1971 Boroughmuir class.

1971 Boroughmuir class.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Thursday, 1st July, 1971

I'm nae longer 14 and a hauf-it's ma 15th birthday today. 

I kicked aff the morning wie ma paper roond, but of course I didnae venture intae 'Burrie'-after a' it is the second last day o' term!

I'd be stretching it a bit tae say it wiz a birthday present, but Maw n' Paw's divorce came through. Rather strange and poignant that it should be oan the date o' their first born's birth-day; life gone full-circle.

Oan a happy note I did very well fir ma birthday-I got Heather's typewriter so perhaps I might dae some writing; also a wee transistor radio-handy tae listen tae 'Tony Blackburn' in the morning when I'm oot 'n aboot doing ma paper round and fir listening tae the fitba and Radio Luxembourg in the evening. 

I also got 'Rags tae Riches' by Elvis-a great track; and also a nice wee or should I say a big fiver from the auld boy. 

In the evening we a' enjoyed a wee birthday tea, wie Nana's braw home made chocolate birthday cake the highlight-scrumptious., as Winker Watson' in 'The Dandy' wid say!

We a' had a guid game o' fitba after tea-enjoyable and keeps the auld fitness ticking ower. The day wiz finished aff wie a poke o' chips from Rissi's-nae a bad birthday at a'.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Wednesday, 30th June, 1971

I wiz aff 'Burrie'; the academic term finishes quite late this year oan Friday; given it's ma birthday the morn you wid hardly expect me tae go in tae school. It cannae be often that the term stretches intae July.

I treated maself tae some chocolate eclairs from 'Martins' at the Broadway-I found a one pound note-lucky or what! 

Anither afternoon o' Wimbledon tennis, featuring the women; like yesterday I followed it wie a guid game o' fitba up at the field. 

Nana, Gaga and Aunt Heather were oot-they didn't bring Heather's typewriter which is yin o' the presents I'm getting fir ma 15th birthday the morn.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Tuesday, 29th June, 1971

Aff school...again! After a morning tootling around the place wie a wee bit o' housework thrown in, it wiz soon time tae draw the curtains, leap oan tae the couch and lie back a' afternoon oan ma grandstand Oxgangs seat tae watch Wimbledon-beats 'Burrie' hands doon. 

I occasionally have skiving oan ma conscience, but the balm I've given maself is, that's it fir the academic year-nae school until the end o' August and when the autumn term starts, I'm telling maself it'll a' be fine then and I'll settle doon and start attending proper-like.

Anyway, Wimbledon wiz absolutely brilliant-a fantastic match wie auld Ken Rosewell beating Cliff Richey-whit a match. Rosewell booked his place in the semi-final but it took a marathon 5 setter fir him tae come through in the end-Dan said it wiz yin o' Wimbledon's great matches.

I love watching the tennis at this time o' the year; I like everything aboot it, from the Robinson's Barley Water; the ivy covered stand; Dan Maskell's lovely measured commentary-'Oh well played, Miss Wade!' and the accompaniment and American twang o' the co-commentator, Jack Kramer, who's a wee bit more straight talking than Dan-summer tae perfection. 

Auld Dan wiz saying something interesting aboot Cliff Richey-he has an issue wie his breathing-something tae do wie taking in too much oxygen, therefore he puts the face o' his tennis racket up to his face-maybe if a attended Biology I might understand whit he wiz talking aboot! Anyway, guid tae see Rosewell win-a lovely man and as handsome as they come.

Tae make up fir ma slothful day I had a guid runaboot playing fitba once Firhill wiz oot. 

A quiet wee evening inside watching the telly. I stayed up late oan catching William Barclay's 'The Sermon oan the Mount'-he's the auld boy's favourite theologian so I wiz keen tae listen to whit he had tae say.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Monday, 28th June, 1971

I skived aff school-again-a suspect that's me thrown in the towel for the academic year and perhaps a forlorn thought that I can start afresh come the start o' the big 'O' Level 4th Year in August. 

