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Days of Paradise

Gettin’ Kissed up agin ra wee wa’

(An alternative version of Paradise Lost)



Aye, ok mister. If ye want tae ken hoo it wis whin a wis a wee wean, then a’ll tell ye if ye gies a boab. Naw, noo! Am nae hiven ye sneakin aff afore a get ma money. Ta! Richt here goes.

It al’ays stertit aff wae askin’ a big man “Gonnae gies a lift ower, mister?” ‘n he’d howf is ower ra turnstile afore the polis cid stoap him. The turnstiles only went hauf wie up ra entrance bit in they days so thir wis space tae dae it. ‘n the men oan ra turnstiles didnae seem tae bother aw that much eethir. They wir gen blokes they guys. A wid hae hung aboot tae thank thum ‘f a hidnae hid tae skelp it as fast as a cid tae git up the stairs affore onybody shopped mi ‘r thon cops huckled mi back oot ra grun wi a boot up the jacksy. Mind, thon big yins gon intae the gem widnae normaly boather wi mi. Even the chucker ooters didnae gie ye aw that much clobber. Och, it wis jist a bit a fun bit it wis a smashin’ way tae spend a borin’ Seterday efternin. ‘n it didnae cost a tosser, naw, not a mingy hapnny nir a bent penny. ‘n it kept ye frae fight’n wae rae ither knobheids ootside ower whae wis watchin’ whit car. Wi nivir acchilly watched thim onywie. Is soon is the tossers went roon the corner we wir aff tae git anither eejit. It wis worth a boab or twa on a gid day if ye cid con a haunfy a plonkers intae thinkin’ thir cars wid be safer if they gied is a bit a dosh. A us’lly got thir early ‘n catched the wans thit came in plenty a’ time fir ra gem. It meant a cid get masel’ a no bad stash afore ra gem stertit ‘n a’d git in ra grun as weel. It wisnae bad, eh, a guid few boab and sneaking intae ra gem fir nout. Yon big yins thit geid ‘s a haun ower sayd bairns like is wir ra future ae the club.

‘s a wis sayin’, a’d run up ra steps ‘n intae the terracin’. Then a’d squeeze ma way through ra big yins intae ra bit they cried ra Jungle. It wis acchilly mair like a lang shed, a bit like wan o’ yon tin sheetin’ places fir coos thit ra teacher showed is in ra readin’ book it school. A hidnae seen wan fir masel’ bit a couldnae ergue it wisnae like it whin a got a whiff o’ ra stink. It smelt jist like coos dae ‘r mair like hoo coos’ pees ‘n pies dae, mair like. Weel, a wid finally git intae ra Jungle ‘n push ma wye doon tae ra front bit till a came tae ra flat bit richt it ra bottom. It wis usually pretty empty doon there so ye cid get space tae move aboot athoot bumpin intae ra big men. Ra terracin’ stopped it a wee lang wa’ thit ran richt roon ra park frae baith ends tae whit looked like wan ae ra main bits thit wis below whit ra big yins caw’d ra staun. A alays fun’ that wis queer ken, ’cause frae whit a cid see, ivrybidy wis actchilly sittin’ in there no staunin’. Richt in ra middle ae ra bit in front ae ra staun, there wis a kind a cover’d hole ‘hing. It looked tae me as if it wis ra way intae a kinda tunnel ‘hing thit all sorts a guys kept runnin in ‘n oot ae. Next tae it in each side thir wis wee covered sheds wi benches in thum ‘n men withoot strips wid sit in thum when ra gem wis goin’ oan. Noo ‘n then wan or mair ae thon men in there wid jump oot ‘n shout ‘hings it ra players. ‘n whin ra teams scored they jist went crackers ‘t times.

