Wednesday, 6 October 2010

A wee tour

As you can see, I've been busy sorting out my shelves, which is why it's been quiet in these parts lately...
That, and the fact that we've been taking a litterary tour of Scotland, which included :

  • Leaky's (a second-hand bookshop in Inverness, above);

  • A visit to the McManus Gallery in Dundee where we discovered the fascinating story of the first world tour by two female reporters (sent by publisher DC Thomson, of The Beano fame, in the 1890s to 'obtain full and accurate information as to woman's position in the world', more here);

  • A quick stop at Waterstone's in Edinburgh (where you can find Scots versions of The Twits, dubbed The Eejits! and The Hoose at Pooh's Neuk): 'I'm Pooh,' said Pooh. 'I'm Teeger,' said Teeger. 'Oh!' said Pooh, for he hadna ever seen a craitur like this afore. 'Does Christopher Robin ken aboot ye?' 'Of coorse he does,' said Teeger. 'Weel,' said Pooh, 'it's the howe-dumb-deid o the nicht, which is a braw time for gaun tae sleep. And the morn's morn we'll hae some hinny for oor breakfast. Dae Teegers like hinny?' 'They like awthin,' said Teeger cheerily. 'Weel, if they like gaun tae sleep on the flair, I'll awa back tae ma bed,' said Pooh, 'and we'll dae things in the mornin.'
  • No Loch Ness monster, but this... I've been wondering ever since what the Irish equivalent would be... Simon the Selfish Sausage Roll? Colm the Cool Colcannon? Patrick the Proud Potato (looks like it's there in the background already!);
  • And last but certainly not least, our favourite, good old William Topaze McGonagall, the world's worst poet, who left us these incomparable lines:
Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv'ry Tay!

Alas! I am very sorry to say
That ninety lives have been taken away
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.

When the train left Edinburgh
The passengers' hearts were light and felt no sorrow,
But Boreas blew a terrific gale,
Which made their hearts for to quail,
And many of the passengers with fear did say-
"I hope God will send us safe across the Bridge of Tay."
So the train mov'd slowly along the Bridge of Tay,

Until it was about midway,
Then the central girders with a crash gave way,
And down went the train and passengers into the Tay!
The Storm Fiend did loudly bray,
Because ninety lives had been taken away,
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.
Oh! ill-fated Bridge of the Silv'ry Tay,
I must now conclude my lay
By telling the world fearlessly without the least dismay,
That your central girders would not have given way,
At least many sensible men do say,
Had they been supported on each side with buttresses,
At least many sensible men confesses,
For the stronger we our houses do build,
The less chance we have of being killed.

(see here for the rest and plenty more, you now you want to!)

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