And yet it wasn’t all bad

What I said last night holds, but it’s quite possible that years from now I’ll reminisce about these last few months a little wistfully. That I’ll mostly remember all those iPlayer documentaries I saw while having my meals . . .

I even have new favourite presenters, Dougie Vipond and Neil Oliver having been joined by Chris Packham, Dan Cruickshank, James Fox . . .



Google’s geographical updates

When the Google Earth software on my laptop updated itself (of its own accord) to ‘Google Earth Pro’, I had a short look and noticed no difference, except for the colour of the icon. Contrarily, I was mighty pleased to discover that Street View now covers the path along the Forth and Clyde Canal. I must have walked the parts Between Maryhill Tesco and Nolly Brig and between Applecross Basin and Speirs Wharf dozens, maybe hundreds of times. If nostalgia grows unbearable, I can walk it again, virtually at least.


Top BBC salaries

The Guardian had a pleasant surprise for me. I expected the usual whining of extremely well paid females that they wanted to be paid even more, as much as their yet more extremely well paid male counterparts. But the article did mention the real problem:

“Quite a lot of people are pissed off because of the gender gap, but there are lots of people who are pissed off that this is a big swerve taking the focus off the real story, which is the gap in pay between ordinary producers et cetera and management on six-figure sums. […] All this means is that women on those programmes identified as gender pay gap will get more money. Men won’t be taking pay cuts, so it will just mean even less money to go round on the troops.”


Tablette 2

Finalement, parce qu’il serait fou emporter la tablette au centre de désintoxication, je l’ai vendu à Rob (pour moins qu’un tiers du prix originel). Un peu étonnamment, il a paru heureux de l’obtenir, qui m’a fait heureux à son tour, peut-être même plus que l’argent. Donc, en rentrer chez moi, j’étais en même temps content est mécontent. Mécontent parce qu’il est possible que cela a été la dernière fois que je l’ai vu, est je ne l’ai pas dit audieu à la façon convenable.


BBC News &/⁊ Naidheachdan BhBC

Ged nach bi, gu tric is minig, aiste anns a’ Ghàidhlig air an làrach-lìn Naidheachdan BhBC ach eadar-theangachadh giorraichte dhen aiste thùsail bhon làrach-lìn Bheurla, is fhiach e uaireannan na dhà a leughadh. Mar eisimpleir, tha an aiste Bheurla mun chiad chàr a’ ruith air fuigheall an uisge-bheatha làn mholaidh, ach tha barrachd theagamhan na moladh san aiste Ghàidhlig.


Bookmarks: stuck

This is becoming ridiculous. Every day I stop ‘following’ another website or two, every night I tell myself the next day would be primarily dedicated to cutting down the number of ‘to-read’ article bookmarks, yet the following night I find out there were so many new ones the number is only slightly lower than the night before, if it’s not in fact even higher. If this was my first year on the internet I could put it down to beginner’s infatuation with it, but I have recently begun my tenth …



Agus gnìomh eile ‘tasglannach’ air a choileanadh: tar-sgrìobhadh an leabhair leam le truaill-chainnt agus gnàthasan-cainnte èibhinn (a’ mhòr-chuid dhiubh èibhinn gu do-rùnaichte) dhan fhaidhle theacsa. Bha fiù agus an tìde agam airson am faidhle a chur chun nan càirdean bhon cholaiste ris a chumas mi suas fhathast, agus gu Rob.

Bha fhios agam gun robh mòran fhealla-dhà bhon cholaiste is bho Sheirbheis Nàiseanta ann, ach chur e iongnadh orm dè cho mòran ’s a bha ann bho na bliadhnaichean as dèidh sin. Gus deach mi dhan rehab. Tha fhios nach robh mòran ann as dèidh sin, agus mi a’ cur seachad an àm saor agam air an eadar-lìon, seach a’ coinneachadh ri daoine ann an taighean-seinnse.


Rangers no Celtic?

