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Fri, Apr 30th - 7:28PM

London and me and Ashley

It’s Bank Holiday Weekend in London and I am here doing the Soho Theatre – fun times!

Ashley and I are having a ball, but the downside is, I didn’t explain fully to Ashley how long we are leaving Scotland for, as we go from here to Atlanta to do some comedy and she thought it was 6 days the round trip.

 

There is a point to this conversation, she only packed a small case and screamed when she found out we are actually travelling for 14 days in all. She has 3 pairs of knickers, one pair of boots and a few tops and one pair of leggings. So we need to go shopping for clothes for Ashley.

 

The shows so far at The Soho Theatre have been great fun, I had some nice Twitter people come to see me, GOD BLESS TWITTER and that was amazing, I love the internet.

 

Ashley has been hanging out at The Groucho on her own as I go onstage, she is now a fixture in the corner reading, drinking and nattering to the staff. I am just the old mother who turns up and kills the party with a sweaty head, a boring story and penchant for cups of tea.

 

Ashley told me a funny story – but here is the back story first - at home Ashley doesn’t swear as it annoys her dad so instead of cursing she does a big childish ‘raspberry’ with her mouth when something pisses her off.

 

Anyway she sat in the club watching the Election debate, there were some serious intense blokes sitting alongside her. Ashley is into politics and loves the whole debate thing, but got so carried away, that every time David Cameron spoke Ashley blew a big spitty raspberry with her tongue snaking out and cheeks puffed up. Then she looked to the side and spotted three pretty interesting actor blokes staring at her like she was slightly special.

 

She almost cried with horror when she told me “Mum, I love that actor, he is my favourite and all he will know of me is that I sit in a winged backed chair and blow big baby raspberries at political debates in public”

 

I told her not to worry, as that is a marriage proposal in Soho.

 

The other night we were in a bar and three very skinny girls dressed in Twiggy mini dresses, blonde bobbed haircuts and big heavy eye make up came tottering in, they were totally into the whole 60s thing. They were wearing white thick tights, big black T-Bar shoes and pouting.

 

Ashley whispered “Do you think they know the Pill has been invented” and that made me snort, but the girls were awesome, I love people who stick to a theme and go for it in public. You can’t beat Soho for whacky dressed folk and a homeless man who will scream poetry into your face and demand cash for his ‘Art’.

 

Yes, that actually happened, the homeless in Soho love a performance, whether it’s pissing at your feet whilst you try to recall your pin number or throwing a kitten at you when you try to eat a pasta pot before a show….I love Soho.

 

Being with Ashley makes me happy, though she is missing her mates; she is insinuating that I duped her into travelling with her. I will let go of her one day….one day indeed.


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Thu, Apr 29th - 3:51AM

Am home again naturally

Yes, finally my flight from Toronto was good to go, and to make things perfect- I got upgraded to full lie down bed by British Airways and the service in that part of the plane is just wonderful. When we landed in London I met Alan Shearer and Alan Hanson who are ex-footballers and now TV sport pundits, they were coming to Scotland to play golf. They were lovely men- I like some ex-footballers, they’re not all twats.

 

I cannot thank Mark Breslin and YukYuk’s comedy clubs enough for financially taking care of me when I got stranded and all the local comedians who supported me and kept me company. Especially Jo-Anna Downey, Cal, Marilla Wex, Ron Vaudrey, Cleeve, Kate and everyone else whose name escapes me, its good to have a family of people around me this lovely.

 

Husband was at the airport for me and was so glad to see me as he kind of missed me for a while. Ashley was at home and I could see they had both cleaned the house and tided up – they both live like unsupervised students when am away then do a blitz and clean up quickly.

 

I am home for a few days, before I head off to do Soho Theatre this weekend from Thursday and ending Saturday night. Then Ashley and I are off to Georgia Atlanta for a road trip comedy tour, it apparently is in the whitest part of Atlanta with Middle Class bake sales, art lectures, wear- green- wig for charity day and a jam tasting competition, what’s not to like? Ashley is excited and says the most boring places usually throw up the most interesting adventures. I hope she is right, but I once stayed over in Oban and the most exciting thing to happen was I saw a cross dresser who turned out to just be a badly dressed woman who had a beard.

