The Crofter and the Laird

The Crofter and the Laird❮Download❯ ➺ The Crofter and the Laird Author John McPhee – Jobs-in-kingston.co.uk When John McPhee returned to the island of his ancestors Colonsay, twenty five miles west of the Scottish mainland a hundred and thirty eight people were living there About eighty of these, crofters a When John McPhee returned to the island and the Epub ß of his ancestors Colonsay, twenty five miles west of the Scottish mainland a hundred and thirty eight people were living there About eighty of these, crofters and farmers, had familial histories of unbroken residence on the island for two or three hundred years the rest, including the English laird who owned Colonsay, were incomers Donald McNeill, the crofter of the title, was working out his existence in this last domain of the feudal system the laird, the fourth Baron Strathcona, lived in Bath, The Crofter PDF/EPUB or appeared on Colonsay mainly in the summer, and accepted with nonchalance the fact that he was the least popular man on the island he owned While comparing crofter and laird, McPhee gives readers a deep and rich portrait of the terrain, the history, the legends, and the people of this fragment of the Hebrides. There was a toast among the clans when they banqueted A clansman would rise, lift a cup, and say, To the land of the bens and the glens And up from the food the faces would move, and every man would roar out, To the land of the bens and the glens Och, a toast to start.Our current President dismisses any evidence which disagrees with his political positions by calling it anecdotal Sniff But I live in a world where stuff trumps theory I learn from stuff, from passed down legends, and t There was a toast among the clans when they banqueted A clansman would rise, lift a cup, and say, To the land of the bens and the glens And up from the food the faces would move, and every man would roar out, To the land of the bens and the glens Och, a toast to start.Our current President dismisses any evidence which disagrees with his political positions by calling it anecdotal Sniff But I live in a world where stuff trumps theory I learn from stuff, from passed down legends, and the stories that we tell Which is why I go to John McPhee to learn about the little island Colonsay in the Hebrides Because it s stories that he tells.McPhee starts not with a toast, but thus The Scottish clan that I belong to or would belong to if it were now anythingthan a sentimental myth was broken a great many generations ago by a party of MacDonalds, who hunted down the last chief of my clan, captured him, refused him mercy, saying that a man who had never shown mercy should not ask for it, tied him to a standing stone, and shot him.Och, again.So off it was, McPhee and his family wife and four daughters to live a year on Colonsay To listen and take notes Two men were drinking side by side last night in the pub I know you think I m a bastard, said one, touching his cap.The other said, We ll let that pass I ve not come here to discuss that They are direct and brief, you see What is said in these places will frequently include a high proportion of factual incorrectness, but truth and fiction often seem to be riding the same sentence in such a way that the one would be lonely without the other.And tied, inexorably to this hard land Almost every rise of ground, every beach, field, cliff, gully cave, and skerry has a name There are a hundred and thirty eight people on Colonsay, and nearly sixteen hundred place names.Along the way, I learned the origin of the expression every dog has its day and also, timely, the New Year s tradition of first footing Dark haired, I will not have to toss a lump of coal through my neighbor s front door before handing him the whiskey.I read this to be entertained I was and to learn about a little island and maybe I did John McPhee wrote this because that s what he does but also, I m sure, to learn whence he came Angus, my grandfather, was a heater in a steel mill He got the ingots white hot and ready for the roller He ate his lunch out of a metal box and never developed much loyalty to the steel company, possibly because his immediate superior was his brother in law Oh, God damn it, Angus, if it weren t for my sister, I d fire you, the brother in law said once, and my grandfather said, John, if it weren t for your sister, I wouldn t have to work Och.Here s to the land of the bens and the glens __________________________________ I hope the upcoming election does not make me have to stop using that verb I needlike this MacPhee s accounts work by dream logic which is the inverse of nonsense A sentence may seem not to lead to its successor, and yet there s no other sentence that could take the next one s place Subject matter changes from geography to myth to history to local finance to weather page by page, and yet the evolution of concepts feels clear even though there s no connective tissue visible There s no overarching argument, no bullet list of takeaways, and yet for all that beca I needlike this MacPhee s accounts work by dream logic which is the inverse of nonsense A sentence may seem not to lead to its successor, and yet there s no other sentence that could take the next one s place Subject matter changes from geography to myth to history to local finance to weather page by page, and yet the evolution of concepts feels clear even though there s no connective tissue visible There s no overarching argument, no bullet list of takeaways, and yet for all that because of all that one leaves with the feeling something consequential has been said A croft is less than a farm, only forty acres The laird is the owner, in this case the owner of the entire island of Colonsay Hear it from one of the islanders, Some crofters don t work their crofts They have a cow, a few sheep That is all My father was always one for working the croft When I took