Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Cat on "Where The Action Is" Kirkcaldy VRN 1287 AM - Sunday 29 November 2009

My last show of the year before we head off into the tinsel-covered mayhem that is Christmas. Tonight I'm celebrating tomorrow's St. Andrew's Day with a Jocknroll special. A big thank to you to Lenny Helsing who, some time ago now, provided me with some of these great lost Scottish tracks.

The Poets - That's The Way It's Got To Be (Decca 1965)
The Quik - Bert's Apple Crumble (Decca 1967) (show theme)
New Faces - Never Gonna Love Again (Pye 1965)
The McKinleys - Someone Cares For Me (Columbia 1964)
The Athenians - I Got Love If You Want It (Waverley 1964)
My Dear Watson - Stop Stop I'll Be There (Parlophone 1968)
The Beatstalkers - Ev'rybody's Talkin' 'Bout My Baby (Decca 1965)
The Poor Souls - Love Me (Alp 1965)
The Blues Council - Baby Don't Look Down (Parlophone 1964) (Connect 3)
The Black Ring - Take It Or Leave It (SAUSCA 1965) (Connect 3)
The Fabulous Red Hawks - Mods and Rockers (Globe 1964) (Connect 3)
Chris McClure - Meditation (Polydor 1968)
Barry St. John - Bread and Butter (Decca 1964)
The Beatstalkers - Silver Treetop School for Boys (CBS 1967)
The Echo-Sounds - Bull Moose (Popular 1966)
Mickey Moonshine - Name It You Got It (Decca 1974)
Lulu - So Fing Es An (Decca 1966) (Foreign Language)
Johnny and the Copycats - I'm A Hog For You Baby (Norco 1964)
The Beatstalkers - Base Line (Decca 1966) (Half-Time Instrumental)
Lord Rockingham's XI - Hoots Mon (Decca 1958)
The Hi Fis - I Wanna Hear You Say Yeah (Alp 1966)
The Scots of St. James - Eiderdown Clown (Spot 1967)
Sol Byron and The Impacts - Pride and Joy (Flamingo 1964)
Hopscotch - Look at The Lights Go Up (United Artists 1968)
Davy Graham - Goin' Down Slow (Decca 1965)
Sergeant - Sunshine (Shy Recordings 2009) (Under The Influence)
Bobby Patrick Big Six - Sweet Talk Me Baby (Decca 1964)
The Beatstalkers - You'd Better Get A Hold On Me (Decca 1966)
The Beatstalkers - Ain't No Soul (Left In These Old Shoes) (CBS 1967)
The Mark Five - Baby What's Wrong (Fontana 1964) (Connect 3)
The 20th Century Sounds - She's Nice People (SAUSCA 1965) (Connect 3)
Studio Six - Bless My Soul (I've Been and Gone and Done It) (Polydor 1967) (Connect 3)
Jackie Dennis - La Dee Dah (Decca 1958)
The Pathfinders - Pumpkin Lantern (Unreleased 1968)
The Boston Dexters - You've Been Talking About Me (Contemporary 1964) (Two of a Kind)
The Boston Dexters - What Kind of Girl Are You? (Contemporary 1964) (Two of a Kind)
The Marmalade - I See The Rain (CBS 1969)
Dean Ford and the Gaylords - The Name Game (Columbia 1965)
Donovan - Season of the Witch (Pye 1966)
The Beatstalkers - Sugar Chocolate Machine (CBS 1967)
The Quik - Bert's Apple Crumble (Decca 1967) (show theme)

Good day, good health and haste ye back.

The Cat

Friday, November 27, 2009

When is PR not PR?

I did my weekly check around the blogs I read/follow and I was rather taken aback that the owner of has changed the status of his blog to be "open to invited readers only". Perhaps he doesn't like a couple of comments I made recently. I made a comment on something he wrote. Someone "anonymous" had a pop at me (I wouldn't be surprised if it was one of his pals) and I countered, as you do.

Either way I find it bizarre that someone in a business that thrives on publicity should have turned his blog into something of a closed shop. If he only wants certain people to read it then he'd be better off just e-mailing his pals his latest bitter ramblings. Does he really think I won't be able to read it?

He's more than welcome to come on here and explain why he doesn't want me read his blog. It's a shame because I do enjoy a good laugh. It's nearly as funny and ill-informed as the comments on The Scotsman/Evening news website or the Metro letters page.

Mind you, you only have to read the excellent Tabloid Watch blog to know that much what you read (or don't read) in the papers (or on journalistic/PR blogs) should be taken with a very large pinch of salt.

A Question of Sanity

Another day, another quiz show audition. Once again I’ve decided to put myself through the mill and tried to get on a television quiz show and this time it’s a trip to Glasgow to audition for “A Question of Genius”.

I’d caught some of the first series of the show earlier in the year and I thought, with it being pitched at a good level, that I’d like to have a go. Unlike Alan Partridge, they got a second series and I got my form in just before the closing date.

Within a week I’d got a call back from the BBC – the BBC are so much more efficient at running quiz/shows shows than certain independent production companies I could name – and I did the usual over-the-phone 10 questions of general knowledge. I got 6 out of 10 and, if I were being honest, I wouldn’t have scored more than 7. For one of them I jumped in too early and missed the obvious answer but the other three, well, I wouldn’t have known them if they’d told me the answer first!

Thankfully, six was enough to get me an audition and yesterday morning I headed off to the Wild West, along the M8. (I used the day of driving along the central belt as an opportunity to road test a compilation I’d put together for a colleague. Is that just a man thing?) The M8 used to fill me with dread. It’s very much a survival-of-the-fittest road with more than a passing resemblance to a game of Musical Lanes. It’s like an automotive version of Mike Reid’s 70s kids show Runaround, only without the annoying cock-er-nee spiv. G-g-g-g-gooooooooo!

Unlike Scotland’s capital in the East, there’s lots of off-street parking in Glasgow but I still plump for the security of the Glasgow Science Centre car park. Good value (£3 a day) if you’re only visiting but I can see why local workers would choose to park on the surrounding pavements.

I arrive an hour early and kill some time picking up leaflets in the Science Centre. I wander over to the BBC’s brand new Pacific Quay headquarters. Not surprisingly, I’m the first there and I park myself at the little coffee shop. It wasn’t my first visit to this building, having been there for another audition and also a job interview. Needless to say, the audition went better than the job interview. Maybe more job interviews should include puzzles, quizzes and pieces to camera.

After finishing the Depress crossword (DePress is my name for the Dunfermline Press, a parochial maudlin local paper of my hometown), I head back to reception and am soon joined by three others. I get chatting to Alan and John but Carlos, a Mexican with more than a passing resemblance to the bass player from Metallica, keeps his own council. The first question on occasions like this, after the opening “Are you here for the audition?” is something along the lines of “Have you done any of these before?” In a bizarre coincidence, John and Alan had both been on Superscot about 20 years previously but done nothing since. Maybe they were just keeping their quiz powder dry. (Superscot ran from 1983 to 1989 and was presented by Jane Franchie. It was revived in 1990, this time as a family show, presented by Jackie Bird).

As if by magic, a production assistant, who I recognised form a previous audition, appeared and whisked me off into the building. Unfortunately we didn’t get to enter the central area, which resembles a cutaway of an ocean liner, and instead were ushered down a side corridor. Initially we entered a room with a toilet symbol on the door but, rather like the unmade edition of Mr Benn when he becomes a quiz show contestant, we entered an area called The Lab. Thankfully it was The Lab and not The Lav, although I was concerned, having been recognised by Rebecca, that my chances had already gone down the pan. Considering we were about to go through the quizzing equivalent of having soap sprayed in our eyes it seemed rather apposite. Being an old hand at these auditions, I was ready for whatever was thrown at me but Carlos seemed very nervous. John and Alan were very laid back.

