Monday, November 11, 2019

Returned, I hope only temporarily, to BLOGSPOT

After making (too) few posts on my website based Alba blog, the installed Wordpress is misbehaving. Because I am hoping/planning to leave for Scotland tomorrow, I will simply return to this location for the duration of the trip. When I return I shall endeavor to correct the problem.

Meanwhile, if you follow the link to my website you can read what little I wrote in the years between 2013 and "now", which is November 11, 2019. The reason for the lack of blogging was depression and other personal matters.

Regardless, I am off (I hope) to Scotland tomorrow, November 12 2019 for 6 weeks. I spent 8 weeks there last year. I had hoped to spend 10 weeks earlier this year but illness and hospitalization caused a delay and shortening, then a cancel of the entire trip.

Next year I will attempt 3 months in SCOTLAND.

If you are curious to know, the reason that "Oor" became "My" is due to one of the personal matters: separation for several years, then divorce. The URL though needs to continue to point to "Oor. Sorry for any confusion.

I am also on Facebook and Linkedin if you care: Me on FB Me on LI

Thursday, July 11, 2013

As of some time ago

This blog was moved to Oor Alba Blog @ my website . This was done in order to post what ever content I choose with no concern of being censored. This content will remain here as well until such time I delete it, or Blogger "kills it" due to no activity.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tha seo inntinneach, nach eil? [This is interesting, isn't it?]

Not long after posting about the Stone of Destiny in Islay, I stumbled across a similar statement of belief on the Secret Scotland Blog. The entire entry is worth reading, and at the end is the reference to the Stone. I sent a message to Secret Scotland, asking about the story, and received this response from Mike: "My grandmother, long since passed away, told me the story. She was a MacDonald of Clanranald, a family connected to the Lordship of the Isles." As I said "Tha i inntinneach, nach eil?"

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

An Lia Fàil [The Stone of Destiny] A bheil e ann an Ìle? [Is it in Islay?]

We all know the story of Edward Longshanks stealing the Stone of Scone/Destiny and taking it to England. If you don't, you should. If you do, you might know what is believed to be the story.

I've been reading The Story of Scotland by Nigel Tranter, and in that book he presents his theory/belief the stone was given to Aonghas Og, the Lord of the Isles (or Islay), to prevent its being taken by the auld enemy.

I must confess to be unaware of this viewpoint but it seems he is not alone in that belief. Here is a link to a Wiki (the source of all knowledge ;-)) article discussing the Westminster Stone Theory. According to the theory, the stone was probably hidden on an Eilean Sgitheanach (the Isle of Skye).

Personally, with no evidence to support my belief, I like to imagine the stone was taken to the powerbase of the Lord: Finlaggan!!! If it's there, I wonder how close I was when I visited in May of 2009, and again in May of 2010?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Car hire, picked up at GLA, manual transmission !!!

It's been a while since I posted to OorAlbaBlog, and for that I am sorry. However, my situation has changed and hopefully, prayerfully, that will encourage me to be more disciplined in my blogging.

As readers know, we in the USA drive on the wrong side of the road. The steering wheel is also on the wrong side. Still, we have adapted. When we (J and I) were last in Scotland, which was too long ago (2010)and we miss her and our friends terribly, we hired a car from GLA (Glasgow Internation Airport) that I was to pickup. From there I would drive the auto back to the home of Pastor Marshall Cross (of New Hope Church), in Wishaw, and his wife Michelle. Pastor Cross was kind enough to convey me to the airport and wait while I conducted business at the care hire kiosk.

When it was my turn in the queue, I asked if the auto was an automatic transmission. I was told, politely, "No sir, it's a manual, just as specified in the contract. You did not request an automatic transmission." My response was "Well won't that be interesting." "Have you never driven a manual transmission, sir?" I was asked. "Yes", I replied, "but it's been a few years and it was never on the left side of the road, while sitting on the right side of the vehicle, and shifting with my left hand."

There were no other vehicles available so I completed the paperwork, went outside and explained the situation to Pastor Cross. I pleaded with him to avoid hills if at all possible during the drive back to his home. Not being familiar with the area I am unsure to this day if the route was a short cut of any sort, or the long way around, but we made it back with no incidents.

The next day my wife and I set out to drive to Tarbert, via Helensburgh. There we stayed overnight in caravan (arranged by Iris and Graham Terry, proprietors of Bluebell Cottage) prior to taking the CalMac ferry to Islay the next morning.

Jacqueline has told me I did a fine job of driving. What I remember is how mentally demanding it was to pay attention to the driving rather than the beautiful scenery. It's a wonder we did not end up in Loch Long as we drove along the A814 which seemed not much wider than our wee car. Here's a link to a short Youtube Video of Arrochar, which we passed through just before turning onto the A83.

Until next post, SLÀINTE.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A bheil Gàidhlig agaibh.

Tha, beagan !!!

Interpretation: Do you speak Gaelic? Yes, a little.

Actually, in Gàidhealtachd (Gaeldom), because the language is not separate from their culture, they refer to "having the Gaelic" rather than "speaking the Gaelic". Therefore, the question "a bheil Gàidhlig agaibh" rather literally means "The Gaelic at you" or "Do you have Gaelic?" Another interesting bit is that the words themselves, rather than a voice inflection, indicate declarative, or inquiry.

