I’m so glad my tour of Waterstones bookshops next month is going to include their branch at The Fort in Easterhouse. These days it’s not exactly home turf, but certainly the turf of my childhood. I often draw incredulous looks when I tell people that my memories of the place are mostly happy. I laugh thinking about that clump of half a dozen trees off Easterhouse Road that we used to call ‘The Forest’ and how we used to know the names of every neighbour, including their dogs. Sandy was a gentle Alsatian and Laddie an unusually bad-tempered black Labrador.
Now that I’m a board member on the brilliant Platform arts group, I have good reasonto be in Easterhouse every month or so. It’s a place that always seems to be changing. Streets are demolished and rebuilt, as are my old schools. The flat where I was born (my dad delivered me two weeks earlier than scheduled) is still there, although the building has been remodelled and a top storey removed.
About twenty years ago, I made a documentary about Easterhouse and , in it, I told this story about pebble collecting, despite the absence of a nearby beach.