An illustrated metaphor for my life involving a bandana. Not a banana. Although that also works. 

See this pic?

Well if you look closely – if you’re not blinded by my teeth that look like they could eat a tomato through a tennis racquet – you’ll see that Rachael (the child lying horizontally) is wearing a red bandana. This bandana was purchased on the day this picture was taken which was oh about twenty five years ago. (The other two people are my sister in law Brenda and my brother William if you must know – but they’re peripheral to the story, although interestingly now live in Holland, land of the Dutch, which reminds me of the day William and I went to visit the mother in the care home or “Grantanamo” as Brenda wrly observed, and we were trying to jog mother’s memory as to who William was by singing a song she used to sing when William and Brenda first departed for Holland – the last line being:

she’s down in the meadow, milking a cow” 

but mother joined in instead with:

“she’s down in the meadow, fisting a cow”). 


The bandana was purchased in a shop in Oban and was an expensive wee purchase at the time, as I recall. It’s an OshKosh B’Gosh (that was an arsehole of a thing to type) bandana. I know it was purchased twenty five years ago because the horizontal child is now 28 and, for the most part, vertical. The bandana has survived the years and been worn on various body parts, but mostly on my own head, to either conceal manky hair or to complement a particular hairdo. (It’s also been worn tied round my neck at a jaunty angle, air hostess style, to annoy Kate Cameron, but she wears cropped trousers on holiday so quid pro quo, Clarice, as Hannibal would say).

Today, ye olde bandana was tied round my head as a headbandy thing to conceal my manky hair which had assembled itself into two “horns” atop my head, resembling a Valkyrie, thus:

(Manky keeps autocorrecting to manly which makes me lol…mmmmm manly hair…). I’d forgotten I was wearing it when I took Tucker for his evening lamppost sniffing outing. The wind took my breath away (the actual wind, not Tucker’s bum toots although they’d strip paint off walls the day after he’s been eating buried treasure he’s dug up from the garden) and with it, at some stage in our half hour parish inspection, the bandana, apparently, I realised as I arrived home sans bandana.

I had my tea on the go so was rightly concerned about the timing of my baked potato, which left me conflicted: a) should I climb back in to the hottest coat in the world and its accompanying dodgy zip which gets stuck at inopportune moments eg airport security which then leaves me sweating like drug mule Billy Hayes in Midnight Express and go search for the bandana or

b) oh what the blow it’s only a thing. The universe giveth and the universe taketh away. The universe is a shit.

Settling on option b above, I climbed back in to the drug mule coat, ensured I was appropriately shod for the skating rink pavements once again (you can’t be too careful at my age, osteoporis is just around the bloody corner), and skittered back down the icy drive (without dog – I was too crabbit by this point) to begin the search for the fucking bandana.

Against the howling, biting wind, I skittered back up Glasgow Street to the Goldie Park (I vary my route, so any weirdo stalkers reading this who think they’ll find me doon the Goldie Park of a dark evening can piss off – you’ll find me down the boathouse, where it’s even darker and scarier, with rapists round every corner, if you’re interested) encountering only a woman with two big dogs in a leopard print dressing gown, possibly from Primark, who eyed me suspiciously – the cheek of it! – as I wandered back over Tucker’s pawprints in the snow in the middle of a dark field;

“You awright doll?” she enquired…

“Aye fine thanks!” I replied, needlessly further explaining “my bandana flew off my head earlier, I’m just looking for it. I’ve had it a long time, it’s been all over the world with me” I doubt she needed my life story, but at best it’ll have given her something to tell the weans on her return from her walk in a dressing gown.

Guess what? I found the bandana. I bloody kissed it, which on reflection was stupid because the two big dogs belonging to the be-dressing gowned woman had probably pissed on it. Well, I’ve never died a winter yet.

I like to think that all of this is potentially a metaphor for my life, surely? Something about having things for years, loving them but taking them for granted, losing them, being sad, looking for them, finding them and probably taking them for granted again?  Oh I don’t know. It felt like a good metaphor when I started writing it.