Dec 26 2013

I am one legged in a small Scottish town

It is rare to purchase something for 2p.

 I am in Gatehouse of Fleet, a place I have written about before but been too lazy to tag so it is up to you to search the bloggy annals of ramblings about places where ghosts have not been seen but where wine and cheesy chips were purchased. I suspect no-one can actually be arsed to do this which leaves me free to repeat myself with gay abandon like an elderly man staring at the fire, reminiscing and unaware that no-one is still in the room.


Which is pretty much what having a blog is all about.


I love Gatehouse of Fleet. I would live here apart from the small fact there are few jobs to be had in the immediate district – and when I say immediate district I mean about fifty miles.  That has its compensations- a detached farmhouse nearby is up for rent with 6 bedrooms, two receptions, wood burner and two bathrooms for 600 quid a month. Knowing the area, there will be no drawback, everything and everywhere is so stunning here it feels like being in a permanent  Famous Grouse photo shoot.


After a particularly filthy episode of living in an over capacity houseshare in the less rarified surroundings of Haringey, North London, I had always lived in terror of living in another house and random people from Australia on the sofa-share but this time looking at the details, I am almost tempted. Until I remember bitemarks in my Orange Kwiksave cheese and the actual cardboard tube being used as a wipe in the absence of an actual toilet roll in the sticky hair rimmed toilet.


Gatehouse of Fleet is a solid stoic little town in the middle of ancient forests, moors and mountains. Red squirrels, red kites and wide grey skies. It has gentrified itself, the industrial heritage has been replaced by the ubiquitous  classy bronze hares, felt brooches via a  couple of tiny art galleries and shops along with a Spar with a glass counter of greying or luminous coloured  pastry. There is only ever a queue  at the Spar.

It is literally Wickman country- most of the film was set around the outlying areas.


And today, I have gone there on crutches due to navigating a curb on a works do and somehow breaking my foot.

I limp into the charity shop, people flock to open the door, take my bag and ask me what happened. I thank my lucky stars it was not a result of domestic violence but suspect if it had been I would have been offered a room at ‘Jean’s house- don’t you worry my pet’.


Whilst humping awkwardly around the wonderful over-full haphazard charity shop of glory, every single person in there talks to me about my accident.

I buy…the Virago Book of Ghost Stories, a lovely heavy coloured glass bottle with stopper, a very cool baseball hat ( seen later on ebay international for 40 dollars) a Thomas the tank engine dressing gown, a squeaky banana and a leather belt. It costs 1.80. I have change from a two pound coin.

I limp along the high street. A Land Rover stops and a man with a rich Scottish accent leans over to tell me how well I am doing and asks how it happened. A car behind him has stopped and I am nervous because the Landrover is blocking the road and she must be well pissed off.

No. She has waited until he left, calling out ‘Merry Christmas’ whilst smoking because she wants to pull in alongside me to see if I need my Christmas shopping done as she is ‘ off to town anyway’or if she can give me a lift anywhere.


It is 2013 and these places still exist.

It suddenly actually feels like Christmas.