Perhaps a somewhat melancholy note to end the day with, but it’s sentiment is so beautiful.
The old Schoolhouse at home.
By the steep winding track of the old Highland Glen,
My thoughts of an evening offt roam,
For there in the shade of the high towering Ben
Lies The little old schoolhouse at home.
No child on the Bealach is now to be seen,
And the playground is silent and bare,
The black-beaten tracks on the hillside are green,
For there’s no little feet running there.
Low Pitched in a valley of velvet soft green,
Stands its building of grey, granite stone,
And just by the doorway there whispers the stream,
Where the pace of our boaties was shown.
The rocks and the rushes creep down to its door,
And the paths are grown over with moss,
It hears the sweet sound of young laughter no more,
And it sits in rejection and loss.
Yet its image lives on in the mind and the heart,
of those that are scattered afar,
Though great is the distance they’ve drifted apart,
In memory the door is ajar.
And the bonds that were woven, so tender and true,
In a childhood enchanting and full,
Will help us to Weather the storms that brew,
When we dream of the little grey school house at home.
——————— D.M.M 1966.
My Uncle was in his thirties and living in another part of Scotland when he wrote this poem of his
Happy Childhood school days in Achosnich, Ardnamurchan.
I’m back in the 70’s, such a colourful place to be.
As always, Mr. Fry puts it so well.
(Image source: here)
In a previous and much younger life, I worked with children. I spent many millions of hours reading stories, playing games, cleaning sticky fingers, painting, etc. If one toy stood out in my mind, it would have to be the things produced by Fisher Price, particularly these little people. The boys frequently had the Fisher Price Garage, with the cool little petrol pump, the ramp and lift (elevator) and the turntable for rotating the cars. Cars are cool, there’s no doubt about that but what was quite fun was sending the little people down the ramp. Those people seemed to get everywhere, under the couch, in the fruit bowl, outside in the sand box….they turned up like those black cubes in the last Doctor Who - you were never quite sure if they had malicious intent. I like the little red haired girl with the pig tails and the scowling boy with the cap irritated me - you can’t stay mad forever. Oh the memories just looking at these brings back.
From the mouths of savage chickens, so true. Today I went out with my youngest to a part of the city we’ve been promising ourselves we’ll see. It’s full of antique stores, vinatage clothing shops and interesting deli’s and cafe’s. It was the vinatage stores I lingered the longest. The volume and width of the 50’s poodle skirts, the glorious bold colours and prints of the 60’s in nylon and the laid back 70’s denim and wide legs……before it all went wrong in the 80’s with techno., disco and punk, and well I don’t even know after that. The truth is, it seems like I might have enjoyed these times and their distinctive fashions. I think I enjoy remembering them more than the reality of wearing the clothing. Whatever we’re doing, wearing, or living through is our time; especially our teens and 20’s. The wave of nostalgia that came over me this afternoon might have more to do with longing for innocence. For a time when all seemed possible, the road ahead clear and enticing and common sense and wisdom not yet acquired. Enjoy your innocence.
PUBLIC POLL: WHO LIKES THIS LOOK AND WHY?
I was looking for photos of court related scenes and I found this, curious, I opened the link. It was an advice page for people going to court and it was suggested, this may not be appropriate dress for that occasion.
I know I’m not in the teen-25 year range anymore and I don’t get it. Please tell me though because I want to understand WHY? You see I’ve been there too, in that I was once in that age group and we had our eqivalent of making a statement, fashion trends that were incomprehensible to the older generation. In that category of the time were frayed jeans, frayed sleeves, or cut off altogether, flared jeans the wider and more ridiculous the better, and long feathery earrings. None of that impeded our walking (well, the jeans did just a bit and if you were running, they wrapped round your ankles and could trip you up). I can only imagine this jeans at half mast, belt holding them firmly in postion, has got to be constrictingly uncomfortable. What’s the point?
I went on between hawthorn hedges until I came to an arched bridge over the little stream of Sark. At the far end of the bridge was a metal post which held a yellow disc bearing, most dramatically, one word – ‘Scotland’. I paused there. How happy I was to stand once again on the hospitable doorstep of Scotland! A few yards and I would be over the threshold. I got out and sat on Sark Bridge, watching with amazement how many people dash over the frontier without a thought. ‘Scotland’ declared the metal post; and in that word were stored up for me all kinds of new adventures and experiences. It was good to be back…
(H.V. Morton – In Scotland Again – Methuen & Co. Ltd 1929)
I know this feeling so well, “…watching with amazement how many people dash over the frontier without a thought. ’Scotland’ declared the metal post; and in that word were stored up for me…” all kinds of memories of adventures and loves both lost and gained, of triumph and failure and a land never tamed. It will be good to be back… (adialogue)
Tonight before turning in, I was waylaid by nostalgia. I was hunting for a photo and came across my favourite beagle, Snoopy, eccentric hero of the Peanuts, and a blast from my past, the Easy Bake Oven. I had one of these until I worked out that the big oven produced better and more satisfying results. It looked roughly like the photo, was that same horrible institutional swimming pool colour but was full of wonderous possiblities. You could bake your own little cakes in it, all under the intense glare of a - well, an incandescent lightbulb actually. The man who developed this exciting toy for girls (gender stereotyping was fully engaged), Ronald Howes also had a part in Play Doh and the Spirograph. I wonder what happened to all the little girl’s who owned this oven, are they leading enchanted lives of domestic bliss?
(For those who ended up here because they linked with the tag, girl’s toys and were looking for something different, I’m laughing!)
I’m thinking about the summers of my youth, looking out the window and remembering warm days, freezies (ice lollies), endless hours that were never enough to, ride bikes, swing to touch the sky, play hopscotch or spin hula hoops, build forts (dens), go to the beach and only come home when it was dark and parental threats compelled us. Summer would not have been complete though without a bug catcher. In the interests of strong narrative I have searched for the aforementioned item to show you. What a joy when I found it, transporting me back to the cruel and wonderful years of my childhood. It was misnamed really, that innocent looking plastic container with the air holes (it also had a removeable lid, and usually came with a tiny plastic magnifying glass and yes, the plastic plant with plastic bugs, just to encourage you). It would have been more aptly named a bug crematorium or maybe a bug mortuary. I would spend hours looking for irridescent beetles, ladybirds (they always left a little yellow pee-like stain on your hand), hairy black and orange caterpillars, or my favourite, the inch worm. I would gather a small jungle of foliage to give my captives a comfortable home, put a bottle cap lid of water at the bottom and be satisfied they could not find better accomodation elsewhere. Except perhaps their own habitat. It is a heavy burden of guilt I have carried all these years, a wonder it makes me so happy to look at these torture devices. You will have realised what my four year old self could not - that being behind the plastic only concentrates the heat, that I didn’t have a clue what insects needed to live and theirs was a slow death at the hands of well meaning ignorance. Yet, despite the guilt I should be feeling, all I can do is smile at my photo find. For this meant summer, long days and the promise of fun, scraped knees, climbing trees and freedom. Not for my prisoners though.