Thursday, 15 July 2010

The Gaeltacht - fur ah was in it.

Ah hiv jist returned frae a cross community drinkin' binge in the Free State, designed fur tae bring usuns an' themuns intae mutual harmony through the power of meat and lager. Til a certain extent this succeeded as the commonality of alcohol related tomfoolery o'ercomes maist social an' religious divides. Ah hiv til admit though that there wus a severe barney at 4 am on the yinst night  forcin' messel til employ ma peacekeepin' skills. Ah am glad til say that this kerfuffle was o'er the heid o' taxis, rain an' slappers rather than palitics, provin' that society has moved oan, a bit.

Howiver that is nat the issue in hawn', fur hivin' bin invited til said binge Ah  was shacked til fine it is in a part o' the occupied 3 counties knain as the Gaeltacht. Thus, hivin' set aff in ma motor, merrily fallyin' ma designated route oan the map, ah wus faced wi' a barrage o' nonsensical signs which bore nae resemblence til the placenames that Ah was seekin'. Worse still, oan assemblin' in the pub wi' ma fella delegates, the folk in it were nat oany spakin' the Gaeltacht, but were conversin' in a strange dialect unrecognisable til those used til the cultured Irish language spake by Gerry Adams oan the television set.

Cultural Parity.

Anyhow, in mair sober moments it brung me mine back til a suggestion Ah put til Nelson McCauseland a' lock o' months back - thit a Scotstacht shud be established whereby oor language cud be cherished an' promoted.  The twa areas are very similar, beautiful scenery, lots o' sea, an' a huge quanity o' hooses occupied fur twa weeks a year by Belfast folk. Hivin' seen the Free State boys in action, ah wud like fur til take this idea further by suggestin thit the Ards shud be made monolingual forthwith. Tae my mine, this wud be relatively aisily achieved by simply copyin' the Gaeltacht folk's manoevures -

Road Signs - shud be in somethin' naebudy unnerstawns. At the moment the folk up the Ards hiv both the Ulster Scots an' the Inglis', dae awa' wi' the latter. Talbotstoon an' Greba are there already, Ah wud suggest we call Bangor, Bengor; Carrowdore, Carrydour an' Millisle, The Hole.

Shaps - Like the Gaeltacht area, all prices shud be extortionately raised beyon the means o' all but the super rich. A packet o' fegs shud cost £8.50 an' a can o' beer £2.53. Ah got aroun' this in the Free State by bringin' an immense quantity o' beer wi' me an' refusin' til move. The money raised cud pay fur til put awl the signs oan the shaps intil the hamely tongue and til convert weights an' measures intil the standard Ulster Scots yins o' wheens, locks an' rakes.

Banks - Ah noted thit the banks are alsae in the Gaeltacht language. Thus a visit til the cashpoint was extremely confusin'. It tuk me a fair lock o' minutes til realise that Banc na Eireann was actually ma destination til start wi', then the machine offered me a choice o' Inglis an' An Gaelige. Nae Ulster Scots ah noticed.  In the Scotstacht the cashpoints shud likewise be in Ulster Scots. Insteid o' sayin "Please enter your pin" it should say "Stick in yer nummer ye boy ye an' make sure naebudies lukkin'." Likes wise "Do you want advice with that transaction" shud say "Thy'ons a fair amoont yer fur takin' oot, dinnae spen' it awl in the yin shap."

Folk - The folk shud all spake broad Ulster Scots, but then be unable til read somethin' in the language when asked til dae sae by a casual visitor. This appears fur til be the norm in the Gaeltacht.

Schools - the schools shud prepare the wains o' the Ards fur the C21st by teachin' them nathin but Ulster Scots, creationism, bonefire erection, murial paintin', Scottish dancin' an' the flute. Til a certain extent a pilot scheme fur this is already in operation in Portavogie.

O'er matters.

Racent events hiv highlighted the urgent naid fur recreational riotin' facilities in Belfast, as Ah suggested a wheen o' posts ago. Twa burds cud be kilt wi' yin stain Ah reckon, fur the contentious paraders cud march roun' the facility in front o' the rioters aforehawn, thus allayin' them til get their blood up sufficiently an' in turn minimisin' traffic disruption til the ordinary citizen. Polis tactics wudnae naid til change, fur they cud jist stan' an watch frae a distance an' arrest naebudy. At o'er times o' the year the local youths cud engage in community murial paintin' aroun the facility, an' then vandalise eacho'ers after.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Pulitzer Prize Winnin' Stuff.

