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


January 1907, St Kilda

Tuesday Jan 1st Got up and wished Kate “Bliadhua mhatt uhr” and presented here with her new blouse. She was greatly pleased with it and so surprised. Had breakfast and went to church at 12 o’clock. Great hurry to get ready for the children’s’ tea which was at 3 o’c. They all came and we got on very well they left as it was growing dark. 

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Kate went up to the village to spend New Year and we (duine & I) had a nice quiet evening to ourselves. I made another plum-pudding for tomorrows dinner - as I have asked Roenig to come & get her dinner with us. So our first New Year in St. Kilda has passed. Duine better & I am alright. Kept New Year!

Wednes. Jan. 2nd Nice quiet day but stormy out of doors. Duine’s stomach very bad. Roenig did not come to dinner as the day was so stormy. Donald Ferguson came down to ceilidh. Stayed supper after meeting. The Queen came down and brought me some flour which was very kind of her. She was afraid the school treat had left me short.

Thurs. Jan 3rd Better day. Duine rather ill still & on sick man’s diet. Annie Gillies came down in the afternoon to ceilidh. I was spinning quite a lot to night. I finished “The fair God” yesterday, by Wallace and enjoyed it immensely. It is a tale of the conquest of Mexico. Now I am reading the “Bound Volumes” of “Chamber’s Journal and find them splendid. Kate up at Meiruts tonight at a Carding party which are all the go just now. My hens are not laying a single egg just now. I would like to “thraw” every one of their necks. Turned the bed round in the bed-room. It looks much nicer.

Friday Jany 4thFine day. Wind changed from the N.E. to S. If the N. wind had continued the boys were going to Soay for sheep to-day but Alas! the wind has changed. However the trawlers may now come with the present wind. Duine better much today.

Sat. Jan 5th A very wet day, but with trawler’s wind. Kate informed us that as she came home from carding at Callum’s last night she “smelt” a steamer! She thinks it will be about Barra Head!!! She is crammed full of superstition of that kind. I am so much wearying for a boat to come though. I am longing for letters - potatoes, bacon etc not to speak of news-papers, parcels. Duine keeping better, but still on arrowroot diet. He pled for “feoil” at dinner to day but I was obdurate. Milk to Roenig. Kate up at Neil McKinnons for change for kirk tomorrow, where she got dram! No eggs yet. The dirty thing, I firmly believe they are laying & eating the eggs. Donald Og here to his tea.

Sunday Jany 6th Fairly good day, but very cold. Church twice. Duine well.

Mond. Jan 7th Days getting suitable for boat, will be hoping for her any time now. Went up to the village to see Bess & some of the old folks after tea. Kate busy spinning.

Tues. Jan. 8th Nothing special to relate. School in afternoon. Duine bad last night with stomach. Did not go up to village tonight.

Wednes. Jan 9th Fine day. Not very well myself. Took cascara. Prayer Meeting to which I went. Donald MacDonald came in after the Meeting to ceilidh waited for supper. No eggs yet.

Thurs. Jan. 10th Not well in night. So got breakfast in bed. When dressing & looking out of the East what to my delight should I see coming round Point Coll but the long looked for trawler from Fleetwood with mails. What joy! He brought us mails but no provisions. He says his brother may be here any day with them. How glad we should be if this is so. We are too glad to get our mails to think of anything else just now. Went into School & let duine go out with the men as I wish him to see the Captain himself. Took the kiddies for an hour, till the boat came in. Duine got a pan of lovely lemon soles & a small cod; which were priceless to us as we have seen nothing but salt beef for nearly two months. We are hoping Capt. Wright will bring the side of bacon which has been lying somewhere for us since September. Plenty of home letters. All are well now but Mother has been ill with lumbago & shingles for some time. After tea we went up to the village to ceilidh. Saw all the folks we wanted. Home & had a good read of the news-papers. On the strength of the day’s happiness. Just exactly 2 months as to day since the mails came before. Sorry our letters bring news of Doctor Rainy’s death in Australia.

Frid. Jan 11th Fine day. The “Kathleen” did not come with our provisions yet, but we are grateful for letters. School afternoon. Then after tea fine read round the fire. I went up however up to the village to ask for Finlay’s toothache. He has not been in school all week. I heard Annie McQuien was ill too and went to see her.

Satur. Jan. 12th Lovely day with a good deal of sunshine. Went for an hour’s walk on the shore and enjoyed it very much. Came home to dinner and went after that to see Annie Gillies McQuien. She is much better to-day, but is still in bed. Busy all the evening trying to get through my news-papers and cutting out recipes out of the “Weekly Scotsman”. Sun. Jan. 13th Good sharp day. Wore my brown costume and brown hat to day, but only in morning. Reading the rest of the day. Nothing startling. Duine speaking in church this morning about Doctor Rainy.

