Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Ramblings of a World Rambler Pt. I ~ Rumastaireachd, A' Chiad Phàirt

Halò a h-uile duine,

I'm going to use this post to share with you my ramblings of this past year. I know it's been ages since I posted (didn't I say that last time too?) and I'm sorry about that if anyone has been regularly following along. I'll warn you now, some of the ramblings are in Gaelic whereas others are a mix or English. I'll try and translate what I can and I'll also try to put in them in some sort of chronological order. No promises though. Enjoy!
On Travelling... h-Eileanan Siar [the Western Isles]
'Calling occupants of interplanetary...                          
 ....cainnt mo mhàthar, Gàidhlig Barraigh!' 

I'm not sure where I was going with that first remark, but it's rather poetic, isn't it?
As for the second, it translates to "my mother tongue, Barra Gaelic!"
the closest island I've found to Nova Scotia, in more ways than one.

'Ciamar a chanas tu 'hail' anns a' Ghàidhlig?'
'Tarbert is nice, but not for 5 hours.' 

Tarbert is the main town on the Isle of Harris where the ferry docks. I had been spending my three nights at a hostel in Rhenigdale, a small village a few miles north of Tarbert, and after doing a bit of exploring around that part of the island, I took the bus into the Big City. Little did I know until the moment arrived that there are only two buses a day between Rhenigdale and Tarbert, the first at about 10:00am and the second at half-past three. Now, I say Tarbert is the main town, but the more I've been in Scotland, the more relative that term becomes. Tarbert has a pub, a fish and chip shop, grocery store, post office and a bank. Not to mention the tweed shop which is closed in the off-season. In 5 hours, you could see it all twice, and still have time left over to watch the ferry come in. 

Now, the day I left Harris to go south to Berneray and North Uist, there was also just one bus. Sitting in the waiting room for about three hours gave me lots of time to consider the rain banging on the roof. When the boat arrived, it was nice to see that the water had stopped. Minutes later, in good Scottish fashion, ice started falling from the sky...for the record the word for hail is 'clachan meallain.' Nollaig [at Christmas]
Mon. 26th Dec. '11:
A face like : a well-skelped arse.
 like it went on fire and someone put it olookut with a shovel.
 like a camel eating sherbet
like a wet Monday. 
black pudding - not too bad
Fry-up - A British word

 Jammy Dodger: "a biscuit consisting of two round pieces with jam in between. In the dialect this term is borrowed to mean someone considered very lucky." 

These are all terms from "The Patter", a dictionary of Glasgow words, that I found trying to fall asleep the night after Christmas. All except fry-up and black pudding. And before you ask, I had eaten haggis by this point in time and it too, is not too bad. 

Thachair ri daoine air a bheil mi eòlach - tarsaing 
[Happened upon people that I already know ... across]

28th Dec.
Unexpected but not unpleasant night in Ft. William (no hostel open in Mallaig)
+'s: Bank St. Lodge £15/night. Great little hostel.
Lochaber Cafe - inside train station
-2 pots tea/ £1.30
Slept above a pizzeria
Rainy day/not too bad yesterday. Apparently dry in Glasgow. Chì  sinn.
Train cancelled last night. New train coming in about an hour: 11:40 -> 3:30 arrive Glasgow. 
Saw a man; looked just like Ernie Dewing - Ft. William station - and a women like Marg Arpin. 

Bridge over the River Clyde? 
It makes me wonder when the pavement is the same monotone grey as the river it travels along.

Dec. 30th '11
-> Charlerout 
           -> cafe reminded me of days in child out-patient centre & cafe.
               -> Nice sweeping lawns, beautiful when dry. Even so, the rain brought out the green.

'Charlerout' is my terrible attempt at spelling the French name of this mansion that I visited near to Holytown, where I was spending the time between Christmas and New Year's. I think there might be an x at the end. Charlesroux?

