Life in a Deeside Village
by: Gaffron, Aileen
We cooked on a range until I left hame at the age o twenty, bit the fowk next door hid a swey, an still cookit on pots ower the fire. Sometimes, the gamekeeper wid leave rubbits at oor back door. I daresay ma faither hid deen something for him, tae get the rubbits. Ma mither cookit them, an they war richt fine. We pued rasps an brummils tae makk jam, an tae pit intae pies.
We'd twa gran aipple trees in the gairden, an mither made fine puddens wi the brummils an aipples thegither. Oor neebor's rubbit ay ran awa aneth oor shed ....bit the funny thing wis, it only did it fin oor aipples wis ready...
Ma faither gaithered his ain honey. He'd 10 hives, and he selt some o his honey through the garage. He made polish anna...He'd takk the bees' wax and poor it intae tobacca tins. Fin he wis wirkin wi the bees, he eesed tae puff smoke on them tae keep them quate. I can smell the smoke yet.Ye hid tae smoke them tae quaten them doon, or they micht hae stung ye. He made bee candy wi sugar an watter. He byled the sugar an watter thegither tae feed the bees . If ye takk their honey frae them, ye hiv tae gie them something tae eat. The bee candy fed them ower the winter. At that time, there's jist a few wirkers left, apart frae the queen bee. They kill aff the drones. Faither pit an excluder intae the hive tae stop the queen movin through the caimbs, or she'd hae laid eggs aa throw the cells, an we wid hae etten the honey wi bits o grubs an aa in't.We keepit aboot a dizzen hens, and colleckit the eggs. And of course, we'd aye a good supply o veggies that we grew wirsels in the gairden. It wisna a craft we ained, no, jist an ordinary hoose, bit maist folk grew their ain veggies in Abyne.
In the Simmer, we'd ging dookin in the Abyne Loch. We did sweem aneth the brig tee. Maist times there wis enough watter tae sweem in, bit it wis ay cauld in the Dee, wi the watter comin straicht aff the hills. The watter in the loch wis warmer for dookin in. There were aye yalla yeities tae be seen fleein roon aboot the loch, an there wis ay swans there. They war richt bonnie.
Fin the roddens war ready, the loons wad pluff them frae peashooters. The quines wid weave willas intae hoosies an gaither lames tae play wi. Lames wis jist bitties o broken plates. We'd pu docken seeds an pretend they war sugar or mince, an pit them on the docken leaves pretendin they war ashets.
Loons clam trees and played bools. Quines skippit an stottet baas tae wee rhymes. Thegither we played takkie an hide-an-seek an kick-the-tin maistly up at the tap o the road ootside East Mains. Noo an again there'd be a village concert or a Sunday Schule concert tae practice for. Fan we were aaler there wis Scouts and Guides, countra dancin classes, a youth club up at the Kirk Hall. If ye wis bored it wis yer ain faut. There wis ay plenty tae dee. Bit the queer thing wis, the locals didna bother muckle wi climmin the hills, it wis the young fowk fae the toon that did that.
A lot o folk in Abyne then, hid back hooses. They'd move oot aa simmer intae the wee hoose, an let their front een oot tae simmer veesitors. Abyne wis an affa split place, socially. There wis ae section o folk fa wirkit on the roads, in the wids, in the shops, an the rest wis Colonels, gentry, folk like that. There wisna sae mony in atween like ye get in ither places.