The Ice Bucket Challenge

Well folks, I’ve done my Ice Bucket Challenge as nominated by a couple of friends… and let me say this, it was refreshingly invigorating. And damn cold!

And now for my view on what’s been reported in the press and all over the nasty world of social networking…

The origin of the ice bucket challenge is unclear but one place that it gained a big focus was players on a golf tour started challenging each other. Then one player dedicated his challenge to his cousin’s husband who’d had ALS. That player is pretty much credited with focusing the challenge on ALS research.

Last weekend in some of the UK press, MacMillan Cancer Support were pretty much accused of hijacking and stealing the Ice Bucket Challenge from the ALS Society. That in my opinion was an unfair accusation because at no point has the ALS Society claimed that they started the challenge and they need to make that very clear. They don’t own the challenge!

Personally, I think it’s up to each individual taking the challenge as to which charity they want to donate their money too. Me, well I donated to both the ALS Society and MacMillan Cancer Support. My wife donated to the Help For Heroes Military Charity.

All I can say to what I’m going to mention next is “really?”

People are complaining about the use and waste of water by those of us doing this challenge given that some Third World countries have no such water to waste. Yeah, check the social networks, you’ll see them.

Now, before I end up with a barrage of abuse, I sympathise with those poor unfortunate people of those countries that don’t have the basic amenities that we do in the UK or USA. Which is why I’m a big supporter of Sport Relief and Comic Relief which raise millions of pounds to help provide simple things that the people in power in those countries refuse to. That’s because the people in power in those countries would rather spent millions on guns and bombs and fancy houses and palaces and gold plated Mercedes cars and bling bling jewellery etc, rather than look after their own people.

So those of you who know nothing about the people you are slating for doing the ice bucket challenge need to stop judging us. You have no right to do so because like me, the rest of the ice bucketeers might be giving their support to the ‘waterless’ countries in other ways. All I ask is, are you donating to Water Aid like you suggest we do?

The Shane Henderson Diary Series ~ The Soundtrack

Ever since I began work on the Shane Henderson Diary Series in 2011 (yes, it was that long ago), several songs have inspired the story for different reasons. So much so that they’ve sort of become the soundtrack to the series.

I’m not going to give a list of reasons as to why each song features, you’ll just need to buy the first book – Offside!: Not Everyone Plays By The Rules and the upcoming second book in the series and see where the songs fit in the story.

 

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David Bowie ~ Absolute Beginners

Journey ~ Don’t Stop Believing

Bruno Mars – Grenade

Bryan Adams ~ Run To You

Dario G ~ Carnaval de Paris

Christina Perri ~ Jar of Hearts

Jason Aldean ft. Kelly Clarkson – Don’t You Wanna Stay

The Script ~ Hall of Fame ft. will i am

DJ Sammy ~ Heaven

© Jamie Tucker Dougan 2014

Offline!

For a few reasons, I’m going offline for a while.

I’m deactivating all my public social media and using my personal time to concentrate on other things, like finishing my second novel and writing more posts on this blog.

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I’ll reactivate when silly season is over.

JTD

Come On In

I have to admit, I was mostly impressed with the opening ceremony for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. It was done in a very “tongue-in-cheek” poke fun at ourselves kind of way. But it also showed the world what Scotland has given it and made me feel damn proud to be Scottish!

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Some of it was a bit cheesy – dancing Tunnock’s Tea Cakes?

There was also some cringe worthy moments – Susan Boyle fluffing the words to Mull of Kintyre, The top not coming off the baton.

The opening ceremony was never going to beat that of the London Olympics two tears ago, simply didn’t have the same budget. But what we got was impressive. It was colourful, musical and a joy to watch. I loved the Red Arrows flypast and was impressed by the 100ft long screen that filled one side of the stadium. And even the Queen looked happier than she did at the opening of London 2012.

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It was also emotional, seeing what Scotland has given the world and listening to the pipes and drums playing. As always when I hear bagpipes, I had to choke back a tear or two.

One part of the show was themed on a welcome you’ll get not just in Glasgow but around the whole country. It was “come on in, have a seat”. Last night, Glasgow invited the world to come on in!

Welcome to Scotland

Today, and for the next 12 days, the sporting world will fix their attention on Scotland and the 20th Commonwealth Games.

