The 2nd Annual TAFTAS

The Nominees for the 2nd Annual TAFTA’s (Torthorwald Village Annual Film and Twitter Awards) are as follows…..

Best Comedy Writer

@qosfc1919 for creating SMILE voted the 75th millionth best blog in the world
94 yr old Hilda Von Voomswinkel for the Church Gazette Newsletter
Bob from the village for his ‘Paving Slabs’ blog voted 74,999 millionth in the world
FT for

Most Evil Character

Vladimir Putin for ‘The Man Who Stole The World’
Sepp Blatter for ‘Eyes Wide Shut’

Best Actor

Charlie the Dodo for ‘Honestly I’m Not Extinct’
Mad Malkie for ‘The Last Christmas Present’
#Jeremy for ‘The Mouse Who No One Knew’

Best Actress

Edith for ‘Edith and Maisie – The Polling Station
Katie the Yak for ‘I’m a Princess’

Best Romantic Fiction

@A_Turner_Author for her Kindle book ‘Trusting Thyme’

Best Crime Thriller

@Mark_Leggatt for ‘Names Of The Dead’ out July 2015

Best Character in a Blog Story on

Edith for ‘Edith and Maisie – The Polling Station’
Jake for ‘The Last Christmas Present’
Team Tartan for ‘FT’s Tartan Diaries’
Dave for ‘The Wedding Parts 1-3’

Best Hashtags

# ArmyOfTinyCybermen


FT’s Tartan Diaries Episode 7 The Bank Robbery

FT’s Tartan Diaries Episode 7

If you’re new to FT’s Tartan Diaries you’ll need to read the following link first or nothing in the world will make sense to you, your legs may go wobbly and, your head may explode into a ball of candy floss ……….

If you do know all about the history of a bunch of five Scots and four Yanks already, and you want to read on, then you are obviously as mad as a box of frogs……. Enter Episode 7 at your peril….. 😏


We’d only been in ‘Edinbro’ two days. Exciting? It had been as exciting as discovering the secret recipe for Irn Bru, as exciting as a full Scottish breakfast and a cup of tea on a cold Sunday morning, as exciting as stopping in the mist, as a twelve antlered stag appeared twenty feet away. It was EXCITING!

So far, we’d been arrested, found @YoorWullie had been arrested too. We’d been released thanks to ‘people’ Gigi knew. YoorWullie had then been kidnapped by an old woman, wearing a tiara and a man with a big nose and BIG ears, then taken to Edinbro Castle, where Stoker of the Dean (@DeanStoker ) Gigi and I had rescued him.

As another Scottish summer morning’s grey light, filtered through my bedroom curtain, I listened to the gentle hum of the server network from Gigi’s room. I smelt coffee. My Dad’s dry rub of brown sugar, garlic powder and cayenne pepper rubbed oven baked bacon, oozed from the kitchen. Dry rubbed chicken, dry rubbed bacon. Dad’s culinary skills knew no equal in the whole of the kitchen he now occupied. But I still loved him.

Mum? Well, Mum, having seen the madness eschew, and, knowing the crazy things Dad, Gigi and I got up to, had now gone beyond checking birth certificates, and, was now demanding DNA and blood samples from us all, to enable paternity checks to be carried out. Even though she was stretching every sinew to prove we weren’t her kids, I still loved her.

As for Gigi, instead of running her Global Empire from Maryland, by the sounds coming from her room, she was firmly in control of the FTSE Index from our Edinbro department. I know anyone reading this must think, why couldn’t Mum and Dad see through the pretence, and realise that, despite being only 8yrs old, she wasn’t just playing the memory hungry version of Candy Crush Saga. She was indeed running a Global Comic Subscription scam from her room, hence the server network. However, when she put ‘Cute Face’ on, everyone just melted. It got all gooey and slushy with cuddles, love etc. After that, all questions about servers, cables, the bank of flat screen tv’s and the constant phone calls were forgotten. At the end of the day Mum and Dad loved Gigi.

I loved her too, especially when she told me she’d sent a camera drone down to Dumfries with an electronic device on it. She’d set it up so’s #EvilSkyDish would receive a burst of interference all the way through the live broadcast of the Manchester Derby. Dave would be so pleased. 😳 She was MY darling little sister and was learning fast.

The original plan had been to travel to Milngavie to meet @FewArePict for a bit of Gaelic shopping. I wasn’t sure whether this meant Gigi and I would have to cover our faces in wode and visit a tattoo parlour. However, the whole thing was kyboshed when it emerged Milngavie was closed for the day.

