“Let us read and let us dance: these two amusements will never do any harm to the world” (Voltaire)

And so dear listener, this week saw the final Gaelic (Gaelic 1) class of this academic year. It’s been good fun and I’ve learned a lot. It’s been more of an introduction than anything else but I was pleased, on enquiry to the Gaelic College in Skye, (where I might go in July for five days) that I could probably do Gaelic 2. 🙂

No. What I need is immersion in Gaelic 1 and then maybe think about doing Gaelic 2 next year.

And Sabhal Mor Ostaig (to give the college its Gaelic name)? Well……….there’s a wee uncertainty or two. I need to make decisions and sometimes it’s a wee bit hard. We’ll see. I have all the material here but it’d get the wind through me and maybe that’s what I need. There’s always Ardrossan Harbour. 😀

Or indeed Helensburgh, where I was earlier this week, and a big thinks to R from Cardross for the coffee. 🙂 I went down by train and even going through places like Clydebank and Partick – which I thought I knew well – you see things you’ve never seen before. Well not for a long time. And then the River Clyde opens up on a windy day and then there’s the mysteries of the Bowling basin. Shame the windows needed cleaned ):

But, anyway, I’d like to thank AJ and RJ for their help in finding me a wee party piece for the end of term Gaelic party*. But it wasn’t used. Instead we pretended to be weather forecasters telling the weather in Gaelic and we sang a song about a man who liked potatoes, butter and the girls from the village (maybe I should use that as my profile on dating sites)

However, I am aware that there was a great deal of interest in the epic poem, Tunnagan Beaga, and here is a rough translation;

Little ducks, one, two, three

Little yellow feet, four, five six.

Little ducks, waddle, waddle, waddle.

Down to the pond, quack, quack, quack.

And there are actions. Just use your imagination. 😀

And if anyone wants a copy (in Gaelic but phonetically) just ask.

And, for the second year in a row, I didn’t go to the pub after the final class of the session. And I feel this gives the wrong impression. I may go weak in the presence of beauty, but I’m comfortable in a pub. After all, it’s not a disease is it?

And why couldn’t I make it?

aiste deasachadh. 😀

*eventful piece of babysitting with them this week. Once the ringing noise has gone away, I will share it with the world.

And also a quick plug for my BBC friend Catriona NicLeod and Beag air Bheag on BBC Radio nan Gaidheal. She does a wee section Blasadan Beaga for beginners. The new series with John Urquhart starts on 26th March. 🙂

So moving on

And whilst my attendance at Firhill has been a wee bit limited this season, I was reminded during the week of the moment when I found out what was really involved in being red and yellow. It was a wet Sunday afternoon in Cowdenbeath when I found myself (with others and an orange juice) in a pub called The Goth (and yes I do know how it got its name) and we were all huddled around a number of electric fires knowing we had to go out there and walk across the road to the stock car racing circuit that masquerades as a football stadium and we won and we won well. 🙂

(And I remember another occasion there when John Hegley joined us at the same ground in Cowdenbeath and I spent most of the game doing colouring-in with the children of a woman whose company made gourmet soup in Glasgow’s West End)

And Muirfield Golf Club did not vote (in their second vote on the matter) to allow lady members out of a belief in equality and decency but (for some anyway) out of greed.

And I’m going to risk moving all the de-icer and the gritting salt back into the shed soon.

And finally, I feel I let someone down earlier this week by suggesting a change in arrangements at short notice.


Tioraidh, still wearing that badge and still keeping it simple (and I see no reason not to)

iaint850, sàmhach romansach

So my plan over the next few years is to keep the show as #indyref2 and Brexit-free as possible. All I want to say here is how sad I am that the democratic process is so little respected these days and I despair at a lot of what I read on social media.

Indeed, not only do people on social media not respect people such as Thomas Paine and his work in making the world a more democratic place all those years ago, it seems they do not respect the other person’s viewpoint – and I think that’s sad.

Free speech is not about you being allowed to speak but the person with whom you violently disagree.

In my younger day, you put leaflets through doors, got people to actually sign petitions and took part in hustings. I was a student politician, a member of the now deceased Scottish Labour Party (1976 – 1981) and of CND and walked through streets carrying banners – like real serious banners like the Trade Unions have. I engaged in dialogue.

Now? I’m not even sure people read the stuff they re-post.

Last word. Ever.

So all last week I played a Steve Earle track each night on Facebook because Steve wrote Galway Girl but it seemed like people had never heard of him and they thought that Ed Sheeran had found some obscure Irish folk song and made it popular. Similarities other than the title? You decide.

This is a definitive version of Galway Girl with Steve Earle and Sharon Shannon.


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