Saturday, December 29, 2012

We are Celtic supporters

I feel, as someone who doesn't wet the bed every time someone else sneezes, I should say a few things just now. After the hysterical reaction to Dens Park, and the army of do gooders trying to tell everyone else how to run their lives, a few things need said. First of all, let's get the easy stuff out the way, people like John Hartson are paid to put their name to an opinion. Therefore it is not a worthy opinion and can be dismissed immediately.

Now, the Celtic supporters in Dundee, most of whom would have paid around £40 just to be there, got a bit lively. Wow. That's what happens when you're in the boozer all day. It's been happening since Moses wore short pants. The same way folk go out on work night's out at Christmas and get hammered.

Funnily enough, no one gives a toss about that.

So if we are really going to have a national debate on folk having a drink before the fitba, that's my ten cents.

"Some of the folk at the game on Wednesday were arseholes" Really? I was at the shops earlier today, some of the folk in there were arseholes. No one wants to close down Morrrisons.

Then, of course, we get the desperate race to somehow pin all this on The Green Brigade. Like they are an outreach of Opus Dei and have plans of world domination and sit in some underground bunker, plotting and scheming.

Here was me thinking they were just Celtic supporters who like to give the team as much support as they can.

As far as the songs go, I say again, you want different songs? Go to the game and sing them. You want folk to stop singing certain songs? Then let's have a proper debate but don't insult my intelligence by telling me that rebel songs haven't been part of fan culture since time immemorial. Similarly, don't even try to convince me that you're striking a blow for the Republican Movement by drunkenly chanting "Ooh-Aah Up The Ra"

Now, can we all get back to hoping Celtic win every game please?

Like Celtic, I need a winter break. So I'm taking a couple of weeks off from blogging, tweeting and so on. Hope you all have a happy, healthy and zombie free 2013.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Let them know it's Christmas time

A horrible thing happened in Edinburgh this morning. A man jumped to his death off the North Bridge, a well known "Suicide spot".

Whatever went through his mind, it's probably safe to say he felt he had no one to turn to.

I know this blog won't be universally popularwith  people and will be met with derision by a lot but if it helps one person, I'll be happy.

It can be hard to be alone at any time but, at this time of year, it really hits home. You see lots of people out enjoying themselves, having that lovely family Christmas or wishing you "All the best" "Have a great Christmas" and so on.

You see it and experience it and it crushes your soul.

When you think of all your friends and relatives right now, are you 100% sure they have someone on Christmas Day?

Are you?

I've had my fair share of terrible Christmases, if I think about them since 2008, that day I sat alone in a flat in Leith with a Chinese for company, 2009 was a family one and was good, 2010 a house that didn't feel welcoming, 2011 an airport hotel room in Queens, 2012 with eldest son in morning then on my own for rest of the day. So that is one good one in five.

If you're out on the piss or with friends and/or family, I hope you're having a great time, I really do. I like to hear of people doing well and having fun, don't mind a bit of it myself now and again.

If you're alone on Christmas though and despair washes over you, remember, you are not alone.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Juve or not Juve

Ooh, a tough one. Wait a minute, they all would have been tough, scratch that. A blockbuster of a tie for Celtic then, Juventus home and away. You know what, I kind of like that. It seemed to me that, had we drawn either Malaga or Schalke, a lot of supporters would have seen this as a virtual bye through.

Not Juventus though.

Focus will be needed and that's good because that is when we are at our best. Ooh, I'm also glad I've got ESPN and by February I can go on shows and write blogs pretending to be an expert on the Serie A.

I may even learn Italian, well, a few words, and dazzle you all with my intellect.

What a fantastic two months we have ahead of us.

As George Bailey says, "It's a wonderful life"

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Some strange goings on down Sevco way...

Despite what they might think, not everyone is overly keen to have Sevco anywhere near the SPL. The witch hunt against Steven Thompson, for going with both the moral and legal argumments against Sevco being invited to the SPL back in the summer, is not going down too well with some of the movers and shakers in Scotland.

Indeed at the Hibernian AGM on Monday, Rod Petrie was heard to say along the lines of "It took us six months to get rid of them and four weeks to find them a home"

You see, just because Keith Jackson cannot stomach his beloved Rangers going down the swanny, doesn't mean everyone is sick about it.

No matter what the dark arts tell you.

