New Year Party 2011, Dockers Club, Leith
Sailing up the Forth
"Ur ye sure we ur on the right track?" quizes Graham of Magnus.
"Aye am sure. Ah wisna a trawlerman aw these years withoot kennin ma navigation. Granton wis ma hame port. That`s the lights o` Leith on the port side.. By the way, it is tack not track!."
"Whit side is that?" replies Graham.
"To you as a lorry driver that`s the left or nearside to you.."
"Whit time is it?" asks Magnus.
"Almost eight," was the answer.
"Well yid better waken the others. We`ll be anchoring in an hoor`s time. That Ecky and Gibby hivna found their sea legs since we left Dover. Don`t know how they managed ower ti Dover withoot me on that submarine o theirs."
"Ah think they`re sufferin frae sub lag since they left Canada." laughs Graham. "Anyhow, whit di ye mean anchoring?"
Explains Magnus, " We canna get intae Leith because the Forth Ports Authority wull nae open the Lock Gates and we canna squeeze through the harbour entrance at Newhaven. We`ll jist hae ti drop anchor ootside and row oorselves in. Noo away an waken the others. Ah hope ye ken whir the Dockers Club is."
"Ah think Connie`s up already. It wis awfy nice o ye Magnus gi`en her yir cabin ti hersel. Mind you ah don`t ken whit she`ll think about being rowed ashore. LOL."
"Aye," retorts Graham, "it used to be Morton Street but ah think its cawed Academy Street now."
"That wis a nice song ye played there. Whae sung it?"
"Jo Stafford. Hooever we`re no bringin in shrimps."
"Whir ur we?" asks Ecky wiping the sleep from his eyes as he entered the bridge.
"Approachin` Newhaven. Noo away and get freshened up baith of you," gesturing towards Gibby. "We`ve got to be on oor mettle when we get ti Frank and Mae`s." We`ve got a bit o` rowin` ti dae before we get ashore."
"Mae, have Ruth and the others woke up yet? They must be tired after their arrival from the States and Canada.." asks Frank.
"Aye, they`re too busy blethering."
"Hope the rest know that we are meeting in the Dockers` Club." "Hope so," replies Mae. *Have ye ordered the taxi?"
"Aye," was rhe response.
In the living room. "Sandra, I enjoyed the wander down to Henderson Street. Pity that Market Street was away, You must be disappointed." says Ruth. "Aye, " replies Sandra, " but it was what I expected.". What about you and Johnstone Street?"
"Well at least I saw what remains of the Citadel."
"Whit aboot you Maureen? Looking forward to it. You`re awfy quiet Cathy." adds Ruth. "Jist a bit travel weary."
"Oh aye. Mind you ah wis in Leith in October wi ma man." replies Maureen to Ruth. "You know who else is coming tonight?"
" I think Lucia Lanny, Rina Valente and Flora Gallo are coming. It will be nice talking to them about our old ice cream shops and chip shops. As well as that it should be the same regulars." replies Frank. "Magnus and Graham phoned to say Ecky, Gibby and Connie will be wi them."
"I hope Flora brings us the chippy sauce that we like. Rowat`s sauce, watered doon and vinegar added. I think we shall aw enjoy it. I take it the chippy is going to stay open until the early hoors ti take oor orders. I told them to wrap up the orders singly. They`ll aw enjoy eating the suppers from the papers."
"Well ah think we should leave for the Dockers aroond 10 o`clock," advises Mae.
Moira Boyd, Willie Bell, Bill Elliot, Bob Moffat, Ian Ross, Murdo and John Stewart have almost reached the Dockers Club in the bus they hired.
"Is the bus coming back fir us? queries Willie.
"No," says John. "We get back under oor ain steam. Should have told ye all. As this is a virtual party, ye just close yir eyes when ye`ve had enough. Next thing ye`ll be waking up in yer ain hoose. Simple as that!"
"Jings that`s great!"
"Well here we are," declares John. "Got an hour before the bells."
"Right you lot, away in. I`ll settle the taxi." tells Frank. "Wonder if we`re the first." "Ye`ll soon find out," replies Mae.
"Yir the first te arrive," says the doorman. "Away ye through te the room. Ye ken whir it is," he adds.
"Oh this is nice," coos Sandra. "What do you think, Maureen?" "Its really fir us."
The room had the usual tables and comfy seats with a coal fire burning away merrily. The lights were soft and lovely drapes hung over the window giving the whole place a homely feeling. On the main table were the drinks.
"Just the stuff," adds Ruth. "Lets bag oor places before the rest arrive. The time is quarter ti eleven. Plenty time te get settled.""
"Look whaes sittin` there, Its Liz Torres." "Ah wis wondering when you lot where coming. Ah`ve been sittin` here aw by masel fir the last hoor," says Liz. "Am sorry aboot the cairry on wi ma letter in the guestbook awhile ago."
"Aye ya besom ye had us aw going."
"Awk it wis aw a lark. Am ah forgiven?"
"Aye," says Frank, "noo whit are ye drinkin? Aboot time some o the ithers are showin face."
Nae sooner said and in troops Moira and her lads. "Let me get a heat at that fire," pleads Willie.
After a bit of introduction by Frank, a voice is heard from the door. "Hoos it gawin?" "Ah recognise that voice," calls out John "Ma auld freend frae Meaford. How are ye all?" as he recognises Magnus and the rest.
"Hello Connie, its a real treat ye made it," welcomes Frank. "Its great to be here," she replies. "But no more boats for me."
"Come ower an jine us, Connie," invites Ruth. "Come and meet us other wimmin folk."
"Well folks I hope you have all got your drinks at the ready," declares Frank. * another 15 minutes to the New Year."
At that moment, who should walk in. Mary Moriarty accompanied by Lucia Lanny, Rena Valente and Flora Gallo and in turn by Keith Flochart and Jack Mackenzie.
"Quick," urges Frank. " Get your drinks. You have just made it in time."
"Hi Lucia," calls out Connie, "Hurry over and join us. Bring the others over."
"That goes for you Jack and Keith. Get yourselves over here," yell the guys.
"Hey wait for me," shouts out Donald Veale as he appears at the door. " Got caught up in the traffic."
"Hurry up. Get yersel a drink . Its almost midnight." welcomes Frank.
" Hey Alex, didna ken ye could sing like Al Jolson," compliments Ruth.
"Aye see, " retorts Ecky, "Yer aye learning. Noo whit ur ye ladies going to gie us?"
"Now," says Frank, " Heres a toast to absent friends. To "Oor Jess."
"Aw, that wis Oor Jess awright," caws Alex. " She`ll be up there right noo saying git away wi yersls. She`ll hae a gless o Port if am no mistakin. Ah kin hear hir saying `Happy New Year to You all` . Aye, and Happy New year to You Jessie yersel."
"Aye," says John, "but she`ll be keepin a wary eye on that rascal frae Burlington Street."
Just then Frank calls out,
"Mae`s ready ti take yir orders for the chip shop. Noo dinna get any condiments on them. Flora has got hers here. Same recipe her mother and she used in their Gallos shop at the top o` Bangor Road."
"Aye, the very same chippy sauce," adds Flora.
"Right then Mae `ll git the order phoned in. Noo whae`s next ti gie us their piece? By the way Donald its nae use gitting yir camera oot. This is a virtual pairty. Efter it there`ll be nothing on it. Ye should hive kent frae last year."
Calls out Graham," Us musketeers hive been practisin this piece. That right guys?" Bob, Jack and Frank nod in agreement.
"Come lads," shout out the wimmin. "Let`s be hearin` yis."
"Oh my guys, that wiz great. Certainly takes us back to the fifties," glees out the wimmin. "Wonder hoo we can follow that?"
"Nae bother, we ken ye can dae it."
"Okay here`s one Sandra, Maureen, Cathy, Moira and me have been practisin`," admits Ruth.
"Wait a minute," interupts Frank, "here are some latecomers!"
At that who should walk in are Murdo Stewart, Scott Porter and Jim Glancy.
Exclaims Scot, " We were in Newhaven but we wirna telt ye had changed the venue. It wis only a neighbour o yours telt us aboot the Dockers Club. Whit a job gettin` a taxi. Anyhoo, we`re here."
"Better late than ever," the rest called out. " Ye`re too late to order chips but ye can get some o` oors."
"Right lassies, get on wi yer song"
"Ooh you lassies are sexy. Ye`ll hae ti gie us anither yin before the night is oot."
"Right then," calls oot Frank. "The chips have arrived. There`ll be nae plates, knives or forks. Jist yase yir fingers. Eat them oot the paper."
Then everyone troops up to the table to collect their orders."
"My this is like auld times," says Maureen as she plucks a piece of fish and batter.
"Mind and pit some of Flora`s sauce on them," reminds Frank.
"Nae danger o no doin`g that," is the general cry.
Soon everyone is tucking in. "Flora that sauce is oot o this world,"
compliments Murdo. "Ye dinna get this in England."
"Jist gled yir enjoying it" replies Flora.
Ian, "Ye`ll no get this in New Zealad, dae yis?" Keith answering for himsel and Jack, "Canny say we do?"
"Neither dae we in Canada," adds Gibby. "Worth travellin` aw this way jist fir thae white puddings."
Within fifteen minutes the feast is over but not before some of the wimmin folk are asking the men if they can finish their chips. No shortage of volunteers including Mr Wallace the first being over to collect his bonus.
"Right then pit yir papers in the bin and heres some napkins for yir fingers and face." advises Frank.
"How much did cost ye?" several asks. "Nowt," is the reply. "Ye dae ken this is aw virtual?"
