Electric Scotland News
The Flag in the Wind
The Scottish Nation
Clan and Family Information
Poetry and Stories
New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
Book of Scottish Story
The Life of John Duncan
History of Glasgow
History of Banking in Scotland
The Glengarry McDonalds of Virginia
Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of Kent, Ontario
Wells, Trees and Sacred Groves
ELECTRIC SCOTLAND NEWS
Steve said to tell you that he'll be working on the Servers over the
weekend so we might be down for a few minutes from time to time.
We have done a deal with "All Celtic Music" where they're providing
us with a shopping mall where you can purchase and download
individual tracks and entire CD's. In addition, to launch the
shopping mall, we have some special offers...
1) The 2008 World Pipe Band Championships Vol.1 & 2 & Grade One
The actual CDs are not on the streets for at least another two weeks
in the UK. We are way ahead of the game.
2) 'Send A Friend A Free Download' until the end of September.
3) All Lismor pipe band CDs are only £5 until the end of the season
When you browse through the site you'll find loads of tracks to
listen to and you you can purchase individual tracks from a cross
section of albums to make up your own playing list. These tracks can
be downloaded to your PC and of course added to your MP3 player. You
can also purchase complete CD's and have them posted to you as well
instead of downloading them.
On the home page of the Shopping Mall you'll find our Electric
Scotland logo and clicking on that will return you to our site.
I was away Friday afternoon through to Tuesday afternoon in Toronto.
Went on the Sail Past, the tall ship, which represents the sailing
of the Ship Hector to Nova Scotia. Great time and beautiful weather.
Also visited the Ex in Toronto. All in all had a great time. I might
add that the haggis pies were great! :-)
ABOUT THE STORIES
Some of the stories in here are just parts of a larger story so do
check out the site for the full versions. You can always find the
link in our "What's New" section at the link at the top of this
newsletter or on our site menu.
THE FLAG IN THE WIND
This weeks Flag is compiled by Jim Lynch, the editor of the Scots
As always Jim brings us a great range of topics including
information about how to get around the Western Isles of Scotland by
Ferry. Loads of other great articles well worth a read.
In Peter's cultural section he tells us about...
This week’s visitor attraction is 37 miles long and nearly 1,900
years old and lies from coast to coast across Central Scotland, was
built by the Romans and is now a World Heritage Site. It is, of
course, the Antonine Wall which stretches from Bo’ness on the Firth
of Forth to Old Kilpatrick on the River Clyde. On 7 July 2008 the
World Heritage Committee meeting in Quebec approved it as a World
Heritage Site and the Antonine Wall has become part of the Frontiers
of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site alongside Hadrian’s Wall and
the German limes.
Hadrian’s Wall in the north of England had been constructed under
Emperor Hadrian in 122AD, to keep out the Barbarians, and some
twenty years later the Roman army in the early 140s, on the orders
of Emperor Antoninus Pius, began construction of the wall which
bears his name. Across Central Scotland they built a turf rampart
fronted by a wide and deep ditch. Forts and fortlets provided
accommodation for the troops based on the new wall as well as points
where the wall could be crossed. They were linked by a road, known
as the Military Way. All these, together with the camps used by the
wall builders, are included in the World Heritage Site. The Antonine
Wall was the most northerly frontier of the vast Roman Empire but it
was only manned for about a generation before being abandoned in the
http://www.anntoninewall.org for further information about the
wall and details of where you can find it. For example you can
easily combine a visit to a modern marvel The Falkirk Wheel with
seeing a part of the 1,900 year old Roman defence against the
Barbarians. As you can walk the route of the wall, forts and camps,
the new publication ‘Map of the Antonine Wall’ (£5) published by
Historic Scotland and the Hunterian Museum could well become a
best-seller. You can see artefacts from the Antonine Wall at museums
along its length – Hunterian Museum, Glasgow; National Museum of
Scotland, Edinburgh; Kinneil Museum, Bo’ness; Callendar House
Museum, Falkirk and Auld Kirk Museum, Kirkintilloch. Hopefully with
the new world status, the Antonine Wall will become one of
Scotland’s major tourist attractions with crowds to rival say
Kelvingrove Museum – only time will tell.
