Scotlands most famous home of Hampden Park


Always a game that jangles for me – Raises the expectations and gets the true blue blood racing through the veins and I refer to the true blue of the saltire rather than union blue.  For blue is the preferred and proud colour of only one half of the main supporter base in Glasgow and we seriously mean no disrespect to the guardians for so many years of Scotland’s famous National stadium and one of the oldest football clubs in the world by excluding them from this conclusion – The famous Queens Park, recently 150 years young and soon to return to their traditional and neutral strip of black and white hoops. This rare preference for hoops they share with the other dominant supporter base in Glasgow who just as proudly wear Irish, Gaelic green hoops! 


… their traditional and neutral strip of black and white hoops

Of course, we refer to the Rangers, as the Gers on the blue side and Celtic, as the Bhoys on the green side. A game that is truly one of the most famous, historic and passionate football derby’s on planet earth. This afternoon they come head to head at wee Queens Park, Scotlands most famous home of Hampden Park in the Semi-final of the Scottish FA Cup. Compulsive viewing and I for one will be watching with a wee glass of  single malt ~ Cheers !


Queen’s Park – guardians for so many years of Scotlands famous National stadium

~ edenbray15.04.2018




(c) Southampton City Art Gallery; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

I am not Scottish .. . was not born in Scotland .. . have no obvious Scottish hereditary .. . but I love Scotland.

Others will judge whether that gives me license to make the opinions I do regarding Scotland but I’m not hearing tha’ Scots a’yowling with pipe n’ bag from the heather, faces pressed hard against the gnarled skin of a slumbering oak while tartaned youth dance on wood platforms at the fair .. . skilled dervishes in kilts and slim, buttoned tunics, plaid socks and soft, black slippers.

While the hoary heads in beery bars assemble black tiles in pleasant ribbons and the click and the clack echoes across the bare wood floor. .. top harsh percussive notes to the soft, dark murmur of real men’s voices .. . a blessed recreation, supping Belhaven, awa’ the harsh attendance awaiting the bauchies on tha’ Monday morning from the city Gee.. to Dundee across the industry and the heartland of a proper nation who have earned their history and their place in our Great British union.

And so this woman keeps popping up on our television and nothing she is saying is either winsome or fair and she does have much to say on my beloved Scotland .. . and she always seems alone .. . and lonely and I’m tired of her rhetoric for it seems divisive and isolating and that’s what they plan to do.. . to isolate my beloved semi detached, so verdant isle .. . my honest tenement resting so un-self absorbed and fragile and always not many miles from the most beauteous of all stunning landscapes on this or any other of god’s earths.

 .. . Away with ye’ and all ya caterwauling ya nyaff hen picking at bits you dun like about a centuries bond many have bled and died for. As though we were returning to Bosnia or any such place where the certain horrors of past abuses and atrocities may be dug up from time and vengeance wrought on the children of the children of the sons and daughters of the fathers who were neither culpable or worthy to follow the path of tragedy than most of us are today who are as distressed of what certain kings and soldiers did on Scots soil as we are when hearing of English slave traders. Dialogue, honest and true is what is needed to enter a meaningful debate and conclusion and youse’ seem incapable of even that much.

Recently J.P. Rowling has leapt to the defence of political women such as Theresa May and Diane Abbott both struggling under a landslide of unpopular feeling and no doubt she might even extend her wing of feminine protection to Nicola Sturgeon and protest that men always resort to cowardly ‘sexist’ slander when faced with a woman who ‘can’ or ‘has done’, which might reflect both the tense and the sense better here in this paragraph. As though David Cameron, Ed Milliband and more recently the new young cult-hero Jeremy Corbyn have never been referred to, in any social media or more accomplished editorial, as dicks, nobs, nob heads, pricks or even that vulgar word for a women’s vulva that apparently should never be used about a woman politician.

In the political arena surely almost anything goes and does at least when one is fighting for the sense and the truth of the matter, a policy, a change of rule or law, or in this instance – a very cornerstone of our wonderful, historic, evolved (not devolved) – British Union. Please do not even think to try and tarnish my view of your people, your Scots industry and purpose, your nation or assume an attempt to hoodwink or corrupt the thinking of your own Scottish nationals. You absolutely misguided, misinformed, arrogant and ultimately dishwater poor excuse for a politician. See, no mention of the rude word for a ladies vulva there at all Ms. Rowling.

The Scots people were given a referendum and the SNP duly fought to lever Scotland from the blessed Union but failed – the vote was close.

The day Scotland voted to stay in the Union, Scots people became arguably the most British of us all for we never had a vote to ‘stay’ or ‘go’. Neither did Wales or Northern Ireland for that matter.

