Monthly Archives: November 2018

…the first singing performance I ever witnessed…

… at this distance in time, I now understand that I was listening to a gloriously-full First Tenor voice… completely unaccompanied by any musical instrument, the notes rose in perfect resonance in the amphitheatre… the melody a familiar song, born of the trials and tribulations of generations of good, honest, hard-working folk… the history of their struggles encapsulated in the vocalist’s rendering… a setting known to thousands of immigrants in the slum cities of Scotland and elsewhere in the UK — the backcourt tenements where we lived in Docklands, Govan in Glasgow, my birthplace…

…the grey, granite buildings carried the echoes of the singer’s efforts upward toward the smoking chimneystacks…  and penetrated into the small, cramped living spaces on each of the three- or four-storey levels in our block… clad not in operatic nor theatrical clothing, but dressed in factory-floor dungarees, under a light raincoat, with a belt tied at the front rather than with a long-since-lost buckle… the sleeves and the shoes were ragged, well past their ‘use-by’ date… the busker, to my child’s eyes could have been a hundred years old, but was in fact only in his late twenties or early thirties… his delivery of ‘Danny Boy’, ‘I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen’, and other favourites was greeted before long with the opening of the tenement windows, and the sporadic tossing down of a penny or two, wrapped in a bit of newspaper to keep the money directed toward the man… strangely, I have the strongest memory of his picking up the offered donations only after he had finished each song, and not while he sang… and forever, I have the enduring sense that he was not begging, although heaven knows, he needed cash for his family to survive like many others in those times,… no, he was not begging… he was offering a service… his solo entertainment a welcome interlude in that humble, communal, post-war existence… he deserved every penny he collected… and I’m still grateful for the fond recollection of his voice… you see, that man was my father… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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…seriously, would you buy a used bank from this man?

…the Passage of Time is a great distortionist… this mug shot above of Master Gallacher, in my prime as a Fully-Fledged Master of the Financial Universe was captured around 35 years ago… a generation away… a lifetime for some… and yet, it seems so recent… how skillful the mind tricks that can visit me… I was the Chief Trader and Treasurer for a financial institution in Hong Kong, called Wardley Limited… the merchant banking arm at the time of what was the mighty Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation… since then Wardley has morphed into ‘HSBC Investment Asia Holdings Limited’, while the parent has seen its glorious monicker contract into a rather paltry, ‘HSBC’… liquidity sloshed around the Asian markets then in billions rather than millions of dollars…

…it was an exciting and fun period… changes in appearance have been made not only to Wardley and HSBC but also to my own image… gone is the Zapata mustache… gone is the Beatles-style of top hair… chameleonised from the dark thatch to a somewhat lighter crop (but still there in full!)… the sharp, always white shirt, replaced with more modern-coloured attire, and who would ever wear so thin a necktie nowadays?… the pinkie-finger ring, a memento of my time at Harvard’s Advanced Management Program (not-so-subtle name-drop, there!) has found another place to hide… spectacles now adorn the bridge of my nose, a result not of creeping age, but of a naughty attack of shingles on my face and left eye earlier this year… oh, yes. and please note that instrument I’m holding… with its strange, black, twisty cord protruding from the bottom of it… a real landline telephone… a collector’s item prob’ly these days… the pinstripe suit has been replaced with a succession of less ‘in-yer-face-financier’ garb… but observe the earnest, honest stare from these eyes… seriously, would you buy a used bank from this man?… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE OR RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

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