There is nae doot aboot it the East Neuk o' Fife is a braw place, the ither bits o' Fife are braw an aw' but there is just something aboot the East Neuk! Probably it is the 'fringe of gold' that King James VI of Scotland talked about. I retired 5 years ago after a lifetime working here, apart from my National Service,(two years), and Edinburgh, (three and a half years), so now I am enjoying it properly. I bike all year round, and sail with Maggie's uncle 'Jems' in his yacht Rum Rig during the summer season. Who could ask for more? Well me maybe....if someone could only wave a magic wand and turn this landlubber into a sailor! I really like 'landlubbery' things...like being perpendicular tae the planet for one....but, when that engine gets turned off it is something else....absolute magic!
What geographic part of Fife is the East Neuk you may wonder. When I was young it was said that all south of a line drawn from Largo to Kingsbarns was in the East Neuk! Now we even have a developer building houses near Windygates claiming to be in the 'Gateway to the East Neuk'. That's like saying that Elie is the gateway to The Royal Burgh of Earlsferry........actually I like that....Elie, Gateway To the Royal Burgh of Earlsferry..... yes, I do like that! Anyway the East Neuk of Fife is the South East corner of the County taking in the coastal villages from Lower Largo to St Andrews and everyplace south of a line drawn between the two.....stoppin' at the shores o' the Firth of course! Apparently the words 'East' and 'Neuk' are worth thousands of pounds to developers and estate agents hence the Leven/Windygates 'Gateway' thingy!
But oor East Neuk is changing...fast. Thirty or more years ago every coastal village had its 'ain wi' o' spikin'....for example Cellardyke had a different twang from its close neighbour Anstruther, ..... I have to say that I have always loved the Cellardyke 'wi o spikin'.......yet you hardly ever hear a proper 'dyker' nowadays. Why? Have we 'educated' our local dialects into extinction? I know that in Aberdeenshire the education authority is actively trying to 'teach' the native Doric tongue....my two grandaughters have a go at Doric poetry. Should we teach young 'dykers' aboot 'clashin' for instance? The bonniest 'dyker' voice I have heard in recent times belongs to a lassie that has lived in New Zealand for 50 years.