Sing at the Bing – 29,5,16

The Pumphy Music festival, or Bingstock, was a great success but was marred by the death of a well liked Pumphy man, Eric Clark. I remember Eric fixing my Dad’s old Austin Cambridge, Morris Oxford and old Wolsley – you only see these old cars on ‘Time Team’, now, dug up in a Romano – British settlement. I was so sorry to hear about Eric, but knowing him as I did, the last thing he probably did was tell a joke and leave whoever he’d just told it to with a smile on his or her face. The actual event went well and the combination of Live Music and friendly familiar faces made for a great day. The Cawburn was bouncing, too, although I’ll not be back as the Orangina’s complained about ‘Sunshine on Leith’ getting played on the Karaoke and it was stopped. I felt awfy all day and was sick at night. I’ve not felt great since chemo last week and there’s more tomorrow and a cancer jag on Tuesday – another PET scan next Tuesday and a possible spleen Biopsy after that and, hopefully France with Davy B. F–k Cancer and the Rangers.

The cancer Diaries – 24,5,16 -cancer and Pink Floyd

Well, I got my big scan result a week earlier than expected and it was mixed to say the least. I am responding well to the new chemo, the lumps and bumps on the outside have gone and the cancer on the inside has receded. My blood counts are as good as they’ve been since all the treatment began and my heart has made a good recovery since my Heart attack. However, the scan showed up a shadow on my spleen which may or may not be more Lymphoma. If this is the case, it is apparently quite serious and I think they want to batter on with a bit more chemo and start the stem cell treatment within a Month. I will know on Friday if the Spleen is looking cancery and I’ll need a Biopsy for that fairly soon. The Doctor dropped a bombshell when he said I’ll probably have to cancel the holiday to France with Davy for the Fitba’. I will definitely fight my corner on that One. The Doctor said that in the build up to the stem cell treatment there will be visits to St Jocks and the Festern General almost every week, but surely a week in France won’t do any harm – IS will probably kill us anyway. Three per Cent of the people who go through the treatment die and my way of thinking is that I could die if I go on holiday but I could die if I don’t. Also, I don’t fancy not having a Spleen – Davy was telling me about it and the stem cell stuff. He and Hamo are great when it comes to my ailments and the do’s and don’ts. Davy gets his stuff off Julie who is an ex Nurse and has an extensive knowledge of Nursey things. Hamo is Googly boy and will look up cancery stuff and tell me what’s what. I don’t bother reading the stuff the hospital give me, mainly because I struggle to see wee writing, even with the reading specs. I’m just counting down to the day when they tell me I’m F–ked and beyond help. So, I’ll plead with them to let me go on holiday. It’s Bingstock on Saturday and I’m looking forward to it, hugely. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to open the proceedings as I was very kindly asked to do. I have had a lot of problems with my Mouth and Throat recently and struggle to speak sometimes and being in front of Hundreds of people isn’t the place to struggle to speak when that’s just exactly what you have to do.  I treated myself to a bit of retail therapy today. I bought ‘The best of the Commodores’, mainly for ‘Easy’ – well, only for ‘Easy’, to be honest, and it was only £2.99. I also bought Pink Floyds ‘Atom Heart Mother’, at the more inflated price of £12.99 and First impressions are good but I’ll have to listen to it a few more times to become familiar with it. I’m less keen on the post ‘Dark side of the Moon’ Pink Floyd- I think that, apart from ‘Wish You Were Here’ and ‘Shine on Crazy Diamond, the ‘Wish You Were Here album is a let down. ‘Animals’ is a bit boring in places and if you take out ‘Comfortably Numb’, ‘Hey You’, ‘Vera’, ‘Run Like Hell and ‘Another Brick in the Wall’ [ the single ] from ‘The Wall you’re left with a lot of pretentious Shite – but that’s just my opinion – I always preferred to watch the Film on Magic Mushrooms or Acid rather than listen to the album. As well as ‘Atom Heart Mother’ my pre ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ Pink Floyd CD’s are ‘Meddle’ [ my favourite], ‘Obscured by Clouds’, and ‘Ummagumma’. I also ordered a sound track with a Birdy song on it I like. I joked with the assistant that I’ve got quite into Birdy recently, having bought her Second and Third CD’s – add to that the fact that I’ve been listening to a live Leonard CohenCD  quite a lot recently and that’s a lot of Three o’ clock in the morning slash yer wrist stuff, but it’s not all doom and gloom and there are upbeat, catchy songs among them, too. On the food front I bought a big bit of Cod that will do me tomorrow as well, Broccoli, Red Onions, coriander, and Rice. I put a fair bit of Coriander in with the Broccoli along with some Pepper and Salt and some Turmeric. To the Rice I added some Salt, Pepper, chopped onion, Turmeric, Lemon Juice and Lime Juice. I  fired the Cod into the Fanny assisted oven, along with some chopped Red Onion, chopped Garlic, chopped Coriander, Lemon and Lime Juice, Salt and Pepper and Two chopped Tomato Halves. After that I had some Colombian Coffee and Walnut cake with some Madagascar Vanilla Custard and Blueberries and Raspberries. I had a nice cup of Assam Tea and a Chivas Regal and Ginger Ale to finish off. It’s Davy’s Birthday tomorrow and I Want to get him a cup of Tea and a Cake.

