Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Diary of The Killer ( and I don't mean Jerry Lee Lewis ! )

It all started with what I thought was a bad Chinese take-away in Aug.
Next morning I had bad stomach cramps and diarrhoea .,., and  diarrhoea .,., and diarrhoea !
A week or so later when some blood started to show I went to see the Doc.
He said it might be the booze or the food resulting in an infection or blockage in the gut ,, but with the change in my normal bowel habits he decided I needed a check out at his friend's colonoscopy den !
That's the very invasive, not to mention humiliating camera up the bum job ( no pun intended ! )

Mid way through this procedure they stopped ,,, couldn't get the camera past a "suspicious" blockage right at the entrance to the colon .,., so they took some sample biopsies and sent me home.
The next few days were like living in some kind of dream state.
A few days after that they told me I had cancerous cells.
I thought ,,, Bloody Hell ... ( Aye well it was something like that I thought ! ) Must have been bad earlier in my life I guess ?
Next step, a full body CAT scan to check deeper and more accurately for any spread !
If nothing else showed up they would be able to do a "simple" op to cut this growth out and re join my colon ,, a complete cure !
However, a whole new ball game started a week later when I was told the cancer had spread via intestinal lymph glands to my liver. Another scan was immediately ordered ,, a PET scan this time with the radio active dye etc. to show even more detail .,.,., ( why wasn't this done in the first place I wonder ? )
The waiting, firstly from the colonoscopy, then the Cat scan and now the PET scan was horrendous ,,, not knowing what lies just round that corner you can see up ahead. My beloved is a nervous wreck ,, I can't say I'm looking forward to any of the next month or two either ,, but if a cure is on the cards ,, then Bring it on !
So after much hanging around in hospital waiting rooms etc, I finally met my Consultant ,, the guy with the results of the cat scan / pet scan and who will decide my future ( assuming I have one ? )
As I feared, things have now gone from bad to much worse.
The cancer has indeed now spread even more ,, firstly from the colon ( bowel ) to the lymph glands in my intestines and to the liver. Now it's migrated to my kidneys, lungs & chest cavity ( I think my big toe has escaped ,, so far !! ) Jesus H.Christ I thought .,., ( well actually no, it was nothing like that I thought ! ) Must have been real bad in a previous life too !
There is now NO Cure .,., the disease is Inoperable so I have only one shot left and that's the dreaded Chemo, maybe later followed by the Radio, therapies !  This will hopefully slow down or even shrink and reverse the cancer but is not a cure ,, just a holding ploy.
The medics tell me this is worth a shot since I am fit & relatively healthy otherwise !! Eh ??  It might just buy me some months ,, many months possibly ,,, there have been a few cases like mine who've lasted 2 to 5-years !! Woop-de-effing-do as they say !
As you can imagine this has kinda taken the wind from my sails just a little ,, for I still feel pretty well fine ,, still playing golf every other day and eating ok, etc ,, although this last week has been a bit worse, stomach pain & diarrhoea wise .,., this seems to be because I have had a stent fitted in my colon to open up the blockage a bit and ( sorry about this "too much info" ) about a year's worth of waste has now found a way out !! The sore stomach & frequent trips to the loo are now taking their toll .,.,
However, I absolutely refuse to lie down and waste what time I might have left .,., They won't put it any anything better than "some months" .,.,.,  I want to enjoy and carry on as normal as possible ,,, so for now it’s a case of .,.,., Breathe In .,., breathe Out .,., Now Repeat as Often as Possible ! ( with apologies to Scottish Nature Boy )
The Big fight is on .,.,It's the Scudder Vs  Big C ,, but my money's on ME !
Updates will follow on this blog as I learn more.
But for now Chemo start day is Tues. 9th. Nov. ( Can't say I'm looking forward to this at all ! )

Ok, I've now done the first week of Chemo .,., Jesus !  Don't let anyone ever tell you this is a doddle !! Don't think I've had a worse 7-days in this lifetime ,,, ever !  In fact I'm sure it's been a month ,, not a week !
I'm on something like 30-odd pills a day ,, yeah, every day !!  Chemo pills, diarrhoea pills, sickness pills, & on & on ,,,,
Appetite has now almost completely gone ,, have lost about 2-stones in weight ,, have suffered light headedness, dizzy spells, panic attacks, headaches, ,, you name it ,, pain ,, oh yeah pain ,,, & more pain ,,, & not a bit of energy for anything !!  Then there's the dreaded pins & needles ( the medics call it hand & foot syndrome ! ) it's more like insane asylum electric shock treatment !
There is simply no way you can get your hands ( or feet ) cold on Chemo ... or these P's & N's are your punishment .. don't ever stick a hand in the fridge or freezer they tell you ,,, ( so you try it anyway don't you ,, just to see what they mean ! ) Jesus H. Christ ( Aye HIM again !! )  It's like your fingers suddenly turn to stone ,, you're absolutely convinced they will break off at the slightest touch ,,, don't touch that cold water tap ,, or the cold water ,, or a metal door handle ,, go nowhere without your thermal gloves ,, scarf round your face ,, ( yeah it gets the pins & needles treatment too ) long johns, hat, multi layers of clothes .... I feel like Nanuk of the bloody North when I attempt to go out the door ! 

Session 2 Week 2 ,, now 7-days into session 2  and good ,,, well not great but certainly a lot more on this planet than I was with session 1 .,., session 1 had me almost observing myself from a far distant place ,, but this time round I'm more in control ,, more "with it " as we old rockers used to say in the 60's !! 
God, don't tell me your body actually gets used to this poisoning ??
Actually I think not ,, but the hospital said that each session would be harder ,, take longer to get over ,, so I'm guessing that after the fitting of my colon stent and the dire after effects of that, that I simply wasn't well enough to have got that first session ,,, ( they too now confirm this was probably the case ! )
Anyway, this time round I've even managed out for 13-holes of golf  ( should have stopped at 9 but ,,,, ) and I've done a couple of trips out with the camera ,, but oh the cold ,,, another so called common "side effect " is the chest pain ,, described as "Angina like" ,, heavy, crushing weight on the chest ,, this happens in extreme cold and can take a long time to go away ,,, not a nice feeling at all ,,, even just getting out of a hot shower and into the colder air can produce this effect !
But ,,, Then there's the positives .,., What a brilliant family and bunch of friends I've got ,, You don't really know 'til adversity hits just how fantastic it is to have good, loyal and wonderful friends .,., and I mean even folks out there on the fringe of my friends list .,., golf buddies from visiting clubs for example ,, as I've said before ,, I may be marching out of this world sooner than I'd hoped or planned but I'm not going alone .,., that's for sure ,, I have the best bunch walking with me all the way there !

Session 3 Day 2  Well yesterday was a bit of a bastard ! The infusion was upped and I was also infused with firstly a flush and then some anti-sickness stuff !  The chemo infusion wouldn't flow ,, vein apparently not FAT enough !!  ( must be all the weight I've lost ? ) so they had to re-do the needle ,, out of the right hand and into the left ( these punctures in the back of the hand are sore ! and leave the whole arm feeling very painful for days after ,, ) Anyway the end result was that the 2-hour infusuion took 3 and a half ! and left me like a zombie for the rest of the day ...  But today, only some 18-hours later I feel not too bad at all.
However, now there appears to be a little good news on the horizon folks .,.,
My Xmas pressie from the Oncologist perhaps ?.,., but definitely the very 1st. positive word I've had since I first attended Hairmyers !
My weight has gone up ,, some 3 Kgs( approx 6 and a half lbs. ) which is good !
My CEA blood count has gone down ??!!  which is very good ,,,
My eating, general activity levels are much improved ( as are the bowel motions ! sorry too much info again there ) and they tell me therefore that they "THINK" my Chemo is WORKING !
Notice they won't actually commit to anything .,., so I'm now to have a CAT scan in the near future to confirm all this.
After only 2 sessions of the planned 8 this has got to be encouraging  ( I think ! ) so I might just be winning this 1st.battle ,, how many extra "months" it might buy me, no one yet knows but it's certainly better news than the alternative !
I'll add to this blog as stuff happens but for now y'all know as much as me !
Please keep all fingers / toes and any other stuff you can cross, crossed for me .,., ta much !

OK Update #1 ....
Had the CAT scan yesterday ( 6/1/11 ) but naturally, with over 150 sliced images to check thro' they couldn't give me the results at my follow on meeting with my Oncologist ( notice the Oncologist is MINE ,, even if it is a different bloody Doc I see each visit ! )  Anyway this guy did get up the old scan pics and had a quick look at a very few of the new ones .,.,., the liver tumour is about the same ,, ( I personally thought it was very slightly smaller ), but the bowel one couldn't be seen since the pic chosen to view was obscured by the presence of the now installed stent ,,, but it hopefully hasn't grown or it would be sticking out around the stent ?  Anyway that's all they could see quickly but it does indicate that the tumour(s) have not grown any since Sept. which is great news .,., They are therefore happy to proceed with all 8-Chemo sessions .,., again good news ( so long as it's not you getting the chemo !" )
So it looks as though I'm gonna get at least one more birthday in !!
Update #2 ...
Chemo session 4 started yesterday with the dreaded 3-hour infusion ... For the rest of the day I was truly f****d !  This infusion bit gets harder with each session ,, It really is a bugger. But what can I do ,, in the grand scheme of things it seems to be working and better than they could ever have imagined according to my own GP, so I simply MUST hang in there and just do it ! It could give me a lot more time with my loved ones ( hopefully .,., for I'd hate to be going thro' this for an extra week or two ! )

Update #3
I've now had the meeting to discuss the results of that Cat scan done early Jan. .,.,
I was alarmed immediately when introduced to the head honcho Oncologist ,, the wuman running the entire show ,, one Doc. Dunn .,.,,  I thought, naturally ?  if she herself wanted to see me that perhaps the news wasn't so good. When I sat down and she asked me how I was .,., I quickly fired the question back at her ,, "You tell me Doc ,, how am I ?"
Well she said ,, the results of your recent Cat scan were very good indeed !! 
WOW ! A RESULT at last !
Some of the lymph gland tumours are shrinking and others have disappeared altogether she told us ,, and the liver one is slightly shrunk too .,., so all in all about as good a result as I could possibly hope for at this point ( and this after only 3-sessions ! ) so they are definitely carrying on with all all 8 sessions ,, ( woop-de-bloody-doooo ! ) but as I said before if this is buying good time to spend with with  my dear, darling wife & our kids & grandkids then Bring it On !  I can take it .,.,.,
However, on a more sober note ,, we have maybe turned a corner, maybe won battle #1 but we've still got a WAR to fight & win !
Session #5 has now happened and again it was sore ,, and took a little longer to recover from than the previous one ,, but that's as I've been told to expect ,,, so it's just a case of losing a couple / three days and then we're back on the mend again ,,, in fact after this session last Tues. I was out on the golf course on the Thurs. and managed 13-holes ,, but obviously not fully recovered for Stevie beat me !!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Deport the Bastard ... NOW !