Mon. Jan. 14th No eggs yet. Lovely day. School in afternoon, and then went up to the village afterwards. Took a calendar to Angus. He was very pleased. Went to Donald Ferguson to see about oil. Got promise of some and flour when we need it. Went to Mary Gillies to ask her to come & card with Kate for my coat tomorrow. She is coming. Annie her sister in her bed with a bilious attack. Kate washed Flannels to day.

Tues. Jan. 15th Another lovely day. Got five gallons of paraffin from store to-day & very glad to get it. Have Mary Gillies carding to day. Kate & she are very busy. I see to the food for them & do little things. Came on very wet later on in day. Had a wearying afternoon with the kids. Went up after school to ceilidh. Saw Roenig, and Donald McQuien, Kate & Mary Gillies finished the carding of the wool for the nachdar of my coat. Wed. Jan. 16th Fine day. Nothing special on. P.M. to which I went.

Thurs. Jan. 17th To our great joy a boat came to day. I was the first to see it coming about 12-30. It was the “Kathleen” from Fleetwood (Capt. Wright) & brought our long looked for flour, Indian Meal & Coffee, also potatoes but no bacon yet. The tide was pretty far out so it was an awful business getting the big black boat out. There was great fun between old Donald McQuien & John Gillies. D MQ had the rope and was on the rocks & wanted into the boat while John Gillies was as determined he wouldn’t go with them. J.G. pulled the rope & Donald fell half in the water. Such bawling one to the other. Duine went with them. It was a terrible business, but they got out all right & returned with everybody’s things, but if it was difficult to get out it was worse to get in. In fact we who were on shore were afraid they were not going to get in at all. Got a lot of letters. All are well at home, also Tobermory. Got jolly parcel of books from Miss Cram. Also from Mrs Stirling. Big parcel from a Mr Johnston in Fleetwood of “Sunday Magazine’s Circle” for “Hirsleach”. Grand night’s reading of newspapers.

Friday Very stormy day. We hear the trawler is in the Glen.

Sat. 19th Jan Fearful day. The trawler is in the Glen so they have evidently got fish. Writing letters. Bochd since Thursday night.

Sabb. 20thLovely day. Trawler came in when we were in church. The men went out in the afternoon with mail-bag. Wrote Bab, Jean, Nell, Will, Mrs Cameron, Mr Frith (Duine did) Capt Rithie etc. Boat went away to fish at Borrera. Went to church at night. Mary McQuien ill.

Mond. 21st JanyFine day. Busy cooking in mg. School aft. Mary McDonald & Mr McQuien absent ill. Came on to rain fast during school. Went up the village after school. Saw Bess, Mary McD, Mary McQ. (better) Finlay Gillies, & Donald Ferguson. Callum came down for medicine for Mary beag & stayed supper. Mending duines flannels. Didn’t sleep any yesterday through shutting my thumb nail in the window yesterday. It was fearfully sore. Archie Neill’s single comb started to lay yesterday and Mrs McKenzie (Strathgarve’s) other started today. Went up to the village after tea. It is an awfully wet evening. Roenig very sick to-day.

Tuesd. Jan. 22nd Simply a glorious warm day. I was out all the mg. about the hens, & finding eggs. Got three eggs to day. The glass is at its highest to-day - could not go any higher. Kate & I went up to see Roenig. She is better. Home & had a comfortable night at fireside. Busy giving the people the papers that Mr Johnston sent from Fleetwood.

Wednesday Jan. 23rd Weather changed. Busy cooking all morning. Had ginger pudding, boiled morvher & potatoes, the latter very good indeed. Duine went up to see Roenig and little Neil Ferguson also Lachlan McKinnon who are all ill with some mysterious trouble like diharrea diarrohea. Did not go to P.M. tonight. After it Bheau Finlay Gillies, and Donald Ferguson also Finlay McQuien came to ceilidh. The two former stayed to supper. My hens are now laying splendidly, or rather beginning to lay well..

Thurs. Jan. 24thWet damp day. Got three eggs by 11 o’clock which is very good. Making some lace insertion to trim my knickers. In school this afternoon there were only 10 children. They are all nearly laid up by this [baked a delicious oven scone to day] mysterious ailment. We went up after school & saw the sick ones. The wife of Donald McQuien is very sick but is better a little. I am so sorry for her. Sent milk to the Precentor who has three laid up. Came home & had a nice garaidh. Decided to have no school for to morrow & they may be better by Monday.

Frid. Jan. 25th Had a nice quiet day at home. Kate went up to see her sister (Donald McQuien’s wife) who is now getting better. No news worth writing down.

Satur. Jan. 26thSnow again. Ground white. I sent up the village after su dinner to see the invalids. Neil Ferguson’s baby is very poorly. Also the Precentors. Went also to Finlay McQuien’s, Roenig’s, Lachlan McKinnon’s & Beau Donald McQuien. Kate finished the nachdar (or curre) of my coat to-day. Also span some brown wool for dark gloves for me.

