Here in New Zealand, it is already August 12th the official start of Britain’s 121-day-long grouse shooting season and always known as The Glorious 12th.
According to The Telegraph “The sport, which always begins on August 12th each year, has been an integral part of the countryside calendar for decades, although having once been an aristocratic hobby, it’s increasingly at the centre of rows over animal cruelty and class.”
If you are interested you can read more about this bird here.
Many years ago as a new bride, I was called by my DYS (Dashing Young Scotsman) to go to Euston Station in London to pick up a brace of grouse that he had shot the day before. So with father, we took off to do just that.
But I asked, what to do with the birds and was told by my DYS that they should be kept in a dark cupboard and hung up by their feet until the feet fell off, at which time they would be ready for plucking etc.
And would he be home by that time, I asked. Oh yes, don’t worry about that was his reply.
So following instructions, we hung the birds in the cupboard under the stairs until DYS came home and dealt with them. I can’t say that I enjoyed the resultant meal. The bird was far too gamey for me, but this is yet another memory to put into my memory chest.
“Circumstances or people
can take away yourmaterial possessions,
they can take away your money and
they can take away your health.
But no one can ever take away your
So, don’t forget to make time and take the
opportunities to make memories every day.”
Judith Baxter 1938 –
Blogger, Mother, Grandmother, Sister and friend.
Note – Photo of Red Grouse courtesy of Wikipedia
I have written before about my friendship with blogging friends around the world and in particular, Chris at Bridges Burning with whom I have a Skype visit each Friday. We talk about anything and everything and yesterday we talked about her latest post. If you read it you will see that while doing her research into Orphan Annie, she mentioned that this ancestor had been born in Hackney in the East End of London. Well, this is where I was born and brought up. She knew the address of the children’s home into which Annie had been placed and I offered the help of my sister who lives in the UK and who visits Hackney regularly to meet her family members who still live there.
Marianne, my sister was happy to help and photos and messages were exchanged so another friendship was formed.
Yesterday, when talking about serendipity, as surely this was such a case, we talked about other such happenings. I told her about a woman I met recently who had arrived from Montreal and had lived in the same suburb as we had many years earlier. I told about the woman I spoke to on a bus going to Oxford some years ago. She had a brother living in New Zealand. Did I know Wellington? Well, yes I live there. Did I know Scots College? Well, yes my son and grandsons went there. Her brother was the Headmaster of Scots. And there have been many more such experiences.
But the strangest of all was some 30 years ago. I had a friend with whom I worked. One day she said she had a school friend, now living in Majorca, coming to visit. Her friend was Scottish and Jean, my friend, thought we should meet. On the day, with husband out at sport, the two women duly arrived for afternoon tea. During the course of conversation, I was asked by Jean’s friend where my husband came from in Scotland. I replied Dunoon to which her reply was she had lived in a small village beside Dunoon. “Well, I said, it was really Kirn but it was such a small place that I never expect anyone to know of it” Her response was that in fact, she came from Kirn. Imagine my surprise then when I found out she was the daughter of the local dentist whose house my Father-in-Law had purchased when he remarried.
So imagine. Two young girls meet at school in Colchester, England. Then each goes their own way while keeping in touch. One went to Majorca with her husband, the other to Wellington New Zealand with hers, Some 30 years later, two other women meet in Wellington and become friends. The second woman is married to a Scotsman who comes from a small village on Scotland’s West Coast. Years later the three women meet and surprise, surprise the woman from Majorca was born and bred in the same small village as the Scotsman and what’s more, lived in the house now being lived in by the Scotsman’s father. Small world indeed.
“Friendship … is born at the moment when
one man says to another
“What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .”
― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves