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Having words

I had to ask six people for directions to the Samuel Johnson Museum before I found it. 'I'm shocked,' I told the hapless museum attendant, 'no-one seems to know where you are. There's not a sign in sight till you're almost outside. And twice I've been sent to the Samuel Johnson Community Hospital.'

He shrugged. 'I know. We've been on to the Council to do something.'

'But he's Lichfield's famous son,' I protested, 'born in this very house. People must come from all over the world. They need to find it.'

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Hell Bent

Thundering down the stairs in her new Doc Martens Lizzie lurched into the dining room and shouted “that's me away” knowing there wasn't much chance she'd be able to leave without some comment. From the kitchen beyond, where she could hear the distinctive sound of the pressure cooker building up a head of steam, came the call of “wait a minute madam, where do you think you're going?” Her mother emerged from the engine room of the house where she spent most of her time, washing, peeling, chopping, cooking.

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Here I Am

Am I a rebel?
I leave it up to you
Am I?
All I tell is true -
you will be the judge,
through my eyes, you will see,
my reconstructed memory.

When I was much younger,
nerves strangled my voice -
fear warned me to stay back
yet I chose the right choice,
expression I did not lack.

Using my pen,
pen and keyboard -
I took aim,
rebelled against the inner naysaying,
that which claimed me alone.

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Hidden Rebel

Fifty one years ago I had a memorable holiday with my parents, sisters and cousin when we went to Port Seaton in East Lothian. We were staying on a campsite in a converted railway carriage that my grandfather and his friend had built in sections, then transported to the campsite and assembled piece by piece. They added a small kitchen, along with gas lighting and bedrooms complete with camp beds. Staying in that carriage, which my late grandfather had built with his own hands, made the holiday very special. We also had an Alsatian called Rex who came along on our summer of adventure.

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How Do You Get To Be A Rebel?

Recently, on a night out in a city centre pub, an Irish singer was entertaining us. Deedle-de-de music is great for a sing-song and we were having a ball. During the chorus of one song, lots of folk started shouting “IRA, IRA”. I was shocked and speechless. These were young people. Scots who weren't born when we were watching the horrific Irish troubles on our TV screens in the 70s, 80s and 90s. How did they become so passionate about a rebel cause? Did they think about what they were glamorising or simply join in?

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How tae inadvertently start a Coup!


Warning: this piece contains strong language

Wit am a daeing?

A sat there watching a guy picking at his bum crack. Then wae a secretive wee glance aroon the auditorium he began sniffing his fing’ers. A shook ma heed and quietly glanced aroon at aw the other vulgar animals. Future leaders, academics and inevitable dropouts trying tae impress each other. A wis bored listening tae how great college will be fir me until ...

I introduce your newly elected Student President …

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