Thursday, April 16, 2009

When's a Scone a Skoon?

THE NEW TEACHER by Jim Douglas
Now is a Dove a Doo Dad?
Is a Doo a Dove?
And is a cow a coo Dad?
A sparrow jist a spyug?
And is a wall a wa' Dad?
Is a dog a dug?
She's gawn tae warm ma ear Dad
Instead o' skelp ma lug.

Oor new teacher's awfi posh Dad
She chinges aw oor names
Oor Shuggie is now 'Hugh' Dad
And Jimmy's always 'James'
Am puzzled wi' it a' Dad
Tae why she shoogles words
Ans ah must be glae kit no' tae ken
That feathered friends are 'burds'

Now there's twa words for everything
They're shoogled in ma heid
How can I be well bred Dad
When ah keep sayin' 'breed'
Now is a crow a 'craw' Dad?
Is a bull a 'buul'?
A'm goin' tae try ma best Dad
Ah wuull, ah wuull, ah wuull.

Well ye've taught me aw wrong Dad
Ye call a ball a 'baw'
Yer wife is now my mother Dad
Ye said she wiz ma maw
It fairly maks me scunnered
Ah'll never pass ma test
A'm no sure whit a'm wearing noo - a semmet or a vest.

Could not help but make sure you all saw this poem. A'int it a lark! At breakfast this morning we were talking with Peter about going to Scone Palace when he cheekily made sure that our pronunciation was correct - SKOON! That got me thinking that maybe not everyone checked the link to the poem from yesterday. You have to say it out aloud to get the full benefit!

And so off to Skoon it was! We were leaving at the same time as Peter's partner Macio was due to start work, so we gave him a lift and saved him a 35 minute walk. Scone Palace - the family home of the Murrays, the Earls of Mansfield, is set in rolling fields about a 10 minute walk from the road. It has an important place in the history of Scotland because this was the Crowning Place of the Scottish Kings. The Seat of Destiny (on which I am seating in this photo) was used at the coronations before being captured by the English and taken to London, then snatched back by University students hundreds of years later, then re-sent to London and finally returned to Scotland late last century.

The site was once an Augustinan monastery before it was burned to the ground during the Reformation. The original graveyard, the chapel, part of the Abey wall and the Mercat Cross are all that now remains of this earlier life of the property. Graves date back to the mid 1600s. And the bells in the chapel would have pealed during Parliamentary sittings held from 1210 to the 1400s - and heard right across the meadows.

Unfortunately, no photos inside which was plush but not tacky (yeah yeah, so you buy the book!) but we got plenty outside. Rather showy (and posing) Peacocks, blackbirds hopping about gorging on worms, radiant flowers bursting into spring bloom, manicured lawns etc etc etc. There is a maze planted to provide a tartan effect (when it is growing in the warmer months) in the star of the Murray crest, a nature walk passed the working farm on the property and plenty of picnic and play areas.

After spending 4.5 hours wandering around the estate, we hit the road to drive the 15 miles to Crieff. Now, as I alluded yesterday, I love collecting glass and crystal and Crieff has the Stuart Crystal factory! I have collected Stuart Crystal since before we were married and have some really lovely pieces. I did myself proud and resisted all temptation to buy - primarily because of the weight and the postage costs to get it home. But gee, there were plenty of bargains and it was a kinda hard decision!

As we were pulling out of the car park, we noticed that in the field in front of us that had literally just been ploughed, stood a huge standing stone. Michael put the zoom lens on the camera and walked along the road for about 150 yards to try to get a decent photo after we drove past and thought it was carved. The furrows ploughed were more than knee deep and having just been turned (and invaded by hundreds of seagulls) it was too soft to walk on. On closer view, it was not carved, but rather was badly weathered and peeling. Still, an impressively large stone - a menhir rather than a standing stone.

We had seen on the map and driving down had passed the road sign towards Fowlis Wester and Pictish stones. So on the way back we pulled off toward it. Unfortunately, there is only a replica standing in the town square with a note that the original has been moved into the church - presumably for conservation purposes - but bugger, it is closed! So we take the scenic rural route to meet back the main road. Then there was Hungintontower Castle - which dates back to the 15th century. Again, as it is after 5 pm by now, the castle is closed but we managed to get some decent external photos.

Wetherspoons is a chain of hotels in the UK and in Perth their pub is The Capital Asset which recalls the building’s original purpose as a savings bank and Perth’s status in medieval times as the capital of Scotland. Every Thursday they have a Curry Club menu - when we were on the west coast we were told about it by some of the girls we met. So we headed there when we got back into Perth and ordered from their Curry Menu. We both had the Royal Thali and were pleasantly surprised for a very cheap meal. Their meal deals are very popular judging by the crowd tonight - we walked in to get a table just as someone was leaving and there was not a table free for the whole time we were there.

After dinner, Michael took a walk through town with the camera for some dusk photos. Perth is indeed a beautiful town in the evening light!

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