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Monday, 7 October 2013

weirdly, home

my parents were born and raised in aberdeen, scotland. my brother and i were born in edinburgh but we can't claim to be raised there as we moved as a family into england when i was eighteen months and my brother six months old. 

as kids we went back every year in the summer holidays - staying for two weeks with our grandparents. the journeys were long, my mum driving six to seven hours with by then three kids with as few stops as possible. we would always watch out for the "welcome to scotland" sign and as family tradition dictated promptly stop at gretna green services. after using the facilities we would all pile into "the canny scot" the gift shop attached to the services which stocked all things scottish. there we would spend our pocket money on anything with tartan on it but mainly on sweets and edinburgh rock - although edinburgh rock is nothing like its blackpool counterpart - it is soft not hard as the name would suggest - a fact that always amused. i spent the car journeys either staring out the window listening to music on my walkman or curled up with a cardigan over me trying to get some sleep. as the years passed the scenery became familiar, i'd watch the yellow rapeseed covered fields turn into purple heathered mountains and as it did so, i knew i was going home. 

it's a weird thing to feel that somewhere you lived for only eighteen months as a baby feels like home. maybe it's the childhood year on year collective family memories, maybe it's the teenage years spent with friends at the edinburgh festival or perhaps the times spent there with my dad in my twenties when he relocated to the scottish capital. but i know the feeling within me when i arrive and depart scotland is a feeling i do not experiance anywhere else in this land. perhaps that is why when english friends try to tell me i'm english as i've lived most of my life there i struggle to explain to them why i know i am scottish. 

this weekend i went to see a film called "sunshine on leith". there on the screen in front of me i saw edinburgh in all its sunshine soaked glory, i don't mind admitting i was a little teary for it. if you want a pick me up, feel good film that is beautifully and poignantly written, shot and acted or if like me you have ever seen the proclaimers perform live and wondered how on earth they made a film incorporating their music go and see this i guarantee you will not be disappointed. 




  1. I am thankful I clicked over from Shelly's blog. I have only spent two weeks in Scotland and I have the same feeling about it. I want so much to go back and spend more time. And that teary eyed feelings and the welling up inside that makes you feel like your heart is going to burst, yes, that I am familiar with. And I don't live on the same island with it as you but on the other side of the pond.
    I have read through many of your posts here and I find much in common. I too had no support in the direction I wanted to go after schooling. I have had a similar experience as you in trying to go back and rekindle those artistic flames. I had a pastor, 22 years ago convince me that pursuing art was a waste of time. It took me twenty years to step out of that box.

    1. Sharon, thank you so much for letting me know you visited. I'm glad my words resonated with you - I hope as you fan your artistic flame, you are enjoying creating again.