Janey's Blogs - September 2009
Thursday the 3rd of September 2009
Maybe its time to be me again
"Janey, my lungs are killing me, my HIV is playing up and my cancer might be back and I am worried about swine flu," my brother called to tell me, then added: "Am thinking of buying bagpipes."
"Jim, you have three guitars, two tambourines and possibly a cello and you can't play any of them; maybe it's time to stop buying musical instruments," I replied.
"Do you like Kings of Leon?" he ignored my advice and carried on about music.
"Yes, I love them Jim," I said.
"Me too. I might try and go see them, are they Mormons?" he asked.
"Not sure, but I know the Osmonds are Mormons if you are looking for a religious-type musical group," I replied.
"Do you remember that time I toured with U2 and showed Bono how to wear a hat?" he asked.
"No, I don't recall that, but am sure it was fun," I giggled.
My brother Jim is basically nuts and makes me laugh and snort tea through my nose. I miss him and his insane ways. He used to have a dog called Cooper who tried to rape your legs every single visit to his home. Cooper also loved to try to bite the Hickman line that was attached to Jim's chest during his chemo regime: the dog thought the red stud on my brother's torso was a clothes peg and Cooper loved biting clothes pegs. It was a rather disconcerting time every time my brother stripped off his jumper in front of his crazy dog. Yet he survived, as always.
Much like me. We are survivors of all things medical in my odd family. My other brother is currently housebound as he jumped off scaffolding due a steel bar coming at his head and has now got two broken ankles. My elder sister has a plethora of complaints health wise but seems to be hanging on. I forget what is currently ailing her, but try hard not to think of her as an episode of House on the telly. She is a medical mystery.
I don't have anything medically wrong with me, actually. I do get things go wrong when I am on tour, I write them down and promise to give it to the doctor when I get home but, by that time, the symptoms have gone and I forget what it was that was wrong with me. I will probably die soon, due to a long-ignored brain tumour which I mistake for a headache; I am given to deep paranoia about my headaches. Occasionally, I get an upset tummy or really sore heels when I wake up, but that is called 'getting old' and nothing to be scared about. My knees make a noise when I go downstairs; I suspect I am in for arthritis.
Other than that, am all set to get back on the road again and flying off next week to Barcelona, then around the UK at weekends to do comedy stuff.
Am glad to be home at the moment, though. Edinburgh was fun but can be tiring; I also did the New Zealand Comedy Festival this year, so it's all been hectic and living out of suitcases. It's lovely to pee in my own toilet.
Am also writing stuff for radio and I love doing that. It excites me no end and I am glued to my laptop like a keyboard junkie.
Went up to see my dad yesterday and it was great fun to have a natter with him. He really is an inspiration, despite being widowed this year. He is perky, cheery and trying hard not to fall asleep on his sofa and lie awake all night. He has become nocturnal and can't seem to shake it off. I told him to come up to my house during the night as Ashley stays awake during the night as well and they may all be vampires.
Had a nice laugh when I got home from Edinburgh, as it turns out I was a clue in the Daily Record Quickie Crossword! It said 31 across 'Comedian, ----- Godley (5)'. That made me smile and, this coming Sunday, I am on the repeat of Just a Minute on BBC Radio 4 if you are interested.
So, back to reality and life: it is time to be me again, I suspect!
Monday the 7th of September 2009
Yes, I have stopped smoking again
I had to stop; there were scary chest pains and breathing difficulties during very casual sexual activity. Seriously, just moving my leg gave me pain and husband had to stop leaning on my body for fear it would stop functioning, that's bad.
I model myself on the youthful appearance of Demi Moore except, if you minus all the surgery she has had and the Botox and skin plumpers. I look how she would look if she had fatty evil Scottish food and hundreds of fags pushed into her lungs and a series of childhood infections based on poverty and poor diet; if you take that into account, Demi and I are practically identical.
