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Elphinstone Kist   Doric Verse

A Gurden Childhood     by: Craig, Celia

It wis bonnie in Gurden in springtime,
Yalla primroses specklin the braes.
We githered them, up fae the Cauldwall
For wir mithers ti pit in a vase.

There was Warnie and tig in the playgrund
And ca-the-rope skippin and ba’s.
Each game hid its sang – say the Alley-O
As ropes slapped and ba’s stotted aff wa’s.

On fine summer days in auld Gurden
There wis games, games galore ti play,
Crawlin across the fitba pitch
In deserts – the haill lang day.

There wis hoosies and dallies and shoppies
And dashin around on wir bikes
There wis cowboys and Indians and others
And jumpin aboot o’er dykes

The back gairden swing was excitin,
My Dad’s navy hammock gid fun,
Lazily swingin and drowsing
And the tentie was shaded and dim.

Suragellie water was lovely
Though taakin a lang time ti maak,
Shaakin the bitties o licorice
In a bottle ere a drap ye kid taak.

There wis dookin and fishin for podlies
Bandies in rock pools at the beach,
Turnin up steens for crabbies
That scuttered awa oot o reach.

Bonnie lemmies were placed in rock hoosies,
Then we louped rock ti rock, steen ti steen
Sure-fitted but somedae aye slippit
On the seaweed, sae slimy and green.

We played follow-the –leader like dare deils.
We strung syrup cans, walkin on high.
We climbed doon the horse-shoe braak wattter
Till recalled by my Deddie’s loud cry!

We hid stilts o wid – tennis bats, swords,
Aa widden – my Uncle wis good
And efter a dook in the herber
To Granny’s – a shivery bite o food.

On lang summer nichts in oor village
We daundered awa doon the toon
Ti watch cricket, play rounders and kick-the-can
Till the darkness began ti come doon.

Then alang ti the Den in the autumn
For rosehips and haws – plenty there.
We threeded them, maakin fine necklaces.
There were rowan berries ti spare.

Next came guisin and turnip lanterns,
The candle grease smellin sae strang,
Then awa ti the tattie pickin
Gid fun, though bits were o’er lang.

Then came bangers and squeebs and sparklers,
The bonfire flames rising high
But already cauld winter was threatnin,
Wi snaw dingin doon fae the sky.

Sledgin wis best in the winter,
Doon the brae as the back o the Hall.
There wis snawba’s and snawmen and slideys.
Watch oot! Dinna crash on the wall!

We hid perties and concerts and Sinty,
Hame-made garlands deckin the wa’s
And a new velvet frock, sae bonnie,
Wee gold sandals ti dance in the ha’s.

Christmas and Mission Hall services
Hogmanay and First Fittin wis fun.
Then New Year, followed by Burns Nicht
Wi Easter soon comin on.

Syne snawdraps heralded springtime
Pale primroses specklin the braes.
We githered them, up fae the Cauldwall
Fir wir mithers ti pit in a vase.

Gurden is the local name for Gourdon, a fishing village, once renowned for its line fishing, some 12 miles south of Stonehaven

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