Sund. 27 Jan Very blowy day & so cold. Hens stopping laying again with the cold. Snow away. Several others down with the prevalent trouble. Neil Ferguson’s baby still very ill. Duine’s stomach bad a little. Had good dinner of broth & potatoes. Hear in the evening that several more have had to go to bed with the Grippe. Went to church in evening. Coming on very rough indeed tonight.

Mon. Jan. 28th Fearful day. Had disturbed night with the awful wind. Thought the roof would be lifted & windows blown in. Duine says it is the beginning of the “Faoilleach”. Too stormy to have school. Hurricanes terrific. The glass is very low now & this is one - if not the worst days this winter. After dinner we went up to see all the village folks. So many are poorly or have been. All are improving. Had great fun at old Bess’s. She had asked Duine to bring her some Keatings Powder, so today we took it with us. Almost the first thing she asked was “Did you bring what I asked”? Duine said “Yes” & produced it: “Oh” she said, “put it on me”! She is old & in bed. She heaved herself up & waited for duine to put it under her. We fairly shrieked. She herself couldn’t see the joke. Fortunately Catrione was in & took the job in hand. Duine & I were fairly convulsed with laughter. Catrione & I couldn’t behave while Duine prayed! Catrione was pinching my leg all the time. It was awful fun. Got 3 eggs today. Started gloves for self. Dark brown. Nice night at ..........

Tues. Jany 29th Had a jolly evening at fireside. Very rough night indeed. Did not go into school today as duine thought it too cold. Reading “The Double Marriage” by Charles Reade. Very readable.

Wednes. Jan. 30th Much better day. School in afternoon. The girls are getting on very well with their sewing. Did not go to P.M. Had quite a reception after it. Finlay Gillies, Finlay McQuien, Donald McQuien (father), Neil McDonald & Annie illies, also he precentor. Kept Finlay Gillies, Donald McQuien, Neil McD to supper had great fun.

Thurs. Jan. 31st Lovely day. Spent the greater part of day outside (morning). Had Donald Og (returning books) & Catrione to dinner. Donald Og got the “Lady of Hirta” & “Naighven Fireanneach” away. Going up the Baile to ceilidh. Went up & saw most of the folks. Norman McQuien very ill yet.

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February 1907, St Kilda

Feb. 1st Simply glorious day. To our great joy the men went to-day to Soay. Nearly every house turned out, & a large boat load set off. We had an early tea and then Salana accompanied the Duine & I and we went to the top of Ruadval. It was a lovely walk. We sat on the top of the cliffs and watched the fulmars on the rocks below

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They have such a funny scream which sounds so weird. We thought we should see the boat coming back from Soay but didn’t. On our way home we went down to look at the Dûn passage. It was all magnificent, unutterably so. On our way home we went to ask for Donald Gillies & Norman McQuien. Both are very poorly yet especially the latter. Straight home. Just in time to meet the boat. Got a nice sheep for killing, also a lovely little pet lamb, which we have put into the byre along with Salan’s.

Sat. Feb. 2nd Another lovely day. Spent most of the morning in the byre watching my new sheep. Got three eggs. Went up to see all the sick folks in the afternoon. Kate went up the village to see the Toromich McQuien who is having a very bad time of it. Very tired tonight. Went to bed early. Donald Gillies came down today & skinned the sheep for eating. Reading “Red Morn” by Max Pemberton. We are enjoying the fine weather. Even although we do have some rough weather yet, this will make the time shorter.

Sun. Feb. 3rd Blowy, fresh day. Cold. Church twice. Getting about 3 eggs every day. Toromich a little better. Kate went to see him. Very bad headache self today. Fheoil Uhr for dinner to-day & broth. Most of the folks out to day. Have some Roman Hyacinths out at last. Finished “Red Morn” by Pemberton and have enjoyed it very much. Went to bed early, instead of going to church, with headache.

Mon. Feb. 4th Wakened early by Kate coming into the bed-room to say Donald Og was in the kitchen - (8 o’clock) saying Toromich was very, very ill and had been all night. Duine went up before church (first Monday of month & “Question day). He found Norman very poorly. I stayed in, instead of going to church and cooked the dinner of Soay sheep, which we have enjoyed much yesterday and today. Had a big fall-out with Kate over the cleaning of stove & had to tell her her place. Went up after church (or tea dinner rather) to see Norman, who is just the same. Saw the other invalids. Took eggs to Norman and switched one for him, & wh. he enjoyed immensely. Salan went up after tea & has not yet returned when I write. My pet Soay sheep in the byre is thriving nicely. Kate came in in very good form.