Over a billion people in more than 50 countries will be watching the different events being held in our biggest city, Glasgow – although the diving is being held in Edinburgh.

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This is not the first time in my lifetime that the Commonwealth Games have been held in Scotland. They were held in Edinburgh in 1970 and again in 1986. I was too young to remember 1970. And the only thing I remember about the 1986 games was our own Liz McColgan  winning gold for Scotland in the 10,000 meters race. What I don’t remember is something that has played a big part in the build up to these games – the Queen’s Baton Relay.

Similar to the Olympic Torch Relay for London 2012, the Queen’s Baton – which carries a message to the Commonwealth and will be read at the opening ceremony – travelled it’s way around the Commonwealth. Unlike the Olympic Torch, the Queen’s Baton Relay was more of a community event for the towns and villages it passed through. Events were organised to coincide with the baton passing through a community.

My hometown was one of the lucky communities to have the baton pass through and events to celebrate it. And I feel quite privileged and proud to have seen the baton and be part of the legacy that will be the Glasgow games. It’s something that I probably won’t see again in my lifetime.

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I’m sure that the Glasgow games will create just as much excitement and be every bit as successful as the London Olympics in 2012. I just hope that the event is hijacked by the “Yes/Naw” campaigners and turned into some stupid political stunt before the forthcoming Scottish Independence Referendum. There’s no place in sport for politics.

So, we welcome the world to Scotland. We hope you enjoy the Games.

Tucker Meets… Alice Walsh

With it being Independence Day today in the USA, it seems appropriate that my guest is an American and someone new to my blog… author Alice Walsh.

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Born and raised in the United States, Alice worked as a freelance writer and journalist for a number of local and national media outlets in her early 20’s.

In the autumn of 2013, she moved to Edinburgh where she began work on her debut novel A Poker Game of Love while pursuing a degree in Journalism at Edinburgh University.

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In her spare time, she continued writing for online publications.

A Poker Game of Love, released in February 2014, has been compared to the witty and cynical “Bitter is the New Black” with its description of “real life out as opposed to the fluffy stuff we’re used to” and the “disturbing, observations about the relationship between the sexes” Reactions have been mixed with some readers finding it particularly difficult to relate to such unlikeable characters, but one thing everyone agree on – their struggles, disappointments and frustration are palpable throughout the book with Walsh’s “fascinating plunge into the depths of her very shallow and well-drawn characters is fascinating,”

Alice currently divides her time between writing and social networking. She is still very much dedicated to getting to know Edinburgh’s culture scene.

 

Thanks for joining me today Alice. Let’s get started…

Q ~ First thing you wash in the shower/bath?

The stress from the day.

Q ~ Do you bite into your ice cream or just lick it?

I just eat it; who has the time these days…

Q ~ Do you like your hair?

Yes, when it doesn’t get in my way.

Q ~ Have you ever met a celebrity?

I suppose I could have. Then again I doubt a more absent-minded person than me ever lived, so I wouldn’t have recognized Eva Green if we bumped into a taxidermy shop in Paris.

Q ~ Can you use chop sticks?

Depends on my mood, but usually I’m pretty crafty.

Q ~ Ever walked into a wall?

On more than one occasion.

Q ~ Have you ever slapped someone?

Only with a sheep on Facebook. Or was that ‘thrown at someone’. I’m confused.

Q ~ What is your favourite animal?

A raven.

Q ~ Can you put a Fruit Pastel in your mouth without chewing it?

I really don’t like those. I have a thing for the fruit-flavoured Mentos though.

Q ~ Do you sleep with the TV on?

No, I need my silence.

Q ~ Could you ever forgive a cheater?

I used to think I couldn’t. Funny thing life is.

Q ~ What was the last CD you bought?

RHCP’s ‘Californication’.

Q ~ Do you have any tattoos?

Q ~ What was your favourite toy from childhood that you’d gladly still play with now?

A furby.

Q ~ How many countries have you visited and can you name them all?

Russia, USA and the UK

 

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Now for something a little different. Come in outside and we’ll take a drive in my DeLorean, go back in time and see how things were when you were 21and 30.

At 21

Your home was… hostile

Your job was… boring

Your partner was… difficult

Your dream was… to get away

 

At 30

Your home was… to be continued

Your job was… to be continued

Your partner was… to be continued

Your dream was… to be continued

 

Thanks for that Alice; it’s been a pleasure having you on my blog.

