Hello to all my readers. I hope you’re both well. Normal (Sunday) service will be resumed as ap, but here’s a short story from The Untied Kingdom…hot of the press:


A Birthday Flash

It was Dory’s idea.

I said, it’s my birthday next week, and he said when, and I said the eighteenth, and he said, we’ll celebrate the Referendum.

I said, what referendum? and he said, the Scottish one, you idiot.

He said, it’ll be a laugh. The old road bridge still ran across, alongside the motorway bridge, from the Metal Bridge Inn. There was a fence between the two, so you didn’t get confused if you were driving north and saw lights coming towards you down from Gretna. It was only a narrow bridge, wide enough for two cars to pass, but only just. The locals used it, cutting through between Rockliffe and Gretna. It saved driving through the middle of Carlisle to get onto the motorway.

I said, what do I have to do? and he said, just help us carry the stuff. Maj will do the business. We crept along. I dragged it, more than carried it. It was heavy. I said, this is no way to celebrate a birthday. He said, wait till you see the fireworks. I never really liked Maj.

It was a nice evening. Warm. September can be a really warm month up here, in the borders. It was a full moon, near enough. There were loads of Scots lads in the Metal Bridge Inn. They’ve come down to celebrate the referendum, Dory said. He said, maybe we should tell ’em it’s your birthday too. But we didn’t.

It was no where near closing time, when we did it.

I said, no-one’s going to get hurt are they? and Dory said, no way. He said, we’re just going to blow a hole in the bridge. He said, it’s not as if we were going to hit the motorway bridge, or the railway. We could have done that. It was just the little bridge, that the locals used to use.

We lay in the grass while Maj did the business. I said, how does he know how to do this stuff, and Dory said, he was in Afghanistan; somewhere like that. I said, was he in the army? and Dory gave me a look.

He came slithering back to us and gave us the thumbs up. His teeth were like silver in the moonlight. He said, do you want to do it? It’s your birthday after all, and he gave me this metal box with a button on it.

That was when the Scots lads must have come out of the Metal Bridge. They were in two cars. We could see the headlights. I said, there’s someone on the bridge, and he said, just push the fucking button.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA