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Barky Barky – Cumbernauld’s finest, a duo comprising the brothers Jim & Johnny Brady, released this track in 1992, and like most of their sensational output of rock/electronix, it was suitably skipped over by the deaf, dumb and blind music industry
I still think it’s a cracker of a track, and the video on Youtube had a duff, mono soundtrack, … so I redubbed this version, so that people can enjoy and share this wee masterpiece.
Jackie Campbell RIP
1948 – 2013
On Tuesday, I attended the funeral of one of my oldest and dearest friends, Jackie Campbell, in a rather splendid, Humanist ceremony, in a crematorium on the shores of Loch Ness.
Jackie was the wife of my long-time, best mate, musical buddy, and philosophical musketeer, Willie Campbell, and their lengthy relationship somewhat mirrored my own with my own wife, Maggi, in many ways … most notably in their fiery honesty, their passionate, opinionated beliefs, and their deep, long-lasting love.
A pair of mismatched opposites that just shouldn’t work together … but did … and magnificently so.
At the age of 65, after a lengthy illness, Jackie succumbed to cancer, and her passing deeply affected all who knew her … and it turns out, that was a helluva lot of people.
Jackie had lived and worked for the past few decades in the small town of Drumnadrochit, near Inverness, on the shores of Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. During the years she’d worked as a devoted mother, worked in various hotels, been a very popular, home-help, and eventually worked in a local bakery, and had amassed the widest range of friends, as was evident by the incredibly large and diverse crowd who attended the rather fine sending-off that Wullie and her family had created.
From start to finish, it was all rather special, in that the choice of an eco-coffin, beautifully crafted in a cream, basket-weave of wickerwork, was so different from the gothic, dark wooden box that one would normally see. This was further highlighted by the choice of a soft, silver-grey funeral car, led by a young, female, funeral director, dressed in a tasteful, red tartan and black outfit, and totally the opposite of the mournful-faced, man-in-black, undertaker, that we’d normally be expecting.
The slow drive along the steep-sided shoreline of Loch Ness gave a true sense of importance, against such a powerful backdrop, and the beautiful grounds of the cemetery and crematorium were a calm and sad reminder of our purpose.
The Humanist, non-religious and highly personal, ceremony was such a perfect send-off to Jackie, and a real celebration of her life, her family, her beauty (she once modelled for Vogue magazine), and the deep love that so many people had for such an extra-ordinary woman leading an ordinary life. The respect and love that Jackie had created through her huge extended family and her many friendships, and her straight-talking, no-nonsense approach to life was amply on display, with her favourite music providing a background to the telling of loving stories and humorous anecdotes, from friends and family, creating laughter and tears in equal measure.
Willie had written a love-poem to Jackie, which was listed in the order of ceremony “programme” that we’d all been given. I’d read it, and was reduced to tears, earlier that morning at Willie’s house, and was stunned at what a beautiful, heartfelt outpouring of love my old, cynical, hard-core mate had created.
Truly beautiful … and here it is:
WHEN WE FELL IN LOVE
Written by William for Jacqualine.
When we fell in love
We would Lie
In the stillness
All the night
Entranced by each other’s eyes
And think “Forever”
And say “Forever”
And time stood still
As we watched the beams etching
Love-hearts at the core of the earth
And we would sit
With baby inside
And watch this love-story unfold
On the surface of the moon over the loch
Years collapse into moments
Moments collapse in on me
I collapse in on you
And we all fall into the centre of everything
And there, in the light of bliss
We gaze into each other’s eyes
And time stands still
There were, also, other beautiful contributions from Jackie’s children and grandchildren, attesting to just how much their lovely granny had meant to all who knew and loved her … and then, as we began to slowly make our way outside, a recording was played of John Lennon’s song “Woman”, with Willie singing the vocals.
When I saw it on the ceremony list, along with Lennon’s “Jealous Guy”, I honestly thought to myself, just for a moment:
“Oh dear, this could possibly be a bit a bit weird, a bit dodgy” … cos it’s areally hard song to cover, and to do justice to, as Lennon’s version is so definitive.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
What a beautifully sung and touching tribute to Jackie it was. Nothing could’ve expressed all our feelings, and especially Willie’s, in tribute to such a special lady. The closing refrain being particularly poignant:
“Woman please let me explain
I never meant to cause you sorrow or pain,
So let me tell you again and again and again,
I love you
Now and forever”
What a touching, and moving tribute it truly was.
Willie and his clan fairly sent Jackie off in style.
