“And Colin Stein scores ! “

My gran wasn’t too impressed with Colin Stein. Nothing to do with the player himself of course, but everything to do with the grandson who muddied himself on her back green in Anniesland trying to emulate the great man’s latest goal every Saturday. The following day being Sunday, there was no way she would take her grandson to church looking anything less than respectful and appropriate for The Lord’s House.

So the breeks were hand washed in the big kitchen sink, scrubbed at the knees with a scrubbing brush before being rinsed, and then wrung out on the huge brass taps. Depending on the weather they were either then hung out on the verandah, allowing the employees of Barr and Stroud, the factory directly across from my grandmother’s tenement, to know that Colin Stein’s young protégée was in residence. In the event of inclement weather, an extra lump of coal was placed on the fire and the trousers placed on a screen nearby.

Nowadays of course they would be straight into the washing machine and then the tumble dryer – Sorted.

Often we take for granted the things which makes life’s journey far more comfortable or enjoyable. Having them taken away for whatever reason can leave us with the prospect of having to do things as in days gone by, a fact I was reminded of that recently.

Rumour reached me that our supporters bus, The Monifieth Loyal, had folded leaving me facing the prospect of a long solitary drive, to and from Ibrox drive every other week. (The fact that it would also mean an abstention from alcohol on match days was a minor matter. Honestly) It was not something I relished having discovered the considerable benefits of the local supporters bus. It was relief to read a few days later on Twitter that the rumours were totally unfounded and it was business as usual.

Whilst supporter’s buses may be an alternative form of transport for those of us who can drive, for others they are the only form of transport available. For those in our community who are less than firm, less than able, the supporters bus with it’s unique and personalised stops and pick ups is often the margin of success in them overcoming insurmountable difficulties. The sight of the infirm and disabled overcoming the cruel hand life has dealt them to watch their beloved Rangers, is one which is truly inspiring.

Then of course there is the “social” aspect of the bus. Yesterday at Gayfield I bumped into and old friend of mine I hadn’t seen for years who promptly introduced me to members and organisers of his bus. Let’s just say every one of them were in particularly high spirits, I would imagine the crack on the bus home would have been worth the admission money alone. But it goes further than this. For those of who through work or other commitments have been forced to leave the mother nest of Glasgow for pastures new, the supporter’s bus brings together a network of exiles who otherwise may have been strangers to one another, and the many considerable benefits which that brings.

The local supporter’s bus offers many benefits, financial, friendship, social networking, information, opinions and convenience to name but a few. If you currently don’t travel via one I would encourage you to try it.

You will soon find it is not one of life’s luxuries, after a few experience you place it in the “essentials” category – and there will be no going back to “the old ways”.

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