Liz Douglas
Meditation on a Shepherds Lantern Curved Forms Meditation on a Shepherds Lantern Print Tools for Survival Hawick Thirteen Drifty Days Thirteen Drifty Days - referencing James Hogg 'The Shepherds' Calendar' 19th Century Shepherds Lantern

Thirteen Drifty Days
- referencing James Hogg 'The Shepherds' Calendar'

'Tools for Survival'
© 2019 Liz Douglas

‘Tools for Survival’ – a conversation between artists Liz Douglas, Jenny Pope and Felicity Bristow


‘The Thirteen Drifty Days’ and ‘The Blast o’ March’
This work is inspired by two stories from Storms-  ‘ The Thirteen Drifty Days’ and ‘The Blast o’March’ -  James Hogg’s  ‘The Shepherd’s Calendar’.

The stories are about two devastating storms which occurred in the South of Scotland in the 17th century and remain in the memory of people for their severity. This is one story….

The Blast o March

“Which happened on the 24th day of that month in the year 16… on a Monday’s morning; and though it lasted only for one forenoon, it was calculated to have destroyed upwards of a thousand scores of sheep, as well as a number of shepherds. There is one anecdote of this storm that is worthy of being preserved as it is shows with how much attention shepherds as well as sailors should observe the appearances of the sky.  The Sunday evening before was so warm that the lasses went home from church barefoot, and the young men threw off their plaids and coats and carried them over their shoulders. A large group of these younkers going home from the church of Yarrow equipped in this manner chanced to pass by an old shepherd on the farm of Newhouse named Walter Blake who had all his sheep gathered into the side of a wood. They asked at Watie, who was a very religious man what could have induced him to gather his sheep on the Sabbath day? He answered that he had seen an ill-hued weather-gaw that morning and was afraid it was going to be a drift. There were so much amused at Watie’s apprehensions that they clapped their hands and laughed at him and one pert girl cried

“Aye fie tak’ care Watie; I wadna say but it may be thrapple deep or the morn.” Another asked if he wasna rather feared for the sun burning the een out o’ their heads? and a third if he didna keep a correspondence wi’ the thieves an’ kend they were to ride that night. Watie was obliged to bear all this for the evening was fine beyond anything generally seen at that season and only said to them at parting “Weel weel callans; time will try a; let him laugh that wins; but slacks will be sleek, a hogg for the howking; we’ll a’ get horns to tout on the morn.” The saying grew proverbial but Watie was the only man who saved the whole of his stock in that country.”

Hogg James, The Shepherds Calendar,
Edinburgh University Press, 2002, p2-3

Liz Douglas acknowledges support towards this project from a Visual Artist and Craft Maker Award: South of Scotland 2019 in partnership with Creative Scotland.

Liz Douglas: Mire