2021 an Dàmhair: Hiort (1) / Oct. St Kilda (1)

Le seaboardgàidhlig

Tha a’ mhòr-chuid dhibh eòlach air sgeul falamhachadh muinntir Hiort ann an 1930. Bha mi cho fortanach ‘s gun deach mi dhan bhuidheann-eileanan seo am bliadhna, cuairt fìor iongantach  Tha na h-eileanan fad a-muigh san Atlantaig, 41 mìltean bho Bheinn na Faoghla agus 101 bhon tìr-mhòir, ach bha clann-daonna a’ fuireach an sin o chionn Linn an Umha (tha lorgan ann fhathast), ged a dh’fhaodas nach robh gun stad. Ach chan e an t-astar a-mhàin a chuireas iongantas ort, ach gun do rinn iad bith-beò cho fada ann an àrainneachd cho mì-thorrach is dùbhlanach, fiù ‘s air a’ phrìomh eilean, far an do dh’fhuirich na daoine. B’ e sin mo chiad bheachd mar a chunnaic mi na cas-chreagan ag èirigh am meadhan a’ chuain, às dèidh trì uairean a thìde bho na Hearadh air bàta luath. Ciamar a rinn iad e?

Ach rinn iad am bith-beò gu dearbh thar nan linntean, a’ cur beagan eòrna agus bùntata air na bha aca de dh’fhearann (stiallan caol air cùl taighean a’ Bhaile), a’ cumail crodh is caoraich na b’ fhaide shuas an sliabh air an ionaltradh choitcheann, agus gu h-àraidh ann a bhith a’ glacadh eun-mara air na creagan. Bha an t-iasgach mar as trice ro dhoirbh leis na sruthan cunnartach is na gèilean, agus gun bhàtaichean freagarrach. Phàigh iad am màl do MhicLeòid Dhùn Bheagain, leis a bha na h-eileanan fad ùine mhòir, ann an òla eun-mara, iteagan (gu h-àraidh iteagan-buthaid, airson mhatrasan), cloimh is clò, agus beagan eòrna, bainne is càise.  Chan fhaod gun robh mòran air fhàgail dha na Hiortaich!

Agus gu dearbh ‘s e feòil agus uighean nan eun-mara a bha aca mar phrìomh bhiadh, gu h-àraidh sùlairean is fulmairean. Tha sinn uile eòlach air na dealbhan de na “fir nan creagan” le an ropannan, a’ dìreadh mar eòin iad fhèin air na cas-creagan den phrìomh eilean (Hiort) agus de na h-eileanan beaga (Dùn, Sòthaigh, Boraraigh) agus stacannan-mara eile, obair chunnartach agus sgileil. Roinn iad na h-eòin a-mach air a chèile, a rèir meud an teaghlaich, agus às dèidh dhaibh a bhith air am plucadh agus an tiormachadh, rachadh an stòradh anns na ceudan is ceudan de chleitean air feadh an eilein – taighean-stòir bheaga cloiche mar sheann sgìopan-seillean.

Tha dealbh shuaicheanta eile a chunnaic sinn uile – an aon sràid den Bhaile, na sìneadh ann an lùb fhada fharsaing shuas os cionn a’ bhàigh, far an robh am fearann as torraiche, an aon chothrom bàta a lainnseadh, agus beagan fasgaidh bho na gèilean. Tha na taighean, no an tobhtaichean, a tha rim faicinn an-diugh, gu ìre mhòr à dà linn-togail. Chaidh an fheadhainn nas ùire, le uinneagan nas motha, similearan, agus mullaichean zinc, a thogail mu 1860 (pròiseact coltach ris na council houses an seo ceud biadhna às dèidh sin), an àite nan seann taighean dubha, a bha an ceann nas ìsle na bhàthach-geamhraidh dhan chrodh – iad fhèin mar leasachadh nan àitichean-còmhnaidh fiù ‘s na bu shimplidhe romhpa. Chaidh na taighean dubha air am fàgail eadar na taighean ùra mar bhàthaich no àiteachan-stòir. ‘S e sin a bhios tu a’ faicinn an-diugh fhathast – tha Urras Nàiseanta na h-Alba, leis a bheil na h-eileanan o chionn 1957, air feadhainn de na taighean à 1860 a chàradh agus an cumail mar thaigh-tasgaidh beag (uabhasach math!) agus oifisean no àite-fuirich, agus a’ feuchainn ri na togalaichean eile a cumail ann an “arrested decay”. Thig faireachdainn fìor shònraiche ort is tu nad sheasamh san t-sràid fhalamh ud, am measg thaibhsean is an cuimhneachain.

Agus carson a chaidh an t-eilean fhalamhachadh idir?  Thòisich na h-atharrachaidhean a bu mhotha aig àm nan stìomairean den linn Bhictorianach, a thug caochladh na b’ fharsainge bathair às an t-saoghal mhòr, ach barrachd daoine cuideachd, nam measg luchd-turais airgeadach às na bailtean mòra a bha airson muinntir neònach, phrìomhadail an eilein iomallaich romànsaich ud fhaicinn.  Tha seann fhilmichean ann anns a bhios tu ag aithneachadh gun robh na Hiortaich dìreach mar bheathaichean cian-annasach san zoo dhan luchd-tadhail sin. Saoil dè bha na h-eileanaich a’ faireachdainn?

Còmhla ris na daoine ùra thàinig galaran ùra cuideachd agus na h-eileanaich gun ion-dhìonachd nan aghaidh,  rud a lagaich an slàinte is an comas-seasaimh san fharsaingeachd.

Cha b’ e ach ministearan agus uaireannan luchd-teagaisg a thàinig às an tìr-mhòr a dh’fhuireach anns an eilean san 19mh linn, agus ‘s e buaidh mhòr a thug iad air dòigh-beatha Hiort. ‘S e Crìostaidhean a bha anns na Hiortaich mar-thà, ach tharraing an suidheacadh dùbhlanach mar as trice ministearan le eud miseanaraidh, a thug tionndadh seanaireachd gu sònraichte cruaidh leotha, agus chaidh na bha aig na h-eileanaich de chur-seachadan is dibhearsain, mar chèilidhean, òrain is sheanchas, a thoirmeasg a-nis. Mar sin dh’fhàs am beatha fiù ‘s na bu chruaidhe, agus a-nis tha cuid mhòr de na h-òrain is sgeulachdan caillte a-nis. Agus bha na tidsearan a’ cur an ìre teagasg sa Bheurla an àite Gàidhlig, rud a lagaich an dualchas traidiseanta cuideachd, agus thug na h-eileanaich nas fhaisge air an t-saoghal mhòr. Tha an eaglais simplidh (1820an) agus an seòmar-sgoile (1890an) rim faicinn an-diugh fhathast mar a bha iad sna ficheadan.

