Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

It looks as if I did actually grow up in Glasgow – at least according to this list

Big Light

After yesterday’s post about “15 foods you’ll definitely have eaten if you’re from Glasgow”, where I seemed to rather unfortunately prove I’m apparently not from Glasgow (but I am, which either reveals something about me, or the creator of that list of 15 foods), I found another list, this time “14 things you’ll remember if you grew up in Glasgow”.

Well, I know I grew up in Glasgow, and it was the east end, not the posh west end, so let’s see if I do any better with this one.

  1. The Big Light
    No problem with this one, ‘The Big Light’ only went on when it was really needed, for jobs like sewing, or reading small print.
  2. Blackpool Illuminations
    The natural consequence of using ‘The Big Light’ and leaving it on when not considered necessary: “It’s like Blackpool Illumination in here!”
  3. The messages
    Spent my life going for ‘The Messages’ and being dragged around every grocer’s in the east end every week, since this refers to the shopping, now all collected from the supermarket, and no healthy walk around all those little shops.
  4. A skelp
    No more skelps these days, unless you want to get locked up for hitting a child and being accused of child abuse. Thankfully one I tended to avoid, coming from a family that couldn’t see the logic of parents who slap their kids around while shouting “Stop crying or you’ll get another skelp!”
  5. Square sausage: the only sausage
    Well – see yesterday’s post about growing up in Glasgow for more on square sausage.
  6. Saturday trips to the Barras
    Sadly, this is now a thing of the past, as the Barras are a sad shadow of what they once were, a veritable ghost area compared to the shoulder to shoulder sardine crush of not that long ago. I’m glad I was around for the real thing.
  7. Wedding scrambles
    Usually arrived too late, I don’t remember every getting as much as a penny, in the scramble that tool place at the end of a wedding, when the bride and groom threw a handful of coins for the kids to fight over. Probably no longer happens as the insurance premium is too high!
  8. Aunties galore
    It was quite a while before I realised all those ‘aunties’ (and ‘uncles’ to be accurate) were not actually relatives, but were a close-knit clique of very close and trusted friends. I was actually quite pleased to learn this, as I had one old ‘auntie’ who the family looked after, and had to go for ECT (twice if I remember correctly). Interestingly, there’s a vintage ECT machine in the People’s Palace, probably dates from her day!
  9. Taking your pieces to school
    Another one partly covered in yesterday’s post, pieces are what we have here, not sandwiches!
  10. Saving your gingy bottles
    There was a time when ginger, or fizzy drink (glass) bottles included a refundable charge, so enterprising kids would collect empties and cart them back to the shop. Did it a few times, but if I recall my news stories correctly, I think this has now come to an end.
    Incidentally, I did some work in the new Barr’s plant when it opened in Cumbernauld some years back, and it seems that the recycling of refundable lass bottles actually works out MORE expensive in energy terms that making new glass bottles or using plastic. The problem apparently comes from the additional energy taken to melt the reclaimed glass, as opposed to making new glass from fresh ingredients, with no reclaimed glass (cullet) added.
  11. Dogging it
    Proper term for not going to school when you were supposed to. This one I didn’t try – my schools weren’t so bad, plus, from what I saw, nobody ever got away with it and the hassle seemed to far outweigh any fun.
  12. This genius philosophy
    “What’s fur ye’ll no go by ye” – heard that more than once.
  13. Ur ye dancin?
    Guess I moved in the wrong circles – although I do wonder if this more of an anecdotal phrase used by Glasgow comics to raise a laugh, as opposed to hopefuls looking for a dance.
  14. Dancing 500 Miles
    GOD NO! Apparently ‘The Proclaimers’ are still around and were, or are, serious. All I can say about this is that I have never heard more that the first few bars, having always managed to kill any radio that dared to play this anywhere near me.

That was almost fun…

At least it was – until 14 arrived and spoiled it all.


August 22, 2017 - Posted by | Civilian | ,


  1. There was a round Lorne (?) sausage too. Quite peppery.
    Heard ALL these comments and no 7: I actually did very well at Scrambles, but I was not supposed to go to the chapel round the corner as it was Catholic! Also, my granny worried that I’d end up under the wheels of the bride’s car. Finally, she thought it was ‘common.’ Sometimes I almost had 2/6- more than my pocket money! Supplemented by taking a few lemonade bottles back, I could treat my pals to a round of putting in the park (4d)


    Comment by Candia | September 3, 2017

  2. Indeed, there was a round sausage similar to the square or Lorne type. Now that you remind me, I can’t recall coming across if for years, but then again, as the lowly male of the species I tend to do my foraging in supermarkets as opposed to butcher’s shops. My recollection is that it wasn’t so satisfying, as each slice was naturally smaller than than a square slice. I don’t know if it’s something new, but we’re getting ‘Black Eye Sausage’ now, a square sausage with a centre of black pudding running through it.


    Comment by Apollo | September 3, 2017

  3. The round sausage fitted round rolls better!
    15/9/2012- I posted a poem on my site on the theme ‘You are What You Eat’ It referred to the forthcoming (then) Commonwealth Games and the kind of food on offer in Glasgow!


    Comment by Candia | September 3, 2017

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