Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spout, handle, lid of metal.....

Lums a Reeking ,

The day could not have started off worse. I freely admit, it was a fairly unproductive day yesterday and all the little jobs that required doing, well, I didn't get to some of them, or all of them. But I'm unemployed, I'm not meant to be productive, I'm meant to be shiftless and lazy and Jeezo, its not like I did nothing. Some people do not appreciate the effort it takes to reach pro level at Wii tennis.
Well today I paid the penalty. A list had been prepared to add structure and meaning to my day and instead of warm buttery toast and a steaming mug of tea being presented to me in bed, it was.

Speaking of tea, I make mine in a pot, I mention it because I think the popularity of the tea-pot has diminished over the last 30 years or so. I remember great big teapots with woolly tea cosies that looked like a balaclava for crockery. They never seemed to empty and always produced piping hot perfectly brewed tea. Now folk are in too much of a hurry to wait the 6 minutes it takes to brew, they just pour boiling water over a tea-bag in a mug, a couple of squeezes against the side, and that will do. Apart from being wasteful its like the flavour is being forced out the tea-bag under duress, like a CIA black ops team water boarding an Iraqi dissident, you get what your after, but it leaves a bitter taste. By easing the flavour out, so that it seems as if the tea-bag is giving you a gift in return for a warm bath, you get much more satisfying results.

By putting, CIA and Iraq in the same sentence, The Reeking Lum may get a few more followers tomorrow, all at GCHQ right enough, still, the more the merrier.

Anyway, back to The List. No one could accuse it of being one dimensional, it had a wide variety of tasks on it. Shopping chores, cleaning chores, laundry chores, of course, pointless chores, a good few of them but worst and most concerning of all, a DIY chore. It was chilling, like picking up a paper and reading your own obituary.

I mentioned a few blogs ago just how hopeless I am at DIY and my past is littered with disasters and accidents, mis-understandings and humiliations. I can build flat pack I thought, no problem, I mean all the bits and pieces are there with the instructions, what can go wrong. What can go wrong is building all the units for your new fitted kitchen in the living room, then finding they wont go through the kitchen door. I once painted the living room ceiling with gloss paint, I couldn't understand why my brush was getting heavier and heavier and the room was beginning to spin.

So it was with obvious anxiety I read "sand bathroom door and paint" on The List. I immediately thought of all the things that could go wrong, paint spills, tile damage, I could slip and get tangled up in the sanders cord and have my body discovered and mistakenly reported as having perished in a bizarre fetish gone wrong.
I took my time, all day actually and completed the task, incredibly, without incident despite realising half way through I hadn't gotten changed into a smock, or whatever you wear when painting and still had a good pair of jeans on. But tomorrow I think I will have to revisit it to touch up the runs and I fully expect something unexpected and disastrous to happen then.

Last night I watched that new BBC show about the solar system, and its brilliant. I love all that stuff, its the scale that gets me, its beyond comprehension and when I try to comprehend it, my mind just seems to empty, its quite refreshing actually. But I learned that on Venus, a day, lasts longer than a year and after the three days I've just had, I know what that feels like.

Then The News. Huw Edwards tie is immediately a distraction from all the terrible things going on around the world, good old BBC. It couldn't distract me from Tony Blairs ridiculous accent though, its like something you'd hear on one of those American God Channels. Some people just assimilate accents really easily, others could live in Australia or LA for years and not sound any different. The Lum of course, has no accent at all so could live and reek anywhere and not sound odd.
Huws tie couldnt distract me from more dead soldiers arriving home, shoulder high and draped in the flag. Surely this has to end soon, the public can exert pressure now, if it wants, with an election looming. I fear more are interested only in themselves and their own welfare, their mortgage payments and job security. Society, Thatcher was right when she said it didnt exist anymore and she should know, it was she that kicked and starved it to death.

I am of course as guilty as the next man.

Lang may yer lum reek


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wii Fat and the timebending tub

Freezing Lums,

The weather has taken a turn for the worse, which means I am confined to barracks for another day. Even the dog wont go out in it. Normally in the morning she's jumping up at the door handle, scrabbling about at the door mat just bursting to get out there and chase whatever wildlife there might be out of the garden, the odd pigeon mainly, but a pheasant has been spotted on occasion and it had better watch itself. But the ultimate prize is a squirrel, if she ever gets one of those it will be carnage. She came nose to nose as a pup with a little young squirrel that used to live in the tree at the bottom of our old garden. They just looked at each other for about 5 seconds, trying to figure out what it was in front of them, then it went bolting back up into the branches and wee yappy just looked confused and hurt. I think that's why she holds such a grudge against them now.
But in this weather she just kind of approaches the open back door, head down, sullen looks and pokes her nose out into the weather, then shuffles backwards back in the house and looks at me as if to say, "you're not going out in that are you? get the heating on and I'll have another bonio"

The Wii has sparked to life, new batteries in the controller and Wii fit pad all ready to tell me what the damage is. We're off to a bad start, it tells me with a scornful gripe that it is 385 days since I last visited and immediately reminds me of the rather ambitious target I sat myself about 15 days before that. Further more, to really rub salt in my fleshy wobbling wounds, it goes on to inform me that, in its opinion, my ideal weight is 11 stone 8 pounds and I should be 22 BMIs.
BMIs, that is some measurement a university came up with after a massive research grant from Kellogs or Ryvita. Like those studies that come out from time to time telling us a bottle of wine a night is good for us, immediately followed by the newsreader saying "according to The British Guild of Grape Growers".

So, I know I've probably put on a couple of pounds. But there is still no need to tell the Wii I'm wearing light clothes. It doesn't really matter anyway. 7 pounds , the movie was mediocre, but not as grim as the news that it is also the amount of weight I have gained in the last 385 days and also 1.5 BMIs, so I am Wiificcially more fat and overweight at 14 stones than I have ever been.
So I have to call off the search for Kirkys best bacon roll for a while , perhaps I can begin looking for Kirkys best bowl of muesli?. No , lets not bother, I'd rather eat the week old wood shavings in a rabbit hutch.

The mention of 7 Pounds has inspired me to nip on over to imdb and have a look at the latest movies that will be coming over here in the coming weeks. Listen to this, "Hot Tub Timemachine". Four guys, all of them bored with their adult lives, travel back to their respective 80s heyday thanks to a time bending hot tub. How the hell does this stuff get made? Remember Chevy Chase, ironically he was a big star in the 80s, well in this he plays a character called, The Repair Man. I've not seen that character since the day a badly dubbed porno VHS got jammed in my pals parents machine about 25 years ago.