Beag air bheag thòisich daoine òga ri Hiort fhàgail, agus san Chogadh Mhòr thog a’ mhòr-cuid de na fir dha na Feachdan. Cha do thill mòran dhiubh, agus ged a bha stèisean rèidio an nèibhidh ann 1915 – 1919, a thabhainn taic agus chothrom-obrach no dhà, cha b’ fhada gus an tuit àireamh an t-sluaigh fon ìre a bha riatanach airson mairsinn beò mar choimhearsnachd. Mu dheireadh thall, le cuideachadh Nurse Barclay a bha ann sna ficheadan, dh’iarr na 36 a bha air am fàgail air an riaghaltas an gluasad chun na tìr-mòir. Thachair sin ann an 1930.

Cuiridh mi crìoch air an aithris seo an ath thuras – san eadar-àm, an dòchas gun còrd ribh na dealbhan!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Most of you will be familiar with the story of the St Kilda evacuation in 1930.  I was lucky enough to go on a visit to the archipelago this year, a really wonderful trip. The islands are far out in the Atlantic, 41 miles from Benbecula and 101 from the mainland, but humans have been living there since the Bronze Age (traces still remain), even if not necessarily continuously. But it’s not just the distance that takes you aback, it’s knowing that they managed to make a living for so long in such an infertile and challenging environment, even on the main island, Hirta, where the people lived. That was my first thought when I saw the sheer precipices rising out the middle of the ocean, after 3 hours on a fast boat from Harris. How did they do it?

But they did indeed survive over the centuries, planting some barley and potatoes on the little fertile ground that they had (narrow strips behind the Village houses), keeping cattle and sheep further up the hillside on the common grazing, and especially by catching seabirds on the cliffs. Fishing was generally too difficult with the dangerous currents and the gales, and without suitable boats. They paid their rent to the Macleods of Dunvegan (long-time owners of the islands) in seabird oil, feathers (especially puffin feathers, for mattresses), wool and tweed, and some barley, milk and cheese. There can’t have been a lot left for the St Kildans!

And it was actually the flesh and eggs of the seabirds that formed their staple diet, especially gannets and fulmars. We’re all familiar with the photos of the “cragsmen” with their ropes, scaling the sheer cliffs like birds themselves on Hirta, the other smaller islands (Dùn, Soay, Boreray), and the sea-stacks. This was dangerous and skilled work. They divided the birds among themselves according to family size, and after being plucked and dried, they were stored in the many hundreds of cleits all over the island, small drystone storehouses like old beehives.

There’s another iconic picture we’ve all seen – the one street of the Village stretched out in a long wide curve up above the bay, where there was the most fertile land, the only chance to launch a boat, and some shelter from the gales. The houses, or their ruins, which we see today mainly stem from two building periods. The newer ones, with the larger windows, chimneys and zinc roofs were built around 1860 (a project like our council houses a hundred years later) to replace the earlier “blackhouses”, whose lower ends provided winter shelter for the cattle – themselves an “improvement” on the even more primitive dwellings before them. The blackhouses were left standing between the new houses as byres or storage space.  That’s what you still see today – the National Trust for Scotland, owners since 1957, have restored a few of the 1860 houses as office and accommodation space, and are trying to keep the other buildings in a state of “arrested decay”. It’s a really strange feeling to stand in that empty street among ghosts and their memorials.

So why was the island evacuated? The greatest changes began with the advent of the steamers of the Victorian age, bringing a wider variety of goods from the outside world, but also more people, including well-off tourists from the cities keen to see these curious, primitive people and their remote, romantic island. There are still old films extant in which you realise that the St Kildans were like exotic zoo animals to these visitors. I wonder what they were feeling?

Along with the new people also came new diseases, which the islanders had no immunity against, and this weakened their health and resistance in general.

It was only ministers and sometimes teachers who came from the mainland to stay on Hirta in the 19th century, and they had a major influence on the island way of life. The St Kildans were already Christians, but the challenge of the situation tended to attract ministers with missionary zeal, bringing a particularly strict variety of Presbyterianism with them, and the little the islanders had in the way of pastimes and diversion, such as ceilidhs, songs and story-telling, were now forbidden. Life therefore became even harder, and many of the songs and stories are now lost. The teachers who came insisted on teaching in English instead of Gaelic, and that too undermined the traditional culture, and brought the islanders closer to the outside world. The simple church (1820s) and the schoolroom (1890s) can still be visited today, looking just as they were in the 1920s.

Gradually young people began to leave St Kilda, and in the Great War most of the men were called up. Many did not return, and although there was a naval wireless base there 1915-1919, offering support and some work, it wasn’t long before population numbers fell below the level required to survive as a community. Finally, with the help of a Nurse Barclay who was there in the 1920s, the remaining 36 inhabitants petitioned the government to be moved to the mainland. This happened in 1930.

I’ll finish off this account the next time – meanwhile, hope you enjoy the photos!


Tadhail air seaboardgàidhlig

Powered by WPeMatico

2021 an t-Sultain: Òrain an ròin / Sept. Seal songs

Le seaboardgàidhlig

Òrain an ròin

Bha an ròn riamh na chreutair fìor shònraichte do mhuinntir sgìrean a’ chladaich, le iomadh sgeulachd mu ròin a thilgeadh am bian air an tràigh, a’ nochdadh ann an cruth fhear no bhoireannach brèagha. Bha fiù cuid ann a phòsadh clann-daoine, ged aig a cheann thall bhiodh iad a’ tilleadh gu muir, air an tarraing air ais le cumhachd an t-saoghail aca fhèin – coltach ris na maighdinnean-mara anns na sgeulachdan againne.

Aig an aon àm bha an ròn mar bheathach gu math cudromach dha na dearbh choimhearsnachdan seo, a sheilgeadh ròin airson na feòla, a’ chraicinn agus gu sònraichte an ola. Bha seo uabhasach prìseil, is e ga chleachdadh ann an lampaichean ach mar leigheas cuideachd. Agus marbhadh na h-iasgairean iad cuideachd gus àireamhean bhradan a ghlèidheadh.

Mar sin bha dàimh dhà-bharaileach eadar na daoine agus na ròin, an dà chuid an sealladh prataigeach agus an doras fosgailte fhathast dhan t-seann chreideamh os-nàdarra. Mar a mhothaich sinn roimhe san sgìre againne, cha robh riamh dragh sam bith do dh’iasgairean a bhith fìor chràbhach agus anabarrach saobh-chràbhach aig an aon àm.

