Mutton dressed as Lamb.

Maid of the Forth.

Inchcolm Abbey.

Inchcolm Island is in the Firth of Forth between Edinburgh and Fife. It’s best known for its ancient and well preserved Augustinian Abbey. Considering that the Abbey dates back to the 12th century, it’s in remarkably good condition. Augustinian canons established a priory on the island in 1235. It was frequently attacked by the English from 1296 onwards.

Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh.

The Motorhomers are sitting on a bench in the Gardens. The ladies are people watching while enjoying the heat of the sun;

‘Phemie, would ye look at this wummin comin’, she’s like mutton dressed as lamb, Phemie,’ said Jessie.

‘Aye, Jessie, look at her skirt, if it was any higher aff the grun’, it wid be ower her heid, Jessie,’ said Phemie.

‘Oh, look, Phemie, her man’s no’ much better, look at the size o’ his belly, an’ he’s wearin’ braces tae,’ said Jessie.

‘That’s probably because he cannae get a belt big enough tae fit him, Jessie,’ said Phemie.

Josie could contain himself no longer;

‘You two wummin are talkin’ a load o’ auld hoarsies’ dung,’ said Josie. ‘If the man wanted a belt, he could go tae the Sadler’s shop on the High Street, an’ get yin made special,’ he said.

‘Aye, a load o’ auld hoarsies’ dung, Josie, a load o’ auld hoarsies’ dung,’ said Francie.

‘Ye keep yer wee trap shut, Francie,’ said Phemie.

‘Aye, say neigh mare, Francie, say neigh mare,’ said Josie.

‘Och, that’s a good yin, Josie,’ said Francie. ‘Say neigh mare, Josie, that’s magic,’ he said.

‘Did ye like that yin, Francie?’ Josie asked Francie.

‘Sure, Josie, sure, Josie, that was a stoater, Josie,’ said Francie.

A rather respectable looking couple were passing by, the gentleman had a cane and he looked very distinguished. His lady friend appeared quite refined. Jessie, quickly adopted her upper-class tone of voice;

‘Phemie, have you noticed the distinct lack of berries on the rowan-berry trees this Autumn?’ Jessie asked.

‘Yes, Jessie,’ Phemie replied. ‘And I’ve also noticed that the starlings are fewer in number,’ she said.

‘Would ye listen tae these two, Francie. They widnae know their mountain ashes frae their blinkin’ elbows,’ Josie said.

‘That’s right, Josie, they widnae know their ashes frae their elbows,’ said Francie .

‘Josie,’ said Jessie. ‘Will ye tell yer wee china there tae shut his wee trap? As for ye, Josie, ye can go an’ bile yer heid,’ she said.

‘Sure, Jessie, sure, Jessie, go an’ bile my heid, Jessie.’ Josie said.

It was difficult for Francie, trying to stop sniggering while his bottom lip was trembling.

Joe Sharp.

For the book, ‘The adventures of Francie and Josie,’ click here.

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