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16 October 2014
Scotland on Film

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Farming Life
There is 1 message in this section.

Michael Paterson from Canada. Posted 3 Jul 2003.
During school holidays on our island (Rhum) we had to work and it mostly consisted of dragging a sack around the hillsides, picking up stray wisps of wool. In winter any work we did was always muddy, so my brother and I struck for pay and got a promise of sixpence a week, except we never saw it because it went for our food and lodging and to repay the Wellie boots bought for us so we wouldn't ruin our good shoes. When we went to the mainland for the dentist and so on we were usually given sixpence to spend, an "advance" on our wages.
Later a dentist, "Butcher" Mitchell, came by boat; the horror of having your teeth drilled with a foot-operated drill, without anaesthetic, on a small boat wallowing in a swell can scarcely be imagined. If only we had known about the connection between MacCowan's Highland Toffee and fillings. Some of the adults chewed coal to prevent cavities; one of the many useless but usually not lethal superstitions that controlled our lives.

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