Onywae, if ye peeked jist ower ra wee wa’, ye cid see a rid ashy track runnin’ richt roon ra hale pitch. In ra middle wis a fair massive grassy bit wae some funny white lines painted oan it. Yon big high place wae a’ the seats a mentioned afore wis right across frae ra Jungle oan ra ither side. It hid a roof tae like ra Jungle, on’y it looked richt queer jist stickin’ oan ra tap o’ ra wa’s ae the staun ‘n nae doon tae ra grun. Thir wis a wee box up oan ra tap ae ra roof ‘n ye cid jist see ‘n no mair through ra wee windaes big people in fancy claes staunin writin’ ‘hings ‘r takin’ tae theirsels. Then thir wis a wee bit doon alow in ra front o’ ra wa’ thit held up ra staun but people jist staund in that bit. They didnae hae oany roof ower thir heids eevers. Bit ye couldnae git frae there tae ra rest ae ra grun. Tae wan side thir wis ra terracin’ a sneaked intae tae get tae ra Jungle. It didnae hae a roof like ra place wae ra seats or ra shed a wid gan tae. Ra wan oan the opposite side didnae hae wan eether then, a dinnae think. A went there a few times ‘n it wis fair freezin’ in cauld weather ‘n ye got soakit wet in ra rain ‘r ra snaw. Bit it wid git really packed ‘n that kept ye gie warm once ra gem stertit. Only ‘hing wis, it ma height, ye cudnae see a blidy thing. That’s why a goat masel’ intae ra Jungle ivry time a cud. ‘n a dinnae remember ony lichts in ra coarners eever. A remember they big pylon ‘hings getting’ pit up bit that wis efter a hid growd up a canny bit. A didnae remember thim needed much lichts onyways ‘s ra gems aways finished afore it git ower dark ‘at a kin mind. They aye stertit it 3 a’clock then ye ken.

If a’m honest, it ma age a wisnae a’ that interested in ra fitba’ onyways is a wis too wee tae see onythin’ weel. Even in ra shed wae ma heid jist abin the level ‘f the wa’, a’ a cid see wis legs wae fitba bits oan runnin’ aboot frae wan end tae ra ither. Ra best wis eether whin ra ba’ went up in ra air ‘n a cid see it ‘n a’ thon men in strips jumpin’ like kangaroos tryin’ tae hit it wae thir heids. Noo ‘n then wan ae ra big guys oan ra park wid come crashin’ intae ri wa’ ‘n wid yelp wae ra pain. That fair made ma day that did. Wan time a fitba bloke came richt ower ‘n a saw some ae they big fellas in ra Jungle lookin’ like they fancied a go it him. In ri end they jist liftit him back ower but wae no very much ceremony. Wan thing a remember wis ‘s shurt wisnae green ‘n white stripes like a lot a’ ra ither players. A kinda felt ‘f it hid, ra big fellas wid hae left him alone. ’cause most a’ thim hid green ‘n white scerfs roon thir necks. Some even hid funny wee stripet woolly hats atap thir heids.

Bit in ra gems a wisnae even sure whae a shud shout fir bit a’ ra men roon aboot seemed tae like the green ‘n white socks, so a shoutit fir them. See a didnae ken much aboot fitba teams. Ma da wisnae aboot ra hoose much. He wis aye doon ra pub wae a bunch o’ ither blokes. Och aye, he wis al’ays takin aboot gone tae ra gems ‘n promisin’ tae tak me tae wan som’day tae. Bit maist times he nivir acchilly did ‘n a nivir seen if he wid be wearin’ ony partic’lar fitba team colours ‘r onythin’ like that. So a didnae ken frae him if a shid support ony particlar team or no. So’s a jist went alang wae ra big yins whir a wis staunin it ra gem. No lang efter a wis sneakin’ in a fun oot ra team in green ‘n white wis caw’d Celtic though fir a lang time a thocht it wis Selic ’cause that’s how it sounded maist ae ra time. A mind a lot a guys shoutin’ fir Ra Hoops ‘n a supposed that wis acause ‘f ra circles roon ra players’ shurts. A kent ra grun wis cawed Celtic Park cause a stayed close tae it ‘n sometimes jist Parkheid even though that wis jist ra name ae ra place roon aboot where a bided. A heard whit a thocht wir dafties singin’ aboot Paradise noo ‘n then bit years efter a learnt whit a’ that really meant. Then they used tae shout a load a names like Charlie Tully ‘r Bobby Evans ‘n Bertie Peacock ‘n ra Wee Barra ‘n loads a ithers. A ken McPhail used tae be ra wan shoutit ra maist ‘n ra loudest when they scored. Ach it wis a’ gid fun fir maist ‘f ra time.