Amy Houston - 12-year-old girl, killed by illegal immigrant, an Iraqi Kurd ( aye well something like that ! ), a known criminal, & driving the killer car without insurance, & who has now been granted permission to stay in this country ! He's called Aso Mohammed Ibrahim ( Aso being very appropriate I thought ! ) & has convictions for drugs possession, burglary, harassment, criminal damage and theft along with a string of driving convictions. Just the sort of immigrant we want in the UK eh, Judge ?

This country's law ( or lack of justice ) has gone too far this time.

This little girl, with her whole life in front of her was killed in 2003. ( why has it taken 'til now to bring this to the public notice ? )
The driver who killed her, who had other criminal activity on his record, should have been deported years ago, but has repeatedly appealed against deportation, & now he has a family with a British woman ( although he doesn't live with them ! ) his deportation has been cancelled.

"His human rights would be impinged if he was sent back to Iraq" .... BULLSHIT ,, & who cares about his human rights anyway ?

How is this acceptable, legally or morally in so called Great Britain ?
Who allows these "human rights" lawyers to practice law in this country ?
This man had no right to be in this country, no insurance or license to drive here .,., he has the criminal record of a habitual scumbag . He's allowed to KILL an innocent child, wreck a family ,,, I could go on, but basically is allowed to stay here. This beggars belief !
I honestly despair for this country at the moment.
I'm so damned angry !  Insensed by this story.  His bloody human rights ?  Aye, I know what rights he'd have if it had been one of my kids ,,
He'd be on his way back to Iraq .,.,., in a body bag !

What about Amy's human rights ? Murdered by a piece of shit who shouldn't have been in this country in the first place and certainly shouldn't be now.
What about the human rights of her family whose lives have been irrevocably changed by the actions of this murderer ?
As ever, the victims of crime are unimportant nowadays in Britain. ( which of course is no longer great ! ) Like I said before, I just despair for my country.
Bring back JUSTICE !
And Dad ,, buy yourself a gun !

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dreams & not quite awake stuff !

Since I started my "treatment" I've noticed a few strange changes ....
One, which I've been meaning to comment on is very odd indeed ,,,
It happens that I quite often have Blog / Book / Blook ideas in the dead of night when sleep is proving difficult ,, or even when seemingly fast asleep ! I've done this for years.
I used to have ideas bursting out of my head in such profusion that I had to get down on paper .,., to wit I generally kept a small notepad & pencil close by the bed.
However this need to write this stuff down ( for by morning it would simply be gone, for ever forgotten ,, that's an age thing ! ) has taken a dramatic turn ,,,
Now, instead of needing to get up & get this stuff onto paper I have developed the habit of writing it ,, there & then !  I can feel myself writing the words wherever my hand happens to be ,, on the pillow, the beloved's back ,, anywhere ,, and I can't stop myself from doing it ,, I simply must finish every word ,, it's the strangest sensation ,, I know I'm doing it but can't stop myself ? And the handwriting has to be just so ,, I can actually see myself dotting every "i" and crossing every "t" ...
Can anyone explain this phenomenon ?

Thursday, December 09, 2010

I still find it hard to believe.

John Winston Lennon, dead these 30-years now and still it hurts.
I couldn't take it in then and I still can't ,, not really.
How can someone capable of writing such wonderful music be dead ?
John could be an arse at times ,, a real arse ! ... but hey, can't we all ?
He was a contradition of himself ,, one minute brash, tough & cynical, the next soft, vulnerable and totally insecure. But John could ( and still can ) take you to places you'd maybe rather not go ,,, places too dark and painful, but places we all have to visit at some point in life ,.,.,
AND, make you happy that you'd been there with him.
He wrote songs for his wife, his son, the world ,,, songs that will last many, many lifetimes.
I chose Wed. 8th. Dec. to start reading Phillip Norman's biography " John Lennon, The Life "naturally, since the date is permenently etched on my heart.
Nornan wrote the definitive bio on the Beatles, the Rolling Stones & Buddy Holly among others and he's a master of his trade.
This book, The Life, is one I've had in my possession now for a year or two and wanted to read but somehow felt a need to do it only now.
It's a compulsive read.
I can't recommend it highly enough.
Go on, you know you want to !  Even buy it for yourself if you have to.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Why oh Why can Britain NEVER get it right ?

Here we bloody go again ,,, a wee bit of winter snow ,, yeah, surprise, surprise, it's winter again and guess what ,, it's cauld, it's snowing, we have blizzards .,., aye but we, unlike all the other really cold countries in the world can't seem to get to grips with the fact that this happens EVERY BLOODY YEAR, anytime between Nov. & about March, and  we again end up in a paralysed land, the country losing money hand over fist ,,, like we can afford that !
No planes flying, no trains, no buses, not a sensible motorist in sight ,, Not a snow chain to be seen ? WHY ???
What's the matter with this country, this government, these councils .,.,., They even sit about boasting now that they have enough salt etc, to keep the roads clear but then don't actually have the wit to get a gritter truck on the road !! Well have YOU seen any ?
It's just not good enough ,, in fact it's a disgrace ,,  Those responsible should be sacked. ( Make that should a MUST ! )
And they've all been on junkets ( at our expense ! ) to see how Canada, Russia, Scandinavia etc, just get the job done and life carries on exactly as normal ,,, snow or no snow ,,  No schools need to close, no traffic disruption, no motorists stranded overnight in cold cars, nor passengers in trains  ,, flights & bus services still run, and still ON TIME too !
So like I said at the beginning ,, Why can Britain NEVER get it right ???

PS : Oh and just to rub a tad more of that plentiful salt into the misery ,,, did y'all happen to see our ( so called ) NATIONAL News last night ? ( eh for National read BBC English news !! ) 
Well if you did you'll have noticed that the weather and all it's ramifications re transport, ( lack of ), shops running out of food, garages out of petrol, pensioners dying from hypothermia, etc,  got exactly 6-minutes total coverage !! And guess what the BIG story of the day was ,, the one that merited 18-minutes coverage .,.,., Yeah, you got it in one didn't you ?!  The englishers abysmal, failed attempt to get some footie competition staged in their back yard in 2018 !!  Glad to see they were considered ARROGANT &KNOW-ALLS & were thrown out on the 1st. ballot .,.,., It's all down to your self obsessed media guys ,,, will you never learn ,, The rest of the world doesn't like you !!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Back ( temporarily ) from two weeks visiting HELL !

I've been doing very little ,, of anything, for the past two weeks ,,
My first ( and decidedly UN- pleasant ) chemo session is now over & I have my old self back on lovely Planet Earth for a few days until the start of session 2.
As I said, I've done virtually nothing this past two weeks ,, but I have watched & listened to the world going round ,,, mainly via TV unfortunately, for we have such biased, insular TV reporting here in the UK.  What ? you don't believe me ,,, go listen to the World news from other countries and see the difference .,., you'll be suprised, but more than that I hope ,, shocked ! )
Some comments then from my weeks away ...
University fees ... I wholeheartedly support the young folks on this one. I mean, how absurd to think in your early 20's that if you can get a job at all, even one with a miserly £21 grand annual salary, that you then owe the Government anything from £30 -£40 grand for the priviledge of working for that degree !!  And that before you even think about a roof over your head mortgage . This is SURE to encourage our young school leavers to rush the gates of the local Uni !!  NOT.
Christ we'll be charging the Primary school we'ans next !! ( Hey, what am I saying ,, have you seen the cost involved in wee kids school stuff recently ?? .,., and Nursery prices ,, now there's a joke ,, aye, sick joke ! )

The NZ mining disaster :- sadly, knowing what I do about coal mining ( as against the Chilian gold / copper mine )  this always looked like a no win situation. Hopefully these guys were long gone before the 2nd. blast hit them. My heartfelt condolences go out to their people ,,, not a way to die.

Margo McDonald's Euthanasia Bill & the Scottish Parliament .... Again, not a way to die BUT .,.,.,
Should I waste my time commenting on this ?  Of course, given my own current diagnosis the bill now has REAL meaning to me on a personal note, but I was never afraid to air my long held view that MERCY killing ( if they must use the K word ) is the only really HUMANE thing to do in such circumstances, and as for assisting someone in those dire straits ,, well how can that possibly be a crime when the act of suicide itself isn't ?? Of couse Politicians have other fish to fry ( aye & jobs to protect !! ) but they MUST sit down and sort out the details, that's that we pay them for !
Anyway,  My thinking friend Alistair has covered this subject more than adequately in his Blog and I'd basically be writing the same stuff ,,, so go read Al's ( you'll find him at Crivens, jings and help ma blog .,., and many's a good read you'll also find there. )
I did make a less than serious comment initially ,,, just couldn't resist !!
Dr Johnston McKay spots an unfortunate choice of words on the Church of Scotland press release expressing opposition to Margo MacDonald’s euthanasia legislation, which was debated at the Scottish Parliament last week.
It was headlined: “Minister urges politicians to kill Bill.”  Ohhhhh ...sorry !
Of course on a more serious note I fully support my friend's plea to debate this subject to a conclusion ( even more so now as I said with my present diagnosis ! )
It must never be a crime to help someone in such circumstances, just as long as the necessary safeguards are firmly laid down.
As another Blogger friend of ours says ,, most normal folks would support this bill ,, the very wording of this "crime" says it all for me .,., MERCY

Then there's the Referee debacle :  Now these guys are in a thankless position ,,, WHY do they do this job anyway ?  They make mistakes ,,, weekly, of course they do ,, it's a fast game & they're bound to but surely in the end these mistakes do balance out ??  I find it hard to believe that the whole refereeing establishment are out to get Celtic football club !  And as for that "wee fight waiting to happen " Mr. N. Lennon ,,, well I'm afraid if I'd been the ref. he was F'ing & blinding at on the touchline he'd have gone home with a broken nose !  What a poor example to set our young football supporters he is. Self control son ,,, it's only a game !
And now the SFA in their wisdom bringing in foreign Refs to break the strike ,,, in my day these guys were called Scabs ,, nasty but hey, isn't it nice boys to have the backing of your fellow whistlers ?? What an absolute bloody shower !