Except my daughter doesn't have an insurmountably large jaw line and a penchant for hanging her arse out of jeans. So what I am saying is me and Demi Moore have fuck all in common but I wish I had the cash and balls to have extensive surgery to look beautiful. I can't even bear to get a filling in my tooth far less synthetic plastic pumped into my lip line! Ashton Kutcher is seriously hot though; I bet Demi makes him do things to her and he is scared in case she shaves her head again and starts beating him with pottery wheels or whips.
Anywa, I have stopped smoking again. This is possibly the ninth attempt. Who knows? I am determined to go at least six months before I become an addict again. Give my wee lungs time to heal a bit.
Life is OK at the moment; husband and daughter are ignoring my rather snappy, biscuit eating, ear picking and ranty, bitey moods as I detach myself from nicotine.
I am having a week off before I start comedy gigging, though I am doing some filming for a documentary in the Calton. Then am back on planes, trains etc, I am in London soon for an audition and a few post-Edinburgh meetings. I am going to be calm and nice about things as my body detoxifies.
Am walking more and that's good for me; had a few celebs on twitter show me some non smoking support; am determined to get fit, lose weight and stop smoking before the year is out. My daughter Ashley is on a health kick as well: she is eating better and exercising and that just encourages me to keep it up as well.
Just discovered a nice noodle bar up The Great Western Road called WU-DON and the food is so yummy, I love thick noodles and Dim Sum, so I treated myself to some nice fare and walked home in the drizzling rain, picking up some charity shop books on the way. I do love buying novels in charity shops: the best way to buy a book as far as I am concerned.
Am off to sponsor Eddie Izzard on his marathon runs. You can keep up with him on Twitter and see pics and updates of his epic running journey - such a worthwhile charity - so go help please?
Wednesday the 9th of September 2009
Double Denim is in
I am living on apples; they stop me from smoking and give me something to do with hands. I am back from the brink, no more fags...yet again.
So, last week, I had some very interesting meetings and am very happy with the outcomes of them. Tide is turning in my direction for a wee change! It's all swings and roundabouts as we all know but am enjoying the new stuff I am working on and Edinburgh provided great breaks for me, though I remain unconvinced that it was their - 'BEST SELLING EVER FRINGE'.
The sheer amount of acts selling 2 for 1s right up until the last weekend was frightening and even some of the comedy award nominees never sold out on their last Saturday: that's shocking!
People need to remember that 2 for 1s and free tickets given away COUNT as sold tickets in the final round up countdown, so it is misleading.
The last two weeks of the Fringe were very quiet and I witnessed some big promoters pull shows near the last weekend. I saw TV Name comics struggle getting a sold out on that board and I know heaps of poor comedy bastards that will lose serious cash this year. Fucking shame all round, especially when the venue and promoters get their cash off you upfront and NO MATTER HOW BADLY your show sold... I am glad I did it all myself and don't leave Edinburgh Fringe owing anyone cash. In fact, I did make a good profit this year and am glad I took the risk again, especially with the TV and radio work I got out of it.
Onwards and upwards is the name of my game! I am off the fags and working like a wee Scottish devil; that's what life is all about.
I went back to The Calton where I used to live in Glasgow's East End with Michael Portillo (I know - how odd?) to take part in a documentary about the area. I sat outside my old pub and stared at the old red-brick building above it that was my home for 15 years; it was where Ashley grew up and where I started out in married life. It was rather emotional, especially when you consider how we left it in 1994.
It looks really bad, despite being renovated. There is so much filth and clutter round the side of the building and the brickwork looks dull; the windows look filthy, there are parts of the balustrade up on the roof missing and the pub itself looks like it was transported back to 1975 in a pub time machine. And I don't mean the good part of 1975, I mean the awful drunken fucked-upness of 1975.
There were a whole collection of drunken people all dressed in stone-washed double denim, all of whom looked like some evil familial DNA had robbed them of the possibility of a chin since time began. Seriously, no one there had a chin. The chubby faces all dissolved into their necks without the interruption of a chin-type facial structure to halt the journey southwards. I even stared into my make up mirror in my bag, to check I do have a chin; turns out I have three chins, but that's fine. The evil chin monster hasn't stolen it the way he did to these poor people. He even took their teeth as well. People in the Calton outside that pub, lacked teeth and chins.... that's fucked up.