First of all we were given a couple of forms. One is a form where we promise to hand over our first born away to the BBC if we’re naughty and the other another general knowledge quiz. It would have to be a bloody brainy general to know all five answers to the questions. I got 2 right and made one decent guess and two random ones. I wonder if it’s another filter to weed out quizzing “pros”, like the sort you got on “Are You an Egghead?”

After the introductions – there were four people, including Rebecca, and a camera – we played a game of charades. I volunteered to go first but my enthusiasm wilted slightly when I realised I couldn’t actually think of one – the pressure had started. One of the watching team fed me “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” proclaiming it was a difficult one. Alan got it after “One”. John then did a book that only he had read and no one else had ever heard of. After Alan and Carlos’s shots we moved on to playing the quiz itself.

With no buzzers available we had to handclap when we wanted to answer the question. The aim of the game in the first round, called A Question of Knowledge, was to reach 5 points. You got a point if you buzzed in successfully on the first question and then you got to choose between a 1, 2 or 3 point question on the same topic, although you were still up against everyone else. I successfully negotiated the first round and normally one contestant would drop out but for the purposes of the audition we all stayed in for the second round.

A Question of Judgement was up next and this time the aim was to reach 7 points to ensure survival. The only change from the first round is that should you get the opening question right, you would choose your opponent on a head-to-head basis and at what level. Again the questions fell nicely for me and I progressed through first. As someone who enjoys quizzes I had to resist the urge to join in as I sat out while the others were going through their questions.

We didn’t get to play the subsequent rounds (A Question of Pressure, A Question of Strategy and the final A Question of Genius) and instead had a coffee while we prepared to do a piece to camera. As the camera was being shuffled into the corridor outside John and Alan started having a light-hearted argument about how many films John Wayne had been killed in!

We all had to provide a specialist subject for the final Question of Genius round, should we get there, and I have plumped for UK Top 40 hits of the 1980s. It was between that and the Eurovision Song Contest but I figured 50 years of foreign singers and songs would be too much to swat up on. Better to choose a subject that I know reasonably well to begin with so that I would have less swatting to do. That’s the theory anyway. Only time will tell whether I made the right choice. I might not even get the opportunity. Carlos had gone for another musical topic with “The Cure” while John and Alan went for movie-related choices, namely “Films directed by Steven Spielberg” and “The films of John Wayne”. Sadly we didn’t get to show our prowess on our specialist subjects and instead were ushered one by one into the corridor.

I went in last and tried to sound interesting. I mentioned the hospital radio work but kicked myself afterwards for forgetting to mention my Best Newcomer nomination. As there was only four of us the audition was over in an hour and it was back to life, back to reality.

On the two previous aforementioned visits to Pacific Quay I had got lost on the way out. On one occasion I got lost around Ibrox, one of the last areas I’d like to stay longer than necessary. On the other occasion my ShitNav told me to go right, which took me straight into the face of two lanes of dual carriageway coming towards me! Only a handily-place parking space saved me certain death or, at the very least, a good peeping at. I can just see my epitaph: He came, he quizzed, he left empty-handed. Using the power of Twitter I asked Radio Scotland presenter and all round good egg Jim Gellatly for directions and he recommended using the “Squinty” Bridge. Multimap doesn’t include this new landmark.

It’s always hard to tell how auditions have gone because it’s so hard to predict what the production company is looking for. I thought I performed well on the quiz section and had an okay piece to camera – I’ve done better - so only time will tell if I get on. Successful applicants will be told in two to three weeks, with filming taking place in Glasgow in January. One concern I have about my chances is my recognition by the charming Rebecca. When she asked me if we’d met before I asked, “Brainbox Challenge?” She rallied with, “Who Dares Wins”. I didn’t get on “Who Dares Wins” so I’m hope that doesn’t count against me.

Anyway, it’s over now and it’s just a question of waiting.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Nuts in November

Friday 20 November 2009

Last night I received a drunken call from a friend and colleague who had been chatting to Ian Rankin on the train home to Dunfermline. She wondered if I wanted to go into Dunfermline to find him! Apparently his son was performing at the Alhambra, which she couldn't pronounce for love nor money) and she wanted to “stalk” him there. I declined the kind invitation. I was rather bemused to discover that Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings were performing so I guess Ian Rankin’s offspring was part of some support act. I wasn’t going to head out on a wet and windy night and certainly not at £25 a head for a band I’m rather indifferent to. (My friend didn’t bother going either, citing a more urgent need for sleep – a wise move methinks).

I couldn’t sleep and woke up at 4am again. Decided to make the most of it and went to the gym before work. I know, that’s a bit 80s, but it killed some time and gave me a free lunch to read my Web User magazine.

After work I drove straight to our local Tesco with a prepared list. With the minimum of fuss and managing to stay mostly “on list” (I fancied some fish), I headed home. No sooner had I set foot in the door than my phone rang. I got a call to pick up Flick early from the Kids Club because she wasn’t feeling well. It seems she had a sore stomach. That’s twice in two days. I hope this isn’t becoming a habit. I’ve no doubt her ailments are genuine but I don’t want her to get into a habit of “being sick” as a means of getting away early from school or the Kids Club. She likes school and Kids Club so I don’t think it’s deliberate. She seems to have omelettes quite a lot for lunch and I worry that she may be “egg bound”, as my mother used to say. I've still no idea what that actually means.

Saturday 21 November 2009

Got up early (7am seems like such a lie-in) and headed into town to get a haircut. The salon I use opens at 8.30am and I was there for 10 past 8. I was first in the queue and, after the doors opened, was in and out in less than 10 minutes. As usual the “from £7” on the price list seemed rather optimistic considering the amount of foliage I have (or don’t have) on my head. “That’ll be £4”. I gave him fiver, told him to keep the change (my default tip is £1) and headed off home.

The girls were off to ballet and then the Gang Show in Edinburgh with the Guides. Normally when the girls are out for the day, I miss them for an hour or so and then get industrious. Today I just didn’t have the energy and, as a result, achieved very little. The BT Broadband dropped out yet again and after another rant on Twitter about it I switched off the PC and watched telly instead.

Having learned that you can now watch the BBC iPlayer through your Wii, I set about finding out how to go about it. It was so simple and I had it up and running in about 15 minutes. I watched “Never Mind The Buzzcocks” and phoned Dave for a chat and to tell him of my ‘discovery’. He was in a guitar shop salivating over the axes. I updated him on the football scores, to which he had no access, and discussed again the possibility of us doing a radio show together. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing my show myself, but sometimes it’s nice to “bounce” off somebody else and I can’t think of anyone better than my old mate the Davester.

I get so bored with myself that I go to bed at 10. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Sunday 22 November 2009

I had a lazy lie-in. Still a bit down from yesterday I could’ve got up early but I simply can’t be bothered, which isn’t like me. Maybe a year ago but not now. I finally get up as the girls head off to church. It’s fried eggs on toast as I try and watch another programme via the Wii. I had hoped it would be “Match of the Day”, having forgotten to tape it last night, but alas, due to some sort of licensing issue, they don’t have it on the iPlayer. Instead I had to “settle” for Saturday night’s “The Thick of It”, which was brilliant. I really don’t know why so many people would rather watch The Hex–Factor, Strictly Come Prancing and I’m a Z-List Celebrity, Get Me Some Exposure when there’s great television like “The Thick of It”, “Modern Family” and “House”.

Spent a couple of hours doing the Christmas cards. Some for hand delivery, some for posting abroad and some for Scout post.

Apparently after Tottenham’s 9-1 thumping of Wigan, the Lancashire club have complained to FIFA that Spurs keeper Gomes handled the ball in the run-up to at least one of Spurs goals.