What does seem to happen though is a state of amnesia sets into folk who go near Ibrox. Richard "The club I loved is dead" Gough was there last Saturday to celebrate 140 years of it. In fact there were 39 Ibrox legneds there (Supposed to be 40, Bert Konterman couldn't make it) including that man of God Marvin Andrews who may have read and believed about the resurrection, but not the ten commandments.

These are some strange times.

Oh, one final thing, Talkpsort's own Andy Gray was there on Saturday, giving a rousing speech to the troops at half time saying "They said this club would die, look at it now"

Aye, it's deid Andy and Sevco will not be far behind them.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Sevco Pantomine

Most journalists in Scotland had a sense of either bewilderment or resentment when they heard the news that Jim Traynor was to the be new Director of Communications at Sevco. If ever there was a case of poacher turned gamekeeper, this was is it.

Of course Traynor was Murray's poodle for years but he was shrewd enough to get into a trading of information relationship with Murray that helped further his own career and, for a while, boost the circulation of The Daily Record.

Traynor visited Ibrox yesterday, to meet backroom staff and so on, but there was nothing really to report save for the stale mince pies they were serving at half time.

Traynor is there as a lightning rod.

The idea that this guy will lead some sort of social media revolution at Ibrox is similar to that of Rod Stewart becoming celibate.

Traynor is there to take the pressure off Green and fight all the battles that Sevco have coming at them. He was doing it for Rangers for decades, so he has plenty practice.

Whatever you think about the appointment, there is no need for us to worry.

You don't bring in a firefighter when things are going well.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Chests, Tests and Rest

I've been ill this week. Actually started feeling a bit ropey late last Saturday night and by Monday my voice was gone and a chest infection had taken a grip of me. Ideally a week, minimum, in bed would have been the ideal tonic, alas, I've got so much work on, I had to grin and bear it on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. And grin at Tynecastle on Wednesday.

I do think part of the reason I fell ill was the release of adrenalin from the last few weeks. Promoting the book, being available constantly for folk and doing anythng you can to get the word out does take its toll on you. It was funny looking back at the @carlukeshamrock video of the night,  and thinking "Who are these folk?" I'm kidding, and seeing the night from the perspective of someone going to it. I increasingly feel that all the parties I go to are the ones that I am organising!

Still though, three book launches in a year, each one with it's own unique character, has been great. 's also nice when folk ask when the next one is. Well, all I can say now is that it will be next year, at the end of a month and it won't be announced til February.

I'll be taking a bit of a back seat soon, once I finish the new novel which, all going well, is a fortnight from completion.

It's hard slog for the people who make these work and to ensure you get people there, timing is everything. There are a number of issues which arise out of these things, before, during and after. The biggest problem you have before it are people who start making demands about the night. They put their name down and start telling us when they will arrive, where they want to sit etc or they ask you to "sell" them the night to justify their attendance at it. That always gives us a chuckle. Occasionally, after all the work is done, you will get someone who decides they want to be a part of it all and want to change this, this and that. Still chuckling. The other main problem you encounter pre the event is the place that you are hiring start dictating to you two days before the event. That's you who is providing them with 200 folk to drink them dry. Oh, how we laugh.

During the event is the easiest, never had an issue from the last three in Scotland at all. The only problem you get, although this has only happened at one venue, the staff can start getting cunty. Never had a problem with any punter, although it is on the night when you realise that someone, who has had four names down for two months, hasn't shown up and hasn't let anyone now. Has to be said, that gets us all down.

After the night is generally fine. It warms the heart when you read that folk have enjoyed themselves, especially as you see bonds forming and friendships made between folk all because they met each other at one of these nights.Of course these type of comments can lead to the odd cyber sniper, the type that can't see anyone happy, come out and try to put a blot on your landscape. Bless.

These might sound like moans, they're not, they are just reality. The good stuff far outweighs the bad. Meeting fellow Tims and having a great craic is when I am at my happiest.

At one point last week I saw young, old, old media, new media, Celts For Change, The Green Brigade, Homebhoys, Lostbhoys, Temprorary Stand, Celtic Graves, Maleys Bhoys, Hail Hail Media, Celtic Network, Manchester Tommy Burns CSC and many others all under one roof and all being filmed by The Carluke Shamrock Bhoys.

It was wonderful.

That's what it's all about.