Did salmon form part of the diet of the wall builders and soldiers
manning the wall? It certainly would of the local population but
they would not have been able to enjoy this week’s recipe – Salmon
Cakes – as potatoes did not reach Scotland for a long time after the
Roman troops left for good!
Ingredients: 212 gram tin salmon, drained and flaked; 3 medium
potatoes, cooked and mashed; 2 spring onions finely chopped; 1 egg
beaten; 15 ml olive oil; salt and pepper to taste
Method: Preheat oven 375° F, 190 degrees C. Mix together the salmon,
egg, mashed potato, olive oil, green onions to form a stiff mixture.
Season to taste. Roll into a sausage, then cut off sections and form
into patties about 1 inch thick. Coat these with milk and roll in
breadcrumbs. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Serves
4.ender, stir in the berries and serve with dropped scones (see last
The Scottish Nation
My thanks to Lora for transcribing these volumes for us.
We're now onto the S's with Skinner, Smellie and Smeton
An interesting account of William Smellie this week which starts...
SMELLIE, WILLIAM, a learned and ingenious printer and eminent
naturalist, was born in the Pleasance of Edinburgh in 1740, and
received the first rudiments of his education at Duddingston school,
where, and at the High School of his native place, he obtained a
thorough knowledge of the Latin language. His father, who, like his
grandfather, followed the occupation of an architect or master
builder, and belonged to the sect of Reformed Presbyterians,
originally intended to apprentice him to a staymaker, but some
difference occurred as to the terms of the indenture, and, in
October 1752, he was apprenticed for six years and a half to
Hamilton, Balfour, and Neill, printers to the university of
Edinburgh. His diligence and regular conduct recommended him to his
employers, who, after he had been four years with them, appointed
him corrector of the press, with a small increase of wages. His
evenings he devoted to study, and in the latter part of his
apprenticeship he was allowed to attend several of the classes in
the university. In 1757 the Edinburgh Philosophical Society offered
a prize for the most accurate edition of a Latin classic, on which
occasion young Smellie produced an edition of Terence, in duodecimo,
wholly set up and corrected by himself, which procured for his
masters a silver medal. In 1758 he attended the Hebrew class, to
enable him to superintend the printing of a Hebrew grammar edited by
Professor Robertson. In September 1759, his apprenticeship having
expired, he transferred his services to the office of Murray and
Cochrane, printers, where, besides being corrector of the press, he
was employed in making abstracts and collecting articles for the
Having an ardent desire for learning, Mr. Smellie not only attended
the mathematical and philosophical classes at the university, but
all the medical courses, including chemistry and botany. His
studies, indeed, had been so regular and complete, that he was well
qualified for any of the learned professions, and he was solicited
by his friends either to enter the church or become a physician, but
he preferred remaining a printer. In 1763 he married Jane Robertson,
daughter of an army agent in London, by whom he had several
children. To the study of botany he devoted so much attention, that,
in 1765, his Dissertation on the Sexes of Plants, in which he
opposed the doctrines of Linnaeus, gained the gold medal given by
Dr. Hope, the botanical professor, and was inserted in the first
edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. While attending this class,
the professor, during an illness which confined him to the house,
selected Smellie to continue the course of lectures in his absence.
Clan and Family Information
Clan MacIntyre have sent in more pictures, a copy of the report on
the Gathering from the Oban Times, as well as a list of the contents
in the Glenoe Box which you can get to at
New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
The first volume I am dealing with is the one on Aberdeenshire.
There are some 85 parishes in this volume and a write up on each.
This week have added...
Parish of Skene
Name.—The name of the parish is said to be derived from the Gaelic
sgian, (or skian), "the dagger, or knife," that weapon having been
used by the man who killed a wild boar which had attacked King
Malcolm (Canmore) whilst hunting within the bounds of the parish,
then supposed to be part of the King's forest. For which service,
the same tradition says, the young Highlander, was rewarded by a
grant of the whole land in the parish. [The reward offered by the
King is said to have been a hound's chace or a flight. The latter
Extent, &c.-The extent of the parish is nearly 6 miles by 4. It is
bounded by the parishes of Kinellar, Newhills, Peterculter, Echt,
Cluny, Kemnay, and Kintore.
