Elrick, Pearl

Ma great -granfaither wis cockswain o the Neebora life boat, an ma granfaither wis the skipper. They baith got medals frae the Queen fur life-savin. This wis the wye o't. Awa back in the 1920s, at the heicht o a storm, wird cam that a boatie wis sinkin. Weemin in thon days got sixpence fur helpin tae launch the life boat, sae fin the syreen went, aa the weemin ran tae get the sixpence. The first eens there war gien a sash tae weir, tae show that they war the pullers. Anely the weemin weirin the sash got tae pull oot the lifeboat an earn the sixpence.Weel, they launched the life boat, an the sea wis really roch an coorse...great muckle waves. Fin ma granfaither reached the boat, it wis hauf aneth the watter, an fowk war haudin ontae the mast, bit he managed tae save them, an they war gey gled tae see him!

Durin the war, ma granfaither, Jimmy Innes, wis a coast guaird. He'd tae wauk richt across the beach an ging intae a hoosie tae watch the coast, fur fear o ony German boats tryin tae lan. He wis nicht watchman...he waukit oot across the san fin it wis derk, bit there wis a phone there in the hoosie sae he didna feel ower cut aff.

Fin I wis a littlin, I gaed wi ma grannie doon tae the shoppie, bit it tuik an affa lang time because she spoke tae aabody. We gaed tae the burn an guddlit fur bandies. It wis fine an sunny, an grannie bocht a bag o broken biscuits an a bottle o lemonade. We aa got a sook ooto the bottle. I mynd it tastit sanny...bits o san got intae the ale frae the beach, far we'd set the bottle doon fin we war haein wir picnic. Whyles she made sugar-allie watter. She bocht hard liquorice frae the chemist, pit it inno a bottle fu o plain watter an shook it up an doon.It wis a sweet drink.

I eesed tae gaither wild flooers fin I wis a bairn, an press them, an ma grannie learned me foo tae makk hats an rattles frae the rashes that grew in Joseph's pond doon aside the salmon fishie's hoose. The hats lookit like wigwams...it wis jist the bairns that wore them. Fin we pued the rashes they war fite at the fit, an saft. We sookit the fit o them...the rashes tasted like bamboo.Some o's cam ower tae Colliestoin an colleckit gulls eggs, or gaed ower tae Slains Castle fur mushrooms fin they war in season.

We gaithered thyme aff the links tae pit aneth oor pillas tae makk us sleep.An aabody cam oot tae Forvie an gaithered gannets' eggs an cured them wi watter glaiss. Ye bocht yon frae the chemist.It sealed the raw eggs, sae they didna ging wrang. Ma grannie used them fin she wis bakin.The eggs war left in the watter glaiss aa the time.A mannie eence gaed ma mither intae a row fur disturbin the gannets, bit ma mither telt him that lang ago we ay pickit the first clutch o eggs an the gannets laid mair. Ma mither eesed tae takk the fluff aff their nests an pit it inside pillacases. Syne she'd drap them intae the byler an byle them. They'd come up aa fine an fluffy an clean efter they'd bin byled an dried. Fowk made quilts ooto them, bit we aye used the feathers fur pillas.

Ma granfaither wis a salmon fisher. He netted the salmon in the Ythan, an durin the fishin season he bedd in a bothie there. Ma great granny bedd in thon bothie aa simmer, an she crived aff a wee plot an grew carrots in the san. There's nae wirms in san that ett the carrots like there is amang yird. Ma fowk keepit hens an turkies there ana.

We gaithered dulse frae Collieston, an efter we'd gaithered it, we tuik it hame an reid-hetted it on the fire, tae gar it dry oot. It tasted fine an crunchy syne. Sometimes, we got tangles frae Collieston...tangles are lang, broony-green in colour. Ye fin them aside the dulse. A man caad John Sutherland wad cairry a big bunnle o tangles back tae Neebra, an we jist ett them raw. They're affa guid fur ye...fu o iron!