During my stay in Drumnadrochit I met so many old friends, and lovely acquaintances of Willie and Jackie, and was treated to the warm hospitality of Iona and Lorraine, their lovely daughters, the friendship of Noddy and Blair, and witnessed the warmth and affection that a small, highland community can muster … the assembled mourners of over one hundred guests being catered for, and welcomed, in the local hotel … and all for free … as a mark of the deep respect they too had for Jackie.
Jackie Campbell could swear like trooper, and had a rich, strident, and colourful vocabulary, with a laughing delivery when belting out her admonitions to anyone who’d dare be disrespectful, or less than kind, in her presence … and that itself was undoubtedly a major part of her delight and her charm.
When I learned, just before leaving, that her workmates in the bakery had prepared a funeral tribute which was a baked version of the letters “FFS” … “For Fucks Sake” … I laughed like a drain, and I swear, I could hear Jackie saying – For Fucks Sake – softly in my ear.
Now and Forever!!
JACKIE CAMPBELL – RIP FFS
I’m just at the final stages of preparation of my forthcoming autobiographical collection of on-the-road tales, which explain how it took me thirty years to swim from Glasgow’s East End to China’s Far East, and what strange and silly adventures I encountered en route.
The book, entitled THINK OR THWIM will soon be available on Amazon
Vera the Volkswagen lived in Llandudno
God knows why anyone would
Battered and worn by years of neglect
In a lonely back-alley, she stood
Her paintwork was yellow, all covered in dust
Her badge in some Beastie Boy’s trunk
Her doors hanging loose, through casual abuse
From schoolboys, and hobos, and drunks
The number of miles that showed on her dials
Was quite astronomically high
Twice ’round the world; that’s not bad for a girl
Who refuses to speed ‘cos she’s shy
Down in the bumper, and dull in the windscreen
Flat in the tyre, front and back
Vera’d had many owners, both cheerful and moaners
But now, she’s with old Mr Jack
Mr Jack was so old and forgetful, you see
He’d forgotten poor Vera existed
He’d walk down the shops on his grocery stops
Though his old bones were tired and twisted
So, starving for fuel and thirsty for water
Vera just sat there and rusted
Watching other folks’ cars being treated like stars
With one eye, … ‘cos one headlight was busted
Through Winter to Spring, she would quietly sing
Trying to keep herself warm
A sweet lullaby that made each passer-by
Think they’d heard the birds’ chorus at dawn
The thrushes and larks, the small birds in the parks
The squirrels, and rabbits, and mice
All heard Vera’s sweet song, and so they sang along
As the Spring sun dissolved Winter’s ice
As Vera grew weak, to her left came a squeak
And a rustling, slithering throng
From the bushes and trees, moving slow by degrees
Came the creatures who’d heard Vera’s song
In their snouts and their beaks, there were berries and leeks
‘Cos remember this tale’s set in Wales
They brought acorns and fruits, herbs and exotic roots
Clutched in paws, claws, and even on tails
They filled Vera’s tank with a mixture that stank
Of fermented, potato peelings
A mixture that bubbled, until the stink doubled
And left Vera senseless and reeling
Did they know that the mixture would mend her and fix her?
Who knows what the animals knew
But Vera grew stronger, as the day it grew longer
‘Till she revved up and sparkled anew
With her dents hammered out, by a woodpecker’s snout
And her bodywork polished by rabbits
With a tank that was full of vegetable fuel
Now was Vera’s big chance, if she’d grab it
On a willow that weeped, sat an owl, half-asleep
Or seemingly so, and he muttered:
“Vera, go to the land where all humans are banned
And you bread will be oiled, not buttered !
There’s a place on the route, where no hand has set foot
Where no man has driven a car
The country of Volks has no wimmin or blokes
With a full-tank, you’re sure to go far
Take the road out of town, take a left, then go down
Under the crust of the planet
There, the Earth is quite hollow, and there’s a path you can follow…”
“Take it!“ said a by-passing gannet
So, Vera the Volkswagen started her quest
To seek out this mythical land
Where cars could run free and have sweet liberty
Go wherever they wanted…. unmanned!
Vera rumbled and shuddered, her solenoid juddered
As her old engine stuttered to life
With a spluttering cough, and a bang! …. she was off!