Ra only rotten ‘hing wis when them wee glaekit jammy dodgers came roon wi thon weird orange drinks like yon Kiora stuff ye got it ra pic’chers. It tastit nout like it mind. Mair like orange pee. ‘n ra pies, ye wid hae bin better aff wae a haunfae a lard. Still, a cud hae mugged them stoolies fir wan, a wis that fair hungrt it times. Bit it widnae hae bin a very clever thing tae try, even fir ejits like us frae ra East End. Ma pal said ra polis wid hiv for tae many witnesses ‘n wid huckle us aff tae ra black maria there ‘n then. Bit a still could hae murdert a greasy pie ‘t times ‘n it wis sorely temptin’ noo ‘n then tae be an ejit jist tae get wan.

Ye ken, lookin’ back, a hiv nae idea why a thocht this wis a’ a gid bit a fun oan a Seterday efternin. A mean, alang wae bein’ stervin’ in the face ae orange pee ‘n greasy pies, whin ivrybody wis yellin’ ‘n screamin’ ‘n jumpin’ up ‘n doon ‘n huggin each ither, a wis gie often nearly squashed tae bits agin ra wa’. If ra team in green ‘n white scored, a’ ra big yins wid go aff thir heids ‘n charge forward tae ra wa’ like mad dugs efter a sausage – a didnae ken any muts that wir so aff thir heids they wid go efter wan ae thon greasy pies. Ra fact thir wir wee yins doon there didnae seem tae register wae thim, that’s if onythin’ cud register onytime wae ra dimwits. Sometimes wan ae ra ejits wid grab me ‘n gie’s a bear hug ‘n a big slebberin’ kiss oan ra cheek. Cum oan, whit wis a’ that aboot ‘n that in ra days afore yon pedyfilly stuff ‘r whitiver it wis, wis oot in public. Mon, a couldnae go a slebber fae a lassie even, bit fae a grown man? ‘n a’ ae them thit did it usually stank tae high hivin a’ beer ‘n fags. Imagine no even haein’ ra decency tae hae a shave aforehaun or pit oan some eft’rshave or sook a pepermint when ye know ye’r gonnae b’ huggin’ ‘n kissin’ weans. Ach weel, say la vee, ‘s they say in ra heilins, it seemed tae mak them a’ happy ‘n weans ir no meant tae spoil ra big kids fun, eh. A suppose a jist goat used tae it ‘n a think in time a acchilly got tae like it. Mind ye, ra kissin’ bit nearly made me puke ivry time. Still, it wis a hundrid times better thin whin ye got a bladderful a 70% proof piss doon ra back o’ yer legs whin ra big bloke behind ye missed ‘s lager can. Big prick! – no thit a wis checkin’ mind.

Ach see, wae a’ this goin’ oan, ye didnae ken it wis twa hoors passed ‘n ivrybidy wis leavin’ tae gan hame ir tae ra pub mair like. A got tae whir a used tae wait a wee whily till ra maist wir ootside ’cause ra furst go it tryin’ tae squeeze ma way through wis a fill ye’r breeks time. A nivir felt ra grun a’ ra way oot ra park ‘n oantae Janefield Street ‘n then doon Springfield Road tae ra London Road. Ra really annoyin’ thing aboot that wis, a wantit tae go tae ra Gallagate, way up ra ither end. Efter that a felt ra first shall be last ‘n ra last shall be first. That wye a cud it least leave in ra richt direcshin.   Bit then ye hid tae splash through ra torrent of ra 70% proof waterfallin’ ‘n gushin’ doon ra steps whin ivrybidy id gan hame. Ye kent then why yir feet wir a’ways awfy soakit durin’ gems even oan a dry day. Ye cud, if ye wantit tae kid yersel’, see it is a gie impressive sight a suppose, like yon Italian fount’n ‘hings except ye kent it wisnae acause ‘f ra stink ‘f alcoholic piss

