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Thursday, June 30, 2005


Tories defeated in their bid to give low paid workers lung cancer!

This very afternoon the Scottish Parliament voted to outlaw tobacco smoking in all enclosed public places. This Bill goes head and shoulders further than the wussy thing proposed for England and Wales, and is little short of a landmark example for the rest of the UK.

Clearly other countries have been doing this for ages, and clearly also Mr Blair and his English government are more concerned about their friends in business than in the health of the (low-paid) nation. Especially recall the reported views of Doctor Mister John Reid when he was Health Secretary. "Poor people enjoy cigarettes."

So here is the report on the afternoon's vote, taken from BBC Ceefax. There is a Scotsman online article, but the reporter Hamish Brown clearly understands neither "unanimous" nor "Executive". Tony my IT Manager has already written to the Scotsman editor to complain, so I won't bother.
"A ban on smoking in bars, restaurants and all public places has been approved by MSPs at Holyrood. (The Scottish Parliament).

The Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Bill will come into force on 26 March 2006.

Heath Minister Andy Kerr said the ban would help smokers give up and protect other people from passive smoking.

The ban was approved by 97 votes to 17 with only the Conservatives opposed." BBC Ceefax
What are my views? Well - if I can stop smoking after 46 years at 30 a day then anyone can. Two years free next month, and I hate the filthy things. So obviously I have no sympathy for smokers whatsoever. Hell mend them and their smelly ways.

Here's to clean pubs! Thank you Scottish Parliament! (That's almost certainly the only matter achieved, at all - ever - for the zillions of pounds we've spent on the damn parliament.)

Tony, my IT manager
Diamond Geezer
The Scotsman

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Watched Dog Soldiers last night on Channel Five, mainly because of a good crit in Radio Times. (Not wanting to be snobbish, but RT is worth every bawbee of the 93 pence - so wonderfully rounded up from eighteen and sixpence.) And do you know - I stayed with it right to the end, even despite eight ad breaks and a news bulletin. (They sure know how to ruin a good flick on Channel five.)

Por qua? First, it was worth watching, unlike almost every single Britflick I can think of - a category which almost never rises above students' graduation show. (Except Shirley Valentine.) And secondly - all except one actor was unknown to me, especially the quite stunning Kevin McKidd. Gay male readers (and there are a couple) will just go phwoaaar! Ladies might well likewise. Whatever lights your candle.

(You know, maybe it was because of all the breaks Dog Soldiers was watchable... time to make a sandwich, put a washing on, take a leak, etc. But I do draw the line at watching the news in the middle of a damn movie.) Unspeakable. I mean, who cares? We're all hardened beyond human response.

*Neil Marshall, the writer/director has The Descent currently all over the sides of buses. Plus, a still picture doesn't do justice to McKidd's oomph. (It's to do with the voice, dear.)

More Movies

The other two movies are short indeed, and are on andre's beautiful site. Performance pieces in which andre uses his talent, his depression and his despair to make undeniable art. Not fiction, and not easy. But I would say unmissable. Fucking brilliant, if you'll pardon the vernacular.

Two Storms In A Teacup

Bigups to Alan of Oddverse (there was a time he was the only Alan) who has restored us to his blogroll. Thanks, dude - but you really shouldn't. Clean break. Out with the old.

But seeing as you have, then I guess I'll just have to try to provide some decent copy for your readers. (I'm so unused to anyone listening to a word I say.) That's why I became a bingo caller.

Second - it's raining out there, which should hopefully damp down the pollen for a good part of the day. Rain! I fucking love it, me!! Shirt sleeves, umbrella and breathe, breathe, breathe!

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Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Shady Pines, here we come!
(A warm welcome to visitors from A Beautiful Revolution. Andre's much better at sincerity than I am, but maybe you still might find something to tantalise your tittilations. We're in Leith, near Edinburgh, Scotland.)
Alan of Oddverse "prunes old friends" from his blogroll in favour of the "coolest kids in the kitchen". Then he goes and writes that in mike's comment box for max publicity. Hmmm.

Shame. Alan and I go way back in blogterms, back to Cyberpumpkin, back to my once cutting edge Tagboard, back to glorious young Dark Informer, you name it. And now pruned - like something out of Soylent Green, Logan's Run, or perhaps more typically, the Golden Girls.

Shame, as I say - but way back isn't now, and blogrolls do have to change, evolve, or the alternative would be Andrex. Nevertheless, out of recognition of the closeness we did once enjoy, Alan will continue to hold his place in my "These We Have Loved" section, the very Mount Rushmore of blogorrhoea.

No greater love. And never let it be said our response has been anything less than mature, even though - if I were he - I would do just a couple more snips with those B and Q garden shears.

Hi Ho Silver Lining

Fun and games with Babs yesterday, first in the Port with Alex (she asked him if he chugs off to his new "biker" photos), and then Fisher's at the Shore. Babs doesn't like to dangle over the water edge, so we chose instead a pavement seat beside a huge wandering sailor in a concrete pot. Tres civilised, mixing it up with the middle classes. You can maybe see the pair of us outside the round building centre left.

Work today, for one day only, then must tackle Mount St. Arthur again on Thursday. I'm keeping to once a week, pro tem, till my left knee is restored to the rudest of rude. These knees are vital to my future. I'm now just on the Tubigrip every second day.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2005


The pollen goes on and on. Who could dream of counting it? Never, ever thought I'd be praying for rain on my days off. Rain!

Went in to Boots yesterday and told the pharmacist that her "buy one, get one free" Hay Fever Remedy (take one a day) wasn't working any more. Jill in the Port says exactly the same. Try this, the pharmacist said. Or this. Or you could try an inhaler. This one's got steroids - this one hasn't.

Roid Rage

Well, there are some things I'll put up my nose, but a steroid (asteroid?) isn't one of them. Instead I plumped for something milder-looking. Otrivine decongestant. (Do not use for more than seven days.) So I squirted it up and immediately sneezed it all back out again. What a state.

Lager Lout

Between my remedies and my lager I can barely remember a thing about yesterday evening. But I seem to have taken some snaps. After I've meditated I'll see if they're worth showing you. How I was put on this planet to suffer.

Thanks for all your comments yesterday on the Bay City Rollers and related. Fascinating stuff. Little Alex loved the bike rally. He bought poppers and a bandana, and Scott took loads of pictures of him in his leathers. I told him about Flickr.

Yesterday's set.


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Monday, June 27, 2005


...and the drugs don't work. Specifically Boots Hay Fever Tablets don't work. (Take one a day.) I can see now why they're on "buy one box get one free", as the second box is exquisitely ineffective. Which all goes to confirm my idea that taking drugs - any drugs - daily just leads to trouble. Me - I even got the horrors from Saint John's Wort. Wouldn't touch it with a bargepole now - rather stick Warfarin straight into my jugular with a dirty needle from a day centre.

"So We Sang Shang-a-Lang..."

Talking of drugs - mike writes evocatively about Les McKeown, the only Bay City Roller who mattered. Oh, the nostalgia. I'd only recently come to live in Edinburgh then, and the entire city was awash with pride and Rollermania. Everywhere you looked. The Rollers put this town on the map in a way that decades of arty festivals had uttterly failed to do, and started a "realising" of the place that two decades later Mr Welsh was to so signally complete.

Mike also compares them to Take That, but I feel the comparison is flawed in that Take That had musicianship from Gary Barlow, and competent experienced management. Whereas Paton seemed only interested in his knob and his bank balance. Allegedly. I've seen him hanging around clubs with rentboy-looking characters half his age. Simpering. "Look who I'm with - he's famous."

