Sissy’s tale

A year or so ago, I was commissioned by ‘Creative Communities’ in Kilmacolm to take part in a collaborative project called Hearing the past.

I was offered a selection of photos from around the turn of the last century and asked to give voice to character from that era. Once I’d done my bit, my words were recorded and set free in a sound cloud. If I am half as clever as I’d like to be, the Sound Cloud link below will work and you should be able to both read, and listen to

Sissy’s tale

You know how sometimes you think something’s really funny, even when nobody else does? And then the more you try not to laugh, the worse it gets. That’s what it was like when Mr McLean finally caught up with his best heifer this afternoon.

She was on the loose for the third time this week and Eleanor said maybe the beast just wanted some fresh village air, like the folk that come down on the train from Glasgow. I started to laugh, but I had to hold it in because Mr McLean didn’t think that was funny at all.

His face was all red and sweaty and grumpy, which is hardly surprising. By all accounts, he’d chased the cow right round the Birkmyre, then up over the railway bridge, past the school, in one side of the graveyard and back out the other, before they both landed up at The Cross. The beast just stood there like there was nothing unusual about a cow standing in the middle of the village, but Mr McLean was huffing and puffing and muttering words that I’m not allowed to repeat.

My mum says Mr McLean’s getting too old to be running that farm on his own, but my dad says that for all the use his Hamish was as a herdsman, he’s as well off trimming daisies for the fancy-folk up at the Hydro.

It was funny though, seeing the pair of them just standing there in the middle of the road, like they needed to catch their breath or something, before heading back to the farm.

Mind you, Mr McLean had plenty of breath left in him to rage about incomers and visitors, traipsing through his fields in their fancy clothes, leaving gates open all over the place as if they were born in a barn.

I really did laugh when he said that. Even I know they don’t have barns in Glasgow.



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