Tues. Feb. 5th Fine day. Busy all morning. Roasted leg of Soay sheep for dinner. Cleaned inside of sheep and made puddings & put tripe ready. Kate soaked the washing of white things. Mutton delightful. A boat came to the mouth of the bay this afternoon. The men think it is a trawler from Aberdeen, a thieving rascal who comes & steals all the fish & does not call at all. Busy getting letters written anyhow. Went up with duine to ask for Toromich. Found him a little better. Took him eggs. Went also to see Donald Gillies, Bess & Donald McQuien. Latter better. Dressed Donald Gillies cut foot. He is mot unfortunate in his “ruaging”.

Wednes. Feb. 6th Very stormy day. Went up baile to see Toromich who is very ill today. Send 2 eggs every day and sent soda-water to-day. Kate has done an immense washing of white things to day, I’m sure the first for 3 months. Didn’t go to P.M. Stayed in & baked scones. Had back-door trot. The result of medicine - Took dose to-day. Trawler seen yesterday did not call. Ewan came to ceilidh. Gave him Vaseline. Kate Angelic. Fear she must be ill. 5 eggs.

Thurs. Feb. 7th Lovely day. Hear Toromich a little better. Duine went up alone. Got 7 eggs to day so improving. Still having Soay Sheep in various forms. Had neck for Irish Stew today. Awfully good! School in aft. Scolding boys for breaking of church door “sueck”. Finished dark brown gloves for self. Duine in great form.

Frid. Feb. 8th Fine day again though cold. Went to school in aft. Had delicious tripe for dinner from Soay Sheep. Went up to see Toromich who is better. Duine went yesterday. Also called on Precentor’s folks. Home & then Salana went up the baile & I had lovely fried chops & fried egg for supper. Fearful night of wind and rain. Only two eggs to day. Old Whitey has just started to lay to-day.

Sat. Feb. 9th Day continuation of last night. Did not go out today at all. John McQuien came down for Norman’s pudding so we heard how N. was & hadn’t to go up to see him. Finished first piece of crochet for knichers. Reading Dombey & Son & much enjoying it. Had lovely roast shoulder of Soay for dinner to-day. Best we’ve had. Kate busy ironing all day.

Sunday Feb. 10th Better day, a little. Glass very low though. Church twice to day. Sent Kate up with eggs to Toromich who I think is improving. Kate telling us of a curious sound (we put it down to an owl) heard by many of the people on Oshaval. They say that poor Norman’s blood is still about the place & is calling out. The superstition is appalling. Came on very rough at night. Got eight eggs to-day. Did without light at S.S. today for first time.

Mon. Feb. 11th Ground heavily coated with snow to-day and still falling. Kate put her second sheep in byre to-day, it came home itself from Oshaval. Hens doing well. Sending eggs daily to Norman. We hear there is a steamer fishing at Borera. Duine went up the village to see the sick folks. Blood was drawn from John MacDonald to-day for his leg. Toromich a bit better. Donald Gillies came own before tea to have his foot dressed. Wrote letters while Duine was out.

Tues. Feb. 12th Frosty & more snow. Glass a little higher. Had brocco for breakfast and started taking hot water before breakfast to-day to see if it will cure me of my old ailment. Kate brought in 2 eggs this morning.

Feb. 12th (Cont) To our great delight just as we were finishing dinner a boat came in - the one which has been fishing off Borera for a day or two. It was the “Knowsie” of Aberdeen. Duine went out with the men & found the Captain so kind. He gave Duine a huge basket of haddocks & a fine big cod. Gave the men large pipes & tobacco & X Ale. He took all our letters to post in Aberdeen (where he hopes to be on Saturday or Sund first). He will be coming here till the end of May. He returns here in a week (tomorrow) - Wednesday. The men all nearly gave him orders & Duine ordered a bag of potatoes. Have a slight cold so sent Kate up with Toromich’s eggs & to ask for Ian McDonald. Busy knitting Bab’s gloves, in hope the “Kathleen” Fleetwood will come this week.

Wednes. Feb. 13th Fine day. Nothing much doing. Went up to the village myself to see Norman & the sick folks. Did not go to the Prayer Meeting. Came home and had a good warm. After meeting entertained Precentor, Finlay Gillies & Finlay McQuien to supper. Had great fun with Finaly Mòr.

Thurs. Feb. 14th Very stormy day. “Kathleen”due to-day but no signs of her. Finlay Gillies’ loom put up to-day. He is the first. Had lovely fried fish for dinner to-day. Fried in deep fat. Went up the village to see Norman who says he is not so well to-day. We also went to see Hugh Gillies Mother who is ill. Also Donald McQuien & finished up at Donald Ferguson. Then home

Frid. Feb. 15th Thami bochd. Dull wet day. Had nice fried fish again for dinner. No salt meat for a fortnight. No word of “Kathleen”. Made drop scones tonight. Made soda water for Norman who we hear is a bit (which means much) better to-day. Read a good deal of “Dombey and Son” to night.

