gibberish


My Mum. The hero.

Gorman Family 2.jpg

My Mum is a quiet hero.

She won’t read this unless one of her more connected pals (or me) print it off for her.

But.  She is.  A hero.

I’m inclined to call her a heroine but I think that word may be becoming old school; like actress.  Most actresses prefer the moniker, actor, these days and I think that’s fitting for my mum to extend the convention.

So.  She’s a hero.

Some 30 years or so ago she started working at a homeless refuge called The Matt Talbot Association in Leith, in a building, an old church, that, I think, was called the Calton Centre, owing to its view of Calton Hill perhaps.

In any case, a homeless refuge, where men and women could drop in from the streets and share a cup of soup, some sandwiches and a little TLC.

It was unfunded.  So she took it upon herself to establish an annual wine and cheese party at Holy Cross Church Hall where the good people of the parish lavishly invested in the opportunity to win in an evening of booze fuelled raffles (entirely inappropriate given that many of the beneficiaries were alcoholics.)

Apart from the odd chocolates every single prize ever was bevvy.

We also had an indescribably indescribable Tombola where, if you were lucky, you might win a scented candle or a Big Slipper or a salt sellar or a moon bear purse or a ill-conceived picture frame containing a poorly worded aphorism.

One year my great friend, Mike Donoghue, came along at the end of the evening with a pal, a little refreshed, and proceeded to win a TV.

The star prize.

Two minutes through the door, ten pounds lighter of wallet, but a winner.

His embarrasement was tangible and he immediately put it back to re-raffle.

I’d have kept it.

You pays your money, you take your chances.

Anyway, the event  was an immediate hit and she and my dad persevered as we, gradually coming of age, as her children and in-law children, became her supporting cast.  My Dad: impresario in chief, and a born showman took centre stage and MC’ed the evenings to great effect.

Year after year the events raised between £1,000 and £3,000. but the day came, some 20 -25 years later, when the Talbot Association ran its course and that more or less coincided with my father also moving on to an observational, rather than participatory, role from the great parish of St Peters in the sky.

But this was meant, I think, because my Dad left this mortal coil at the venerable St Columba’s Hospice and, with the timing so appropriate, we shifted our new found energies to raising the evening’s funds for St Columba’s.

However, in March this year we decided the event, in round about its 30th year, had perhaps run its course.  My Mum had made, perhaps, £50,000 for The Talbot Association and had, in one fell swoop, funded its requirements year in, year out for the best part of a quarter of a century.

St Columba’s, being more organised, was able to confirm that in the seven latter years that they had become the beneficiary, had banked a few pounds short of £20,000.

My mum doesn’t go for bigging herself up, but, as she approaches her 80th birthday, and having finally taken a rest, I think she deserves a wee tip of the hat in acknowledgement of her determined achievements.

And I also think the generosity of the parish of Holy Cross should not go unacknowledged.

Of course, she has not achieved this alone.  Many people have been part of her team; Vic, Dougie, Gerry, Arthur, Annie, Robert, Chris, Angelo and more, many more.

Well done Mum.

 



2010. In hindsight.

Not a bad vintage actually.

Work wise I was run off my feet once again and almost literally in December which proved to be extraordinarily challenging due to the shitness of the weather and the fact that I was researching all over the country.  It was a real struggle, very stressful indeed.

Some great clients which include STV, Ampersand, Corporation Pop, 60 Watt, nmp and LA Media from last year.  But added a few too including Gill’s Cruise Centre, Paligap, and The Usability Lab.

My golf stank pretty much from start to finish and I had a poor Arran and a poor St Andrews.  However one highlight was an Eagle 3 on the par 5 second in the club championships first round.  I won that but went out in round two.  However Forty years of failing to Eagle were finally over. (Tom got about 6 last year alone).

Musically it was a big return to form after very poor shows in both 2008 and 2009.

I’ve already posted my tracks of the year elsewhere which will give you an idea of my top ten albums, but for the record, these are they…

I’m New Here by Gil Scott Heron

Band of Joy by Robert Plant

The Courage of Others by Midlake

Queen of Denmark by John Grant

The Suburbs by The Arcade Fire

Sky at Night by I am Kloot

Elektonische Music Experiment – German Rock and Electronic Music 1972 – 1983

Write About Love by Belle and Sebastian

The Lady Killer by Cee Lo Green

Seasons of my Soul by Rumer

My blog had a record year, just, with 340,000 hits, up 45,000 on last year and beating 2008 by only 1,000.  As a result I hit the million mark last week and raised over £1,000 for St Columba’s Hospice in the process.  Thanks to all who contributed.

I did two music quizzes (one in Edinburgh and one in Manchester) for NABS and these raised £3,500

The Hibees were a farce from year start to end and our Scottish cup hopes look less plausible than for a very long time.  Looks like we’ll be going at least 110 years before winning it again.

Theatre again played a big part in my year.

My role as a director of The Lyceum developed and I thought Mark Thomson had a vintage year.  Every show was a hit in some form or other and the highlights for me were The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Confessions of a Justified Sinner, The Price and The Importance of Being Earnest.

FCT had another good year, my first at the helm and I’d like to thank the fab committee for their support.  Two great shows in Just So and Guys and Dolls and another ENDA award.  Annie’s next but no decision yet on the festival.  Our away day in October was deemed a great success.

Amy started at Uni and is working hard as she has done all year at Dakota.  She bought a virtually new car herself ( a Toyota Yaris) and I was really proud of her for being so focussed to be able to do this.  Ria is working hard at school and did really well in her standard grades.  Tom isn’t and didn’t.

Tom’s golf continued to improve and his handicap went from 11 to 7.

Sadly Jeana’s blossoming work at Suntrap came to an end when the funding was pulled.  She was devastated and I suspect still is.

