image1Here’s the bad news. You can set your phasers to stun for Jenny Lindsay and myself will soon plonk our asses in the Bella Caledonia editorial chair to give Mike some well earned rest. This will be after the Holyrood election – nobody is going to trust a couple of off-message writers before then – which suits us both just fine. The ListVote/BothVotesSNP stooshie should have calmed doon by then and once more we’ll all be one big happy-clappy band of indy campers. So the theory goes.

It is possible, but by no means certain, that Bella may take a wee leftfield lurch when Mike’s on holiday. Both Jenny and myself prefer the non-linear fragmented fuzzy logic hive-brain of the poetry world to the cut-and-thrust of political polemic. Poetry always trumps politics. Or as John Berger wrote, in his essay The Hour Of Poetry: “Poetry opposes more absolutely than any other force in the world the monstrous cruelties by which the rich defend their ill-gotten riches. This is why the hour of the furnaces is also the hour of poetry.”

So… both of us look forward to Bella’s readership bottoming out to a less nippy but more cultured cadre, and the Love/Hate SNP Comments under the articles fading away to zero. Even if only for a week. That’s our game plan anyway. (I can already picture Mike choking on his Coco Pops reading this…)

To soften up hardcore indy warriors for what lies ahead I’ve proposed to Mike a regular new column/blog called When Friday Comes. Nothing too long or cerebral. (The first of which you’re reading now.) The thinking behind it was quite straightforward. Bella readers are generally lazy, sit around drinking coffee all day, moaning about the state of the world, while glued to social media. So what better than a Health & Fitness column to inspire you all. And since no one is less qualified to write one than myself I thought I’d have a crack at it.

When Friday Comes, as the title suggests, is inspired by the second greatest of all sporting publications. The mighty When Saturday Comes is runner-up only to the legendary zine, The Absolute Gemme – which Scottish fitba fans of a certain age may recall was the absolute pinnacle of nuanced sporting journalism.

It’s not my intention to be funny or satirical. The hilarious rib-tickling Jock-baiting Have I Got News For You has already got that one covered for all yer Friday needs. Health & Fitness is a serious business. You only have to take one look at our nation of wheezy-chested smokers and curvy drinkers to realise we take our leisure seriously. The aim of this column isn’t to preach the keep fit lifestyle – because it’s fucking awful – but to prove to readers that once you go down the road of binge drinking, chain smoking and pizza munching there’s no turning back. Quitting is for losers. You’ll only do yerself an injury, either to your body or your pride.

To prove that it’s too late to change your ways I’ve set myself a tough challenge for the foreseeable future: to abandon my highly enjoyable life of indulgence, excess and leisure and submit to a punishing regime of abstinence, physical discipline and tedious routine in order ‘to do something wacky and sporting’ (insert sponsorship link to a pointless bureaucratic charity of choice). At the end of this programme I hope to prove to myself, and to the Bella reader who stays the course, that you’re much happier with a carefree – if a wee bit shortened – life of booze, fags, chips and Irn Bru breakfasts.

This comes with a rider. Since sport and fitness – aka fitba – is only one aspect of our weekend culture When Friday Comes may stray further afield. All will become clearer next Friday. Mon the Hibs.