Talking of VHS, has anyone tried explaining to an old person why the Sky+ box doesn't need tapes put in it, I have, over and over again. I eventually went for, "its got a great big tape inside that doesn't need changed" and that seemed to do it.

The other little nugget I found was "Goldblum embraces Balding". I thought, WOW, i just saw Clare Balding on the TV at Cheltenham Races, and I really didn't think Jeff Goldblum would be up her street, but no, of course, its the fine, famously moody movie star of The Fly and Jurassic Park who is encouraging his fellow actors to be bald and proud, despite having an accompanying publicity shot where he has a rich black head of hair, B*stard.

Just one more thing, to illustrate just how desperate and stir crazy I have become here in Ice Station Zebra, Ellen De Genres on American Idol, first up, WHY? secondly, is it just me, or are her ears bigger than they should be for her head, its like they belong to someone else, Hermann Munster maybe.

Hope I get out tomorrow.

Lang may yer lum reek.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Oh no, its the MacKintosh's

Welcome to a new week Lums.

There is nothing like wakening up on a Sunday to a chorus of the first lawnmowers of Spring to ruin your day. Our new little house and all the houses around about have bigger gardens than we are used too, which means, on a sunny Sunday, a plethora of petrol mowers all revving up and tearing up and down their lawns. It sounded like Brands Hatch. It served to strike home too that I have not yet procured a lawnmower but it did move a criteria of selection right to the top of the pile. Noisiness. I'll be asking for decibel levels and in store demonstrations to make sure that it spits out enough of that annoying rasping buzz to ensure my handy green fingered neighbours also get to experience the joy of someone elses Sunday morning thrash around the garden.

So that was that, up at the 0.45 horsepower crack of dawn, nothing for it but to take yappy out for a stretch of her little legs and pick up a Sunday Paper. I opted for the Scotland on Sunday for no other reason other than it was that or The Guardian. Now, I, with the help of my socialist bigotry used to look upon broadsheet readers as all a bunch of superior feeling Tories who liked a big paper so they could roll it up and give the servants a right good whack with it. But as I have grown much older and a little wiser I realise its because it lasts all week, and occasionally there is a gem of a story in it that catches your imagination. As there was this week for me.

Scotland has more than a few old ruins but Rait Castle must rank one of the more special old piles. First up , its 800 years old, even for a ruin, that's pretty old. Secondly it belongs to The Thanes of Cawdor, of MacBeth fame so it has celebrity connections, we know how important that is. Finally, it is the best preserved 13th Century great hall castle in Scotland, and its the best preserved for a gruesome reason. It was abandoned in 1442 after a party went pear shaped. It wasn't down to a cigarette burn on the carpet, or somebody bringing 6 cans of Kestrel, but drinking 6 cans of Stella. Back then the castle was lived in by the chief of The Cumming clan, and he thought he would mend some bridges with his neighbours, the MacKintoshes by inviting them around for some dinner, a few drinks and then murdering them all. But old Cumming didn't know that one of his daughters was secretly knocking about with one of the young MacKintoshes, and she warned her young rain coated lover of the dastardly plan. Now, the MacKintoshes still went along to dinner, but went tooled up and it was the Cummings who got slaughtered over dessert. All except the old Chieftain, who being understandably upset with his daughter, she was probably a teenager, chased her up to the top of the castle, where the young girl tried to hide by hanging off the battlements, but this only worked for so long, especially after her father cut off her hands at the wrist, well, that was that. The castle was abandoned that very night, and locals believed it was cursed and haunted ever since, so nobody ever went near it, hence its survival till now. It is beginning to fall apart now though and needs some help. Go and see for yourself.

One piece of speculation did upset me though. The Alloa Beer Festival is a twice a year, well, festival of beer, and is consistently a right good night out. Big Al sent a text over telling me its on the 7th of May and to clear the diary. Not that I can drink any of that stuff, It all tastes like something you would flush out radiators with. Parsons Pecker and Old Toms Fungal Infection or whatever, who names them as well, that bunch of beardy blokes in the cable knit jumpers?
Its in Alloa Town Hall which is a grand big civic building paid for by the wealthy Victorian Textile barons of those times. But already our immature plans are under threat from Westminster with the hint that a general election might just be called for the 6th.

The telly is terrible just now. I have never gotten that Dancing on Ice. Particularly when their skates hardly touch the ice on the final show and they do all that pantomime flying about and fireworks. Dr Who, I've never got my head around that either, even as a boy. Dr Why it should be called.

The television was saved from the skip by an inspired choice of DVD. Layer Cake. First time I've seen it and thought it was great. Typical Guy Ritchie effort, but without Guy Ritchie funny enough. Wideboy Londoners, dangerous foreigners, no messin northerners, ruthless kingpins and of course, the obligatory, deal gone bad. Daniel Craig's excellent in it though and I can see the attraction for the Bond casting people and seeing him as the perfect Bond to take it back to a Conneryesque 007.

No job of course means no life insurance, a perilous state of affairs when you have a newborn mortgage to nurture. So I picked up a leaflet from Asda and went online this morning. All very normal. What was not at all normal was the phone call I received immediately, and I mean immediately, my browser hadn't even opened another page. It was from Asda Life Insurance asking if I needed help with my insurance query. It was chilling, I had to look around out the window to see if they were watching me. Maybe they have their own spy satellite peering down through my velux window.

I need a bit of luck and at Shanghai Shuffle the other night I obviously thought the fortune cookies would give me it because I stuffed a load of messages in my pocket where I found them all this morning. Lets see the luck I can look forward to at some unspecified time in the future.

"A cheerful letter or message is on its way to you"
"An important word of advice may come from a child"
"Pray for what you want, but work for the things you need" Great, rub it in.
"A merry heart doeth good like medicine"
"A friend asks only for time, not for money" I'll second that.
"Speculations will turn out well"
"Confucius say, the signs are there for you to win the lottery" I don't think Confucius would know what a lottery is, would he?

So there you are, I'm all set, lottery wins, cheerful messages and important advice from some kid, I cant wait.

Lang may yer lum reek.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Farewell to the Port


In the course of a normal day, the brain of the reeking lum will function I dare say, much like your own. Those budding thoughts, zinging about from neuron to neuron before bursting like fireworks in the receptors where consciousness takes over and they will express themselves in some great and meaningful action or articulation. It is after all, what sets us apart from the other passengers on this planet. But today there is no zinging and no fireworks. Instead those thoughts are travelling through a fog bound brain with the consistency of old, cold engine oil. Why are hangovers worse now. You would think that over 23 years your body and brain would have learned to cope with the odd irresponsible drinking binge.

