Saturday, 21 January 2012

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Doing the washing

I just wanted to share this lovely passage from my book 'From a Highland Croft':

'But even among such beauty the daily darg must continue, and there is always washing to do. Though it is a case of a tin bath on a couple of chairs and a relay of kettles off the open fire, I would not change places with a town housewife for all her gadgets. This morning the sweet briar at my elbow smelt stronger than the suds and the soft rain water from the tub at the end of the house was velvet to the hands. I can splash as much as I like, for it only makes the grass greener. Every now and gain I could raise my eyes to the loch, lying still as glass between the silent hills.
I interrupted my washing to go to the gate to tell Sandy's bellowing cow that she was looking in the wrong direction for her friends and to set her on the right road. Then a fish jumped, and I stayed tow atch the silver circles widen; a mallard rose with a loud flapping of wings on teh water, and, watching that, I saw a small boat rounding the point.  Then a friend came carrying a maggoty sheep and we promised ourselves a cup of tea on his way back. All these things were just as important as washing, and there were plenty of kettles on the fire anyway.
I have a special dirty towel behind teh ktichen door, one that I wipe my hands on in a hurry when they are half washed. I put it in the stream with a stone on its tail towards its cleansing. During the night rain came in torrents, blattering on the skylight; I remembered the towel and realised it was probably well on its way to Tobermory. However, I found in the morning that a kindly gooseberry bush had held  up its travels. As I dontinued the washing, a wren sat on the bush beside me with her ehad on one side as she encouraged me with a ''chre-eee''. My wireless was not working, so we had to sing for ourselves, the wren and I. In spite of all these interruptions the sheets are out to bleach on teh green aftermath of the hayfield, and the clothes are hanging on the line at the edge of the wood, beside the  mouse's hole that is at the foot of an old oak tree. A newly dropped acorn lay just ooutside the hole, Nature's way of saying 'Tea for two'. Some sheep were moving in the clearing beside the wood, crushing the bog-myrtle which filled the air with scent. If I were abroad and anyone sent me a sprig of bog-myrtle I'd be back on the next plane or boat for sure, for all the Highlands is in that tangy smell'.


Monday, 16 January 2012

Learning all the time

I came across a new one this morning  - bannock spathe; am currently trying to find out exactly what it is/was. Turned this up:

Margaret, like other women for whom a high degree of residential mobility was an inevitable part of life, had long since learned to be adept at packing. Her kist held clothes and bedding and the family's few treasured belongings. In addition, there were the basic cooking utensils - a three-legged pot, a spurtle or porridge stick, bowls and spoons; a girdle, brander, toasting-stone and bannock spathe. With these and a bag of oatmeal she had all she needed to provide for her family upon arrival at their new home.

A friend sugests a flat metal implement for baking bannock on, presumably over an openfire.
Anyone got any more info?

Outraged of Dorset here..............

- really I am, this time. I picked up this link on Facebook:

(sorry it's so long, I can't do the wee version yet lol)

I am glad that the 'confidential'letter was leaked, it just shows our 'government' in its true light. How can anyone with half an ounce of compassion even suggest this? Never mind the fact that it would be taxpayer's money paying for it.............
I'm sure the country's morale would be better boosted by using the money (and the rest) for feeding those who are hungry, providing beds for those who have none, helping the ill, the old, the lonely, those who need help. I realise that at this stage it's just a suggestion, but to even suggest this just shows how completely out of touch these people are with the real world.
A friend on FB responded by saying that the revenue the ship would bring inthrough tourism, corporate hire  etc would  exceed the cost - but surely the days of such extravagances should be over?
Some people really need to wake  up and face up to what is *really* facing our world and the people in it.

Sometimes I just despair and it makes me want to withdraw into my own world, but the compassion within me wants to make me stand up andfight for all the injustices and wrong doings done to those who need help.