I really enjoyed tonight’s radio show. This was down to me relaxing a bit more and also not having to worry about interruptions. I don’t like people walking into the studio while I’m doing a show, unless I’ve invited them. I find it distracting and off-putting. Okay, so I’m no Terry Wogan or Chris Moyles but it’s important for me to do the best I can and I don’t need distractions.

Graeme, who is on before me, finished up the wonderful “Your Imagination” by Brian Wilson and we had a singalong through the glass! Good job there wasn’t a webcam!

It was the last of my “normal” shows with next week being my St. Andrew’s Day Jocknroll special, playing a multitude of Jockanese beat groups and singers from between the late 50s and the early 70s. After that it’s three weeks of Christmas tunes, which I always enjoy. I’m torn as to what I should do on the show between Christmas and New Year. I thought, just for a change, I do a show of anything but the normal stuff I play. Stuff like Pete Yorn, Fountains of Wayne, The Popguns, The Smiths, Camera Obscura etc.

When I got back from the station I microwaved my mince, tatties and dumplings, washed and put away the dishes, made the sandwiches for lunch and put away the CDs used in tonight’s show and dug out next week’s (the show had been prepared weeks ago). Then I settled down to watch “Top Gear”. It clashes with “House”, which I’ll save for during the week.

Monday 23 November 2009

In-car entertainment: James Taylor Quarter – Blow Up: A JTQ Collection

A fairly straightforward drive into work this morning. I didn’t have a great sleep last night. I had hoped that being industrious and then having a an hour in front of the telly would’ve helped me sleep but alas no.

Just one dickhead on the way home who thought that tailgating me at 70mph on the A80 was a good idea. Thank you GV55 AVT, you baldy fuck.

It was a good night of telly with Saturday’s “The Thick of It” (K hadn’t seen it and I was only too glad to watch it again), “University Challenge”, “The Gadget Show” (the best competition on television) and then Sunday’s “House”.

Tuesday 24 November 2009

In-car entertainment: Pete Yorn - musicforthemorningafter

A pleasant enough journey into work, although my old “friend” R906MSN was at it again, with undertaking and speeding all along the A80. I notice he’s changed his route to work as he used go along the new M9 spur and now drives towards Barnton.

FIFA still haven’t replied to me. Quelle surprise!

From the can of Tesco Diet Cola I’m consuming:

“Allergy advice:

Recipe: No nuts
Ingredients – Cannot guarantee nut free
Factory: No nuts"

If there are no nuts in the recipe and no nuts in the factory, why can’t they guarantee that the ingredients are nut free?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Cat on "Where The Action Is" Kirkcaldy VRN 1287 AM - Sunday 22 November 2009

This is my last "normal" show of the year before I have next week's St. Andrew's Day/Jocknroll special and then three weeks of Christmas tunes. I'm contemplating doing something completely different for Sunday 27 December 2009; maybe just a random selection of my favourite ever records, from any era.

Benny Spellman - Fortune Teller (Minit 1962)
The Quik - Bert's Apple Crumble (Decca 1967) (show theme)
The Girls - My Baby (Capitol 1965)
Florence Ballard - Love Ain't Love (ABC 1968)
Del Shannon - He Cheated (Liberty 1967)
The Four Matadors - Fast Cars and Money (Columbia 1966)
The Action - Something Has Hit Me (Parlophone 1967)
Them - I Can Only Give You Everything (Decca 1966)
Nancy Sinatra - The City Never Sleeps at Night (Reprise 1965) (Connect 3)
Mary Saxton - Big City Guy (Unreleased 66/67) (Connect 3)
The Monkees - Teardrop City (Colgems 1969) (Connect 3)
Denise and Company - Boy, What'll You Do Then (Wee 1966)
Helen Shapiro - Woe Is Me (Columbia 1963)
Betty Everett - Getting Mighty Crowded (Vee-Jay 1964) (Birthday: 23/11/39 singer)
John Leyton - Thunder and Lightning (HMV 1961)
Fontella Bass - Gee Whizz (Chess 1966)
Twinkle - Tommy (German version) (Label unknown 1965) (Foreign Language)
The Societie - Breakin' Down (Decca 1967)
Kathy Lynn & The Playboys - Rock City (Swan 1964) (Half-Time Instrumental)
The Turtles - Wanderin' Kind (Immediate 1966)
Marvin Smith - Have More Time (Brunswick 1966)
The Beach Boys - In My Room (Capitol 1963) (The A to Z of The Beach Boys - I)
The Beach Boys - I Can Hear Music (Capitol 1969) (The A to Z of The Beach Boys - I)
Al Casey & The KC-Ettes - Guitars Guitars Guitars (Stacy 1966)
The Attack - Try It (Decca 1967)
Aztec Camera - Pillar To Post (Rough Trade 1983) (Under The Influence)
The Colorados - Lips Were Redder On You (alternate take) (Unreleased 1964)
Twice As Much - Step Out of Line (Immediate 1966)
The Poets - Some Things I Can't Forget (Immediate 1965)
The Ivy League - Willow Tree (Piccadilly 1966) (Connect 3)
The Move - (Here We Go Round) The Lemon Tree (Regal Zonophone 1967) (Connect 3)
Richard McCord - The Song of the Pine Tree (Pye 1965) (Connect 3)
Nicky Scott - Big City (Immediate 1967)
Masterminds - She Belongs To Me (Immediate 1965)
John Mayall - Looking Back (Decca 1966) (Two of a Kind)
John Mayall - Crawling Up A Hill (Decca 1964) (Two of a Kind)
Chad Carson - They Were Wrong (HMV 1963)
Mockingbirds - You Stole My Love (Immediate 1965)
The Who - Won't Get Fooled Again (Polydor 1971)
The Quik - Bert's Apple Crumble (Decca 1967) (show theme)

Good day and good health.

The Cat

Thursday, November 19, 2009

No Honour for Henry

Wednesday 18 November

Last year, when I was very depressed, sluggish and unproductive, a day out of the office to assist with promotion interviews was a blessing. The new energetic, focussed, fit me had the same day out yesterday and doing hee-haw, quite frankly, bored the tits off me. A struggle with the third of the Metro’s Sudokus did ensure an occupied morning but after lunch I was thoroughly bored. I didn’t particularly miss my trip to the gym because I hadn’t felt well yesterday and today I was no better but I probably should’ve taken a walk at lunchtime to get some fresh air.

I was so deflated by the time I got to my car to drive home I was thoroughly depressed. My mood didn’t improve as I did my usual Wednesday night drive-round (Kids Club – train station – home – Rainbows – Home – Rainbows – home) and the injustice of Ireland’s defeat at the hands of France sickened me even more. I went to bed with the ‘black dog’ well and truly pissing on my leg.

Thursday 19 November

I had to laugh at Sarah Kennedy on Radio 2 complaining of the “balmy” November weather as I aquaplaned all the way from Dunfermline to Edinburgh.

The only highlight of yesterday, which came just after 11am, was a phone call from the BBC. I had applied for a quiz show on Friday, the closing date, and was rather surprised to receive a return call so quickly. (I’m sure that the last time I did promotion interviews I received an audition call too). Anyway, the full audition is in Glasgow next Thursday morning. It’ll be the usual run-through of the game, a piece to camera and “don’t call us, we’ll call you”. I won’t jinx things by mentioning the name of it.

I saw the show earlier this year and I’d love to have a go. I’m not great on the buzzer, if I’m being honest, but for me it’s more about the camaraderie with the other contestants and having an enjoyable day or two. Watch this space.

