by: Blackhall, Sheena
Sports Day! An I'm spennin it sittin on ma dock in the classroom! Sports Day! An efter ma ma bocht me a new pair o trainers an fite socks specially fur it, wi her winnins frae the bingo!
" I know one person who won't be taking part in Sports Day " says Mrs Buchan last Wednesday. Mrs Buchan's oor teacher. Usually her an me gets on nae bad...
I'm the only quine in ma group that kens foo tae use the computer an whyles I
hae tae tell Mrs Buchan foo tae use it anna. It's nae that she's glekit...she's jist
affa auld...at least thirty, sae she wis born afore computers come on the go. Ma granny's the same wi wechts.
"Fit's aat in pounds an ounces" she speirs the grocer fin he's wyin oot the tomataes. "I canna makk heid nor tail o yon grammes an fit-dae-ye-caats."
The wye it cam aboot that I wis banned frae Sports Day wis this. Last
Wednesday we were doon at the park practisin fur the events an Wattie Coutts
wis lowpin up an doon like a daddylanglegs wi itchin pooder revvin up fur the sprint. Willie Michie wis showin aff daein haun stauns an aa the bluid ran doon
his legs intae his heid. It gart him look like a toffee aipple wi shorts on. Mysie Forbes wis hoppin up an doon like she'd ants in her pants or she wis wintin a
pee gettin ready fur the lang jump. Mysie Forbes disna hae sports shorts or a
track suit... her granny made her a wee short skirt like the ice skaters weir, wi navy knickers tae match. Nae that I'm carin aboot missin Sports Day... it's nae fit
I'd caa Sports Day. It's mair like Demonstration Day. Ye see Mrs Buchan says sports isna aboot competin, it's aboot gettin healthy exercise. She disna haud wi winners an losers.
Aa us quines war practisin a skippin routine last Wednesday that we were gaun
tae perform tae the crowd on Sports Day. I wis staunin neist tae Mysie Forbes. Mysie Forbes hid a better skippin rope than me bit I'm swacker than her wi bein
a Heilan dauncer. Onywye the wee bizzim wis slippin in some fancy lowps ahin Mrs Buchan's back an if there's ae thing I canna thole it's somebody tryin tae
get the better o me. Sae I trampit on Mysie's rope. Weel, her legs war in some kerfuffel an doon gaed the fat stirk like a cowpit bag o tatties, skirlin her heid
aff. Of coorse she clypit on me tae Mrs Buchan fin she'd feenished roarin.
"Mary Duthie," said Mrs Buchan, " you should be black affrontit. There'll be no Sports Day for you my girl, you'll just sit in the classroom an tidy the book corner."
Sae here I am. Bit it suits me fine. Ye see, I'm a competition dauncer. Ay, I
traivel aa ower the North East at wikkens tae aa the big shows an games aa
throw the simmer. I've even daunced at Braemar afore the Royals, tho I didna
win onythin yon day, I wis ower excited wi aa the photographers an
camcorders an American an Japanese tourists lettin aff flash cameras. It gaes ye
a lift tae hear the crowd clap an cheer ye on.
"Winnin's the thing," ma da ay says. An my ma spenns oors gettin me riggit fur competin. First ava she blaiks ma daunce pumps an sprays hairspray ower ma
soles sae I dinna skyte on the boords. Syne on gaes ma kilt, ma hose, ma blouse
aa pressed an clean an ma waiscoat wi the five siller buttons wi stags' heids on
them. It's a gey expensive business competin, aathin maun be perfect, jist the
"That's fit's different aboot the Scots," says da, "they takk pride in winnin."
Afore I daunce, ma twists ma hair up in a wee net. Syne she ties it thegither wi
a pair o tartan ribbons. Nae a hair maun be ooto place. I tuik first prize at Keith Show fur the Heilan fling, an secunt fur the swords an I wis that prood I thocht
I'd burst. Ma feet war sair on the road hame tho. Ye see a Heilan dauncer maun weir her pumps really ticht, tae gie her a guid pynt tae her fit.
Oor mantlepiece at hame's loadit doon wi trophies an cups frae aa ower.
Atween the dauncin, I like tae watch the heavies competin....big Bill Anderson tossin the caber like it wis a stick o candy...an Francie Dinnie throwin the haimmer. He beats aabody fur miles aroon. Teams gaither tae try fur the tug o
war trophy ...there's a lot o gruntin an pechin at yon... an local loons lowp up
the greasy pole tae skelp ane anither wi bowsters. Faaiver can bide on langest,
They say that lang ago at Braemar, at the en o the hill race, the winner drappit doon deid at Queen Victoria's feet. His hairt clean burst wi the effort o rinnin.
That micht be a lee...bit there's a somethin aboot winnin that gets intae yer bluid
It makks ye feel important an speecial ay, ma hairt sterts racin faniver I hear the pipes tunin up fin its ma shottie tae daunce. There's nae anither feelin like it in
"There's no such thing as winners or losers," says Mrs Buchan. "Everybody's
just the same."
Ah, bit Mrs Buchan's niver stude on a daunce boord at Keith Show haudin the winner’s cup. If she hid, it micht be a different story.