One of the roles of Scotia Extremis is to put stereotypes to the test and see how truthful they are. There are few stereotypes as well-established as the Scottish Drunk, so it is with some trepidation that we introduce this week’s theme – two alcoholic tipples from opposite ends of the connoisseurial spectrum. Laphroaig, the pungent single malt from Islay described by whisky writer Michael Jackson as ‘the most medicinal of Scotches’ is an explosion of peat on the palate and a testament to complex skills required to make a truly memorable single malt. Buckfast, a fortified tonic wine made by Benedictine monks at Buckfast Abbey since the late 19th century, has been associated with antisocial behaviour and public drunkenness for many years, particularly in the so-called ‘Buckfast Triangle’ whose centre is usually identified as Glasgow. Politicians and public health experts have lambasted the culture in which this cheap but stimulating drink flourishes among the poorer sectors of society. Scotia Extremis says slàinte mhath and encourages all readers to drink responsibly.
by Fran Baillie
Gies a gless o yon amber swahly, ice-chinklin,
skinklin at the rim, reekin o an Islay boanfire;
a bouquet o burnt tehr an a ticky sugarelly watter
peat-steepit in tar an iodine.
Pass owre a tummlerfuhl o the cauld, wild west,
mahltit barley, slow-distilt, pure poetrie;
thon lang eftertist, heather colloguin wi dulse,
a douce toffee-aipple, a smoky baccy guff;
tert an sweet, smooth an smartin, mallayin the tongue,
sic a brah Manichaean dichotomie!
Gies a wee nip o the gowden meld, huggit lang-time in sherried oak.
Poor oot a dram ti weet wir thrapple, prickle wir palate,
gie thae tistbuds a helluva fleg, birl them, mak them dirl.
Shove yir cognac wi its pinkie in the air, kiddin-on it’s pedigree.
Stuff yir peely-wally reamin swats o barley bree,
awa wi yir Ruski voddie’s stringent ming o fermentin tattie.
Ruby rum’s wahrm an reekin-rich bit
thir’s nae dusky musk … nae je ne sais quoi.
Dinna feel guilt fir a meenit, dinna think yir wrang.
Angels aa share it wi’oot a secint thocht.
Dinna skimp noo, nae grippit huddin-back; dinna be ticht-fistit.
Heelstergowdie in luv wi feisty Laphroaig,
wi’ll sip, syne swig an drap doon inti yon mella dwam.
Poor yirsel an uisge beatha, wrap roond it, real slow,
drink in its mony colours, droon in its pungent glow.
by Claudia Daventry
‘[…] politicians, the BBC and a bishop say consumers may be hyperactive, incoherent and rather violent.’ – The Daily Mail
Ma burd is eywis dancin
an it wudnae be a bad hing
but ah don’t get nae luvvin
an thats nae lie.
We spent the night in Costco
instead ay at the disco,
an fae tha night ah kissed wur luv goodbye
Don’t blame it oan the sunburn
Don’t blame it oan the hen night
Don’t blame it oan the coke-line
Blame it oan the Buckie
The nasty Buckie bugs hur
– jist somehoo grabs an mugs hur
hur spellboond gluggin tips hur off hur feet.
It’s changed wur life completely
ah’ve had ma tastebuds leave me
I never swallyd onyhin so sweet
Don’t blame it oan the shoeshine
Don’t blame it oan the munter
Don’t blame it oan the greetin
Blame it oan the Buckie
It looks a loat like Bisto
wi a nose like Eric Bristow
and a fust like Benny Lynch, like, oan a Satdy night
ma burd, she tans a botil
an passes oot in Lidl
but nae afore she’s goat intae a fight
Don’t blame it oan the banter
Don’t blame it oan the stoater
Don’t blame it oan the cargo
Blame it oan the Buckie
pure canny control ma burd
canny hawd ma hoachin burd
Ma skank’s a steamin jakey,
she doons a few then skelps me
reelly rips ma knittin hoo she’s oot hur heid
ef any bam says ‘pie it,’
or ‘hairy, ye should diet,’
she malkies him, then chibs him, an he’s deid.
Don’t blame it oan the monkies
Don’t blame it oan the Abbey
Don’t blame it oan the polis
Blame it oan the Buckie.
A mashup of Buckie Triangle and Weegie slang applied to a song knocked off the karaoke and, in the name of Art, composed under the influence of the stuff itself. With thanks to Buckie Trianglespeak consultant Robin ‘Fat Ned’ Cairns and L. Wiseman on additional Weegie
Fran Baillie has been published in Gutter, Lunar, Sentinel, FWS, Southlight, Poet’s Republic, Lallans and Prole, as well as others. A runner-up in the Grey Hen Chapbook prize, she has been commended in the Willie Soutar Prize, shortlisted both in the Plough, and currently in the Erbacce Prize. She is presently compiling a pamphlet of poems about her mother.
Claudia Daventry moved to St Andrews, which is often said not to be wholly Scottish, from Amsterdam, keeping up the itinerant lifestyle of her family, who were also not wholly Scottish. Her work has won several awards, including the Bridport and the inaugural Ruskin prizes and a Templar award in 2015 for her pamphlet The Oligarch Loses His Patience.