Friday, November 05, 2010

I've heard of slow newsdays but ,, hey ?

Police in hunt for Smurf who punched Rastafarian at Halloween party !

POLICE are hunting for a Smurf who punched a Rastafarian in the face.   ( Aw C'mon ,, it's surely no' that slow a news day ? )
The 21-year-old victim needed four stitches but police have had no luck finding his attacker. ( Whit, 4-whole stitches !! & no luck finding the perpetrator .,.,well there's a surprise ! )
Appealing for information, a Detective Inspector no less, John Dearie said: "I can honestly say it is the first time in nearly 30 years in the force that I have been looking for a suspect who was a Smurf." ( Really dearie ? You need to get out more ! )
The attack happened in the early hours of Monday at a Hallowe'en fancy dress party in the Word Up nightclub in Greenock, Inverclyde. ( Ah Greenock, that explains everything !! )
The Smurfs are small blue creatures ( naw they're no', they're just figments of some idiot children's story book writer's  imagination !!,  who first featured as cartoons in the Belgian magazine Spirou in 1958. They later appeared in an animated TV series. ( Ah, Belgium ,,, How jolly interesting  ! )
Note to editor : If this "journalist" of yours can't find anything more newsworthy than this, then save yourself a salary & fire him / her !  Although a " story " linking both Greenock & Belgium ,, now that's not easy !!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


James A Froude : We enter the world alone, and we leave the world alone.
Unfortunately I have recently learned that I may be leaving the world sooner than anticipated ( or desired ! ) ,,, BUT,
Let me say right here & now ,, I dispute Froude's oft quoted words ABSOLUTELY !
My mother came with me all the way as I came into this world and over the past few weeks ( if I never knew before ) I now know with complete certainty that I have a batch of friends & beautiful family who will march with me every step of the way and wave me off on my outward journey.
The real terror of dying holds no menace ,, only the worry that one might have to do it alone.
I have no such worries !

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Do take a wee Walk on the Wild Side

I have just spent a wonderful 30-minutes in front of the TV, possibly the funniest 1/2 hour I've had for quite a long time.
I caught this little gem of a programme on BBC1 his ( purely by happenchance ) .,.,
It was called ,, "Walk on the Wild Side" ,,, 5-30pm Sat.
I do hope it's a series & not a one off ! ( Och Shit ! just checked & it is indeed on BBC iPlayer but tonight's episode was #4 ,, of Series 2 !! .,.,
Oh well, I guess that just means I have a lot of iPlayer watching ahead of me !! )
Anyway, now that y'all know it's available on iPlayer I highly recommend you ( my followers ! ) to have a wee look .,.,
I will accept thank-you comments from each & every one .,.,
Go on ,, you know you can't resist a wee goosey, goosey gander ?
Take my word for it initially at least .,.,.,
You WILL want to see this .,., it's hilarious .,., honest !
Enjoy .........

Thursday, October 14, 2010

We were only TWO of the 1000 Million !

Yesterday was a historic day.
Yesterday the beloved & I watched in awe ( & tears ) as the first of the Chilean miners emerged from Hell.
Last night, around 2-am, I witnessed, again with the beloved by my side, the last and possibly the most courageous man of them all, exit from the cage they called The Fenix. He was Luis Urzua, the gaffer, the boss man who steered them through that first nightmare 17-days when the world didn't know if they were alive or dead, and they in turn didn't know if the world would ever find them. He was the Captain of the ship. A leader of extraordinary character, deserving of his country's highest honour. He should have been knighted ( or whatever is the Chilean equivalent ) as he stepped out of that capsule.
A global audience of 1000 million ( yeah one thousand million souls ! ) tuned in to watch this wonderful, magnificent rescue triumph. This was perhaps the greatest spectacle I have ever been privy to  ,, a mark of our world finally coming of age as a humanitarian civilisation?
Well done the rescuers ... you guys have restored my faith in humanity.

Friday, October 01, 2010

The Phoenix

The phoenix (Ancient Greek: Φοῖνιξ, phoínix, Persian: ققنوس, Arabic: العنقاء) is a mythical sacred firebird that can be found in the mythologies of the Persians, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Chinese, and (according to Sanchuniathon) Phoenicians.

A phoenix is a mythical bird that is a fire spirit with a colorful plumage and a tail of gold and scarlet (or purple, blue, and green according to some legends). It has a 500 to 1000 year life-cycle, near the end of which it builds itself a nest of twigs that then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix or phoenix egg arises, reborn anew to live again. The new phoenix is destined to live as long as its old self. In some stories, the new phoenix embalms the ashes of its old self in an egg made of myrrh and deposits it in the Egyptian city of Heliopolis (literally "sun-city" in Greek). It is said that the bird's cry is that of a beautiful song. In very few stories they are able to change into people.

For years I spelled this word PHEONIX .,., I was sure my way was correct !
I pronounced it Fee-on-ix ..
I argued with people that PHOENIX was wrong ,,, it just looks wrong ?
And it also sounds wrong ,, I mean ,, for goodness sake .,.,Fo-en-ix ??
Then that Car Sales place started putting up posters all over town ! 
I consoled myself that they would probably have it wrong ,, after all they were trying to sell the Kia ??
I rested my case.
But time has gone on some and I've done a little more research ....
Oh well ,,, Time, I guess, to finally correct my old school foolishness .,.,
( wonder what numpty English teacher taught me spelling ?  but who needs him now ,, Google spell check is King ! )
Buggar !!!  Oh, didn't I say ?  That's another one I always (used to ) spell wrongly !

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Irn-Bru does it again !

A frustrated angler ( aren't they all ? ) has come up with a novel way to land more fish ...
He's lacing his bait with Irn-Bru.  Hahaha brilliant !

Crawford Griffiths has been fishing since his grandpa taught him when he was a mere nipper !
But he hit a kinda fish-less period recently and began racking his brain for ways to improve his catch.
Crawford said: "I hit on the brainwave of pouring Irn-Bru into my bait of ground-up bread.
Now just how did you come up with that one Crawford ?  Maybe a little better bait might have helped .,., ?
I mean, breadcrumbs ??  Or were you just trying for the finished article to pack straight into the box ?
Do you do a batter bait too ?
Anyway, apparently, "The fish just loved it - they were jumping onto the hook." but hey, we all know these fishermen's tall tales !!
"I was repeatedly getting very small fish, and remembered reading that scented or flavoured baits might attract the fish !" ( said Irn-Bru's new Publicity man ! )
So I shared my Irn-Bru with them !! 
Wonder if we'll get a new Snowman ad this Xmas ??
He said: "Within two minutes, I caught a three-pound perch, then a two-pounder, a three-and-a-half pounder and finally a four pounder - all on the same day. 
Oh aye, right Crawford ,, we know the stories .,., and what size was that one that got away ??
Crawford wrote to Irn-Bru chiefs: "Not only the people of Scotland love their other national drink, but so do the fish."
And did you get the FREE crate of bait supplement Crawfie ? or mibbie a wee job in I-B marketing could be in the offing ?
Oh, wait for it ,,, Irn-Bru's head of marketing Adrian Troy jumped in to test the water too ,,,
"This is a phenomenal idea that I'm sure will go down in Irn-Bru's history books." ( aye and the new fish bait line in the Profit column of your Accounts Ledger ? )
Yep, we're gonna get a new ad for Xmas I'm sure !!

Why do we do it ?

Britain went gambling mad around 16-years ago with the introduction of the National Lottery.
Since then we have had umpteen ( additional ) versions of this National nonsense, not to mention the myriad of scratch cards, online poker clubs et al encouraging us to throw our money effectively down the pan every time we enter a newsagent's,supermarket or switch on the TV.
The odds, we all know, are totally ridiculous .,., we have as much chance of winning a mega jackpot as we have of taking a trip to Mars !  But still we do it ?  Why ?
You know the old adage ,, if you're not in it, you can't win it !!  Well patently that's true ,,, BUT c'mon, do we really expect to win ?  Why yes, of course we do ! Someone HAS to win every week so why not us ?
My beloved once ( some 8-years ago now ) was ONE number out for a £2.9M payout ,, Her 5-numbers netted her a 2nd. prize payout of £802 .,.,., ( which she spent ,, 5-times over !! ) 
Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh  ( see photo above )
I waited expectantly after that KNOWING that in only a few weeks she'd get it right & I'd be a Millionairess's best pal !  Alas it's been a helluva long wait and I'm getting weary !
But nevertheless every Wed. & Sat. there I am in the queue for the shop counter handing over my contribution to "Good Causes". 
£2496 I've given over these past 16-years ( for I also participate in a weekly golf club syndicate .,., which has also won mere peanuts over the piece !! .,., ) 
Will I ever learn ? 
Eh, Doh !

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I've said it before & no doubt will again ,,, and again !

The Law made me angry again this week !
It was the case of that little fraudster Stefan Dudek who took the Social to the cleaners ,,, to the tune of £65,000 over a period of 18-years. ( that's £300 a month, every month, for all these years ! .,., cheeky, lying, cheating wee bastard ! )
He claimed benefit for, among other things, unemployment & incapacity .,., All the while he was employed as an Everton FC steward and nightclub bouncer and was running 10K half marathons regularly, even saving newspaper cuttings of his achievments !
This is the £65,000 benefit cheat who said : I’m too ill to walk ! ( Aye ye wid be if I was the Law ! )
Dudek dishonestly claimed incapacity benefit and disability living allowance
It took mega hours by the department's investigators, over a period of years, to build up an absolutely stone wall case against him. Dudek was caught as part of a joint operation run by the Department for Work and Pensions and Merseyside police.
He finally admits his guilt in court .,.,
Ye Olde Judge Mark Brown, branded him “a very dishonest person”.
So what sentence does Mr. Brown pass down for robbing you & me of £65 grand over 18-years ? .,.,
12-months in the Pokey .,., yeah, therefore out in 6 ,,, and what fine  ?  When do we get our money back ??
Well ,,, After the case, fraud operations manager Roy Paul said: “The department will now seek full reimbursement of the money fraudulently obtained. Ha !
Aye but what chance of getting any of it back ??