Meaningful memories of last nights goings on are a little vague but I will try and convey the points of potential interest as best I can and hope that I'm not reeking about some Tennents induced dream sequence.

First of all, the pre-planned meeting place was a place called Nico's in Sauchiehall St. Now Nico's was proposed because it was a cool, trendy kind of place that we gentle types could kick back without feeling threatened by 5pm Glasgow drinking society, it will probably be virtually empty we were assured.
I was of course, as I always seem to have been, first to arrive and it was not empty. It was in fact full of all the things you would expect to see in a trendy city centre bar at 5pm, that is if this seasons trend is threatening and scary. There were scars and missing eyes, throaty coughs and a lonely singer, doing his best to sing Danny Boy to, I can only assume, a beer mat on the table in front of him. There were drunk ladies with bags of defrosted shopping, very attractive but foreign barmaids from somewhere in the East that looked like they maybe belonged to some Albanian gypsy family living in the cellar.
I only had to wait 15 minutes for my pals to arrive and I felt safer immediately, just like herds of wildebeest I thought if I stick in the middle, I'll be picked off last. I plucked up the courage to go for a pee, though, I shouldn't have been to worried about following convention judging by the state of some of the patrons, still I thought, I'll use the facilities provided. Now, these days its normal to expect some entertainment with the things you see written on the walls of gents toilets. Normally its offers of unconventional sex with accompanying mobile numbers and sometimes, in case there was any doubt about what was implied, there may be a crude cartoon trying to graphically convey the body parts that will be required. But not in Nico's, instead there was the scrawled mobile phone number with the message " Phone me if want a fite, ya pusseys". I thought, thats pretty Glasgow, even for Glasgow.

My weeks of pondering over songs to impress the Shanghai Shuffle mob were totally wasted, as the host sung Just Cant Get Enough, and my Elvis request was completely ignored. I did in a last ditch attempt to get heard put in my standby song and I was the last singer of the night, singing , irony of ironies, Dignity by Deacon Blue. Biggest laugh I got of the night was hearing that an old manager colleague, who, despite being in his 50s still fancies himself as a bit of a ladies man, asked this girl up to dance. Now, i expect she is a lovely girl, and her wardrobe at home is full of lovely clothes, but last night, she chose to ignore all of them and instead wear this white, skin tight dress, that covered her arse, like a pelmet covers a window, and it had what appeared to be black electrical tape all wound around it for some reason, anyway, her priceless reply when getting asked to dance by my mature colleague, "DREAM ON" . A warning to all us fortysomethings.

It was a great chance to catch up with old workmates from Port Dundas Distillery but it was tinged with a sadness too. The final production batch is being processed this weekend and by Sunday evening all will be silent. The distillery and cooperage which has been there in some form or another for over 200 years will be dismantled, demolished and I expect, over the coming year or two, all trace of it removed ready for whatever follows, empty offices and business units and lots of TO LET signs I imagine.
Anyone that has been to Glasgow will have noticed the distilleries massive smoke stack dominating the northern skyline, its the original reeking lum. Though of course only odorless and thoroughly cleansed reek, as I was always carefully explaining to the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and concerned neighbours when I was the manager of the offending chimney. Its a sight that has signalled a successful homecoming to generations of Glaswegians and I hope there are some efforts to keep the chimney as a reminder, of not just the distillery but of all Glasgows industrial heritage, of which, there is very little left. Maybe the Reeking Lum should start a campaign.

Saturday means I'm off to see the kids, but a quick call confirms that they have more important things to do today and because my car count remains at zero this weekend, my usefulness is roughly the same. So, I instead decide to jump on the train with my bike and head to Dunblane to visit my Dad.
Its a bit odd cycling through the old home town, I feel as if I should have a paper sack slung around me. There are memories at every turn, the Braeport is still leg quiveringly steep and The Chimes is still The Chimes, even though now its called The Tappit Hen and that is where I find my old man and enjoy a couple of pints in his company. The Tappit Hen is by the way an old Scottish term for a bottle of wine or port that holds 2.25 Litres of soreheads. I am at as much of a loss as you probably are as to why Old Scots required wine bottles 3 times larger than anyone else. Maybe it was to save pennies in.

I'm doing a lot of cycling, and by now I thought I would have had the body of Chris Hoy but no, I fear I appear a little too portly, though I prefer to call it prosperous. It doesnt help that I have this recurring inability to make a decision when I go into Greggs the bakers. Shall I have one of their lovely sausage rolls, or perhaps a tasty Scotch Pie, how to choose? I don't choose, I take both. I need help with my indecision. I think, or maybe not. I am going to have to do something and I think on Monday I shall blow the dust off the Wii, and take stock with Wii Fit.

One last thing before you all fall asleep, if you haven't already. I was watching the Bolton v Man Utd game tonight and noticed on the advertising hoardings one company of particular interest. It was for "The Nipple Shop". Suddenly there was some zinging in the old noggin and I had to find out what "The Nipple Shop" was all about, and did they have a logo and did you need to buy them by the pair , like shoes. It turns out, "The Nipple Shop" belongs to Harrison Lubrication Engineering Ltd and is only interested in providing "lubrication solutions for the wheels of industry" but do have for sale grease nipple selection boxes. I think that would be a pretty crap Christmas present myself and I'll always prefer the Cadburys ones.

Lang may yer lum reek.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Kenny Rogers Kung Po

Thank Lum its Friday and with that in mind, a truncated reek today.

Yes, its Friday, hurrah, though it loses a bit of its significance when you don't work all week anyway.

But this Friday is significant for the Reeking Lum, for this Friday I attend an old colleagues get together in Glasgow, where because I no longer work for the worlds largest alcoholic beverage producer, I can get irresponsibly drunk on unfamiliar brands. So tonight its Magners, Murphys, Belvedere and Bombay Sapphire all the way.

What could be construed as another blatant attempt by Reeking Lum to attract a following of millions in China, I am off to Shanghai Shuffle. Glasgows premier Karaoke party restaurant. The choice of venue obviously brings its own pressures, and not just picking the party streamers out your Kung Po. Choosing the right songs that I will sacrifice on the alter of karaoketainment has been distracting me for weeks. When I should have been tramping the pavements looking for work and writing pathetic pleas for employment, I have instead been trying to come up with a song that I can get through without any catastrophic failures.

