Friday, 24 January 2014

Forlorn In Fourteen

Three weeks into historic 2014, and we seem to be taking an age to recover from the end of the year festivities and see some life about the place.
Govan Cross is douce, with residents and visitors quietly going through the motions of daily business like a man with a hangover. When it's not raining, and that's not often, skies are grey with an edge to the rasping winds.
Before the light of day dims and evening falls, we head out for a last minute message.
The pavement at Govan Cross, on the side of the Govan Baby (still not returned) is made of fancy stone slabs which gleam on this rainy night as the street lights shine upon them. Standing with his back to the window of the cafe on the corner is Mr. M.
Tonight he's dressed for the weather; collar and tie, Crombie coat, a slight figure under a black brolly with wooden handle.
The conversation reflects the general weariness creeping through our streets.
Mr M. bemoans the state of the youth. This is a favourite subject, and ma da is scunnered at what's not in Govan anymore.
"There's a big book in the lib'ry you can look at n it shows you what was here way back n what's there noo. Never mind Govan - Govanhill, Maryhill! Try gaun there, dearie me, naw.  Naw, naw, no for the faint hearted. There's a book up in the Mitchell says the supermerket's the new high street. Whit?"
Both shake their heads.
"N aw them oan the benefits? Twenty-five year aulds. Ye seen them? Pushin the prams up tae the school fir nine a'cloak, back up tae the shack, kip, lift the weans again."
He groans soft and low, "Aaw, aaw, aaw," his rheumy eyes staring dejectedly, head shaking woefully.
And then with a viciousness he adds, "State a them, cuttin' aboot. No even goat the energy tae lift a blade tae ye."