Monday, 16 April 2012

Tha Aul Crocks

Ivery year aroon Christmas I hae mine o ma faither hokin oot his oul tartan fitba bag. Its near foartie year sine a seen thon oul bag but I hae mind o it like it wus yisterday. It wus small compared tae thadays yins but it wus big enugh tae howl a tha kit ye needed. Thur wus an oul pair o shin guards, tha kind ye tucked intae yer socks, thur wus nae velcro in thon days. They wur aboot twa times as heavy as tha yins that weans wear thaday an ribbed wae whut lukked like wudden strips.

Thur wus also a pair o weel worn blak leather fitba boots, wae leather studs that ye hae’d tae hemmer in oer a lathe. Inside yin o tha boots thur wus a wee jar o dubbin wae a greasy rag wrapped roon it. Boots wurnae sae easy cumby an ye cudnae afford tae neglect them.

Last but no least lay a small thin clear glass bottle wae ribbed sides. It contained a dark brown liquid and had a picture o a gentleman wae a handlebar moustache on it. Noo I hae furgotten monies a thing but I can still remember the smell o Sloan’s Liniment. Yin whiff wud a clear’d yer heid fir a foartnicht

Yinst iverthin hae’d bin checked tha bag was pit in tae tha boot o tha car ready fir tha oul crocks fitba match. I’m sure it hae’d a mere formal title bit that’s whut we a caa’d it. Tha oul crocks match wus played ivery year aroon Christmas at tha Sand Field in Ballywalter an was appen tae players fae tha lower Ards iver thurtie-five. As weans wae wurnae much interested in wha won tha game, but wae fairly enjoyed pokin fun at a thon oul crocks, reekin o Sloan’s Liniment  an Winter Green, hirpplin up an doon tha pitch. Bit time maks fools o iz aa an noo its maesel whas hirpplen aroon. Maebae I shud hae a luk fir thon oul liniment bottle.

Until tha next time, lang mae yer lum reek an yer spicket dribble.
 (written for the press March 2012)

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