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666 Great Junction Street

Part 7

'So you're a poet? How fascinating!' squeaked Seraphema. 'Should I have heard of you? I'm reading English Literature at Edinburgh Uni you know.'

'Well, what else would you do with literature?' said Sylvester as he dunked another Jammie Dodger into his glass of Talisker. He sucked the resultant soggy concoction with vigour and, indeed, panache. 'Shouldn't you be doing Scottish Literature as well? Not reading it, mind - doing it.'

'Em, well I think there may be an element of it in the first two years. I'm not that sure to be honest. I'm mainly here for the experience you know?'

'Ah,' sighed Sylvester. He offered Seraphema a Tunnocks Tea Cake, which she refused. 'Do you have a favourite Scottish town at all?' he asked.

'Well. I'm not awfully well acquainted with the north as such. I have heard of Glasgow though.'

Sylvester rummaged around the pile of papers scattered around the living room floor and emerged with a scrawled lament.

'Glasgow oh Glasgow,
where all of the bars go
that Leith used to have
but where now all the Yahs go.'

Seraphema looked puzzled. 'What are Yahs?' she asked.

'The Yahs, my dear, are the tribe commonly known as the upper middle class English who have seen fit to colonise this fine district of ours,' began Sylvester. 'While they chip away at the environment and heritage they pollute the air with loud, long vowels in swanky restaurants and soulless pubs.'

Seraphema suddenly shivered self-consciously and hurriedly changed the subject. 'So, erm, what are the rest of the neighbours like here then?' she chirped.

'Well,' began Sylvester. 'There's auld Jessie Kelso on the ground floor. She's a wise old bird in many ways but there's not many folk around who understand her nowadays.'

'Who lives in the other ground floor flat?' asked Seraphema. 'I heard some strange noises coming from there.'

'Good question, ' said Sylvester. 'I have never seen anyone enter or leave that flat since I moved here ten years ago.'

'How rare,' said Seraphema.

'In 1f1,' continued Sylvester, 'live Davie and Eddie. Now, Davie's a jambo and Eddie's a hibbee.'

'You've lost me again,' said Seraphema.

Sylvester clarified: 'David supports Heart of Midlothian - an Association Football Team, whilst Eddie's allegiance, like the majority of folks around these parts, is to Hibernian F.C. Why they choose to live together is a mystery, as they have partitioned their flat so they rarely have to come in contact with each other. I don't know if you've ever seen the episode of Steptoe and Son where they divide their house to avoid each other's company, but it's a bit like that.'

The reference was lost on Seraphema. 'How rare,' she said again.

'You'll find there are a lot of rarities around here,' said Sylvester. 'Take Clint McMurdo for instance…'

'Oh, I've met him,' interrupted Seraphema. 'He seems a lovely old fellow.'

'Yes, quite. Anyway, he lives on the first floor too. Jock, who you've also met, lives below us on the second floor.'

'Is he really a boxer?'

'Oh yes. You can tell he's had a few smashes to the brain.'

'Still, it was nice of him to rush to my aid like that.'

'Oh, he's a regular knight in rusty armour.'


Next week: Cartoons for Dummies



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