Later, the four corners of Britain were given a referendum and many Scots voted to ‘stay’ in the European Union, as did many Londoners and Irish and many others all over the United Kingdom – again the vote was close.

The majority decided we should leave the European Union.

Theresa May and her advisors then unwisely took us to a general election which cost taxpayers around £130 million. These referendums and elections are not cheap you know Ms. Sturgeon or anyone else who might be listening. The nation voted in substantial numbers for a slight Conservative majority – and yes again the vote was close.

Meanwhile, many Scots abandoned the SNP, no doubt tired of the unclear rhetoric and direction of the SNP like myself and returned to vote for traditional British parties. Well hurrah for that !!

Ach, did Nicola get a wee bloody nose?

nicola sturgeon

ya’ ‘nyaff hen’


just saying .. . .. .  my political opinion by edenbray11.06.2017




finally we come to the city of Glasgow,

served by the fresh waters of the Trossachs,

nestled at the base of the verdant west

and the wild plains of the east,

It is the driving wheel

of those two hubs of commerce

that prompt the nation

from the central seam of the nations belly,

a joint cerebral stimuli,

sitting north of the industrial heartland

leaning heavily on the soft underbelly

and beauty of the lowlands

. ..




# This BLOG is 100% dedicated to drawing attention to everything and anything good, honest, creative, noteworthy and beautiful about those 30,414 square miles (78,770 km2) north of Carlisle to the west and Berwick to the east and known humbly and grumbly as Scotland the brave.

. ..

Talking of famous SCOTS people and famous SCOTS places which we were … introducing …


. ..



John Logie Baird

Did you know it was this man who invented the modern television?

and he was born in Hellensburgh, Dumbartonshire?

The development of television was the result of work by many inventors. Among them, Baird was a prominent pioneer and made major advances in the field. Many historians credit Baird with being the first to produce a live, moving, greyscale television image from reflected light. Baird achieved this, where other inventors had failed, by obtaining a better photoelectric cell and improving the signal conditioning from the photocell and the video amplifier.


 From 1929 to 1932, the BBC transmitters were used to broadcast television programmes using the 30-line Baird system, and from 1932 to 1935, the BBC also produced the programmes in their own studio at 16 Portland Place. On 3 November 1936, from Alexandra Palace located on the high ground of the north London ridge, the BBC began alternating Baird 240-line transmissions with EMI’s electronic scanning system which had recently been improved to 405 lines after a merger with Marconi.

. ..


. ..


O’ poems 

Any blog connecting wi’ ma’ Scots root-balls must bae necess-i-tee include the words from ‘the laird’ ; ‘the bard’ ; ‘the lord’ ~ the archetypal scotsman ~ Robert Burns. For there is probably nae one more intrinsically Scots as the wee* poet, at least by the tender words he wrote and poured out from his soul for the most of his adult life. Hopelessly romantic, a socialist, a humourist, a ladies man but always fiercely Scots ~ Rabbie led a varied life, plainly a jock of many trades, certainly a master of one and I do refer to his particular talent with tha’ quill.  I include a poem maybe not as readily known as some like :~ ‘Tam o’Shanter ; To a Mouse ; John Barleycorn ; Bonie Jean ; Holy Willie’s Prayer but nonetheless a rare beauty as we understand was the fair ‘Mary Morrison’ for whom briefly Robert Burns ‘carried a candle’.

*’wee’ used loosely in context to this piece. There is no evidence to support a theory that might suggest the great man was anything less than app. 5′ 10″in height (in old monies that being said)

. ..


Mary Morison

O Mary, at thy window be,

It is the wish’d, the trysted hour;

Those smiles and glances let me see,

That make the miser’s treasure poor:

How blythely was I bide the stoure,

A weary slave frae sun to sun;

Could I the rich reward secure,

The lovely Mary Morison!

. ..

Yestreen when to the trembling string

The dance gaed through the lighted ha’,

To thee my fancy took a wing,

I sat, but neither heard, nor saw:

Though this was fair, and that was braw,

And yon the toast of a’ the town, I sigh’d,

and said among them a’,

‘Ye are na Mary Morison.’

. ..

O Mary, canst thou wreck his peace,

Wha for thy sake wad gladly die!

Or canst thou break that heart of his,

Whase only faute is loving thee!

If love for love that wilt na gie,

At least be pity to me shown;

A thought undgentle canna be

The thought o’ Mary Morison.

Guest poem by the great ~ Robert Bruce.


. ..
. .