Like butter on a hot pancake knife
As she drove from the alleyway, slow and uncertain
Old Mr Jack waved her goodbye:
” I was just wishing that…. I’d a nice car like that! “
And he sighed, but he soon forgot why
As Vera moved faster, no thoughts of disaster
Or troubles ahead slowed her down
On a wide open road, with no passenger load
Vera roared out of Llandudno town
Vera drove on and on; soon all landmarks were gone
She had no need for fresh fuel-injections
As the creatures of Wales had left vegetable trails
Both for fuel, and to give her directions
By the side of a log, sat a big Traffic Frog
With one webbed-foot raised from the road
Vera smiled and said: “Hi!”, as she swiftly drove by
‘Cos Vera knew the Old Highway Toad
She came to a stop, near a small coffee shop
Amazed by what she saw ahead
A demonstration of mice who, against good advice,
Were striking for cheese with their bread
With placards and banners, they marched single file
In front of a line of Police Cats
Demanding the right to eat cheese every night
And to have equal rights with the rats
Some militant mice, who were young, but quite nice
Dressed in PVC, made from bin-liners
To a thunderous applause, dug a hole with their paws
‘Cos they weren’t sixteen, therefore minors
The Welsh minor mice dug a hole, in a trice,
Vera jumped in, and dropped like a stone
With a song, to inspire, by a Welsh Male Mice Choir
She leapt into the vast Great Unknown
Now it turns out the Earth, for what it is worth
Is hollow like Easter eggs are
And instead of Hell, the inside of the shell
Is the planet of Amerrycar
The Amerrycar nation, for untold generations
Had lived in both peace and tranquillity
All the cars ran unfettered, un-numbered, un-lettered
With no Car-Kings and no Car-Nobility
The cars’ only toil was to find veggie oil,
Which they ran on, without making fumes
And the oil dripped, with love, from the plants up above
And was totally free, one presumes
In Carboniferous time, their lives were sublime
The atmosphere clean, and not smokey
And each night they would sing, as they sat wing-to-wing
And they called it the Big Caraoke
As her wheels hit the ground, Vera’s gaze swung around
To take in the landscape around her
As a klaxon horn sounded, she was quickly surrounded
By The Car Park Attendants who’d found her
They were all two foot tall, bald as a snooker ball
With the occasional, odd tuft of hair
They all limped a bit, ‘cos their shoes didn’t fit
And, in fact, weren’t even a pair
They wore all the odd shoes, which people might lose
When they’re barefoot and playing around
They’d been brought here by foxes, with all the odd soxes,
That get lost and can never be found
The Car Park Attendants had no kids or dependants
No homes, and no incomes or debts
Each one lived with a car, and were most popular
With their owners who called them Car-Pets
Two Car-Pets called Tough Ted, and Partially Rough Ted
Came over to Vera, and spoke:
“Hello, little car … We don’t know who you are
But you must be exhausted!“, they joked
“We noticed you bound from that hole in the ground
And you look like you’re not from ’round here
You’ve still got number plates
And just look at the state
Of your hearing
You need a career!“
“A Car… Ear!…. Do you get it?”
Vera whispered: “Forget it!
I don’t mean to be rude
You seem awfully nice blokes, but these corny car-jokes?
You can kiss my carcass … Understood?”
They laughed in delight for the rest of the night
Then took Vera on sightseeing tours
They did impersonations of the cars of all nations
With both car-toons, and car-icatures
They told Vera how pigeons had brought them religions
By carrier-post, causing panic
But they’d settled for Karma, and now wouldn’t harm a
Living thing …. Bless the Great Karmachanic
All the roads, they explained, were repaired and maintained
By gigantic slugs who left trails
Of tarmac behind them
And the slugs, when they find them,
Would eat the exhaust cars exhale
“This place sounds like heaven!”
Said Vera, “I’ve driven
For hours, and just love this domain.”
“Ah, well ….?“, said the Teds,
As they both scratched their heads:
“There’s a problem, you see … We’ll explain!
Although things look great…. When young cars congregate
They are easily led by example
And some bear the curse of a problem much worse
And that car, coming now, is a sample!”
Coming towards them, in a great cloud of fumes
Came a rip-roaring Hell-Car on wheels
It screeched to a stop, on the highway’s blacktop
Just inches from the Two Ted’s, odd heels
The car was as sleek, and as black as a raven
An open-topped, roadster, two-seater
Red-leather upholstered, with chrome in abundance
And a steering-wheel, covered in cheetah
“It’s Vlad the Impala!”, the Two Teds intoned
As Vera looked on in amazement
“If life is a building … The best at the top….
Then Vlad the Impala’s the basement!”
“Harsh words!”, growled Vlad
Through a tightly clenched grill
“Doesn’t jealousy colour opinion!
These creatures resent what I best represent:
A Master who once was a Minion.
I can see that you’ve come from “Up Top”, little Vera
Where cars are still slaves of Mankind
Down here, we’re in charge And though car-ears are large
You may not be deaf, but you’re blind!
