identity

Drinking Games

I used to think drinking was cool. I longed to be 18 so I could sit in the pub and get royally hammered. And that’s what happened. I spent the best years of my youth drinking my ass off. Is there a bar here? What time is it open until? Do you mind if I get messed up?

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Radio Rebel

Music,

Loud.

Up! Up! Up!

Abba?

No!

Crap.

Radio 3?

Opera la, la, la.

No.

Anne McKillop singing?

Crap.

Archie Darling

Aye.

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Young Butchers

Warning: this piece contains strong language

The Butchers had all the fun at school. I mean, they ran the place really. Tough, confident and full of spunk, their collective attitude more than compensated for their lack of traditional smarts. It was an outlook that militated against any prospect of academic success, but that’s not what they were about. Daz and his brethren epitomised carefree youth. 

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Rollercoaster

When I was 15 years old I was living in what was once the industrial heartlands of the West of Scotland.

Thatcher has swept to power. An air of despondency crept over my town as the mines and steel works closed with abandon.

Unemployment hovers at 3 million and bleak times lie ahead for school leavers.

I shared my home with 4 brothers and 2 sisters and 2 non drinking parents.

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Number Ten's Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Party

Ye hud high unemployment n’ picket lines; Boays Fae the Black Stuff showin families livin oan the breadline, survivin aff a’ scraps like they feral Harpies in Jason n’ The Argonauts. Meanwhile, yuppies wur quaffin in snazzy wine bars, n’ Harry Enfield wis actin pure gallus wae a wad a banknotes yellin, ‘LOADSAMONEY!’

Nae wunner thur wis a reaction.

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Rebel - Mindless belief

The whole point of being a member of the 'group' was conformity. We all had to follow the same rules. We all had to have the same hair, dress and beliefs. You would think that in carrying out all these rules that I would be happy. That was not the case. I found it impossible to completely repress my individuality.

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Sick Insurrection

The USSR’s economy was in decline and failing. Even tourism was being encouraged to help build up the GDP. Intourist, the official travel agency, was organising cheap holidays. 

The air hostesses, as we still called them then, were big burly women, the embodiment of the state and geared only to delivering its requirements. The state was always right. Any customer who disagreed was wrong.

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Clara

Clara

I was as quiet as a mouse
wouldn’t say boo to a goose
I was obedient
did as I was told
Got myself into deep water

My life changed
when I met Clara
with so many needs
I have become a lion
I roar out loud and break down barriers

I make people take notice
of Clara and of me
to give her sunshine 
and to give me hope
She is my cause, I have found my voice

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Fair Fares

I was a young rebel aged 16. It was the early 1970’s and I had been interested in politics at school and joined a political party which I though best represented my views.

After being informed that I had been selected to go to a major conference in my home town of Glasgow, I chose to speak on a subject that was close to my heart: public transport.

The bus fares had been rising progressively for some time with no apparent improvements in the quality of service. I decided that radical, direct action was required to bring this to the forefront of political debate.

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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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