.  ..

finally we come to the city of Glasgow,

served by the fresh waters of the Trossachs,

nestled at the base of the verdant west and the

wild plains of the east, it is the driving wheel of

those two hubs of commerce that prompt the

 nation from the central seam of the nations belly,

a joint cerebral stimuli, sitting north of the

industrial heartland and leaning heavily on the

soft underbelly and beauty of the lowlands


“I want one …”


This article was originally posted back in 2011 and before the recent demise of the ‘Gers’ and their ensuing problems but I have re-posted it here in its original form as I believe the world of ‘fitba’ seriously misses one of ‘the’  great sporting rivalries and it seems to me, with hindsight, that the blue side of Glasgow may well have been treated very harshly.

... edenbray's beautiful game ....

eltons first and still his best – YOUR SONG -‘if they’re green or if they’re blue’

Blue and Green Should Never Be Seen


I have spent more than a few hours of my life pondering the manners of the ant. Their fierce, defiant, determination and innate, indestructible loyalty. Their abundant energy and iron resolve to get the job done whilst working to an obvious, considered and shared strategy. Surely no insect or animal has more right to the title ‘team player’. There are no super egos evident whilst ‘joe ant’ goes about his work, achieving his daily quota.

They also seem to possess a magical, secret hearing sensor, could ants have a sixth sense? This eerie intelligence causes them to ‘freeze’ when an adjacent brother ant is in distress as though they have heard a private and silent scream.

For all their many noble and worthy traits, tick not…

View original post 1,417 more words


Sauchiehall Street,

Wee Wullie Henderson,

A visit to Ibrox Park

and other Related Stories…

(…including my own writing tribute to JACK KEROUAC)

‘Jinkee’, there canny be any-wun moor suited to that wurd

Ach – aye no-wun moor than Wee Wullie …

Unless a’ course it wuz Wee Jummie,

Wee Jummie Jonstun!…

but he wuz playin for tha’ Cellic

n’wee Wullie wud’ nev’r ha’ dun thaat?

… and I saw thum both play!…

at the same tame!??? … 

the legendary Oor Wullie

‘It was in about 67/68 I first caught the 5.15pm Glasgow bus from Kings Cross with my Scots mate and we sped up the M1 and on and up through the cold, dark night and over the border and on and on, to my first taste of ‘bonnie Scotlund’ .. After we ‘landed’ in Glasgee’, I remember I was really cold and tired because my friend Ian and I had talked all through the night and we queued for a tea and a pie and then a wee in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere …  just over the border in this most exciting place and later in the day I met his cousins Archie and Alec and all their very good mates and yes one was a ‘feenian’ and for 3 days I supported the Gers’ and we drank and we laughed, went out on the town and they loved my ‘cockney’  accent for that’s what they called it and I learned to speak in Scots and it was all ‘prutty brulliant’ … here begins my own ‘On The Road’ …

Wee Wullie Henderson was born 24th January, 1944 in Ballieston, North Lanarkshire and by the time I got to see ‘Wullie’ play he had already played for Scotland probably 25 times. Willie Henderson was only 5′ 4″ and in the current age would probably have fitted right in, as teams like Barcelona have shown a commitment now for a number of years to players with a lower centre of gravity and other teams are borrowing this winning concept as smaller, technically sophisticated players like Jack Wilshere at Arsenal and Josh McEachran at Chelsea are emerging in many squads.

Willie was a ‘wing wizard’, a master of the dribble, one of a number of similar players that came out of the Scottish game, not least …

…  the famous Jimmy Johnstone who was playing at that same time for Rangers arch rivals from the other end of the city, the Glasgow Celtic. I was lucky enough to see both these bobby dazzlers play at the same time on at least a couple of visits to Glasgow for Cup Finals at what was a halcyon time in the history of Scottish football. 

The sight of those ‘wee’ men collecting the ball in the wide positions and jauntily taking on the full back has left an indelible impression on my football brain, primarily as a ‘fitba’ fan and secondly as a ‘blues’ fan. I cannot help but make comparisons to those particular twin-greats of football history, who managed to play together only a handful of times on either flank, for their beloved Tartan Army. Whenever I have since watched a ‘mini marvel’ bamboozling a defence with a deft ‘sleight of foot’ and a ‘turn of speed’, it does not take long for the brain to locate, kick into gear and I can see both Wullie and Jimmie on a ‘mazy dribble’, down to the byline and putting over a ‘sweet’ ball to the far stick.

