Showing posts from December, 2008

Latha na meadhon gamhradh

Mid Winter's Day - The Solstice
Well, here we are marking the important day by rising before dawn and walking to the top of the ridge to get a view of the rising Sun at the turning point of the dark half of the year.We Celts have celebrated this day, and tomorrow (the Dead Day), for a verra long time. It is the death of the Sun; death of the year; death of all that was. All those present moments and future ideas of 2008 become the "past" over the next two days. It is a time of introspection, of tidying up the memories and laying them in the mid-winter fire. Then, on the 23rd of December, we begin again; the Sun is reborn, for out of death always comes new life.

(What did you think the fat man in the red and white furs was for? giving you presents? No, that's St Nicholas. The man who comes down the chimney to the hearth fire brings the Sun back. Read The Hogfather by Terry Pratchett and everything will be clear).
As you can see from these photos, not much evi…

Gaelic Lessons

I've read a lot of posts on the Outlander Gathering forum recently by people who want to learn Gaelic / Gàidhlig. Below is a web site that has listings for classes and distant learning in many states. Also, check within your state's local adult / evening courses; usually found through a search engine or yellow pages. If there is not a course near you, check with the instructor of any course within your state, chances are they will have a network of Gaelic speakers and instructors, and you may just be the catalyst to get a class going in your area.

Study Gaelic through distance learning. This usually involves receiving your lesson materials through the mail, then having a lesson by phone once a week. Sometimes there is also an annual gathering of the students for a day or weekend, where you can bashfully practice on each other, and get in-person support from the instructor. The money you save on gasoline weekly and the reduction in your carbon …

An Apparition In The Snow

Note: Please also check out: How Has Outlander Inspired Your Life /Nov 24th. I'd love to hear more of your responses!

On November 23rd we had our first snowfall since moving into our cottage this year. I woke up pretty early, and decided to take a pre-dawn photo of our house in snow. The whiteness filled the air with a dense mist, and I could see the silhouette of the trees leading up the road, one of the few things visible, colorless against the white engulfing background.

As I stood there focused on my mission to get one good photo of the stone cottage against the white background, I heard a funny sort of 'animal sound'. Not a sheep; they were well across the field. More of a grumble (not a growl). Admittedly, the sound gave me a bit of the shivers, but it was coming from up the road. I looked up the road and thought I saw something on the left side heading towards the bushes.

I dismissed the grey apparition as my imagination and went back inside. When the sun pea…