Dalmore Daytime

Dalmore Daytime
Sandy Beach

Monday, 21 April 2008

Iain Mac Shoudie.

Iain Shoudie(Murdo's brother,and younger by two years),you will remember had sent his brother's paramour,back home to Breasclete,together with the calf. The war had ended,and no one would ever again come between the brothers,neither Hitler nor Hitler's wife. It could be quickly ascertained that Iain( John) was the dominant in this menage a`deux. The "big decisions" were always Iain's,and the "Red One" never demurred. Iain had a kind of savoir faire,which Murdo acknowledged. Iain was gregarious and possessed of a well-honed sense of humour."He had been around",and having served in the navy during the war,"had seen a bit of action".Murdo admired his younger brother,and was happy that he be the boss.
Iain could find the humour in most situations and run with it. He came up with sayings and composed ditties which others adopted. The taigh dubh,high up under the beinn,was a favoured house for ceilidh( Dwelly's dict."gossiping,visiting" ). There would always be tea,as black as Satan's waistcoat,some Dundee cake,"water waffers"(Jacob's Cream Crackers) or, if Iain had been rock fishing with the "slat"(long bamboo rod),there might be saithe, fried in the morning's bacon fat.This was excellent for dealing with the drams of whisky that were passed around. There were always people dropping in for a chat,and leaving with a smile on their face. Being a bachelor's house,it has to be said that, in the main, the visitors to Taigh Shoudie were men,but not exclusively.For many years their black house was the only one in Dalmore,and one of the last on the island. People from different countries(USA,France,Scandinavia,Germany),usually those who could afford the expensive ferry fare to the Hebrides,would pass through the village on their way to the well publicised beach at Dalmore. They couldn't help noticing the "authentic" black house with blue peat smoke licking the hillside. They were "just dying" to see inside the taigh dubh,and who could blame them. Murdo and John would always welcome these people who often showed their thanks in the form of a postcard,a letter or even a bottle or two, from various foreign parts.If it was entertainment you craved,then No.4 Dalmore was the taigh ceilidh,bar none. It is nearly 30 years since the roof fell in on the floor of taigh Shoudie,but people of a certain age, including myself,still remember that house with great affection.These were happy days. Iain had a way with animals which I'll mention in the next post.

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