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Nicola and Alexander 2


I’ve been listening to, and watching, scary news reports for 50 years and the stuff we were worried about never happened, and the stuff that actually happened was always unexpected

This deals with that





See Oor Rab

He’s a psychopath

He might seem mean

But he’s a damn good laugh

He’s no that bright

in fact, he’s fukkin daft

But, see Oor Rab

He’s a psychopath


He was thrown out of school when he was five years old

‘Cos he never, ever, ever, ever did what he was told

He wasn’t all bad

He was a nice wee bloke

But you see, he killed the teacher as a practical joke


Now it wasn’t as if Wee Rab had meant it

Sure, he made a letter-bomb 

Sure, he sent it

How was he to know the injuries would be fatal

When it comes to intelligence

Oor Rab’s pre-natal

He was only a kid

He only done it for a laugh

See Oor Rab

He’s a psychopath


He once caught Santa, and nailed him to the flerr

Shaved his beard aff, and cut aff all his hair

Covered him in Christmas lights and threw him in the bath

See Oor Rab

He’s a total psychopath


He heard about Van Gogh cutting off his ear

To send it to his girlfriend, to prove he was sincere

So, to show he was a good boy

Just like any other

He cut ten people’s ears off

And sent them to his mother

She was so embarrassed at her Robert’s social gaffe

She said: “See Our Robert / He’s a fucking psychopath!”


He wants to be a terrorist

Or join the SAS

He just loved that guy in “Psycho”

Who wore his mother’s dress

He’s learning martial arts

So he doesn’t need a gun

‘Cos: “Shooting people’s evil!”

And Rab just kills for fun


You’ll recognise him easily

Coming in your pub

His knuckles scrape the ground

And he’s carrying a club


Starting to perspire

And if you disagree, he says:



His repartee would kill you

‘Cos he’s really so sincere

With a razor-sharp wit,

That makes you smile from ear-to-ear

He’ll leave you in stitches

Just dying

For a laugh

‘Cos see Oor Rab

He’s a fukkin psychopath


But everybody loves him

Scared to lose him as a friend

Like a shite in a toilet bowl

He’s totally ‘round-the-bend’

He hasn’t got a conscience

Or the slightest inhibition

So, it’s fairly safe to say

He’d make a brilliant politician

If Rab was Oor Prime Minister,

The entire Armed Forces

Could sell off all their tanks and planes,

Their ships, and jeeps, and horses

Our military budget could be quickly cut in half

He’s the Ultimate Deterrent

Is Rab the psychopath


Now … He’s not that good at reading,

And he’s even worse at writing

He’s got an honorary degree

A Phd in Street-Fighting

His wife and kids are terrified

To see him in the doorway

Because a ‘belt-in-the-mouth’

Is Rab’s idea of foreplay

The only things he talks about are

Football, Sex, and Drink

When it comes to evolution

Oor Rab’s the Missing Link


Half-man, and half-monkey

Half-pissed, and aff-his-heid

There’s only two things Rab respects:

Violence and Greed

But when you see him on the TV

You’ve really got to laugh

And pray to god you never meet

In darkened lane, or city street

He’ll leave your shoes

And steal your feet

You’re far too soft

You can’t compete

You’re just his type

You’re ‘easy-meat’

‘Cos life to him is never sweet

He’ll always get the last, last, last, ‘last-laugh’

‘Cos, see Oor Rab


He’s a Fukkin Moron.



Originally posted on themarkhurstblog:

Photo: Don Mcphee

I’m thinking about a coathanger and smiling to myself. Or to be more precise, a story about a coathanger is making me smile. Not just any old coathanger though. No, I mean that Coathanger.