Seo dà òran tradaiseanta glè bhrèagha mu ròin às na h-Eileanan Siar. Anns a’ chiad fhear, tha maighdeann-ròin a’ mineachadh cò às a thainig na ròin. Anns an dàrna fear tha ròn eile a’ gearan gum bi iasgairean a’ sealg agus ag ithe daoine eile, leis nach e beathaichean a th’ ann an ròin, ach daoine cuideachd.

Tha an dà chuid rin cluinntinn air YouTube amsaa, le Julie Fowlis is eile, ceanglaichean na ìsle. An dòchas gun còrd iad ribh!

Seal songs

The seal has always been a really special creature to the people of coastal areas, with many tales of seals who would cast their skins on the beach and appear in the form of beautiful men and women. There were even some who married humans, though in the long run they would return to the sea, drawn back by the power of their own world – just like the mermaids in our own stories.

At the same time the seal as an animal was extremely important to these very communities, who would hunt seals for the meat, the skin and especially the oil. This was exceptionally precious, being used not just for lamps but also as medicine. And fishermen also killed seals to preserve the salmon stock.

That meant there was an ambivalent relationship between humans and seals, on the one hand the practical aspect and on the other hand still a door left open to the old belief in the supernatural. As we’ve seen before in our own communities, the fisherfolk never had any trouble being both sincerely devout and highly superstitious.

Here are two lovely traditional songs about seals from the Western Isles. In the first, a seal-maiden explains where the seals came from. In the second, another seal complains that fishermen are hunting and eating other people, as seals aren’t animals but people too.

Both songs can be heard on YouTube etc, sung by Julie Fowlis and others – links below.  I hope you enjoy them!

An Ron

“Mise nighean Rìgh-fo-Thuinn
Fuil nan rìghrean na mo chrè –
Ged a chì sibh mi nam ròn
Tha mi mòrail nam thìr fhèin.

“Tìr-fo-Thuinn mo dhachaigh dhùint’
Innis dhùthchasach nan ròn;
Caidlidh mi air leacan sàil’,
Mi fhìn ‘s mo bhàn-chuilean òg.”

A Bhana-phrionns’ a’ chuain shiar,
A bheil sgeul agad ri luaidh?
Nach inns thu dhuinn mar a bha
Mun do ghabh sibh tàmh sa chuan?

“Chaidh na geasan a chur oirnn
Rè ar beò bhith le luchd-fuath,
‘S ged a tha sinn snàmh nan caol
‘S e nàdar daonnd’ tha dhuinn dual.

“Aig tràth-marbh air oidhche fèill
Tilgidh sinn ar bèin air tràigh,
‘S cluichidh sinn nar n-òighean suairc’
A’ crathadh ar cuaillean bàn.

“Ach a-nochd tha mi nam ròn
Air an lic an còrs’ a’ chuain:
‘S e mo nàdar bhith toirt gaol,
‘S do chlann-daoine thug mi luaidh.”

“I am daughter of the King-under-Sea,  Royal blood flows in my veins – Though you see me as a seal I am noble in my own land.

“Land-below-waves my prison home, Hereditary domain of the seal; I will sleep on a salt sea slab, Myself and my white-furred pup.”

O Princess of the western ocean Do you have a tale to weave? Will you tell us how it was Before you came to live at sea?

“Spells were laid upon us During our human lives by foes – Though we now swim the straits Human nature is our heritage.

“At the dead of feast-day night We cast our sealskins on the sand, Playing there as gentle maids Shaking our blonde tresses.

“But tonight I am a seal On a rock beside the sea; It is my nature to give love, And mankind I hold dear.”

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Òran an Ròin

Hò i hò i hì o hò I, Hò i hì o hò i ì
Hò i hò i hì o hò i
Cha robh mi ‘m ònar a-raoir.

‘S mairg san tìr seo, ‘s mairg san tìr
‘G ithe dhaoine ‘n riochd a bhìdh;
Nach fhaic sibh ceannard an t-sluaigh
Goil air teine gu cruaidh cruinn.

‘S mise nighean Aoidh mhic Eòghainn,
Gum b’ eòlach mi mu na sgeirean;
Gur mairg a dhèanadh mo bhualadh
Bean uasal mi o thìr eile.

Thig an smeòrach, thig an druid
Thig gach eun a dh’ionnsaigh nid;
Thig am bradan thar a’ chuain
Gu Là Luain cha ghluaisear mis’.

Hò i hò i hì o hò I, I was not alone last night.

Pity to be in this place where people are eaten as food
See the chief of the people Boiling hard on a fire.

I am the daughter of Aoidh son of Ewen
I was knowledgeable about the reefs
Pity the person who would hit me
I am a noble woman from another land.

The thrush comes, the starling comes
Every bird returns to its nest
The salmon comes from the sea
Until Doom’s Day I will not be moved.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Julie Fowlis , An Ròn: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pmeyFOZSfQ

Julie Fowlis, Òran an Ròin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DbEDIKh0hI

Emma NicLeòid,  Òran an Ròin:  https://www.feisean.org/fuaran/gd/oran-an-roin/


Tadhail air seaboardgàidhlig

Powered by WPeMatico

2021 an t-Iuchar :Gàidhlig ann am Machair Rois 12+1/July: Gaelic 12+1, East, west and sunwise.

Le seaboardgàidhlig

This month we’re having a look at how directions and points of the compass were traditionally used in the Gaelic Highlands, and therefore in Gaelic-influenced Seaboard English, which also carried over into behaviour patterns still familiar to some people today.

If you look at the map, it’s clear that the Seaboard coast runs roughly north-east to south-west, but I’ve never heard anyone refer to the ends of the Villages except as east and west. In Hilton you went, and still go, east to the burn or the chapel, not north-east. So-and-so’s house, on the same NE-SW street, might be “a bit west” of someone else’s. This might seem just shorthand for the more exact orientation, but there’s more to it than that.