My usual choices are getting a bit tired. The Gambler by Kenny Rogers and Little Ole Wine Drinker Me by Dean Martin are fine tunes, my Gran would have loved them but they wont cut it in the white hot heat of Shanghai Shuffle in front of a baying crowd of blotto twentysomethings brought up on X-Factor and American Idol. So, after much deliberation and a bit of practice within the confines of my i-pod buds, I have plumped for Just Cant Get Enough by Depeche Mode and Way Down by Elvis Presley. Best of it is, Karaokes terrify me, but after 3 pints I'd quite happily sing at Wembley.

A quick stock take of the week.

Jobs offered: Nil
Jobs applied for: 1
Bike miles cycled: at least 5
Green smugness gained: Lots
Stupid injuries:2
Cars purchased:Nil

Must do better next week.

By the way. "What Katy Did Next", unless its jump off a high bridge, I'm not interested.

Lang may yer lum reek.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Burns, Buses and Backpacks

Reeking Lums,

Its not highlighted in my googlecalendar, but it is obviously National Stupid Injury In The Home Week. First I sustain a head injury from our Artexed ceiling that made me look like I had just exited a car through the windscreen and now I have received horrendous napalm like burns to my left hand.

Let me build a picture, as if we were in some horror end of season Holby City, of the terrible sequence of events.

The Reeking Lum, faced with the challenge of making tea for himself and a fussy 12 year old and not being blessed with the talent or charm of Nigella Lawson, sneaks into M&S and procures some vital dinner in a jiffy ingredients. 2 steak pies (20 mins at 180) , 1 tub of M&S ultimate mashed potatoes (20 mins at 180) see what I did there, its all in the preparation, and finally, I microwaveable tub of carrots and peas (3 mins at full power in an 850W microwave). So, following the fool proof instructions on the back all the elements of the plan start to come together. Until that is I chose a totally implausible and unsuitable implement to remove the tub of mashed potato from the oven. I almost had it over to the touchdown zone, when my eyes were drawn to the black sooty pastry on the steak pies, and the inevitable happened. The tub of near molten potato toppled off the flimsy fish slice and I, some would say foolishly, I say instinctively, moved my hand to catch it, which, unfortunately, I did. I caught it all over my palm, and for a moment, i had a clear and unobstructed view of what hell is like. There is a lot of swearing in Hell.

But that was yesterday, today requires a trip into the metropolis for the Reeking Lum.

Part of my severance package includes some coaching on the finery's of getting a job and today's sessions included "Advanced LinkedIn" which is like Facebook that you don't have to hide from your boss, and " Surviving Psychometric Testing and Assessment Centres".
It got me thinking about a presentation I made at an assessment centre years ago. It had Latin in it, a bit of Sun Tzu, a folksy tale about a bus on the way to the seaside and how some of the people on board wanted to drive, others to read the map and direct and some just wanted to sit up the back, smoking and flashing there backside out the window, and of course a liberal sprinkling of fib, and a soupcon of shameless self promotion.
I remember a pal telling me that a guy he was interviewing for a role, when asked to give an example of an inspirational leader and why said Hitler, cos he got things done. Well, he certainly got that right.

The journey to town, on one of the promised 21st Century mass transit carriers felt just like the journeys I remember the last time I was on a bus in the 1980s. A little less shoogly perhaps. I would have had confidence that Mr MacMillan would have had no idea my homework was completed on the journey to school. One curious aside and a consequence of the buses all carrying a pile of Metros at the front is that on one occasion a little old man, though I've got to say, sprightly, sprang aboard the bus, lifted a copy out the box, and sprang back off again. He probably does it every day, its like a paper shop that goes right past your window. Great that, I want one.

It was refreshing to be in Glasgow after a week and a half in Indian Country. Its always nice to see people that don't obviously come from a very concentrated gene pool and of course an opportunity to have my regular 6 syllable Starbucks.
Though come on Starbucks, when are you, and everyone else for that matter, bus companies, The London Tube, Oxford Street, going to ban people wearing huge and unwieldy backpacks that require rear view mirrors and reversing beeps to manoeuvre safely and without incident around other things. Honestly, they may be great for hands free grappling up the North face of The Matterhorn with the knowledge that your lunch box is safely stowed inside, and they are also great for banging you in the face on tubes, taking up two peoples space in lifts, and as today, very nearly knocking my Tai Chai Latte all over me. Only my lightening reactions and the fact that, after the week I've had, I had predicted that very thing happening as soon as I saw him come in, avoided a disaster. But it didn't really matter in the end, because I dropped it outside as I tried to get my brolly up without putting my bag down in the puddles. Brilliant.

Lang may yer lum reek

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

How to stop a dog humping your leg.

Lums a reeking, (Yāncōng xī yān, for my potential new Chinese followers)

Let us go together to my e-mail inbox, and see how many offers of work I have received today.

I have a mail from the CSI Forensics School asking if I'd like to be a forensics investigator. I'm pretty sure those guys in Vegas have more than 4 O' Grades so I don't think that's for me. Bevvy Struminski has got in touch asking if I'd like some Cialis, and so has Aliosia Cipolletta, its nice when people are concerned that your are running out of medicine. Finally Rhonda Stubbs needs to know if my penis is too small, maybe its for some peculiar job that requires certain dimensions, I'll think about that one, she doesn't mention what it is that it might be too small for, its certainly too small to be assaulting anyone with, like that bloke from Aberdeen I told you about the other day. If its a job, I hope there isn't an assessment centre for it.

Last night was the final evening of Curling for the season. This is a pastime I have taken up lately, mostly to make up the numbers but I've ended up quite enjoying it. There is something about sizing up your opposing team and finding their most fearsome and ruthless competitor is a 73 year old pensioner called Janette that makes me laugh a little laugh inside. I reckon you could put her off though by reminding her how brittle her bones are and to be extra careful on the ice.

But back to today. My sander purchase of last week, from the bankrupt hardware store, is useless until I buy sandpaper for it, so I set handlebars to West and puff and wobble along the very convenient canal towpath to B&Q. Speaking of which, I read in the Kirky Herald this morning that the local DeafBlind association is organising a fun run along the canal towpath, I couldn't help but ask myself, have they thought that through?
So B&Q, somebody once told me that B&Q stands for Big & Quick, which even though doesn't really make sense as the name for a hardware shop, I believed. I probably would have gotten that question on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and suffered national humiliation over and over again on Challenge TV. No, it actually stands for Block & Quayle, which makes even less sense until you learn that those were the names of Richard and David the founders. Did Richard Block ever get called Dick you think?
Reeking Lum tries to makes sure everyday is a school day.
Very little of whats inside a B&Q makes sense to me, I am to DIY what Harold Shipman was to caring for the elderly but that didn't stop me wandering about trying to look knowledgeable and handy.
I ended up buying clothes pegs. Now while I'm down here plumbing new depths of Blogging mediocrity I should tell you of an observation I made. Alongside my clothes pegs, 100 for £3.28 by the way, beat that gypsies, was the option to buy "gentle" clothes pegs. These didn't only come in a mix of pleasing pastel colours, in contrast to my stark greens and blues, probably a nod to west coast sensibilities there, but they also promised to be less distressing to your clothes. At more than three times the price, they were only distressing to me, and I hurried off to the coffee shop before I thought too much more about it.
The coffee shop because it had an alluring banner draped from the ceiling with a picture of a provocative bacon roll, with a teasing glimpse of crispy rind visible from between its floury bun.
But it was all a massive bluff, they only had muffins and bloody Belgian buns, whatever they are.