So there was never any pretence of talent in the Rollers. It's doubtful if they even played on the records. No - all that was required to keep the bucks flowing was for the girls to keep screaming at McKeown in his shiny white and tartan outfits, ironing-board stomach, and hair bigger than Vesuvius. Glory days. Babs has met him a few times since. She says he's very into coke.

When the Music Stops

Me, I have this soft spot for pop stars who've fallen on hard times. I feel that those who've given so very much joy should never have to beg on street corners for a crust, or the metaphorical equivalent. No - a compassionate state would provide some sort of pension - call it what you will - in gratitude for the good times, and recognition of the utter fickleness of the business.

By all means let them sing themselves into a botox-scented coffin if they wish... a la Cliff Richard... but what happens to those who fall completely off the radar? "Get a job!" I hear you cry... but that's not always possible. Humans are shockingly cruel. It would take someone of superhuman emotional strength to work in a bingo after that.

So - who(m) would you reward with a state honorarium? (As well as me, of course.)

With acknowledgements to mike of troubled diva. Also this Guardian piece by Simon Hattenstone. See also mike's comment box.


Guns on the Streets of Gleneagles

Apparently the G8 security guards are to be allowed free brandishing of their weapons for the duration, in clear violation of Scottish Law. This entire shebang is worrying a lot of people here. Business are closing in fear. There are many who say Geldof is a self-seeking asshole. The Scotsman, related matters

No Conundrum

Richard Whitely is dead. The final countdown. (I still don't believe they didn't sometimes stop the clock - especially for la Vorderman's stunts.) Anyway, that's his clock stopped bigtime now. I think Whiteley's legacy has to be that in showbusiness it's not what you know.

Smoking on Stage

Pro- and anti-smokers might both be interested in this fallout from the sweeping Scottish smoking ban next year, which will prevent actors from smoking on stage, even where the play demands it. The Scotsman

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Sunday, June 26, 2005


...and have you noticed how damn big the spiders are getting? There I was this morning, playing tetris without a care in the world, when suddenly I clocks this movement on the floor in the mess in front of me.
(Regular readers, and unbelievably there are a couple, will be aware that my floor consists of mess with pathways in between. Islands in the stream. This has the double advantage of never, ever requiring cleaning, and also that your back gets bits of exercise as you constantly step over things. Nature in a nutshell. Yin and yang. Do not tinkle like jade, or clatter like stone chimes. I am the eggman.)
"Mouse!" I thought, in alarm.

(The buggers have been away for months now. Richer pickings elsewhere, I reckon.)

But no! There suddenly was a two inch spider, scuttling right towards me. AAAH! I shouts, as I stamp on it without thought. There was no time for thought. I followed the reflex. As a species we're hard-wired to avoid spiders and snakes. Survival.

Yeucch! I thought - as I picked the gruesome remains off my slipper with discarded tissue... there lying ready on the floor already.


So much is happening - it almost makes me want to do something other than drink Guinness in the Regent and climb Arthur's Seat. But only almost. Because in truth all lesser things are gaslight.

Yesterday there was some sort of homosexual shindig called Edinburgh Pride. The Ocean Terminal Mall - often in our tales here - had to get its commercial oar in too with an offshoot called Ocean Pride. One of my trainee callers was DJ-ing there. Spread the love.

In the evening Sir Elton of John was singing at the Hibernian Football Club stadium in Easter Road. Ten minutes away from my bingo (you could hear the tunes), and eleven from my house. All of which gave me a line to die for when opening yesterday evening's session...
"Elton John is on at Easter Road, and I'm on here."
I also told them there was a rumour he might pop in for a quick game. The last star I said that about was Camilla. Both complete lies, of course. We have joy, we have fun.

Babes and Sucklings

A funny thing happened in Greggs the Bakers yesterday, which only Scottish people will understand. The queue was unusually long, and even more exceptionally contained a handsome policeman, redolent with Celtic tats on his muscular arms.

A young man and woman came in behind me. "Busy in here," she said, quite loudly. Her boyfriend and I laughed. "My God - I never meant it!" she declared. The officer remained impassive as the assistant put his strawberry tarts in a box.

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Friday, June 24, 2005


Lazy, hazy, not so crazy evening in the Port. In which Little Alex got teased for his upcoming bikers' weekend. (Not teased by me... oh no... ). And in which lots of nice people posed in front of my all-seeing, David Bailey lens.

Memo to self: this is a literary, not photoblog. Two hours, mas o menos getting about eight pictures on the web. Not time-efficient. Could have done half the first chapter of War and Peace. Flickr kept crashing my computer, which didn't help.

Big huggz from Scotland to Belgium and zed, who celebrates her twins' birthdays today. I wrote a nice comment there, but it got swallowed, as seems to be the norm these last few days. Mothers love their childrens' birthdays, I'm sure. Takes them back.

My own mother got so emotional she actually died on my birthday, but then we always were a dramatic family. (Note to zed: no - it won't happen to you dear. Just be careful crossing the roads.)

Lovely quality time with Stewart my co-presenter on the radio. Everyone's got us tagged as the Grumpy Old Men now! We dangled our legs over the river's edge at the shore - talking 'bout the hopes and dreams we once both had, and the sad realities of how little we've actually achieved. But it wasn't really that sad. Musn't grumble. Both alive and (fairly) well - so what more can you reasonably demand, eh?

Back to the Port then, and a quite astonishingly frank discussion with Scott about this weekend's bike rally - with him driving, Little Alex on pillion, and Andy and Al on bike number two. I will give Scott credit that when he wants something, he stops at nothing to get it. We've been friends for more than twa decades. Have fun, all! Hope the weather holds out. It's in the West of Scotland - that wasteland that God forgot. (Scenery's nice, though.)

(More details about the rally next week, along with photos I'm sure.)

Right - must love you and leave youse all. Got an extra shift on Sunday evening - payback time for the Scottish Blogmeet all that time ago. No such thing as a free blogmeet.

Flickr News

Port People set with yesterday's additions.

Port People Slideshow.

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Thursday, June 23, 2005


Still Life with cheese and ironing boardMusn't take anti-histamine today. Just taking one every second day. Taking stuff every day makes you dependent on it. Look at cocaine.

Plus I'm three pounds heavier in just one week. Yes, three. Must be something to do with water retention and allergy. Hardly eaten a thing - although I must confess to a weakness for block cheese straight out the fridge. (Having teeth means you don't need to waste time and precious resources on knives, plates etc.)

Ah - the joys of living alone. Knew I'd find one eventually. How's yer bum for love-bites?

And talking of love-bites...

...clock this one. It's Scaryduck. Yes, really - and not in the slightest how I'd imagined him.

You know, if I had hormones left to stir... [Ed: that's enough, Peter. I don't care if you're on medication...]

What handsome folks us bloggers are!

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Wednesday, June 22, 2005


So how was it for you? The solstice, I mean. Did the earth move? Did visions of the eternal void flash before your fevered brow, as the north pole dipped its head to the creator sun? For one brief moment in time - and now not again for another year?
I hear Pink Floyd are reforming for a concert. Me, I'm old enough to remember when there was no such word as Floyd.

Floyd, like Bowie and so many others, are artists I completely missed, due to my quitting pop music after Jumping Jack Flash. When the Stones started trying to rehash Satisfaction, the writing was on the wall for the genre. And on the wall it's pretty much stayed.

