Pining for the West

The Daft Days by Neil Munro | December 9, 2009

I was raking around in the attic the other day looking for a particular book which I didn’t find, but I did come across The Daft Days which I vaguely remember buying from a second-hand bookshop a while ago. It’s a favourite pastime of mine – haunting old bookshops but sadly there aren’t so many of them around nowadays.

Anyway, I hadn’t got around to reading it and decided to rectify the matter. In fact I had never read anything by Neil Munro before and I didn’t really know what to expect. I was very pleasantly surprised by the book.

It was written in 1907 and is the story of Lennox Dyce from Chicago who travels to Scotland to live with her aunts and an uncle after the death of her parents. The first surprise for the adults is the fact that Lennox is a girl as they had been expecting the arrival of a boy. Mind you I used to know a girl called Lennox, so it isn’t unknown. The girl goes by the name of Bud and turns out to be such an open, friendly and charming wee soul that she takes the small town by storm and is soon a great favourite with the townsfolk.

She goes on to change the lives of the inhabitants in various ways and also to broaden their outlook on life. Bud grows up to become an actress in London and is the pride of her Scottish home town. Quite a feat when you consider the narrow Presbyterianism which pervades the place.

It’s a long time since I read Anne of Green Gables but if I am remembering correctly, The Daft Days is a similar kind of story, only set in Scotland. It ‘s an enjoyable homely sort of a read, I suppose you could say that it is couthie.

I know that at one point there was a vogue for books set in Scotland and there was a group of authors known as ‘Kailyard’ writers and I think that this might come under that category. It must have been written around the time that J.M. Barrie was writing his Tommy and Grizel and The Little Minister sorts of books. It’s a pity that people only remember him for Peter Pan now as his other books are well worth reading.

So I’ll have to find some more Neil Munro books to try out. If you want to know more about him you should visit the Neil Munro Society.

I would really like to know why the cover of Gilian, the Dreamer is a self-portrait by Archibald Skirving, which I recognised immediately. In what way, if any, are the two connected?



  1. Not heard of Neil Munro either. this sounds a bit like ‘Pollyanna’, where a child changes all the lives of the people she comes into contact with: they benefit and are made better by having known her. Still not decided what to reread for this challenge yet….

    Comment by echostains — December 11, 2009 @ 11:58 pm

    • Yes I thought it was like Pollyanna but wasn’t sure, never read it, vaguely remember seeing a bit on T.V. but it didn’t really appeal to me. Neil Munro is most famous for writing the Para Handy stories which were shown on T.V. in the 60s. They were set on a steamboat which was on the Clyde. Not sure if they were shown in England. I keep changing my mind about what to read for the challenge but I don’t think that it matters.

      Comment by piningforthewest — December 12, 2009 @ 6:14 pm

  2. I’m still trying to work out how the button thing works. Any ideas? Do we put in on Aarti’s site to link to ours? I kind of made one, but don’t know what to do with it, lol!

    Comment by echostains — December 12, 2009 @ 10:30 pm

    • According to my firstborn you should put the button on your own site, presumably so it can link to the challenge. I haven’t done anything as I’m still thinking of doing a major revamp. Still trying to get you know what cards written and might manage some decorations before the 25th!

      Comment by piningforthewest — December 13, 2009 @ 9:03 pm

  3. We’ve always had one real tree and a not too bad fake one but I’m with you – hate the thought of a fibre optic one. Don’t know if I’ll bother with a real one this year though. Not feeling festive at all really – should do though as we feel very lucky that both boys have got good jobs after graduating, unlike so many poor souls this year.

    Comment by piningforthewest — December 13, 2009 @ 11:11 pm

    • Yes, I agree, we shouldn’t moan really, especailly when others are having a bad time. It feels so GOOD to moan though, lol! In fact it makes me feel quite FESTIVE! There’s nothing like a good old moan about Christmas. I moan about it coming, moan about it when its here and all the stuff I have to do, moan about it when its over and all the money I’ve spent. It should be called Moanmus really. I think moaning has become part of the Christmas tradition now, lol!

      Comment by echostains — December 14, 2009 @ 9:39 am

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