Hydrography.—The Loch of Skene is nearly three miles in
circumference, situated near the west boundary of the parish. Its
greatest depth does not exceed twelve feet. It is supplied by
several small streams, and is the reservoir which supplies water for
one of the meal mills in the parish, and for the works of Messrs
Hadden and Sons (a wool manufactory) at Garlogie mills.
Geology.—The soil is various, from the undulating nature of the
grounds in the parish; several of the ridges (although they can
scarcely be called hills) rising to a considerable height, and, with
two excepted, which are planted, cultivated to the tops. There are
some rich and fertile fields; but few comparatively; the greater
part of the land being either light or cold. The subsoil is chiefly
clay, part sand or gravel, and there is a considerable extent of
Book of Scottish Story
Our thanks to John Henderson for sending this in for us.
This week have added...
The Lady Isabel
Here is how it starts...
A Legendary Tale of the Fifteenth Century
The Lady Isabel was a Scottish baron’s daughter, and far was she
famed. Were others fair, she was fairer ; were others rich, she was
richer. In short, all perfections were said to be centred in the
Lady Isabel, and yet that quality for which she ought to have been
most prized, seemed the one which made the least noise in the world,
- this was her devoted duty to her father. She was his only child -
the child of his old age, the idol of his heart, and the lamp of his
life. But still was he a cruel father; for in return for her duteous
affection, he had determined to wed her to a man she had never seen,
while he knew that her heart was another’s.
The Lord of Ormisdale was the son of his ancient friend, and the
possessor of broad lands in a distant part of Scotland. The two old
men had sworn to each other that their children should be united,
but ere this paction, the youth had been sent abroad to be initiated
in the art of war - an art but too much practised in his native
country at that time; for be it known that our peerless beauty
bloomed in the 15th century, when the feuds of the Scottish nobility
were frequent and deadly. Much was bruited abroad of the goodly
person and brave qualities of the young earl, but of this Lady
Isabel had no opportunity of judging, for never, as has been told,
had she seen him. She had, however, but too often seen his cousin
Roderick, and to him was her heart devoted. It was true he had
neither title, nor lands, nor vassals; but he was a handsome, a
noble, and a gallant youth, and he had knelt at her feet, confessed
his love, and swore eternal constancy; and though, when she thought
of her father, she turned coldly away, it was but to treasure his
image in her heart, and to weep most bitter tears for the hapless
fate which doomed her to wed another. Roderick, by-and-by, went away
to a foreign land, distraught by his passion for the Lady Isabel;
and the time was long, and he returned not, and none spoke of him,
or seemed to think of him, save his disconsolate love. But it was
not so; for the old Baron loved him for his worth and manly bearing;
and when he saw his daughter drooping her head like a lily, he too
was unhappy, and repented him of his rash vow, though he would
rather have sacrificed his own life, and hers too, than have broken
his oath. And so time passed on, and many were the suitors that
sought the hand of the Lady Isabel. Some loved her for herself, some
for her great possessions, and some for both; but all were sent
The Life of John Duncan
Scotch Weaver and Botanist with Sketches of his Friends and Notices
of the Times
By William Jolly (1883)
Have now added more chapters from this book...
Chapter XXXIV - The Author's First Visit to Droughsburn
I visit John in his eighty-third year with friends; introduced;
John's aspect and shyness; his weaving then, and independence in it;
his general herbarium inspected; his finer collections examined; his
treasured Cryptogamic book; his conquest of the science in his old
age: I return to the cottage alone; his interesting and varied
conversation; we climb the hill together; John on the objects seen
there; the view; entertainment in the cottage; parting with him.
