the gypsy woman of edinburgh

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This event took place some 20 years ago in Edinburgh Scotland UK.

I won’t say on which day or year as the exact date eludes me to this day.

i don’t fully recall this story, as most of it has been told to me by my mother, as I was only 3 or 4 years of age at the time.

but I shall include what little I do recall.

It was during the summer, and me and my little brother had just finished our lunch, so we decided to go outside and play in the park outside our house.

I should add here that our parents never used to watch over us as the park was right outside our house so they could just look out the living room window to watch us.

in hind sight I wish they had watched over in the park and not the house.

me and my little brother decided to play on the slide so i would sit him in my lap and go down the slide hugging him as he was only a year and two months younger then me and needed help with most things due to his age.

it was probably the fourth or five time going down the slide with my brother when a bunch of older kids came over and demanded to go on the slide.

seeing the obvious height disadvantage between myself and the four larger kids, I decided that for my little brothers safety it would be better to give in and go play on the roundabout.

now I must remind you I was only 3 or 4 when this happened so I was very trusting of adults and very very unaware of the dangers of strangers, let alone about the rumours of gypsies and kidnapping.

it was as me and my brother reluctantly walked over to the roundabout to play that an old woman probably in her late 60’s or 70’s came over.

now what  happened next is what little I recall of the event.

this woman had long grey and ginger hair braided to a neat pony tail at the back, I recall she had lots and lots of rubber bracelets there were orange one red ones black ones and blue ones.

it was only later when I was roughly 16 or 18 that I learnt the bands were symbols of sexual acts and were could snap bands, as the rules go orange meant oral and so on and so forth, the rules were you pick a colour do the act and snap one band for each act, remember I was only 3 or 4.

I being a stupid little kid asked if I could have some the orange bracelets she had as they looked pretty, I never said I was a smart child.

and of course the woman said ” oh of course you can sweetheart, I have tons of them, I can always show you if you like, I have far more of them you can have at my house, it’s just round the corner, i can take you to get them”

I looked at my brother and told him to stay there and that I would grab him some bracelets too.

I then said to the old lady that I’d just go and tell my dad I was going to pop over to a friends house round the corner.

this seemed to unnerve her and she said ” oh it’ll be fine, it’s just round the corner, it won’t take five minutes honest, they won’t even notice you’re gone”

I just started to walk off with this old lady as a younger lady rougher in her late 20’s or mid 30’s with long unkempt ginger hair began to beckon me and my brother over.

it was just about this time when my dad, an ex military man came out the house in his army green shirt and cammo trousers with our rescue dog called lady which never left his side, picked up me and my brother and took us into the house and I remember him saying “it’s time for tea boys, hurry up or it’ll get cold, we’ve got square sausage and mash”

it’s only now, as an adult in my mid 20’s that I realise this was my dad’s way of forcing us back into the house without scaring us, as a kid my favourite food was square sausages and mash so of course I’d choose that over some tacky rubber bands.

it was only later when my family had moved to England to be closer to our extended family, that I had learned the rumours that gypsies would steal children and either ransom them off or raise them as their own.

it’s only now that I’ve become an uncle and have a 2 year old nephew, that I truly realise just how badly that event could have gone, i only hope that for the safety of children everywhere that those women are now in jail rotting or have passed away.

the thought of how sweet and giving those women were still haunts me to this day.

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