Whose Story Is This?

by Ruth Boardman for Storytelling Week 2020

By Ruth from Logie Steading Bookshop

Today we start our week of stories from various people around Logie Steading in celebration of National Storytelling Week. It's going to be quite an eclectic mix of tales - some personal, some about objects, and some quite abstract!

It seems fitting to kick off with a tale from Ruth at Logie Steading Bookshop. Ruth runs the bookshop with her partner Annie and is a lifelong bookworm. Today's story is a book lover's mystery. How long will it take you to guess who the famous character is in this story?...


Whose Story is This?

I exist within the pages of a book. I have been brought to life in the imagination of countless children over many years, though I was originally written for adults. I am old now, old-fashioned even, yet still people buy me and enjoy the themes and symbolism within my story.

I first came to life in 1877. My creator was 57 years old and seriously ill. Her life had been blighted by health issues, beginning with a bad fall at the age of fourteen which left her reliant on crutches for the rest of her life. She had always been fond of reading and writing. Her family were devout Quakers and she assisted her mother in editing religious books for children. As her difficulties became more pronounced, she relied on the world she found within books to fulfil her.

It was after the family moved to London that she first became interested in me. Always a person of intense social conscience, she was moved by the plight of those like me and that concern clearly informed the book in which she eventually gave me my voice.

My life started well. I was nurtured and loved, by my mother and by everyone around me. Life was simple but rich in community spirit. I learned by example to be tolerant and caring. I had friends and was well-respected.

I grew up and the time came for me to leave home. It was hard to say goodbye to my mother and all that was familiar, but I always knew I couldn’t stay forever. I was ready to prove myself in the world. I found work serving a kind family who treated me well. I made two friends, one of whom was rather bad-tempered at first. Once she got to know and trust me though, we became close. Little by little, she told me about her early life and hearing how she had been treated made me understand why she was so defensive and irritable. I settled well and was happy in my work, but I did miss the freedom and liberty of my younger days.

Life was good for a few years. I was treated with kindness and respect and in the way these things work, I gave respect and good service in return. Without wishing to sound egotistical, I performed some good deeds for the family which increased their affection for me still further.

But life, it turned out, can be an unstable entity. A series of unforeseen events meant my secure position was taken away from me. I had no choice but to move on and in doing so, began to experience the tougher aspects of life. My behaviour didn’t change but I soon learned that not everyone treats you with the respect you give them. People can be unpredictable, unjust and unkind. Clearly, they have their reasons. Their own life experiences may have caused the behaviour, but that doesn’t make it any easier to take. Particularly when your own frame of reference is so different.

I struggled on. From time to time, I caught up with my dear friend from the past who was also having a hard time. Sadly, she didn’t survive, and my heart broke on the day I heard she had finally succumbed to the hardships placed upon her. I suppose we all have our preordained lives mapped out for us. Some of us have light and sunshine and love which endure for the whole time we exist. Others are not so fortunate. I consider my self among the lucky ones. Even though life became difficult for a while, my kind and gentle early life gave me the strength to withstand the adversity.

My ending is a happy one. The wheel of fortune turned in my favour and my life returned to in the way it had begun; I was loved and respected once more. I was reunited with an old friend from those early halcyon days. It took a while for us to recognize each other but once we had, the years fell away. I became happy and contented once more. I will always be grateful to that young girl who kept me in her head and her heart for so many years and finally gave me life just before her own was over.

Here is how she concluded my story…

‘My troubles are over, and I am at home; and often before I am quite awake, I fancy I am still in the orchard at Birtwick, standing with my old friends under the apple trees.’

Who am I?


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Whose Story Is This?

