If you truly could not give a rats about what I have written, click on the picture above, it will take you to a clip that I love. Gets going around the one minute mark.
First draft. This is the intro into the life and times of Mrs. Hudson. The central most aspect to what I had originally entitled “Agnes Ross”.
As a result of my parentage on my mothers side, I have had to change her name as, so it turns out that it was my grandmothers name prior to marrying my grandfather, H.G. Wilkins, although Gran was known as Helen Wilkins, the Agnes left off. Incidentally, my Grandfather, Harrie Gordon Wilkins, was known only as Gordon Wilkins. There you go, the things you forget.
Hence resultant, Morag Baird is born.
The Girl in the Wallpaper’ – the 28th of June, 1914. – Mrs. Martha Morag Hudson
Born a Scot, Paisley the place of my birth; the winter of 1860. I was christened soon after in the family parish ‘Martha Morag Baird’. My family was not remarkable in any way, yet of some half decent breeding; sadly my family had lost the majority of their estate’s and wealth through nothing more enduring bad luck.
When I was aged nine, my sister and I were allowed our first holiday without our parents, staying with relatives, Father’s brother and his family, for a fortnight. We found the travel unchaperoned quite delicious, travelling by rail ALONE. Our holiday a result of a holiday my parents and brother were taking themselves. I do not recall the name of the village of my Aunts home; nothing more than it was in the far wilds of the north, which retrospectively was possibly ten miles away.
Tragically, while my sister and I were revelling in the joys of staying with relations having children of our own ages, and none of the stern ministrations of my Father. Within a week of us immersing ourselves into the magic of that holiday, both of my parents and my only brother were lost at sea, west of the Isle of Gigha. They had sailed from Glasgow en route a visit with family living within the Inner Hebrides.
All hands aboard were lost, the vessel disappeared without trace. The only vague exception to this is a possible sighting of their ship by a Royal Naval vessel which had seen a ship matching the description of that carrying my parents. HMS Warrior’s account reflects ‘one trading vessel sighted three points off the port bow. Estimated distance three sea miles; vessel listing heavily to port; observation made through light fog. No distress signal sighted. – Watch – mid forenoon; Able Seaman Lisle, Port Lookout’. Nothing more is known.
Hence, my sister aged 13 at the time, and myself, moved in with my widowed Aunt some twelve odd miles east of Fort William; a wee place called ‘Glenfinnan’’; found in the Lochaber area of the Highlands.
Via the Executor of my parents will, we were able to make a slight change to it with little fuss. Hence, instead of money’s and estate being split evenly between those siblings that remained to outlive our parents be evenly divided. My sister and I were enabled to split what moneys there were from the sale of what estate remained; 40% each for my sister and I to be made available to us either upon marriage, or, attaining 21 years of age; whichever came first. The remaining 20% went immediately to our Aunt, my Fathers elder sister, for the purpose of raising us. Which she did with love, care, a firm hand, and a disciplined classic education as best could be afforded at a nearby Ladies Finishing School. My sister and I both leaving with distinction, and away into the world we ventured. This is the last I shall mention of my parents, my brother, and my sister.
Angus and I met at about the same time as my sister and I moved in with my Aunt. We had been childhood friends, who progressed to young sweethearts, and when I was 19, we had courted and wed.
Presided over by Father Donald McDonald, our ceremony was simple, but absolutely beautiful. Smiles and flowers and perfect July weather. Our honeymoon was deliciously adventurous, travelling to far away Edinburgh (my how the world has become ever so much smaller in my lifetime), to stay for an entire week. As those from parts foreign to Edinburgh are want to do, we wandered the Royal Mile, explored what we could of the castle and Holyrood Palace. We wandered hand in hand far and wide within that beautiful city. On our return to Glenfinnan, I, now Mrs. Angus Hudson, came into my inheritance, and Angus and I, through the instruction of Hamish’s father, purchased a small, rather run down cottage. But a cottage that was ours for us to build on, love and cherish, and one day fill with the gayest children!
Angus worked with his hands and back with his brother on the family farm. I became a temporary governess at Glenfinnan House, as the Lady of the House had taken ill, and the wee bairns required some basic education and watching over throughout the day, yet were in bed by seven every night. I was then able to disappear the mile and a half home on foot by 7.30pm.
My stay at the Glenfinnan House lasted two and a half months, although the post was still very much mine, and sorely needed.
Whilst shoeing a youngish stallion, a plough horse more precisely, Angus had been kicked by the beast. The beast’s mighty hoof catching him squarely in the back, sending him careening into an anvil secured to the floor not more than three feet behind. The force of the blow so great, and the sudden halting crash into the unmoving anvil, he broke a good number of bones in his chest; front and back, puncturing his lungs and breaking his vertebrae from the power of the kick. By the time a boy had been sent up to the Manor, located me, and got me back to the farm, Angus was drowning in his own blood; bright and bubbling gently over his bottom lip. My beautiful young husband, via a rasping, gurgling voice, told me he was without feeling from the middle of his back and below. A doctor had been summoned at the same time as I, arriving shortly after myself. According to the doctor, his name I have no recollection of, declared him to have a ‘flail chest’ and punctured lungs. He had Angus’s shirt removed and torn to bandages, binding his alabaster torso tightly, reducing the movement of broken bones grinding upon themselves. Then the surrounding men, under the doctor’s instruction, bound Angus’s ankles, tied a rope to them, and threw the rope over a beam in the smiths shed, hauling Angus upside down to drain the blood from his lung’s, theoretically stopping Angus drowning in the process; and straightening his spine as he did so. This worked for a time, and a bucket was placed beneath him, slowly filling with the blood drained from him. Angus appeared to improve slightly with this treatment. My husband, hanged inverted for a good twenty minutes, and when the amount of blood from his lungs had all but stopped running from him, the doctor had Angus pulled down.
Sadly, I did not realise immediately that with his being returned to a horizontal position, he, my Angus, had stopped breathing. The colour in his cheeks draining away before me with uncanny rapidity; replacing the redness of his lips to a shade of blue I shall never forget. And there, with his head in my arms, he silently died. I don’t exactly know when, but his face softened from the rictus of pain that had held him.
We buried Angus, Father McDonald presiding once more, two days later behind the church where we had been wed not six months earlier. I moved back in with my Aunt, unable to set foot into the cottage Angus and I had made our home ever again. As such I sold it off as quickly as possible.
Colonel John McDonald, Laird of the Manor, so to speak, for whom I was still employed, bought it immediately. I suspect he purchased it purely out of respect for myself and the tragedy of my situation, paying me more than we had paid for it only months before. With silent thanks, I accepted the sum of money he offered.
My heart broken, such as it was, I felt that I was unable to remain anywhere near Glenfinnan; promptly travelling to Glasgow, with the hope of securing work and a vague form stability back into my life. After a month, I left. Hollowness filled me, and Glasgow held not a hint of happiness for me. Standing at the Buchanan St. Station, I took a train to Edinburgh, causing me to burst immediately into tears upon arrival there. I walked to where the man selling tickets sat in his wee booth, and inquired of him when the next train was leaving, to which he replied “the next train to where?” After telling him I cared not the ‘to’ but rather the ‘from’, I found myself seated in a second class carriage, and on the way to the great sprawling grey Dame that is London. It is here that my life truly began, and is the result of all I have become.
Righty-oh then, click the picture, what emerges is not just clever, it is that step beyond. It really gets going at the one minute mark.