A GREAT-GRAN’S eventful bus journey home on a cold, wet night has made it into the pages of a brand new book celebrating every day life in Scotland.
Paisley woman Joyce Anderson took part in a project run by the Scottish Book Trust and BBC Radio Scotland which has been led to a new publication called ‘Days Like This’.
She was one of over 800 people who submitted short stories for the project.
And Joyce’s tale was hand-picked by celebrity curators, including author Irvine Welsh, broadcaster Hardeep Singh Kohli and actress Siobhan Redmond, to be included in the book.
Her story tells of a bus journey home during which all the passengers were treated to a slice of melon from a generous teenager who had got a ‘rerr bargain’ at the Barras in Glasgow.
Joyce, 75, has been a member of Ibrox Writers Group for the last 20 years and jumped at the chance to submit her story for the book.
She told the Paisley Daily Express: “I’d written the story not long after it happened a couple of years ago. It was something so different and unexpected.
“There was a boy, almost in rags, soaked through. We were all sitting on the bus, miserable and wet.
“Then he started giving out slices of melon and it was wonderful. When I got off the bus, everyone was smiling and chatting away to each other.
“I thought at the time the world might not be too bad when there’s somebody like that in it.”
Joyce, who has eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, lives in the north end of Paisley with her husband Archie.
The former shorthand typist sets aside time every week for her writing and also enjoys painting.
Joyce, a former president of the Paisley Artists group, said: “I always enjoyed English at school but I never got much encouragement.
“Gradually, I put myself through lower and higher English, then went to university and did first year of English there.
“I’ve also went to several creative writing classes over the years and have got a collection of children’s stories sitting there which I’d love to get published but they need to be illustrated and, unfortunately, the cost has put me off.
“I have had other things published here and there but I’d love to get that one out there.”
Actor Stewart Ennis, from Bridge of Weir, has also had his short story published in the book.
In his tale, he recalls the day around four years ago when he and his young daughter, Flora, went on a bike ride from Paisley town centre back to their home in Bridge of Weir.
Stewart said: “I had known about the project and then a friend of mine gave me a call because he knew I do a bit of writing.
“He said the deadline was 9.30am the following morning, so I wrote the story in about two and a half hours, which was good because it meant I didn’t have to think about making it too artful.
“I already had the story in my head.I remember that day well, so I thought it would work well for the book.
“I think this is a brilliant project. I’ve read some of the stories on the website and they’re great.
“It’s nice to read a whole book of stories that are uplifting and true.”
Days Like This is published by Luath Press and has 68 stories of contemporary life in Scotland. For more information, go online at www.luath.co.uk.
l The Paisley Daily Express has teamed up with Luath Press to give away five copies of Days Like This.
To be in with a chance of winning a copy, just answer the following question:
What fruit did the generous passenger give to his fellow travellers on the bus?
You can send your answer – together with your name, address and daytime telephone number – on a postcard to the following address: Days Like This Competition, Paisley Daily Express, 14 New Street, Paisley, PA1 1YA.