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TITLE
'Another Time, Another Place' (3)
EXTERNAL ID
AB_LL_JESSIE_KESSON_03
DATE OF RECORDING
2008
PERIOD
2000s
CREATOR
Jessie Kesson
SOURCE
Am Baile
ASSET ID
1375
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.

'She would, Kirsty suggested, peering over the fence, have been a lot better with a bit of netting wire. For Kirsty 'hoped to God' that the young woman wasn't expecting to win a prize at the flower show in the village 'with rogue sweet-peas. Running riot all over the place'.

She had no intention, the young woman snapped, offended by such unwanted cristicism, no intention in the owrld, of setting foot within a mile of the flower show. Nor of 'exhibiting' sweet-peas.

She must go, Kirsty insisted. They always went. It was expected. They all went together. The young woman would have to put in an appearance. Maybe, maybe she only imagined a tone of desperation in Kirsty's voice. A plea for reinforcement.

It hadn't been imagination. The young woman realised that the moment she stepped inside the marquee. For, although the village lay little more than a mile away from them, the cottar wives had no real part in its integral life. They could have 'dropped' in from another plant, to find themselves invisible, in a marquee. Huddling closely together, they began to wander round the different 'sections', their voices rising loud in praise of each and every exhibit on show. As if the sound of themselves could merge within that of the folk who surrounded them.

'Miss McCarthel, from Burnside, for her foreign mission,' Kirsty whispered as a woman homed towards them, rattling a collection tin. 'She gives herself to the poor.'

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' (3)

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 /> 'She would, Kirsty suggested, peering over the fence, have been a lot better with a bit of netting wire. For Kirsty 'hoped to God' that the young woman wasn't expecting to win a prize at the flower show in the village 'with rogue sweet-peas. Running riot all over the place'.<br /> <br /> She had no intention, the young woman snapped, offended by such unwanted cristicism, no intention in the owrld, of setting foot within a mile of the flower show. Nor of 'exhibiting' sweet-peas.<br /> <br /> She must go, Kirsty insisted. They always went. It was expected. They all went together. The young woman would have to put in an appearance. Maybe, maybe she only imagined a tone of desperation in Kirsty's voice. A plea for reinforcement.<br /> <br /> It hadn't been imagination. The young woman realised that the moment she stepped inside the marquee. For, although the village lay little more than a mile away from them, the cottar wives had no real part in its integral life. They could have 'dropped' in from another plant, to find themselves invisible, in a marquee. Huddling closely together, they began to wander round the different 'sections', their voices rising loud in praise of each and every exhibit on show. As if the sound of themselves could merge within that of the folk who surrounded them.<br /> <br /> 'Miss McCarthel, from Burnside, for her foreign mission,' Kirsty whispered as a woman homed towards them, rattling a collection tin. 'She gives herself to the poor.'<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.