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Fishermen among Men

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Yesterday I was wandering around the harbour at Arbroath – that’s a small town with a long tradition of fishing here in eastern Scotland. Despite being pulled in every direction by my dog, I chatted to a fisherman mending his creels. Apparently, it has been a bad year what with the poor catches and the storms damaging his gear. In fact, pointing to a mound of creels he said every one had needed mending.

It turns out that these fishermen can have down as many as a thousand creels at a time. These original net-boxes are roped together in groups and are lifted about every 4 days. As a result it must be a full time job just heaving up the their buoyed lines, replacing bait and mending the damage. Work that seems to go on in all weathers despite the dangers.

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And that makes me realise how lucky I am to be behind a screen being creative. Yet I wonder what I am not maintaining today?

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Ghost on Royal Deeside

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There can be no more beautiful stretch of country in Scotland than Deeside. And there, presiding over its eastern end, is the ancient fortified tower of Castle Crathes. With its estates almost ‘check and jowl’ with those of Balmoral and one of its rooms still displaying the splendid  bone horn given to the family by King Robert the Bruce after the Battle of Bannockburn., this is indeed a ‘royal’ district.

Yet despite its ‘bonny surrounds’ the mightily built fort holds a dark secret. For high in its bower, is a small room with roof beams adorned with quotations from Proverbs and Bible scenes.  And it was this chamber that once was occupied by a lady who had a child  by a servant. The servant was banished and the woman and the baby vanished to an unknown fate.

Many years later, the Castle was occupied by a Laird had a ‘boodie fear’ – a mortal terror of ghosts. Well, you’ve guessed it, he was the first to the see the ‘Green Lady’. Apparently, she has walked the castle ever since.

Here then is proof of more than every old house has its ghost story and even that in beauty there is ugliness.  Instead maybe we should pick carefully what we fear – for it might just bring it about!

As to the legend, is there any truth in it? Well, when the National Trust for Scotland ,who now manage the building, was restoring the infamous Green Room, they made gruesome discovery. Because under its flag-stoned floor the builders found the remains of a small and unknown child. The lady however has vanished!

 
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Posted by on 23/06/2010 in britain, history, psychology, scotland, UK

 

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The dream at end of the road

260px-Music_album When I was a wee boy, my granddad had one cherished record – it was the songs of Harry Lauder. In fact, when we had our morning break together – which he called ‘elevens’ – this LP would be put on and we would both sing along. One of my favourites was ‘Keep right on to the end of the road’.

Well yesterday I heard it sung for the first time in many a long year. But then I learned something about it for the first time. For, despite its rousing marching rhythm, it was written in bereavement. Because it was penned by Sir Harry Lauder, as he would become, in memory of his son killed in the First World War.

Maybe that was the reason that it became so popular for it had a message to all of us who miss someone special. It’s last lines are:

Keep right on to the end of the road,

Keep right on to the end,

Tho’ the way be long,

let your heart be strong,

Keep right on round the bend.

Tho’ you’re tired and weary

still journey on,

Till you come to your happy abode,

Where all the love you’ve been dreaming of

Will be there at the end of the road.



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