Kissin’ up agin the wa’

Kissin’ up agin the wa’

A day at the old Celtic Park through a wee kid’s eyes.

It al’ys stertit aff wae askin’ a big man “Gonnae gies a lift, mister?” ‘n he’d howf ‘s ower the turnstile afore the polis saw us. The man in the turnstile widnae bother. They w’r gen blokes they guys. A w’d hae thanked him ‘f a hidnae b’n runnin’ as fast as a could tae g’t up the stairs affore onybody shopped me. Mind, not many big yins w’d normally. Even the chucker ooters didnae gae ye too much clobber. Och, it w’s jist a bit a fun b’t it w’s a grand way tae spend a borin’ efternin. ‘n it didnae cost a tosser, naw, not a mingy ha’p’nny n’r a bent penny. ‘n it kept ye frae fight’n wae the ither knobheads ower whae w’s watchin’ whit car. We nivir actchilly did watch th’m onywie but it could be worth a few shillins on a gid day if ye convinced some plonker it w’d be worth it. A usu’lly got there early ‘n catched the wans that came in plenty a’ time ‘n got a haunfae a coppers afore the gem stertit. That meant a could sneak intae the park f’r ra gem.

Celtic Park 40s
Celtic Park 40s

‘s a wis sayin’, a’d run up the steps ‘n intae the terracin’. Then a’d squeeze ma way through the big yins intae the bit they cried the Jungle. It wis mair like a lang shed, a bit like wan o’ yon byre places f’r the coos th’t the teacher showed ye in the readin’ book ‘t school. A hidnae actchilly seen wan masel’ b’t a couldnae ergue wae the stink. It smelt jist like coos ‘r coos’ pies mair like. Well, a w’d finally get intae the Jungle ‘n creep alang till a came tae the wa’ th’t ran richt roon the front tae the main bit below whit the big yins caw’d the staun. A al’ys fun’ that w’s queer ken, ’cause frae whit a could see, ivrybidy w’s actchilly sittin’ in there. Onywae, if ye peeked jist ower the wee wa’, ye could see a blaze track runnin’ richt roon the hale place. In the middle w’s a fair massive green bit wae some funny white lines painted oan it. There w’s yon big high place a mentioned on the ither side wae seats at the tap ‘n a roof ower it. Then there w’s a wee bit doon the front ‘f it in the open. Tae wan side there w’s the terracin’ a used tae come fae but it didnae hae a roof. The wan on the ither side didnae either. A went there a few times ‘n it w’s fair freezin’ in cauld weather ‘n ye got soakin’ wet in the rain ‘r the snaw. B’t it w’d g’t really packed and that kept ye gie warm once the gem stertit. Only thing w’s, ye couldnae see a bloody thing ‘t ma size.

If am honest, at ma age a wisnae a’ that interested in the fitba’ as a w’s too wee tae see onythin’ properly. Even in the shed wae ma heid jist abin the level ‘f the wa’, all a could see w’s legs wae fitba bits oan runnin’ aboot frae wan end tae the ither. The best w’s either when the ba’ went up in the air ‘n a could see it ‘n a’ thon men in strips jumpin’ like diddies tae heid it. Noo ‘n then some’dy came crashin’ intae the wa’ ‘n w’s yelpin’ wae the pain. That gied me a richt gid laugh, that did. Wan time a fitba bloke came richt ower ‘n a saw some a the big fellas in the Jungle lookin’ like they fancied a go ‘t him. In the end they jist liftit him back ower but wae no very much ceremony. Wan thing a remember w’s ‘s shurt hidnae green ‘n white stripes like a lot a the ithers.