My guess would be slim or nane !!  He's not a rich man ! so he'll probably get away with the money as well !
The sad thing about this is that the establishment, to a man, think they got a "result".  The Benefit Dept. investigator said he was pleased with the outcome !!
Whit ! ....  Is it me ??

Monday, September 13, 2010

What makes these people tick ?

I'm reading this morning's newpapers and all I see are stories about DRUGS !
What is it I'm missing here ?
Why are all these people ( young, mid aged & even old ! ) turning to substances which they must know will ultimately destroy them ,,  kill them even ?
Are their lives so awful, so unbearably bad that they see no choice ?
Or have they just too much money and not brains enough to make sensible choices as to how to use it ?

There's Ricky ( the Hit Man ) Hatton MBE ,,, boxer of some note, World Champion no less, seemingly nice enough, jovial wee guy, judging by his performances on such Tv shows as Jonathan Ross, Parky and even Loose women !.,., and now drugged up to the eyeballs & wasted, snorting cocaine live on uTube ! Probably lost his Boxing Licence .,., about to enter the infamous Rehab !!  Aye, Ricky ,, U- TUBE !!
Before him we had Joe Calzaghe CBE ,, another World Champ boxing legend .,.,another thoroughly nice, fun guy !
Why ? .,., Are the brains of these boxers suffering too much punishment in the ring ?

Then there was the houseful of Dopes in Falkirk ,, Smashed out of their minds on lethal concoctions of mixed drugs & booze. Two of them lay overdosed & dead in a bedroom while the "partying" went on ,, another young female "out of it" according to one of the partygoers was so ill that an ambulance was called .,.,
Too late alas for the bedroom pair who lay unnoticed by their " dazed & confused "so-called" friends !  The death toll may yet be three,,, four if you consider that the dead female was also pregnant ! 
What possessed her to risk her unborn child even if she had no respect for herself ?
Why ? Why? Why ?.,.,
What do we need to do as Human beings of the Earth to eradicate this woeful waste of people's brains, lives, and families ? There are times when I despair .,.,
Are we seeing the Fall of the Roman Empire all over again ,, but this time on a truly Grand Global scale ????
Maybe it is time to start again ???

Sunday, September 12, 2010

An Open Letter to East Ren.Council ( The School Run !! )

Ok, here's a really stupid wee tale !
My dear daughter was up here visiting the other day ,,,, just a mid day coffee with her two youngest. ( that's numbers 4 & 5 btw ! ,, the non-schoolers ) Aye ok, so maybe she has only herself to blame ? :-)
At around 2-45pm she said she had to get up to the Primary school to pick up her daughter,,( that's we'an number 2 ) and the wee man ( number 3 )
Primary school out-time is 3-00pm
The littlest ( number 5 ! ) was sound asleep on my lap so I told her to go, and pick her up on her return.
Off she went ,,, the Primary school is local and so only 3 or 4 miles from the house. ( each way of course ! )
She was back fairly quickly which I found odd since she has a teenager at High school .,.,
Where was he, I wondered out loud ?
The High school, only a further mile up the road, apparently doesn't disgorge it's pupil mass 'til a full 35-minutes later .,., 3-35pm + teenage chat, meandering time ,, call it 4pm ! 
Oh and that's Mon, Tues, & Thurs ,,, Wed & Frid disgorge time is 2-45pm !!  How convenient !

So at around 3-45pm, still trying to finish that coffee, she was up again & off to collect number 1 at the High school ,,, another 4 or 5 mile trip up the road. ( aye still both ways, for you always need to come back don't you ! )
Back she came to finally finish her coffee at around 4pm !  ( it's almost dinner time now for goodness sake ! )
Earlier in the day she had number 4 at the Council Class Gym Teds ( whatever the hell that is ) ,, seemingly some pre Nursery activity to get them ready for Nursery ! This class goes in at 10-30am & comes out at 11-15am .,., I don't even know where this one is located !!

I've really done this blog upside down or back to front  ( must be living in such a stupid Council area ? )
I should have started off with the morning run shouldn't I ?
Ok here goes .,., try following this while you're half asleep !

School in-time I guess is a fairly normal 9am everywhere ?
NOPE ! ...  not in East Ren it 'aint !!
High school in is 8-45am ( in fact doors close at 8-43am and getting in after this is a major trauma ,, having to go through a "late procedure" wasting even more time !! )
So for the daughter's household it's all kids up, washed, clothed, teeth brushed, hair combed, fed ( in short ablutioned ! ) and counted into the poeple carrier for 8-30am absolute latest !
Drop off the big one at the furthest away locale ,, the High School, at 8-40am
Next, back down the road to the Primary ,, and numbers 2 & now 3 are ejected into the playground at 8-50am for their 9am start. ( no entry after 9am here either so don't dare be late .,., for any reason ! )
Only a few months ago it also used to include this ( Oh and it will again very soon now for number 4 is about to start Nursery ! ).,.,
Off further down the road and into the Nursery estate, try to find a parking spot without another underslept, growling mother already in it ! Then get the Nursery kid into class, also before 9am ! ( But only in the year immediately prior to school ,, before that it's years of the yet different again nursery time of 12-45 to 3-35pm so she has to miss lunch going and have to wait with the primary kids in the car for 20 minutes outside the  Nursery or simultaneously be at both ends of Eastwood since high school and ante-preschool chuck-out is at the same time ( well no one would be daft enough to have nursery and high school kids... would they? ,,, eh well at least 4 that I know of ! )
There's just no rest for wicked mothers !!
And in the same area we have two other Primary options for our kids ,, one comes out at 3-15 pm and the other at 3-30pm !!
How my daughter copes with all this daily organisation AND runs a Business Empire too is beyond me ,,,
I take my hat off to her & her hubby !

Now these education establishments all lie within the control of one Council .,., but you'd never bloody know it would you ?
Talk about Organisational skills ?.,., And they're responsible for teaching our kids !  
God save us from the Clever dicks !!
Make life a bit easier for parents / teachers ? ,,, save hours of unnecessary congestion on our local streets ?,,, save the planet for God's sake with less exhaust fumes filing the air ?,, waste less of our precious natural resources ( petrol ) ? Think about a little co-ordination ?
Not on your life .,.,.,
This isn't just any old Council ,, this is East-Ren Council ..
who live in the land of M & S ( aye and NOD ! )
This is the Dafties Cooncil !!
Time not only the parents wrote to them, but all us local grandparents, road users, and simple logical thinking adults !!  How about starting to do your job Cooncillors .,., ?
and THINK  timetables .,.,?  It's not rocket science !
How easy it would be to organise ingoing and outcoming times for all Nursery, Primary & High schools such that Mum had a single run each way with appropriate 5-minute intervals ??
Or am I just too bloody clever for my own good ?

Sunday, September 05, 2010

So that's what a Quake looks like !

Naturally, (despite the best efforts of our isolationist British press ), we finally heard about the massive earthquake in NewZealand's south island yesterday.
Wow, 7.1 on old Mr. Richter's scale is not to be ignored, now is it ?!
The wee cousin and her family all live on NZ's south island ,, so we thought we'd better Skype her to see if all was ok ?  Needless to say ,,, no answer ,, power / phone lines down we guessed ?
Although it was about 4am local time when we called ! Oops !!
We did see some pics on Google world news and it looked not too bad !! Well not too bad if you're 12,000 miles away on the other side of the planet !
So we left messages ,, on Skype, on MSN ,, on Facebook etc ,,
Call us when ( and gulp ! .. if ,, ) you can .,.,
Some 4 hours later we got a call ,,, & there she was, the Weeyin, sitting in her dressing gown eating her breakfast & smoking her ciggie as if nothing had happened !
The epicentre was less than 20-miles from her front door, the 2nd city of NZ is in a state of ruin, looters are out snaffling everything they can get their hands on, a National emergency and curfew has been called, buildings are wrecked, sewage water is flooding the streets and our kid is chomping away on her morning cereal !
Her grand-daughter and great-grand-daughter and also her son have moved back into her house temporarily ,, theirs have suffered a bit of superficial damage ,, TV's seemed to be falling off walls in every other home ! but weeAnnie needs her breakie & her fag !
She's telling us, between mouthfuls, of the numerous aftershocks that are still happening ,, some as severe as 5.5 on the R scale  .,., aye this always happens she says ! They can go on for days ??
Whit ?  I never even knew they had regular eathquakes in NZ ?  Och aye, she says, we have them all the time ,, but this is the worst one for more than 80-years.
Well you live & learn eh !
Just as we're discussing this, live on Skype, she suddenly stopped eating and said something like ,,,
Ohhhhhh hang on, here it comes agaaaainnnnn .,., and as we watched, there on the computer screen  it was like the world was maybe coming to an abrupt end !  We could actually see her whole room shake, the pictures on the wall looked like they would be on the floor any minute .,., ditto the books in her book case as she held on to her breakfast plate !
Less than a minute later it was all over .,., Wow now that's got to be a first .,., watching a live quake, as it happens !
She then calmly announces that a more severe quake is anticipated in the next 36 hours .,.,
I guess she'll be nailing her plate to the table for that one !! ( & smoking two at a time ? )
So there you have it ,,, isn't Skype a wonderful thing ?,, and all for free too !!
Phew .,.,.,.,
Footnote  2-days later ..... It appears that considerably more damage was done in Christ Church than was   originally thought .,. Maybe that's due in part to the ( so far ) 228-separate after shocks they've recorded .,., Yeah, that is what I said ,,, 228 !!  Bloody Hell .... and they still expect another BIGGIE tomorrow,.,.,. best estimates put it at 6.1 on the R scale !!
Oh & just for the record she tells me they live on the side of some mountains .,., with a bloody Volcano on top but it too ( like their Quake ! ) has been fairly quiet these past 1000 years or so ,,,, she thinks !!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Great Climb !