Satur. Feb. 16th Forgot to say I had a nasty fall yesterday morning & wrenched my arm at the shoulder. It is awfully sore (Fell of the table in the store-room). Fine day in morning but it changed & was fearfully wet & blowy. Mary Gillies, Mary McQuien cleaning the school church to day. Got only 5 eggs to day. Busy all the afternoon & night - lining in my black serge skirt with turkey twill (as I haven’t anything else. Had lovely Irish stew for dinner (& supper!). Glass pretty low. Hear Toromich better to-day a little. Hugh Gillies put his loom up yesterday & Callum preparing. My hyacinths lovely.

Sund. Feb. 17th Fine day. Went twice to church, but not to S.S. Hear that Toromich is just as bad as ever. His father Donald McQuien is also ill. Sent daily supply of eggs by Kate. No news of importance.

Mond. Feb. 18th Breezy day but fine all the same. Going about morning’s work as usual & was in bedroom about 12-15 where to my great delight the “Knowsie” Aberdeen came round the Point Coll. He only left here at mid-day on Wednesday last and returned in two days less than a week & brought back all the things ordered. The men bungled their orders, and instead of bringing some small pieces of cheese, he brought two huge cheeses - one of 84 lbs & another of 96 at 10d per lb. The people wanted us to take them, or rather one but what could we do with so much. Besides we ordered some from Fleetwood & so did most of the people & some got some pieces with their order yesterday. Went up to see the people last night. Saw Callum & Neil Gillies weaving. Very stormy. The “Knowsie” had to stay in the Bay all night. We got 8 stones lovely potatoes. Splendid.

Tues. Feb. 19th Fearful night. The “Knowsie” still in the bay. As it quietened down a little during the morning some of the men went out to the boat (to see about the mistake in the cheese). They got dinner on board and the Captain was very kind to them. Kate went up Baile. I baked several cakes. Went up to ask for Toromich.

Wednes. Feb. 20th Again a fearful night. So dreadful with snow & rain & wind that we could not think of having school. William came down to mend church door & windows. I kept him to dinner. Did not go to Prayer Meeting. Donald Ferguson came in to ceilidh. Had great fun with him and Kate. It seems he proposed to her 13 years ago.

Thurs. Feb. 21st Better day a little. The “Knowsie” went out as far as Borera and trawled but returned as it was so rough. Duine & I went up the village & saw MacDonalds (both Neil & Donald’s families), Ian Bhau, Bess, Toromich, Christina McKinnon & Christina McQuien & home took a big cheese supper. I forgot to say I managed to get 2 lbs from Meirut which I shall repay when I get my order. Donald McDon. has also got up his loom now.

Frid. Feb. 22nd Fine frosty night last night & day. Kate washed flannels & boiled clothes. I gave my store room a good tidy up and cooked dinner as well as did work. Still sending up eggs to Toromich. Took some yesterday also to Bess. Also sent her some zinc ointment for the sores on her leg. Started the “Mother Tongue” in School to-day with big boys. Kate went up Baile this evening. Sent sago & semolina to Norman. Finished trimming for breeks. Had a lovely night at fireside. “Knowsie” left (we don’t know whether) at 7 o’clock this morning.

Satur. Feb. 23rd Fine fresh day. Busy all day with “little things”. In the afternoon went up to see Toromich & Ian McDonald. “Knowsie”, I hear is still fishing at Borera. Reading “His Brother’s Keeper” by Sheldon and enjoy it very much.

Sund. Feb. 24th Church twice. Reading “In his steps”. Toromich better a bit.

Mon. Feb. 25th Fine day. Went up the village after tea to see the people. Made the last butter of the season to day, which has been very good indeed.

Tues. Feb. 26th Lovely calm day. The Knowsie came in this morning, & the men didn’t go out which was awfully disappointing. The St. K. men thought the Knowsie had come in for the day and the tide being not quite favourable they waited until the K. went off. We were awfully angry. Kate went up the Baile. I went angry to bed as duine was snoring like a pig by the fireside & I had no one to speak to.

Wed. Feb. 27th Another lovely day. So calm & warm. Rose early. Started some time ago taking hot water & find it is benefitting much. My crocuses are very nice just now & hyacinths also. I am busy with Bab’s gloves & reading “The Innocents abroad, and enjoying it much. The hens are doing well. Hear Toromich was not so well last night. Went to Prayer Meeting first time for 6 or 7 wks. Beau Niel Dornoroch came in after it with a very badly cut leg to be dressed. Got a fulmar sent down from William today. (It was delightful. Thurs). Gave out tea (little) to K. to night, Wednesday.

Thurs. Feb. 28 Not a bad day, but colder than last few days. Getting 6 or 7 eggs every day just now. Glad to say that I’ve got the “torment” eradicated. Hear the “Knowsie” went off on Thuesday night so we shall expect her back early next week. Went up the village to day to see the invalids. Much about the same. Donald MacFinlay ill now with Rheumatism & in bed

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March 1907, St Kilda

Friday March 1st March has come in so nice & mild, which ever way it will go out. We hear that there are some liners in the neighbourhood. School in afternoon, and went afterwards up to the village to see Beau Neil Dornoroch - dressed & bandaged her foot. Went to Bess & did ditto. Took milk to Donald McQuien and eggs to Toromich. What more can I do? Donald Gillies (Mac Finlay) came down for my wool & is to put it into the loom at once.