 

I am the stage where I am dragging clothes out of the case into the washer, hanging them up and throwing them back into the case. That’s a weird feeling and everything smells of places that I don’t know.

 

I am looking forward to spending time with Monica my best pal, we haven’t had a full conversation for a month as she always out of the country or I am too busy or she is too busy. I miss my pal.

 

I will also miss the election and really don’t want to return home to find out slimy Cameron has taken over my homeland, it will make me cry at the airport if this is true. I am not really a big fan of Labour or Gordon Brown but suddenly he seems more attractive than Tory boy in brogues and corduroy!

 

So speak soon


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Wed, Apr 21st - 2:32PM

So another day in Toronto

I was supposed to be going home last Tuesday but as we all know the big ash in the sky has determined that I stay here in Canada. Who knows what will become of me? I am joking…I have met so many nice people like Marilla Wex, Jo-anna Downey, Ron Vaudry, Kerry, Ryan and all the team at YukYuk’s that I don’t feel isolated or lonely. I have to say as well, the standard of comedy in Canada is as good as I expected, they are awesome.

 

On Wednesday, I went for a wander round town, a short meeting with the YukYuk’s team and then heading for dinner at Jo-anna’s place.

I have decided that if I get stuck here for a while, I am going to do more gigs and just enjoy my time, when do I EVER get to go ‘off calendar’ and just drift? Never is the answer to that question, somehow the situation makes me feel footloose and free!

 

I do know that there are problems all over the planet with food wasting, flowers dying and industry being crippled, so I do feel bad for those folk.

The sun is shining in Toronto today and I feel good. I do miss Ashley and Husband and I know they are coping well without me, and I have spoken to my dad, who basically thinks I have been kidnapped and am currently living in a basement being assaulted by strange men, but then he has a vivid imagination.

 

Who knew volcanic ash could cause such horrendous disruption? Where was that in the information about volcanoes and flight problems? I never heard that being mentioned before? Now we all know.

 

There are so many lovely and odd things to see here in Toronto the Dollarama store is my favourite place and the homeless lying on the streets disturbs me. But we have homeless people back home, who am I to feel awkward?

 

Last night I went to do some open mic at Eton House with Jo-anna and it was cracking fun, there is a wee old man called Chicken Legs who is 69 years old and picks up the empty glasses. He is a legend round at the Greek area of Pape (where Eton House Bar is) I cant stop laughing at the word Pape, coz in Glasgow it’s a derogatory word for Catholic, as it derives from Papal!

 

Anyway Chicken Legs is a wee wizened man of huge character, his face resembles a crumpled brown paper bag that may have been set of fire at one time, but he is such a huge local character it was awesome to meet him. He reminded me on Notty, a wee drunken wizened man who used to be my pot man (someone who clears the tables for beer) back in the pub I owned in the early 80s. Old characters like Notty and Chicken legs are so important to a community, wee men who were proper tradesmen who fell on hard times but are still part of fabric of the area. It made me sit last night and think of my days in that East End bar when I never thought I would ever get out of there. And here I am sitting in Toronto writing back home from a comedy tour. It would make Notty proud am sure.

 

I am supposed to be flying home on Saturday and am excited about that, I cannot thank Mark Breslin and the team from YukYuk’s comedy company enough for looking after me when I was stranded in Canada; I am blessed with good people.

 

I will miss my new mates, like Jo-Anna, Cal, Marilla, Cleeve, Katie, Kerry, Sarah, Ryan, Ron and all the gang at YukYuk’s – thanks guys you made me welcome.


