The Hebrides are known to be capable of delivering all four seasons in one day – but at this time of year you can at least be confident that the day will be a long one! Already it’s well after 10 o’clock before the sun sets. Students and teachers are beginning to look forward to their summer break.
Last year learners of Gaelic and English joined forces for an end-of-term party in Grogarry Lodge. The evening was such a success that a repeat event is planned. And this year, there will be some special guests – Filidh Ruadh – from multilingual Switzerland to provide musical entertainment. As visitors to the Ceòlas music school last year, they’ve already made their mark in Uist, and it will be great to have them back again, performing specially at this international evening.
This short film was made at last year’s party. If we can produce the same spirit again this year it should be a great night!
Not long ago Gordon Wells sat down with Lachie Morrison and switched on his recorder while they chatted and Lachie sang some songs. They’re the songs of Lachie’s father, Pàdruig, who was also a renowned story teller. (Gille an Fheadain Duibh is just one from his collection Thugam agus Bhuam.)
In this extract Lachie sings two songs. The first is Bodach a’ Phuill Mhònaidh, a light-hearted take on the mishaps that might befall a young man as he tramps over the moor. The second is Òran a’ Chogaidh, composed while Pàdruig was away with the army at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli, reflecting on the hardships of war and dreaming of Flora, his then sweetheart, who was to become Pàdruig’s wife and Lachie’s mother.
If you want to read the lyrics of each song (copied with kind permission from Thugam agus Bhuam), click the following links:
No doubt there are other community members who have songs or stories that would be well worth listening to. If you would like help with recording them, please contact Gordon on 07879 644984.
A kaleidoscope of life images /leading into unknown landscapes / but realms oh so deeply known / Joy of power spoken / richness of being human. (L.P.)
Pauline Prior-Pitt has initiated (and inspires !) the Uist Writer's Group, a bunch of people with a shared enthusiasm for creative writing.
Rita Dix is one of the Gaelic learners in Berneray. Here is a piece which she wrote about meeting Prince Charles when he was on an official visit to Berneray.
Ann an 1985 thàinig am Prionnsa Teàrlach 's a Bhana-phrionnsa Diana a Bheàrnaraigh air tadhal oifigeach.
Bha an t-sìde cho garbh nuair a a thàinig dà heilicoptear sìos agus b' e am Prionnsa Teàrlach aon de na paidhleatan.
Local community voices are finding some interesting new platforms from which to make themselves heard. In addition to the recently launched Guthan/Voices page on Am Pàipear several new blogs have been started, (including audio-blogs!).
Gaelic tutor Archie Campbell started writing “Cò ach esan?” with Blogspot some months back, but has just recently started adding Ipadio phonecasts – which allows him to complement his texts with recorded speech. That’s very helpful for Gaelic learners who need to hear what the language actually sounds like.
Loriana Pauli has just started writing “From the Water’s Edge” in English on WordPress, but also including audio links from her new Ipadio channel.
And the Gaelic learners in Berneray now have a class blog, “Guthan Bheàrnaraigh”, also on WordPress. The first written contribution is by Rita Dix, on her 1985 meeting with Prince Charles.
All these “new voices” promise to provide interesting material to share – whether directly from their own sites or channelled through Am Pàipear, our local community paper. If anyone else locally would like to try out making their own contribution but is unsure how to get started, then please contact Gordon Wells on 07879 644984.
The Berneray Gaelic classes led by Alison Dix and Archie Campbell were invited into a neighbour’s house to learn how to make oatcakes in the Hebridean manner. Màiri also spoke about her lifelong connection with Berneray, as well as of her training and work experience on the mainland, and her interest in good homebaking. Getting to eat the oatcakes was an extra bonus – not to mention taking home the recipe!
This 5-minute audio recording of Màiri’s good Berneray Gaelic is overlaid with pictures snapped at the time with a mobile phone. It’s the work of a few minutes to put the two together and place the result online. Now Gaelic learners worldwide can listen again and again – perhaps while making more oatcakes in their own kitchen…
"It’s excellent, give us more!”, that was the overwhelming response from Year 1 and Year 2 students of Irish at the University of Ulster following a recent trial of Clilstore. The units created for the purpose of this trial: http://alturl.com/w6bao & http://alturl.com/s5jjh were based on sample materials from the new Third Level Syllabus for Irish (see http://www.teagascnagaeilge.ie) which is based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.