It’s only a game

A short story, guest blog by Elizabeth Angus

So there we ur at the gemme, Denny an me, and it’s bloody great. Ma furst Old Firm game – it took me ages tae get ma maw tae let me go. But ahm no a daft wee boy, ahm nearly fourteen, an ah went tae hunners a games last season. An she likes Denny; she thinks he’s a ‘nice sensible lad’. Denny nearly pished himsel when ah telt him she said that. But ma maw’s right, Denny’ll make sure we don’t get oursels intae bother.

It’s some gemme, this. Ahm lovin it. Bobby Lennox opened the scoring fur Celtic just afore half time, and the place went bananas. There’s been loadsa action since, and we’ve been all over them. It’s only a matter of time before we score again. Denny an me ur standin in the bit of The Jungle right next tae the Rangers End. The Jungle’s whit everyone calls the North Enclosure. Ah telt ma maw it’s because the railings ur painted green, like creepers, but that’s no why at all. The singin’s mental. We’re chantin at the Rangers supporters, and they’re chantin back at us. Ah catch wan wee Hun starin at me an ah shoot him the vicky. Sometimes folk throw things. It’s all dead loud, and kinda – ah dunno – vitriolic. That’s a crackin word, that. Ah read it somewhere and had tae look it up. Wish ah hud the nerve tae use it.

Ahm still staring intae space, jus kinda thinkin about how good that vitriolic word is, and lettin it roll about on ma tongue, when ah notice the singin’s stopped. There’s just a big noise instead. Ah lean right intae Denny so’s ah kin see past the big fat guy in front of me, an the Huns have got the ba’. Tommy Burns is lyin on the deck, an The Jungle’s growling, an Derek Johnstone’s lumberin up the pitch straight at Peter Latchford. Ah canny watch, so ah stare at the plook on the back o Fat Guy’s neck, an then the Rangers End starts howlin an Denny’s clutching his heid an ah cannae believe it. The Huns have scored.

An that’s how it finishes. Wan each.

The walk up to the Gallowgate’s mental. It always is a bit, after the gemme, but this seems super-mental. It’s like the whole crowd’s walkin up the middle of the road. Most drivers don’t come near Parkheid at coming-out time, but there’s one or two stuck like wee islands in among all the people. They have to go dead slow. Some poor sod’s come down here in a John Player Special Capri. It’s a black one, gold pinstripes, really neat lookin motor. Someone bumps intae Denny as we go past, an Denny bumps intae me, an ah bump intae the Capri’s wing mirror. Aw, shite. Ah kin see the driver’s gettin aw uptight, but the crowd’s that thick he’ll no be able tae get oot his motor. He’s probably no got the bottle, anyway.

There’s a 61 bus waitin. Ah love gettin on the bus efter the gemme. There’s that many folk pilin intae it at wance that ye kin take yer feet aff the grun an jus get carried on. Ah telt ma maw, an she didny think it wis funny, jus kept goin on about how it sounded dead dangerous an she wisny sure ah wis old enough tae be goin wi just ma mates. So ah didny bother tellin her that the windaes o the bus get panned in oan a regular basis, cuz that didny seem circumspect.

By the time we get up town there’s only been wan brick heaved through a windae, and it’s providin some much-needed ventilation. There’s a bit o a rumble goin on just afore wur stoap. A crowd o Rangers fans ur gettin ladled intae some o oors. It’s lookin a bit messy an Denny sez we’d be better stayin’ oan the bus the noo. Ahm about tae protest that ah promised ma mammy ah widny be late. She keeps goin on about how ahm that young tae be oot masel. Ah need tae change buses an get hame. An then ah see the Hun gettin glessed, an ah hink Denny might huv a point. Man, that’s no pretty. Ah mean, ah know he’s a Hun but naebody deserves that. He’s aw hunched over, an there’s all blood pishin between his fingers where he’s haudin his face. His mates urny runnin away either, they’re lookin nasty an wan o them’s reachin intae his inside poaket. Ah look away before anyone catches me starin, ah don’t want tae draw attention tae masel. Ahm proper scared now, an ah just want tae be aff this bus an on mah way hame.