I haven’t even had my breakfast this morning when I’m met by the Christmas night out menu plonked on my desk chair. I don’t know what I’m having for my dinner tonight, let alone what I fancy having on 11 December. Anyway, I plump for salmon, turkey (with all the trimmings) and chocolate cheesecake. I’ve also made the decision not to drink. Over the last few years I’ve been drinking alcohol less and less. I’m lucky if I have a couple of glasses of wine a month. Part of the reason for that is obviously down to driving but part of it is because I can get a bit maudlin sometimes. I start off hyper and descend into melancholy over the course of the evening. Another reason, especially at this time of year, is the state of the fellow travellers on the night bus home, aka the “Vomit Comet”. I’ve taken it home twice and twice is enough. It’ll be Diet Coke all night and a drive home at my leisure. Am I becoming a boring old fart? Possibly but I’m a man of simple pleasures and after years of drunkenness and hours spent awaiting public transport in the pissing December rain I feel I deserve the right to a civilised night out and not to wake up the next morning feeling shit.

I was so appalled at the decision that cost Ireland a place in the World Cup last night that I e-mailed FIFA. What is the point in “smaller” nations trying to compete and better themselves if the governing body’s primary consideration is the interests of the “bigger” nations? Sepp Blatter and Michel Paltini will be pleased as punch this morning that their favoured nations (except Russia) have got through to the finals. The fact that they decided to seed the play-offs shows how much contempt they have for the sport. There was no seeding in place when the competition started and the thought of a World Cup without Portugal and France (Platini’s country) saw them quickly change the rules to suit themselves. If any sport was in desperate need of video evidence/replays it is football. Cricket, a longer game, and rugby league, a shorter game, have them and they work just fine. The delays for a decision to be made would be no longer than the theatrical histrionics of some players who do eight rolls before deciding, as soon as they get the decision, that there’s nothing wrong with them. Football is becoming a joke thanks to self-serving bureaucrats like Sepp Blatter and Jack Warner who care less about football and more about themselves and what’s they can get out of the game – money.

I have to say that I’m more disappointed with Thierry Henry for not owning up than the referee and his assistant, who had had, until that incident, a very good game. For him to say “I’m not the referee!” is not simply good enough. He should have put his hands up – again – and admitted the offence. Football is now a cheats’ charter. Diving, play-acting, deception and the merciless harassment of officials leaves a sour taste in the mouth and the beautiful game is now a tarnished shadow of its former self and, I believe, beyond repair. There is no longer a level playing field. It’s not about the best players, it’s about the best cheats and at the top of that particular tree are Messrs Blatter and Warner. I think I’ll start following a more honest sport like rugby league.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

In Between Days

Monday 16 November

In-car entertainment: The Cure – Greatest Hits

I was never a big fan of The Cure. I liked most of the singles* but was never moved to buy a complete (non-compilation) album. I almost saw them live once. I say “almost” because they were part of a double-header gig called “Rock Around the Clock”, along with my favourites Aztec Camera, at the Barrowlands Ballroom in Glasgow. It was being broadcast on BBC2. Having watched Roddy and co do their stuff my mate and I got backstage and while Robert Smith was rather grumpy Phil Thornalley of the band was cool and asked to borrow my bull’s head bootlace tie, which he wore on the poster for one of their albums (I forget which one). My mate stayed for The Cure but even though I could’ve blagged entry I decided to make sure I got my bus home. By the time I got back to Edinburgh The Cure set was on the telly. Yes, I did get my bootlace tie back and, no, I don’t still have it. I do still have the ticket stub though which I got as a member of the Aztec Camera fan club.

(*On one occasion me and a record-collecting friend found a shop with loads of copies of "Primary". We bought them all for 99p each and I sold mine eventually for £8 each)

Driving rant: why do so many drivers fail to indicate at roundabouts? Also, is it just me or is everyone using their lights on “full beam” nowadays? I’ve lost count of how many times in the last couple of months I’ve been blinded in my rear-view mirror by thoughtless individuals.

The girls were walking to school this morning when Flick told her mother than two boys were fighting over who was going to marry her! Apparently, she isn’t interested in either of them and has her eye on one of her “boyfriends” from pre-school. I better start saving for the nuptials now. Geez, they grow up fast.

I’m in the office on my own again today so I had peace during Popmaster (2 scores of 33) got through a whole load of work with very little personal or phone interruptions.

After work I performed a very personal, annual ritual that I enjoy and keeps me in touch with my non-digital childhood. I bought my 2010 diary. I’ve tried electronic organisers before but I’ve never taken to them. I like a slim, week-to-view black diary that fits easily into my coat pocket. After a few choice personal details, I add all the birthdays of my friends and family, school holidays and radio shows dates (every Sunday, with some specials for Valentine’s day, birthdays etc). I also add the football fixtures for my team and add the names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses of friends and family. I do some surreptitious weeding. I don’t believe in keeping someone in there “just in case”. If I haven’t heard from them in a year, then they’re out. I’m that brutal! When it comes to the Christmas card list, you get two years and then you’re bumped. I wonder if we’ll get another card from Karen and Andy this year. They’ve sent a card for the last two years but we haven’t a clue who they are.

One of our fuses blew in the house – the one from the Washing Machine – but thankfully it was between the end of University Challenge and the start of The Gadget Show. It was bizarre than half the house was dark and half was working!

Spent some of the evening putting together a Playmobil Advent calendar for the Flick. More expensive but a lot less chocolate.

Tuesday 17 November

As I got to work this morning someone just ahead of me was reversing into a space. I waited patiently and when he came to a standstill I reversed into the space beside him. I collected my bags and wandered into the reception area. As I got there I heard the person who had parked just ahead of me bemoaning to reception staff how I had shone my lights in his eyes as he was reversing. Cheeky, miserable, moaning bastard.

I certainly wasn’t “shining” my car lights in his eyes. They were on, as you would expect at 6.15 am on a November morning, and were set to normal, as opposed to the “full beam” brigade. I could’ve spoken to by Lothian and Borders finest if I hadn’t had them on. I’ve never encountered this individual before although I know of him and he is a bit of a Victor Meldrew type who is happy to complain for the sake of complaining. Lucky for him he didn’t complain to my face or he would have experienced a verbal volley that would’ve made Sir Alex Ferguson’s famous “hairdryer” seem like one of those toy fans. Mouldy old c*nt.

Did more exam marking this morning and encountered more individuals who can’t do basic maths. I really do wonder how it is being taught in schools. Mathematics and Arithmetic were my strong points at school and with an Accountant for a mother (admittedly one who can’t work out the simplest darts checkout), Flick should be okay when it comes to “sums”.

Didn’t enjoy my gym session today. A combination of tiredness and over-exertion to make up for it left me even more exhausted and I had to stop. A lesson learned – don’t over-do it.

Over the weekend, while watching a rain-soaked football match, Felicity asked why the players didn't put their hoods up! Good point.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Cat on "Where The Action Is" Kirkcaldy VRN 1287 AM - Sunday 15 November 2009

Happy Birthday Petula Clark!