Chuimhnich am post-bloga seo dhomh air duine leis a bha mi ag obair uaireigin. ’S ann à Glaschu a bha e fhèin, agus cha do dh’agair e gum b’ fheudar dhomh taic a thoirt dha fear dhe na sgiobaidhean seo is mise nam in-imriche. Fiù ’s dar a thuirt mi nach robh ùidh agam ann am ball-coise san fharsaingeachd, ghabh e ris. Ach dar a thuirt mi nach tug mi taic dha sgioba sam bith, eadhon san t-seann dùthaich agam, cha b’ urrainn dha sin a thuigsinn. “Feumaidh a h-uile duine sgioba air choireigin a bhith aige.” Cha robh e gam choiteachadh tuilleadh, ach bha e a’ coimhead orm mar gun tuirt mi nach do rugadh mi, gun do thachair mi dìreach, no gun robh mi air tighinn à planaid eile …



’S e bloga ‘mìosail’, mar gum biodh, a tha ann an Seabordgàidhlig, agus roghnaich an t-ùghdar conasg airson cuspair post-bloga an Ògmhiosa. ’S e post taitneach mar as àbhaist dhaibh, agus bha dà rud gu h-àraidh innteach dhomsa: gu bheil an lus feumail taobh a-muigh a luach mar rudeigin a tha àilinn ri fhaicinn; agus gu bheil e cho gann sa Ghearmailt nach àbhaist dha na Gearmailtich a bhith eòlach air.

Smaointich mi mu dheidhinn an dàrna rud agus cha b’ urrainn dhomh cuimhneachadh conasg fhaicinn san dùthaich seo a bharrachd. Nise, chan agair mi gur ann grànnda a tha i, ach tha mi ag ionndrainn cus rudan an seo a tha pailt an Alba, bho àiteachan leth-fhiadhaich gu taighean cloiche gu daoine socair; a-rèir coltais, tha conasg am measg iad sin a tha mi ag ionndrainn gun a bhith eadhon mothachail air.


Retour à Android

J’en avait marre de mon Windows Phone depuis quelque temps, mais je ne voulais pas dépenser l’argent pour un nouveau portable, puisque je ne l’utilise pas beaucoup. Néanmoins, récemment je me suis rendu compte que je ne pourrai pas emporter mon laptop au centre de désintoxication ; ainsi, mon smartphone devra servir de son substitut.

Après beaucoup d’oscillation je me suis décidé et j’ai acheté un Alcatel bon marché avec Android KitKat (j’aime bien le chocolat), et durant quelques jours je l’ai « personnalisé ». À vrai dire, beaucoup des applis integrées (p. ex. le lecteur multimédia et le calendier) était réellement minable, mais c’est ça pourquoi on a un portable Android: il y a beaucoup d’applis gratuites à télécharger.

Et en général, il y a des bonnes applis (sauf pour les nouvelles BBC). De toute façon, je pense que j’ai tout (ou au moins la plupart de) ce dont que j’aurai besoin. Maintenant, je dois trouver quel opérateur vend les données les moins chères.


The Scotsman

The good thing is that they do occasionally offer a deeper view of a Scottish topic than its competitors, including the BBC. The bad thing is that unlike the BBC they need the money from advertising, so you get ‘promoted’ articles, video ads which get past ad blockers and so on.

A minor nuisance is copypasting: if you copy, say, “excruciating” from this article, and paste it, for instance, into a dictionary search box to check the meaning of the word, what appears there is this: excruciating Read more at:

And the comments. (I know I don’t have to read them, but …) The articles themselves are no more biased than The Guardian’s, but the vast majority of the commentators seem to be people who wouldn’t miss the slightest opportunity to lambast Sturgeon and applaud Trump, usually in a language generally associated with trolls. They would almost make one forget that one supports Brexit as well.

So I only have a look, twice a week, at two sections: Glasgow & Strathclyde news, and More Heritage, which every now and then has something in or about Gaelic. (And yes, now and then something mentioned on one of their Twitter accounts.)


