Irene Addison – (originally a country quine fae Dufftown, moved to Cullen when she got married, spent 10 years at Yondertonhill, Hatton – now retired to the Banchory area.) Irene writes –
I hadn’t heard of Doric Future till It popped up on Cullen Past and Present asking for stories related to the Doric. I think you’re doing a great job making people aware of the importance of keeping it alive and appreciated.
I distinctly remember being treated like a lesser mortal at school if we spoke Doric! “Speak properly!!” We were always told. Worse still, it made me think that anyone with an English accent was better educated and a higher mortal!! 🤪 I got ower that pretty quick once I was exposed to the wider world!
Of course it’s important for our kids to know how to communicate in different environments and be able to adapt to the need of the moment but I do think that in recent years there has been a fresh appreciation of the tongue we were brought up with.
That said, and I’m no expert in this are, I notice that some of the school bairns are a bit more ‘refined’ with their language even when brought up with strongly Doric parents. Maybe just a sign of the times and all the more important to encourage them to own their native tongue proudly ….. but humbly. (That’s a bit of a paradox !!)
I often write wee stories for my daughters and their bairns, sometimes about our travels in the caravan or tales from my childhood.
Somehow there’s nothing like the Doric to bring out the funny side of life and bring a smile to our face!
Here’s a personal Doric faux pas
It was around 1967. 17year auld country quine fae Dufftown (me) meets fisher loon fae Cullen.
It wiz the first time I’d been invited tae fit wid turn oot tae be my future in-laws’ hoose.
I wiz in a caul’ swyte kanin’ fine weel I wiz bein’ checked oot by the powers that be an’ tryin’ ma best nae te pit ma fit in it!
It wiz a Sunday. Abiddy wiz seated at the table for Sunday denner.
A wee plaque on the wa’ abeen it read ominously ” Christ is the head of this house, The unseen guest at every meal, The silent listener to every conversation”
‘I’d better jist behave masel ‘n watch fit comes oot ma moo’ I thocht tae masel’
Plates were plonked in front o’ abiddy …… slices o’ roast beef wi’ gravy ‘n tatties. Dishes o’ chappit neep an’ mealie chud steamed awa in the middle.
Future mither-in-law appears, pan an’ big speen in han’. “Are ye wintin’ pyes ma quine?” she asks.
I wiz starvin’ and the smell o’ the beef wiz goin’ roond ma hert like a hairy worm but nae wintin ‘ tae sound greedy on ma first visit, I politely said, “Ah’ll jist hae one please”.
Mither-in-law-tae-be asks if ah’m sure aboot that, probably thinkin’ I maun be a bit o’ a dunderheid. ” Jist ane??” She asks again.
Prince Charmin’ comes tae the rescue ….. ” PEAS – she’s askin’ if yer needin’ onny PEAS !! ” he says laughin’ his heid aff. “Oh, Ah’m affa sorry Mrs.A – I thocht ye were askin’ if I wiz needin onny pies. In Dufftin’ we say peas, nae pyes!! – I thocht ae pie wid be mair than anuff! “
This, I discovered wiz only ane o’ the fisher doddie words that wid totally ravel a country tyeuchter (choochter?) like me.
“Mine ye dinna blad yer ganzy” wiz met wi jist a glaiket stare, till translated sarcastically tae, “Be careful not to make a mess of your jumper” – “I didna kane Dufftin’ quines were sae posh!!”
Jist shows that even fluent Doric speakers can be fair flummoxed by the variations o’ the mither tongue!
But the Cullen tongue is definitely a bit different. Efter only a few years bidin’ in Cullen my ain dad declared the inevitable – “Yer affa fisher-spoken noo-adays !!” 😂
The Caravan Adventure
By Irene Addison
I thought you might enjoy this tale fae oor caravan as I’m sure you must have encountered similar scenarios.
(it’s absolutely true – wi maybe jist a wee bit o’ poetic licence!😂).
Fit is it aboot the Doric that jist makes athing sae much funnier!!??
How come we attract a’ the hilarious bit hallyrackit individuals aneth the sun fan we go awa in the caravan??
We’re in Johnshaven and a bra site it is wi’ electric, a tap and grey waste at ivvry pitch. Twa aulder couples that hid trevillt up fae anither pairt o Scotland ….. complete wi’ a dodgy lookin’ dug eventually get set-up wi’ their massive caravans and awnins either side o’ oor wee vanny.