1690 his made the paper again. Admittedly oany the Belfast Telegraf, nat the Newsletter, but til be fair til themuns at the Tele they recognised the naid fur an Ulster Scots perseptive on the Twelfth an' decided fur til approach oorselves fur comment. Yit again they hiv fell intil the "Satirical Character" trap in describin' messel, an' furgat Professor in ma title. Ah wudnae mine tae much, but when Ah gae fur funnin' frae the Europe it's nae help if they think Ah'm jist takin' the pish.

Anyhow the article is here, aulder raiders may recognize much o' it frae last Twelfth, but that disnae matter, fur sure the point o' the Twelfth is thit it's the same every year anyhow.  Twa comments hiv come floodin' in Ah notice, Ah hape we dinnae git intil buther like the last time Ah turned ma hand til this. Ah wud point oot thit the tele asked me til temper ma Ulster Scots language usage fur their raiders, bein', as they are, frae the metropaliton elite.

Ballywalter Bonefire.

Ah hiv accidentally foun' messel oan a research trip up the Ards an' thus taeday driv past the magnificant structure thit is Ballywalter Bonefire. Fur the benefit o' raiders who may nat hiv seen this wonderful erection Ah tuk a couple o' wee snaps, yin o' which kin be sain above. Whilst photographin' Ah alsae discussed bonefire construction wi' the twa small boys thit appeared til be foremen o' the site. They claimed that their wus the best oan the Ards an' that Portavogie's was pish. Ah hiv til agree oan this, fur a driv roun' Portavogie lukkin' fur til get a snap fur comparison an' cudnae fine anythin' even resemblin' a bonefire.

Anyhow Ah pointed oot til the twa wains that their bonefire bore mair than a passin' resemblence til the crenelated glories o' an Elizabethan Tower House, stannin' sentinal o'er the harbour. They jist lukked at me tae be fair, an' wernae interested in ma proposal thit they study fur an HND in Bonefire Erection at South Aist Ards Bible an' Caterin' College. It is a shame thit the complex engineering o' a bonefire is nat better recognised by the Department o' Education folk, or indeed the valuable boon provided til the pallet industry oan an annual basis.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Radio "Ulster" an' the Rev Dr.

The Reverend Dr.

The Hoose o' Lairds hiv decided fur til mark the elevation o' the Rev Dr Big The Laird Backside by the production o' an action figure o' the big man. Priced at a competitive £16.90, the doll comes with a range o' accessories, includin' snowballs, a red beret, a pint of the devil's buttermilk an' a turn coat.

If any o' yis doubt how much time ah hiv til waste, this was the original thit the Hoose based their figue oan -

The Radio

As Ah'm sure yis are aware we are priviliged in this country fur til hiv twa BBC radio stations, Ulster an' Foyle. Whilst themuns in Foyle can dae whit they like, Ah fur yin expect the Radio Ulster boys til live up til their name an' put oot suitlable material fur the Ulster Scot. As ah hiv pointed oot befair, yis are the British BC, nat the Free State BC. Thus ah am gratified fur til larn thit they hiv a new Ulster Scots drama series in the offin', a small step at laist in redressin' the balance. Details are below, but ah wud like fur til point oot thit ah didne write it, fur a wud niver hiv calt an Ulster Scot Paddy.

Sunday 18th July 2010 4.03pm / Repeat Wednesday 22nd July 2010 7.30pm 
This is the first in a series of humorous stories, featuring the trials and adventures of Mr Paddy McQuillan: in this first episode, it's Christmas Day and Paddy goes to Belfast where he has a rather unfortunate encounter at a Masonic Lodge....

This story begins with Paddy deciding, despite his mother’s grave misgivings, to visit Glasgow.  On board the ferry, he falls in with a Scotsman called Sauny who takes him in hand and promises to show him the sights of the city, starting with a Glasgow Eating House….  This story concludes next week.

Sunday 25th July 2010 4.03pm / Repeat Wednesday 29th July 2010 7.30pm 
Continued from last week.   Paddy McQuillan is in Glasgow with his new friend, Sauny.  Following some trouble at the Post Office when he tries to collect a money order, Paddy goes shopping - but winds up before the magistrate!  Having talked his way out of a custodial sentence, he takes the ferry back home to his relieved mother.

Sunday 1st August 2010 4.03pm / Repeat Wednesday 5th August 2010 7.30pm 
Paddy McQuillan’s mother arranges for him to take tea with the formidable Miss Norris - in the hope of making a match for him.  Paddy, however, takes a shine to the younger and more appealing Maggie Patten and sets out to court her instead.  All doesn’t exactly go smoothly however with the course of true love….

