Dalmore Daytime

Dalmore Daytime
Sandy Beach

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Murdo the Memory Man.

Murdo had received only a basic education at Carloway School,as he would often be called on to help with essential work on the croft. Despite this,he was competent in the 3Rs. He was however a voracious reader,which his "relaxed" lifestyle permitted. One would often find Murdo on a hard upright wooden chair,back to the dresser,right shoulder propped against the wall,warmed by the peat fire. Tiny round spectacles perched low down his nose,you were likely to see Murdo holding a weighty tome on history or a copy of "Ring Magazine" or "National Geographic". Despite his fragmented schooling,Murdo had an exceptional memory,which is identified as"eidetic" today. He was able to reproduce a clear image of any page he had read,be it pages on the Schmelling/Louis fight or the order of battle at Waterloo. I remember once discussing the Crimean War with Murdo and a friend of mine,an historian, and the conversation finally centred on the "Charge of the Light Brigade",with the decisions of Lords Raglan and Cardigan coming under scrutiny.Murdo asked my friend which officer had handed Captain Nolan the order to charge.Not knowing,Murdo supplied him with the answer. My friend was impressed. Although he was bald,Murdo had sported red hair in his youth,as had his mother before him. Some referred to him as "a fear ruadh",the "red one". I could never see my uncle Murdo as a young boy with or without his red hair,until my mother shared with me this story, which has two combatants - A nine year old Murdo and a married man of the district,whose relations with some other women were common knowledge. It was a winter's day with a good covering of snow on the ground,and Murdo and his pals were sledging down a hill,across the road and down the other side. As "Calla",the district lothario approached the "Cresta Run",wee Murdo took off at great speed downhill, only to collide with the unfortunate Calla,precipitating the man head-first into a deep snow drift. To say Calla was in a blue rage is an understatement,and the invective directed at young Murchadh Shoudie was equally as blue. Murdo wisely put some distance between himself and the abominable snowman and addressed him as follows.
"Calla.Calla magairlean iarunn" which translates as "Calla,Calla testicles of iron". Not bad for a wee 9 year old. Calla probably took some kudos from this remark, after his rage subsided. You might say that honours were shared that day.

1 comment:

Shelley said...

'Magairlean iarunn', now how would you be pronouncing that? You never know when it might come in handy, though it seems more suitable for a complement than an insult!!

;) ;) ;)