Posted in Blog Posts, Fiction

A Christmas Ghost Story


‘Know whit’s traditional at Christmas?’ he said. ‘Ghost stories. Everybiddy loves a Ghost story’

I swirled the beer at the bottom of my glass and smiled. ‘Load a shite, in’t it?’

‘Naw, naw. Look at Dickens and A Christmas Carol. Classic ghost story that.’

I raised an eyebrow. ‘Name another then.’

‘Well, they don’t need to be set at Christmas, dae they? Take that MR James bloke. He wrote hundreds a ghost stories and used to invite his work pals tae his office, get them drunk and scare the living shite oot of them. And wis there no a series of ghost stories oan the telly at Christmas? Oanyway,’ he paused to take a swig of his beer, ‘it’s a tradition. Nothing else to say aboot it.’

‘Dae ye think they’re real? Ghosts?’

‘Naw! Gie us a brek! See me? Man o science. If ah cannae see it and ah cannae touch it, it’s no real.’

‘Whit aboot they ghost hunter programmes oan the telly wi’ that wummin frae Blue Peter? They claim to hiv evidence o ghosts. Whit dae ye make o that then?’

‘That’s aw a set up. Yon Scouse bugger, Derek Ah’ll-Con-ya, he’s a right chancer. Him and his American Indian guide. How come nae bugger has a Glesga Jakey as his guide? Efter aw, who’s got mair spirits in them than Malky the Alky?’ Laughter made him double over and a coughing fit rendered him speechless.

‘Right, ah’m away hame,’ I said. ‘Thanks for the craic and hiv a good Christmas when it comes.’

‘Aye, lad. You annaw.’

He walked me to the pub door and slapped my back as he sent me on my way. Ghosts, I thought and laughed to myself. I pulled my collar up against the cold and turned back for a last look at the pub before turning the corner and disappearing into bricks of the old factory walls.

Posted in Blog Posts

Santa and Sexism

I am proud to publish here a piece my 17 year old daughter, Claire Thomson, wrote in response to an experience of everyday sexism.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALast week, I was at a party in a rural community hall. Around fifty alcohol soaked under twenties bounced off walls plastered with posters advertising salsa for the over 60s, French for the fearful and Christmas fayres. Continue reading “Santa and Sexism”

Posted in Blog Posts

It’s Christmastime….

What does Christmas mean to you?

As atheists we don’t celebrate the Christian holiday – which was borrowed from the existing Pagan Solstice celebrations when Christianity was introduced to Europe. Even the Pope has recently gone on record saying this. But we do celebrate: we buy each other gifts, eat too much food and avoid the Queen’s Christmas Message just like many others do. So, if we don’t believe in Christ and God, why do we bother? Continue reading “It’s Christmastime….”