I like the red bricks in Grannie’s street
I like the big green vans and the soldiers too
They smile down at me and Sheonagh
And we smile back up at them
We are going to find our friends
Veronica and Angela
To see if they want to come out to play

Soldier and kids at Checkpoint

The soldier bends down and asks us where we live
We tell them, we live in Grannie’s House
Just up there!
But it’s not really our house
We are here on our summer holidays
We live in Glasgow

The soldiers put their arms around us
And ask us if we are enjoying our holidays
And we say, Yes

I like the soldiers
They are nice
They make funny faces at us
And we laugh at them
We make funny faces back at them
And they laugh at us

Sheonagh sticks her tongue out at them
And they laugh again
Then they drive away
They wave at us
In their big green trucks
With guns

Soldier smiles at a little girl

Veronica and Angela’s path is all red shiny bricks
Not like in Glasgow with red stones
Which sometimes are sore in my shoes
I like how my new shoes look
On the red bricks at Veronica and Angela’s house
Veronica and Angela
Asks their Mammy if she can come out to play
Her Mammy says yes
So we go out to play

We play Hopscotch
And Skipping
And Leapfrog
And Barricades

Soldiers and Roller Skates

Mary Margaret is playing Barricades
With her friends in the street
And we are watching them
But Mary Margaret doesn’t let us play with them
Because they are The Big Ones
Even though I am nearly four
Sheonagh said she is one of The Big Ones
But The Big Ones say she is not a Big One
Because she is only five-and-a-half
And they are nearly eight

We are too little to play with The Big Ones
So we make up our own game
It is called ‘Barricades’ too
But it isn’t as much fun as their Barricades
Because we don’t have as many people as them
And can’t fill up all the spaces on the road
So we just sit down on the pavement

And watch The Big Ones play Barricades
And it looks really fun


I cannot wait to be nearly eight
So as I can play
With them

If you’ve never played Barricades before
I can tell you how to play it if you want:

Well everybody lays down on the road
And everybody jumps on top of each other
To make a barricade
So as
 no Protestants can get into our street
If a car comes you do not let them pass
Unless they know the secret password
And then if they know it
We say “Open Sesame”
And everybody who is in The Barricades
Has to run into the side of the road
To let them drive past in their cars
Then someone shouts “Barricades” again
And everybody jumps onto each other
And blocks the road with their bodies
Until someone else comes along
And we ask them if they know the password
And if they know it we let them pass

I like playing down Grannie’s Street
Playing Barricades looks really fun


Grannie says she needed to go to the shops
For some messages
And I ask her if I can come
And she says yes
She says if I am good girl
I can have a sweetie

She makes me put on my coat
And my rain-mate
She brushes my hair
And spits on my shoes
Then wipes them with her hankie
All ready to go!

Grannie holds my hand
We walk up to the big road
And I see all the people
Running around
Grannie says it’s really busy today
So I must hold on to her hand
Falls 71 soldiers and woman chatting

There are lots of Taxis
And The Taxi doors are open wide
And people are nearly falling out
It looks really fun
But not if they fall out
Coz it would be sore
We didn’t get in one
And I was glad

Me and Grannie cross the road
To go to The Post Office
And Grannie says we must go quickly
Or we’ll get knocked down
The taxis are driving really fast
I hold Grannie’s hand
And run over the road

We do not get knocked down
Thank goodness

Grannie meets a lady in the street
With a nice furry coat on
I touch it at the bottom
And it feels nice and soft

Terrible trouble, Mrs Doyle!
Terrible business, altogether!
Margaret’s three boys are away
And Himself only home!
Terrible! Terrible!
She’s beside hersel’
Aye, terrible business

This yer Granddaughter?
Oh, she’s lovely
Clare’s is it?

She bends down to talk to me,
Wat’s your name?
I say, Keara!
How are ye likin’ yer holidays, Keara?
I say, Nice!
Is it nice seein’ yer Grannie?
I bounced my head up and down again
Are ye gonna get a sweetie in the shop?
I bounced my head up and down
Ah, that’s nice. You be a good gierl now
Fur yer Grannie
And maybe yeell get a wee sweetie at the shop!
Would ye like that?
I say, Yes.

The Lady with the furry coat stands up
And says to Grannie,
Ah, dear heart!
God love ‘er!
How many does Clare have how?

Six, says Grannie
The baby, Patrick Leo, only two months

Is that right? Oh, bless!
What are they gonna do?
Are they gonna go back?

Aye, ah think so
She was thinkin’ o’headin’ oan down te Donegal
But doesn’t want til drive through Derry

Aye, ah thinks it might be better tae go back tae Glasgow
See how the land lies?
Better be safe than sorry!


Maybe for the best, not great round here at the minute
Heaven knows what’s comin’ our way
Dreadful business!
My ones woke wi the clatter
And on the holidays too

Ah, aye, I know, tis indeed

Poor Clare!
Give her all my love
Will ye?

I will, surely

Terrible business
Terrible trouble, altogether!


Here, did they come on the boat

Aye, the boat




Does she take a cabin, Clare?

Aye, oh, aye. She takes two

Oh, aye, well she’d need the two, right enough
Wi that brood on her hands


Lotta money there
Bringin’ thum all over
Payin’ for a holiday
Only til go back

Boat Cabins in the 70s

Well. That’s life!
Can’t be helped
We’ll jist hay til on wi it
How’s your Frank?

Aye, not bad; not bad
He’s still waitin’ fur the all clear!
Getinn’ there
But he’s still bloody smokin!

Anyway, Mrs Doyle, ye’ll be gettin oan
Yee’ll have a lot til do
You get back tae yer family now
While ye still have thum!
Sure I’ll see ye again
I’ll pop round, next week
Fur a cuppa tea

Aye, right ye are
That’ll do

You take care now!
Look after yersel’
See ye later
Be safe, now!
Bye bye!
Bye bye!

The lady with the furry coat
Bends down
Holds my shoulders
And Says,
Bye bye, now, Pet
You be a good gierl,
Keara, now, will ye?
I nod
God bless!
You’re a good geirl! 

And then the lady with the furry coat
Walks away, waving back at Grannie
Who waves back at her
I wave too, holding Grannie’s hand
Then I see another taxi
With people falling out of it
And then we go into
The Post Office
Black Tazis

The Post Office smells of stinky feet
The lady behind the counter says,
Terrible trouble, isn’t it, Mrs Doyle?
Grannie says, Ah, ‘tis terrible!
And hands over a wee book

The lady in The Post Office
Gives Grannie some money
And stamps a mark in her book
And gives it back to Grannie
Grannie opens her purse
And puts the money in
But she keeps some pennies out for me

She shows me where the sweeties are
And tells me what ones I can have
“Pick one”, she says
And I see an orange lolly pop
“I like that one!”
Okay, says Grannie,
And she hands over the money
And the lady hands me down
The lolly pop
I look up at her and say,
“Orange is my favourite colour”
The woman and Grannie laugh
But I don’t know why it’s funny
I lick my lolly
And we cross the street
I love my Grannie
She is the best Grannie
In The Whole Wide World
I hold tight onto her hand

She smiles at me

It’s the best day ever

Two Grans and a Child