You can get a copy of A Poker Game of Love on Amazon

And you can catch Alice at…

Facebook

Twitter

… and her blog!

 

Anniversary Blog

Today marks the one year anniversary of this blog. I have been blogging a lot longer but not under my own dot com URL.

So to celebrate this little anniversary, I thought I’d do one of my “Tucker Meets…” posts. And who better than to feature in that post the yours truly.

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So here my answers to questions I’ve asked others over the years on this and other blogs…

 

Back to the Future – If given the chance, what would you go back and change, if anything, in your life?

I’ve always said that I regret not joining the RAF when I had the chance. But when I honestly think about it, I really don’t. If I had done, then I probably wouldn’t have met Maz and I wouldn’t have my boys. What I would change though are the subjects I took at school. I’d avoid Biology all together and take cooking like I initially wanted to.

Putting your feet up – Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?

Sitting here with a laptop on my knee lol. Seriously though, I don’t plan that far in advance and I don’t live beyond today. I take each day as it comes.

Big Brother or I’m a Celebrity… – Which of the reality TV shows would you like to appear on and why?

Definitely I’m a Celebrity. Bugs and creepy crawlies don’t bother me. Spider webs do but I just go all ninja when I encounter one of them. I’d just love the whole adventure of it all

Soggy Veg – Who would you gladly slap around the head with a wet lettuce?

How long have you got?

First thing you wash in the shower/bath?

My face and head

Do you bite into your ice cream or just lick it?

Lick it!

Do you like your hair?

What hair?

Have you ever met a celebrity?

A few… Sean Connery when I was a wee boy. Caron Keating in my teens. Quite a few footballers and managers from various teams. I used to work with the brother of former Coronation Street star Gray O’Brian, so met him a few times. Met Gregor Fisher (Rab C Nesbitt), Glen Michael, Carol Smillie and former MP George Foulkes all through work. They were all celebrity customers.

Can you use chop sticks?

Nope.

Ever walked into a wall?

No but I have clattered a few doors face first.

Have you ever slapped someone (not with a wet lettuce)?

Yup, some not hard enough!

What is your favourite animal?

Well I would have said cat normally having had a bit of a fear of dogs. But we have had a dog for over 13 years now and couldn’t ask for a better pet than Gypsy. We have a cat too.

Can you put a Fruit Pastel in your mouth without chewing it?

It’s meant to be chewed, not sooked!

Do you sleep with the TV on?

Well I often nod off in front of the telly but we don’t have a TV in our bedroom, so that would be no.

What was your favourite toy from childhood that you’d gladly still play with now?

Lego. It’s great having two boys that love Lego just as much as their dad!

How many countries have you visited and can you name them all?

England, Ireland, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, former Yugoslavia, Majorca and Tenerife (both Spanish Islands) and the USA.

Back to the Future time now in the DeLorean…

At 21

Your home was… Living with parents in New Cumnock

Your job was… Parts Advisor in a Volvo dealership

Your partner was… I was young, free and single

Your dream was… To have a bit of a wild time and a break from “normal” Tucker, which I did for the following 15 months.

At 30

Your home was… Semi-detached house in Cumnock

Your job was… Same as when I was 21

Your partner was… Maz, my wife.

Your dream was… I guess then it was to be head of my department at work, which I achieved two years later.

At 40

Your home was… That same semi in Cumnock. And it still is today.

Your job was… Group Warranty Manager for multi-franchise car dealership

Your partner was… and still is Maz. We’ve been together as a couple for 23 years, 18 of them as husband and wife. She’s my rock.

Your dream was… To get away from the job I was in (I did leave that job that year) and also to be the best dad that I could be to our wee boy. We now have two wee boys and that dream stays the same.

So there you have it, my answers to my own random questions.

Some might think my dream would have been to publish something I’d written. Nope, it was never my dream to do that. My dream when I was a boy was to be a footballer. I never achieved that, well not professionally or at amateur level. That dream is now lived through a fictional character I created. He’s called Shane Henderson and you can read the first part in his diary series on Amazon.

Offside! Cover 2

Finally, thanks to all those who take time to read what I write and what my guests write. It’s all appreciated!

JTD