it over, I kept it going It s not right to let the land be neglected I m quite happy here I make out, so long as the shore s handy and such like But if you expect many things in life, crofti A croft is less than a farm, only forty acres The laird is the owner, in this case the owner of the entire island of Colonsay Hear it from one of the islanders, Some crofters don t work their crofts They have a cow, a few sheep That is all My father was always one for working the croft When I took it over, I kept it going It s not right to let the land be neglected I m quite happy here I make out, so long as the shore s handy and such like But if you expect many things in life, crofting isn t the way to get them Crofting cannot keep up with the times Most people expectthan the bare necessities of living now And crofting is not a livelihood It s an existence Surprisingly the temperature doesn t get extemely cold, rarely below 40, but hardly ever above 60 So staying warm and dry is a constant gathering of driftwood, careful measuring out use of coal, and repair of roof leaks Now throw in Scottish churlishness, gossip as a way of life, and knowing everything about all 138 people on an island the size of Minneapolis Fascinating Clan McPhee essentially came to an end on their home of Colonsay Island when the last clan chief was killed by rival clan MacDonald sometime before the fateful Battle of Culloden in 1746 when the assembled Highland clans were defeated by the English and the clans outlawed and permanently scattered Colonsay is one of the Inner Hebrides, a small island of only seventeen square miles and now hardlythan 100 people 25 miles off the west coast of mainland Scotland It is owned by the Laird, L Clan McPhee essentially came to an end on their home of Colonsay Island when the last clan chief was killed by rival clan MacDonald sometime before the fateful Battle of Culloden in 1746 when the assembled Highland clans were defeated by the English and the clans outlawed and permanently scattered Colonsay is one of the Inner Hebrides, a small island of only seventeen square miles and now hardlythan 100 people 25 miles off the west coast of mainland Scotland It is owned by the Laird, Lord Strathcona, an English peer who is the landlord of all the inhabitants in a system that is only beginning to emerge from the essentially feudal.John McPhee moved back to Colonsay for a period of time to experience his ancestral homeland, and in this charming and fascinating account he describes the people living there, their way of life, likes and dislikes, the challenges they are forced to meet in the face of inexorably advancing modernity, and their attitudes toward their history and present conditions And each individual there is unique, different, having a role, personality, and reputation all his or her own.McPhee writes easily and well, and he is perceptive about the society and geography he is examining, conveying his impressions indelibly to the reader s mind and memory In many ways the island reminded me of the Aran Islands off the western coast of Ireland as they have been described by John Millington Synge and Martin McDonough McPhee s ear for dialogue and his ability to conjure metaphors and descriptions make this present work a treat For example He is a handsome man, with a classic nose and a smile that can dry rain before it hits the ground The tide is low and the hill cows have positioned themselves on the wet flat sand, their forms indistinct in the mist, and they slowly move their heads from side to side The hill cows are covered with golden hair that is so long it mats their faces entirely and drips down their sides They are wooly mammoths, gigantic Saint Bernards, slow moving hair farms He writes with insight, sensitivity, and fondness for these hardy people, sympathetic to their situation and history, as honest and frank as they are themselves The book is a delight to read I was going to re read this for our trip to Colonsay in April My impression after reading it was that things probably haven t changed all that much on the island since 1970 The people are still resourceful and hold multiple jobs around the island They are still vastly outnumbered by the ghosts of former inhabitants and by the nearly sixteen hundred place names on Colonsay.It s easy to forget about the present in a place like Colonsay and get immersed in the past fantastically vivid in a I was going to re read this for our trip to Colonsay in April My impression after reading it was that things probably haven t changed all that much on the island since 1970 The people are still resourceful and hold multiple jobs around the island They are still vastly outnumbered by the ghosts of former inhabitants and by the nearly sixteen hundred place names on Colonsay.It s easy to forget about the present in a place like Colonsay and get immersed in the past fantastically vivid in a place with standing stones and ruined dwellings and ancient remains everywhere you look.One of the high points of our visit was being able to buy the definitive history of Colonsay, Lonely Colonsay, from the man who is author publisher bookseller bus driver piermaster and get his autograph, while also getting a tail wagging slobbery greeting from his very friendly dog.We also loved seeing the tiny little bookshop publishing house on the beach where this edition of the book was published They were in the process of moving out of the scenic bookshop into new,accessible premises in town, but it still had the House of Lochar sign up This book is the one I always recommend to folks who ve never read John McPhee Short and lyrical, a lovely introduction to his writing. What is said in these places will frequently include a high proportion of factual incorrectness, but truth and fiction often seem to be riding the same sentence in such a way that the one would be lonely without the other. John McPhee an American