Wednesday, January 27, 2021


imagination is sparked by an Ethrick Brown Novel. Book with images exploding from it

Read Scottish thrillers with great plots and laugh out loud humour


Remember the days when kids used to walk. So do I. Mmm, I wonder why they don't do it so much now?



I Joined the Glennifer Cub Scout pack in 1969. 8 years old was the minimum age for a cub and that was it. You couldn’t get in any younger than that. You had to be a big boy. There were no beavers in those days.

I didn’t even stay in Glenburn. Paisley town centre was my stomping block. I was a Charleston Boy. Stoney Brae was over a mile from my house and there were closer options but there was only one team I ever wanted to play for and I opted for the green orange and yellow neckie. Most boys in the street did, except the odd ones who joined the BB.

By the time I was 8 years old the 1.3 mile, mostly uphill walk, to the scouts was easy. I had been walking to school since I was 5. We walked everywhere then. Walking wasn’t an issue. Scouting was all about hiking and adventure and by 9 years old a six mile hike from Neilston to Paisley was Childs play.

After attending a scouting activity, at the Neilston Fair, Matt Canavan and I decided to blow our bus fare on MB bars, chocolate tools, Bazooka Joes or Penny caramels. Maybe we scoffed a canny bag o Tudor Crisps as well, just to set us up for the journey. It was only six mile to our houses. Why waste good sweetie money on bus fares. We were big boys after all and I was hoping to be a seconder in the Red Six soon, so the world held no fears for me.

Unfortunately, my aspirations were never realised. It wasn’t really my fault and I don’t think bunking off without telling the leaders had anything to do with me missing out on that promotion. Surely using your initiative and navigating you way home unaided wouldn’t cause any concern to anyone, even if they were responsible for looking after you.

No, it was probably just because, if you can’t go to the Cubs for eight months because you can’t get out of a hospital bed with a broken pelvis, a shattered knee and a left eye that sort of popped out its socket, then they must give the promotion to someone with a better attendance record. Not to worry it was just a scratch. They say the car that hit me came of second best and I was back in action, with two eyes and two functioning legs, within a year.

I never did get that seconder flash. I went straight to the top. Sixer was the gig I really wanted anyway. I continued to wear the Gleniffer Neckie for many, many more years as a scout, venture Scout (Tanahill) and a Gleniffer Leader. As I said, it was the only team I ever wanted to play for.