Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Ode to women

The Catholics burned
The Protestants drowned
It was completely accepted
No one made a sound
Misguided and afraid
And scared of being branded a witch
Accusations would fly of a suspected bitch
Men still find reasons
Because they can
But God bless all women
Most men will never understand
That you are a special gift
Sincere beauty with a spiritual lift
Love so profound
Love that has no price
The love of God
And a smile from Christ

Captive by Grant Harbison

The door of the room is locked

But at least my hands are not tied

There is no way out

Believe me I’ve tried

I know I’m being watched

My every move

Unseen eyes

Peering through a groove

He sometimes comes to see me

Perhaps four or five times a week

He brings me food and water

But never ever speaks

There are times when he goes away

And leaves me on my own

Before he goes he ties me up

And always sings the same song

Not the catchy song we all know

He has his own rendition

‘Tie me up before you go go.’   

Monday, 30 March 2015

Lies of demise by Grant Harbison

What if I told you that Cock Robin is not dead?
Would you think that I was playing with your head?
What you heard was just a rumour
A fabrication through twisted humour
Yes, it was all a big fat lie
A tale concocted by the sparrow and the fly
They did it for a lark and involved the lark in it
He thought it was hilarious and encompassed the linnet
What they did was wicked and foul
With no compassion for the distress of the owl
Or for the dove
Cock Robin’s one and only love
They knew the story would crush the delicate thrush
Upset the wren and destroy the hen
It was all through jealousy and malicious spite
Envy of Cock Robin and his good friend the kite
Everyone believed their lies
They even pulled the wool over the large bull’s eyes
So the question is where did he go?
And if he’s not dead then why doesn’t he show?
It’s true about the sparrow and his little arrow
Robin hadn’t died but he sure had bled
And he’d fallen out of the tree and bumped his head
After the thump his life took a slump
And he lived for many years in a rubbish dump
He has moved on since then
And I’ve seen him time and again
Living like a bum in an East End slum

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Prost by Grant Harbison

“Prost!” screamed the Russian at the Prussian.
The Prussian sighed and replied, “Do you think I would offer salutation to one of your nation?”
“War has been won, my friend; and others begin when another ends.”
Although deeply riled, the Prussian simply smiled. “You think you have the upper hand? Revolution sweeps through your land.”
“Revolution was the only solution. Everyone is par now that there’s no Czar.”
“You are a fool to think the people can rule .Truly naive if you honestly believe.”
“You seem none the wiser, my little Kaiser. My land expands while yours disbands.”
“All I see are mishaps and Bolshevik collapse.”
“Our power will grow and I’ll have you know that our new found regime will soon rule supreme.”
“The next war will be dire. The new messiah shall lead us with fire.”
“The Bear you can never tame. Who is this man? Does he have a name?”
“You will find out in due course. He will gather such a force. And when the war for you is lost, then I will shout, Prost!”

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Unrestrained by Grant Harbison

I watch the swift unreeling

Of the binds of consternation                                                                             

That have constrained me for so long

In cynicism and doubt

Confined me in shadowy clouds

Where exultation could not be found

And embodied me in torment

Without any clout

I rejoice at my new emancipation

And bask in its buoyancy

With a mood of expectancy

And a divergent perspective

I shall cast out uncertainties

When they come back to invade

Confront tribulations

And rise above pain

I will learn to accept that I can be adored

And to those who adore

I will love even more

I shall learn to have faith

And be unreserved

Be open to gifts

If I truly deserve

I shall squander self-doubt

If it comes back to taunt me

And trust in my God

And the Angels around me.

Money and prophet by Grant Harbison

Many had feared the seer

For his messages had often been dire

Awash with gloom

And great balls of fire

They’d come from miles around

To hear him speak in that small Bavarian town

Crammed into a large room

They’d listened to his tales of horror and impending doom

They’d observed him with wide eyed stares

As he’d ranted and raved with hands in the air

Some had shrieked and many had gasped

At his thundering hollers and derisory rasps

But the prophet had been wise you see

For to hear his words had required a small fee

And day after day he’d smiled when he’d emptied his pockets

For what is a prophet if he cannot profit? 

