SCOTLAND AND PORRIDGE. 'A recent visitor to Scotland contributes a racy article to the New .Zealand Times on his experiences in the Land o’ Cakes. He whs under .the impression that porridge was still the national dish, hut was sadly 'disillusionised, as the following extracts will prove : Next morning- he rose in good time as he thought,, for breakfast. (He was boarding with, a widow who had lodgers). After he had dressed a knock came to his door, and he was asked if he would have his breakfast in the bedroom or would he jist come ben into the kitchen ?” He decided to go "ben.” What a revelation ! So this was a Glasgow kitchen ! The place was very bright and clean. The shelves and dresser .were shining with -delf and crystal. And the range and fireside—every bit of them polished gleaming steel and burnished brass !
Taking his seat he hesitated to begin. Then the “wumman” said : “Dinna wait on me. I hand a bit bite aifter the men fowk gaed awa’ to their wark.” “Your other boarders are gone, then ?”
‘■‘■Ay. They start at sax, ye ken, an’ ane o’ them, Wullie Broon, the wee ane,. gangs tae Kilbowie, to Singers’s —thirteen miles. Of course he gets the train.”'
Of course. Our friend smiled. He turns his attention to the viands. Porridge ? There was no porridge there. Instead, there were tea and toast and ham and eggs. “Tdis is not the regular thing,” thought our friend- . This also was an exception, and was done out of hospitality to the stranger. How kindly these Scots were ! To see the porridge which was, without doubt, the “rule,” he would have to be up before the other boarders “■ gaed awa’.”
He ’boarded with the “weedy” until the following Saturday, during which time he got to know his Scots fel-low-boarders. One of them, “Wullie” was what the landlady called “a bit thrawn,” and always took the opposite .view from him of any subject. He learned that these men went long distances to their work, and had to be in at six in the morning, and didn’t stop till five-thirty or six in the evening. “Wullie” travelled thirteen miles to his work, and his wages averaged nineteen shillings weekly.. All this, and more, he got to know, but rise as early as he liked, never once did he see porridge on the table.
This last face made him pause. Then he put it down to Scots “pawkinoss” (that was the word !). They didn’t want to show him how cheaply they lived, and, knowing he was to oe there for a few days only, porridge had been mutually declared "off.” On the Saturday he took the train to "Cockleteun,”. a town famed as the place of "the four H’s” — leears, leeks, lings l , and lunatics. It was situated on the Frith o’ Forth, exactly 50 miles- cross-country from Glasgow. He put wp with a Mr TurPy, a brother of a. neighbour of his ifoih+nT p ealan ' d - Mr Turpy was deghted to see him, and to hear news SntO S in rother - The crack went on until the wee short ’oor ayont th*
twaT ” was sounded by the wag-at-the-waV and the host, rising, said: "We’re sittin’ late, but the morn’s Sunday, an’ we can hae a lang lie an’ a Glesca brdkfiist.” Our friend went off to bed pondering over the words, a "Glesca breklist.” And so he fell asleep and dreamed a dream. He saw an enormous bowl of porridge, round which the whole family, thirteen in number, sat, each with a separate spoon, having before them also a cup of milk, into which they dipped their spoons en route from the enormous bowl to their mouths. By and by he awoke. The family were already astir. Someone knocked on the wall and shouted, "Are ye wauken, man?” He arose, dressed himself, and proceeded to the kitchen. The breaks fast table was already set. On it were steaming cups of tea, mountains of warm toast, and ham and eggs ! This, thea, was a "Glesca brekfist.”
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Sketcher., Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 25, 12 October 1907
Sketcher. Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 25, 12 October 1907
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