Instead, we’d arranged to meet FewArePicts alter ego Bendy Girl, and Mojito Man (the green rum avenger) near The Meadows, for a bite of lunch, or in Mojito Man’s case, possibly some biting of his fingers. We left Dad reading YourWullie’s new kindle book ‘Guddling Troot for Beginners’, and Mum on the phone to the DNA profiling centre apparently trying to ‘hurry them along’.

We decided to head up to Bruntisfield, as, apparently, there were a couple of nice cafés and hotels where Gigi might get pizzas and donuts. Debra (FewArePict) turned out to be even nicer than I’d expected. I knew not to mention the referendum result nor Gigi’s business links to Fracking in the Milngavie area. Mojito Man, however, had fallen over twice and seemed to still be a bit worse for wear from the night before.

Debra explained…..

‘I don’t remember meeting him. Apparently, he appeared on a night out, I was enticed by his greenness, got embroiled, and that was it, I’d lost 24 hours of my life. It’ll be a long time before I have another Mojito, but, someone’s got to look after him’ .

We were just passing a large bank when we heard shouting….

‘Stop….stop those men……..they’ve robbed the bank!’

We turned round to see three men with hoods running toward us. As they reached the gate where we were standing, Gigi looked at me. We had to do something. Just then Mojito Man fell over again, tripping one of the robbers. As he fell, Gigi gave the robber one of her best moves, a ’roundhouse to the temple’. He groaned and slumped to the floor.

‘did you see what that wee kid did?’ Shouted one of the other robbers.

‘Leave him, the clumsy oaf’ said the other robber.

By the time he turned to look back at us, Gigi and I had climbed on the low wall, and jumped, taking him out with a double drop kick. The last of the robbers was now fleeing speedily towards the Bruntisfield Hotel.

‘it’s ok let me deal with him’ said Debra.

At which point, she brought a rugby ball from her bag, stretched her arm back, and launched it like a quarterback into the air. The rugby ball spun in the air like a rocket. Gigi and I stared as the robber disappeared into the distance followed by Debra’s rubber missile.


Boomph……he was down. She’d done it. Our wheelchair rugby heroine had just gone and taken out a bank robber with a rugby ball from 300 yards! She’d get a game for the Miami Dolphins. 😀

Gigi turned to me….. ‘Right, can we get donuts now….?’

I laughed out loud.

‘Yes Gigi…. We can do donuts now’ ☺️

…….after picking Mojito Man up off the ground, and, as a crowd gathered around us applauding, Gigi, Mojito Man (with a bit of help), Bendy Girl and I headed off for donuts and Irn Bru………….


Episode 7 of FT’s Tartan Diaries was brought to you by @qosfc1919 aka David Linden and Dodo Productions © 2015 Don’t forget to check out FT’s blog at

FT’s Tartan Diaries The Story of #TeamTartan

This story needs a bit of explaining, so bear with me, but, without some preamble, you’ll stop reading much earlier than you normally do. 😊
When I first started droning on to family, friends and complete strangers, about Twitter they glazed over, coming out with all the predictable retorts and phrases i’d never ever ever ever, ( drone drone ) heard before.

‘Oh you and that twatting….. I don’t know what Twitter is……Only twits use Twitter….’

At one point i started to question myself. Not in a white light dazzling my eyeballs type questioning. More of a ‘wtf are you wasting so much time on this Dave, when you could be doing chores’. However, sometimes, if you hang in there long enough, magic happens.
In the year i’ve been on Twitter properly i’ve met lots and lots and lots of interesting, intelligent people ( i used too many and’s there ☺️)

From artists to writers, rugby lovers, sports fans, scientists and funny funny people, it’s been brilliant. You get the odd weirdo, but there’s a block button, which opens a big hole under their nasty feet and sends them to a fiery Netherworld where they have to watch EastEnders on 24/7 rerun.

Sooooooo, I’m not sure when, where or how it happened, but at some point, a group was formed called #teamtartan. The Indy Referendum drew people together and it pulled people apart. In our case, it threw together an eclectic mix of Scottish peeps with an American family from Maryland. It would take too long to cover all the things we’ve discussed, the stupid things we’ve laughed at, and how we were drawn together in the first place, but we’ve made the Earth a brighter and more interesting place…..

so who are #teamtartan?

in no particular order of infamy……..