Friday, 27 March 2015

Lady sings the blues by Grant Harbison

Lady sings the blues
With natural poise
Out of ruby red lips
Comes a velvety voice
Soulful and maudlin
But no one is listening
There’s no one applauding
Lady sings the blues
Bittersweet words
Of a life torn apart
Shattered dreams
Broken heart
Lady sings the blues
But no one wants to hear
No one even notices her eyes fill with tears
Tears for the past
The wasted years
Tears for the future
Anxieties and fears 

Lacklustre by Grant Harbison

Lacklustre by Grant Harbison

Another drudging day
Of dreary things to come my way
Musters lacklustre
Lamentations and rues
Fuel for my middling seasonal blues
The tedium of chores
Wholly bores
Floundering any dedication
Inertia chokes my inspiration
Eschewing any form of communication
Left in my shell with stagnating ambition
Incapable of decision
Bereft of exultation
No cause for rejoice 
With limited expectations
I was never spoilt for choice
Jaded through time
Disappointments aplenty
But as hard as it was to take
Ever let down gently

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Magic moments by Grant Harbison

Sitting on the rim of my plate
Eyeballing me while I ate
Was an orange newt in a burgundy suit
Chattering and seemingly irate
Jabbering in a tongue that I couldn't comprehend
He was obviously disturbed
And completely round the bend
So I kept my poise
Ignored his noise
And merrily proceeded to eat
Causing him to scream like a beleaguered banshee
And instantly he stamped his feet
He then whizzed round and round the bowl
At a quite incredible speed
Continually ranting and raving
Trying his best to make me take heed
But I refused to utter a word
I refused to appease or concede
This demented creature was never going to win
He wasn't going to impede
So I ate what was left of my wonderful meal
And enjoyed the way it made me feel
With its mouth-watering flavour that seemed so surreal
But just as I started to rise from my chair
Another appeared completely bare
With two pairs of eyes and a sinister stare
Another emerged when I got to the sink
Sporting polka dot pyjamas
Yellow and pink
More began to surface
Until there was a very large group
And then transformed into mushrooms
Just like the ones in my soup 

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Days of olde by Grant Harbison

Will thee not tell me, nay?

Thine countenance doth disclose thine angst

Pray tell fair maiden

What do thee wish to say?

Unburden thine soul

Reveal its dismay

Hath thine affection withered?

Or is thine heart in disarray?

Hath some imminent fate been bestowed upon thee?

It matters not, my sweet

With thee mine heart will forever be

Nay, sire. For what I am about to say

Thee shall send me away

I should not feel ashamed

Merely my naivety to blame

Thee led me astray

And for that I must pay

For being an unmarried wench

With a child on the way

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

A kiss landed and died by Grant Harbison

We met at the coffee shop                                                                       

On a wet and wintry night

My heart was full of confidence

Everything just seemed right

You’d called my mobile earlier

To say that you had something on your mind                      

And asked me if I could meet you there

If I would be so kind

I’d said that I wouldn't be long

And that I was on my way

I had something for you

And there was something that I wanted to say

I got there at eight

Nervous and afraid

You arrived a half an hour later

And apologised for being late

I ordered myself an espresso and a cappuccino for you

While we stared at one another

The anxiety in me grew

Eventually I could take no more

And got down on my knees

I offered you the ring

And said, “Marry me, please.”