Chapter XXXV - Fame. Pauperism and Weakness
Account of this visit in "Good Words"; its pleasant results in
assistance and appreciation; "they've found you out at last!"; "Sal,
lad, it pays!" John's indignation at silly pride; Charles writes him
in congratulation: John becomes unable to make ends meet; books his
one luxury; he cannot part with them; tells no one; applies for work
at a saw-mill in vain; takes to bed sick with heartache; renewed
struggle; begs a pauper's portion; boarded in the cottage: growing
weakness; faints on way to church; his last visit there; "like an
aul' tumbledoon feal dike"; visits James Black and William Beveridge
for last time; account of my visit appears in "Leaders of Men."
Chapter XXXVI - John's Herbarium presented to Aberdeen University
The herbarium still unlocalised; John agrees to present it to the
University; visit of the two Taylors to arrange it; John Taylor
receives Dickie's "Flora"; he completes the work; it is packed for
transport; John's gratification at its destination; Dr. Murray's
herbarium; John's books and letters gone over; wishes a decent
funeral and "a queer stane" on his grave; advises to the study of
nature: herbarium finally arranged; account of it; the volumes and
their contents; its presentation; accounts of this appear in
Chapter XXXVII - Public Appeal made on his behalf, and its generous
His pauperism now revealed; the author's appeal to the country on
his behalf; immediate generous response; the press on the subject;
examples of sympathetic messages sent; of curious letters received;
manner of gathering some subscriptions; honours from scientific
societies; places that remained silent; John's appreciation of these
honours; his comforts increased; Trust Deed drawn and signed;
permanent Trustees appointed; Science prizes arranged for; disposal
of his library. 1881.
Chapter XXXVIII - His growing debility: and the Author's last visit
His debility increases; his bed removed to workshop; his
hallucinations; faints by the burn; last journey up the Leochel;
brought home in a barrow; objects to being attended on: Author makes
last visit in winter storm; John's reception of him in weakness; his
new comforts; bright conversations with him; debility and crossness;
sings a song; his gratitude for gifts; feelings for the Queen; love
of Charles Black; angry reception of author and reconciliation;
their last interview; letter of Charles Black's; John's strong
emotion; final parting with author. 1880, 1881.
Chapter XXXIX - The Happy and Honoured Close
His later condition; cuts his temporal artery; memories of Dunnottar
roused; John Taylor comes to nurse him; Duncan's last time outside;
asks for short reading and prayer; rigid criticism of the request;
invited to a scientific meeting; has no fear of death; the monument
he wishes for his grave; painless tenacity of life; last
conversations; last words; his serene death; the scene in the room
the scene without; the state of the workshop; the flowers placed on
his body; the author's last sight of it; the funeral; ceremony at
the cottage and churchyard; monument at his grave and its
The History of Glasgow
By Robert Renwick LL.D. and Sir John Lindsay L.D. in 3 volumes
We are now making progress with these volumes and this week we have
Baronial Revenues—Appointments of Bishops—Charters by King Robert—Polmadie
Hospital—Barlanark or Provand —Chapel of St. Thomas—Lost Seal—Manor
King Robert—Reign of King David and Episcopate of Bishop Rae
—Temporalities of Bishopric — Bishopforest — Papal Registers —
Endowments of Friars Preachers — Glasgow Bridge
Reigns of Kings Robert II. and III.—Bishops Wardlaw and Glendonwyn—Duke
of Albany—French Army—Burgesses —`Weekly Market—St. Mary's Chapel—Prebend
of Glasgow Secundo—Robes, Ornaments, and Lights of Cathedral—Timber
Steeple—Alienation of Cadder
Foreign Trade—Customs on Exports— Glasgow's Earliest Trading,
Manufactures, and Industries
Glasgow's Connection with Convention of Burghs—Dukes of Albany and
King James I.—Bishop Lauder—Cathedral
Return of King James I.—His Legislation—Bishop Cameron—Cathedral and
Castle—Archdeaneries and Prebends—Town Mill—Rentallers
And here is a bit from Chapter XXXI...
