Saturday, December 13, 2008



Getting my own hospital radio show
Interviewing top snooker/pool referee Michaela Tabb on the aforementioned show
Putting an entry forward for the Hospital Broadcasting Association awards (I’m in for three categories)


A ridiculous amount of sick leave due to persistent throat, stomach problems and depression.
Resigning from hospital radio show committee after one meeting and having to stop doing show for Nevis Radio as a result.
No quiz show appearances.
A lack of motivation


Dawn of the Dumb – Charlie Brooker
Song Man – Will Hodgkinson (the first book I've borrowed from a library in years)
One Hit Wonderland – Tony Hawks
Pies and Prejudice - Stuart Maconie
That's Me In The Corner - Andrew Collins




Dropkick – Patchwork LP
Attic Lights – Friday Night Lights LP
Jackie Leven – Lovers at the Gun Club LP
The Spooks – With and Without CD
Various – Scotbeat Volume 1, 2 and 3 (thanks Lenny)
Teddy Thompson – In Your Arms 45
Melee – Built To Last 45
Duffy – Mercy 45
The Searchers (very underrated)
The Fabulous Artisans
Attic Lights (Velocity, Dunfermline)
The Vaselines (Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline)
Ronnie Spector (The Arches, Glasgow)
Jackie Leven (Edinburgh and Perth)
Edwyn Collins (Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh)
I Am Kloot (ABC, Glasgow)
Frank Satan and His Husbands (Cameo Cinema)


Big Bang Theory
Mad Men
The Gadget Show
Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe
Harry Hill’s TV Burp
University Challenge/Mastermind/In It To Win It/Only Connect
QI/Mock The Week/8 Out of 10 Cats
Watchdog/Crimewatch/Rogue Traders


The Wee Restaurant, North Queensferry


Flip Ultra Camcorder - My daughter's nativity came out a treat.
Nintendo Wii - I'm addicted to the tennis on Wii Sports and Super Mario Karts (The Good Lady Wife enjoys Guitar Hero III)


Michael Moore
Charlie Brooker
Chris Hoy
Mark Cavendish
Lenny Helsing
Stephen Fry
Andrew Collins


**Cristiano Ronaldo - A divin' cheating prima donna. Four petulant kicks at opponents in the last few months shows what he's really all about.

**Office Dickhead - Before I went off on Christmas Leave I had a run in with a middle-management sort who was extremely rude to me on the phone. He started with a bad attitude and got worse so I hung up on him. I expect to be in the shit when I get back to work but if he thinks he'll be getting an apology he can go fuck himself. It's not my first run-in with this knobhead but I hope it's my last.

Fife Council 1 – Attempts to get a bus shelter for my morning bus stop (an exposed stop on a wind tunnel of a road) were met with a rather pathetic response of “sorry, not enough people use it and besides it might get vandalised”. They even said that a shelter had been earmarked – it’s just they weren’t gong to do anything with it!

Fife Council 2 – One of the four Fife Councillors covering my area decided to insult me in an e-mail and then made the mistake of forwarding it on to me! He even had the brass neck to cite a “stressful day” for his insulting words. I made sure I got an apology and I made sure I passed his original comments on to the local press (who did nothing with it, partly because they hate me) and the “opposition”. I also complained to the Council but they’re as much use as a roof rack on a helicopter.

Life Property Management – Gritted our road when we didn’t need it, didn’t want it and didn’t ask for it. They billed us anyway. After a while they actually refused to discuss the issue with me and again the local Councillors were as much use as an ashtray on a motorcycle when it came to getting some sort of help. It’s bad enough that we have to pay for neighbours who don’t cough up their factoring charges without being charged for unnecessary work. Property Management is unregulated and LPM continues to paint themselves as some sort of “good guys” but they’re not. They held a meeting and then charged the cost of the hire to the residents, whether they attended or not. Total bawbags.

Parcelnet – Delivered several parcels over a few days and decided to drop them all over a six-foot fence instead of taking them back and leaving a card. Poor service and no subsequent response from the company as to what the outcome of my complaint was. Piss poor.

Stagecoach – Drivers still not knowing which tickets to issue, which way they’re going or which stops they should be stopping at. I have a good relationship with the Operations Director (built up over hundreds of e-mails) and I pity him for having to work with such numpties.

West Fife Taxi Drivers Association – I don’t use taxis; haven’t done for years and John Aitchison, the mouthpiece of this “body”, is responsible. This man’s continual “the-world-owes-us-a-living” whining in the local press about how hard done-to taxi drivers are is just pathetic. He told lies to the Dunfermline Press about the Yellow Taxibus (saying that woman weren’t safe on it) and subsequently taxi drivers wouldn’t pick up people who had just got off the Yellow Taxibus in James Street for onward travel. What is laughable about him and his organisation is how they claim to be doing all these courses to improve behaviour of drivers even though a member of his own family had her licence taken off her after a number of driving offences and repeated warnings. The biggest laugh of the year was when they suggested they should be treated like public transport. He’s got more neck than a bag of giraffes – start charging the same fares as buses and trains and improve the quality of your service and drivers and that might become a reality but until then shut the fuck up. They say you never see a poor bookie; well the same applies to taxi drivers.

BBC – Took six weeks to finally get feedback for an interview I had. I realised that I hadn’t performed well at interview but this was really rubbing salt into the wounds.

Ryanair – Deleted two e-mails without reading them. Would rather pay full price than use them again. The prices may be low but if they can’t get basic customer service right then passengers will desert them. They’re complacent and arrogant as the press releases on their website show.

Silent Calls from Home Improvement Companies who are “not trying to sell me anything”. Yes you are, fuck off and get a proper job.

Radio Forth/Forth One – Took a vote in the office and switched to Radio 2. Fed up with “personality” DJs who love nothing better than to sound superior by spouting the same old “trivia” about the same old records. Too often the facts are wrong. Maybe I’m the only person who bothers to correct them. I don’t care; it shows a lack of attention to detail and if they can’t bother getting their facts right then I can’t be bothered listening. Also, they made an arse of a couple of competitions and when I pointed the errors out they were quite dismissive of my observations. The takeover by Bauer isn’t exactly going to improve things. Commercial radio is dead, god bless Terry Wogan. I didn't mind Boogie in the Morning (thinks he's the bee's knees) or Grant Stott (sort out that Wee Touch of Tartan feature - there's more to Scottish music that Deacon Fuckin' Blue) but the rest of them melted into an interchangeable Wallpaper of Sound. Don't get me started on the never-there-because-she's-always-on-the-sick Head of Music because she knows hee-haw.

**eBay - Or more specifically the robbin' twat who tried to charge me £2.20 postage for a single CD sent Second Class in a used Jiffy Bag. At least Dick Turpin wore a mask. What what more amazing was the people on the eBay forums who seem to think it was okay to bump up the postage on any item that's cheap. They even suggested that it's okay to increase the cost of postage to cover costs incurred in taking said item to the Post Office, whether it be bus fares or petrol costs. Where does it stop? Add another 50p for wear and tear on footwear.

**Public Transport - Those ignorant people who put their bags on seats during rush hour travel. I regularly target these seats, just for sport. Let's not forget those people who feel that they can't sit on anything less than one and a half seats and I'm not just talking about chubsters.


Fingers crossed for a nomination at the HBA awards in Blackpool
Doing an Introduction to Dreamweaver course so I can take the Jocknroll website to the next level and earn some money from it – look out Google!
A possible appearance on Eggheads
Doing a Pass Plus driving course to cut down on car insurance.
Learn to play my guitar
Weight loss, motivation and contentment
Marriage to Kate Winslet

Please note that this blog entry may well be altered over the next couple of weeks as I remember stuff!

How was 2008 for you?

(**Updated: Tuesday 30 December 2008)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Saturday 11 October 2008

An update on the life of Misery Guts, since I last blogged.

I've got new glasses, a la Elvis Costello. Everyone likes them, which pleases me, although they felt right from the moment I tried them on.

Didn't get invited on to "In It To Win It". Neither did Mark, who partnered me on "Sudo-Q". I deliberately got three general knowledge questions wrong on the test; he said he "messed up" a dozen! I'm beginning to think there really is no point in applying for any quiz/game shows produced by 12 Yard. I put so much effort into my audition and for what? Brussel sprout. I'll be interested who, if anyone, appears on the show from my audition. This may sound bitter, and it isn't because I've said it before, but "In It To Win It" is a perfect example of the dumbing down of TV. They don't want intelligent people on it because it would cost them a small fortune.

We got a Wii and I'm addicted to the Sports one and Super Mario Carts. Mrs Cat loves Guitar Hero III but I just can't get into it. She's also managed to knacker the Whammy Bar already - does anyone know how to fix them? The Tennis on the Sports edition is really getting me fit. Every night I run around the living room daft, sweating like Michelle McManus in Greggs.

Had a week off in September. Money's tight so we've been sampling various caravan/holiday parks over the last couple of years. This time it was Seton Sands, or as I preferred to call it The Jeremy Kyle Caravan Park. Full of jakey fuckwits with tattoos, nae teeth and Rangers tops (and that was just the women). We took advantage of various free/discounted tickets we were able to get through our respective places of work. We got £5 tickets for East Links Family Park, which I can highly recommend, although leave the Jelly Belly to the kids - I nearly broke my neck on it! (We completed a quiz while we were there and we've won a free family pass for October so we'll be off there again soon over the next couple of weeks). We also got to see Dirleton Castle for free. We didn't bother partaking of any of the on-site entertainment at the Caravan Park. There's an on-site chip shop that charges £1.80 for a bag of chips!!