Petula Clark - Colour My World (Pye 1966)
The Quik - Bert's Apple Crumble (Decca 1967) (show theme)
The Four Tops - I'm In A Different World (Motown 1968)
Verdelle Smith - Tar and Cement (Capitol 1966)
Tawny Reed - Needle In A Haystack (Pye 1965)
Petula Clark - Monday, Monday (Pye 1966)
The Kinks - David Watts (Pye 1967)
Del Shannon - Mind Over Matter (Liberty 1967)
Annette Funicello - Bikin Beach Party (Buena Vista 1964) (Connect 3)
Petula Clark - Life and Soul of the Party (Pye 1966) (Connect 3)
The Victorians - You're Invited To A Party (Liberty 1964) (Connect 3)
Al Kent - The Way You've Been Acting (Ric-Tic 1967)
Ella Washington - Sit Down and Cry (Sound Stage 7 1969)
Petula Clark - Don't Sleep In The Subway (Pye 1967) (Birthday: 15/11/32 Petula Clark, singer/songwriter)
Dana Gillespie - Pay You Back With Interest (Pye 1967)
Kenny Lynch with the Laurie Jay Combo - Harlem Library (HMV 1964)
Petula Clark - La Nuit N'En Finit Plus (Needles and Pins) (Pye) (Foreign Language)
Billy Fury - Fool's Errand (Do You Really Love Me Too?) (Decca 1964)
Shotugn Express - Curtains (Columbia 1966) (Half-Time Instrumental)
Two of Each - Summer of Our Love (Pye 1968)
Petula Clark - Downtown (Pye 1964)
The Beach Boys - Heroes and Villains (Capitol 1967) (The A to Z of The Beach Boys - H)
The Beach Boys - Had To Phone Ya (Capitol 1976) (The A to Z of The Beach Boys - H)
Petula Clark - I Know A Place (Pye 1965)
The Small Faces - Tin Soldier (Immediate 1967)
The James Taylor Quartet - Blow Up (Re-elect the President 1987) (Under The Influence)
Toni Daly - Like The Big Man Said (Columbia 1966)
Jerry Butler - Moody Woman (Mercury 1969)
The Lovin' Spoonful - She Is Still A Mystery (Kama Sutra 1967)
Love - The Daily Planet (Elektra 1967) (Connect 3)
Petula Clark - A Sign of The Times (Pye 1966) (Connect 3)
Lori Balmer - Here Comes The Sun (Pye 1972) (Connect 3)
The Strangers - Mary Mary (Pye 1967)
Joe Simon - You Keep Me Hangin' On (Sound Stage 7)
Petula Clark - Gotta Tell The World (Pye 1965) (Two of a Kind)
Petula Clark - This Is My Song (Pye 1966) (Two of a Kind)
Patti Seymour - The Silencers (Solly 1965)
The Overlanders - The Leaves Are Falling (Pye 1964)
The Walker Brothers - Just Say Goodbye (Phillips 1967)
The Quik - Bert's Apple Crumble (Decca 1967) (show theme)

In two weeks' time it's my Jocknroll Beat special, featuring a number of tracks from The Beatstalkers, and then it's four weeks of my favourite Christmas tracks. Just don't expect to hear Slade, Wizzard or Band Aid. Feel free to make any recommendations for either, although I have plenty of tracks to choose from already.

Good day and good health.

The Cat

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Stop The Ideas Carousel!

Friday 13 November

I was on my own in the office today so while I was covering all the desks and phones I had some peace and quiet too. No interruptions during Popmaster and a good gym workout at lunch.

Got home to find Flick had made a Playmobil City including an improvised Recycling Centre. She had written and cut out labels and put them on egg cups representing recycling bins. Seven of them were decorated with labels for Glass, Plastic, Metal, Paper, Cardboard, Compost and, er, Poo!

The Good Lady Wife was out in the evening so as soon as The Flickster was in her bed I wasted no time in flicking between channels and not watching anything in particular. In fact, I wasted a LOT of time doing that. Was a bit miffed to find the Sky box hadn't recorded "A Question of Sport" or "Mastermind". Eventually I went to bed at 10.30 pm because I was annoying myself.

Saturday 14 November

The girls were off to ballet, a fair and Dobbies so Daddy was free to do whatever he wanted. Having already been fed and watered before the girls got up, I was already into my stride with my little chores. I tuned into Sounds of the Sixties, as usual, while writing up the notes for tomorrow's radio show. It'll feature ten tracks by Petula Clark, by way of celebrating her birthday. She's an under appreciated singer and certainly better than Sandie Shaw and Cilla Black, who I do like.

Then I started work on three of my Christmas shows for the radio station. Last year I did four and an extra one where I counted down my own personal Top 30 Christmas songs. This year there will only be three plus the extra one. While working out which songs to bin form last year and which new ones I've discovered, I watched an impressive Huddersfield Town thrash Wycombe Wanderers 6-0. Who says men can't multi-task?

When the league football finished I headed back upstairs to wrap the presents I had already bought for K. While doing that I could watch (through the banister) the Wales-Scotland game. Scotland were awful and the 3-0 half-time score remained the same at full-time. It wasn't just awful, it was embarrassing. Defencer Gary Caldwell, who moves like a fitted wardrobe and turns like the Ark Royal, should never play for Scotland again. He's been consistently bad for a long time. Kenny Miller is another overpaid so-called "professional" who flatters to deceive on a weekly basis. And he's got a head like a potato. He and fellow Hun Kris Boyd, the ugliest footballer in the world EVER, have morphed into the same player and Steven Naismith is going the same way. I reckon the pre-match lunch at Ibrox is deep-fried children. With chips and Diet Coke of course. They are athletes after all.

"The Thick of It" is simply genius and it pains me that so many people I work with have never seen it. They don't know what they're missing.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The C Word

Thursday 12 November 2009

Yesterday came and went. I observed the two-minutes silence in the gym before doing my resistance workout. Being Wednesday it was Daddy Cabs between 4.30pm and 7pm.

After putting together a radio show for 22 November - my last “normal” one of the year - I plonked myself in front of the telly and watched “High Anxiety”, which I had saved on Sky+. It was fun looking out for the Hitchcock references. After “Never Mind The Buzzcocks” I retired for the evening only to be woken up at 4.10 am by a little person who’d had a bad dream about a cat who had bitten her nose, after she failed to find a shark! Bless.

I put her back to bed but couldn’t sleep myself so I lay awake wondering what I would I would’ve done if I’d won £45m. I know that it’s an ultimately pointless exercise that only encourages disenchantment but it killed some time. (I had actually given a brief thought to getting up and going to the gym before work but I dismissed that idea just as quickly because (a) the gym hasn’t been so busy at 11 anymore and (b) I just couldn’t be arsed). I decided that I would like my own little venue, which would host gigs by, well, whoever I wanted. I’d have Jackie Leven and Roddy Frame playing, Teenage Fanclub together with The Orchids and any strings would be provided by my pals in the Cairn String Quartet (“very nice girls, very clean”).

On the way to work the petrol light came on in the car and I wondered where I’d get fuel. I headed for Craigleith Retail Park only to find a poorly lit car park (I ignored the road markings because I couldn’t see them) and a closed petrol station. As I leave the Park I see the Shell logo ahead and chastise myself for forgetting about this petrol station, which I pass twice every day. I’m in and out the petrol station very efficiently and back on the road to work.

I need to get to work sharp because the car park, which is only for those and such as those, is being used for an event over a number of days and, coupled with local roadworks, means spaces are at a premium. I also need some cash but I decide to park the car first and then walk back around the corner to the bank. Spending my lunch in the gym means I don’t really get much fresh air during the day so I don’t mind the walk. Not that there are many people about. I do like the serenity of the early hours – the calm before the storm, if you like.

It’s official! Christmas is upon us as I’ve dug out the Christmas Card address spreadsheet. We all have one, right? RIGHT? I used to keep a note of who sent us one and who didn’t. If we didn’t get one for two years in a row they were chopped off the list - I'm brutal that way. Over the last two years we’ve received cards from people we don’t know or at least can’t work out who they are. I think one is from a distant cousin but the others, Karen and Andy, I’ve no idea. Even she-who-must-be-obeyed can’t work out who they are and she remembers everyone and everything. (Well, almost everything – her tendency to forget to charge her mobile and /or switch it on infuriates me but that’s another rant for another day!)