I'm not one for breakfast TV, my eyes and ears are still a little too sensitive to light and noise at that time in the morning, so I don't know why I turned the telly on this morning but I wont be doing it again. BBC breakfast presenters must be the most condescending, patronising and superior found anywhere on the 3 or 4 hundred channels of mince we have the dubious entitlement to pay for every month. I thought I had tuned into Watch with Mother on the I Love The 70s channel or something, I expected one of them to get Hamble the doll out from behind the sofa to help explain how to tie our laces before heading off to work. I'd be quite happy to be Chinese and have the government filter out all that ire inducing pap.

My May edition of Empire arrived this morning, the years just flying in. In an interview with Omid Djalili their is a joke that made me guffaw out loud and inhale a piece of toast. Laughing out loud from something you read I think is an oddly gratifying experience, I suppose its because we are accustomed to laughing in company, from things we hear on TV or at a show but when its something you read it just seems much more , I dunno, internal, and because you've worked the joke out yourself without the prompt of dubbed or someone elses laughter it just seems more rewarding. Anyway, here's the joke. How do you stop a dog humping your leg? Pick it up and suck its cock.

Dàn yuàn nǐ de yāncōng hēi yān

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Peddlars of Fish

Reeking Lums,

Monday here in Lumville and as I promised myself, today was going to be the day I sort through the pile of tat I managed to stuff into two packing boxes and get past security on my final day at work. I was beginning to get a little e-roused at the thought of the potential on-line auction action that I may get out of this haul. I decide, because I'm an organised, structured kind of fellow, to sort the booty into three piles, compostable, to take into account my new green ethics, burnable, I figured that if I made a ceremony of it, maybe dance around the pyre in homemade animal costumes or something, it would provide closure, and most excitingly, e-bayable.

After an hour or two, my excitement had dwindled to barely. The compostable pile had nothing in it at all. The untidy e-bay pile consisted of , 1 teach yourself French textbook, 1 step counter, 2 covert surveillance devices (don't ask), 1 IBM thinkpad power lead, 1 Caledonian Sleeper disposable hygiene kit and the contents of 16 business class complimentary toiletry bags from British Airways, Air France and Quantas. Now, I'm am an optimistic e-bayer, with a healthy feedback score too, but even I could see that only the most misguided of car boot devotees would have his eyes turned by that lot.
The burnable pile however was almost as tall as me. Given that I live right under the approach for Glasgow airport, I'd be worried about setting fire to it in case the authorities mistook it for a downed Jumbo.

By this time it was too late to go on my continuing quest for bacon roll perfection. Bacon rolls should not be consumed after 11am. But I had another search to perform that took me to the heart of downtown Kirky. Three salmon fillets were to be found and persuaded to join us for tea.

I stomped up and down the high street, trailing little yappy behind me but to no avail. Plenty of charity shops, bookmakers,travel agents, hairdressers, take-aways and cafes, but no fishmonger. There was a little lopsided box trailer in Sainsburys car park that had the promise of "Fresh Fish Sold Daily" but Mondays appear to have fallen out of his week, as the shutters were firmly down.

Why did fishmongers not make it into the 21st Century high street? Butchers did, bakers did, OK, Candlestick makers didn't, but they barely made it into the 20th Century High Street. I can understand why tobacconists and milliners didn't survive, but we still all eat fish. Its too easy to blame the supermarkets, that's undoubtedly true, but we seem to be more loyal to our butchers, why didn't fishmongers receive that loyalty and trust from us too. When I was a boy, getting dragged to the fishmongers was one of the highlights of the shopping trip. The one in Dunblane had a great big window with water streaming down the inside of it, the trays of ice with unfamiliar and impressive fish laying out with the fishmonger, in his stripey apron, welly boots and rosy cheeks ready to dispense fish related advice.

I had to resort to the supermarket after that, it was my only hope, and they had me. I had to buy, not three salmon fillets, like the brief prescribed but four, because they were all pre-packed. We must buy a lot of food we don't want because the supermarkets have begun to pre-pack virtually everything. Even bananas which kind of come pre-packed already.

The supermarket had another treat in store for me with a full assault on my eyes by the dreaded navel gap.
There comes a time in the development of a mans beer belly when the trousers kind of just give up trying to go around the waist, and just slip under it. This is good news for the host of this belly, as he can claim to still be getting into a 34' waist. But if nobody has told his jumper that it is expected to make up the difference then there is an inevitable gap between bottom of straining jumper, and top of exhausted trousers. From the big fellas point of view, everything looks fine and dandy, he cant see his feet, but why does he need too, he knows there there because he was helped on with his shoes this morning. But we just get this pasty white, swollen mass with that frightening belly button, searing its image to the back of your conscience, like the eye of Mordor, you just know your going to be seeing it whenever you close your eyes in the coming week.

Still no publishing deal or film rights offer for the reeking lum, I should start looking for a job.

Lang may yer lum reek.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Oh' I should have looked after my teeth"

Reeking Lum-inaries

The Reeking Lum has made it through its first week, hurrah. Surely an achievement to mark with some bunting and a day off, oh...wait a minute, I have every day off.

I love Sundays, no rushing about, nowhere I have to be but, I miss my Mum when I eat French Toast. My Mum passed away about 9 months ago, and of course you miss them all the time, but its away, in a box at the back of the garage of your mind somewhere. But some things bring it right to your front door , where it chaps furiously to get in. The thing for me is French Toast. If making French Toast had been a scientific discipline, then my Mum would have received a Nobel Prize for it.
I used to think life was like a jigsaw puzzle. You gather pieces with the experiences you have, the people you meet and know and eventually it becomes a picture, and that is you. Then you start losing pieces, but even though the bit of the picture is gone, it leaves the space where it once was, the impression is still there, and you never lose that, well, its a comfort for me anyway.

