Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas cheer from The Asterisk Years

I hope everyone reading this has a fantastic time over this holiday period. I know it's a painful time for some (I'm one of them) who think loved ones lost, hard times and the pressure applied from everywhere.

I hope you can find peace.

It's been a roller coaster year for me as usual but the highs far outweighed the lows. The worst part of the year for me was saying goodbye to my son Jake in August after seeing him for a couple of days. We stood in Connolly Station in Dublin in floods of tears and it took me at least a month to recover from that. Being apart from your kids is an awful thing and none more so than at this time of year, if you're in that position, I'm there with you.

Of course the other big part of my year was the start of The Asterisk Years Project.  This put me on a new level of notoriety and you sometimes think you should have "Everlast" running down your body but the goal makes it worth it and the support is spellbinding. So if you bought a book, downloaded the audio book, tweeted me, Dm'd me, got in touch on Facebook, came up to me at a game or in a pub please believe me when I say that you mean the world to me and none of this would be possible without you.

There are clearly divisions within the Celtic support right now, something that has to be resolved soon. More unites us than divides us and forget the knockers and begrudgers, they'll soon be onto something else whereas we Celtic supporters ain't going anywhere.

The Asterisk Years project is in phase 2 right now with the release of the audio book. I'm very proud of that and how well the paperback has done.

Thank you.

Phase 3 is the biggest and most ambitious project I've ever embarked upon but I'm ready for it.

Thanks to you.

Merry Christmas all, I wish you health, wealth and happiness now and forever more.



Sunday, December 22, 2013

Asterisk Years Audio Book out now

You can download the new Asterisk Years audio book right now. It is available for £4.99 from www.theasteriskyears.com There are lots of voices from all over the planet as David Murray's stranglehold over not only Scottish football but Scottish society is laid bare.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

If Paradise was half as nice...

When Celtic played Nottingham Forest in Dec 1983 there was a meeting about tickets. Brian Clough was there and asked Davie Hay right out how many Celtic wanted so they could dispense with the meeting and go and get a drink. Davie said "How much does your ground hold?" Brian looked bored "34,000" to which Davie replied "Right, we'll take the lot"

Yesterday at Celtic Park was one of those days where you wonder why you bother. Walking from Bellgrove station to the park I got soaked to the skin. People were texting me about how great the Man City-Arsenal game was and I was making mental notes on who to kill should I ever thaw out.

I got my usual third degree at the turnstile because I have a student season ticket and then got to concourse realising the entire crowd had decided to huddle there. I approached the Ladbrokes and heard a guy politely question the odds "Here you, the how the fuck is that Pukki only 7/2?" I hope he lumped on.

For some reason, a steward asked to see my ticket at the top of the stairs and directed me right to my seat. I then wiped it dry(ish) before realising it wasn't actually my seat. I should have heeded the warning.

The rain never stopped and the empty(ish) 111 gave a stark reminder of the previous week's events. Plus it made me think that section probably has more cover than mine.

The game was ok considering conditions but eyes went from the park to all around us as.stewards started surrounding a group who were singing. Then all around me people were being told by the police to sit down and shut up by the police.

All this whilst sitting freezing, soaking and guilty only of questioning Bobby Madden's parentage.

The final whistle was a relief on and off the park and folk shuffled.away into the night, presumably to warm pubs and welcoming partners, whilst I trudged back to Bellgrove dreaming of the first train ever to have flunkies to dry you off.

This was only my experience of yesterday, yours was probably different.

I certainly hope so.

Incidentally, a year later, Celtic played Rapid Vienna at Old Trafford and sold 50,000 tickets in two hours. Brian Clough phoned Davie Hay, apologising, saying he now realised he had been serious.

The Asterisk Years Audio Book is out on Dec 22nd. Go here for info www.theasteriskyears.com

Monday, December 9, 2013

Fear and Loathing on the Murray trail

It's not been a good few weeks for me or some people close to me. On a personal level youngest son has been very ill and isn't out the woods yet. Concerns about my own health are ongoing and the usual shit life throws at you adds to a worrying time. Similarly, folk close to me are going through hard times and my heart goes out to Josh Gaffney who lost his Father suddenly yesterday.

It was all so different last week when I bounced out of Ireland after a great gig in Larne. Soon as I got back though a shitstorm was brewing. Seems that threats had been made about the publication of a video of the Glasgow launch of The Asterisk Years. Not to me directly but to people close to me. I realised then that things were getting wee bit sinister as only three people even knew about the video and I was one of them. I knew the other two were solid so it was clear dark forces were raging. Not the type like the serial abuser who bombarded me, Amazon and Lulu with abuse, not even the coward who threatened my eldest son, no, this was the type who tried three weeks ago to get the book shelved completely.

I took the decision to pull the plug on the video, for now, to protect others or at least, hopefully, stop them being threatened. You see I never get threats to my face, they always come on social media or through other people, but it doesn't derail the project, in fact, phase two of the Asterisk Years is all but complete and is an Audio Book, £4.99, and downloadable from Dec 22nd from www.theasteriskyears.com

The people who abuse and make threats, from your own side or the other, all have one thing in common. They are all saying "PEOPLE LIKE YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO HAVE AN OPINION"


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Against the crown

Friday night saw the completion of Phase 1 of The Asterisk Years Project. It took place in Larne and, to the amusement of the locals, I did get plenty folk raise eyebrows at the prospect of me going there. I flew over on Friday tea time and got picked up at the airport by Gary Bergin. It felt like I was flying first class as, for the first time since 2011, I flew something other than Ryanair.

We sped off in the direction of Larne and upon arriving there were met by something that anyone who has been to Larne recently will know: A massive Crown. Maybe the doubters were right. Pretty soon we were off to The Station Bar and I must say now the set up and hospitality was superb. My book was advertised on the tables like a menu, they had a projector for the show and I soon realised that everyone in the bar was there to see it. I ended up speaking for about three hours and really enjoyed it. These are solid Tims.

We went on very late and probably got back to Gary's about 3am. Gary is as good a host as you'll find anywhere and up were up for 9am to sample an Ulster fry in the shadow of Sammy Wilson's constituency office. That felt good.

The Bhoys in Larne were different class, particularly Stevie and his staff, Martin, the future mayor of Larne, Billy, Kevin and Connor.

Fully fed, we drove to Belfast and although I love Larne, it was nice to see a tricolour again. We parked up and immediately met the Sinn Fein mayor of Belfast, Mairtin OMuilleoir, and have a craic about the book, Amsterdam and flags. We then went to.the Irish Republican history museum at Conway Mill. Built by Eileen Hickey and run by her sister it was a real treat and was also great to see so many tourists in there. After this we took in a few memorials before heading to the Sinn Fein shop. Great craic there too and I got myself a copy of The Escape by Gerry Kelly which has me captivated already. We then headed for a pint in The Rock Bar before heading to the RVH to visit someone who hasn't been too well recently and was currently a patient. This was a really inspiring and humbling experience for me as he had read all my books and was Celtic through and through. We talked for two hours in the ward. I could have sat there two days.

Then it was off to the airport and to start on the Gerry Kelly book. That got me a few stares and a secondary search.

As I said at the start, lots of folk thought I was mad for going to Larne. You should know by now I'm mad minus the trip.

And what a trip. Massive thanks to Gary for everything and it was a trip I will never forget.

The Crown in Larne looks a bit of a relic to the past.  The people in Larne provide a great path to the future.