FnaG a-rithist

Aig a’ cheann thall, thill mi dhan fhòram as dèidh trì bliadhnaichean. (Bha mi air sgrìobhadh am post mu dheireadh san Dùbhlachd ’13). The e coimhead gu bheil nas lugha dhen trafaig ann na bha anns na seann làithean, agus gu bheil feadhainn dhiubh a bhiodh a’ postadh a bu thrice air fhàgail cuideachd (chanainn gum bi mi gu h-àraid ag ionndrainn Seonaidh), ach cha robh iadsan a tha air fhàgail mì-thoilichte leamsa, ged a thill mi leis an fhar-ainm ùr agam, agus ’s e sin an rud a tha cudromach. Tha eadhon Akerbeltz còir deònach rim bruidhinn.


On Twitter again

Been there for a few months in 2012, then deleted my account. This February, on the spur of the moment (probably out of boredom), I created a new one. Like the first time round, I began by adding followed accounts, till I had hardly time for anything else than following them, then began gradually unfollowing those with too great tweets:interesting tweets ratio. I got almost to a ‘desirable’ number.

Then came the bender, then catching up on the consequent backlog and now I sort of regret I don’t follow a few more, I seem to have too much time on my hands. I even began considering contributing to Gaelic Wikipedia again, or rejoining Fòram na Gàidhlig. We’ll see.

PS Incidentally, the day after creating the account I was made aware via some account I followed that it was World Cancer Day. As I had had and possibly still had cancer, this was somewhat spooky.


Printemps ’17

Bon. La beuverie est terminé, et bien que je sois toujours quelque peu faible, je relève. Et parce que j’ai raté à la fois 1er mars, le début du « printemps météorologique » (il faisait encore assez froid ici) et 20ème mars, le début du « printemps astronomique » (la beuverie), il était grand temps que je remplace mes économiseurs d’écran: l’hiver par le printemps. Alors, je viens de le faire.


Cìs chraolaidh iPlayer

Leugh mi mu àrdachadh cìs chraolaidh is thug an aiste gu mo chuimhne mar a bha iPlayer an asgaidh air a chrìochnachadh an-uiridh. Agus thàinig rud neònach a-steach orm: Airson bhliadhnaichean roimhe sin, choimheadainn dìreach air iPlayer gus nach biodh agam ris a’ chìs a phàighead. Chan eil an t-adhbhar ann tuilleadh – ach cha do rinn e diofar sam bith. Choimheadainn fhathast air iPlayer a-mhàin. ’S ann cho annasach, cho neònach a tha an nòisean gum biodh agam air prògram air choireigin a choimhead aig àm puingeil, àm stèidhichte leis a’ chraoladair, seach dar a bhios agam ùine is togradh air . . .


December ’16 news

December news in February, hmm . . . anyway, here goes:

There were some minor surprises in politics. The Icelandic Pirate Party was asked to try and form a new government (but would later fail to become part of it). Donald Trump sort of broke decades lasting pretence that the US doesn’t recognise Taiwan (more publicity stunts would follow). The European Court of Justice ruled against the Snooper’s Charter (giving the UK government another bad reason respect the referendum result and leave the EU). And the SNP disclosed that despite the comtinuing devolution of powers from London to Edinburgh, the Scotland Office’s budget rose over the last five years by 20% (although a much more interesting question was how much would Derek Mackay have to compromise to have his first budget voted through Holyrood).

A sadder surprise was the death of George Michael at the age of 53 (making me look up what was it he sang at all, the biggest surprise being Freedom! 90). On the other hand, air an làimh eile, bha deagh naidheachd ann gun do chomharraich Tormod MacGilleathain an t-ochdadamh cho-là-breith aige (’s dòcha gum bu chòir dhomh The Leper’s Bell a cheannach mar faidhle Khindle is a leughadh a-rithist).

More good news were the opening of a new Edinburgh railway station and the reopening of Kelvingrove Museum’s Life Gallery (pity I may never see it again).

