St Kilda Diaries: The Diary of Alice Maclachlan (1906 - 1909)


August 1906, St Kilda

August 16th 1906 All was so hurried after leaving Inverness that there was simply no time for my diary. We went to Garve on Friday and stayed with Billy. Went & said our last Good byes for a bit. We were also at lunch with the Stirlings at Hazelbrae. It was a fearfully wet day. After it we went up and saw the McLeans. Church on Sunday twice (Mr. McWillan preacher), and then we left by the 7 train at night for Tobermory. We were in Tobermory for 6 weeks, during which time I went south to Haddington for over a week...

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Was also at Prestonpans, Dunbar, Edinburgh (twice) & then back to Tobermory. John from London was at home part of the time. We left for St. Kilda on Tuesday (August 14th) by the S.S. “Hebrides”, and arrived here at 1 o’clock midnight Wednesday night, but did not land until Thursday morning. The Inspector, Mr. Beaton, came with us and inspected the school at 7 o’cl. in the morning, and by 9 o’clock the Hebrides was off and we were left on our island home. The men & quite a lot of the girls were on the Pier and all escorted us up to the gate of the Manse where Kate was waiting. We went in and had some breakfast, at least tea, and went in to see the Inspection of School. The children are very far back but answered fairly intelligently the questions about the poetry they had been learning during the year viz. “Waterloo”, and “Lochiel’s Warning”. Kate our Servant is very nice & very kind. I do not know what we should do without her. One or two days we have been seeing the people; but did not see them all, as the men were so busy away at the fulmar hunting while many of the women had also gone to carry home the birds. We went first to see Rachel McRimmon (residing at Grazings 19) who is the only one who still lives in the same old house and would not have a new house. The hens just live in the same room. P. found her most intelligent and spoke very good Gaelic. There are several other old folks, one Bess (residing at No. 16) who is older than Rachel and is pretty helpless, having burned herself once very badly. One other is very bad with nerves. The others are all in good health. All are recovering from vaccination, having been vaccinated by two Doctors who have been on the Island for a fortnight, but who left by the boat with which we came.

On Tuesday (Aug. 21st) the men being still at fulmar-catching, we went to the top of the highest hill Conacher, Kate with us, to see the men at the fulmar catching. The women and girls were there on the top and overtook us as we came home, with their loads of birds. I rolled a bag of fulmars a long way down Conacher with the help of my walking stick. Then on Wednesday we went and saw the rest of the folks those who were not away at the fulmars.

Thursday 23 It was wet & windy so we stayed in & I sewed my curtains & Friday did ditto. We have been very busy unpacking all our boxes & getting things into order. We have people coming to see us every day and all who come bring us a pair of fulmars plucked and ready for the pot.

Saturday, Aug. 25 This is a lovely fresh day. The Big Whaler came into the Bay last night as we were going to bed & to-day they are unloading coal which they have brought for the people here. We have had no boats in the bay for three days & it looked very deserted. We must get used to it however as we shall have many days without any boats in the bay. Duine has been busy all day being Saturday while I have been doing odd jobs. The St. Kildians have been busy taking in coals all the morning. The Captain of the big Whaler has very kindly given them five tons in a present & they gave him a suit of clothes. In the afternoon the men took home the coals & after tea they went fishing and we got several presents of fish (caravanach). This has been a glorious day. The dûn & the surrounding hills looked lovely in the sunset tonight. Got curtains up in the dining-room (The white ones).

Sund. Aug. 26th Went to both services and Sunday School. Children fearfully stiff and shy. Good congregations, and singing slightly better than on previous Sunday. Duine asked one man to pray and he wanted a tremendous amount of pressing - he refused three or four times but he was pressed all round by his wife & several others and at last he did pray. It seems he only wanted to be persuaded. It was too funny.

