Friday, January 30, 2009

Dear *Insert Your Name Here*

Wow, I really don’t write much on this blog anymore, do I? When I joked last time about my “regular bi-monthly updates”, I didn’t think that would actually turn out to be true. And sure, I promised to give a full account of the Soup Tins Alphabetisation project but honestly, I haven’t had time to complete it yet so for all I know the kitchen cupboard could be full of tins with labels pointing the wrong way and Tomato sitting TO THE LEFT of Lentil and.. and.. and.. f#ck.. chest.. pain.. need.. paper.. bag.. blow.. in..

Sorry about that... little ‘episode’ there... I know, I know… you’re sitting shaking your head and wondering what the hell I was thinking leaving such a crucial assignment unattended and incomplete and don’t I know that’s a visit to the emergency room waiting to happen? I’m all better now after strapping on the oxygen mask and visiting the kitchen to sort things out. Rest assured the Tomato/Lentil carnage has been rectified. But don’t get me started on the trouble I had with the Ham & Pea.

Anyway, to either of my readers who think I’ve just been idle these past four weeks let me say this in the strongest and most unequivocal terms I can muster… I have not been idle these past four weeks. In fact I have done more writing elsewhere these past four weeks than I have here for the past four months. In case you missed it – or haven’t yet received an annoying email from me begging for money – I’ve been writing on a new blog called

to document my experience of training for the Flora London Marathon in April this year. Go on, check it out, there’s tons of stuff there. But that, plus the actual training, is going to be keeping me quite busy for the next three months.

However, here’s a little idea that might get me writing here more often if I get some help from you. Not you, Wendi in TX, who’s idea this really is, but you, the other reader who’s probably here today thinking, “Right, I’m gonna give him one more chance but if he hasn’t provided that soup tins update, I’m off to find someone who blogs about their cat.”

Wendi got in touch with me recently asking, “How come that foppish Dave gets all your attention and you never start one of your posts ‘Dear Wendi’? If you ever do, then I’ll totally dump my Scouser boyfriend and fly out to Scotland in a heartbeat to visit you, despite these challenging economic times and the hassle of making emergency childcare arrangements.” Those might not have been her exact words but I was reading between, behind and underneath the lines so I knew what she really meant.

I often find it much easier to write here if I think of it as writing a letter to someone specific – as I do for Dave now and again – rather than just launching into a generic “you’ll never guess what my cat did this week” or “I’m so angry / happy / frustrated / glad / outraged about the whole Gaza situation - such a great footballer in the 90s” or “why oh why won’t women turn into pizzas after sex?”

So if you’d like me to ‘write you a letter’ just drop me a line or a comment to let me know (along with your name and at least a couple of details about yourself if we’ve never met) and we’ll see what we can come up with. I’m not promising a fast turnaround (because that always makes me dizzy) but with any luck the result will hopefully be a little bit me, a little bit you… as The Monkees would say.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The One With The London Marathon

Regular readers of this website may remember that last year, my youngest siblings – adorable twinnies Rona & Keith – ran the London and Chicago marathons respectively to raise money for Autism research (Rona’s beautiful wee son Tommy, pictured right, was diagnosed as autistic in 2007) and in doing so, selfishly left me as the only Sutherland child not to have achieved such a feat; my other brother Stuart ran the Glasgow marathon in the 1980s in some ridiculous time of an hour and a half. Or something.

Incredibly, and much to my eternal surprise, their efforts have inspired me to get off the couch, quit smoking, join a gym, give up drinking and do my bit to regain my rightful place as Sutherland ‘golden child’… um.. I mean help the National Autistic Society (NAS) who’ve been a wonderful source of support and guidance to Rona and her husband Al since Tommy’s diagnosis. Accordingly, I have started “training” and will be “running” the London Marathon on April 26th this year after securing a place in support of the NAS.

To give me support on the day Rona will also be running once again (she knows the route and the short cuts) and together we’ve pledged to raise as much money as we can for this fantastic charity.

I’m getting some corporate sponsorship from my company and I’m hoping to organise a big fundraising gig with The Signals during March but every donation counts, no matter how big or small. So before I start annoying you with emails later in the week (and you know that I will), why not get in early and sponsor me online now at…

Any support you can offer will be very much appreciated. If you are an available, supple, unrelated female, let’s talk about how my personal appreciation may manifest itself. The larger your donation… ;)

In return for your anticipated kindness and generosity, I have a little gift for you in the form of a BRAND NEW BLOG, in case you’d like to keep up with how my “training” is going. The site itself is still undergoing a little “construction” work (check out the complete dogs breakfast I made of the header) but the powers-that-be at neilwritestheworld want to press ahead with the launch so you can now find it open for business at…

Rest assured, I will still be maintaining my regular bi-monthly updates of this site so you’ll not miss a single solitary second of the action when I perform my annual alphabetisation of soup tins in the kitchen cupboard at the end of January, followed by my top ten list of 2008 naps which will be unveiled around the time of the Oscars in February. A full-on schedule, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Thank you for reading this far down and have a great week.

Neil x

Friday, January 09, 2009

Something For The Weekend 47

Dear Dave,

Happy New Year!

How are you mate? Gettin’ a bit chirpy and excitable at the prospect of seein’ me in the pub next Friday and givin’ me that New Year.. um.. ‘handshake’? Yeah, me too. It’s been a funny old start to the year in as much as I seem to be in a fairly good mood most of the time – compared to last January’s bitchin’ and moanin’ – but I guess we’ll see how long that lasts once our company is taken over and we all get thrown into the Don’t-Bother-Writin’-A-CV Death Cage and have to do some ultimate fightin’ to see who gets whatever jobs are left over. I’ve bought a new leotard in preparation. A nice purple one.

Culture-wise, I don’t have much to direct your attention to this weekend as I’m currently embroiled in two projects (three if you count the ice-cream eatin’; actually, four if you count my ongoin’ search for all the ‘g’s I seem to be droppin’) which are takin’ up a lot of my time. I’ll tell you more about one of them if you pass this way again on Monday because I’m going (hey, found ‘em!) to be doing a lot of work on it this weekend. Can’t say too much just now other than it involves a brand new blog (in addition to, not instead of, this one – let’s see how long THAT lasts) as well as multiple opportunities to see me in the absolute minimum of clothing… a bit like that heavenly week we spent in Myrtle Beach… but without all the face-stroking. Please?

The second project is music-related but surprisingly, is nothing to do with The Signals, Falkirk’s greatest ever pub rock ‘n roll band.

[Breaking News… STOP… The Signals to play Behind The Wall, Melville Street, Falkirk… STOP… Friday February 27th… STOP… Don’t miss it… STOP… More details to follow… STOP… OUT]

Before I joined The Signals in *cough* 1983, I was honoured to play a small role in the entourage of excess that was the AHB (Allan Hendry Band). We churned out a dozen or so albums in the heady, decadent 1980s, most of which are currently being digitally ‘re-mastered’, and last weekend we had a small reunion and demo session in preparation for our 2009 comeback crusade. If you’d like to view a short video showing what middle-aged men – armed with only a musical dream and access to a dressing-up box – get up to on a Saturday afternoon, please click on all these nice red words that are underlined and then scroll down a bit. You won’t be disappointed.

So that’s all from me just now Dave. Have a very pleasant weekend and looking forward to catching up with you next week.

Cheers, Edge