It’s the first day of the holiday…

Date: 10th June 2022

The second weekly blog provided to you by our resident writer Donald Stewart.

It’s the first day of the Holiday…

It’s early morning at the Livingston Lions Holiday Camp as Mr. Martindale, the manager, starts his summer job of taking in people who have had a rough and tough year and try to recuperate in the warmth and glow of his welcome.

It is after all, Livingston, sunshine is often rationed…

Alongside his helpful assistant, Mr. Maley, who seems to always turn up for the last 15 minutes of everything, life could not be much sweeter as the doors are flung open for what is officially the first day of the holiday season.

Picture the scene…

We have the usual attractions of a holiday caravan park with the static display on the left hand side as you drive through the main gate and on your right, on a sweeping hill the amenities for the kids – big ones and wee ones too.

There is the fairground, the swimming pool, the Pilates and yoga centre, the feeding area with plenty of top eating places from Burgerz Kingz to Pizza Shack…

It has not got the proper attractions, but attractions that are proper good, it tells you in a neon sign as you enter!

An Irish themed pub selling Spanish tapas perhaps encapsulates the madness of the concept as the first car through the door that morning looks as though it is fleeing a high speed chase on a Chanel 5 real life cop drama.

It skids to a halt outside the reception building as a certain Mr. Thomson in dark shades tries to step put of the car and “not be seen” by everyone. So hard is he trying to “not be seen” that nobody can miss him. As he tries to slip into the reception building, he turns to pause and strike a pose just in case he is “not seen” on camera.

Mr. Thomson has just had a cracking year. Taking over a job from a highly popular manager he was on a hiding to nothing as people called it, but he brought his own success and the company he has just left were gutted to lose him. He is ostensibly unemployed but thinks that shall not last too long as he instructs to block all calls to his caravan from anywhere except numbers with a Dundee, Kirkcaldy, Cove or Dunfermline post codes. Rather confused by the request Mr. Martindale simply points out there were no phones in the caravans. Mr. Thomson, slightly panicked by this fact, asks if he can borrow a charger…

Once he left the reception building to climb back into his car, with music now blaring out in an inconspicuous manner, Mr. Thomson sped off to find his caravan.

Mr. Martindale’s attention was then caught by a far more modest car coming down the driveway. He squints his eye as he thinks he recognises the one in the passenger seat. The one driving looks remarkably like the man in the passenger seat who is wearing shades, a massive hat and a huge scarf as he tries to hide. Just as they arrive at the reception building and the driver gets out and coaxes his passenger to do the same, Mr. Martindale moves closer to the window to get a better look.

It is when the passenger manages to drop a shoulder as he gets out the car, swivel round the door and emerge in the sunshine that Mr. Martindale recognises Allan, the one who just got away from his day job and sign for The Budge. The one driving must be his more famous brother, James.

Clearly uncomfortable with being there, Allan has to be persuaded to take his own bags into the reception area. Once there the scarf round his mouth is pulled tighter and his hat is scrunched harder on his head.

Mr. Martindale, never one to hold a grudge smiles. “Welcome both of you, James and Allan, good to see you.”

At that Allan drops his scarf and begins, “Look gaffer…” Mr. Martindale merely raises his hand to stop him talking and then offers it out in friendship.

All is fine. If you believe what you see…

Once booked in, Mr. Martindale muses on the role that the shadowy figure of The Budge played in it all. Running most outfits in Gorgie, she has  fearsome reputation. Her aloof enforcer, The Big Levein, has not been heard of much this season as he seems to have found some form of peace in the Highlands – or so the rumours go.

With 15 minutes left of his shift, Mr. Maley makes an appearance just as a 4 x 4 arrives in the driveway. Mr. Martindale muses at just how uncanny things can be as he recognises the number plate, the lanky guy in the driver’s seat and the form of the woman in the back. Mr. Maley is despatched to sign the latest two in as Mr. Martindale wonders what The Budge and The Big Levein are doing in his caravan park. Hardly their scene, he thinks…

Once the necessary forms have been filled in and the 4 x 4 is gone, Mr. Maley wanders through to his boss. More excited than he normally is, Mr. Maley blurts out, “Have you heard the scandal?”

Mr. Martindale does not need to reply, before Mr. Maley fills him in.

Apparently, the wife of one of their guests is being splashed on the pages of the West Lothian Courier and cannot figure out who has been leaking all of her secrets to them so has been sleuthing to find the Poisoned Poirot.

Not for the first time today, Mr. Martindale looks how he feels, confused.

“Surely, if she is looking for the person leaking the information, she is Poirot and the person doing the leaking is the poisonous one?” Mr. Maley looked crestfallen. Mr. Martindale, a kindly sort, takes pity and continues, “Never mind. Who is it?”

“That’s the thing,” Mr. Maley responds excitedly. “Tonight, they are going to reveal all…”

And with that, the excitement ended for the day. Unless you count everything that happened thereafter but for that you will have to tune in next week as

They are all going on a Livingston Holiday,

nae mair working fur a week or two…


Whilst the author asserts his right to this as an original tale, there is no evidence that Livingston have anything resembling a holiday camp, unless you know differently, so this is clearly a work of fiction.

The fact is that Gary Maley, a Livingston player for 6 years without ever appearing in a Premiership game, made his debut for the team 15 minutes from the end of Livingston’s final game of the season. Maley is 39 years old, the goalkeeper and this was his last game for the club. They beat Dundee 2-1, Kelty Hearts have accepted the resignation of Kevin Thomson after he led them to the Scottish League Two title and he has been linked to many a manager’s job including those at Dundee, Dunfermline and Raith Rovers and Allan Forrest, brother of James has signed for Hearts. As for the leaking of stories to the press, this may be a complete work of fiction though deep sea divers may make an appearance at some point over the summer…

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