Ma name is Mistress MacKenzie an’ ah’m a DiskJockess – or, if ye prefer, a SheJay. Ah run ma ain wireless radio station frae ma Gairdin Shed Studio here at The Midgie View Guest Hoose oan Blowin-A-Gail Avenue.
Ah broadcast Hame School Lessons fur the childer frae the isolated villages an’ ah dae a special wee feature every week cried Mistress MacKenzie’s Letters – fir the grown ups who canny manage te deal wi thur ain fash.
Ah hae an advice column in The Strathbungle Chronicle, an a’, so yeez cin send me in a wee letter wi yer troubles. Fir the young yins, a letter is an early version o the text message, only wi punctuation’ an’ spellin’.
Here’s ma full address: Mistress MacKenzie, DiscJockess, The Gairden Shed Studio, Glenclootie Fairm, Glenclootie Village, Coonty Strathbungle, Scotland, The Worild.
Nae problem is tae little or tae silly or tae distressin’ or tae dangerous or tae illegal or tae hazardous or tae hopeless fir me te help ye oot wi some well-lived-in advise an’ some cautionary warnin’s.
Whell, tae be perfectly truthful, some people really are quite beyond savin’, as a matter o’ fact, in actuality, within thumselz as the crow flies. But dinna fash ah’ll still help ye tae git the best oot o’ yer Bannock an’ advize yeez as tae the finest ingredients in which tae hide yer husband’s boady. That’s jist ma wee joke. Ah ken most o’ ye hae a’ready discovert whit tae dae in that happenstance.
If ye canny dae writin’, as most o’ the young yinz canny these days, jist pop ower tae the fairm fir a wee cuppa Nettle an’ Buckthorn Broo an’ ah’ll compel yeez tae pull yerselz th’gither an’ tak’ responsibility fir yer ain lives. It’s no’ unusual fir me tae be bashin’ people’s heids th’gither wi’ the griddle, neither. Folk dinna hauf need some sense knocked intae thum. Thurs jist tae much mamby pambyin’ goin’ oan these days.
Glenclootie is no’ the easiest tae find, mind, unless ye ken where it is. Whell, ah could gie yeez directions tae here but, tae be truthful, ah’m quite lost masel’. But then, ah dinnae need directions! Coz, ah’m here a’ready, silly! Still, yincet yeez dae find it, it’s no’ hard tae loss it again. Altho’, if yeez dae manage tae git here, it generally means yer definitely lost. Probably fir ever!
So, yeez may as well jist settle doon, an’ enjoy the smog.
Whell, the best ah can dae is advise yeez tae heid up North an’ keep oan goin until yer mair North than Sooth. An’ hae a right guid look oot fir Bunmahullin – the muckle mountain oan the left haun side some cry “The Lost Munro” – which is, o’ course, the reason it’s no in The Munro Almanac. Nae matter how hard he tried, Sir Hugh Munro wiz niver able tae find it. In actuality, some say he died lukkin’ fir it. Some say, in point o’ fact, if ahm no mistaken, as the crow flies, wi’oot a word o a lie, as sure as ah’m staundin’ here th’day, wi’in masel: the nimble bones foond oan the high-end ridge, by the Eastern side, overlukkin’ the Western front, next tae the discardet ponytail-extension an’ the quarter-filled abandoned boots frae a failed snow-seeker, belang tae Sir Hugh Munro.
But we will niver know. Altho’, ah swear oan every single silvery strand o’ hair oan ma Archie’s belly, that the howls o’ The Beast o’ Glenclootie efter midnicht dinna hauf at times echo the ghostly melodious tones o’ Sir Hugh Munro, as he wiz wi’in himsel’, wrythin’ aboot the heather wi’ me that nicht efter ma dearly beloved sister, Morag MacKenzie, dissipated.
Whell, Bunmahullin reaches right up intae the smog an comes right back doon again intae the bog. – Oan baith sides! The ainly way intae Glenclootie is by climbin’ ower Bunmahullin. Right up yin side an’ right doon the ither side. There’s nae shortcut. Except a’course if yeez hae a notion tae gae under it – which isnae recommendit unless yer soul is cleansed enough at the time frae transgression, an’ yer quite ready within yersel’ tae meet yer Maker, an’ enter intae the body o’ anither beast, tae roam the treacherous hills firever. An’ ever. An’ ever. Aye howlin’.
So, if a’ is still quite whell wi ye, as ye are wi’in yersel, oan this day, an’ ye huveny breathed yer last, jist look doon throo the purple haze an’ when ye see a poppy and fungis coloured Quad next te Ghilli Broon’s Bottle Cap Collection yeez hae foond Glenclootie Fairm.
Ah’ll be waitin’ at the threshold fur yeez wi some freshly knitted rough-string bedsocks, a recently woven nettle blanket an, o’ course, some o’ ma home brewed Barley Stew – fresh aff the Griddle.
A wee wordy tae the wise, dae tae be sure tae be takin’ yer allergen tabs afore yeez leave yer ain hamesteadin’ as mony a body discovers – only when they finally descend here – efter several weeks at the treckin’ – that they hae a right aversion tae ghosts.
It wiznae ma idea! It wiz Archie’s. Ma flyin’ squirrel and secretary. We hid tae git the ghost fir the Americans, ye see! – Tae plump up trade. Bit ah swear oan the bones o’ ma Archie’s last vertibrae, nae matter whit folks say in The Bothy, ah didnae kill her. It wiz jist a happy accident.
