Isabella Reid Murray was born and brought up in the fishing community of the North East of Scotland.
Her inquring, intelligent mind, coupled with a broad experience of life, led her to write the book ‘From the Corners of My Mind’ which is now widely available from various outlets across the area.
Isabella lived in the days when, if hard work ashore and afloat was no guarantee of financial success, no financial success came without it.
Her mother was a Brocher, born in Fraserburgh, while her father was a Buckie Blaaver as the natives of Buckie were once called.
Their marriage, between two fisherfolk of different ports, was typical of those days; typical too of their Christian background.
Isabella’s account of her parents and grandparents, their lives and loves, is sensitively written and a valuable, lasting testimony of those times.
On reviewing her book, Andrew Noble told the Herald: “I consulted two old friends of mine, both ladies of a similar background, age and intelligence as Isabella for their opinion.
“They noted Isabella had had a hard life. Focusing on her family she faced and overcame difficulties as they arose. Later in life, though by then a single parent, Isabella was able to satisfy her desire for education, in taking first first her ‘Higher’s then a University degree and therafter follow a teaching career.
“Education gave her a good literary style and the book is very readable with here and there an excellent turn of phrase. My friends describe her as a talented individual.”
Speaking on a personal note, as someone interested in the social history of the North East fisher folk Andrew says he found occasional little gems stirring his memory.
“Reminiscing about those days, Isabella recalls the simple, yet real pleasure of singing Sankey hymns with friends and family around the organ at home on a Sunday evening. A custom once so much a feature of that fisher life and an inspiration to the menfolk, as later they sailed, “Back O’ Sunday” or on Monday morning.”
He adds: The book goes far beyond that fishing background and, as a detailed record of a North East girl’s ultimate triumph over the vicissitudes of life, her growing experience of the wider world, her pleasure and satisfaction in bringing up her family, her tales of holidays and friends is well worth reading.”
Softback copies of the book are available at £15, plus P&P, by calling (01779) 472017.