I grew up in Buckie with an English mum and Scots dad, and consider myelf “bi-lingual”. As a student in St Andrews, I recall phoning my parents from the payphone in the corridor on my first night away from home and prattling away in my native dialect, much to the bemusement of the queue lengthening behind me. When I finished, one girl remarked as I passed that it was wonderful to hear Gaelic being spoken. Little did she know!
I live in Udny now and am celebrating the publication of my first compilation of comic verse, “Beware the Odes of March”. I have been writing since I was a child but it took furlough to focus my time and energy on actually pulling some of my poems together into a wee book.
I write primarily in English but with Doric rhythms in my head and of course, some Doric words just scan so much more easily! There are some marvellously expressive Doric words like “clarty” and “scunnered” and “dreich” – but one of my favourites has to be the north east use of the word “fine” which can cover everything from “average” to “ecstatic” and everything in between.
The book has been illustrated by my good friend, designer Karen Barrett-Ayres of Bramble Graphics, whose Doric dictionary and recent translation of the current Coronavirus guidelines into Doric have been very well received.
Copies cost £6 and are available from the following local outlets: The Craft, Pitmedden; North Mains Farm Shop, Pitmedden; Hattoncrook Farm Shop and Delicatessen; The Murly Tuck, Tarves.
I am delighted to have been introduced to Jill and had the opportunity to catch just a flavour of her passion for our north east dialect and culture as we enjoyed a walk about Udny and shared some of my poetry – she is without a doubt an enthusiastic ambassador for her native corner and of course Doric TV.
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