Dòchas

Uill, chan eil an àrd-dhotair buileach cinnteach fhathast, ach cho-dhùin e mu dheireadh thall gu bheil coltachd mhòr ann gun deach at na h-aillse à sealladh. Dh’aontaich e cuideachd gun urrainn dhaibh a’ chuisle PhEG a tharraing às mo stamag.

Drochaid-choise thar Allt a’ Choire Odhair Mhòir


Chan e seo toiseach ùr. Gidheadh, ’s e a’ chiad cheum air slighe ùr, as dèidh nam mìosan dar a bha e coltach nach biodh tèile ann tuilleadh; ’s dòcha gu bheil beagan ama ri teachd romham fhathast.

Feumaidh mi a-nis faighinn air ais dhan rehab agus an uairsin, nas fhaisge air mo sheana-charaidean. Bha mi a’ grodadh san bhugair bhaile seo ro fhada.

 

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Duolingo : mission accomplie

J’ai commencé à apprendre le français avec Duolingo en juin 2012. Je suis sûr que je n’ai pas atteint le milieu de l’arbre ; en tout cas, bientôt aprés que j’ai commencé utiliser mon nouveau surnom, j’ai aussi commencé de nouveau, en janvier 2014, l’arbre Duolingo avec ce surnom.

Hier, je l’ai enfin terminé. Après presque trois ans – ou même après plus que quatre ans et quart ; ça dépende de quoi on voit comme la date de début. Mais j’ai l’ai terminé. Aujourd’hui j’avais tout les cercles « doré » et j’ai fait le « quiz de progrès » sans erreuer. (Eh bien, je dois admettre qu’il n’y avait pas eu de phrases au subjonctif ni au conditionnel.)

Alors, je dois décider comment continuer. J’ai déjà lu Le Petit Prince, maintenant je lis Le Petit Nicolas et j’ai aussi Astérix chez les Bretons. Mais après ça ? Si plus de livres, lesquels ? (Commissaire Maigret ? ) Ou un certain site web de nouvelles ? (Le Monde ? ) Ou les traduction ( « l’immersion » ) sur le site de Duolingo ? Ou quelque chose de complètement différente ?

Je dois réfléchir.

 

Bannie Day ’16: air ais a mhanachainn

Bha mi ag iarraidh gun bhòtadh na Breatannaich airson ‘Fhàgail’ agus rinn iad sin. As dèidh a’ chiad aoibhneis, thàinig e a-steach orm gun do dh’atharraich sin an suidheachadh anns a tha mi fhìn gu tur. Jusque-là, il y a eu de l’espoir, dè cho beag agus a bha e. It is virtually zero now. Mar sin dheth, je dois recontempler tout.

Cathair-eaglais Dhùn Chailleann thall Uisge Tatha (bho Cheum-choise an Inbhir).


Well, tant qu’il y a de la vie, il y a de l’espoir. La réincarnation, mar eisimpleir. Ach tha an sgeulachd seo a’ tighinn gu crìoch. Tha mi airson ga crìochnachadh mar bu chòir – agus an ìre mhath nam aonar. For the seagulls they have gone. Ge-tà, faodaidh fiù is foghar a bhith tlachdmhor, un petit peu.

Om.

 

Tasglannaiche gun fhiachan

Uill, ràinig mi an geata. Seadh, chan urrainn dhomh a ràdh le cinnt, ach tha e gu tur coltach gun d’fhuair comann an taigheadais an seic bhuamsa. On a thàinig e am barr nach robh fiach cìs comhairle orm idir, tha mi gun fhiachan mu dheireadh thall a-rithist.

Mar sin dheth, pàipear-balla ùr air an laptop agam a-nis. Oir ràinig mi an geata, agus tha agam ri dhol tarsainn drochaid, mar gum biodh: feumaidh mi crìoch a chur ri ‘giullachadh’ nan dealbhan agam, mus tòisich mi leabhraichean-latha is cuimhneachain a ghiullachadh.