Still doing the hospital radio show and recently I broadcast the interview I did with Michaela Tabb, as well as a Joe Meek special to celebrate the anniversary of "Telstar" being number one.

Pop bands I like and am not afraid to admit it: The Sugababes, Savage Garden and A1's "Caught In The Middle".

New records purchased/received:

1. Various - Ripples Volume 3: Autumn Almanac
2. Various - Ripples Volume 2: Dreamtime
3. Various - Ripples Volume 7: Rainbows
4. Various - Ripples Volume 8: Butterfly
4. Various - Scotbeat Volume 1: Don't Look Down (thanks Lenny)
5. Various - Scotbeat Volume 2: She's Nice People (thanks Lenny)
6. Various - Scotbeat Volume 3: Psychedelic Shortbread (thanks Lenny)
7. The Fabulous Artisans - ...from red to blue Singles Collection (thanks Neil)
8. Various - Here Come The Boys 2: In My Imagination
9. Various - They Were Wrong: Joe's Boys Volume One
10. Various - Ripples Volume 1: Look At The Sunshine
11. Jackie Leven - Night Lilies
12. Jackie Leven - Cretaures of Light and Darkness

A lack of motivation has meant I've not being doing any competitions or prize draws lately but that didn't stop us receiving a free Pearl Jam CD from Ben I got £3.53 for it from on eBay!

Gigwise, I've been to see Ronnie Spector (The Arches, Glasgow) and in a couple of weeks I'm off to Perth to see Jackie Leven, for the third time this year. I went to see Ronnie Spector on my own but was delighted to meet a long lost friend Stuart Cant on the way in. The guy is a legend in the Edinburgh. He ran so many great clubs; Twiggy, The Top Ten Club, Baby... We went to see One Thousand Violins together a lot, although he saw them loads more than me.

Thank christ the train strike is over. The bus regulars couldn't get in their normal buses for all the Train Refugees taking up the seats. Fuck off back to your cattle trucks.

People who currently annoy me:

1. The selfish twat on the 55 bus who always sits behind the driver and places his bag on the adjacent seat. He puts his mp3 player on and then pretends he's asleep so that no-one takes the seat beside him with the bag on it. Even when the bus is mobbed and loads of people are standing he makes no attempt to shift his bag. Hey pal, your bag doesn't have a ticket, so fuckin' shift it. He also has this annoying habit of dumping his apple cores in the Used Ticket receptacle. If I'm struggling for a seat I deliberate target his bag seat. You should too.

2. Life Property Management (LPM), or as I prefer to call them, Licence to Print Money. Robbin' unregulated bastards.

3. My local councillors, especially the Lib Dem cock who insulted me in an e-mail and then forwarded it to me by mistake. Have to lose votes in one easy step.

4. The Dunfermline (De)Press. A seriously dull, unimaginative publication.

5. The selfish, arrogant bitch who tried to bully her way through the traffic a couple of weeks ago at the Barnton. She tried to push her way in front of the car I was a passenger in. She then had the nerve to make some comment about us not letting her in. We shouted that she was just a bully. The biggest laugh was when she made out that she was going to take our registration down. Ha! For one, she was totally in the wrong and two, she obviously doesn't know who we work for. I tried to get her licence plate but she was driving like such an idiot that she was off before I could do anything. There was a phone number on the side of the car but I didn't get that either but it did say something about "Done and Dusted". Bitch.

That's better...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Alternative versions of "Guitar Hero"

Dave, Gaz, Joe and I were rather bored one day and came up with these alternative versions of "Guitar Hero". Feel free to suggest your own.

"How about a shoegazing version? Comes with 15 effects pedals, a mic that you can't turn up, an old school tie from one of the Home Counties finest educational establishments and an instruction booklet on how to ruin your posture.

Or a post punk version with a raincoat, a copy of Also Sprach Zarathustra and a Will Sergeant wig?"

"We could have a Jimi Hendrix version, which would come with a free headband, as well as its own lighter and white spirit.

What about a Who version? The guitar itself would come in 38 pieces.

A Top of the Pops edition would have a guitar that isn't actually plugged in."

John Squire version: Comes with wrap of coke, paint by numbers set and a yoga DVD which shows you how to stick your head up your own a*se.

"Folking Hell turbo edition: Comes with false beard, woollen sweater with leather elbow patches, and a year's membership to CAMRA"

"Westlife edition. The guitar just sits in the corner but it comes with a free stool for use during the key changes."

"Stone Roses Second Coming edition...... wont be ready for another 5 years"

"Oasis edition. Relaunched every two years and the reviews say it's really good then after 2 months everyone returns to playing the first edition. See also Belle and Sebastian"

"Status Quo edition - Only plays three chords.

X Factor edition - Out of tune for the first five weeks.

Peter Hook edition - comes with an extra long strap"

"The Amy Winehouse edition - despite the cover looking quite interesting and exciting there's actually nothing in the box, it's just an empty, vacuous shell"

"The Happy Mondays Edition, which comes with smack, crack and pop!"

"The Frankie Goes to Hollywood edition where you do nothing and someone else plays on it.

The Fall edition which changes every three months

The Sleeper edition which is p*sh"

"The Charlatans edition: the guitar never requires the batteries to be changed or charged, it just keeps going, and going... and going......... and going............... and going.................. never changing, never wavering, even when you've turned the TV off, stopped listening and gone to bed..."

"The Levellers edition - You don't take it out the box, you just move it on. Also available with free dog on a string."

"Verve edition: Always falls apart within three months.

Smiths edition: You get sued by the backing track."

The LA's version; promised a great deal on the box but only delivered Cast in the end!"

Nah the La's version is only available on punched cards for a computer the size of a house because that's how they did it in the sixties!" (Joe: "I think that edition comes with an optional Ocean Colour Scene bolt-on")

The Proclaimers Edition - Available No More

The Tony Christie Edition - Only plays one song

The Radio Forth Edition - Plays the same six songs all day

The Divinyls Edition - Plays itself"

"The Mark Ronson edition - despite your best efforts nothing you play on it sounds quite as good as the original"

"Oasis Cigarettes and Alcohol Edition - Comes with free tabs"

"The INXS version; comes complete with apple, orange and gaffer tape!"

"And no one bought the Style Council version though some people still think about it fondly. See also Big Audio Dynamite Version"

"The Travis version; Has sold millions but no one admits to buying or even liking it"

"The Roddy Frame Edition - plays 13 chords when two will do."

"The Cornershop Edition - Sitar Hero"

Sunday, August 31, 2008


Seriously, who would buy it? Would you? I wouldn't.
Have you see the remake of Mike Read's Pop Quiz on the Red channel on satellite (apologies if you only have "council telly")? To say that the show has had about five pounds spent on it is being generous. (If I've told you once, I've told you a million times, don't exaggerate!) Try and see it if you can, and see if you can watch it all the way through. I dare you.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


We stopped listening to Forth One months ago. Having a playlist is one thing but when you feel like you're hearing the same records day after day, week after week and month after month you have to say enough is enough.

According to their website, Forth One has 33 songs on its playlist, including "About You Now" by the Sugababes, which came out in September last year. (Yes, I know it enjoyed a chart revival but please, enough already). Coldplay's "Violet Hill" from May is still playlisted while current single "Viva La Vida" isn't. Sara Bareilles' May single "Love Song" is still on there too. I'm only surprised that "Chasing Cars" isn't still on the playlist.

It doesn't matter how much you like a song because a couple of months of stations like Forth One and you'll never want to hear that tune again. That's why we're listening to Radio 2 at work now. It's amazing the number of times a day we go "ooh, I haven't heard that in ages".

1. Is Big Brother still on? And who the hell is watching it?
2. Why was the unveiling of the new line up for Strictly Come Dancing considered a big enough story to be on the BBC News?
3. Will Glasgow's domination of the Scottish media world be complete when Bauer's radio stations start networking their evening shows?
4. Simon Cowell, why?
5. Why did the driver of this morning's D7X (yes, since the timetables changed last Monday the World's Most Expensive Shuttle Bus (c) has an "X") not have a clue where he was going? Why did he change the number of the bus a stop early? Why did he confuse every passenger by changing to "53 Edinburgh" instead of "53 Dalgety Bay"? Why did he bother getting out of bed this morning? Why oh why oh spells yo-yo.

Still, I've got my health...

P.S. Still no word from the BBC, Barratt Homes, Orange and/or LPM (Life Property Management aka Licence to Print Money (c)). You would've thought in this era of faster than ever communication that letters would have been replied to quicker. You know what thought did....

Monday, August 25, 2008


I went to a barbershop in Dunfermline on Saturday to get my hair cut. I say barber but it calls itself a “salon”. Anyway, I digress. The establishment concerned advertises Gent’s Cuts from £7. I was charged £4! Didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

I still haven’t received any feedback from the BBC regarding an interview I had with them on 24 July. They wrote to me on 29 July informing me that I’d been unsuccessful and I could have feedback if I wanted. I said that, “feedback would be gratefully appreciated”. Two days later my request for feedback was acknowledged and I was told that it would be passed to the recruitment Consultant handling the vacancy.

Two week later, on 13 August, I e-mailed the BBC again and said, “Do you have any indication as to when I’ll receive my feedback? I had hoped to get it while the interview was still fresh in my mind. It’s now almost three weeks since the interview.” Unbelievably I got this response, “Unfortunately it does not look like your feedback had been logged when you first sent it, your request will be forwarded to the reqruitment (sic) consultant for this post immediately (sic).”

