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...

No comments: