't involve running about a blaze pitch on a Sunday morning in a nylon shirt and shorts.

Anyway, back to my walk this afternoon. The Clouston Street pitches are no more. There used to be two sets of pitches and a set of floodlight pylons for each, as well as a club house. The area seems to be designated for housing now and consists of nothing more than the rusting and dilapidated floodlight pylons, young trees, overgrown grass, beer cans and smashed bottles. If you take notice of the path through it used by dog walkers and short cutters you will see what remains of the original red grit surface familiar to many Scottish schoolboys of a certain age. I'm not sad to see the back of the red blaze pitches. Ok, so astro turf can give you nasty burns, but the old grit pitches could lift more than just a layer of skin, I've seen it.

It was more than just nostalgia though. It was the realisation that it was over twenty years since I'd trotted out onto the very same ground I was revisiting and that in some ways it felt like the distance between what had happened in my life and what had happened to the pitches was somehow disproportionate.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Where I Live

Not long ago, Jules at Comfy Pants Production Co challenged us all to take photographs of our bedrooms. I'm sure more than a few entries would have given Tracey Emin the fear. Anyway, via Billy I have discovered that Jules is at it again and this time she wants shots of where we blog. I'm almost certain that by this time next year I'll have posted photos of every room in my house and what I have for breakfast. Of course, I'm a closet exhibitionist so I'm more than happy to oblige........... ;)

To be honest, it's all looking very tidy right now. The new flat screen monitor has seen to that.

It's all very dull actually.

Only things of note are the ever present beer glass (and bottle of fancy arse German wheat beer) and the fact that I have shamelessly summoned my own blog for the photograph. I'm nothing if not self obsessed.

One more thing before I vanish for the night. If you like yr music a little odd then I can heartily recommend this site. It's like an on-line jukebox from another dimension. I can't think of a higher accolade to be honest.........


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I Wanna Sweep the Streets!!!!

Anything but what I'm doing now! *

Work has finally ground me down. It's a wonder it hasn't happened sooner, I must have a bigger masochistic streak than I thought. The idea of having to alternate between long, grinding, endless days of tedious mouse clicking and being up to my ears in paperwork that's been barely explained to me by the worlds most unapproachable man has finally taken it's toll on me. It's either the job or me........

The CV is being dusted down as I speak, references shall be sought and I fully expect to be in a similarly infuriating and soul crushing job in two months time. It's just that from here even the most threadbare and yellowing of lawns looks more appealing.

I admit to being an ill-educated peasant with serious issues regarding self application. I will tell you I don't have limited horizons but others may inform you otherwise. I'll break the cycle eventually, probably when I'm least expecting to, but until then the merry-go-round of crap office jobs looks like continuing......

*I hear they get paid as well as I do, if not better.....

Monday, February 12, 2007


It was dark and I had been following the canal bank for quite some time now. The light had faded and only street lights from the nearby road were illuminating my steps. It was half past five and the search parties would be out by now, though I had no desire to meet them. School did that to me, made me want to walk, made me want to be places others weren't.
Places like canal banks.
The bridge ahead would pull me home in time but I slowed my steps, content to remain a lost soul for a while longer.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought--
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One two! One two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Lewis Carroll

Thursday, February 08, 2007

1Hundredwords (1)

I listen and I watch. I Listen for footsteps and voices behind me. I watch the city and my reflection. Out of the window and across the sodium orange glow I gaze and wonder why I'm here and not out there somewhere, existing instead of waiting. I put the vacuum away and stand in front of the drinks machine. Tomato soup or hot chocolate. The acme of my evening and the only responsible decision I will make today. You can't buy this kind of freedom, whole floors of buildings to yourself for hours on end. It'll have to end someday.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Kate Moss Responsible For Millions Of Cigarette Deaths: FACT!!!

