Category Archives: Life

those days are past now …

…and in the past they must remain.

Of course they must. Where else are they going?

Technically, I suppose, if you had the brains of Dr Emmett Brown and a spare DeLorean, you could perhaps revisit them. Sadly though, we can’t re-live prior experiences – albeit I do vaguely recall making numerous drunken, such attempts in the early Noughties.

Yet, we shouldn’t forget those days of yesteryear. Even the painful and crap ones teach us valuable lessons, the idea being we learn from our bad decisions and mistakes. And without a certain amount of these Bad Times, we wouldn’t recognise the Good ones, would we?

Good Times though are possible to revisit without the requirement of jumping into a sports car fitted with a flux capacitor and accelerating to the magical speed of eighty-eight mph.

For ‘De-Lorean,’ read, ‘Re-Union.’

After leaving school, I moved around the UK with work. Consequently, I lost touch, at least regular contact, with most friends from my six years at Bearsden Academy. So I was pretty excited, when in 1999, a reunion was organised for ‘The Class of ’70.’

(My Class of ’70 – ok , yeah, that’s me, cross legged, front row, far right.)

We all wore badges displaying our names so there would be no need for embarrassing re-introductions, but in the vast majority of cases, they were superfluous. Back together for the first time in twenty-five years, it was like we’d never left the classroom.

The four or five hours we had was over in a flash, with very little time for reflection on our schooldays. Most conversations revolved around what everyone was doing at present.

It was a ‘formal’ get-together, and the organisers had worked hard to make sure everything passed off without hitch: food; drinks; badges; photos; teachers.

Yes, teachers. Several were present, including the Head / Rector. And credit to them, they actually remembered most of us. For one reason or another! (I did notice however, that it took a good hour before a few of us felt it safe to nervously remove our hands from our pockets.)

These past few years have seen semi-regular meet-ups of training buddies / team mates from my athletics club, Garscube Harriers. In fact, the last social night I had before Covid Lockdown, was with these guys … as was the first after restrictions were eased.  A few are still competing (one has just completed the Marathon des Sables – running a marathon a day, for a week, through the Sahara desert!) but in the main everyone now just runs for fun.

(Garscube Harriers old gits’ reunion, October 2021.)

These evenings do differ from the school reunion, in that we have had more regular contact over the past fifty years, and are generally up to speed with what everyone is doing these days. Invariably, conversation then reverts at some point to childish micky-taking and reliving some of the scrapes we got into when competing around the country!

Tonight (20th November) a bunch of us from school are meeting up again for an informal night in a bar in the West End of Glasgow. This time, pupils from a couple years either side of the Class of ’70 will be attending. In some cases it will be forty-five years since we last saw each other.

It being an informal evening, it’s uncertain how many people will turn up – especially with that Covid lurgy still hanging about. Regular readers of this blog will though recognise a couple of those attending: Paul Fitzpatrick and George Cheyne.

Paul, of course, is co-founder of ‘Once Upon a Time in The ‘70s’. He’s travelling up from London for the evening. Despite us working on this blog for these past eight months or so, we haven’t actually met since 1974!

Even then at sixteen years old, he stood head and shoulders over me. Any photos of us tonight had better be in ‘portrait’ rather than ‘landscape’ format. And as you can no doubt tell from his blog posts, he had more fashion sense than I had sense, and was arguably the best dressed kid in school.

George has been a regular contributor to the blog since the start. I’ve actually bumped into him a few times in recent years when we’ve competed against each other for our respective tennis clubs. Still fit as a butcher’s dog, he not only thrashed me regularly at Subbuteo as a kid, but he’s now two –one up in our head-to-head tennis matches.

They make me sick, the both of them!

So here’s a photo of them in our Primary Two class @ 1964, I think – rather conveniently, I’m not in this one for some reason!

(George is third from left, back row with Paul immediately to his left.)

Yeah – maybe these days are indeed in the past, but there’s no harm in borrowing them for an evening. It should be fun; I’m looking forward to it, but one thing’s for certain – we can’t afford to wait another forty-five years for the next reunion … you do the maths.

(Actually, I just have – The Class of ’70 would all be eighty –eight. Coincidence, or a sign? Perhaps only Dr Emmett Brown can answer that. Whatever, it’s true what they say – time sure does McFly.)

__________

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Up The Toon

Paul Fitzpatrick: London, November 2021

There was a point in our mid teens when we felt it was time to cast the net a bit wider.
We’d progressed from playing in the street, to going up the local park, then a bit further afield, but generally within a two mile radius of our base…. but a bit like tiger cubs there came a point when we were ready to explore and roam new territories.

