Just before I was ordained, the Kirk Session at Forth:St. Paul’s decided to sell the manse and purchase a plot on the edge of the village for the construction of  a new  manse – a six-roomed bungalow. We lived in the Victorian villa for six months and were removed to a small but comfortable SSHA house for the next year.

So within the space of two years we removed twice both by carriage pram and farmer’s trailer. We held an open house for the new manse and the congregation seemed very satisfied with the result. Interestingly, the name of the street was ‘Learig’. In due course, Mary-Catherine made a beautiful blue and white quilt to celebrate our new home and called it ‘Learig’.

When we bought our own house for our retirement, we were given the opportunity to name it. Mary-Catherine was keen to call it ‘Learig’. Of course, it drew us back to the early days of my ministry and the start of our family but there was more to it than that. The learig had a special affection in our hearts for two reasons.

By examining an old map of St. Andrews, we discovered that the houses on our street were built on the learig, the strip of land on the edge of the farmer’s field which had been left uncultivated. Traditionally, it was a favored meeting place for courting couples who could walk there undisturbed by other people and enjoy their romantic relationship.

There is something attractive about creating a home on a piece of land where couples held hands and embraced each other in Nature’s uncultivated haven. And to write a blog from a place which was traditionally on the edge of the field. For retirement has set me on this margin where there’s freedom to observe the busyness of each season and to reflect on the things of the heart.

David P. Scott, our elder son, painted the geometric logo above and called it ‘Learig’.


Behold! I tell you a mystery!

In the bulb there is a flower’  is  Hymn 727  in our Church Hymnary (Fourth Edition). The words were written by Natalie Sleeth. Colin J Scott, our younger son,  has written a tune for it. Here it is sung by David D Scott. You can read more about it in ‘Blog on the Learig’ (17  June 2020). Enjoy!