 1d dhen Fhaoilleach 2012
So, an dràsda, tha mi a' dèanamh suidh' ann an osdail ann an Cill Rìmhinn as deidh dà latha gu math spòrsail còmhla ris an teaghlach aig Sgotaidh. Tha mi a' smaointinn gu bheil sin an adhbhar a thàinig mi gu h-Alba; airson oidhcheannan mar a' raoir.

This was the morning after my first international New Year's Eve. It was a great night filled with more than enough free food, tunes, Gaelic and good times. Now I'll finally have a decent answer to: How did you spend your New Year's Eve? 

Edinburgh Hostels
Art House - £15/night
Cowgate -  £9/night
Castle Rock - £12-14/night
Caledonian - £10/night
[I never ended up staying at any of these, but there's a decent list for any soon-to-be travellers]

7:10 to Waverley
Shotts, Shotts, Shotts, Shotts, Shotts, Shotts

I thought 7:10 to Waverley could be a good name for a song. Shotts is just a stop along the way. 
[Waverley is Edinburgh's main train station]

January 6th
So, I got on the wrong train today. Well that's not entirely true. I got on the right train, it's just headed to the wrong place. I bought a ticket to Glasgow, completely forgetting that I need to go to Holytown. The 4:30 Holytown (& Glasgow) was £12 so I went for the 5:00 - £7 - one, logically. Little did I know until the ticket was in my hand that it was an express train run by another company. (Even though I asked and was told it was a Scotrail run!) So, that in mind, I tried to phone Sgotaidh to let him know I'd just meet him in Glasgow. That's when the phone card didn't want to work. So, I bought a new one, which also didn't work. A £10 refund later, I had no way of letting Sgotaidh know and I had the wrong ticket. Since there was no way of exchanging it (it says so.) I figured I'd just call him in Glasgow and apologise profusely. That's when I remembered his parents would no doubt be worrying like mad (not to mention the bit of stuff I left at their place) So, here I am on this train to Glasgow - not Holytown - and no way of letting anyone know. And you know what the irony is? I seriously considered buying a phone today but didn't have enough time to decide before the train left!! *sigh* I guess all I can do is sit back & enjoy the ride. 

I think that one's self explanatory. Interesting day, that's for sure. =) 

Bus: Glasgow -> Dundee 14:00-16:23 (9th Jan 2012)
Dundee -> Glasgow 18:45-20:45 (11th Jan 2012)

So long as one hundred of us remain alive, 
we shall not on any condition be subjected to English rule. 

I took a day trip from Dundee to Arbroath where, at the local abbey, a document was signed in 1320 considered to be Scotland's first constitution of sorts. Those lines above are me trying to remember (incorrectly) one of the most famous lines from the paper. 73A is the bus between Dundee and Arbroath.
Jan. 11th '12
-Bookshop cafe in Arbroath very neat. 
-not many books but it's cozy, good tea and it looks like they're expanding

A funny side note about this, the owner of the cafe was actually from America. I couldn't tell you where, but we had a nice chat about living overseas...

Calder's "A Gaelic Grammar"
Sect. 6: Vowel Infection =)

Sect. 11: Metathesis
->Easbuig: Bishop
                              ->Gilleasbuig: son/servant of the bishop?

Sect. 12: Projection of Consonants
1. 'The D or T of the Article'
m.e. t-ì; tì
t-é; té

 Calder's Gaelic Grammar is essentially the original grammar book for Gaelic and I found a early 1900's copy hidden away in a second-hand bookstore in Dundee for only about £5. I think I wrote the note about consonants because depending on where you are, tì [tee] can mean tea but people will also say té [tay] meaning tea. Té [chay] can also mean a dram or a young woman so I have no real clue why I wrote it down. Draw your own conclusions.

Vincent to Queen: 15 minutes of a Friday's morning
There sure is quite a lot of busyness; 
men & women, daoine, of all shapes and sizes. Coffees too;
Veni and grande. Latte no milk, cream, sugar; just routine.
Locals, yokels, out of towners, runners, dashers, wanderers, meanderers going to places; with places to go. Seeing these strangers every day. 
Upkept; unkempt; dressed up; to the nines; down and out; up & coming. 
Measgachadh ri chèile. Good morning. 
I wrote that waiting for the early train back to Mallaig,
after walking from the place I was staying.

