Day 427: Cellardyke

Laetitia and her group drove along the north shore of the Firth of Forth to Pittenweem. The name is derived from Pictish and Scottish Gaelic, meaning “the place of caves.” Perhaps the most famous of the underground caverns in the area is the Cave of St. Fillan, an Irish monk who came to Fife from Munster in the eighth century. The tradition about St. Fillan is that he had the power of healing the sick and that his arm glowed, enabling him to read scriptures and write sermons in a dark sea cave. An arm bone of St. Fillan was given to Robert Bruce on the eve of the victorious Battle of Bannockburn and some credit the relic with Bruce’s success. In commemoration of the victory, Bruce established a monastery dedicated to St. Fillan. The group visited St. Fillan’s Cave and then drove on to Cellardyke, their evening’s abode. Laetitia penned a couple of lines of verse en route.

When they arrived in Cellardyke, they did a walkabout. Cellardyke’s harbor was once filled with its herring fishing fleet, but is now home to mostly pleasure craft. A town with a name like Cellardyke might have been featured in one of the Bailey and Hurst Rude books, but isn’t. As they walked along, a woman in the group named Liz, from London’s east end, asked a local man if they would find a “three-wheel trike” in a cellar in Cellardyke. When he walked away puzzled, Liz explained to the group, “Three-wheel trike is Cockney rhyming slang for masculine lesbian. In rhyming slang, two or three words that rhyme with a rude word are substituted for it. Some of these can get complex, with rhyming slang phrases replacing other rhyming slang phrases. It seems obscure to those unfamiliar with it.” Laetitia remembered encountering it once before, when they were in Bristol. She decided to use it as the basis for the day’s limerick.

When Liz queried if she’d see the like
Of what Cockneys call a three-wheel trike
In some local cellar
It puzzled a feller
In the Scottish town named Cellardyke.

Day 426: Swallow Craig

Since it is a relatively short drive across the Forth Road Bridge, many of those who live in Dalgety Bay work in Edinburgh. Since Laetitia’s pervious group had only done a few of the many things to do in Edinburgh, she decided to go back there. They started the day by going to the National Museum of Scotland and the Royal Museum next door. For Lunch they went to the Hawes Inn, overlooking the Firth of Forth. Robert Louis Stevenson was a native of Edinburgh who is said to have returned there and stayed at the Hawes Inn when he wrote his novel Kidnapped. The story is about a young orphan whose next of kin has him kidnapped and shipped off to the American colonies to be sold into indentured servitude so the uncle can steal the lad’s inheritance. In the novel, the scene of the kidnapping is the Hawes Inn.

They returned that afternoon to Dalgety Bay and visited Swallow Craig, the second of the town’s streets listed in Rude UK. It is a cul de sac near the Inches, visited the day before. There was nothing in particular about the street or the events of the day that inspired a limerick so she simply made one up.

When Daisy went to Swallow Craig
She took advice from her friend Meg
To glide through the town
In a red evening gown
That was split up the side to show leg.

Day 425: The Inches

From Edinburgh, Laetitia and her group crossed the Firth of Forth on the Firth Road Bridge and went to Dunfermline, in Fife, where they visited the Pittencrieff House Museum and the Dunfermline Museum and Art Gallery. Later, en route to Dalgety Bay, they went to Pitreavie Castle, a seventeenth-century country house on land that once belonged to Lady Christina Bruce, the sister of Robert the Bruce. There are two streets in Dalgety Bay that are found in Rude UK: the Inches (number 29) and Swallow Craig (number 43). Laetitia decided to go to the Inches today and Swallow Craig tomorrow. She and her group walked down the curving residential street that connects River Walk and River View before going to their hotel for the evening. After arranging to meet for dinner at a designated restaurant, Laetitia went to a pub, where gossip about a local fellow provided the limerick of the day.

Young Jake, who’s a fellow that pinches
To get the attention of wenches
Has a tongue that will wag
And loudly will brag
That he’s grandly endowed in the Inches.

Day 424: Fleshmarket Close

No visit to Scotland would be complete without a visit to Edinburgh, so Laetitia brought her group there. They began with the Royal Mile, a succession of streets approximately a mile in length through the medieval part of the city between Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace. Perched atop a volcanic plug, the castle is a dominating feature of the city. The castle’s history is lengthy and complex, so Laetitia arranged a private tour guide for her group rather than lead the tour herself. When the tour was over, Laetitia met her group on the esplanade, a relatively level cobblestone area leading to the outermost castle gate.

Walking down the Royal Mile, they stopped for a drink at Deacon Brodie’s Tavern. The tavern’s namesake was a respectable citizen by day, but by night gambled, drank, philandered, and robbed neighborhood houses and businesses. His crimes were eventually exposed, and he was hanged. Brodie’s hypocritical double life inspired Robert Louis Stevenson to write The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

When Laetitia told her group that they were going to visit Fleshmarket Close (number 97, Rude UK) many expected that they were going to a red light district. Instead, when they arrived they found a narrow passage connecting Cockburn and Market Streets. They found no ladies of the night, but they did find a meat market at the Market Street end, likely not the original for which the close was named. One member of the group named Jed seemed especially disappointed. The meat market advertised haggis, and when some of the group expressed curiosity about it, Laetitia decided to look for a pub that served it.

They went to a pub called The Covenanters, a curious name, since the real covenanters tended to be dour folk who were often teetotalers. At the pub Laetitia ordered drinks and a haggis appetizer for the group. When the order came, Jed asked the waiter what the haggis was made of. “It’s offal,” replied the waiter.

Jed said, “I’ll judge for myself whether it’s good or not, but what’s in it?”

“It’s mostly organ meats and oatmeal,” said the waiter, “though what we make here is likely much tastier than it was in the old days.” Satisfied, Jed tried the haggis and seemed to enjoy it. Later, Laetitia presented the limerick of the day.

When Jed went to Fleshmarket Close
He found no loose women in hose
That he hoped he’d encounter
But instead a meat counter
Where haggis and cutlets repose.