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  1. #101
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    12 August

    Went to Stornoway, then Bernera in morning. To A's, then Iain Tom and helped with some fences. At tea Effie, C, Cristobal, Iain Tom and An spoke mostly Gaelic. Very good. Stopped at K's in Stornoway where F and A are staying with kids while K and AL [husband] in Inverness. Must meet the mysterious K. Got a 9 or so pound salmon out of the net. An slipped and fell on the way back.
    "There is no merit in being wet and/or cold and sartorial elegance take second place to common sense." Jock Scot

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  3. #102
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    13 August

    Ate salmon for lunch cold. Very tasty. Delicate, not heavily fishy, and tender. Ate w/ lettuce, [unclear] slices, tomato. Water biscuits and sconichen. Rain and mist all day. Wind. Put door on byre/garage. Mist doesn't blow away, it just blows by. Weather in Bernera and Stornoway fine by phone. Also subtle hints should be looked for, e.g., bath. Asked if it would he better today or tomorrow. Well, either fine, but time tonight and towel provided and "plenty hot water" [later realized bath on Saturday better so not breaking the Sabbath]. Went to fank South Dell. Told An [while at fank] wanted Gaelic not English [church service], seemed to relieve him. None of his sheep there. Weather wet. Supper sausage rolls and canned spaghetti. Breakfast toast, tea and 2 wheat biscuits. Read more today, should be able to quit soon. Met Donald MacCoidhead (MacDonald].

    [An's sheep identified by a particular blue stripe painted on their backs. Everyone had their own pattern.]
    Last edited by DCampbell16B; 6th September 23 at 01:12 PM.
    "There is no merit in being wet and/or cold and sartorial elegance take second place to common sense." Jock Scot

  4. #103
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    14 August

    Sunday

    Most meals ready to cook. Lots of sweets in both services. Gaelic at noon. Rev. MacAmhlaidh. F brought the girls over tonight. During prayer (20 minutes) older people gradually sit down. Gave lift [home] to Catriona someone and Donald MacCoidhead. Prefer singing in Gaelic.

    [The only work allowed was feeding farm animals. "For the poor beasts cannot feed themselves." It was OK to go for a walk on the shore after the service, but that was all.

    The Cross Free Church was quite large. If I remember correctly there were 200 to 300 people in each service. The acapella psalm singing was indescribable. In Gaelic the psalm number was announced, with the tune to sing with it. Part of the Gaelic Bible had the Pslams rewritten in a metrical form. The precentor lined out the words before the whole church took them up. In English this was not done, although it the singing was still acapella. The hymnal had no music, only words. The hymn and the tune to use with it were announced.
    I read several of Lilian Beckwith's books on living in Skye just after World War II. One of the things I remembered was her comment that during the sermon everybody seemed to eat peppermint. I was tickled that the same happened in Cross. The moment the sermon started I could hear cellophane wrappers all around me as the peppermints were unwrapped. And I was handed one, too.
    ]
    Last edited by DCampbell16B; 7th September 23 at 03:56 AM.
    "There is no merit in being wet and/or cold and sartorial elegance take second place to common sense." Jock Scot

  5. #104
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    15 August

    58p envelope
    3.40 post and string

    Packed of stuff [from] suitcase and mailed home. An attended a funeral today. I didn't go. [He] said men walk casket and pass from from to back on casket grips [this way all men in the community share as pall bearers, each taking a few steps]. Women do not go to funerals. This afternoon couldn't help. Starting to feel useless and burden. Talked to Anna a'Mhurdaigh about it and other things. Morag (Anna's husband's cousin) begins teaching this week. Plied her with questions on educational system here. School covers S Dell, N Dell, Cross and Swainbost. Watched tube. Big deal. Anna very smart lady, fast mind, on about women's rights.

    [I seem to remember An saying something about a cord with a tassel hanging off the back of the casket so that a man who was too weak to carry could hang on to that for a few steps. Also, when there was death in the village, curtains were drawn and people did not go out.]
    Last edited by DCampbell16B; 11th September 23 at 04:17 AM.
    "There is no merit in being wet and/or cold and sartorial elegance take second place to common sense." Jock Scot

  6. #105
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    24th September 14
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    I tried to PM you a reply and a 404 code popped up and erased your message and my reply. Glad all your tests showed negative. Finished another sgian that I was working on. Looks half way decent wish I could include a picture.

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  8. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by stickman View Post
    I tried to PM you a reply and a 404 code popped up and erased your message and my reply. Glad all your tests showed negative. Finished another sgian that I was working on. Looks half way decent wish I could include a picture.
    Hi Ray, yes, doing well! Hope you are as well. I passed this problem to @Steve Ashton.
    "There is no merit in being wet and/or cold and sartorial elegance take second place to common sense." Jock Scot

  9. #107
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    16 August

    Rode bike to below South Dell, walked over moor to beach. Walked a mile or so of beach w/ high surf, rocks and sand beach. One cave sand 20-30 feet deep. Other with water [I really don't know what I meant. Perhaps water undercutting the machair]. Beach combing. Found several floats. Soft rear tire when I came back. Lunch. D home. After noon to Storn, intended Bern, never went, wasted trip. Afternoon wasted. Evening piped on hill. An and Gibb in evening, told stories. Chest of gold still on Traigh Geal. Also fight over sack of gold in Gibb's grandfather's house. Also saying "An auger hole will fill a house of seven rafters"**. An also recited a good length of bardachd. Got haircut! Revealed ears.*** Many thatched houses left Shader, Barvas. Also huge standing stone [near] Shader. [Clach an Truisheil in Ballantrushal]

