She hand-washed the bedding and all the clothes for eight,
mangled out the water, dried them in the wind and cursed the rain,
bought pegs from gypsies and a sprig of heather.
In a wicker basket bigger than a cradle,
she bore the laundry into the house,
ironed with an iron heated on the range,
put socks aside for darning on a wooden mushroom.

She cooked, cleaned, did the shopping,
acted in the village play,
venial confession once a month,
Mass and Benediction on a Sunday.
Smoked Goldflake, read The Woman’s Journal,
cared for an aunt, the dog, the cats, the chickens,
and for me, sleeping in fresh, smooth sheets.

When she died, at eighty-three, her tiny body
was returned as ash to lie again with her husband.

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111
DOROTHY'S SCOTTISH JOURNEY
'Scotland is the country above all others that I have seen in which a man of imagination may carve out his own pleasures'

In episode 2 of Dorothy Wordsworth's tour of Scotland, the party moves on to Thornhill, Wanlockhead and Leadhills, where Dorothy is astonished to find a library containing a book which cost £30 – the average annual wage of a local miner. Click here for Dorothy's Scottish journey

It's easier than ever to access talkScot, SR's quality radio. You can find all our podcasts on the SR site simply by clicking here. Why not have a browse?

1
RIDDLE OF THE CLUTHA
Kenneth Roy

FOCUS: A new theory which could explain the baffling silence from the crew before their helicopter plunged into a crowded bar

THE SECRET MILLIONAIRE
Walter Humes

DIARY:
The mysterious Scottish sponsor of the new scheme to bankroll independent candidates

SILENCE OF THE SHEEP
Jean Barr

EDUCATION: Why has civic Scotland nothing to say about educational disadvantage and so much else?

NOBODY KNOWS ANYTHING
Alan McIntyre

THE TRUMP PHENOMENON 1: How has the party of Lincoln become the party of Trump?

A WORLD GONE WRONG
Gerry Hassan

THE TRUMP PHENOMENON 2: His popularity is a portent of much worse to come

FINDING HIS VOICE
Tom Morton

RADIO: Nick Robinson now sounds like a man who can speak his mind without fear or uncertainty

FAMILY TIES
Craig Brown

SPORT: The death of Walter McGowan was a poignant reminder of parental inspiration in Scottish sport

Also in this edition

THE MIDGIE

and Bob Smith

THE CAFE
The end of debate?

LAW
Jonathan Brown


EUROPE
Alasdair McKillop

11
Mother's Days
Click here for Gerard Rochford's March poem

22
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