Monday, 10 January 2011

This wumman's work...

Weel, wid ye look at the time! Ah tak a couple o weeks aff writin, an the next thing it's next year! Ah'm no proud o masel, in fact ah'm black-affrontit. Ah've been hidin in here, squattin ahint ma settee wi a cushion ower ma heid, meanwhile ah've got fowk shoutin at ma door, chuckin chuckie-stanes at ma windaes, postin messages threatenin tae sing bawdy songs in ma stair, ah'll be gettin a bad name fer masel so ah will...

But ye're right, ah've brocht it aw oan masel, ah've naebody else tae blame but me. If ma auld grannie wis still wi us she wid say "Wyte yer teeth if yer tail be smaa" tho tae be honest we nivver kent whit she wis oan aboot hauf the time. Neither did ma granda. Ah think ah owe ye aw an explanation...

Ye see, ah've been sufferin fae an auld affliction. Ma doctor cries it SAD, but ah think o it mair as CAD. Ah hate Christmas an aw that gangs wi it. As suin as December shows up, ma mood gangs doon, an ah turn intae this crabbit auld crone, ye widnae recognise me ah tell ye (an that's enough o the sniggerin at the back) Ah dinnae go oot, ah dinnae answer ma phone, ah sit an shout at the telly when aw thae Christmas adverts come oan wi loads o happy faimilies aw wrapped up in their scarfs an duffelcoats wi their airms fu o presents, an smilin. It's the smilin that gets me mair than onythin. When ye're feelin crabbit, there's nothin worse than bein telt tae smile, tae laugh, tae be happy. Ah'll smile when ah'm guid an ready thank ye very muckle...

Ah wis nivver yin o auld John Knox's biggest fans. Tae ma mind he wis far ower-interestit in ither fowks' personal affairs, he kept gaun oan aboot how God could see through yer curtains richt intae yer bedroom, an richt through yer bedspread, even through yer flannelette nightie! When he stuid up there in St Giles kirk an shoutit at us, ye could see he wis enjoyin the thocht, salacious auld midden that he wis. But ah will say this fer the man, he had the richt idea aboot Christmas. Aw jist popery an frippery he wid say, a confection fer the senses wi nae foondation in fact nor meanin. He banned it alang wi Halloween durin oor Reformation, no that we went in fer it in a big way afore that, an it wis only made legal again in Scotland back in the 1950s, mainly oan account o the BBC wantin an excuse tae pit oan big films an 'Morecambe an Wise' shows. Ah'd happily go back...

Ah used tae be able tae jist pit ma heid doon, ignore aw the tinsel an the flashin lichts, an content masel wi the thocht that we were gettin closer tae Hogmanay. Noo that wis a nicht ah aye luikit forrit tae. Aw the preparations, the scrubbin, the polishin, the washin, the bakin, the cookin, it aw meant somethin tae me. We were cleanin the auld year aff oor backs, ready tae face the new like a fresh-bleachit sheet. Oan the nicht itsel ye had that frantic rush tae get awthin done an dustit, leavin ye jist enough time tae get yer peeny aff, pit yer face oan an fix yer hair afore the bells went. Then ye wid hae a wee quiet toast tae yersel in the hoose afore yer first-fits startit showin up. Then it wis singin an dancin, laughin an greetin, Black Bun an shortbreid, drinkin an mair drinkin, mair singin, mair laughin, even mair greetin, till the sun wis comin up. Ye wid get up oan New Year's Day an dae it aw ower again, mibbe wi yer faimily oan the ither side, an mibbe again the next nicht, till ye had fair broken the year in...

Except its no like that these days is it? Naw, noo it's jist yin big burst o fireworks, wakin the weans an scarin the cats, the streets are fu o drunk teenagers fer a couple o oors, then awbody gangs aff tae their beds. Nae first-fits, nae Black Bun, nae wee turns. Mr Pangloss an masel sat up fer a wee while, but naebody chapped oor door this year. Ah dinnae ken whit we were waitin up fer, naebody's chapped it fer years...


