Friday, 23 November 2007

A Wee Challenge For You - Yes YOU!

My posts are like buses, you don't see anything for a while and then two come along at once. I was planning on doing this one anyway, but the one before it was a random, last minute act of a desperate man. Lets just say you don't want upset a Canadian, sure they might act all polite but underneath they are a most impatient race.

But never mind that, let's get back to the purpose of this post. A week from now is St Andrew's Day, a day to celebrate Scottishness or all things Scotland related. We aren't very good at that in this country. The Irish have the leprechaun hat, tin whistle and top-of-the-mornin' chirpiness all sown up and they do it very well by all accounts. Everyone knows St Patrick's day. By contrast we in Scotland haven't really done a good job of selling St Andrew's Day. We could I suppose encourage people to wear blue, eat lots of shortbread, play the bagpipes badly and our drinks industry could follow the example of Guinness by selling barrel loads of drams but that wouldn't go down well with a lot of Scots. It's seen as cliché by too many people and so the day goes by with little in the way of celebration. That's a shame. It's time that changed. And that's where YOU come in.

We are all bloggers here, its probably fair to say that we enjoy that wonderful thing called language.

My challenge to you is to a write a blog post of 5 paragraphs (or more) in Scots. Why? Just because it will be fun and interesting.

You can write about whatever you like - social issues, injustice, humanity, politics, or something funny that you saw during the day. I don't much care what, as long as it is 5 paragraphs long and with every line written (to the best of your abilities) in Scots. And 5 full paragraphs at that, no cheating. None of the single sentence paragraph crap.

I know for most people outside of Scotland this might sound like an impossible challenge but I'm not seeking perfection. I'm not very good at speaking Scots myself, whenever I dared to as a child I got a skelp in the lug for my troubles for fear that I was going to turn into a ned. Looking at some of the kids around today I can see the wisdom behind that method of parenting, still I harbour some disappointment. Scots when used correctly can be quite a beautiful language. Some even consider it exotic. But that's going a wee bit far, that's just weird. However I will admit to it being entertaining.

So reader, care to celebrate St Andrew's Day? Are you up for the challenge? One post in your blog on the 30th of November, written in Scots? If you do decide to join in, whether you be from Rio De Janeiro, Papua New Guinea, Dunedin, Nova Scotia or wherever leave a comment here, so I can go have a nosey. And if you want to see my piss poor attempt from another time and place go here.

Remember perfection is not required, use the power of the internet and just have a good go at it. Have fun! Oh and I almost forgot - Spread the word - that way you can see you favourite bloggers' attempts too.

Tennis Is A Game For Cheats

At an early age I decided that tennis was a sport that was full of cheats. Like most sports that I hadn't played before I didn't really know the rules so when the ball went up in the air, racket made contact with the ball, ball went over the net, bounced on the surface and my flailing arms missed the return and was followed by the words
15, Love!

I wanted to shout out
15? Get real! 1! And don't call me love! Only old ladies call me love and they only get away with it because of their age. 15? Fuck off!
Of course being 9 years old at the time I didn't say it. Partly because I was a quiet and reserved kid but mostly because if I swore and my mother found out I would have been very, very dead but only after I had suffered greatly. So I kept my own count.
One - nil.
When the ball then went up in the air, hit the racket, went over the net, bounced on the surface and my flailing arms missed once again and I heard the words

30, Love!
I was beyond swearing, I wanted to deck him.

30? Fuck off! 2 - nil! And what's with the cheating and calling me love? Is that a distraction tactic? I can count you know!
When the ball went up in the air for a third time, hit the racket, went over the net, and bounced on the surface and my flailing arms were no where close to getting the return I at least knew what to expect. The cheating up until this point wasn't exactly subtle, it was taking a familiar pattern.
40, Love!
Now I was confused, completely thrown off track.

40? Who taught you maths? Surely you mean 45, and by the way its still only 3 - nil.
I quickly decided the game of tennis wasn't the sport for me, mostly because I wasn't very good. Despite that first game where I ran around like a headless chicken to no avail I was actually very good at getting points off my opponents serve but it was all pointless when I couldn't get any points on my own serve. Which was down to not knowing how to serve. The ball would go up in the air, hit the racket, go over the net and then hit anywhere on the surface that wasn't legal. This I could probably have persevered with if it wasn't for the cheating thing. When the people you are playing with can't keep count there just doesn't seem to be any point.

Years have since passed and over that time I've largely associated tennis with cheating & Cliff Richard, neither of which I have a lot of time for, so now that tennis is embroiled in the middle of a match fixing scandal I have to wonder why no-one in the game saw it coming.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Life Was Simplier And Much More Innocent When... could begin again with a quick wipe at your etch-a-sketch.

I have a feeling I am showing my age with that comment - for the younger readers think Ctrl-Alt-Delete.