Efter fifty years of toil a’m loused
For retirement- let us get re-housed.
We can afford a new-built, bigger hoose
Oor weans huv flown – There’s nae excuse,
We can settle doon beside the sea,
And sip cocktails on oor balcony.
Ye’ll hae a room jist fur yer claes.
Beside the Forth we’ll end wur days.
“Balerno’s great I’ve loved it here.
A move to Fife fills me with fear.
I’d miss my friends and neighbours too.
This house means more to me than you.”
Although ma wife seems weel contentit
The Lanark road has me dementit.
Of a’ roads it’s the yin maist hated.
Each month it’s needin’ excavated.
Oor gairden’s jist a sma’ clay patch
A can start anither yin frae scratch.
“I know I promised to obey.
But, swear that you won’t make me stay –
In exile and you’ll make amends
Take me back here to live near friends.”
She’ll no like Fife? The thoucht’s absurd
And so I gladly gied ma word.
We selt the hoose, leavin’ stuff behind-
Too quick for her tae change her mind
And headed for the Promised Land
And oor new hoose – jist as a’d planned.
The rooms were large. The view sublime.
I knew she’d love it – given time.
A landscaping chap we did employ
The gairdin wis ma pride and joy
A pick’t and dug and raked and sowed,
Compost and dung by the barrowload.
I spent there mony happy oors
Growin’ neeps and tatties – caulifloors.
A decade passed- ma oath forgot, but she-
Has an elephantine memory.
Her martyred air and her persistence,
Jist rubbed awa’ at ma resistance.
Her subtle hints – Ken whit a mean?
She sang “I’ll Take you Home Again Kathleen.”
A black cloud loomed ower ma horizon
Wi’ hindsight maybe’s no surprisin.
Oor family wis nae longer scattered
Maist noo livin jist ower the watter,
In a new estate ca’ed Calderwood
My future prospects? -no sae good.
“You mind that oath to me you swore –
We would not live here any more
In this big house beside the waters
We’ll get a small one near our daughters.”
My apprehension fast wis rising.
“We’re leaving here.” She said –“DOONSIZING !”
This day wid never come a’ prayed.
But SHE’s “The One must be Obeyed.”
There’s nae doot wha really is the boss.
She pushed oor hoose sale through at loss
And tho’ a might prevaricate
The move wis set in a’ bit date.
My maths are poor, but still I know
That twa intae the yin won’t go.
Whaur dae you think we’ll pit oor stuff
That new hoose is nae big enough
“Some of it has had its day.
You will have to give the rest away.”
We cleared the hoose –likewise the attic
The charity shops’ staff were ecstatic.
Vases, books and jeely jaurs,
Table, cots – a chest-o-drawers.
An auld wife took in a’ we wid gie ‘er.
She even took oor chiminea.
Fife’s mines are shut. Nae mair howkin’ coal.
The heaviest thing maist lift there is the “dole.”
But removal guys, muscled in a’ places
Nae yin kicks sand in thae guys faces.
They quickly loaded oor possessions.
Their three vans set aff in procession.
Aw oor weans came tae help wi’ the removal
They hoped tae gain their Mum’s approval.
Bystanders stopped tae look at us
In procession like an Exodus.
My wife wis robed, her Sunday best on.
Like Moses played by Charlton Heston.
“The house is small. I will ease your worry
We’ll build a new conservatory.”
Thus showing off her perspicacity-
Low cunning – maybe or sagacity.
She thus regained some space she’d lost.
With scant regard unto the cost.
Things have a way of coming good.
I’m loving life in Calderwood.
I’m really pleased you’ll understand
Tae hae fower grandsons close at hand.
We a’ are happy and my present wife –
Says that she hardly ever misses Fife.
Listen weel tae whit a’say.
Mak shair yer last move is one-way
Don’t promise whit ye micht weel rue
Yer words may come back tae bite you.
Ye’ll find oot that it hits ye hard
Tae be hoisted by yer ain petard.
Ma freends a hope a did nae bore ye
Wi’ whit fur me, is a movin’ story.
A dream gan wrang –it wid appear-
I bocht the joys o’ Fife ower dear.
Tae summarise this little verse—
My next move will be in a hearse!
25th January 2020