I don't recall swathes of customers without chins or teeth back in my day!
A black youth walked past me and, as he headed across London Road, I heard a chinless denim-clad man shout: "There's Bobo the darkie!" and other deformed-faced denim-clad men giggled. I clenched my teeth and stared at the ground. I hated the cunt-faced man and hated that this was where my child grew up and hated that old men were actually not old really and smelled of beer and piss and I come from those people. I hated everything. I tried to remember good times in the Calton.
So I sat on the red fencing pipe opposite the bar and reminisced about Ashley learning to walk on that pavement. Just as my golden glow of memories were overtaking my brain, a car drew up, the man rolled the window down and he asked: "You looking for business?"
I forgot about the kerb-crawling bastards who surf the Calton looking for hooker. This man didn't have a chin either; that disturbed me more.
"Fuck off, chinless weirdo!" I shouted at him as I waited on the camera crew arriving. He actually spat at me and drove off. To think I had glowy memories of this fucking street. What was I thinking of?
A wee drunken man from my old bar came wandering across to ask me inane questions that I can't bear to write down or repeat as the dullness of the conversation was only saved by the fact he didn't have a chin and I got to look close up at the chinless facial structure of this creature. It was amazing and really worth staring at.
Then Michael Portillo and the crew turned up and we all got microphones clipped on and started the shoot. The chinless man in double denim came out of the bar and walked purposely very close to the camera and shouted loudly: "Don't put me on camera! I don't want on camera!"
"Fuck off out of the shot! Go back into the bar and don't come fucking near a camera is the way to cure your worry about being caught on camera, isn't it, you chinless fuck?" I shouted back coz I used to live there and I recall that's how people spoke to each other.
Michael Portillo merely stared at me and then carried on regardless as though nothing had happened. I think politicians are good at pretending shit hasn't happened and can smile through any storm and he must know that as he was a Tory when Scottish people hated Tories and were allowed to cull them legally in honour of stolen milk and miners or something like that - I can't totally remember!
The day brightened up, we finished the shoot and wandered home. All my glowy memories of the Calton were shot to fuck. People were nuts, double denim is SO HUGE in the Calton and I don't want to go back there. All the good people are dead and the useless chinless cunts are left behind.
Friday the 11th of September 2009
Shopping Bags... and Dead Men
M&S charge you for a plastic bag to carry your food home, yet they don't charge you for a plastic bag to carry your clothes home after purchase. They also don't charge you for all the plastic that they wrap around the food unnecessarily either. I wish they would make up their minds.
I now have a 'shopping bag' which I take to the shops and put my food in to bring home. I recall years ago that my mum used to have a special shopping bag, like all Glasgow mammies had. It was brown, plastic, deep and smelled of potatoes and tobacco with an occasional Embassy fag coupon floating about the bottom of it. Your mammy made you carry it to the shops with a list of stuff to get and then you had to lug it back home again, feeling the handles strain against the weight.
My daughter was aghast to hear that us kids - back in the 60s - had to go to the shops and carry a wee bag of coal and some sticks on our shoulders all the way back to our home!
I recall the day when I was considered 'big' enough to get the coal from Joe Lafferty's in Shettleston Road. He had those big tin posters of Cherry Blossom shoe polish with wee kittens sitting in shiny boots right beside the coal stack. He helped balance the bag full of coal on my shoulder and watched me walk precariously out the door, all proud to be old enough to carry coal!
The chopped fire sticks would dangle on a string beside your legs and give you skelfs (splinters) as it bounced off your thighs and later you would have to dig them out of your skin with a hot sterilised needle! Shopping was different back then!
We used to wait the queue in Curley's which was a big grocer shop; they sold all the cold meats, butter, cheese, cans and household cleaners; the floor was covered in black and white tiles and the staff wore white aprons. Then you had to go queue at the local butchers to get the butcher meat.
So we are back to the days of proper shopping bags and that's a good thing in my eyes! I am hoping shopping trolleys make a comeback as well, as I have a tartan one in the cupboard.