Drochaid a’ Chonghail thar Loch Eite.


Tha fhios gum bidh drochaidean eile ann aig an aon àm. Mar eisimpleir, an craobh Fhrangach Duolingo a chrìochnachadh, fastaiche atharrachadh (dìreach fastaiche, seach obair, ge-tà), an t-samhradh ann am meadhan na h-Eòrpa fhulang agus mar sin sìos. Ach ’s e an rud as cudromaiche an-dràsta na dealbhan. Chan atharraich mi am pàipear-balla gus an coilean mi an gnìomh-sa.
 

Ach drochaid gu buileach eile a-nochd: èistidh mi, a’ chiad turas, ri Ropewalk – a cheannaich mi san t-Sultain an uiridh …

 

Pre-election

I didn’t follow the election campaign too closely this year: I do follow Scottish and UK politics all year round closely enough to feel confident that listening to castles-in-the-air promises, studying party manifestos, watching leaders’ debates and so on can hardly reveal much new to me. I’m not sure who I would vote for if I were still in Glasgow; I’m sure I’d like a (slightly) overall SNP majority with as many Green and Lib Dem seats as possible for the overall result. With all the polls and pundits taking an overall SNP majority for granted, however, I suspect some unpleasant surprise – we’re talking Scotland after all. We’ll see pretty soon now.

Incidentally, the funniest moment during this campaign for me was the screen of iPlayer’s Scotland section on 14 April, with a children’s programme amongst all those party election broadcast.

Somehow the question seemed to be related to its surroundings . . .

 

Nouveau fond d’écran

Finalement, j’ai changé mon fond d’écran à cause de ce qui est arrivé au milieu de janvier. (J’avais le fond d’écran précédent depuis septembre. Exactement cinq mois et cinq jour. Ça doit être un record.)

La première porte sur le Sentier de l’Ermitage près de Dunkeld.


C’est un peu symbolique: métaphoriquement, je suis encore sur la route, avec l’espoir, et la porte est comme mes dettes. Je pense avoir le prochain fond d’écran lorsqu’ils sont payés.

 

Foghar ’15 – agus gu bràth

Chanar gu bheil an samhradh (a bha cianail teth is tioram, co-dhiù an seo) seachad mu dheireadh thall agus am foghar air tighinn. An ràith as fheàrr na bliadhna. A dh’aindeoin sin, cuiridh mi seachad e a-staigh; dè dhèanainn a-muigh ann am meadhan na h-Eòrpa?

Eaglais paraiste Mhucàrna, Taigh an Uillt.


Dh’obraich agus shiubhail mi as t-fhoghar an-uiridh ann an Earra-Ghàidheal: an t-àm mu dheireadh nam bheatha a mheasainn an ìre mhath taitneach. Chaill mi an obair sin; chaill mi mo dhùthaich; chail mi mo charaid. Ach tha cuimhne – agus cuimhneachain – agam fhathast. Gu bràth.

 

Ag imrich ’s a’ suidheachadh

Shoirbhich mi. Fhuair mi na h-iuchraichean, ghluais mi na ciad rudan bhon ostail, agus (còmhla ri Rob) an leabaidh bhon t-seilear. Caidilidh mi san àite ùr a-nochd.

Tha fhios gum bi mòran obrach ri dhèanamh san fhlat fhathast. Ga nighe is sgioblachadh, na rudan eile agam a ghluasad ann agus gan suidheachadh, an t-Eadar-lìon fhaighinn ann, an seòladh ùr innse dha iomadach duine is buidhean, deasg is cathair (agus diofar rudan nas lugha) a cheannach . . .
 

Caisteal Dhùn Stafhainis.


Ach rinn mi a’ chiad cheum. Leis an fhìrinn innse, chan eil am flat a’ còrdadh rium ro mhath, ach chan eil teagamh nach fhoghnaidh e. Agus tha dùil agam cadal ceart fhaghinn aon oidhche a dh’aithghearr mu dheireadh thall. Tha mi glè fheumach air . . .

