Saturday, April 21, 2012

Crowdie, cream, cockboys and cocks.


The superb adaptation for television of Finlay J MacDonald's book 'Crowdie and Cream' has just finished a rerun on BBC Alba. The book tells of MacDonald's childhood between the wars on the Isle of Harris and the richness of Gaelic customs at the time.

It's been a while since I read the book but I recall that it was a pretty comprehensive account of life in Harris at the time, warts and all. I also recall a part which didn't make it into the BBC version. It described how the worst swearyword in Hearach Gaelic that you could say to somebody was that he was a 'cockboy'. This originated from the practise of helping horses mate. The job of leading the stud to the mare and subsequently guiding his member home was not much sought after and would invariably fall to the young and unfortunate.

By sheer co-incidence this week, I also learn of the alleged aversion to sex by the late Queen Mother. The debauched lives and bizarre times of the undoubtedly inbred royal family never cease to amaze me. A new book by a minor member (ho-hum...) of the aristocracy claims that the Queen Mum's offspring were conceived through artificial insemination. Or maybe divine interference. The QM 'didn't do sex' apparently and one has to presume relied upon her own cockboy to provide the next generation of upper-crust scroungers.
Test tube celebration hoodies for the Jubilee.

The book itself was written by Lady Colin Campbell. I don't get the 'Lady Colin' bit. Must be a posho thing. To further obscure matters it seems as if Lady Colin was born a girl but due to a genital defect was raised as a boy until her teens. Like Rastamouse, she has Jamaican connections - namely being born there, albeit to wealthy white settlers. Unlike the animated rasta-rodent though, Lady Colin had her wedding tackle 'realigned' and went on to forge a career as a model.

This family, it should be remembered, with the Queen at its head is charged with 'defending the faith'. Given the perversion, evil, wrath and many contradictions of the holy book, I'd say that this 'job' was entirely apt for the blue-blooded butler botherers.

Finally though, from cockboys to cocks.

Neil Lennon. The man has undoubtedly been the victim of hate-fuelled bigots. He was driven out of the Six Counties by Unionists angry at a Catholic playing for Northern Ireland. This bit I don't understand. If a Northern Irish Catholic choosing to play for NI isn't a statement of Unionism then I don't know what is. Ditto, the braindoners who sent letter bombs to various 'Celtic-minded' people. However, last year's victim is this year's loudmouth and bully.

Any neutral observer of last week's Celtic-Hearts Scottish Cup semi-final would've noticed a number of refereeing mistakes that were favourable to Celtic. Wanyama and Ki-Sung Yeung both tripped over blades of grass in or near the Hearts' box and Celtic's goal was clearly offside. Despite this, Lennon claims that decisions made against Celtic are part of a personal vendetta against him. Why?

Is it because he's not Scottish and is a Catholic? Could be true but then again, what about Hibs' Irish manager Pat Fenlon and Hearts' Paulo Sergio, a Portuguese Catholic? Barr a minority of troublemakers, the dark old days of sectarianism are over. Those who persist in aggressive and anti-social behaviour look increasingly like unhinged, bullying blawhards with a poor grasp of reality. A bit like Lennon actually.

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