It’s the time of the year you see. With the World Snooker Championships on telly and the May bank holiday weekend approaching, I always tend to get a bit nostalgic about Sheffield. My home city, where The Crucible Theatre is, where the snooker’s at. And that feeling is getting stronger this year because, during a break in live coverage, they’re showing a retrospective of the famous Steve Davis vs Dennis Taylor final from 1985. If you’re old enough to have watched it, then you probably remember it. 17 frames apiece and both needing just the black to become world champion. That was the same year that I left Sheffield. The year of Coathanger…

View original 1,675 more words



The Shetland Islands around 170 kilometres (110 miles) north of mainland Scotland, and 356 miles from my own home, near Glasgow

Every year the Shetland Festival of Up Helly Aa, a fire festival, is held in Shetland, in Scotland, in the middle of winter to mark the end of the yule season. The festival involves a procession of up to a thousand guizers in Lerwick and considerably lower numbers in the more rural festivals, formed into Jarl squads who march through the town or village in a variety of themed costumes … or dressed like absolute dicks, if you’d prefer.

The current Lerwick celebration grew out of the older yule tradition of tar-barreling which took place at Christmas and New Year as well as Up Helly Aa. Squads of young men would drag barrels of burning tar through town on sledges, making mischief. There is a main guizer who is dubbed the “Jarl”. The procession culminates in the torches being thrown into a replica Viking longship or galley.




The Weather forecast was abominable on the Monday morning, and all flights had been cancelled on the previous day due to gale force winds


The plane was a Saab SF340A/B – 36 seater, twin prop plane … and not particularly to be recommended for the faint-hearted


I love flying, and don’t give a fukk … so … wheeee!!!


The weather was blustery and wet, with sleet and rain … but once above the clouds, the world is always sunny!!




After an hour and ten minutes  flight in a small plane, which sounded like having your head stuck in a washing machine … Shetland appeared through the mist, hazy through the wind, rain and sleet




We were picked up by a local taxi, whose driver insisted there was “no crime on the island” … which must be a helluva surprise to the production team of the TV crime-thriller “Shetland”, hich my son is currently working on … and to the local cops, I imagine.



The taxi driver said, “We had a car theft last week and that was headline news … I mean, where are they gonna take it … it’s a wee island?”



My companion, Billy Kirkwood, and I booked in at the Not-So-Grand Hotel … an old, tired building, where our rooms were fine, though not exactly luxurious, and where the windows rattled with the gale-force winds




I did a quick reconnoitre of the area around the harbour, and deduced that there were no hookers standing in doorways … They’d either been blown away, or were more sensible than I was on such a freezing wet night and were safely ensconced indoors … and only idiots were abroad.




The workers building the new gas refraction plant, and power station are staying in two large floating hotels in the harbour … The Floatel is the zebra-striped one on the right, below




The next day, we went up to The Mareel, the lovely new venue where our show was on … had lunch, and got ready for the show




Sandy Nelson had arranged the gig for Billy and myself, and compered the evening, as he regularly does each year, having been a resident there for some 5 years, until recently … and was returning for a jaunt with his lovely wife and wonderful weans



We then had a quick wander around the town of Lerwick, where we were based, spying a highly appropriately named clothes shop, KLAIZE, and some stunning stained glass in the Town Hall



The Viking Galley awaits its fiery fate … smaller and more pantomime than heritage, I felt, as was much of the iconography and the costumes on display.




By seven in the evening, we were waiting with Sandy and his family, in the cold and dark, listening for the boom of the flare-gun which announced the start of the Up Helly Aa festivities




And then there was an almighty BANG …
the torches were lit, and the festival began







The galley was set ablaze amongst much singing, brass bands, pipe bands, and hearty cheers from the huge crowd … dressed as cows, can-can dancers, Santa, Blues Brothers, and every sort of Halloween style costume imaginable.


The crowd, and the entire event, is very MALE in its nature, with women being noticeable by their absence.


The major, female contribution being from the many, many men who had chosen to dress as women … mostly of the pantomime dame variety, or of the screamingly heterosexual-in-denial, drag persuasion








The Jarl Squads then set off around the halls, to perform their sketches and get mightily drunk for the rest of the night and early morning, or so I was informed


Being sober amongst all this was, I’m sure, a bit of a novelty … and probably gave me a rather different perception from the majority there


Weird … very weird


Sandy, Billy and I then headed off to The Mareel Arts Centre, …. passing harlequins, angels and demons …. to perform our Stand Up Helly Aa Show



Billy’s lap dancing skills being appreciated by a resident deep-sea diver



Both Billy and Sandy did a brilliant job of warming up the audience, and I had a truly lovely time, with a rather sharp, and highly appreciative, audience who, I reckon, were glad to have escaped the drunken madness of the Jarl Squads and their transvestite leanings … or so I suggested to much amusement




We went down for breakfast at 08.30 next morning, to be greeted with a dining room which featured loads of drunken guest, still in fancy dress; cows, deer, faux-hippies, cowboys, hookers and dishevelled …. and  four burly BOUNCERS

Security at the breakfast table !!!