Last night wiz a classic! The fower o’ them, we hid been informed, congregate ivvry single nicht in een o’ the awnins for a booze up and friendly get-the-gither. Kanin’ fine that fan drinks in, wit’s oot, we declined their kind invitation tae join in!
By midnicht ye’d think they’d be tonin’ it doon a bitty, 11o’clock bein’ curfew time for the caravan-site noise abatement society…… But NO they’re a’ faichtin’ for fa can speak the loudest, fart the loudest and laugh the loudest….. Widna be sae bad if we could understand half a’ fit they’re sayin’ in their different accents – at least that wye abiddy could hae a laugh!!
Half an ‘oor later sleep seems like a distant and unlikely dream.
Ither half decides he needs a toilet break, pits ae fit oot the door and nearly gets guzzled be the dog fa’d sneaked oot o’ the awnin. He’s wanderin’ aboot free-lance ….. obviously looking for an opportunity tae bark the place doon, bare his gnashers an’ fleg onny unsuspectin’ camper that dares tae invade his territory !
The man curses him back intae the awnin wi’ his tail atween his legs, and a modicum o’ peace descends for aboot five minutes.
Ither half is seen back an’ snuggled doon …. How he managed tae get snorin’ in ten minutes I’ll nivver kane but he didna hear a cheep efter that.
Noo things are gettin’ merrier by the minute and eventually a booze-fuelled weepy love story starts tae unfold…
“I mine the very first time I clappit een on yoo darlin’ …..I fell in love wi’ yoo an’ ever since then ah’ve steyed in luv wi’ yooz.” Overwhelmed wi’ the mood o’ the moment, the man suddenly transforms intae a fat version o’ Sonny fae Sonny and Cher ilk. I roll my een as he launches intae a drunken and slurred version o’ “I’ve Got You Babe” 🙄
“They say we’re young and we don’t know 🎶
We won’t find out unti-il we grow
Well I don’t ken if aw that’s true
‘Cause you got me, and baby, ah’ve got you
Aah’ve got yoo to hold me tight …. Ah’ve got you 🎶…. Fits the words again hen? Aye ……. Kiss goodnight ….. Aah’ve got yoo babe. da da da da da da da …. Aa’hve got you babe!! ” 🎶. Ding ding ding ding…..
“For goodness sake, haud yer weesht ye eedjit roars the wife …… Yer geein’ me a sair heid!” Noo a faicht braks oot, quellin’ onny romantic notion that micht hiv been contemplated. Eventually somebody suggests pourin’ anither wee dram and athing timmers doon again. This kind o’ rackit went on till twa in the mornin’ fan thankfully abiddy jist seemed tae pass oot.
Honestly I felt like hemmerin’ on their caravan doors at 6 in the mornin shoutin FIRE! FIRE! Get oot quick!
…….. and then sayin’ “That’s for keepin me wakened till twa in the mornin’ !!” But of course I didna 😇
Nanny McDonald’s sweetie shop
By Irene Addison
Irene Addison (circled) with the rest of her class
Maist school days I’d get thruppence as I headed oot the door efter scoffin’ a big plate o’ mither’s broth an’ a dad o’ loaf at denner time. Thruppence was the equivalent of aboot 1p in today’s money and was for the sole purpose o’ buyin’ sweeties at Nanny McDonald’s corner shop – which just happened to be conveniently situated a few hundred yards from the school gate! 😂.
The hordes ayewiz descended on Nanny McDonald’s corner sweetie shop on the wye back tae school efter denner-time.
On the auld oak coonter she had an array o’ sweeties nae handy…… black jacks, aniseed ba’s, sherbert dabs, liquorice pipies, sports mixtures, pineapple chunks, parma violets, foam shrimps, fitba’ chews, flying saucers and ye’ll nivver believe it ….. sweetie fags!! Ye could let a sweetie fag hing oot the side o’ yer moo like yer dad dad did or sook it like the real thing an’ pretend tae blaw reek a’ the wye up the road tae the school.
Oh aye an’ there wiz rhubarb rock, coo candy an’ lucky tatties. The tattie wiz a cinnamon coated, roond slab o’ candy wi’ a rubbish plastic animal embedded inside it. Health and Safety the day wid hae a hairy fit! Aye, bit those lucky tatties lested for ages an’ ye could sook the candy oot atween an elephant’s legs till there wizna a drap left!
Nanny wid generally muster a’ the patience she had as she popped the chosen sweeties in a wee paper bag. On the odd occasion though she’d sometimes lose the rag and roar “For onny favour mak yer mind up – there’s ither bairns waitin’ !! …… an’ that wid fair get things movin.