The reason I mention them is that Pam in the Port was asking what's a reasonable price for tickets for Live 8. I told her Sir Bob would haunt her. In his naivety.
Me, I missed the sunrise, then later missed the solstice itself, (a concept which seemed too advanced for Channel Five, who kept referring to the sunrise as the solstice). There were even flecks of rain, the very idea!

But the afternoon weather boded better, so up the hill I jolly well went, my walk sandwiched between Guinnesses at the really quite excellent Regent Bar. (Now photoed for your enjoyment. Later.) Strange thing, ploughing through tons and tons of grass, after the weekend's hay fever spectacular. But I looked at it real hard (the grass), with a "don't even think about it" attitude, and my bravado won through. Supergrass. Plus I had Boots Hay Fever tablets in my backpack just in case. (Take one a day. But I hadn't taken one.)

Maybe the morning's slight rain had damped it down. You could see the flowering stalky bits waving about - the bits that look like wheat but skinnier. Sal told me the grass is all male these days - it's homosexual - so there's much more (gayish) pollen about. Animation. (Sadly the animation has slowed to practically zero. Best leave for a few days.)

I'm slightly getting used to the idea of sitting in a gay bar like the Regent. (Alan the owner describes it as "straight-friendly".) On the one hand you're surrounded by your own people, but on the other you know they will never, ever talk to you, because you don't talk to old queens in gay bars. Just not done. But still it can be fun, in a nostalgic way, wigging in to the snippets of chat whilst I pretend to examine my dentures. "Flights... hotel... hoachin' wi' talent... never go there again, darling... "

Nice. The way we were.

And the staff can be quite friendly, in a professional way, much as I am with my bingo ladies. I recommend it, in afternoons at least. Never been there at night. Like to be home by eight at the latest.

Jumped on a No 1 bus... five minutes later, sausage supper in North Junction Street, redolent with grease and brown sauce (the food, not the street)... Blue WKD (don't ask) in the Port... told Canadian Ian that he didn't have to talk to me if there was somebody more interesting... "Is it gonna be one of those days" he asked... wrenched myself back from sudden-onset mentalness... to a semblance of sociability... Little Alex joined us with a joint... he's going on a bike rally this weekend with Scott and others.

The way we were.

Photo News

Latest set here. Or maybe the slideshow. Tried yesterday's snaps with the camera set to Normal (360k) rather than Fine (670k), as Fine only allows 12 pictures. All were too dark. I think Flickr darkens things a bit. So I went back and applied brightness, and noted that doubles the file size. It's called Corel Photo House... free with my Scanner. Thanks for the advice on Picasa. I'll check it out. I've now set the camera to EV + 1.2 to see if we can't get brighter pics in the first place. It's rather basic. I was raised on a Canon EOS film camera with automatic perfect everything.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

DAY OF DAYS (Just rejoice.)
"Man you look wasted!" Trevor says to me yesterday at the bar of the Cougar Lounge in Bernard Street. Yorkshire Kriss was with him. It was eleven on the clock. Eye-opener for them... first drink for days for me.

"Nah, Trev - first drink for days for me. What you're seeing is nothing more than rampant hay fever."

He jumped at my choice of words. "Rampant!" he echoes. "Rampant? Fancy a shag?"

"Who with?" I goes, feigning looking over his shoulder and around the place.

Broadest of grins. "Me, darling!!" he goes back at me, hand suddenly on hip.

"'Fraid you'd need sunglasses complete with all the bits on, get near my first base," I gaily riposted.
Trevor's head-topping shades had seen better days. Right leg quite missing. In my youth I probably wouldn't have bothered. Had I been the slightest bit interested.

We sat outside in the near midday sun. Sandra turned up and we did some paperwork, and then parted in a four way split. Me to Boots for antihistamines (post below), via R S McColl where I walked out rather than buy chewing gum from the really quite rude shop assistant.

Don't talk to me about low wages. Still doesn't hurt to say please. I'd done my half of the pleasantness. These sentences are all the same length. Why do I find that so funny?

Oh shit! (There we go... wee bit rhythmic variety for ya.) Motherfucker! (Always gets attention.) Oh shit - I looked forward to the solstice for six months and then missed it by eight minutes this morning. And where was Natasha when I needed her most?

Delighted at all the coverage of the event this year - Channel Five have even commissioned a lifesize, polystyrene Stonehenge... complete with John Suchet and Kate Sanderson. (See more of it tonight.) Years I've campaigned on these pages for some recognition of the natural world, and now at last it seems to have caught on.

And why is that? Because the multi-national superstitions are in decline - in this country at least. There's something tangible, definitely real about a solstice - no virgin births required... and we all like to celebrate something godammit. That's why weddings have been such a hit since the caves.

Half Yearly Audit

It's been good. The boy done good. Great mix of work and play, exercise and rest, good health and occasional naughtiness. Typically the mood stays good until the equinox, after which it's batten down those hatches once again. But you know where you are with depression. Sometimes it's happiness which is the hardest to cope with. It's not a dress rehearsal.

And I leave you as always with...

Sicut erat in principio,
Et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum.

As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be. World without end. Amen.


Took a few more snaps yesterday. Even got some of them organised. Flickr seems great. All of yesterday's masterpieces are untreated, straight out of the camera. Flickr Uploadr does all that tedious compression (typically 670k down to 13k) and sizing for you, but I still think most pics could do with some lightening. Maybe tonight I'll repost them lighter. (Is there any way of lightening or cropping once they're uploaded? There was an editing pencil, but it disappeared not to return.) And how do you get a set of thumbnails on your blog like Richard? (It's Arthur's Seat, of course. Where I lead, etc.) And look at his drop shadows! I'm getting straight back on my learning curve.

Ad-Aware, Spybot, Flickr. You've got to admit I'm wonderful for my age. (In my youth we learned things from books.) How old-fashioned was that?

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Sunday, June 19, 2005


Summer solstice is on June 21 at 06.46 GMT/Universal Time. (via)

Important note: For readers in the UK and Ireland this will be when your clock strikes 7.46 am BST. (Much more civilised. Whoever designed these things knew what they were doing, if you ask me.)

Hoping to be atop Arthur's Seat, along with most of East Central Scotland. Should be pretty crowded up there. Babies might be conceived - but probably not with my DNA. You get that, here.

So have a nice one! Don't do anything I wouldn't do...


As ever, I've been right busy scouting about the place - planting memes wherever they might bear fruit. The meme under immediate discussion is sunrise from Arthur's Seat on the morning of the longest day. Tomorrow. Which would mean an all-nighter, starting in about eight hours time.

Nice one. Been done before, bigtime. Probably since even before speaking caught on. "We'd need lots of drink and drugs," I said to Sandra's man Johnny. "Not at all," he replied. "Just drink would do it. Now mind and you be there, Peter. Dinnae go letting everybody doon!


Had the second impression for my new, soon-to-be-realised, three tooth denture. (Early August.) This morning's appointment also incorporated a filling for Upper Left Two. (We're getting perilously close to the tooth of the last saloon!)


Getting there, I think. Huge urge to climb Mount Saint Arthur this very afternoon, instead of sitting here bleating on at you. Must resist. Exterminate.


Regular aficonados of my organ will be aware there's been of late an olfactory crisis. Sneezing like there was no tomorrow, to put it bluntly. Now - regular readers will also be cognizant of our views on doctors and pharmaceuticals. Doctors make you worse. Glaxo make a profit.
Incidentally, do you know what Eccleston brought to the role that no other actor's ever done, before or clearly since?