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Sun, Apr 18th - 1:52PM

Iceland hates us

First they refuse to pay back the cash we gave them now they have fucked the skies with a giant flume of molten Bjork just to fuck the world off. Lets go to Iceland and beat the shit out of the weird whale hooting people who live their just to vent our anger…or let’s just accept we can’t take the world for granted and accept that seals are pissing themselves laughing and the rainforest is screaming with giggles.

 

Apparently we made the earth angry and it’s now throwing shit at us- well I can take it. Am currently in Toronto and may or may not be able to get home on Monday, you know what? I don’t care now…I am done stressing, people are watching their kid die of a disease somewhere in the world and I might not make a BBC radio show in London on Tuesday- BIG DEAL!

 

I love Toronto, the comics are lovely, the club YukYuk’s is awesome and the traffic lights have a countdown system that goes from 20 to zero really quickly and makes you RUN across their giant roads with sheer panic in your heart.

 

The weather here is freezing cold windy (another sign that we will all die coz we never recycled our own shit) - it was sunny then rainy then hailstones came down and then a big wind nearly took my tits off…its whacky.

 

My room is trashed as I went all moody and never bothered to tidy up, so it’s now 3am almost and am folding clothes and packing up slowly, whilst listening to Plan B, which is an awesome band from London.

 

When I mentioned how I love Plan B on stage the people of Toronto clapped, cheered and made hooting noises, now I was amazed that this relatively new band from Forest Gate in London were so big in Canada – turns out Plan B is the very famous Morning After pill in Toronto which women take after unprotected sex. I am not a hip chick who knows her music; I am whore who can’t use a condom. How they laughed.

 

 

Tomorrow I go find big coffee filters that husband has asked me to get as they are hardly available in Scotland and I had already bought some but guess what – I got the wrong ones, so a stilted snappy conversation via Skype ensued…oh how I love Aspergers – he basically turned into a pretzel when he heard I got cone shaped ones…one day I will hit him in the eye with a toffee hammer.

 

Miss him though and Ashley.

 

So I wake up Sunday and find out my flight is cancelled and am stuck in Toronto, the British Airways website gave me an option to rebook my flight, but the page is out of date and mentions the strike in March. I suspect they are panicking and not looking after their website. When I call BA they tell me there is a high volume of calls and best I book on their website….but I want to tell them – no doubt like squillions of other people that we CANT rebook as the link is out of date and keeps talking about MARCH for fucksake.

 

I don’t know when I am getting home, but that’s all good and I am happy to stay here till times when I can go. Give me a hug Toronto – I need it.


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Fri, Apr 16th - 1:22PM

Toronto is Nice

So I arrived in Toronto after a three hour delay with British Airways, where we had to sit on the ground at Heathrow waiting for a staff member to arrive as they were a man down…three hours for this fuckwit to finally get to the airport and board the plane. I was sat beside a woman in her late 30s who did a shed load of paper work, then sat back sucked her thumb and twiddled her hair as her legs rocked up and down. The suckling noises were horrifically disturbing, here’s a tip people – thumb sucking is cute in the womb on a sonar scan, not on a fully formed grown woman!

 

I got into the city and in to the hotel in quick time, I got to bed and snored loudly and happily after the long flight. I am performing all week at YukYuk’s Toronto and the local comics are lovely and the club is really cool.

 

The weird thing is there is no break in the show and four comics do seven minutes then I go up and do 45 minutes! That’s odd for me coz in the UK comics do 10 minutes, then a 20 minutes and then the headline does 30 minutes…it just felt odd, but the Canadian audiences are just lovely.

 

No one has had a problem with my accent except for last night when a big American man from Dallas in the front row shouted loudly when I walked onstage “Will we get closed captions with the Scottish woman?”

 

I laughed and said “Shut up fatty boom boom”

 

“How dare you” he shouted back.

 

“Well, you understood that didn’t you sir?” I giggled, the room cheered and the show went fabulously well.

The fat American and I bonded and all was well.

 

Toronto is a very benign city, there is no menace, and the homeless folks lay right smack bang in the middle of the pavement on a grill that blows hot air. It is a highly inconvenient spot to choose, but they don’t care and they sleep fully extended on the ground letting the people from the financial district step around them. I like that the homeless are so visible and tolerated, there is something to be said about people who don’t sneer or try to hide their social issues.

