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I wis hert sair when ma man deed he dropped doon sudden at the Kelsae Show juist dropped doon I wis right beside him juist a young man he grippit ma airm juist afore he went doon oh hen he said an doon he went I got sic a shock I never spoke for days I cannae mind the funeral they said I wis in sic a state I wis like a zombie I never gret I juist mind ae feelin numb then somethin must’ve happened for a mind ae howlin for days’n nights an aw I cannae mind but even now I say aes name an I get comfort frae it when I say aes name Jock its like I’m wi’m juist like if I say maw or paw or Granny Wilson or Aunty Chrissie I’m wi them I see them an I mind what it wis like tae be wi them it’s like I’m a bairn again curls it wis his baby curls I fund them in a drawer aes mother gied aes them no longer efter oo wis mairried she hud them wrapped up in tissue paper inside a square ae white velvet that she’d faulded roond them an tied wi a ribbon

 

I wis aye gettin a row at the schule fur lookin oot the windae I wis a right dolly daydream ma mother aye said she could send aes oot fur a message an never be shair whether I wid bring back the right thing or no I wis never ony yiss at the schule except for shewin I wis aye right neat wi ma fingers ma Aunty Bella taught aes frae a wis a wee lassie course it wis her trade I could shew onythin claes an curtains an embroidery that wis ma favourite shewin aw the bonny flooers question how mony tablecloths an chair backs an hankies an aw sorts I’ll huv shewed in ma time I wis never sae keen on the knittin although oo did it oo hud tae jumpers an gloves an scarves an hats an blankets wi the bits that were left an socks Jock’s mother wis aye knittin socks I’ve got drawerfu’s yet

 

I loved eatin snaw I wid lift up handfaes ae it an lap it up the poodery stuff wid juist disappear in yer mooth an it wis like eatin wet nithin it wid make ee cough if ee breathed in ower quick an it wid stick tae yer face I liked gettin a big handfae an rowin it intae a ba I wid crunch it like an aipple ma mother wid gie aes a row tell aes I’d get a sair belly but I didnae care I juist laughed mind it didnae half make yer hands cauld they wid be reid raw I’ve seen aes aboot greetin when the heat came back intae them an yer wet claes hingin roond the mantelpiece and on the fender the fire bleezin

 

oor next door neebor worked in the mill aside ma fither ah mind ae wakenin up early an hearin the soond ae’m cleanin oot aes fireplace the chimney came right up through oor bedroom wa atween the twae hooses it wis the soond ae the metal rake on the grate an against the fire bricks I can still hear it noo an the shovel scrapin the ashes an the cinders every day when he wis on an early shift ma fither never did oors ma mother did that for she wis at hame lookin efter us but next door went tae work for she hud nae faimily oo cawed them Aunty Jen an Uncle Tommy he doted on her they aye gied us praisents at Christmas ma mother aye said she wis too hooseprood tae huv bairns for aw she wanted them I mind ae ur moanin tae ma mother aboot seein the stoor fawin when she hud juist dusted I dinnae think she could’ve coped wi bairns tae tell ee the truth I mind she yased tae chase us if oo went near her doorstep course that juist goaded some ae them there wis the yin time I’ll never forget it when yin ae the Widnesses did aes business on it pair sowell she turned kinnae bitter ah think

 

I wis aye peelin tatties peelin them in the winter an scrapin them in the summer I could fa asleep at night an see tattie peelins well ah hud fower ae a faimily an tatties filled them up an if yer man wis workin he needed a guid denner ma man’s denner wis aye on the table for him comin hame frae aes work an of course he grew tatties maist folk did then if they hud ony bit gairden or if they hud an allotment ma man kept an allotment an it wis great he wis right green-fingered kept us gaun in veg aw through the summer an he hud rasps an gooseberries an blackcurrants an strawberries lovely berries he grew for show tae won a few prizes in aes time he wis aye awfy guid wi carrots that wis aes speciality grew them in a big barrel wi sand an aes special mixture he cawed it grew some beauties an then through the winter oo hud sprouts an leeks although ee’d be buyin tatties by then

 

 

Copyright © 2008 by Dorothy Alexander all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.