Well, I can tell you. Balls. Russell T Davies must have been coming in his knickers.
So for the sneezing I bought some Boots own brand Hay Fever tablets. (One a day.) You wouldn't believe it, but my first legal drug for nearly quarter of a century - and there they were on buy one box, get one free. The moment I exited the shop I spied Bernice one of my bingo ladies, and wasted no time in giving her the renegade box. Get one free! The very idea.

"So what's Loratadine when it's at home?" I asked of the very well-paid pharmacist. "And how long's it been around?"

"Quite some time," she rejoindered, clearly having no idea. "But it's non-drowsy. Take one a day."

"And I've had a drink of beer already," I asked of this prim young lady - she much as I might have been myself, had God but endowed me with a different set. "Will that be all right, too?"

"Oh yes," she said. "It's non-drowsy. Not like Piriton. Take one a day."

Loratadine. We shall see. Side effects include: fatigue, nausea, headache, loss of hair, allergic reaction, abnormal heart rate, fainting and liver changes. You're almost better off sneezing, if you ask me. And at least you know where you are with a nice line.


Readers must excuse these mental musings. Mental as anything. Today and tomorrow are the days the SAD people live for - the very and only reason we can continue to live in the darkest December hours. Forgive me. Indulge me. Maybe I'll get my solstice sunrise photo on BBC Breakfast beside Natasha and her sofa. In these small ways...

I love you more than you can begin to think.

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Grass pollen count is higher than a kite, and I'm suffering. Work yesterday was a comic opera, trying to call the bingo with streaming eyes and nose. Fortunately they're in "eyes down" mode most of the time!

Today seems a little better, more breathable, but I'd better stay indoors. Arthur's Seat beckons into my window, but there are kilotonnes of grass between me and the summit. What is it about pollen? I feel steamrollered!

OK - I know - it's a living protein or summat. But where's the natural selection? Survival of the greenest?
Caveman 1 (Ug): Sorry dudes - can't come on the mammoth hunt today... too much damn sniffing. Think I'll stay home and invent antihistamine.

Caveman 2 (Og): No problem at all, Ug. We'll risk our lives dicing with the tigers while you stay home and paint on the cave walls like those faggots in the next valley. Then we'll give you some nice juicy steaks.
I can just see it. Not.

No - almost certainly "hay fever" is a modern construct, the result of overly clean living. Maybe it's a mild version of the thing that gives you Multiple Sclerosis. You would think that residing in filth as I do would give some protection, some immunity, as it does from digestive disorders, but not today, Josephine. Hygiene hypothesis and hay fever...


Talking of medicines, I noted on the news that they've invented some latest anti-cancer wonder drug. This'll be a financial disaster, if it works. Because (a) it'll cost a fortune... seller's market... name your price. And (b) having vast swathes of people living longer will cost yet another fortune in pensions and social provision. That's why cigarettes are so important to governments, in the way they slice people off at about sixty. (And of course that's why governments only pretend to try to get people to stop smoking.)

Nicotine patches are fantastic for this. Almost completely useless, but doctors still have to prescribe them, resulting in a net transfer of millions of public pounds to their pals in the pharmaceutical multis. Brilliant. Exquisitely brilliant. You couldn't etc.


Which is just about what happened. I really didn't get that much from last night's final episode of Doctor Who. Blaring music almost throughout - always a sign of a show in trouble - no real resolution of the BadWolf thing... even though this had been promised. (In fact - so much of this series has been trailed and promised that there were virtually no cliffs left to hang from.) Not so much does Eccleston die as how does he die? And that, in the end, was the most anti of climaxes.

Or am I expecting too much? Has this one really been the best series ever?

(There were some good bits though. Rose Tyler as yellow-streaming God was quite a sight. Jack kissing Eccleston right on the gob was startling, but then it is Russell T Davies.) Mrs Whitehouse would have infarcted on the very carpet at that. Sometimes I think there's a touch of the Whitehouse about me.

And that's it for today, folks, unless you want to read more about my Spyware adventures. In which our intrepid explorer (brilliantly played by Sir John Mills and a cable modem) does battle with the Badwolves of Cyberspace, armed only with his trusty Spybot: Search and Destroy Exterminator.

Spybot Search and Destroy

Thanks to those several who put me on to this one, as a "belt and braces" solution along with Ad Aware.

Sadly the installation (just two hours ago) wasn't as straightforward as AA, and my computer crashed when the Wizard got to "Download latest updates". So it might not be fully installed. Don't know what to do. Never seemed to get Tea Time. Can't access the updates.

Nevertheless, we're now no longer the proud owner of Back Web Lite (29 items), Wild Tangent (5 items), and Alexa related (1 item).

Don't know if you've had Back Web Lite yourself, but Spybot doesn't automatically tick its removal boxes. So I found this page, which tells me BWL comes with just about everything, and not to worry.

Wild Tangent had a registry entry which threw up a dialog, unfortunately distorted and incomplete. When I clicked the button I thought correct, there appeared a yellow popup saying resident change denied. There was also something in C:\windows\wt\wcmdmgr.exe

Too, too much for a white lady. I need help. Specifically...

How can I get Spybot to access the updates? (Ad Aware had no problem at all with its.) How can I get Teatime? Should I uninstall and attempt to reinstall?

All these problems are giving me a boil under my right eye. I can feel it firming up as I speak. How gruesome will that look for the Solstice?

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Saturday, June 18, 2005

"I was five and he was six,
We rode on horses made of sticks."
Exquisite. Perfect. Someone actually wrote that. Can you imagine the feeling?

(In a bizarre, post-modern trail campaign the BBC are using that song to promote a tennis tournament. For me it just illustrates how much more Cher has given to the world than has Wimbledon.)

And you say? (13)   Link to this

Friday, June 17, 2005


Back to work on Wednesday, and that - the thing I'd been worrying about the most - was fine. Just fine. My bingo ladies are a reliable treat.
"Here, you ... do ye ken what happened... "

"Gonnae get ma water for me, Peter... with ice... thank you son..." (It's astonishing being called "son" at 58, but you get used to it. I'm sure my mother is beaming down from Heaven at her replacements.)

"Where've you been? Watcha mean you needed a holiday?"

"Ah never had a shout while you were off. Not one."

"Ah've had three shouts while you were off. Nae chance now you're back."
My working life's all been in "high-contact" environments. I think constant interaction must keep you alert. The thought of sitting at a desk all day, like so many of you do, would drive me nuts - even more nuts. And that's what stymies all my book-writing plans... the sheer, unremitting isolation required. Probably it's all just substitute for something... but what the heck... I never asked to be so alone. And a substitute can be better than a nothingness void.

Which brings us neatly to...

Drink is the answer...

...what was the question? (Can't beat the golden oldies!)

Reading this weblog over the last couple of weeks must have been about as stimulating as watching a slow-motion train crash.

What can I say?

We all get our bad times, and some of you blogwriters go quiet then. Laugh, and the world laughs with you. But me, I tend to continue, as writing upset, writing fed up, writing in despair presents certain challenges. It's some variety, some change from the norm, which is "reasonably OK, thank you."

Warts and all. Andre is brilliant at depression, but that doesn't make his life any nicer. Just gives us some adoration of his writing skills.

These things are good, but they must come to some end, some time. As I wrote ages ago to Steve, people come to weblogs mainly to be entertained. And pain isn't really a sustainable entertainment. (Except to sadists, I suppose.) The last few weeks have had more emotions than a Macbeth cauldron, but I think, just maybe, the trough is now empty, and the farm-light beckons over the rim.