We holidayed in California and it was a tram smash of a holiday from start to finish, summed up by this video…

http://www.youtube.com/v/E5lc8c9EsXg?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1

In books I didn’t read much.  I am enjoying Freedom by Jonathon Franzen but the best of the year was the Red Riding Quadrilogy by David Peace.

fantastic series of horrific police brutality .

And my movie of the year? Well, I saw over 20 movies at the flicks this year and a lot of real quality.  But I plump for The Social Network.  A Prophet was great as was Monsters and The Road, but David Fincher surpassed himself with an amazing script by Aoron Sorkin.

TV show of the year? No Question. Mad Men (we’re playing catch up and only nearing end of season two but it’s fabulous).

In reality TV The Apprentice continues to kick ass.

Digital gizmo of the year?  My iPad… but also my Canon 450 D.  An up and down year on the camera front but happy with my lot and looking for a Canon 5D Mk 1 and a new 28mm prime lens to move on a level in 2011.

Idiot of the Year?  Won hands down by Nick Clegg.  Only cos he sold his soul to the devil.  But he was run close by those fools that lead our government.  You know who they are.  Tony Blair continued to make a right fucking dick of himself and the legacy of Kenny Macaskill is not away yet with Magrahi in the rudest of health.

Sadly I lost a number of friends during the year; Myles, Kathy and Jim, I’ll miss you all.  God bless and love to all of your families.

Wife of the year? Jeana Gorman. 21st year running.  How can she bear it?

Put it this way. I couldn’t live with me. Still.

And so to 2011.

My hopes?

Hibees win the Scottish Cup.  (That’s just stupid.  Ed.)

Tom gets down to a 4 handicap.

I win something, anything, at Golf.

The kids do well at school and uni.

I am healthy throughout. (And lose rather a lot of weight.)

Both Cath and Jean stay healthy too

The credit crunch doesn’t get worse again.



Good old Simon Shakeshaft; MD of The Usability Lab
December 30, 2010, 12:15 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

He’s a charming chap and a great client.  What’s more he has donated his £100 prize money for Pego’s millions and as a result my fundraising has beaten its target of £1,000 to St Columba’s Hospice where my dad died.  It is a truly wonderful place and hopefully this will go some way to helping with their  ongoing work.

If you would like to gild the lily with any further donations follow this link.



And so the winner of the pego’s millions is…
December 29, 2010, 10:24 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

… Simon Shakeshaft.

Who went long and won by a considerable margin.

However, I am pleased to say I am finally a blogging, bitching, moaning, grumping, halumphing millionaire.

And, more importantly, St Columba’s Hospice is £902 richer and Simon Shakeshaft is £100 and a bottle of bubbly richer.



6,500 hits to go! Before Pego’s millionth user wins £100
December 16, 2010, 7:05 pm
Filed under: advertising, dad, family | Tags: , , , , ,

Come on, have a go.

Only a tenner and you can win £100 and a bottle of bubbly.  All proceeds to St Columbas Hospice.

I only need a few more to crawl over the £1,000 target line.

We’re looking at about 23rd December now I’d say.

Enter here.



Pego’s millions

Oh dear sweet Jesus we've still got 22,000 hits to endure...

You might notice that as the millionth hit approaches (as it surely will) I’ve moved my blog stats up to a more convenient position for the viewing public.

In fact, if you look left right now, you’ll be able to see exactly what the state of the nation is as you read.

In real time.

Things have slowed a touch though I must admit.

Maybe I’ve not been trying hard enough, but I have to say the £850 you’ve invested so far makes me very happy (and I’m sure the people at the hospice are cheezin’ too).  Well, some of them.

I have to say, we cheezed a lot when we were there as a family. Because death sometimes brings out the funniest things.

So, I’d like to recount a blog post from right at the start of Gibberish.  It was a conversation I overheard between my Dad’s brother (Uncle Christopher) and my Mum.

And it went something like this…

“If I had some eggs, we could have ham and eggs; if I had some ham.” my Uncle Christopher declared this afternoon.

Wise words.

But my mother violently disagreed with this because she retorted…

“If we had some eggs we could have eggs and ham; if we had some ham.”

Not sure about that.

In fact it’s total bollocks – because what she really meant to say, and did, was…

“If we had ham, we could have ham and eggs; if we had eggs.”

You know what…

…I don’t give a monkey’s uncle!

This was my favourite memory of the seven or so very intense days we spent at St Columba’s.

I’m sure everyone is the same, in that in the face of death they find some moments of humour.

Well, I hope so.

If you’ve lost someone to cancer or had a truly life affirming (even in the face of death) experience at this or any other hospice maybe you’ll pledge a tenner.

Who knows, you might even win a £100. 

Here’s where you enter.



Pego’s millions. The end of the first week

Thank you to everyone who has donated to Pego’s Millions.  After only a week you have donated a whopping £766 to St Columba’s Hospice. (My target is £1,000 but originally it was £500 so let’s see if we can power our way through that milestone this week).

The good news is that my site stats only grew by 5% last week so there’s still probably (at this rate) about 37 days until my millionth hit which remains at or around 21st December.

So, if you want another guess (and remember it’s all going to a good cause) plus the chance to win £100 and a bottle of Tesco’s finest bubbly you’re more than welcome to have another go.

Just visit this site and it’ll work it all out for you.  (Actually it won’t, you’ll need your wits about you but if you become unstuck just send me an email with your guess or stick it into the comments box on this post.)

It’s £10 a pop and all you have to do is estimate at what time and on what date markgorman.wordpress.com will register its millionth hit.

Imagine the excitement as the deadline approaches.

It’ll be just like that scene in The Soccial Network, for those of you that have seen it.