It’s another three stops before we get aff, an ahm no sure where we ur. Denny reckons he knows, but, so we start walking. We traipse round a corner an smack bang intae a bunch of Huns. We’re still wearing our Celtic scarves, an ah’ve got a wee wan tied roun mah wrist an aw. This display of green and white hoopery seems to inflame the Huns, who call us Fenian bastards, an we leg it.

Denny an me ur baith pretty speedy, so we outrun them nae bother, but we kinda lose our direction and end up at the Clyde. Our bus is away up at George Square. It takes forever to get there, what with lookin behind us all the time in case of trouble. And keekin round corners like thae private eyes do on the telly. Ah’ve taken aff mah scarves an stuffed them inside mah jaiket, but Denny says he’s a proper Tim an his isny coming aff his neck till he’s deid.
When the Number 2 draps us at the chippy it’s late. Man, ah mean late. Mah maw’s gonny kill me. Worse, she’s gonny no let me go tae the fitba again. Denny says ahm jus bein paranoid, and wonders if ahm comin roon tae Wee Kev’s with him – Wee Kev’s got the new AC/DC album and Denny’s goin tae tape it. Let There Be Rock. Denny’s awready heard some of it, and he swears Bon Scott’s wrote this song, ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’, about our big fat maths teacher, Roseanna McCracken.

Ah really want tae hear the song about Big McCracken, but ah tell him ah canny. Mah maw’ll be goin spare. She gets super-worried about me now there’s just the two of us. Besides, ahm supposed tae be takin a fish supper hame fur tea. So she’s gonny be worried an starvin, an that’s no a good combination.

Ah head up the road wi mah cargo. The bottom o the packet’s warm, an the newsprint’s comin aff on mah hands cos mah palms ur a bit sweaty. Probably cos ahm scared about gettin intae trouble. The chips smell magic. Ah sniff dead deep so’s the vinegar smell catches at the back of ma throat. Ah poke aboot wi the paper until ah kin ease wan o the chips out. It’s too hot and it burns mah tongue a bit, but ah don’t care. There’s no much of mah share left when ah reach the front door.

Ah go intae the hoose an say hello kinda quietly, waitin for a bollockin. Mammy, ahm hame… an ah’ve goat yer tea. Ah huv a quick check – aye, ah dae huv her tea, ah’ve no tanned it aw. There’s nae reply, but the telly’s on. Ah kin hear Nicholas Parsons on Sale of the Century so it must be efter eight o’clock. Ahm deid. Maw! A bit louder. It’s me…

The living room door’s open a wee bit. Ah go in, tryin tae look casual, feart o whit she’ll say tae me. And at furst ah hink she’s no there, ah canny see her. And then a contestant gets a question right, an ah kin see ma maw’s legs oan the flair, an the audience start clappin like mad, an ah just staun there an ah kin feel aw mah insides turn intae a big cauld lump that draps right tae the bottom o mah stomach. Ah canny move.

Maw? Mah feet step forward by themselves. Ah canny look. Maw? Aw, shite – maw! Whit the fuck dae ah dae? Her eyes ur shut, an ah canny tell if she’s breathin. Some bit o me knows to dial 999, so ah grab the receiver an then find ah huvny goat a spare haun cos ahm still huggin the fish suppers. I put the parcel down carefully oan the sideboard, an then worry that it might leave a mark. Mah fingers seem too fat tae dial the numbers, an each 9 takes a lifetime. Some wumman asks me which service ah require, an ah tell her it’s ma maw, she’s just lyin oan the flair, an she puts me through tae the ambulance gadgies. Another wumman speaks tae me, ah manage tae remember where we live an she asks me loads of questions. Ah don’t know if ahm gettin any right. Ah try tae tell her it’s mah fault fur bein late hame, an she tells me it isnae, but whit the fuck does she know?

An then the wumman says the ambulance is oan its way, an she stays oan the line, jus talkin tae me, but ahm no listening tae her. Ahm talkin tae mah mammy, an ahm promisin her that ah’ll never go tae the fitba ever again.

