There goes the cure

Out of all the tens of thousands of bizarre records that litter the 1970’s like discarded Gary Glitter singles, is the cash-in single or LP so you’d have ‘Thing A’ (normally a film or TV star) record a hit song so you’d get things that only a marketing man higher on cocaine that its humanly possible to be to come out with stuff like this.

Yet for all the superficial awfulness I challenge anyone not to give a wee smile at some point because these things were never meant to be works of art rather easy cash-ins so executives could binge on coke and hookers. In effect an awful, terrible ‘creative’ process that somehow belches out something moderately joyful.

I mention this because the last few weeks, even months have been a varied catalogue of shite but as often has been the case over the last few years, something positive has come out of what has felt like being locked in a room where the only thing to listen to is the Best of Telly Savalas.

Things came to a head last week at a friends funeral in Liverpool where all the horrendous horrible things that bounce round one’s head during a funeral batter against each other negatively. It possibly didn’t help staying at the Adelphi, one of Liverpool’s more, well, salubrious hotels in an area where there’s more ‘Irish’ pubs doing karaoke that you’d think is possible in only a few streets. I chose to stay there because it was cheap, and for old times sake as it was the location of comic marts back in the distant past.

It also carved from Stephen King’s dreams.

You know if you stick your head round the corner you’ll see two twin girls but when you do…

They’re gone!

So, after seeing friends from Bristol at the wake and catching up in what was, less than admirable circumstances, I made it back to the hotel after remembering to check the map so I could remember the location of my room, not to mention where the location of the club key & the spare ammo was.

Off I ventured into the Liverpool night for some food, but quickly wishing I wasn’t just fitter and able bodied, but 25 years younger as the night would have been a lot more fun than it was. I also remembered how much I adore the city and its people.

Still, next day it was back to Glasgow and after spending nearly half an hour trying to leave I made it to Lime Street to have a wee wobbly. I’d forgotten to take some of my meds and the last 24 hours had caught up with me so I sat myself down outside the station watching the Captain Marvel trailer on the largest advertising screen I’d seen in some time.Eventually I left Liverpool realising that I needed to give myself a royal kick up the arse.

Essentially I’d pulled all the horrible disparate things that’d happened and somehow pulled a positive attitude out of it, as frankly, things were slipping and I’d entered the world of the mundane. So having acted upon my newfound positive attitude I hope to change things up over the next month and it’ll be a challenge but I beat a stroke and cancer so I can do what I intend to do, and frankly, not everyone beats cancer. Sometimes you attend their funerals. It’d be rude to waste this chance.

As to what exactly is going on I don’t want to bore you with details, but it’ll be as fun as a 70’s cash-in record I hope.

And back again…

Back from Liverpool thoroughly worn out. More about this wee trip later but upon arriving at Central Station I noticed the wonderful iron lattices that make up the roof.

Been though the station thousands of times but today was the first time I really noticed how glorious it is.

Anyhow, a pizza with this week’s Star Trek:Discovery then an early night.

Life is Golden

The other week during an especially tedious corporate team building/training exercise we did a thing where you”re to give away one of six things that mean the most to you. Everyone else picked ‘friends’ or’ family’. I picked time because if you don’t have, or indeed, make the time, then you can’t appreciate that which you hold the closest to you because you don’t realise as you live life that you don’t actually have much time. In an ideal world it should be down to oneself to decide what time they decide to waste, but the mundaneness of modern life enforces one to devalue time to the point where you never consider it, or worse, wish it away, to simply exist.

I say this as a friends back in Bristol passed away this weekend from cancer. I’ll not go into to much details as I’m unsure how much he’d, or his family, would like details splashed on the face of the internet, but needless to say it takes something reminding one of their mortality to appreciate time because for him his time is done, and we can only remember the times we all had drinking while watching the football, or talking bollocks in drunken nights down the Cat and Wheel, the local where a small community grew organically over the years.

Now that community which has been scattered over the last few years comes together to mourn and remember as we take the time to give one of our own their dues. It’s sad it takes an untimely death to remember how precious time is but while people remember you by taking the time to do so then there’s a part of you that never really dies. Instead you live on in the fractured bits of memory we all have of people never to fully fade out of existence.

In the end, once time has ran out for us all, this remembrance is all that’ll remain of us and that’s good because if you can get through life having an impact for the better on one person at least then you’ve lived a decent life and that’s all we want to do at the end of the day.

The Passenger

There was an interesting piece the other day in the Leicester Mercury about punks in the city in the late 70’s at a Damned gig at the De Montfort Hall. Now I wasn’t living in Leicester then, I wasn’t even a teenager back in Glasgow, and didn’t got a gig til Blondie at the Apollo in the early 80’s then I was off banging round the city seeing gigs in places like Rooftops, The Mayfair (where I first saw The Fall) and of course Strathclyde and Glasgow Uni not to mention the Barrowlands which has barely changed in the decades.

But in 1988 I moved to Leicester, experienced the joys the De Montfort Hall, the Princess Charlotte (still one of the best pub venues I’ve ever been in and now sadly gone as a venue) and of course the bus trips to Nottingham for whatever was on at Rock City. Leicester’s close location to London meant that I’d often vanish into the gaudy neon lit streets of London, specifically Camden and Kentish Town, though it’d not be unrealistic to end up in a pub or club in Soho to bide the time before waking up the next day in bed/on the floor depending on how lucky one got.

Then Bristol became somewhere I’d go to and again I’d experience the nitelife there, so my teenage and formative years up to my mid 20’s was scattered across the UK like precious¬† Infinity Stones as I didn’t just belong in one place, but many but at the same time I didn’t really centre myself in one scene but many.