My green eco-credentials received another little boost today with the arrival at the Reeking Lum compound of a compost bin. Of course every action has a reaction, and I expect the arguments to begin about what actually is compost-able. I thought at this rate they will be naming jungles after me in a year so it might be a good opportunity to off-set some of my new greenness against a new car. When it comes to purchases like this, I like to eliminate the most unlikely (desirable) options as soon as possible, so off we troop around some car dealerships. With my new eco-credibility smugly in my pocket, I of course immediately pitched up outside the Range-Rover showroom.
I'm not sure when exactly in the engagement my credibility came crashing down as a potential Range Rover purchaser. I'm too old to be believable as a footballer, and not nearly hard enough looking to pass myself off as the drug king-pin for North Glasgow, so I can only imagine it was when he casually mentioned the £54'000 price tag, and I gave a little nervous chuckle that I hoped came over as "Ha, is that all, I'll have one in cerise, and one in zebra stripes please". We left soon after promising to ring up to arrange a test drive, I don't think he expects to see us again.

You will recall that the inside of my house is encrusted with Artex in a variety of finishes. So much so in fact, that if the National Trust knew about it, the house would be listed as of historical Artexural importance and an exclusion zone established around the bedroooms and stairs. Now, on Sunday morning, that exclusion zone would have been a good thing, because my balding pate did collide, at a kind of oblique, skidding angle with the ceiling at the top of the stairs, which of course has the Artex design I call Jaggy. I think its an interpretation in plaster of broken glass or something. The result was a torrent of first, expletives, then blood out of my, Susan insists on calling it a graze, but its definitely a gash in my head. It looks like I have been unseated from a Ducatti at a 100mph and skidded along on my head across an old blaize football pitch without a helmet on. Never mind the National Trust, if the Health and Safety Executive hear about this the place will be flattened.

To cheer me up we all trooped out for dinner, i wore a hat to hide my horrendous injuries, and while I was waiting to be seated picked up a whats on guide for Glasgow. Just in time too, because next week at the Pavillion Theatre, then the following night at The Kings Theatre, we have some real heavy hitters in town. Showaddywaddy, followed by Pam Ayers, its all you really need of a weekend isn't it.

Lang may yer lum reek

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Push button to open

Captains carmel log, stardate Saturday.

Reeking Lums.

I'm off on a trip today. The heirs to the Reeking Lum fortune reside in Alloa and Saturday is the day Daddy visits and I often try and imagine doing it in somebody else's shoes. Andrew Carnegies to be precise as he attends a "how far can you philanthropiss up a wall contest" with John Paul Getty and Howard Hughs.
Now with a car, its a good 40 minute drive away, but with only my trusty nearly new bike , the proposal becomes akin to those early efforts to find the root of The Nile.
It has to be the train, but Lenzie appears to be a station that is governed by the laws of randomness, and its never easy to predict when you have to be there to catch the train of choice, as a result, I have to sit supping lattes in Lenzies trying too hard coffee shop. The ball that is my plans for the day, is already on the slates and I've only been out the house 10 minutes.
I phone ahead to allay fears that I may have been kidnapped for ransom and a suggestion is made that unsettles me further. My daughter, who normally is very smart, is adamant that you have to pay a half to get your bike on the train and seeing as I have just bought my ticket and a latte leaving me with 30p in my pocket, that's not going to happen.

Lenzie is actually quite nice and a lot like Dunblane in some respects in that they both had growth spurts with the arrival of the railways and your wealthy turn of the century merchants and professionals from Glasgow were encouraged to buy or build houses in these new commuter zones. That means a lot of these big old Edwardian piles and people are generally pretty loaded. I saw a boy getting dropped off at School a few weeks ago in a Rolls Royce Phantom, the thing could hardly get up the street it was so big, it was like those pictures of giant ships squeezing through the Suez canal.
A little while ago there was a news report on TV comparing the life expectancy of Lenzie residents with those in one of Glasgows grimmer reservations and the difference turned out to be something like 23 years. Now that's quite a shocking stat, that we can all cope with if its Chad or Somalia, but not Black Hill which is only about 7 miles away.

I meet and get chatting to a little old lady on the train, who was off to visit her brother in Alloa. She was registered blind, and had to be helped on the train by the guard. She was tiny and frail and kind of perched on the edge of her seat like a sparrow but when we got talking you could sense there was a lot to admire in this lady. I hope I',m like that when I'm her age. No, not a woman, or blind, but intrepid and fearless and still have the belief the world is as much mine now as it always was, and I'm off out in it.

One bonus of travelling with your bike on the train, for free by the way, is having to sit in the 21st century equivalent of the guards van and the entertainment you get with the w.c facilities on these new trains. Its a push button world these days, and train toilets are no exception. You push a button to open the door, you push another to close the door, but what many do not realise is , you push one more button to lock the door. So, if you are extremely unfortunate, as a surprising number of people were on the 11:30 Saturday train to Alloa, somebody else comes along the carriage, desperately wanting to enjoy all the trains facilities, and pushes the button for open, exposing some poor floundering soul right in the middle of ,well, whatever. Its wrong, I know, but particularly funny when its a woman, sitting there, unable to move and relying on a charitable passenger to push the close button for her, then there is the seemingly endless wait for the hydraulics and things to do there work and slowly slide around her again. But the hell isn't over yet , she then has to come out and face us all as she hurries back to her seat.

I'm fond of Alloa. Historically it was a real hive of industry with brewing, distilling, engineering, shipbuilding, textile mills, coal mines and iron works. It was like a microcosm of the entire Scottish economy in one town. Its nearly all gone now though, only a glass works and some whisky left. The last 25 years have not been kind to the town or its residents. If Geldof pitched up in the High St, within 20 minutes he'd be on the phone to Bono and have a record out in a week. You get the feeling though that its on the up.

"There's money in your old mobile" I've just had reminded to me by a vulgar ad on TV. I stick my old unwanted mobile in a bag, send it off and I will get up to £200 straight back. Up to is very much the key here, after 50 seconds research I discover that the £200 promise, is only for unused Apple i-phones???? So who would do that exactly. Well, in Alloa it would be those twitchy menacing junkies that you see darting among the shadows half an hour after they've stolen it from your bedside drawer.

For somebody that makes a mess of drawing curtains, I was totally blown away and impressed with my daughters art exam submission. Theres no feeling like the feeling of pride your kids give you from time to time.

Back home in Kirky and one of the neighbors must have a teenager either celebrating a birthday, or celebrating their parents being out the country with a noisy, boozathon. Being young looks like loads more fun now than it was when i was young. Did the 40 somethings of 1988 wonder the same thing you think, surely not. When they were teenagers they had The Beatles and The Stones, free love and flowers in their hair, the promise of jet-packs and hover cars.