Invariably all roads led to….. Glasgow

Looking back, going ‘up the toon’ to Glasgow city centre was a rite of passage, it’s what the older kids did and like raiding Vikings they usually returned laden with treasure….

A Wrangler denim jacket or a pair of Levis from Jean Shack

The new Bowie/Rod/Zep/T-Rex album from Listen/23rd Precinct/Virgin

A feather cut or suede-head from Cut n’ Dried or Fuscos

An Arthur Black shirt from well… Arthur Black’s Shirts & Slacks.

The desire to start making our own choices typically came at at a point when parents were still picking some of our clothes and ushering us to old-school barbers, where glossy headshots of Peter Marinello covered the cracks on the walls, and where condoms rather than coriander conditioners were on display – ‘something for the weekend sir?’

Poster boy – Peter Marinello (the Lothian George Best)

Even if you had the temerity to ask for a Peter Maranello they’d respond, “aye no problem”, pull out the electric razor (the big old clunky ones with the cord) and execute the only haircut they knew how to administer…. the one that invariably left you with a big red rash on the back of your neck for a week.

Seeing the older kids with their goodies and cool haircuts inspired some of us young uns’ to follow their trail, however, it was a pursuit that needed funding, which is why a couple of us started up a paper round when we were 14 whilst others took up delivering morning rolls.
The disposable income we duly acquired was set aside for regular sojourns to Glasgow where we would aspire to emulate our elders.
Swanning around town before a triumphant homecoming – brandishing our 23rd Precinct & Krazy House bags with pride.

Going up the town per se was nothing new, after all we’d had years of being chaperoned to DM Hoey’s and Freeman, Hardie & Willis for winter coats and sensible shoes.
However, heading into town with your chums, with your own money burning a hole in your pocket, was a different proposition altogether, a proper adventure.

Paddy’s Market

Once you’d been up a couple of times and knew your way around, part of the fun was going off-piste… exploring and navigating Glasgow’s grid system via lanes and backstreets and witnessing sites you’d rarely see in the Bearsden bubble – sites like adults blootered on Carlsberg Special Brew before lunchtime or witnessing the colourful characters that worked and hung around Paddy’s Market.

We could spend hours roaming around the town…..

Loitering in record shops – rummaging through the racks of vinyl and requesting to hear albums in the listening booths or the available headphones (Dark Side of the Moon with its stereophonic effects was always a good one).

Roving around department stores, from the sports dept, to the electrical dept, before bashfully taking in the sights and scents of the perfumery dept.

Visiting the legendary Tam Shepherds Trick Shop in Queen St, where the sickly scent of stink bombs was never far from the front door….. before heading to the rag-trade end of Argyle St, up towards the Trongate, where all the ‘on-trend’ clothes shops were housed.

Welcome to the house of fun

A big part of the adventure of course was the journey…. for us it was the train from Westerton to Queen St or the ‘105’ double-decker (blue) bus that shuttled between Drumchapel and Buchanan St.

Our parents would always warn us about being careful, “keep an eye out for any trouble” but they probably didn’t realise that the biggest danger came from within and involved daft stunts like crossing live railway tracks to get from one platform to another or jumping off moving buses before our bus-stop… for a dare.

On reflection it showed that we probably, (no, definitely!) weren’t as ‘grown up’ as we thought we were.
Fortunately though, despite a few scrapes and close calls, we all lived to tell the tale, and would subsequently watch on like a David Attenborough documentary as the generation below us took up the mantle and followed our lead.

In the meantime…. we of course, now veterans of stepping outside our comfort zone were preparing to take the next big step in our personal development…. getting served in pubs ‘up the toon’!

The Burns Howff

All Over The Shop (Part 3)

Mark Arbuckle: Glasgow, November 2021

Suddenly it was 1979 and every bloke shopped at Topman!

After the excitement of the grand opening and the hosting of Fiona Richmond we settled into our new store and were extremely busy over the summer of 79.

The shop’s basement had not been refurbished and left in a rundown state…. part sales-floor, part stock-room, part office, part staff-room.
It also had one of those old-fashioned wooden parquet floors that made a clip-clop sound when anyone walked on it.

Davy our manager’s family home was still in Arbroath so he was staying in digs in Glasgow during the week, getting the train home on a Saturday evening and taking the Monday off to spend time at home.