Some of you were deeply kind. Thank you. Some not - but you surely can't win em all. Comment box love is something quite new, and we all grope and learn as we go along with this helter skelter of New Communication. (Weblogging can from now no longer be called "new media". It is more than a medium, it's a way of life. C'est la vie.)

But - just to prove NB doesn't all have to be about me - I now want to elevate something my friend Tony wrote at the time of the radio drama. (So many dramas of late!) Although it's addressed to me, it also applies in the greater or lesser degree to many other weblog writers.

Comment Box Love...
"It genuinely baffles me why you constantly seem to attack friends who genuinely like you. And then take solace in the comments of readers here who neither know you in person, or realise how you actually behave in the real world." Tony my IT Manager
Whadya reckon? About you, for a change, not me?

And you say? (22)   Link to this


Alerted by mike to a possible spyware threat emanating from the Big Blogger server, I did my research yesterday, and quite quickly discovered a spyware/adware solution which is completely free.

Ad-Aware SE Personal
Build 1.06r1

It's got a lovely interface, and looks for all the world like something costing 29.99. The scan took 24 minutes, and oh boy was I being tracked!

An Alexa toolbar (which I know I never wittingly installed) had 2 registry keys and 6 registry entries. (These are called objects.)

Possible Browser Hijack attempts eight objects also.

Between them they'd set up 1282 tracking cookies on my hard disk. (I'm on a learning curve.)

Here's what it says about Alexa:
  • Operates in stealth
  • Use and creation of tracking cookies
  • Tracks the user's surfing habits
  • Personal information present in URLs may be tracked. (Presumably this includes my online banking. Eek!)
  • Further advice:

    I think, but can't be sure, that Alexa emanates from

    Similarly, Possible Browser Hijack Attempts seems to come from (Some time back I think I bought a game from them for 20 quid. Paying to get infected!)

    Do NOT attempt to visit those sites. I would also reluctantly suggest waiting till the Big Blogger* server is thoroughly cleaned before popping in there again. Do Endemol suffer like this?

    Free Ad-Aware download.

    Spyware comparisons.


    *Important Update: Thanks to mike of troubled diva, I'm now assured (comment box below) that the problem in the Big Blogger template has been removed, and it's now snow white. Nip over and say hello to the housemates! It's interactive!

    And you say? (10)   Link to this

    Wednesday, June 15, 2005

    CONSTITUTION STREET - The way we were, summer 2005

    Occurred to me during the night that maybe you'd like to know how all the others are getting on these balmy summer days. Make a change from bleating on about myself, eh? (Talking of which, it's back to work in just over two hours, a broken and exhausted man after my holiday.) It's the rich wot gets the pleasure...
  • Babs is inflaming her firemen's appetites with the hautest cuisine they've ever had. Tortilla wrap, chargrilled chicken Caesar salad, you name it - Babs has put it on the plate. They adore her. The way to a man's heart is surely via a menu. But she did get understandably upset when one of the firemen referred to her chips as "darkie's lips". And then used the term "nig-nog". And he was the racism liaison officer.

  • Big Straight Al has made tons of progress in hospital, and can now bounce happily from his bed into his wheelchair nae bother at all. He looks better, more cheerful, less drugged, and so far hasn't succumbed to MRSA. I nearly tipped him out of his wheelchair, which wouldn't have helped, but fortunately he managed to grab on. Well - nobody told me they don't go up little steps.

  • Gwen is gloriously into her second trimester. It's to be Emmy for a girl, and Harry for a boy. (Presumably not Harry Pothead.) She's adoring every moment of her new condition, and so far has had no adverse symptoms at all.

  • Mary the landlady said she wasn't disappointed about not getting a Birthday Honour. I told her there was no justice. Dame Mary of Moriarty. You read it first here.

  • Tony my IT Manager is happily adjusting to being a father of four. There would seem to be no foreseeable end to his fertility.

  • Sandra my Personal Manager keeps busy sorting out her studio for her new business venture, Creative Ceramics. Likewise Robin (DCMBIASQN), and stepson Guiseppe are making a great start with their business Perfectly Plastered. Everyone's going to be so rich!

  • Little Alex, on the other hand, last night was wailing that he's at "rock bottom" again. From time to time he does this, as it gets him lots of sympathy from nice young women. And middle-aged homosexuals, who flock to his side. "Rock bottom, man. Rock bottom."
  • So we all piled into the new Bar Java next door, and met the owner, Alan, who's decidedly sexy, although I didn't tell him that. Have you noticed how bar owners look like ordinary people these days? At one time they were like something out of Dickens. (Not you, Mary!)

    Then Little Alex piled back into Mary's and dragged some of her customers away to fill up Alan's bar. Robin came in, and John Macaulay (who I now get on great with), Guiseppe the young plasterer, and Ian from British Columbia. Ian is an English graduate, but still enjoys Naked Blog. Bar Java. Constitution Street. Try it. Fantastic electric backdrop to the bar service area. I'll photo it for you soon.

    Big Blogger: it's voting time, and you have to vote to evict someone. Frankly I can't think of anything more cruel, but there ya go. Life mirrors art. I won't be voting.

    And you say? (5)   Link to this

    Tuesday, June 14, 2005


    Oh dear. I seem to be evicted form the "Big Blogger House" already. For refusing to complete task two. Here it is...
    Big Blogger did hope that you were paying attention earlier when he was sure he saw a dodo creep into the garden and steal the remains of a bacon sandwich from Girl's discarded breakfast plate. Big Blogger thinks that Mr Oddie should be made fully aware of this discovery forthwith. Your next task is to write to the Springwatch programme through this [BBC site] link and inform them of your discovery, the letter must bear no mention of this site or the task. You must also copy your post to the Big Blogger site.

    The first one with a genuine reply posted back to this site will be immune from eviction this week.
    I'll be quite honest - this had occupied my mind on and off during the day, as various forms of letter formulated in my head.

    But when it came to the nitty gritty - sitting down and writing what is basically a lie to a respected and responsible institution, the words just wouldn't come, so after deliberation I offered to leave the game and my offer was accepted by the organisers.

    Unfortunately I also wrote unkindly about those who did choose to complete this task, for which I fully apologise both here and in the BB comment box. There's no more I can do.

    There've been interesting reactions, most of them on the side of "it's only a joke, so it doesn't matter". Some, though, did confess to being uneasy or queasy about the project, but completed it anyway.

    Will top editors be flashing open chequebooks for my story, a la Germaine Greer? Somehow I seriously doubt it!

    Jack*son is innocent

    Elvis has left the building

    Times I think I've left the planet

    Work tomorrow

    What a ruination of a holiday

    I think it's gonna rain today

    Yesterday I paid nearly eight pounds for a temporary filling which stayed in for 35 minutes. No misleading claims there, then.

    And you say? (7)   Link to this

    Monday, June 13, 2005


    So fucking fed up it's unbelievable.

    Can't go on trying to service two websites with content.

    And go to the dentist. And visit Big Straight Al in hospital. And fight off attacks from other bloggers. (Especially when I'm "assured" that attacks aren't really attacks and it's all my fault for reacting. My fault. Now where have I heard that before?) Always my fault. Drama queen, as Tony informed me just this very evening.

    Others have valid views and arguments - me, I only have drama queendom. And you wonder why I despair.

    Anyway - of course you want to know about Big Straight Al. Of course you want to read what little Alex is up to.

    Well you can't. My ass belongs to Big Blogger. Or rather it did.

    Because moments ago I pretty well resigned from that - in the least possible dramatic way you could imagine. (Plus I was getting far too many hits therefrom, and I can't afford the thousand I already get from Natasha Kaplinsky naked.) (Which I haven't got, but you try telling Google that.)