THE period of King James's reign which followed his return from
England is marked by much legislative activity and in this
connection the burghs were not overlooked. Under statutes then
passed regulations came into operation for the more effective
supervision of craftsmen and their work; hostels or public inns were
to be provided for the accommodation of travellers; burgesses and
indwellers, sufficiently equipped, had to appear for inspection of
their armour, at the periodical wapinshawings; measures were to be
adopted for security against fire; the "array of burgesses and thair
wyffis" was regulated by the sumptuary laws; rules were laid down
"anent Lipper folk"; beggars were subjected to licensed conditions;
playing at football was discouraged as interfering with the practice
of archery, and instructions were given to the king's officers and
burgh sergeants for the maintenance of order.
By a parliament held on 26th May, 1424, a subsidy was imposed to
meet the contribution to England stipulated for on the return of the
king from captivity. As Glasgow bore its share of the taxation for
King David's ransom it might have been expected that the burgh would
also be a contributor to the levy of 1424, but in the Exchequer
Rolls, where the contributions of twenty-three burghs are recorded,
Glasgow is not included in the list.
Acts of parliament were passed for securing the "fredoine of
halikirk"; traffic in pensions payable out of church benefices was
prohibited; church lands unjustly alienated were to be restored; and
churchmen were forbidden, by themselves or their procurators, to
take their law pleas to foreign ecclesiastical courts without the
king's consent. These and other regulations, however needful and
salutary, did not meet with approval in all quarters, and the
responsibility for their introduction having to some extent been
ascribed to John Cameron, who was Bishop of Glasgow from 1426 to
1446, he was subjected to not a little opposition and trouble on
History of Banking in Scotland
By Andrew William Kerr (1908)
We now have up several chapters from this book...
Murder and Robbery
From War to Crisis - Decay of Local and Development of National
The Small-Note Scare of 1826
A Typical Period - Joint-Stock Mania and the Crisis of 1837
The Close of Free Banking
The Revolution Settlement
Chapter XVIII starts...
WITH the accession of Queen Victoria to the throne of Great Britain,
on 20th June 1837, commenced a new era in the history of the
country. From that date onward there has been a triumphant progress
of more remarkable development of industry, science, and social
improvement, than history records of any former age. The beginnings
of this social revolution have been indicated in previous chapters
as concurrent with the century ; but it was reserved for the
Victorian era to achieve its development. The application of steam
to navigation and manufactures had accomplished a mighty work, but
the connecting link was wanting so long as inland transit was
conducted under the slow and laborious methods of highways and
canals. When steam railways became an established system, men's eyes
were opened; and from thenceforth they thought and acted with an
independence and activity they had never formerly displayed.
Improvements in every department of business and social relationship
succeeded each other with uninterrupted rapidity.
The general condition of the country, however, at the time with
which we are at present dealing, was not yet one of emancipation.
Men's eyes were indeed opening to the realisation of brilliant
possibilities, but they failed not also to see intolerable evils
around them. The achievement of constitutional liberty in 1832 had,
as yet, done little beyond making the nation conscious of its power
to accomplish its own emancipation. But when that consciousness had
been attained, the good work sped apace. Deterrent influences were,
however, at work. Wars in China and India—costly and, at times, very
disastrous; Chartist riots and Irish troubles; industrial and
agricultural distress and disturbances, and a high rate of
bankruptcies, followed, for a few years, the effects of the crisis
of 1837. But the national appreciation of railways was not to be
checked in its manifestation. A mania for investment in railway
undertakings set in, resulting in a much more rapid expansion of the
system than the circumstances of the country warranted. Trade was
thus stimulated, both directly and indirectly, to an unusual extent.
The position of banking in Scotland at the close of 1837 was as
follows:—There were five chartered banks, with aggregate capitals
amounting to £4,600,000, on which dividends averaging six per cent
were paid. Five other joint-stock banks had capitals amounting to
£1,550,000, on which the dividends averaged slightly less than six
per cent. These ten banks had 213 branches, of which the chartered
banks held 158. There were, besides, other seven joint-stock banks,
and seven private banks, with 37 branches. This gives a total of
twenty-four banks, with 274 offices. The average circulation of
these banks does not appear to have much exceeded three millions
sterling, the small notes forming about two-thirds of the total
amount. The amount of the deposits was estimated at twenty-five
millions; but little weight can be attached to a calculation which,
in the absence of official information, must have been largely
founded on imagination. The average price of the stocks of the
chartered banks was 178 per cent, and such of the shares of the
other banks as were quoted stood at high premiums.