So, whilst ma peers at 'Burrie' 'enjoyed' the dubious charms o' Miss Boyd's double Biology class followed by Miss Beattie, 'The Queen o' Maths' Geometry class, I scurried aboot the house a' morning, taking care o' yin or two odds 'n ends before I took ma front row seat fir Wimbledon-ah well, each tae their own!

Wie the curtains drawn I settled back oan the couch fir an afternoon o' entertainment; I wisnae disappointed either, as Tom Gorman sensationally knocked oot the great Rod Laver-it probably opens things up fir John Newcombe.

A nice surprise tae see Nana and Gaga oot tae see us in the evening.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Sunday, 27th June, 1971

I got a loan o' Dougie Blades' bike; along wie Boo-Boo, Les, Ali and Iain we went for a dead long bike run and picmic-great cycling doon-hill fir much o' the ride-we stopped aff at Duddingston Loch before we ended up at Portobello and visited Nana's for some tea. 

It wiz guid fun being oot in a group for a day o' adventure-a great way tae spend a Saturday. 

The only doon side wiz it was mainly uphill a' the way back from seaside Porty tae the Pentland foothills o' Oxgangs-it would have been better tae tackle the heavy work in the morning when we were a' fresh as daisies. Still, we did the return in wee stages including a wee breather jist before leaving Holyrood Park. We got home jist before 7.00 pm-tired but happy.

When we got back, the exciting news wiz we've got a new carpet-we're moving up in the world.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Saturday, 26th June, 1971

I slept in ma scratcher a' morning which isnae like me at a', but a believe it's a common thing wie teenagers-they need their sleep tae grow a bit.

I watched Wimbledon a' afternoon-very enjoyable-curtains drawn, lying back oan the couch, watching the very bonnie, Winnie Shaw, Scotland's finest win through tae next week's quarter final where she'll meet Margaret Court. 

She's a lovely girl-'Winsome Winnie' I cry her-a rather brilliant pun, although I do say so maself, because she does win some! She has a lot o' class, in the all-roond sense o' the word-I mean she'll fa' easily tae Margaret Court next week, but she gets the best oot o' whit she's got and she loves being oot there playing-lovely tae see.

Very late oan Les ramage, Stevie Westbrook and I tried tae get some money aff some drunkies.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Friday, 25th June, 1971

After yesterday's 'shocking' day, you could argue today wiz even mair shocking in that despite being up in front o' the beak, Lewis Romanis, I jist decided tae take Friday aff. Well, a suppose if only I'd done that yesterday I wouldnae have got intae such almighty hot water!

My junior partner in crime, Iain, ma young apprentice, wiz also aff school today, so both 'Burrie' and Firhill were a man doon. We did the week's messages at the Store early oan and then wandered doon tae the tennis courts fir a wee game-the courts were nice and quiet-anither wee bonus from being aff school.

After a wee lunch, I drew the curtains and settled back oan the couch for an afternoon o' Wimbledon-excellent-what a very civilized way tae spend a day in Oxgangs. Once Firhill wiz oot and after ma tea, I joined a bunch o' the lads fir a guid game o' fitba.

Late evening I watched an enjoyable Edward G. Robinson film-a mix o crime 'n comedy, where he spends time as a monk in an order-some powerful, subtle wee messages in there-'...we all share in a brother's shame.' and ' A man can't change ower nicht'-oan that note I'm aff tae bed-in many ways a guid day in the broader cultural sense if no in the narrower educational yin. 

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Thursday, 24th June, 1971

Today was a SHOCKING DAY in a' senses o' the word. Retep's journal almost came tae an end before it had really begun.

Most unlike me, but I'd gone intae 'Burrie' first thing this morn; being a Thursday we kicked aff wie double Biology. We were a' sitting oan oor stools at the lab benches daein' some lab work-a wee experiment.

I wiz finding it a' kind o' boring. We had everything set oot, including scalpels and the auld black lab lights which cast some extra lux oan the proceedings. The lamps are absolutely ancient-probably part o' the school stock, circa 1921, from half a century ago. 

Anyway, as Robert Louie might write, I wiz in a complete 'dwam'-no really paying attention at a'; but what I wiz fascinated by wiz the auld lamp's flex, which is coated in a waxy material. I've probably seen some o' the other lads daein' it before and picked up the scalpel and began carving some o' the wax aff the flex wire. 

In ma innocence, naivety, stupidity or jist being in anither world at the time, but a hadnae connected that the lamp wiz connected tae the electricity-it wiz live and the light wiz oan, but no in ma world! 

Well, the next thing a knew, there wiz the most almighty explosion; a' the lights in the lab fused and the room went dark; pupils fell backwards aff their stools on tae the floor; meanwhile I jist stood there shocked, wie a smoking scalpel in ma hand. 

Well, whit could a say when Miss Boyd asked who the culprit was?-there wiz little auld me standing there, holding the smoking gun, err, scalpel in ma paw. 

Tae be honest, it wiz the first time I've really been interested in the science. First of a', I wiz fascinated by the pure circle that had been blown clean oot o the stainless steel scalpel-it wiz the most perfect circle you've ever seen; and second, I wondered how the hell I wiz still standing there-wiz it the rubber soles in ma shoes-perhaps a future experiment fir those daein' the Physics?

Anyway, after the shock of it a', if you'll forgive anither pun, I wiz frog-marched doon tae the headmaster's room-the inner sanctuary o' Lord Lewis, I mean Mr Romanis. He wiz shocked tae-no jist at what I'd done but a guess he could better envisage whit the ramifications might o' been; further tae that, he was almost as shocked at ma school record. He said he'd never seen such an absenteeism record in a' his days in education.

Well, Huck Finn had been well and truly caught oot-that'll teach me after a' ma chutzpah last week when I wiz oan ma high horse bragging away aboot how naebody could lay a finger oan young Huck.

A letter is oan its way tae Maw-when I got back tae Oxgangs I didnae pass oan the shocking news-instead I just carried oan as if nothing had happened. So, further shocks tae come. If only I'd followed Iain's example-he wiz aff school the day. I wouldnae have got maself intae such bother if I'd been skiving-there must be a moral there!

Anyway life goes oan and I settled back tae watch day 4 o' the Wimbledon Championships.

I've got a terrible cold-honest guv-so I may not manage intae 'Burrie' tomorrow. 

In the evening we a' settled doon tae watch Gary Cooper in 'High Noon'-whit a very braw film and perhaps an appropriate sort o' a title fir today.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Wednesday, 23rd June, 1971

I skived aff 'Burrie' at dinner-time-well being a part-timer is surely better than being a non-attendee!

I took a quiet, sun-filled number 16 bus from Bruntsfield back tae Oxgangs tae enjoy day 3 o' Wimbledon. Whit a life, ye cannae whack it-I get in, get changed, curtains drawn, telly oan, then settle back on the couch tae enjoy the gentlemanly, sweet tones o' Dan Maskell and some braw tennis. I love the whole tradition o' these weeks which have become a regular feature o' ma life-we maybe cannae be next tae the Robinsons Barley Water, but being able tae watch it in an Edinburgh suburb is a close second.

It got me aw reved up fir ma match against Stevie Westbook who I beat 6-2, 6-3, 6-2.

After tea Gaga, Nana and Aunt Heather were oot; afterwards I watched Bing Crosby oan 'Frost Ower America'.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Tuesday, 22nd June, 1971

As I'd decided tae honour 'Burrie' wie a casual wee visit tae school, I wiz able tae enjoy a guid wee Globey lunch, before coming back home early tae Oxgangs tae watch day 2 o' Wimbledon a' afternoon-whit a life!

Later oan Les Ramage and I had a close game o' tennis down at Colinton Mains Park tennis courts- I won 8-6, but it could have gone either way.

Once we came home, through the fag smoke, it wiz guid tae see Maw's pal, Marion Dibley (4/4 Oxgangs Avenue) in-she's always such a guid laugh-full o' fun-a tonic fir everyone!