We’ve had our own ‘wee’ men at Stamford Bridge and they’ve nearly all been Scots! There was Joe Fascione in the early 60’s, not many will remember him and then of course – Charlie Cooke bought from Dundee later in that decade, the unassuming Pat Nevin, a real Scots dribbler of the 80’s. What about the forgotten wee man from that era – Kevin McAllister and ‘tiny’ John Spencer from the 90’s. However, probably Chelsea’s greatest ‘wee man’ was a humble Italian called Gianfranco Zola, just in case we need reminding that the Scots don’t hold the ‘handset’ outright when it comes to the ‘control’ on great small players as though the current crop of Spanish ‘midget maestros’, Iniesta, Xavi, David Villa and Juan Mata to mention a few, are not enough of a reminder … but if we are going to draw back the ‘zoom’ from Chelsea FC to include all the ‘terrible tiny’s’ who have mesmerised defences down the years, where on earth would you begin and where, oh where, would you end.? … Well actually, Argentina may not be a bad place to start as Lionel Messi would rank as many people’s best player of any height and any time right now and his national predecessor, Diego Maradonna at 5’5′ wasn’t exactly tall either.

So here is a list of some great ‘wee footballers’ … it’s not exclusive .. and not in any order … or rank .. Lets hope you recall a few of them AND if you think of any more please type them in ‘comments’ box at the bottom of this post … GO ON – you know you want to ??!! >>

George Armstrong – Gooners 60’s … Archie Gemmil – Derby Co. 70’s … John Robertson – Forest 70’s … Juninho – Boro’ – 90’s … Billy Bremner – Leeds U. – 60/70’s … Xavi, Iniesta and Messi – Barcelona – 00’s … Alan Ball – Everton/Arsenal – 60’s … Ludovic Guily – Monaco/Barca – 00’s … Zola – Chelsea – 90’s/00’s … Paul Scholes – Man U. 00’s … Javier Saviola – Barca/Real – 00’s … I have deliberately cheated in this list by including ‘wee’ players that are not so ‘wee’ and certainly not ‘wingers’ at all. I have done this to prove a less than subtle point – Henderson at 5’4″ and Johnstone at an incredible 5’2″ give at least 1″,2″ and up to 4 inches in height over this list of ‘small greats’ making themselves easily Nos 1 and 2 of the ‘Small is Beautiful’ brigade and adding a timely reminder of that whole wonderful concept bought to ‘some of our’ attention back in ’73 by Mr E.F.Schumakers book of the same name. (#Yes, some of us did in fact begin to think about our carbon footprint + looking after our planet long before recent years and I for one purchased that little number from an underground source and put a lot of its recommendations into place nearly 40 years ago!) … I digress!… 

The tale I have to tell is not even half-finished and is all the more incomplete and complex due to the enormous financial problems ‘the Gers’ face today which resulted in them calling in Administrators, Duff and Phelps on February 14th, 2012 with a reported £9 million unpaid tax debt hanging over them. At present they are hoping for a buy-out made the more difficult, due to the £24 million sale of future Season Tickets completed by current owner Craig Whyte to Ticketus in May, 2011 which enabled an £18 million debt to the Lloyds Banking Group to be paid and completed the purchase of the club’s majority shareholding from Sir David Murray. 

These problems are current and made all the more emotive for me by the enormous history of this famous club. It would be the same if a club like Preston North End, Wolverhampton Wanderers or maybe even one of the Sheffields was on the rocks and in danger of sinking but due to my own personal dalliance with the Rangers 40 years ago and whilst the guest of my friends’ Uncle George, who lived in East Kilbride, in those days a ‘new town’ suburb of Glasgow and a bus-ride from Scotland’s non-capital major city. 

… so much history behind the gates of the famous Ibrox Park

‘… We took the bus from across the Park, near the Estate in East Kilbride where Ian’s Uncle George lived with his young family. He could not have been a kinder, more generous host…. We arrived in Pollockshores, where Archie and Alec lived, on the Saturday morning and I was impressed by the splendour of the tenement blocks in this mainly protestant area of Glasgow. The red brick facades, at least three or four stories high, suggested a previous opulence although the people who now lived in them were obviously not particularly rich … Ian was quick to point out how important it was to keep your own polished red tiled steps spotless within this community… The shiny doorsteps opened onto marbled stairways. We climbed to their high-ceiled, wide-doored and roomy apartment, dimly lit, despite the large picture sash-windows…’ (trib. to JK)