Monday Aug 27th Busy all morning. In the afternoon duine & I went to visit & went to see nearly all the folks. Precentor’s wife very poorly. Also the Queen’s son, but neither serious I don’t think. Told the precentor to give his wife plenty of hot drinks to sweat the cold out of her bones. In the evening we had intended going to fish but it was too wet. So we stayed in & wrote letters. Lots of boats in today. One boat brought in an enormous blue whale worth hundreds of pounds. It was longer than the whaler. The big Steamer came in from Harris & took the whale away & in the morning another whale was tied to the buoy

Tuesday Aug. 28th Wet day again. Mrs. Wm. McDonald better a little but the boy Gillies is not any better. We were in all day until evening when we went out to the pier to meet a little boat which came out from the whalers. The two captains were there and a gentleman & his son who are at present trout fishing at Lochmaddy & are going whale hunting tomorrow. We sent out milk to both boats & the Captain of the Brymwolf took us out in his little boat to see the whales. One of them was 65 feet long, then we were taken on to the whaler & saw all through, & were down in the Cabin. The Capt. showed us his wife & childrens photo & also gave us a loaf of their newly baked bread. We were seeing the supper which was being cooked & which looked very tempting. We saw how the harpoon works & I shot one shot to see how it went. Then the Capt. took us home. He gave me prunes & was very kind. It was jolly seeing the strangers. When we came in Annie Gillies and Mrs. Norman McQuien were in having a Ceilidh. Duines stomach bothering him a little. Wednesday Aug. 29th Another dull and wet day. Several whalers in one with two whales and another with one. This was the first Prayer Meeting here. I had a bad headache & had to go to bed. The folks here greatly excited over the “Hebrides”, which pays her last call for the season.

Thurs. Aug. 30th We were aroused at midnight by the welcome whistle of the “Hebrides”. I was so excited I could hardly sleep for the remainder of the night. The first syrens sounded to the St. Kildians at 5.15 a.m. & we jumped out of bed. The Mails had been brought ashore at mid-night, & our letters, papers & parcels were on the parlor table. What an array! Upwards of 40 letters. Papers & Magazines & Picture Post Cards galore. Every one of our friends wrote. We went out just as the first boat-load of passengers came ashore. There were some nice people among them & we had a nice time. I took some of them into the church and they sang “Oh! for a closer walk with God” to tune St. Kilda. It sounded so pretty. I am so glad the church was cleaned out on Tuesday by the girls. Duine went out to the boat with the men & bought a quantity of bread (4/ worth). Flora sent us potatoes (as ordered). The Hebrides left about 10 o’clock & we waved gaily to her as she went out of sight. We didn’t feel a bit lonely. We shall feel worse, when the whalers stop. Later on in the day several of the younger St. K’s left with the “Johanna” for Scalpay, the “Happy Hunting Ground”. They won’t return till next week.

Friday Aug. 31st Another wet day. Nothing much doing. All the whalers in together. Three large whales. The boat with the gentlemen (who were ashore on Tuesday is there) and they have a whale. Great excitement prevails. Three young fellows are going off, by the whalers to Glasgow. They will go as far as Tarbert by the whaler & then to Glasgow next week by the “Johanna”. The whole crowd of youths were in in the afternoon and wanted the loan of a bag from duine which they got with great pleasure for the Glasgow trip. We gave them an order to bring back from Cooper’s with them for us. We all went down to the Pier at 8 o’clock to see them off. They went off in great glee! - Norman McQuien - Niel Gillies and Ewan Gillies. There was lamenting at the pier, and embracing and kissing any amount

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September 1906, St Kilda

Saturday Sept 1st A change in the weather. Simply a glorious day. Did a little cooking in the morning, but spent the whole afternoon out of doors in the sun which was blazing hot. It was delightful on the Pier. The waves were pretty big. 

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The Whaler went out about 4-15 and returned about 6 o’clock with a small whale. Niel McKinnon brought us two lovely red mullet. Finlay McQuien sent us another. I sent mild to three families they do appreciate it so much. What an exquisite night. Duine called me to the door & we went out as far as the Pier. I have never in my life seen such a picture as the bay presented tonight. There was a full (or nearly so) moon. At the left hand Oshavale stood guarding the bay - on the other side rose the towering rugged heights of the Dûn, Between in a clear cloudless sky shone the moon. It made a broad clear path on the rippling water, and the night was so bright altogether we could have stayed out for hours. The other hills rising so high behind the houses were so clearly outlined in the bright moonlight. It was altogether most beautiful. I never wished so much to be able to paint from nature as tonight. Bed 10.30.

