Friday, 30 October 2009

Stand up to yer neeps

click to enlarge

"Stand up to yer neeps" is a brilliant auld Perthshire rural saying.
It is used to describe someone who is often unremarkable and overlooked but yet reliable in adversity. "aye he's a quiet lad but he'll stand up to his neeps"
It means folk that just get on wi' it instead of moanin' aboot awthing or blaming the government, cooncil, guy next door, ect ect.

If mair of us stood up to our neeps this would be a barry wee country.

Lecture over. Check oot ma lantern. Took us aboot an hour. Disnae look much in the first photo but pit the lights oot and stick a tealight in the felly and Boris is yer uncle.

Now I take on board what had been said aboot the tumshie and I do admit that I prefer the smell o a neep lantern. The soup is also a big bonus, but there is no way that you could have rattled of a quick Karloff wi an auld neep. It would have been a trip tae the sick kids.

Remember the auld classic guisin' joke -

"Did ye hear aboot the greengrocer whae died? "
"There was a big turnip at his funeral."

Still gits a laugh.

Happy halloween my High Wall droogs.

Let it glow, let it glow, let it glow!

Aye there seems to be a wee bit o' a theme developing here over the last few posts, all about glow in the dark stuff and Halloween. A good combination if you ask me.

I remember the time that a gang of us were mucking aboot one time, back in the day, around Halloween. It was dark and yon orange street lights were illuminating Clerk Street. We had managed to get free glow in the dark cardboard masks free with The Topper or it might have been The Beezer. The mask was the face of one of the comic character a dude called Splurge Last of The Goblins.

The glow in the dark paint on the masks was pretty cheap stuff and when you touched it, it almost felt like running yer finger along a piece of fine sandpaper. Anyway, we were standing outside the Southern Bar with oor masks on scaring the auld drunks as they left the pub. Trouble is that the glow- in- the- dark effect did not last very long, so we had to keep running into folks' stairs to re-charge them under the stairlights. Aye it was great fun. And all for the price of a comic!

Mind you God knows what scary properties yon cheap glow-in-the-dark paint had. No doubt nowadays it would never make it past health and safety inspectors. And I sometimes wonder if the reason I am losing my hair is really male pattern baldness, or something much more sinister!!!
All the best!


The Borders turnip (Tumshieus Lanternus minor)
I its that time of year again at the High Wall. Tumshie lantern time! We nivir had any o them Pumpkins at the high wall, just yer good auld Borders tumshie. They started off life like the one in the above picture and after a couple of oors fartin around wi an auld tattie knife later they wir takin shape.
This could huv been the end result o five cut fingers and the need to hide a broken tattie knife!
All tha wiz required was a piece o string and a candle. If all else wiz in short supply candles wir always in abundance at the High Wall.
It wiz now a case o waitin until the street light went on and it wiz dark enough to set off through the street surrounding the High Wall, as the Boss would have said, had he had a tumshie lantern, Its time tae go boys I can see a Darkness on the edge of town!
So off we went dressed up as christ knows what as our fancy dress possibilities were a tadge limited, but we really did our best tae look real scary. We were always acompanied by the smell o burnt tumshie which got worse as the night went on.
Arkos reminded me of a slight accident Alien Orders had wi a tumshie that wiz meant tae look chinese and had a black wig on. The black wig and the candle were not a good match which led to a small conflagration and a wee bit o trouble wi a teacher. But that wid be tellin tales oot o school!
I think what am tryin tae say is this, we wir happy wi a smelly auld tumshie and a bed sheet wi eyes cut oot o it, wi wirrnae frightened o nae paedos or razor boys thit wir gaunae dae us harm, wi just lit up the tumshie and buggird aff doon the road wi not a care in the world and nae parents oot wi us neither! If they wir no the good auld days then ah will be buggird. If ah could go back tae the High Wall wi the boys and be that cheeky ersed bairn again, thir widbe nae stoppin me!
So ah um meant tae be workin the morns night boys but stuff the work, ah will meet yous at the High Wall when its dark and don't forget the tumshies!

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Bad to the bone

This has to be one of the most bizarre memories of my youth. There was a store up on the South Bridge which later became "What A'body Wants". It's name escapes me (but Arkos will know)
When you went to get shoes there they had a full on x-ray machine the exact same as the one shown here.

The thing was made of wood and lead. You put on the shoe and slid yer foot in the bottom and then has a wee look at the green glowing outline of the shoe and your foot. As can be seen from the photos there were also two other lead "deeking holes ", one for yer Ma and one for the assistant. You can also see from the photo a lower "Adult " slot and a stepped up "bairn" slot for the feet. It was madness.

The sales pitch went like this

Shoe shop wifie - "Right wiggle your toes"
Ma - "Aye they will do fine"
Me - "Can ah no get Wayfinders ?"
Ma - "Naw ahve telt ye yir no gittin thum"
Shoe shop wifie - "They are one of our best sellers Madam and he'll grow intae them, "
Me - "but they dinnae hae a compass"
Ma - "I'll gie ye compass, wrap them up"
Me - "but Ma, Arkos has got animal tracks"
Ma - "And if Arkos stuck his hand in the fire would you do it too"

My ingrowing toenail is giving me right gip the noo and ahm seriously considering a law suit but I can't mind the name of the shop.

X-ray machines in shoeshops, just plain crazyness. We used to go into the store for a laugh and try to stick our heads under the x-ray slot to see out jaws move.

Didnae do us any harm.


Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Let there be light.

Found a can of glow in the dark paint at my work and was transported back to the high wall before you could say beam me up Scotland. We loved all things glowing at the high wall, Aurora model kits, luminous watches you name it if it glowed in the dark you were the dogs knackers!
I just imagined how we could have marked our way to the gangie with this paint, or the way to the high wall in pitch blackness without a torch (save that we didn't need a torch anyway our gutties took us there on their own!). So bring your assembled version of the Prisoner of castle Mare along to the high wall (unpainted of course!) and lets all glow together.

Saturday, 17 October 2009


Aye the last entry aboot haircutting brought to mind the subject of "flunkeys"
Condoms, Rubbers, Rubber Johnnys, prophylactics, Durex, are more common terms, but we lads knew them as flunkeys.

Irvine Welsh uses the term in "Trainspotting" which may be the only useage of the word in the history of the written English language.

"Spunk bags" was another name for them.

As the South side had a big student population you used to find used flunkeys lying around the Meadows area and they were often poked with sticks. Like mystery items they were never fully understood at a young age, but if a used flunkey was found, word soon spread and boys would gather to have a wee deek at it and ponder it's origins like an Area 51 alien autopsy.

As you got older and had to buy flunkeys for your own use, you then realised how difficult it was to get a hold of them. Nowadays it's a scoosh, you practically get them free with the Dandy, back then you were skulking around full of embarassment. The barbers sold them, but you were not going to trust Ronnie or Bernie, your auld boy went to them for a haircut and they might grass you up.

Many a 50p was lost in the "Wine Glass" flunkey machine, and would you complain? Not a chance. I'm sure that auld bastard that ran the place was at the hurry up, preying on the vulnerability of horny young 1970's lads. These days it would be a case of "Hey ya radge I just put £2 in your shitey condom machine and got fuck all, git it sorted cos I'm on ma hole, and dinnae gie me any pish cos I know my consumer rights and I will have a Watchdog camera crew round here toot suite"

Changed days indeed.