Berkeleyscot’s Weblog

Life as a Scot in California

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My articles

  1. “Monday.” Concerning washing and washing lines.
  2. “Scottish Hospitality.” How to entertain.
  3. “Speak Bonnie Noo.” How to speak.

5 Responses to “My articles”

  1. Fiona Merrick said

    Dear Margaret,

    I originally grew up in Buckie, and I remember my school reports (in the 70s) saying that my spoken English was ‘fluent’. I am living inEngland with an English husband who understands, if he doesn’t speak, Doric. Likewise my two children. We did live outside Glasgow for a while, so when we moved here my daughter had a strong Glasgow accent (think Billy Connolly!), but now she can’t even do a decent ‘Aye, there’s been a murrrder’!

    I still spik buckie fin ah’m in a timper like. It dis still come natural tae ma. It’s hard tae write it doon! I remember being at College and we had mock interview situations and one girl from Buckie said ‘hiv wi git tae spik proper, cus ah ken ah’ll fall down throw (pronouced like bough) it’, and we all knew what she meant – than she would slip up at some point like your auntie did!

    Nice to see a Buckie speaker online – I didn’t realise that Doric was a language like Gaelic until about 10 years ago, and now I tell whoever will listen! I never realised when I grew up that when I was learning to speak ‘properly’ that in a way the teacher was doing anything bad, but then hindsight is wonderful!

    I don’t remember the railway station as it was only a cutting with the old station building when I first went down there (early 70s). My older brother who is 50 remembers the trains.

    Good luck with your story writing.

    Fiona Merrick

  2. Thank you for your comment, Fiona.
    How interesting that you also grew up in Buckie, and like me, have an English husband who understands the Doric. But after being married for 35 years, my husband also speaks it fluently!
    I started writing in the Doric when I first came to California 30 years ago and sent my stories back to Scotland to be published.
    It’s always bothered me that, when I was growing up, the Doric was discouraged, but
    I’m very happy to learn that the Doric is being introduced to schools. Fa wid hae thocht that the Doric would be a ‘second language!’ Although, it was definitely my first!
    But, at Buckie High, I also learned French, German and Latin, all spoken with a Doric accent!
    Now my interest in the Doric is leading me to explore the variations of the Doric. I am aware of all the regional and cultural subtle differences. I know that I speak ‘Fisher’ Doric, but there’s also ‘Ferming’ Doric and each town/region has it’s own version of the Doric.
    Regarding the station in Buckie, the rail link to Aberdeen and Inverness was axed by Beeching in 1967. It was a huge blow to the area and certainly helped to put Buckie at the ‘back o’ beyond.’
    Maybe I’ll blog about the trainie tae Aiberdeen.
    Ye’ve certainly ge’en me lots o ideas!
    Keep in touch,

  3. Caroline Mackie said

    Hello there.
    You’ve had me in kinks reading your stuff posted here. Good writing! I laughed aloud at your article on Scottish hospitality 🙂
    I’m not even sure how I came across your blog… maybe a link via the Doric pages on FB? No idea any more, but I kept the link for further investigation and I’m now glad I did.
    I’m from Edinburgh, but have lived in the Netherlands for 30 years past now… I’m 55, so not a lot younger than you, and not quite so far from ‘home’. We get over quite regularly as my daughter, while being brought up here, went over to Glasgow as an au pair (of all things) for six months… 12 years ago! Her sister still lives in Amsterdam though 🙂
    I don’t speak Doric, but do understand (most of) it. This is due to my father who wrote a lot of wee poems, maybe in the Doric. None of us are actually sure why to be honest! And I’m not totally convinced it WAS Doric really, as much as just sort of Scottish – he was perhaps aspiring to Burns and his way of writing. I’ve been building a website of his scribbles, a work in progress. You can check it out here if you like:

    Still got a whole lot of his published stuff to add yet, the UNpublished links do work though.
    Anyway, just wanted to let you know I enjoyed reading your articles. I’m on Facebook if you want to connect… as you mention in your blog, it is easier to connect via that than in a blog.
    All the best.
    Caroline Mackie
    Almere, NL

  4. Eric Idle said

    Aye aye quines ,I’ve been a a lang time oota BCK,but still fair enjoy goin back for a visit,my dad stil bide’s in the Sloch. Fin the wither’s fine,ir’s nae place like it.I hiv bin workin abroad since 90’s bit still hiv a strong accent….god knows hoo I manged ti mak the locals in various ile provinces unnerstan me?

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