 

I tried to step round a homeless bloke at the traffic lights and I tripped over his leg and he shouted “you clumpy footed cunt” at me which made me think he might have had Scottish ancestry, and then he smiled.

 

They call you ‘cunt’ then laugh, I love these people.

 

Back in the UK I missed the ‘dance off’ between, Brown, Cameron and Nick Clegg with their political jousting live on telly. For those reading this abroad, the UK is about to have an election and we had a debate with the three major politicians. From all the tweets I read it seems Cameron was slimy, Brown was bumbling and Clegg resembled a woman trying to get into the Masonic Lodge.

 

I am going to miss my daughter Birthday on 19th April as I will still be in Canada and by all accounts on the news, with the volcanic cloud from Iceland I might not get home at all! So please wish Ashley; http://twitter.com/ashleystorrie on Twitter for me on 19th as it will help assuage my guilt of not being there.

 

Speak soon.


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Tue, Apr 13th - 3:08AM

The Heat is on

My nose is burned and the heat in Glasgow is mental. I mean its scorching, it’s serious – that big burning ball of fire in the sky- ‘The Sun’ is making a comeback and Glasgow is its opening season.

 

We haven’t seen ‘The Sun’ in ages, in fact we REALLY gave up on it, much in the same way we gave up on Madonna after she started collecting babies from dead mothers in Africa, we knew she couldn’t go back to singing after that. Luckily Lady GaGa made a hat out of a fish tank and flashed her minge whilst singing big songs, she’s great.

 

Anyway ‘The Sun’ hasn’t been on tour in Scotland since….aw…way back last year, maybe August? It was a sell out show back then, everyone came out to see it and people were totally worshipping it, but for some reason – it gave up on public appearances in Scotland and left us for a better hemisphere. We got ‘The Snow’ – Yes that came and entertained us for a while, it was amazing, I mean it killed, it was a showstopper but we like ‘The Sun’ better.

 

So today we all heard on the radio that ‘The Sun’ was coming for a whole day and me and squillions of other Scottish people and especially in Glasgow headed out to go pay homage to our hero.

 

Me and my wee great nieces Abi (6 years old) Julia (3 years old) and their mum Ann Margaret all headed off to the Botanic Gardens up Glasgow’s West End. We decided not to go to Kelvingrove Park as we went there the other night and saw a teenager on a BMX bike with a real live python round his neck, it clung to his torso as he did tricks in the skateboard park, and it freaked us a bit.

 

We don’t like people who ride bikes and do tricks.

 

The girls, their mum and I managed to find a spot amongst the crowds who had gathered to shield their tiny Scottish eyes from the majestic ‘Sun’.

People looked happy, but something came to me that I had forgotten, and its this – kids don’t really like sitting in a park in the blistering heat, there is nothing to do but eat or scream at bees.

 

People brought dogs to the park and they hate the heat as much as the kids. They started snapping at random children, trying to either eat their melting ice creams or just having a go at something head level to them.

 

All around us were happy languid West Ender’s eating Marks and Spencer’s salads and drinking cool chilled wine from hampers, and surrounding them were innately bored, sweaty toddlers who screamed for shade, their own sofa and their cartoons.

Even Abi got annoying and she is normally fabulously funny, chatty and so easy to be with. Abi, started to bitch, moan and get involved with complete strangers lying beside us and then slating their dress sense, food choice and loudly speaking about everyone and everything she has ever disliked.

It was like she was a wee Scottish Perez Hilton.

 

Nothing would shut her up. Then Julia threw her weird tantrum, its worth seeing. Julia has a strange way of throwing a tantrum, she doesn’t speak, she stands with fists clenched and opens her gigantic blue eyes and basically stares at something without blinking, its totally freaky, she glared at a couple of kissers for almost 20 solid minutes, and it frightened the kissing couple – in fact I think it broke them up.