The cancer Diaries -12,5,16

What a glorious week we’ve had, weather wise. I got a wee bottle of Baby Bio for my plants but ah canny get the C–t open. From about half Three till sunset I get the sun in the living room window and the plants love it – so, I thought a wee feed would do them good. Anyway, I’ll have to wait till Saturday now when  Chrissy Thrower comes through to Livi and she’ll know how to open the plant food. Chris could grow Orchids in a freezer. I’m hoping to get some Lemon Balm and Borage – Balm for Tea and Borage for being pretty. I had a nice dinner today – Three Cocodamols for my starter, smoked Cod with a slice of Tomato and knob of butter cooked in the oven along with roasted red, yellow and green peppers, a chopped Tomato, Lime and Lemon juice and a spoonful of honey and salt and pepper – it was the business. I had sliced Jersey Royal tatties, as well. For my last course I had Blueberries and Raspberries in some Strawberry Yoghurt. I managed a wee wander round Livi Centre today, although I was struggling to begin with and thought I’d made a big mistake, I got a second wind and was fine after that. The leg was a bit sore when I put weight on it but it was more the draining effect of the chemo that I was feeling and getting up the stairs when I got home was an ordeal. I’ve got this nose thing going on at the moment, too, which is getting on ma Tits. Every time I blow my nose I’m bringing out a not inconsiderable amount of blood on the tissue – every Fifth or Sixth blow and I can feel a thud on the tissue as this scary lump clot of blood or snot or brain appears. The Doctor said not to worry as my blood test results have been better than they have been for a while, but, sometimes it can be quite disconcerting to see the equivalent of the First day of the Battle of the Somme in your hanky. I get my big scan next Friday [20th] – chest, abdomen and hips and within Ten days I will know whether it’s get busy living or get busy dying. In January I ordered the ‘Steel magnolias’ sound track and ‘Four Scottish Dances ‘ by Sir Malcolm Arnold from HMV. They phoned last week to say they were both unavailable and today, with the refund I bought ‘Obscured by clouds’ by Pink Floyd. I’ve got a few pink Floyd CD’s – Ummagumma, Meddle, Dark side of the Moon, Wish you were here, Animals and The Wall. If I could only take Two to a Desert Island it would have to be Dark side of the Moon and Meddle.