~ 0 ~

This wee story was first published in 2013, in Octavius magazine. It was inspired by my husband’s reminisces of going to the fitba as a kid in the 1970s. Much of the detail is true apart from the ending: I can reassure everybody that nothing like that ever happened to his mammy.

I have very recently entered World of Blog, but if you want to read any more of my scribblings please drop in and say hello: It’s an eclectic mix – something for everyone!

Much gratitude to the Wee Dug for letting me share his airspace and shamelessly plug myself…

59 comments on “It’s only a game

  1. Tony Sisi says:

    Time for me to leave this site if this is the junk its going to be publishing…i definitely expected better but its all going downhill fast with this latest attempt at patronising Scots twice in a week and pretending they all use such language and dialect…they do not and the fact that a glossary had to be added to last weeks post proved it.

    • Wee Jimmy says:

      Maybe you should contribute your own guest blog then? And I suggest that if you do, you run it through a grammar check and ellipsis filter.

    • jimnarlene says:

      Bye then.

    • Shex says:

      Dinnae let the door sleep yer arse oan tha wae oot! 🙂

    • Kenzie says:

      I agree. I’ve read better.

    • Brian Fleming says:

      I enjoyed it. Thanks Elizabeth.

    • Ah Tony,
      You just got a wee fright, that’s all, because it wasn’t what you were expecting. Don’t be so hard on the Dug! If you’re a regular reader, you’ll have noticed the bit where the Wee Ginger Dug says he’s going on holiday, and in order to give you something to read while he’s gone, he’s opening the blog to anyone who wants a shot. Hey – you can even contribute yourself, if you fancy opening yourself up to public scrutiny.
      I don’t think there’s any patronising going on here. The Dug wrote a piece in Scots recently – I’ve not yet checked to see if you left an opinion there. The fact that he added a glossary is surely indication that he’s not at all pretending that we all speak like that? Scotland is still a very dialect-rich country, and after years of opposition it’s finally being acknowledged that it’s perfectly acceptable to use your own dialect. Most Scots are bilingual, speaking some form of regional dialect and also standard Scots English. These will be used interchangeably throughout the day, depending on the social situation: standard Scots English is more likely to be used at work, for example. But our regional dialects are important and valid – how often have you used a dialect word to describe something because English just does not have a suitable equivalent? We are finally learning to be proud, rather than ashamed, of our Scots language, and I think that’s a good thing.
      Maybe the timing of my story is what’s upsetting – perhaps being faced with the Scots language twice in one week was too much for you. I can guarantee that, like the Dug, I was certainly not attempting to patronise Scottish folk. Nor was I pretending we all speak like the wee guy in the story – however, if you’ve ever listened to a Glaswegian kid from 1975 I can assure you it’s fairly accurate. Indeed, I Anglicised a lot of it to make it easier to read.

      By all means criticise my story – although it would be much more useful to me as a writer if you explained what you didn’t like about it, instead of just labelling it ‘junk’, which isn’t very helpful – but please go away, study the history and persecution of the Scots language, and then come back and tell us if you still feel patronised.

      • Tony Sisi says:

        Elizabeth,thanks for your generous response about my comment.On reflection you are right and I wrong, as it was the fact of two articles in dialect or vernacular appearing in such a short space of time rather than the content of your article which caused me to have a little hissy fit.
        The reaction to your piece and to my comments must give you pleasure and confidence to write more in the same vein as it seems to have hit the spot with a lot of readers.Kind regards,Tony.

        • Thanks for those words, Tony – I appreciate them.
          Don’t worry – I have had far worse responses to my work, and I’m pretty thick-skinned: you have to be, if you’re willing to expose yourself to the general public!
          I don’t take pleasure in the harsh treatment you’ve received for your comments – you are absolutely entitled to air your opinion without being abused. But I am pleased at the support for more vernacular writing. For far too long, Scots dialects have been condemned as ‘slang’, or the speech of the ‘uncouth working class’. Thankfully, things are changing and we are beginning to understand that there is no shame in speaking the native tongue of your region. Things are also changing in the literary world, as more and more writers and poets express themselves in different forms of Scots.
          Please don’t let me chase you away from the Wee Ginger Dug’s site – he will resume normal service after his holidays. However, who knows what you may have to suffer in the meantime, as he allows us all free rein in his absence!
          Nae hard feelings, eh?
          Elizabeth 🙂

    • david says:

      Ah luved it. Bye.

