I have been going through the Orkney Dictionary noting down all the knitting and spinning dialect words. A mixture o mercies is a collection of bits and pieces…
Yesterday I had the phone call I have been waiting for. Hamish Polson rang me to say my wheel is almost done: he was checking how many bobbins (pirns in Orkney) I wanted. So I am now booked to go up to Shetland the first week in May. Steve and Nigel are coming too, so we have a car – Nigel loves travelling.
And Steve also sent me an email of the painting Jane Glue has done of Nigel riding Fin. She worked mainly from a photo taken by Nick.
Findlay of Miltonbank is a Highland of impeccable breeding. I had him when he was just broken at 5 and broke him to harness. Nigel had always loved riding, and he also loved driving. He and Fin and I did miles and miles together over several years. Nigel is a speed merchant, and loved it when Fin cantered fast up the track, with the light exercise cart bouncing behind, signing that he wanted Fin to go faster and faster!
When my health got to the point I couldn’t cope with the work, Fin was sold to a friend, and Nigel continued to go over to Dearness every week to ride. The photo was taken one day over there, and is recognisably the area he rode.
Nigel responds to paintings, and when he was left a sum of money by his grandmother, Steve suggested that it was spent on a Jane Glue painting. That was in the autumn. And Jane sent Steve a pic of the finished painting earlier in the week. When Steve took Nigel over to see it (as yet unframed) Nigel grinned widely at it, and when Steve asked Where’s Fin, Nigel pointed. And when he said Where’s Nigel, Nige again pointed at him riding. That, for Nige, is a big response!
Now I am getting ready for folk to arrive for the traditional knitting course staring tomorrow. The weather has turned foul – the Barriers were closed at lunchtime – but the forecast is better.