Monday, October 12, 2020

"The Pelt" of Portavogie

I never met her, but she was a real person, and her presence spooked the older generation of fishermen. If they encountered her on their way to the harbour to set off for their week's fishing the superstition was that they couldn't go - they had to go back home and try again some other time to make it to the boat. She lived in the village and wore both strange clothing and a strange demeanour. 

I've no idea what her actual name was, she was only ever called in handed-down stories as 'The Pelt'. And above is the entry from the Concise Scots Dictionary that I came across just yesterday – "a person of little value ... a shabby garment, a worthless rag".

As Victoria Williams and Pearl Jam sang in the 1993 track about someone similar, called Crazy Mary"that what you fear the most, could meet you halfway".

Looking back now I expect that she must have had some trauma or difficulties in her life. I hope some folk were kind to her.