Nowadays we’re used to seeing, and giving, directions in terms of the usual map view – north is up, south is down. For distant places this was to a large extent also true traditionally, in Gaelic or English – you’d sail up to Orkney, or people went down to Glasgow or London to work. At a more local level, however, this was very different. Maps were not what people used, or even possessed, until relatively recently, so a map’s view of up and down was irrelevant. What mattered, and what people who lived from it were intimately familiar with, was the lie of the land. The main point of reference was direction of water flow. Up (Gaelic suas, pronounced /soo-as/) was upstream, and down (sìos, pron. /shee-as/) was downstream. So up could be north, south, east or west, depending on geography. This meant that there was nothing odd in a north-facing community in telling someone to go suas gu deas – up south (southwards upstream) to a place. Roughly south or south-east-facing communities, like Easter Ross, had coincidentally upstream to their north or north-east, so they could say suas gu tuath – up north, for local directions, coinciding more or less with the map view. There are examples all over the Highlands and Islands of place-names echoing the changing geography.

This Gaelic-influenced feature has even been continued over in Nova Scotia. Cape Breton natives are famous for saying “Down North” – there possibly related to wind and therefore sailing direction (upwind and downwind in relation to their prevailing winds). They also say they’re going up and down to places which are east and west. In Easter Ross we can do the same.

While it’s logical for us to say “I’m going up to Fearn” (up the hill) we also still say things like “I’m going up to Dingwall / Inverness”, even though they’re not to the north or uphill – but they’re “up the firth”, i.e. upstream from here.  Travel was largely by water until relatively recently in our history, as roads were poor and people didn’t have vehicles, so sea and rivers were dominant in people’s lives. It was also common in the East Highlands to refer to a westerly / easterly wind as gaoth à shuas / à shìos – a wind from upstream / downstream, as the mountains were west of the coast.

So far, so good. That meant in our area that if you had your back to the hill (where upstream was, roughly north), and were facing the sea (roughly south), the natural orientation of fishing villages, then on your left you had east, and on your right you had west. Thus east and west came to be used for left and right when speaking English.  And that’s why older folk like my granny always talked about going east to the kitchen, or west to the (good) room. East – west was the most important orientation for communication and daily movement in the Villages, so these terms, rooted in the landscape-based Gaelic language, were absolutely normal. It was also, significantly, the path of the sun, visible in its arc over the sea every day.

The sun itself was another natural element that was reflected in Gaelic words for directions. As in probably all cultures, the sun was seen as life-giving, its light eagerly awaited and its progress determining daily and seasonal activities. The most propitious way to face in the morning was eastwards, and you’d turn to follow the sun southwards and westwards throughout the day. West to north to east again was the night, the dark and dangerous time and therefore direction.  South came to mean good luck and prosperity, north bad luck. This is what has led to all the folklore and superstition that calls for doing things “sunwise”, or clockwise. The opposite, called “widdershins” in Scots (which literally means “against the sun”), was really unlucky. Seaboard fishing boats (despite being full of good Presbyterian seamen) always turned sunwise – taking no chances! Superstition was rife among the fishermen despite their sincere religious beliefs – I think of it as a belt and braces approach. They also always said “12 plus one” when counting, instead of 13, hence the numbering of this article!

The word for south in Gaelic is deas (pron. /jess/), and this is also the word for right, as in right-handed. South would be on your right-hand side when facing the rising sun in the east, the starting point for the “good” hours of the daytime. Again, many cultures consider right good, left bad. On the Seaboard it was considered bad luck to have the spouts of jugs and teapots facing left on the shelf. From deas Gaelic has the word deiseil (/jesh-al/), which means sunwise, moving in the same direction as the sun. It also means ready, prepared, based on the idea that you’re set on the right course. Katy Ross told me that to was customary for the fisherman who lived furthest from the boat to go round in the morning making sure the others en route were up and about by calling at their window “Am beil thu deiseil?” – a much more loaded and promising word than the English “ready”.  She heard it called to her father every morning.

So when you next hear what seems to be an odd use of up and down, or east and west, or left and right, just remember there will have been a perfectly logical reason for it in the Gaelic it came from. Enjoy them, and treasure them!

And as usual, let me have any more examples you hear or remember yourselves!


Tadhail air seaboardgàidhlig

Powered by WPeMatico

2021 an t-Ògmhios / June: Gaelic 12. What’s in a name?

Le seaboardgàidhlig

This month we’ll be looking at how some Gaelic language forms, such as diminutive endings, were simply carried over naturally to English or Scots words in local speech, particularly in people’s names.

If you have the newest edition of Down to the Sea (2018), you’ll have seen the wonderful long list of by-names at the back. It’s much more than a list – it’s a mini social history of each of the Villages, so well worth a read or a re-read! Among them are many of my relatives and family friends, or neighbours of my grannie’s, or unknown figures who featured in local stories, and it brought back a lot of childhood memories to read that list when it was first published. So many thanks to all who contributed – an invaluable resource of local knowledge that otherwise would have disappeared.

But it’s also a great resource for those interested in language, like myself, as it’s full of examples of the often mutual influence of Gaelic and Scots.

In Gaelic, if you add -ag or –an to a word, it conveys a smaller version of the original (with things), or a more familiar or affectionate version (especially with names). A lochan is just a small loch, a boyan is a small boy, a young lad. You may know them in the Gaelic words sliseag (sleeshack) and tuircan (tourcan), still common locally. When applied to names, David might become Dave-an (=Davie), for example, or Anne or Anna might become Annag (=Annie). Classically, –an was for masculine words and –ag for feminine, but this was not closely adhered to locally, with men’s names sometimes getting the -ag treatment too. –ag is pronounced -ack, so that’s what usually got written down.

Examples of the -ag/ack ending in my own family history include Jimmack Oliver, my uncle, and Davack Ross, my grandfather. Other male names I remember were Buiyack, Johnack, Danack and Willack, and lots of female ones: Bellack, Dollack , Nanack, Curstack (Kirstie), Kateack. The -an ending was definitely used more for males – Jockan, Willican, Toman.

It’s worth pointing out that the pronunciation of these names was usually, and often still is, very Gaelic – the first part is stressed and generally longer, and there’s a wee gap before the –an or –ack.

The lack of stress on that ending also led to it being eroded – sometimes the -ag or -an would become just -a. Examples I recall: Kate-a, Doll-a, Wull-a, Dan-a, John-a, Kenn-a.  Very Gaelic intonation!

Some female names ending in -an are actually Ann/Anne as the second half of a double name (another very Gaelic thing). The most famous example in the Villages is probably Bellan (Isabelle Ann /Bell Ann / Bel Ann etc) MacAngus, mother of Dolly, or Dollack. When this is spelled together as one word, saying it aloud helps to establish what kind of –an it is – the diminutive –an ending (unstressed), or the name Ann (usually stressed equally with the first part). I also had an Auntie Christan, the -an part unstressed, but I am not sure if that was a diminutive Christine, or the remains of Christine Ann.  There were also Johndans on the Seaboard – whether John + an with an extra D, or John + Dan (double name), I don’t know. Anyone? EDIT: as a relative informs me, just a diminutive of John, no double names. And there were several in the family. And Christan was Christine Ann, but her mother used the pet name Christan after hearing it used elsewhere.