Another Saturday in its death throes and I seem to have been particularly curmudgeonly today, so it as good a time as any to mention some telly I wasn't quick witted enough to avoid.
Heros??WTF. This show is unwatchable. Most notable for the motivation it provides to become a cornea donor, immediately. Secondly their is an actor in it with the first name Carlease. Now, Iv'e heard of people flicking through the phone book for inspiration when naming a child, but not the yellow pages.

Lang may yer lum reek

Friday, March 19, 2010

Jordan and the dishy Greens


Fourth morning on the trot I have traipsed down to Kirky town centre, its only about half a mile, but I'm missing my car, any car in-fact. At least I can look Mother Nature in the face and whisper comfortingly in her ear" Its not me, its them" .

This time I was just taking little yappy out for a walk, though, dragging is a more accurate description. As soon as the weather gets a little bit Scottish, that's it, she doesn't want to know, anyway, I thought it would be a good opportunity to continue my search for Kirkys best bacon roll.
Because yappy was with me, I was drawn to a place that had a table outside, and in Kirky that can only mean D'nisi,s. D'nisi,s you,ll notice, not Denices and I had as much chance of getting a bacon roll in there as John Terry has of getting away with Shell forecourt flowers and a card for his wifes next birthday. No, it was all brie and red onion that, and highland salmon and watercress this. Whats happened is they have obviously somehow got Kirkintilloch mixed up with somewhere else, and when they were filling in their business loan application put down Covent Garden by mistake.
So, yappy and I slipped away, after pretending I had to think about my choice from the menu. They probably get that a lot right enough, with patrons being totally thrown by items like Bruschetta and Panninis.

So, we ventured along to where the rents are a little lower, and found a place among the charity shops called "The Street Cafe Company" which sounds a bit grand and conjures up images of huge multi national corporations and massive board room tables made of Amazonian teak. In reality, it'll be one man and his apron. However, you know your on the right track for a credible bacon roll, when the CEO of the company greets you with "AWRIGHT BIG MAN, WHIT CAN A DAE YE FIR". What I got was a half decent effort, but found the bacon a little bland and sliced too thickly. but its the best yet. No where near as good as the one I had a couple of weeks ago in Canary was perfect in every way...I hear harps when i think of it.

Thinking of Starbucks got me interested in something, how far away is your nearest Starbucks, I've just checked and the nearest Starbucks to me is 7.7 miles away. That must be hard to imagine if you live in a city of any size. My mate has just informed me that he has moved to a place that is equidistant from the 3 nearest Starbucks and they are all 21 miles away. How can you explain that? Its some kind of Starbucks dead zone. Maybe a gypsy curse, or something buried deep under the ground that repels soulless conglomerates. I can imagine the Starbucks suits in Seattle, through the night meetings, focus groups, powerpoints and ven diagrams all trying to find a way to explain to shareholders why they haven't cracked Northamptonshire.

I cannot let last nights tele-consumption go without comment. First of all, apologies to non-football and non-Scottish followers but, Scotlands Greatest Team...GENIUS.
How to choose the greatest forwards? Well, lets get those that are less than immortal gods out the way first, that leaves Big Joe Jordan, King Kenny and Dennis Law, "The Lawman, so called because his second name was Law, and he was a man" as someone once said.
Every Scotland fan loves to see a big combative "heederer of a baw" up front, thats why Big Duncan Ferguson was such a disappointment for so many of us, so Jordan gets in my team. He epitomises what a Scottish striker should be, fearsome and fearless, good in the air and dentally challenged. But that means King Kenny or the Lawman has to be left out. I grew up watching King Kenny, and he truly, truly was magnificent, the best around at the time by a long way, but I'm going for Law, mainly because we have already seen Dalgleish and Jordan upfront together in 3 world cups, I'd love to see Jordan and Law. Kenny on the bench.

Secondly, Question Time... David Starkey, what a blustering, pompous, swivel eyed old tory he is. Its interesting to watch the old experienced politicians like Beckitt and Kennedy at work on that show, they never get dragged into anything, always in control and assured. The conservative shadow cabinet member, I cant remember his name, which is the conservatives biggest problem, just came over as being naive and inexperienced, but probably impeccably connected. Caroline Lucas, the leader of The Greens is a bit of a dish, or maybe that was a trick of the eye because Margaret Beckitt was sitting so close. Thats the great thing about getting older, the only great thing, every year you find more and more people attractive. I'm up to about 60%, though that figure drops considerably in Papa Kawas.

I'm thinking of making a start sorting the two boxes i brought home from work. Filled with the debris of 20 years of getting away with it in Diageo. Its like that scene where you wake up in rags on a deserted beach after your ships gone down surrounded by crates, barrels and broken timbers. Some of it might be useful in the future so should be kept, the rest calls for .......A BURNING.

Lang may yer lum reek.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cobblers to Poll Tax


I had two rounds of combat scheduled today with Her Majesty's Government.
Round 1 was with the Poll Tax Assessors who we had invited round to reconsider there decision to "up" the banding of our little house. They have obviously made some mistake and mixed up our file with Mohammed Al Fayeds for Skibo Castle, easy mistake to make.
We thought, once they see the house, and the "improvements" that are supposed to have been made we'll probably get a rebate. Now, I'm a bit of a traditionalist and when you say "home improvements" I hear, "improved home". Well not in this case.
I was expecting the Viz's Bottom Inspectors to turn up, but the bloke was decent enough and even laughed at one of my jokes about us all catching emphysema from the Artex. Artex, for those that don't know, was apparently a very popular choice of ceiling decoration back in the 80s. And this house had a real Artex artisan living in it at the time, every conceivable design can be found somewhere. I've given them names, like Jaggy, Mashed Potato, Fan and Carrott and WTF. If it was only on the ceilings it would be bad enough, but its on the walls as well, even Jaggy is on the walls.