It has now been over a week since that e-mail and I’ve still heard nothing. The disappointment of not getting a job I believe I was ideally suited for was bad enough without salt being rubbed, nay trampled, into the wounds. I really feel like giving up on any hopes of getting a job in a creative environment. I’ll continue in a role that bores me to tears, fails to fulfil me in any way and sucks the very life from me. It’s only the hospital radio that keeps me going, which I don’t get paid for. I’ve stopped doing competitions and crosswords to save money on stamps, I’ve stopped making contributions to The Scotsman’s Recommends section because I’m so demotivated and the last quiz night I ran was so flat in atmosphere and beset by technical problems that it may well be my last. I’m destined to spend the rest of my life shouting at the television and starting books I’ll never finish.

I am feeling very sorry for myself just now but I don’t know how many more kicks in the teeth I can take. My last three job interviews have, in different ways, been tough on me. How many more times will I have to drag myself back up before it becomes pointless?

I’m still having discussions with Life Property Management (LPM) about their continuing charge-for-whatever-we-can-away-with philosophy. Their latest example of daylight robbery was to charge residents for gritting of roads that was neither requested nor needed. I say have “discussions” because LPM has said they will no longer discuss the issue of road gritting with me! They also threatened me with court action if I didn’t pay my latest invoice, even though I was still contesting the road gritting element of it. LPM stands for Licence to Print Money – how apt. At least Dick Turpin wore a mask.

If you are moving to a new home, check who does the factoring. If it’s the local council then fine, if it’s a company like LPM or Greenbelt then find out as much as you can about the exact extent of prospective charges. You’ll save yourself a lot of hassle and money in the long run.

FRANK SATAN AND HIS HUSBANDS (Cameo Cinema, Edinburgh Friday 22 August)

What can you say about Britain's, nay, Greenock's finest crooner, that hasn't already been written? This man has done more damage to livers, especially his own, and hearts and minds that any entertainer alive or dead. Part dealer (cards, that is), part ranconteur, part showman, part vox humanist, Frank, accompanied by whichever Husbands happened to be available, take us through his life via live performance, audio interview and a taped duet with Edinburgh's legendary Andy Chung.

As well as covers of tracks by Hank Williams and Sugababes, he and his menfolk perform original cuts such as "Grandad's Going Down the Warehouse", "Full Blown Alcoholic" (autobiographical I believe) and my favourite "Who's Gonna Bury The Undertaker?"

Expect to see Frank on the soup-in-a-basket circuit any day now, if the Vegas doesn't get him first. Rumours that Frank is to open up a franchise of the Chicken Ranch in the Inverclyde area are unconfirmed at this time. Frank Satan will be performing in an area near you very soon - just lock up your daughters, your pets and your drinks cabinet. God bless you Frank.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Sat 7 Jun – Saw “Eurobeat” at The King’s Theatre, Edinburgh
Sun 8 Jun – (1700-1900) VRN Radio Show
Mon 9 Jun – Fri 13 Jun – Stayed at Tummel Valley Caravan Park, Perthshire
Sun 15 Jun – (afternoon) Kirkcaldy VRN AGM
Sun 15 Jun – (evening) Teenage Fanclub, Oran Mor, Glasgow
Mon 16 Jun – Recorded one-hour interview with Michaela Tabb, world’s leading female pool and snooker referee for VRN.
Fri 20 Jun – Enjoyed Scotsman Recommends prize meal at The Wee Restaurant, North Queensferry
Sat 21 Jun – Edinburgh Zoo with family and friends
Sun 22 Jun – (1700-1900) VRN Radio Show (1900-2100) Record Nevis Radio Show
Fri 27 Jun – OFCOM confirmed they have no issue with me recording my Nevis show at VRN
Fri 27 Jun - (2300-0100) My first show is broadcast is on Nevis Radio.
Sun 29 Jun – (1700-1900) VRN Radio Show (1900-2100) Record Nevis Radio Show
Wed 2 Jul – (1930) First, and last, VRN Committee meeting. Subsequently resigned from committee after they decide against finding out whether Fife NHS have any objections to me recording my Nevis shows at VRN – very sad.
Fri 4 Jul – (2300-0100) My second, and last, show on Nevis Radio.
Sun 6 Jul – (1700-1900) VRN Radio Show
Mon 7 Jul – (1400) My daughter’s Sports Day
Tue 8 Jul – (1900) The Proclaimers supported by Roddy Hart at The Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline. Actually preferred Roddy Hart's set - spoke to him between sets.
Sun 13 Jul – (1700-1900) VRN Radio Show
Thu 24 Jul – (1245/1315) Written Exercise and Interview for Radio Scotland job at BBC HQ, Pacific Quay, Glasgow
Sat 26 Jul- Sun 27 Jul – Spent the weekend at Dave and Moira’s
Sun 27 Jul – (1700-1900) VRN Radio Show
Tue 29 Jul – Unsuccessful application for BBC job. Requested feedback.
Thu 31 Jul – Whilst trying to get some background information on a local issue, one of my four local councillors (Lib Dem Tony Martin) made this comment about me: “This constituent is a serial complainer that writes to all and sundry on anything and everything. However I would like you to investigate his assumption in point 2 of his latest epistle”. Rather stupidly he put this in an e-mail to a colleague and it was forwarded to me when he finally sent me a reply. I demanded an apology and got it. He cited a “stressful day”.
Thu 31 Jul – (1645-1745) Ivan Brackenbury’s Hospital Radio Christmas Show (Pleasance)
Fri 1 Aug – Sun 3 Aug: Finally used the free Travelodge weekend that we won in the Sunday Express's Sportsword Crossword. We plumped for Dundee and visited Groucho Records (just me), Verdant Works, Sensation and RSS Discovery.
Fri 8 Aug – (1900-2200) Jackie Leven, Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh - superb, went with Dave, who also enjoyed it.
Sat 9 Aug – (1245-1445) Felicity’s birthday party - I was DJ for Pass the Parcel and Musical Statutes!
Sun 10 Aug - (1700-1900) VRN Radio Show
Mon 11 Aug – Sick
Wed 13 Aug – Chased up BBC feedback. Informed that my feedback request hadn’t been logged - unbelievable!
Thu 14 Aug – (1900-2230) Bike the Baltic Quiz Night for Marie Curie Cancer Care - atmosphere was a bit flat to begin with and was beset by technical problems.
Fri 15 Aug – (1400-1600) Audition for “In It To Win It”, Thistle Street, Edinburgh
Sat 16 Aug – Haircut and new glasses, very Elvis Costello!
Sun 17 Aug – (1700-1900) VRN Radio Show
Mon 18 Aug – Changes to Stagecoach services between Fife and Edinburgh
Tue 19 Aug - Finally get around to reporting my Councillor to Fife Council

That's what I've been up to - never a dull moment!

Current listening pleasure:
Simon Dupree and the Big Sound - Part of my Past CD
Jackie Leven - The Wanderer CD
Vicki Carr - Tunesmith
Simon and Garfunkel - Keep The Customer Satisfied
Caroline Munro - Tar and Cement
Glen Campbell - Good Riddance (Time of your Life)
The Langley Schools Music Project - Innocence and Despair CD
The Merseys - The Cat
Etta James - Tell Mama
Ronnie Spector - You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Tuesday 27 May 2008

I had a busy day yesterday as I finally managed to record my 15 June show after last week’s debacle. Although it took two trips to the studio before I could actually get in, due to problems with the lock.

The show went smoothly and I managed to copy my other shows on to my new 4GB Flash Drive so I can practice my editing. It’s great having access to the net while doing the show because it means I can flesh out my own notes, usually gathered form the sleeve notes.

When I got home I cut the grass at the front and back of the house, while the GLW painted our bedroom.

Gaz gave me a belated birthday present of two cracking CDs, namely the Trojan Tribute To Bob Marley Box Set and the Eels b-sides and rarities compilation, “Useless Trinkets”.

I’ve spent a couple of hours everyday this past week ripping my CDs to my PC, starting with all the stuff I play on my radio show. This is mainly so I can search them better, especially for themed shows or my Connect 3 feature.

For one week only, to accommodate the meaningless England-USA friendly, The Apprentice is on tonight. If you’re a fan of the show I strongly recommend you check out Andrew Collins’ weekly reviews and the Lego Apprentice firings on YouTube.

If Orange’s new Pay As You Go requires a £10 a month minimum subscription then doesn’t that just make it a contract? Talking of Orange, I’m still waiting to hear from them as regards the promise of receiving three months of itemised bills so I could investigate what I was being charged. I was particularly concerned with a possible reverse-charged text message. I was also promised 100 free texts for the inconvenience and they never told me when I would get them. It was only when I got a text message telling me that the 100 free texts had finished that I found out I had them all along! The letters were written on 9 February, 20 March and 7 May and I’ve heard hee-haw from Orange in that time. I even copied the last letter to OFCOM. What an easy way to lose a customer who has been with them since he got his first mobile. It’s not as if I don’t have other companies to choose from. I shall take my business elsewhere.

In the wake of Sir Terry Wig-on’s denouncement of the Eurovision Song Contest I find it interesting the luminaries they dragged out to back him up – Bruce Forsyth, Simon Cowell and Max Clifford. What on earth have any of those got to do with Eurovision?

I got home tonight to find the new Mojo (this month's free CD is punk from 1977) and another one of those bloody leaflets from a company claiming to collect old clothes for Eastern Europeans. This time the company are called Second-Hand Ltd (no doubt they're related to Ambertop, European Supplies, Lunetex, Kraslava and the numerous other companies who come and go within a short space of time). They appear to be based in Alloa. HERE is a good site for information on these companies and their various nom-de-plumes.