Noo thit a’ve growed up a bit ‘n am at ra big school, a cin see a lot ‘f dodgy stuff aboot thae days. A’ that standin’ squeezed up agin’ a wa’ wis acchilly a bit dangerous. Whit if ra big yins hid charged doon ra front ower hard? Nane ‘f us wee yins wid hae hid a chance ‘f gitten ower yon wa’ no matter how wee it was. A mean it wis nearly up ower ma heid wae nae grips. A’d a bin mashed intae lean beef mince if thr’d bin a crush or onythin’. ‘n whit aboot a’ that pish thit came boundin’ doon ra steps tae is frae up ra back? It wis like hivin’ a fit bath in ra sewage works. If a hid bin a health ‘n safety officer, a wid hae bin seriously thinkin’ aboot pittin’ seats in tae stop a that stuff gangin’ oan ‘n tae keep ra weans frae gittin’ turned intae corn beef. A ken a lot ‘f big yins wid hae thocht it wid kill ra atmosphere (learnt that wan it ra big school, ye ken – well a cheatit ‘n asked ra teacher tae write it fir me) bit a serious choice his tae be made, guid atmosphere or deid weans? Personally, a think ra wee weans wid be a’ richt. It’s acchilly big weans thit’s ra worry. Mind ye, yon plastic seats wid be awfy freezin’ in ra coul’ weather. A bet they wid make giein’ a hug ‘n a cuddle, if ye wir shivrin’, a richt pain. Thir agin, it might be mair welcome then. Bit a still widnae want nain o’ ra kissin’ mind. ‘n a bet thir’d be a lot ‘f shiftin aboot that wid start complaints ‘n things ower whas seat’s whas. Skelp ma breeks, ye cid almost see ra heid yins bannin’ people fir howkin’ each ither ower ra seats ‘n a’ that. ‘n a bet they’d stop ra heid bangers frae gettin’ a’ het up ‘n explodin’. Och, ‘n they wid pit up wan a’ thae signs thit says “This is a smoke free zone” ‘n that wid pit ra perpermint sweety works oot ae business. A saw a sign fir that whin a wis oan a school’s trip tae a paper fact’ry. A didnae smoke then so a didnae care – a’ll no b’ goin’ back again mind, noo thit a’ve stertit puffin’ roon ra back o’ ra school lavies. Then it wid be nae singing, nae banners, nae shoutin, nae onythin’ in case it offends a’bidy in Govan or Ross shire or in outer space even. ‘n cin ye jist imagine nae sidyways movin’. A’d nivir git intae ra shed again. Na, mibys it’s better tae hiv it ra way it is. Fir a stert, they misters couldnae gie’s a howk ower ra turnstiles ’cause somethin’ ‘d probably b’ done tae stop that tae. ‘n efter a’, whit’s a few mashed weans here ‘n there when ye think a’ ra noise ‘n stuff a’ yon big yins make might disappear. ‘n a dinny ken aboot ra ither kids ma age bit a’d miss a them big yins jumpin’ up ‘n doon like numpties ‘n huggin ‘n cleakin ‘n a’ that. ‘n come oan, if they built fancy cludgies ‘n ivrybidy wis sittin in seats how’d a get a free leg-wash frae behind? B’t, see ‘f a telt ra truth, mister, it’s gettin’ kissed wae yon big men up agin ra wee wa a’d probably miss ra maist.





This Picture is revenge for making me type

Old man kissing young boy
in Google Images

My case starts a week on Friday!

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Mike Bhoyle
8 years ago

Rat wiz stoatin’ so it wiz….Awfy clever..awfy good.
Ah’m gled tae see rat ra way ah write iznae a dyin’ art’ at…an rat ither folk kin write this wie az well.
Hiv tae confess ‘though…didnae get the last bit…an am no sure ah want tae anywie.
Anither pensioner.

8 years ago
Reply to  Mike Bhoyle

Come on, Mike. Are you telling me you never got a big smacker from one ae thae big yins when the Bhoys scored? Ma cheeks wir fair hackit efter a’ thi slebberin’ 🙂


8 years ago

PB – Ur you fae Milton?

8 years ago
Reply to  CarlJungleBhoy

Naw CJB but I am always Keans – oooohhhh!!!!


8 years ago

Aye that last bit had me scratchin’ ma noggin. – Sounds like he misses being “taken up the boys gate”

8 years ago

Love it ,Irvine Welsh without the drugs !Be careful Desi , write like that over here in “the wee six”an the DUP will give you a place oan the boord a Ulster-Scoats

8 years ago

Good stuff PB!

8 years ago
Reply to  Monti

Thanks, Monti


8 years ago

Lovely memories. I just managed to get on the end of it in the middle sixties and the stench was truly honking but so many places were anyway where I came from in Coatbridge. An adventure revisited thanks PB.

8 years ago
Reply to  molledog


Glad you enjoyed the memories. And if you were disgusted with Coatbridge, just think how they felt in Airdrie. Knew them both – shall we say well!!


8 years ago

Yeah, you are so right there.

You mad about ETims or just plain mad? Why not buy the t-shirt at