Ibrox Stadium is located on the south side of the River Clyde on Edmiston Drive in the Ibrox region of Glasgow and was officially opened – 09.12.1899… Only 3 years later it suffered the 1st of an unfortunate catalogue of disasters when some wooden terracing collapsed causing a massive 517 injuries but only 25 fatalities due to the fact that many fell 50′ feet on to other bodies …. The famous designer Archiblad Leitch, who has left a legacy of stadium design throughout the British game with examples still viewable today at grounds like Goodison Park and Craven Cottage, re-designed the stadium using slopes of earth instead of the wood terracing and expanding the capacity to 63,000….  Further developments to the ground have since been preserved in part under a mantle of glass and steel but after three further safety issues in 61 when 2 died when a barrier collapsed and in 67 and 69, Ibrox was to suffer its worst ever disaster in 1971 when 66 people were asphyxiated due to a crush in Stairway 13 after leaving fans tried to return after a late equalising goal… Massive re-development at the stadium has drastically reduced the capacity but ensured those disasters will hopefully be a thing of the past …

regal tenement terraces in Glasgow

the arty side of Ibrox

‘ … we were soon drinking pints with whiskey chasers …’

‘We were soon drinking pints with whisky chasers at a local drinking house where my ‘cockney’ accent was earning me a lot of rounds … the journey to Ibrox was no more than a haze and we still all stopped at an off-license to buy half bottles of Haigh’s we could take into the ground (no searching of pockets back in ’71) … ‘


A lot of times both Rangers and Celtic have put forward the idea of transferring their affiliation from the SPL to the English Premier League and only recently, it is reported, that Celtic have applied to enter the Championship or a least Division One.. I know that at this time Scottish Football is not very popular in general with the English public and there seems to be no home for the two Glasgow clubs… The expectations of their respective fan-bases mean they require Championship League status but the financial rewards for winning Scottish domestic trophies are nowhere near sufficient to finance a budget to payroll a squad that could make Champions League progress… There is no doubt Rangers financial problems have developed in consequence of their circular ‘Catch 22’ situation… If there is no welcome from the English Leagues to these Glasgow giants then without a private benefactor with very deep pockets they will have no alternative but to downsize their ambition and accept minor League status, similar perhaps to teams in Denmark, Belgium and Austria… My view is that we should honour the past value of the Scottish game to our own and invite both Glasgow teams into the Championship, as we did with the top Welsh teams in the past. Rules are rules but there is no doubt in my mind their membership would not only aid the Glasgow teams but enhance our own Leagues status…

 another view of the Ibrox

‘ It was great to see the famous Glasgow Rangers take the field and playing the ‘Auld Enemy’ too … Glasgow folk realy love their ‘fitba’ … The game itself was a little like watching an early game of computer tennis as the white ball pinged back and forth inside my head. The wing-play of jinky Jimmy Johnstone and wee Wullie Henderson was still recognisable even to my blurred vision…  At one point, the standing crowd around me cleared to allow us to urinate on the terracing in front of us before closing up again. This was common in those days of tightly packed crowds before seating was introduced…. The Gers scored twice without reply and the journey from the ground was jubilant… I sat on the bonnet of a car moving slowly through the crowd, which I am reminded of when watching the Cuba street scenes in Godfather 2. The driver didn’t seem to mind and everyone was laughing … Later we went on to the Chippy for what Glaswegians call affectionately a ‘fish supper’…,’ (trib to JK)



plenty of night spots to visit in Glasgee town

Today, this sprawling city on the River Clyde has half the population it once boasted, thanks to slum clearances and the creation of overspill towns – a policy that has not been altogether sucessful. The decline of traditional heavy industries led to serious deprivation and urban decay, but a vigorous regeneration programme, beginning with Glasgow’s status as a European Capital of Culture in 1990, turned the tide. Historic Glasgow was focused on St Mungo’s Cathedral, one of Scotland’s few medieval churches, and the old High Street down past Glasgow Cross intersection to the river. This fell into decay as the centre moved westwards. It is now bounded motorway, based on a grid system. George Square is at the heart, surrounded by Scotland’s most important retail area – Argyle, Buchanan and Sauchiehall Streets, sometimes known as “The Golden Z”.

Most of Glasgow’s cultural venues may be found in the centre of this monumental Victorian city, though the old town is being developed as a trendy Arts Quarter, with luxury apartments, warehouse conversions, cafés and restaurants. It hosts the annual Merchant City Festival.

The city’s better residential areas are to the west, as those who were able to get upwind of the industrial city moved outwards. Today, the West End is a bohemian area of cafés, bars and clubs, though it also contains some of the most expensive residential addresses in Scotland.