 

Then she progressed with her David Lynch tribute act and threw my big flip flop at a pigeon almost killing it in front of other stressed toddlers who screamed as it flapped in pain into the circle of guitar – playing  posh teens who were all on their IPhone’s or talking about ‘Topher’s trip to Tibet’. Abi commented loudly on their hairstyles and baggy shorts, apparently one girl had a big nose and bushy hair.

 

We couldn’t stop her she was in full on bitch mode.

 

Me and Ann Margaret tried to ignore the kids but it wasn’t just our kids that were annoying, once one toddler screamed at ‘The Sun’ it set a chain of events off and before long, there were just heaps of tired floppy kids haranguing parents to go home. 

 

Scottish people need ‘The Sun’ to make them feel good about living in the dark rainy climes, but the kids didn’t understand that and just screamed loudly as one big burning wound.

 

We cajoled, we played, we chatted, we sang songs but the kids decided if we didn’t get our fat asses off the grass, they would actually swallow their own tongue for attention. Well, that’s what it felt like, Julia choked on ‘nothing’ and Abi pretended to be dying on a bit of cardboard- clutching her chest and mock vomiting.

 

So ‘The Sun’ made a comeback, but it only served to hurt us, annoy our children and make dogs slightly mental, foamy and bug eyed bitey.

 

Goodbye ‘The Sun’ I enjoyed you.


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Wed, Apr 7th - 12:08PM

It’s the Busiest Time for me

It’s this time of year when everything seems to be moving quickly and without much pushing. The Edinburgh Fringe is almost upon me and I have this year been really organised, my advert/images and posters are all up to speed.

I just need to get a flat in Edinburgh and every year it costs me about three thousand pounds to get a decent place…that kills me…does anyone have a decent flat to let in Edinburgh during August?

 

Soon I am off to Toronto to do Yuk- Yuk’s comedy clubs, then am off to Soho theatre and then off to USA to do gigs at Roswell, Georgia – Atlanta and am taking my co – writer daughter Ashley with me.

She is going to video some blogs and we need to get our kids show for Edinburgh organised. Did I mention I was doing two shows daily at fringe? Yes – Ashley and I are doing a kids show at 12.50pm and my own one woman show is at 7pm.

 

So to complete my travels, I am off to LA in June and have practically paralysed myself with nervousness and fear over the few meetings I have there. I need to get some Moxie and stop being so girly!

 

A few weeks ago I did a gig in front of the TV booking people in London and I was the only female, the guys all swore and did some really filthy funny stuff but I never swore or did rude material as I don’t get away with it.

 

My accent makes any swear word sound like a cluster bomb that just killed babies. If I was a girly girl from Oxford and stuttered out ‘fuck’ covered my mouth and giggled, then that would be fine, but when I say ‘fuck’ it sounds like I am actually ‘fucking’ in real life in front of people.

 

The TV folks were lovely and not scary and even dropped me off at my flat in Kensington…how nice was that? OR maybe they wanted rid me of me quickly!

 

My accent has been taking a battering lately, but I am getting over it.

 

My big three night run at Soho Theatre at end of April is coming up and some lovely celebs twittered it for me, people like Allan Carr, Jason Manford, Justin Moorhouse and Simon Pegg all did me proud!

 

Thanks Guys….come see me at Soho Theatre London last weekend in April!

 

 

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Mon, Apr 5th - 10:57AM

A Summer Holiday in 1969 (Short Story)

There is nothing better than escaping the slum ridden streets of Glasgow in the searing heat of 1969; I know this, because I did it. I was eight years old and looking forward to going to a caravan in St Andrews. Two things to remember here, caravans are magical when you are eight. They contain a table that turns into a bed, they have wee gas lights that enclose a delicate fibre hood that glows like a witch’s eye and caravans have secret compartments that suddenly turn into cupboards that include cups.