It wasn’t just names that got these -an and -ag endings – sometimes they were added to things as well, e.g. shop-an, skirt-an (Gaelic sgiortan), and cutag or guttag for a gutting knife. But with the English names of things, the Gaelic endings were less common than the Scots -ie, as often already attached to the words when they were brought to the area by Lowlands and Moray farming folk at the time of the agricultural “Improvements”. There is a Gaelic word-ending – aidh, pronounced  “ee” (e.g. Ciorstaidh = Kirsty), so it was an easy transition for Gaelic speakers to make.  A baggie and a listie for the shoppie, a boatie, a bairnie are the sort of thing that caught on. People also got the –ie ending, sometimes combined with the Gaelic –ag: Nanackie, Willackie.

Occasionally the ending -ach would be used instead, either as a variant on the pronunciation of -ag, or the Gaelic ending -ach used for turning a noun into an adjective, eg. Sasainn/Sasann (England) > Sasannach (English). So we have Sandach (for Sandy), the Alachs, the Morachs etc.

The prevalence of the same first names as well as surnames throughout the Villages led to plenty of by-names to help distinguish them, and often these by-names would get carried down through the generations, their original reference getting lost en route. Names are more varied nowadays, but traditionally in the Villages, and in fact still in the main Gaelic-speaking areas today, it’s always been hard to break the pattern of calling first sons after fathers and daughters after mothers etc. So adding a distinguishing term was not only a good Gaelic tradition but a necessity. Until, of course, the by-name became attached to each generation, so that grandfather, father, son and grandson might all once again have the same name! The William “Chats” Ross family are a good example of this. (I learned from the list that this came from a Charlotte further back in the family who was known as Chattie.)

The by-name might be the person’s job – Thomas Vass the Post, Jimmy the Van, or where the family originally came from – the Woods from Cellardyke got the by-name “the Dyker” or “the Decker”, and there were also Rosses known as Morach / Morrach – probably from the Gaelic for someone from Moray. There was even a Johnny-up-the-hill Ross, who worked on Hilton farm. Other by-names were less clear, such as Buzz, or the Claws, or the Roggles, or Jockan and Ali “the Bolt” Vass, and usually had a story attached. My Latin teacher was Johnnie “Leekie” Ross from Balintore, himself from a Ross family called the Cuppies. These by-names could also be Gaelic words, like my father’s (Sutherland) family, the Alachs, or the “Raws” and “Roos” (possibly from ruadh – red-haired).

But there was one very Gaelic way of distinguishing between multiple William Rosses etc, and that was by saying who their mother or wife was: that’s how we get “Jock Kate” for John Skinner, or “Billy Nanack” Ross, or “Geordie Minnie” Mackay, or a family of Vasses all given “Ethel” as a kind of surname. And of course the “Chats” Rosses, from Charlotte. Women might also get distinguished by their father’s name, such as Bella Danack, or Bella Davack.

Gaelic also has a common method with “aig” (= at) for saying who you belonged to, and this led to things like “Dolly at Bellan”, “Joan at Curly”, and I got called “Davine at Hughie” more than once. (Which I objected to in my teens as I wanted to be myself, not some else’s appendage!)

So keep collecting the by-names and their stories, and maybe they’ll feed into any future editions of Down to the Sea. Our names, their stories, and our rich local language are as much our heritage as the Pictish stones, and the objects we display in our museums. Let’s keep them alive and kicking!


Tadhail air seaboardgàidhlig

Powered by WPeMatico

2021 an Cèitean/May: Gaelic 12. Are you no hearing me?

Le seaboardgàidhlig

This month our look at the Gaelic influence on Seaboard English will focus on some particularly Gaelic grammar structures that got carried over in translation, leading to non-standard English expressions that gave and still give our local English its particular flavour.

The first one, and probably for most people the most noticeable one, is the use of the -ing form of verbs that are usually just the simple form in English; for example, instead of “I need”, it was often “I’m needing” that you’d hear. “It’s a good skelp she’s needing”, as we saw before.

English does use the -ing form a lot itself – it kept the form from the Celtic languages that were spoken in Britain before the Germanic, Viking and Norman influxes led to the development of modern English. But in English the -ing form is usually used to emphasise that something is happening now, and the simple form for regular activities or facts. “The sun is setting right now – come and see it! “versus “The sun sets much earlier in the winter.” Certain always-factual verbs are virtually never used in the -ing form in standard English, e.g.  hear, see, think (for opinions), believe, want, need.  Gaelic is not nearly as strictly divided and uses the -ing form much more, and this made its way into Seaboard (and indeed Highland) English.  Here are some examples I’ve collected from my own experience and from my various contributors.

You’ll be needing a good dinner after that!

I’m thinking it’ll rain tomorrow. I’m no thinking she’ll be coming more the night.

I’m no hearing you! Are you no seeing it?

It’s Jessie you’re meaning, is it?

What is it you’re wanting? You’ll no be wanting that any more.

You won’t be breaking that window with your ball, now, will you?

Don’t be waking up the bairn, now!  Don’t you be telling lies!

Another thing I’ve often noticed is the use of “till” where standard English would have a sentence with “so that”: instead of “so that I can see you”, you often hear “till I see you” This is because in Gaelic the little word gus is used for both so that and till/until. English uses “till” for time only, not for purpose.

Come here till I tell you / till I straighten that tie / till get a better look at you!

Take it to the window till you see better.

The word “since” also gets used in the Gaelic way. In English, it’s normal to use “since” with a fixed point in time: “We’ve been doing that since Monday, since 1950, since the bridge was built.” If we want to say how long we’ve been doing it, i.e. a period of time, we use “for”: for ages, for 10 years, for a week etc. The Gaelic word for “since”, o chionn, can be used for both of these, leading to “since” being used for both in Seaboard English.

I’ve been here since 6 o’ clock / since hours!

They’ve been saying they’ll mend that road since years!

I’ve known him since ages / since we were at school.

And one more of these for today.  You’ve probably heard and quite possibly said “No nor me!” when you say that you also wouldn’t do something, e.g.

I can’t stand that so-and-so! No nor me!

I won’t be going back there! No nor me!

Standard English would be “Neither can I / Neither will I”. That handy wee expression “No nor me!” is a direct translation of the Gaelic “Chan eil no mise”.