  ‘ … After freshening up. we were out on the town, in the entertainment area of the City around the famous Sauchiehall Street where the clubs and bars seemed lively and progressive, well decorated, bright, cosy and comfortable … the young people mixed in a nicely relaxed and informal way, within sophisticated, themed surroundings … The twins friends were all out on the town with a few attractive girls and also their catholic pal they jokingly referred to as ‘the feenian’ … the banter was good, certainly not hostile but with the skinfull I had already had it didnt take too many to send me to sleep right in the middle of my ‘fish supper’ … the next thing I really remembered was the smell of an ‘Uncle George Scots breakfast’ the following morning … there’s nothing like sizzling eggs, bacon, black pudding, potato pancakes, beans and tomatoes to revive a heavy ‘morning after’ feeling … ‘ 

Wee Willie Henderson was truly one of the most exciting players ‘on the ball’ you could ever see with a distinctive and disarming sort of crouching style, almost awkward in the way he ran, with bursts of speed and deceptive sways and dribbles. Despite my alcohol influenced visions I could still make out his runs and those of ‘wee Jimmy’ too. Jimmy’s arms hung low at his sides which helped him keep that unique and amazing sense of balance.

                                                   WE LEFT GLASGOW AT 5:30PM on THE SUNDAY EVENING …

My trips to Glasgow at the end of the 60’s were exciting journeys into another world where people lived truly different lives, spoke a truly different language and watched a style of football that was partisan, creative and passionate…. I am writing this post to share the whole wonderful experience, a sort of scrapbook of memories, a memento, a memoir even, of an exciting dip into a different culture that for me was lost in a truly ‘Brigadoon’ style time-warp. Those wee Scots wingers were to me like mythical characters, possibly dwarves, playing in a dreamlike play that for just a few days was so very real and very, very memorable!…

‘…We left Glasgow at 5:30pm on the Sunday evening, more than a little weary, we slept most of the 12 hour return journey back to Kings Cross… more than a little sad, to be leaving our magical weekend with my new and special friends, so full of character and life… and of course – wee Willie and the jinky Jimmy… We were already looking forward to our next trip to Glasgow and as a bonus by-product I had begun a love story with the country that is Scotland … Since those days I have returned many, many times, not only to Glasgow but Edinburgh, Oban, Fort William, Mallaig, Inverness …  but that 1st trip was like a branding iron that has burned, seared that noble country into my very soul…’  (trib to Jack Kerouac)

For more reading GO TO >>> i-love-scottish-football   and  blue-and-green-should-never-be-seen




Another Local Hero




Back in 1969 I travelled on the night bus from Kings Cross to Glasgow Central. It departed about 5.30pm and including stops on the borders the journey took about 12 hours. I went with my best mate Ian Peacock and on my first night in Glasgow we trolled several nightspots of the famous Sauchiehall Street and I imbibed a little too much a’ Bellhaven and a fue Bell’s – known locally, certainly in those days, as ‘a pint and a haff’. I was welcomed with open arms by my new Scottish buddies who just loved the ‘cockney’ accent. Och aye cos they loved the lad from Lundun’. Apparently at this time young Glaswegians are currently absorbing a lot of cockney expressions into their dialect due mainly in part to the overwhelming popularity of ‘Eastenders’ in Scotland.


A scene from the incredible Tutti Frutti

which starred Emma Thomson & Robbie Coltrane

Glasgow is a hotbed; a melting pot ~ where honest culture is appreciated and respected and absorbed rather than put on a pedestal and worshipped. Scotland loves a local hero wherever he comes from and the Glaswegians themselves are not afraid or threatened by those who are not of their own, although they def-in-ate-ly will ask a question or two of ya’, cos’ they want to learn and they need to know.


Johnny Byrne’s brilliant example of Scots cultishness

In this way Glasgow is probably closer in multicultural absorbance levels to New York than London, Paris or Munich. It has historically infused immigrants from all 4 corners of the globe and spat them out as true Scots-born, brave and blue. A culture with a veritable ‘Regina Blitz’ permeableness but grounded in an earthy appreciation of what is truly good. Consequently Glasgow and Scotland itself has taken to its heart matters as diverse as Country Music, Indian and Italian cuisine and strangely was the 1st British outpost to ‘catch on’ to the sport of American Football. Scotland just loves to embrace a cult culture. Consider for example the roots of the Edinburgh festival and all the grass-roots culture that has birthed over the years.


‘The flying Scotsman’ 

This week at the Ally Pally, darn in Lundun tarn, another local hero hath emerged and surprise surprise his roots are already well founded and plucked from the darkest of Scots sod. Not from good ole’ Glasgee however, nor the Royal Troon, nor Edinburgh, nor even Dundee, Aberdeen or even the Isles of Skye. No this particular laddie hails from those Scottish borders on a similar line of latitude to where I  first set foot on Scots soil those 40+ years ago for a night-time toilet break. A little way east from that particular midnight soiree however, in the coastline fishing town of Eyemouth that boasts a population of no more than 3,500, is an hours drive from Edinburgh and whose nearest town is Berwick, 13 mile due south and quirkily the only English town to boast a Scottish footie team.