The cancer Diaries -9,5,16

While browsing on the Pumphy history site ‘snarlgrunt.com’ I noticed that the BBC are doing a series on Aphrodisiacs in food and they discovered ‘Mary Berry’s Dirty Cakes’ in the National Library. This was thought to have been long lost, in fact, some scholars disputed it’s existence in the first place – it finally proves Mary, Queen of cakes, is a lot older than she lets on. The book has been Caramel dated to 1480 and this would make Mary, Duchess of Muffins, a few years older than what her Bus pass is saying. She was unavailable for comment this morning but  left a tray of freshly baked ‘Casanova Croissants'[ from her book] for the reporters outside.

The cancer Diaries -7,5,16

This time last year I was waking up in Bordeaux at about the same time as Scotland was waking up to an SNP landslide in the Westminster election. Yesterday I woke up to the Tory party being the official opposition in Scotland. I don’t know what shocked me more. If, Twenty years ago, you had said to someone, anyone, that the SNP would be the Country’s leading political party and the Tories would be the main opposition party, there would have been a phone call and within Fifteen minutes men in white coats would have been administering a Coma inducing injection of Largactol and the person would have slipped out of society, never to be seen again on account of being a dafty. It’s a sad day for the Labour party – Keir Hardie, Nye Bevan, Michael Foot and Tony Benn will be turning in their graves. The Scottish Labour party has been destroyed by the Central belt Mafia over the last Sixty years and as a result we now have the Tories as the main opposition party. From now on Scottish politics will just turn into another Northern Ireland with the God save the Queen, Union Jack wavers on One side and the Nationalists on the other. Ibrox on match day will resemble Trafalgar square on VE day and this will spread until it gets out of hand. === Anyway, I got more chemo yesterday – felt shite before and after it. My hair is beginning to turn that pre fall out way and there are wee aches and pains. I got stuff to read on the stem cell treatment and if I’m well enough to have the procedure it won’t be easy. They said I would be in Hospital for at least a couple of weeks and that as well as being effed physically it also eff’s you mentally.

The cancer Diaries -3,5,16

I’ve noticed out my window that the Buds and Leaves of Summer are making a similar sprint finish to the middle of May like they did last year. No magpies nesting this year outside but there are Three plump Pigeons that eat all the bread I put out for them. It’s almost a year since the ‘Girondin de Ecosse’ were in Bordeaux for the Adieu L’escure and Davy and I will be back in just over a Month. I think the chemo will have kicked in by then [ I can notice the changes already] but I think I’ll be a bit fitter and stronger than I was last year. I’m Two stones heavier, which cant be bad and in all likelihood this time last year the cancer was in it’s infancy and the Heart attack was just a few Months away – so, short of dying, I’m hoping to be in a better place health wise in Bordeaux this time around. Weirdly, Doctor McNeil has just phoned me to tell me that Doctor Jacobs, the Heart specialist is happy with the state of my Heart and is happy for me to go ahead with the stem cell treatment. However, I have a CT scan in a couple of weeks and it’s big stuff – they will know from that if I can get the stem cell treatment. I think it all comes down to how aggressive the cancer is. Only another couple of weeks with this daft moon boot, too. My foot and leg are much better now and walking about isn’t too much hassle. It will be good to get into jeans, though, after what has seemed ages. I hate Tracky bottoms. So, it’s blood samples on Thursday and more chemo on Friday and the point of no return in Three weeks time.