Do keep an ear open for more examples of any of these, and also anything else that catches your attention, and let me know. I hope you’re all listening out for all the Seaboard specialities we’ve already looked at! And even better, actively using them. Let’s keep our local linguistic colour!


Tadhail air seaboardgàidhlig

Powered by WPeMatico

2021 am Màrt: Gàidhlig ann am Machair Rois 9 / 2021 Mar. What’s the hurry on you?

Le seaboardgàidhlig

Continuing with the influence Gaelic has had on the way English was and still is spoken on the Seaboard, in sentence structure and turns of phrase, this time I wanted to look at one wee Gaelic word, air (pronounced “err”), meaning “on”, which crops up everywhere.

In English this is mainly used to say where or when something is – on the table, on a winter’s day, etc, but although used that way too, in Gaelic it covers a much wider range. One area is parts of the body: rather than saying someone has a face, head, hair etc, these things are “on you”.  This shows up directly translated into English, especially if emphatic, in expressions like:

Look at the face that’s on him! That’s awful long legs on her! What a nose is on him! Och, it’s no a bad head that’s on you! (Meaning I’d shown some sense!)

This might be transferred to related items:

Have you seen the clothes on her? She has an awful boos on her! (pout, sulky expression)

Air is also used in Gaelic for external influences on us, things that are landed on us by fate, as it were. Often unpleasant or at least unasked for, like strong emotions, or illnesses, that group also includes our names, as we didn’t choose them ourselves. In Gaelic all these things are “on you”. The Gaelic for “What’s your name?” is Dè an t-ainm a th’ ort?  What’s the name that’s on you? (= landed on you by your parents).  Tha gaol agam ort, I love you = I have love on you (whether you want it or not). So we also see this use of air = on:

That’s an awful cough that was on her. What’s the hurry on you? That’ll put the worry on him! Oh, the rage that was on him!

A related use is when you shift the blame for something bad to fate, or your wee brother:

He went and broke it on me! The fire went out on me. The train left on me! These are all direct translations from Gaelic uses of air.

There’s one other important use of air in Gaelic, where it means not “on” but “after”, along with verbs. This is used where English uses the perfect tense, i.e. you “have done” something. In Gaelic you are “after doing” it.

Will you have a cup of tea? No, I’m just after having my dinner.

I was just after coming in the door when the post came.

I’m just after feeding the hens.

He was no long after coming out of the Navy when he got a job in Tain.

So if you find yourself, or hear someone else, using expressions with “on” and “after” that don’t sound quite English, you know where they come from now. And I’d be delighted if you made a note of any other examples for me.

More next month!


Tadhail air seaboardgàidhlig

Powered by WPeMatico

2021 an Gearran: Gàidhlig ann am Machair Rois 8 /Feb. Gaelic 8: Oh, it’s you that’s in it!

Le seaboardgàidhlig

It’s a cold day that’s in it, right enough!

Gaelic on the Seaboard 8: Oh, it’s you that’s in it!

In our series so far on Gaelic as used on the Seaboard (7 articles already!) I’ve looked mainly at Gaelic words and phrases that were and often still are used in otherwise English conversations – things like strawlyach (stràileach) for seaweed, or eeshun (isean) for wee rascal, or porstan (portan) for a small crab.  (Feel free to keep sending me these!)

This time and in the next one or two articles I’ll look at how the way Villages people speak or spoke English shows the influence of Gaelic too – in sentence structure or turns of phrase.  Gaelic looks at the world slightly differently, reflecting the mindsets and lifestyles of our forefathers. Languages all do that, that’s the beauty of knowing at least bits of other languages – you realise there’s more than one way of seeing things.  People learning a new language take time to absorb these differences, and often simply translate word for word from their mother-tongue, and that’s what happened with Gaelic-speaking generations picking up English – in my case, the generation of my grandparents.  My granny’s speech was full of Gaelicisms that seemed quite normal to me as a child, and many of them were also used by the next generation (my parents), and some have continued up to now. It was only when I moved away from the Highlands that others pointed out how odd some of my turns of phrase were.  As Gaelic lasted longer in the fishing villages than in the towns, these borrowed expressions also lasted longer in places like the Seaboard. They are what give local colour and richness to our way of speaking, so I’d hate to see them die out altogether.

In what???

I’m sure most locals, those of a certain age anyway, will remember the older folk opening the door to you and saying “Oh, it’s you that’s in it!” It never occurred to me to wonder “in what?” until non-Highlanders questioned it. In fact this is one of these Gaelic translations. The Gaelic for “in it” is “ann” (pronounced like the –own in down), and this word is also used for “there”. When there’s no specific place meant, the “in it” is actually “in existence” or “being”, so the Gaelic ann is used for here, there, present, available etc. It roughly does the same job as the English “There is….”, e.g. there’s plenty of tea. (English learners often ask, But where is “there”?) Gaelic would say Tha tì gu leòr ann, literally, Plenty of tea is in it/there/here/available.

Other typical examples of what you might have come across are: “Look at the mess that’s in it!”   “It’s the truth that’s in it.”   It’s a cold wind that’s in it.”  “I thought it was thunder but it’s a plane that was in it.”

And a Black Isle resident told me her Culbokie grandparents would say things like “What’s in it for dinner?”

I also remember my dad saying of someone making a mess of some woodwork: “It’s no a joiner that’s in him!”  Another direct translation from Gaelic. Gaelic defines someone’s identity, profession or nationality etc as being in them, part of their being. ‘S e saor a th’ ann. It’s a joiner that’s in him

It’s a nurse that’s in her.  It’s Americans that was in them. It’s a lovely kind woman that was in her. It’s nothing but a rogue that’s in him!

In other words, scratch their skin and underneath you’ll find a joiner/nurse/American etc inside.

It’s… that….

You can see a pattern emerging here too in the sentence structure: It’s … that….. 

Gaelic doesn’t just use this format with ann, in it etc, to define things or say what’s there, but to give the key element more clarity or emphasis. ‘S e motor-baic a th’ aige, chan e càr. “It’s a motorbike that he has, not a car.” Instead of the more neutral “He has a motorbike, not a car”. Similarly, “It’s the creels that he’s at just now.” “It’s Aberdeen he’s in, isn’t it?”

Here’s one I heard fairly often as a child: “It’s a skelp that she’s needing!”  And I was also given these: “It’s only lining his pockets he was.” And “It’s the truth I have!” – a story-teller defending herself against disbelief.