    • Scot in Sweden says:

      Whit a cheek yiv got.
      Meh femly dae speak like this
      ‘N they dae it ah the time.
      This is wit minds us whar we’r fae coz we dinnae get tae hear it ah that much as wir awa’ fae Scotland the noo.
      Fir me an’ ma Chinese missus, we lap it up.
      She even trehs tae mimic the accent ‘n we hae a braw laff at it. Then thirs the Swedes wha can achuly get a lot o’ it as their Inglish is smashin’ n sum o the words ir the same as theirs

  2. […] It’s only a game […]

  3. ross says:

    Toni. I reckon i know the reason why you think people in Scotland dont speak like that. Its cos abdy far ye bide kens yer a fuckin erse n naibdy spiks tae ye.

    I loved reading that story and ill definetly look at the blog.

  4. KGD says:

    This wee story really grabbed me, I still want to know if his Mammy was okay. Sorry you didn’t like it Tony but I thought it was just an attempt to present the character of a wee Glasgow boy in the ’70s rather than writing in Scots per se.

  5. Shex says:

    *skelp damn predictive 🙂

  6. diabloandco says:

    I enjoyed that though it wasn’t what I was expecting when I found WGD in my inbox.

    Those who didn’t and voice expectation of other things seem a little too quick to condemn and a little full of themselves to the point of trolls springing to mind.

  7. Mikeyboy says:

    I really enjoyed that and appreciate that you are actually getting up and having a go at doing something creative. Let the miserabilistas mither away, you are trying to add something to life. Good luck.

  8. Itchybiscuit says:

    I could hear the shouting, feel the fear and smell the vinegary chips.

    And I’ve never been to a football game. Thanks Elizabeth. :o)

  9. david says:

    Great story Elizabeth, beautifully told. As the great Tom Leonard said “all living language is sacred”. Not really a football fan myself, but I’ve “dug” back through my diary because I wanted to share my Celtic story with you….

    8th September 2005

    It’s not often that I get to travel by train, definitely my favourite motion-medium whether I am alone or in company. Today I am alone and Glasgow’s Central station it is, a brisk Saturday morning’s walk from the hotel. All the way anticipating a few hours quiet reading between the nostalgic glimpses of a route I have traveled only occasionally by train in the last 40 years.

    If you travel the same route every day, you scarcely notice the passage of time. Twice a year for 40 years is like a stop-frame film showing how a plant grows in 30 seconds. Wasn’t there a factory there, once? Did there not used to be…. anyway all that awaits the guards whistle, but first I need a ticket.

    One of this morning’s delights is that because it is Saturday, if I buy a second class ticket and sit in first class, I can upgrade for £1.50 in situ! Brilliant – and the first class seats are always empty. I am just settling in, adjusting the reclining seat, spreading my reading material out, when a posse of American golfers opens the door and spills in. Of course, this train stops at Gleneagles. Is “posse” the correct collective noun? – Perhaps it should be an “exaggeration”. The result, however, is the same – banishment to the second class accommodation.

    But what have we here, four unoccupied seats round a table for me to spread myself out in. Result! It is early enough in the morning for the whole coach to be relatively child free. Our American Cousins are full of it so it will probably be quieter here in second class. We leave in seconds. Let me see now, the Guardian first or the Economist?

    “’Ave bin in quicker taxis in Bang Cock” a young male voice protests.

    Three be-hooped Celtic supporters are heading my way at full volume. A grey hair and two gingers. I’m having second thoughts about the golfers.

    “It wis wan o’ they Pogets, oor Billy had wan, shite runner”

    “Da, thir called Peugeot, its French”

    “French? mair like fucked!”

    And all three laughed as they sat down at my table.