"Right then," calls out Murdo, "is it oor chance?" gesturing to Ian, Gibby and Bill. "Come on John you can jine in although I ken there are only Four Aces.
"That wis smashing," exclaims Connie. Lucia, Rina and Flora can join me in one. "No thanks," the other ladies exclaim. "But you go ahead on yir ain."
With no second bidding, Connie siezes the mike. "Here`s one I recorded earlier with Mario. They got my name wrong though. Keith is going to take Marios place"
Frank, "Aw dis that no want ye te be ower there?. Well enough o the singing. Its time ye aw hud a good blether."
"That was really something. Ah jist wish ah could sing like that aw the time," wishes Keith.
"Ye ken ah yince could sing like that," boasts Lucia. "Naw ye couldna," adds Rina. "Ah heard ye sing when we were teenagers. Ye`ve got nothing on Connie. Aye for that matter, Flora. My she could sing and dance.""
"Hey Keith, you and Jack have no been drinking much since ye got here," observes Gibby.
"Well this is oor second party in twelve hours. We`ve already celebrated oor New Year doon under. In fact, ye had better watch oot, yer New Year in Canada is almost due," retorts Jack.
"Bob, ah see ye are regularly in the Guestbook along wi Graham. Ah dinna ken where ye aw git the time," comments Willie."Ma wife makes sure ah nivver hiv a spare minute."
"That reminds me o` a joke,"churtles Bob. "Hey folk, here`s a good yin. Ma wife told me she thinks she is losing her memory. Ah told her ah could understand. She gives me a bit o it everyday. LOL"
"Oh," cried oot the wimmin, "jist as well she`s no here."
"Hey Alec, " calls oot Graham, " Ye`re awfy quiet?" "Ur ye missin` Pat?"
"Naw Naw, am jist ha`in a guid blether wi Keith. Ah wis jist tellin` him its hard ti believe that he left roastin` hoat weather behind him ti be here. Ma Pat wull be shivering in aw the snaw back in Meaford."
"Ye`ll be a bit disappointed no hivvin the use o yir camera, Donald," says Bill.
"Ah should have kent. Aw we`re seeing here the night is in oor mind`s eye. Nothing for the camera ti catch. Pity!" replies Donald.
"Now whit aboot Jack gi`en us something on his organ?", suggests Ruth. "He didna cairt aw this way for nothing. Come on then Jack.
"Aw right then, ye asked fir it."
"Where`s Mae?" asks Maureen of Frank. "She next door wi the crowd in the other room, the dockers and their wives. Ah think they`re exchanging the New Year greetings," replies Frank. "Right noo, wh`s next tae gie us a song?"
We`ve no heard much frae Ecky or Donald or Ian fir that matter," shouts out Sandra. "Come on gie us a song."
"Didna ken you were here," says John to Scott Porter.
"Been in for awhile. Just sitting here admiring aw the wimmin. A lot o strangers frae last year." replies Scott. "Hard tae imagine a party withoot Oor Jessie."
"Aye," agrees Graham, "It been almost a year since she left us. Ah think she is always in some of our minds some o the times. Ah often wonder how Malcolm is farin."
"Come on," repeats Frank. "Whaes next for a song?
"Awright here`s an auld yin," volunteers Scott. "Donald and John will join me."
Graham, "That wis great. Now here`s ma piece frae last year. Bob disna want ti dae it again. Frank and Moira are joining me, fir it`s a different routine."
Laughter all around
"Gosh," shouts out Lucia, "ah must say ye`ve baith got a skinny set o` pins. Mind you, Moira, that disn`a go fir you. You`ve got Betty Grable legs."
"Ach away wi ye," retorts Moira as she resumes her chair.
Awbody couldna help noticing she did have a slight smug on her face.
"Now what about another from the ladies," calls out Scott.
Without much ado, Sandra, Maureen, Cathy,
"Heres a good yin we`ve been practising before we came over frae Canada.."
"Ooh you sexy things!" exclaims the menfolk.
"Follow that!" challenges the threesome
"Hey look at the time," exclaims Alex, "Its aboot time fir us leavin`. We`ve still got oor ain New Yar ti bring in inCanada."
"Yes I think we should be going," choruses the others from there.
With that all in the room agree.
"Frank," says John, "I think maybe we should now bring the night to a close. We had a great one in New Zealand last year and I think this one equals it."
Everyone nods in agreement.
"Well folks I hope you have had a great time," says Frank. "May!" he calls out. " Come here, the folk are ready to leave. Its time for the last two songs."
Can I give you my own little song? One of my favourites," says Mae.
"Thanks, Mae," calls out Ruth. "Might even have the party in Los Angeles next year."
"Well folks its been great having you all in Leith at the Dockers Club. Now all I need is to remind you to close your eyes after Loch Lomond. for you all to get back home safely. First of all we`ll hear Now is the Hour asked by Keith and Jack. We shall all join in with the Runrig.
With that, the Dockers Club empties of all.