    Task one I completed just fine.

    Task two required you to send a fake letter to the BBC, and I'm not prepared to do that. Dishonesty with a capital D and I'm just not going there.

    Others obviously have far fewer scruples, so Hell mend them. I'm out of it. Bye!

    And you say? (9)   Link to this

    Sunday, June 12, 2005


    Right now - as I speak - Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting and other stuff - is reading at the Leith Dockers' Club. World exclusive reading, which is six minutes from my home and host to the last fortnight's horrors of Leith FM.

    But back to basics.

    Trainspotting was never about trains. It was a jaikie* term for dossing* the night away in a ruined railway station - long since abandoned, but maybe - just maybe - dry enough and warm enough for the night.

    Mr Welsh was bound-breaking. Cannot be denied. Single-handedly trashed for ever the Muriel Spark historical nonsense of how Edinburgh used to be. Miss Jean Brodie.

    In his book he did drugs. He did HIV - new-ish as it then was - and brought a new written Leith dialect to the public - writing about the seamy side of Edinburgh - and that's about what he did. No more McIlvanney was needed - now we had our own local scribe right here right now.

    Missed him!

    Moments ago - not even in the eighties - but just two pints ago - I popped in to the Port and told them Irvine Welsh is appearing in the Dockers' club and they told me he'd been there in that very pub until half an hour ago. The pub where so many of his stories were dictated to him. The pub which stars in Porno. Missed him again - after all these decades.

    Mr Welsh has made a fortune out of Leith people and well deserved. But that was then.

    But what I've never, ever said before on this website is that a decade before Mr Welsh there was another novel - penned by yours truly - about drugs and sex and the seamy side of Edinburgh. The novel which might have made it but didn't. The failure by which I judge the latter part of my life.

    Still got it. Main baby. But back then the publishers couldn't go there. Shocking Edinburgh? The very idea! And no way will it see daylight now.

    Mellow Drama

    I hear some tedious drama queen in England is doing a number on me on his website. Do seek help for these rages, darling. Most unbecoming at your age. And think about your blood pressure.

    We've had all this before from other psychos, you know. Honeyed words. Sticks and stones. Try meditation - it does wonders for me.

    *jaikie... alcoholic man or woman
    *dossing... sleeping rough

    How I suffer for my gratia artis.

    And you say? (8)   Link to this

    Saturday, June 11, 2005

    SATURDAY! (Saturday!)

    Yes, it's true. Those here for the long haul will know that whilst they're availing themselves of everything the leisure industry can throw at them today, your favourite blogger is normally hard at work actually furnishing such to the cream of Leith's old ladies. At the bingo. Saturday is our hardest and busiest day.

    But today is different. Today we're on holiday!

    Holidays are a thing that wealthy people go abroad on, and poor people stay home for but spend even more money than abroad, with abroad being so cheap. So they get even poorer and have to shop at Crazy George.

    BIG BLOGGER 2005

    Enough waffle. Scene setting. Let's get straight to Big Blogger. Yes, it's true. With being so busy on the radio last week I haven't even done my first task yet. Risk of eviction. Frisk of security guards, hunky in black uniforms over their hard young bodies. Here's the first task.
    Your first task in the Big Blogger house is as follows:

    Please introduce yourself to the watching public in whichever way you see fit.

    Please be sure to spare no detail and include information on the attire you entered the house in, the things you brought in your suitcase, what qualities you will be bringing to the house, what your persona in the house will be like and anything in particular that the viewers should be looking out for.

    Finally tell us about the prize you will be giving to the winner and why you have selected it.

    You have until midnight on Sunday to complete this task. If you could all end your post with your name as it is in the sidebar - so that the viewers know who has written it.

    If anyone has any problems posting then please email myself or BBLB.

    There will be no eviction this week.

    Big Blogger will be watching though.
    And you thought this was gonna be a walk in the park, didn't you? I'm still having trouble with the present. Ever since I first bought my mother a birthday present - when I was about four - and she said she didn't like it and I had to take it back to the shop, I've had such difficulty picking gifts. Get total anxiety. (And you wonder why I have the occasional emotional problem? Honey - you ain't heard the half of it! Nor need you.)

    Aber genug. (Did you see Hazlewood on Ludwig van last night, btw? Fucking ace. He's obviously learned from what we wrote here on the previous Mozart fiasco.) (Can't find a BBC page about it. How odd.)

    Me, I should be performing elswhere right now, and BB2005 is in the Murdoch Press already. (Like Julie Burchill. Does anybody still read her?) Technically I should resign over that, but wtf. I can swallow my ethics as quick as the next man.

    See you in the Big Blogger House!

    And you say? (8)   Link to this

    Friday, June 10, 2005


    Today will probably be my last ever broadcast, and I can't say it's not before time. Whereas others have sailed through the fortnight seemingly having a whale of a time, I've been holed up entirely alone defending myself against attack and ridicule.

    Machts nicht. Fifty years from now, they'll look at ancient photographs of what was once the natural skyline in these parts - there since the earth cooled down - and they will curse us to the Gods for being the generation which sat back and did nothing to stop the rape of that in the name of profit.

    And every entity, every concern which took the poisoned shilling and shut up is guilty in greater or lesser part.

    Judge yourselves now.

    Anyway - to lighter matters. Lunch in the Cameo with Sandra yesterday. We had our usual of Eggs Ratzinger for me and Gruyere pannini for her. There was a third luncher, whom Sandra invited right in front of my face so I couldn't say no. This is manipulative, but I didn't make a scene. Been enough of them this week already.

    After lunch a nutter in the Port (it attracts them) kept interjecting and commenting on our various conversations. We said they were private conversations. He said it was a public bar. Alex the barman couldn't wait to get rid of him. Babs and her fella came in for a refuelling stop. What we call in Scotland "topping up". Came and went.

    Director General

    Tony came in and we talked about the radio station, not surprisingly. He's station manager and holds the licence. I know our show must be shite because T always says he hasn't heard it. Whereas he can quote almost every word from every other show. Stewart my co-presenter came in but we didn't fall out. It was the first social moment with him in the entire fortnight.

    Stevie Sticks was there and Robert his co-presenter but they didn't speak. What is it about co-presenting? Well, I can tell you. There are two seats, the "topman" seat and the "bitch" seat. The topman has all the sliders and chooses the music, ads, jingles etc, whereas the bitch only gets to talk. If allowed.

    He who slides the sliders rules the roost.

    Oh - this guy comes in to the studio yesterday and sticks a video camera in my face. I tells him to get lost. He says he has to film everybody. I say film everybody else. If he'd had the manners to at least ask first, I might not have minded so much.

    Home via Scotmid foodstore, but couldn't find any bargains. No matter how much money I waste on lunches and drinks during the day, I still need to lay my hands on some "Buy one get one free" goods at home time. Makes me feel more thrifty. I don't know how I managed when I was spending fifty to a hundred pounds a week on cigarettes. No idea. Got home and ate a whole packet of crab sticks. Almost no calories. Sea water with artificial flavour.

    Big Blogger. Because of all the emotional demands going on right now I've not had time to give a decent account of myself there yet. So I'm more or less in a nembutal coma, pro tem. You have to take in to the BB house a present for the eventual winner, but I'm hopeless at choosing gifts. Any ideas? (I'll pretend I had it all the time.)

    Thanks to the reader who wrote kindly about NB on a review site yesterday.

    And you say? (22)   Link to this

    Thursday, June 09, 2005


    Yes, it's true. Just as Leith FM judders to a halt (or rather my involvement therewith), I take up residence in the Big Blogger House alongside the cream of modern blogging. And Gordon.