writer and descendant of the Clan McPhee visited his ancestral homeland of Colonsay one of the Hebridean islands in the summer of 1969 and this book history, geography, travelogue and tall tales from the pub resulted from his time there It s What is said in these places will frequently include a high proportion of factual incorrectness, but truth and fiction often seem to be riding the same sentence in such a way that the one would be lonely without the other. John McPhee an American writer and descendant of the Clan McPhee visited his ancestral homeland of Colonsay one of the Hebridean islands in the summer of 1969 and this book history, geography, travelogue and tall tales from the pub resulted from his time there It s a detailed exploration of many of the elements which make up the Colonsay life, from sheep to education to lobster fishing McPhee explores everything from Gaelic legends to the contemporary arrangement between the island s owner Donald Howard, the 4th Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal, aka the Laird and his tenants, both islanders and incomers Many individuals living in Colonsay at that time are treated to personal portraits, and these wonderfully individual glimpses of the islanders were one of my favourite aspects of the narrative.A keen interest in Scotland s history and or geography would definitely be a plus, for any potential reader of this book, but even without it and my interest was certainly milder than keen the author truly makes his setting come alive This is one of John McPhee s earlier works The book tells of the time that McPhee took his wife and four daughters to live in a house on Colonsay Island in the Scottish Hebrides John McPhee was descended from early settlers on the island They rent a home from a crofter a renter and McPhee tells his story and later brings in the story of the laird the main landowner who returns each summer to collect rent The book includes his wonderful descriptions of the people and the landscape, and is This is one of John McPhee s earlier works The book tells of the time that McPhee took his wife and four daughters to live in a house on Colonsay Island in the Scottish Hebrides John McPhee was descended from early settlers on the island They rent a home from a crofter a renter and McPhee tells his story and later brings in the story of the laird the main landowner who returns each summer to collect rent The book includes his wonderful descriptions of the people and the landscape, and is augmented by some great pen and ink drawings However, the book includes no map and while he is a wonderful wordsmith, there is no overarching arc to the story he tells of their time on the island, so when the book ends you know that that theme could have started the book just as easily as it ends it I enjoyed how he captured life on this island of about 200 people back in the mid 1960s A slim book that tells the story of the crofter laird relationship in Scotland through one island village, that happens to be where McPhee s family originated He goes there as a writer with a wife and small children and tells the crofter laird dynamic from both perspectives those that work the land and the man that owns the land they work From that end, the book is entertaining and informative, but in McPhee s eyes it is as if there were no women or children on this island, not his own wife a A slim book that tells the story of the crofter laird relationship in Scotland through one island village, that happens to be where McPhee s family originated He goes there as a writer with a wife and small children and tells the crofter laird dynamic from both perspectives those that work the land and the man that owns the land they work From that end, the book is entertaining and informative, but in McPhee s eyes it is as if there were no women or children on this island, not his own wife and children, which I imagine or hope took up a significant part of what this one year on the Hebridean island was like Not even Sir Walter Scott could exaggerate the romantic beauty of that lake and mountain country penetrated by fjords that came in from the seas that were starred with islands. John McPheeI expected something like a coherent description of life on a Hebridean island from beginning to end, perhaps sprinkled with comparisons to life in America and the author s realisation that life on that island was heaven, or something of that sort What I got was a collection of stories about the people on Col Not even Sir Walter Scott could exaggerate the romantic beauty of that lake and mountain country penetrated by fjords that came in from the seas that were starred with islands. John McPheeI expected something like a coherent description of life on a Hebridean island from beginning to end, perhaps sprinkled with comparisons to life in America and the author s realisation that life on that island was heaven, or something of that sort What I got was a collection of stories about the people on Colonsay, each illuminating some part of their way of life, and McPhee s various encounters with them equally illuminating stories that, when so flawlessly woven together, somehow became a whole that I wished were much longer than it is I have never read anything by McPhee before, but after this one I am eager forHis writing is simple and without judgment you never truly get an idea of his opinion of this or that person, this or that event, but are presented with the facts as they are and then you can form your own opinion or just enjoy the read That is quite impressive to me McPhee has got himself a new admirer It is clear, however, that he has fallen in love with the environment found on Colonsay and you probably will, too, if you read this NK

The Crofter and the Laird PDF/EPUB ¾ Crofter and the
  • Paperback
  • 159 pages
  • The Crofter and the Laird
  • John McPhee
  • English
  • 06 August 2018
  • 0374514658