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Sat. Mch 2nd Glad of a holiday. Shortly after breakfast a fine trawler wen came into the bay & whistled for a pilot. After a long dealy our men went out, & didn’t return till well on in afternoon & brought with them the Capt. & most of the crew of the Hull trawler. The Capt. came to tea. He & the crew were awfully kind to our men & gave them coals, paraffin, medicine for the sick men, jam, butter, string, lamp glasses & everything they needed - biscuits, bread etc. They are going to try for fish & if successful will come for a month. The men had got a splendid dinner on the boat “City of Hull”. The Capt. sent us 9 lbs. lovely beef, large loaf & 4 beautiful plaice, so we are in luck. Did not go to baile as I hear the invalids are better a little.

Mon Sund. Mch3rd Fine day though very blowy. Hull boat & another Hull & two other strangers in bay. Hull went off but others stayed all day. (Forgot to say yesterday Duine mended the window in bed-room & it is a great improvement altho’ patchy). Twice to church. Had lovely soup & fresh “bullock” for dinner. Meirut here as usual to day. Kate went up the village to ask for Toromich & Don. McQuien (òg). She had tea with Angus. William came to ceilidh after church & told us such a lot about Finlay & Callum & their love affairs. Donald Ferguson preached tonight with great vehemence, he does very well).

Mon. March 4th We are eagerly looking forward to Fleetwood boat coming with our mails. Surely it will come this week. Church service to day being first Monday in Month. There should be no lack now of boats . Did not go to church. Went up the baile after tea and saw my cloth which is now woven & looks very nice indeed. Toromich better much, so is Don. McQuien. Hear that the four trawlers are all working at Borera. Busy writing examination papers for II Class boys.

Tues. March 5th Very blowy all last night, but this is a fine morning. Three trawlers in the bay. The men all went out at about 10 o’clock (to exact custom). Lovely plaice for dinner from Saturdays spoil. We hear three of the boats are from Aberdeen, the fourth is our Hull friend. He men only got a very little coal from one boat, the others were not nice to them. The Aberdeen men say the “Knowsie” should be here very soon, & that she made £460 on her last trip here, also that she put an adv. into the paper saying she was going to St. Kilda & wd. bring letters or papers. Went up baile to see William & Neil Ferguson for news. The former gave us news-papers they had got. Kate up baile. Toromich up for first time for nearly six weeks. Donald McQ we hear is a little better to day. Don Gillies came down with my cloth. I am very pleased with it. Made cakes (Rock). Gave D. Gillies my scissors.

Wed. Mch 6th Fine breezy day. Two trawlers in Bay. There are five altogether - 1 from Hull - 3 or 4 from Aberdeen (1 came yesterday). None came in. Saw none of the folks from the baile. Went to Prayer Meeting at night. John Gillie (Ian Bàu) prayed. Toromich keeping better. Busy sewing blouse & reading “Westward Ho” (Kingsley).

Thurs. Mch 7th Wet, rather blowy & glass falling. Rose first today, expecting the Fleetwood boat as it is now time [piece of page missing] she was here. It is two months all but a week & next week the moon will not be so favourable. We are so much wanting letters & papers (& things ordered). The “Knowsie” came in just before dinner while the men were out “Taking toll” from the other boats. They went straight to her but some of them soon came in for their money. Duine came in from school and went out with the men to get our things and pay ours. I took dinner alone & started aft. school alone, but Kate [piece of page missing] came very soon to tell me to come in as the duine had come and brt. a lot of people. This was the Capt & Engineer of the Knowsie another (Capt. Coull) of the companion boat to the Knowsie. We got cheese, flour, jam, syrup, cream-of-tartar & Sweets £1-7. I gave the three a grand tea & they went off so pleased. The Duine took them up the baile. I am going to get lemon soles from them.

Frid. Mch 8th Very blowy. All the trawlers (6) in bay. Great fun among the trawlers. The “Knowsie” means to wait in the bay until the others are starved out as they are only provisioned for a week & K. is for 3 wks. ditto Hull. All the Aberdeen boats want to follow the “Knowsie” to see where she gets the fish. She made £460 last trip here. The Capt. (Wagner) was awfully kind & wd give away anything. We got a bag of coals yesterday for Roenig & Capt. Coull promised me one for Bess. But yesterday the men couldn’t go out to the “BenLoch Lawyers” (Capt. Coull) as the tide was so far out). Yest. after they left Duine & I went up baile & visited the sick. Got some news-papers pretty recent. Kate up Baile tonight. Got 10 eggs to day. Best yet. .......... had meat from Hull to-day.