B’t in the gems a wisnae even sure whae a should shout fir b’t a’ the men roon aboot seemed tae like the green ‘n white socks, so a shoutit f’r them. See ma da wisnae aboot the hoose much. He w’s aye doon the pub wae a bunch o’ ither blokes. Och aye, he w’s aye goin’ tae go tae the gems b’t maist times he nivir actchilly did ‘n a nivir seen if he wore any fitba team coloursr onythin’ like that. So a didnae ken if a sh’d support ony particlar team or onythin’. So’s a jist went alang wae the big yins ‘t the gem. No lang efter a w’s goin’ in a fun oot the team in green ‘n white were cawed Celtic though maist ‘f the time it soundit like Selic’. A mind a lot a guys shoutin’ f’r The Hoops ‘n a supposed that w’s acause ‘f the stripes. A ken the grun w’s ca’ld Celtic Parkn sometimes jist Parkheid. A heard whit a thoucht w’re dafties singin’ aboot Paradisenoo ‘n then b’t it w’s years efter afore a really kent whit that really meant. Then they used tae shout a load a names like Charlie Tully ‘r Bobby Evans ‘n Bertie Peacock ‘n lots a ithers. A ken McPhail used tae be the wan shoutit the most ‘n the loudest when they scored. Ach it w’s a gid fun f’r the maist ‘f the time. The only rotten hing w’s when them wee glaekit jammy dodgers came roon wi thon weird orange stuff like the Kiora orange ye got’t ra pictchers. It tatsit nout like it mind. Mair like orange pee. ‘n the pies, ye’s hae b’n better aff wae a haunfae a lard. Still, a could hae mugged them doolies f’r wan, a w’s that fair hunger’d at times. Bit it wisnae a very clever thing tae try, even fir ejits like us frae the East End. Ma pal said the polis w’d h’v far tae many witnesses. B’t a still could hae murdert a pie ‘t times ‘n it w’s sorely temptin’ noo ‘n then tae be an ejit jist tae get wan.

Ye ken, lookin’ back, a hiv nae idea why a thoucht this wis a gid bit a fun. A mean, alang wae bein’ stervin’ in the face ‘f orange pee ‘n greasy pies, when ivrybody wis yellin’ ‘n screamin’ ‘n jumpin’ up ‘n doon ‘n huggin each ither, a wis nearly squashed tae bits agin the wa’. Then sometimes a big ejit w’d grab me ‘n gie’s a kiss. Whit wis a’ that aboot ‘n that in the days afore yon pedyfilly stuff ‘r whitiver it wis, wis public. Man, a couldnae go a slabber fae a lassie even, bit fae grown men? ‘n they usually stank a’ beer ‘n fags. Imagine no even haein’ the decency tae pit oan some eft’rshave or sook a pepermint when ye know ye’r gonnae b’ kissin’ wains. Ach well, they w’re a’ gie happy ‘n havin’ a gid time ‘n that made me enjoy it tae even though a w’s really ready tae puke efter the kissin’ sometimes. Still, a suppose it w’s a lot better than a’ the piss that ye got on the back a’ yer legs wh’n the big blok

Celtic Park 1960s
Celtic Park 1960s

e behind missed ‘s lager can. Big prick – not that a wis lookin’ mind. Ach see, wae a’ this goin’ on, ye didnae ken it wis twa hoors passed ‘n then evrybidy wis leavin’. A got tae wh’re a used tae wait a wee whily till the maist w’re ootside ’cause the furst go ‘t tryin’ tae squeeze ma way through wis a fill ye’r breeks time. A nivir felt the grun a’ the way oot the park ‘n ontae Janefield Street‘n then doon Springburn Road tae London Road. The really annoyin’ thing aboot that w’s, a w’s meant tae b’ goin’ tae the Gallagate. Efter that it w’s “a’ clear” furst f’r me. B’t then ye h’d tae splash through the cascade flowin’ doon the steps wh’n ivryb’dy ‘d gan hame. Ye knew then why yer feet w’re awfy soakit durin’ gems even oan a dry day. It w’s a’ very impressive sight a suppose, like yon Italian fount’n things except ye kent it wisnae acause ‘f the stink ‘f piss.