Yesterday I happened upon BB2 sometime around mid afternoon .
Two guys were climbing what appeared to be an absolutely impossible & at points overhanging, sheer rock face .,., in the wind & rain !!
I watched for only 10-minutes .,., or so it seemed .,., turned out to be maybe 1/2 - 3/4 of an hour or so !
I then went back to watching the footie ( yeah I'm a Saturday intellectual ) .,.,
And after the footie I watched a bit of the golf from Gleneagles ! ( the intellect just pours out of me at weekends ! )
You wonder how the beloved puts up with me don't you ?  Yeah, me too !
But she has her own things wat she does too .,.,., :)
Anyway an hour or two later I thought I'd check if the two climbers / madmen were still at it ?
It was maybe 5pm by now .,.,
I watched again for a few minutes .,., aye ok it was maybe about an hour this time .,., Jesus, these guys are either the bravest I've ever seen or completely mental and needing locked up in a secure establishment provided by the State ! ,,, ( my gut feeling tells me it's the latter ! )
It turned out that what I was watching was this .,.,
A spectacular live rock climb broadcast from the daunting overhanging cliff face at Sron Uladail on the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides. Dougie Vipond commentated, while leading climbers, Dave MacLeod and Tim Emmett, attempted a first ascent of an extreme new route, which promised to stretch their physical endurance and skill to the limit. ( I'll say it did ! ) With absolutely no guarantee that they would be able to conquer the route, and the huge physical and technical challenges involved, this promised to be a unique and compelling live event.
And so it turned out to be !  It went on for a further two hours !!
It was absolutely compelling viewing ,, but very, very stressful .,.,
The beloved actually couldn't watch it, it was making her all fluttery and shaky just being in the same room !!
I was now completely hooked and watched 'til the lead man ( Tim ) on stage 4 made it to the top ,,,
Oh boy, What a relief ,,
I had to go and lie down for an hour .,., Phew ,,, what an exhausting day !
But tell you what .,., if you didn't see this, then do have a look .. you can catch it on the BBC iPlayer ,,
I was never attracted to this kind of extreme sporting activity, even when I was young & relatively fit ,, but this is really compelling viewing ,, TV at it's very best .,., I guarantee if you start watching it you'll be hooked within the first 1/2 hour !
And don't blame me if you decide to watch the whole 7-hour climb !!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

This makes me weep just to think about it.

Some religious leaders tell us that Heaven is just outside the human psyche, our understanding is incapable, we cannot possibly visualise such a wonderful, beautiful place !
And ... If you think you've ever visualised Hell, then think again !

You're 4 miles underground ,, ( that's 21,120 ft ,,) you're trapped in a tiny air space about the size of a small one bedroom flat ,, there are 33 of you ,, most are simply fellow workers but a few are close friends too .,., you have little water and even less food ,,, you've been there 17-days already ,, most of your friends & relatives on the surface assume you're already dead ! ,,
Then CONTACT .,., Elation !
Oh Lord be praised ( or anyone else you might consider your saviour ? )

The men, estimated to have already lost up to 22lbs after surviving those 17 days with only a mouthful or two of tuna, a biscuit and half a glass of milk every 48 hours, have now been warned not to put on too much weight through lack of exercise.  Whit ?  in 30*+ sweating hot heat .,.,How like ?
A 26" diameter borehole will eventually be dug through to bring them back to the surface so they REALLY need to stay SLIM !!
BUT, and here's the rub ,, they have now ( some days after first contact ) been told that this hole will take some 3-4 MONTHS  to dig .,.,.,
The men apparently took this information calmly we are told ,,, but a spokesman said, and I quote !
"a period of depression, anguish and severe malaise could ensue." ,,,,  COULD ? Did that idiot say COULD ??? Jesus !! 
So now the Agony begins,,

OMG ,,, I can't even begin to think what state of mind these guys will be in by then ?
In an attempt to keep them fit and sane, they have now been given daily tasks such as digging latrines, ( there's a whole other problem in a confined space ! .. 33 guys for 120 days are going to produce a waste mountain down there & no A/C ! ) while they will also be delivered playing cards, dominoes, pens and paper and music to relieve the boredom. ( oh and food & drink of course ! not to mention anti depression medication )
The men, trapped in the San Jose gold and copper mine, have also been sent a video camera so they can record messages for their families above ground.

But think about it ,,, cooped up with virtually nothing to do for 4 months .,., it's the stuff of nightmares ,, your very worst nightmares !  I can't think about it without wanting to weep for them. 
You see, I've been deep down various coal mines both here in the Uk & in France .,., a 7 hour shift is bad enough ,, the thought of being stranded down there for a few weeks sends shivers of sheer panic down my spine.  For a few months, noooooooooo .,., I doubt I'd ever be sane again.
Nasa have been contacted for help, ,, they have stuff in place for dealing with astraunauts in space for long periods ,,  the Chilean navy has been called in to share their experiences of working in submarines, both conditions said to be similar to that of the miners.
Oh no it's not !

There are certain things that happen in life that tear at my soul ,, leave me completely naked and feeling utter wretched despair : fire is one, ( my blog readers will know why ) falling from a great height is another ,,( the Twin Towers was a nightmare with both ,,) seeing anything hurt my wife, my children ,,
But this, this goes to another plane altogether .,.,
God help them ,, I have no religion in me but I will hope & even pray for their survival both physical & mental.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Ah Must be a Doddery Auld Bugger right enough !

So yesterday I was busily working away ,, in the garden of all places ! ( well it was sunny ! )
Cutting the grass, weeding ( although I'm not actually trusted too far on that chore, having a penchant for pulling up anything that even looks weedish ! but generally isn't ! ) so the beloved is our real family weeder. :)
Anyway I decided I'd "edge" the lawn ( ha, lawn is mibbie a wee bit of a stretch on the imagination here ! ( our little square of front grass )
I got out our strimmer to do this ( having watched the green staff on the golf course the day before making a beautiful job of the bunker grass edges & it looking soooo easy ) ,, I wondered why I hadn't thought of this before always having done this with the edging tool ,, yon wee half moon shaped spade kinda thing !)
By now you might be getting the impression I'm not any kind of "gardener"  .,., you'd be correct !
Now this strimmer thing ,,, I've never been able to work it !  5 seconds and the wee nylon string snaps & another 5 minutes coaxing a new length of "string" out ,, oops it's snapped again ,, what a useless bloody tool !
I'm very careful of course to pull the plug each time I open it up to pull out the next length of "string" !
Well normally I am !!!  Yesterday it was really frustrating me ,, I was in & out of it's workings more often than a taxidermist stuffing a big cat !
Then all of a sudden Ouch, ouch, shit ,, bugger ,, awlll ,, the nylon string was whizzing round at 1400 rpm and slicing the back of my hand to ribbons ,, I finally managed to throw it off me but only as far as my leg !!
It then started pulverising my thigh ,, ouch and stuff again ,, Oh that was sore .. but at least I had shorts on so the leg lacerations are minor ( by comparison ! )  I finally kicked the damn thing into submission and a stop as it hit the ground .,., The bloody "string" didn't break this time of course ,,
The back of my hand now looks a bit like something you'd see in the butcher's windae !
Anyway just about this point a nice, presentable, confident  young man in a suit, & complete with collar & tie stops by ( jings whit is the world coming to ! ) ,, ,,, clipboard in hand and starts chatting to me about possibly changing my Utilities supplier ,,
Oh bugger off son, I said ,, can't you see I'm busy ?  Well says he, you kinda look like you need a wee break !  Cheeky upstart I thinks ! You'll sell me NOTHIN' son ,, besides I've never been known to buy anything from anyone chapping my door cold !
Who are you with currently ? he continued.   EDF as it happens ,, and aye, they've been pissing me off for some time now with their funny estimates of how much my monthly D/D constantly seems to need to increase by ,,, ( Naturally I'm always on top of my Gas & Elect usage and know to the penny what my D/D needs to be ,, I frequently explain to them that I bank with my BANK and not with them and I will NOT pay exsessive amounts to keep me in credit for them to use my money ,, 
So, I relented and gave the boy a chance to impress me with his undoubtedly cheaper G & E ,,,
And so it turned out to be ,, well for now anyway ! ,, a full third less than I'm currently paying and with two £100 discounts ( one for 12 months only, the other for always & no tied contract for life or anything ,,  ) so I finally agreed to change ( the beloved was keen to ditch the FRENCH EDF people too ,, remember the daughter's ex was French !! )
The boy turned out to be a fellow Golfer, which of course did his sales pitch no harm whatsoever !  ( a real golfer in fact, playing off +1 ,, a veritable Pro in the making .,., why are you wasting your Saturdays selling Gas & Electricity son when you could turn professional with that handicap ? )
Now to the punch line from this whole story !!
The boy does all his business, explaining every detail to me about what I'm about to sign up for ,, showing me all the relevent paperwork etc ,, then tells me that he now needs me to talk to a head office wallah to confirm that I understand it all ,, DOH,  I say ,, it's not rocket science son ,,  but nevertheless he puts me onto his boss man who then proceeds to go through the whole spiel again ,, almost verbatim as already done by his young salesman .,., until he comes to the bit ,,, Can you confirm for me sir that you are between the ages of 18 and 65 ,,,
Eh, naw says I ,, I'm just a tad older than that ! ( a very little tad ! )
Oh ! he says, a little taken aback  ,,, eh, well,
A problem ? asks me.
Eh, no sir, not a problem but I now have to ask if you'd like us ( or yourself of course ) to provide a witness before you sign anything since you fall into the "older" catagory for signing up on your own !!
Well let me see, says I ,, eh, what was it I was signing up for ,, I've forgotten ,, I'm a doddery, grumpy old codger you see ,, just don't know what I'm doing half the time !  Jesus !
Gimmie the papers son ,,, before your daft boss loses you a sale !  Ma faculties are still working fine !
But eh ,, Doh ,,, mibbie this G & E is rocket science efter aw ,,,
I know Strimmers definitely are !!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

So, the Big Yin is a Freeman !