One Saturday Davy had left to catch his usual train. I was still working, collating the monthly figures when I heard the clip-clop of footsteps on the parquet floor outside the office. Davy walked in cursing that he’d missed his train before heading off 20 minutes later to catch the next one.
Ten minutes after Davy had gone I heard the clip-clop sound again and swung the door open ready to slag Davy for missing another train and….there
was nobody there! 

I shouted ‘Hello’, ‘Hello’ before realising I was on my own…. or was I?
So I quickly packed up my stuff, set the alarm and got the hell out of there!

A week or so later, Rikki, Davy and I were leaving the basement when Rikki suddenly reared back in fright pushing Davy out of the way!
WTF! 
An ashen faced Rikki swore that he’d just seen a black dog crouching beneath a plastic chair in front of an old fitting room before it started to leap up at him!
He was very shaken and took quite a while to calm down!

Intrigued at the goings-on, I did a bit of research and discovered that our building had been built close to the site of an old chemical & pharmaceutical factory
W&R. Hatrick & Co. on Renfield Street. 

The building had gone up in flames, exploded and then collapsed killing 4 firemen on the 7th January 1898.

Fire on Renfield St 1898

There was to be another ‘ghostly’ incident a few months later but this time it was a bit more explainable.

Ross (he of the wiry ginger hair) was passing the shop late one evening when he stopped to look in the front door. He gasped when he saw all the jackets begin to swing about on their rail next to the cash desk…. he thought he was seeing things!
He saw the next rail of clothing start to swing about too before running off in a panic for his late-night bus!

The next day he related this incident to Davy and I.
I was sceptical but, having already ‘witnessed’ two other ghostly ‘sightings’ that month, I had an open mind.

Davy on the other hand said “Dinny be daft son, ye must’ve been pished!”

Later that evening when we went for a pint in Sloan’s, Davy told me why he’d been so dismissive!

Sloans Tavern

Am stayin’ in the shoap instead a the digs” he confessed! “But am still gettin’ ma digs paid by tha cumpany and no tellin’ em! Last night I’d set ma sleepin’ bag up at the back cash desk which can’t be seen from the front door. But I’d left ma watch at the front cash-till and had made my way behind the rails to get it and that’s what Ross saw! It wiz me pushing the jackets aside as I crawled back to ma sleepin’ bag!”

I nearly choked on my pint!
We had such a laugh about it! We never told Ross and he probably still tells the story about the ghostly jackets!!

A couple of weeks later Davy experienced another form of incursion, but this one was a tad more sinister!

He had just returned from the pub late one night and was making his way to his hidey-hole at the back of the shop when he saw a ladder and a pair of boots disappearing up through the polystyrene tiles into the roof space!
Above our roof was an empty building which burglars had gained entry to before entering via the shop’s unalarmed roof!
It was obviously a very well-planned break-in with three rough looking guys in the process of emptying the leather and suede department!

As handy as he was Davy didn’t fancy taking all three of them on so he slipped quietly back out to a phone box to call the police. He made up a story that he’d left important paperwork in the shop and was returning to get it when he witnessed the break-in in progress!
The burglars were never caught but poor Davie had to book into a B&B until the dust settled.

We had another police incident a few weeks later.
Next door to Top Man was a very busy HMV store. 

Rikki and I got very friendly with the staff and in particular big Duncan the security guard who was about 6’4″ and 20 stone!
We gave them discount and they reciprocated.

However, despite big Duncan’s presence HMV had a major shoplifting problem which, considering it was all vinyl albums in those days, was quite a feat on the shoplifter’s part!
One day Rikki spotted two young guys crouched down dividing up their stolen haul of albums around the entrance to our front door. (Not very bright then!?!?)
While Rikki kept an eye on them, I slipped next door to inform big Duncan. 

However, at the same time, unbeknown to us, two youngish looking plain clothes cops had also spotted the two thieves and were in the process of lifting them….. when big Duncan bounded up behind the cops, mistaking them for the shoplifters and smacked their heads together!!

It took a lot of fast talking and profuse apologies from myself and big Duncan to prevent him from being arrested for Police Assault! 

The two thieves witnessing the event cowered in the corner terrified that they’d be next for a head cracking!
When everything was sorted out, they looked positively relieved when they were actually arrested and led away!

Leading up to Christmas the shop continued to be busy, and for a laugh Rikki wrote a pantomime featuring all the staff as characters.
It was near the knuckle stuff, but hilarious, with lots of in-jokes that had the staff in stitches.

