If you sit next to me I may have to kill you. Jus’ sayin’.

There are many things I hate about flying but top of my list is fellow passengers.  Surely in this day and age someone should have invented a quicker way to travel?  Airplanes are just so old skool… I want to be able to click my fingers and arrive at my destination, or blink my eyes twice whilst imagining a sunny beach.  Why can I not spin around three times in a telephone box and magically arrive?  Instead I have to endure hours of torture in airport lounges, frisks by security, over-priced meals, endless shopping and I always seem to be on the plane that’s delayed.

When I finally reach the plane I’m incapable of sitting still for more than four seconds, the fifth second of an eight hour flight sees the start of a gradual transformation from normal person to someone that may kill the next person that kicks the back of my seat, dares to adjust their food tray, reclines their seat, or all of the above.

Seat belt signs scare me more than the thought that P!nk and I will not live happily ever after because we so will.  The second it goes on I’m desperate to go to the bathroom or have an overwhelming need to find something that I don’t really want in the bottom of my hand luggage.  I am absolutely positive seat belt signs are used by flight attendants worldwide as a means of torture.

I’m always lucky enough to be seated next to screaming children and their frantic parents or the guy who needs medical treatment half way through the flight.  During one flight I had the pleasure of sitting next to a woman who vomited on and off for four hours…  Normally I’m patient, but place me in a confined space with people I don’t know, or want to know, and I suddenly turn into a monster.


I’ve only ever managed to fly without fear of a nervous breakdown on the odd occasion that the plane took off and the seat next to me remained empty. Mind you, this absolute pleasure is only realised after thirty minutes of torture. Thirty minutes spent looking at boarding passengers and crossing fingers that the scary looking guy who is walking towards you is not the one who is going to share your breathing space for the next eight hours. Relief comes as the screaming children pass by, the old fella who you know is going to tell you his life story sits in the seat behind and the lady that really should have booked two seats sits down a few rows in front…

Alone for eight hours to stretch out, put my feet up on the seat next to me and use the arm rest without fighting for it. Bliss.

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Bread, butter, charity shops and reality television

My family’s weird but wonderful.  It’s been a long time since I visited Bonnie Scotland and I reckon it’s time I got round to paying them a visit.  I already know exactly how the holiday will go…

When Mum’s not spending hours dragging me around charity shops and car boot sales she’ll be making butter, sausage, butter, black pudding, butter, bacon and butter rolls. It’ll be necessary to drink at least 300 cups of tea per day and watch a minimum of five back-to-back reality shows.

Wee Scottish Granny will drive passed the back door ten times a day after numerous errands. Of course she won’t come in, she’ll just sound the car horn and shout through the window that the ‘rains on its way’ or that she’s ‘off to get some messages’. We’ll know when she’s home for the day as a look out of the window to Granny’s house four doors down will show that she has ‘put her car to bed for the night’. God forbid anyone that needs her to take it back out of the garage.

I won’t be allowed out with Aunty, as she will lead me astray.  Aunt will argue that I’m the bad influence, I’ll argue it’s her and Gran will ban us from spending any time together, especially if it involves a trip to the local pub.


Every single meal will involve bread and butter – not margarine, proper butter – Not scrapings of butter but huge big chunks of greasy fat.  It’s illegal in Mum’s house to eat less than 6 slices of bread a day and every visit to the shop is followed by someone shouting ‘don’t forget we need bread’.

Neighbours pop in one by one and share the village gossip over more sugary tea, chocolate biscuits and butter. Every conversation will revolve around the other neighbours and what they have been up to. I will know who has been coming and going, who has been sleeping with whom, who is getting a new fence or bathroom fitted and who I am no longer allowed to talk to.

I just need to remember the golden rules:

  1. Never turn off the television
  2. Salad is banned
  3. Never put the wrong item in the recycling bin
  4. Don’t use sarcasm in front of Granny
  5. Never complain it’s cold
  6. Always buy bread
  7. Despite the fact the lounge is very comfortable everyone must sit in the kitchen
  8. If a space is found in the fridge it’s time to go shopping
  9. The kettle should never be cold
  10. There will never be a dull moment
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It’s the way she tells them

If you take Granny out to dinner you had better make sure it’s somewhere she likes as you can rest assured she will tell you, and everyone else, if she doesn’t.

After dining at a very nice restaurant everyone was swapping pleasantries and Granny seemed happy enough. She had munched her way through the main course and ordered cheese and biscuits for dessert. It seemed we had made it through the evening without any problems. Result.

When the executive chef came by to check that we had enjoyed our meal we all smiled and politely told him how lovely it had been and that we had all enjoyed ourselves… and then Granny spoke.

Gran: Hey sir, get o’er here

The chef who fortunately knew Gran gulped as he walked round the table

Gran: Ya kenn what son, the main course was lovely

The chef sighed, looking relieved

Gran: Hey sir, dunnae think you’re getting away wee it that easy…

Chef: What was wrong with the meal?

Gran: Your cheese is smelly and nobody likes it

The chef scanned the table as we all tried to hide under it

Gran: gets eye contact with everyone around the table as she instructs us to: Put your hand up if ya didnae like the cheese

All try to ignore the question


One by one hands are raised as every adult around the table resembles a scolded child

Gran: triumphantly See son, there’s six o’ us here and only wan liked it, that’s no good odds son. How can ya argue wee that?

Gran sent the chef scuttling back to the kitchen to check on his smelly cheese and then she asked for the entertainment manager to be sent to the table. As he arrived she politely expressed her concern that none of the guests at the other tables seemed to be enjoying themselves… What she actually said was, “Son, sort this shite oot, it’s dying on its ass in here”.


