Rebel Rebel, Joseph's Doing Well

My story begins with my head held high and a smile on my face when taking my dog out for a walk.

Suddenly, I came up with an idea for a song so after I had taken my dog home I decided to put pen to paper and write the lyrics


Then I went into Glasgow city centre to the music studios to record my song on a CD.

Once I had done that I created my own front cover from a recent photo of me to place on the CD.

The next day I took it into a record shop and I asked, "Can you put this on your shelf for me?"

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Because Ah Matter

Like a rat up a drainpipe I shot back out that school gate lik’ the devil was on mah tail. This wasnae mah gig and ah wasnae unpacking. If ah was gonnae engage in education anywhere, it wasnae here. Ah totally had the fear and the battle lines between me and mah maw were drawn. Day in, day oot, ah was frogmarched through the gate as invisible anxiety stirred within. Opposing the forces at play, ah shot right back oot it.

“Get back here!” Gangley Gibson with the protruding teeth stomped a path towards me.  

“It’s no happenin!”

“We’ll see!”

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It's a Dog's Life

I grew up in a small town in central Scotland, one of five siblings. Our father was a local doctor who, in his leisure time, strange as it may seem, liked to kill things. Rough shooting was his chosen hobby and to facilitate this we always kept one or more gun dogs, usually a Springer Spaniel to put up the game and a Labrador to retrieve the booty.

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Rebel Islander

The city offers work, a step up the ladder, a social life, and a wealth of distractions.
It is a place of opportunity and corporate interactions.
Millennials are told and told again.
I, on the other hand, rebelled.
I didn’t want to ‘get ahead’,
To commute, to pollute, to consume, to be subsumed by the noise, the want, and the desire.
A future of -
‘just another year renting’
‘just another year sharing’
‘just another year of a house that is not a home’
‘just another place that I will never belong’

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Never Say Never

  • rebel


        nouna person who resists authority, control, or popular convention

  • rebellion


        noun: action against those in authority, or against normal and accepted ways of behaving

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The Glee Challenge

Once upon a time,
When I thought I’d never rhyme,
I saw a challenge known as Glee,
My friends said to leave it be. 

I wondered why they began to protest,
What’s wrong with dancing and singing, it’s the best!
Some weeks later, after Christmas Songs,
We started to practise for the Glee, where I belonged. 

We won the contest, I was so pleased,
To the finals we’d go hoping we wouldn’t sneeze,
If we had won we’d be crowned Scottish Winners,
But unfortunately, no luck even with a nice dinner. 

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Unilateral Solidarity

Unilateral Solidarity
A Play With Two Characters 
by Biff Gladman

Act 1

Scene 1

Rector’s office in secondary school.

The rector, in his fifties, is seated at desk, consulting papers.

There is a knock at the door.

RECTOR               (without looking up) Come in.

Sixth year pupil, Henry McCorquodale, 17 years old, enters room.

Rector still does not look up.

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Destiny Rewritten

The year was 1983. I had just turned 8. I was still learning how to read and write and being dyslexic meant I was slower than the rest of the class. My father bought me a dictionary to help me with spelling and the meanings of words. Although, I think it was also to give him a break from answering my endless questions about things I was being taught at school. Mother was not interested; her hands were full from looking after my 3 other siblings. So my questions were either met with “go and ask your father” or “that’s a stupid question, go and make yourself useful”.

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Who, Me?

I get called a rebel. I'm a responsible parent with a strong sense of right and wrong. I'm a thinking individual with reasons behind my actions. I'm a law-abiding citizen. But maybe I'm just not ... uniform enough. And the police don't like it.

It started early on. Normally, parents where I live would rent the village hall for their child's fifth birthday. I could have done that, of course. But it would have been rather cruel to my little one, who had just got through a very bad year in nursery — failing to develop the noisy, extroverted personality the system demanded.

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family, defiance, nanny state


“The Nigerian Air Force launched a bombing raid today targeting the Oji River Power Station. Ten square miles around the station has been razed and the operation is being hailed as a great success.”

This report was transmitted on the BBC World News from Lagos, five hundred miles west of Oji River. As locals, we knew it was propaganda and a form of fake news.

“How come a young Scot is married to a Nigerian and living in Oji River?” I hear you ask.

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