 

The other thing to bear in mind is caravans are right near a beach. I was eight and almost wetting myself with the sheer delight of getting into that magical caravan. I saw caravans on the telly, they looked amazing and sometimes old gnarled gypsies lived in them and had an exciting horse to pull it, or you saw skinny bikini clad ladies with scarves tied on their heads and sporting horn rimmed sunglasses sit outside sipping drinks at a picnic table and sometimes they would just jump up and start throwing a colourful beach ball whilst giggling for no good reason other than to look amazingly happy. I was going to that place.

 

Not just me, there would be me and my two big brothers and my big sister and my mammy and daddy. We would don bikinis, swimsuits, giggle, drink big jugs of juice and sit happily around the picnic table, we would bask in the sun and I would suddenly run into the ocean as my mammy sat knitting on a rug. She would laugh and wave, I would turn round and remember her face forever in that moment and see my whole family in the background watching me fondly….some people actually have lives like that, BUT not in this story.

 

What actually happened was, my wee harassed poverty ridden mammy stuffed thick woolly clothes into our family sized smelly suitcase, because she knew that it always rains in Fife and she didn’t own a bikini.

 

My daddy like many men of his generation worked for 50 weeks of the year in a steel foundry, and his weekend hobby was getting really drunk in the local pub and impersonating Frank Sinatra as he walked home in the dark. We basically saw him for two hours on a Sunday afternoon before he got drunk enough to sober up enough for work on Monday morning. He wasn’t a bad man, he was the same as everyone else’s daddy in my street, except for Mr Gillan, but he shouted loudly outside the Tabernacle about Jesus, he wore brown sandals and bred blue budgies.

My mammy says he did that because, he had red hair, used to be a sailor never got married. My mammy knew things, she was really clever, she used to pawn a brown box tied up with string and tell Uncle Moshie the pawnbroker that it was her husband’s leather shoes and he never knew it was just a brick.

 

So back to the holiday in St Andrews, we were all jammed into a car that an uncle drove as we didn’t own a car; it would be waste of money as my parents didn’t drive. Though my dad liked to boast he could drive a tank like he was taught in the army, mammy said he never drove a tank, he spent his national service in prison for fighting with a toffy nosed Top hatted English man who had a lisp and funny leg who really shouted at him. Dad said he never punched him hard enough and I wondered why a soldier would wear a top hat in a tank. No one ever told me why. So back to the car journey, we all sat on top of each other, three adults and four kids squashed into a wee motor as the three adults smoked all the way and made the inside of the car look like the set of a horror film when Dracula comes out the coffin. My sister was sick all over my mum’s good American tan tights and she had been saving them for the holiday. My plastic brown sandals had vomit in the soles and it made them really slippy.

 

Finally we got to St Andrews and the rain battered us sideways as we got out the car. The wind made me fall in the mud and mammy got the keys to the caravan. I could not wait to get inside…hey hang on where’s the horse? Ok, maybe it’s not a gypsy caravan, maybe its going to be a trendy caravan with a picnic table and beach ball. In reality it was small tin box that stank like a wet cloth that had got stuck behind the cooker for a few years. Mammy and daddy started arguing straight away as daddy went looking for a local pub, and we all starting wanting food and my big brothers punched each other in the face as they struggled to be first in to the magic caravan.

 

Immediately all my dreams of a wonderful peaceful holiday went straight down the drain. Mammy showed us where the toilets were. Hang on…we had to walk to the toilet block? And what pee in outside toilets? This was fast becoming a nightmare, no one told me about toilets that were half a mile way. The toilets looked like a prison block from Hogan’s Heroes my favourite TV show and that was about a German war camp.

 

It was horrific we had to walk through big stretches of water and I couldn’t understand why there was a river near the caravans and not a beach. It was soon explained to me that it wasn’t a river, but big puddles as the caravan park was flooded by the torrential rain.

 

It soon became apparent to both my parents that they had never seen so much of each other in all their married life, and they quickly discovered they didn’t like each other. Being stuck in a damp smelly caravan was the worst place to come to this conclusion, but we knew we weren’t alone as we could hear other families fighting and shouting all over the caravan site. Probably more drunken men sobering up for half a day and realising their wives and kids drove them insane and that the local pub was miles away.