OK, some news about Glasgow. Seems John Friel, an old gangster, died last week. I recall him from 1979 when he parked his Jaguar car outside my (soon to be) father-in-law's bar in Shettleston; he managed to clip my leg as he backed up. I didn't know (nor care) who he was; all I saw was a tall balding man wearing a beige camel coat getting out of the car and ignoring the fact he just hurt me. I ran towards him and lifted one big blue Kicker-clad foot and kicked him squarely on his spine; his beige coat had a big muddy footprint on it.
"What the fuck?" he shouted, twisting his coat round to look at the stain.
My prospective father in law laughed loudly and nodded at Mr Friel: "That's my son's girlfriend."
"She needs to stop kicking people!" Friel snapped.
"She probably won't," my boyfriend's dad laughed again and the incident was over as quick as it started.
We did meet up years later and he was always absolutely courteous and lovely to me, though once he told me to get out of a nightclub I was in as he was annoyed that the women I was socialising with worked as prostitutes and he knew them.
"You should be at home with your husband and not out here with these working girls!" he snapped at me. This was in the dark days of 1980s East End Glasgow. Women back then weren't allowed to vote, speak loudly or read, unless accompanied by a female tutor or virgin/spinster companion.
Me and John Friel argued for about half an hour until he conceded defeat and accepted that I was allowed to socialise with anyone I wanted, especially after I threatened to penalty kick his spine again!
I recently read that he was involved in some spy ring, the IRA and a host of underground activities; I always thought he had kind eyes and a nice smile. RIP Mr Friel... May my footprint forever be on your coat!
Wednesday the 16th of September 2009
Who Knew Cats could fight terrorism?
I want to stop eating bucket loads of biscuits and stop smoking without actually harming someone. Life is odd at the moment, I saw a woman with a funny black hooded hat scream at a cat in the street, the cat stared at her and basically gave her a cat sneer and ignored her. I love cats. They really don't give a flying fuck about people; if they were humans they would be either mentally retarded folk who are unable to recognise feelings OR upper class foppish Oxbridge bedwetters who believe the world owes them a living. They have a disdainful look about them and people end up serving their needs which apply to both the mentally retarded and Oxbridge bedwetters.
Anyway this woman screamed at the cat, her voice reached whistle range and the cat merely licked a paw and wiped its face. OK, the woman was wearing a Bhurka and she was scared of cats, I never explained the full story; I omitted she was a Muslim lady in devout looking dress and was terrified of the cat. A man came running out of the Mosque across the street from me and he screamed at the cat as well; the cat licked its other paw and wiped its ears. The man was also scared of the cat. He paced round it, tried throwing stones at it and then finally flicked it with his foot; they needed the cat to move away from the woman's front door. I was annoyed at the cruel way they were treating the fat tufty cat, so I walked over and lifted it up and placed it in the garden opposite her door.
This leads me to wonder if people with Asian/Muslim origin don't like/hate cats and, if they do, then we are missing a huge opportunity in the war against terror don't you think? Maybe that's why the Muslim fundamentalists wanted to blow up the bar Tiger Tiger in London, it wasn't the 'loose Western Women' they were after but anything that represented big cats!
Maybe we should be allowed to carry cats onto planes and if another terrorist hijacking situation comes into play we just throw cats at them?
Anyway, that's how my brain is working as I stop smoking and try to stop eating. I have HEAPS of work and auditions/meetings etc... and I need to focus and stop getting involved in cat/Muslim situations and get my head into work.
I am off to see The House of Barnarda Alba at the Citizens' Theatre this Thursday. I wrote the foreword for the programme and am excited that Siobhan Redmond who plays the lead character cited my autobiography Handstands in the Dark as an influence on her playing a woman in a gangster family.
Lastly, I am excited about Susan Boyle's new song Wild Horses, which is awesome, though the press in the US citing her as the world most famous Catholic, made me giggle. Surely that would be the Pope? Not Jesus as some people originally believed to be the most famous Catholic, as we all know he is the world's most famous Jew. I still find it funny that Catholics pray to a dead Jewish man... OK... don't get all stroppy and start sending me hate mail.