Sunday 8th August 2010 4.03pm / Repeat Wednesday 12th August 2010 7.30pm EPISODE 5 - HIS WEDDING 
In preparation for his forthcoming wedding, Paddy McQuillan sets off to Belfast to get the wedding licence.  Then he and Maggie purchase a few essentials in the shops - before it’s time at last for the Big Day!

A new arrival means new worries for Paddy McQuillan - what with potential hazards round the house and constant crying throughout the night!  However, plans for the baby’s christening soon give Paddy more to think about as he arranges a party for all his friends.

Sunday 15th August 2010 4.03pm / Repeat Wednesday 19th August 2010 7.30pm
Robin Gordon is very amused to hear that his friends Paddy and Maggie McQuillan have just had twins!  Friends gather round to meet the new-borns and congratulate their parents - and Paddy is persuaded to have a celebratory tea-party.

Robin Gordon and Paddy McQuillan start making arrangements for a tea party to celebrate the arrival of Paddy’s twins. 

Sunday 22nd August 2010 4.03pm / Repeat Wednesday 26th August 2010 7.30pm 
It’s Paddy McQuillan’s Tay Perty and friends and family all gather round to help the McQuillan’s christen their new twins - Samuel and Jemima.  With poetry, songs and a presentation to Maggie, everyone has a great time.

It’s a sad time in County Down  -  for Paddy McQuillan and his family have been forced, by their rackrenting landlord, to sell up and emigrate to Canada.  All their County Down friends gather to bid them farewell.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010


Ah hid occasion fur til visit Belfast o'er the weekend, attendin' high level Ulster Scots talks an' drinkin' sessions in oor nation's alleged capital*. Whilst there Ah spent a wee while observin' the ways o' the City Folk, bein', as they are, markedly differn frae the rest o' us.

Pub Toilets

Obviously high level Ulster Scots talks are helt in a drinkin' establishment, but when Ah ventured til the toilet ah was shacked fur til fine a sinister lukkin' boy stannin' in the corner wi' an array o' perfumery. Nat bein' Oh Fay wi' the ways o' the city pub,  Ah wisnae sure whit he wus fur, wonderin' til messel whether he was expected til haul Wee Billy at the pisher, a matter o' some concern til messel as ah hid bought new pants an' cudnae fine the exit hole**. Oan returnin' til ma table ah was informed thit he wud let ye spray yersel frae his range o' scents, a pointless persuit fur ah hid gie me oxters a fair dose o' Brut afore Ah went oot. Fur gawd's sake, can ye imagine thy'on in prapur pubs, sure there'd be nay room in the toilet fur the boy in the first place, an' he'd maist likely get a slap fur hingin' aboot them.

Weemin Folk

Jays but they show a lock o' bosom oan a nicht oot. This is a guid thing which Ah suggest we adopt in the country forthwith. Ah shall raise it at the lodge.

All Nicht Garages.

We dinnae hiv these, but they are class. Ah hiv an' o'erwhelming desire fur til go til yin wi' ma big shappin', fur the wee boy inside wud hiv til run aboot lukkin for yer stuff an' ye cud jist raid the paper while ye wait. The o'er folk in the queue wudnae mine Ah think, fur sae far as Ah cud see all they were buyin' was Cigarette paper an' immense quantities o' snacks.

Recreational Riotin'

Disnae exist in the country, but shud be encouraged fur the young folk o' the city. Far tae many city wains lie aboot playin' oan X Baxes, an' this riotin' provides much naided exercise whilst allowin' them til engage in essential cross-community activity. Howiver Ah hiv deduced thit this must be wile annoyin' fur the folk whit live roun' their chosen patch. Thus Ah propose the erection o' a National Recreational Riotin' Stadium, where the wains can meet up an' demolish eacho'er til their hearts content. A range o' defunct motors cud be provided fur burnin', alang with auld milk bottles an' the like, encouragin' enviromentalist reuse an' recyclin. Furthermair, the erection o' a stand fur veiwin' wud be a valuable boon til the tourist industry, an' perhaps the rioters cud be encouraged fur til adopt the clothin' o' the 1970s, providin' an histerical re-enactment twist til this interestin' cultural activity.

O'er Matters.

The Rev Dr Big Ian Paisley is now The Rev Dr Big Lord Backside o' Somewhere. This was ah histerical moment, placin' the great dissenter at the heart o' the establishment. Howiver ah wud like fur til point oot that he looked a richt arse in his robes.

* Real Capital is Larne

** Fur why wud anybody make pants wi' nae exit hole? Ah hiv checked the label, they are men's pants. Fur gawds sake am Ah meant fur til drop the breeks like a wain? Ah am fur writin' til Sainsbury's.