Friday, 30 October 2009

Becoming expert in juggling

I've not blogged for 2 whole weeks. It's not that there's been nothing to blog about, there's been too much. And maybe that's the problem. There's everything that's been going on in my job alongside the Glasgow North East by-election, SNP conference and moving flat. My flat move was, of course, not straightforward. I can't be like normal people and move everything from one flat to the next. No, my possessions were scattered across the West of Scotland. The removals guys (West of Scotland Removals coincidentally - very good btw, would definitely recommend) had to pick up in Gourock, Port Glasgow, Newton Mearns, Battlefield, Baillieston and 2 different addresses in Dennistoun before taking everything to my new place also in Dennistoun. Almost everything I own has been packed away since I went to Sri Lanka almost two years ago so it's been great to discover things I'd loved but forgotten about. However, the discoveries will have to wait, there's a by-election to win. I will do my best to blog about that as the campaigns hots up and you can also take a look at some photos from the election here.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

SNP Conference

Am at SNP conference in Inverness and loving every minute of it. I moved a motion yesterday about the UKBA's refusal to allow MSPs to represent constituents. I listened in on several other debates on the Euro, on the voucher system for asylum seekers before joining everyone else in giving Kenny MacAskill a standing ovation before he'd even started his conference address.

Went to the SAMH fringe meeting about physical activity and its effect on mental health. Was a contestant in the Nat Factor - 4 of us (Alyn Smith MEP, Bill Kidd MSP, Gregor Murray & Out for Independence Boyband!!). Alyn and I (being the most competitive of the 4) had spent the day lobbying hard against each other (in a good natured way of course) but it backfired and we both got beaten by the boyband! I then turned Auctioneer for the evening and my throat is still killing me but we made a fair bit of money. I got home at 2am and thought my feet were going to fall off. So it's all go here.

Today's another day and I'm off to hear who's won the President's Prize. I've submitted a topical resolution on the Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival so fingers crossed it'll get through. And I'm chairing a fringe meeting for the Scottish Refugee Council this evening. Hopefully that'll all give me lots of time to catch up with folk I've not seen in a long while.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

We are a pretty sick species sometimes

I went out for a drink the other night with a few friends and there was a quiz night going on. One round required every team to submit a joke and I was really shocked to hear 3 different teams making a joke about the sudden death of a young guy. He'd died some days earlier in his sleep - he'd not been ill, but still he passed away. His family and partner were overcome with grief as were his friends and yet, somehow, it seemed alright for folk in the pub to be telling jokes about it. It was cruel in the extreme and I have no idea what goes on in people's minds for them to think it's at all acceptable to joke about something like that. Perhaps they think that being famous or being rich means you're fair game even when you're dead. It's a twisted logic and I hate to think how the family of Stephen Gately would have felt had they overheard those so called "jokes".

Can you speak the Weegie patter?

Pure dead brilliant this is! A company is advertising for Glaswegian (although they spell it GlasGwegian) interpreters. If I wasn't an MSP I would LOVE that job. The BBC article has a list of "Glasgow Patter". I didn't know that using the word "Baltic" to describe something cold was Glaswegian. I thought everyone used that term. The Glasgow SNP MSPs have offices in a place called Baltic Chambers and let me tell you when I was in working on Sunday, the heating was off and that's exactly what it was - Baltic! Anyway here's the list of Glaswegian terms from the BBC website.

Baltic (very cold) - yes, I use this.
Boost (head off) - had never heard of this till recently.
Buckie (tonic wine favoured by youngsters) - use it but don't drink it.
Cludgie (toilet) - know it, don't use it - the word obviously, not the actual cludgie!
Eejit (idiot) - yep, have cause to use it frequently but think it's Irish.
Hampden roar (score) - Jamie Hepburn uses this a lot.
Hee haw (nothing) - frequently used term.
Hen (term used to address a woman or girl) - get called this all the time. And "doll".
Laldy (enthusiastic participation) - frequent usage.
Maw (mother) - not to her face.
Midden (rubbish tip) - also has other meanings.
Pure (very) - yes, I feel very inarticulate when I use this but I do, a lot.
Moroculous (drunk) - love this word and use fairly often - to describe other people obv.
Messages (shopping) - as in "I am going for my messages" - use sometimes.
Scooby (clue, ryhming slang - Scooby Doo) - one of my favourite words :-)
Shoot the craw (leave in a hurry) - Jamie Hepburn uses this one all the time too.
Stooky (plaster cast) - until I was about 25 I thought "stooky" was the right word!
Swatch (look) - as in "take a swatch" - again, a Jamie Hepburn favourite.
Toaty (small) - I think this is more "tiny" than "small".
Ya dancer (fantastic) - yes, I confess, this is one of my favourites.
Yersel (yourself) - everyone says "yersel" don't they?

Sunday, 11 October 2009

This is my first blog post in October!

I've had a bit of a break over the last week from blogging but it won't last for much longer. It's busy in the office, busy in parliament, I've been buying a flat, helping with the by-election AND trying to recruit a member of staff seeing as Humza Yousaf has decided it's more interesting to work for Alex Salmond than for me, hmmm. Obviously the sooner I recruit someone the less busy I will be in parliament and in the office and the more time I'll have to blog. Thus, the recruitment will be my priority. However, I've been a tad overwhelmed with the response. I've had 63 applications! I've contacted all applicants to let them know the timetable for recruitment because I know myself how much effort you put into applying for jobs and then you just sit about wondering if they've got it, if you'll get an interview etc. Sometimes you're wondering and they've already recruited the person but nobody's bothered to tell you. So I've given them a timescale for each stage of the process which means I have no choice but to stick to it! Having said that it's recess so there's a bit more time to get through everything and hopefully time to blog - if I don't manage it however, you'll know why.