Sunday Sept 2nd Loveliest day this summer - so warm & bright. No boats in this morning but when we came out of church tonight the old man’s boat was in with two whales. We had rather fewer to day in church as we missed those who are away at Scalpay and Glasgow. Donald Ferguson prayed after some pressing. Neil McKinnon came in after church to ceilidh. He is a very nice man indeed. Read quite a lot to day. Duine keeping better.

Monday Sept 3rd Another glorious day. We were to have started school to-day but it is the monthly morning service so we do not have school that day. We went in to Service at 12 o’clock & were in about an hour and a half when Donald Ferguson rose up in the Meeting and said “Will be finishing now”!!! It seemed too funny. He came up after & told Duine that there was a yacht in the Bay and so there was. What excitement! A little boy had come to the door during the prayer and brought the news. It was a lovely large steam Yacht - the “Vandura” owned by Mr. Mann Thompson. His sister Mrs Heneage, of Underwood, Kilmarnock was there, also Mrs Robinson of Dunvegan Castle, another lady whose name we don’t know, & two more gentlemen. The men went out in a boat to the Yacht, & were out a good while. They brought in word that the Yachts folk were coming to see us, which they did. They were so nice & we took them up to the village cemetery to see the Fairy’s House etc. etc. They were so kind to the people & bought up nearly every available bit of cloth in the place, also socks & stockings. We were taken aboard to tea in the “Vandura” & had an awfully good time. We got papers, flowers etc. & Mr

Tuesday Sept. 4th Opened school at 10 o’clock this morning with 20- Two pupils being absent. I went in during the morning but was only in for a little when we heard the siren of a yacht so there was confusion. We made them sit still for a little and then dismissed them as is usual in such events. We all rushed down to the pier and there was a lovely steam yacht in the bay. The men put out a boat, when to our great disgust, the yacht turned & went steaming at full speed out of the bay. It was an awful shame, & the poor people here were so disappointed. However as it was first day of school & we had done what we wished & that was to see what the children could do, we did not ask them to come again in the afternoon. After dinner we took Kate and went off to the Female Warrior’s Glen & the Lover’s Stone. It was an awful climb, but we enjoyed it when we got to the top. The view was superb. We saw the Dûn from the other side & the sea was lashing the rocks at a great rate. Got home feeling very tired, but refreshed by tea. Duine & Kate went out to try the new scythe. Duine agreeably surprised. Kate is a grand hand at the scythe. I went out to applaud. Spent evening getting seams ready for children’s sewing tomorrow. I am giving them specimens to see what they really can do and for practice. Bed 10.30.

Wed. Sept 5 This has been a very wild night. High winds and heavy rain. We have been looking forward every day for the return of those who went to Harris in the first lot but there is no word of them. It cleared up splendidly during the day & Duine & Kate cut some of the hay in the farthest away place. Had a nice cosy night at the fireside.

Thursday Sept 6th Will will be going home for his holidays to-day. I can picture them all having a good time but don’t envy them at all. Was in school all the afternoon helping with the little ones. After school we all went into the field where Kate had been very busy. Duine & she cut alternately and I raked. It looked like rain so Kate carried what was driest into the “Clet”. This is a most ingenious method of drying the grass. These “Clets” are long loosely built stone houses with earthen roofs. The grass is kept in there & pushed in between the stones in huge quantities. The rain can’t get near it & the winds whistle through the stones and quite dry it although it might be quite damp when put in. The boys went fishing for red mullet & brought us some. Findlay also brought a huge one. No word of Botoch na Boirroneach yet.

Sunday Sept. 9th When we woke up there was a new red boat there, & sure enough this was the “Evening Star”. Soon after breakfast we saw a boat load coming in, & went out. Capts. Morris & Ritchie were there. Then the crew of the “Star” came in and all came to church. The Captains also young Ritchie and Philipps (Aggie Samuels) husband) came in & had dinner and tea & then we all went to Church again. I forgot to say we had an English Service in the morning, & at night it was partly English & partly Gaelic. The Norwegians were also there. It was an awfully nice day. The Evening Star left very early Monday morning.