Over the years they changed their leaflets to say that they're commercial companies but they give the impression that they're charities. The only Eastern European families helped by these collections are the families of the people who own these companies. They sell the stuff for profit. If you have any old clothes, shoes etc then please give them to well-known, reputable charities and not these scamsters. A quick check of the internet and you'll find loads of complaints from people, as well as local Trading Standards.

I e-mailed ITV last night to ask them why ITV's competitions on Mr & Mrs, Real Deal and Loose Women etc all have free route of entry (via the web) yet Scottish Television's Watch to Win and Scotsport's Dream Ticket didn't. They replied as follows: "Please note that there has been a change in the way ITV competitions are run, due to the new Gambling Commission laws. It is now a legal requirement to provide a free route of entry, which is 4 day web entry, (this is for 4 working days after the programme is shown). Please note that STV are a separate company to ITV, so you will need to contact them directly with any queries regarding their competitions."

So I e-mailed STV to ask them and I'll let you know what they say. I brought this subject up before with STV's Scotsport but they just fobbed me off. I noticed that The Gadget Show on Five doesn't offer a NPN (No Purchase Necessary) route either, even if they are giving away £15k worth of gadgets. Scotsport recently asked what Rangers' nickname was and gave the choices of (a) Teddy Bears, (b) The Lions or (c) The Jags. Okay, some people, who aren't into football might not know that but the only people to watch Scotsport are Scottish football fans and they'd need shooting if they didn't know the answer was (a).

Friday, May 23, 2008


Sunday 18 May

We had another competition win yesterday. This time it was £25 of Sodexho vouchers, which could be used at places like Comet, Waterstone’s etc. I don’t even know where I won it from although I suspect it’ll have something to do with our works canteen, which is run by Sodexho (or Sodexo as they’re know known). I always enter any prize draws or competitions they have lying around.

Tonight’s radio show was my Eurovision special and it went swimmingly. Throughout the show I counted down my personal Top 10 Eurovision tracks, which I’ve listed below. They'll also be available for download for a limited time. Feel free to let me know what you think of my selections.

10 Gina G – Ooh Aah…Just A Little Bit (UK 1996)
9 The New Seekers – Beg, Steal or Borrow (UK 1972)
8 Secret Garden – Nocturne (Norway 1995)
7 Teach-Inn – Ding Dinge Dong (Holland 1975)
6 Beth – Dime (Spain 2003)
5 Dana International – Diva (Israel 1998)
4 Severine – Un Banc, Un Arbre, Une Rue (Monaco 1971)
3 F.L.Y. – Hello From Mars (Latvia 2003)
2 Brainstorm – My Star (Latvia 2000)
1 France Gall – Poupee de Cire, Poupee de Son (France 1965)

Monday 19 May

What a day off! After dropping off The Flickster at nursery and the GLW at the station, I drove to Kirkcaldy to record a show for a few weeks time, when I’m off to see Teenage Fanclub. I finished the show but there was a 20-second bit in the middle that was really crappy, when I cued up the wrong record, and I wanted to edit it out. I did everything that Colin had shown me last night and I thought that was that. It was only when I was recording a couple of “dry beds” for trailers that I spotted that the show I had just done was only 24 minutes long. I couldn’t believe it – somehow I’d managed to delete ¾ of my show!!! It was so deflated. I could’ve stayed and done it again but I was emotionally drained.

I drove home and consoled myself with some comfort food before lifting myself up again and heading into Dunfermline to get my haircut. After my first three choices were all closed or shut permanently I found another one. I also got a prescription from Boots, although I had to wait behind a man who reeked of piss.

As has become the norm now the mail didn’t arrive until early afternoon. Confirmation had at last come through from Travelodge about our weekend in Dundee. We won a weekend for four via the Sportsword crossword in the Sunday Express and we decided on somewhere where we could get a train to but was close enough that Flick wouldn’t get bored on the train. She’ll be excited at having a bridge to go over.

I managed to sell the football boots I’d won a wee while ago. Someone in Ireland got them for a bargain price of £33, plus £8 postage. I tried to sell them through the Free Ads in the (De)Press but we never got one phone call – tasteless swines.

Tuesday 20 May

Watched the first semi-final of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest and, as ever, it was a mixed bunch. The GLW and I had our score sheets (downloaded from the BBC) and we marked the acts on Song, Performance, Dance Routine and Outfit. We scored each category out of 10 and, as if to underline the poor quality of this semi, my highest scorer got 24. The GLW and I both scored The Netherlands highly but unbelievably they didn’t make it through to the final. Dustin the Turkey, the puppet representing Ireland, was the only act I heard getting booed, which I found strange considering some of the other “comedy” records played.

Wednesday 21 May

Watched the first 90 minutes of the Champions League final before the GLW came in and we watched The Apprentice via Sky+. I wanted Manchester United to win because they only really have one player that I hate (Rio Ferdinand) whereas Chelsea have Drogba (always holding his face looking for imaginary blood from an imaginary elbow), Ashley “I Can’t Live on £50k a week” Cole, Carvalho (the archetypal sleekit Portuguese defender) and England’s John Terry (to give him his full name).

After The Apprentice, where we were shocked to see posh Raif given his marching orders, we caught the end of the penalty shoot out. Man Utd had just gone 6-5 up and up stepped the enigma that is Nicolas Anelka in the torrential Moscow rain. Edwin van der Sar palmed away the poor effort at a height goalkeepers love and the cup was heading to Old Trafford. Whilst my schadenfreude-o-meter went into overdrive at the sight of England’s John Terry in tears, I was interested to see Anelka looking like he just didn’t care. He comes across as nothing but a football mercenary, going from one big money transfer to another, with his agent/brother pocketing nice tidy sums each time.

Thursday 22 May 2008

I heard today that Tom Waits is playing the Edinburgh Playhouse and tickets are £95!! That's outrageous, how can they justify that?

My mate, who works for a leading software company, is getting me Adobe Audition for a mere fraction of its full price so I can practice editing my radio show. Good lad.

Watched the second Eurovision semi tonight (two semis in one week!!) and it was definitely better than Tuesday's. I correctly predicted 7 of the 10 finalists and the GLW got 6. As I mentioned before the UK has the draw of death as no-one has ever won going second. Add to that the fact that everyone hates us and the song is only just okay, I predict a finish of 14th which, under the circumstances, would be respectable. I think Sweden will win with host country Serbia and Russia going close and turkey is my outside bet. But hey, what do I know, I've never won a Eurovision bet at the bookies.

Oh, by the way, did I tell you I managed to secure an interview with top (female) snooker and pool referee Michaela Tabb? If you have any questions for her by all means let me know. I'm also looking for an mp3 of Half Man Half Biscuit's "The Len Ganley Stance" if anyone has it! With the assistance of Dave, Gaz and Joe I've put together a killer list of snooker/pool related tunes to play.

Sent off Top 5 Hospital Radio Stations to David Lee at The Scotsman for the Recommends section. Obviously I put Kirkcaldy VRN at the top but Perth are the other big Scottish station.

Friday 23 May

Thank f*** the weekend is here. Some stupid idiot tried to run my down on George Street when I was walking across the zebra crossing. If I hadn't been paying attention I'd have been listening to hospital radio myself. I reported the driver, who seemed to be in a world of her own. Even when I slapped the side of her car as she went past there was no reaction from her. I've said it before and I'll say it again - people get right on my tits!

Last night I sent my first ever letter(e-mail) to the Metro letters page. There'd been some discussion, which I hadn't seen, about the easy questions STV uses for their Watch to Win competitions. I made the point that these competitions, because they are effectively lotteries down to the lack of skill (i.e. the questions/answers are insultingly easy) they are illegal. The National Lottery is the only recognised lottery in the UK. (I think the Euromillions comes under some other jurisdiction). I have e-mailed STV in the past on this subject but they're not interested, such is their arrogance. The ISP (Institute of Sales Promotions) agrees with me but their e-mail to STV was ignored. That was in 2005 before the current spate of phone-in scandals. It might come back to bite them on the backside - here's hoping.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Wednesday 14 May 2008

Just don't get me started on Glasgow Rangers Football Club...

Thursday 15 May 2008

Took the day off because I have a couple of radio shows to record in advance due to clashes with events I already have tickets for. I'm going to record one today and one on Monday. The two events I'm going to are Dr.Doolittle at the King's Theatre and Teenage Fanclub at Oran Mor in June.

Dropped off The Flickster and the GLW and drove over to the studio. The great thing about recording in advance is that if you make a mess of the intor you can just start again. I ended up staying there for three hours because I spent an hour trying to edit out 6 blank seconds at the start and a crap bit at the end. I didn't manage it so I'll give the Programme Controller Colin a call for advice.

The show I recorded was a Girls Special with almost all of the tracks coming from the One Kiss Leads To Another box set.

Friday 16 May 2008

Back to work for one day and the usual ennui ensued. At least I had a gig to look forward to. The Vaselines have reformed and are supporting Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub) and The Pearlfishers' David Scott at the Carnegie Hall in Dunfermline. You can read about it HERE.

I should congratulate the Carnegie Hall because my mate Phil, who bought the tickets, wasn't charged for using a credit card and wasn't charged a booking fee. Well done.

Saturday 17 May 2008

After a late night, I had a lie in today. I watched the FA Cup final although I wished I'd spent the time more constructively because it was pretty dull.