    (That sluttish little mike from Nottingham has already tried to snog him, by the way.)

    Yesterday on the radio show was probably the ghastliest yet, as I hadn't showered, eaten or even meditated. Oh boy was I grumpy. I accused an Inspector of Police of "bleating on" (at a meeting. Bleating at a meeting. Not on the show), and poured out yet more vitriol and scorn on Gregor Shore the environmental vandals house-builders.

    Later Tony said I was selfish to attack GS, as they'd bought a four hundred quid advert on the show. So for four hundred pounds you can buy off a radio station for a fortnight. Hmmm.

    "We don't need their money," I said to him. "Yes we do," he replied.
    Someone should tell them that for two million quid you can buy a New Labour High School and have them teach whatever you want. Creationism. Or how wonderful your new flats are.

    In the street, after the show, I bumped into Linda with the glasses. She shook my hand and said it was cutting edge radio. I said I felt probably sacked. I don't want to put Tony into that embarrassing position, but I cannot sit back and say nothing about the biggest threat to Leith since the German bombers. Cannot. And anyone who can has a vastly different worldview from moi.

    End of lecture. What do you think?

    Right. Two more shows to do. I hope Stewart has recovered from his hospital tests yesterday. Endoscope. Great thanks to Graham for sitting in for him for 45 minutes, and to Lindsay for taking over quarter of an hour early, allowing me to get drunk with Little Alex, Big Al, and Kevin the shop girl. I asked Kevin as a gay man whether he thought the gay age of consent should be sixteen (as it is) or eighteen (as it used to be). Sixteen he replied, but I can't remember the reasons. Strange, as I know he's not a chicken-fancier either.

    Today Emma from the bingo is coming on the show. She's got gorgeous pink hair which will be totally lost on the listeners. The bingo seems one million miles away already. People are so wrong when they think that to holiday you have to go somewhere. Somewhere is a state of mind.

    You can read my first ever post on Big Blogger already. Probably against the rules - but hey - he didn't hire any of us to keep our gobs shut.

    I'm so anarchic! Arrivederci!

    Whining, self-pitying, drama queen tosh... how one new reader sees NB on this review page. So I must be doing something right then. Tata the noo!

    And you say? (13)   Link to this

    Wednesday, June 08, 2005


    Slept in badly and have to rush to the radio. Leaving time only for a...

    Three Dot Roundup...

    Stewart is in hospital today so I'm partnered by Graham Logan of Logan's Run, which is the show on just before us... Roses to Graham for his kindness in staying back a while... Raspberries to the arseholes in the Port o Leith who apparently found my hurt and distress on Monday so amusing... Fuck you all...

    Went to The Leith Debate last night, chaired by Lesley Riddoch... poor man's Kirsty Wark... never broke through to Angleterre... hopeless meeting... just a propaganda exercise for Gregor Shore and their carbuncle housing... La Moriarty was there... she spoke... I didn't... I wasn't even invited... far too shocking for society... just winged it on the back of Stewart who was taking one million snaps... why are Scottish audiences so intimidated by a few folk on a platform... I'll tear it to shreds more fully on today's show...

    I seem to have fallen foul of willie bigtime... gay age of consent... the thing which allows sixteen year old boys to have any homosexual thing done to them... no matter how lethal... no matter how unformed their minds and bodies are... in comparison to their female peers... so I politely disagree with him and he beats me with big words...

    I'm in Big Blogger, and enter the house with my housemates tomorrow morning... nip over and see the others... lively bunch... I'm to be the sad old queen, apparently... Jackie Stallone in all but the rich son... get voted out in the first round for sure... shame about Alan... he's quite a hunk... straight...

    Gotta go... on the radio... why do we live like this... is that all there is...

    And you say? (8)   Link to this

    Tuesday, June 07, 2005


    Welcome to visitors from Clare's exciting new game. Sit down and have a cup of tea before moving on to Willie. (That's your next stop.)

    Here we're having a personal crisis for you to enjoy. (So what's new?) My very handsome pictures are a little further down your screen. Naked Blog is achingly respectable, Guardian recommended, BBC broadcast, etc.

    Hasta la vista, mi muchachas!

    And you say? (12)   Link to this


    I'm fucked now, whatever I do. Never work in this town again. All for being innocent.

    I become the laughing stock - because of the behaviour of others. Nothing new there, then.

    But I did agree to do ten shows.

    So there is some moral imperative. (Well - someone's got to have some.)

    But how do you do a radio show with someone you're so angry with?

    How I suffer for my art!

    This will test my insincerity to the max.

    Don't miss the comment box to the post below.

    It's the modern way.

    And you say? (10)   Link to this

    Monday, June 06, 2005


    Yes it's true. An unacceptable level of treachery from my co-presenter.

    Remember the Ule story? And thanks to anna for commenting on this - that she once met an Ule who did whatever...

    Well - naturally this got a good mention on Stewart's and my (our show, I thought) programme this morning.

    And by teatime it was all over Donnacher and Rowan - the guys who'd originally had to suffer Ule's shenanigans. Except by now the story had mysteriously changed. A Guardian journalist - they said - had contacted Stewart's show and come up with this stuff about Ule.

    No mention of my website. Nor my comment box, Nor my anna - rather it was all to do with Stewart. He deliberately fed them this line.

    So I phones up, don't I - light-heartedly at first... only to be told - by Stewart himself - that I can't expect a retraction on-air, and don't I think I'm being a bit precious about it. About the story he's nicked for himself.

    My website story. My comment box. My anna. My spot on the radio this morning. Then Stewart goes and hi-jacks the lot.

    Fuck off now, pal. I know this will be presented to the world - I just know it - as me being dramatic and unreliable - queenie no doubt - but let the people decide.

    And you say? (41)   Link to this


    Thirteen stones eleven yesterday! Mardi gras! Mind you, I had just had a satisfying plop. Cheese binds it up big time. Like having a baby must feel.

    Anyway - that's more than enough of that with your cornflakes. I've been such a hermit. Not ideal for a cutting edge community radio person, who you would think should be living in the community. For this week at least. No - it's been bingo Friday, bingo Saturday, and yesterday feet up and resting.

    Telly. Doctor Who a bit weak, with more of the Slitheen. Apparently the last two of the series are gonna be astounding, with wall-to-wall Daleks a go-go. Doing what they do best, exterminating. No more of this wussy lonely suicide guff. You know where you are with a Dalek. Or at least you should.

    Eccleston is brilliant, and the BBC should just have paid him what he asked. I'm really not sure at my age if I can stand another doctor. (Remember - NB goes right back to the first episode! What an amazing continuity.)

    More telly. Watched a passable geology show (another one! Not Doctor Stewart this time) on BBC Four last night, but had to turn off the sound because of the blaring, intrusive music. God - I could shoot those producers who massacre beautiful pictures like that. So I had to miss Sean Pertwee's tobacco husk also and settle for subtitles. Can't they find any non-smokers to narrate their shows? I'd do it cheap.

    More telly. Then there was a really good Dimbleby show on BBC 1. About the British landscape and its history of being painted and poetried. Yesterday was Lake District, Northumberland and Yorkshire. Did you know that Samuel Taylor Coleridge the junkie discovered some great new gear in Westmoreland? Kendal Black Drop it was called. Brandy and morphine. Scared him so much he daren't go to sleep.

    Final telly. Dvorak concert on BBC Four. Probably the first proper concert I've seen since getting surround sound and digital. I'd have thought there'd be more. But why was it on in the middle of the night? Some of us consider our neighbours, you know.

