OK , maybe I wouldn’t walk the 500 miles to her door.

We natter by phone, but more extended chats by text or email. Days without contact, then something big happens and we’re flying fingers on oor mobiles. Like a pucklie weeks ago, when her namesake, Elizabeth, passed away and we were glued to our screens, following the pageantry, processions and swapping hot goss about Harry, Meghan, Wills, Kate and Andy.

Losh, she picks up some of the best whispers aboot royals and celebs I’ve ever lugged. So juicy, I canna even repeat them. I suspect it’s something to do with her super-exclusive cruises. And living next door to Cliff Richard’s handyman. Oops, I probably shouldn’t even have divulged that.

Both at the High School, but nae chummies; her affa clever, small and delicate, didn’t smoke nor drink, never oot on the toon. Big, hallyrakit Mo probably dismissed her as a boring swot. However, thrown together doing the same degree at university, we suddenly clicked. I discovered this quiet lassie had the most glorious, dry sense of humour that fair tickled me.

We swotted together in each other’s hoosies, then, right after our final exams, went to work in a gorgeous hotel, south of Oban, where we regularly partied at a nearby laird’s hoose, me persuading her to stay too long, then facing a two-mile hike back to the hotel at dawn to serve breakfasts. Frequently, she’d cover for me when I fell asleep halfway through making a bed.

She was my bridesmaid in 1974 and I hers a year later, our kids arriving within three years of each other. They’ve lived doon sooth for decades, but we still meet up for treats, like the weekend she drove me to Stratford-upon-Avon to see oor idol Ian McKellen in King Lear – a much-talked-aboot production because he stripped naked; an action conveyed particularly dramatically to us because oor front seats were barely a pucklie feet from the divested sovereign.

Oh, the pain of trying to keep oor startled faces straight. At the end, desperate not to laugh until we got well away from the crowds, she said, simply and killingly, in her heid-English-teacher voice: “Well. I must say he was very… substantial.”

The past week, we’ve been caught up in excited texting again, this time about her other namesake, Liz, and Kwasi.

Although they live in deepest Conservative land, they hinna been happy Tories for a whilie. Her man is even threatening to lead a revolution. They’re also tickled I’m in occasional touch with fa’ we ca’ Oor Mikey, as in Gove, who played a blinder engineering this week’s millionaires’ tax U-turn.

After a’ the drama, I texted to tell him my pal described him as “still a big beast”, and urging him to carry on trying to stop the lunatics going too far. He texted in reply that “smiley face with hearts” emoji.

Delighted Elizabeth comes back to me: “Tell him: Go, Mikey. Be the first PM to have gone to Sunnybank and Kittybrewster Primaries!”

Moreen Simpson is a former assistant editor of the Evening Express and The Press & Journal, and started her journalism career in 1970

Already a subscriber? Sign in

QOSHE - Moreen Simpson: Don’t let distance get in the way of a great friendship - Moreen Simpson
We use cookies to provide some features and experiences in QOSHE

More information  .  Close
Aa Aa Aa
- A +

Moreen Simpson: Don’t let distance get in the way of a great friendship

4 3 0
07.10.2022

OK , maybe I wouldn’t walk the 500 miles to her door.

We natter by phone, but more extended chats by text or email. Days without contact, then something big happens and we’re flying fingers on oor mobiles. Like a pucklie weeks ago, when her namesake, Elizabeth, passed away and we were glued to our screens, following the pageantry, processions and swapping hot goss about Harry, Meghan, Wills, Kate and Andy.

Losh, she picks up some of the best whispers aboot royals and celebs I’ve ever lugged. So juicy, I canna even repeat them. I suspect it’s something to do with her super-exclusive cruises. And living next door to Cliff Richard’s handyman. Oops, I probably shouldn’t even have divulged that.

Both at the High School, but nae chummies; her affa clever, small and........

© Evening Express


Get it on Google Play