I got a phone call earlier today from the ‘Stop smoking class’ guy at Craigshill Health Centre – and I proudly told him that I’d now gone over a week without a roll up – no patches, no chewing gum- just the determination never to go through what I’d experienced the week before, ever again. What I also don’t need, though, is being told by people that they’ll kick ma erse or batter me if I have another fag – I’m Fifty Two years old and if I want a fag, I’ll have a fag – in fact the next person who threatens me with violence if I have a fag will be in big trouble. I’ll run to the nearest shop, buy Ten full strength Capstain, light them up and blow all the smoke in their face and call them a C–t. What I could do with, though, is a phone call from the ‘Start Jobbying’ class – I’ve no’ done one since getting out of hospital. The only stool that’s moved in the flat is the one I sit on at the wee breakfast table. I’ve been fartin’ for Scotland, mind you- maybe the combination of the seemingly Dozens of tablets that I have to take now converts Jobby into wind- if so my wind power alone could light up the Central belt for a week if it was converted into Electricity. If not, I could end up like my ancestor, Boabby Thomson, who didny do a jobby for Fifty seven years and became known as Joabby Thomson, after he finally passed a huge Jobby in 1887 which was painted red and orange, had some plants put on it and became known as the ‘roly poly’ – a popular playing area for subsequent generations of Pumphy children for the next Eighty odd years. Time for my grated Carrot, then more Diary stuff later. Well, that’s me had my two grated carrots, my two Kiwi fruits and my wee omelette. I put some chopped onion, crushed Garlic, and some chopped tomatoes in the omelette – no bacon and Cheese this time – big Billy D visited me today and he put me right on my diet and lifestyle. I’m a year and a half older than Billy and he doesn’t look much older than he did in the photo that I’d taken of him, Blaikie, and John Frampton when we all worked at the Brassneck Theatre over Thirty years ago. I tried to find the photo for him today so he could copy it but I couldn’t find it – I will, though, as I’m sure Blaikie would like to see the photo, too. Billy was one of the two punks [ my old next door being the other] who came back to my old house in Harrysmuir in the early 1980’s to share almost 300 mind altering mushrooms. We’d been in the Tower in Crazyhill or the Torphichen in Mid Calder till closing time and thought ‘F–k it the night is young, Maggie Thatcher’s the prime minister, let’s get stoned and take a Hundred magic mushrooms each. As plans go, that was a good one so far- it was only when we got to my house and I looked under the wardrobe in my bedroom and discovered that instead of almost Three Hundred magic mushrooms, dried out and ready to eat, there were only about a Hundred. Now, even if I hadn’t attended Pumphy Primary, I could’ve worked out that there were over Twenty Six missing – 200 to be exact and thought – ‘F–k sake – it’s Saturday night , Bunty’s eaten Two hundred magic mushrooms, ‘The Bald man’ will be in shortly from the Bowling Club, My Two ‘Livi Punk’ pals are getting Thirty mushrooms each instead of a Hundred – this can only end in tears’. What ensued was one of the funniest, most memorable Saturday nights I can remember spending in no.6. The combination of Bunty on Carlsburg or Tennents super lager, and the Bald man on whisky and no.6 Harrysmuir North on a Saturday night could be an explosive mix and the thought of her under the influence of Two Hundred mind altering mushrooms was quite scary. The way in which the Carlsburg or super lager – or Elderberry wine, even,[that’s another story for another day] could alter her mind was mind boggling and scary enough, so the thought of what havoc magic mushrooms could wreak was really, really scary. The two Livi punks and I shared what was left of the mushrooms and went through to the living room. Bunty was sitting in a chair next to the window- awfy quiet. Straight away, I was thinking ‘this is strange- she’s had a couple of cans and – nothing. Normally, after Two cans, she turned into Mr Hyde’s even more crabbit, unreasonable and scarier sister, but there she was, quiet as a mouse looking at the walls, the floor, the ceiling, trying to make sense of what was going on around her. I remember asking her if she was ok, knowing that a woman in her mid Fifties who’d had a couple of cans of ‘What the f–k are you lookin’ at’, followed by Two hundred magic mushrooms, probably and understandably wasn’t going to be ok. ‘Oh, Colin, what were those horrible wee things under your wardrobe that I’ve eaten’ ? – at which point I welcomed her into the world of Psychedelia and told her that’s what ye get for being pissed, greedy and curious – and eating ma mushrooms. Anyway, to her great credit, she decided to go with the flow and didn’t freak out – which was amazing considering she was a first time trier and was totally new to the market. By this time big Bill was convinced he was in Glebe street amongst the fictional family from that f–kin’ Sunday post. He’s saying to me ‘Look, there’s Brass Dugs on the mantle piece, Paw Broon in one corner, Maw Broon in another – ah’m in f–kin’ Glebe street’ and I’m saying naw, Bill, yer in Pumphy – yer ok. When I convinced him that Horace wasny going to turn up and ask for help with his home work we put some music on at auld Scuds request. He’d said to me ‘Here, Colin, pit that Santana song on that I like – the one wi ‘Brazil’ and the Beatles on it. Which, for those curious enough to want to know, is ‘Incident at Neshabur’ from the Lotus album, wherein old Carlos does a wonderful rendition of ‘Fool on the hill’ by the Beatles and plays a wee bit of ‘Brazil’ by Sergio Mendes. I played the whole Fifteen minutes and there was auld Scud, eyes shut, snapping his fingers in time to the music, saying ‘What a smashin arrangement’ and there was Bunty- greetin’ her eyes oot when Auld Carlos started playing the opening lines from ‘Fool on the hill’ and to this day I always think about Bunty and the Bald man in an affectionate way when I hear the song.
The cancer Diaries 28.10.15
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