Found out today that Ronnie Spector and the Ronettes are playing a gig in Glasgow in September! It's a Monday night and I'd probably have to take the next day off but boy would it be worth it.

Tomorrow night I'm doing my Eurovision special on VRN and on Monday I'm recording one for mid-June. I may pencil in a haircut and, if the weather's okay, a trim of the back lawn. A man's work is never done.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Monday 12 May 2008

WMESB™: The D7 due at The Paddock at 0643 didn't show up until 0658, trailing behind the bus it should have been 15 minutes in front of! In fact my mate Phil and three others got off the later D7 at my stop so they could get on the "earlier" bus behind (so they could go directly to the Ferrytoll). We also had to tell the driver which way to go when he got to Rosyth Crossroads.

Then, after getting off the D7 at the Ferrytoll, we got on the 0710 X54. When I showed the driver my ticket and said, "Transfer" he tried to grab it off me. I resisted and pointed out that it had already been stamped on the D7. He said that that's not how the ticket works! I told him he was wrong and my fellow passengers getting on the bus agreed.

I noticed in a recent edition of the Dunfermline (De)Press that someone was fined £400 for assaulting a driver by pushing him after an argument over a ticket, an argument that the passenger was apparently correct in. Whilst I would never condone assaulting a driver, it really is no wonder that passengers get frustrated when drivers don't know the simplest aspects of their job; like where they're going or how the tickets work. In a time when every passenger is vital to Stagecoach getting the basics wrong is not the best way to keep passengers. My wife and I have already decided to get a second car, one we can ill afford, because the stress of travelling by public transport in Fife is affecting my health. Having no direct service from the biggest housing expansion in Europe, which is advertised as a commuter belt, to Edinburgh only serves to exasperate this.

I haven’t had a good bus rant for a while but that would coincide with me not having actually been on one but surely that’s just a coincidence.

Had a busy few days with a hospital radio presenters meeting last Wednesday, a quiz night at The Pleasance on Friday and my radio show yesterday. It’s also a busy week coming up too. I’ve got two shows to prepare and record in advance, as well as my live Eurovision special next weekend, I’m off to the Scotsman tonight for a book launch*, I’m doing another quiz night on Thursday and I might be going to see Norman Blake in Dunfermline on Friday. (*The Scotsman’s Recommends column, for which I regularly contribute, has been made into a book and I’ve been invited along. I’m not even sure if I’m in it but it’s a good opportunity to meet the publisher and put forward a couple of ideas Dave and I have for books. Nothing ventured, nothing gained…)

Last night’s radio show started off rather shakily, due in no small part to the studio being like a furnace. It didn’t help that I forgot my script, which I hadn’t written! I trust my listeners found my bumbling ineptitude endearing. I had a couple of calls from listeners during the show, although one was from a guy who calls every week and asks for the same record. The problem with that is that (a) that’s what the weekly Request shows are for (they’re from Mon to Fri 8 - 10 pm) and (b) we’re not supposed to play records for people who are not actually in the hospital. My show is prepared in advance and whilst I build in enough flexibility so that I can pop in a request now and again I prefer to stick with what I’ve prepared. Here’s last night’s set list:

Scott Walker – Jackie
The Quik – Bert’s Apple Crumble (show theme**)
Mama Cass – Make Your Own Kind of Music
The Marvelettes – I Just Can’t Let Him Down
Petula Clark – I Know A Place
The Lovin’ Spoonful – Jug Band Music
The Birds – Leaving Here
Jamie Carter – The Boy With The Way (Connect 3)
Jefferson Airplane – Somebody To Love (Connect 3)
The Velvelettes – A Bird In The Hand (Is Worth Two In The Bush) (Connect 3)
Florence Ballard – Love Ain’t Love
Billie Davis – Tell Him
The Animals – We Gotta Get Out Of This Place (Birthday: Eric Burdon)
Helen Shapiro – You Must Be Reading My Mind
Chantal Goya – Il Court Les Filles (Foreign Language)
Twinkle – The Boy Of My Dreams
Vashti – Some Things Stick In Your Mind
Margie Day – Tell Me In The Sunlight
Zoot Money – Zoot’s Suit
Julie Grant – Somebody Tell Me
John Mayall – Looking Back
The O’Jays – Lipstick Traces (On A Cigarette)
The Mamas and the Papas – Trip, Stumble and Fall
Marianne Faithfull – Is This What I Get For Loving You?
The Lambrettas – Go Steady (Under The Influence)
The Lambrettas – Poison Ivy (Under The Influence)
The Soul Survivors – Can’t Stand To Be In Love With You
Betty Everett – Getting Mighty Crowded
Jimmy Powell – Sugar Babe Parts 1 and 2
Tony Clarke – The Entertainer
Major Lance – The Monkey Time (Connect 3)
Jackie Wilson – The Who Who Song (Connect 3)
The Gates of Eden – Hey Now (Connect 3)
Lulu – Lies (Two of a Kind)
Lulu – The Mighty Quinn (Two of a Kind)
The Marvelettes – I’ll Keep Holding On

(** I was rather shocked to hear MY theme tune being used for a trailer on CBeebies of all places!!)

Next week is my Eurovision special, during which I’ll countdown my Top 10 Eurovision songs of all-time. Not for me the likes of Abba or Bucks Fizz!

Tuesday 13 May 2008

Drinking on an empty head, especially on a school night, isn’t big and it certainly isn’t clever. My heid, not to mention the rest of me, has felt like a burst couch all day.

As regular readers will know I contribute to The Scotsman's Wednesday Recommends pull-out. My entries are mostly music related but I did a meal for two for my Top 5 Constructed Languages. Recommends has now been made into a book but, not surprisingly, it's aimed more as a guide for visitors and tourists. So my Top 5 Horse Films didn't make it. I was invited along to the book launch last night at The Scotsman building on Holyrood Road.

Dave came with me as we had the idea to approach the publishers of Recommends with a view to getting our own Jocknroll book published/commissioned. We pressed some flesh, got some business cards and drank free wine and ate free pies, which were lovely. I met David Lee, who edited the book, and he mentioned me in his speech, which made up for not being in the book.

After the book launch we went to another couple of pubs before I called it a night. It's bad enough travelling home at night, without doing it on a school night, especially when I've been drinking and haven't a clue when the buses or trains are.

One of the PR people I'd met earlier in the night walked with me towards the station and we chatted and it was then that I got the biggest shock I've had for a long time. She asked me where I worked and when I told her she replied, "Oh, you might know my dad". Her dad only turns out to be the guy who screwed me over for a job where I currently work. I'd scored the highest at interview but he didn't want me. I've mentioned this previously, which might confirm that I'm still not over the way I was treated.

Anyway, I'm pleased to say that his daughter is absolutely charming and I had to tell her to stop apologising for her father. Dave and I met loads of other nice people too, include Claire, Simon and a girl whose name I'm ashamed to forget but I think it began with an L (I was trying to teach her The Slosh at one point).

I'm recording a show on Thursday for broadcast on the 25th and after my Eurovision special on Sunday, I'm recording one on Monday for 15th June, when I'm off to see Teenage Fanclub do their Acoustic Chestnut show.

I found out today that Philip, a friend, would like to go to see Norman Blake in Dunfermline on Friday. I said I'd go if he goes. it's a date. Then found out another gigging mate, John, is also going. should be a good night. There's even a rumour of an appearance by The Vaselines.

I got some Amazon vouchers for my birthday and 5 of the 6 CDs turned up today. I got Kim Weston's "Greatest Hits and Rare Classics", Jackie Leven's live album "For Peace Comes Dropping Slow", The Very Best of Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders (for my show), The Best of Bardot and Jackie Lee's "End of a Rainbow: A Pye Anthology". I'm still awaiting "The Girls Are At It Again", another girl singers compilation. I also bought another girlie compilation yesterday in FOPP on the way to the book launch called "Go Girls - With The Girls From Red Bird". I've already got about half of the tracks but at £6 I couldn't resist it.

The quiz night on Thursday night that I was hosting has been postponed, which I don't mind because I have a lot on just now. Chop, chop, busy, busy, work, work, bang, bang...

Sunday, May 04, 2008


Sunday 4 May 2008

Another year older and certainly none the wiser. I hit 41 yesterday and boy do I feel it.

The Flickster woke me up early to give me my presents. I got the "Early Doors" 2 DVD set, a Christopher Brookmyre book, a book called "I Before E" (about mnemonics), a Northern Soul compilation CD, a racing cars (Dirt Track McQueen from the film "Cars") and my favourite present, a badge that says "As Seen On TV".

After a lazy morning we headed off to Frankie and Benny's for lunch. Normally, I'm not keen on these places but we'd won a family meal for four (to the value of £50) in the Dunfermline Press crossword so it seemed churlish to miss out on a free lunch. As it turned out, it was very good. We ate £47.50 worth of food so we kicked the arse out of it and as the Flickster wasn't really eating much we thought that was a good 2-person effort. We didn't bother with any dinner!

After an afternoon kip, we headed off the second part of my birthday adventure. This time it was to Rothes Hall in Glenrothes to see comedian and resident Mock The Week panellist Frankie Boyle. He was supported by the Reverend Obadiah Steppenwolf III, who started off well but got a bit patchy. Some people, including the GLW, had heard some of Frankie's set before but I hadn't and I loved every minute of it. I especially liked the way he went straight for the hecklers, especially the ones who couldn't string two words together.