Gary Anderson is the perfect stock to become a Scottish legend working as he has done for quite a few successful years as a ‘dartsman’ in that shadowy grey occupation that settles him on face value somewhere between an Olympic sportsman and a poolroom hustler.

A ‘dartsman’ – who surely might have plied his trade as an archer or something like that in a previous incantation. Darts is certainly underground trendy or ‘culty’ enough at present to tick all the boxes for the kind of hero we are considering and at the Alexander Palace in London this week his ‘sport’ has surely added another wedge of followers to it’s already enthusiastic, rowdy and growing  fan base.


These considerations aside, tonight the challenger stepped out against the greatest darts player of all time – Phil ‘the Power’ Taylor and in a game for me already as famous and iconic as ‘the battle of the wood rackets’ fought out at Wimbledon between one Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe which itself was both monumental and indelibly memorable and a contest that is seared into my personal consciousness.

The stand-out difference is that on that long hot, sunny afternoon in June 1980, the challenger eventually bowed to the Champion.

The ‘flying Scotsman’ nailed it at the Ally Pally tonight after a truly roller-coaster of a game where both players led, saw arrers’ bounce out of the bed and suffer immense tension despite scoring record-breaking trebles and some great 10/11 dart finishes. Missing ‘easy’ doubles, making errors when calculating finish scores and for Anderson himself receiving an unnecessary bout of bawdy heckling that he eventually and cleverly turned to his own advantage. 

Yes tonight Gary Anderson stepped out of any clinging ignominy and into the book of legends by taking the ‘World Darts Title’ from the 16-times Champion and at least for one night truly became another kind of ‘local hero’.



#Notes –  Tutti Frutti is a BBC Scotland six part drama series, transmitted in 1987 and written by John Byrne. It starred Robbie Coltrane, Emma Thompson, Maurice Roëves, Richard Wilson and Katy Murphy. It brought many of the cast to national prominence.

‘Regina Blitz’ – a very posh kitchen roll with reputed high absorbency.


 Alexander Palace




The NO Vote

– Now that the dust has settled

Scottish Referendum Campaigning Enters The Final Stages

Apparently or allegedly the saying ‘Dont throw the baby out with the bath water’ harks back to an age when family members would take it in turn to use the bath from the oldest to the youngest and the water was so filthy by the time the wee bairn entered the flux there was a certain danger they would get lost in the swummy and maybe be thrown out when the bath was emptied.

The sassanach refrained from comment aka – the September ‘no vote’ on the grounds that as he had no right to vote and therefore only opinion, he would rather ‘out of respect’ retire ‘to the hills and the glens’, figuratively speaking and wait for the result to be forthcoming. The sassanach himself only wanted for the majority of Scots to send the notion of an independent Scotland to the pit from whence it came on the end of a large tackety-boot.

Indeed the Sassanach so emotionally disabled by even the discussion surrounding the whole event, cancelled his annual sojourn in the most beautiful country on earth out of fear that the ‘yes’ people would by then have taken over and that he and wife Pengelly would be about as welcome as Police Sergeant Neil Howie when he arrived on the remote island of Summerisle in the summer of ’73 and departed in flames in a basket cage reciting Psalm 23. Such infamy may well have been a fitting end to the Sassenach had the ‘yes’ people had their wicked way but whether he should have received ‘William Wallace’ style martyrdom in such a Wicker Man way is possibly preposterous in presumption and bare-bummed English cheek.

William Wallace is probably the last person in heaven the sassanach should site with respect to the thorny issue of rejecting Scottish independence. The four quarters of Wallace himself must have turned in their separate graves several times, 402 years on from his humiliating demise when Scotland joined the Union for convenience and safety in 1707 but the Scots were given a real chance of laying to rest past grievances and atrocities and less emotive girns in the referendum made on September 18, 2014 and the majority thankfully chose it.

I’m William Wallace and the rest of you will be spared. Go back to England and tell them … Scotland is free’

William Wallace

It is to be hoped that the promises regarding devolution and other matters will be honoured as stated by Mr Cameron after the next General Election and that Scotland’s voice will truly have been heard and listened to.

The sassanach may then return to his chosen Scots haven and feast himself again on the most generous of peoples and terrains. Enjoy its hard, honest but colourful culture, cuisine and drink from its history, a bowl of highland broth, a fish soup or from a variety of favoured speyside whiskies.

My respect may seem somewhat self-coloured but those colours are interwoven and neatly ordered in a criss-cross pattern of symmetry and varying widths in finest deep and earthy colours for I am unashamedly devoted and addicted to tartan and anything Scots.