The Glengarry McDonalds of Virginia
By Mrs Flora McDonald Williams (1911)
We now have up the first 14 chapters for you to read and here is a
bit from Chapter 9 which shows how hard schooldays were...
was born on the 16th of May, 1829, in Romney, Hampshire County, then
a portion of Virginia, now West Virginia. The place of my birth was
in the house now owned by the Gilkeson family. In this house also
were born my sister, Ann S., and my brother, Edward H. It is
immediately opposite the old Armstrong Hotel.
This was a noted hostelry in its day. Before the completion of the
Baltimore and Ohio railroad to the Ohio River the North Western
Turnpike, built by the State of Virginia, passed through Romney.
This with the National Turnpike, passing mainly through Maryland and
Pennsylvania, carried then much of the travel and freight from the
East to the Ohio River. Passengers were carried in Troy four horse
coaches. Col. Crozet, a professor at West Point during my father's
cadetship there, was its Chief Engineer. My father was very fond of
him, and I have often seen him as a visitor at our house while he
was building this road. The stages, as we then called them, changed
horses and were furnished with meals and liquid refreshment, if
desired, at this hotel. Many members of Congress and other
distinguished men from the South and West were its
guests from time to time. Amongst these I can recall Henry Clay and
the crowd of admirers who called on him when he was candidate for
President in 1844.
It was here that I met for the only time in my life the brilliant
Tom Marshall of Kentucky. I was a youngster at the time, and was
introduced to him by my father and placed under his care while going
to Winchester. I sat beside him and was greatly attracted to him. He
entertained the passengers continuously with his stories which were
full of fun and interest.
At a very early age, before I was big enough to sit upon the wooden
benches in front of the desks and touch the floor with the tips of
my toes, I was posted off to the Academy, then taught by Dr. Foot. I
carried with me a little stool, the seat of which was covered with a
piece of carpet. Upon this I sat with no desk in front of me. Two
other boys about my age were similarly accommodated with seats,
which were located in different parts of the schoolroom, the idea
doubtless being that good behavior for the three would be much
promoted by getting each one as far as possible from the others thus
preventing combustion by scattering the brands.
I don't mean to intimate that this was the only means the Doctor had
to enforce good behavior. He also had conveniently at hand a heavy
ruler about two feet long which he frequently used. The Doctor,
besides being the Principal of the Academy, was the Pastor in charge
of the Presbyterian Church at Romney. He left Romney when I was
about ten years of age but returned again about 1845. In the
meantime he had been engaged in writing his "Sketches of North
Carolina" and "Sketches of Virginia." Both of these books have great
value for their historical accuracy and are often quoted by later
historians. President Roosevelt in his "Winning of the West"
repeatedly quotes them.
During the interval between his leaving Romney and his return the
Academy had two principals, men of very opposite characteristics.
The first, the Rev. Theodore Gallaudet, was not over five feet, four
or five inches in height and very subdued looking, "as meek as
Moses." He would submit to almost any kind of disorder in the school
rather than thrash a boy. He did not even keep a ruler or switch at
hand. The result was that the school was a perfect pandemonium. We
sometimes organized regular bands. The instruments upon which we
performed were combs wrapped with tissue paper through which we used
to sing. My sisters, Mary and Ann, and three brothers besides
myself, Ned, Will and Marsh, all attended this school.
The Academy was then divided by a board partition. In the room
adjoining was another school with Mr. Ben E. Pigman as principal.
Pigman was the opposite of "Old Gallaudet," as the boys called him.
