Ian Steven

Another Perthshire Writer

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ian steven

Perthshire Writers' members are a good mixture, ranging from published authors; ones working towards that goal; others with little experience and some writing purely for pleasure. So, if you need any help or guidance, someone will be able to help you.

I've been a member since 1990 and still enjoy hearing the wide range of talented writing they produce. Although I've had some of my work published, I class myself as an enthusiastic amateur.

Fareweel Tae Perth

It's sic a great pity
Yer leavin' the city
An' movin' tae wee Gardenstoon.
Whit a contrast ye'll find
Frae the hoose left behind
In yer first move awa' frae the toon.

Keek oot fur the rabbits
Wha's multiplyin' habits
Will skail yer land bare as the moon.
An' the road tae the pier
Is a steep yin ye'll fear
As it zig-zags its wey roon an' roon.


In the winter the storms
Aff the sea aer the norm
An' a bitin' cauld wind flees aroon'.
It's hard tae get oot
Tae the shops roon aboot
As ye'll soon realise ya daft loon.

It'll no be the same
At yer new country hame
Ach, I've nae doot ye'll soon settle doon.
But maybe ye winnie
Like many an' many
Ye'll wish ye were back in the toon.

Growing Old

Something is happening to me I don't know
What's going on but the symptoms just grow
I lay out clean clothes before taking a shower
And put on the washing which will take just an hour
But when drying myself no clothes can be seen
Till I find that they're now in the washing machine.
I open the fridge to take a cold beer
But how did my mobile phone get in here?
Then into the oven and what do I see
It's the cold ham I purchased for yesterday's tea.
And once at a party a guest leaned and said
'Do you know one sock's yellow, the other is red?'
After going upstairs to the bedroom I pause
Now why did I come here, was it because
I thought it was time for my beddie-byes
Although I can see the sun starting to rise?
I go to the theatre to see a good play
Only to find that I've gone the wrong day
And on the way home I meet an old friend
But what is his name, I'm bound to offend
If I take a guess and say the wrong one
So I make an excuse and say 'Sorry, must run.'
Then at my front door I can't find my key
For the third time this week, as the neighbours can see.
It seems my condition gets gradually worse
Perhaps I should even confide in the nurse
With my problem in ending this sad tale of mine

You see - I've forgotten the very last line.

The Bright Lights Beckon

Last week, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a phone call from a Theatrical Agent in Edinburgh. He had been contacted by the Director of the musical 'Pirates of Penzance' at the Lyceum Theatre. During rehearsals, one of the actors had fallen and broken his leg. The show was due to open on Monday for a run of two weeks, and he urgently needed a man to play the part of a policeman.

I was gob-smacked. Why did he call me? How did he know my name and phone number? The startling reply was that one of their talent scouts had seen me performing in 'Pocketful of Perthshire' in May. He had asked a member of Perthshire Writers about me, explaining the reason, and she obliged with the information.

Even more amazing was when the Agent asked me if I could sing. Well ... I sing in the shower ... and the car, much to the delight (or otherwise) of anyone in earshot. Anyway, I enjoy it. Then ... had I ever seen this show? ... and did I know the song 'A policeman's lot is not a happy one'?

Not only did I know it, but when I was at Trinity Academy Secondary School, we performed this show for our Annual Concert in the Usher Hall one year ... and I was a policeman in it.

The caller was over the moon. It sounded like I would be a perfect fit for the part. He asked if I could be at the Lyceum at ten o'clock the next morning ... and, if the Director approved of my performance, could I continue for the two-week run? My heart was pounding. I could hardly believe what he was saying. My answer came out a gasping "Yes, yes ... of course." The temptation was too great to turn down such an opportunity. When I was younger I had always dreamed of being an actor.

The Agent promised he would ring me back after speaking to the Director. He left me in such a state of shock that I never even asked how much I would be paid.

It suddenly occurred to me that I should tell the Manager of the Distillery where I was tour guide, that fame had arrived for me ... and he would not be seeing me again. The retired Army Colonel was furious and reacted in his usual nasty manner. There was no way I would be allowed to leave at a busy time. However, I was not going to let him spoil my stage debut, so I blew him a raspberry, said 'Cheerio' and slammed the phone down.

Ten minutes later, my phone rang. Excitedly I answered. This would be the good news ... but no, it was not. The Director wanted to know my age. Oh, I had never even given it a thought. When I said I was nearly eighty, there was a long pause. Then I heard him speaking to the Director on another phone about my age. Anxiously I waited with bated breath. Eventually the Agent told me the bad news. I was too old. The Director needed a younger man, as there was a lot of action on stage.

I was shell-shocked. Despite me pleading I was active and fit, it was to no avail. My dream was shattered ... AND I had told old Colonel Chinstrap I was leaving BEFORE I definitely knew I was heading for the bright lights.

He would be laughing his head off, if only he knew what I had done.