In the Highlands, half a mile away from Big Fat John’s hole in the wall was the land of whisky and haggis, a paradise by any other name that outshined the time-honoured ‘milk and honey’ Garden of Eden.

Big Fat John’s purpose in life was to talk with the wild flowers…millions and millions of them. He enjoyed that, as did the flowers. He had a particularly soft spot for ‘bell heather’, although the ‘wild pansy’ was a close runner. He didn’t know why he liked it so much. He just did. He’d been doing it since he was a baby Scottish dumpling. So imagine, if you can, how John…for short…felt when arriving in wonderland one afternoon only to discover his wild flowers had been covered up with cement; miles and miles of it. The much loved herbage was no more. Worse still…if that was possible…The Concrete Men of Old Blighty were hanging around, leaving fag ends where once there were flowers, clearly pleased with what their cruel, nay wicked, dumping venture had achieved .

As for John, he shed tears of anger and loss. Getting himself back together he decided he’d have a few, well-chosen, words with The Concrete Men.

“Why did you do that?” his opening gambit.

“Because we can. It’s got to be dumped somewhere. We’re the English; we do what we want when we want when it comes to you lot…we always have and we always will. Besides, who the fuck wants a forest of poxy flora and fauna”, so said The Concrete Men’s arrogant boss.

Other than killing him forthwith there was not much that John could do, his idea of ‘well-chosen words’ wasn’t a starter, hence he took himself down to the boozer in town where he could have a strong drink and think.

A popular man, normally to be found at the bar chatting with his mates, but not this day; this day he was sat alone by a window contemplating ‘what next’?

Enter stunningly beautiful, ‘Short Arse Sally’. Not that ‘Big Fat John’ knew it, but the lovely little short arse spent most nights fantasizing sharing her life with him. The problem was that she never found the courage to tell him how much she loved him. Although not invited, she, carrying her posh glass of kiwi and lime cider, sat herself at his table. It wasn’t long before John told Sally how pissed off he was with The Concrete Men. “If the truth be told, luv, I haven’t got a clue what to do about it.”

“I know what to do,” an enthusiastic Sally’s riposte. And tell him ‘what to do’ she did, there and then, for what she had to say was a miracle, for Sally was a sorcerer in hiding, and for possession of John’s heart she’d do just about anything.

Departing the pub, the pair hurried over to the place that once had wild flowers. Upon arriving Sally…known locally as a scatter-brained girl…was a tad miffed that she’d forgotten where she kept her crucial magic wand, a wand that she rarely carried publicly, not that it mattered as an artful John suggested any old piece of broken branch would do instead. Sally said she’d give it a try. A swift twirl of the branch and a few otherworldly words aimed at the heavens above, and bingo, no more wretched concrete. Instead, a humungous amount of various, tantalizing wild flowers.

“I could give you a kiss for this, luv. You’re a diamond.”

“I wouldn’t mind that kiss you mentioned,” her anxious reply.

Up there in the Highlands, the loathsome English mob long since gone, ‘Short Arse Sally’ and ‘Big Fat John’ snogged away like billy-o until midnight. At the time, in John’s view, only one thing was missing, prompting him to ask Sally, “Armed with that wand of yours, any chance of you freeing Scotland from the domineering, bastard English?”

Grinning from ear to ear, her answer, “I’ll see what I can do?”

What they didn’t know then, yet they were to become the flawless couple of outlandish lovers and…a big ‘and’…they never again encountered the The Concrete Men.  

FOR THE RECORD: I’ve written this piece after overhearing a segment of a conversation twixt two lads, one a Scot, the other English, both quaffing their ale and smoking fags outside a local pub. They were getting fierce with one another. The Scot…the more eloquent of the pair…putting his case forward that, to him, Scotland should leave the UK once and for all and become a free nation. The English boy, an angry lad, insisted that that would never be acceptable as Blighty rules this island, and what Blighty says goes. I must confess, the Scot’s view was the one I agreed with.   

