Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Hairy legs and hairy string

I'll start with hairy string:

It's jute gardening twine actually. I bought a large roll yesterday because I always need string in the garden, and anyway a ball of string is so aesthetically pleasing...

And then, naturally, I wondered what it would be like to knit with. Not that great, if I'm honest, as there's no give to it at all, but I like a challenge. Obviously it's not suitable for, y'know, a garment or anything, but I'm making a coaster kind of thing to put under a plant pot that's on my windowsill. I'm hoping it'll be a bit absorbent if there's any leaking from the pot. After that maybe I'll knit little jute hats for the outside plants. (Or not).

Anyway, hairy legs:

Miss M's school had their Scottish afternoon on Friday (the day after Burns Night). As you can see the younger kids had decorated the school hall rather fabulously.  In January they all learn Scots poetry and songs, and if they feel like it and are good enough three or four from each class are chosen to stand up in front of the whole school and a whole lot of parents at Scottish afternoon and recite a poem (the Boychild avoided this like the plague when he was at primary school). This year Miss M was one of the ones chosen. Her class had a large chunk of Tam o'Shanter to recite. This chunk in fact:

But to our tale:- Ae market-night,
Tam had got planted unco right;
Fast by an ingle, bleezing finely,
Wi' reaming swats, that drank divinely
And at his elbow, Souter Johnny,
His ancient, trusty, drouthy crony;
Tam lo'ed him like a vera brither--
They had been fou for weeks thegither!
The night drave on wi' sangs and clatter
And ay the ale was growing better:
The landlady and Tam grew gracious,
wi' favours secret, sweet and precious
The Souter tauld his queerest stories;
The landlord's laugh was ready chorus:
The storm without might rair and rustle,
Tam did na mind the storm a whistle. 

Care, mad to see a man sae happy,
E'en drown'd himsel' amang the nappy!
As bees flee hame wi' lades o' treasure,
The minutes wing'd their way wi' pleasure:
Kings may be blest, but Tam was glorious.
O'er a' the ills o' life victorious! 

But pleasures are like poppies spread,
You seize the flower, its bloom is shed;
Or like the snow falls in the river,
A moment white--then melts for ever;
Or like the borealis race,
That flit ere you can point their place;
Or like the rainbow's lovely form
Evanishing amid the storm.--
Nae man can tether time or tide;
The hour approaches Tam maun ride;
That hour, o' night's black arch the key-stane,
That dreary hour he mounts his beast in;
And sic a night he taks the road in
As ne'er poor sinner was abroad in. 

The wind blew as 'twad blawn its last;
The rattling showers rose on the blast;
The speedy gleams the darkness swallow'd
Loud, deep, and lang, the thunder bellow'd:
That night, a child might understand,
The Deil had business on his hand. 

(Spell-check isn't really keen on Burns! Translation here)

I don't know how she memorised that lot. But she did and she performed it really well, without going blank or throwing up or anything (I may be projecting slightly). It is a competition, but she knew she had no chance of winning because two of the boys in her class are excellent at this sort of thing and have represented their class in it almost every year (and in fact one of them was over-all winner for the school this year). But she was just so pleased that she did it at all. And I was so proud. I also wondered how she did it as neither her father nor I would ever have done such a thing! 

1 comment:

Mrs. Micawber said...

Well done Miss M!

Balls of twine are such fun. I did try to crochet with some once but it was too hard on the hands. Kudos to you for managing to knit with it.