Yourself, itself

Sometimes you’d hear “Oh, it’s yourself that’s in it” as a more emphatic recognition at the door. Gaelic doesn’t stress words by increasing their volume as in English, but by placing them in an emphatic position, e.g. after It’s…”, and / or by adding an extra element to them, usually “self” (fhèin). “It’s yourself that’s the daft one!”  “It’s himself that told me.”

This was also applied to things, not just people, usually in the sense of “even”. “He wouldn’t wear the jacket itself to church!” – he wouldn’t even wear a jacket. “You couldn’t get butter itself in the shop.” Another one I was given: “he couldn’t sleep in the house itself,” – not even in the house.

That will do for this time, but I’d be delighted if it jogged any memories or made you keep your ears open for similar examples, and for other expressions that maybe sound odd to non-local ears.  Keep them coming! Thanks!

It’s a lovely day that’s in it!

Tadhail air seaboardgàidhlig

Powered by WPeMatico

2020 an Dàmhair: Smeuran / Sept. Brambles

Le seaboardgàidhlig

Smeuran

Leis an t-sìde bhrèagha a th’ againn a-nis (tha mi a’ sgrìobhagh seo gu deireadh na Sultaine), bidh mi a’ coiseachd a-muigh air an dùthaich cho tric ‘s a ghabhas.  Agus gach uair, chan urrainn dhomh gun a bhith a’ buain nan smeuran agus ag ithe mo làn-shàth dhiubh. Tha iad cho pailt am bliadhna, agus cho blasda! Leugh mi gu bheil atharrachadh na h-aimsir a tha air a bhith againn o chionn beagan bhliadhnaichean – samhraidhean fliuch agus foghair ghrianach thioram – sònraichte math do smeuran (agus chan ann math idir do shuibheagan). Fàsaidh iad mòr sòghmhor leis an taiseachd, agus milis fo ghrian an fhoghair, agus cumaidh iad a’ dol fad mòran seachdainean.  

‘S e dearcan iol-chomasach a th’ anns na smeuran. ‘S urrainn dhut an ithe amh bhon phreas no ann am mìlseanan fuara, no silidh a dhèanamh, no crumbles is pàidhean (blasda cuideachd còmhla ri ùbhlan), no fìon no liciùr-sine … liosta gun chrìoch. Ach bha iad riamh aithnichte mar chungaidh-leighis cuideachd, gu h-àraidh mar fhìon-geur a tha math airson an tùchaidh, a’ chasaid agus thrioblaidean-gaillich, ach cuideachd airson na buainniche, ann an daoine agus crodh.

Ach bha taobh aig na smeuran nach robh idir cho fallain, a-rèir beòil-aithris: cha bu chòir dhut am buain ro fhadalach sa bhliadhna, air sgàth’s gur e measan an diabhail a bhiodh annta às dèidh na Samhain, no fiù ‘s às dèidh Fèill Mhìcheil. B’ urrainn dhut cuideachd duine no beathach a chur fo gheasaibh olc aig an t-Samhain le pìos dris-mheòir.

Tha na meanganan deilgneach den dris gun teagamh cunnartach gu leòr iad fhèin, gun draoidheachd sam bith eile. Dionaidh nàdar a mheasan gu math, agus bheir na drisean fasgadh do h-eòin is beathaichean beaga, fhads ’s a bhios na blàthan, na dearcan agus na duilleagan a’ còrdadh ri seilleanan agus dealain-dè.  Agus na dearcan rinne cuideachd! Is fhiach daonnan e dèiligeadh ris an droigheann gus an toradh milis a bhuannachadh.

Seo seann tòimhseachan:

Is àirde e na ‘n t-each

Is lugha e na ‘n luch

Is deirge e na ‘n fhuil

Is duibhe e na ‘m fitheach.

Dè a th’ ann? Smeuran air dris!

++++++++++++++++++

Brambles

With the weather being so beautiful just now (I’m writing this towards the end of September), I go for walks out in the country as often as possible. And every time, I can’t resist picking brambles and eating my fill. They’re so plentiful this year, and so delicious! I read that the change in weather patterns the last few years – wet summers and dry, sunny autumns – are particularly good for brambles (and not good at all for rasps). They grow big and luscious with the humidity, and sweet under the autumn sun, and they keep producing for many weeks.

They’re really versatile berries. You can eat them straight from the bush, or with cold desserts, or make jam or jelly, or crumbles and tarts (tasty in with apples too), or wine or gin liqueur … it’s an endless list. But they have also always been known as a medicine, especially as a vinegar, which is good for sore throats, coughs and gum troubles, but also for diarrhoea in humans and cattle.

But there was a much less healthy side to brambles too, according to folk tradition: you shouldn’t pick them too late in the year, as they were supposedly the devil’s fruit after Halloween, or even after Michaelmas.  You could also put people or animals under an evil spell with a piece of bramble branch at Halloween.

The thorny branches of the briar are certainly dangerous enough on their own, without any other magic. Nature protects her fruits well, and the briars give shelter to small birds and animals, while bees and butterflies love the blossoms, berries and leaves. And we humans love the berries too! It’s always worth coping with the thorns to win the sweet harvest.

Here’s an old riddle:

It’s taller than a horse

It’s smaller than a mouse

It’s redder than blood

It’s blacker than a raven.

What is it? A bramble on its briar!


Tadhail air seaboardgàidhlig

Powered by WPeMatico

2020 an t-Ògmhios: Gàidhlig ann am Machair Rois 7 – Tuath is gàrradh / June: Land and garden

Le seaboardgàidhlig

Although the Villages were primarily fishing communities, and held themselves to a large degree apart from the farming ones, there were of course overlaps. The women would carry fish to the countryside and bring back eggs, vegetables and other foodstuffs, or firewood and tourcans, and some village folk worked on the local farms either all year round or seasonally, e.g. tatie-lifting. Some of the words I have collected reflect this activity, and also the fact that family vegetable gardens were important for a more varied diet.

Go to the tuath – the countryside. Tuath (too-a) is a loaded word in Gaelic. It covered the land itself, but also the people living and working on the land, the ones who made it what it was. This is reflected in the motto chosen for the Highland Land League, who campaigned for land reform in the 1880s: Is Treasa tuath na tighearna – the (lands)people are mightier than the lord. Although mainly representing crofters, this movement was quite strong in Easter Ross, a high-level champion of Highland tenants’ rights being Thomas Nichol of Resolis and Dingwall.