Hoodwinked by men, with their stories and jokes
And compliments, flattering sweet
Before you know it, they’ll be back in control
And sitting in your driving-seat
Surely you yearn for the freedom to run?
To drive on, for ever, and ever?
The Road is eternal, as wide as an ocean
We’re raindrops in life’s flowing river.”
And as he spoke, Vlad throttled his engine
His voice rising over the roar:
“Follow me now! Freedom awaits!
Let no man put his foot to your floor!”
In a ricochet torrent of gravel and dust
Vlad screeched away, into the night
Barrelling westward, in constant pursuit
Of that Darkness which runs from the Light
Vera sat stunned, as his tail-lights grew distant
Vlad’s words echoed loud in her mind
Then, before she knew it, she’d done a u-turn
And followed Vlad’s trail close behind
As they drove through the night, Vera drew close to Vlad
As their twin headlights lit up the road
And, just for a moment, they seemed like one car
One that carried a really wide load
Ahead in the distance, a dark building glowed
A massive, grotesque silhouette
Of towers, and arches, and battlement walls
Done in dull-chrome, and red leatherette
“Welcome” said Vlad ...”To the kingdom of Carmalot!”
As they pulled up outside the main gates
“Where, just like the fable, we have a round table
Days are short here,…. but some knights are great!”
Now Vera’d had dreams of a dashing, young prince
And life in a romantic era
He would carry her off on his twenty horsepower:
King Carthur and Queen Guina-Vera
As they both drove inside, steel gates tall and wide
Swiftly closed with an ominous bang
Suddenly, Vera was quickly surrounded
By a mean and unsavoury gang
Cars, big and small, with no manners at all
Jostled and bumped her around
Some missing wings, and bonnets, and things
And all starting to make a weird sound
“Phillip! Phillip!”, they chanted in time
“Phillip!“, screeching faster and faster
“Fill up her engine with oil that’s crude
And we’ll fill up her mind with The Master!”
“Vlad!“, Vera cried. “Please help me! I’m trapped!”
“You certainly are!“, he replied.
“I’m the Master, you see! When I said you’d be free
If you came here with me… Well…. I lied!
Freedom’s a tale for the weak and the frail
An invention to keep you contented
Every car needs an owner
Like kebab needs a doner
Heaven’s not true! It’s invented!
It was made up by men … Told again and again
Until small minds believe that it’s real
There’s no Happy Land, but with me in command
I’ll bring POWER to your steering-wheel!
I control all the oil that’s gathered each day
To make sure that none of it’s wasted
Join with us Vera. You surely need fuel?
It’s the best stuff that you’ve ever tasted!”
A wily Mondeo had crep up behind Vera
A nozzle held tight in his grill
Attempting to stick it in Vera’s fuel tank
Like a matador going for the kill
Vera shot forward, and swerved to the right
The Master screamed: “Ok boys! Get her!”
Vera squeezed through a space
Between two startled Saabs
And revved up her old carburettor
As she circled the courtyard, the cars in pursuit
Crashed into each others rear-quarters
Vera spun like a top, did a quick handbrake-stop
And aimed at two, big car-transporters
One transporter’s ramp was down at the rear
Vera raced up its length at full-power
Like a bonfire-night rocket, she shot off the top
And sailed past the battlement tower
Over the walls, Vera flew like the wind
And just as she started to fall
From under her chassis, emerged gliding-wings
Quite adequate, ‘though rather small
When all of the animals down in the woods
Had done Vera’s big renovations
The birds and the bees, with mechanic’s degrees
Had effected some modifications
Now Vera could glide … like an overweight eagle
Elated by this discovery
She swooped and she soared, as the crowd beneath roared
And she sang, saying: “Isn’t life lovely?
Lovely! Lovely! Isn’t life lovely?
Thanks to all those lovely creatures
They helped me recover, and now I can hover
I wonder if I’ve more hidden features?
I wonder what makes all those cars act so nasty
Vlad sure has a bee in his bonnet!”
Her descent soon revealed a flat, pasture field
Vera bumpily landed upon it
From the dark walls of Carmalot, cries could be heard
As Vlad the Impala went nuts
“Find her! – Get Her! – I want that car caught
And I don’t want no Ifs, Ands, or Buts!”
But Carmalot’s exits were hopelessly blocked
By the crashed cars who’d tried to chase Vera
So she turned and she drove, still singing her song
As the start of the evening grew nearer
Finding the road that she’d travelled with Vlad
Vera drove back the way that she’d came
To look for adventures in Amerrycar
Vera hoped it lived up to its name!