Well his mooth has always been a bit on the FREE side anyway, has it no' ?!
“I didn’t even know there was such a thing as freedom of the city,” he said. But I'm delighted to have it !
Aw c'mon ya big lying bastard  ,,, ( oops, did I just lapse into a Connolly moment there ? ) ,, of course you knew about the freedom of the City .,., you must have known ,, you bloody petitioned like the rest of us to FREE NELSON MANDELA .,., remember ? ., & he's wan o' Glesca's free men !
So is Alex. Ferguson & Kenny Dalglish ( yer pal, late of your beloved Celtic ! ) so don't try kidding a kidder big man .,., you knew bloody fine !
Anyway, I dare say he deserves it ,, he's made us laugh for many's a long year now, and from the belly too, and that's not easy, albeit he's a bit on the coarse side but seemingly only on stage ?  Off it he somehow manages to putt oan a bit of a Bools in the Mooth accent .,., Must be aw yon mixin' wi' his Royal chums ,,, yer mooth probably goes like that with too much arse licking ?
But hey ,, who am I to critisize a man trying to better himself ?  I mean, the man's a Laird, living in his Castle, so he's got appearances to keep up.
He's also done some damn fine documentaries touring the world & shown us all stuff we'd never have seen any other way ,,  I've now toured New Zealand ( twice ) which saved me the boring flight and cash of actually going there myself ! Thanks for that Billy.
Among his newly begotten rights are the following btw :-
He can now graze his cows on the common land of Glasgow Green ( and don't think he won't ! )
He's allowed to fish in the Clyde ( and this he will definitely do for he's one o' them ,, a bored sportsman ! )
Attend all court hearings in the city ( eh ,,, well would you ? )
Trade within the burgh, specifically on market days ( he's sold himself  there for years ! )
And now for the real goody ,, he gets to have a prison cell all to himself if he's ever imprisoned ( and that might well come in handy one of these days? )
And what duties does he need to do for the City in return ?
Oh aye ,, he's to defend the town by arms – and if he doesn't, he could be prosecuted for perjury of his oath and flung in the Pokie ! ( to his single cell ! )
Only question left for the Big Yin is .,.,Why has ma wee pal Queenie no' tapped ma shouder yet ??
Wis it somethin' a said ????

Friday, August 20, 2010

"The older I get, the better I think I used to be."

You can get almost any message on a car bumper sticker these days !
And what a brilliant wee statement that one is ?
It no doubt gives you some idea of my age however !
I confess ! .,., I moved into the league of super Pumpas recently  ,,,  the current count of grand-we'ans is a staggering but magnificent SEVEN !! and that needs you to be aged . ( or leads you to be aged maybe ? )
I retired from the "Rat Race" 10-years ago now ( too many rats ! ) ,,,
Then I became a fully paid up member of the Grumpy Old Men's club .,., and that wasn't yesterday either !
The eyes are a bit dimmer now .,., the hearing's getting a bit suspect too nowadays ..( Whit ? )
And now the memory's starting to go ! 
But of one thing I am still sure  .,., and that is,.,.,.,,.,
The older I get, the better I think I definitely used to be !
And who's gaunae dispute that ?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Well here they all are !

First (of many nae doobt ) picture of the complete Magnificent Seven !
Introducing from left to right ,, Big teen now Marcel, newest baby Alasdair, little Amaia, Ginger bonce Gordon, Dumbo ears Leon, the wee blonde Anna bits, and the beautiful almost grown up Charlotte.
My photographic task over the next few months will be a simple one .,., to get THE picture .,., you know, the one where ALL seven are looking at the camera, all smiling AND all with clean faces !! 
Hopeless objective ?? You think ?
Not on your life ,, you just watch this space !
An Ohhhh, Footnote :
I started referring to this brood as .... My Dynasty !
However, there could be a real challenge awaiting me down the line somewhere !
The daughter ( responsible for 5 of the 7 tells me that I 'aint seen nothin' yet ,,, somehow she's managed to pluck some quick calculation out of her ( crazy ) head & has now threatened me ( yes I consider it a threat ! ) with a possible 29- great grand children !!
The seven only just get the Dynasty started she says .,.,., Arghhhhhhh
I actually worried about this for a micro second or two before realising that by the time this might come about I would be well past the age of knowing that they were mine .,., or caring :-)
And as for getting 29 ( +7 ) to sit and smile at the camera .,.,
Forget it, I already have !!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Jimmy's Rat Race is finally over.

At the time of the Clyde shipbuilder's work-in, in 1970, I felt a bit embarrassed for Jimmy Reid. ( as well as Jim Airlie & Sammy Barr. )
This rough Clyde-built union man came to prominence with his now famous speech containing the lines .,.,
"We are not going to strike. We are not even having a sit-in strike. There will be no hooliganism, there will be no vandalism, there will be no ,, bevvying, because the world is watching us - and it's our responsibility to conduct ourselves with dignity."

It just kinda made me feel a little sorry for him. The mere fact that he had to voice such warnings with the world listening I felt was something of a stigma on us proud Scots. But the man knew his workers .,., and the discipline they were capable of. 
But .,., he had obviously no chance of winning this battle against Ted Heath's Tory government ,,
Had he ?
Jimmy was a true fighting Scot and boy did he win that battle .,., This speech saved the yard, and the decision to close with thousands of redundancies was reversed.
The man turned out to be a GIANT .,., possibly the best Scottish MP we never had right enough !
His speeches became legendary ,, his absolute committment to his working class roots immense.
Even if you didn't share his Communist politics you had to admire the man ? He was an iconic socialist from the tip of his head to his boot laces .,.,
His inaugural speech as Rector of Glasgow University is rated as the best since Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address !!  Now that's quite something for a wee boy from the Gorbals is it no '?
The Rat Race is for rats he said, humankind can create a fairer, more compassionate and better society.
He spoke and wrote with such passion and much of what he had to say was worth a listen !
This week we've lost one of the greats ,, a leader of men who actually could get things done.
He was one of the few Scottish political figures who can genuinely say that they provoked real change for the better. He argued eloquently and passionately against the insanity of the capitalist system which once again has caused a major recession where the many will pay for the greed of the few.
“His whole being was about helping others. The work he did in the shipyards and the socialist beliefs he held and held onto were a fundamental part of his life.
Today was a sad passing.
R.I.P. Jimmy ,, working class hero .,., you'll be missed.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Our Magnificent Seven !

Friday 6th. Aug 2010.
Red Letter Day number 7 !
My beloved D.I.L. ( that's daughter-in-law to any uninitiated ) is by now in the Queen Mum's maternity hospital, on the operating table and soon our newest grandson will be with us.
Everything is crossed awaiting the news that he has arrived, safe & sound and that mum is on the way to a quick recovery and home to PQ.
As you no doubt noticed, our next baby is a boy ... and has been since his first scan months & months ago !
A little brother for Gordy, the Black Pudding man of Clan Buchanan ,,,
I wonder what our new babe will be called ?  Will he be another wee Buckie Ginger ?? Another smart little cookie ? Who knows ,, but as long as he's healthy & happy who cares ?
I certainly know how he'll be dressed for his first year ,,, for hasn't his Granny been knitting like one posessed for nearly 9-months now ?  Will he suit his new Partick Thistle strip I wonder !! ( His dad will love it ! ) Will he really look like a Teddy in one of Granny's BEAR creations ?? ( His Mum will love it ! )
Oh c'mon, hurry up QM .,., I've been watching this 'phone for any sign of life since 7-30 am this morning !
Needless to say, we can hardy contain ourselves to see our latest grand we'an .... the Magnificent 7th. of the Clan.  WOW !!,,, that's SEVEN grandkids !!
Think I'll just go check that 'phone is working ok ,, again !
Updates will be posted later in the morning ?  afternoon ?? Arghhhhhhhhhhhh SOON ,,,
10-22 am  News Flash :
Master Alasdair Douglas Henderson Buchanan, 7lbs 8oz is born.
Mother & baby both well
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ......
Photos to follow in due course naturally !
                     First pic and note the jaunty (golfer ? ) way he wears his hat !

Thursday, August 05, 2010

A Cluster What ?

We were playing golf today, Stevie & I ,,, a not altogether unusual Thursday thing for us retired gents!
At the notorious Eastwood 6th., a long and difficult par 5 he put his first ball from the elevated tee 45* left into deep, deep rough, bush & tree country.
To let you understand, this is not totally unusual for Steve !
His "provisional" ball ( that's 3 off the tee pal, for you've as much chance of finding and playing that 1st. ball as I have of having a hole in one at this hole, and I'm good but not that bloody good ! )
His provisional landed on the fairway ,,, but only just and still a LONG way to go .,.,
His now 4th. hit up the hill took him almost to my drive ! 
His 5th. to about the turn of the dog leg left. From there he hit a rather nice 6th. shot almost onto the green but unfortunately it didn't quite make it and ran off some 30-feet down the slope away to the right of the green. But he was on in 7 and with a masterly putt landed only some 4-feet short of the hole .,., Like the true gentleman golfer I am, I of course conceded his putt to save him the embarrasment of the dreaded 10.
I will say no more about this hole, save to say that I myself had a rather magnificent birdie 4.
The point of this tale we now reach !
On walking to the next tee Steve comes up with one more of his wonderful anecdotes on his golf game & indeed on his life in general.
That, he says was what I call  a Cluster Fuck !
A what ? says I .,.,
You know, he says, when you make one mistake and you then try to compensate for it by trying the impossible, which naturally leads to to a further mistake & so you end up have a cluster of them .,.,
What a truly brilliant expression says I ,, I MUST try getting that one out to the public at large .,.,
I know, I'll do a blog about it !
Och no need, says he ,, I taught all the kids in school that years ago while I was still teaching !!!!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Up on the Roof !

When this old world starts getting me down
And people are just too much, for me to face
I climb way up to the top of the stairs
And all my cares just drift, right into space
On the roof, it's peaceful as can be
And there the world below can't bother me
Let me tell you now .,.,.,.,
Hahahaha ,, I wonder if that's what was going thro' the young lady's mind as she fell that 25Ft to earth after her crazy notion for a bit of ruff rumpy-pumpy on the corrugated roof of the local Chinese take away ?
Or was it ,,, Jesus, he was good ,, but his coitis-interuptis needs a little "Polishing" up .,., just a bit abrupt !

