Tuesday, 1 July 2008

In The Town Where I Was Born.

... Lived a man who sailed the sea.

First and foremost I would like to clarify that in the ultimate question and battle of the Stones and the Beatles I will always side with the Stones. But the Beatles do have some mega songs.

Secondly what's the difference between beetle and beatle.

Thirdly I went to the dentist today and I am ALL about the Oral Hygene. In fact, i'm pretty sure, people call me Oral Hygene Miller behind my back. He said 'you make my job easy. No need to scale and polish today because there's no tartar.' (I don't need to dip my fish sticks in.)

In order to get to the dentist, however, a journey South of the River is involved. (There are two trees involved.)

If going from my current place of residence; walking, a ferry, a bus, and more walking used to be involved; or two trains. Going from my current place of working it's one train then two trains home.

This is of course pre-car times we're talking.

But I went from work, so I didn't have my car. That and the MOT ran out sometime in the twenty-somethings of June. So if I drive it I technically have no insurance. GASP.

Every six months I end up back in the town where I was born, purely to go to the dentist. I'm serious about my mouth and I do go for check ups FACT.

Back in the 80s (when we moved to the North side of the river Clyde) there was a massive dentist scare. There were malpracticing dentists and people dying or something like that. I was only six at the time so I don't really recall. My Mum, having just spent 8 months in a women's aide with my sister and I, and before that having to go through the process of leaving and divorcing the Man that helped spawn me, wasn't really up for hunting for a legitamite dentist. That and she's irish, so laid back and just Irish.

So we stayed with the same dentist. Over the years it went from Dr Brolly (Ginger) to Dr Baird (Ginger) to Dr McAllister (ex-Dundee graduate). I had my fischer seal done there, my moulds done for the orthodontist and my top 4s removed so my teeth could be the pinnacle of straightness they are today. It's an okay place and practice and it's always entertaining to go to Paisley again.

The more I travel and live the smaller familiar places become to me.

Today Paisley felt tiny. Well, because it is.

Let's start the journey though.

El Train Tickets made just for me.

There's a train that leaves for Paisley about every 10 minutes. The next one happened to be from Platform 11.

This is Paisley Gilmour Street - the Railway station.

I remember many nights playing under this bridge waiting for the bus to take us to the ferry. Once my parentals split my Dad had joint custard-y of one weekend every two weeks. That didn't last long. So this was where we would get the bus back to the ferry, to go home.

I remember walking past this square thing with my Mum many times, on one particular time I remember having a My Little Pony that had just been bought for me and I opened it here under the statue of Queen Victoria.

The statue of Queen Victoria.

I was looking out at this river today and I wondered why it didn't bring back too many memories, then I lowered my eyes and remembered a lot more. This is the world from a six year old Vikki perspective.

Back in the day this used to be an open shopping precinct which I always thought was called the plaza, turns out it's the piazza. Hmmm. I remember standing outside here with my mum on a cold Sunday night waiting for my Dad to bring Lola back (as I said, the joint custody thing didn't last long for me).

I used to go Highland Dancing here. I'm sure it was here. I used to love it. I still have the little kilt and vest outfit. SO CUTE. I would have kept going if it wasn't for the move North. I remember a competition I was once at and I danced and I was given a 1st place trophy. I thought I won, but years later (like last year) I realised that everyone was probably given one of those trophies haha - we were 4 years old.

Paisley Cr-Abbey. This reminds me of my Gran for some reason.

Arnotts. This reminds me of my Gran too. She would always go for her tea and cake here. In my later years I bought my tank girl jump suit made by Miss Sixty for 10 spot here (reduced from 120 spot).

This used to be a Green Grocers and my Mum and I would oft frequent it. It was in this shop that I said the immortal phrase of 'We need to get some dry banana and some wet banana'. My Mum laughed and that was where my humour was born. I knew what I was saying, I knew it would be funny.

This is where my Grandma slipped and broke her hip. Post-move to the North-side.

This is where I learned to swim. The Paisley Lagoon centre. I was taught by a man named... I've forgotten his name. It might come back to me. He was just a man, that liked to swim, and he would be in the pool the same time as me sometimes. He was not a peadophile, he was just a friendly nice man, and he was my friend and he helped me to gain confidence in the water and essentially learn to swim. Thank you man.

This is the school I would have gone to if I had stayed. This is where Kim Gordon and Dahryl Spears would have ended up. Where ever they may be now. I found Kim on MySpace once, and that was the end of that. Mystery solved. Social networking online is not natural it interferes with a natural balance, order and development of society - perhaps. Where are you Dahryl - my first kiss and love, technically.