This afternoon it's back to the radio station, which I'm really looking forward to. The show is all prepared and should be a goodie but then again I would say that.

I'm also back to work tomorrow after enduring four and a half weeks of illness. I still don't feel 100% but needs must.

The family and I have spent the last week in a cabin in Strathyre, near Callender. Last year it was blazing sunshine, this time it was rain and more rain. We managed to get to the Blair Drummond Safari Park (saving £12 on admission price due to various vouchers), the Toy Museum, Aberfoyle and Kilmahog to see Hamish the Highland Cow. Memo to self: never have an argument with your nearest and dearest when you're holidaying in the middle of nowhere and it's pissing down with rain. I must have walked for 8 miles, there and back, and my hips are still sore.

Last week my mate Gaz and I went to Glasgow to see I Am Kloot at the ABC2 (Billy Bragg was in ABC1). It was my birthday present for him. We had a bite to eat at a noodle bar then a couple of drinks at The Cellars, which, as the name suggests, in a basement bar on Sauchiehall Street. A studenty place but friendlier than some of the bars on that street, which were full of Celtic fans celebrating their Old Firm win over Rangers earlier in the day.

The gig itself was great. I didn't think much of the support act, a solo singer by the name of Ferraby Lionheart, but I Am Kloot were amazing. There's an intensity to their songs that has you transfixed and the mixture of new songs (from new album "Moolah Rouge") and old favourites went down a storm. We felt emotionally drained after it. I can't believe that I first saw then in 2001, supporting The Webb Brothers. John, the lead singer, stayed behind to sign posters and CDs. Gaz and I both bought the new album and got it signed.

The Recommends section of The Scotsman is now a book and as a regular contributor I've been invited to the book launch. Dave and I are going to see if we can get a word with the publisher with a view to writing a book together. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

In one morning on BBC Television recently I heard The Icicle Works on "Homes Under The Hammer" and the instrumental part of I Am Kloot's "Over My Shoulder" on another.

The GLW was reading Piers Morgan's "Do You Know Who I Am?" on holiday and I made the mistake of picking it up when she'd finished with it. I'm now hooked on it. Yeah, it's trashy but kind of addictive.

What I'm listening to :
1. I Am Kloot - Moolah Rouge CD (Skinny Dog)
2. The Collings and Herrin Podcats (free from iTunes)
3. Birdsong (the radio station - it's sooooo relaxing)
4. John Carter - Measure for Measure: The John Carter Anthology (RPM)
5. The Very Best of Herman's Hermits (EMI)
6. Various - Mojo Presents The New Dictionary of Blues and Soul

Better crack on as I have two quiz nights to complete and a mountain of other paperwork to get through before I leave for the radio station. I've also got some telly to catch up on and some crosswords and competitions to finish off. Never a dull moment...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Tuesday 22 April 2008

I'd never seen Edwyn Collins live before and, in view of his well-documented illness, I wondered if it would be anything like the real thing. I needn't have worried.

Sadly the Upper seated area wasn't open so we chose the seating downstairs - we're getting too old for this rock 'n' roll lark.

Unfortunately there's very little inclination to the seating so you can't really see much at all, no matter how tall you are (I'm 6 foot 3). I wasn't too bothered and was happy to just listen, with the occasional glimpse of Edwyn or Roddy. The GLW ventured off to the moshpit for the middle section of the gig because she's just ickle.

While Edwyn understandably struggled with some of his speech, his singing voice was in fine form and a set filled with golden oldies and new classics went down a storm. For those who are interested in such things (aren't we all?) the setlist was: Falling and Laughing, Poor Old Soul, What Presence, Home Again, Make Me Feel Again, One Is A Lonely Number, You'll Never Know (My Love), Hope and Despair, One Track Mind, Wheels of Love, Rip It Up, Then I Cried, A Girl Like You. The encores were: Searching For The Truth, Blue Boy, Don't Shilly Shally.

It was fitting that my first gig (the first I'll admit to anyway) was Aztec Camera at The Queen's Hall in December 1983 and here we are, 25 years later, with Roddy riding shotgun to Edwyn and still looking about 15. Bastard!

Our telly has died. Over the past few months it has taken to switching itself on and off, sometimes as many as 10 times, before it settles down. In the last couple of weeks the sound started going too with it only returning after a solid slap to the side of it. We bit the bullet and got a new telly, which arrived this morning. It seems you can't buy a telly anymore that's anything less than 3 feet high but we managed to get a 32" Sony Bravia. Now these things are supposed to plug in and go but I found it anything but. It was almost an hour and half before I go it going. I went through the manual page by page but it just wasn't straight forward enough for me. It made me feel stupid and I'm not. Honest.

It's two gigs in a week for me as I head of to Glasgow on Sunday to see I Am Kloot at ABC2 on Sauchiehall Street. I got the tickets as I present for Gaz's birthday and I've promised him a bag of chips as well. I'm even going to pick him up from his door and drop him off there in the early hours. My only concerns are parking (I think the City Parking charge £2 all day on a Sunday, which isn't too deadly) and the fact that the Old Firm are playing at 1230. Fingers crossed there isn't any trouble after it. I'm a lover not a fighter. And I bruise like a peach.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Monday 21 April 2008

I'm glad to say that last night's show went swimmingly. No major cock-ups with the exception of playing Lesley Gore instead of The Vernon Girls.

Here's last night's running order:

John Mayall - Crawling Up A Hill
The Quik - Bert's Apple Crumble (show theme)
Harpers Bizarre - Come To The Sunshine
Bobby Womack - Across 110th Street
The Action - I'll Keep Holding On
Brenda Lee - The Letter
Barbara Mills - (Make It Last) Take Your Time
Pearly Gates - Johnny and the Jukebox
Joy Dawn - Hang It Up (Connect 3)
Warm Sounds - The Nite Is Comin' (Connect 3)
The Grass Roots - Midnight Confessions (Connect 3)
The Everly Brothers - Talking To The Flowers
Gladys Knight and the Pips - Here Are The Pieces of My Broken Heart
Johnny Tillotson - Send The Pillow You Dream On (Birthday)
Billie Davis - Tell Him
Delroy Wilson - Better Must Come
Christine Delarouche - La Porte A Cote (Foreign Language)
Kathy Lynn and the Playboys - Little Baby
Harry J All Stars - The Liquidator
Nat King Cole - Too Young To Go Steady (Request!)
The Hipster Image - Can't Let Her Go
The Munx - Our Dream
The Darlettes - Lost
Tintern Abbey - Vacuum Cleaner
The Barracudas - Summer Fun (Under The Influence)
The Barracudas - (I Wish It Could Be) 1965 Again (Under The Influence)
Lesley Gore - It's My Party
Brenda Holloway - Tell Me Your Story
The Tiffanys - Gossip
The 2 of Clubs - Walk Tall (Like A Man) (Connect 3)
Jet Harris and Tony Meehan - Diamonds (Connect 3)
The Emeralds - King Lonely the Blue (Connect 3)
The Association - Come On In
Denita James - I Have Feelings Too
The Kinks - I'm Not Like Everybody Else (Two of a Kind)
The Kinks - This Man He Weeps Tonight (Two of a Kind)
Pam Grier - Long Time Woman

Feel free to suggest something you might like me to play. Unless you're in the Kirkcaldy area you won't hear it of course but it's the thought, isn't it?

I'm still off work sick. My stomach and head are in a mess. My new anti-depressants are still taking time to kick in (the changeover was hellish and I was climbing the walls) and the peppermint tablets for my bowel are working, up to a point but I'm still sore and tender. However, my farts smell all minty and... PING!... I have 'ring of confidence'!

Watching last night's TV BAFTAs was interesting, if a little predictable. I'm glad Harry Hill won his awards because I do enjoy his TV Burp but the whole "Gavin and Stacey" thing has passed me by and I'm rather indifferent to it - it's this year's Little Britain. I think Peter Capaldi should have won for "The Thick of It".

Football: Doesn't Sir Trevor Brooking look like a turtle's head? Thank you Ian Wright for doing the decent thing and getting off the football coverage. You made Mark Lawrenson sound interesting and that's saying something. I was almost tempted to e-mail Sky Sports at the weekend because the football analysts for one of the games were Jamie Redknapp and Paul Merson whose continual butchery of the English language drives me up the wall.

I've pretty much finished writing the two quiz night "gigs" I'm doing soon and I've also got the offer of another! The GLW and I have realised that we need a car each because one of the contributors to my stress is public transport. I've also supported public transport but my continual battles with Stagecoach are beginning to take it's toll.

You'll recall recently my battles to get a bus shelter at my local stop. Basically, the Council said that not enough people used it to warrant one. I might have just been able to handle that if I didn't see a bus shelter being erected at the very next stop; a stop which has no more passengers than mine and a stop which is now serviced by even less buses (the D3/D4 circular routes have been expanded to cover more new houses, other areas where no-one lives and a Health Centre, which isn't even open, so the Masterton Roundabout, a main junction, is only covered by the D7). I've asked the Transportation Services department of Fife Council for an explanation.

The GLW and I are off to Edinburgh tonight to see Edwyn Collins at The Queen's Hall. Roddy Frame is playing guitar and Dave Ruffy is on drums too.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Sunday 13 April 2008

My career with Kirkcaldy VRN was almost over before it started. I won't bore you with all the details but despite arriving at the station half an hour before showtime, it kicked off twenty minutes late.