See, this is why ah've no been at the postin lately. Ah cannae help masel ye see, ah stairt aff wi guid intentions, but the blackness aye comes doon ower ma een. Ah'm missin the auld days, ah'm missin freens an neebors, ah'm missin the community we aw yaist tae share. Fireworks, nae maitter how many or how big, dinnae mak up fer whit we've lost. So, ah said ah widnae bother ye aw wi ma dark thochts, parteecularly when ye were aw enjoyin yersels. Keep it tae yersel ah said tae masel. Naebody wants tae see yer moanin coupon at their pairty. An that's why ah generally keep ma ain company in December...

But that's enough aboot me. How's yersel? Fer aw that ah've jist said, ah hope ye aw had a happy yin yersels, that ye found comfort in yer faimly an freens, that ye got yersels unco fu an happy, an that ye survived it aw. Ah did, an ah'll be fine till come St Andrews Day, then it's aw doonhill again. Ah'm fu o guid intentions fer the comin year, an tap o ma list is gettin back intae the swing o things an tellin ye mair o ma wee stories. Promise. Until then, an ah'm sorry it's a bit late, ah'll wish ye aw a Happy New Year! Lang may yer lum reek!! Slainte!!



  2. A Happy New Year tae ye too Sophia.
    If ye want misery, ma ceilings drappit in.
    Thank fuck fur global warmin, ah probably wouldny hae a hoose wi'oot it.

  3. Slainte tae ye tae Sophia. Eh ken the feelin weel when ye jist want tae hide. Dinnae worry, when yer retired, ye kin hide as much as ye like. Think oan, ye cud be seeing the stars o Leith if ye wur in hid a ceiling like Conan. Pair sowl, he's aye waitin fur yon builders tae come 'n' hae a keek.

    Hae yin oan me when ye feel like it. Eh've yin o thon lamps thit's supposed tae cheer ye up, but a it daes is mak me fret mair aboot the leccy bill. Auch aince eh see ma grass agin, eh'll be braw. It's been burrit under global warmin fur twa months.

  4. Hullo Anonymous fae Rothesay. Thanks fer drappin in. Ah hope ye tell yer Czech an Slovak pals that whit we didnae dae at Christmas we made up fer at Hogmanay. Ah widnae want them thinkin we were soor-faced aw the time! Oh an by the way, ah might be auld, but ah'm no deef!

  5. Happy New Year Mr Conan! tho it disnae sound like a happy yin in yer ain bit o the world. Thon things are aw sent tae ty us so they say. Try us fer whit ah ask, It's a Knockout? Life's a hard enough struggle athoot haein yer ceilin doon aroon yer ears! An it's been a hard bugger this past few weeks has it no? Bring oan the summer!

  6. Cheers Mrs Subrosa! an thanks fer yer understaunin, ah ken it's no right tae hide, even tho ah dae, an ah'm gled somebody else kens whit ah'm oan aboot. Ma mither aye telt me tae be sceptical aboot new-fanglit things like thon lamps ye mention, but mibbe ah need tae gie them some thocht. The winters, an aw the bother that comes wi them, seem tae be gettin worse by the year. Ah felt like greetin aw through December there, oan account o the cauld the dark an aw the snaw, nivver mind Christmas. The weatherman's forecastin 9 degrees fer th'morn an ah feel like runnin doon Leith Walk in jist ma summer shift tae celebrate! Mibbe ah will...

  7. Sorry for shoutin at ye.I note you like Chopin and Satie.One of the joys of working in Czech lands are the opera three times a week for £15 or less at £1 weans matinee.Aye I go.I like a box and a bottle of sparkling wine and Mozart,itůs just liek bein back hame in Port bannatyne_ But all the mnany Czech and other composers we never know of in english BBC. Mysliveček,Vanhál,Vejvánosvský etec a etec but as for Chopin find Kozelůth the daughter she worte some lovely Chopinwsque peices and Maria Agata Szyamanowská who wrote nocturnes pre Chopin and finally the waltzes for piano from Plzeń by Smetana.