Mond. Sep. 10th A splendid day for the hay. I had breakfast in bed as I had not slept well. I did all the housework as Kate was out all day at the hay. Then in to school in Aft. & took the children - the youngest & girls to sewing. Two boats came in with whales. Kate & Duine still at hay after school and Norman McK. and Finlay Gillies came & helped. Then they came in & had supper in the kitchen.

Tues. 11thA fearfully stormy night. No outdoor work today. It cleared up somewhat during the afternoon & Kate & Duine did a little. We went & visited the Sick folks. We got over nine of the houses & must finish the others soon.

Wed. 12th Sept.Not feeling very well to day. A good day. Kate on for nothing but hay & in a bad mood. Duine & she not agreeing over it & neither at all well pleased. I had to speak straight to Kate as she was not at all respectful to Duine. A whaler came in from Harris & brought me two boxes bulds (one from Mrs. Heneage) also a paper from her. There was also a letter from Mother & one from Flora. Prayer Meeting night. K. better. I made Cocoanut Tablet after Meeting successful. One of the stormiest possible nights. No rain to speak of only terrible wind. I really thought the house was to be blown down. The boats evidently expected this as they shifted from her to the other bay.

Thurs.* 13th Sept. K. said this morning that we could not have a worse storm in winter than we had last night, so it’s a consolation that it can’t be worse! (Put in Hyacinth bulbs from Mrs Heneage) Kate busy hay making. Donald Og & Norman McQueen went over Oshaval for one of Kate’s sheep. They brought it during the morning. It was quite exciting, the killing & skinning which was done at the back door. It is a nice sheep & it is so nice to have a plentiful supply of mutton. The Whalers have come to this Bay again. Gave Scholars first Singing lesson today.

Friday Sept. 14th All whalers away to day. The people are afraid that they are away for the season. We are so sorry that we won’t see them till next May. Lovely day. Had a nice dinner of Mutton, broth & our own potatoes. Was in school taking Duines place all afternoon. The men came & helped with the hay tonight. Kate spinning. I did some carding.

Saturday Sept 15th A very wet day for which I was devoutly thankful as it kept Kate in (from the hay) & at her housework & Duine got a rest from the hay too which was good, & as he was busy with his Sundays work. Donald Og came & cut up & salted the sheep. Later on in day the “Diadem” Fleetwood, came in. We might have got letter had we known but we never heard of the boat before. It seems she comes pretty regularly during the Winter. So we must let our friends know. There won’t be any letters for us just now though. Diadem left.

Sun. Sept. 16th A very good day. The hay will dry. Good services. Finlay McQueen had to go out of church with a pain in his side. So many woman flocked out after him I was quite alarmed. The women came back again though. Lovely night. No boats.

Monday Sept. 17th Miserably wet day. Was in school in afternoon. Had a scene with John Gillies as to who was to be Master or Mistress rather. Kept him in & talked plainly to him. He stayed in for an hour & finally said he was sorry. Went to see all the folks after that. Got quite a lot of red mullet tonight. Had it salted. Harris.

Tues. Sept. 18th Better day. Duine & Kate did a little at the hay. Had Sheep’s Head Broth (for the first time in my life for dinner). A. Gillies came to ask me to help her with a blouse. Was in School this aft. Gave singing lesson. Children behaving better. Stayed in with the failures. Got more fish.

Wednes. Sept. 19th Not doing much. The men went to Borrera and Stack an armine to day. They were not home in time for the Prayer Meeting. We went out between 8 & 9 to see them on their arrival. They had caught 3 sheep and a lot of gannets, young ones. These birds are huge, even the young ones. They only caught two mullet which they presented to me. Washed my hair & had a big row with duine and didn’t speak all night to him!!