He kept always something between a switch and a club which he freely
Upon one occasion the smaller boys of the Gallaudet school, composed
of Ned and Will McDonald, Bob White and some others about the same
age, led by "Old Dad Kern," a boy about my age, had gotten out of
the open windows and as "Old Gallaudet" sat upon the platform
hearing recitations commenced an attack upon him by throwing clods,
pieces of sod and other things neither clean nor hurtful at him. At
first there was no intention of hitting him but the sport got to be
very exciting a he left his platform and dodged about the room to
avoid the missiles, and though the old gentleman was not hurt, he
was struck often. This attack continued until the boys got tired,
when the outraged old gentleman hunted around the schoolroom until
he got hold of a good sized stick and then quietly resumed the
hearing of his classes.
The first one of the party to appear, climbing in the open window,
was "Old Dad" (John Kern) . At sight of him the old man grabbed his
cane and went for him. The first lick was just over the eye brow,
laying the skin open, and then such a trouncing as Dad received had
never before been seen in that school. After this reckoning with Dad
he quietly resumed his work and watched for the next victim. One by
one the other participants in the sport stole quietly into the
schoolroom and were permitted to take their seats. When all had been
seated the fun again commenced. The old gentleman grasped his stick
and went for each one. As each boy in turn was attacked he would
dodge under his desk, which prevented the free use of the stick, as
he would scramble from one end of the desk to the other. In this way
the members of the whole party took their medicine. While the school
was never famous for its orderly conduct there never was any more
clod throwing at the teacher. "Old Dad," who was somewhat of a
rhymer, composed this couplet upon the occasion:
"Gentlemen and ladies, I'll tell you plump and plain,
If you fool yourself with Theodore he'll hit you with his cane.''
He would repeat it often during the school hours, to the amusement
of the scholars as well as Theodore himself.
Wells, Trees and Sacred Groves
By Stuart McHardy
An excellent article which starts...
Water is basic. It is necessary to all forms of life on our planet.
It is also in some countries, like Scotland, extremely common. We
have lochs, rivers, wells and springs and in all our seasons - rain.
Yet water is the bearer of sanctity and is involved in the rituals
of many religions. The Christians use water for baptism and
christening - sanctifying the person involved. Water was also at the
very heart of what was the ancient religion. It has been suggested
that we all respond particularly to water because in our mothers’
wombs we float in the amniotic fluid as if it were water and some
psychologically driven people see the idea of the Flood as being
derived from a memory of the time in the womb. Be that as it may
there can be no doubt that water was absolutely central to the
belief patterns of our ancestors. The importance of wells and the
association of goddess-type figures with our rivers attest to this.
It would seem fair to say that in pagan times that water was seen in
some way as the blood of the Goddess. Wells and springs erupting
from the earth were seen as being particularly beneficial and the
term well-worship has been widely used to describe that happened at
many locations. In Scotland the survival of many well-rituals into
the 19th and 20th centuries have been commented upon, giving us
glimpses of how our ancestors saw themselves in the world. Many of
these wells have been, and some continue to be, associated with
healing, sometimes in a general sense and at others with specific
He has sent in a wee humour story for us and here it is for you to
You don't have to own a cat to appreciate this one. You don't even
have to like 'em!
We were dressed and ready to go out for the New Years Eve Party. We
turned on a night light, turned the answering machine on, covered
our pet parakeet and put the cat in the backyard. We phoned the
local cab company and requested a taxi.
The taxi arrived and we opened the front door to leave the house.
The cat we put out in the yard, scoots back into the house. We
didn't want the cat shut in the house because she always tries to
eat the bird.
I go out to the taxi, while my husband went inside to get the cat.
The cat runs upstairs, with my husband in hot pursuit. Waiting in
the cab, I don't want the driver to know that the house will be
empty for the night. I explain to the taxi driver that he will be
out soon, 'He's just going upstairs to say goodbye to my mother.'
A few minutes later, he gets into the cab. 'Sorry I took so long,'
he said, as we drove away. 'That stupid bitch was hiding under the
bed. I had to poke her with a coat hanger to get her to come out!
She tried to take off, so I grabbed her by the neck. Then, I had to
wrap her in a blanket to keep her from scratching me. But it worked!
I hauled her fat ass downstairs and threw her out into the back
The cab driver nearly hit a parked car.
And that's it for now and hope you all have an enjoyable weekend :-)
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