Dalmore Daytime

Dalmore Daytime
Sandy Beach

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

In The Bosom of Our People

As we left the bus,and headed over the"stairean" (path from road to house),they were all there,with their arms extended ready to wrap you in their embrace.My grandfather,Donald Macleod (Glass),now nearly 90 years gave me a big hug and a kiss and none of this two cheek caper.His navy blue crew necked sweater smelled of wool oil,herring and peat smoke - magnificent! He was the image of the old king,George the Fifth, as any coin of the realm might bear witness.His bald pate and neatly trimmed white beard bore a very strong resemblance to the old king.My Auntie Peggy and Auntie Dolly were there to smother us in hugs and kisses,and I swear that our lovely collie,Fancy,got in on the act.The two cats and the kitten sat at the doorway in no way exercised by our arrival,waiting for their tin plate of hot milk,straight from the cows. Inside everything was as I imagined it to be,cosy,clean and warm.My aunts kept what was recognised as the most beautiful "black house" in the district.It was more like one these old English cottages you see on calenders.The white-washed stacks on either side of the peat burning fire supported a couple of kettles brimming with hot water. The two large dressers displayed colourful table-ware,sailing boats in bottles,a highly polished Howitzer shell case and various photographs.A long bench lay opposite,running about two-thirds of the length of the room and the bed my aunts occupied was located at the top.Placed centrally in the room and directly below a large Tilley lamp was the "kitchen table",a huge rectangular affair which I once saw accommodate 17 people for lunch.Various chairs,chests and stools made up the rest of the furniture.There were "wally dugs" and Chinese bowls on the mantlepiece, and above one of the dressers, a beautiful brass timepiece enclosed in its polished wooden case.Only Old Bodach Glass saw to the clock,and no one else.
After a supper of girdle scones,crowdie and cream,fresh milk and perhaps pancakes and rhubarb jam,we were ready for bed.Tomorrow would be the beginning of something new.


Shelley said...

Magnificent! It all so vividly comes to life!

Anonymous said...

I agree, great, great stuff.