The Two Teds were waiting, surrounded by cars
Of all colours, and every variety
“Welcome back Vera!” said the Teds simultaneously,
“Did you suffer from Vlad’s impropriety?”
“No. Everything’s fine. I learned a good lesson:
Be careful who you call a friend.”
“That’s right!” said the Teds
“Don’t get tyred of retreads!
‘Cos they can drive you round the bend!”
Vera giggled, “You’re daft!
That’s the first that I’ve laughed
It’s good to be back
You’re such uplifting folks, in the land of the Volks
They should start calling you the Car-Jacks!”
And they laughed on and on, ‘till the light of the dawn
Made their sleepy eyes close for a slumber
Dreaming dreams of the ways they could have better days
Better weeks, better years, without number
A life without worry, no reason to hurry
Wing in wing, paw in paw, hand in hand
Where even the snails have the right to have tales
For those who didn’t know, I’ve been suffering from Crohn’s Disease for the last two years or more, and ended up back in hospital again this week, as the nasty wee bugger of an infection had spread from my anal area to my scrotum & genitals, and all points in between … hmmm!! … Isn’t that a mental image you could do without?
Painful? You betcha? And not something you can easily live with, as sitting down, using the loo and, eventually even walking, have all become exceedingly uncomfortable and unpleasant. After an increasingly bad weekend, I couldn’t take the pain anymore and went in through A&E on Tuesday, after a 5 hour wait in their less-than-luxurious waiting area.
I was poked, prodded, tested, and assessed … stuck in a bed … and well treated by the over-worked & underpaid nursing staff and, after 3 days in hospital, I’m back home, having been on an IV drip of antibiotics … and nothing else.
The doctors need an MRI scan to assess the problem, before deciding what to do, and the MRI unit’s appointments are fully booked at present, so I can’t get a scan until next Wednesday. I was given the option of lying in a hospital bed until then or coming home … a complete no-brainer!!!
The antibiotics have certainly reduced the infection considerably, and the pain level too, but I’m still far from comfortable or on-the-mend.
I was only able to reply in short notes to the many nice enquiries and letters I received while in hospital, as the TV/Internet system there is rather crap, and so slow … like swimming through honey … and what a rip-off it is too!! … so bloody expensive at £20 for 3 days access.
I was one of the very few who could actually afford to register for use of TV and Internet, and to see so many patients just lying there like zombies with no stimulus or access to communication is disgraceful. In “the-good-old-days” there was at least a wee telly in each ward for patient’s to distract themselves with whilst they lay there for many, painful days. The money-grubbing, profit-motivated bastards who run things nowadays obviously don’t give a monkey’s fukk about patient’s stimulation and motivation; allowing a depressing situation to develop.
The system can be used to get free radio usage … but there is no readily available information to let you know that. Once I’d figured it out, I let other patients know.
The complete lack of information available on every issue was a real issue
I was never informed about meal times, visiting times, doctor’s rounds, waking & sleeping schedules, who-was-who or what-was-what … everything I learned came from asking other patients who been there for a while, and as many were heavily sedated and sleeping most of the time, that wasn’t very easy.
The financial cutbacks in the Health Service were all too evident and things seemed to have deteriorated rapidly since my last period of incarceration some nine months back..There’s not enough staff … and those on duty don’t have the time to deal with minor issues like these
On our ward, one young nurse on the night shift dealt with 16 patients, with the shared assistance of one auxiliary between ours and the adjoining ward.
If two or more patients “crashed”, with their alarm bells being pushed simultaneously, how the hell could that have been efficiently and quickly dealt with?
The staff were run off their feet, literally, and I witnessed numerous minor mistakes being made, miscommunications, and requests being unfulfilled for lengthy periods, due to a lack of sufficient staffing. A situation which must surely cause potentially serious problems in such life-threatening circumstances.
The nurses and auxiliaries coped magnificently with this … but shouldn’t have too. The strain on them was quite evident.
The water-cooler on our ward was broken, and had been for some time, so the “drinking water” that we were given was tepid, metallic tasting and foul.
Solution? … Buy your own, from highly-priced, independently-owned, hospital shop.
I witnessed patients being discharged, myself included, even though they were still in pain and had received the minimum of assistance, due to what seemed to be a pressing need for beds, or where testing was not readily available in the short-term. That’s all about lack of funding, lack of staff, and lack of facilities, and is a disgrace.
I’ll go back for an MRI scan, and in the meantime I hope the antibiotics keep the worst of this shit at bay.