@YoorWullie – clever clever, knowledgable chap. no idea what he does but uses a laptop and his tongue a lot. He is obsessed with the Declaration of Arbroath and the Queen might not be the first person he would invite to dinner. He does stuff with computers, spends an inordinate amount of time working in Leeds and will argue the benefits of
eating bananas over apples until the cows come home.
He lives up North and his ambition is to be Mayor of Arbroath resulting in FT creating a cartoon about him……

@YoorWullies cartoon
@YoorWullies cartoon by The History Twins
YoorWullie pt 2 by The History Twins
YoorWullie pt 2 by The History Twins


@FewArePict- the Queen of Milngavie – no idea what Debra does either but she’s represented Scotland at wheelchair rugby, loves windfarms (which is a sore point 😊) and she helped in the space of one dark weekend create the green superhero Mojito Man (although she can’t remember it happening). This resulted in FT (who we’ll mention later….😁) inventing Debra’s alterego superhero Bendy Girl, resulting in FT creating a cartoon about her…… ( a pattern is emerging 😏 )

@FewArePict 's cartoon 2 by FT TheHistoryTwins
@FewArePict ‘s cartoon 1 by FT TheHistoryTwins
@FewArePict 's cartoon 1 by TheHistoryTwins
@FewArePict ‘s cartoon 2 by TheHistoryTwins

@DeanStoker-Dean works at something or other but his main porpoise in life is to take brilliant photographs (which u can find on, climb things, cycle about a bit and just generally be a nice guy. He thinks everything should be coloured purple oh and this resulted in, guess what…. Yes….you’ve guessed it…FT doing a cartoon about him….. ☺️

Stoker of the Deans cartoon by The History Twins
Stoker of the Deans cartoon by The History Twins


#Teamtartan member number 4. He works with oil and computers, hopefully not at the same time….messy 😉 He likes vodka martinis, also rum and blackcurrant. He doesn’t sleep as when he’s not mixing oil and computers, he’s sharpening the lead in his pencil. Talking of pencils, he has a penchant for Palomino Blackwing Pearl pencils. I’m not sure why……oh no….I nearly forgot, he WRITES…..and his first novel is coming out in July 2015 ‘Names Of The Dead’. I don’t think it’s a comedy… ☺️ FT hasn’t drawn a cartoon for him yet but it’s only a matter of time…..

Next up @thehistorytwins

thehistorytwins consist of FT, her sister Gigi and her Dad (Moms smart enough to keep out 🙂 ) They have been the seed that sowed #teamtartan, that brought us together to be what we are, an unknown bunch of tweeters called #teamtartan. They stand out from the rest of the team, mainly because they are NOT SCOTTISH 😳 They are AMERICANS!!!

For the purposes of this storyline, you need to know some stuff. FT writes stories, creates funny and clever cartoons which you can view at
Despite being only 14 and American, she knows more about Joy Division than I do, she has an eclectic library of reading material, and supports any football team other than mine just because she can. Plus they’re allegedly coming to visit Scotland next summer…….😁
Gigi, her sister, is just 8, but she runs a Global Comic Subscription Scam from her bedroom, owns a large percentage of the worlds companies, ‘knows people’ and has a global network of satellites that track #teamtartan’s every move ( although her Dad thinks she’s tracking the rate of Arctic Ice melting ) You also need to know that in real life FT and Gigi do Karate…..
Their father likes Belhaven beer, hog jokes and pretends he’s in charge. He is to blame for FT’s interest in cartoons, as he used to do the very same thing in a previous world.

..then there’s me. I think I met thehistorytwins because of problems with my EvilSkyDish in 1847. That’s probably why FT created a cartoon for me as well……… this made number 1 on Reddit Webcomics chart view by over one thousand three hundred viewers 🙂

My cartoon by FT @ The History Twins
My cartoon by FT @ The History Twins

Oh there’s so much more to tell, but we need to move on. I mentioned FT and co are coming to Scotland next summer and, if they’re mad enough to go ahead they are planning to meet some, or all, of teamtartan. They may decide to go to Madrid or Barcelona (FT’s preferred option) instead, or, now that relations have melted between them and the US of A, Cuba.
Just in case they do arrive on Alba’s shores, for some strange reason, I decided to write FT’s Tartan Diaries ahead of the actual event. Here’s episodes 1-6 – I hope u enjoy them…… *surprise eyes*……… 😳

FT’s Tartan Diary Episode 1

Arrived in Scotland via Iceland. As we’d passed over Greenland, it had looked so white, shiny and beautiful, glittering in the northern sunlight like a shiny diamond against a dark blue backdrop. As a contrast, we couldn’t actually see Scotland for the grey cloud that seemed to clench it like an old beggars glove.
As we left the plane I turned to my Dad ‘I thought it was supposed to be summer…no?……it’s f..f..f…free…zing’
‘Its ok I brought thermal underwear plus the tickets are still refundable and I have a hotel provisionally booked in Barca if this turns out to be as bad as it feels right now’
‘When’s Gigi’s private jet landing?’
‘About 9pm – she had some Global Pay Day Loan thing going on’
The first thing I noticed on traipsing through the airport shops was Leggats face. It was everywhere, promoting his new book. He’d promised me a free copy but it never turned up. Typical Scotsman. I was just about to buy a copy when I noticed something purple over in the corner. It turned out to be the noses of several Scotsmen clustered in the bar.
My Dad’s eyes suddenly lit up and within seconds he had several new friends.
‘Dad, we’re supposed to meet #TeamTartan at the Castle in 20 minutes….’
‘Fair enough….. Can u get me an Irn Bru?……….’