    “High there”, I cosmopolitinised

    “Hullaw rare” silver back seemed pleased I had taken him on.

    “Let me make a wild guess – Celtic are playing in Aberdeen this afternoon?”
    “Ah always get tae sit wi’ the smart wans! That’s ma boy Jamie opposite n’ that’s his pal Wullie”

    “David, pleased to meet you both”

    “an am Joe”

    Their story unfolded as briskly as you would expect in perfect Glaswegian – a wonderfully compact language – missing as it does so many of those unnecessary syllables. They were leaving early for the game and travelling by train rather than fan-club bus, just “furr thi crack”.

    Jamie asked his dad for the Daily Record and started to arrange it in front of him in a strange way. He was not going to read the newspaper, that was clear from the faux-origami that was going on, and I could not see what he was doing with his hands behind the newspaper because the way he had folded it prevented anyone seeing what he was doing. Suddenly his head also disappeared behind the 40 point headlines. The familiar sound of powder, tube and nose revealed the ruse. I giggled instinctively.

    “Waant a hit?” asked Jamie, returned from his hardly subterfuge, knowing that I knew.


    The speed was very cut. I am used to the sensation of amphetamine tearing flesh, not the bland after-taste of sugar and milk powder. The enormous line was not so threatening after all. Oh well. I put my beta blockers away – maybe next line.

    “Would you care to swap seats so that you can have a line?” I asked Da.

    “Naw, ah dinna use it. Ah can drink aw day withoot it. They youngsters huv nae stamina, need a bit of whiz tae keep them goin’. Ah dinna mind it, its nae skin aff ma nose – ahm no so sure if a can say that for they daft bairns!” and laughed at what I guessed was a favourite joke, judging by the exaggerated rolling of eyeballs from the aforementioned daft bairns.

    “Y’ll be waantin’ yer COFFEE Da? “ Asked one of the youngsters whose name I had already forgotten as he proffered a thermos flask. This seemingly innocent request brought forth the conspiratorial laughter of an in-joke.

    “Aye, but ah’ll nae be needin ony of yon mulk or sugar”

    Da took the thermos flask, poured himself barely half a cup and threw the whole lot down in one. I felt sure that a throat tempered by 60 Woodbines a day would be required for such a scald-free gulp.

    “Wid ye care for a wee swalla of, eh, COFFEE?” Da asked me. His deliberate pronunciation had me a little puzzled, until his eyes led me to the rucksack he was holding open on the floor between his legs. He was showing me a bottle of Buckfast – fortified wine of choice for football connoisseurs throughout Scotland.

    He whispered conspiratorially “Wi wisni sure if this wis a nae-drinkin’ train, ’cause o’ the match, and the polis wid search us fae drink, so ah hid the Buckie in the flask” He winked. “But wur oan the early train, so there wis nae polis at the station!” and he beamed that universal outsmarted-the-man smile.

    I smiled back, four weegies on an adventure. Fuckin’ excellent!

    There is nothing quite like a hint of amphetamine sulphate to help the conversation along. Although I might have preferred to chat about, say, Locke’s dissing of Descartes’ assumption of innate knowledge, this might not have left us with much common ground. Anyway as Celtic supporters they were almost certainly Catholic, and patronising dualists is poor sport – especially if they have all the gear. But even I can talk about Fitba’ when I’m blazin’.

    “Yi’a fan yersell?” Da wanted to know. I told him no, but I had as a schoolboy been to several football games. When I told him that my last football game was the European cup semi final between Celtic and Leeds at Hamden in 1970, his eyes misted over, and we luxuriated at our shared evening in the presence of the Immortals.

    The official attendance was 134,000 – but so many had found their way in without a ticket there may have been 150,000 there that evening. Leeds had lost the first game 1:0, and only some 500 Leeds fans had thought the journey north was worthwhile. The game was all Celtic when against the run of play, Leeds scored. The stadium fell almost silent. You could see, but not quite hear, the few Leeds fans celebrate. Suddenly, and with no audible signal, everyone started to sing “You’ll never walk alone”, the Celtic fans’ down-but-not out song. Not in the mumbling-under-your-breath way that those who can’t sing go through the motions in church, but everyone at full volume with the certainty of the true believer.