The most amazing thing about Granny is that it doesn’t matter what she says or whom she says it to everyone loves her regardless. In fact, mostly she is absolutely spot on with her commentary… She just can’t be bothered to sugar coat the way she tells it!

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Passing time

Wee Scottish Granny and her brother George were sprawled out in the lounge – a sofa and newspaper each. I tried to persuade them to come out for a breath of fresh air but fear immediately kicked in that someone might steal their sofa when they left so they decided to stay put.

I left the room listening to them shouting out headlines to each other, Uncle George started with the sports section, Granny was pointing out grammar mistakes.  Neither one was listening to what the other was saying.  By the time I came back Granny was calling out random names and Uncle George was replying, “No hen, I dunnae kenn that wan”… It took me a while to work it out but I realised Gran was reading out the names of people listed in the obituary!


Me: I can’t believe you are going through the obituary!

George: I dunnae kenn why ya laughing, I need to kenn who I dunnae need tae speak tae when I get hame

Gran: Do ya kenn Helen Mitchell?

Uncle George: Aye, I kenn a Helen Mitchell but I dunnae think she’ll be deed, she’s younger than me

Gran: Well it isnae her then coz this wans elder than you

Uncle George: That’s good hen coz I like Helen


The things these kids do to pass the time…

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Granny, I’ve got your back


I sincerely promise (with a cherry on top) that I will never tell anyone EVER again that you stole a pencil. I will never, EVER mention the fact that you snuck it into your bag at the pub quiz because, “it would be great for your Suduko puzzles.”  If anyone asks why the pencil is missing I will simply say it must have fallen on the floor and rolled away.

When the Police come looking for the pencil stealer I will say that you have always been honest and trustworthy and that you would NEVER, EVER steal anything. If they show me scribbles in the Suduko book as evidence I’ll deny that it’s your handwriting. If they put me under a spotlight I’ll stay focused and deny, deny, deny. However, if they attach me to a lie detector I can’t guarantee I won’t crumble.


If it gets really serious and they show me CCTV evidence I will tell them that you were drunk and out of your mind.  Maybe I’ll pull the ‘old lady and a little senile’ card as that seemed to work for you when you accidently returned through the ‘something to declare’ line at the airport. Maybe I’ll just tell them that Aunty made you do it, I think we have a good chance they would believe that.

Granny, I will stand by you and I’ll cover for your moment of madness. I will NEVER, EVER let anyone call you a thief again and I will NEVER, EVER tell anyone EVER AGAIN that you stole a pencil at the pub quiz on Tuesday 09, February, 2010 at 9.37pm.

I promise Granny, I’ve got your back.

Love you.

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Disco Diva Gran

Gran is a creature of habit; she wakes at the same time every day and then reads for half an hour.  Breakfast is at 9am whilst decisions are made about what to have for lunch.  Lunch is at midday and involves discussions on what to have for dinner.  Dinner comes at 5, after which preparations are made for supper at 9.  Bedtime comes around 10.30pm… depending on how ‘shite the TV is’.

My Aunt arranged a party so her friends could meet Granny…

Gran:  What time are folks comin’ hen?

Aunt:  Around 9

Gran: 9? At 9PM? Folks are no comin’ tae DINNER till 9pm?

Aunt: Everyone eats late; no one will come any earlier

Gran: Hen, at 9pm I’ll be in bed wi ma book

Imagine a twenty-minute conversation regarding the pure madness of eating so late

Aunt: Look Mum, if you want to go to bed no one will mind, you just sneak off to your room and I’ll look after everyone

Granny: Aye, I will hen, dunnae you worry aboot that


At 4am the next morning my Aunt came to tell me that I needed to go and ‘sort out’ Gran…  I found her in the garden teaching guests the Highland Fling whilst singing old Scottish folk songs.  When she stopped to tell someone to pour her ‘another wee dram’, I pulled her to one side…

Me: Are you okay Granny, do you know how late it is?

Gran: Look hen, if you want to go to bed nobody will mind, you just sneak off to your room and I’ll look after everyone

That’s my Gran!

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Hysterical women and stolen oranges

My Aunt and wee Scottish Granny persuaded me to go and watch a neighbour’s ten-year-old son’s football tournament. Of course I had absolutely no issue watching the match, I just didn’t want to go with two crazy ladies. Anything that involves Granny, my Aunt and a crowd inevitably means that I have to stay behind to apologise.

To delay the potential trauma I arrived later than everyone else under the pretense that I had some very very veryyyy important things to do first. On arrival I walked across the playing field and out of the corner of my eye I saw two red-faced, screaming women jumping up and down… One was a midget that I recognised to be Granny, the normal-sized one was my Aunt – both looked like they had been dipped in a bucket of sweat.

I swallowed hard, turned quickly and tried to escape. I knew I’d been caught when I heard my name being screamed from across the park – You know that feeling when you can hear a pin drop, suddenly a million eyes face your direction and you just want to die? I cried a little inside, made a mental note to get them back at some point and made my way over.

After a quick run-down on the previous matches I was told that our lad was in the final. By this time my Aunt was so hysterical she was losing her voice and the excited shrill coming from her mouth could only be understood by dolphins. Granny had found some much needed shade and was perched on a chair sucking oranges meant for the kids.

When the final started Aunty was jumping up and down screaming whilst looking at me shouting, “I am saying the right thing aren’t I?”… I was too busy trying to dig myself a hole in the ground. Granny was loudly chanting, “come on you reds” and I’m sure the poor kids were missing every pass because they were too busy looking at the frenzied, fanatical females.


Twice they had to be told to get off the pitch and more than once I glanced at the boy we were supporting to mouth the word ‘sorry’. As it turned out our guy didn’t win. Granny and Aunt nearly hyperventilated and I had to promise my neighbour’s son that we’d never go to watch him play football again.

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