FT’s Tartan Diary Episode 2

I did feel bad about ditching #TeamTartan……….. Well, for about 8 milliseconds…. Mwa ha ha HAH! Dad’s new friends we’d met in the bar at Edinbro airport, turned out to be really interesting. We couldn’t understand a word they were saying, but we soon discovered if we laughed at the right times and loudly enough, they would buy us another drink. Having said that, there’s only so much Irn Bru a gal can drink before she turns orange and starts saying words like ‘ braw’ and ‘stoatin’.
Gigi eventually arrived, and, having signed all our new ‘friends’ up to a ‘comic subscription’ *chortles* we headed for Edinbro City centre in the tram. We had a lucky escape on arriving on Princes Street. Gigi had spotted them first…..there they were……..#TeamTartan wandering about aimlessly, well apart from YoorWullie who was explaining to some poor woman why bananas were better than apples.
It was Dad who started to waiver first…….
‘They’re obviously looking for us. I mean we’ve come all this way. Maybe we should go speak to them…..’
I looked at them through the grey damp mist of a Scottish summers day. Bendy Girl, Leggatt, Stoker of the Dean, Yoor Wullie and the ‘other’ one. Dad was right, we couldn’t not say hello. I looked up at him.
‘Hey, had you goin there FT, you thought I meant it didn’t you! look there’s a pub in the Grassmarket with new friends to meet and my name on it….let’s go’
I looked back but #TeamTartan had disappeared into the mist………..

FT’s Tartan Diaries Episode 3

It was probably a couple of hours after we’d arrived in the Grassmarket, when the police (or polis as the scottishes like to call them) burst, nay, lumbered into the pub.
‘We’re looking for a family of Americans who’ve been reported missing. Two adults, two girls, the smallest of whom may be running a Global Comic Subscription Scam….’
Now Scots are notoriously friendly. Around the world they are famed for being the friendliest nation on earth, if somewhat tight around the monetary regions. Unfortunately the bar mainly consisted of Japanese tourists, who turned round to stare at us, and started clicking their cameras. 15 minutes later we were locked up in St Leonards Police station.
‘I told you Dad. We should have met #TeamTartan like we said we would. Sussed them out, and only ditched them if they turned out to be doozies. Now because they are so nice and obviously care about us, we’re in jail!!.
‘it’s worse than that FT, that guy across the way is staring at us……’
I looked up and couldn’t believe it. It was @YoorWullie one of #TeamTartan, locked up in the cell opposite.
‘What are you doing here?’
‘Och, they nicked me for boring a woman to death in Princess St on the idiosyncrasies of farming in the Byzantine Empire 765 to 1204AD, did i ever tell you that the Byzantine peasants were reliant upon land holdings in return for military service……’ It was going to be a long night’

FT’s Tartan Diaries Episode 4 THE INTERROGATION

‘Look at her man, she’s only 8yrs old, how could someone so small and angelic be running a global comic subscription scam from her bedroom. Are you Scots all crazy!!!
The detectives all looked at each other……
‘I mean, I know there’s a humming noise from her room, our electricity bills are unbelievable, and, Gigi receives an inordinate amount of mail everyday from all over the globe, but she’s just normal like any other junior school kid, well….there was the scary Halloween thing, and she can eat several giant chocolate doughnuts at once….oh
and, she has her own helicopter…..and…..she does…..control a network of satellites…….but only
to monitor melting artic ice melting…isn’t that right Gigi….?………………….Gigi???
Dad wasn’t really doing the best job of Defence Counsellor I’d ever seen. In fact, at this rate Gigi was going to get 10yrs…..I had to do something….
‘It’s me…’s me who’s running the whole thing……it’s not Gi….’
‘FT…. WHAT ARE YOU DOING……..?’ Dads eyes were bulging again. I hated it when they did
Then Gigi banged the table….’Enough!…..give me a goddam phone’
Twenty minutes later, after a gushing apology from the police, we were walking down the Royal Mile. I couldn’t believe it. One phone call, wooomph, out we walked.
‘Woah, what just happened there…..How did you do get us out Gigi?’
‘Look, I know people, called in a few favours, u know……let’s find those #TeamTartan doozies before they get us all locked up for good……’

