Saturday, 17 January 2009

Give Style

Some days start off pish, go right downhill and look like they're headin for the jaggy rocks when suddenly sumfink happens to turn it around and i find masel in the midst of pure, unrestrained joyful barryness. Such was last Thursday.

After strugglin onto a packed commuter ferry from Fort Cochin to Ernakulam, 9 of us howfed our substantial bags onto a sunbleached platform to be advised of a 90 min delay on our train to Quilon (aka Kollam). When the train rolled in, we all jumped on the wrong carriage - one which was actually the train kitchen. It was hot, it was sweaty, there wis nae room so we headed up the train to find that it was far far too full o pilgrims on their way to an Appaya Hindu festival somewhere near Kottayam. This meant there were at least 4 men (yep, all men again) for each berth, dressed head to toe in black, with big beards, lotsa puja powder on their brows and rather scary chanty action goin down. At least they werenae pished like fitba fans or offshore oil workers one tends to encounter back in Sconnie Botland.

Anyway, there was absolutely nae fuckin room to swing a moose and it was mind numbingly hot and we had shooge shooge bags and the train pure honked o sweat and pish and diesel and my heid banged and i wanted to scream FUCK OFF INDIA YOU ARE TOO FUCKIN MUCH. But then some o the apparently scary cats budged up a bit and chucked our bags on a bunk and we squeezed onto knees and elbows and got down wi the gadgies and the barry scran they hit us with and they asked us about gay people in Scotland and how many times we have sex a day and what we eat at home and all kindsa fab stuff (actually it was mainly Pablo who got the truly groovy chat).

So in between talkin about the fitba (haha) i started checkin the scenery and remembered that usually i'd be stuck in an office with a pc terminal to deek instead o a series of spice plantations, wild forests and deep blue lagoons. And every time we went into a cutting i read a wee bitto I Welsh esquire's "If you Liked School..." and when i read the bit where Jason King reads his poem about John Motson on Sylvia Plath i laughed and laughed and laughed til i wept like a sweet little baba. And then i realised what a lucky lucky fucker i am to be able to do this sorta thing on an acceptably regular basis.

Later that night we stumbled into the friendliest hotel i've yet encountered in India. The 9 of us and a coupla sweet gadge waiters spent the night on the roof drinkin cold beer, munchin truly wonderful butter paneer masala, puffin on fatties and groovin out to dj Andre's rather wonderful mix o choons.

What a day, what a life.

Oh aye, and when i got back to my room, Scottie B had texted to say he was sittin in a boozer, saw a guy in a Hearts scarf get run over by a bus, thought fuck that coulda been me but then remembered he cannae drive a bus. That made me laugh and cry like that baba again.

And then i saw that above my bed was the poster at the top o this post. I dunno what GIVE STYLE really means but if i ever adopt a family motto, it's gonna be that.

Awkuntzbarry indeed.


  1. Aye, yer train journey isnae too different fae the First Train Pennine Express tae Manchestie that I experienced on Friday and my return on Monday. Fair enough, it was about 10.00 in the morning and I'd already tanned 2 cans ay Stella and had another six tae take me the 3 hour journey.
    And on the way back it was dark by half 4 so the scenery wisnae that gid... And I only had had 3 tins ay Grolsh cos I'd ran oot ay spondie. Still, thank God (or Allah or whoever) that I still had a teenth in ma sky rocket!
    Anyway, on another tip - 'GIVE STYLE' is an anagram of 'Yeti V Legs' so stick that in yer chillum and gack it!

    How's Pablo coping in the heat wey his downy heat seeking pubes?

  2. The Pablo was round at mines last night. His pubic powers appear to be unaffected by the heat. Last night he towed a Van out of the mud with a single hair. Still the strongest pubes in the Solar System!

  3. Ah bet when Pablo looks doon he never gets confused about where his pubes end and his knob starts. Lucky b'stard. The cooncil are using his pubes tae insulate the sheltered housing in Granton and Pennywell and if successful rolling out the project tae include Gilmarton, Bonaly, Balerno and Currie.
    That sir, is a lot of pubes!

  4. Your obsession with Pablo's pubes is somewhat alarming.

    You're my friends for fuck sake. A little decorum is required ya kuntz.

  5. Not wishing to coment on my pectiniculus (latin for pubic hair) i'd just like to add what barry chat we had on the train, it was indeed shocking to my Indian friend to discover that there are women in the western world who prefer the attention of their own sex and turn down the offer of man meat. Much raising of eyebrows, shaking of the heid and forced exhaling were witnessed. I departed this conversation about 3 hours later with my new Indian cousin assuring me that he will study western sexual practices more closely. Well that's what the internet was invented for wasn't it?

  6. Hi there, Naldo.

    I landed here quite accitentally, so forgive my intrusion with your journal. Google came up with this link when I was wondering what is there so funny for the audience in Welsh' "Kingdom of Fife", when Jason reads "On the Death of Sylvia Plath". I'm enjoyng the book, but being in no way related to the Scottish culture (and probably not enough to the English) experience difficulties with quite a number of realia mentioned in the book. Could you spare me a minute and explain what S.Plath (the poet?) has in common with Motson (the commentator?)

    Name is Serge.

    Best wishes to you

  7. Serge, i'm 3 months late in responding to you. Sorry, mate, only just noticed your enquiry. If by chance you ever read this, the explanation is thus (apologies for the bits that you do know).

    Jason starts by stating that his poem is "for the soccerati", which i take to mean those who have (or think they have) an intellectual understanding of football. I suspect Irvine Welsh invented the word. John Motson is indeed a famous, recently retired English football commentator. Sylvia Plath was a poet who committed suicide at an early age. When a footballer is sent off (or when someone dies prematurely) a commonly employed euphimism is that they took an early bath. John Motson used to recite many (often tedious) facts and figures about football during his commentary. He'd then indicate amazement at his own proclamations by employing one of his many cliches, in this case "quite remarkable".

    For me, the humour comes from a wee radge fae Fife (Jason) employing a posh yet dweeby English voice to describe the thoughts of John Motson, whom i imagine to think of very little outside his own world of football on the great poet, Sylvia Plath.

    I didn't see it coming.

    As Irvine Welsh books go, "If you liked school..."'s not one of my favourites but i still enjoyed it. I'm more of a "Trainspotting" man. It's probably impenetrable to many who don't understand the broad Edinburgh dialect employed throughout but its phonetic language, originality and attention to detail were stunning when i first read it. If you haven't read it, give it a bash and ask for clarification from your Embra mates.

    I also love "Glue" which is the saga of 4 boys to young men born around the same time as myself. Again, it's scarily accurate and detailed and probably much easier to read than many I Welsh books. It has a great narrative and, as always with Welsh, believable and well formed characters.

    That's wot i fink anyway.

    Best wishes to you anaw, mate.