    Out and about

    Blog of the day is Tony my IT Manager, who's understandably pissed off and confused at the amount of voluntary work he's constantly asked to do for Leith FM and Leith Festival. Nip over there and give him a voluntary hug. He really is the nicest man.

    Big Blogger

    Inspired by Germaine Greer and Jackie Stallone, I've consented to a nomination for the upcoming reality blog show. Nip over there and express your support. You can never get too much Peter. Bascially I'm sure it's hits they're after, so DO WHAT I PAY YOU FOR, FOR ONCE!

    Yesterday's post below is miserable and depressed, so don't read it.

    Off to the radio now, with not a single interesting thought. Except thanks to anna for the Ule stuff, which I'm sure will fascinate all. On, and I also enjoyed McLibel on telly last night. Could Leith FM end up in a similar position with Starbucks? Watch this space!

    And you say? (6)   Link to this

    Sunday, June 05, 2005


    Chav Gav's just kindly texted to tell me Gwen's having a birthday party and barbeque at The Pond, a cultish up-market pub in Salamander Street. Right now.

    (And there goes the phone. It's him. But I can't answer. Anything I can cope with except kindness. So I don't answer the phone. Now they'll all talk about me unkindly. "He never comes out - I'm sick of asking him," I can hear from this far away. But not Chav Gav. Yet.)

    Dearie dear. How I envy people who have the knack of simply enjoying themselves. Me, I get into such a complete state I hardly go to anything at all. This year's tally comprises one evening at Sandra's, one at Ally and Dolly's, and one blogmeeting. In almost six months. What a social gadabout!

    Apparently the radio station had a "do" on Friday evening in the Queen Charlotte Rooms, a converted Masonic Hall opposite the Leith Police. They say on the top floor you can still worship Isis and Osiris. But nobody told me about it, so I didn't go to that either. Wasn't sure who it was for. If I even qualified for entrance.

    I'm on holiday now, for a week and a half, partly in the cause of "generalised stardom" as I put it earlier. But that's not gonna happen. Too many presenters. Too much young talent. Nobody loves you when you're etc.

    So I go back to playing tetris and hoping it doesn't mark my TV screen. You know where you are with tetris. People are a different kettle of fish. Shady.

    And you say? (4)   Link to this

    Friday, June 03, 2005

    RADIO JA-JA 87.7 FM

    Well, you could have knocked me down with a feather (not really) when I entered the studio yesterday to see Stewart with not one, not two but I'm sure I counted three guests. Elderly gents. "You'll have to wait till 12.30," he was saying to them, emolliently. "Nah - take them first and I'll wait here," I says, unfazed, browsing The Scotsman for ideas. (There were loads, for a change.)

    The oldboys were there to talk about some rusting hulk in the docks they were trying to restore. Fascinating for those who like that sort of thing. Me, I was happy sitting in a prep room chatting to David Morrison.

    You can not be serious!

    An Irishman, an Australian and a German were sitting in a community radio studio on Wednesday evening. Donnacher, Rowan and Ule, to be precise. Donnacher and Rowan are hugely talented radio performers, but Ule was the unknown quantity. She was there to read the news, which turned into a half hour rant about G8, World Poverty, the European Constitution - you name it. The boys were aghast. But Ule wouldn't be silenced. "I vill not leave zis studio till I hav finished ze news!" she kept shouting. The boys alternated between shutting her up and taking the piss. It was a classic. They'll have to sell the recording. Donnacher, Rowan and Ule could clean up a fortune. You couldn't make it up.

    So yesterday I phoned up the next edition of their show, requesting more of Ule. (Taking ze piss myself.) And they've sampled her into a promo! She's a legend in her own newsbreak! A little later, Danielle the manager burst into their programme and screamed, "Put some music on for God's sake, you're boring all of Leith."

    Not a good idea. They spend the rest of their show taking the piss out of Danielle. "Irreverent," I think you might call it. I call it class in a glass. Donnacher and Rowan, 5pm - 7pm 87.7 MHz FM

    This station is the dogs' bollocks. Privilege to be included. Tragedy most of you can't hear it.

    Social Whirl

    Tea time drinkies with Babs and her fella in The Regent. An ex-beau of mine was there too, whom I won't embarrass by naming, so I invited him to join us. Very nice vibes all round.

    My schedule now is
  • one hour's radio today
  • plus two days' bingo today and tomorrow
  • then a week and a half of glorious freedom to devote to Leith FM and Leith Festival.
  • Out of the mouths

    Me, wailing in the Port: "How can I meet Babs with missing teeth and lager on my t-shirt?"
    Little Alex, barely looking up: "Not much goin' for ya, man."


    Inspired by the rapidly-vanishing Alan, I'm delighted to announce I've lost yet another pound. Thirteen stones and 12 pounds. (194 pounds. Something or other kilogrammes.)


    Very great joy to meet Tony's new daughter Maddie yesterday. She's about four weeks old. She's got your eyes, I said to him, because well - you've got to say something, and "gorgeous" would fail to impress.

    No camera. I really must start wearing it full-time. Then you could have seen my ex-beau also. Twentieth century fox.

    In honour of tranny-fancying Gordon's recent fascination with blog titles. Take That.


    We've been reported to Ofcom the radio regulator by Starbucks, apropos a critical piece on Monday. Plus lost a valuable sponsorship. It wasn't Ule. Who says community radio is all milk and honey?

    And you say? (19)   Link to this

    Thursday, June 02, 2005


    Good morning from rainy grey Leith. Grey and rainy. Grainy.

    The radio show is confusing me. Yesterday wasn't ideal. Twice Stewart referred to me on-air as the Queen of Leith, an expression I would rather not happen. Then he mentioned photos on my web site, despite me saying earlier in the week that NB was off limits. Any more public and I might as well just nail my front door open and say help yourself. Plus he'd invited a guest, Big Al. (Not Big Straight Al. He's in hospital, as you should know if you're paying attention.)

    Big Al the radio guest was fine: I've known him for more than a decade. Just I would have thought on a two-man show that two men should at least discuss the guest list in advance.) Confusing. I've more or less lost interest, and there's seven more shows to go. Ah well. I'm reasonably good at faking it, but at times on Tuesday it was excellent for real - and there's no substitute for spontaneous. I keep trying to tell Stew that when he comes up with really good lines while the records are on - and then we have to re-enact them later. Badly re-enact.

    The newspapers are losing their appeal for things to discuss. Yesterday I said I couldn't stand Bob Geldof because all he ever did was to say fuck on television, and likewise I couldn't stand Gordon Ramsay or Billy Connolly.

    Today I'm gonna do loud music in pubs and shops. Especially I'm gonna dish the dirt on Ocean Terminal HMV, for ignoring my written complaint on the matter. When I've finished with them they'll never sell another over-priced DVD. Never. Maybe I should have watched the TV show Grumpy Old Men more, to get an idea of the topics. But I can't stand Jeremy Clarkson and most of the others. Didn't they have John Peel on, when he was alive?

    On Tuesday Stew and I sang along to "Amarillo". Now that's real radio. The Port was ecstatic.

    Work yesterday was problematic, and we shall see. It's still rainy and grey. Left knee seems pretty good after Tuesday's climb. Little bit scratchy, but we can certainly climb weekly until it gets used to that.

    OK then. Off to the radio. (Yawn.)

    Listen to our glorious radio trail. (695Kb) Made by the hugely talented Cad Delworth.

    And you say? (13)   Link to this