A Scots Toast: 1998


img_0093I know too many Davids; it can be confusing. On 8 February 2017, my Tea Towel Blog was called ‘David’s Gift’ and was about three tea towels David Allan gave me which had belonged to his aunt.  The letter he wrote to me also referred to the ‘Scots One’; obviously three Australian ones did not involve the ‘Scots One’.  Yesterday, I sorted out my tea towels, counted them and hung them up.  In this process I found the ‘Scots One’.

David’s letter said “I should perhaps explain the Scots One!! A ‘girnal’ is a granary which the wee mouse should not leave with a ‘tear drap in its e’e’ (i.e. hungry). A ‘lum’ is a chimney which keeps ‘blithely’ (happily) ‘reeking’ (smoking).  If nothing else, one can smoke up the chimney!  (Stuff the anti-smoking lobby!!). I also found an old diary of my Granny’s in which she has written ‘Teach a man and you teach that one person, Teach a woman and you teach a whole family’.  I’m thinking there’s a wee bit truth in that one, maybe she told me that long ago.  At any event, both she and my mother were adamant that you speak to women as equals and not as some kind of chattel or inferior mortal.  Nae bad for someone born in 1885.  There’s a lot to be said for collaborating rather than competing”.  I was very fond of David, who had a warm heart, kind words and was totally committed to equality for all.  He was slightly eccentric, always carried three plastic carrier bags around, stuffed full of bits of paper that he had cut from the daily newspaper, always relevant and up to date.  David was also very deaf, had very old hearing aids that whistled; he was very tall, well over 6 foot and his back suffered for it.  As I use his tea towels that he rescued from his aunt’s house, after she died, I will always remember him and his hard work as a Trustee of the organisation that I worked for.

For anyone interested, the Scots Toast has always been a Wedding Toast, never attributed to anyone, often with an odd change of word.  Thank you David.


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