Things worked out very well for Rikki in the long run as he became a professional comedy writer, working with Craig Ferguson, Rikki Fulton, Scotch & Wry, Only An Excuse, Chewin’ The Fat and Watson’s Windup amongst many other BBC Comedy Unit projects.
Rikki also had his own weekly comedy page in The Scottish Sun for 17 years!


As the weather in Glasgow began to bite you’d find the majority of Top Man’s staff queuing up outside City Bakeries most mornings for that rare Glasgow delicacy… A Hot Roll and Mince!
They were delicious and really warmed you up!

About a week before Christmas when the store was at its busiest Davy decided to complete the weekly paperwork. 

I said ‘It’s ok Davy I’ll do it’ but he insisted.
He had all the daily sheets so all he had to do was transfer them onto a new document and cross check them to make sure they all tallied up. I left him to it.

An hour later I checked to see how he was doing.
There were a lot of crumpled scraps of paper lying on the desk and Davy’s face was getting redder by the second!
I offered to help again but that just seemed to make things worse
He was muttering away under his breath like Muttley from Wacky Races! 

Exasperated, he suddenly leapt to his feet, threw his pen at the wall and shouted, ‘Ach F*ck The Pope!!’

Realising what he’d just said he looked at me and began to apologise profusely!

With a straight face I looked sternly at him and said, ‘Don’t worry about it Davy….I hope you have a F*cking Rotten Christmas too!

Then I turned around and (mock) stormed out the office!

I went back in 10 seconds later and the two of us burst out laughing!!

We met at a Fashion Industry Trade Show in London about 12 years later and Davy told this story in a crowded bar to everyone’s amusement!

Davy, Rikki and I would have many more laughs and experiences in and around the Rag Trade over the next two decades but unfortunately those stories belong in another blog….!!

All Over The Shop (Part 2)

Mark Arbuckle: Glasgow October 2021

Top Man would officially open its doors in Glasgow mid November 1978.

I was appointed Assistant Manager and another recruit from Burtons, Davy was the Manager. 

I spoke to him on the phone and we got on well and looked forward to working together.
However before all that I had a wedding to attend…my own!

I returned from honeymooning in Athens eager to meet Davy and the rest of the staff.

Evidently I had been with Burtons far too long and turned up wearing a navy pinstripe suit, (Max!) a crisp white shirt and a red tie! Talk about conservative!! 

The first person I met was Rikki, he had on a modern cut baggy, beige suit with big shoulder pads, a fancy blue patterned shirt and NO tie! Think late 70’s Duran Duran and you won’t be far away!

He topped this ensemble off with long, bleached, shaggy hair and a fake tan!

We eyed  each other up with the same thought…… ‘W**ker!!’

43 years later we are still great friends, we’ve been each other’s best man (my 2nd marriage where he actually recounted our first meeting in his speech!) I’m Godfather to his daughter and we co-owned and were partners in an upmarket fashion business together for 10 years with many great laughs and adventures!

It just shows you how first impressions can be sooo misleading!

Rikki had come from ‘Jackson The Tailors’ who were always ‘edgier’ than stuffy ol’ ‘(Full) Monty-Fifty- Bob-Tailors!’

Davy arrived from Arbroath the next day.
He was a stocky ex Amateur Boxer who wore glasses with tinted lenses, which was quite unusual in 1978. As expected we got on really well and the shop was busy from the start. I even managed to shed my pinstripes and ties!

Obviously because of all the ‘knowledge’ I had gained from the students union bar during my one year studying accountancy I also became the shop’s bookkeeper!

Top Man had a brand new monthly book keeping system which must’ve been copied from an ancient greek abacus which had been translated from Persian! 

It made no sense at all! 

At the end of the first month I filled in what I could and duly sent it off. I got a call from our fledgling head office the following Tuesday saying I hadn’t completed it properly! 

I pointed out the areas I was struggling with and they agreed that it was a bit vague. I said that it must’ve been an idiot that compiled the form. There was silence and a laugh and he said ‘Well I did have a hand in it but never actually filled one in. 

Hi, I’m Andrew Leslie, Top Man’s MD!’  Whoops!!
He was very good about it though and actually asked me to redesign the Monthly Accounts Form cutting out the confusing and  unnecessary segments.
Andrew would go on to have a great career in retail and is now a director at JD Sports

The next week Ross started as a salesman.
He was a hard worker and very funny although not the sharpest knife in the box.
A favourite trick of his was to go into a fitting room, pull the curtain across, muss up his wiry red hair, pull a deranged face and re-emerge 30 seconds later with what he called his Mad Heid!! 