Well ye hiv tae understan’ it wiz sometimes a hard decision. Ye maybe fancied four shrimps for a penny, bit they went doon affa fast compared tae 12 aniseed ba’s for the same price.
An’ ye hid tae be loaded tae buy a bag o’ Smiths crisps for thruppence (complete wi’ a tiny blue wrap o’ sa’t inside). They were ayewiz demolished afore ye could look roond, so that wizna really an option. On the positive side, cheese an’ ingin crisps still hidna been invented so at least ye didna hiv tae annoy Nanny too much tryin’ tae mak yer mind up fit flavour ye wintid!
Mary Dawson’s shoppie at the fit o the back lane wiz anither gran’ place tae go for sweeties. I still mine askin’ Mary, “Foo much are yer penny dainties, Mary??” “Tuppence” said Mary athoot battin’ an eyelid. I was totally flummoxed! I only had a penny and just stared at her dumfoonert.
“Na, Na,” she said, I forgot …. they’re jist a penny ma quine”.
A penny dainty wiz sae big it filled ma mooth fae side tae side so it took a file o’ cha’in and slivverin’ for it tae saften and go doon the hatch.
Aye some o’ these sweeties are still aroond the day, bit they’re nae the same taste or quality. They’ve a’ shrunk ana ….. or maybe my moo’s jist gotten bigger!
A Visit tae the School Dentist
By Irene Addison
It’s a really bonny day as I saunter in the school gates an’ ah’m a’ready wishin it wiz fower a clock.
Ma hert suddenly draps fin I catch sicht o’ a fite van parkit at the fit o’ the slopies aside the science kebin.
Och No!! Dinna tell ma! It’s the dreaded dentist’s vannie ….. that miniature torture chamber thit appears ivvry year an terrifies the life oot o’ a’ us bairns. Ah’m bettin tae masel’ that even the teachers are gled they hivna tae pit a fit inside its door!
Weel it’s almost a waste o’ the teacher’s time tryin tae teach us onnything fae that day on. Abiddy loses the ability tae concentrate, dreadin the moment fan there wid be a chap on yer classy door, yer name wid be shouted an aff ye’d be marched tae Dr Frankenstein’s kebin on wheels.
The first visit actually wizna sae bad. Ye kent that it wiz jist the perfunctory check up that decided whither ye could breath a big sigh o’ relief or if ye’d be presented wi’ a broon envelope tae tak hame for yer mither tae sign. That broon envelope wiz the sure sign ye needed fillins or worse … an extraction!!
I canna mine onny lectures aboot dental hygiene in them days, except fan yer ma spotted ye hid furry lookin’ teeth an’ went on at ye for days till ye actually relented an scrubbed them.
Anither problem wiz the toothpaste. It definitely didna taste o’ minty freshness like it diz nooadays. We hid a tin o pink poodery, horrible tastin stuff that ye stuck yer weet toothbrush in an then scrubbed yer gnashers like a flash jist tae get it ower an deen wi.
It wizna till Gibbs toothpaste wi it’s impressive reed, white an blue stripes and ithers like it wiz a the rage that ye’d be mair likely tae scrub yer teeth athoot endless naggin fae yer mither.
Then there wiz Pepsodent –
🎶 “You’ll wonder where the yellow went … when you scrub your teeth with Pepsodent!”🎶 the catchy advert promised.
My ain faither swore by McLeans toothpaste for his gnashers. I still laugh at the time he was scrubbin awa an roarin fae the lavvy, “For onny favour tell that quine tae stop buyin rubbish toothpaste! Ye kane fine I like Mcleans! ” He wiz scrubbin his teeth wi’ Veet …. mither’s hair removal cream! “Ha! Ha! Jist the price o ye” I thocht.
There wiz only twa answers for rotten teeth in them days though – yet anither amalgam fillin or the pliers! In fact you were nearly ayewiz guaranteed yet anither amalgam fillin every time ye had a check-up!
Drill-and-fill wiz the policy …. that’s hoo dentists made their money aff o the National Health Service in the nineteen fifties an’ sixties. Nae much winder a lot o’ fowk my age hiv a moo like a burnt oot fuse box!!
Aye an sixty years ago dental techniques an equipment hid a lot a room for improvement that’s for sure.