...ann am Muile agus an Eilean Ìdhe [in Mull and Iona]
1. I wondered why a ferry the same length as Skye was twice the size. Then I saw the # of foot passengers. A couple hundred at least. 

2. I felt like I was travelling w/ a tourist group, the # of non-Scots I saw. Then I realized I was. One of those bus tour type things.

3. I was excited by the fact that lit. every house in Iona has a Gaelic name. Then I noticed the letters 'B&B' underneath them all. Less than a 1/3 of the accents I've heard here are Scottish. I wonder how many natives are left? Was there Iona Gaelic? ..close to Tiree...

4. Calgary, Mull -> Skyeman -> RCMP -> Alberta! 

I think the only one needing explanation here is that last note. Here's the story: There is a village on the Isle of Mull named Calgary. I never made it there because I didn't have enough time, but apparently there was a man who moved down from Skye and spent a lot of time around Calgary. Later on, he emigrated to Canada and joined the RCMP. As they were out doing RCMP things, he ended up in Alberta where they were just settling a new town. Remembering this beautiful part of the world on Mull, he suggested they name the town Calgary. And guess what? It stuck. 
Also, when I say the same length as Skye, I mean the ferry ride was only just over half an hour. Not that the ferry was the length of Skye. That would be rather large. 

And with that, I am going to finish Part I of this rambling epic because sleep beckons. I still have a fair bit more including remarks on: Ireland, camping, travelling with kitchen utensils, some pretty awesome people and power outages. Stay tuned! =) 

Gus an ath thuras agus oidhche mhath!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Air ais a-rithist ~ Back again!

Halo a h-uile duine!

First off, I'm sorry that I've waited so long to add another post. I've no clue who 'you' are, but I've been thinking about you over the past while, meaning to write, but for one reason or another it hasn't happened. In a similar vein, I have a number of apologies to make. Since being over here I've received emails and messages from lots of different people. As you well know, I'm not the quickest of responders to e-mails and for that I'm sorry. I haven't forgotten about you and I am in the process of writing a number of postcards and letters, so expect something from Scotland within the next month! :)
I suppose as this is my first post of 2012, I should say Happy (Belated) New Year, or Bliadhna Mhath Ùr Dhuibh!
I've been back on Skye now for about a month and the workload is already starting to pile up. To be honest, I'm actually quite enjoying it. I found it rather weird last semester not having essays or papers to write, but now there is no shortage, what with three essays, two journals and a presentation all starting to become due at the end of March. On top of that, I'll have six exams, again spread throughout March, April and May.
It's amazing to think that I only have about 2 and a half months left in Scotland. Time sure seems to fly.

This coming week will be my last on Skye for a while as I'm heading to the Isle of Harris for a three-week work placement on the 25th, next Saturday. I'll be working at a historical and genealogical centre in Northton, just outside the town of Leverburgh. Leverburgh is where I caught the ferry between Harris and North Uist on my travels back in October. I'm really looking forward to it, but am nervous at the same time. They say that the work placement, or greis-gnìomhachais, is the time when you really start to become confident and more natural in your Gaelic speech, so here's to hoping that's true.
Not too much has happened outside of schoolwork since I've come back. I've been doing a lot of planning for my next adventures, because the Easter holidays happen shortly after I come back from Harris and I'll have two weeks off.
At this point, it looks like Ireland and Iona will be where I'll spend my Easter. I have a few friends from CBU studying in Limerick, so it would be nice to give them a visit and see what the Emerald Isle has to offer. As for Iona, I've been wanting to make a trip there since coming to Scotland and I figure Easter could be one of the best times. The Abbey will be open for Holy Week celebrations, providing accommodation, food and a great time for discussion and meditation. After that, I'll catch a cheap flight across to Ireland, have a pint of Guiness and fly back to Scotland in time for exams! :) 

That's all for now,

Gus an ath thuras!

