Monday, September 12, 2005

A Night At The Rurals

Long ago I promised myself that I would sample life in the “Rurals” as they are known in Scotland. Their longer name is the Scottish Women's Rural Institute but they are better known by their English counterpart's name – The Womens Institute. Typically the Scots have their own independent take on what this means. There is no “Jerusalem” here, although I did spot a lonely jar of plum jam in the raffle. Instead there was a Scots hymn sung in the strong local accent I am still trying to master.

The entertainment for the night was a real joy – a group of amateur female bell ringers complete with a penguin mascot. Although probably not the most accomplished campanologists, they made up for the occasional error with wit and charm that was quite captivating. Their special hand bells came funded by the Co-op but their music was from the heart. Some of us in the audience tried the Westminster chimes with a set of learners bells and it was addictive. Invited to hum along to the music in accompaniment, the ladies of Largo Rurals spent a most gentle hour of pure delight.

Next month we have to entertain ourselves and I have asked to take my spinning wheel. The chairs are diabolical, bent plywood circa 1960 on a curved metal frame, each with an optimistic pad of carpet to ease the pain. At least with my wheel in tow a more comfortable chair comes as standard.