Round 2 was with machines that run our nations Social Security offices. I had received an invite to attend, and this time gain admittance to the inner sanctum, where all the plum jobs are kept.
First real decision of the day was what to wear. I opted to get dressed up in my finest TK Maxx discoveries and wear the biggest, shiniest watch I have. I'll unsettle them by not wearing a track suit and unfeasibly white trainers and maybe catch them off guard, thereby hoovering up all the top jobs. In I purposefully stride, full of confidence and self assurance. This time when the little woman and Security guard come scurrying over, they are like ants and I brush them aside by declaring how I am expected and have an appointment. I am offered a seat. I'm in.
My decision to wear clean clothes is drawing a bit of attention and I'm glad when my name is called. This is where they get clever, the whole process consists of more than one part, and you are passed from one to the other, till you find yourself back out in the car-park at the end. You can't get friendly with anyone, or heaven forbid intimidate them with a chunky watch and smart jacket. I did notice that my phone didn't get a signal once I was over the threshold, not a good sign I thought, even GSM doesn't work in the job centre.
The first lady i see looks like she might have been appointed by William Beveridge himself, and she didn't do much apart from photocopy my passport, the next bloke was somebody called D Butler. I hoped beforehand that maybe D would be a womans name, and I had images of Dee Hepburn in her football shorts, but no, I think its short for D-1000. There is no way that someone in that place can be so inanely chipper and bouncy without it being due to some kind of hardwired government developed implanted programme.
Anyway, what about all the available jobs, the blue chip organisations lining up to pick the cream of the crop from lake flacid. Well, there was a cooks position at the Lucky Dragon, but my Cantonese isn't what it could be so don't think I'd get it.
The job centre had two soldiers in it today, not looking for work, but just strolling about. I think they were there to remind the young and aimless that soldiering is an option, i hope they remember to tell them though that the job centres in Kandahar are a little different.

My hunt for the best bacon roll in Kirky goes on and today with 20 minutes to kill, I took the opportunity to try out Papa Kawa's. Except, I had to abort the bacon roll because it was taking so long to get served and settled for a cup of tea instead. The most striking and memorable thing about Papa Kawa's, today at least, was the collection of unfortunate looking folk that were in there all at once. Now, I'm no oil painting, in fact the only modeling I could do would be for Toby Jugs, but I know whats not put together properly. In any other species, ugliness wouldn't really be an issue, they just wouldn't get the chance to pass their ugly genes on, and they would wither and perish on the vine, so to speak. Was that not Darwins proposition, that we are constantly evolving and refining ourselves to excel in the world around us. Well with people, its not working, in fact, its going backwards. Ugly people, only end up mating with other ugly people, thereby concentrating the ugliness and producing even uglier offspring. Its a worry and Papa Kawa's is out.

After my appointment with "The Man" I grabbed a quick lunch in a local pub. Now Kirkintilloch was a champion of temperance and was what used to be known as a "dry" town as late as 1968. Which means unfortunately that nice old characterful pubs, like The Chimes (It'll always be The Chimes to me) in Dunblane, are in short supply, I'm taking a minute to think of one, and I cant, so its even worse than a short supply. So I had to go into a Weatherspoons place, The Kirky Puffer. These places are like feeding troughs in a factory farm, but £4.75 for a pint of Guinness, a bowl of Cullen Skink and a sandwich cannot be beaten.

Funny how my fear of bookies shops disappears when I'm going back to pick up my winnings. I stride in, all cocksure, present my winning ticket with a flourish and am overly loud with my gratitude when trousering the proceeds. Though, i didnt actually manage to keep the proceeds for long, I had put a pair of shoes in to get fixed, and no matter how delightfully old fashioned the idea of a cobblers is, with the smells and obscure looking tools, they certainly don't charge old fashioned prices and I was £23 lighter as a result, I think the shoes only cost £40.

Lang may yer lum reek.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bacon rolls and betting shops

Reeking Lums,

It seems an odd strategy to ensure the survival of your species, to make yourself as tasty as possible. But that seems to be the path pig has taken. It has avoided the more traditional methods of say, camouflage and dexterity, these attributes dont seem to do much for Mrs Pig, and have concentrated on becoming as fat and tasty as possible. Is this tastiness an attribute that has evolved. Would the Neolithic caveman, if he sat down with me this morning in Floras Cafe have recognised the seductive scent of a roll and bacon. There are no cave paintings of bacon sizzling in the pan, or peeking out, teasingly from between two slices of bread in the Cueva de las Monedas, which inevitably makes me think no. The tastiness is because of intensive farming and selective breeding over the past 150 years, but hey, whos complaining?

Well, me actually, and its because of Floras Cafe. I ventured down the town today to rake about in that husk of a hardware store, and once more opted for my trusty and nearly new bike, and I was off bright and early becuase I promised myself a bacon roll and a cup of tea in the little cafe i passed yesterday.
In I goes, places my order with the delightfully vacant lady behind the counter and set my mind about choosing a paper to peruse. The Daily Record, nope, journalism is questionable, The Sun, nope, what journalism, The Daily Star, are they still printing that? so I settled for The Mirror, at least it will give me a good account of the Chelsea game last night. "They are all yesterdays papers" another member of staff grunted at me, great I thought, to lazy to go around the corner, no more than 25 paces and buy some papers for their customers. "Would you like the radio on? " she asked me, " I dunno, is it todays? I kind of sniped back, she just looked at me.

So I just gazed empty headed out the window till my breakfast came. One thing of note, a young woman tottered up the street dressed like a Russian gangsters moll, mini skirt, fur coat, uncomfortable shoes, bottle blonde, yesterdays make-up, you dont get that oftten in Kirkie at 10am on a Wednesday.

Now Flora, dont tempt me in with the promise of a bacon roll and serve me up something substandard. I have a haunting suspicion that mine came on one of yesterdays rolls, inexcusable!!! and also, is it beyond the wit of man to design a teapot that doesnt slitter 50% of the contents all over the area surrounding your cup, but not actually in your cup. I wont be back.

If I had had todays paper to read I might well have read the headline " MAN ASSAULTS POLICEWOMAN WITH PENIS" Now, i thought, if there is a policewoman with a penis, she probably gets a tough enough time from her colleagues without her getting assaulted aswell, but no, I read on, some guy in Aberdeen, and I read this on the BBC news website, so its totally true, hit a policewoman on the head with his penis!!!! Now, i dont know about you, but I would have paid to see that. Was he flailing it about like some nudey William Wallace, or was it more of a darting, jabbing type action, I,can't imagine. There was no mention of any injuries , I can only assume he never had her eye out or anything.

I'm 41 and still scared of betting shops. I had a couple of tips for Cheltenham today and would never forgive myself if they came up and I had ignored them, but I am clueless in a bookies. I try and look hard and seasoned like everybody else but end up kind of hiding in the corner and waiting until the counter is quiet before going up. Dreading the girl saying I haven't filled my line in correctly or something. I put an each way bet on two horses, Weapons Amnesty and Bishopfurze, after my pal, Johnny Bino tipped them, I really wanted to double them up as well, but didn't know how, so just left with my pride intact.

Lang may yer lum reek