You looked at me in horror

And slowly shook your head

I got back up and sat back down

With a look of utter dread

You said that you’d only come to say goodbye

Leaving me mortified

Before you left you kissed my cheek

A kiss that landed and died

No quality thyme by Grant Harbison

“I’m running out of rhymes!” he cried.
“And I've run out of thyme,” she replied.
“But Rosemary, this could change our lives!”
“Yes Basil, we also need chives.”
“I must have a block; it’s probably just a stage.”
“Fennel, lavender and some sage.”
“I’m so frustrated, I’m losing the will!”
“Parsley, oregano and perhaps some dill.”
“Are you hearing me at all, or are you just being crass?”
“Go, get moving; get off your ass, and while you’re at the store look for lemon grass.”
“You are so inconsiderate and not very nice.”
“That just reminds me, we also need spice.”
“This is just a blip. It’s not my fault!”
“Paprika, pepper and we probably need salt.”
“Rosemary, you haven’t heard a word I've said!”
“And now you know how it feels to be dead.”

Monday, 23 March 2015

Bastard Masters by Grant Harbison

From the European lands they sought to explore
Wreaking havoc on distant shores
Through our lands they plundered and ravaged
With patronising effrontery they called us savage
They fed us their religion and forced us to take heed
But in the name of their god they salivated from greed
For the alabaster master we toiled and slaved
Put in our place if we protested or misbehaved
This is what they called civilisation
Chastening the natives with no deliberation

Frumpy Freddy by Grant Harbison

Frumpy Freddy fell in love
With pudgy Polly who lived up above
But Freddy fell in love every day
Yesterday it was mawkish May
And the day before that was pimply Pat
But alas no one finds Freddy fab
He’s far too gawky and way too drab
Although he’s never been pedantic
There’s never been hope for this hopeless romantic
Just last week slovenly Sally slapped his cheek
And then stomped on his toe and called him a geek
Belligerent Belinda went berserk
Hit him with her shoe and called him a jerk
He even tried with bandy Mandy
By sending her flowers and a box of candy
One day he got down on his knees
And scared the hell out of lofty Louise
He told her that he couldn't resist her
And the following day he did the same with her sister
Freddy has tried with every girl at school
But he’s continually snubbed and branded a fool
Life is hard and lonely for Freddy
As all of his friends are now going steady
Maybe one day he will find his sugar
But for now it’s not happening for young Frederick Kruger 

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Paedo files by Grant Harbison

“Scream again!” I cried as I stuck a pin in his eye.
And scream he did
Tears from his eyes
Begging for mercy
Seeking kindness
I want him to suffer
I want blindness
Am I playing a sick game?
Do you think that I should hold my head in shame?
I’m not insane
I just want this paedophile to feel real pain
He’s on the floor now
Meek and mild
Sucking his thumb like a little child
I spit on him
And I curse
And when the other inmates get here
It’s going to get worse
They are hardy
They are riled
They are disgusted that he did that to a child
Yeah, you may say we should learn to forgive
But I don’t see why this scum deserves to live
He didn’t have to do it
There is self-control
His poor arsehole

Every dog has its day by Grant Harbison

Don’t go
Stay at home today
It’s a glorious day and I’d really love to play
So please stay
Forget about the daily race
Let’s play my favourite game
The one you call chase
Just stay
Stay with me
We’ll have a great time
I promise
You’ll see
Just for today
The sun is shining
Don’t leave me pining
What do you say?
I could run and run
It’ll be so much fun
Don’t go
I don’t like it when you go away
It can be so boring
Patiently waiting while the others are snoring
Listening closely for the sound of the gate
Wishing you home but it’s always too late
And even though I bark and bark
You never want play chase in the dark
So be with me
I’ll listen to your call
Is that a yes?
Can I go and fetch my ball?  

