Document 333

Myl-gruel at da millenium

Author(s): Christine De Luca

Copyright holder(s): Christine De Luca


From Wast wi da Valkyries:Myl-gruel at da millenium

In Norrawa, we had a dish o rømegrut
ta mark midsimmer: sweet mylk an bleddick
cookit tae a gruel. You supped again
your boyhood: aye myl-gruel in Vidlin

at johnsmas time: a treed spun
owre a thoosand simmer seas, at we,
wan generation, hed riven in favour
o low fat fromage frais.

You telt o johnsmas fires: emmers
o Viking taands at burned
on ness an taing, an still burn ta dis day
in Norrowa, atween fiords.

You minded stories tö o Dutchies
an der johnsmas foy in Lerwick,
da hidmost day afore dey set der sail
ta follow shoals o simmer herrin;

an hearin o da gig at cam at johnsmas
fur da gutters. Bi da saison's end
dey'd hae penga i der peenies, a string
o jet black beads, a laad, a haert-stane.

* * * * *

Neest johnsmas we'll mak fine gruel
wi creme fraîche fae Isigny.
Wi a spön o honey hit 'll mak a feast
fur John da Baptist's day.

Wir peerie foy 'll see nae Dutchies
dirlin doon da street; nae gig
o gaffin lasses, arles lang ta'en
afore da aggle o da creel.

We'll no let johnsmas come an geng
ithoot a bonfire, an wir myl-gruel.
We'll celebrate da langest day, an trivvel
till we fin dat tinnest treed ta tie secure.

myl-gruel: oatmeal porridge made with milk instead of water; da: the; Norrawa: Norway; rømegrut: midsummer porridge-type treat made with sour cream; sweet mylk: fresh milk; bleddick: buttermilk; tae, ta: to; johnsmas: June 24th; treed: thread; owre: over; wan: one; hed: had; riven: torn; telt: told; emmers: embers; taand: a firebrand of peat; at: that; taing: flat promentary; dis: this; atween: between; minded: remembered; tö: too; der: their; johnsmas foy: the celebration which was held by Dutch fishermen in Lerwick before the herring season began; hidmost: final; afore: before; dey: they; cam: came; bi: by; penga: money; i: in; laad: boyfriend; haert-stane: hearth; neest: next; spön: spoon; wir: our; peerie: little; dirlin: vibrating (clogs); gaffin: laughing; arles taen: having made a commitment to a season's work for which a retainer fee was paid; aggle: mess; geng: go; ithoot: without; trivvel: grope; fin: find; dat: that; tinnest: thinnest.

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Myl-gruel at da millenium. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 23 February 2024, from

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Information about Document 333

Myl-gruel at da millenium


Text audience

Adults (18+)
General public
Audience size 100+

Text details

Method of composition Wordprocessed
Year of composition 1995
Word count 391
General description From collection of poems

Text medium


Text publication details

Publisher Shetland Library
Publication year 1997
Place of publication Lerwick
ISBN/ISSN 0-904562-64-6
Edition 1st
Part of a longer series of texts
Name of series 'Wast wi da Valkyries'

Text type



Author details

Author id 120
Forenames Christine
Surname De Luca
Gender Female
Decade of birth 1940
Educational attainment University
Age left school 18
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Head of Assessment, Research and Development
Place of birth Bressay
Region of birth Shetland
Birthplace CSD dialect area Sh
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Edinburgh
Region of residence Edinburgh
Residence CSD dialect area Edb
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Headmaster
Father's place of birth Vidlin
Father's region of birth Shetland
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Sh
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Primary Teacher
Mother's place of birth Cunningsburgh
Mother's region of birth Shetland
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Sh
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes All
Scots No Yes No Yes Work, read Scots literature