A few weeks ago I began a journey that, unless I am greatly blessed and exceed expectations, will take 4 years; studying Gaelic at Acadamaigh Gàidhlig an Atlantaig. It is my dream/goal to live on one of the Hebrides in a Gàidhlig community.

Eventually I will be able to read the Gaelic Bible that I own, sent to me by Eaglais Chaluim Chille, (St Columba Church) in Glaschu. Glè mhath !!! Here is a link to their facebook page. Sadly, I do not believe the church has a website.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The final days of The Notebook

The following were originally two separate e-mails to friends/family but in the interest of closing this out, I posted them together; with some editing for clarity. I hope you enjoy reading them, and please leave a comment.

Starting at Jul 25th ...

Trips to Ayr, Gourock, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and other places she has been. Usually to visit. But sometimes to shop.

On July 25th she tried to travel to Loch Lomond but missed the train by 10 min. So, headed to Gourock and "saw the fleet" including the HMS Illustrious (an aircraft carrier) that she described as "marvellous".

July 30 back to Dun Eideann for the day with Mary where they "had our first good cup of coffee in a restaurant." I must say that I prefer strong coffee and much of the coffee I've had in Scotland was rather on the weak side.

This day's entry also mentions meeting Peggy Bell at the Waverly Steps to go to ... with her for a few days. But I cannot determine the name of the place. It looks like reflall but it's not capitalized and google searches, map examination in the area of North Berwick, where she spent the next day, are not shedding any light on the destination.

Jul 31 spent the day at North Berwick

Aug 1 to Broxburn to shop with Peggy then boarded a bus for Davie's at 9:30

Aug 2 visit cousin Joe Robson in Ruchill. It appears
Ruchill is a community in Glaschu. Joe and his wife, Sophie, had a son named Jim who was serving in the RAF and stationed in Canada.

Aug 3 went with Archie and family to visit their Aunt Minnie in Rutherglen (I can "hear" in my mind the voice on the trains I took telling passengers the train made a stop at Rutherglen)

August 4th tried again for Loch Lomond but no busses; bank holiday !!!

Aug 5th .. FINALLY made it to Loch Lomond via train but missed the return train so had to take a bus. Saw lots of bomb damage at Clydebank (ship building area).

Aug 6th ,,, Glasgow again, another movie !!!

August 7 - Aug 13 were the last few days of Gram's trip. I felt a sense of sadness reading them, remembering how I felt when it was time to leave. The difference being that Gram seemed eager to return to "the dear old U.S.A." Except for Jacqueline, and The Ghillie (who I can hear slurping water from his bowl) there is nothing here so dear I feel a need to return. On the other hand, Gram was seeing a Scotland still very much effected by WW II.

Aug 7

Gram and Rhoda travelled to Largs .

Aug 8

Uptown with Ida, got "Mr Wileys" (?) birth certificate. Mary arrived from England.

Aug 9

Travelled to American Consulate, in Glasgow, with Mary, and Elsie, but it was closed. Went to Cook's Travel Agency to "see about Elsie's coming to America."

Aug 10

Went to church, with Davie, and heard a sermon by Rev Angus Gray from Inverary. I found the following when I googled for his name. It is excerpted from

*The Gaelic Place names of Glen Aray + Inverary:*

The Historical and Linguistic background

The death of Gaelic has meant that there is longer any need for a minister to preach in that language. In 1929, the Free Church of Scotland and the Church of Scotland were united after nearly 90 years apart, and this meant great changes in the parish of Glen Aray and Inverary. The Gaelic charge had been vacant for some years by this time, and the 2 ministers who were in the town demitted their charge, and 1 minister took over the united charge. This was the Rev Angus Grey and under him, Gaelic services continued on a regular basis. He was translated to St James, Edinburgh in 1949. His successor was the Rev Donald MacKenzie, who has been the last Gaelic speaking minister of the parish to date. He was translated to the Barony Church, Auchterarder in 1966. He has been followed in the ministry by 3 ministers since then, the Rev David Kellas, the Rev Alexander Sommerville and most recently, by the Rev John MacQuilken.

Aug 11

"Flying trip" (quick?) to Glaschu, American Consulate, with Elsie. Was told there will be "no waiting for a British subject to get to America." Left Coatbridge at 05:45 from Sunnyside Station. Seeing her off were Archie, Betty, Ellen, Rhoda, Elsie, Minnie. Davy, Isa and Mary accompanied her to Dun Eideann (Edinburgh). Many friends from Cowdenbeath saw her off to London at 9:30PM.

Aug 12

Arrived London 06:45. Room was not ready so they (she was apparently travelling with someone but does not name the person. Was it Mary?) were made comfortable in the lobby until the room was ready. Then it was nap-time.

Following the name was Madame Toussad's Wax Museum ("it is wonderful"),
Regent's Park , Albert Memorial, and Kennsington Gardens. She wrote "there has been a lot of bomb damage in this part of London."

Aug 13 (her last day)

"Had a wonderful night's sleep on an innerspring mattress." Yes, she underlined the innerspring mattress !!!! Apparently that was quite a treat.

This was her last day. The flight "back to the dear old U.S.A." was to leave at midnight. She wrote that she had "an awful long wait but there is still lots to be seen. Have to fill in the time."

And with that sentence she ended The Notebook. There are other notes, such as addresses, etc. but no more narration. I have no doubt I will re-read her words over and over until it's effectively memorized.

She left the USA on Jun 17, 1947 and returned Aug 13. What I would not give to be able to spend that much time in Scotland.