Bottled by Grant Harbison

Fire in my belly
Icicled heart
Another swig of the bottle
Can’t go falling apart
Don’t want to be sinking
Into the bitter realm
Where twisted thinking
Predominates calm
Where darkness fills my head
Whispering fear
Playing on my dread
I don’t want to hear
Another swig of the bottle
To stop me succumbing
Drowning perception
Progressively numbing
Deadpan eyes
Feverish smile
Safe from the torments
At least for a while

Saturday, 21 March 2015

For batter or worse by Grant Harbison

I lie in a crumpled heap
Curled on the floor
In the next room
The bastard snores
With trembling hands I touch my face
My feminine beauty he’s sought to disgrace
I stroke it gently with my fingertips
And feel the wetness of blood on my swollen lips
I try to get up
But cry out in pain
This is not the first time
It’s happened time and again
I’ve put up with this misery
I’ve put up with the shame
I’d even thought that I was to blame
Both those days are over
I won’t stand for it anymore
And when I get myself up from this wooden floor
I’ll make sure that bastard will snore his last snore

Accord by Grant Harbison

I’m enchanted by a certain chord
Beguiled by a transient twinkling of perfect timbre

Impulsively I play the track again

And absorb the ethereal tones

Feeling the dulcet sound

As it surges through me

Impinging my soul

And inundating my mind

I wait for the time to come

For that moment of perfect pitch

And when I hear the notes again

I’m engulfed in absolute bliss

But the harmony is brief

And my elation abruptly ends

Causing a feverish desire

To play it once again

Friday, 20 March 2015

I belong tae Glasgow by Grant Harbison

Childhood days
High rise flats
Tenement greys
Inner city
Plastic spoon
Vibrant toon
Boys playin’ fitba’
Makin’ noise
Lassies skippin’
Void o’ poise
Perpetual rain
The working class hero
Cold winter nights
Temperature sub zero
The customary drunks
Amiable strangers
The two fitba’ teams
The smell o’ the subway
The River Clyde
The gang in the next street
Vicious and snide
Waitin’ for yer da oan a Friday night
Waitin’ wi’ yer sister feelin’ uptight
Back fae the pub he’d be bright and sunny
Jumpin’ wi’ glee when we’ got oor pocket money
We’d run to the shop tae get oor treats
Crisps and Irn Bru
And loads o’ sweets
Saturday wis yer favourite day
When yer team wis at home and no playin’ away
When me and ma pal had somethin’ sound
And it probably happened oan every other ground
"Hey mister, can ye gie us a lift?”
Over the turnstile
Immediate and swift
We’d always succeed withoot payin’ any cash
Just wee boys
Bold and brash
Seein’ what we could find in empty hooses
No that much
Rats and mooses
Empty bottles
Jakes in rags
Weathered Hags and dirty mags
Late at night ye’d have the corner boys
Cans in their hand and makin’ lots o’ noise
Full o’ swagger
Full o’ blow
Whistlin’ at the lassies
Puttin’ oan a show
Noo and again ye’d get a scuffle
These hardy lads were easy tae ruffle
Close knit community
Lookin’ after others
Warm hearted women
Yer other mothers
Hard working dads who earned respect
Sturdy men who’d never neglect
And that is ma memories o’ Glasgow city
Ah’m proud tae be a Weegie
Ma wee ditty

The Empath by Grant Harbison

She sat facing me on the train

And the way she looked at me

I sensed she could feel my pain

She seemed compelled to dip into my mind

Trying to meld

To see what she could find

There was a kindness to her face

And it was clear that her intention was not to debase

But I did begin to wonder what she was intending

Did she seek to fix what needed mending?

She continued to scrutinise

And when she realised what she’d already surmised

She gave me a knowing smirk

Like she’d cottoned on to one of my quirks

I tried to strike up a conversation

But when the train arrived at the next station

She got up to go

What she saw I’ll never know

She smiled at me before she left

And said, “A heart that’s full is not bereft.”

