Posted by: christinelaennec | May 10, 2011

Wee hoosies

When we first moved into our current flat, which is actually quite a large flat, we hired a decorator to re-paper and paint our high kitchen ceiling.  He was really cheery, and said several times to us, “Aye, this is a crackin’ wee hoosie!”  Translated, he was complimenting us on having “a great little house”.  (Aberdonians are fond of adding an affectionate -ie to words, so for example you hear mothers saying to their children, “wash your handies”.)  Although we don’t really think our flat is such a “wee hoosie,” there are truly some very small houses in Aberdeen.  I’ve been taking photos of them to show you:

A small cottage in the city centre, behind Ruby Place off Golden Square. Aberdeen, December 2010.

This next house is not, like the cottage above, what the British call “detached”.  It is in a row of three houses all connected together – you can see the two dividing strips on the roof.  And you might need to look closely to notice that the house on the right is not much more than the width of a window!

Backs of three houses, seen from Langstane Place, Aberdeen. February 2011.

Here’s a view of the side of that wee hoosie:

The curving side wall of the wee hoosie - its front door is on the Hardgate.

Lastly for now (I may continue this series!), not the best photograph of a very wee hoosie that I’ve always loved, on Rose Street:

A wee hoosie on Rose Street, Aberdeen. March 2011, about 6 p.m.

Just behind the parked car, I hope you can see the little house with large windows, the lower one invitingly lit.  This house is also one room wide.  It was obviously built after its neighbours, perhaps in what was a garden.  When we first came to Aberdeen, this wee hoosie was clad in something that looked almost like shells – it was very pretty.  Now it has a covering of more prosaic pebble-dash.

Of course nowadays, given a space that size developers would build four two-bedroom houses!  (Just kidding, sort of – )



  1. The wee hoosies are lovely! Makes you think we’re very greedy about space nowadays.
    The shells are harl. My parents’ house was finished in harl – see

  2. some day i will have a much smaller house than the one we have now. cleaning a big house is not my cup of tea … there are a lot of other things i’d rather do with my time … like writing. 🙂

  3. Ah, you can’t beat a wee hoosie for cosiness. We spent 15 happy years in our Cornish equivalent, which was a two-up, two-down, end of terrace cottage.

  4. As always, I enjoyed your photos! We are fortunate to enjoy two months in our own wee hoosie (but ours is in Maine, USA). I am a small-house person. Like someone else mentioned, there are much better things to do with a life than spend it cleaning a big house!

    • That sounds really cosy, a wee housie in Maine. Yes, there’s a lot to be said for small but perfect.

  5. I love seeing how things are different in your land! those wee housies are wonderful….I’d love to know the stories behind them. I love small, cozy houses! I grew up in one myself. My mom always got a bit peeved though when friends would say, “Oh this is such a cute house” She always took cute to mean tiny. Not sure why she’d be peeved, because it was indeed tiny.

    • Yes, I’d love to know the stories behind these houses as well. How interesting that you grew up in a small house and loved it, but your mother felt a bit defensive. I suppose in many people’s minds, bigger is automatically better.

  6. Goodmorning Christine…I love your wee hoosies, would you believe that our house in Amsterdam was even weeeer…..And we in Holland always at “je or jes” behind the words…Aberdonian and Amsterdam slang have got a lot in common…
    Hugs from a very rainy, but still gorgeous Crianlarich
    Er xx

    • I hope you’re still enjoying Crianlarich, Erna. I have a hard time believing there could be a hoosie even wee-er than these! And, yes, it’s amazing how often Scots and Dutch seem to have things in common.
      Thanks for the hug!

  7. Hi Christine,

    The tiny houses look so cute! I would actually love to live in one for a wee while, it would be lovely to cut down on ‘stuff’ and housework. I have lived in small houses but I want the cobblestones and snow!

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