 

My daddy was also incredibly shocked to discover that he had FOUR kids and they all spoke at once and the youngest one even spoke in her sleep, she just didn’t shut up EVER! Did she have to ask that many questions? Just when we thought things couldn’t get any worse, I open a cupboard and a giant swarm or earwig beetles ran up my arm and covered my upper body and dead mouse sat at my feet.

 

We ate macaroni that night as I sat scratching at my head convinced the beetles had gone right into my ear as that’s what my brother whispered to me “Janey, there called earwigs because the go into your ear and lay their babies there” I was never going to sleep a wink for checking my ear for baby beetles.

 

My dad found a place that sold beer and brought it back to the caravan. He opened some cans, got drunk, sang us a few Frank Sinatra songs and decided it was bed time.

We pulled the table down and made it into bed with a damp mattress and mammy and daddy, slept on the pull down bed on the other side of the beetle ridden caravan.

I woke up in the middle of the night or about 11pm and needed the toilet. Everyone was asleep, I knew this as there was no arguing, swearing or singing and daddy was snoring like a bull.

I pulled on my brown slippy sandals, and crept out into the darkness and headed for the prison block toilets. I didn’t have a torch because we hadn’t won the Pools or anything fabulous like that, so I had to just remember which direction to go in. Finally I found them, did a quick furtive wee and started to walk back when I realised that every single caravan looked the same in dense dark rain. The shock hit me. I wandered about in my raincoat with just my knickers and vest underneath, shivering and crying. How would I know which caravan we lived in? They all were small, round and were cream on top and brown at the bottom.

 

The rain slashed harder, I started crying just wandering about knocking on random doors saying “Are you my daddy?” People just said “No, go away” and didn’t bother to help; they were probably too busy killing beetles or fighting with their wives. Finally a woman opened the door to her caravan and came out to help me find my mammy and daddy. I was hysterical by that point as it seemed there were five million caravans to my wee eyes and I would never find them, ever.

 

Finally the warden for the park came and got me, he asked me my name and then looked up the book and gave the kind woman my caravan number. She walked me back through the rainy puddles and finally got me to the door. As soon as we knocked on it my daddy flung the door open wildly and with glaring angry eyes, he threw himself out onto the dirty ground and hugged me crying. He sat there in his white vest and pants just holding me in a vice like grip as we sat in the mud and the rain pelted down on us. I could see the full moon in the dark sky over his shoulder, I knew men had just landed there, because I heard it on the news and I wondered if they could see my daddy hugging me like this.

 

My mammy was crying behind him and trying to calm everyone down. I had been gone missing for about an hour and they couldn’t find me and were worried sick I had drowned in the big puddles that surrounded the wee caravans.

 

“I thought we had lost you Janey” my dad wept and kissed my face.

 

They pulled me into the caravan, wrapped me in a towel and mammy and daddy made me sleep in between them. Both of their limbs tangled up in each other and in me, it was like we were one big monkey puzzle.

 

Mammy spent the whole of the next week trying to buy food in the tiny wee caravan park shop. The prices were incredibly over inflated and under stocked, to make matters worse, they didn’t even sell sausages.

 

“Five bob for a Fray Bentos Pie, who made it the Queen? A shilling for a pint of milk? Is the cow made of gold?” My mammy lived on a budget that was bordered on poverty and begging. She could barely feed us for the first four days, so we lived on musty bread and waxy Stork margarine that was oily and started to stink.

The caravan didn’t have a fridge, and the earwigs were everywhere, so we kept the food in a tin box under the caravan in the hope that it would stay fresh.

 

My intrepid mammy rounded up a few of the other mothers and headed out into the main hub of St Andrews, the caravan site was way out of town and up on a hill. It was a long walk away and the battering rain didn’t help.

