Browse Stories of Home by Author

Govan is the place where I grew up

Joyce Somerville

Although I have lived in the suburbs for nearly forty years now, I still think of Govan, a working-class area of Glasgow, as my home. I lived in a tenement flat with my mother, father, and three sisters. My paternal grandparents lived in the same street and my father worked in the local shipyard. The library was just across the road from  my grandparents’ house. I was an avid reader and I often had  my nose in a book as soon as I took it off  the library counter. Granny Miller, as we called her, would often sit at the window and shout to me to “Put that book away and mind the traffic”!...

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Days In The Trees

Gillean Somerville-Arjat

A black and white photograph from the 1950s shows it as rather forbidding, although that is not how I remember it.

A four square, two-storey, grey sandstone, early Edwardian house, confident of its position at the high end of a West Lothian industrial town, it never actually belonged to us.

My parents could never have bought such a place. It went with my father’s job. They called it the Rectory, but it had nothing to do with the church. Headmasters of the old Scottish senior secondary academies were called Rectors at that time and their houses were tied to their schools,...

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Eva Spevack

Home is the title of my Poor Neglected Novel (PNG). There is something about the concept of home and all that it represents that has fascinated me all my life. What is home? Is it a place? A feeling? A person? A way of being? For me it means many things, all of them precious to me, all infused with a myriad of memories and echoes of the past. If I was asked right now where is my home I would have to give several answers: the house where I live (and where I’ve lived all of my life, other than when I briefly lived in Jerusalem in a women’s Bible Seminary; and when I lived in...

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So they think that it's all over

John Spiers

It was 1966 and every day of that summer the Sun seemed to be splitting the trees and


the tar melted on the pavements; Granddad could often be heard saying that you


could fry eggs on their surfaces. We, my name is John, we, being the children were busy


gouging out our holiday plans and were unaware of the catastrophic injustice that our


dads and their dads were soon to suffer. The...

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My Dreaming, My Home

Janet Steele

I left the homeland of my birth to spend last summer learning about my Scottish ancestors. Usually after two months I long for home; homesickness draws me back to Australia. However thanks to the digital world this no longer happens.

So what is the essence of home? Is home related to my nationality? There is something unique about the Australian way, but as I travel I feel I am a person of the world, home is not limited to one location. Is it the place of my birth? No, my parents were passing through the country town where I was born and I feel no belonging when I return. Is home...

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The Watchers of Glasgow

Irene Stevens

Ah wis born in the East End o Glasgow. We lived in a single end but hame wis always ma mammy.  We lived up a four storey close that was big and mysterious,  and smelled o coal dust and carbolic. If ah came hame fae school, ah knew if ma mammy wisnae in, ah’d just go tae Jeannie Wilson next door. ‘If ah’m no in darlin, go tae Jeannie’s and she’ll watch ye.’ Ah loved goin tae Jeannie’s and getting watched cos she had a budgie called Joey and it would sit oan your finger.


When they flattened the auld buildings (slums, they caud them), we moved tae Castlemilk, and it wis great...

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Piano in the Parlour

Barbara Stevenson

As you get older you start to reminisce about your childhood and recently I was with a group of similarly aged people discussing our first homes. Like me, quite a number had grown up in tenement buildings in or around Glasgow, or were familiar with them because relatives lived there.

“What I remember most is always bumping my head when I tried to hide beneath the grand piano in the living room,” I said.

The others looked at me strangely.

“I mean, when we were playing hide and seek,” I hastened to...

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Scotland - My Home

Michael Stewart, @clanmike

My home is Scotland, the west coast of Scotland to be precise. The village of Alloway, South Ayrshire to be even more precise.  But that's not my real home.  Scotland isn't the home where I was born and grew up. I am not Scottish - by birth anyway.  My ‘real’ home was down in the big smoke, in London.  That was where I arrived into this world, one sunny August day in the late 1950s.  I grew up in London during the swinging sixties - and the even stranger seventies.  If I’m honest, it was great fun (well most of it anyway), but I didn’t know any other life.  Now I live in Scotland and I...

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A Great Nation

Isobel Stewart


The Kelpies!


The words drifted from the television and minutes later I watched in wonder as time lapse photography depicted the amazing construction of two 20 metre steel statues in the shape of horses’ heads. What had taken seven months to make in reality was transformed into a seven minute film. Thus The Kelpies were brought to life.