Friday, 23 December 2011

Nollaig nam Aonair MMXI ~ The (Great) Couch-surfing Christmas of 2011

A' Chiad: Silidh Ubhail no 'The Poet's Second Stair'  
It was a damp and foggy start to the day yet surprisingly - and no doubt unseasonably - warm. Mist hung low over the scene endlessly attempting to secure a hold on its surroundings only to be loosed by the gentle hands of a mild winter breeze rustling its way through the morning.                            
A warm, crackling fire dancing in the grate; soft blues playing in the background; a freshly decorated tree twinkling with lights beside a dark window spattered with rain; this is my world as I write to you tonight. It must be Christmastime!
I was going to write a post about all the visits and gatherings I've been on since I got here, but I figured this would be just as good and besides, there will no doubt be many more to write about after the holidays.
Before I go any further, a note about the title:
Where I'm spending Christmas this year
I'm spending my Christmas in a small little village on the west side of Sleat, named Tarskavaig. where there are quite possibly - though I haven't counted - no more than 10 houses.  A good number of the staff from the college live here and, not surprisingly everyone knows everyone else's life story. The house that I'm staying in for the next two nights is that of a writer and bard, who I first officially met about a month ago. Just last week I ran into her again at a 'cafe' of sorts the college was testing out. We got chatting and I mentioned that I would be staying with another family here in Tarskavaig for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. At this, she replied [in Gaelic of  course] 'Oh, they have a rather small house as it is; if there doesn't end up being enough room, I live in Tarskavaig too and my door's always open. Feel free to walk in.'  It ended up working out perfectly, actually, because I would have been spending these days in a hostel in Broadford otherwise. If that's not serendipity, I don't know what is.
Though I've come across some amazingly kind and generous people, it never ceases to surprise me how hospitable people can be. When I arrived at Meg's house today, it was to learn that she and her son were packing to visit family in the Borders. Silidh Ubhail, or apple jelly, was written on a scrap of paper on the kitchen table, the remnants of some Christmas list I happened to glance at. As her son went off to deliver gifts to the community, I was left alone in the house and noticed amongst the piles of books and other scraps a note taped to the hall wall entitled 'The Poet's Second Stair'  Somehow, the two lines combined to stick in my head like the name of some weird melodrama.
A warning re: the Poet's second stair

Beware to guests a' bed upstairs who seek 
a quiet nightime relief of flowing;
who try to the bathroom to silently creep
with a desire for none to be knowing --
as the Poet's second stair will, with it's ample CREEK
set your cheeks a' rosy glowing! 

          - extract from the lost & bemused musings of               Mad Meic McManx

           (cynghannedly-challenged neo-bard)

When Meg returned from a few errands (I had arrived before she got home) the first words out of her mouth were 'Make yourself at home. If you see any food around, eat it; if you need the computer, it's upstairs; if you need to make any calls, there's the phone; feel free to start a fire in the woodstove; don't worry about taking off your shoes; just make sure the bed is made up when you leave.' And after a bite to eat and telling me to make sure to visit Donald John up the road, who is very fond of the fiddle, she headed out the door. It was as if I come to stay all the time!

So, here I am on the second and last night at the home of a true Scottish bard (though she probably wouldn't tell you that), surrounded by two of four cats, finishing off this post I started yesterday and the bard herself isn't even here!
I was out for a walk today around Tarskavaig, only for about half an hour before it started raining. Having gotten a brief introduction to the people who live in the village from both Meg and the head of reception at Sabhal Mòr - who picked me up along the road getting here - yesterday, it was nice to wander and recognize the names of others from the college posted outside their house. Numbers aren't really used, I've learned, in Sleat because it's such a small area to begin with. The mailman knows everyone. He even walked straight into the kitchen today to drop off some letters! I still haven't made it to Donald John's house; perhaps it would be a nice thing to do tomorrow before I head off to Michael and Becca's house, given that it'll be Christmas Eve.