Thurs. Sept 20th A very fine day like yesterday, but no drying. A. Gillies came & had a morning at her blouse. School as usual in afternoon. Then we went out for a walk about the glebe as the evening was not fit for hay. Two men came home from the fishing & it seems they had lost a rod so had to take a boat & go to get it. We went too & took the rod. I caught a cuddie right away & when we got to the fishing ground I caught a fine big red mullet myself & coming home two tiny cuddies! Two boats went out to-day, one to Borera & one to Soay. We went out to see the sheep but it was so dark we could not see properly - so must wait till to-morrow

Friday Sept. 21st A very good day. Duine & Kate on for the hay all their might. The “Evening Star” had come in, in the night & brought all our good & some letters. They are coming in again tomorrow (Sat). Men busy all day killing & salting sheep. I helped with hay in the morning and went into school as usual in aft. After tea went down to see the sheep which the men had brought from Borera to day. Got piece of mutton from Callum & a piece from Finlay McQuien. Went up to see John Gillies & his wife who have had bad news from Glasgow about their little boy Neil who is in Hospital there. The Doctors are afraid they cannot operate on his leg as he can’t stand it. He is in decline. It is very sad. I am so sorry for them.

Sat. 22nd Doing little things about the house. Got six pieces of Soay mutton sent in. Busy in the evening making puddings as the “Evening Star” is expected in to night. Neil Gillies and John McDonald came in. We got several mullet. Bed 10-30. “Evening Star” first came in as we were going but men didn’t go out to her.

Sund. 23rd Sept. One of the loveliest days of the Year. Capt. Ritchie only came ashore in the morning & had dinner. He sent us in two nice ling (fresh). The other two came in the evening to service, & all came in after and sang a little. Gave them a drink of warm milk. Capt. R. took my shoes to be soled also a good big order. Don’t know when they will be back.

Mond. Sept. 24th A splendid day for the hay. Duine & Kate at it before breakfast. D. went to sch in morning. I did housework & took Sch in afternoon. The people all at their corn & finished the cutting. We got a lot more cut. Duine busy salting fish and remainder of meat. Left some fresh fish for breakfast which cat ate in the night.

Tues. Sept. 25th Ructions this morning with Kate over that abominable cat which she adores. The said cat had a very fine night of it. It had been locked in the dairy all night, & had eaten all fresh fish left for P’s breakfast! K. is not bad tempered long though & we were the greatest of friends soon. Wettish day in the morning. Five of the boys came to scythe for us. Very busy getting dinner for them. It cleared up a lovely day & the boys didn’t stay after dinner. K. & D. busy all day. Finished glove & started second.

Wed. Sept. 26thGlorious day. Loveliest this year. So many children came wanting away for day that we gave all a holiday. The two are rejoicing in the grand day. Took lunch out to field & had it there. It was lovely. Busy in the house. I am sure D. will be “sgith” as it is Prayer Meeting Night. So glad to have holiday. Helped with hay little during afternoon. Did not go to meeting. D & K. very tired. Stayed in & read, knitted & sewed & wrote up my diary. Annie G. came to help to-day with hay & had tea with K. Can’t tell what a delightful day this has been, wonderful for this time of year.

Thurs. Sept. 27th Another lovely day. K. and duine very busy all day with hay. I am sick tired of hay & wish it was at the bottom of the sea & Cruvack (the cow) too. Kicked up a row about house duties everything being neglected by D & K. for that accursed hay. But got better later on. Got present of coileach from Angus Gillies.

Friday Sept. 28th Splendid day. Of course nothing but hay again but morning duties much improved by Kate. I had much more heart to do the housework for her. Had salted mullet for dinner which was simply splendid. I wish I had a barrel of them. We must go and fish them. I fished at the pier myself for a little while to-night but wasn’t successful. Kate busy plucking coileach and baking for Sunday. No school now until Tuesday!!!

Saturday Sept. 29thThe fine weather continuing. Kate busy as usual with “feur”. Duine busy with his sermons. Made very fine pan-cakes in the afternoon. Had to go to bed after tea I was so tired. Finlay Gillies came to get something for Catherine who has a very swollen face; I got up & went to see her. Stayed up & finished my white gloves.

Sunday Sept 30th Last day of the month. How time is flying. Church twice & Sunday School. Big attendance. Felt very hungry at supper time.

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October 1906, St Kilda

Monday Oct. 1st Duine gave me my breakfast in bed. Service in church at 12 o’clock being first Monday in month. Looking very changeable to day. Kate & Duine at the hay for a little to-day. Then we went up the “Village” and saw the first seven families. Didn’t get home till nearly 10 o’clock. 

