Hawick is dying, literally and metaphorically. Since 1980 10,647 folk have been born there, and 15,244 have died. Many more buggered off to the cities. Hawick’s a net exporter of people.
Funerary services, however, are clearly doing well.
I walked to school passed Beattie and Co., purveyor of undertaking to the poor with easy credit terms available.
Beattie was a big man. He’d stand outside dressed in the full rig, watching people go past, sizing them up for future business. You could see him making a mental note:
‘6”1, 250 pounds.’
Soon after he buried my mum, I buggered off.