    At that moment I understood football, and I have not needed to go since. It was impossible not to be swept away by the collective consciousness. I wanted, NEEDED, Celtic to win. That Man’s spiritual needs could be met this way was a revelation to a seventeen year-old.

    Even I knew that what then unfolded was an astonishing display of the very best of “the beautiful game”. In all sports, when the finest practitioners are in the zone, it is as if the laws of physics have been suspended that they might transform sport into art. What Jimmy Johnstone did with the ball that evening would be easy to dismiss as impossible, except for the small matter of 150,000 witnesses.
    The Miracle of his play turned the game for Celtic. In this huge cathedral, lit by the giant towers of lights in the Form of the Pitch, the myth is reborn, the sacrament confirmed. And the Faithful bear witness to this day.

    “The wee man’s nae weel” Da reminded me

    “Motor Neurone disease, I think”

    “Aye, magin’ that, eh? How d’ya figure that, eh? Naebidy ever hid thir feet do whit thi waanted like wee Jinky, and noo he canni even waak. Somebidy up thir has some fuckin’ weird sense o’ humur, eh?”

    It was hard to disagree. We fell into silence. Truly God moves in mysterious ways, his bastard wonders to perform.

    Da got up to go to the toilet at the other end of the coach. One of the lads and I carefully unpeeled the Buckfast label from the empty bottle, and wrapped it round the thermos flask in the same relative position as the original bottle. On exiting the toilet, his boy held up the thermos flask to the entire coach, label exposed, and asked loudly, “Yi ready fir a nither cup o’ coffee, Da?” which we all found hysterically funny.

    The crack just got better, or perhaps we just enjoyed it more, even as the propellant ran out. Not that I can remember much after Dundee other than how much fun we were having. All too soon we reached Aberdeen, and while we were disappointed, I am sure the rest of the coach were relieved.

    Fitba’ eh? You couldn’t make it up.

  10. macart763 says:

    Enjoyed that Elizabeth.

    Thank you. 🙂

  11. Albawoman says:

    Thanks so much. Thoroughly enjoyed the tale. I have been on the No.61 lots. Always an experience.

  12. Nice one Betti. There’s some right cheeky critics out there. I enjoyed!

  13. Thank you Elizabeth, what a lovely read. Not what I was expecting either, but a nice surprise. Don’t let anyone put you off.

  14. Oneironaut says:

    “…vinegar smell…”

    I want chips now!

  15. Thanks, folks, for all yer replies.
    It’s provoking quite an interestin wee debate. Why do we no write the way we speak? Not all the time, obviously, but in informal settins. Same way we use our spoken language.
    Even writin this reply is interestin, cos it’s makin me really listen to how Ah talk. Ah don’t think Ah huv a very strong accent – Ah wis raised on Islay but mah family are from the far north of Scotland, an Ah lived in Glasgow fur 12 years before movin a bit west. Mah Glaswegian husband used tae tell me Ah hud a posh accent, but Ah don’t think Ah did – and now, thanks tae 30-odd years o livin wi him, Ah’ve definitely got a bit o a Glasgow twang.
    Readin yer various comments here, Ah kin tell that yer all from different parts o the country (although Ah canny identify them aw!) – it’s pretty cool. Ah think we should definitely make efforts to keep our assorted dialects an accents alive an kickin, an no allow them tae be watered down. After all, that amazin variation is part of what makes us Scottish, is it no?

  16. Itchybiscuit says:

    Elizabeth, I spik Doric. Ah’m fae the far north east – Salmond’s stomping grun – but a bide in Glesgae noo. Ah kin tell yer nae fae aroon; here. 😉

    As for writing in yer ain dialect, it’s a sair chav for a half loaf quine.

  17. Cloggins says:

    It is not so much the vernacular which upsets some English readers and makes them feel lost – but more that we have become used to Paul’s brilliant acerbic analysis of the political situation. It is a treat from a good dug, and a fix for political junkies, a refreshing shower after a hot and dusty day. My first reaction to a story aboot fitba was disappointment – even if the story itself is marvelous.