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Tues. Oct. 2nd School as usual to-day. Went in in afternoon. As we were finishing our tea, we heard a great shouting, & other confused noises. In a few moments the men were down & in less time than it takes me to write they launched the boat. The women were screaming & wringing their hands. It seemed that poor Norman Gillies (who has got away from school a little earlier than usual to go to Point of Coll to fish mullet) had fallen from the rocks into the sea. There is a fearful current there and altho’ the only man there (Hugh Gillies) had flung him a rope, the current carried him out beyond it. Some of the bigger boys had run off home to give the news. Norman McKinnon went to the place on foot but only in time to see poor Norman sink. He was clinging to the fishing rod. He never made a sound. The boat was too late even to see him. We went up to the house with the men & women & stayed till nine o’clock & the sight was pathetic in the extreme. They were all wailing in the minor key the same sound saying something like “Vo Tavromich” Oh! Norman, Norman. It was terribly sad. The poor Mother was very quiet & sensible though in an awful state. The father was in a frenzy. I was so sorry for them all especially the poor girl Catherine in bed. Came home with a splitting headache & was very sick.

Wed. Oct. 3rd No school to-day (or this week I suppose) owing to poor Norman’s death. Good day although dull and not much wind. Went up after dinner to see the Gillies family and Bess. The Gillies very sad & no wonder. Took Bess gloves.

Thurs. Oct. 4th Knitting stockings (started a pair for self on Tuesday). Visited people after dinner. They are slightly better & Finlay Gillies himself seems more resigned. Had boys John McDonald & Donald Og in all evening. Boiled piece of ham & knitted a lot. Reading A Modern Mercenary. Not bad. Very calm to day.

Frid. Oct. 5th Very calm night. People wishing more wind to dry the hay in the clets. Boat in sight fishing. Hope it will come in during the day. Had nice Lentil soup for dinner. D & K. busy with hay for a little. Went up the village to see people.

Sat. Oct. 6th Very wet & blowy day. Not feeling at all well. Duine went to see the people in the aft. himself. I had to go to bed early & have hot water put to my side. Didn’t sleep. Sun. Oct 7th Bed all day and side sore. Had a reception in bed. People so kind. A little better in evening.

Mond. Oct. 8th Little better but in bed most of day. Got up to tea finished stocking. Feeling very weak. Very windy & stormy.

Tues. Oct. 9th Lovely day. Got up between 10 & 11. Feel horribly weak, but will be better out of bed. Writing a lot. See a boat fishing away out. She may call. I hope so, as we have letters ready. Just a week to day since Norman’s death. The fishing boat came in just about tea-time. Some of the men went out with a boat. One of the Engineers came in & brought us a fish. The boat to Tyneside from North Shields. It leaves tomorrow The return in a week & will bring us bread. They took our letters. It is lovely weather. Not out yet. Got big doze medicine.

Wed. Oct. 10th Another lovely day. The boat (Liver) I noticed left about 1 to day. Prayer Meeting. Duine & Kate did a little at hay to day (at potato patch). After P.M. Donal McQuien, Finlay McQ & Precentor came in to ask for me. Light refreshments? Feeling much

Thurs. Oct 11th There hasn’t been such a lovely day this year. Perfect. Men went to the Dune. Kate washing white clothes. Had lovely night at fire-side. Kate and Mary Mhor span a lot of white wool for gloves for Minnie. Started them & did a good deal. Feeling much better today.

Frid. Oct. 12th Changeable day. Knitted a good deal of glove. Got nice piece of mutton .......... from William McDonald to-day and Finlay McQuien. Church & School cleaned today. Very wet towards evening. Feel quite myself again. Wish one of the boats would come as our potatoes are finished today. Finished one glove tonight & started another. Everyone wishing boat would Come. Very cold to-night. Sat. Oct 13th Feeling quite myself. Cold & raw day. North Wind. So we are told we may not expect trawlers or liners while the Said North Wind continues. Made resolve to day to always make my own bed & do room. Started promptly. Donald Og came to ceilidh. Finished second glove.

