'And finally, not everyone’s being doing topical. In fact, here’s the rather lovely 6 Oxgangs Avenue devoted to the history of the development of the area, this week highlighting how the block of flats came into being. Could have been prompted by Who do you think you are? Or just a timely reminder that not everything worth blogging about is in the here and now.'

Kate Higgins, Scottish Roundup 26/08/2012

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Oxgangs-A Pastime From Time Past #16 Mrs Penny Forbes and baby Paul

Paul Forbes: Getting a bath in our pre-fab at Oxgangs Gardens from mum Penny Forbes. My dad used to light the coal fire in the morning before he went off to work. My grandchildren, literally, do not understand the concept of a living fire in the house. Great days, when performing community service meant helping your neighbour out!

Vanessa Campbell: Great pic Paul, I was born in a prefab, 1 Oxgangs Place. My mother was great friends with Penny; I have fond memories of the Forbes.

Paul Forbes: Thanks Vanessa. If I’m honest, I’m not sure if we were the Place or Gardens as we were right in the corner. Is Campbell your maiden name? Vanessa rings a bell, but the Campbell bit doesn’t.

Vanessa Campbell: I'm sure you were the Place, maybe Veitch will bring a bell?

Paul Forbes: It had to be Veitch! I remember you well. Oor wee end of the street was paradise!!

Vanessa Campbell: It was indeed Paul, glad you remembered. Such happy times.

Those Winter Sundays

Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labour in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one thanked him.

I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he’d call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
Of love’s austere and lonely offices?

Robert Hayden

No comments: