Document 210

The Grunstanes

Author(s): Iain W D Forde

Copyright holder(s): Iain W D Forde



The Grunstanes

Ma mither's cryed Sairie. Afoir shae wes mairriet on Hugh Brecham shae wes cryed Sairie Grunstane. Whan, wiouten onie wird, ma faither lowpit the kintra, ma mither bak-chynged ti hir maidin nem. Shae telt'z at hir guidman wes nou a tratour, brigganner an liear an at ma brither an masell suid alter our signators ti Grunstane. Bot A wuidna, an wul aye be kent bi the nem ma faither gied me, Frizell Brecham. Ma brither John follaed ma mither. John isna o ma bluid, ye ken. Born i Efrika, he wes wantin kin, sae ma mither an faither adopit'm whan he wes bot a spruit. John aye gangs Mither's gate tho A dinna wyte'm fur't. He wuid bene a sterved orphant gin mither hedna taen'm unner hir weing. Nou he's a beig, sonsie loun an mair clos ti me nor onie ither buddie i the warl.

Bot A hae vaiged awaw frae ma subjek - Mither. Ye ken, tho, at it's aye mair blythsum ti wryte about thaim at ye ir fain o. Oniegates, ye maun stert sumwhaurs.

Ye'l hae takken tent at faither wes thocht ti be an unco cours deil eftir he plunkit hiz dewties. Nae dout ye mey speir whitwey ye didna hear tel o siccan a skellum. The'r guid raison.

Tho ye peruissit aw the nyowspeypers an leistent ti iwerie braidkest, ye winna jalouse whit familie ye ir readin about. Ye winna ken o Hugh Brecham at vainisht frae the knawlege an sicht o mankynd wi a saicret machine stown frae the gouvernament, an at a whylie syne i a nicht o drumlie haar hiz puir faimilie fun a deid auntieloip i the laft o thair bungalo. The poliss hed ti gralloch it, afoir thai tillie-hewit it apairt an tuik it outby throu the trap i creils. Than the neipours stow aw the gigots an loins an hed a branderin o'm. Na! ye wuidna ken o'd fur it wesna telt o i the meidia, no ein the meisterie o ma faither's 'sauntheid'. Bot A ken nou whitna gemm wes on gaun an ettil ti gie ye an aefauld account o the hale hypothek gin ye'l leisten eydentlie.

Afoir A set tilt tho, A suppone ye'l be wunnerin whitna lassikie is this at wul hing out the faimilie's fyled waashin fur the sicht o aw an sindrie? Weill, ye'r richt. A suidna dae't, bot A canna haud bak, fur ma Faither an masell ir, i ae respek, aw ae ou. We cuid nivver gie owre an inlat ti tel a taill. Whan we wes littlins he wuid gie'z lang lagamachies about hiz youthheid at wes niwer teidisum. A sei nou at thae flaws gied him a heize ti drie hiz weird an at A tak eftir'm. At thon tyme, thae taills gart ma fowks argie-bargie lik gib an tyke, fur ma Mither thocht sic yairns bot sprowsin, tho ti ma Faither thai wis gospel an catecheism rowed intil ane an wes nae mair a lie nor the Guid Buik itsell.

Forby aw thon, A hae a det an dewtie ti ma faither. Juist as the Israelytes yaised the Auld Buiks ti pas on thair lairs an trewths ti fuither generautiouns, Hugh Brecham ettilt ti lat me ken hiz vairsioun o the wull aventurs at brocht about hiz dounfaw. He did it bi endytin a dyet buik an dernin it awaw whaur he kent A wuid fin it. Lik A wrate i the foirgaun, eftir readin't, A sei the warl aw deifferand, altho nocht subtantious hes chynged. Bot ti gie ye the pictur syde an wyde A propone ti draw out aw the faks about ma faimilie at A hivna sae ferr mentionat an ye'l can desyde fur yeirsells gin A hae it strait or agley; quader or skew-wiff.

Ti uz bairns, Mither wes aye a plusquamperfek kinna wumman. Shae niwer stent wi'z. We aye hed a guid screingin wi a pumiss stane or a nail birss gin we hed bruikit hauns an a sair dicht ti the bak a our craigs gin we hedna waashed aricht. We aye semed ti be takkin the gate ti the Kirk an the Sabbath Skuil, or on ivverie-days ti skuil. We wes aye busked and bouned an i guid tyme an rele. Puir John aft hed a tear i'z ei wi the sair kaimin he gat ti ted out hiz lokkerit hair at wuidna shed.

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APA Style:

The Grunstanes. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 25 July 2024, from

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"The Grunstanes." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 25 July 2024.

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The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. 2024. Glasgow: University of Glasgow.


Information about Document 210

The Grunstanes


Text audience

Adults (18+)
Teenagers (13-17)
General public
Informed lay people
Other Anyone interested in Scots, and for own family
Audience size 1000+

Text details

Method of composition Handwritten
Year of composition 1983
Word count 767
General description first chapter of book 1 (3 books in novel)

Text medium


Text publication details

Publisher Iain W.D. Forde
Publication year 1995
Place of publication Edinburgh
Part of larger text
Contained in The Paix Machine
Page numbers 7-11
Part of a longer series of texts
Name of series Trilogy - "Paix Machine" (1996), "Hale ir Sindries" (2001), "The Kirk, the Skuil, the Buik" (2007)

Text setting

Other Scots Language

Text type



Author details

Author id 624
Forenames Iain
Initials W D
Surname Forde
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1930
Educational attainment College
Age left school 17
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Retired Architect
Place of birth Edinburgh
Region of birth Midlothian
Birthplace CSD dialect area midLoth
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Edinburgh
Region of residence Edinburgh
Residence CSD dialect area midLoth
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Publisher
Father's place of birth Edinburgh
Father's region of birth Midlothian
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area midLoth
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Teacher
Mother's place of birth Edinburgh
Mother's region of birth Midlothian
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area midLoth
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes Everywhere
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes Where appropriate