Sat. March 9th The “Knowsie & Ben Lawyers both made a run round the Island before break dinner & after that left immediately for the fishing ground. Duine & I went for a walk before tea up Beren-na-hake (phonetic spelling) to get a view of Borera. There were four boats fishing, but which was which we couldn’t tell. After that we had tea & I went up the Baile to see the Invalids. We hear there are two more boats trawling far out from the Glen. Duine put about as he must have lost all his papers up the hill during our walk this morning (of aft. rather) so had at eleventh hour to study new subjects. I was so sorry for him as he wasn’t very well.

Sun. Mch 10th Church twice. Started Infant Sunday School with three boys:- Niel Ferguson, Donald Ian Ferguson, & Donald Ian Gillies, but hope to have the girls next Sunday.

Mon. Mch 11th Early this mg. a boat came round the bay & whistled. We were out of bed in a crack and saw a boat with a white funnel. We of course thought it was Fleetwood & letters but it was all a fraud. It only came in & steamed out again & so our hopes sank to zero! Made Kate bake again to give the Aberdeen Flour a fair trial. The Scones are simply horrible & we can hardly eat them. Busy all mg. with Childrens work. M. McQuien finished her calico chemise on Friday & am beginning her now with flannelette one. Duine better. We heard yesterday that Ewen McDonald is ill & Norman McQuien not so well. We have seen another boat but think it was the same on which came in in the morning. Duine & I went up the Baile in evening & saw all the sick folks. Called on Meirut Ferguson as well. Bess we thought very ill looking & Ewan MacDonald poor boy looks very bad too. Everybody is giving up hope of Fleetwood this year. Wrote letters & scolded Duine for sleeping so much in his chair.

Tues. March 12th Gave Donald Ink & pen nibs first thing. Everyone is getting letters ready for the “Knowsie”. Got a lot of treacle last night from Niel Ferguson. Hens not doing very well. Rather a blowy evening. A boat came in during the early evening. The men went out & it turned out to be the “Amy Dods” Captain Ritchie’s new boat. Of course the men stayed a long time & brought in William’s brother John with them for a bit. They called here. Capt. Ritchie gave them some gave them some roes (truse) & I got one. No fish yet. Another boat in the Bay.

Wed. March 13th The Amy Dods went out (So Kate says) abt. 7.30 this morning & the other too but both soon returned as it was far too rough for fishing. At mid-day a lovely big trawler came in - quite a new boat. By the glass I saw Fd. which I think means “Fleetwood”. Who knows but our mails are on board, but it is too stormy to go out to see. We must wait in patience. We hear old Annie (at Finlay Gillies) was putting up blood last night and to-day. Didn’t go out to meeting tonight.

Thurs. March 14th Fresh day with a good deal of wind. Amy Dods still there. The McDonalds went out before 10 o’cl. but soon came back. A.D. to stay in as it is too rough to fish. Some of the men came in later to see the looms, but not of the Captain. We went up to see the Ca Sick folks. Annie .......... ag Finlay Gillies etc. also visited Angus Gillies found him very cross that we had not visited him before. What a cheek!

Frid. March 14th Amy Dods has gone off this morning before we rose. Windy day & glass falling. Went up the village in the morning & had a run over the invalids. Ewan McDonald up but poorly yet. Norman better. Annie just the same. Meirut has been ill it seems but was better. They were having tea & I got a cup too. It was great fun. Am getting on well with my spinning & did a whole pirn self.

Sat. Mch 16th Fine day. “A.D. Dods” (observe correct name of Capt. Ritchies boat) in all day. The men went out to see them. It was too rough looking Capt. R. said to go out & the glass was so low. I went up to see the invalids after tea. Saw William’s brother John as he was going back to the boat with his companion, brought them in & gave them 2 tins coffee & milk - 1 tin Swiss milk & 1 tin corned beef as I hear they are short of provision. Tha mi bochd.

Sunday March 17th Fine day. Five of the A.D. Dods came in to church. A big trawler in bay when the men (Hirst) were out with the A.D. Dods men they went to it & got some things. Ba In church Donald Ferguson was praying for the Sabbath Breakers!!! Not feeling very well.

Mon. 18th Mch Seedy all night & in bed all day up to 5-30. Forgot to say that the Poloch Ruadh who was in the bay on Friday (or Saturday) rather told the men that there were lots of fish at Rockall & that all the boats (trawlers) were off there. Doesn’t expect the “Kathleen” before Good Friday (whenever that is). Men out at boat (A.D. Dods) tonight which has been out fishing all to-day. Kate up baile. Forgot to say finished blue spotted blouse (with blue silk turn down collar) on Saturday night & it looks very nice indeed. Kate brought down such a lot of wool for Angus “dluth”. Went to bed early. No “Kathleen” yet.

