Thursday, 30 July 2009
Wednesday, 29 July 2009
This is hay turning 1940-50 style! First it was cut into swathes by the horsedrawn mower, in June, left to dry, hopefully in the sun, for a few days then turned over for the underside to dry. That was the plan, at least, but in Scotland you seldom get a run of good drying days and often the hay was turned only for the rain to come on and the process had to be repeated, often several times! Here we see the hay being turned by hand--well with a fork! All of us children who were old enough to hold the tool were drafted in for this task, even my grandad, to the left, helped out.
Only after it was completely dry was it collected into heaps with a sweep then built into ricks and left to dry further, till it was carted into the yard to be built into even bigger stacks. This was before we had the use of a baler.
It was after the ricks had been built that we went on holiday , for a few days at first, then eventually, after my father decided that holidays weren't so bad, we had a fortnight away camping in the Highlands or West Coast.
This is "camp" on one of the first holidays. We had a big wooden box, tied by a piece of thick rope to the door of the boot, which opened downwards, filled with all the provisions and home baking to keep us fed. We three children were squashed into the back seat alongside all the bedding and clothes. Jack, the youngest, I seem to remember sat on a tin biscuit box! Mother took her pinny and there were always boiled potatoes for dinner, cooked on the little primus stove.....so, of course, there was a container of paraffin and a bottle of methylated spirits to get the thing started.......no mattress or beds, just the hard ground, but eventually we had lilos..oh. the sheer luxury! Mother sewed sleeping bags out of woollen army blankets, which weighed a ton! There were no seats of any form.
Tuesday, 28 July 2009
Monday, 27 July 2009
This rather "modern art" looking photo was taken by me on the travelling coach as we neared our destination, The Forth Road Bridge, on the homeward journey. Due to the long exposure and the bumping in the coach , I got this effect!
It's an awful picture but I quite like it! It is actually a tallish, modern hotel, with a black glass exterior and bright blue florescent vertical lights on the corners.
Dog cages stacked in the coach. Not all were papillons.
We started off showing outside but ended up showing bitches in a big marquee after a heavy shower of rain, whereupon it it stopped raining and stayed that way for the rest of the day.
It was lovely, after the show, to get back in daylight (just!) on the coach to Forth Road bridge, about 10pm, as Leeds is one of the closer English Champ. Shows.
I missed taking photos of some of the dog classes due to my preoccupation with the Red Kites and attempting to snap them!
During the judging of the dogs I was distracted by the acrobatic display by a pair of Red Kites. These magnificent birds had been widespread in Britain at one time but, due to the mistaken belief that they were killing young lambs, they were hunted to distinction. They have since been re-introduced to several areas throughout UK, the best known being in Wales. They have a distinctive forked tail, which can be seen in the rather bleary, cropped, zoomed photo, and white patches on the underside of the wings, with the remainder of the plumage being mainly chestnut.
I must have shot about a dozen photos, which , when viewed, were of just sky and not a bird to be seen, as they soar, dip and twist in flight. I tried zooming but then couldn't find the bird in the viewfinder! These, I'm afraid, were the best of some very hazy photos. You'll probably have to click the picture to enlarge it to see the bird as it appears like a speck of dust in the first photo!
Sunday, 26 July 2009
Thursday, 23 July 2009
Wednesday, 22 July 2009
My parents', Tom and Jessie, wedding photo, in 1939. My mother made her "outfit", a tweed coat. There was never anything frivolous about mum. The coat would be very serviceable and hard wearing and should last her a long time. My aunt is wearing a pair of woollen Fairisle gloves-(for a wedding?) She told the story of how her sister, (mum), who had raised her, as their mother died young, made her a pair of flannel knickers for school wear. They were the most uncomfortable, itchy things she ever had to wear!
The bridesmaid was mum's sister, Bunty, who was to be working on the farm in the Land Army. These ladies have, just this year, been presented with medals in recognition of their war effort. My aunt died aged 88, shortly after receiving it.
After the short wedding service they had to rush home to do the milking. My father was punctilious about milking at the same times, morning and afternoon, every day! There was no honeymoon.
Mo looking rather pleased with himself.
Last weekend was another back-to-backer with dog shows both days (great!); Dundee on the
Saturday and Fife at Kirkcaldy on Sunday. We ended up with very mixed fortunes. Saturday was a day of yellow rosettes (3rds) but Sunday--well, that was different!........different day, different judge and all going to show that beauty is in the eye of the beholder! Not every one of my dogs excelled. This was little Nuri's christening into dog showing. He seemed to enjoy it and was not at all phased by the noise and bustle but only came 3rd out of 3 pups in his class. Better luck next time.
Mo, on the other hand was the star as he came away as Reserve Best in Show!....no money on offer but a BIG rosette.