Fell asleep on the settee tonight. Watched a "Modern Family" double bill while suffering heartburn (I knew that second ginger cake was a bad idea) and then wasted the rest of the evening watching nothing in particular.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

When Is A Right Turn Not a Right Turn?

Wednesday 11 November

I finally finished my two entries for the Hospital Broadcasting Association awards. All I can do now is wait. Now I can concentrate on putting together my four Christmas shows. Last year I did a fifth show, on Christmas Eve, which was a countdown of my Top 30 Christmas records of all time. I might try and rope my mate Dave in to assist me on that one. I’m actually working on Christmas Eve so I may have to record it. I thought it was great that so many people volunteered to do shows on Christmas Eve last year only to then find out that they all recorded them except for me! I remember last year because I had to pull over on the way to the show because I was going to be on Radio Scotland, talking about working over Christmas (i.e. hospital radio) and Christmas music in general. I managed to combine both topics on air.

Today’s #baddriver was a cracker. At approximately 0605 this morning, while driving into Edinburgh from Fife, a red Subaru Forester T755NGA in front of me turned RIGHT on to Craigcrook Road, which is clearly marked as a No Right Turn from Queensferry Road, at the busy junction with Quality Street. Luckily there were no vehicles coming the other way.

Apparently there would be little point in reporting this idiot unless I have two witnesses (including me). It is also unlikely that cameras would cover that junction, except for “traffic flow”. C’est la vie.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Moody Tuesday

Tuesday 10 November

For much of the journey home last night I trailed behind a light blue Fiat Punto (W971OFB) that had a wobbly back left wheel. I haven’t seen such a wobbly tyre since I watched the last Kerry Katona fitness DVD. I kept well back.

Flick’s weekly forgetfulness began with a scarf and one glove! She’d forget her own head…blah blah blah…you know the rest.

I performed a lot better on University Challenge last night than I normally do. Okay, I wasn’t so much “on” University Challenge as shouting-at-the-television-while-University-Challenge-was-on. I was particularly pleased to get all of the countries of the three African Champions League football teams. Kick on.

Also watched The Gadget Show, which always has an amazing prize list. So much so that Harry Hill took the mickey out of it on his TV Burp. Forget the £90million Euromillions jackpot, I’d settle for the Gadget Show bumper prize hamper any day. Okay, most days. Well, on a Monday night.

Did some more work on my HBA entries before bedtime and investigated my “slip” from Sunday. Thankfully the faux pas is barely audible and you would only really know what I said if I told you the word and where it was on the recording. Phew! Okay so it was hardly in the Ross-Brand league but it was enough of a worry for me to confess all to the chairman. Honesty is, almost always, the best policy.

Work came and went today. Busy enough not to get bored but ultimately unsatisfying.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Heave on - to Euston

Saturday 7 November

I forgot to mention that yesterday, while at the gym, I received a missed call on my mobile from 07973100194. Being wary not to call back numbers I don’t recognise I Googled the number. I looked at one web forum and many of the contributors seemed to suggest that this number was either being used by Orange, a company pretending to work for Orange or scamsters. Either way you should ignore any calls from this number and, if you do answer it, don't give them any information whatsoever. The number of calls being received from this number has increased drastically since people starting noting interest in the iPhone. It puts me off using Orange but I'll delve a bit further. I hate aggressive sales like this. Some people were getting repeated calls but, so far, I’ve only had one.

It’s always concerned me that you can only contact such a major communications company as Orange by snail mail. I wrote several letters to them on an issue I had with dodgy texts and I never got one reply. I also don’t like the way they try and make their dolphin, elephant, aardvark and duck-billed playtus contracts sound like Pay As You Go.

Felicity wrote a short story called “Fantastic Charlotte”. She read it to me and when she finished I said, as any parent would do, “Very good, darling”. To which she responded, “Yes, but it needs an ending!” Brilliant.

Did some more work on my HBA entries and pottered about until the brilliant “The Thick of It”. However, while watching the extra bits on the BBC’s Interactive red Button, I made the fatal mistake of lying down on the settee and promptly fell asleep.

Sunday 8 November

A lie-in of sorts. I watch “Match of the Day”, taped from Saturday night (so I can skip through the studio analysis and just watch the “action”), while the girls have breakfast Normally they go to church but today K and D are heading off to the shops. I go to church religiously, once a year at Christmas. Even the lure of a Kinder egg wasn’t enough to persuade Flick to join the ladies–who-like-to-shop.

Flick went to a fancy dress birthday party yesterday, as a cat, and won a Rugrats DVD in one of the games. The fact that she was the only one who bothered to enter this particular dancing contest didn’t matter – she’d won! She spent the morning watching all 8 episodes from the DVD. Normally she doesn’t get to watch so much telly but I had a load of stuff to do in the study and she was happy enough. A win-win situation.

I put my radio show playlist up on this blog, the Jocknroll blog and my Facebook page before heading off to the radio station early. I’m going via Toys R Us at the Chapel Retail Park on the outskirts of Kirkcaldy to see if I can get a Playmobil advent calendar. I’m met with chaos. It seems Christmas shopping has now started in earnest, with all the dithering knuckle-dragging pedestrians and equally clueless drivers turning a potentially stressful afternoon into a living, breathing, mong-infested nightmare. The car park seems relatively small for the size of the place and all those people who can’t walk the length of themselves are circling round and round and round trying to get a spot nearest the store they‘re heading for. I give up on this idea and park at the furthest end of the car park, outside B&Q. It’s not exactly a big Retail Park and you could easily walk from one end to the other in under 5 minutes.

My trawl round a mobbed Toys R Us is fruitless. They have Playmobil but no advent calendars. Argos doesn’t have Playmobil either. After a cursory glance round PC World - a shop I dislike - to look at Mac Books and Windows 7, I head back to the car and leave through the alternative, quieter exit.

I pop into Asda to see if they have Playmobil and leave instead with Men’s Health and some Lucozade. I head off to the station and get there before Graham has even started his show. He does the 3 until 5 slot and plays a lot of stuff that you wouldn’t normally hear on the radio. Decent rocky, folky, bluesy stuff but not averse to the occasional bit of pop. It’s not my cup of tea but whatever floats your boat. He does play the occasional track that makes me wander from my studio to enquire, “What was that?” Today he opened with a great Canned Heat track. He begins the second half of the show with an hour-long interview with The Bee Gees that he recorded three weeks ago. I’m impressed. I like him and we have some good banter together.

The chairman points out that the entry I sent him for the Speech category at the awards needs tweaking at the start and finish and there’s an overlapping bit after a minute. I listen to it and see exactly what he means. Sometimes when you’ve spent so long working that you can easily miss something. It’s good to get fresh ears on it. I’ll sort the problems when I get home.

With the proposed Speech entry sorted I need to re-do the Specialist Music entry. Some of the Andrew Collins interview features on my specialist Music entry and I need to take it all out, with the exception of the conversation about Joe Meek and The Honeycombs. I’ve got a couple of ideas for additions from today’s show. I need to emphasise the mod/soul element of the show more.

The show doesn’t start well. The first record is supposed to be “One Fine Day” by The Chiffons but I play The Ronettes “You Bet I Would” by mistake. As it’s the first track I play, straight out of the news, it doesn’t get introduced so the listener doesn’t know it’s the wrong track. However, I know and I’m pissed off. I put far too much pressure on myself to do the perfect show and I end up making at least one error per show. I want to do a consistent show but not a consistently error-strewn one.

One thing that really annoys me is when I’m doing my show is when someone just walks into the studio unannounced or without so much as a knock on the door. Some presenters don’t mind it but I do. I find it off-putting. Graham and I respect each other’s boundaries and I try not to overstay my welcome in his studio when he’s on air.