Copyright © 2023. All rights reserved save for Phil Collins music and the featured image artwork. Unauthorised copying, reproduction, hiring, and lending, prohibited.


  1. I almost marry a Scottish girl. I did enjoy the story. Fat John got lucky. Found a magical lady. This was a outstanding story. Mike, you need a book. I would buy.

      1. A different matter. According to WP I am following your blog. However, I found out this day that they never appear on my Reader. I rely on the Reader. You must be the 50th (plus) ‘follows’ I never get to see. I’m so sorry, you must have thought me the rudest writer there is.

  2. I enjoyed your tale, Mike. If only with a magic wand (or any old stick) we could right, wrongs, I’d be out shaking a stick everywhere. lol
    On my mom’s side, I have Scottish blood, plus some Irish. Me thinks England should let both countries chart their own course. Of course, the US is guilty of the same greediness.
    And you added my favorite Phil Collins song…how nice! 💜

    1. Thanks for the read, Jai. As an adult I always thought myself as an EU citizen rather than an Englishman, yet since the disaster that was/is ‘Brexit’ I loathe the land I was born in. Such is life. Regards, Mike

      1. I’m sorry to hear you feel that way, Mike. Though the US is far, far, from perfect, I am an American citizen, through and through and proud of it.

      2. Good on you. What…amongst many virtues…your nation is a collection of ‘united’ ‘states’ the end result being that you all end up proud Americans. Brilliant. In all of human history, no other nation has achieved that successfully. The EU is getting close, but it takes time. I was part of that, yet it’s been stolen from me by the English. Anyway, all the best, Mike

      3. Your comment has a bite to it, Mike.
        Yes, we Americans are a diverse bunch, bicker and fight amongst ourselves constantly, but somehow manage to hang together. I’m also proud of being a citizen of my particular state.
        In my opinion, I think being English is worthy of pride. Your country has accomplished a lot of great things in its long history. All countries, as do individuals, have skeletons in their closets, but most grow and learn.
        All the best to you as well.

      4. Sorry so long getting back, Jai. I’m not sure that the much fabled British Empire was ‘worthy of pride’. In modern days…Empire days…it was born of slavery across the entire globe. Take the ‘triangular trade’, a three-stage trade where the Brits traded their goods in Africa for slaves. The slaves were brought to America, and sugar, tobacco, and other products were brought back to Britain. Approximately 350,000 Africans were transported to the Americas as slaves. Then there’s the matter India, Southern Africa…I could go on for ever, the Brexit racist mob at the top of my list. Mind you, I believe in ‘choice’ i.e. each to our own…save for the evil ones. Anyway, I’m still trying to make sure I follow your find blog. All the best, Mike

      5. As Bill Maher has said, I don’t judge humanity’s actions on what was the norm “in that time”, that 50 years from now, some of what we deem acceptable will be seen as despicable. We are all a product of our times. I myself, can’t understand the things people have done to each other—and continue to do. And so much of it in the name of religion. Someday, humanity may become an enlightened species, but I’m not holding my breath.
        The best to you as well, Mike.

      6. Let women take over. Us useless chaps have been running the globe since the beginning of conscious time and have done an awful job. Seriously, women should not just gain equality, but control as well. It works for lions in the jungle. Regards, Mike

      7. Lol…we would muck it up as badly as men. Generally speaking, men are too hard and women are too soft to be effective leaders; we need something in the middle.

  3. I like this story….and personally believe that Scotland should leave….and be independent of England. The English government is corrupt and arrogant. Thanks Mike for getting my brain juices working this morning:)

  4. I would support them having independence, and if I was Scottish, would definitely vote for it. Trouble is, the finances don’t really add up, and the Scots could end up going broke.
    (I know, England might too. 🙂 )
    Cheers, pete.

    1. Good point for sure, however should Scotland join the EU, a different ball game. As with Ireland a few decades back, the money from the EU in the first few years would see them safe. As to England, somehow we need honest politicians…some hope!

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