Here is the somwhat amended playlist for "Where The Action Is", which I present under my nom-de-plume of The Cat:

The Who - Won't Get Fooled Again (full version so I have time to gather my thoughts and compose myself after the dramas)
Cilla Black - Work Is A Four Letter Word (Connect 3)
The Beatle-ettes - Only Seventeen (Connect 3)
Janice Nicholls - I'll Give It Five (Connect 3)
The Action - Baby You've Got It
Truth and Beauty - Tuff Little Surfer Boy
Al Green - Here I Am (Come and Get Me) (Birthday)
Ricky and Sandy - Lost My Girl
Dana Gillespie - You Just Gotta Know My Mind
France Gall - Laisse Tomber Des Filles (Foreign Language)
The Fortunes - Carolina (My first ever listener request!)
The Cryan Shames - Greenburg, Glickstein, Charles, David Smith and Jones
The Bittersweets - The Hurtin' Kind
Cher - Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves
Timebox - Soul Sauce
The Beach Boys - Don't Worry Baby
The Moody Blues - Ride My See Saw
Mamas and the Papas - Glad To Be Unhappy
Tom Jones - Dr. Love
Duffy - Mercy (Under The Influence)
Duffy - Warwick Avenue (Under the Influence)
Nancy Sinatra - Last of the Secret Agents
Val McKenna - House For Sale
Jackie Lee - The Town I Live In
Manfred Mann - Ha Ha Said The Clown
Jan and Dean - The Anaheim, Azusa and Cucamonga Sewing Circle Book Review and Timing Association (Connect 3)
Shirley Ellis - Ever See A Diver Kiss His Wife While The Bubbles Bounce About Above The Water (Connect 3)
Alma Cogan - Just Couldn't Resist Her With Her Pocket Transistor (Connect 3)
Gary Puckett & The Union Gap - Lady Willpower
Gene Pitney - Tremblin'
The Monkees - Valleri (Two of a Kind)
The Monkees - Mary Mary (Two of a Kind)
Jimmy Radcliffe - Long After Tonight Is All Over

Keith, whose Twilight Time show is on after mine, turned up in time for a welcoming chat and some useful advice. I'd "trained" Keith at Radio West Fife but he didn't stay long there and has been at VRN for 18 months and he really enjoys it. We even had some on-air banter too, just like real DJs! Roll on next Sunday.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Wednesday 9 April 2008

I haven't blogged for a while because I've been ill. Not physically ill enough that i couldn't drag myself to the computer but mentally ill. There have been some physical ailments too, which are manifestations of my current stress and anxiety levels.

The back pains have gone, while the throats problems are lingering like a bad smell. My doctor have given me some peppermint type tablets for my stomach problems and she's trying me on new anti-depressants; I think these are my fourth or fifth different ones.

I've been off work since last Tuesday when my combined ailments struck. Last week was spent lazing around feeling sorry for myself while eating for comfort. I've now been signed off for another fortnight and I'm determined to drag myself up and get myself motivated. I've made lists of things to do over the last three days and am managing to get through them, which gives me an enormous sense of achievement. However, the "black dog" is still lurking and that continues to be a struggle.

Now let me think what good news can I bring you to cheer you (and me) up. Well, since I last wrote the football boots I won in February have finally arrived (modelled by Wayne Rooney in the picture above). I'm still awaiting the other bits and pieces. We won a weekend in a Travelodge for four people via the Sunday Express Sportsword crossword. I also followed in the GLW's footsteps by winning a £25 runners-up prize in the Sunday Express' Skeleton crossword.

One of the major boosts to my confidence has been my acceptance as a presenter on (the award-winning) Kirkcaldy VRN, the hospital radio station which broadcasts to local hospitals and beyond. Normally it takes 3 months of training (a probationary period) before they would even think of putting you on air but because I've done it before I took to it fairly easily. We're using a system called Myriad 3, which is like a big Windows Media Player. My first show is this Sunday (5-7) and I'm looking forward to getting stuck in. I need some fine tuning but that comes with practice. More importantly, the people I've met have been really friendly and very helpful.

I've pretty much decided what I'm going to play and it'll be along the lines of my previous show on RWF, where I played mod, soul, girl groups, sunshine pop and all manner of delights from the late 50s through to the early 70s. I'll post my set list after the show (we're not allowed to do it before we broadcast) so you can see what I'm playing. I'll use my old nom-de-plume too, The Cat, and my show will be called "Where The Action Is".

I've also written another Recommend piece for The Scotsman and that should be in next Wednesday's edition, which will be celebrating their first anniversary of the feature.

I finally managed to get hold of Care's "Diamonds and Emeralds" CD, which brings together their singles and the "lost" album. I got it on eBay for £1.70 - my kind of record shopping. When I get a minute I'll post a couple of tracks. For those of you who don't know Care, they were Paul Simpson of The Wild Swans and ubiquitous scouse popster Ian Broudie of Lightning Seeds fame. Because it's a compilation of bits and pieces rather than a "proper" album, it can seem a bit patchy and "of it's time" but I like it a lot. "Flaming Sword" certainly stills stands up as a fine pop song. Hell, I remember that even my mother liked it and that's saying something.

One of my favourite bands, The Orchids, are playing in Glasgow tomorrow night but as it's only a short set (it's a charity gig with loads of bands doing small sets) I've decided to give it a miss. I have, however, managed to tickets for The Proclaimers gig at Dunfermline's Carnegie Hall in July. It's a charity gig to help send a local lad to Florida to get some dolphin therapy.

On my list of chores to do while I'm off is to sort Sky+, which is happening on Saturday. We got fed up missing programmes we wanted to catch so we've bitten the bullet. We're going to change our broadband over too but we'll have to wait until the start of June as we're still under contract to BT. I phoned BT yesterday to check on how I would go about changing and not surprisingly my concerns were cast aside as the woman not only tried to sell me BT Vision (their Sky+) but she managed, rather magically, to take £5 off our monthly Broadband bill if we signed up for another 12 months! This begs the question, why not sell me Broadband at £17.99 ALL the time, instead of when I'm threatening to leave. There was also some scaremongering about what Sky might or might not be able to deliver! I said I'd call back in June. The only good part is the call to BT was free, while the calls to Sky were on an 0844 number. I was on the phone to Sky for more than 15 minutes and the woman I spoke to even read out some lengthy Terms and Conditions at my expense, which I hardly had time to take in.

I've also put a couple of items up for auction on eBay. Mike Joyce, drummer with The Smiths, sat in for Marc Riley on his "Rocket Science" show on BBC6 Music and gave away some of his Smiths own stuff in a competition. These included a "Shakespeare's Sister" signed 12" white label, some original Rough Trade postcards and an English Tour programme from 1985. I've decided to sell them because, whilst they're nice items, I can't really enjoy them. I have the songs and someone else might appreciate them more. I have other Smiths items of worth but those mean too much to me. time.

Monday, March 31, 2008


Monday 31 March

I felt bad enough this morning (back, throat, stomach, mental) without a stand up argument with the driver on the X57 adding to my misery. I’d cross swords with him before. Basically, he’d failed to stop at a stop that other drivers of the same bus had stopped at. What annoyed me even more was that I was arguing that he should stop there only to realise when I got off the bus that it was the other drivers who were wrong and, as a result, that made me wrong. This gets me even more worked up as I stomped back along the Dean Bridge towards work. It really is no wonder people don’t want to use public transport. I’m sick and tired of drivers who don’t know where they’re going; don’t know what ticket to sell you and a local council who pays lip service to any notion of promoting public transport use.

One of the problems I have is that I’m a 45-minute walk, even with my long legs, from the nearest train station. If I wanted to go the train station with the GLW in the morning, I would have to change my working hours so as to get a lift to the train station. Even if I walked to Rosyth or Dunfermline Press train station I would then have to walk from Haymarket Station because there isn’t a direct bus service to Fettes. Which means I would have to go to Waverley and then get a Lothian Buses pass. I shouldn’t have to do that though, should I?

I’ve resisted the temptation to go home at lunchtime, even though I probably should. Thankfully, I’m getting a lift home so I can have a shower before I go to the radio station tonight. Maybe that’ll put some life in me.
As it turned out the Request Show went pretty well and Bob seems happpy enough with my progress in the little time I've been there. There's a big meeting on Wednesday so I'll get to meet some of the other presenters.

Sunday 30 March

Most of the day was spent doing the crosswords and competitions from Thursday’s Dunfermline (De)Press, Friday’s Express, Saturday’s Telegraph and Daily Record and Sunday’s News of the World, Express and Mail on Sundays. You’ve got to be in it to win it.

Also had a good neb at our new neighbours. They may have a dog, they may smoke and they may come from West Lothian (WL van hire company) but at the movement this is purely guesswork. One thing I do know, they have the same lawnmower. The chances of them being into indie pop and board games are probably slim though. I’m just glad the other family has gone. It used to wind me up when they used to park outside our house when they had access to a total of four spaces of their own (two on their drive, one in front of the drive and one in front of the lawn). The kids are ill disciplined with parents who have no concept of common courtesy or childcare. I won’t miss the kids constantly kicking balls into our garden or the youngest one doing the toilet wherever he felt like it; whether it be pissing behind the bins at number 7 or taking a dump in their own back garden. They won’t be missed.

Saturday 29 March

The GLW and the Flickster had a birthday party to go to at lunchtime so I did a couple of CDs for Gaz of Jackie Leven and John Martyn, as well as some general pottering about. My mother-in-law came over to baby-sit as we had tickets for “Black Watch” at the Rothes Hall, Glenrothes.
What can I say about “Black Watch” that hasn’t already been said? Simply stunning, would do for a start. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – it was the most amazing piece of theatre I have ever seen. After the standing ovation we left in stunned silence. The GLW and I were nearly in tears. The Glenrothes shows were all sold out but it goes on to the SECC in Glasgow for a week in mid April. Go and see it because you won’t be disappointed.