Sunday Oct 14th Wet day but wind changed which they say is favourable to trawlers. Was at Church in the morning. Duine took Sabbath School himself. Had hymns for first time. Dinner burnt whilst we were at church but had nice plum pudding made last night. West wind rising. Hope it will continue. All the Finlay Gillies family out poor souls. .......... here as usual to dinner to-day. Bed about 10 oc.

Monday Oct. 15th A fine fresh day. Glass pretty low and continues to fall. Fearful night of wind. Did not sleep literally one wink. Got breakfast in bed in consequence. Roast mutton & boiled rice for dinner (as potatoes are done). Went to school (first time for a fortnight) this afternoon. After tea we both went up the village & saw most of the natives. All fairly well. Seeing about sheep. All busy spinning & carding. Not home till 9 o’clock. Knitting second stocking. Cross with duine as he slept all night in the chair. I can’t help getting cross with him. He seems to have no inclination to improve his mind, and he reads so little which keeps him “small” in mind, but he can, or will not see this. Wet and blowy. Men & boys were away bringing home the sheep to-day.

Tuesday Oct. 16th A bright showery day and not very cold. No boat as yet of any kind. We may expect the ”Tyneside” any time after tomorrow. The wind is so strong though I wish it would moderate. Read all the “Sorrows of Werther” through at one sitting and enjoyed it very much. Poor Werther one can’t help being sorry for himself in his hopeless passion for Charlotte. I think Albert, her husband was very good & long suffering! Duine was very successful in his search after sheep tonight. He went up to the village to see if we could get any for salting. He got the promise of 4. E arrived home with Norman McKinnon & sheep No 1 which was promptly despatched in the back lobby; after wh. Norman was entertained to supper. Splendid sheep.

Wed. Oct. 17 Lovely day though cold. Kate & I busy getting rid of the inside of the sheep. We made white & black puddings and sheep tripe. A great success. School in afternoon, then Meeting after which Donald Ferguson came in to “ceilidh”. He is a nice old man. Saw the “..........” to day for the first time. After D. Ferguson went Duine, Kate & I were busy cutting and salting sheep. Made mince for rissoles & also made resolve to rise early.

Thurs. Oct. 18th We expected the boat yesterday but she didn’t come to our great disappointment. Lovely day. School aft. Finished “Campion Court”. Very good old-fashioned story of the time of Charless II. Enjoying mutton very much today. Precentor came before supper to cut Duine’s hair. Great improvement. Took my hyacinths out of dark today. Forgot to say I kept last night’s resolve. To-day (Frid) Poted nearly all the Hyacinths, tulips, snowdrops, scyllas etc & put them in dark cupboard.

Frid. Oct. 19th This has been a lovely clear cold day. Kate washing to-day (flannels). School afternoon. Men after Sheep. Few Scholars. Settled down to a nice quiet evening by the fire when Neil McKinnon came for us to go to Finlay McQuien’s who it seems is very ill. We both went up & did what we could. He was in great pain. Stayed about 1½ hrs & came home. Duine & Kate went up again about 9 o’cl. (p.m.) & didn’t get back until nearly 12 o’clock. Finlay had been very ill, but they left him a bit better. Bed 12 o cl.

Sat. Oct. 20th Another day like yesterday; clear & cold. Forgot to say the liner (North Shields) came in sight yesterday but did not call, strange to say. It has not come in to day either. They are mean. Finlay McQ. just the same, very poorly. Sent Kate up with pudding (arrowroot) for his breakfast. Then Duine went up. Callum McDonald arrived soon after with a sheep for us (the second & we are to get two more. Duine ordered 4). He killed & skinned it. Then in the afternoon Kate and I cleaned tripe & made white puddings which were a great success. Then after tea Duine & I went up to see Finlay who is just about the same. Also called on some others. Took F. Beef tea. No word of any boat. Yet.

Sunday Oct. 21st A very good day (*) Was twice at church & at S.S. We went up after dinner to see Finlay mc. Who is a little better but still very poorly. Donald Ferguson preached at night for Duine and did very well. He was very vigorous. We like him very much indeed. Duine went after church again to see Finlay.