FT’s Tartan Diaries Episode 5

After our sojourn with the Scottish ‘polis’, we were finally back at our Edinbro apartment. Dad, was making yet another chicken dish, Mom was looking up our family lineage and birth certificates, apparently, ‘just in case there’d been a mistake’. In the meantime, Gigi was playing at gagging back Dave’s broadband speed via her satellites, apparently ‘just because she could’. It was great to get back to ‘normal’. I decided to call the police station and find out what had happened to @YoorWullie……….
‘What!…Dad, some people with posh English accents turned up and they’ve taken YoorWullie to………..Edinbro Castle!!!…..what if they find out what he REALLY thinks, god knows what they’ll do to him…… Well maybe he doesn’t know, but I can think of a few things they might…we have to go rescue him!’
Before he could answer yay or nay, Gigi and I were on our way. 30 minutes later we were standing near the gates of the castle.
‘Ok Gigi, two guards, you know the drill……’
Gigi, wandered up to the guards and smiled her best innocent smile….
‘Would it be awfully big of me to ask to see the Queen?’
‘I don’t think so young lady’
‘Its a no, so if you could run along now, there’s a good girl’
Nobody called Gigi ‘a good girl’. Using her newly won brown belt judo skills, she took one out with a chop to the neck , the other with a drop kick. We were in…….

Episode 6 The Rescue of YoorWullie

Once inside Edinbro Castle, we knew, if we were to save YoorWullie, we had to move fast. Rushing up the esplanade, we could see the Royal Palace off to the left. Did you know this spot had been occupied by some sort of fortification since the Iron Age. I mean, IRON AGE……I’m American, when the hell was that??? It was David the 1st who built a castle in the 12th Century. It’s been bashed, built, boshed and built again…….but hey, I digress, we had to save YoorWullie…….
‘ok Gigi where does the Satellite say he is?’
‘3rd floor up, second room from the right’
There was no unlocked way in, we’d never save him on our own. Then it dawned on me. Stoker of the Dean aka @DeanStoker….. He could climb mountains……
‘Gigi, tweet Stoker of the Dean and tell him to bring his climbing gear….pronto printo’
We hid in a dark close and ate donuts for a while. It was just like old times for Gigi and I, as Dad used to put us in the cupboard when we were badasses. Eventually Stoker of the Dean arrived. He was just like I’d imagined. Wearing purple and covered in crampons. We had no time for chit chat. Within minutes we’d climbed up to the window.
Once we’d adjusted our eyes, the sight that met us was a bit surreal, even for an American. There was YoorWullie, kilt n’ all, tied to a table. In the background an older chap with a big nose and big ears was slumped over the table as was an old woman wearing a tiara, in a chair behind them, both fast asleep. Gigi safely karate chopped the window and we were in…..
‘so, once ye have yer troot in view, yeh have to take yer time, one splash and it’ll be away….take yer hands and slowly move them under the troot…..’
Yoor Wullie was teaching the fine art of guddling trout and he’d put them to sleep. What a weapon, what a man. 😀
‘Yoor Wullie, shut up just for a minute, Stoker of the Dean, Gigi and I are here to save you’
‘I telt them they’d never beat me. That old dear was purring at me and mumbling aboot how people like me were rooinit for her and her like. I telt her she was 45% wrang….. And that she’d maybe taken ma dignity but she’d never tak ma freedom……’
…and with that we released YoorWullie, who turned and left two bananas and a copy of the 1320 Declaration of Arbroath, for his captors.
We absailed down the castle walls, and, after Gigi dealt with a couple of more SAS guards, we were on our way to YoorWullie and Stoker of the Deans favourite restaurant, for a Big Mac with fries.

it was only Day 2 of our tartan adventure. I was beginning to like this place and we’d only met two fifths of #teamtartan. What could possibly happen next……..

FT’s Tartan Diaries was brought to you by Dodo Productions and The History Twins – if you liked it spread the word and don’t forget to visit 2014

The 57 Millionth Best Blog In The World

‘Hi, my name is Tony Prezzario and I’m here to interview someone whose middle name is ‘Success’ with a capital Suss. Recently riding on the backbone of winning the title ‘The Fifty Seventh Millionth Best Blog in the World’, I am privileged to be here with Dave……..sorry, what’s your surname again?……..’

‘Linden….it’s Linden’

‘Hi Dave……..Linden, I’m pleased to meet you’

‘Hi, pleased to meet you too’

‘So, your blog was voted the fifty seventh millionth best in the world in the WordPress Global Blog Awards….. You must be pinching yourself’

‘Well, not so much pinching myself, but you’re nearly there……’

‘Where were you when you heard the news’

‘I think I was in the garden at the time’

‘Well, up until the announcement you were just an ordinary boring person, probably just mowing the lawn?’