 

Fògradh

From Prague airport to the main railway station, then (naturally from the farthest platform) southwards by train and later by replacement bus service, getting another half-hour doze in the latter. Luckily had enough money left for a municipal transport ticket, otherwise it might take me hours to get the foil-wrapped rucksack and laptop case to Rob’s bar (his girlfriend on duty).

Left my baggage there and went to the foreign exchange – only to be reminded of what I had known but forgotten during those three and a half years, namely that in this bloody country no financial institution accepts Scottish banknotes. After a few more futile tries I at least managed to agree at the hostel where Rob had reserved a place for me to pay for a week rather than a month to begin with. The hostel was so shabby it made Firhill Court look like a five-star hotel in comparison but I was too beaten down to give a fuck; at least I had a roof.

I returned to the bar, charged my mobile and laptop, spent some time on the Net (meanwhile Rob changed his girlfriend), some more on a barstool, and before 10pm left for the hostel again, having decided I didn’t dare to bring the laptop there: would spent my laptop time at the bar until I found some safer accommodation. (Also decided to move the rucksack’s contents gradually in the laptop case.)

Stèisean-rèile Blàr Athall 2010.


Luckily at least my roommate turned out to be all right, a normal (and in fact attractive) young guy. We talked for a while but soon I went to sleep, totally knackered but in bed at long last. With little hope of life but with a reasonable amount of hope for survival.

 

Dunkeld No 5

Inveraray was fine, but my final trip – on the very last day before leaving the country – had to be to Dunkeld. It was in its cathedral that I had promised myself to move to Scotland back in 2010; I had revisited in ’11, ’12 and (with Tommy) ’14; it is a sort of ‘holy’ place for me, if you see what I mean.

Contrary to the forecast the weather was sunny; I flirted with the idea of also revisiting Ossian’s Hall of Mirrors, but I was in a bit of a hurry back for Tommy’s last visit. (It was also so windy I was afraid of losing my cap.) Thus, I just strolled the town, had a fag on a bench on the cathedral lawn, and after the Sunday service was over sat for a very short time at ‘my’ seat (the hindmost leftmost one), promising myself it was not all over and I would be back. If the worst came to the worst, at least as a tourist. I even wrote to the visitors’ book “Bidh mi air ais” (signing myself with my prospective new name), donated a quid and went back.
 

Dunkeld Cathedral ’15.

In Glasgow I had my last pint of Tennent’s in Molly Malone’s and went to my house to wait for Tommy.

 

Inveraray

Tommy was too depressed to join me, even though after much hesitating I offered to pay for him; it rained during almost all the time I spent there; and the Castle’s interior wasn’t worth the £10 ticket – although the gardens with the Woodland and Bluebell Walks made up for that.

And yet. I had a beautiful trip past/via Loch Lomond (with Ben Lomond visible), Tarbet, Loch Long, Arrochar, The Cobbler/Beinn Artair, Rest and be thankful, Loch Restil, Cairndow and Loch Fyne; I did visit this place I had meant to see for quite some time; and I was once again in Argyll, the region I fell in love with last year. I was totally content.

After the Castle I walked the town for a while, amused by the CoS church surrounded by a roundabout and by the Episcopal one with the tower and (presumably) nave separated; had a pint of Guiness in a beautiful multiple-room dark-wooden bar of the George Hotel; and at the near Co-op bought the 8-pack of Tunnock’s wafers I’d bought so often when in Argyll last year as mentioned.

It cost me more than I could afford, but I never regretted it. It was my last ‘exploratory’ trip before leaving the country, it was Argyll, and I was gratified.

 

Transfers: From blogs to pictures

Since I began blogging in 2009, I’ve had, under one or another of five nicks, a blog at Webnode, two at LiveJournal, my own website, three blogs at Blogger, a Twitter account, a Tumbler blog and three more at WordPres. A few months ago I began transferring the posts (some of them already transferred once or archived in RTF files) here, and last Thursday I moved the last ones. I guess I kept the vast majority of them, although I did discard forever quite a few I no longer thought worth keeping. But I finally only have one blog, and all that’s kept is here.