Monday Oct. 22nd Fine day with south wind. Don’t know what is keeping these wretched trawlers. The line is still fishing at the back of the Island. Writing letters in the hope that she will call. Finlay much better to-day. Seedy myself. Cooking in morning & doing some of A. Gillies blouse. Duine cutting up & salting Saturday’s pig. Reading Ernest Maltravers (by Lord Lytton) & enjoy it very much indeed. Finlay McQ. much about the same.

Tues. Oct. 23rd Fine day. No word of boat yet. Only in school a little. Went after school to see Finlay whom we found much better. Also went into McKinnon’s. No news. Finished stockings & commenced Bedroom slippers & gloves.

Wednes. Oct. 24th Fine day though blowy. Finlay much better. Meeting day. A liner (the one which has been fishing in the district for the past few days). It was not the “Tyneside” as we thought but another Tyneside boat (N. Shields). They sent us a lovely little fish by Donal Og. Didn’t go out to Meeting. Boat remained in Bay. Sent off Gloves to Miss. Letters to Flora McKaw, Jeanie, Miss McKenzie.

Thurs. Oct. 25th Liner left this morning & is fishing within sight. Men cutting “feur” on Conacher. I don’t like that as it is so dangerous. Lot of children kept in to day. Scene with D. Og about his sister who has been very naughty all day. Duine went to see Finlay (who is better) & beau Iain Gillies. Storm brewing up to-night.

Frid. 26th Oct. Terrible storm of wind & rain last night. No sleep hardly for any of us. Bad headache. Got breakfast in bed. Made butter in morning. School in aft. Chil. very good. Settling down for evening when Lachlan McKinnor came to say his Mother was going to make cheese & I was to go up to see her. Duine & I went and got a lesson then called on Finlay (who is better) and Rachel. Home & sewed my blouse. Bed 10-30.

Saturday 27th Oct. Capital sleep. Kate knocked too early! Wet and windy morning. Little liner left about 9 this morning but came back later in day. Busy sewing blouse. Finished it late at night. Looks very nice.

Sun. Oct. 28th Men from little liner came ashore, wanting food. Gave four of them good dinner after church (Lentil soup, mutton & plum pudding). Their food is done, they having only brought 14 days food & they having been out 17 days. They are the “Coquette” from North Shields. The people gave them some flour, meal, sugar & we gave them meat, tea, coffee, milk, butter, white pudding etc. & they went away to their boat quite pleased. They sent us a lovely halibut & large ling. Church at night. Good night.

Mond. Oct. 29th Good day. The “Coquette” left for home, I am glad to say. Thanksgiving day. No School. Service at 12 o’clock. Afterwards A. Gillies came and sewed blouse. We went and visited the faraway houses. Finlay McQuien in bed again with a relapse. Sent milk & cotton wool. Finlay Gillies came down poor man to register Norman’s death. We gave him some tea & who arrived then but Neil Ferguson (with Neil Junior) & Neil Gillies with another sheep which they killed in the back passage. Afterwards they had supper & stayed till 11 o clock. We were very glad to have them. They are nice fellows espec. Neil Ferguson. Piece of a whale washed up to day on beach. Lovely moonlight night & so calm. Surely the “Evening Star” is on her way.

Tues. Oct. 30th Beautiful sunny day. Busy all day (all morning) with sheep’s inside, & odd jobs. School afternoon. Went up after tea to see Finlay McQuien who is very ill again, having as we think caught fresh cold. Came home; cutting up sheep for salting; & making “Cannocks”. Callum came to ceilidh & the Minister. Both got supper in kitchen.

Wed. Oct 31st Last day of another month. Beautiful calm day. Cutting out chemises for girls’ sewing during morning. After dinner before school, went to watch them (the Natives) catching the sheep (they call it ruaging) on Oshaval which is at the back of the Manse. When watching them Donald Gillies got a terribly bad fall over a stone which pierced & cut his leg badly. Had him brought into the Manse. Duine & I washed & dressed his leg & sent him home. Then school. Heard Finlay McQuien was worse. Prayer Meeting then up & stayed with Finlay McQuien & Finlay Gillies Donald till after 9 o’clock. Supper & washed hair. Bed 11-30. No signs of “Evening Star”.

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