December 10th, 2016


Socttishism in Book

He stood in the close mouth... Deep and Crisp and Even by Peter Turnbull.

Title refrence: Good King Wenceslas :  Good King Wenceslas looked out/On the feast of Stephen/When the snow lay round about./Deep and crisp and even

A “close” in Scotland is a narrow passageway. In early times it ran between houses in a town—such closes are still to be found in ancient districts, such as the area flanking the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. In the past century the close has also come to mean the entryway that gives access to the stairs leading to the tenement apartments above.  Some closes and the stairwells leading from them are lined in their lower half by colorful ceramic tiles.  In fererence to the fact that in years past many of the tiles came from the Walloon region of Belgium, these are known as "wally" closes.  To live in a wally close was to quote Edward Boyd, "an unspoken statement of your credit rating, of your accent, the schools your children attended, the kind of clubs you joined or that would be prepared to have you as a member."  Tile meant upper middle class.  [from Many Changeful Years by Graham Lister, p. 89] ... The listener knew to wait at the close mouth.