This picture is a shock - to me at least.

I was at my aunt's funeral today at the Crematorium in Ayr. I was a little early driving down with Cathleen & Caliean, and I diverted to Mossblown to have a peak at where Drumley House school was - a school I attended for two not very happy years in the early 1960s.

I didn't know that it had now been absorbed into another school, and that this was what was left - deriliction and decay.

It was a bit of a shock yet as I look at the picture now I can almost hear the voices of children playing on the lawn opposite the house and see the polished interior and smell the faint whiff of boiled cabbage which seemed to pervade the place.

When I drove away a poem nuged the edge of my mind. I have just found it and in an odd way it expresses something of how I feel looking back over all those years (50 of them this year ) , and seeing the place now.

It is a sonnet by Robert Garioch (whom I have quoted before )


They are lang deid, folk that I used to ken
their firm set lips aa mowdert and agley,
sherp-tempert een rusty amang the cley:
they are baith deid, thae wycelike, bienlie men,

heidmaisters, that had been in pouer for ten
or twenty year afore fate's taiglie wey
brocht me, a young, weill-harnit, blate and fey
new-cleckit dominie, intill their den.

Ane tellt me it was time I learnt to write -
round-haund, he meant - and saw about my hair:
I mind of him, beld-heidit, wi a kyte.

Ane sneerit quarterly - I cuidna square
my savings bank - and sniftert in his spite.
Weill, gin they arena deid, it's time they were.

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