That being said, isn't coitis interuptis sinful and not to be practiced according to Glasgow's coming visitor, you-know-who ?  Auld B16 !!
So not a good catholic boy then ?
She is called Alex, is 19, and is Polish ... & insisted she had no regrets, saying, "We decided to have sex on the roof because we were bored. It was just a bit of fun but it all turned a bit scary. I'm in shock - and a bit sore." Not surprising hen, since you landed flat on your bare backside.
"It was a great adventure,"  she offered !
"He's not my boyfriend & I'm really worried he's going to get into a lot of trouble over this." ( You bet he is petal ! )

Fortunately the lassie survived the fall and lived to tell the tale .,., Not so happy for him though, for his girlfriend was apparently none too happy on hearing it !  
Oops again he was heard to mutter as he was driven away by the constabulary !
A passer by was heard to comment " She was probably a polish slater, typical cowboy builder, not even wearing a hard hat ..
Hahaha ,,,, so much for safe sex ?

Monday, August 02, 2010

How to find new & interesting blogs ?

I decided, having noticed that I now have a regular following of some 11 or 12 readers of my "blog " ramblings that maybe I should also become a follower .,., I do of course have 1 or 2 blogs that I read & enjoy regularly but I've only ever found them from them finding me !
Question therefore is ,, how do you find new, interesting and please ,, NON RELIGIOUS blogs to read ?
I started  trawling thro' "Next Blog" and having a look but EVERY one of the 1st. 20 blogs I checked this way came up with "I'm following God" or "Jesus is my main man" , "we are the Church's Missionaries type stuff " .,., Eh, Back track here a mo' .,., I've just done it again ,, make that the 1st. 100 blogs ,,, not a single blog that isn't being used to push religion down your throat !! Surely this is not right ?  There must be some non holy Willies in there somewhere ?? So why is every page I try dedicated to one church or another ?
Now this may not surprise some of you but religion is NOT my thing ,,,
As far as I'm concerned, and I've said this before ,, Religion ( in all its guises ) is the cause of ALL world conflicts ,, always has been & always will be .,., so what drives these people ?  ( eh, that's just a rhetorical question ,, I DON'T want answers thanks very much !! )
So, is there a method for finding "normal" folks to read, a way to bypass or filter out these people, or has the internet world of Blogging been quietly taken over by the lunatic fringe ?

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Is Music Killing me ?

This week I watched (again) a Stevie Wonder concert that I had put a K (for keep) onto my Sky+box.
I've been a life long fan ,,, what can I say ,, I've watched & listened to "Little Thunder", the wee music man since he was about 12 ,,, Steveland Morris is a genius ( not such a wee guy nowadays but a genuine genius giant ,, If you don't believe me listen to Innervisions / Fullfillingness First Finale, Songs in the Key of Life, or Stevie's Journey through the Secret Life of Plants.  
There are a few in the "G" class but more of them later !
My problem now is that to listen and sing along is becoming almost impossible ,, it's the same with Opera ,, well certainly with Luciano Pavarotti, and even fellow tenors José Carreras & Plácido Domingo  ...
I can't listen to certain stuff any more without dissolving in tears !
Stevie's, You are the Subshine of my life ,, Isn't she lovely ,,
Fat Lucy's Nessun Dorma (None shall sleep) the aria from the final act of  Puccini's opera Turandot,  ... Connie Francis' My Happiness ,,
I'm a wreck !
I think auld age is turning me into an uncontrollable melancholic ? ( I'm off the booze these days you see ! )
I think I'm gonna try doing a list of the stuff that's gotten into my soul over the years affecting me so badly ,, so wonderfully !
See if that stops the maudlin in me from comin' oot ?
So, to begin ,,, the true Genius ( or "G" ) class :
Well of course there's Paul Simon, Brian Wilson, Buddy Holly, ( how much more might we have had if Buddy hadn't taken that damned 'plane ? ) Abba, John & Paul,
Then there's the awfully good : Performers who have ( and still do ) move me, to the bottom of my very soul.
Sinatra, ( still & always the King ) Tony Bennett, Eric Clapton, Leonard Cohen, ( I'm not sure Eric & Lenny shouldn't also be in the "G" class ? ),
Nat King Cole singing Mona Lisa just blows me away.
John Denver ( his love lost Annie which in the end obviously killed him )
José Feliciano singing anything & playing his wonderful guitar,
Stephane Grapelli playing with Django ( I once shook Stephane's hand after a concert ,., such soft, smooth skin & and a lovely gentle man )
Billy Joel puts his heart & soul into all his writing & performing,
Jack Jones ( for his album Harbour .,., )
Gerard Kenny ( who? I hear you say ,, listen to his tribute to Cole Porter album Play me some Porter Please and just listen to Do I Love You .,., track 6 to save you looking ! ),
Then there's Mark Knopfler & Dire Straits ( a fantastic series of albums, the peak of which surely must be Brothers in Arms )
Don Maclean ( His song for Buddy, American Pie, but also Vincent, And I Love you so, Wonderful baby, and so many more, right from the heart ,, & do listen to Building my Body ! )
Wee Chris de Burgh has done some beautiful things too ( and not only have a Beauty Queen daughter ! )
Barry Manilow, the Showman, wrote & sung some brilliant numbers but has sadly now lost his way ( and his face !  Why did you do that Barry ? )
Freddy Mercury and Queen were extraordinary .,., I'm so glad to have witnessed all Freddie's performances excesses. ( Go Freddie ! You are sadly missed )
Gary Moore brings me to my knees with his guitar solos, I can listen to Parisienne Walkways all night.
And talking French, Gabriel Yared's score from the movie Betty Blue is truly sensational as are most of Jean Michelle Jarre's wonderful electronics ?
Leaping in from my teenage years is Ricky Nelson's Stood Up, Poor Little Fool, Someday ,,,, Ahhhhh
Bobby Darin was a great favourite .... as was Gene Vincent
Elvis of course ( well the early Elvis ,, not the caped wonder of later life ! )
Jerry Lee Lewis' Great Balls were always a Whole Lotta Shakin', his was the ultimate rockin' piano,
Johhny Ray & me Cried together manys a time whilst Walkin' my Baby Back Home !
Marty Wilde was great long before he produced his American girl ! 
Young Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers were top of my pops for a while, back then I too was a Juvenile Delinquent ,,
Mick & Keith's Rolling Stones will live on forever ( always & STILL the best Rock 'n Roll band in the world ),
I loved T-Rex in the Glam age, Marc Bolan, another one gone with much more to give ?
I know there's no logic to this blog but these songs just come into my head in whatever order they like ,,
I have little or no control here ,,so bear with me , ok !
Take That's Gary Barlow will eventually get onto the "G" list if he keeps up his output of magical heart rending songs ( you don't need Robbie back in the band guys ! )
Chrissie Hynde (& her Pretenders) is something else ,, the raunchy bitch of Rock ,, superb.
I'm also a fan of Thom Yorke and Radiohead ( ugly little Creep but a real thinker ! )
Neil Young, in all his guises ,, with or without his Crazy Horse is strange but magnificent.
Belive it or not but writing this I'm currently also listening to Crazy ,, the wonderful velvety voice of Country singer Patsy Cline is melting me as I type ( has anyone ever seen two pictures of Patsy that look like the same woman ? )
On the country front I was once hopelessly in love with Crystal Gayle ,,, her sexy voice did things to me .,., Oooh ya !
Willie Nelson is a legend in every sense of the word, a true singer/songwriter with stories told from his soul.
And will anybody ever top the wee barra from the Blue Grass Mountains for writing & singing country ? Take a bow Miss Dolly P !
The Eagles, ( special mention to the loon guitar man  Don Henley ),  Fleetwood Mac ( special mention to Stevie Nicks but that's just a lust thing ! ) & Bon Jovi ( my wife will want me to specially mention young John B J !! )
There's just so many .,., my soul is obviously an easy touch !
Others who do it for me .,., Katie Melua ( new'ish but very good ,, so far )  Liza ( with a Zee ) Minnelli, especially the album she did with The Pet Shop Boys ( never liked her wee mammy though ! ).,., talking of which, Dusty Springfield ( absolutely brilliant and gone too soon ) and again her song with the Pet Shop Boys was fantastic.
Hey, there's also the excellent and very clever Pet Shop Boys ( see how clever these two are ,, they managed to get three mentions ! )
The Beach Boys ,, although I included Brian Wilson in the "G" class the Boys did some really good stuff on their own ,, of particular mention the magical Holland album, my all time favourite Beach Boys gig.
Going on, Carly Simon and all those teeth, Lisa Stansfield ( but that could be a lust thing again on my part ! )
Sophie Ellis-Bexter ( now this is definitely a LUST thing ! )
Oh and the brilliant Duffy, song writer extraordinaire and what a voice ?
The Beautiful South have done some excellent tracks ,,
Hue & Cry I can't possibly miss since they wrote the brillant Glasgow Song, among others.
Barbra Streisand, it goes without saying the Jewish quarter in NYC produced a right one in Babs !
Chris Rea, also a writer, singer & guitarist of extraordinary talent, many of his lyrics take me to the depths !
Otis Reading & I have spent some lazy afternoons sitting on The Dock of the Bay.
Sandi Thom  made me also wish I'd been a Punk Rocker ,, ( I already had the flower in my hair from way back hen ! )
Marillion was a Big Fish for a while and I really liked his stuff too :) .
Jon & Vangelis I always liked ,, well the Friends of Mr Cairo album ,,
Sting writes beautiful songs and is such a thinker and worrier about bad stuff global but I still get the feeling his  biggest fan is Gordon Sumner ?
Earl Brown & Hot Chocolate were up there in their hey day,  as were Annie Lennox & Dave Stewart's Eurythmics ,, The Kinks with Ray & Dave Davies are old enough to be though of as Fab !
And talking old enough ,, the best of the 20's/30's/40's  ,, Billie Holiday, surely Jazz's finest vocalist ?  But having said that, now we need to mention Ella, Satchmo, och I'm not going any further down this road ,,
KD Lang ( Katherine Dawn, that man  face with the voice of an angel, she has a Constant Craving to Wash me Clean .,., now if you want to have a good greet, listen to KD )
Wet, Wet, Wet did it for me too until Marty went off the rails .,., and hard as he tries he's never gonna get it back I'm afraid.
Natalie Cole had her Da's voice box implanted and was also sensational but what's happened to her ?  Last I heard she was needing a kidney transplant and on drugs ? ( the illegal, hard stuff ) What a waste of a wonderful natural talent gift ?
Now who have I not included ? 
Ah, Mike Oldfield and his wonderful Tubular Bells , oops Bowie, Ray Charles, Diana Ross ( A Miss Beautiful Supreme ! )  David Essex in his Rock On days, Kate Bush ( my 1st album on Cd )  Deacon Blue ,,,,
Oh & who could forget that journey Pink Floyd took us on ? to the Dark Side of the Moon ,,
And perhaps the all time tear jerker ,, Sinead O'Connor doing what Prince could never get close to with his Nothin' Compares 2U .,.,
Now then, how could I forget Robert ,, for I drank pints with him once in a wee pub in Kidderminster .,., Planty ,, Led Zeppelin's main man ,, ( alas now Alison Krauss' ? ) THE heavy rock band ?
That Stairway to Heaven takes you all the way to Kashmir don't you know !
Ahhhh, such memories.
Some newer people ,, Leona Lewis, destined for greatness ?  Alex Parks I also liked but she seems to want another life already ? Amy Winehouse has a voice to die for and seems hell bent on doing just that !
Dido, Sheryl Crow, ( ok Shaza's not so new ! ) Natasha Bedingfield, Eva Cassidy ( sadly gone now too )
Will Young, excellent and getting better with every recording.
And of course my son wouldn't talk to me again if I didn't mention the God Father ( well for him ) and possibly my next grandson's name sake ?  Bob Dylan ,, such a commentry on life & the USA  and what an output over so many years ,, amazing !

