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Challenging Authority

I have Miss Muir, my primary teacher, to thank for the person I am today.

We lived in a small village where everyone knew one another. I had a wonderful childhood growing up with two loving parents and an extended family. A mining community, we looked out for each other and were taught to have a healthy respect for authority. If you “got into trouble” at school then you knew you had double the trouble wiating when you arrived home. Such was the support for the local school. Life was extremely good until I started Primary 7.

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Clothes are pants

I honestly wish I could be one of those
Folks who goes about with no clothes
Pants are a bother, they get inside out
Woolly things itch from within and without
My socks get wrinkled, my shirts get crinkled
And sometimes my jumpers come out the wash shrinkled
When it's cold I lose mittens when it's hot I lose hats
I always detach things that should be attached
So I've had it with clothes and if I had my way
I'd wear nothing at all, or pyjamas, all day

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Keywords: 
everyday rebellion

COP 88

The first act of rebellion
Against extended Education
To sign up for a uniform.

My family.
Not criminals, not outlaws, just decent distanced folk
Devastated.
Doors slammed on my possibilities.

Police HQ
Ugly concrete squat of blank windows
Ordered in rows
Walking into the lions den
Through long corridors
To its heart
Fear fluttering inside.

Change. Challenge.
Do something that scares you.
Every day
I did.
Cop 88.

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Crime Outfit

Billy never wanted to be a rebel. He wanted a quiet life. Playing footy with his mates in the street, wandering down by the river after dark, making campfires and playing on the swing rope over the water on long summer evenings when the flies buzzed in clouds.

But his family was known in the district for generations of crime. It was a proud tradition of robbing, stealing and general thuggery. Kids at his school steered clear of Billy, scared of what might happen if they got involved in some way with his infamous family. 

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Disrespect your Elders

My infant son and I were at the local Mall, he bounced and giggled happily in his sling as we entered the Disney Store.

‘What wonders will Daddy buy for me today!?’ I’m sure he was thinking.

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Falkirk's Highway to Hell

Bright lights, big city – not words people might not associate with the place, but it was a big deal for my best friend and I to travel into nearby Falkirk. Especially when you’re nine years old and never been on a bus before.

Back in the day, circa 1979. It was a heavy metal quest of gigantic proportions we were destined to take. Yep, my friend and I were head-bangers that required full on metal gear to go with our head-banging antics.

Studded belts, AC/DC patches, Black Sabbath, bleached Cosmic jeans; any piece of kit that turned us into the real deal.

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Finding Confidence in Non-Conformity

My fingers fumbled with a well-worn lace as I knotted the first boot. I took a deep breath before moving onto the second, shaking slightly, a nauseating sensation of anxiety bubbling away in the pit of my stomach.

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Full of Beans

“It was me!” I said.

My six cousins gasped as one, my mother blanched and my father glowered. Until then, this first holiday had been an adventure. There was all the excitement and novelty of the sleeper train from Scotland to King’s Cross and a train to Cirencester, to spend a fortnight with my aunt and uncle and their brood. In glorious sunshine, I paddled and guddled in the river, built shelters and careered about on an old bike.

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Keywords: 
childhood, stealing

Gone With The Whisky

He rattles with the whisky in between dreams and beyond. Continuity unbroken as he knocks back drams from the dawning chorus until the owl is in flight. In restless sleep his nightmares come. I do not catch a single wink myself for fear of him drowning in seas of his own vomit. He rambles incoherently in broken sentences while I gently shush him back into the land of nod. Alcohol engorged neural pathways fire spasmodic messages to his limbs. His fists clench; his legs kick. I am covered in accidental bruises, and here and there a wee cut or nick.

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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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