 

I can still remember the sight of a bunch of Glasgow mothers, all in wellies, big coats, wielding huge shopping bags and with a raggle taggle cluster of bedraggled kids behind them. St Andrews was a rather twee middle class town back then and yet my mammy managed to find the best butcher within minutes of hitting the high street. She could smell a good cut of liver from 50 feet and within hours of their outing, big pots of soup and steak pies were being cooked all over the caravan site.

 

The holiday started to feel like a bad social experiment and silent seething crept in as the rain rattled constantly on the roof of the metal box that contained the angry people all over the site. Slowly kids made their way out of their caravans as boredom forced them to play in the rain, tentative friendship started to develop, kids getting together to kick a ball about and wee girls started up a play shop with empty beer cans and stones for money.

 

Mammy’s and daddy’s organised a sing song to bring people together, and it meant they could all share their beer supplies and talk with strangers when they got drunk as they were now bored fighting with each other. My mammy even sang and normally she just sat smoking with her eyes shut and usually just mouthed the words when daddy sang. She looked younger when she sang that night.

 

The sun did finally come out, daddy finally sobered up and he and mammy kissed each other sitting on the beach, which incidentally was right next to our caravan. My big brother Jim broke the showers in the toilet block by kicking the pipes showing off to a fat girl with a red Alice band, my big sister Ann got bitten by a one eyed Alsatian dog that belonged to the park keeper and my brother David fell off a steep cliff and ended up in hospital and I managed to slice my hand on the razor hooks of fishing tackle that someone kept under their caravan and I tried to borrow. Mammy and daddy just sat beside the picnic table, drank beer and danced to music on the radio, they were drunk enough not to worry too much and parents surely deserve one night off from the rest of the world. It was the summer of 69.

 


Comment (0)


Sat, Apr 3rd - 10:32AM

Don’t talk like that

Far from me being the one to point the finger, but I did have a woman who worked for a huge corporation in London come to Glasgow to tell me that the people I might be speaking to will not understand my accent as some of them are English. Now had I been of Asian descent that comment would have been considered racist – but because I am white it’s considered just information.

 

I ignored her comments and decided to speak to these whacky foreign folk from England in my perfectly wonderful Scottish accent, funnily enough they understood every word I said and before long we were interacting like proper English types without the aid of an overhead projector and finger pidgin words to help us.

 

It does infuriate me when people come to Scotland to work then assume you wont be able to talk to the visitors from London…I am doing a tour of Canada next week and am off to Soho Theatre for my fourth run in their lovely venue. I also do BBC radio 4 ‘Just a Minute’ and we don’t need a diversity course to introduce my dulcet tones to the listeners, we believe they have all heard a Scottish accent before.

 

I think the woman in question just doesn’t like who I am and picks on the one weakness she believed would play on my insecurities, what she underestimated was my ability to constantly shout ‘FIRE” at her to see if she understood my warning or say funny things about her and watch her reaction. “Oh I didn’t know you could understand me, so I talk about you a lot in this accent thinking you wouldn’t know what I was saying”

 

I am a comedian and that’s funny, especially in front of the English people she said wouldn’t understand what I was saying in my guttural useless Scottish tongue!

 

I did during the course of my work that night ask a wee English girl what age she was and she answered ‘six’ and we chatted. Later on a woman from Sheffield said to me “when you say ‘six’ its sounds like ‘sex’ and we all laughed at your accent, whatever did the child think when you repeated her age over the microphone?”

 

I replied “Erm, I don’t think she knows what the word ‘sex’ is and she nodded when I asked her if was ‘six’ so maybe only you heard the word ‘sex’ when I was talking to a small girl?”

 

You see I had been through enough that night about my accent and I didn’t know when I said ‘six’ it sounded like ‘sex’ so I have been walking about all day saying ‘would you like sex six times?’ to hear the difference and husband is really happy and he has been walking around behind me saying “Yes”.

 

Fuck the naysayers – my accent is awesome and the people of New Zealand, Netherlands, New York, Los Angeles and London have always said so.


Comment (0)


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