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Daein it yersel

Onybody keekin roond the door yestreen an seein me laid oot on ma back on the fluir, heid ablo the computer desk, could be forgien for thinkin tae theirsel, ‘O Goad, she’s deid!’

But than they wad hear the sweirin an ken it wis juist me lyin amang the stourie taigle o wires ahint the prenter tryin wi baith haunds tae wrassle oot yet anither o ma crushed, manky cairds grippit like a vice atween the machine rowers.

Anent hou I cam tae be slitterin aboot wi the prenter in the first place, I hae tae gae back a week or twa. Ye see, it haed come tae me that I micht hae a shottie at makkin ma ain Yuil cairds!

In ma mind’s ee I could see a puckle o ma wee birdie pentins reproducit on the front o shiny white cairds wi seasonal wirds like ‘Bonnie Yule’ or ‘A Guid New Year’ prentit on the insides in an airty sweep o loop cursive letterin. It wad be a guid professional-leukin job, an I wis shuir I could dae it nae bother at aw. I micht hae mindit the scornfu wirds o ma granny whan she foond ony o us puffit oot wi a surfeit o pride. ‘Yiv a fine conceit o yersel,’ she wad say.

The alarm bells should hae been clangin in ma heid at that first thocht. Ye see, I’v been doun this road afore whan we war rinnin oor ain mail-order business. It includit offerin a range o Scots wird cairds that we makkit oorsels. Hou could I no mind the cairy-on we aye haed wi the carnaptious office prenter shooglin aboot on the shelf ablo the computer whaniver we haed tae rin cairds throu it? The thrawn paper feed that needit carefu haund feedit tae wirk at aw. Thae dreidit warnins o deith — ‘paper jam!’ or ‘clean the prentheids!’ — juist whan I haed a muckle order tae prent. Whan I think on it nou, that machine chowed up mair than it iver spat oot. An o coorse, it haed an insatiable drouth for the maist expensive ink on the mercat! It’s nae wunner an order for cairds wis guaranteed tae bring me oot in a cauld sweit.

But naw! That wis aw in the past an I wis fou o creative fervour.

The poke o twinty-five blank cairds I haed bocht online turnit oot tae be mair coorse than fine an hairdly abuin ma guidman’s cornflakes box whan it cam tae quality. Or as ma granny micht hae said, ‘Ye get whit ye pey for.’ But I skitit ower that tae. I haed scanned ma birdie pentins tae the computer an foond a caird template I thocht micht dae. I couldnae wait tae get stertit!

Efter days o scratchin ma heid ower hou it wis ma pentins war comin oot skellie, back tae front or on the wrang side o the template, I haed decidit tae discaird the idea o haein prentit writin on the insides. Easier tae dae that bit by haund, I telt masel. Sin I haed uised a muckle amoont o ink juist fouterin aboot, it wis time dae the thing in earnest afore whit wis left o it drainit awa.

An that’s hou I cam tae the farce o yestreen. It wis like turnin back the clock. Anely this time nane o ma cairds wad rin throu the prenter! Insteid, it cut oot aw the cairy-on by gaein straicht tae paper jam! Mair nor like acause I couldnae chuise ‘cairdboard box’ fae amang the prenter settins!

Onywey, I’v nou got a raxt neck for ma trouble. I’v haed eneuch o daein it masel for this year; sae I will gie the rest o ma cairds tae the neebors’ bairns tae play wi an buy ma Yuil cairds fae a shop.

Forby makkin cairds, I’v decidit tae lay aside ma scheme tae pit ma birdie pentins ontae cushions sin I juist mindit aboot whan we tried tae prent oor company logo ontae T-shirts wi the iron.