Out of the Camp – 44

Endings and more. I referred earlier in these musings to notions of the ground shifting beneath my feet and not, I should add, in relation to my presence in Southern California but rather, unconnected real-life events occurring simultaneously. It was the early 90s and the now slimmed-down UK business was bumping along in the North…

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Out of the Camp Ch.43 – Lost in Quezon City

43. Lost in Quezon City One evening after a communications class I’d enrolled in at Pasadena City College, I was walking back to collect my car from the parking lot when I heard the sounds of a big band coming from what I later learned was a gym. It was a warm, summer evening in…

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Out of the Camp Ch. 42 – Brick Walls and Shysters

Roger Cairns

We had probably been in California three or four years when Mary took it into her head to place a call to Vancouver and finally settle this thing, one way or another, for good. By “this thing” of course, I’m referring to the matter of my origins and how I came to be here, on…

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Out of the Camp Ch. 41 – Changes

When the group, ‘Listen’, broke up and all the extensive national press coverage, the Parlophone record release, the BBC2 ‘Whistle Test’ appearance and the Radio 1 Pete Drummond session, in additional to all the other radio airplay, when all of this ultimately came to naught and further, my continuing search for another group plus the…

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Out of the Camp Ch. 40 – Immigration

When I left Edinburgh in 1967, I would tend to go home for a visit maybe two or three times a year to visit family and friends. As the years flew by however, gaps between trips became progressively larger, even more so after 1980 when my parents moved from Hyvots to Grantham in Lincolnshire to…

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Out of the Camp Ch. 39 – Dima, New York & Andy Williams.

That was the way things were left for many years, aside from one or two attempts that Mary made by writing letters describing events that led me to their door in Vancouver; about our story, family and sending photographs. We didn’t ever receive any response and so just got on with our lives for the…

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Out of the Camp Ch. 38 – Gilmerton Dykes to Hyvots to … 

It didn’t take long thanks to Edinburgh’s council house tenant exchange programme, for Mr. Smith’s singing and drinking and yelling to move us along once again to our next destination, Hyvot Avenue. At least this time we had the consolation that, at barely five-minutes from Gilmerton Dykes Crescent, it wasn’t so far to drive as…

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Out of the Camp Ch. 37 – Canada

As I’ve so earnestly engaged myself in bearing my soul on these pages over recent months, I have from time to time unintentionally unearthed the strangest recollections. For example, my early mornings in Moredun would often find me lying in bed having just woken up and listening to the radio playing from the kitchen. The…

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Out of the Camp Ch. 36 – Turnhouse, Morcambe Bay and more

Around the same time that I left Moredun Primary School to go to the Inch Secondary Modern, we moved house. I was six when we arrived in Moredun from Duddingston Camp and had turned twelve when we moved to Gilmerton Dykes Crescent. My mother was always talking about “exchanges”. I didn’t understand it but basically,…

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