by Nancy Rathbone
Whate'er her faults maun be, though ah umny sae uncharitable or unchristian as tae draw attention tae the mote in ma neebour's ee wi'out haen tae suffer in return fur the beam in ma ain, she is liberal in ootlook as weell as politics an tolerance no being a noted feature o Morningside Ladies, it is worth while notin it as a credit in her character; naw, Madame Madeleine de Parmentier is nae fink, despite her means o earning hur livin, by rentin oot her boady tae men fur money – but that's an unspeakably crude wey o describin the transactions which she engages in, sae I'll say nae mair aboot them; efter a' we aye build oor ain castles in the air – aye even a serious rapporteur lik me hus dreams; oh but a wudny write them doon in the paper fur abdy tae read, guid heavens, ah'd be mortified if sumdy wha kent wha ah wis saw me in the butcher’s or the baker's and sed sumpn like: "oh, Miss Rathbone, that was a very interesting and intimate article in last week's paper, it's always a revelation tae ken whit folk ane kens dreams aboot!" they aye gie awa their roots, stert aff Pan Loaf an end up Scottish Plain! bit nane the less, ah'd hae tae retreat tae ma latebra – which hus naethin tae dae wi ma bosom, it's a wee octagonal summerhoos ah've got in the gairden, it's whaur ah get awa fae the phone an fowk knockin oan the door lookin fur munny! bit the hale thing wis, when thon Chief Constable o Police Scotland, Duncan Doubleday in the flesh, weel, he'd oan a durty raincoat an a flat bunnet like a working man micht wear, made that racket wi Madame's door-knocker on Auld Year's Nicht, or tae be exact, fower minnits intae Ne'erday itsel, weel, a boady hus tae be prepared an am no in the Neebourhood Watch fur nuthin, so ah saw it aw wi ma ain twa eyes and a handy pair o nicht=sicht binoculars ah goat at the new charity shop, an instead o a lump o coal, he gied her a wee knob o coke! it wudnae burn fur hauf an oor, an tae tap it aw, a slice o black bun fae Greggs, still in the shop poke! an the look she gied him wud hae curdled milk, so he turns tail an scarpers, an seein the awfy tired an worn-out look on her face, whit cood ah dae? ah invited her in fur a wee sherry and sum o main ain shortie and black bun, an we hud a rare oul time, laughin aboot the shortcomings o men!
Burds in ma Winter Gairden