When Burns Night falls on a weekend, Edinburgh heaves with crumpled kilts, whisky snobbery and stumbling poetry renditions.
I grew up in Alloway, a small town on the West Coast of Scotland. It’s where The Scottish Bard was from, so, mine was one of the most cultured paper rounds in the country. I trudged past The Auld Kirk (where Tam O’Shanter saw the Devil playing the bagpipes and fair fancied a witch), the cottage where he was born and a vast horizon of vermin-infested fields to distribute news at a penny a paper.
Inevitably, our schooling was Burns-tastic and so I understand what “Auld Lang Syne” (trans “the song that nobody knows the words to”), is actually about.
The MiniGrips are hugely excited about being subjected to a dinner of haggis, neeps and tatties (“you don’t have to like it, but, you do have to try”) and Mr Grips is wincing at my rendition of “Oh my Love is Like a Red, Red Rose”. Some of the notes are so high the neighbour’s dog is whimpering. Bunch of philistines.
So, my Burns Credentials are plain, right?
And, what, you may be wondering, has that got to do with bowel incontinence?
Well, firstly, let’s remind ourselves that any leaking of pee, poo or pumps is abnormal. Nothing should involuntary dribble or squeak out of you, and, if it does, you need to know that you don’t need to put up with it.
About 10% of the general population leak poo. Generally speaking, they are mortified and manage it as best they can – inevitably, that’s not as effective as if they got help from their GP, pelvic physio or continence nurse. (good article here)
Here’s my usual gentle nudge…if you are reading this with a wodge of loo roll shoved up your “shuch” (Scots nouns are the best nouns) then please, please, please go and get help. That stuff dries out your bum hole skin, and it is almost impossible to give it a satisfying “howk” (Scots verbs are the best verbs) in polite company. You can be more comfortable and more confident. Don’t. Put. Up. With. It.
I give you my very favourite Burns poem, “There was twa wives” http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/robertburns/works/there_was_twa_wives/. Features drunk women, farting and a poo accident.