Friday 28 March

Back to work. Five of us went to Pizza Express for Nikki’s leaving do (technically she’s only gone up the corridor to cover for maternity leave but since when did that stop us having a “do”?) and then to the Police Club for a few drinks, which is handy for the bus station. Unfortunately the way the buses connect in the evening I can either wait 30 minutes for a D7 home from the Ferrytoll, or 5 minutes. Obviously the 5-minute transfer is a bit tight and somewhat risky if there are any delays. I took the safe option, got the 2200 bus from Edinburgh Bus Station and sat with my mp3 player for company at the Ferrytoll for half an hour. I was thoroughly depressed by the time I got home.

Thursday 27 March

Today we all had a day off for the GLW’s cousin’s wedding at Dalhousie Castle. The venue is near where I used to go to school so I know the area very well but even I couldn’t believe some of the changes. If there were any more houses in the Sherwood/Cockpen area, Bonnyrigg and Newtongrange would merge as one.

At least half of the GLW’s cousins were in attendance and I met people whose names I couldn’t remember and who I hadn’t seen for at least a couple of years. The day dragged on a bit as the moaning photographer when through his tick list of group wedding photographs – all the men, all the women, all of the bride’s friends and family, all of the groom’s friends and family, all the kilts, you get the idea…

There was a live band, who were just okay (the guitarist fancied himself as a bit of a Hendrix) but because I wasn’t drinking I wasn’t really in the mood to dance either. I didn’t mind staying sober, to be honest. Most of the time I find drinking rather dull and pointless.

Wednesday 26 March

I really didn’t know what to expect with the Jackie Leven gig. Having only heard one album and read of Jackie’s battles with alcoholism and mental health, I half expected to see some sort of dishevelled drunkard staggering on stage with a bottle of Bourbon in one hand and a well-worn beat-up old guitar in the other. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

After an excellent support slot from Doug Johnstone* (of Northern Alliance), Jackie appeared from the crowd, opened up his guitar case, got a couple of drinks sorted (lager and a double vodka if I’m not mistaken) and off he went.

*Doug's set was a mixture of The Ossians' songs, Northern Alliance songs and new songs. The approximate set list was: St. Andrew's Day, My Evil Twin, Question Mark, Patron Saint of Sore Throats/Dry Your Eyes (The Streets), We Hit The Town Drinkin', Tomb of the Eagles, ? and A Song For The End Of The Set.

Jackie kicked off with Elegy For Johnny Cash and this was followed, between stories, by Kings of Infinite Space/Me and Mrs Jones, Classic Northern Diversions, Here Come The Urban Ravens (Homage to Kevin Coyne), Another Man's Rain/Here Comes The Sun, Olivier Blues, Exit Wound, Single Father, Farm Boy (part) and Little Voice in Space/Bobby Shafto. The songs were interspersed with all manner of stories and witticisms with topics mentioned including the Norwegian fjords, armed robbers, weirdos on trains, his favourite episode of Columbo, Johnny Cash, Tony Bennett, Niles Crane, Laurence Olivier and Kevin Coyne. This gig will live with me for a long time and I can't wait to see him again.

I had been more nervous about the drive into Edinburgh and the search for a parking space but those were unfounded. I got easily parked on Chambers Street, although I think I broke the law on at least one occasion because a misleading traffic sign saw me follow two taxis onto Princes Street. I even had the luxury of having a not-very-nice Fish Supper in the comfort of the car before the gig.

Anyway, on the way back to the car after the gig I walked past Wilkie House, where I’d first met the GLW many moons ago, and walked up the steps at Guthrie Street. I heard a lot of noise coming from Chambers Street and when I got to the top of the steps I realised what the brou-ha-ha was all about. A group of young Goths (I use the phrase “Goths” loosely because they weren’t proper Goths, not the Goths I grew up with) were arguing with a man in his 40s/50s and the man then pushed one of the female Goths over on the pavement. She hit the pavement with such force that I decided to call the police. After giving a full description and feeling proud of myself for doing my civic duty, I got in the car and tried to work out how the hell I would get out of Edinburgh.

Not surprisingly, I took a wrong lane on Queen Street (again down to piss poor street markings that were invisible in the rain and dark) and ended up going round Charlotte Square. I knew I couldn’t go down Queensferry Street so I had to do a u-turn and finally found my way back to the road home. It didn’t end there though, oh no it didn’t. Just as I got over the Dean Bridge my phone went off. Instinctively, I answered it, only to hear the police at the other end. I pulled over! They just wanted further descriptions of what had happened on Chambers Street.
There was only one more incident on the way home. As I turned into Carnegie Drive on the outskirts of Dunfermline, from the A823, I saw a red car wrapped around a lamppost on the left hand side of the road. Now I know that there’s an “adverse camber” sign on the kerbside opposite but he/she must have been going at some speed to have such an “accident”. (I say “accident” but I don’t really believe there is such a thing. Accidents are preventable. When I did my Pass Plus course they always referred to “crashes” and not “accidents”).

Saturday, March 29, 2008

BLACK WATCH (Rothes Hall, Glenrothes)

This is the most amazing piece of theatre I have seen in my life. You MUST see it. But don't just take my word for it. See these reviews.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I'm trying out this music on the Blog malarkey!

Here's what the NME would probably call the New Wave of Power Pop.

New Pornographers - The Laws Have Changed

I like Pete Yorn's first couple of albums but I feel his constant tourinng in America is turning him inot a corporate behemoth, with nothing to show for it but some great tunes and a loyal, small but perfectly formed fanbase. I love "Sense".

Pete Yorn - Sense

Okay so they used to be the Sea Urchins but Delta are/were cruelly underrated.

Delta - Low Flying


Tuesday 25 March

It’s back to the 9 to 5, or 8 to 4 in my case. It’s a busy old week with a gig on Wednesday (Jackie Leven), a wedding on Thursday, a leaving “do” on Friday and some cultcha with a trip to Glenrothes to see “Black Watch”. It’s amazing I’ve got time to go to work at all.

I really must get this Sky+ business sorted out. There are too many programmes on just now that clash and I’m fed up missing out. I’m enjoying “Mad Men” but I keep falling asleep because it’s on late.

I also need to fix the cold tap in the en-suite bathroom but I’m to DIY what Harold Shipman was to geriatric care.

Monday 24 March

Spent the morning going round a couple of wards at the Victoria asking for hospital radio requests. It was an interesting experience and I met some fascinating people. Elizabeth, who was showing me the ropes, and I returned to the studio to dig out the records requested. I said that I would go home and download or copy the tracks that weren’t on the studio system or in the record library. The requests we gathered included Placido Domingo, Mario Lanza, Steely Dan, Air, Carly Simon, Tina Turner, Arthur Conley, Paul and Paula (for a patient called Paula), The Beatles, Glenn Millar, Russell Watson and Buddy Holly.

I returned to the station in the evening only to be met by some of the local feral youths in the car park. One of them made a non-verbal gesture with his hands towards me as I drove past. I think he was “magicking the beans”! (Their parents must be so proud). Anyway the distraction was enough for me to leave the lights on and forget to lock the car. Thankfully someone from the hospital spotted it and phoned the police, who in turn got in touch with the GLW, who then phoned the studio during the show!

That’s right “during the show”. Bob started the request show and I though I’d just be doing more training but he threw me in at the deep end and I ended up doing almost all of the show. Having collected the requests personally it felt good reading them out and playing them for the people I’d spoken to earlier in the day. I always believe that communication with your listeners is important. This is something I picked up from Andrew Collins when he did his BBC6 Music. He always made time to reply to any queries or questions, even when he was on air. Iain Waugh and Grant Stott do that at Forth One as well. It’s the little personal touches that make the difference.

Apart from a couple of minor glitches, I thought it went well and, more importantly, Bob thought so too. I even managed to use the turntables, something I didn’t do at Radio West Fife. I’m supposed to go through a 3-month probation before I get a show but it may be sooner – fingers crossed.

Sunday 23 March

After dropping the girls off at church I popped into Tossco for the Sunday papers and was over the moon to see that I, like the GLW a few weeks ago, had won a £25 runners-up prize in the Sunday Express Skeleton crossword. I phoned my old friend Dorothy to compare prizes as she and her husband had won the Scottish crossword from a Friday edition of the Scottish Daily Express. Her prize was £100 and a bottle of whisky.

After a quick go at the crosswords and comps, we headed off to Elizabeth and David’s for our traditional Easter gathering. It’s all food and drink although the GLW is delighted that this year, for the first time, it’ll be me who’s driving so she can have a drink or three. We introduced a quiz over the last few years with host Dave as quizmaster. I paired up with my father-in-law this year but we lost out after some appalling marking. I made a couple of writing errors (I wrote down Peter Boone instead of Peter Noone, a simple mistake) and they wouldn’t accept them. I couldn’t even blame being drunk of the errors. The GLW said if it had been anyone else she’d have given me the points! I’m going to take them to the Quiz Court of Arbitration. I’ll be back…(evil laugh)…

Saturday 22 March

The GLW and the Flickster went into Edinburgh for haircuts and I amused myself in Dunfermline. I finally found a charger for my Nokia 6111. Argos had a universal one for £4.99, although I was somewhat bemused that it came in a small white box with no instructions or information! It could have come off a market stall for all I knew.