Huzzah For Kate Moss!!!! Not content with horrifying the Lilly-white virgins of Fleet St by snorting coke and getting in tow with a crack head rock star, she's now turned her attentions to corrupting the female youth of Scotland. Or so the Scottish Health Minister Andy Kerr seems to think. More on this intellectual sub-normal in a bit.......... So, what's our Kate been doing to attract the scorn of Scotland's Health Nazi's? She's been smoking. Or more to the point, she's been photographed smoking in paparazzi shots splashed across celeb gossip mags. I mean, what a bitch! How can she be so callous as to light a fag in full knowledge that a camera might be present and might take her photograph and it might be published in Heat which might be read by a young Scottish teenager who might start smoking because "Kate does it". The notion that teenagers might have minds of their own is conveniently forgotten. The notion that teenagers(and anyone else for that matter) might smoke because they enjoy it is also not addressed. No, it's all one big game of follow the leader in Mr Kerr's mind. Simplistic Reasoning 101: Celebrities stop smoking in public = Teenagers no longer think smoking is "Cool" What I'd really like to tackle here though is not so much the smoking/anti-smoking debate, nor the alleged copy cat behaviour of a nation of nicotine addicted teens. No, I'd like to address and refute the notion that Kate Moss is in any way responsible for the actions of others through her cigarette consumption. This is where I have to question the Health Minister's reasoning and ultimately categorise it as infantile. As stated before, the whole "monkey see, monkey do" angle on this has been absurdly overblown. If the minister believes that a few celebs snapped with Harry Wraggs hanging from their gobs at 3am outside some trendy bar in London is the sole reason for 13-15 year olds in Scotland continuing to smoke then I do fear he's yet to recieve the grounding in real life that should be mandatory for all politicians. I don't trust these scrubbed clean zealots and their phony utopias, these middle management goons made good....... Everything is a bloody crusade. So, why do kids smoke? Theres a multitude of reasons and one of them isn't the odd blurry photo of a bored looking model going home from the pub. Try: peer pressure/desire to be apart from your peers/forbidden fruit/curiosity/teen rebellion/you quite enjoy them after a while..... Fuck! Heaven forbid anyone should actually like smoking!!! Just out of interest, One wonders what he's going to do about pissheads like me? Confiscate my Bukowski and Kinky Friedman books? Tell me to stop listening to bands who glamourise alcohol by going to the pub? Ban repeat showings of Father Ted?

A Quick One................

Evening all. I've elected to be a lazy sod tonight and merely point you in the direction of Mr Kav who's other half is running in this event to raise money for Cancer Research UK. The donation button is easily seen in the sidebar.

I'd also like to say that he's a funny fucker and I like his blog, but it might go to his head and then we'll be sorry.............;D


Sunday, February 04, 2007

To The Coast My Trusty Iron Steed.............

I'm exhausted. It seems to be standard for my weekends that it takes the rest of the week for me to recover from them. This of course is absurd. Aren't you supposed to spend the weekend recovering from the week before? If it wasn't for the psychological torture, work might almost be a blessed relief.............

Let's just say that physically it was a tad taxing(a three hundred foot climb and a sprained ankle) but mentally I'm still high as a kite.

Anyway, heres some photos I took at the weekend. Hope you like them.

It was at the weekend that something sort of struck me. Until recently I can honestly say that no song has ever made me cry. I suppose I've never really had that emotional punch in the guts until now.

The song in question is Will The Night by Low and it ambushed me quite brutally via my mp3 on a coastal path in North Berwick. I've had this song in various guises on various albums for a few years now, but I suppose circumstances take over and what was once a lovely, sad sounding little song is now a brutal tear jerker that has me in pieces every time it unexpectedly turns up on my headphones. I really will have to delete it.
I held it in of course, even though nobody was around and I could have howled my head off. Something wrong there.....

My question to you all is this; what songs make you break down and cry? Or at the very least force you to leave the room to compose yourself. Don't be embarrassed if it's something naff, emotional overload has no respect for musical taste.