Tales of Bunty –27,4,16

Bunty could be a bit unpredictable at times when it came to family pets. When I was Eight and Davy was Ten we had , for a wee while, a muckle Labrador called Rueben – a bit too up market a name for a Dug in Harrysmuir North. That would be the same as having a classmate at Pumphy primary called Simeon or Digory – I’m sure that Simeon and Digory would’ve been splendid young chaps, but it wouldn’t have helped them in any way with names like those. Anyway this muckle Labrador, which Bunty had got, was in the back garden One day tucking into a big bone – Bunty had knocked back a couple of cans of ‘I’m driving the Bus and if you don’t like it you can F–k off’ [ Carlsburg, for short] .  I remember Davy and I looking out of the kitchen window and seeing Bunty moving stealthily, or at least as stealthily as she could after drinking the equivalent [ for her] of Two Hydrogen bombs, towards the dug. In itself – nothing to worry about there- but when you add in the fact that behind her back she was hiding a bone which was bigger than the bone he was eating – Davy and I were convinced that she was going to hit the poor Bugger over the head with it and kill it. Luckily Davy saved the day and got the bone off her and Reuben, oblivious to what fate might have had in store for him, carried on eating his bone. Jerry the Gerbil wasn’t so lucky. It must’ve been the next year when we got him – I know we had Ben the Dug and Jerry at the same time. I remember Scud senior jokingly wanting Jerry’s cage out of sight of the Telly when Rangers played Moscow Dynamo in the 1972 European Cup Winners Cup Final – in case he was a jinx because Gerbils ran about in what was a part of the old Soviet Union. I think he wanted to put him in a box and send him back to Mongolia or wherever when Dynamo who were Three down at one point  pulled it back to 3-2. He [ Jerry] was saved when Rangers hung on to win but eventually suffered the wrath of Bunt. I think she must’ve been on a cocktail of Carsburg, Castrol GTX and Nitro Glycerine that night because we let Jerry run about the kitchen and living room as  normal. He’d dart around, annoying Ben the Dug, who just wanted to eat him or hire a professional hit Dog to shoot him- and the wee Mongolian Moose would be safe in the knowledge that Ben the Dug would get a ‘Haw sir’ or  ‘bad boy’ if he growled or looked like he was getting pissed off. A dog is one thing but Bunty on the wreck the hoose juice is another. I remember she was in the kitchen writing and drinking and drinking and writing – she must’ve written more words than Winston F ing Churchill over the course of time- and Jerry was scampering about the kitchen and she hit him with the coal shovel and picked him up by the tail and threw him into the coal fire ‘Raeburn’ as it was called. It was a cooker that ran on coal instead of Electricity – you put coal in the fire and shut the wee door and it heated up the oven and the Hob. I think at one time it might have provided hot water but if it did it was before my time. Anyway, I remember the poor wee buggers legs twitching as she threw him into the fire and I can remember it like yesterday. The next Gerbil we got ended up in the oven of the same fire- although that was a deliberate plan. The house was getting decorated – in the early Seventies paint was Two ingredients short of being a Chemical weapon – and Scud senior reckoned it was this that led to ‘New Jerry’ being overcome with the paint fumes. He also thought that if we put the oven on at low with the door open the wee thing might come to. After a while the Gerbil stirred and for a short time it seemed to be OK, but died before the morning.

The cancer Diaries – 22,4,16

I’ve been neglecting the diaries lately. It’s been an awfy Month and most of it has been spent on letting things get me down. The beginning of the Month started badly and just disintegrated after that. I was told that if this new chemo doesn’t work I’m for the great Bing in the sky, then I got my double fracture and then I couldn’t get chemo because my blood wasn’t right. To top it all I’ve fallen quite spectacularly off the ‘nae joints’ wagon. I think that’s the main reason for the shite Month – I’d gone Six Months without a fag and felt great. No more wacky Baccy after tonight, though – or at least until the end of this chemo when, whatever the outcome, I will treat myself to a cheeky wee joint. I’m obviously hoping for a positive outcome which would mean I can get the stem cell treatment, which will save me – that’s worth a joint. If, however I’m told that they can’t save me, well, I think that’s worth a wee joint, too. The Doctor told me that they’d been surprised at how my Heart was after the ECG thing. It was better than anticipated and stopping the fags must’ve been behind that – if that isn’t incentive to stop I don’t know what is. I get more chemo next week, blood count permitting and it’ll be back to the hair falling out and feeling shite. Next Month sees Bingstock and the artist formerly known as alive [ Prince ] definitely won’t be there because he’s deid.