    • Hi Cloggins,
      I think the Dug should have warned folk to expect a very mixed bag while he was away – I can understand your shock, as it’s a million miles away from what Paul usually serves up!
      (If it’s any consolation, the story’s not really about football… it’s just used as a vehicle :-))

  18. douglasclark says:

    The piece is a very accurate portrayal of what it was like to go to a Celtic – Rangers game back then. We all forget how bad it really was. I had very similar experiences on, I think, a 64 bus heading back from the game, including one of the windows getting tanned in..

    It is wise not to forget this senseless violence.

    And people really did talk like that, although folk would just have looked askance at him had he said either vitriolic or circumspect. That was not a part of how we spoke or even thought.

    Good piece..

    • Thanks, Douglas!
      My husband must have done a good job telling me what it’s like, because I never went to football: I just listened to his stories.
      There’s more to that wee boy than meets the eye. He likes language – but he wouldn’t say those words out loud. He only thinks them…

      • douglasclark says:


        Your character obviously swallowed the OED and the Thesaurus a good few years before I did. And, like your character, it informs thought first and speech must later, if at all.

        Words have power.

        Your words have power.

        I cannot be done with the curmudgeons that criticise what I took to be a realistic slice of life.

        Those that can, do. Those that can’t moan.

        Well for me, it took me back. It was almost like re-living an event in my own life.

        No, it was like re-living an event in my own life. And it was as scary as hell.

  19. arthur thomson says:

    Thank you Elizabeth. On this occasion I made a point of checking who had written the piece before I read it so I was prepared for it being different. I enjoyed it.

    It took me back to my childhood in the 1950’s when I attended Dunfermline matches home and away for years. I was there when Dunfermline beat Celtic to win the cup in 1961. There was no crowd segregation that I was aware of and I was stood in the middle of thousands of Celtic fans. When Dunfermline scored I was oblivious to all else and went ballistic, in my black and white scarf and top hat. The way the Celtic fans treated me was a credit to them. They must have been gutted but there was absolutely no animosity towards me. Walking to the bus to get home, a young celtic fan took my top hat off me but was told in no uncertain terms by the men around to give it back.

    This is one of the happiest memories of my life and parts of your story took me right back there.

  20. Loved this. I was gripped. Wur thon wee lads tae get a doin?, Wis his maw gonna skelp his lugs or, aiblins, gie’m a big boozie? Studied English and Scots language at Aberdeen Uni, last century, (Old English, Middle English, Scots & Anglo Saxon). ‘Se cyning ferth to Readingum’ is forever etched on my memory. I also discovered Chaucer’s ‘Canterbury Tales’ were easiest to understand by Scots familiar with ‘Lallans’. The Received Pronunciation Oxbridge rejects were most annoyed that the ‘father of the English language’ spoke a tongue which survived in its purest form in Scotland . (My only other claim to fame from uni days was that Jorah Mormount from Game of Thrones was in my year, and was a remarkable actor, forbye).

  21. Cheers, Bibbit!
    Glad to be approved by a Scots language student. Aye, Chaucer’s actually not that difficult to understand – reading it out loud helps.
    How nice to think that Scots are the only remaining proper English speakers 😉

  22. As one who’s guested on WGD’s blog in the past, I’m delighted to see others being given the chance. Thanks, Elizabeth, for a well-observed story – a change of pace from the norm, to be sure, but that’s part of life’s rich tapestry.

    • Thanks, William – perhaps he’ll make an off-the-wall guest spot a regular feature!
      After all, I expect it’s hard work for him to be brilliant all the time – he must fancy the odd rest 🙂

  23. jdman says:

    I dont live in Glasgow, never been to a football match ,but I felt that laddies fear, the fear oh gettin a doin fae the huns, the fear o gettin loast, the fear o the hammerin his mammy wid gie him, the fear he felt when he saw his mammy lyin oan the flair, and the fear he felt that he had caused her to be oan the flair, no bad Elizabeth no bad at a! 🙂

  24. fionn says:

    A great story.

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