Tales of goths and poets; Julie and Julia

I returned home to Edinburgh and  went to rent a room in a flat belonging to a French lady and her two daughters.

Francoise worked and her two daughters went to school .

The girls were outgoing and slightly goth, only mildly so although at the time I thought they were more extreme. They spiked up their hair, wore DM’s and black eyeliner and torn jumpers and hung out with friends who were similar.

I did some paintings and drawings after they let me take some  photographs of them, the older girl dried and spiked up her hair and I did a couple of drawings I liked. The younger girl, Julie, sat for me and I did some small acrylic paintings that I found again recently although they look relatively tame.

Old work can make you cringe a little and be hyper critical but at the same time it is a record of that time and it brings back those specific days in your life.

I was free and had a whole life ahead of me that I did not know.


After a year and a half I moved away.

A few years later I met the younger sister on a bus again and  I had my first child in a sling in front of me. She had calmed down her image and her hair was longer. She cooed over the baby.

I think she must have whispered secret goth things into his ear. Little did I know then, that in his teenage years, this baby would do the whole eyeliner, roc boots,long black coats and chained trousers thing….

This flat that I had stayed in with Francoise was four floors up and was a two storey flat. The front room was a circular turret and it was in Leamington Terrace. The Scottish poet Norman MacCaig lived on the first floor. I passed his door a lot but I think I only ever saw him once .

I hadn’t quite got au fait with the Scottish poetry scene beyond Robert Burns and I am not that much more knowledgable now just more interested. Every now and then his name crops up and I wish I had known a little more. More recently I clicked on a book on Amazon and got a hefty volume of his poetry through the post. I am reading some and it is easy and gentle to read. I am trying to find the one we looked at when I was at school……. In the meantime here is a bit from one of his ….’ Aunt Julia’

......She was brown eggs, black skirts 
and a keeper of threepennybits 
in a teapot.

Aunt Julia spoke Gaelic 
very loud and very fast. 
By the time I had learned 
a little, she lay 
silenced in the absolute black 
of a sandy grave ......

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