It was funny/scary the first time and never got old.
Anytime it was quiet somebody would shout ‘Hey Ross dae yer Mad Heid!’ 

Occasionally a startled customer would witness his full ‘Mad Heid’ display and either burst out laughing or quickly head for the exit!

Now as I said Ross was entertaining but a bit on the daft side – he once got a taxi from the City Centre to his home in Kirkintilloch and realised he didn’t have enough cash to pay the fare! So he asked the driver to stop 50 yards from his destination and then did a runner straight to his own front door!! Hahaha

I learned that Davy had left Burtons in the middle of a feud with Ken, the area manager. One day during Ken’s visit to the Buchanan Street Burtons, I realised that we, in the basement, were unusually quiet. In fact we hadn’t seen a customer for over an hour!
I went up stairs to investigate and found large boxes piled 3 high in front of our entrance! Ken had instructed Burtons’ staff to place their delivery there! I shouted down to Davy that there was a problem! 

He came tearing up the stairs screaming with rage when he saw the boxes! We began pulling them out of the way.

Davy spotted Ken smirking in the corner, stormed over, grabbed him by his lapels and rammed him up against the wall.
Ken was terrified and spluttered 

Picture McKay & Bremner as Davy & Ken and you’ve got the idea

‘You can’t do this!’

Davy replied ‘Do this? I’ll ram my fist down yer throat ‘n’ pull yer f**kin’ guts out ya wee pr*ck!’ (Ken was about 4″ taller than Davy but at that moment he looked 4′ tall). George pleaded with Davy to let him go and eventually he let Ken slide down the wall.

Freed from Davy’s grip, Ken became brave again, a big mistake!
“I’ll get you done for assault” he squeaked to Davy! “Go ahead” said Davy, “But I hope you like hospital food!”
Ken didn’t call the police and would in future, time his visits to coincide with Davy’s day off or holiday!

As I said Davy was a tough, good amateur boxer from Arbroath.
He and his fellow drinking buddies’ favourite past time was to goad the young marines that were stationed at the nearby Condor base into fights!
The young marines were very fit and strong but lacked the street fighting prowess and experience of the crazy locals.
Every weekend there was a major battle which would end up with several marines and locals ending up in hospital or jail! 

It got so bad that the base commander had to ban the soldiers from entering the town for their own safety!

Around May 1979 we were told that we were at last moving out of Burtons’ basement to our own Top Man store. 

The old Jackson’s shop in Union St. was being completely refurbed and we were to open in June! 

Jackson the tailors on Union St

This was all very exciting. A larger staff, a wider stock range and most importantly total autonomy from Burtons. (Mad Max, the John Cleese lookalike had recently been promoted to Area Manager!?!? Nepotism at it’s best!)

Firstly we had to pack up all our existing stock and a van was being sent to transport it around the corner to Union Street. 

I delegated each member of staff to be responsible for an area of stock. 

I showed them how to group 30 shirts, 20 pairs jeans or 15 jackets while still on their rail, to tie the hanger hooks together to make it easy to lift off and straight onto the van. However I soon regretted not checking Ross’ bundles!
The van arrived and we quickly started emptying the shop. Everything was going smoothly until we came to Ross’ area…..he hadn’t ensured that the hangers were all facing in the same direction before tying them together! Therefore all 20 of his bundles were effectively locked onto the rails!!
Davy was going to kill him! The van driver was getting very agitated as a traffic warden was on his case to move!
I advised Ross to quickly hide somewhere. 

Davy sent the van driver away and told him to come back in an hour and Rikki and I cut the ties on the bundles, straightened the hangers and retied them!

We worked hard for a week getting our new branch ready for the Grand Opening with an incentive that a mystery ‘celebrity’ would be turning up for the big occasion to do the honours.

5 star luxury at the Albany Hotel

Rikki and I were dispatched on the big day by taxi to The Albany Hotel to collect the celebrity who turned out to be the infamous Porn Star Fiona Richmond!

It was a well known ‘secret’ that my bosses, bosses, bosses, boss, the Burton Group CEO Ralph Halpern, was, ahem, a bit of a boy and was allegedly very close to Ms. Richmond in a non business capacity, so maybe Fiona’s presence wasn’t such a surprise after all!

On arrival at the swanky Albany Hotel we were shown up to Miss Richmond’s room, where she was very charming, regaling us with vivid tales from her colourful career and her current projects!

