I canna hink A wis muckle mair nor fower or five year auld the verra first time A clappit ma een on a deider. Noo ye maun hink yon’s a gey queer-like wey tae open a bookie siccan this een, an hink tae yersel, by, whit’s this lad hinkin aboot? But A says to youse, that gin a bookie’s tae be an honest bookie, an no jist a pile o havers, then we maun set aff on the recht fit, an be honest wi wirsels fae the aff. An sae it is; fan A hink on ma childheid, death aye seems affy close. But this parteecular deider, A’ll hae tae explain mair aboot.
If you like this writing in genuine Scots from Angus, you’ll just love Poaching the River, available in paperback and as an e-book!
A hilarious romantic comedy, by Rod Fleming, set in a tiny village in Scotland. Follow the adventures of the protagonists as the they fuddle their way through to a climactic finale.
Spring is coming to the village of Auchpinkie on the east coast of Scotland. With it, women’s minds turn to romance and men’s to something else — poaching. But it turns out these are actually very closely related. A charming romantic comedy set in a world full of larger-than life characters.
I took most of these pictures at Ethie Woods near Arbroath in Angus Scotland in 2001. Some were taken in our home in Arbroath. The camera was a Russian ‘Horizont’. this was a panoramic camera that used a swinging 28mm lens on 35mm film. The images were interesting but not really sharp. This was partly because the 28mm lens was not that sharp anyway, but also because the film had to be held in a curve so that it registered with the focal plane of the rotating lens. This was somewhat beyond the Russian technology of the day and since the lens could not be stopped down to reduce the consequences of this, the images suffered.
I sold the camera after a short while, but looking back, the somewhat soft-focus effect was really attractive in its own right.
An action-packed tale of love and life, humour and romance, played out by an unforgettable cast of characters with genuine Scots voices, Poaching the River will make you laugh and cry out loud.
It’s a quiet afternoon in Auchpinkie, a tiny fishing village on the east coast of Scotland, and in her Corner Shop, Mae and her cronies are setting the world to rights.
Suddenly a furniture van draws up outside one of the houses along the street. A beautiful young woman is moving into Etta Swankie’s old house. But no-it can’t be-that’s Rae, Etta’s daughter, and Etta always swore she’d disinherit her!
Over the next few days the action races to its riotous climax, as Big Sye, Rae’s cousin, poaches the River Pinkie in a daring adventure, the village public convenience is destroyed by a freak explosion, and the parish minister is baffled by the sudden religious conversion of two formerly heathenish young lads.
Behind it all a spider’s web of intrigue is woven, as the villagers conspire to get Big Sye and Rae together. But there are things going on that none of them ken, and secrets that only Rae’s old friend Izzie knows…
Print ISBN: 978-0-9554535-0-2
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Arbroath January 1972 . I was living in the house at 9 East Grimsby. My Dad had died the previous year and I was still struggling with it. But I had a few things going for me: music, a camera and my books. It wasn’t a lot but it helped.
Russ Black, the art teacher at school encouraged me to use its darkroom. I had lost my own a couple of years before when we moved house. This is one of the earliest rolls I still have from then.
The camera was a Leica Model III fitted with a Ross Xtralux 50mm f2, an excellent lens. I used the name ‘Xtralux’ for a band some years later, in Exeter. Film was Ilford FP3.
This was a crazy trip in which the weather did all but defeat us. But we still had fun.
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Maryhill, the poor part of Glasgow’s West End, in 1974, was a different world. Looking back on these pictures, 45 years later, I am still moved. When I came to the Philippines first, a kind but unaware French friend told me that I would see poverty such as I had never seen before. I had not the heart to tell him; I had seen worse.
Yet on the other hand I have so many memories of Maryhill and most of them are good. I was never robbed, beaten up or threatened there. Nobody ever asked if I was a Catholic or a Protestant — a question I would get used to later. People were poor, yes, many had no shoes; but they had community and mutual respect. I see that today in the Philippines. We lost a great deal when we lost that.
A fell cauld wind wis sauchin ower the muir as the bonny wumman gart her wey tae tryst her jo. For the necht wis Februar the fowerteen, an aabody kens at’s the necht for luve.
She wis winsome eneuch, tho the first blush o youth, it maun be said, was left ahent her a lang while syne. A body mecht hae speirit at himsel how comes a lass o sic natral attractions hidnae been wad this mony a lang year.
At last she reached the spot ablow an auld aik whaur she an her jo hiv met this necht mony mair years nor either of them wad care tae hink on. Her jo wis aaready there, a puckle fashit, ye mecht hink, wi the wye he wis stridin up an doon, his een flashin faniver he luikit up.
“Ah, here you are, at last,” he intoned, as the lass presented hersel.
Featured Image: Restenneth Priory, Forfar, Angus, Scotland. Pic by Rod Fleming
Once you have the grip of the instrument under the chin sorted out, the next thing to address is the right hand’s grip on the bow. This can cause a great deal of trouble though in my opinion is not as tricky as the left hand. Again, the secret is to avoid tension; the hand must be relaxed. To do this, all four fingers and the thumb must be in contact with the stick, and all must be curved. This is hugely important. The most common grip errors are for the little or pinkie finger to lock and become straight and rigid. Do not allow this to happen. Another is for the pinkie to lift off the stick, which is also wrong. More subtle and harder to see but just as damaging is for the thumb to become stiff.