OK, on that odd note, I am off to not smoke... Speak soon.
Monday the 21st of September 2009
It was a dark time for all
Ashley has been really ill; we didn't know what to do other than kill her quickly with a firm pillow pressed against her sick face, but husband offered another option: how about we take her to hospital? I am the kind of person who - if I cant fix it - I will kill it. I am sorry I sound cruel but I am crap with sick kids and sick people/things in general. If you don't believe me, I used to have a hamster that had eczema and a goldfish that swam sideways. They are no longer here.
It turns out Ashley may or may not have Swine Flu... I think she has a viral infection but then I am the woman who drowns fish so what the hell do I know? She has been told to drink plenty of fluids and get bed rest and this she is really good at doing, so that's a relief, though she is really sick. I am being sarcastic and I do worry.
She gets really hot then shivery and cold, then I get bored listening to it and hide in my room. When she was a tiny baby and used to vomit all down my back when I picked her up I felt like squashing her wee cheeks hard, though I never did that - I merely wiped up the vomit and hugged her till she felt better. But I thought it would be honest to admit that sometimes your kids can make you insane. People underestimate the power of sleep deprivation. It is used as a torture technique during interrogation and yet babies can induce sleep deprivation and people - usually mums - suffer it in silence. I am not saying I am about to snap, I am just saying it can happen.
Luckily, Ashley was a sleepy baby. But once or twice when she did scream in her cot at 4am and I had a 17 hour shift in the pub to get up to, it was horrendously annoying. She wasn't wet or hungry, she was just determined to get me to lift her up and I showed my mothering skills off by ignoring her and sleeping through the throat-wrenching screams. She never really did make it a habit. I have little patience for that kind of behaviour.
The same goes with my patience for husband's Aspergers. I no longer care about his deeply inconvenient syndrome. He has been a tad screamy and insanely picky the past month as he is going through his Aspergic episode - a pillow to his face might happen soon as well. Did I tell you all I have stopped smoking? I am loving it and feel I may have passed the worst of it now... but I think I am slightly short tempered.
So I woke up today to discover that all the electricity in the surrounding area has been cut off. It was like the power strikes of the 70s. I walked about the house trying switches as if some magical power had stayed in one wall and would give me light! I called people, I moaned, I worried about my frozen foods and I huddled under the covers with Ashley and told her about the dark days when I was a kid and our electric got cut off. How we sat with candles, how we walked about with blankets to keep us warm; she got bored and fell asleep. I woke her to continue the story. She was ill, what else did she have to do but listen? The bitch... Anyway, she got a fever again and I got heat off her back.
So sometimes a viral infection can be good.
Saturday the 26th of September 2009
Domestic Abuse, Red Card it!
This blog is in conjunction with the Red Card Campaign on Twitter.
Scotland's domestic abuse statistics rise by 80% after a Rangers and Celtic football match, it was reported by assistant Chief Constable Neilson of Strathclyde Police. During an Old Firm match serious and violent crimes can double.
After one football game back in February this year, police were called out to 185 incidents of domestic abuse - a jump of 52% compared to weekends when a match is not being played.
Assistant Chief Constable John Neilson said the force arrested more than 550 people on the day of the match - all of whom were drunk.
Officers also had to contend with a rise in the number of attempted murders, assaults and breaches of the peace.
And such incidents have peaked during the past Old Firm showdowns during this year.
Now, with the league match next Sunday at Ibrox, the bigoted wife beaters need to feel the might of the football clubs. Punching the wife is as serious as punching a fan, yet a violent thug will only be refused entry to a match for fan bashing and wife beaters will still get welcomed into the terraces. This needs to be addressed. Men who beat their partners and have been prosecuted should never be allowed into a football ground for life.
The clubs should be highlighting this situation; it can't all be blamed on alcohol and if the clubs are seen to be doing something, it can only help.
Sectarianism has been being tackled with some success. But thugs have basically swapped one form of abuse for another and yet again women get the brunt of their pent-up frustrations.