My mither assured me that in her day, it wiz the norm tae get a’ yer teeth oot a’ at aince afore ye got merried …. jist so ye didna hiv tae think aboot endless expensive treatment fae the dentist. Mair tae the pint, yer future man got somebody wi’ a bonny smile an nae dentist bills tae worry aboot. (This of course wiz afore the NHS wiz introduced in 1948).
Unfortunately he also got somebody that wiz a picture o’ loveliness ivvry nicht fan she took her chappers oot an left them steepin’ in a jar at the side o’ the bed! 😂
Nivver mind a that. The day came fan the dentist had a his tools an his dental assistant wi her clipboard at the ready for the openin o his chamber o’ horrors.
For me it happened on a really het summers day.
A’ the quines in my classy were ootside for P.T. playin netba.
I hid near anuff forgotten aboot the torture tae come, fan the dentist’s assistant suddenly appears, clipboard in han, an shouts my name.
Suddenly I can hear my hert poundin’ twinty tae the dizzen an it wizna jist fae runnin aboot!
Ah’m escorted throu the playgreen an climb up the steps intae the white van in my gym kit an’ san’shoes, hair soakin and the swyte still dreepin aff the pint o ma nose.
Frankenstein smiles unreassuringly at me as he surveys my terror-ridden fizog. It’s like he’s relishin the next thirty minutes in his torture chamber.
“Yer ain teeth dinna look that het either” I mine thinkin tae masel as ahm ushered on tae the shiny green leather chair surrounded by his hellish instruments that shine menacingly back up at me.
A muckle gas cylinder is parked at the side o the chair complete wi’ black rubber gas mask for the less fortunate craters that will maybe need tae be held doon kickin and screamin till they disappear intae gas-induced oblivion.
I start thinkin’ aboot Jessie Duncan, the quine that hid jist ta’en aff runnin’ fae the reluctant assistant the day afore. “She’s probably still runnin yet” I think tae masel.
Suddenly the combination o the heat, the lingerin smell o gas, rubber, mooth wash an disinfectant is too much for me. The colour drains fae ma face, my een roll back in ma heid an I hear a vice awa in the distance sayin “Just put her head between her knees! She’ll be fine!”
A few seconds later I feel masel risin fae the deid an think for a minute I might jist hiv earned masel a reprieve but na….. I’m swiftly couped back in the chair. It’s pumpit up till ahm a few inches fae the dentist’s face an I hear the dreaded words, “OPEN WIDE!!”
“Another two fillings needed here I see – hand me a syringe” he growls tae his buxom assistant. My swyty hans tighten an my knuckles fiten roond the erms o his green chair and I nearly faint again fin I see him loom ower the tap o me wi’ the dreaded syringe an jabs it three or fower times roon the offendin teeth.
It wiz jist as sair as I hid thocht it wid be, bit at least that bit wiz past and it wizna lang afore my nose and ae side o ma face wiz totally numb. I lick ma lips tae mack sure they’re still there.
Next the dentist trails oot his drill that’s on some kind o extension cable an presses his fit on a pedal that gaurs it birl.
“This won’t hurt a bit” sez he lyin through his dodgy lookin’ teeth an then he starts dreelin’ like there wiz nae the morn. Nae like the day’s high tech, high speed instruments …. this felt mair like a miniature road drill vibrating’ an dirlin’ roon yer teeth on slow mode and then screamin roon like a banshee as it went on high power. Ivvry sae aften it gaurt ye jump if it hit a nerve an a strange burnin’ smell only added tae the hellishness o’ the hale procedure.
I thocht he wiz nivver gaun tae stop but eventually the nichtmare wiz ower. A final mooth wash tae get rid o onny bits and pieces rummlin aboot yer moo wiz followed wi a big sigh o relief.
I wiz nivver sae gled tae be back oot in the sunshine …. legs a bit shoogly an droolin doon baith sides o ma moo, bit I could hiv kissed the grun, I wiz sae gled tae get oot o that van!
Thankfully them days are lang gone ….. and so, presumably, is the school dentist!
The memories an’ trauma o fit happened in that van aye lingers on for some fowk, still geein them the terrors at the very thocht o ga’in tae the dentist.
For ithers like me we are jist affa gratefa that we can open wide nooadays athoot battin’ an eyelid………aye an hae a laugh fin we see fowk grinnin fae lug tae lug wi’dazzlin veneers that wid pit Andy Murray’s tennis whites tae shame.
Little div they kane fit it wiz like for quines like me runnin the gauntlet o’ dental treatment in the 1960’s!! 😂
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