BACK IN THE DAY - Deer Gormelia

Watch out after cleaning!
Watch out after cleaning!

Back in the day, when the older generation wrote letters, they often thought in Gaelic and translated literally onto the page - sometimes with hilarious results:

Our Own House

Near the Road End




Deer Gormelia,

At last I have time to write you a few scratches with news from home. I am writing it slowly as I know you can’t read very fast. Did you get the coat I sent you last week?

I cut the big heavy buttons on it and put them in the pocket to try and save money on the posting. Your father is very tired. Building a table house on his own head is not easy, and he is chasing the sheep every night after it. I am not too bad, except for my various veins, and I am weary of the wind that’s on me.

She starts on me in church, she gathers in my belly and pours out of my mouth, and sometimes goes the other way. I’m hoping Kenny Frogan will give me something to fix her when I go to Stornoway next week. We

had lovely weather for our hammers with a lot of strangers around. We had four staying with us and we had Alick Big from Harris as usual.

It’s a good job I made a large duff. Alick ate most of her and in the end she started coming back on him. But he polished her off before he went home. Hector put out the question on Friday and Alick Big and two other strangers stood on it. They were all lovely.

Your father was precenting on Sunday. He has such a large voice. You could hear a pan drop when he lifted Kilmarnock. I’ll be glad when the house is finished and we have a bassroom. The toilet is very drafty and the elsan is on its last legs since the accident. Your father put petrol in it to clean it. Grandpa went in later with the Picture Post and his pipe. When he lit up there was a loud bang and the shed shook. Grandpa is blaming

the beans he had for his dinner.

Your cousin Ian is home on leave. It’s on himself that the two days came since he went to the Navy. I asked his mother how far is he home. She thinks he will have about a basin for the corn cutting. Morag at No. 6 is heavy again and her sister Donaldina is also expecting a wee man.

I wish the war was over. I have only a few coupons left in my ration book. Your father was at Murdo’s last night to listen to the wireless for news of the war. He was back in five minutes to tell us the accumulator went down. Grandpa said he hoped nobody from Lewis was on her.

Wee Murdag is getting married tomorrow. I will have to go up there tonight to pluck the hens. That’s all my news just now. I’ll get it posted when I lift my pension tomorrow.

We are hoping to save money at the butcher next week. We are killing ourselves at the weekend. Before I forget, bring home a large chamber pot and try and get me a big small jacket. The one I got from J.D is too tight. Murdo next door bought a pig from a man in Allanstown but Bellag won’t go near it. She says there is a terrible smell.

From your loving mother.

P.S. - Katag has the brown catis. She has been under the doctor for two weeks but she never complains.