Le Grammar school. And it smelled like dog's dirt, purely because there was a lot of it all over the pavement outside the school. Oddly enough I remember that road ALWAYS having dogs dirt all over it. It smells so bad.

The wall I used to walk along while holding my Mum's hand.

The Protestant church steeple, while we went to that church I always remember hearing about how the steeple was falling down. They finally got it fixed, and put a metal replacement on.

Protestant church, where I was Christened.

When someone says the word church this is always where I visualise. The door was never red when I went there. I remember we used to go on bus trips from outside this church and we would have paper streamers to throw out the windows while we travelled.

It was on these paving stones that I fell and smacked my nut and had to go to hospital to have my head x-rayed. I was chasing a little cut-out and coloured-in paper shepherd or John the Baptist or something, and I would let it blow then catch it again, and on the last time I let it go I fell and nutted the cement. That's why it was the last time. The paper John or Shepherd never came back either.

The dentist (which is next door to the church).

How much of an awesome house is this. I love this dentist. See why I won't change.

I should add that all these things are on the one street one after the other, one street of memories that takes about 6 minutes to walk along.

Around the corner from this street is my old primary school that I started going to almost 20 years ago. TWENTY YEARS AGO I went here. TWENTY YEARS. TWENTY YEARS.


My Primary School. I was only here for a year and a half before I went to Garscadden. Still. Twenty years ago this August.

To the left is the door we would go in. The middle is a wall we would play Polio, or mother May I or What's The Time Mr Wolf beside. And down the side of the school is the corner where I saw a random boy and said 'Blame it on Him' after I smacked a stone off my friend Laura's head and made her bleed. She did not blame it on that boy and I got shouted at.

We were throwing stones in a puddle in the playground around the back and when she went to get her stone from the puddle I thew mine and smacked her in the Loaf of Bread.

I used to watch this piece of path like a Hawk when school was finished because I would see my Mum's curly hair bouncing as she walked to pick me up. I also remember walking with my Mum on this path a lot.

This is the fence on that path that Lola cut her hand on. The story goes :D that she would always walk home on her own or with friends because she was too cool to be seen with her Mum or little sister. She would get home though and no one would be in because my Mum would be picking me up. It's all part of Lola's competative 'I won, I got here first' streak too. There was one incident that Lola actually wet herself while waiting for Mum and I to walk home.

And on the day she cut her hand we could hear her crying at the top of the stairs as we walked in the close door. My Mum said 'Lola's wet herself again' as it turned out she had sliced her hand open on that fence and we had to go to hospital with her.

That close (which I don't have a picture of) is also where I fell down and hit my head and everyone thought I was dead. I wish I had gone inside.

Howard Street. Where I was sprouted.

This is the street that I would ride my Tricycle on, that I would rub Walter's cat on, that I would run and play on. There was a girl a close down from ours that would eat Tomato Sauce Sandwiches, and a family opposite that would look after us and give us biscuits. Denise. And there were other happy playing kids and a girl that borrowed my doll and took his reusable nappy and gave me a disposable one instead. Cheek.

This door and the flat to the left is where my first affiliation and love for cats began. Walter lived in the bottom left flat. I do not remember Walter but I remember his cat and it would sit outside the window and I only ever knew it was Walter's cat. I loved that cat and it scratched me and almost took my eye out and I still loved it regardless.

This is our flat the one at the top with the white frame, the bay window and the rectangle one without the sign on it. I think. Our Christmas tree would sit in that window. I think toys were flung out that window. Inside that flat though. I remember birthdays, bed wetting, sleeping, eating, breakfast, television, Mum, Dad, Sister, friends, Uncles, Aunts, Kate, Grandma, Pairs, The Bill, Neighbours, oranges in stockings, pink jackets, presents, Christmas, knives, cookers, fridges, toy boxes, toys in general, bunk beds (which I still sleep in), and my baby blanket, the spirit level, the hedgehogs and rabbits, and walking in on my dad on the toilet.

The flat to the left of ours had cats in it too. We would look after them sometimes. This is where the cat loving came from.

Number Seven Howard Street. The door was never blue when I lived there. That was the door that I jammed my finger in when I was three years old and my Mum was putting stuff in the bin and she kept trying to shut the door and I was crying and she thought it was because she had left me alone but it was because my finger was shut in it and she kept trying to shut the door but it wouldn't shut. Then we all realised something was wrong. Ha.

This is a chanky looking train seat which has nothing to do with Paisley but it reminds me of getting the train a lot in the 90s.

Star Me Kitten.

And that's my cheeky wee trip down the Paisley memory lane.

I've driven past these places on my six monthly trips to the dentist but I've never taken the time to think or remember anything about them. I'm glad that I walked today. All be it I got soaked.

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