42 Cowlairs Road, Springburn,Glasgow,
Scotland was the
place of my birth. I joined my Mam and Dad, and an older brother and
sister in the wee single-end which they called home. Not content with
three children, my parents saw fit to 'produce' another two and further
cramp the wee space. As you came in the door from the landing (shared by
two other doors and two other families) you were in a small
entrance/hallway which held multiple coat hooks and "the coal bunker"
This 'bunker' held the coal which was burned in the 'fire' to give us
heat, cook our meals boil our water and 'dry' our clothes. I remember the
feelings of terror when this 'fire' set the chimney ablaze, the 'roaring'
of the chimney fire and the panic in the hoose' caused me to 'vacate the
premises' toot'sweet!! The fireplace took up most of 'the front wall'
which included 'the windae' with the proverbial 'auld sink' This sink had
'a zillion' uses, washing dishes, clothes soakin' fish, bleeding meat
(poached) and of course " pee'in in" Another wall was taken up by a sideboard which held most of our clothes
sweaters, shirts, underwear, etc. and "the press" this cupboard
stood 'tall' in oor hoose. It held 'The Family Cutlery' probably stolen
from James Craig's Tearooms, Gordon St. and our dishes, pots and pans.
This cabinet was 'maybe' three feet wide, now, what would today's
housewife do with this 'wee box'??? Our kitchen cabinets in our home today
total 24 feet and 'the wife' still doesn't have enough room, go figure???
hudd a "Galvie Bath" in oor single-end oan Cowlairs Rd. an' ye
remember 'bath night' Well! ma Mam did it fae the youngest furst, then ma
brother David, then me. Ma aulder sister an brother??? ah cannae remember
thaim bathing, durty buggers! Anyhoo' wan Sunday night, Edward's finished
an David gets in, noo jist as he's feenishin'?? he stauns up an 'pees' in
the wattur!!!! Well ah wisnae gettin in there??? right??? right yer arse!!
ma Mam skelps ma ear an makes me greet mair 'cause ah'm blubberin aboot
'Fatty' pee'in in the bath. That wummin showed nae cumpashunn, naw! she
dooks ma heid right unner the wattur an' ah'm splutterin' so's noa tae 'swallae'
oanie o 'fatty's' pee ... nae such luck! she hit me oan ma big lugs wi
hurr weddin haun an hurr ring 'stung' ma ear, ah' went tae let oot a big
"Waaaaaaaaaaaa" bit aw' ah did wis let 'the wattur' in, ah musta'
swallied aboot a pint a' piss an ma two wee brithers huvv ony wet
thumsells mair fae laffin it me.... I have hated baths ever since that
episode, ah' kin see it the'day as clear, as if it wis
yesterday, ah'm boakin' here jist minding o' it!
I have two other memories that have stayed with me over the years.
The first, I
shared a bed with my older sister which was a 'bed chair' This was a chair
which 'converted into 'a single bed' (a very clever piece of furniture)
When the lights went out and the room was lit by a cozy red glow from the
old fire we would lie and watch the mice scuttering around the bare floor
looking for a wee bite to eat. I had an old 'Milk Chocolate' box which
consisted of two halves. I had cut a wee opening in the bottom half and
'sat' the top half over the bottom half opened. When a wee moose would
creep into my 'trap' for a bite of whatever I'd provided, I'd drop a book
on the top and it would drop over the bottom, trapping the wee beastie. In
the morning we would release it into the the sink or a pail of water and
watch it 'doin' the breaststroke. I guess there were other sources of
entertainment (I discovered those later) but, 'Moose catching' was the big
thing in oor hoose!
Ah' decided ah' couldnae tell ye the second tale as
it's toooo durty!!!!! ......
Originally from Cowlairs Rd. Springburn/Balornock/Barmulloch and
very proud of my Glesga' roots and there's not a day went by in the last
34 years, that I haven't wished I was walking along Sauchiehall St. wae ma
new lumbar fae the Locarno' , LoL! I still have a brother in Glasgow and
two sons living on the outskirts of our "Auld Toon" I'm way
overdue for a 'trip hame' and if I won a wee lottery prize?? it'd be
"Hello' izzat Zoom Airlines?? ah' need two tickets tae Glesga' toot
Pure Magic Webmaister,
Thanks Pal! That store "Dunn's" became "James Reid's"
Jewellers an' next door tae that wiss "Lipton's" whaur ah wurked
furr aboot two months.
Ah got fired furr filling aw ma Pals mammy's message bags up furra 'shillin'
LoL! an' that corner ended up being the Bank' whaur ah made ma 'stage
debut' wae a three string guitar an' ah wiss 'bitten bae the bug' fae then
on in, right the way tae "Nashville"
Prior to April
1979 there are no previous photos of me as I ended up on Skid Row in
Toronto with nothing but the clothes on my back. I have one photo taken in
"The Addiction Research Foundation" on April, 1979 but, shows a
very angry, detoxing individual.
The first photo of importance, is the one
with the red guitar, taken at a little Church basement, Alcoholics
Anonymous dance. I volunteered to sing a song with the band and was invited to
become a member although I had no 'axe' to play. I was loaned a Gibson
replica, which I eventually bought and this signalled my upward climb from
abuse and insanity.
The photo of me in my MacGregor kilt, see above, was taken at The
Gaelic College, St.Anne's, Cape Breton Island in the summer of 1993 and
the last one, of me 'eating the breid' see below was taken in 1998, at the home I
built, with my wife Donna on Cape Breton Island.
Big eat the breid!
See Jimmy & Donna in their
Jim & Donna ootside their hoose in Ontario, Canada. October 2003
Take care my dear friend Webmaister Wull and thanks for your
efforts on all of our behalf
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