Hogmanay in Cromar
by: Green, Belle
Fin I wis wee, we niver gid guizin at Halloween, it wis ay at Hogmanay. There wis a wee rhyme we spak, if I can myne it, ay, it gis something like this:
Rise up gweed wife an shakk yer feathers
Dinna think that we are beggars
We're only bairnies come tae play
Rise up an gies wir Hogmanay
Us bairnies gid tae the Manse at Tarland, first. The manse hid grun, then, ay, an twa servants . We'd tae sing hymns tae the minister fur a tangie or an aipple. The Rev Skinner eesed tae weir a turban roon his heid. He felt the caul terrrible. If we got twa aipples, we'd hae etten een an pitten the ither inno a baggie tae cairry hame. Ye niver got satten doon at the manse, no, no, ye stood an sang. I think I sang 'Gentle Jesus meek and Mild' fir my tangie.
Onywye, I traivelled up tae Gellan wi ma frien, an we got a heat there afore the fire. I wis weirin ma lang buttoned beets an ma lang stockins an skirt, oh, I wis weel rowed up. 'Ye should ging doon tae Mill o Gellan' says ma fowk, 'an chap on their door'.
Well, doon the road we traivelled, an chappit on the door at the Mill o Gellan, an they opened a windae abeen us an teemed a hale pail o watter ower wir heids. We war clean drookit, clean drookit! I wis chtterin wi cauld, ay, chitterin. There wis naething for't bit tae tramp back ben the road tae Gellan, an my fowk tirred ma claes an dried them afore the fire, an gid me a goon tae weir, a flannel goon, until ma claes war dry. I winna forget YON Hogmanay, na faith ye.
Atween Christmas and New Year (we didna bother muckle wi Christmas, ye ken), ma fowk cried in the blacksmith tae sweep the lum. Oh, ye aye cleaned the hale hoose afore the New Year come in. The blacksmith ay cam tae the hoose fur his brakfast afore he cleaned the lum. He got porridge, a biled egg, oatcakes an loaf fur his brakfast an a saxpence fur sweepin the lum. Syne he yarkit his breem up the lum, an fin the seet come doon he scrapit it inno a pailie, an teemed it inno a bag. Then he pit the bag inno his hurlie, a wee hurly, an awa hame he gid. We'd ay twa blacksmiths in Tarland, we nott them wi aa the horses needin sheein. We'd a tailor, anna. He ay shooed cross-legged, dowpit doon in the back o his shoppie. Abyne, noo, hid twa soutars, that made sheen.
(Fin I merriet, ma man wis baith jyner an unnertakker. Oh ay, aabody did twa three thinggies.)
At Hogmanay, ma mither made egg sandwiches an scones an bannocks an biscuits fur first fitters comin roon. It wis affa unlucky,ye ken, if the first body ower yer door in the New Year wisna black heidit. Oh, ye'd tae wait fur a black heidit body tae chap on yer door afore ye let them in. My mither even took doon the curtains and strippit the beds o their blankets tae wash them for the New Year comin in. An eence the New Year wis in, it laisted a wikk mebbe, fowk comin fur drams an slices o cauld dumplin, frienly-like.
Are ye nae weariet writin aa this doon? Ye've enough fur a hale buikie!