Engage brain

IMG_20180817_132308683Last time I was writing here here I was living in what seemed like a snowglobe. The small town in which I live was cut off from its neighbouring city for many days meaning there was no option but to switch off and enjoy the dramatic weather. Since then another two seasons have passed and I’m staring Autumn in the face. It has been a busy spring and summer with the pressure of working two jobs equating to a 40+ hour working week (in a good week) taking its toll. There has not been very much extra brain space to maintain this online space, far less write anything of use, interest or purpose.

IMG_20180817_132524543But so it is that a few things have happened in a past little while that have had my mind turning to the niche subject I’ve spoken about here before: Gaelic language and the landscape, heritage, interpretation…

Firstly, I visited a site I hadn’t been to in 20 years and reminded myself of what it is that I love so much about archaeology. It isn’t the ‘strong personalities’ of people who have been in the sector almost twice as long as I’ve been alive, nor is it often incestuous working relationships between different organisations. It’s the sheer majesty of a place like Glenelg, the monumentality of a broch and the pure enigma of a place where we still, ultimately, don’t truly know what was going on. It’s the childlike sense of arriving somewhere, looking at something and thinking “woah, I wonder…”. That experience is missing in the daily grind of my working life and how to go about recapturing it more frequently is evading me at the moment.IMG_20180817_133719798

Secondly, coming across and being involved in discussions of the use of Gaelic in relation to promoting heritage. I have a lot of thinking to do on this subject but I’ve seen a few instances recently of Gaelic-related resources being promoted in good faith but with a use of language (in English) which implies an othering which makes me really uncomfortable. I’m thinking out loud here as much as anything so, no, I’m not naming and shaming (at this point) though the promotional activity has always been from an organisation not an individual. Is it a matter of poor choice of words (likely), a lack of knowledge or understanding (also likely), ill feeling and/or lack of respect (hopefully not) ? Is it simply a case of Gaels being misrepresented (again) and therefore the language and culture, too? I’m not sure where these thoughts are going or, really, ultimately where the fault lies but I know I’ve been feeling deeply uncomfortable – both as a Gael and as a heritage professional.

img_20180817_131903407.jpgTo end on a happier note, the interpretation panels at Glenelg are great – and Gaelic-led! – fitting nicely into the site without distracting from the sheer awe-inducing nature of the site. They’re far from brand new but do everything you want a panel to do, and bilingually as well.IMG_20180817_133558720

Advertisements

That was 2017

Snowman at the bridge

The sun has set on another year and this blog has been sat unloved and under-utilised for some months. It has not been forgotten about in entirety, with plenty bits written here and there in different notebooks, just nothing which has made it online. Earlier in December I bought myself a horrifyingly expensive lovely diary for 2018. My stationery needs are always quite particular, but even by my usual standards this was expensive. My diary is the only thing I never forget on a daily basis as with two jobs and various other commitments I otherwise would never know where I am ever supposed to be so I keep justifying the purchase to myself with that inmind. This particular diary comes with a nice feature – a weekly page for scribbles in which I thought I could attempt to piece together thoughts on the various subjects listed on my about page. After all, that was always the intention with maintaining this tiny corner of the internet. Whether or not any of it will make it online is another matter but one can try. Or at least try and convince myself it will happen with thoughts of “a year from now I will have done so much“. We shall see.

Wishing anyone reading this a happy new year and that 2018 treats us all with a little more grace and kindness than 2017 has. If anyone needs me, I’ll be hibernating for a few days yet reading some Winter Tales, rediscovering my knitting mojo and eating my body weight in the last remaining festive foodstuffs.

Bliadhna mhath ùr nuair a thig i.

Knitting in progress

Winter Tales