Nae matter, it is still advisable tae bring medical insurance – jist incase we hae anither little catastrophance – tearin’ at yer throats in the dead o’ the nicht whilst yer tryin’ tae sleep soundly in yer bunk. Naeb’dy wants that. An’ ah hae washin’ enough tae dae as it is. Whit wi Ferdinand’s ‘little ways’! That bullock really hiz some bullish habbits – an’ that’s the truth. Deary me! Sometimes the only way ah cin get the stains oot o’ his bedsheets is tae burn thum amidst some strong thistle oil-soaked bracken and chant Dougie McLean songs ower the howe fir hauf the nicht an’ maist o’ the mornin’.
Still, ah suppose it’s ma ain fault fir givin’ him a room o’ his ain. Instead o’ lettin’ him sleep in wi me, as he did when he wiz weanin’. Still, ye hae tae let yer childer hae thur ain independence. An’ bulls will be bulls. Nae matter how much hoose trainin’ ye gie thum.
Some o’ me ither skills, tae add tae the collection o’ gratification durin’ yer time here in ma dwellin’ place, is that ah run a wee croft – eggs, creamola fudge an’ crinkley bullrush frisps are ready available in abundance – mainly coz that is a’ that wiz left tae cultivate fae ma inheritance followin’ The Strathbungle Clearances o’ 1823.
Ma ancestors, The Great MacKenzies, didnae leave Scotland fur sunnier shores – as most fowks did – hounded as they were oot thur ancestoral land. No. The MacKenize’s stayed. They foucht The Strathbungle Pseudocientific Racism in whit is noo kent as The Great Strathbungle Sheep Riots – an’ ma ancestors won. Aye, they got tae keep thur land. An’ that is why ah’m still here th’day. Still workin’ this croft. Keepin’ the MacKenzie legacy alive tae pass oan tae the next generation o’ MacKenzies. Senga MacKenzie, ma wee neice and Jockie MacKenzie ma wee nephew. Holdin’ oan tae the bit croft, ah am, that bit croft that ma ancestors foucht sae hard fir.
Aye, ah’m still here, a’right! Keepin’ it a’ goin’! Single-handedly. Workin’ ma fingers tae the bone, so ah um! Te keep the legacy alive. Instead o’ livin’ the high life in America.
Happily, ah cin aye bake ye some o’ ma freshly woven kelp scones; done jist as ah lik’ them – burnt tae a crisp in the kiln then sprinkled wi lavender tae tak’ oot the stench. An’ ah cin aye knit ye a cardigan. NB: A wordy o’ warnin’ placed oan me by the powers that be in The Big Hoose: “MISTRESS MACKENZIE’S CARDIGANS MAY CONTAIN TRACES O’ RADIATION!” Whell, ah canny argue wi that. DoomRay – thon Power Plant – still looms large ower a bonnier veiw. How an’ ever, at least a handfu’ o’ bodies still hae thur jobs here. Sae, a’s well that ends all well. An’ that place certainly has ended a few fowk.
Oan a happier note, if ye loss yer shoes ower Bunmahullin – as likely as not is te be the case – ah cin ayeways cobble ye up a new pair durin’ the nicht quick as a midgie: As lang as the coos continue tae expire frae loneliness, shoes will be made. An’ that is a promise.
As well as a stern warnin’.
If yeez lik’ whit yeez see here, an’ if ye lik whit ye taste here, an’ if ye lik’ whit ye smell here – yeez cin jist tweep me here wi’ a wee message te say whit ye lik’ – or dinnae lik’ or send me yer problems tae @MistressMacKenz on the Tweeper machine, an’ ah’ll gie ye some strong advice an’ then retweep ye, an’ then yeez cin retweep me, an’ then we can aye keep oan tweepin’, an’ retweepin’, an’ tweepin’ until yin day ah die at the tweepin’ machine. An’ that’ll be ma epitaph: “She wis a nice lady, that Mistress MacKenzie, wi a lovely cardigan tae show fir it, an’ lordy could she bake a scone, but sadly she died at the tweepin’ machine – in a right fit o’ self absorption, so she wiz, at the tender age o’ a hundred and eleven – way too young to go, fowk say.”
But, until that day comes; come as surely it will, dae tae be sure tae be askin’ me fur ma advice usin’ the hashtag #AskMistress @MistressMacKenz an’ ye cin aye ask Archie a’ aboot life as a flyin’ squirrel – an’ secretary – usin’ the hashtag #AskArchie
Toodleoo fir noo, dearies. An dae tae be sure tae be tunin’ in tae ma wee wireless radio show this week whur ah’ll be yakkin’ aboot the happenin’s at The Glencloootie Village Halloween Winter Fayer – an’ its opposite – a fresh Spring mornin’ oan a Simmer meadow involvin’ some fine Knotweed an’ Maister Whillie McGloan o’ Shackesfield Fairm – in his plaid.
Noo, dae tae be sure tae be sendin’ me in yer wee letters wi’oot delay to:
The Gairden Shed Studio
The Midgie View Guest Hoose
An’ yee micht even end up oan the wireless. And whit a finer way tae end yer days.
Thankin’ ye, Dearies! And, happy dancin’.