My Scottish Roots

I suppose since I’m calling my blog “My Scottish Roots and Writing” I really should put something on here about my Scottish roots. Well, here it is.

My father was one of 10 children, born to my grandparents, just outside the village of Kennethmont, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. (My grandfather had another family of 10 children with his first wife.) After my grandmother died, my father and four of his siblings were sent to The Orphan Homes of Scotland near Bridge of Weir near Glasgow.

My father came to Canada in 1930 and settled in eastern Ontario. He died in 1969 a few months short of his 56th birthday.

On my first trip to Scotland in 1993, I visited The Orphan Homes of Scotland – now known as Quarriers Village and no longer used as an orphanage. I also made the trek north and saw the remains of the house where my father was born and the cemeteries where my grandparents and other relatives are buried. I even met living relatives that I’ve kept in touch with regularly ever since!

Since my first trip that year, I’ve been back five more times – the last in 2005 and was just an overnight visit into the south – just far enough to say I touched my feet on Scottish soil.

My most memorable moments about my trips to Scotland have to be that first trip and in 1999 when I met Princess Anne at Quarriers Village.

A Narrow Escape

The warm, sunny weather had finally arrived. After an extremely harsh winter, people flocked to the creek and waterfalls to enjoy the summer-like weather. The preferred route was along the paths that lined the banks. The foolhardy chose the route of the railway line. From the trestle, the mist from the falls would kiss your face when the wind blew in the right direction.

A young couple walked the rails holding hands. The trestle’s heavy beams were close enough together that they would be able to traverse it without falling through but the rushing water below could be seen through the gaps. Halfway across, they stopped and moved to the railing. While they enjoyed the mist, the trestle began to rumble.

The tracks curved on either side of the creek so until the train was visible, there was no way of knowing which direction it was coming from! Regardless, they had about a hundred meters to escape the train. Once the direction was known, was there enough time to get off the trestle and away from the tracks?

The train’s whistle blared. The sound echoed making it impossible to determine where the train was. It wasn’t until the couple caught a glimpse of the headlight that they knew which way to run – and run they did! Faster than they ever thought they could. At the end of the trestle, they jumped and rolled down the embankment just as the train thundered past above them.

Summery weather…

Where did spring go? We seem to have jumped straight from winter to summer. I’m not complaining. I’m rather enjoying this warm sunny weather.

I should be writing but am having a hard time getting my mind to settle on the task at hand. How can I be expected to sit in doors in front of the computer when I could be sitting outside catching some rays!

I do have a network connection so I can take my laptop outdoors but, I can’t see the screen! So should I decide to write whilst outside, it will have to be the ‘olde-fashioned’ mode of writing – pen/pencil and paper.

Now… A Narrow Escape… the prompt for this month.  Maybe I can come up with something for it when I go back outside.

My Scottish roots and writing by Melanie Robertson-King