“Falkirk,” I whispered and was immediately transported back to the days of my youth.

Born at the end of the Second World War, I had lived in a small mining community where most childrens’ fathers worked...

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A Place of Peace

Janette Stewart

Just a council house garden in Paisley, that’s all it was, but he had created something wonderful there. I loved to spend time with my grandpa, watching him work, his sleeves rolled up, his arms browned, the veins standing out as he raked the leaves off the lawn or weeded a flower bed. He would shovel the soil into a riddle and shake it so that the smooth fine stuff trickled through, leaving only the little stones behind, rattling like bullets against the mesh.

He grew flowers of so many varieties: huge dahlias in vivid colours – “soup plate...

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The Pilgrimage

Isobel Stewart

I had lived abroad for many years and had brought my children home for a holiday to experience the delights of Scotland.

I was feeling very excited as I prepared to take them on a pilgrimage back in time to the early 1950s.

Like most mining families in those days at the end of the war, money was tight and holidays consisted of a day away. In my case, it was always a trip to Edinburgh.

The night before our trip, my mother and I would travel on two buses to the next town to stay with my aunt and my cousins. We children would be...

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John Stewart, @jock147

School’s out.  I’m running home past the small baker shop, past the big manse, past the caravan site, over the avenue and into the house.  Off comes the school bag and shoes and I jump up on the couch.

Mum is working but Granny is there and always with a biscuit and a drink.  Tonight she decides to tell me about this buttercup that wanted to be a daisy because daisies have a nice white frill and buttercups are just yellow.  A robin is having a rest near this flower and the buttercup asks him to find a white frill for her.  The buttercup makes a heartfelt plea but the robin is having...

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Still Home

Margherita Still

In April 2000 I would have told you my home was a terraced house in Edinburgh. It was a house full of life with three children under four and a supply of friends, family and neighbours always to be found in our kitchen. Then one Wednesday evening as I sat down to watch ER everything changed when The Water of Leith burst its banks and came flooding into our home.

That event would change my perspective on life for good and altered my idea of home completely.

At the time it was devastating to witness our house being inundated by a black soup of mud and water. When you watch the...

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Moon Landing

Moira Strachan


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Home - Where is that?

We all know the cliché that you can call wherever you lay your hat ‘home'. But that is not the whole truth. My Father was born in Glasgow. On my occasional day-trips through there I’ve never felt at home, preferring the cotton-wool comforts of Edinburgh. Over fifty-five years ago my Dad moved to London. I think of London as my home, but that’s not quite right. My heart is in Camberwell, my first London ‘home’, even though I was born in a boring village in Bedfordshire.

Elaine Feinstein, in her beautiful poem ‘Home’ asks, “Where is that, I wonder...

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Nearly Home

Jane Swanson

We’re nearly home. Up the hill, round the corner and past the big house where the Professor and his family lived.  My sister Heather and I didn’t see them very often; their kids went to a different school.


Past the house where the Spanish couple lived, the ones who imported alabaster lamp bases and kept them on their drive under a sea of blue tarpaulins. When they were out, we’d dive under the tarpaulins, the cold blue light gave our faces a ghostly glow as the waves rustled and ballooned above us.  We’d crouch in amongst the rows of gleaming white lamps,...

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Alicejan Sweeney

We had devised our plan earlier that day.  I say ‘we’ but like all of our plans my sister was the mastermind and I, with the inherent belief that the three years life experience she had on me endowed her with wisdom beyond my four years, obediently followed.  Having been safely tucked into bed by the parents, I was unceremoniously shaken awake.  The same highly-flammable paisley patterned pyjamas delivered earlier that evening by the Christmas pyjama fairy, the same rags of ripped up bed-sheets manically sticking out her head, taller, skinnier and brighter with a fixed...

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Mountains and the Shorelines

Howard Swindells

  They’d left their homes unwillingly, driven from their land


The few possessions they could save they carried in their hands



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my home team

rhoda swindells

I was born and grew up in Brooklyn, New York.


I lived in an apartment house which was four storeys high, like all the buildings on my street.  There were no gardens attached to the buildings so when the weather was good and people felt like sitting out, they would bring their own folding chairs  and position them next to the building on the sidewalk.  This  usually meant the mothers did this so they could keep an eye on the children as they gossiped with each other.  The men were all at work and the only time they could do anything outside was at the weekends.  But the...

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