Yeah, I’ll see my sons and my two little granddaughters and it’ll be nice to be back in Glasgow for a few days, but the thing I’m really excited out, sad I know, is my brother bursting through the door on Friday morning with a plate, no, a platter with my breakfast on it.
Let me try and describe what will be on the plate: fried egg, scrambled egg, link sausage, Scottish square sausage (a delicacy), fried bread, potato scones (like a potato cake), beans, black pudding, mushrooms, bacon (of course), toast – and anything else he can find in the fridge which can be fried! I’m sure I’ve missed a few things but whatever is on the plate, it’ll be scrumptious and just what I’ll need to soak up the previous evening’s alcohol intake.
The last time was a scream due to a visit to the hairdresser on the Saturday morning, although to call his local hair-cutting place a ‘hairdressers’ is like calling Glasgow a European city of culture – oh – I’ve forgotten – it was the European city of culture – in 1990! Anyway – here is what I wrote of that last visit if you missed it…….
I'm sitting here feeling like death warmed up. I'm in my brother's living room looking at the rain as it passes the window horizontally. The seagulls don’t have to flap their wings, the wind is doing all the work for them. If it was sunny maybe I'd feel a little better but the driving rain is just depressing me even more. No doubt Robert feels almost as bad as I do but he's not letting on - it's a macho thing I suppose.
I've had a drink and a cigarette to see if the old 'hair of the dog' concept works ....but it's not - so far! My wallet is completely empty, not even a penny piece in my pockets. I dread to think where the money went but I know that I visited an ATM yesterday afternoon and it's all gone. I didn't even have enough to pay for my haircut this morning, an experience which should have sobered me up but didn't. I just sat there and let the girl do what she liked. And looking in the mirror I think she did! Maybe she was hungover as well?
Two brains can't even work out what we should be doing today. We're just lying on our respective sofas watching sport on the telly. Not talking - just the occasional groan. We've decided to go for the obligatory Glasgow curry tonight but that's seven hours away - maybe I should just get my jacket on, brave the weather and try and find another ATM which is a bit difficult in this area of Glasgow as they disappear on stolen forklift trucks within days of being installed. Just ram the forklift into the wall, stick the forks under the machine and you're £10,000 richer. But it does cause a bit of damage - see picture.
Of course, a forklift truck meandering down the road at 2am with an ATM wobbling about on the forks is quite conspicuous but if I'd passed one last night I wouldn't have given it a second thought. It's one of those crimes where nobody really loses out. The bank gets the insurance to pay the 10 grand. The insurance company has probably placed the risk with another insurance company who places it with Lloyds of London who then split up the risk with maybe 50 companies who regard their loss of £200 as just the cost of another city lunch! No problem!
I still don’t feel better. The rain has stopped, the sun is out but for how long? My stomach is still churning trying to digest my brother's 10 item breakfast and Chelsea are winning - it's not a good day so far. My brain is struggling to work out what to write and as each word takes about 2 minutes to type I feel I should just stop........and die. Why do we do it?
Now, I couldn’t find my story of the trip to Robert’s local ‘hairdresser’ so I’ll just have to try and recall the visit.
It was the morning after the night before (if you know what I mean). At 2am I found my youngest son (Timmy) trying to throw me out of my bed saying it was his. I remember saying something in Anglo Saxon and he disappeared. At 8.30am I awoke with a start. I knew there was something important that morning – yes – a haircut, booked by my brother for 9am. I shook him awake and we showered and walked, no, staggered round the corner and got to the ‘salon’ just as it was opening.
‘Hello’, said the owner (a lady). ‘You muuusssst be Thomas. I’ve heard a lot about you. Now why don’t you sit in this biiiig leather armchair. Would you like a lemonade?’
‘Lemonade’, I thought. ‘Where’s the coffee I desperately need?’
‘And would you like a nice comic whilst you wait?’ she asked. I’ve got Superman and X-Men – which would you like?’
By now I was a bit confused but of course I was also still completely sozzled from the previous evening so I let it go.
The electric hair clippers appeared and the girl started cutting the hair on the back of my neck, but as the clippers reached the top of my head, she continued, straight over the top and down the front. My hair was coming off in clumps. All I could think of was Forest Gump’s haircut!
‘Hang on’, I said. ‘That’s a bit short.’
‘Not to worry. You sit there like a good boy and we’ll have you finished in no time. Now are you sure you don’t want a lemonade?’
‘I’m quite sure. What about a coffee?’
‘No – I’m sorry. Your brother says coffee makes you go a bit funny.’
By this time I'm almost bald, my brother comes over from his chair, his haircut finished and asks if I’m ok.
‘They’re a bit funny in here’, I said. ‘They’re treating me like a kid.’
Anyway, a few minutes later, I was released from the chair and I went to pay.
‘No need’, the owner said. ‘Your brother Robert has paid. He’s soooo kind to you isn’t he?’
As we left the salon, I turned to Robert and asked what the hell had been going on.
‘Oh – I told them you lived in an institution and that you had a mental age of seven and I was your weekend guardian.’
Just then, the owner came to the door of the salon, patted me on the head and said, ‘What a nice haircut. We’ll see you sooooon Thomas. What comic would you like me to get you for your next visit?’