When i was at high school I hung around with a large group of girls. It would be fair to say I was at my happiest then. If only we could turn back time. Anyway in the 6th year (or 5th, i forget, its been so long) of high school the school decided to put on a play, an end of year concert if you will. This would be the first time in our tenure that it would be done. It would be run around Easter time. Mostly we opted to be the Backstage crew. We would be helping with getting the actors on stage at the right time, moving scenes and props around, helping with clothing changes and other general backstage crewness. We all had black t-shirts on the nights. Anyway I can't profess to being a great singer but after (or before, my memory is really foggy now), Donna, Julie and I were hanging about at their house one weekend. It was the weekend around Easter holidays and I know this because the shows were here! This was always a highlight of our calendar year! Anyway the shows (or the fairground for non Scottish folk) were here and they had finished on the Saturday night, they were packing up their rides so we took a little trip up the Gowan Hill at Raploch (incidentally the showground was now where Sainsbury's is). We sat on a rock up the Gownie and sang songs from Oliver. It started to get a bit chilly and it was only when we looked at our watches we realised we'd been up there for a good three or four hours. It must've been dinner time. I can remember we were just sitting there, not a care in the world, watching life going on around about us. Watching the trucks and lorries of the fairground pack up and move on to the next town. I often think back to my school days and school friends with much love and fondness. They really were good times. Most of the backstage crew now reside in Perth, Western Australia but thank goodness for email and Facebook otherwise the memories would be just memories. I love those girls.
This is Julie, wee Steven Giannandrea, Donna and me - a fantastic school trip to Germany
Every school holiday we'd go and spend a week and my Pappy's house in Law, near Wishaw. It was the times before my Dad had a licence and we didn't have a car so my Pappy would come all the way through from Law in is Orange Austin Maxi to pick us up. We'd had our cases packed for a week beforehand and waited with excitement to hear the engine of that beast drive around the corner. We'd set off on a journey that seemed like it was hours, but in reality it was only about 45 minutes drive. Our summers were spent in his house, going walks up the Auld Road, going out on the bikes, going up to the farm to get cheeky the Shetland Pony out and generally having the best fun a child could have in the days pre technology. Our suppers were mostly white cheese on toast (We only ever got that when we visited my Pappy). We ate, watched telly, talked, sung, danced, played in the tiny kitchen of his semi detached bungalow. We weren't really allowed in the main sitting room, it was fancy! Outside was a massive garden to the side (the site of our tent building), out back was a huge vegetable patch (where we constantly stole pea pods). Sparky the black dog lived in a kennel out there. I think he's been the only dog i actually liked my whole life. The garage was an aladdin's cave of old and new tools, lathes, workbenches, old tyres, smell of petrol and machinery. In fact I got a vivid memory of it a few months back when i visited Petesy's 'kit room' for a tent!
My Pappy died in 1996, suddenly. He was 83 years old but still was out at the dancing in Wishaw at the weekends. He was great, kind, a storyteller, a fantastic baker, a carpenter to trade, a young person in an old but fit body, the kind of old gent that always wore his shirt and tie and cardigan each day. Add to that a Trilby hat and you can sort of imagine him i hope. I love that guy.
Me and my Pappy
Me, my Dad and Cheeky the Shetland Pony (btw i learned to tie my laces with those Nicks trainers from Woolworths)
i used to be a highland dancer, believe it or not. I was pretty good at it. We used to go on a Thursday night to the church hall, Me my sister Karen and Alec (our childhood friend from up the road). Anyway we used to dance at local gala days and stuff so one year we had to do Throsk Gala Day. The special guest that year would be none other than Terry Butcher. He stayed locally when playing for Rangers and this was at the height of his career. Probably around the time when that famous picture of him all bloody forehead, mad eyed and white bandaged wrapped around his head. So you could say, at the time he was as famous as David Beckham. Anyway after we did our dance we got our photos taken with him for a local newspaper. He was nice and tall i can remember. The picture did kick around here for a while but i can't find it.
Talking of Alec - our childhood friend, he along with his sister Teri were our great friends. The four of us would always be out playing in the street. One wintertime we built a snow caterpillar, not a snowman but a caterpillar. We were weird like that! Again there are photos but not to hand just now.