Poetic licence.  Yes, I know that it’s not Friday, 20th January but I had already set up the file and, technically, that means I am still within the week …  I’ve had a bit of a mental block these past few days, though, procrastinating all the while and ignoring the daily list in my head, seemingly unable to shake myself out of it.  Meanwhile, the draw of an episode of Murder, She Wrote has been far more inviting!  Escapism, who doesn’t need a bit of that when it’s freezing outside – and in – and the blanket of foreboding seems increasingly encompassing on days when the light struggles to part the darkness?  Wow!  Sounds bad.  It’s certainly not good, particularly when I have become an addict to the news.  When did that happen?  2020, when the alarm bells started to ring and one needed all one’s wits about one to avoid being pulled under, indoctrinated by fear; brainwashed into compliance.  Covid lives on.  The aftermath, significant, in a world at war on every level.  Woke is the new weapon of the radical left; the grievance-driven who seek to eradicate all that is tradition and the history on which these very traditions were borne.  Why?  To de-stabilise and, ultimately, drive everyone down to the lowest common denominator …  Welcome to hell!

Missed me?!  Probably best that I haven’t, yet, taken to my microphone … or, at least, worked out how to edit and upload.  Welcome to 2023, though, and the dulcet tones of Trish-Trash.  Suffer from insomnia?  Perhaps, best to avoid.  Talking of dulcet tones, however, how to deal with the news that Ken Bruce the Ken Bruce – is leaving Radio 2 in March?  Was I the kiss of death?  The bemoaning of his holidays and my subsequent abhorrence at the likes of anyone by the name of D J Spoony commanding two and a half hours of my morning?!  Digging deep for the required strength and courage to endure his recent absence over Christmas, a miserable January was buoyed by his return – and now this!  The cruelty of the blow and who – who – would swallow the insulting explanation for his departure?  He’s seventy-one years old, for goodness sake, and one is to believe that he wanted a change requiring of an increase to his daily working hours?  Sure!  Glaringly obvious that the woke BBC has dumped him on the same heap as Steve Wright, popularity and listening figures irrelevant in a world of quotas, hi-jacked by an insidious minority.  So it is that, come March, I shall have to work out how to re-tune my radio, no desire for the contrived company of …  Katie Hopkins is happy to fill in the blanks!

That was the first blow of the week.  Mind you, my faith was restored by Dan Wootton on his Monday slot at GB News.  Raging, following his silence – and, unbelievably, that, too, of my friend, Bev Turner – on the huge story of MP, Andrew Bridgen’ suspension courtesy of his courageous highlighting of the increasing vaccine injuries and fatalities, I vowed that my nightly viewing would be changing, too, should he – Dan – make no attempt to redeem himself.  Hanging by a thread!  Turns out, though, my time had not been wasted.  Wednesday through Thursday saw me firing off emails and DMs (?!) to GB News and, both, Dan and Bev.  Deafening silence, although, I could see that Bev had read my message.  Unlike her not to respond.  Why was this story off-limits?  Or, was it?  Come Friday evening, my hero of the moment, Laurence Fox, was in the hot seat and, from the get-go, he took no prisoners.  Holding fast my large gin and tonic, I could be heard cheering from a great distance – I might, even, have stood up – so overjoyed was I to learn that there is intelligent life to be found; that individuals do still exist with the courage of their convictions.  Laurence Fox, thank you – and, by the way, I’m still available for Bar Mitzvahs and christenings!

So, rather successfully painting a picture of the many drains on my time …   No wonder, then, the sometime enforced delay between posts. Anyway, Monday saw Dan Wootton redeem himself, devoting almost his entire programme to the Andrew Bridgen debate and its significance.  Explanation for the silence?  None but Harry does remain a rolling subject.  That said, my nightly date with GB News remains intact, although I did miss it on Thursday.  Through in Edinburgh, I resigned to get down and dirty on public transport, taking the train from Leuchars.  Good grief!  Not only were there more than three carriages but it was all but empty – positively verging on civilised!  Note to self: never be lulled into a false sense of security.

Any opinions on Dundee?  Growing up, we hated it.  It was Dundee!  That said, it did lay claim – perhaps, still does – to the Caird Hall and that was a serious music venue in the Seventies.  Everyone who was anyone played there.  I know David Bowie did but I would have been too scared to go and see him in concert, in those days; not that I would have been allowed.  Instead, I saw Cliff Richard many times – once, with Olivia Newton John, complete in her long dress – the New Seekers, too, but the best were Gallagher & Lyle.  Privileged to see them many times in their heyday, how lucky was I!

My mother popped into the Dundee pet shop just before Christmas one year and came out with a puppy, my present!  Not exactly a pony, Tarquin was supposed to be a pedigree Pointer but, of course, was a Heinz 57.  The runt of the litter, he was lucky to survive the night, but he lived through my formative years with me and I loved him – Poubelle, as he became, renowned for his penchant for dustbins!

Happy memories. Nothing wrong with Dundee, then?  Well, there was.  It was grubby.  It had a reputation for being rough – and every road seemed to be one-way!  We would travel across the longest bridge to go to Marks or Draffens, the old department store; oh, and Nimrod, the saddlery shop.  That was it.  Today, my sister lives just outside the city but, thankfully, the postcode is Perthshire or I guarantee she would not be there.  She has a reputation to uphold, for goodness sake!

Seriously, I haven’t been to Dundee for years – or, I hadn’t until last Thursday night!  Happily, returning from Edinburgh on an empty Aberdeen-bound train, I got up to disembark as it was announced we were approaching Leuchars.  However, as though a ghost train, there was nobody getting off, nor anybody getting on.  In fact, all I could see were trees, in the darkness, not the station, as I pressed the button to open the doors – repeatedly.  Nothing.  No response and no time to make it to the end of the next carriage as, within seconds, the train moved on.  Welcome to Dundee, like it or not!  I didn’t.  In fact, my involuntary visit only served to reinforce my longheld opinion of the city.  Unjustified, today?  I’m sure but my mind was made up a long time ago and ain’t nobody going to change it now!

So, it’s been a helluva week, in the beloved lingo of the late, great Rikki Fulton.  How this world could do with his humour now.  What a mess!  Corruption and contempt abound as one endeavours to reach for spring.  Perhaps a trip to the Eternal City will help?  Blue skies and sunshine … and a book to finish.  Put the world and all its problems on hold for a little while.  Roma, here I come!  Who mentioned Ryanair?!

If you have to travel alone, travel in style.’

Hugh Grant/’Daniel Cleaver’, Bridget Jones’s Diary

… and never with Scotrail!

This is Trish, signing off.