'Fairy Lights'
Since this will no doubt be the last post I make before Christmas, I wish the very merriest of Christmases to all of you who are reading this and your families, wherever they be. Though my Christmas this year will be something completely new and unknown, I am still fully confident that it will be filled with all the joy, love and peace that surrounds this season of hope. Here's praying that the same may be true for all of you! Nollaig Chridheil dhuibh uile, as they say in these parts! =)
Le gach deagh beannachd; blessings, Daniel.

Christmas Eve eve in Tarskavaig

Monday, 12 December 2011

Seachdain a' Siubhail: Transcriptions [19mh agus 21d dhen Dàmhair 2011]

Halò a h-uile duine, 

The expedition continues...
Cala Eirisgeigh ~ Eriskay Harbour

19mh Dàmhair 2011
Ràinig mi [a] Barraigh agus tha e àlainn. 'S e Barraigh an aite as eòlaiche na Alba Nuadh, tha mi a smaointinn. Choisich mi dhan Bàgh a' Chaisteil bhon Aird Mhòr air sgàth gun robh mi a smaointinn e ceithir no còig mìle, ach bha e mar seachd no ochd. Ach uell, bha e sgoinneil co-dhiùbh! Chunnaic mi [am] bradan Gàidhlig! 
Nuair a bha mi ann an Uibhist a' Deas, cha robh duine aig Tobha Mòr ach mi fhìn. Bha e neònach ach bha e math cuideachd. B' e latha garbh a bh' ann ach bha torr 'blankets' a' siud so bha mi blàth gu leòr. Tha an osdail seo cho brèagha. As deidh na h-osdailean Gatliff, tha an osdail seo mar Hilton. 
   21d Dàmhair 2011
Uell, tha mi air am bata-aiseag eadar Bàgh a' Chaisteil agus Òban. Bithidh mi air an tìr mór ann an còig uairean! Bha Barraigh sgoinneil fhèin! Choisich mi gu Eòiligearraidh an-diugh agus bha na seallaidhean dìreach àlainn. 'Apart from' [A thuilleadh air] sin, bha mi ann an 'car accident' =) 
[NB: 'S e sgeulachd math a th' anns an latha siud ach tha mi ro sgìth an nochd airson a bhith sgrìobhadh ma dheidhinn. Cuir e anns mo cheann latha air choireigin eile...] 
19th of October 2011
At the Barra hostel: 
Caisteal a' Chismul ~ Kisimul Castle
I arrived in Barra and it's stunning! Barra has to be the most similar place to Nova Scotia, I think. I walked to Castlebay from Aird Mhór, where the ferry docks, because I thought it was only four or five miles. It was actually about seven or eight! Oh well, it was great anyway. I saw the Gaelic salmon! [The Gaelic salmon is the symbol for Nova Scotia's Gaelic community]
When I was in South Uist, there wasn't anyone else at Howmore except myself. It was strange, but nice at the same time. It was a cold, wet and windy night but there were tons of blankets so I kept warm enough. This hostel is so nice. Compared to the Gatliff hostels, this is the Hilton! 
21st of October 2011
On the ferry from Barra: 
Beatha Barrach ~ Barra Life
So, I'm on the ferry between Castlebay and Oban right now and will be on the mainland in five hours! Barra was great! I walked to Eoligarry today and the views were just beautiful! Apart from that, I was in a car accident. =)

[NB:  That's a great story, but I'm too tired right now to be writing about it. Remind me some other day...]
Na tràighean ~ The beaches

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Seachdain a' Siubhail: Transcriptions [17mh dhen Dàmhair 2011]

Halò a h-uile duine,

Part two of my Hebridean adventures:

