A Portrait of My Grandmother as a Young Woman

A Portrait of My Grandmother as a Young Woman

Ally bally, ally bally bee,

sittin on yer mammy’s knee,

greetin for a wee bawbee,

tae buy some coulter’s candy

– ‘Coulter’s Candy’, Traditional Scots Song

What does father look like? I haven’t seen him for a long time, but I know he has blue eyes like me. My eyes are Mum’s favourite but I wish I had Margot’s wriggly yellow hair, she gives me the tightest cuddles in bed but I’m still jealous. I’m really sleepy today; Peter’s being an awful pest rifting and tickling all night long keeping us all awake. I love him because he’s my brother but today I don’t like him at all, he’s so naughty. Continue reading


Beel rings, oot the door, grab the baa, rin roond the back; last yin there’s gay, tax nae in; Jack, Ryan an’ Scoba against the rest ay us, nut, numbers is fairest, Jack was always too good anyway; yoo’s hae sticky but we’ll kick tae yoo; frenzied attacks ensue, twenty-odd laddies chasin’ a baa, sometimes it crosses the line an’ ‘en the direction changes, Raisin-heid takes a tumble in the box, the stramash is settled by the age auld measure ay a ‘penalty abit it’, Jack steps up an’ cheps it ower mah floonderin’ body wi’ ootrageoos cheek; frustration gripped my young body, the beel goes again, next goal the winner, gemme on; Scoba releases Jack doon the reit win’, flies pest three ay us an’ sends a powerful shot straecht atween mah legs tae win the gemme, ah send a powerful shot intae his beak, he gi’es me a body reit back, fair play; a lad will fight long and hard for bragging rights, grab the baa, rin roon the front, back tae skale.  Continue reading