These cowardly thugs who are restricted from bottling other football fans who wear a different coloured scarf on the streets by the police have now found an outlet for their drunken spitting hatred. They can now do their beating in private.
It is shocking to realise that women and children recognise that, when their father's favourite team gets beat, then so will they.
There has to be some sort of solution to this issue.
Police have warned pub and club owners to reinforce their responsibility towards customers and to make sure that drunks will not be served.
Booze is not always the cause for post-match wife beating; it's not as prevalent with other Scottish premier league clubs; it is mainly connected with Rangers and Celtic fans and so that rules alcohol out as the sole instigator in this issue.
There is something that runs deeper with the psyche of the Old Firm fans. Why do they become so vehemently angry? What makes an Old Firm football attendee kick his wife in the head when his team gets beaten?
Someone somewhere needs to come up with an answer and my opinion still sways towards football managers and committees to come out and talk about Old Firm violence.
Sectarianism isn't Scotland's dirty secret - Old Firm Wife Beating is.
Please support this campaign on Twitter, do all you can to highlight this issue. Thanks.
Wednesday the 30th of September 2009
Hollywood Rapists and shouting
I am spitting nails about Roman Polanski and the cock-sucking Hollywood deadbeats who are calling for this child rapist to be released. He raped a 13 year old girl and then hired a fleet of expensive lawyers to keep up with the extradition laws of all the countries he could visit as he fled the US to avoid a prison sentence.
He admitted having sex with a minor. He drugged, sodomised and raped a 13 year old girl but hang on, don't forget the man is an auteur: he won an Oscar for fuck sake. Woody Allen is crying for his release - We can't possibly jail this man, he knows Harvey Weinstein and Harvey is going to speak to Schwarzenegger to get these insidious charges dropped. It's just a load of rich famous people excusing child rape; even women's rights campaigner Whoopi Goldberg said: "It wasn't rape-rape." Really? There is such a thing as rape-rape? I never saw that kind of rape in the film The Colour Purple did you?
Speaking as a woman who was raped as a child, I am aghast at the attitude of people who can excuse this behaviour. The man who raped me told people I was promiscuous and coerced him into it; I was five years old at the time. His defence in court was that I was often seeking his attention. My uncle got three years in prison and people screamed 'Rapist' at him, but then he was a lazy, wife-beating, debt-ridden ex-Orange Walk flautist and not a Hollywood pal of Tilda Swinton, David Lynch and Martin Scorsese. If only my Uncle Rapey had had friends in high places, the attitude towards his child abuse would have been different. (The abuse continued into my teens - I was 13 years old when it stopped, which was just the prime age for Polanski)
I read an astounding article by Michael Deacon in the Telegraph newspaper in which Deacon said: "I re-read an extraordinary interview Polanski gave to the novelist Martin Amis in 1979, the year after Polanski went on the run. The interview originally appeared in Tatler and is collected in Amis's excellent book Visiting Mrs Nabokov. Here's a section of the first quote it contains from Polanski: "If I had killed somebody, it wouldn't have had so much appeal to the press, you see? But... f--ing, you see, and the young girls. Judges want to f-- young girls. Juries want to f-- young girls. Everyone wants to f-- young girls!"
It doesn't astound me that Polanski would say this kind of thing in public; it just amazes me that people view that kind of behaviour as acceptable if the person in the frame is famous!
We just need to look at the Michael Jackson debacle to know the veil of stupidity people drag over their morals when a 'hero' is involved.
Friends of Polanski have screamed out in his favour that his family were murdered in the Holocaust and his wife was killed in a horrific attack, so he should be left alone now!
That is a terrible insult to the families who died at the hands of the Nazis and a slur on men whose wives were murdered - to suggest child rape is part of the recovery from such atrocities is just plain daft - and don't get me started on "It was years ago, let's forget it," as we all know that's just begging the comment - So was the Polish Ghetto but you didn't forget those did you Mr Polanski? and quite rightly so. Traumatic events do not fade with age and neither do their illegalities.
