Craiters: 21 - 'I cannot get enough of it'
Author(s): Alexander Fenton
Copyright holder(s): Alexander Fenton
Gulls is bonny flee-ers, bit e weemin fowk wid rin aboot flappin eir aaprons if een cam in aboot - an e gulls wis richt sizers fin ye saa em close - wi terror in eir hairts on behalf o e little chuckenies. Fither ey sometimes cam aifter e chuckens or no, ey were great followers o e ploo. Faar fresh grun wis bein turnt be horse or tractor, ye'd get a fite comet tail o gulls stretchin oot ahin, as ey tumt fae eir fish tae hae a go at e delichts o rural produce. A sicht like at fairly wints tae mak ye tak yer camera oot, wi a gweed telephoto lens on't, an syne ye'd maybe show't at a meetin o e SWRI or a local history society an aabody'd say 'Whotten bonny', an ye cd feel rale pleaset wi yersel.
E thocht o bonny picters minet me on a sea trip I eence made wi e Scottish Ornithologists. It took's tae different pairts o e West as weel as tae Shetland, an it wis a richt gweed wik. Nae et I'm an expert on birds; tae tell ye e truth, my job wis tae be an antidote till e birds, for I wis supposed tae gie lectures on 'Scottish Country Life'. It wis a maist interestin collection o fowk, ey cam fae aa ower e world, an I ken I spent as much time lookin at em as I did lookin at e birds. Ere wis ae day on Rum, a lang tail o fowk wis passin a raa o trees aifter landin, fin somebody spottit some rarity o a bird. In a meenit ey'd aa stoppit an swung up eir binoculars or their lang-nebbit telephoto cameras, an comin at e back I got a fine view, nae o e bird bit o e bird-watchers, ilky een wi e heid at an angle o forty five degrees, an ilky een wi baith haans up haadin eir glaiss or camera, aa regimentet in stance e same's ey were prayin tae some kinna tree-god.
Be e time we sailed oot tae St Kilda, maist o's hid fun wir sea legs an e motion o e boat wis richt enjoyable. Here we wis amon e gannets. At's richt bonnie birds. An fin ey start divin, at's a divine sicht! Mair sae fin ye've e tremendous craigs an cliffs o St Kilda aside ye, an e air full o e cries o birds an e swoosh o e waves, an a feelin inside ye at maybe it wisna jist aathegither richt tae be ere. E cruise ship wisna smaa, bit she bobbit aboot like a toy boatie in a mill-race as she aimed throwe e gaps atween some o e islands. Eir wis ae almighty lurch fin e sea felt as if it hid draan itsel aathegither oot fae anaith e keel, syne aa cam richt, bit maybe a denner ir twa wis tint in e by-gyaan.
Ye'd think at haein seen e gannets divin, an scenery an seas e like o es, ere'd niver be onything eir mak, an maybe e rest o e tour wid jist be an anticlimax. Deil a bit! We held on tae Shetland, faar e laicher islands made a lot less wild silhouettes against e horizon, an we hid quairter watters an skies. Bit e seas wis aye ere, broodin, an ye cd niver let yersel feel ower confident or relax ower muckle, mair sae gin ye wis in a wee boatie. Ere's times I've been on an island faar I couldna get aff an hid tae bide a day ir twa mair - nae at at wis ony hardship - like eence on Papa Stour. At's a rare place, an aafa fine fowk tae be wi. Ey couldna dee enyeuch tae mak ye feel at hame amon em.
I've heen e same hospitality on e mainland o Shetland tee. I happent eence tae be in Scalloway on e day o e Land Sports (ere wis yacht racin goin on at sea), an bein a feel for rinnin an jumpin, an haein ma sanners wi's, I jist aboot tried aathing, fit races short an lang, high jump an lang jump, an fit I geed in for for fun turnet intill earnest for I feenisht up as sports' champion an got a bra silver madallie. I'm aye prood o't. It's e kinna thing ye micht think o showin yer graansin, bit fin I did, e wisna impressed. Bit e pint o ma tale's nae tae boast aboot bein swack. Fin e day wis deen, an I wis rale tiret an sweaty, sittin at e edge o e park takkin aff ma sansheen an pittin on ma ornary sheen, a lady cam up till’s an startit tae spik, in er fine Shetland voice. She thocht I’d be gey hait an sticky, an wid I nae like tae hae a sweel doon? I couldna bit agree, sae she convoyet me till er hoose up e hill at e back o e toon, an wi a gweed wash an twa ir three cups o hait tae wi sugar I wis shortly back tae some appearance o normal. I got a fine tae, wi fish, an iv coorse e lady an er faimily bade freens foriver aifter. Shetland's like at.
I doot I'm awa fae ma cruise again. Een o shore excursions wis till e island o Noss. We landit in smaa boaties, usin an arrangement o pontoons tae mak a landin stage at e laich side o e island, nae far fae a craft hoose wi low set biggins an a roonaboot corn kiln at ae eyn o e barn. We got ashore wi nae disasters We walkit up e slope, aabody ain speed, ower patches o bog an heather, by e carcase o a deid sheep wi its oo in a scatter roon aboot it, up till e tap o e great cliffs faar ere's an enormous bird colony. E air wis full o fulmars an ither sea birds, driftin like snaa flakes aboot e face o e cliff, an hyne below e rollers wis crashin against e rocks an e fit o e cliffs an addin till e nivereynin soon o win an cries o birds, some comin gey close as ey hung on e updracht, eir heids turnin fae side tae side an a sharp caal stare fae eir een, ay on e look oot for mait or for enemies. Bit it didna look as if ey'd ony speecial concern for hiz lads; we'd likely jist been nuisance value, ir mair like, passin curiosities.
I've been roon Noss in a smaa boat tee, an it’s jist as spectacular lookin up as doon, wi e extra excitement o e sea jist inches fae yer bottom. Bit on es day, I wis ashore on Noss for e first time, an fine pleaset tae be ere. Sae wis e Dutch lad I at I traivelt up e slopes wi. Iv coorse, eez country's flat, an different aathegither fae fit we wis seein noo. E wis at intent on aathing as we geed alang at we werena sayin very much, jist lookin, lettin things sype in. At e tap, e steed an steed, an I steed wi im. E spak at e hinner eyn, an fit e said wis fit I thocht -
'I cannot get enough of it'.
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Craiters: 21 - 'I cannot get enough of it'. 2023. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved September 2023, from http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=545.
"Craiters: 21 - 'I cannot get enough of it'." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2023. Web. September 2023. http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=545.
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