6am, rain or sleet, Mojo and I dragged ourselves from cozy beds to sell Sunday papers round the wards of Hairmyres Hospital, for the life-altering wage of £2.50, between us…being fifteen-months older, Mojo always scooped the lion’s share £1.35.
That morning was so dark and freezing, a police car stopped to investigate where two primary-school boys were sneaking off to. The officer rolled down her window and stared at us, baffled. In silence we just stared back, Mojo wearing a Santa Hat and fluffy white beard and me in my pointy bunnet with even pointier ears sewn on.
The previous week, we’d shown super-human restraint not-squandering our entire riches on Square Crisps and Um Bongo, instead we headed straight to Woolworths to invest our joint earrings in a bumper-box of Christmas cards, then spent our Saturday night voluntarily writing lines:
“Merry Christmas from Mojo and Matty, your paperboys x
P.S. Get well soon”
Singing ‘Jingle bells’ all the way, we gave a card with every paper and the wee smiles from the poor old dears were as heartwarming as the shiny shower of 50p Christmas-tips that ensued.
December 1993, we earned an earth-shattering £27.30 in one day. Ten-years-old, it was the first time I’d ever had my own ten-pound note.
A nurse wrote to the East Kilbride News to thank “Santa and his Elf” for cheering up the patients bedbound over Christmas. Utterly chuffed, Mojo and I never imagined that selling newspapers could actually get us in one of them.