Disaster struck during the second half of my show. For some reason I left my mic open and, for reasons I won’t go into, I swore. I don’t know if the sound of the record masked it or if it went out on the air but it wasn’t deliberate. I was concerned enough to scan my recorded show when I got home. I haven’t heard anything yet but I’ll need to give it another closer listen tonight. If it went out it’ll probably mean a suspension, which, in the run-up to my St.Andrews’s Day Jocknroll show and my four Christmas specials, would be a sickener.

The rest of the show passed in a blur as I beat myself up over the cock-up. Luckily I had Felicity to cheer me up when I got home. She had used some plastic bricks to make a train platform and a train. She said her train had 18 carriages. I said, “That’s a long train”, to which she replied, “Yes, it’s the London train!” From the mouths of babes…

Sunday, November 08, 2009

The Cat on "Where The Action Is" Kirkcaldy VRN 1287 AM - Sunday 8 November 2009

Another cracking line-up, even if I do say so myself (and I do):

The Chiffons - One Fine Day (Laurie 1963)
The Quik - Bert's Apple Crumble (Decca 1967) (show theme)
The Castaways - Liar Liar (Soma 1965)
Smokey Robinson & The Miracles - Yester Love (Motown 1968)
Noel Scott Engel - The Old Man's Back Again (Dedicated to the Neo-Stalinist Regime) (Philips 1967)
Emitt Rhodes - With My Face On The Floor (Dunhill 1970)
The Cookies - Chains (Dimension 1963)
The Leaves - Hey Joe (Mira 1965)
Scott Walker - Butterfly (Philips 1969) (Connect 3)
The Butterflys - Gee Baby Gee (Red Bird 1964) (Connect 3)
Cher - Elusive Butterfly (Liberty 1966) (Connect 3)
Dusty Springfield - Windmills of Your Mind (Mercury 1968)
The Essex - A Walkin' Miracle (Roulette 1963)
Creation - Making Time (Planet 1966) (Birthday: 8/11/44 Jack Jones, drummer)
Billie Davis - Angel of the Morning (Decca 1967)
The Cryan Shames - Sugar and Spice (Destination 1966)
Brigitte Bardot - Bubble Gum (Mercury 1966) (Foreign Language)
The 23rd Turnoff - Michaelangelo (Decca 1967)
The Flee-Rekkers - Fireball (Piccadilly 1963) (Half-Time Instrumental)
Michael and the Messengers - Just Like Romeo and Juliet (USA 1967)
The Honeys - The One You Can't Have (Capitol 1963)
The Beach Boys - Good Vibrations (Capitol 1966) (The A to Z of The Beach Boys - G)
The Beach Boys - Games Two Can Play (Unreleased) (The A to Z of The Beach Boys - G)
The Ivy League - Lulu's Back In Town (Piccadilly 1965)
Lulu - Are You Ready For Love (EMI 1969)
Camera Obscura - The Sweetest Thing (4AD 2009) (Under The Influence)
The Chantels - I'm Confessin' (That I Love You) (End 1958)
Mike Stevens and The Shevelles - The Go Go Train (Pye 1967)
The Velvelettes - I'm The Exception To The Rule (VIP 1965)
The Beatstalkers - Sugar Chocolate Machine (CBS 1967) (Connect 3)
Chocolate Watch Band - Let's Talk About Girls (Tower 1967) (Connect 3)
The Seeds - Chocolate River (GNP Crescendo 1977) (Connect 3)
The Toys - A Lover's Concerto (DynoVoice 1965)
Barbara Ruskin - Yesterday's Coffee (President 1972)
Electric Prunes - Ain't It Hard (Reprise 1966) (Two of a Kind)
Electric Prunes - I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) (Reprise 1966) (Two of a Kind)
Nancy Sinatra - Your Groovy Self (Unreleased 1968)
Felder's Orioles - Turn On Your Lovelight (Piccadilly 1965)
Aphrodite's Child - The Four Horsemen (Vertigo 1971)
The Quik - Bert's Apple Crumble (Decca 1967) (show theme)

It'll be doing a Jocknroll Beat special on the 29th and then four weeks of Christmas tracks. Feel free to make any recommendations for either, although I have plenty of tracks to choose from already.

Good day and good health.

The Cat

Saturday, November 07, 2009

When I'm Not Cleaning Windows

Monday 26 October

Wrote a review of Sergeant’s debut album for the Jocknroll blog. It’ll certainly be one of my albums of the year come the time people start making lists of their albums/records/TV shows of the year, which is any time now.

Things have calmed down on the drive to and from work and while I’m still swearing like a trooper in the car at some of the imbeciles who’ve been allowed to grace out roads I’m less inclined to ‘out’ them on Twitter under the #baddriver tag.

Had the gym to myself today. I’ve upped the Shoulder Press by 1 weight and I’ve replaced “the plank” with some sit-ups for a few weeks just to see what difference they make.

Today is the first day of Daddy Cabs picking up both girls on the same run. I now pick K up from a more stress-free train station. By that I mean that I don’t get wound up by witnessing lazy people parking in Disabled bays or blocking off other vehicles because (a) they can’t be bothered to find a parking space (it’s hardly the biggest car park in the world) and (b) they can’t walk the length of themselves (some of them could do with the exercise – since when is being fat and lazy a disability?) There are always plenty of spaces at the new station and the journey to and from is generally less stressful.

Having checked the questions for the quiz night I realise that despite adding an extra audio round there are actually less points available than last year! Last year’s quiz went really quickly and there some grumbles about that. In a panic I write some more questions.

Tuesday 27 October

The evening was spent preparing this Sunday’s radio show and giving some thought to my entry for the HBA awards. I was well chuffed to be nominated last year and I know I'll need to improve for this year’s awards. With the awards being in Erskine, along the M8, he station are keen to get as many entries in as possible. Whether we win or get any nominations is another story. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday 28 October

My first #baddriver in a wee while this morning as SN02 ZBV proves time and time again on the route from Barnton to Craigleith that the concept of indicating is an alien one to him. It’s okay, mate, we’re all mind readers capable of knowing exactly what you’re going to do next. Cock!

My daughter was complaining of headaches. Just as I was giving her some Calpol in her bed, she threw up all over the carpet, the bed and me. The smell and mess were not pleasant. Scrambled eggs everywhere! That wasn’t the end of it but I’ll leave it there.

Thursday 29 October

I’m knackered. Maybe all this gym work is taking its toll or maybe I’m not getting enough sleep but I’m exhausted. Last night’s clean up took it out of me and I didn’t sit down until 10pm, which is normally when I prepare for bed. I watched “Never Mind The Buzzcocks to wind down and then trundled off to bed.

Parking at work is at a premium at the moment due to roadworks. What? Roadworks in Edinburgh? Shurley shome mishtake! At 0618 I got myself parked and took a walk to the nearest cash machine. My attention was drawn to a sticker on the machine as I typed in my PIN. It said “Cash Machine Best Practice”. I don’t know if it was the patronising tone suggesting I wasn’t smart enough to hide my own PIN number from prying eyes or the use of “best practice”, the type of office bullshit wankspeak that drives me up the wall, but it annoyed me. “Best practice” is up there with “equality impact assessment”, “competency framework” and “360 degree appraisal” when it comes to corporate tosh. Almost as bad as L’Oreal’s made up ingredients – Boswelox, Pro-Tensium, Pro-Retinol A…Even Avon are at it now.

Monday 2 November

I just can’t get used to these early starts and although the alarm is set for 5.30am I still have an annoying habit of waking up at 4am!

Did crap on University Challenge. I get annoyed that it makes me feel stupid, even though I’m not (honest). It doesn’t help when she-who-must-be-obeyed reels off answer after answer.