17mh Dàmhair 2011
I'm having an English day today. Sorry, Iain Tormod! 
So, here I am on what is the fourth day of my excursion through the Western Isles and the wind is howling unrelentlessly. I've taken shelter in the only real building here at the Leverburgh Pier - complete with two washrooms and a set of benches. The town of Leverburgh looked nice, but it's on the opposite side of the bay from the pier and I don't fancy the walk back. When I say this is the only building around, that's not quite true. There is also a restraunt which doesn't open until one o' clock (in about an hour) and a 'Butty Bus' where I just enjoyed a brilliant breakfast sandwich - egg and bacon - and tea for only £3.50. It's a neat little place. I was expecting him to operate out of a side window like a chip truck, but he's actually converted the inside of the bus into a diner, with a small kitchen at the back end. It looks completely driveable too, so it's fully self-contained; no outside propane tanks or anything like that. 
Cidhe Òb ~ Leverburgh Pier
Bruidhinn mi Gàidhlig an-diugh. As deoghaidh faisg air ceithir uairean aig an cidhe Òb, ghlac mi am bàta-aiseag gu Bearnaraigh. Bha i glé gharbh anns an t-Òb; bha 'hail' ann! Tha e brèagha ann an Bearnaraigh. Feumaidh mi post a' cur am màireach air sgàth nach deach mi a dhèanamh an-diugh. Dhìochuimhnich mi . Bithidh an oifis a' phuist fosgailte aig naoi uairean 's a mhadainn, so cuiridh mi post gu Canada am màireach. 
Air an traigh ~ On the beach
Co-dhiùbh, bhruidhinn mi Gàidhlig le duine a thoirt lioft dhomh dhan osdail. Chuala mi Gàidhlig anns a' bhùth ann am Bearnaraigh 'The Lobster Pot Cafe', ach nuair a fheuch mi i, fhreagair an té anns a' Bheurla. 'S e taigh dhubh a th' anns an osdail seo agus tha e làn. Tha teaghlach ann às an Òban agus tha iad a' baichadh a Steòrnabhagh airson a' Mhòd. Tha trì no ceithir daoine eile [ann] cuideachd agus boireannach à Dealauair (?)
Bha an-diugh inntinneach air sgàth nach tàinig am bus gu Reineagdail. Mar sin, dhraibh an duine à Sasainn mi faisg air Tairbeart agus ghlac mi am bus gu Leverburgh. Tha mi ag iarraidh a' coiseachd mun cuairt an eilean am màireach aig sia no seachd uairean so feumaidh mi 'dol dhan leabaidh an drasda, no 'soon.' 
Tha gille ann a' seo a' sealltainn mar Liam. Ach uell, oidhche mhath a h-uile duine! Chì mi am màireach sibh...uell, sgrìobhaidh mi dhuibh am màireach. Beannachd leibh!                     
17th of October 2011
In the hostel at Berneray:
Osdail Bearnaraigh ~ Berneray Hostel
I spoke Gaelic today! After close to four hours at the Leverburgh pier, I caught the ferry to Berneray. It was pretty blustery in Leverburgh; there was hail. It's lovely in Berneray. I need to mail a letter tomorrow because I didn't do it today; I forgot. The post office will be open at nine in the morning so I'll send it to Canada then. 
Anyway, I spoke Gaelic with a man who gave me a lift to the hostel. I heard Gaelic in the store here, 'The Lobster Pot Cafe' but when I tried to speak it, the lady answered in English. 
The hostel here is an old black-house [Black houses were the traditional style of building in the highlands right up until the beginning of the twentieth century, if not later in some areas] and it's full. There's a family from Oban here, who are biking up to Stornoway for the Mod. There are three or four others as well, including a woman from Delaware. 
Éirigh Gréine ~ The Sunrise at Berneray
Today was interesting. The bus didn't come to Rhenigdale, so the man from England drove me close to Tarbert and I caught the bus to Leverburgh there. 

I want to walk around the island tomorrow at six or seven o' clock so I had better head to bed now, or soon anyway. 
There's a boy here who looks just like Liam! Anyway, good night everyone. I'll see you tomorrow...well, write to you anyway. Cheers!

Seachdain a' Siubhail: Transcriptions [14mh dhen Dàmhair 2011]

Halò a h-uile duine,

'S fhada bhon uair sin! It's been a while!