  8. Thanks Jim fer thae recommendations, ah'll hae tae gie them a listen. Ah'm nae connoisseur but ah dae like restful wee pieces oan the joanna. Satie aye reminds me o warm rainy efternins in August, an ah aye picture masel lyin oan a chaise-longue in a grand drawin-room, sippin oan a Pimms or a lager'n'lime, gazin oot through the open french-windaes oantae a vividly green gairden aw drippin wi rain, the air heavy wi the scent o roses an wallflooers. Ah bliss...

  9. Oh, Listen, I'm sorry about throwing stones at your windows and all... A big boy made me do it. As for singing the bawdy songs that musta been Mr B, for you know that I only go as far as Downtown in French... no more bawdy than that.

    The bottles in yer back passage are nothing to do with me either. I'm partial to a dop of Nuit St Georges... not that gut rot that Brownlie buys (?)... and drinks, and drinks and drinks.

    Anything else you find there: old chip papers, Mars Bars wrappers and Alka Seltzer packets are the work of other people. (There was an awful crowd there some nights... Funny people. I swear I saw Conan with half a roof on his head, and Subrosa with ...well, I'd best not say. Least said, soonest mended.... huh?

    I'm glad you're feeling beetter though, it was getting cold standing ouside listening to John singing.... really, I'll be glad to get a seat at the fire from now on.

    :¬) Hugs...


  10. Thanks tris, yer hug's returned wi interest. Ah wis gaunnae get cheeky aboot ye leavin yer chip papers up ma back passage but there might be weans listenin so ah'll behave masel.

    Some o the bottles are mine tho...

  11. Sophia,

    Can I offer you a welcome back warming cuddle as opposed to Tris's hug? He got into that habit in the rugby club showers.

    I realised you didn't like my singing of "Behind closed doors" when I heard you saying to Mr Pangloss "Away and put that broken-hearted donkey out of it's misery".

    Like your picture of Conan with his little black book but it's about time he trimmed his beard.

    Equally, liked the picture of Tris's ex having a celebratory drink after she dumped him for another much younger man - he says modestly.

    Finally, I made enough money out of your empties to finance my drink for that evening. The price of meths nowadays is shocking.

    Slainte Mhath from a devoted admirer!

  12. John Brownlie: You said you would never tell about the rugby showers. Remember you're hardly one to speak!!

    Was that "Behind Closed Doors"? Honestly? I thought it was "Stand By Your Man"...well, you must admit, you'd have difficulty carrying a tune in a bucket!

    Anyway, let bygones be bygones cause we'll get a story on Saturday night, and a seat by the fire!

  13. PS Sophia. My mum says she's happy to see you back and is looking forward to a story.

  14. Oh Mr Brownlie that's awfy couthie o ye thanks! That fair warms ma hairt! But, eh, are ye sayin that wis you makin that awfy noise in the stair? Whit a racket! Ma ears were bleedin wi that caterwaulin din. An that wis ahint TWA closed doors tae! (by-th-by, ye heard me wrong, ah didnae shout donkey, tho it wis somethin similar, er, nearly...)

    Ah'll let ye aff seein as it's the New Year.

    Thanks fer the art appreciation critique. Fowk should learn tae ca canny tho, eh? ye nivver ken when ye're oan candid camera these days eh no?

    Cheers tae ye John, an a Happy New Year tae ye!

  15. Hullo tris's mither, ah didnae see ye there ahint tris. Aye is he no? that right? aye, ah ken, ah ken, ah ken, that right? ah ken isn't it, ah ken, ah ken, aye, aye, ah ken aye er anyroads, ah wis jist wantin tae tell ye ah've goat a wee bun in ma oven, aye, aye a rock-bun aye, aye a ken, ah ken ye like them aye, aye, aye are ye comin roond then, aye? right, ah'll get the hoose straight then an ah'll see ye, aye right cheerio cheerio aye aye cheerio then aye...