Green, Belle

The mornin o the Abyne Games, a great heeze o us Tarland bairns raise early. We'd hae etten wir brakkfast, porridge mebbe, an a bit toast, an syne set aff waukin frae Tarlan tae Abyne. We waukit aa the wye ye ken, it wis gey tirin traivellin bi fit, it wid hae teen us aboot three oors.

On the road doon, we stoppit at the Coull shoppie, Reid's shoppie, nae far bye Gellan, an spent a saxpence on a bottlie o ale an a biscuit. A great drove o us bairns waukit doon thegither. Ye didna pye tae get inno the Games at thon time, tho I think ye pyed tae park yer bike if ye hid een. We gid doon tae see the dauncin an listen tae the pipin, ay, bit maistly tae meet up wi aa wir ain fowk, wir cousins an aunties an uncles, tae see fa'd gie us pennies tae spen at the tinks' stallies. If there wis onybody there ye didna ken, ye cud jist back-speir amang yer fowk an somebody'd ken o them, or aboot them.The tinks selt caunles fur a penny each, an baggies o sweeties, an sticks o candy. My pal, anither quine frae Tarland, wis affa sick efter een o the tinks' sweeties, sae I didna buy ony, I gid inno the village an bocht a baker's bap, ay, a dry bap, an ett it fur ma denner piece.

We'd hae left the Games tae wauk hame tae Tarland aboot five or mebbe sax o clock, an bin hame bi nine at nicht. Comin hame there wis some gey fechts amang us, I tell ye, the loons bein weariet onywye, ay, richt fechts! Bit naebody wis affa sair hurtit. Ay, quines focht ana, ay did they, bit I niver jyned in the fechtin. It wid hae started aff wi a bit argy bargy, an syne the neives wid ging up.

The shepherds frae the ootlyin crafties drave their yowes doon tae Abyne ilkie year fur the Meikle Fair in October. Yon wis the biggest Fair in Abyne, ay. They drove the sheep ootower the hills an rested them at a park ahin far the Caravan Park is noo, in Tarlan. If ye war comin wi nowt, ye'd rest them there ana. The Meikle Fair laisted a hale wikk, ilkie day there wis some ither thing, shelts and gigs an nowt. Twis at the back o the Free Kirk.

The butcher's killin hoose at Tarlan wis doon aside the Tarlan Burn, a steen steadin wi an iron reef. I eence saw the butcher kill a stirk, he pyntit somethin atween its een, an it jist gid doon, ay, doon. At Gellan, noo, wir fowk there killed a pig ilkie year in the spring. Some o the pig wis selt, tae buy claith tae makk frockies fur the quines, bit the loons got naething ava frae the pig, naething ava. The rest o the pig wis satted an cuttit inno strips an hung frae the ceilin.

My granny, noo, Betty Innes, keepit hoose a whyle at Hopewell Hoose. She cookit ower the open fire, wi a swey. She lived tae be 101, ma granny, ay, she wis fell hardy. Fin she wis a hunner, she got a shawl an a cheer wi lugs. Mither only lived tae 67. I widna like tae live tae be 101. Granny failed terrible efter she turned 100. I mine fin mither deed, I ran tae ma granny tae speir fit wis adee wi her, fur her een war glaissy. 'Eh lassie', said ma granny, 'she's awa frae it aa.'
Granny niver grat, ye ken, she wis a hardy billie.