Unbelievably, Ms Richmond was currently treading the boards in the West End, starring in a stage adaptation of The Incredible Hulk.

In her saucy version of the Marvel classic however, when The Hulk, became angry and turned green it wasn’t his shirt that he broke out of and it wasn’t his massive biceps that were exposed!…..

I’m sure you can fill in the rest yourself!

Davy, Fiona & Mark…. through years of training Fiona always knew where the camera was!

Part 3 to follow next week……

Love and Marriage (A Tale of Two Cities)

Alan Fairley: Edinburgh, July 2021

In the summer of 1975, I was a football-loving, music-loving, teenager, staying at home with my parents in Westerton spending my weekends either playing football, following Partick Thistle or browsing through the album sleeves in Glasgow city centre record shops.

Armed with the wages I had garnered from my post-school job in banking I’d habitually visit Listen, Bruces or 23rd Precinct, searching for the  missing link in my burgeoning record collection…. the Holy Grail like recording of Eric Clapton on Tour with Delaney, Bonnie and friends.

Fast forward 12 months and I am a 20 year old married man living in Edinburgh with a wife, a house, a mortgage, a washing machine, a tumble dryer and a baby on the way.

My weekends were no longer spent kicking a ball, watching an under-achieving football team doing the same nor spending hours in darkened record stores looking for an album that no-one seemed to have heard of.
This was the quantum leap to beat them all as my weekend routine now revolved around trips to the supermarket, the untold  joys of assembling MFI flat-pack furniture and exciting new experiences such as paying electricity bills, wiring plugs to electrical appliances and arguing with neighbours as to whose turn it was to clean the common stair that week.

‘How did this happen?’ I hear you ask.
A question I’ve asked myself many times over the past 46 years.

As Bob Dylan once described in song, major life changes  can often occur due to a simple twist of fate.
My twist of fate happened during a lunchtime respite from the humdrum life of a bank clerk. One of my colleagues had noticed in the daily circulars that the company was offering an ‘exciting opportunity’ to work at a newly formed department in Edinburgh.
It was a temporary post…… twelve months in the unknown waters of the capital then back to civilisation which began at the Baillieston lights.
It’ll be great” he said, “we’ll get a flat” he said, “get pissed every night and pull loads of birds“, he said.
This rather fanciful notion of Utopia tipped the scales for me and we both duly applied for the advertised role, got accepted and began to prepare for life in the far east…. well, the east, any rate.

A few days before we were due to head along the M8 however, he phoned to tell me he was pulling out (oo-er matron). He’d met a girl. He was crazy about her and didn’t want to risk the relationship by moving 50 miles away.
Fair enough, I thought, but by this time I was hell bent on this new adventure even if it did mean flying solo.

Initially my time in Edinburgh was a life of grubby bedsits, takeaway meals and the odd snog-and-grope short term relationship, a million miles from the Utopian dream which I had bought into…then came the ‘Thunderbolt’.

Im sure most readers of this blog will have seen The Godfather and be aware of the effect the Thunderbolt had on Michael Corleone  when he first met his  wife -to-be, Apollonia whilst hiding from American justice in Sicily.
In Sicilian folklore, the Thunderbolt is described as ‘a powerful, almost dangerous longing in a man for a particular woman’.
I was hit by the Thunderbolt on my first day in Edinburgh when I saw Pamela walk across the office floor. For the next nine months I was tormented by a desire to ask her out but a lack of confidence held me back. 

When I did eventually mumble an invitation to suggest meeting for a drink outside work, she responded… ‘I thought you’d never ask!‘ 
Three short months later we were married and fortunately Pamela didn’t suffer the same fate as Apollonia who died shortly after her wedding to Michael in an exploding car following a revenge attack by enemies of the Corleone family.

We had been together for over 30 years when she sadly passed away, with a son, daughter and two lovely grand-daughters left behind.

Me?
As a result of that simple twist of fate, Im still in Edinburgh.
I did eventually kick-start my footballing career (see what I did there?) and played until I was 61.
I still occasionally find my way to Firhill like a homing pigeon.
I still listen to the same music I listened to in the mid-70s but…I still haven’t managed to get a copy of Eric Clapton on Tour with Delaney and Bonnie and Friends.

No matter what you achieve in life, there’s always something else to aim for.
Can anyone sell me a copy?

Alan playing Delaney & Bonnie & friends featuring Eric Clapton at a pub near you…..