My claim to fame

It has been a busy time for me and a very mixed bag. Going out to friends’ homes for drinks oh and cake and shortbread, very Scottish, I was also out for drinks at the pub with my friend.

The Probus club did throw up a bit of a curve ball, the speaker’s car would not start – flat battery – they needed a stand-in – after offering my service for an off-the-cuff talk I sat down and my brain froze – shit what have I done. My problem is that I am deaf so I could not hear the audience (were they tittering away at my humour?) or was the audience welcoming me (as Billy Connelly would say) – like a fart in a space suit?

I mentioned this in an e-mail to my friend from our college days and he sent this reply,

You’re some boy as they say! 🙂 lol Aye, I remember that pressure well, the lecture hall at college, I think I did a speech on RLS…I was all prepared and looking forward to it then stood up and my brain froze ha-ha-ha.  It’s frozen again today but more due to the bleeding weather!

You never said what you talked about? Knowing you and your life a myriad of experiences! Sure it was received very well; you should have charged them lol.  I still recant the tale of when you and I were given a basic radio interview task at college, all the others were getting store managers, the Principal etc and you said ‘…meet me at Carnegie Hall, we’re interviewing Tom Weir!’  I still laugh when I think about that, I was like ‘What??…THE Tom Weir?’….I recall getting the recorder up and running, you started off on a structured interview but soon meandered off with Tom into reminiscing of your days with the RAF Mountain Rescue team….next thing we know after an hour the theatre manager came thundering in with a panic-stricken demeanour…’ Mister Weir, there’s 200 people upstairs paid ten pounds a head to see your show and you are half an hour late!!….’…Oh crivvens’ says Tom ‘oh well Walter, Greig….thanks for the chat, must go as you see’ and off he toddled lol, complete gentleman was Tom.  It was you blethering…not me for a change…honest!! Ha-ha-ha.

I had completely forgotten about that, yes Tom certainly was a gentleman. I started off my interview by asking him about how he started in journalism. He said we did not have much money but I like to escape the city (Glasgow) and the Campsie Fells were within cycling distance so I would go there at weekends and walk the hills, I started writing about my sojourning – sending articles to my local newspaper – I found that if I introduced a photograph in with the article it was more likely to be accepted so I became more interested in photographs. However, he was just such a great storyteller – that was his secret really.

I asked Tom, – I don’t know if you remember meeting up with four of us lads from RAF Kinloss Mountain Rescue on Cairn Gorm, it was high summer and you were accompanied by a flock of women walkers – if memory serves – you (in jest) introduced them as inmates from the women’s prison at Tillicoultry. The conversation moved away from an interview to him asking about fellow members of the Kinloss Mountain Rescue past and present, it was after a while that the manager came into the dressing room – kickers in a twist – telling Tom he had an audience waiting upstairs. I believe the audio-visual presentation he gave (slide show and talk) was on his recent trip to Kazakhstan for I remember a lot of Yaks and those strange movable tents they have that look like lattice work inside. – Exciting times.      

Now well into December and heading for 2023 – and not a dish washed. Of course, there will be predictions made for the coming year – but what is most needed is for the EU to get around the table with Russia and as Macron told them – take seriously Russia’s concerns over their security needs, (of course America is the stumbling block to any talks with Russia).

Actually, there is a programme in the Byre Theatre ‘The France of Houellebecq and Macron’ on the 18th of January – free but you have to book – I will do that today.

If we could get a settlement with Russia and Europe that could satisfy Russia’s concerns over security from an every encroaching NATO – now right on their doorstep, (US bases in Ukraine would be a tad too close for comfort for the Russians) and EU countries once more started buying gas from the Siberian gas fields – inflation would fall – the Bank of England would not have to raise interest rates – mortgages, and loans would not cost more, people would be lifted out of poverty and the strikes for more pay to keep pace with inflation would end – in other words – cure the illness, not the symptoms. Stupid is what stupid does.

I heard Miliband on Channel 4 news the other night and heard the most sensible words from anyone on television for a long time – he said we need international cooperation to tackle the problems of boat people trying to get to Europe (including the UK) – unless you are Ukrainian or Afghanistan you will not have a direct route to come to the UK or EU – people have not come here as economic migrants they are coming here because if they stay where they are they will die – they are fleeing war and famine, simply they are trying to survive – yet they are treated like lepers when they arrive in England. We need international cooperation to tackle the causes of this migration. Take seriously Climate Change – countries such as Madagascar once able to feed their people from its land have had four years of drought – the once fertile land has now been turned into desert.

Wars across the globe are causing a mass migration of people heading north for better life chances. How long has the destruction of Yemen been going on – feed by British and American weapons and the use of British staff to service the planes and plan and select targets for the Saudi Arabian (British-built) aircraft.

Refugee camps spreading at an alarming rate across the globe, some now the size of small cities – You do not help people by giving them a plastic sheet and a bowl of rice – that will only make them make them dependent, by doing so you encourage discontent leading to trouble and strife – leading to even more migration.

And why I believe Miliband is right when he said that the problem with boat people is a problem that needs international cooperation. Sadly for the people of Ukraine, Palestine, Yemen, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia, there is no profit in helping the poor and destitute of this world the smart money is in arms manufacture and war factories.

My prediction for 2023 Global Warming will be the big story – sadly little will be done about it just more COP-outs.

Stay safe.


2 thoughts on “My claim to fame

  1. A peace agreement now will be difficult. Russia will not want to lose face and give back Ukrainian territory. Ukraine won’t want to settle without sovereignty over their own, complete country. I’m glad I’m not responsible for sorting out that mess. Northern Ireland took a long, long time but it wasn’t war on this scale either. No winners either way 😔


  2. That was what the Minsk agreement was to settle on the parts of the former Soviet states that did not wish to be part of a Ukraine hell bent on joining the EU therefore NATO, much like Scotland did not wish Brexit but we like they have a bullying neighbor who rides rough shod over our wishes. Make no mistake about it this all about America’s proxy war.


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