Roman Polanski needs to serve the sentence he deserves. Apparently he is married with two young children; well let's hope they grow up safe from the predatory eyes of a sexual beast who likes his victims 'young'.
So now I have gotten that out of my system, I want to talk about Nick Cave. I didn't really know who he was, but my niece Ann is dotty about him. We knew he was appearing at Borders Bookstore in Glasgow, so Ann and I headed off to the Rogano restaurant for our usual outside table for oysters and tea. I love the Rogano; husband and I celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary there and the place is just lovely. Anyway, we sat outside, Ann smoked and I bit my fingernails and made yukky noises as she slurped on oysters (I really can't do food that you can't chew). Anyway, we hatched a plan to see Mr Cave.
We both ignored the long queue of people who had official tickets (we had none) and we barged past security (we had determined looks on our faces) and we stood near the table where Nick Cave was signing books.
He is a slight wee man with terribly odd dyed black hair.
"God, why are they playing whale death music over the crowd, Ann?" I hissed. Of course, that was Mr Cave's music; I was too stupid to know that. It sounded like the tapes you get free to help with child birth.
The security man came over and said: "If you don't have a ticket or his latest book with a receipt then you don't talk or approach or get anything signed."
Mr Cave is very snooty about these things and what with the whale music and his tiny peanut head dyed very black I wondered why people liked him. Apparently he nearly drowned Kylie, so he can't be all bad eh?
Ann got all hot and excited and stared at him longingly as I chatted to an extremely agitated autistic man in his 30s.
Yes, I met an autistic man who was trying hard to find out where the blonde girl assistant who was 'stood there, right there with her arm like this' had gone to. He staged the scene for me by being 'him' and then 'her' and how she stood and how she looked. Then he blurted out: "My jacket melts in the heat and this isn't yellow it's citrus colour," as he pointed to a yellow bit of his flammable top.
He was getting agitated and the crowd who had come to see Mr Cave started staring at him. "What is it you need to know?" I asked him.
He rocked back and forth a bit and stared at me wide eyed. I didn't look away.
"I need to know where I can get a magazine called Shortlist; this book has pictures of it."
He thrust the book into my face and there were photographs of a magazine called Shortlist. I recognised it.
"You get them free in airports."
The man nodded and wrote down 'airports' in a book and then slapped his two hands over his ears and shouted: "This music is making me sad inside!" I could only nod in agreement.
He then spotted a Borders assistant and ran after him in a sideways run with arms flapping, scaring the Mr Cave fans, who hadn't seen a man in flammable fabric run sideways in their lives possibly. I giggled and Ann said quietly, "Why do you always find Asperger's or Autistic people no matter where we go and why is he running about mad?"
I shrugged and quite liked the odd man in the bright jacket and was sad to see him go; he was infinitely more interesting and accessible than Mr Cave.
Ann and I decided to leave; we headed back to the Rogano and watched the local Big Issue seller get a photo shoot after he had had a make over and new suit. He was dressed like a proper toff and given a lobster dinner to celebrate a birthday of the Big Issue campaign. The bloke has sat outside the Rogano for years and is well loved; he looked amazing in his suit and his shiny shoes. It made me gulp back tears as he stood there drinking champagne but somehow, underneath it all, I felt he was being patronised and said so to the photographer.
"Well, he got a new suit and some good food!" he snapped.
He doesn't need a new suit and the chance to drink booze with the people he normally begs off; he needs a home and it was appalling to know he had been homeless for 18 years and got a suit for good behaviour outside the Rogano.
I suddenly felt odd and wanted to leave; there was a sad feeling inside me when the homeless guy was walking about suited and booted; he looked happy but discontent at the same time. I couldn't quite process what I was feeling and kept thinking things like:
How can he beg in a suit?
Where will he keep it when he sleeps on the street?
Will it be harder to lose it now or was it easier for him not to have the nice clothes in the first place?
I didn't know the answers and no matter which way I formulated them in my head it all felt wrong.
So, to top the day off, Frankie Boyle came into the Rogano and we had a wee chat; he is looking a bit better after being unwell lately.
Ashley is getting better and wants to thank everyone for sending her love.