Posie's Blog. Tales of island life on a hebridean hill farm

Posie's Blog. Tales of island life on a hebridean hill farm

Saturday, 5 May 2007

Spaghetti Head

My head feels like spaghetti. I have been so busy and now am absolutely shattered from all of the effort, but have that deep glow of satisfaction that for now the ‘jobs’ are done.

I finally got all of the seeds planted in the vegetable patch; the peas went in just before the sunny skies finally gave way to a shower of rain, perfect for all of the seedlings and plants.

This morning the happy farmer handed me a paint brush and some wood stain to touch up a window sill in one of the cottages, and that was it, the spring cleaning bug from within sprang forth and there was no stopping me. I didn’t just touch up one window sill, but did the lot, and then did all of the sills in the farmhouse, dusting, clearing away the cobwebs, getting rid of the clutter, staining away with the wood varnish as I went. The bug was obviously catching, youngest daughter completely re arranged her bedroom furniture and had a huge tidying operation of her own on the go.

I didn’t get time to blog yesterday; instead I went off to a ceilidh for the Scottish dance society. Two of my children were performing with the wind band at it, so I had my very proud mummy moment, as I listened to them play beautifully. The piper that followed brought a tear to my eye, I find the pipes so moving, and he played so well.

Today Canadian cousins, related to the happy farmer’s grandfather, turned up at the farm, and as I answer another email on genealogy relating to my husband’s family, I wonder what it is that this island has that draws so many people back to their distant roots. Wherever we travel we always seem to meet people who are in some way connected to the island, if not they always have a real interest in hearing more about the place.

I spent my childhood in the suburban town of Walsall, it boasts a much larger population than here, and yet the funny thing is I have yet to meet anyone who claims to have a connection with my home town. In fact it completely kills conversation if I mention I am from Walsall, people are immediately disinterested. The nearest anyone has come to having a connection with the town is driving past it on the M6, maybe people rarely leave Walsall because they love it so much and so that is why no one claims to have a connection, or maybe they just don’t want a connection with the place, and so deny knowing it from the outset, what an awful thought, but it never ceases to amaze me how this island, with its tiny population seems to be connected to so many, and yet Walsall, with its vast population, never crops up in these conversations.

I had a very happy childhood in Walsall though, whereas this island has an overt beauty, Walsall has a hidden beauty, one which you have to seek out, it is not obvious and outstanding like here, but nonetheless it is there. When I think back to my childhood I remember the streets being lined with cherry trees, dancing and playing weddings in the falling blossom with my friends. In the winter we would lie on our backs and make angel shapes in the thick snow lying in the rolling open fields of the arboretum, or sledge down the hill in the dark evenings under the white street lamps that made the snow sparkle like diamonds. There was the canal with its wild banks and hedgerows I spent many days armed with fishing net and jam jar seeking out minnows and sticklebacks, or frogspawn to take home to the pond in our garden. There were the woods and the lake at the back of our school where hordes of Canada Geese would gather and rear their young. I remember the smell of the rain falling on fresh tarmac on a warm day as I cycled for miles through the parks and estates, and in the autumn kicking my feet through the leaves that lay in thick piles lining the streets.

The happy farmer had never even heard of Walsall before he met me. I have let him off, having taken him on many visits to my childhood home, which in latter years have stopped as my relatives have gone and my friends have moved on, and so it and my childhood fades into a distant happy memory.

Until next time….


elizabethm said...

I had a childhood in a milltown near manchester which sounds dreadful yet was full of countryside and laughter and funny aunts and fish and chips and sticklebacks in ponds. know what you mean about the islands though, they have a special magic.

Blossomcottage said...

Your memoires of your childhood are beautiful and it matter little where the childhood was as long as the time was good and the memories of yours make me think that it was.

Inthemud said...

Oh no not the Spring Cleaning Bug!!If you're in that kind of mood, come over here, my place needs a good spring clean, I should get on doing it instead of sitting at computer.

There's nothing wrong with Walsall, I think children find all sorts of adventures whereever they live and all those are memories to treasure!

Thanks for your message.

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

I did my Spring cleaning last week - not that you would know it now!! I grew up in Harlow in Essex - long before it became the horrible sprawling mess it is now - then it was all countryside and I loved it.

Elizabethd said...

My first husband's family came from Islay, and I have happy memories of holidays there....and driving my elderly Mum over to Jura. White sands!
I guess you are on the inner Hebrides?