From Derry to Glasgow

He looked me up and down and said when can you start?  My aunt Rose was prompting me from the door, so I said I can start now if you like he said great ok here is an apron you will have to start in the kitchen. I turned around and my aunt Rose had vanished I was met with a stack of dishes in the kitchen, but I was so happy I had a job! In Glasgow, so I was staying here, I didn’t think much further than that at the time I just had a sense of freedom and independence it was a big change in my life and I never gave my future much thought. That evening when my shift was drawing to a close I suddenly realized I didn’t have a clue how I was going to get back to Pollock. 

I felt tears welling up in my eyes when Nick the Greek manager said: “oh my dear whatever is the matter do you not like the job ?” No, I said, “it’s not the job, I just don’t know how I am going to find my way home to my aunties house”. He went off and came back with a piece of paper written on it was get the 48 bus from hope street. He handed it to me and said you will never get lost in Glasgow as long as you have a tongue in your head so go out now and ask directions to the bus stop.

I wiped my tears and went out onto Buchanan street It was like being in a different world to me. I stopped someone and asked directions and in Broad Glaswegian, I was told where to go to find my bus stop after stopping another two people and them asking what part of Ireland I was from and each of the three people I asked all had relatives in Ireland. Finally, I found the stop and got on the 48 bus to Pollock. I was still fairly anxious as to the stop to get off at, so I told the bus driver my address, and he shouted me when it was my stop. I eventually found my aunties house in Brockburn Road. It took me a week to confidently make my way to work every day and get back. I would sit in the top deck of the bus to take in all the sights it all seemed so vast but Pollock was in the green belt so I settled down there.

I moved soon after to my Aunts brothers house in Brockburn terrace it meant I had my own room whe I say my aunt she was my aunt by marriage . I took very sick one day and asked her to phone my work which she said she had done .

When I turned up for work two days later someone had taken my place The owner of the Restaurant sacked me saying no call had been received and a new girl had started. It turned out the new girl was the niece of my supervisor who had been very mean to me from I started there and I couldn’t understand why. It turned out It was her niece that was supposed to turn up the day I was started. Nick told me when I went to pick up the wages I was owed. I was very distraught and all I could think about was I will have to go home now as I have no job. However, James my Aunts brother was working at a hotel in Queen Street, so he told me to go and ask there.

I had a new job in two days’ time. It wasn’t as good as (The Yellow bird) which I missed, I missed the people coming in and chatting to me and I had been promoted from washing dishes to serving behind the counter. It was funny when I think back. Glaswegian is a hard language to understand especially for a 16-year-old Irish Girl. but I started to pick it up ” Gonnie Geeza fish supper doll? a pickle and a can juice and aner poke a chips ” which translates to Can you give me a fish supper, a pickle and another bag of chips and a can of fizzy juice ” I was so fascinated with the accent and found it quite charming and I recalled when I was only seven and in Glasgow and went home after 4 weeks with a Glaswegian accent

One memory I have as well of when I was seven is of my cousin Jim and his pal taking Caroline my cousins daughter and I out to the swing park. Rae My cousin had put a beutiful white shawl on Caroline and I remember her saying make sure Carolines shawl gets kept clean . The park had just newly had been tarmacked. I was on a swing and Caroline ran in front of me I sent her flying across the tarmac and you can imagine the state the while shawl was in . I was so terrified to go back to Rae’s she nearly blew a gasket when she saw the state of Caroline and of course I was blamed . I remember her shouting and me feeling terrified . It made me frighted of Rae and when she arrive at Aunt Agnes’s a couple of days later to take me out I wouldn’t go with her . To be continued

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