Thursday 28 July 2011

08 - 'Basket of eggs 'n' curr'n' soda'

'Basket of eggs' landscape, Co. Down
May 19, 2009

Well, we've talked a wee bit about accents in Ireland - and last time we were talkin' about 'County Down, bye! Actually, I often call it 'county up and Down', because of all the wee hills we have here - a geographical feature called a drumlin, which is a rounded hill formed by the ice melting after the Ice Age and Flood. It's called 'basket of eggs' topography and I think ye can find these in parts of the US and Canada, too?

In between these wee hills y'll either find a bit of a' bog, or a wee lough - great for fishin' 'n' waterskiin' - stuff like that. Anyway, that's the part of Co. Down I come from - beautiful landscape, with somethin' new to be seen over every hill and roun' every corner. And I'm plannin' to move back there in the near future. At the moment I'm in the process of turnin' a wee stone barn into a house, a cottage, really - with a wee river running just across the road from me and hills all around. It's called Listooder and it's a really beautiful place - very green. Yez'll have to come for a visit!

Anyway, spakin' a' drumlins, apparently they have them in Nova Scotia, too, and I got a new album, 'Mackerel Skies', sent to me from a family band from Nova Scotia, called Drumlin. This is Drumlin's version of the song, 'Suila Ruin', made famous by Clannad. - it's called, 'I Dyed My Petticoat Red'.

Most of the County Down phrases I use I heard from my mother, who was rared in the Co. Down countryside. We were brought in the country on what had been part of my grandfather's land. We'd be playin' down in the sheugh, buildin' wee dams 'n' stuff, up to our uxters in 'glar' and makin a bit of a stour! My mother kept a wean a' hens - chickens, y'know - and m' brorr 'n' I'd have to lift the eggs - collect them - and wash them 'n' pack them into an eggcase for the lorry to take for sale in town. The lorry would also bring the groceries and pig male - meal for feedin the pigs.

My mother'd spend all Saturday mornin' bakin'. When we were wee we'd be allowed to help her - cuttin' shapes and aten bits a' fresh dough. She'd use soda 'n' wh'aten male, (that's 'wheaten meal'), 'n' butthermilk - till make soda farls, curn soda, (y'know with currants in it?), wh'aten farls, tr'acle bread, (soda made with treacle in it), potato bread, potato apple and griddle scones - all made on a big iron griddle over a gas stove. There's nothin' like the taste a' freshly-baked curn soda w' a taste a butther spread on it!

It's hard to find some of them things in a supermarket, these days!

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