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Ian Abernethy

I was brought up in a tenement in  the West Highlands.

Yes - a tenement - in the West Highlands!

During and after World War II, sixteen families had their homes in Viewforth Place in Fort William,  in well built but drearily located red brick and grey granite buildings in the centre of town.

Whoever came up with the address certainly had a sense of humour.

For the view forth from our red brick tenement in Viewforth, was of the backs of another series of buildings, and the rusty red-painted corrugated iron rooftops of the backyard stores of a very large High...

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Yayo's Kitchen

Shams

So

We are at her kitchen table as a late-night

lemon cake bakes and

Yayo read us a story she has written—

It’s in Spanish, so I understand not a word, nothing at all

 

(That’s not true:  I understand many things

I understand the love in the words shared, the vulnerability of the act of sharing,

The power of creator sharing the created.

The connection...

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Hame

Anne Pettigrew

Hame

Hame is a memory tucked snug an’ cosy within green woods

that tip-toes  silken on a shaft of silver moonlight

 It makes you smile while you sleep

Hame is firelight touchin’ your cheek, warm sheets and woollen gloves

plain bread and raspberry jam, chips steeped in vinegar

 macaroon bars and bumblebees buzzin’ in jeely jars

Hame is the view from the auld stane brig...

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Reaching Home

Jane Aldous, @Jette611

Of all the places – Whalley Range, Whaley Bridge,

Buxton, Adlington, Babbacombe, St Marychurch,

Bishopsteignton, Saffron Walden, a Riley 1500,

a caravan in Epping Forest, Curbar, Swinton,

Sheffield, Wakefield, Rotherham, Peasedown

St John, Bristol, Culross, Ratho – I have called

home, not the house near Old Trafford, the mad

flat with fungus in the bathroom, the hotel at the...

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A Moment in Time

Isabel Allison

I was born in Kinning Park in Glasgow. A working–class area of mostly tall grey tenements sporadically interspersed with often-smarter red brick ones.

Throughout the year we played in our street, cricket, rounders, Allevio! We made bogies from old orange boxes, swapped scraps, played peever, organized back-court concerts and roller skated up and down Lambhill Street as it had the smoothest road surface.

We seemed to have more sunshine and less rain in the 1950s.

When I was in my primary school and a storm raged outside I would discreetly watch the hands of the clock on...

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Moving Home Again

Elspeth Anderson

Memories of some places I have once called home: 
A cottage; Edwardian farmhouse; bungalow or two.

Victorian, modern apartments, studio flat, 300 years old.
Key to any front door. Feeling safe, quiet neighbours.

A log fire, wireless with foreign stations; jazz or Bach.
Warm kitchen, kettle whistling on warm Raeburn stove.

Candle light at dinner, carafe of wine. Clatter of plates.
Brass carriage clock still ticking after thirty odd years

Pictures: Indian rugs, bookcase, classic books decorate.
Photographs in frames, black and white...

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Hame

Alex Anderson

That is where I want to be
somewhere I am free
to stand, sit, or lay around,
without waiting for that dreaded sound,
“Move along, or be arrested now.”

Home is the chance to be out of sight
be safe by day and through the night
because the door is closed to all
and only close friends get to call
and I the one to say who can visit here.

Home; a roof that isn’t impossibly high;
a ceiling that is not the changing sky;
a cooker to prepare my own food,
the chance to eat something good
and a bed to rest...

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Sundays in the 1940's

J.M. Anderson

Sundays had a pattern.  My elder brother and I went to Sunday school and

then along to our grandparents' house which was at the other end of town. 

Our two cousins, Jim and Isabel, had usually arrived before us and Jim who was

the oldest and leader of all our ploys, let us know what we would be doing that

evening when our respective parents joined us and we had all eaten. It was

always stew and doughballs which could always be eked out if someone

unexpected turned up.  Before that, however, Papa would take us out, all round

the top of the...

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The Ghost on the Stairs

J.R. Anderson

When the evacuees returned home after the war, some of them remembered the city. My brother and I did not. It was a whole new paradise to us. We were country bumpkins, having spent our early years in the wide open spaces of Ayrshire.

            We didn’t miss the country life. Here, in Glasgow, our home town, we had an inside lavatory for the first time; a real bath (not a tin one), and, the best thing of all: a railway goods yard adjoining the back court and facing our neighbours upstairs, downstairs, and across the landing. We had never seen a tenement before. The highest...

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Words of Home

From my bed, I can see the rain-heavy sky through the open shutters, it could be described as grey, but that gets nowhere close. The clouds offer a dozen tones from creamy white to the deepest charcoal, a shade that merges into the slate roof tiles, framed by multi-stacked, tall chimneys. I can hear the cars driving over the cobbles outside and know from the sound, that it has been raining. This is such a uniquely Edinburgh noise, and it makes me smile. I’ve come home.

I wasn’t born here. No difficult childhood necessitating escape. And yet,...

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my favourite place

Elizabeth Anderson

Raasay is my favourite place. It is an Island of the coast of Skye which takes several hours to get to, plus the ferry journey. When we arrive we head straight to our house on the other side of the island. 

When we arrive at the house my brother and I unpack our toys and books, then we go outside to play in the garden. We sometimes go down to the shore at the bottom of our grannies house to collect shells, explore the rock pools or paddle in the sea or do all of the above. There is a patch of rocks called the Mermaids bay because it looks magical. From the shore you can sometimes...

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Holidays At Home

Rhona C S Anderson

One afternoon recently an old friend came to visit Dad.  Somebody from the seventies. Wee Mo. He said he was on Arran working with BT and when he saw the farm sign at the end of the cart-track, he couldn’t pass without coming up to see Dad, well to see if he was still here. 

The stories we recalled that day are already embossed on the pages of my life, yet Wee Mo’s vivid re-telling took me back to the sounds of kitchen laughter and the sweet smell of hay from my young days on that wild farm.

Mo and two other guys from...

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Kate Dalrymple

Christine Ashworth

The door creaks as I prise it open and wedge my suitcase half in, half out. I gag on musty air.  Am I the only one who ever phones from this kiosk? I pick up the receiver and fumble in my pocket to find the four pennies stashed there. Shove them into the black coin box, one by one, and push my forefinger into the dial as they drop with a clunk. Listen for a tone. Nothing. Press button ‘B’ to release the pennies and try again. Zilch.

   I push past my case and stagger outside, gulp fresh air. I’ve been up since six thirty. Disembarkation had taken forever, the coach was a drag and I...

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Hometown

Last week a horse drowned in the Junction Pool.
Already it's an urban myth you don't believe:
the river still and thick and stinking
underneath its parasol of evening flies.
You're in the square. You're counting out
a pocketful of shrapnel by the cheap white light
of Tweeddale Tackle's shuttered front.
Round here, the shops are lit like beacons
every single night, and locals lie
that no one needs to lock their doors.

The next bus won't be here for hours.
Outside the Cross Keys, limos start to roll up
for the...

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Coming Home

The frosty glitter of mica in the stars

your flight still over the Borders,

and too dark for you to see

the child-size wind farm

below on the Lammermuirs,

tiny white blades spinning,

as if abandoned on a beach.

I leave the house, into

the car and click the seat belt shut.

 

Navigate prosperous streets:

large stone houses with big drives

holding two cars, his and hers;

down to the Lanark Road,

park, brewery, cottages.

You cross the coast by Dunbar

out over the sea, bank left...

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