To follow are transcriptions of my journal entries while I was touring the Western Isles back in October. I tried to write in Gaelic the whole time, so I'll translate each entry afterwards:

  14mh Dàmhair 2011
"Rud a chuala mi nuair a bha mi a' siubhail: 'I don't like the motion of the boat; you don't like the motion of the ocean?'
      So, dh'fhàg mi Sabhal Mòr 's a mhadainn agus ghlach mi am bus bho Armadail gu Port Rìgh. As deoghaidh sin, fhuair mi airgead bhon Banca Dail Chluaidh ron a ghlach mi am bus gu Ùige. 'S e baile glé shnog a th' ann a' sin. 'S e am pàirt na h-eilein snog a th' ann an taobh tuath cuideachd. Chuala mi tòrr Gàidhlig  mar thà , agus tha gaol agam air. Tha mi 'n dòchas gun urrainn dhomh Gàidhlig a' cleachdadh mus tàinig [correction: mus tig] mi air ais. Chì sinn. Chuala mi tòrr  Beurla le blas a' Ghàidhlig agus bha e sgoinneil. Tha mi air mo dhòigh ann a' seo. Bithidh mise brònach nuair a tilleadh mi air ais dhan Sgitheanach. 
Tha mi ag éisteachd ri daoine a bruidhinn mu dheidhinn an eaglais aca. Tha mi smaointinn gu bheil an té na minisdear. Tha a h-uile duine air am bàta-aiseag seo eòlach air gach duine eile. 
Tha sinn ann am meadhan a' mhuir an-drasda agus chan urrainn dhomh rud sam bith fhaicinn. Tha e mìorbhaileach! =) 
Tha mi ag ionndrainn Ceap Breatainn pìos beag agus na daoine ann a' siud ach chì mi iad nuair a thillidh mi air ais. Bithidh sin math. 
Reinigeadal ~ Rhenigdale
Ràinig mi aig osdail òigridh ann an Rhenigdale. Bha an slighe dhan seo doirbh is fada ach ràinig mi agus thog mi dealbh na dhà math. Bha an slighe sgoinneil! 
Tha trì daoine eile anns an osdail seo; da fear agus té. Chan eil Gàidhlig aca. Ach uell, 's dòcha am màireach . 'S e osdail snog a th' ann a' seo. Tha cidsin mór aige agus seòmar-suidhe glé bhlàth  is 'cozy.' Bithidh mi ann a' seo airson dà latha no trì oidhche. Bithidh e math, tha mi smaointinn. Tha gaol agam air na Hearadh mar sin tha mi 'n dòchas  gum bi gaol agam air na h-àiteachan eile cuideachd. Chì sinn. Tha mi a' tiormachadh na brògan agams' as sgàth [correction: air sgàth] gun robh an slighe beagan fliuch bho àm gu àm. Tha barrachd stocainnean agam so tha mi ceart gu leòr agus bithidh na brògan  agam tioram 's a mhadainn. Tha mise ag òl tì an drasda agus brot agus tha mi toilichte gu mór. =) 
Uell, oidhche mhath leibh, a' chàirdean. Chì mi am màireach sibh.                  
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 14th of October 2011
On the ferry to Tarbert in Harris: 
"Something I heard while I was travelling: 'I don't like the motion of the boat; you don't like the motion of the ocean?'
So, I left Sabhal Mòr this morning and took the bus from Armadale to Portree. After that, I got some money from the Clydesdale Bank before catching the bus to Uig. Uig is a really nice town. The north side of the island is really nice too. I heard a lot of Gaelic already and I love it. I hope I`ll be able to use Gaelic  before I come back. We`ll see. I`ve heard a lot of English with a heavy Gaelic accent too. It`s awesome!  I`m quite content here. I`ll be sad when I have to head back to Skye. 
Air an slighe gu Reinigeadal
I`m listening to people speak about their church right now. I think the woman is the minister. Everyone on this ferry seems to know each other. We`re in the middle of the ocean right now and I can`t see a thing. It`s fantastic! =) 
I`m missing Cape Breton a little bit and the people there, but I`ll see them when I return, so no worries. 
At Rhenigdale: 
I arrived at the youth hostel in Rhenigdale. The path here was long and hard but I made it and I got a few good pictures. It was such a sweet path! 
There are three other people at this hostel. Two men and a woman. [addition: The one was a young couple from Germany and the other, older man was from the south of England] None of them have Gaelic. Oh well, maybe tomorrow. This is a really nice hostel. It has a huge kitchen and a very warm and cozy living room. I'll be here for two days and three nights. It'll be good I think. I love Harris so I hope I'll love the other places too! We'll see. 
I'm drying out my shoes right now because the path was a little wet in spots. I have more socks so I'll be fine and my shoes will be dry by morning. I'm also quite happy as I'm here drinking tea and soup.
Well, good night friends. I'll see you tomorrow! =)
Cnocan a' Rheinigeadal ~ The Hills of Rhenigdale

