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TITLE
'Another Time, Another Place' (1)
EXTERNAL ID
AB_LL_JESSIE_KESSON_01
DATE OF RECORDING
2008
PERIOD
2000s
CREATOR
Jessie Kesson
SOURCE
Am Baile
ASSET ID
1373
KEYWORDS
audio
literary landscapes

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This audio extract is from 'Another Time, Another Place' by Jessie Kesson, first published in 1983. It is read here by a pupil from Fortrose Academy.

'There would be no lifting of the tatties today, nor the morn, not if the rain kept dinging on like this. But the real storm, the furious conflict between the wind and the rain, was being waged high over the firth. For the earth itself never put up a fight against the vagary of such weather, but laid itself down, flat and desolate, in submission.

It had upset Kirsty, her bairns 'let off' school to help with the 'lifting' ... 'In and out amongst her feet'.

'Keep away from that bothy!' Her voice rose in warning to the bairns. 'Iv'e told you before. And will not be telling you again. Keep away from the 'Italians'!'

Bird-like, the bairns seemed to the young woman. Hopping cautiously but curiously up to peep through the both window. Fluttering away in a startled group as their mother's threats became louder.

'This weather,' Kirsty confided to the young woman, 'will suit the Italians. Nothing to do but sit on their backsides in the bothy. It will fair suit them.'

It suited the terns, taking up uits challenge, scudding high across the firth, wheeling defiantly round in the teeth of the wind, filling them out with white pride, like pictures the young woman had seen of sailing ships in olden times. Hard to tell whether the crying of the terns sounded distress or delight. Delight, she liked to think, as she watched them zooming down and rising high. Like fighter planes, across the firth.'

Jessie Grant McDonald was born in an Inverness workhouse to an unmarried mother. She and her mother moved to Elgin where they lived in poverty until eventually Jessie was taken into an orphanage at Skene in Aberdeenshire.

Jessie went into service in 1932 but after suffering a nervous breakdown she was sent to a croft at Abriachan, near Loch Ness, where she met her future husband, Johnnie Kesson. The couple moved first to Rothienorman, near Fyvie, before settling on the Black Isle, during the war. Encouraged by Neil Gunn and the Aberdeen author, Nan Shepherd, Jessie began writing for the 'Scots Magazine'. She wrote plays for the BBC in Aberdeen before moving to London in 1947. She went on to produce BBC's 'Women's Hour' and continued to write plays for radio and television.

Jessie's novels were influenced greatly by her life and experiences. Her first novel, 'The White Bird Passes' (1958) draws on her traumatic childhood experiences. 'Glitter of Mica' (1963) was set in Rothienorman, while Italian prisoners of war stationed at Brahan on the Black Isle gave her the inspiration for 'Another Time, Another Place' (1983). She was awarded an honourary DLitt in 1987 from Aberdeen University and died in London in 1994.

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'Another Time, Another Place' (1)

2000s

audio; literary landscapes

Am Baile

Literary Landscapes: Jessie Kesson

This audio extract is from 'Another Time, Another Place' by Jessie Kesson, first published in 1983. It is read here by a pupil from Fortrose Academy. <br /> <br /> 'There would be no lifting of the tatties today, nor the morn, not if the rain kept dinging on like this. But the real storm, the furious conflict between the wind and the rain, was being waged high over the firth. For the earth itself never put up a fight against the vagary of such weather, but laid itself down, flat and desolate, in submission.<br /> <br /> It had upset Kirsty, her bairns 'let off' school to help with the 'lifting' ... 'In and out amongst her feet'.<br /> <br /> 'Keep away from that bothy!' Her voice rose in warning to the bairns. 'Iv'e told you before. And will not be telling you again. Keep away from the 'Italians'!'<br /> <br /> Bird-like, the bairns seemed to the young woman. Hopping cautiously but curiously up to peep through the both window. Fluttering away in a startled group as their mother's threats became louder.<br /> <br /> 'This weather,' Kirsty confided to the young woman, 'will suit the Italians. Nothing to do but sit on their backsides in the bothy. It will fair suit them.'<br /> <br /> It suited the terns, taking up uits challenge, scudding high across the firth, wheeling defiantly round in the teeth of the wind, filling them out with white pride, like pictures the young woman had seen of sailing ships in olden times. Hard to tell whether the crying of the terns sounded distress or delight. Delight, she liked to think, as she watched them zooming down and rising high. Like fighter planes, across the firth.' <br /> <br /> Jessie Grant McDonald was born in an Inverness workhouse to an unmarried mother. She and her mother moved to Elgin where they lived in poverty until eventually Jessie was taken into an orphanage at Skene in Aberdeenshire. <br /> <br /> Jessie went into service in 1932 but after suffering a nervous breakdown she was sent to a croft at Abriachan, near Loch Ness, where she met her future husband, Johnnie Kesson. The couple moved first to Rothienorman, near Fyvie, before settling on the Black Isle, during the war. Encouraged by Neil Gunn and the Aberdeen author, Nan Shepherd, Jessie began writing for the 'Scots Magazine'. She wrote plays for the BBC in Aberdeen before moving to London in 1947. She went on to produce BBC's 'Women's Hour' and continued to write plays for radio and television.<br /> <br /> Jessie's novels were influenced greatly by her life and experiences. Her first novel, 'The White Bird Passes' (1958) draws on her traumatic childhood experiences. 'Glitter of Mica' (1963) was set in Rothienorman, while Italian prisoners of war stationed at Brahan on the Black Isle gave her the inspiration for 'Another Time, Another Place' (1983). She was awarded an honourary DLitt in 1987 from Aberdeen University and died in London in 1994.