Adversity by Grant Harbison

Here kitty kitty
Come here my baby and get a little bitty
One spoonful for you and one spoonful for me
Without your precious love I don’t know where I would be
Half a tin should suffice
Do you like that my angel?
Is that nice?
I’m afraid that it doesn’t taste nice to me
But just to hear you purr fills me with glee
You’ve been such a good companion since I lost my Stan
I miss him a lot
He was a really good man
I miss his laughter
I miss his touch
It’s been hard since he died
He never left much
But let us not worry
Let us not despair
For you and I are a wonderful pair
And tomorrow when the measly pension comes
I’ll put some aside for something nice for our tums

WDA Publishing

A special thanks to WDA Publishing; not only for publishing Belonging (The Feud), but also for their faith in me and their endeavours to ensure the book’s success.   

Complexity A short story by Grant Harbison

“Hurry up, Lisa. We’re going to be late,” cried Mark.
“I’m coming!”
“What’s wrong?” Mark asked when she came through to the living room.
“I’m just a little nervous.”
“Everything will be fine.”
“That’s easy for you to say. I’m meeting your mother for the first time and we’re going to announce that I’m pregnant. Who wouldn't be scared?”
“She’ll be over the moon. Just relax. She’s wonderful, you’ll see.”
Mark and Lisa had first met two years earlier on Lisa’s first international flight from London to New York. Lisa had been so excited as it had been her first time abroad. Although she loved her job as an air hostess, the frequent trips from London to Glasgow had become a bit tedious. So when she’d been given the opportunity to go to New York, she’d been over the moon. It was a city she’d always longed to see, and to spend a few days there too had been like a dream come true.
It was on that flight that she’d first met Mark. As soon as she laid eyes on the dashing young pilot, her heart had begun to flutter, and the way he’d looked at her had suggested that he felt something similar.
On arrival in New York, Mark had asked her if she would like to go to dinner. Without hesitation, Lisa had replied that she’d love to.
Mark had taken her to a quaint little Italian restaurant not far from the hotel. Their conversation had been a little tentative to start with, but after a few glasses of wine, they’d laughed and joked like they’d known each other for years.
Both had been surprised to find out how similar their lives had been. They were both roughly the same age and both of them had been adopted. Mark had relayed to Lisa that his adoptive parents had died in a car crash two years earlier and shortly after that he’d gone in search of his real mother. It had been a painstaking task, but after a year he’d tracked her down. He’d phoned her and they'd arranged to meet in a pub. Not knowing what to expect, he’d been extremely nervous. She hadn't welcomed him with open arms, but she’d apologised for what she had done, and had explained her reasons. As the months had gone by, a mother and son relationship had developed.
Lisa had been intrigued by Mark’s story and had told him that she’d recently got in contact with her mother. She’d never wanted to find her, but when her adoptive parents had moved to Australia, she’d felt lonely. She’d told Mark that it had also taken her a bit of time to track down her real mother, but in a way, she wished she hadn't. The woman had been friendly, but Lisa had felt that she’d been a bit distracted. They’d arranged to meet again, and had exchanged mobile numbers; but after six weeks, none of them had phoned the other.
On their second evening in New York, Mark had invited Lisa out to dinner once again. Lisa had been delighted as she’d felt there was a budding romance. She hadn't wanted to be presumptuous, but in her experience, a second date usually meant that the other person had a keen interest.
More nervous on the second date, Lisa had drunk more than she should have to calm her nerves. Mark hadn't drunk any alcohol, as he had to be free of alcohol before the flight back to London.
When they’d gotten back to the hotel, Lisa had put her arms around Mark in the lift and they’d kissed. The kiss had aroused a fiery passion and they’d ended up in bed together. The following morning she’d awoken to find Mark staring at her. Her immediate thought had been that there was something wrong, but when he’d told her that he loved her, she’d been ecstatic and they’d made love once again.
On arrival in London, they’d arranged to meet again, but when she hadn't heard from him a week and a half later, Lisa had begun to wonder if she’d been used. It was something she’d experienced a few times in her life; but with the other men, she’d just let it go. This time had been different. He’d seemed sincere when he’d told her that he loved her.
She’d decided to phone him. After a number of rings, Mark had answered. He’d been very happy to hear from her and had apologised for not calling. He’d explained that he’d been out of the country and had just gotten back that day. 
The following evening Mark had picked her up and had taken her to his house. He’d made dinner, and afterwards they’d sipped wine by candlelight and chatted. Later that evening, Lisa had wanted to call a taxi, but Mark had insisted that she stay, and told her that he’d take her home the following morning.
Driving back to Lisa’s flat the following morning, Mark had asked her to move in with him. His request had caught her by surprise, but after a few moments deliberation she’d told him that she’d love to.
Although their work commitments meant that they had to spend a lot of time apart, they’d made up for it when they were together. Both were head over heels in love, and when Lisa had discovered she was pregnant, Mark had been delirious with joy. He’d immediately proposed to her and had gone to buy the engagement ring the following day.
“So where are we meeting your mum?” Lisa asked.
“It’s not far. A lovely little seafood place.”
Upon arrival at the restaurant, Lisa was led to a table by one of the waiters, while Mark spoke to the woman at the front desk and requested that when a woman called Jessica Young arrived she should be directed her to his table.
“Here she is, Lisa,” said Mark ten minutes later when he saw his mother enter the restaurant.
“Lisa?” said Jessica when she got to the table.
“Mum!” screamed Lisa.    