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Dè tha 'dol? Pt. I: A Canadian in Glasgow

Halò a h-uile duine!

So, it's been over a month since I've posted anything, but that doesn't mean I've not been busy. Rather, it just means I've been lazy with keeping this up. In fact, I've been up to so much, I need to break it into about five or six posts.
"Dè tha 'dol?" [jay ha doll?] is Gaelic for "What's going on?" and is a rather common alternative to "Ciamar a tha thu?" [kimar a ha oo?], meaning "How are you?" And, before I go any further, I might as well tell you, in case you haven't figured it out already, "Halò a h-uile duine!" [halo a hoola dune-ya!] means "Hello everybody!", Halò of course being an ancient Gaelic word that was stolen by the English many centuries ago.

Anyway, enough grammar for now. What's been going on? Well, the answer is a lot.

On Argyle Street
I went to Glasgow the last weekend of September to get some new shoes as well as just explore a bit. I think it was the warmest I've been since I arrived. A friend I've met here lives just outside of Glasgow and was going down to visit his family, so I tagged along and wandered the streets of the city while he was with his family and we met up each night [It was rather hard to avoid that given that we were both crashing at his friend's house downtown] 
Though it is a fair bit bigger, Glasgow reminded me a lot of Halifax. Where we were staying was right on the outskirts of downtown, so it was easy to walk to Buchannan and Sauchiehall Street, the main shopping streets which are almost entirely just for pedestrians! At the same time, we were close to the west end which is the more artsy end of town where the University of Glasgow is.
Kelvingrove Park
I took the train down from Mallaig on Friday afternoon and was in Glasgow by about eight or nine. I met up with someone else from SMO on the train and Sgotaidh [Scottie] and I ended up meeting up with them that night for a pint at one of the three "highland" pubs in Glasgow.
I spent the next day discovering all the neat things that Glasgow has to offer. Kelvingrove Park was essentially right next door where there were a nice collection of trails to explore. I also found a sweet little coffee shop and used book store to hang out in for a few hours. Biblocafe was it's name if anyone's interested. One thing I noticed about Glasgow though was the abundance of cafes...and Indian take-out. I'm pretty sure there were no less than two or three in every block, so no worries there.
The rest of my day was rather uneventful as I hunted for shoes that would stand up to the rather sporadic Skye weather. There were a number of buskers around and I'm sure they were making a killing since there were no cars to compete with. Perhaps I'll get some busking in before I head home. It was neat to watch the style of busking change throughout the day. I saw harpers, accordion players, pipers, fiddlers, violinists and singers of all genres. Surprisingly, there were relatively few panhandlers. I wonder what that's like? ;)

Thoughtful Graffiti
That night we stayed in and made homemade pizza which was delicious. I loved being able to cook again!
We caught the train back up to Skye on Sunday and had a nice chat with two native Welsh speakers who were touring around the area. It was neat to talk about the differences and similarities between Welsh and Gaelic, but, sadly, I am no better at speaking Welsh. Ach well!

That's it for now, a' chàirdean!

Gus an ath-thuras! [Goose an a-hoorus!]
Until next time!