I played records in the bedroom until midnight-'The Beatles' 'You've Got To Hide Your Love Away' is such a guid track.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Monday, 21st June, 1971

It's a funny auld world-here's me, bottom o' the class-the school dunce and yet we had a quiz at 'Burrie' today and I won it hands doon-nae wonder the teacher wiz looking puzzled!

I slipped away early as Wimbledon started today.

I have a season ticket fir it-the couch in the living room where I lie back fir two weeks in front o' the screen; because oor living room faces south on tae the Pentland Hills I have tae draw the curtains closed-goodness knows whit the neighbours think, but it keeps the sunshine aff the screen. Maw is always bemused at me when she gets in from work.

A braw match tae open the tournament-Pancho Gonzales v Manuel Orantes-wie auld Pancho wie the film star looks coming through. He's a wee bit combustible, but a great character. He's amazing because he's ancient-43 years of age-only slightlier younger than the auld boy. He wiz winning the US Open back in the 1940s-Orantes is half his age!

I kin also relate tae him too as he had a troubled adolescence-he wiz always skiving aff the school, wie the truant officers always after him-they say he wiz 'ostracised'-I like that word-I jist looked it up in Maw's Oxford Dictionary, after a heard Dan Maskell use it.

Watching tennis is warm work-I'm listening oot fir the sweet chimes o' the ice cream van-preferably Tony's rather than Jola's. 

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Sunday, 20th June, 1971

We a' went doon tae Gaga's today; Nana rattled up yin o' her ten oot o' ten Sunday roast dinners.

In the afternoon we a' settled back and watched a delightful wee Maurice Chevalier film called 'Folies Berg√®re de Paris'-it wiz filled wie lots o' musical numbers-I'm jist a young romantic at heart! 

Once back home tae Oxgangs we a' got oor sleeves rolled up and tidied the whole hoose before Maw went aff fir her bath.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Saturday, 19th June, 1971

I missed ma papers this morn-a black mark against me-not only am I skiving school, but now I'm missing ma wee job tae. It's unusual especially as it wiz pay day, not tae mention a Saturday. I instead tidied oor bedroom up-I much prefer it when it's neat and tidy.

We went fir a picnic up tae the Pentlands-we were away fir much o' the day-a guid crowd o' us including Boo-Boo Hanlon; Les Ramage and Iain; Derek Ramage left earlier than the rest o' us.

I wiz just thinking how it's been a funny sort o' a day.

In the evening we enjoyed a very guid episode o' 'Parkinson' wie a poke o' chips-that's me, no Parky!; Iain's big favourite Terry Thomas wiz oan as wiz Arthur Ashe wie Wimbledon fast approaching-'The Championships'-that'll be anither excuse fir me skiving aff 'Burrie' in the coming weeks. 

Friday, 17 June 2016

Friday, 18th June, 1971

Iain and I were aff school; whilst I can live wie maself skiving, it worries me a wee bit tae see him doing it too.

Whilst I like having his company, I dinnae want tae see his life spiralling oot o' control, going doon the plughole the way mine is-I care fir him tae much tae see that happen, so it's been oan ma conscience. 

Anyway, the two o' us did the week's messages together-we enjoy doing that and we team up well together. 

Later oan I got ma pictures back from the chemist's-some guid yins o' Iain, Simon the cat and me. In the evening Nana and co. were oot tae visit us-always a guid influence.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Thursday, 17th June, 1971

I wiz aff 'Burrie' again; as I'm likely tae skive aff the morn too that'll make fir a full house; it's a' rather unsettling. I've decided I need tae start searching fir a wee job.

Today wiz a chips, chocolate √©clairs 'n Chopper' day. 

I went fir a wee morning cycle up tae Colinton Village via 'Martins the Bakers' ; Colinton is a nice part o' the south side o' the city wie links back tae Robert Louie; it's a very pleasant wee spot. 

After a wee interlude there I came back home tae Oxgangs after stopping aff at the Store where a picked up ma boil 'n the bag curry-I'm getting quite sophisticated as I move towards fifteen.  

Once the Firhill lads got oot we a' played oan oor bikes fir much o' the evening, a' finished aff wie some chips.