In many respects my father was quite different from the other fathers in The Stair. For one thing, he smoked French cigarettes-either Disque Bleu or Gauloises. It’s a long time since I’ve smelt the smoke, but I would recognise it instantly as it pervaded the house.
If he’d run out of cigarettes I would be sent on a little adventure on the number 16 bus to either Morningside or the century old Boroughmuirhead Post Office to buy him a packet. They weren’t sold locally. Also, in the 1960s it was very rare for any shop to remain open in the evening.
When I returned home with the cigarettes, it was almost the only time he seemed to be pleased with me.