… a sign of just how drunk the squads were, as they’d been at it, continually for 12 hours and were now just waiting for the bars to open again at 11am



Our taxi to the airport never arrived, of course as the driver was probably still suitably pissed … but after hurried phone calls, a replacement arrived, and we set off for Sumburgh once more


Our taxi driver, Ray, in his 50’s and originally from Glasgow, was University educated and a wee wealth of local knowledge, and obviously infatuated with the place … such a nice man … even stopped at a passing point on the narrow road to allow me to try to photograph the raging seas along the shoreline. It was pissing down and very windy, but he stopped and was the model of courtesy and patience



417-(2) 418-(2) 421-(2)

He informed me that those lovely, wee Shetland ponies. which we were passing in the fields and crofts, were no more than pets nowadays, as their use down the UK’s mines, or as carriers from the crofter’s peat diggings, was now longer required, and you could buy one for £5

They were also so hardy that they stayed out in that fierce weather all year round


Tough wee fukkers, beyond a doubt


Our flight was delayed, as the incoming plane couldn’t land because of the fierce cross-winds, and was circling the airport … hmmm … that’s not confidence inspiring!!!






And so we left Shetland, as sober as we arrived, and probably part of a very small minority of tee-totallers on Shetland


A fantastic experience, and one more thing crossed off my Bucket List


I’d highly recommend the Up Helly Aa Festival to any of my hard-drinking, raucous mates … and I’d recommend a visit to The Mareel Theatre complex to any of my fellow performers, comedians, and musicians … a great and welcoming place


Shetland was strong in its sense of community, and is well-off in comparison to the recession-hit UK, or so it seems … the oil, the building construction, and low unemployment make that possible


Maybe they’d be even better-off, if they adopted independence … from Scotland


Just a thought????


A-OI !!


The Up Helly-Aa Song

From grand old Viking centuries Up-Helly-A’ has come,
Then light the torch and form the march, and sound the rolling drum:
And wake the mighty memories of heroes that are dumb;
The waves are rolling on.


Grand old Vikings ruled upon the ocean vast,
Their brave battle-songs still thunder on the blast;
Their wild war-cry comes a-ringing from the past;
We answer it “A-oi”!
Roll their glory down the ages,
Sons of warriors and sages,
When the fight for Freedom rages,
Be bold and strong as they!

Of yore, our fiery fathers sped upon the Viking Path;
Of yore, their dreaded dragons braved the ocean in its wrath;
And we, their sons, are reaping now their glory’s aftermath;
The waves are rolling on.


In distant lands, their raven-flag flew like a blazing star;
And foreign foemen, trembling, heard their battle-cry afar;
And they thundered o’er the quaking earth, those mighty men of war;
The waves are rolling on.


On distant seas, their dragon-prows went gleaming outward bound,
The storm-clouds were their banners, and their music ocean’s sound;
And we, their sons, go sailing still the wide earth round and round;
The waves are rolling on.


No more Thor’s lurid Hammer flames against the northern sky;
No more from Odin’s shining halls the dark Valkyrie fly;
Before the Light the heathen Night went slowly rolling by;
The waves are rolling on.


We are the sons of mightily sires, whose souls were staunch and strong;
We sweep upon our serried foes, the hosts of Hate and Wrong;
The glory of a grander Age has fired our battle-song;
The waves are rolling on.


Our galley is the People’s Right, the dragon of the free;
The Right that rising in its might, brings tyrants to their knee;
The flag that flies above us is the Love of Liberty;
The waves are rolling on.









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