‘No, I think I was……..just staring………’

‘Yeah, ok, staring……..right…… what did you do when you realised what you’d achieved, break open the champagne….?’

‘I’m not sure….I think I continued on staring for a while, before going inside for my tea’

‘Gosh man, you are so laid back and cool, you didn’t celebrate at all?’


‘Ok, so humble….. When did the phone start ringing with relatives and fans wanting to congratulate you?’

‘Well, funnily enough, the phone Did ring…..’

‘Who was first to pat the genius on the head…?’

‘No, it was the Sunday Times Wine Club with a special case of Brilliant Reds’

‘Ah…… Did you buy them to celebrate ☺️?’

‘No, much prefer fizzy white I’m afraid….’

‘So who are the people or relatives that have helped you achieve notoriety…your Mum, Dad?’

‘Well, my father was a submarine Commander, so I didn’t really see much of him’

‘What about Mum?’

‘Well, she was a submarine Commander as well, so she was also away for months at a time’

‘Gosh, so when did you guys get to see each other?!’

‘Well mainly at submarine conventions……’

‘Is it true the UK Prime Minister and President Obama, on hearing of your award said “Who?” ‘

‘I’m not sure about that, but I know David Cameron called Bob from the village to congratulate him’

‘Oh…..why did Bob get a phone call?’

‘Well, Bob writes a blog about his hobby, collecting paving slabs. It’s very good if you’re into that sort of thing. Not my cup of tea, but hey ho. Anyway, his blog was voted fifty sixth million, nine hundred and ninety nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety ninth…….just ahead of mine. He puts more effort in than I do, so he deserves it.’

‘ You’ve had over 800 views of your blog since you started writing in March 2014, you must be over the moon with those sort of figures?’

‘Yes, especially since Bob’s ‘Paving The Way’ Blog has only had a couple of thousand. I mean, that suggests I’m not far away from critical mass…I’m certainly praying….’

‘The subjects of your stories vary quite a lot, one minute President Obama is running a basketball team, an old lady is going to a polling station, your local TAFTAS (Torthorwald Annual Film and Twitter Awards), two leaves talking to each other, a cat talking about it’s first visit to a vet, to your latest creations, how to carve the Xmas turkey and The Last Christmas Present, a tearjerker of a story with one of your famous creations, MadMalkie as the star. I have to say, if I’d managed to read beyond the first line, I think I’d have cried myself…….

…….. So on the back of unmitigated golden success, with the world at your feet, what’s next for the great writer of our times?’

‘Well, I might go back into the garden and stare for a while, then, who knows… There’s more Crane Intergalactic Hero – Voyage of Ineptitude to come, Pell of The Selgovae part 2, The Wedding…more TAFTAS, oh and have you heard of #teamtartan and The History Twins…?’


‘Oh…….well there more of that to come too……so…….lots really……😳’

‘Ok, so thanks for your time Dave……..sorry what’s your surname again?………..oh yeah…….. London…….. Dave London, it’s been riveting meeting you…..So that’s it…..I’ve just spent time with the man who’s blog was voted 57 millionth best in the whole world, I’ve been Tony Prezzario for CBS News, Bye for now.

‘The 57 Millionth Best Blog in the World’was brought to you by @qosfc1919 and Dodo Productions © 2014

‘Excuse me…….how many blogs do WordPress have?’

’57 million……..’

‘Oh…… ‘

‘Yeah……see ya……’

The Last Christmas Present

‘The Last Christmas Present’ by David Linden

‘Ok that’s it my hard working Reindeer and Elves. One more house and one more present to deliver and, that’s it we ca….’

‘Eh, whit aboot me?’

‘Ah, of course, and last, but not least, you Mad Malkie. I’m glad you joined us again on the Scottish part of our journey. These Scottish town names drive me crazy every year. Ochtermuckity this and Gilliemewhit that. Without you, we’d still be stuck in Arbroath! I’m not sure I’ll ever understand, why you have to turn up, each year, dressed as Batman, but, hey ho, you are the most helpful human being I know. So thank you Mad Malkie, thank you. Now, let’s get this last present delivered and we can all go home and get Mojito’d. What’s the address?’

‘It says “LAST WEE HOOSE IN THE VILLAGE, Muchteruchty”

‘Thank you Mad Malkie, get the elves to get the presents out from the back of the sleigh, and let’s go. The reindeer are getting tired and peckish. You do NOT want to hear this lot when they get grumpy. ☺️ Tally ho Donner and company’

….and with that, the strange entourage of eight reindeer, Santa, four elves and Mad Malkie dressed as Batman, zoomed through the winters night in the direction of Muchteruchty.

