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Elphinstone Kist   Folk-History, Seasons

Winter     by: Broomhill Reminiscence Group (Daisy Dey, Mrs. Moss, Bob Davidson, Mrs. Henderson)

Winters war niver sae hard in Aiberdeen as they were in the country. Lang ago, the unemployed volunteered tae ging roon the streets clearin the snaa. They shovelled the snaa tae the sides o the pavements, an biggit it up inno great muckle piles, an the snaa bedd there growin dirtier an dirtier an blacker an blacker till it aa thawed awa.

Ye'd tae be quick on frosty mornins tae takk in yer milk bottles, because if ye didna, the starlins an robins an ither birdies wad hae pykit aff the tap o the bottles an suppit yer cream. Fin the milk froze in the bottles, a cork o cream raise up aboot twa inches ooto the bottles, frozen solid, ay, ice cream richt enough.

On cauld winter dayas ma mither byled a clootie dumplin, an ma faither telt ma brither tae say grace ower it. Weel, ma brither wis a smert kinno chiel an he made een up himsel....

'Hallelujah, slice the dumplin,
Hallelujah, bring it ben,
Hallelujah, gie me a big bit
Hallelujah, Amen.'

'Wis that a good grace?' ma brither speired o ma faither.
'No it wisna', he telt him, 'because ye asked the Lord fir a big bit tae yersel and niver mentioned yer sisters.'

We war niver deen sayin Hallelujah an Amen. Ma faither wis a lay preacher, ye see. He thocht we gid tae kirk ivery Sunday. We didna. Sometimes we bedd ootside an played slidies doon a grassy slope in the kirkyaird. Ma mither kent fin we didna ging tae the kirk, cause fin washin day come, the docks o wir breeks wis aa green aff the grass. She didna clype, tho.
At dusk, the leerie men cam roon tae licht the gas lamps alang the streets. They cairriet lang poles tae licht the gas lamps through the toun. And then at dawn, the leerie men wauked roon the toun pitten oot aa the gas lichts again. The gas lichts war bonnie in winter. They made great lang shaddas in the snaa, like caunles.
The snaa muffled aa the souns o the toon, the horses hooves didna clatter the same fin the snaa hid faan. It happit aathing up, like a blanket. Oh the snaa wis bonnie fin it first fell. Bit the langer it lay, well, the fooler it grew!



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