The sporting surprise, for me at least, was how close to each other the teams at the bottom of the Scottish Premiership were: Partick Thistle, last (ie 12th) three matches before the end of the month, got by just two wins to the 6th place and after a Hogmanay draw ended the year as 7th. Another sports-related news was Andy Murray’s knighthood; but to be honest, I admired more Lynn Faulds for rejecting her MBE – or rather, for her reasons to do so.


Google Translate for Scottish Gaelic

The other day I came across a post telling me Scottish Gaelic has been added to Google Translate with worse-than usual results. I have little time for fools who think that simply running a text through this software can give them something even approaching natural language. But the adverse effect on learners is not to be underestimated. I remember it took me quite some time to realise that even if something on the Web looks like Gaelic, it may be faulty Gaelic by another learner (like my own posts), so one should always consider carefully the source.

Unfortunately, there’s nothing I can do about it, so I just amused myself by the old pastime: pick a random text in a language you know and have Google translate it into another one (which you know as well). I chose a BBC article about the HIE. The full text and translation I leave below for posterity; I’ll just mention here that I like most the way in which “airson dèanamh cinnteach nach tèid HIE a làgachadh”, i.e. “to ensure that HIE won’t be weakened”, is turned into the exact oppposite, and likewise of course the final cryptic “saying that in tharrraingeas this power away from the Highlands”.

Tha Cathraiche Iomairt na Gàidhealtachd ‘s nan Eilean ag ràdh gu bheil e “làn mhisneachd” gun lean a’ bhuidhean mar a bha. -> The Chairman of Highlands and Islands says that he is “confident” that the group as.
Tha mòran air draghan a nochdadh bho thàinig e am barr gun tèid cur às de bhòrd HIE ‘s bòrd nàiseanta ùr gu bhith os cionn chompanaidhean leasachaidh agus sgilean na h-Alba. -> Many have voiced concerns came from the top to eliminate HIE board and a new national board to charge companies and skills development of Scotland.
Thuirt an t-Oll. Lorne Crerar ge-tà gu robh e air gealltanas fhaighinn gun lean HIE anns a’ chruth anns a bheil e an-dràsta. -> Said Dr. Lorne Crerar, however, that he had received assurance that HIE in the form in which it now.
Thuirt e gu bheil iad ann an còmhraidhean le Riaghaltas na h-Alba airson dèanamh cinnteach nach tèid HIE a làgachadh, agus gur ann a tha iad an dòchas gun tèid a neartachadh. -> He said that they are in discussions with the Scottish Executive to ensure that HIE weakened, and that they hoped to be strengthened.
Tha mòran luchd-poileataigs dùbhlanach air càineadh a dhèanamh air na planaichean ‘s iad ag ràdh gur ann a tharrraingeas seo cumhachd air falbh bhon Ghàidhealtachd. -> Many opposition politicians have criticized the plans, saying that in tharrraingeas this power away from the Highlands.



Après avoir beaucoup réflechi, j’ai décidé de n’emporter pas mon ordinateur à l’hôpital. J’avait peur de le perdre (non: j’avais peur que quelqu’un le vole). Mais des semaines sans ordi, juste avec le smartphone et la liseuse ? Ainsi, j’ai acheté une tablette. Après tout, je pourrais l’utiliser dans un avenir plus lointain si/lorsque l’ordi meurt. Bien sûr, seulement jusqu’à ce que j’aurai un nouvel ordi – la tablette a le putain de tchèque préinstallé …


Toutes les images sauvegardés sur le Net

Il durait un an et demie, mais j’ai réussi. Toutes mes images (3 088) sont maintenant sur un compte Flickr (j’en avais trois), plus ou moins par ordre chronologique. Il y a juste un problème : j’ai supprimé un des autres comptes, mais je ne peux pas supprimer l’autre (le CAPTCHA ne marche pas). Eh bien, il e complètement vide quand même.

ETA, 2/11/16: Non, c’étais de ma faute : je tapais le CAPTCHA à la zone de texte pour confirmer le mot de passe …