A Happy New Year!

Yes, we had the Jubilee and the London Olympics but 2012 for me was memorable for family reasons – first Gail Knutt’s wedding at Easter Road in August, followed by Kevin and Nicola’s engagement. Workwise, it was quite a positive year too.

Disappointments in 2012? The Cup Final, obviously. And Jimmy Savile.

What will 2013 bring? Who knows, more Savile revelations probably and more economic misery – particularly for those on benefits as the welfare reforms kick in.

New Year resolutions? Only one – I’ve got to lose some weight. Just before Christmas I was weighing in at 16st and my target is to lose three stones in 2013 – around 1lb per week and less than 4lb per month, which sounds simple enough.

The diet starts when I have finished the assorted pies, pastries, biscuits, cakes, chocolate and crisps that I seem to have accumulated over the festive period – all the things I love.

This may not be as straightforward as I had envisaged … I’ll keep you posted!



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Serious flat fire, Leith, Edinburgh

Serious flat fire, Leith, Edinburgh.

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Firework Safety Campaign

Timely advice from Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service:

Firework Safety Campaign.

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It’s Time …

Take this opportunity to become a legend, lads … the chance to become a legend – a player whose name will be recited for as long as the club lives – won’t  come around too often!

Carpe Diem, boys – seize the haddock!

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Pre-match nerves

Just one more sleeps before the BIG ONE!

I took the time to share my in-depth knowledge of the game with James McPake and Lewis Stevenson at a recent event. These guys are decent players but they simply don’t have my depth of experience – Pleasance Trust Boys Club, Edinburgh Thistle then Calder Vale in the glorious ‘league of death’ that was the blood and snotters Maybury Sunday amateurs!

Hampden’s okay, but it’s hardly the Gyle, Inverleith or Saughton – and who could forget the icy blasts of Seafield? These young guys have got it far too easy, as I pointed out  at great length. No frostbite, freezing showers and no cloying dogshite to be scraped off the legs for hours after the game …

Both players sat silently with their eyes closed, only slightly shaking their heads occasionally – I think they were just so grateful to hear my experiences that they didn’t even feel the need to speak – obviously just content to listen, hang on to every word of wisdom and learn from a true master of the ‘taebash blooter’ …

We’ll see just how effective my wee pep-talk has been on Saturday – Hearts beware! What can possibly go wrong now?

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Fry up …

In Edinburgh, that is!  (great use of words there, eh?)

Captured the great man (not literally, you understand) outside Leslies Bar in Causewayside last night. He’s filming an Ian Rankin novel, apparently.

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Cup Final Rehearsal

Really looking forward to Hibs v Dunfermline tonight – honestly!

This is a real Cup Final rehearsal for Hibs – players playing not only for SPL survival but a starting place at Hampden too. I think Hibs may well run riot tonight – probably winning 1-0!

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King-sized challenge

I stopped smoking on Easter Sunday and so far, so good.

Still miss the old fags, though; as the poet said: ‘a day without Regal is a day without sunshine’.

I’m working my way through the nicotine replacement patch programme, and I’m bolstering this with having a snack any time I feel the need for a cigarette. So far I’m down to twenty bags of Golden Wonder a day … !

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Marathon not a sprint

Back from London – very pleased with my perfromance. Think I might have beaten the Olympic qualifying time if I hadn’t stopped for a pie and a pint near Cutty Sark …

That’s me (above) …

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My perfect Cup Final

By Johnnie Smithers (9)

We had to set off really early in the morning. We got a big bus that had a lot of Hibs supporters on it.

Some of the men were drinking cans of beer and they started singing songs about Paul Hartley. The bus driver said he would stop the bus if they didn’t behave.

The road was very busy and we had to stop sometimes for the men to stand against the side of the bus. I was sick once but one man was sick lots of times.

When we got to Glasgow the police smiled and waved us on. They were very cheery and happy – I think they really enjoyed having visitors from Edinburgh. When I grow up I think I’d like to be a Glasgow policeman.

When we got near Hampden it was very exciting – all the Hearts and Hibs fans joined arms and we walked up the middle of the road singing songs together and then we had a singing competition. The Hearts fans were singing songs of a sectarian nature while we sang songs about substandard housing conditions in Gorgie, Mr Romanov’s sexual proclivities and another chap called Wallace Mercer. I don’t know who he is but everyone seemed to like singing about him so he must have been very popular – according to the song, ‘he’s deid’ so I don’t think I’ll ever get the chance to meet him.

The Glasgow people seemed to take us to their hearts – they lined the pavements as we made our way towards the football stadium, cheering and wishing us good luck. Some ladies handed out ‘ginger’ and sweeties to us children while our fathers were given drinks of ‘Bucko’ – I think it was that – and pies. Another man was handing out wee wraps of paper but the police took him away.

When we got to the football ground we had time for a reasonably priced snack in the stadium and settled down to enjoy the football. I was sitting next to a Hearts supporter called Charles and he and I became firm friends. He didn’t smell at all and we shared our fruit pastilles – we shook hands and we both said: ‘Good luck, and may the best team win!’

The football game was very exciting. I missed the end because the man who kept being sick on the bus was sitting in front of me and the stewards took him away because he was trying to do a wee wee on the seat in front. The lady who was sitting there was jolly indignant! He missed the end of the game too.

I think the game was a draw and the teams agreed that, because it had been such a splendid game, they would share the Cup.

Everyone went home happy and we were back home in time for tea. The man who tried to do the toilet on the ladies’ seat had to stay in Glasgow – I’ll bet he didn’t get spaghetti hoops and chips for tea!


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