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Death's door by Grant Harbison

It’s not like I wished for it to end
I’d just grown weary of having to pretend
The strain was beginning to show
Spirit diminished to an all time low
Not a matter of choice
Coerced to relinquish to that inner voice
My problems were just getting bigger
I contemplated that with my finger on the trigger
It was then that I was rudely interrupted by a knock on the door
It caused me to sigh but I opted to ignore
Relentless banging followed making an awful din
Whoever it was knew I was in
It seemed to me that the intrusion was deliberate
Damn irritating and totally inconsiderate
Finally I hadn't been able to take anymore
So I went to see who was rapping on my door
Who was postponing my last worldly breath?
I opened the door and there stood Death     

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Lepre-con by Grant Harbison

“Oh, charm me foul goblin!” cried the sprightly sprite. “There is no need to harm me on this fair night.”
“I’m afraid me little fairy that me thoughts are contrary.”
“Dear leprechaun’s spawn from the land of the four leaf clover. If you let me past, you’ll surely win me over.”
“Me lovely young sprite that just wouldn’t be right. I’ve got a reputation to uphold and I require three pieces of gold.”
“If truth be told, I possess no gold. But if it’s gold you require, I can succour, Sire.”
“Little lies to prevent your demise. Are you trying to save yourself, little elf?”
“I swear on my soul, vicious troll. If I be a liar, may I be torn limb from limb and tossed in a quagmire.”
“You have me intrigued. Where be the treasure to satisfy me need?”
“Look high to the sky and see the kaleidoscopic bow. To the end of that you must go.”
“That is quite a distance, but I’d prefer me reward in an instance. No gold means death. Prepare me pretty one to draw your last breath.”
“Sire, at the end of the bow there is gold in pots. Not just a few, but lots and lots. As long as there’s a bow, they continue to grow.”
“Let’s say I might, little sprite. To which end of the bow do I go?”
“It matters not. Whichever end you choose, either end you cannot lose.”
“I’m curious, little elf. If I’d known of such wealth, I’d have kept it to meself.”
“I’m just a simple sprite with no need for greed. Safe passage is all I need.”
“Permission is granted to use the path, but next time be warned, beware of my wrath.”  