Tuesday 3 November

Took a half-day so I could (a) meet Flick’s new teacher and (b) put some work into my HBA awards entry. The chat with the new teacher was rather brief – I spent more time talking to the Head – but worthwhile in terms of putting a face to the name. Apparently Flick is regarded as “a bit of a character”. I think (and hope) that’s a good thing. I also wonder if every school is like Waterloo Road or Grange Hill. I do hope not.

Wednesday 4 November

Taking an hour off work so I can trail to Glenrothes to pick up a parcel that was undelivered yesterday. Only complaint is that the card didn’t specify whom the parcel was for and if ID was required. Luckily, it was for me and I had my driving licence. Considering the out-of-the-way location of the depot it would be a bit of a pain if someone had arrived with little or no ID or to find that the parcel wasn’t for them but a spouse or family member and then have to trail back home for ID. I only took one wrong turn on the way back to Dunfermline! Glenrothes is a warren of roundabouts and “sneaky” roads and I never leave there without taking some sort of "detour".

After an hour at home Daddy Cabs is back out on the road to collect Flick (today she has left her bag at school) and the Good Lady Wife. We then have less than an hour at home before we have to head out again. I drop the girls off at Rainbows/Guides and head off on the A92 to Kirkcaldy for a VRN meeting to discuss the HBA awards and who will be entered in which category. I’ve put together an entry for the Best Specialist Music category but after the meeting I decide it needs amending to give more emphasis to the mod/soul element of it. I’ve also volunteered a possible entry in the Speech category, using five minutes from the Andrew Collins interview I did in August.

On the way home some twat decides to tailgate me while sticking his full beams on. The lights didn’t seem legal – there was a blue tinge around the outside – and the ferocity of them was blinding. Cock!

Watched “Never Mind The Buzzcocks and Jamelia, whose music I’m rather indifferent to, was hilarious. During the Identity Parade round she said she knew the answer because the person in the line-up had tried to sell a story on her to the press! Priceless.

Thursday 5 November

Same shit, different day. it's amazing the effect all this exercise is having on me. I'm so much more industrious, concentrating better and generally more efficient and not wasting a minute.

Once again I had the gym to myself. Do I smell? Well, I don't when I first go in.

Made a “Girls! Girls! Girls!” compilation for a colleague. You always hope someone likes a compilation you've made them. I still put as much work into a CD compilation as I ever did with the cassette equivalents. It's just a lot quicker now.

Friday 6 November

E-mailed our property management to point out that a neighbour was parking his car on a piece of grass that we all the local residents pay maintenance for. He usually has three, sometimes four, vehicles parked around his house (and I don't just mean "normal" cars) and he's decided that the one piece of grass in the street (bar everyone's own gardens) is now his. It isn't. He's now badly churned up the grass and the irony is that he's a green keeper! I've never really had a problem with him until now. It'll be interesting to see if the property management, who get a big annual fee from residents both to pull their finger out. My issue is not so much the damage done but the prospect of the bill being passed on to all the residents instead of the perpetrator of the damage.

Saturday 7 November

A very industrious morning and by 9am I'd fed the birds (well, filled the feeders) , de-iced the car, taken the mountain of recycling to Tesco, drunk to cups of coffee and eaten boiled eggs on toast. Listened to the fabulous "Sounds of the Sixties" between 8 and 10 and then turned over to BBC6Music where Andrew Collins and Richard Herring were sitting in for Adam and Joe. Did my radio listening while preparing tomorrow's radio show. Realised that I had pencilled two tracks by Scott Walker and Cher so I've binned one Cher track ("Twelfth of Never") but as one of the Scott Walker tracks was from Scott 4, which was released under his real name on Noel Scott Engel, I'm playing both of those. My show, my rules.

It's going to be an Andrew Collins sort of day because later I'm going to cut my 31 minute interview with him down to 5 minutes as a possible entry for the HBA awards.

Spooky or what? My neighbour, the green keeper, has started to attempt to patch up the deep tyre tracks on the grass but it looks like he's taking turf from another part of the same piece of land! Does he think no-one will notice? Hmm, interesting.

The window cleaner climbs over the side fence before realising that it wasn't actually locked! One of these days, I'll get around to cleaning them on the inside!

Make the fatal mistake of sitting down to watch 5 minutes of a game only to see a pulsating 45 minutes between Swansea and Cardiff fly by. It's 2-2 at the break after a thrilling first half.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

The Cat on "Where The Action Is" Kirkcaldy VRN 1287AM - Sunday 1 November 2009

After last Sunday's Hallowe'en show, we're back to a "normal" one:

Mark Wirtz Orchestra & Chorus - I Can Hear Music (Decca 1969)
The Quik - Bert's Apple Crumble (Decca 1967) (show theme)
Sam and Dave - I Thank You (Stax 1968)
Herman's Hermits - No Milk Today (Columbia 1966)
The Staple Singers - When We Will Be Paid (For The Work We've Done) (Stax 1969)
Jan and Dean - Like A Summer Rain (J&D 1966)
Little Milton - We're Gonna Make It (Checker 1965)
The Beas - International Girl (Chattahoochee, Year Unknown)
Helen Shapiro - Queen for Tonight (Columbia 1963) (Connect 3)
Ike & Tina Turner - Mojo Queen (Sue 1963) (Connect 3)
Georgia Lynn - Sugar Shack Queen (Challenge 1963) (Connect 3)
Yvonne Baker & The Sensations - Party Across The Hall (Argo 1962)
The Beatstalkers - A Love Like Yours (Decca 1966)
Traffic - Rock n Roll Stew (Island 1971) (Birthday: 1/11/46 Ric Grech, bass)
Roger & The Gypsies - Pass The Hatchet (Seven B, 1965)
The Slickers - Johnny Too Bad (Trojan 1970)
Anne Kern - Tant Pis, Tant Pis Entre Donc (Come On In) (Ducretet Thomson) (Foreign Language)
Chris Farlowe - Yesterday's Papers (Immediate 1967)
Booker T and the MGs - Green Onions (live) (Volt 1962) (Half-Time Instrumental)
Mitty Collier - Help Me (Chess 1965)
Ginger Davis & The Snaps - I'm No Run Around (Rollercoaster 1961)
The Beach Boys - Forever (Brother 1970) (The A to Z of The Beach Boys - F)
The Beach Boys - Fun Fun Fun (Capitol 1964) (The A to Z of The Beach Boys - F)
The Who - Barbara Ann (Polydor 1966)
Fontella Bass - Safe and Sound (Checker 1966)
The Slingbacks - Hot On My Heels (Vinyl Japan 1993) (Under The Influence)
Erma Franklin - Light My Fire (Brunswick 1969)
The Liverbirds - Shop Around (Star-Club 1964)
Debbie Dean - Don't Let Him Shop Around (Motown 1961)
Barbara Carr - My Mama Told Me (Chess 1966) (Connect 3)
Mama Cass - California Earthquake (Dunhill 1967) (Connect 3)
Etta James - Tell Mama (Cadet 1967) (Connect 3)
The Action - Little Boy (Unreleased 1967/1968)
The Shangri-las - Hate To Say I Told You So (Sokane 1964)
Eddie Floyd - I'll Take Her (Stax 1967) (Two of a Kind)
Eddie Floyd - Big Bird (Stax 1967) (Two of a Kind)
Jo Ann Garrett - (I've Decided On) A Whole New Plan (Chess 1966)
Nicky Scott - Backstreet Girl (Immediate 1967)
Irma Thomas - Long After Tonight Is All Over (Imperial 1964)
The Quik - Bert's Apple Crumble (Decca 1967) (show theme)

It'll be doing a Jocknroll Beat special on the 29th and then four weeks of Christmas tracks. Feel free to make any recommendations for either, although I have plenty of tracks to choose from already.

Good day and good health.

The Cat