Wednesday, 28 January 2015


Yesterday was the last Tuesday in January and I was to be found at my brother's flat where it has become traditional that we order a Chinese takeaway, watch Promote Shetland/60 North TV's live webcast of the Up Helly Aa procession and get horribly nostalgic for howling gales and the smell of paraffin. The coverage was particularly good this year, with no real glitches, and we were following it all on Twitter too (#UpHellyAa of course) which was entertaining - the webcast commentary team read out the more amusing and interesting tweets during the procession so it's all very interactive these days.

I took my knitting of course  - I'm using Álafoss Lopi at the moment so that's thematically appropriate. My brother took this picture and laughed because in it I'm knitting, the galley is burning on the telly and there's a copy of the Shetland Times on the coffee table. All we need are bannocks and we'll have all the clichés - so that's the plan for next year! A Chinese takeaway and bannocks...

There are some nice Up Helly Aa photos on the Shetland Times website if you're interested.

60 North

January is always a Shetlandy kind of month for me because folk there have Up Helly Aa to look forward to and, by contrast, there's not a lot to look forward to where I live now, unless you count Burns' Night, which I don't. I do like haggis but I buy it cheap after Burns' Night, when the supermarkets realise they've overstocked it. I got 60 North magazine in the post the other day to fuel my homesickness entertain me, and I enjoyed it very much. There are various articles about knitting-related stuff, including one by Donna Smith. There's also a good article about the whaling which obviously is a very emotive subject now, but it was once very important in Shetland.

January here is about my children learning Scots poetry at school, oh joy.   My son hates it (he's not a performer) and my daughter relishes it but has never got into the final of the school's Scots poetry competition much to her disgust. However I had a mysterious text from the school yesterday saying, to my amusement, that she's getting a Road Safety/Scots Poetry prize at assembly tomorrow (parents are invited along if their kids are getting Best Work Award or anything). The amalgamation of Road Safety and Scots Poetry tickled me. I shall go along tomorrow with anticipation.  Ssh, don't tell her, it's a surprise.

This is the poem her class had to learn:

Lament for a Lost Dinner Ticket by Margaret Hamilton

See ma mammy
See ma dinner ticket
A pititnma
Pokit an she pititny

See thon burnty
Up wherra firewiz
Ma mammy says
Am no tellynagain
No’y playnit.
A jist wen’y eatma
Pokacrisps furma dinner

The wummin sed Aver near
Jistur heednur
Wee wellies sticknoot.

They sed Wot heppind?
Nme’nma belly
Na bedna hospital.
A sed A pititnma
Pokit an she pititny

They sed Ees thees chaild eb slootly
Non verbal?
Nwen’y sleep.

The Blogger spellchecky thing is completely freaking out at that!


Mrs. Micawber said...

Wow, some poem! I can understand most of it but only by speaking the words. A silent reading of the text renders it almost meaningless to my non-Scots ear. Can't quite grasp the meaning of "nabigwoffldoon" (no big waffle down?) or "nwen'y" (don't want to? not when you?).

Congratulations to Miss Mouse on her scholastic attainments. :)

Rebecca said...

The spells checker thingy is not the only thing going a little crazy over that poem! LOL
Congratulations to your daughter! I love Shetland wool, just love it!

Annie Cholewa said...

I'm not surprised Blogger had a hissy fit! I got most of it by the way. My lot did Welsh poetry and I never stood a chance there!

A very belated well done to your daughter.

Peeriemoot said...

I'll do a 'translation' of the poem at some point though it's not actually dialect, more a phonetic representation of the speech of west central Scotland (so Glaswegian, approximately) as you'll have gathered, so it only really makes sense by reading it aloud - 'nabigwoffldoon' is 'and a big wall fell down' for example. Wall becomes wa', pronounced waw :-).

Miss M's prize was the road safety one - she'd got highly commended in some sort of competition. They were handing out the certificates for the Scottish poetry competition at the same time, hence the amusingly condensed text from the school!