A dance of daffodils by Grant Harbison

Fevered spring blossoms                                

With burgeoning allure                                                        

Whisper velvety vows of ardour

Novice buds
Pulsate with anticipation                                

Impassioned petals

Lured to the tune
By flowering attraction

Anxiously await the primary dance

A dance of daffodils

Monday, 16 March 2015

Essence by Grant Harbison

Your essence makes its presence

Encompassing me with its gentle embrace

Your spangled aura fills the room

Emanating tenderness

Resolute in intensity

Divine in its purity

You speak

And your soft gentle voice lingers harmoniously in my head

Melodic like the sweet song of Seraphim

I hang on to your words

Spellbound by their intimacy

I stumble on my own

Causing you to smile at my weakness

You reach out and instantly we are entwined

Basking in the exhilaration of unadulterated passion

Fervent with desire

We become as one in our own space

Relishing the moment

As we know these moments are fleeting

And soon we’ll have to part

Leaving me to yearn for your ensuing return

Belonging (the Feud) is on Tour. Enter the Giveaway. Read an excerpt from my book.

Title: The Feud Book 1
AUTHOR: Grant Harbison
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: WDA Publishing
Cover Design: Manuela Cardiga


Religious intolerance and a struggle for dominion leads to a feud between two rival gangs in Glasgow’s brutal inner city.
The escalating spiral of senseless violence ends in a young man's murder, and the lives of rival gang members, Jimmy Henderson and Liam Malloy change dramatically.
Moving from Scotland to South Africa with their respective families, both young men find it difficult to adjust to life in their new country, and soon they are both once again fatally drawn into the deadly gang-culture...
In a chance encounter, Jimmy and Liam meet; but Liam's friendly curiosity turns to hatred when he discovers that Jimmy belonged to the Glasgow gang responsible for his brother’s death. Plans for revenge result in bitter frustration for Liam,  and when he eventually gets the opportunity to get even with Jimmy, vengeance breeds tragedy...
Book 1 of Grant Harbison’s BELONGING TRILOGY takes two Scots boys from the savage backstreets of Glasgow to sub-tropical Africa where they must learn to face the greatest of enemies: themselves.
BELONGING (the feud) portrays the savage heritage of gang mentality and it’s inevitable bloody outcome. Harbison’s voice is ferocious, savage, and utterly believable. Something incredible has begun...


Scots-born Grant Harbison lived the drama of Glasgow gang-wars as a young man. He clashed with the establishment, and social conventions all his life. From warring on the streets to warring in South Africa's frontier war, Grant Harbison has directed his passion into his writing. He is now a thoroughly tamed cat-lover who lives with his lovely wife in South Africa, far from the icy cold of his beloved Scotland. He may have dropped the kilt, but he never dropped his Glaswegian accent. Or his love for his native city.

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14-year-old Jimmy Henderson picked up his brand new football from the hallway floor of his fourth storey flat and opened the front door."Ah'm away oot, da," he called out to his father."Okay, but jist make sure yer back before nine o'clock. Ye’ve got school the morra, son.”“Awright.”He closed the door behind him, walked over to the lift and pressed the button on the side. When the lift hadn't arrived a few minutes later and he saw that it remained stuck on the tenth floor, he slammed the button repeatedly in frustration.Some wee bastards are playin' wi' the button’, he thought to himself angrily. He kicked the door of the lift and then headed for the stairs.The moment he stepped outside the building he was met by a strong wind that almost knocked him off his feet. He pushed back the strands of blond hair that had blown over his eyes and shivered. It was a cold December evening and the sky was as grey as the multi storey flats and run down tenements that surrounded him. He looked around for his friends but none of them were about, and apart from an old drunk who sang his own rendition of Frank Sinatra's ‘My Way’, the place was deserted. He zipped up his blue track suit top, dropped his ball and then dribbled it towards an enclosure that was situated directly in front of him.The enclosure was the place where the local boys played football. It had brick walls around the sides and the back and a wire fence at the front. There was a gate on the far right hand side, but instead of using the gate, Jimmy entered through a large hole in the middle which had been cut in the fence many years ago. He ran with the ball and pretended that he was playing for Rangers, and when he kicked it against the spray painted goalpost on the back wall, he imagined that he'd scored a cup final winner against their bitter rivals, Celtic. After a while he became bored and wondered what was keeping the gang.

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