In tha deys love hearts an sweetie mice

Mann dae ye know A think tha ouler ye get tha mair ye swither aboot yer younger deys whun ye wur a wean an things that ye dane an tha lake.

Onywye, A wus awa baak in this line o thocht tha ither dey an A thocht aboot tha airly fifties whun wae flitted frae mae birthplace in North Entrim tae Cuilren on tha banks o tha Bann. Whiles a wunner what it micht hae bane lake if wae had styed roon aboot tha Garry Boag in Stranocum.

Hooiniver, wae come tae leeve in a hoose belangin tae tha Relwye Company that feyther worked tae as a platelayer. Noo there wusnae mich siller aboot in them deys come tae think aboot it there’s naw a while loc aboot tha dey ither. Gettin used tae leevin in tha toon wusnae aisy fur tha toon weans wud hae gecked me aboot tha wye A taaked. Rinnin messages for mae mither wus a gran wee jab A wud hae dane it nearly ivery dey. Noo A micht hae bane sent for a quarter o tay, a broon loaf an a pun o Guernsay tomatoes an wud hae set aff tae Camerons shap rhymin these twathry things in mae heid. But dae ye know whun yer a wean ye ir aisy side trecked an A wud hae stapped tae watch an oul man diggin protas in tha plots, ir watched a goods tren comin up allo tha tip heid frae tha harbour.

Arrivin at tha wee shap a wud hae lifted tha latch an axted fir a quarter o tay, twa Paris buns an a tin o Pilshards, aff coorse mae mither sent mae baak agen but this time wae a note. Noo jest at tha enn o Georges Place wus a wee sweet shap an kan mine stannin wae mae mooth open, aye, an wattherin tae, luckin in at a hale spread o sweet. A kan mine a brev wheen o them, there wus fruit salad chuws at echt for a penny, sweetie cigerettes, Highland toffee bars, trackle toffee, a big jar o merry maid toffees, haepenny chuws, penny chuws, sherbet fountains, lickerish pipes, goold nuggets, gobstappers, space ships, jujubs, sweetie mice, love hearts, spangles, lucky dimes, strang peppermints tae bae left alane at aa coost, smiths crisps wae that had a wee blue poke o sault inside, ainaseed baa’s.

An tae think it is aa awa noo, nae Georges Place wae its wee hooses, nae wee sweetie shap, nae Mrs Cameron ir hir wee shap, nae relwye frae tha harbour tae Cuilren stashun, Tip heid is noo flettined, aye deed an tha plots ir awa as weel whaur aa tha men roon aboot grew vegetables an sweet William fur tha twalth. It wus aa dane in tha name o progress but whiles a wunner if it wus fur tha betther.

Charlie ‘Tha Poocher’ Rannals. Sept 2013.