    ** I have no idea what this meant. I didn't write down either the meaning or the Gaelic.

    *** This was a big deal! Gibb cut my hair. He had experience doing that. He was retired from the merchant marine. Since my teen years my hair, although never long, had hung over enough to mostly cover my ears. It marked a change which I kept to this day. Granted, I have a lot less hair now anyway.
    Last edited by DCampbell16B; 13th September 23 at 09:33 AM.
    "There is no merit in being wet and/or cold and sartorial elegance take second place to common sense." Jock Scot

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  11. #108
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    17, 18 August

    17
    Went to Stornoway to meet Steve of Carrickfergus who's driving [? unclear] for A at K's. Rode in lorry to pick up stuff Bernera and back. To Ness, sprayed turnips, went to fank. S Dell a lot of people, very convivial. N Dell not so many there. Dandaidh, Iain Tom, Alain Iachaidh [pronounced Itchy]. Fixed fence on old croft. Can see mainland from Stornoway and Butt of Lewis. Not feeling well, appears same as Killin, diarrhea and sleepy. Steve told story ? of with who was in [all unclear] Lochganvich.

    18
    25
    Feeling better. Brought peats. Read. Stornoway in afternoon. Checked skirts for girls [sisters] 45 if made to order. Chicken and chips for supper. Played pipes. Tomorrow Bernera fank.

    [I quietly gave C 25 for food a couple of times, as I felt I was eating them out of house and home. Eventually An found out and said I was a guest, and that was not expected or wanted.]
    Last edited by DCampbell16B; 16th September 23 at 06:01 AM.
    "There is no merit in being wet and/or cold and sartorial elegance take second place to common sense." Jock Scot

  12. #109
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    19 August Bernera fank

    [While working on Gaelic over here, I kept running into the word "fank". I had no idea what it meant, and could find no English translation that wasn't "fank". So I kept my mouth shut and went to one. How else to learn? ]

    Went to Bernera early with An and Gibb. Tea at Effie then to fank. Got there just as they were getting [the sheep] off the moor. (Common grazing off island, so is fank) [so the men and dogs round up all the sheep from across the common grazing and drive them in]. Weather got fine by end of day. Several hundred sheep. Put into middle pen and lambs taken out to side pens, also sheep which missed shearing were sheared. We "helped" Iain Tom. Gibb taught me how to shear sheep. Tie three legs firmly. Start on one side and shear to other, keep fleece whole. Chased a few sheep around pen, one w/ deaf [unclear] boy. Plenty Gaelic**. One student from Stirling U was there staying with family same reason I was. Didn't hear of him til after. Brought pipes but didn't play as lady in house past A did, and there was death in the village. She was cousin of Bean An** [An's wife, C]. Fank was convivial work. Great watching dogs. 2 sisters, one over 80 there working. Before fank set out net and saw black mink. After fank had tea at Effie then checked net. This is society (even more than Ness) where men rule. When company at Effie, men eat and women serve and eat after. Even An doesn't care for C contradicting him and she won't me. Even if I contradict myself she agrees. Sheep identified w/ different marks of paint., black, green, blue, red (maroon?). Tried pipes outside Barvas on way back. Terrible. An drove through Carloway. Told story of man telegraphing home that he was coming from the mainland. To save money and not having much English he sent "Oban leaving Tuesday. Barvas meet the horse".

    https://postimg.cc/ZWzr6fNF

    Bernera fank

    https://postimg.cc/RW8xPHMR

    [Myself shearing a sheep. Those are hand clippers. There was no power out there. I didn't do to badly, and hardly even hurt the sheep. Photo courtesy of Gibb. The wellies I still have, and use them often. I guess you can't see them in the photo. They were an excellent investment, something like 4. The flat cap I wore for several years before the trip, but it has not survived the years as well.

    ** These were how I entered the comments in the journal. Looking back I see I entered in English what would be Gaelic idiom.

    The weather was warm and sunny, with a light breeze. One man walked by me and said "Blath, blath" (warm, warm).

    Someone asked An who I was (obviously a stranger to them). "Ach, cha n'eil ann ach Nishach." (Oh, he is just a Nisheach). (I was tickled to hear I had been accepted as a Nisheach!)

    Afterwards we thought it would have been great if I had been there to help drive the sheep in. My thought was I could have worked Robb the dog. In retrospect that would have been a disaster. Robb and I got along fine, but I would have created chaos trying to help! Just watching with no dog would have been really interesting.

    Sheep were moved, if needed, in small open trailers behind cars. These were all crofters, no big sheep farmers. I learned how to load sheep into a small trailer. Stand on one side, reach over with one hand and grab a handful of wool over there. Grab a handful on your side. Lift the sheep up and over the side into the trailer until it's stuffed full.
    ]
    Last edited by DCampbell16B; 28th September 23 at 08:48 AM.
    "There is no merit in being wet and/or cold and sartorial elegance take second place to common sense." Jock Scot

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  14. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCampbell16B View Post
    Wonderful photo.
    Tulach Ard

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