Scottish allegiance to the Union may well seem the baby of Scottish history assumed as it was only 300 + years past and should definitely not be seen by people north or south of the border as a yoke with cords attached in those dark middle ages but to empty the bath at this stage would be like casting Moses from his basket. The land of mountains, rivers, glens, lochs, streams and rivers has much to contribute in all areas of life from its rich mineral wealth in the north sea through its industrial heartland in the west and from its seat of governmental services and financial and educational wealth in the east.

Draw a bain a’ fresh, spring waters heated from stable and environmentally economic resources and pop tha’ wee bairn back in the pot.





Micty me!

I would categorically state that those knockers of the beloved Tartan land, ‘mae hailen hame’, have nev-er crossed its lowland borders, nor sampled its purple heather, its olde, gaelic flavoured tradition, magical sun-drenched and bitter coastline, heard the crying of its lonely bird life, watched the plunging gannet or sat with its people rare, raw and strangely colourful while supping on a native malt so steeped in age and skills or a glass a’bevy like a common Belhaven, a rare Yellowhammer or ‘culties’ with names like Bitter and Twisted, Black Isle Blonde or Simmer Dim.


This by the way is certainly their loss and not something for which they should be castigated. A pity akin for me, to the loss a non-hetro male must have in ne’er holding in cupped hand a full woman’s breast. You should tell I am not scripting a January TV holidays brochure whispered in those soft Edinburgh tones. I too love the hard, gutterell Glasgee’ drawl, as well the sing-song sprawl of the western isles who hardly pull their words apart or put them back together. Yes, I am a Scotsman true who both drools and dreams as the Highland mist brings rain and the July evenings a horde a’ miserable midge who bite and bust and make their sell’ so intolerable.

Scot-lund has birthed so many wealthy in the area a’ culture and art. So why else has Edinburgh written so many actors thumbnails or who else paved the stony back streets of Dundee, Motherwell and the like a’ Ger’s own Pollockshores, where played wee boys the likes a’ Charlie Cooke, Dennis Law, slim Jim Baxter and Joe Baker who kicked a fitbaw with grazed knees in the greatest and first established football academy of them all, the stony backstreets of places like La Paz, Marseilles, Napoli, Bermondsey and Dudley while Rivelhino é amigos played their samba game on the softest sand – far too easy!

Chelsea fans everywhere should applaud the streets o’ Dundee whence came the wee Charlie as well as did jute and jam and we may remember Joe Baker the reluctant Englishman whose Liverpool birth, in those days had excluded him for selection for his beloved Scotland while fate later took him east to Torino and serie ‘A’  where not many Scots have ever trod. 


I personally have a sheaf of Scots history and visits to suckle upon, leading to ‘nurture and train’ whilst still dreaming of Princes Street, the Trossachs, Fort Wulliam and Callendar, Mallaig and a particularly pleasant evening wi’ a bevvy a’ raven-haired beauties on a Disco jetty that jutted out into a youthful summer evening, way back, in a special place called Crieff. That was in 1969! – Michty me!

Such is the vista, the coppered rainbow, the warp and woof, the rollin’ green hills, an’ the full celtic profile of this plaited jewel, nestling so near the mystical northern lights where it has caught many time that infused heat within its fishermen sails, its prospectors-shawl, laid out random and crocheted, where towns and cities of the royal blue with the diagonal cross, stretch like Rob Roy’s sturdy arms to cover and bring home the booty, the fruit of spoil, to the softest bosom most near its warm and thistled heart .



Scotlund, I adore thee’



‘ξdinbvrgh you are as a rock to me’ 

‘ … you are still as an elder sister, the staunchest ally, a warrior friend ‘


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Ρretty thee and charming, your smile disarming,

ξÐÎΝβνΓςΗ, handsome as a gypsy’s Queen and

greener than a summer salad, set with radishes

and drizzled with italian oil.

You slake my thirst, feed my emptied, hungry soul 

and take my calloused hands in yourn so sweetly.

I have sworn to stand by your ancient turrets

to always give a good, stern report, fly the ensign

 buried deep upon your sunnied granite face and

set hard again those chill ΓÛššÎΔΝ winds that strike

september so keenly or bite the night when swifts still fly.

I am loving thee, my royal princess in tattered shawl,

your breast still showing, your breath fresh as apple cider

your smile birthed in trial that you have worn as lovers clothes,

taken his saturday joys, his monday flowers now so tired and bruised.

Keep my stained memoirs, faded diaries, grained pencil sketches,

they are not all I have of you, I kiss your swollen lips

embrace your embroidered hips, nuzzle the warmth of your bosom

ξdinbvrgh you are as a rock to me aNd I will return

to tell thee you are still as an elder sister,

the staunchest ally, a warrior friend

… then we will sit and talk halfway through the night

as lovers always should do …



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