August 2008


Just checking my blog stats — I don’t know why I do this.  The hit count is going to be somewhere between 0 and 12 and will remain that way until I start using things like “Britney Spears Shower Scene” in my posts — and I saw a couple of referrals (yep, total hits were 14) from over at Cassilis.  Apparently, he’d tagged me.

Well, I was just about to call the police, when my wife said maybe I should just follow the referral link.  So I did that instead and here we are.

This quick bunch of questions seems to have been doing the rounds and now it’s time for me to decide if I’m going to tell the truth or make up something exotic.  My promise is, if I can remember, I’ll be honest.

So Gav, what were you doing when:

Princess Diana’s death – 31st August 1997 — I was up early that Sunday morning to do some overtime and turned on the TV for some reason just before I left the flat.  It was a wow moment.  Kinda fills your head with “What, really?” and not much else.

Not a lot of work got done that day and I think it was about 11 am before someone said aloud what we were all wondering:  Would this mean we’d get a day off work?  I got into an argument with a colleague who believed the upcoming Scottish international football game should be postponed.  I politely disagreed.  Well, I say politely.

Got home to find that programmes stopped.  There were no programmes any more.  And I wonder how many other people remember Chris DeFuckingBurgh’s “tribute” that he must’ve penned in an hour on the back of a fag packet which I’m sure contained the line “There’s another angel in heaven tonight.”  So when people diss the John, I remind them that there but for the Grace of God.

I do remember being a little bored of it all by the end of the night.  Little was I to know that this would continue for the next couple of weeks or, if you happen to read the Express, up to the present day.

Margaret Thatcher’s Resignation – 22nd November 1990 — I’d started work a month and a half before that in a life assurance company in Stirling which had brought me into contact with types of people I’d had no experience of at school or in my local village. I found out that they were called Tories.

I vaguely remembered Callaghan, but not in any way that I could tell you his policies or his style.  Thatcher was politics for me and for everyone I knew, but I was taught to hate her and to think of the miners and the little kiddies who wouldn’t have milk, by people who were buying their council house.  So I remember being pleased about it.  I also remember being surprised that she was ousted so easily.  All that blimmin’ bother …

Attack on the twin towers – 11 September 2001 — Depressingly enough, I was sitting in a seat about 200 yards from where I currently sit, doing a job remarkably similar to the job I do now.  Was that crass?  Describing that as depressing on a day that the world changed forever?

As an aside, I’d recommend buying Rich Hall’s book Things Snowball, to read his short story about someone having a bad day on 11/9/2001.  Or 9/11/2001 if you prefer.

Just after lunch, a girl called Dawn Niblo told me that a light aircraft had crashed into WTC 1 — I shit you not, she was a veritable Reuters of her day — and then that was all anyone was talking about.  At roughly the same time the attacks were happening two years previously, I was actually standing atop the World Trade Center.  I was also on the Herald of Free Enterprise, obviously before it sank.  Maybe I’m a jinx.

All I really remember of that afternoon was hitting F5 a lot on BBC News and it failing to load.  On the drive home, listening to the news, it was impossible to picture the scene.  Then when I actually saw the footage, I felt sick.  I’ve watched a few YouTube videos of how channels like NY1 broke the news and it’s never lost its impact.  It still terrifies me.

England’s World Cup Semi Final v Germany in – 4 July 1990 — I remember laughing.  A lot.

President Kennedy’s Assasination – 22 November 1963 — Well, for me, the day started with waking nice and early and taking up position behind a lump of grass in Dealey Plaza.  I dunno … maybe you’d best describe it as a knoll …

“Keep up with that bus, Jude.  I’m checking my emails.”

Perhaps the most random thing I’ve said in a while, but something that was perfectly true.  On the way through to tonight’s game in Dunfermline, I spotted a bus that boasted it had Free Wi-Fi.  And when I scanned for a network on my iPhone, sure enough, the bus was there.

First impressions of East End Park — nice bridies.

First impressions after my first away game of the season is that my stinking jinx continues.  I think that’s now 0 wins out of 14.  It’s a shame coz the boys did well tonight and I think we gave our higher division opponents a scare.  Certainly our McKeown gave their Bayne a fright when he went in with both feet in a tackle that at best could be described as ill-judged and at worst could be common assault.

On a plus side, that brings the total number of different grounds to 9 and a cumulative distance travelled of 710 miles.  These stats will keep me happy while other teams progress in the League Cup.

Fortnights just fly in when you’re not at work. Here’s what I’ve been up to in the last couple of weeks:

  • Stayed in Pittenweem for a few days during the Arts Festival. Julie done some quality networking and exhibited a couple of paintings in the Open Exhibition. Meanwhile, I ate lobster, sampled Fife’s lorne sausage and drank surprisingly little. We also saw a play based on J M Barrie’s address to St Andrew’s University and came to the conclusion that every working actor in Scotland has been in Still Game and Taggart.
  • Saw the Tracey Emin retrospective at the Nation Gallery in Edinburgh. I’d been practicing my eye rolling for the couple of days leading up to our visit, but was pleasantly surprised. Pleasantly probably isn’t the right word. Saw the infamous unmade bed. Lazy cow still hasn’t washed the sheets.
  • Drank lots of lattes.
  • Didn’t go to see The Dark Knight despite listing this as the only thing I definitely wanted to do during my holidays.
  • Was charged £35 for a replacement front indicator light for my car.
  • Got a Tassimo for my birthday so I can make more lattes. Another little piece of my life is complete.
  • Saw Alloa get beat 2-0 twice in the space of three days. Also saw them take a 1-1 draw. Not yet seen anything that makes me think this season is going to be successful / entertaining / tolerable.
  • Got a short story — The Last House — accepted in a local anthology.
  • Did absolutely nothing on Tuesday, 12 August, which, in retrospect, was exactly when I should’ve been going to see The Dark Knight.
  • Failed to win a grand again. This was tied into one of the 2-0s from earlier.
  • Had the same jeans on for four days.
  • Listened to a lot of Death Cab For Cutie’s new album and convinced Stoobs to go see them with me at the Corn Exchange this November. Personal triumph.

And now, with an hour left of my birthday and my holidays, I’ve decided that tonight’s the night I’m going to get drunk. Looking forward to regretting it tomorrow.

Thanks to Perry for putting me on to this one.

I don’t know what it is about this video, but it’s one of those rare examples that, for whatever reason, makes me glad to be alive and for once, I recommend going on to YouTube and watching in High Def.  Enjoy.