Terms & Conditions for fishing on Logie Estate

  1. Fishing on the river is restricted to 2 rods per beat and is to be by fly only. All fishing is from the right bank. By arrangement with the neighbouring estate there is no left bank fishing on the Relugas Middle and Top beats.
  2. The fishing is split into two 2 rod beats, Logie and Relugas, with Relugas sub divided into Middle and Top.  Beats can be taken together or separately. Logie is fished Monday to Saturday, Relugas Middle on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and Relugas Top on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Beats change at midnight.
  3. Fishermen must contact Logie Estate office on 01309 611300 a day or so before arrival to organise being shown onto the river. A map of pools, beats and access routes will be provided.
  4. Bio-security is important to the future of the river and anglers are asked to observe protection measures. The Findhorn District Fishery Board Conservation Code will be strictly observed. To summarise: All fish caught up to 14th May inclusive must be released. From 15th May, all salmon over 9 lbs / 4 kg / 28 inches / 72 cm are to be returned.  Below that measurement at least 70% of salmon and 50% of grilse caught should be released and a maximum of 1 salmon and / or 2 grilse per rod per week may be retained. In September all fish are to be returned. No gaffs or tailers are allowed.
  5. The Findhorn District Fishery Board Bio-security measures will be strictly observed and all fishermen in the party must sign the Bio-security Declaration. (Also available at http://www.fnlft.org.uk/downloads/)
  6. The Estate recommends that barbless hooks are used, fishermen are in possession of a disgorger and that knotless nets are used. All possible care should be taken when returning fish to the river, they should be handled as little, and gently, as possible and should not be removed from the water.
  7. The catch should be reported at the end of each day of fishing to Logie Estate Office on 01309 611300. If the office is closed, please leave a message on the answering machine with the date, weight and pool. Please also report a nil catch day.
  8. Dogs are allowed on the river but must be kept strictly under control at all times. The Estate reserves the right to ask tenants to remove dogs if they are considered to be out of control.
  9. Rod, line and fly size are dependent on prevailing weather and water conditions and personal choice. In general, maximum rod length needed is 13ft with a size 8 or 9 line, usually floating. Fly sizes range from 6 – 8 in the spring down to 12 or less in summer low water.
  10. Safety must be considered at all times. All beats have a variety of pools with some suitable for most heights of water. Little wading is necessary and river paths are good however the fishing is within the Findhorn gorge, access to some of the pools is quite steep and a degree of rock scrambling is often necessary when playing and landing fish. Please be aware that a reasonable level of fitness and mobility is required. A buoyancy aid for each rod is provided and should be collected from Logie Estate Office on arrival, and returned to the Estate Office (or to the outbuilding opposite if office is closed) on departure. Logie Estate strongly recommends that buoyancy aids are worn when fishing and not doing so is entirely at fishermen’s own risk. Please pay attention at all times, avoid slips and falls, wear appropriate footwear, look out for overhead electricity lines, watch the weather and pay attention to livestock. Take extra care if fishing alone.
  11. Anglers need to supply or hire their own equipment (except buoyancy aids, which are provided).
  12. Ghillieing/tuition is available by on a first come, first served basis. This must be booked in advance with the Estate Office and is subject to availability. A half day ghillieing/tuition is approx. 3 hours, full day approx. 6 hours. Please contact the estate office or check our website for current rates. Rates do not include discretionary tips.
  13. Rod, Reel & Line hire is available by on a first come, first served basis. This must be booked in advance with the Estate Office and is subject to availability. Please contact the estate office or check our website for current rates. A rod, reel and line set is for one person and is subject to a fully refundable damage deposit of £100.
  14. Aside from fishermen, others, including rafters and kayakers, enjoy this stretch of river and mutual respect and consideration is expected.
  15. Bookings are confirmed when initial payment is received. Subsequent changes in dates or number or rods are entirely subject to the Estate’s discretion and to availability. Change of dates, if accepted, incur an administration fee. In the event of a cancellation the tenant must advise Logie Estate immediately, whereupon Logie will endeavour to re-let. If a new tenant can be found the deposit will be returned less any expenses incurred for advertising, office costs, etc., and less any shortfalls in discounted list price. Until such time as a vacancy has been re-let the hirer is responsible for making any further payment by the due dates. Failure to do so may mean that the hirer forfeits any refund if the dates are re-let. If it is not possible to re-let, all payments are still payable by the due date(s). It is unlikely that a refund can be made for a late cancellation. Logie Estate recommends that fishermen take out relevant cancellation insurance.
  16. Subletting fishing is only allowed with Logie Estate’s permission.
  17. Logie Estate reserves the right to immediately withdraw fishing without compensation from anyone who breaks these or associated conditions, or flouts normal standards of behaviour or fishing etiquette.