Noo that a’ve growed up a bit ‘n am at the big school, a c’n see a lot ‘f dodgy stuff aboot thae days. A’ that standin’ squeezed up agin’ a wa’ w’s a bit dangerous. Whit if the big yins h’d rushed doon the front too hard? None ‘f us wee yins w’d hae h’d a chance ‘f gitten ower yon wa’. A mean it w’s nearly up ower ma heid wae nae grips. A’d a b’n like beef mince if ther’d b’n a crush or onythin’. ‘n whit aboot a that pish that came ‘t us frae the back? It wis like hivin’ a shower in the sewage works. If a’d b’n the health ‘n safety officer, a’d b’n seriously thinkin’ aboot pittin’ seats in tae stop a that stuff ‘n tae keep the wains frae gittin’ made intae mash tatties. A ken a lot ‘f big yins w’d think it w’d kill the atmosphere (learnt it ‘t the big school, ye ken) b’t a serious choice h’s tae be made, the atmosphere or the wains? Personally, a think the wee wains w’d be a’ right but it’s the big wains th’t’s the worry. Mind you, yon plastic seats w’ld be awfy freezin’ in the cauld weather. A bet they w’ld be nae gid for a hug ‘r a cuddle like a got in the shed wh’n a w’s shiv’rin’. ‘n a bet there w’d be a lot ‘f shiftin aboot that w’d start complaints ‘n things. Crickey, ye could almost see the heid yins bannin’ people f’r howkin’ each ither ower the seats ‘n a’ that. ‘n a bet they’d stop the heid bangers frae gettin’ a’ het up ‘n explodin’. Och, ‘n they w’d pit up wan a’ thae signs th’t says “This is a smoke free zone” ‘n that w’d pit the perpermint sweety works oot ‘f business. A saw a sign f’r that wh’n a wis on a school’s trip tae a paper fact’ry. A didnae smoke then so a didnae care. A’ll no b’ goin’ back again noo th’t a’ve stertit puffin’ roon the back a’ the school lavies. ‘n c’n ye jist imagine nae sidyways movin’. A’d nivir git tae the shed again. Na, mibys it’s better tae h’v it the way it is. F’r a stert, they misters couldnae gie’s a howk ower the turnstiles ’cause somethin’ ‘d probably b’ done tae stop that tae. ‘n efter a’, whit’s a few squashed wains here ‘n there when ye think a’ the noise ‘n stuff a’ yon big yins make could disappear. ‘n a dinny ken aboot the ither boys bit a’d miss a them big yins jumpin’ up ‘n doon like numpties ‘n huggin ‘n cleakin ‘n a’ that. ‘n come oan, if they built fancy cludgies ‘n ivrybidy w’s sittin in seats how’d a get a free leg-wash frae the behind? B’t, see ‘f a telt the truth, mister, it’s yon kissin’ frae a big man a’d probably miss maist.


6 thoughts on “Kissin’ up agin the wa’

    1. Wullie

      It’s simply the way a saw ‘n heard it. Nothing special. Thank you, though, for such a kind comment.

      By the way, the photo drop down thing did not give me a “medium” choice. That is why I just did the thumbnails. I think they are ok, though. I’m aff tae bed noo. Up a’ nicht daein’ this. The lingo w’s the killer f’r an ejicatit man l’ke a wis – “big school” ye ken 🙂

      H H

    1. Thank you very much, Shaun. I have had some articles posted on sites before including some by a guy named JasCam (he seems to have disappeared – on the run maybe :). Na, like you, he definitely wasn’t the kind of guy to run from anything, was he?). However, this is the first direct blog I have posted thanks to the guide for dummies video Wullie emailed. Took a wee while but I think I have the hang of it now.

      I look forward to being a bit more expressive in future and, no doubt, eventually being told to shut up!

      H H

      1. One thing is for sure, you will upset someone 🙂 lol

        Nah you will do fine, and running away, well I kinda did the last time, but not far away, still on Word Press. And it was a good blog, I look forward to replying to and debating yours now. With the utmost feel of fun about it, after all, this is what we do, we write for fun, When it becomes like work, it ain’t to good lol

        Look forward to reading more buddy

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