And to all those artists that I've missed ( but probably also love ) I'm sorry ,,
And I didn't include all my favourite Classical stuff either, from Vivaldi to the Planets and beyond ,, young Nicola Benedetti & her Violin ( so much prettier than the boy wonder Nigel Kennedy ? )

On reflection, music isn't killing me at all ,,, it's keeping me ALIVE !

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Does being Catholic in Scotland mean you now have to Pay to Pray ?

Hahahaha, Oh how gled ah um tae huv taken the ole family stand on religion and remained true to oor faith ,,,
A'm happily descended frae a long line o' Athiests ye see !
As they'd say doon Ibrox way ,, We arra peepel !!
Last laugh tae the Orangemen this week I think, eh ?
But doon Parkheid they'll be pullin' their hair oot at the news that El Papa is on his way to see his flock ,,,, but only the wans wi' a spare 20 quid entrance money,.,.,. EACH !!  Jesus ,,, Oops !
How absolutely outrageous !
This is a con of monstrous proportions .,., a scam on their ain folk .,., Imagine charging aw these good wee holy wullies jist tae look at their ain head bummer ! And nae doobt behind a bullet proof screen in the ole Popemobile as well ? Come on !!
And them with all the riches of Croesus?
This could well sound the death knell for Catholicism in Scotland, because religious they might have been brought up but in Glesca, DAFT they're no' !
Can you imagine ( and remember this is the team that frown on contraception ! )  wee Anne Marie & her man Big Dominic & their 6 we'ans wanting a front row seat ? 
Eh, That'll be 160 quid hen ,,, Aye right !
I don't care how good a priest this guy might think he is, but in Glesca he 'aint that bloody good !
Be interesting to see how soon the ticket price starts coming down ??

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Grandkids are truly Magical

The daughter never ceases to amaze me.
My dearest first born showed no sign of what her future held as a young teenage woman ,,
She studied, she travelled, she partied, she was a fairly ordinary person until she became ,,,,,
The Earth Mother !

Time was when I thought ,, she's such a quiet, fragile wee soul ,, How will she cope with life ?
Then, all of a sudden she's a gifted Linguist .,., a University graduate and she's brought home a Frenchman ,, Then she made me a grand daddy !! Jings, how'd that happen !
Now I think .,., whatever next ? ,,  and she made me a grand daddy again !! Bloody Hell !
After that she seemed to "settle down" :o)
But only a few years later and  she's gone & done it again .,.,.,?? Eh, whit ? ( Have I been a tad remiss in her education ? Do I need to explain to her how these things happen ? )
The beloved & I are astounded by now ,,, THREE grandkids ? Wow ...
You see .,., Lots of we'ans just wasn't our scene ,, both of us were ONLY children and we thought that made for a busy hoose !

Then came the Bomb !  A Divorce ??  Bloody Norah ,,  How will my we'an cope with life now !!

Well, what d'you know ?  She's married again ,, ( brought home a great Dane this time ! )
Then she started life afresh .,.,., Jingscrivenshelpmaboab .,.,
Before I even had time to take in the divorce, never mind the new man ,, we have grandwe'an #4.
And as if just to confirm her overly active fertility glands ( she appears to just look at her man & bang ,, she's off to the maternity ward again ! ) we are now the proud grand parents of  FIVE !!
I'm now in danger of becoming The Super Pumpa of Cowglen ! 
Now I think .,.,., she's mad, she's off her trolley ,,, all these we'ans constantly demanding her time & energy. She'll still be doing the school run when she's in her dotage !
A life dedicated to her own home made Clan ,,, the multi National Gautier/Widmann/Buchanans !

But then I stop .,., I read her wonderful Blog.
( see copy below ... I hope she doesn't mind me sharing this with my readers ? )  
What have we now inherited here ?
Three amazing kids with the French hubby .,.,.,Mini Mec, Baby Magic & the Pudgeman.
Two further fantastic kids with the new Danish hubby ! .,., Anna Bits & Teeny Troll.
Oh ,, And a daughter to die for .,.,
It's a funny old game ,,, life !

That Blog :- LARGE FAMILIES ( Me and my babies ) Originally uploaded by PhylB
Sometimes when I look at my kids, I think of what most people consider the norm - and that would probably have been a photo of just me on a bench with Mini Mec & Baby Magic  How much less rich my life would have been if I'd stopped there.
They are all so different and so alike in many ways.
Anna Bits and Mini Mec are quite alike in their interests, The Pudgeman, Baby Magic and Teeny Troll look very alike. I can see myself in all of them regardless of gender and colouring. Looking into your own eyes in another colour touches the depths of your soul.
This weekend Mini Mec has spent most of the time listening to the same song over and over trying to learn the lyrics - something I myself would have done at his age.

Baby Magic sometimes drives me mad with her awkwardness and shyness - again traits I too suffered from at her age though overcame.

The little ones are so endearing with their smiles, their chat, their nonsense, their understanding of the world.

I watch how Mini Mec interacts with the smallest ones and I feel pride at having raised such a gentle, lovely boy. He acts indecisively like his father and I cringe. I ask him to tidy the kitchen and he does a sloppy teenage job and I want to kill him but he was my first love so I can't. He smiles his smile and sparkles his beautiful green eyes and my heart melts. He comes home from school and leaves a report on his bed, forgetting to show me it. I find it and read he is one of the cleverest kids at his high school, polite, well-behaved, full of enthusiasm and I hold my breath, thrilled that by some fluke I have managed to raise the perfect child. That's what being a mother is all about.

Baby Magic's teacher, at our parent meeting, stops on more than one occasion and gasps - My God you are the same person - she gestures like you, she moves her hair like you, she talks like you. I rarely see this myself. I am bemused and yet proud.
She says to me - Baby Magic is unaware of how bright she is. Again I am secretly thrilled at having got something right. I love her freckly nose, her clear green eyes. Her niggling with the little ones sometimes drives me insane. Her hours of patience with them in the next instant amazes me. She's more patient with them than me at times and her parenting wisdom stuns me when she sees better how to deal with them than me. Her refusal to ever brush her beautiful hair drives me batty. Her tomboyishness puzzles me as it is so far from where I was as a young girl. She talks enthusiastically about footballs in a way I'd have spoken about ABBA at her age - I have produced a me who is the antithesis of myself!

The Pudgeman is my fragile little angel: my lovely, caring, gentle boy. He has the most cheeky smile. His transparent blue eyes are flecked with yellow. Had I stopped at two kids, I'd never have known kids could have yellow eyes! He adapts easily to everything, yet is so needy of our love. He's my special darling Pudgeman. His laugh makes me laugh. His hugs are so precious. Nursery tells me about this well-behaved, happy little boy and again I am proud. His spot problem and other problems he's had since his horrible chicken pox as a baby make me want to protect him and cocoon him in love, to keep him safe from the world but as he grows and I offer him a little more independence, I am proud of my brave little boy.

Anna Bits has a fiery nature and two odd eyes - one darker than the other. Had I stopped at two kids, I wouldn't have known I could have had an odd-eyed kid! Her eyes draw me in and fascinate me. Her favourite word is Whhhhhhhhy? She argues with me and her older siblings because she believes she knows better than us at times. This makes me laugh because she has such baby logic. And yet the minute the big three go for a night with their father, Anna Bits walks about wailing as if her right arm has been removed. When they return, her face breaks into a smile and she tells them how much she loves them. She's very definite about her likes and dislikes. My like pink, my ikke like blue. She can make her large dark eyes fill with tears at a perceived wrong as she mutters, my am very sad. She is my sweet little drama queen, my daddy's girl. Anna Bits is obsessed with being a big girl in comparison with Teeny Troll. She studies her for hours so she can point out everything she has that is bigger than her baby sister. Being big is very important to her!

Teeny Troll is my perfectly content smiler. She's my happy eating machine, my nosy feeder. She pulls my boobs to look behind her when she's eating. She's my standing baby who refuses to bend in the middle. She wants to learn to walk before she can sit steadily. She loves to be hugged and kissed by me and all her siblings. Her face lights up for each and every one of them.
Had I stopped at two kids, I'd never have known I was capable of giving birth to a 4.5kg baby without drugs and smiling five minutes later! She smiles and observes all day long and I need her as much as she needs me. I watch her sleeping. She sucks in her sleep and I wonder if she's dreaming of me. She is another beautiful precious child with deep thoughtful eyes of another odd grey/green/blue shade.

The only thing that makes me sad about my large and beautiful family is a fear that I won't live long enough to watch the youngest ones reach my age.
I can't ever imagine having only had the two kids society expected me to.
I love each and everyone equally. I love the way they are individuals and I love the way they need each other.