Handfasting – a poem

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handfasting_(Neopaganism)

Handfasting was very prevalent in the Hebrides, the Inner, and Outer, islands off the west coast of Scotland.

I had the unique privilege of living on St Kilda, a remote archipelago, some 45 miles West North West of North Uist, for several periods, mostly 6 weeks at a time. Stays sometimes proved to be longer, because access is always determined by the weather! In total, I spent some 8 months of my life there.

St Kilda has a strange hold on all who set foot there, rather akin to desert fever for anyone who has experienced true desert.

I follow a page, https://www.facebook.com/groups/St.KildaHebrides/ , on Facebook, dedicated to St Kilda, and, as part of advice being offered to a would be visitor, came across this poem written by Andrew Lane in 2009.

I do not know Andrew but, from what I’ve seen and read, feel that we would get on very well. He is a musician, so this may well have been written to perform. In any case, I hope that you find the poem at least a little interesting, especially those who may know nothing about the Scots, or their unique language.

Andrew has a lovely “lived in” face, and someone commented that it was obviously the result of someone’s advice:

“Smile a lot when you are young so that when you grow older, your wrinkles will all be in the right place”

THE HAND-FASTING

Oh, lassie, place your hand on mine, and Alastair will fetch the twine
And bind us at the wrist for aye, for this shall be our wedding day.

Bring the lassies from the wheel
To spin themselves a proper reel.
Bring the laddies from the loom
To weave a dance beside the groom.

Lassie, place your hand on mine, and Alastair will fetch the twine
And bind us at the wrist for aye, for this shall be our wedding day.

Bring the stoddart from the braes
And leave the hoggie to its ways.
Bring the fisher from the shore;
This man will be a boy no more.

Lassie, place your hand on mine, and Alastair will fetch the twine
And bind us at the wrist for aye, for this shall be our wedding day.

Set your creels upon the ling
And bow the fiddles till they sing.
Take the whistle from your poke
And pipe a tune for dancing folk.

Lassie, place your hand on mine, and Alastair will fetch the twine
And bind us at the wrist for aye, for this shall be our wedding day.

Set the bellyrive aboot,
And spread the meat upon the cloot.
Place the whisky pig beside
And you shall see the hand-fast tied.

Lassie, place your hand on mine, and Alastair will fetch the twine
And bind us at the wrist for aye, for this shall be our wedding day.

Stoddart – a herdsman. Hoggie – a young sheep. Bellyrive – a feast.
Cloot – cloth. Whisky pig – a whisky jar.

©Andrew Lane July 2009

 

The Pleasures of Facebook – A photograph from WWII

This amazing story from Broadsides deserves a read. It stirred memories of my own experiences in Gibraltar.

Broadsides

I belong to this group on Facebook, Gibraltar Old photos 2 it’s called. It a nostalgia group whose members, mostly from Gibraltar,  post old photographs of life on and around and about the Rock. I lived there once and have many happy and treasured memories upon which I once contributed a piece to the site, some years ago, about being a boy in 1950’s Gibraltar. You can read it here. I still contribute to the site now and then, and to that purpose I was searching google for a film poster of a movie, made in Gibraltar in the early ‘60’s, staring Terry Thomas and called “Operation Snatch”. You need to be a bit careful what you type into google at times!

evacuation-happy-to-be-home
In my search I stumbled across this lovely old photograph the caption of which read “Gibraltar families returning to Gibraltar in 1945 after five years of evacuation…

View original post 1,565 more words

Colleen’s counsel

This very sensible comment from Colleen applies equally to the United Kingdom. Would that a much larger percentage of folk thought the same way!

 

I am not a Trump fan. To be fair, I wasn’t a fan of anyone running for President of The United States. But I’m not disheartened by his election and him becoming our next President. What I am disheartened by are the Americans who are giving up, even if only verbally, on our country. I […]

via My Faith In America — The Chatter Blog

For Sale – Time Machine (A funny thing happened on the way to the 21st Century)

I have an admission to make. I subscribed to Readers’ Digest for over 30 years!

I know, sad isn’t it, but somebody had to do it.

Actually, it served me very well as a young man travelling the world. It kept me up to date with world news, views, and opinions, and I always read them front to back.

The funny thing is, on my dressing table, there is an old copy that has served as a night stand for keys and odds and ends. I left it there with a view to re reading an interesting article. For the life of me I cannot now determine which article it was!  A couple of weeks ago, I decided it was about time to get rid of it.

The astute amongst you will have noticed that the December 2009 edition featured Doctor Who. (OK, you don’t have to be astute to notice that!). You may also notice there are 3 sets of keys, 2 random stones, and a brass model of a WW2 airplane resting there. I promise you I did not pose the shot, that was how it is!

One of the things I enjoy, on this blog, is entering the weekly limerick competition run by Rashmi 0f Mind and Life Matters. If you’ve never visited, it is well worth a look. This week the prompt is “Time Travel”and entries can be viewed here.

How strange is that? Life is full of coincidences. Or is it really coincidence? It may be pre ordained.

Anyway, talking of coincidences, I happen to have an absolute bargain for sale. Details below.

For Sale

Time Machine

1616  – 2,160 Groats

Contact William Shakespeare At the sign of the Cockerel

Must be before May 2nd

§

2016 – 82 billion Pounds sterling

http://www.thereandback.travel.wehope.co.zz

§

2416 – 2 million Parsec Credits

Personal communicator code ###2379%%

§

Hurry, it’s sure to go quickly!

 

 

The 1000 words a day challenge

write

Debbie, a blogging colleague, and friend, has set herself a 1,000 words a day challenge for the New Year, and yes, she does write with a pen! See what she says here:

The 1000 words a day challenge

Debbie is relatively new to the blogosphere but has already had success in writing a script for a small budget film, produced in Derby. You can read about this here:

https://wordpress.com/read/post/id/88188102/19

allotment

I particularly enjoyed her short story about making soup with produce from an allotment. See it here:

https://wordpress.com/read/post/id/88188102/17

I think Debbie is very talented. See what you think!