Christmas Spirit

A good Christmas had by all.  Our three children with us – and granny too – so a day to savour.  I’ve been in Alyth, the Cathedral and Auchterarder and it’s been great.  But I still miss the parish at Christmas – when I knew not just the people who were there regularly but those who turned up at Christmas and brought all sorts of complicated reasons with them.

Tesco on Christmas Eve was not an experience to savour but I did enjoy one bit of nebbing as I listened to social change happening ‘right now as we speak’.  Young couple standing by the bread counter.  ‘Why are you buying that?’ he asked as she lifted a baguette.  ‘To make crostini,’ she responded.  ‘What’s that?’  ‘You slice it thinly .. and drizzle it with olive oil .. and put it in the oven.’  ‘Why would you do that?’ he asked.  Sometimes I actually do get at least to the edges of understanding why women give up.


  1. “nebbing”. I had no problem with the word, although I’d not heard it before – must be something Celtic (with a hard C) Scots word neb means nose, therefore, “sticking your nose in”, therefore , as Dorothy said “eavesdropping”. Simple!

  2. Well – yes it does. But the expert nebber does directional eavesdropping – which means that one acquires the ability to be intensely interested in something else in the middle distance while tuning in. But I do wish people would improve their diction. Joined-up grunting is so difficult to follow.

  3. ….just means eavesdropping, doesn’t it? The reason I read so many blogs!!! Great fun!

  4. I did wonder that and carried out a small consumer survey before using it. Too good a word to let go. It may, of course, mean that they do use the word but that it means something completely different. We’ll just have to wait and see.

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