When I moved to Scotland, I prepared (as I thought) by reading Lewis Grassic Gibbon pretty thoroughly. Wonderful ‘speak’ from the Mearns – i.e. E. Scotland. But we went to Callander, where many of the words and expressions I tried out met a blank stare. It leans more to Glasgow, I guess.
I’ve not used the word ‘redd’ much here, but it’s what I like to do around Hogmanay. Scots dictionary definition: “To clear (a space, or a passage) by removal of debris, undergrowth or other encumbrances”. I started with the chimney, which I swept. Then recycled the wrapping paper still floating around. Chipped away at the ice encumbrances on the drive. Looked at the undergrowth of stuff to be filed and decided that it didn’t have to be all completed by January 1st.
But without deadlines, or at least notional target times, I’d probably put off redding , even though I like the end result of clearer and more orderly space to live in. I suppose that’s why the Church’s year is also a Good Thing. W.H. Auden had a wry take on this time of year in ‘Well, so that is that‘
“The Christmas Feast is already a fading memory / and already the mind begins to be vaguely aware / of an unpleasant whiff of apprehension at the thought / of Lent and Good Friday which cannot, after all, now / be very far off.”
The much more serious redding of the soul that begins on Ash Wednesday is still well over 2 months off. New Year resolutions are just a secular warm-up. But traditionally, you are supposed to settle quarrels as well as pay off debts before New Year, which seems like good practice for Lenten forgiveness.