The Highland Coo
Before moving house and while still running I ran passed and through many of the places I did as a young boy. One of my routes took in a part of one of the familiar walks I did with my father. Sunday morning for me was not like many of my friends. They went to church and Sunday School, I went walking with my father. There I learned all about nature, the names of birds and trees and wild flowers. My love of wild mushrooms was nurtured during the autumn and the mushroom time.
On one of those routes I passed a long narrow strip of woodland where my father used to gather dead twig branches to protect his crop of growing peas. At the end of the season those and the pea plants now finished producing a crop were burned and the ash dug back into the ground.
At the end of these wood there used to be three small cottages. I remember one day feeling brave, I took one of my friends out on one of those walks. It was a real adventure to be out alone and a good way from home. We knocked on the door of the first cottage and asked for a glass of water. The lady took us round the back of the cottage and in the back garden served us a glass of lemon drink and gave us a fresh cooked bit of shortbread.
The cottages are no longer there but that day and the lady still lives fresh in my memory. It was one of the best drinks and shortbread I had ever tasted.
There is a similar but better true story I share with you now.
Dr Howard Kelly