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Scotland. 1985.

Amanda is a teenager.

Dr Clark is the local Medical Practice locum. He’s in his mid-twenties.

Dr Clark: So, Amanda. How are you feeling?

Amanda: I need to know if Victoria Gillick’s happening here. 

Dr Clark: Victoria….?

Amanda: You know. Her. The Catholic wifie with all the kids.

Dr Clark: Sorry. You’ve lost me.

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Best friends

”What did you do at school today, pet?”

Angela flopped down on the chair, legs dangling, a frown spread across her face. Her mother put a glass of milk on the table in front of her. Angela looked at the glass, scowling.


Angela’s mother looked at her daughter. Ever since she had started school, she had loved it. Today was different. Angela wouldn’t look at her mum, instead staring intently at the glass on the table.

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Best Pals

Yes this might go very Clockwork Orange. There are so many rebel stories I have to share, the question is which one do I share?

Best way to jog my memory was to have a guid auld chin wag with my best friend from back in the day...

"Julie Bradley – the one from Libby High school? How about 'Merry Christmas Liddell', you will need to help me refresh my memory...”

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Better Late than Never

A therapist told me that at a certain age, even unconsciously, we all reflect back to our teenage years, when the burgeoning promise of our whole lives was unfolding. Many resolve to focus on what they hadn’t yet accomplished before it’s too late; think bucket lists, mid-life crises and unfinished business. 

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Big Red

Big Red

I used to scare the dogs with Big Red.

Sometimes Big Red and I would chop the heads off the flowers.

Up and down we would go.

Whizz! Whizz! Whizz!

I would ride on Big Red with Brian, Alec and Pam, but not Elsie.

Elsie had more sense.

We had to be careful not to squash the chickens though.

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I am a rebel on April Fool's Day.

I like tricks.

Sometimes I like to hide.

One day I hid in a cupboard and jumped out on my brother Graham.

'April Fool!'

It was funny.

Another time when I was away on a trip to Glencoe.

Lynn and I hid from Fiona.

We jumped out and said 'Boo!'

Poor Fiona was surprised.

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Warning: This piece contains strong language  

It’s hard not to pontificate,
While trying to articulate
The burning black despair,
That life just isn’t fair.

Is this what’s known as fate?
To feel this deep a hate,
For something someone else controls.
Alas, rejoice! There’s avocado rolls.

Days spent furiously dreaming,
Of a wallet fat and gleaming.
Trapped into what we’re worth,
By the simple act of birth;
Inside my mind is screaming.

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defiance, individuality

Breaking Free

We got off the train and stepped into the warm sunshine. I was really excited to see the blue sky, the sand, and the sea, any chance to escape the concrete jungle I lived in was always welcome. I felt very happy to feel the heat on my skin and was chatting away. The seaside has always struck a deep chord with me. I guess because it’s where I remember my happiest moments as a kid: swimming in the ocean, building sandcastles or burying my big sister in the sand. I can still remember watching an early morning sunrise over a Cornish Bay as I ate a pasty and did handstands in the sand.

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Calypso Punch

All through the long months of summer, the air would smell of sickly sweet-sour mangoes, as mango trees from every house’s backyard came into full bloom. And in the distance, you could see coconut trees sway gently, their fringed leaves fanning the hot summer breeze. All activity would quieten over the afternoon, very much like a siesta-stop. All the street dogs would rest in the shade, and not even a bird would stir. It was too hot for anything else, other than the Hiptage flowers, which would grow and cover every wall and fence with its gorgeous blooms.

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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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