Monday, 30 November 2009

Seaside fun.

We used tae love gaun doon tae Porty. A day at the shws wiz like the High Wall highlight o the year.
Wi about 10 pence in yir grubby mit thit wiz more than likely earned by collecting auld juice bottles, ye were through the door and intae Nobles arcade wonderland wi its smell o Westler hamburgers and sweeties. Now came the hardest part! What tae spend the pennys oan? Ah wiz aye a man fur the video games more importantly Battlezone!
Ah hud spen most o ma money before you could say shit. The game wiz pretty simple. Ye hud tae shoot o the tanks withoot gettin shot yerself. As ye can see on the top pictue ye hd tae look through the view finder and steer wi the levers. Ye hud tae be big enough tae see through the viewfinder.
Auld Noble wiz a clever man he hud pit doon a step fur us bairns so we could play the game, ahm sure he wiz hooked on it an all. So fur a you High Wall batlezone blasters heres a link fur you tae play the real game.

Huv fun bit watch oot fir auld Noble coz he could go radge if ye kicked his machines!

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Chicken's Feet

As we get on in life it's mair aboot Crow's feet, but back in day it was all aboot these wee beauties.

Up Causewayside near Braid Place there was a poultry butcher, which was more of a "making stuff for other butchers" butcher, than yer "go in and buy mince" type butcher. No awfy sure what the boy got up tae in there but he used to have binloads of sawdust covered animal bits ootside.

On the way to school we would often have a quick rummage through his buckets to see if there was any good stuff.

The jewel in the crown were chicken's feet. I think some of them might even have been turkey feet cos they were a fair size. They were yellow gnarly things wi nails and wrinkles. Best bit though was the tendons.

You could get a grip of the tendons where the foot had been chopped and pull them to work the toes. If you had a full set of intact tendons, you had hit paydirt and had a proper working alien hand that would move at your command.

What use is a fully functioning chicken hand? To a '70's bairn the list was endless. Everything from grabbing folks necks in assembly to giving the finger to passing car drivers. A personal favourite was bringing yer money out yer pocket to pay for stuff in shops with a hideous claw. How we laughed..

One drawback is that they went off pretty quick when stored in yer pocket on a summers day. But that was awright cos you just went back the next day and raked aboot for a fresh one.

The marketing tagline could have been...
Chicken's feet ©. The more portable "Armatron" alternative for the less well off "High Wall" bairn who's always on the move.

(click to enlarge)

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Spare us the Cutter

High Wall hairdressers came in 2 forms, Bernie or Ronnie.

There was an earlier 3rd one I recall, on Causewayside near the Junction with Grange Road . He was a right bastard. He lured you in with his fancy D.C comics and whilst you were engrossed in the tales of the Green Lantern, he was at you with the scissors. Left you looking like a right fanny.

When you went to school after a haircut you always git the pish ripped oot of you. Wouldnae matter if it had been styled by Vidal Sasoon himself, it had to be ridiculed by the entire playground.

Neither Ronnie or Bernie were exactly "Vidals". They would however have the audacity to put pictures of Tony Curtis on the wall. If you asked either of these jokers for a "Curtis" you had a good chance of leaving the shop looking like the bastard child of Ian Curtis and Curtis Stigers (i.e sporting a mullet that hangs awkwardly).

Ironically Tony Curtis real name was Bernard. I recall that Arkos once went to Bernie for a Bowie cut. I'm still not convinced that Bernie actually knew who Bowie was though.

Now parents liked Ronnie and Bernie because they were cheap and handy. As you got older and had more say in things, you went to Bob's Continental at Tollcross or Woods up at Drummond Street. I had to pay the extra out of my own pocket, but it was well worth it.

A few years back I took my wee lad for a haircut in Blairgowrie. There was a wee cheap place full of farmers. Right traditional looking gaff, still had the wooden till, bay rum, wooden board for the bairns to sit on, the lot. I thought braw, just like the auld days. Ended up having to drive all the way into Perth to get a repair job done before the wife got home. He honestly looked like that wee lad in the picture up the top.

That is the thing about nostalgia, if something was wrong the first time around, chances are it will not have changed. That is also why Woods is still there going strong.

(click to enlarge)