Santa loved Scotland. No tanks, no guns, no mad Russian despots messing up his deliveries to Ukrainian children, no wars, no famine, no giant scary animals…… Well, apart from Nessie, she was as big as five houses, and, to the uninitiated, very scary looking, but, once you got to know her, she was as tame as a Scotsman with a whisky in his hand. They’d already dropped of Nessies Christmas present at Loch Ness, a new tartan bonnet, she’d be pleased with that. Santa looked down over the Cairngorms, glistening with snow in the moonlight, they were a beautiful sight. Even Mad Malkie, who wasn’t prone to being dewy eyed and soft, could feel the hairs rise on the back of his neck at such beaut…..’

‘Whit dae ye mean it’s no there. It must be. Ye know fine well every child’s present is locked in its own special space, and can’t be seen or unlocked without the child’s name, age and goodness record being read out by one of you, in elf language, while ye chuck thoan magic elf fairy dust stuff in the general direction of the back of the sleigh’

‘Well, you look Batman, because, even though I’ve read his name, age, address and goodness record, which is impeccable, in elf language, AND sprinkled ELF LIFE ESSENCE, OR ‘magic fairy dust’, as you call it, there’s nothing there. Not a jot, not a box, zippo nada, nothing, zilch, zero, nietski, nowt’

‘But that’s five years I’ve been helping you guys an ah’ve never seen this before. How can it happen?’

The smallest elf Bob stepped forward……. ‘It can only happen either because the boy or girl has been really bad since they sent their letter to Santa, orrrr, they’ve changed their mind big time about what they want for Xmas. If they DID change their mind it must have happened in the last few hours and we didn’t receive the message in time’

‘Richt u lot, I know I hid your sweeties and, I admit it, it was me who ate the chocolates but tell me this is not happening…..’

In unison the elves turned to Mad Malkie….. ‘It IS happening and since you ate the chocolates, YOU can tell Santa’. Then they folded their arms, scrunched up their faces and stared at him.
As the towering beauty of Ben Nevis lay below, Mad Malkie sheepished his way to the front of the sleigh. Santa was singing along to one of Abba’s greatest Hits, a present which Malkie had long since regretted giving him. ☺️

‘Er, Santa…..’

‘Waterloo…..I was defeated…you won the w……’

‘Yes Malkie….what can I do you for my little Scottish Batmobile…..’

Malkie wondered, given his lightness of tone, whether it was the thought of getting home that had cheered him up so much or whether the various ‘gifts’, in giant inverted commas, children had left for him, were taking their toll.

‘Captain, wi hae a problem……oops sorry, ah mean Santa, we have a problem’

‘A problem!’

‘Yes, the last present is supposed to be for 8yr old Jake who lives in the last wee hoose in Muchteruchty and…’s not there….’

‘Its not there……but that can only mean one of two things……let’s go……!!! ‘

The sleigh lurched forward, throwing Mad Malkie and the elves to the floor. Within minutes they were flying over Muchteruchty. There were only eleven houses, and apart from the odd Christmas tree light sparkling in the moonlight, all were in darkness.

‘That must be it there’ said Malkie, pointing to a cute little cottage at the far end of the village. They landed close by and disembarked. Malkie was glad the moonlight was so bright, as he was notorious for tripping over the elves in the dark. Soon they stood at a bedroom window where a little candlelight shone on the sill.

‘Can you see anything?’ Said Santa

‘Aye, ah think it must be wee Jakes room as there’s lots of toys and games lying on the floor. There’s no one in bed though.’

‘Right elves, do your stuff. Send him in, at least if he gets caught he’ll get off with community service. If we get caught, there’ll be no more Christmases – ho ho ho…..’

Malkie turned round to ask what they were going to do only to find himself standing beside Jakes bed.

‘Woah, what just did happen there?…. He looked outside……the little green bampots were giggling in a little circle….. Malkie would sort them out later…

Malkie wasn’t sure what he was supposed to look for. If Jake had been bad then he’d have been sent to bed without any supper. Where was he? He moved towards the bedside cabinet when he noticed a piece of paper on Jakes pillow…..he picked it up and moved to the candlelit window.

‘ Dear Santa

My name is Jake and I am 8 years old. I know I already sent u my letter asking for a PS4, Little Big Planet 3, a phone and a new football but, you see, my Mum is sick in hospital and I don’t want any of those presents anymore. I just want my Mum to be better for Christmas….
Thank you
8 yrs ‘

Mad Malkie sat on the bed. He didn’t cry as he was part of the maddest baddest gang this side of the village of Mouswald, so the stuff welling up his eyes must be just from the irritating candle smoke, yep, definitely that……..definitely.
He banged on the window, the Elves did their thing and within a second Malkie was outside again, standing in the snow.