At the same time I was scanning my old photos, and now I’m ‘processing’ these. That is to say, naming them, sorting them in folders and uploading them to Flickr. After which I mean to transfer my digital photos. These are currently under two different Flickr accounts, and some just on my hard drive. Having about two and a half thousand to deal with, this will probably take even more time than the blogs. Hopefully it will be as much fun.

(Incidentally, I’ll then have to fix the links to pictures embedded in the posts. So the work on the blogs isn’t completely done yet either.)

 

Hillhead Library

Mediocre exterior, but beautiful interior. So I wasn’t even much disappointed that what Glasgow Life advertised as an ‘exhibition’ by Martin Hunter consisted of less than a dozen photographs. Most of these, except for being large-format, so uninspired than you would find a better selection just surfing Tumblr for five minutes. Although one, of a car wreck under the Canal’s bank, was really good.

 

Là Naomh Anndra

Je vais m’emmitouffler lorsque l’hiver souffle.
Mike Scott: In Search of a Rose

 

Plus tard (aprés-midi): Journée ensoleillée – ged nach fhaca mi Beinn Laomainn na làithean, chunnaic mi e gu math soilleir an-diugh.

Modifié/ajouté, 8/11/16: Cet image-ci était le premier fond d’écran que j’avait choisi ce jour-là mais plus tard je l’ai changé pour une autre. (Mais le 4 janvier 15 je les changé de nouveau, en direction inverse.)

 

Broughty Ferry and finally, finally Dundee

Only having a half-hour off within my second time in Broughty Ferry I postponed visiting the Castle for some next time. Instead, I went to see a nice wee kirk I’d noticed from the van and walked the bank of the Firth up to a building named Life-Boat, presumably connected to the RNLI. (Jamie would be excited to see three nearby one-storey houses standing next to one another, each painted in a different colour and each with the but for the colour identical sign saying “Fisherman’s Tavern Hotel”.)

But I had a whole hour in Dundee. At long last, after having traversed it several times, having even had some jobs there, I could sightsee it, something I’ve longed to do since the first journey through twenty-three years ago.

I was lucky. Having no idea what to look for and where, I just strolled randomly in the direction where I was told the city centre lay, yet I came across the McManus, the Steeple Church, the Wishart Arch and other interesting things.

(Personally I liked St Andrew’s more than the Steeple, although I’m not sure this wasn’t based on the simple fact that at the moment the sun was shining.)

Tayside and Moray and more

Thursday, 20 June was too full of happenings to write more about it than brief notes.

Elated at travelling through the heart of Tayside on the A9 north of Perth again, exactly five months since the last time. And then from Aviemore to Elgin through Moray: a more amazing country than I’d expected, almost rivalling Tayside.

Elgin: What I’m finding is The Duke of Gordon Monument; I didn’t find which Duke of Gordon. St Giles’ Church on High Street. Not time enough to see the Cathedral; but travelling on past Nairn Old Parish Church, probably a better sight.

Unusually but invigoratingly bilingual signs on doors in one Inverness firm – English complementing Gaelic, rather than Gaelic translating English. No time for Cathedral either.

What I’m finding is Findhorn Viaduct, maybe not as nice itself as the famous Glenfinnan one, but arguably set in nicer surroundings.

Could have died again: our driver decided to overtake two trucks at once before Dalwhinnie. With luck, a truck, a van next to it and a car in the opposite direction can pass there without colliding. Scared shitless but after that undauntedly took a picture of the distillery at last.*

And then Tayside again, trying to take pictures of all the waters we crossed. Some even came out passably well.

Wondering between Dalnaspiddal and Pitlochry whether this was already the dual carriageway. Apparently yes and no – apparently even between Perth and Inverness there have always been stretches of it.

All in all, except for the moment of horror an amazing working day.
 

* Postscript, 16/3/16: I’ve recently found out I’d already taken one when returning from Orkney.