This morning started off with a traditional breakfast at our hotel in downtown Glasgow: bangers, eggs, fresh breads, croissants, butter, marmalade, hot tomatoes and mushrooms, juices, fruits, cheeses and cold salami and very strong coffee.
After that light little breakfast, we waddled off to our coach to spend a day visiting Sma' Shot Cottages in nearby Paisley. The cottages were built in the 1700's. Our guides explained the harsh conditions the weavers who lived in this area (and in the actual homes the 25 in our group were led through). Docents in this historical site explained the lives of these workers. Not only did the weavers made the cloth, but they also dyed their yarns from the garden plants grown by their community efforts. It was usual that the weavers worked 18 hours a day, six days of the week. They made so little money from their work that they could not afford clothes worthy to be worn at church.
These families often had 12 or more children, and lived in a two room shot gun house with other generational family members. No electricity, a fire in the major room where they cooked food in their fireplace, ate only inches away from the fire, and also slept here, perhaps ten or twelve in this common room. No bathrooms, and chamber pots that were emptied outside the front window onto the pedestrian pathway.
A weaver foreman might have a four room cottage for his family. I doubt these workers had any sort of finery, but these hand made christening gowns were hung on a wall to display christening dresses from that era, but again, were available and used only by the wealthy.
Back to the garden. This is a picture of foxglove which was used for dyeing. It is growing in the heirloom garden which was in existence all the way back three centuries ago.
We had a lunch provided by the volunteers and then moved on to the Paisley Museum, opened in 1871. That museum has about 1,400 paisley shawls in its archives.
See another blog post from Mary at www.ladybugspinning.blogspot.com. Mary has a lot more pictures and writes well about our shared common experience viewing and learning about the original looms.
Tomorrow is a coach ride through the windswept Scottish highlands. Heather and gorse grown there and perhaps we can get some good pictures of these areas.
This is my first time to use Mobile Blogger, and it seems to be a fairly user friendly app.