‘Harrumph’ said Santa

‘Whats wrong’ asked Malkie

‘Well, you see, I’m great at getting presents like the ones on Jakes original list. But, this…… This, you see…..these things don’t always work out the way we want them to. This might not be the happiest Xmas for young Jake’

‘ but we MUST try something…….’ blurred Mad Malkie, who was now 100% sure, he was allergic to candle smoke.

‘We can but try. Let’s get ourselves over to the hospital and find out where they are’

They flew across the roof and treetops at the speed of……well the maximum speed possible in a sleigh containing 4 elves, a large Santa, a hairy arsed Scotsman dressed as Batman and a CD of Abba’s greatest hits…..

Arriving at the hospital, the sleigh ground to a halt in the car park, slid menacingly onwards and ended up in the bushes. It’d been a long night…….

‘Ok, the elves will go in, find out what’s happening, report back and we’ll take it from there…’

‘What about me?’ Said Malkie.

‘Well, we can pretend to be…….Santa and his elves…..which is quite appropriate………..because?…..’

‘You ARE Santa and his elves…..’ Replied a disconsolate Malkie

They disappeared, leaving Malkie in the bushes listening to Mamma Mia………

Just as Malkie was falling asleep to the special live bonus version of Dancing Queen, They returned to the bushes…..’


‘Its not good I’m afraid, Jake is sleeping in the room with his Dad and Mum. She is very ill and needs a blood transfusion to make her better.’

‘So they’re doing that then and she’ll be fine……that’s good news isn’t it….isn’t it!’

‘ unfortunately she has a rare blood type, which only 1 in 10 million people have, they don’t have any, can’t get any in time. By the time it gets here……’

‘Surely there’s some special powers you or the elves can muster to save her, after all you can make me disappear through walls and fly thousands of miles in a bloody Homebase special offer wooden sleigh…… must be something…….no?’

Malkie could feel the candle smoke affecting him again. Bloody candle smoke…… 😥

‘I wish I could Malkie, but even me, Santa can’t fix everything, if only it was possible I’d stop all the fighting, cheating, and hate in the world. I’d also fix Jakes mum. If I knew a way to find one of the 6 people that has blood type B theta delta +, I’d do it….. But I don’t’

Malkie pictured Jakes room with his teddy, his football posters and his star war……

‘Sorry, WHAT did u say, B Theta what?’

‘B Theta delta +’

‘….but…….that’s me, that’s ME, THATS WHAT I HAVE’

‘This is no time to joke Malkie, honestly, it’s a type that’s almost rarer than I am….’

‘Honestly, my mother says I am, always have been, and always will be….. WEIRD …. I Malkie, the leader of the maddest, baddest gang, this side of Mouswald, dressed here as Batman, do hereby declare I really do have B THETA DELTA BLOODY WELL PLUS’

‘Oh my word’……even Santa was lost for words….

‘Theres no time to waste, the elves can magic your blood to replace the type they’re giving her, after that, there nothing we can do…..I hope you’re right…..’

Malkie didn’t ask how they did it, but somehow the elves started doing the necessary and Malkie drifted off to sleep in the sleigh’

He awoke, freezing. Santa was gone as were the elves and sleigh. He stood, chittering and looked around. Not even a note, after all he’d been through, blinking sods! He shuffled out of the bushes towards the car park. He looked at his watch 2pm. God, he’d been asleep for 14hrs in the snow under a bush.
As he entered the main doors, people started pointing and laughing at him.

‘Its ok People of Gotham, I’m hear to save the world……’

That line always made them laugh……..or made them stare even more. He clambered the stairs and entered the ward where Jakes family were. He moved slower and slower as he reached the room. He peeked round the curtain………

The candle smoke started to affect his eyes again, Jake was sitting on the bed holding a football. On the seat next him was a PS4 box and in the bed his Mum was sitting up smiling…….

‘Hey, look mum it’s Batman…….! – hey Batman look what I got for Xmas……. A PS4, a phone, a football and bestest of all…….My Mum.’

Malkie smiled, gave him a hug.

‘Well done son, merry Xmas to you, your dad and especially your mum, I need to get back to Mouswald…. Oops sorry Gotham’

And with irritating candle smoke affecting his eyes again Malkie headed for the exit……

‘The Last Christmas Present’ was brought to you by Dodo Productions and @qosfc1919 © 2014