The cancer Diaries – 16,4,16

Borrussia Newton Wamphray – it’s a pity that never materialised. It’s up there with Dukla Pumpherston. We are now halfway through April and the weather is shite – you could say that ‘it’s Scotland, it’s springtime – what’s new’ ?, but I’m at the stage where this could be my last spring, so, I’m hoping like F–k it will start brightening up. ‘The eve of destruction’ by Barry Maguire is playing in the background – love that song – and Proud Mary is up next. It’s raining a wee bit although there is a lot of brightness. This has been an awfy week – the worst so far – this effin’ leg break has just come at the wrong time. I saw Davy when I was coming back from the shop – I had to get electricity – and he’s getting me stuff from the Scot mid later – what an ordeal getting to and from the shop. From the flat to the shop is two minutes – as local shops go, that’s ideal. All the wee lumps and bumps and up hill and down hill that I’d never give a passing thought to as I walked without a double fracture are now like something out of Scott of the An f–kin tarctic – a shitey wee two foot slope becomes the Ross ice shelf, a two foot climb is like Mount Everest. —- It’s a wee bit later and Davy has brought me ingredients for my dinner. I put butter beans on my list but he forgot them – there’s no excuse – we both attended Pumphy Primary school – we even got some of the same teachers – so, come on Davy, get yer finger oot.  I’m kidding, Davy has been great through all of this – he got the hospital sorted out for me after I’d had one of my famous ‘F–k it’ moments, yesterday and today. I should’ve gone to St Jocks to give blood samples and get my leg checked but I got depressed instead – sometimes that feels as if it would be the easy solution all the time but I suppose the last thing I need at the moment is to turn into some tranquilised vegetable. Anyway, they have Davy as my next of kin and they phoned him and I’m there on Monday and will have more chemo next week.  Pie Jesu by Sarah Brightman – what a beautiful song. I might write more after dinner. I’ve had ma dinner – corned beef hashy type thing, with peppers, tomatoes, onion and tatties – and cabbage and mixed vegetables. It was great.   It’s now Saturday the 16th and Hibs are on telly in an hour. They play Dundee Utd in the Scottish cup Semi final at Hampden. It’s not long since they lost to Ross County in the League cup final at the National stadium – so another defeat wouldn’t be nice. The new Santana CD was delivered this morning and it was a nice wee surprise to see that. Where it came from I have no idea. It’s OK – it was never going to be Abraxas, Santana 3 or Moonflower but it’s still Santana. I watched Pink Floyd at Pompeii on you tube last night then some Fitba’ stuff. It was a ‘Greatest teams’ series – Brazil 70, Ajax -all the famous teams were highlighted apart from the famous Pumphy Juniors team who beat Linlithgow Rose in the famous ‘Stoviegate’ match.

The Birthday Diaries – 10,4.16.

Well, I’ve made it to Fifty Three – whether I make it to Fifty Four or older is in the hands of the NHS and me. Andrew got me Glayva and Linda and Nick got me a nice bottle of Port – I’m making a Broccoli and Cauliflower cheese bake thing later with Tomato and Ham – and I’ve got a Bottle of Beaujolais to wash it down. Davy’s been round and Linda and Chris have phoned to wish me a happy Birthday – so, a good wee start to the day. I’ll listen to music – my Birthday Favourites – the next Sixteen songs on my TOP 100 -in no particular order are – Green grow the Rashes o, Victims, The Buffalo Robe, Pie Jesu, Great Gig in the Sky, Dakota, For Once in my life, Atlantic Avenue, Cat Black [The Wizards Hat], Debora, Bad Moon Rising, A Fistful of Dynamite, Spirit in the Sky, Kites, Eve of Destruction and Elanore. See how many artists you can name. The amount of Tablets I have to take now is a bit much – Two days a week I’m on almost Thirty, Two more days of Twenty, Two more days of Fifteen – on top of all the other stuff – I’m Tableted oot. It can wipe you out a bit and I do feel a bit subdued for an hour or Two after taking them all. Still, that’s what’s helping me fight all this shite I’ve got at the moment.