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Mon, Dec 24th - 10:03AM

The Woman On The Street.
It was Christmas 1974 and Shettleston was knee deep in thick hard snow. The cold seeped in through the badly designed council window frames and the coal strikes coupled with the 3 day week, made us all feel what Russia must be like. We were hungry and freezing.  



My mum and dad had just split up and it was rough going, the bedroom was chittering cold and my mum was deeply depressed, swaying between bitter rages and horrible weeping. I was 13 years old and didn't know how to cope. My big brother was worried as well, but at a loss as what to do, we were just kids.




I provided lots of hot mugs of tea as she sang Patsy Cline in an angry spitting voice. Passive/aggressive singing is something all the women in her circle were very good at, you haven't experienced rage till you have heard a Carpenters song screamed into your face at full beer breathe volume.




Mum was busy shouting at the Morecambe and Wise Christmas special "Stupid English bastards dancing with that poof Nureyev, this isn't even funny" proving she could be racist and homophobic it one sentence.




"Janey, black up and climb over the school yard wall and steal some coal, that bastard Janitor sells it, we may as well steal it, am freezing" she said. So I did. I put my hand up the chimney, blackened my face....did an Al Jolson song (it was the 70s my mammy needed a laugh) and went off stealing a bag of coal from the stockpile in the school yard down the road.




I felt like the man from the Black Magic chocolate advert, all black and climbing over walls and being creepy.




I was headed home when I saw a woman sitting on the snow in the street. It was disconcerting, what was she doing? Did she fall? I got closer, put down my bag, pulled off my woollen hat and offered her my hand.




"Excuse me, you ok?" I said and she looked up at me and of course what she saw a small child with a blackened face and ragged clothes, carrying a sack of coal.




"ARRGGHHHH" she screamed and got up, drunkenly falling about and ran through the snow screaming "It's a wee black ghost, a wee dark ghost, it a wee black dead wean"




I just stood there and watched her stagger about running...she fell over and panicked, screaming, clawing at the snow and finally she got up and wobbled off. I waited ages watching her making her way up the street, people were staring at her.




Finally, I picked up my coal bag & I headed off home. We had soup for Christmas dinner and at least we would now have a fire and if my dad popped by with some cash (which I knew he would) we could have a good Boxing Day supper and maybe mammy would sing a song without the tears getting in the way.




So thanks for reading, if you want follow me on twitter @JaneyGodley for updates.


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Tue, Dec 18th - 12:07PM

Seasonal Greetings




Whatever you celebrate that floats your seasonal boat have a good one.


 Oh and Batamology forgot about that one.


From Janey Godley, Ashley Storrie & Our Web Team.


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Mon, Dec 3rd - 9:57AM

It Happened To Me
"Let's go camping" my husband said. I didn't want to go, we bought the tent as I had been performing at Glastonbury and living in a cramped nylon box taught me this 'I don't like camping' So we compromised and we went camping.

Husband loves going up the highlands and I like it was well, especially when the sun shines and the tiny mosquitoes die and the wasps don't come near. But those are rare days. So we landed at this campsite near a loch. It had a small aviary, some boats and a shop that sold tablet (a Scottish sweet candy) so what's not to love?

That night after we got the cramped nylon box erected, husband and I went a walk into the nearest village and got some fish and chips. We walked back beneath the twinkling stars as the loch lapped against the rocks and we snuggled down to sleep.

At about 5am I woke up soaked in sweat with deep advanced labour pains in my bowel, which is odd as I wasn't pregnant.

I knew what was about to happen, and I needed to get to toilet to let it happen. I had food poisoning and the fitful sweat soaked scramble from the tent was horrendous. I was wearing only a tee shirt and knickers, I didn't care who spotted me. I needed- really needed to get to the toilet block (anything described as 'block' isn't going to be welcoming).

As I emerged from the tent, the sweat running between my shoulder blades and the dawn chill throwing a patina of damp chill on top of it made me moan aloud. I couldn't find my shoes, so my sticky bare feet were thrust into my husband giant sneakers. I looked like a half naked sweaty clown running towards the toilets.

I ran across grass, stopped clutched my stomach as my bowels spasmed. I was sure I was about to evacuate right there on the grass, I sweated more, my vision swam and I ran with the clown shoes and made it to the white brick building. Out of the side of my eye, I saw a big bird....a swan...or something...but ignored whatever it was and focussed on getting into the cubicle. I was about explode.

My feet skittered across the damp tiles and I made it into the wee door, I kicked it open like a drug bust, got my knickers down and basically my entire skeleton came out of my bum, I sweated more and thought I was going to faint. The pain in my lower bowl reminded me of last stages of delivering a baby.

As I sat there exhausted and shivering, I heard a tiny tip tap on the tile floor. I couldn't make out what it was, I honestly didn't care, I was too busy trying not to faint.

The tip tapping got closer and there in front of my wide open toilet door was a huge colourful a big turkey or something.

It stared at me then made a noise and a HUGE fan of colour burst from its ass like an umbrella or giant fan being unfurled and the magnificent feathers full of amazing deep greens, blues and displaying an iridescent sheen that was startling. I sat there with giant shoes hanging off my feet, my knickers at my ankles, my tee shirt stuck to my back with shivering sweat as a beautiful peacock showed me it's full glory in a public toilet at 5am in the morning.

I thought I was hallucinating until another peacock came in, pushed that peacock out the way and stared at me, and flung open its big ass fan of colour!

Finally, I managed to retain some body fluids, I got up shooed away the peacocks, washed my face and hands in the freezing cold toilet and clown walked my way back to the tent. The two peacocks followed me and strutted behind me like two old Victorian ladies shaking fans. Husband stuck his head out of the tent and saw me walk towards him half naked with my two new pals either side of me.

"Why do you have peacocks with you?" he asked.

"I had a really bad bout of food poisoning and they came in to keep me company" I replied.

The sun started to slash the sky and I huddled back into the tent, kicked off the giant shoes and snuggled under the sleeping bag. Through the tent I could see the silhouette of the peacocks as the stood guard outside.

I love camping now.

So thanks for reading, if you want follow me on twitter for updates.

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