Tues. Mch 19th Breakfast in bed. Feeling better, but duine wdnt let me to go into school. Busy spinning all the day. Not out at all. Nothing much on.

Wednes. Mch 20th Lovely day & glass still going up. Went to school in afternoon. All right now. Didn’t go to Prayer Meeting. Two boats came in while they were in Church. The men went out & we found the boats were “The Rambler” (North Shields). The men know this liner very well & the other is Ben Lomond (Aberdeen). They are getting lots of Turbot. Boiled the burner of lamp and improved it very much. A. Gillies came in to supper.

Thurs. Mch 21st Fairly good day but heavy showers. School in afternoon. Spinning a good deal also darning stockings. The North Shields boat came in during the early evening. Went up the baile to see the “bochdan”.

Friday Mch 22nd Fine day. No boats in to da. Got a pair from of Shearwaters (“scrabillays”) from John MacQuien & one from Neil Ferguson. William got very sore foot cut - dressed it.

Saturday Mch 23rd Duine & I went for a walk up Berenahake. It came on so wet we couldn’t see anything. We were looking for the missing sermons lost a fortnight before, but we found them in a book when we came home. Went up (with very bad headache) to see William’s wife who has got a very sore ear & Annie McQuien who is ill.

Sunday Mch 24th This would have been Jack’s birthday if he had lived. How ill he was last year at this time poor soul. Out twice to ch. myself to-day & Sun. Sch. Had Rachel, Annabella & 3 boys. No boats. Toromich McKinnon precented to-night as William was at home with his wife. My box of flowers is lovely.

Mon. Mch 25th Fine warm day, but heavy mist. No boats yet. Went up the village after six o’clock. Saw McKinnons, Mary Ann McQuien & William’s wife. All the baile have the steamer cold the last day or two very badly. They say it came by the last boats. It seems so funny! They believe implicitly in this. Everybody has it & all the school is in a constant cough and sneeze. Reading “A Naturalists Voyage round the world” by Darwin & enjoying it very much. Have an awful pain in my back to-day. Kate finished Angus Gillies’ spinning to-day.

Tues. March 26th Very misty still. Fine rain, but the sun is trying to peep through. Think there may be a boat to-day. Nothing of importance. Did not go up village as Kate went. I made some treacle cake & toffee. Both most successful. Everyone very bad with cold.

Wednes. Mch 27th Ran up before meeting to see Bheau William. But great excitement this morning during breakfast when our friend the “Knowsie” came in. I went to sch. & duine went out to the boat. She brought us our potatoes, toffee, sug. almonds, blacking. The Capt. brt me a bag of oranges & apples, 2 bts. ginger beer & last but not least a big bag box of kippers from Stornoway. I shall never forget Capt. Wagner’s kindness - never. He will call before he goes for letters. Had Ewan (ma bête noir) & Donald og to supper, during which we heard the whistle of the A.M. Dodds. The men soon came down but did not go out as the tide was out so far. They went out at midnight. Set a hen with 12 eggs to day. Two clucking hens but neither very satisfactory I fear.

Thurs. March 28th My birthday! I got my presents yesterday by Capt. Wagner. During the morning John McQuien came down to tell Kate to go up for the letters & parcels. WE got about 100 between the two. Letters from everybody also one from Miss Whyte, Mrs McWalter, Mr Shorne, Mr. Robertson, Bessie, Six from Mother, two from Bab, two from Jeanie, one from Will, Nell, Mr Jordan, Mrs Stirling, Mrs Cameron, Miss Cram, Miss MacKenzie, Flora, Mrs Simpson. Also parcel from Miss Whyte. All the Witnesses came also & we went up the baile after & took them to the folks to everyone. William’s wife very ill with ear and head. Home 10-25.

Frid. Mch 29th Fine day, not much news. No boats at all but we shall expect some tomorrow. Went up to see William’s wife & beau Donald MacDonald & Norman. All about same.

Sat. March 30th Rather blowy & fine rain. Went (Duine & I) to see Beau William & Don. McDonald’s wife & looked in a minute on Norman. We came home by the sea-path. About 7-30 the “Knowsie” came in. The men went out but not duine. What fish the men brought in. A sack of the lovliest soles & flounders & plaice, & simply heaps of roes. I have enough to last me for a month. Also a ling. We packed them in ice in the tub. The Capt. (Waulkner) is simply kindness itself & sent word he wants to take back the flour & he is to take the invalids to Aberdeen.

Sun. Mch 31st The crew five of the Knowsie came in to church & stayed to dinner. This is Easter Sunday. We kept them to dinner & gave them salt beef - boiled fish & potatoes besides tinned pine-apple. The Capt - Engineer, Cook & young boy came in at night to evening church & then to supper. The Capt. simply studies what he can do to be kind. He sent me in after they went aboard a large piece. Im sure there are 10 lbs. of lovely beef. I can never forget his kindness.

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