Now, the point of all this nostalgia is this. Since my stroke and cancer, and in particular, since moving to Glasgow I’ve essentially become rooted in one place considering what I’m actually going to do for however many years I’ve got left but I’ve been doing my best to avoid making any actual decision by getting a job that vaguely pays or generally devolving any serious thought as much as possible. Well, tomorrow I go to the hospital for my 6-month cancer checkup and should, barring incident, be told only to come see the hospital once a year which means I can’t put off decisions or hide much longer. See I don’t want all my futures to be sitting wallowing in nostalgia, fun though that may be, but I want to create new moments and fashion new gems of memory to collect as time goes on that is beyond just existing and doing alright.

Tomorrow I may have to finally move on from the holding pattern I’m in and finally grasp the steering wheel of my life to guide myself to whatever is next. We shall see what happens…

Wax and wane

I am broken today. Two comic conventions in as many weekends and no break has pretty much outlined my limits post-stroke but thanks to events outwith my control I only have one more event this year before being thrust into the year 2019 where lots of things may be happening.

But the latest show I’ve done was probably the weirdest place I’ve done one in 35 years (and that includes nearly selling comics at Glastonbury) which was Mark Millar’s old primary school, St. Barthlomew’s, in Coatbridge. Upon driving to the school it dawned on me and my driver Jordan, that it was a fucking primary school, and that means everything in it would be wee, and of course it was. So big hefty units such as myself squeezed into tiny wee chairs meant for frames far, far, far younger than us. Also,we expected to turn up and for the dealers to be in a central gym or hall but we were strewn through the corridors of part of the school like discarded Panini World Cup 2018 stickers.

Luckily I ended up with a spare table, so managed to take over the end of one such corridor like this.

Plus I was positioned next to someone I’ve only spoken to online, so it was nice to put a face to the name and as the doors opened at 10am that was consolation for the fact nobody came to where we were. but with a wee prompt for the staff, and some carefully placed arrows, there were soon people coming up our alley for comic, and comic-based, delights.

And I ended up having more fun (while obviously making enough money for the day to not just pay for itself, but so I can put money in the bank) than I was expecting as it wasn’t just the faces that have become familiar to me over the last year, but loads of kids who were attracted by the impressive spread Mark and his staff had laid out with lots of guests like Frank Quitely, Leah Moore and cast members from Still Game and Burnistoun. Many of these kids had no idea what comics to collect having just come down to see what was going on, or come with a mate. I was taught years ago by someone wiser than me to encourage the kids because if you don’t, there won’t be an audience in the decades to come.

And that’s what made this event something a bit different, and a bit more fulfilling than just flogging comics to folk. Keeping the flame burning and passing it on to kids, boys and girls, was great but it’s worn me out . As for the show overall, it’s always hard to say when you’re stuck behind your tables, but people clearly enjoyed it and although there were problems (the cramped space being the biggest one, and although some of the issues were teething pains some things will need to improve if there’s a next time. Having a free for all for tables at a show where to be honest, too many tables were sold, was a big mistake especially when dealers left better positions very, very early in the day leaving some areas virtually dead)¬† I’d do this again next year.

But I’m done for now. One more show this year, which means I can regroup and plan out 2019 a bit better than just letting it happen and hope for the best which to be fair, is how I’ve led my life up to now but look where that’s led me!?!

It’s crap being disabled: Part 245

I’ve got some time off at the moment so I finished work last Friday and spent the weekend & Monday recharging as I’ve rather overdone things of late, and my doctor advised me to take some time to just basically relax. This means I’ve been catching up with things like Jessica Jones, Supergirl, Better Call Saul, and playing loads of God of War, and finally getting on with GTA V. If it sounds like I don’t sleep much that would be right. It’s been this way since my stroke in 2016 so if I get 4/5 unbroken sleep of a night then I’m doing good but this time off has allowed me to slowly start to recharge.

Today I popped into town to do some odds and sods at the bank and a few other places while trying as much as possible to have a wander. The problem about doing this in a city is bad, but in a city like Glasgow it’s far worse than it should be through a mix of stupidity, ignorance and idiocy.

.Glasgow has a good, effective underground system. The subway is often the quickest way to get round a city which is often gridlocked on the roads but there is no disabled access in most stations, and most stations don’t have escalators which go to the platform so stairs are the way in and out.

Today I thought I’d jump on the subway to the West End after coming out the bank. Getting off at Hillhead saw me confronted by hordes of people coming down the stairs slamming into me with their backpack because if you walk the streets with a stick or move with a wheelchair for 90% of the population you become invisible. After nearly being knocked over a few times I managed to get onto Byres Road by this point I was tired and fed up of being a pinball.

So today’s lesson is that if you see someone disabled don’t knock into them. Don’t pretend they’re not there. Don’t be a dick because you want to rush somewhere or you have no spacial awareness.

Now back to GTA V where I can imagine I’m laying waste to arseholes in the street…

Michael Barrymore’s Pool Party

So today is the tale of a visit to the hospital for a couple of procedures I’ve not had the joy of having before and let’s just say that I’ve got plenty of cushions and ice cream at hand and the title of this blog and the following image should fill your imagination with wonderful pictures.

The problem is my iron levels. For a year now they’ve been low. Nothing horrendous to worry about but they’re normal for someone who is a vegetarian, as opposed to the committed carnivore that is myself. Some recent samples were concerning so cameras went where no man has gone before to see if there’s any bleeding, etc. Everything looks fineish for someone of my age and what’s went on with me for the last few years but those troubling samples lurk so I’m being booked in for a CT scan.

At the minute I’m not too worried, but I do have to ask as to why they didn’t do the scan before having cameras shoved where the sun don’t shine!