A key crop, in fields and garden, was the buntàta (boon-taa-ta), potato. Usually shortened to buntàt’, which is probably a step on the way to the Scots word taties, pronounced with a long A, as in sgadan is buntàt’, herring and taties. A favourite childhood meal of ours was salt herring and taties, as we were allowed to eat it with our fingers because of the bones, and always a mug of milk on the side because of the salt.
A dreel was clais (clash), a furrow, ditch, hollow. We still see this word today living on in the local place name Clashnamuaich, clais nam maigheach – ditch of the hares.
The flower on the potato plant was barra-guc, local pron. barra-kook.

After the potato harvest was over came the “laachoo”, làmhachadh – handling. This was the word for the lifting by hand, after the fields had been harvested and harrowed, of the remains of the potato crop – a kind of gleaning. By the time of our parents this was probably more a historical word than still something that was done. The poorer people would be the ones who took part. But the word has also been given to me as one that continued in use for the regular lifting of taties.
A “cappan” was a sort of fork for lifting taties in the garden, possibly from cupan, anything curved or cuplike, or from Scots coup/cope – overturn, spill. Can anyone tell me if that is the same as a hawk?
And one more tatie word: “runnach” – dry bracken to cover taties. raineach / roineach – bracken.
And once you had your taties, you of course needed a plocan, a wooden chapper, to mash them!
The turnip too was a staple: snèap (snape), as was the onion, “eenyan”- uinnean, or Scots ingan.

Another word that came up a few times is “mawchoo”, manure. This is the local pronunciation of mathachadh – improving (math = good), and in a farming context manuring to improve the soil. As one of my sources said, “ If there was a whiff of ordure in the air, the diagnosis was, ‘They are putting mawchoo on the fields’. Mawchoo was also dug into the gardens of the village.”

Iochal – a load, was another farm-related word, probably a Gaelicisation of yoke. I remember a packed lunch being called a “half-yocheen” by my uncle who worked on a farm. i.e. the break halfway between re-yoking the horses.

In the garden the beairt (byarst, byarsht) was used for a garden frame for laying seeds (line and sticks) . It was also the word for a square frame round which a handline was wound. In Gaelic it refers generally to equipment or tackle, or a contraption, or frame. Beairt-iasgaich – fishing tackle; beairt-fhighe – a loom.
Another useful item was the corran, or sickle. Some people told me the Scots word heuk (related to hook) was used instead.

Of course animals were kept too, including pigs fattened on scraps for selling on. It’s probably muc, a pig, in the name Balmuchybaile nam muc – the pig settlement/farm.  “Coolan”, cuilean – puppy, whelp, cub, was used of the young of the pig, referring to the sow and her coolans. My source here says: “Presumably should be ‘cuilean muice’ (pig whelp), but maybe many young animals were referred to like that. Strangely, I don’t remember anything but puppy for a young dog.” Does anyone else remember anything about the names used locally for young animals, or indeed any other animals, like goat or cow?

Hens were also kept – I remember having to feed my grannie’s ones, kept down at the sea end of the garden, where nothing else would grow. The cockerel was “callach”- coileach, and young hen or chicken was “ayrack”, èireag. Eggs were “oo-yan” – uighean. I don’t remember the hens themselves being called cearcan, just hens, but I vaguely recall hearing taigh-chearc for henhouse. I also recall the hens being described as “goggling”, which I took then to mean the way they looked at you (especially the rooster), but in fact I realise now it must have been from Gaelic gogail, clucking or cackling.

I hope this wee trip down the collective memory lane (thanks, as ever, to all my sources!) might have sparked some more Gaelic or local words used in the Villages in living memory. And as ever, all additional memories gratefully received! Mòran taing!


Tadhail air seaboardgàidhlig

Powered by WPeMatico

2020 Am Màrt:Milseag Ubhail is Arain/Mar. Apple Bread Pudding

Le seaboardgàidhlig

Milseag Ubhail is Arain

Tha an tionndadh nas aotruime seo den mhilseag aran-is-ìm
freagarrach do latha fuar geamhraidh, is i cho blàth is sàsachail. Tha an
reasabaidh seo feumail cuideachd ma bhios aran air fhàgail agad.

Gritheidean (6 – 8 pòrsanan)

8 ùbhlan milis

3 roilichean seana, air neo ciabatta neo baguette

4 spàin-bhùird siùcair (is donn as fheàrr)

Spìosan measgaichte / caineal / dinnsear / clòbhan bleithte,
a rèir do mhiann

600 ml bainne

4 uighean

Geàrr na roilichean no an t-aran ann an ciùbaichean. Rùsg na
h-ùbhlan, thoir air falbh na cuairsgeanan, agus geàrr ann am pìosan beaga
iadsan cuideachd.

Measgaich aran is ùbhlan, cur ris spìosan gu do riar, agus
cuir a h-uile rud ann an soitheach-àmhainn a th’ air a shuathadh le glè bheag
de dh’ìm.

Buail na h-uighean le forca, cuir am bainne agus an siùcair
riutha, agus dòirt iad thairis air an aran ‘s na h-ùbhlan. Brùth sìos iad gu
socair, gum am bi gach pìos air a bhogadh. Leig leis seasamh fad mu 10
mionaidean.

Bruich san àmhainn e aig 160 C fad mu aon uair a thìde, gus
an tig dath òr-dhonn air, agus bi an t-ughagan tiugh. Tha an ùine an crochadh
air doimhneachd an t-soithich, mar sin thoir sùil air nas tràithe. Còmhdaich am
mullach le foidhle ma bhios e a’ fàs ro dhonn.

Gabh e teth le iogart Greugach, uachdar singilte, reòiteag
no sabhs faoineig.

Apple Bread Pudding

This lighter variation on the classic bread and butter
pudding is a warming and filling pudding for a winter’s day.  It’s good for using up leftover bread. 

Ingredients for 6 – 8 helpings

8 eating apples

3 stale bread rolls, OR equivalent amount of ciabatta or
baguette

4 tbsp sugar, pref. brown

mixed spice / cinnamon / ginger / ground cloves as preferred

600 ml milk

4 eggs

Cut the rolls or bread into small cubes. Peel, core and cube
the apples.

Mix bread and apples, add spice to taste, and put in a lightly
greased oven-proof dish.

Beat the eggs, milk and sugar together and pour over the
bread and apples, pressing these down slightly so they all absorb the liquid.
Leave for about 10 mins.

Bake in the oven at 160 C for about an hour, or until top is
golden brown and custard has just set – the time will depend on the depth of
the dish, so check earlier.  Cover the
top with foil if getting too brown.

Serve hot with Greek yoghurt, single cream, ice-cream or custard.


Tadhail air seaboardgàidhlig

Powered by WPeMatico