Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Blood is Strong * 33 Weeks

In Bryan Sykes book Blood of the Isles (the American title is Saxons, Vikings and Celts) he explores and discovers the genetic history of those who live, or whose ancestors lived, in Britain and Ireland. The science is fascinating, and reading the book makes you proud to hail from those parts. You realize that that mitochondrial DNA carries memories with it - so-to-speak. How else could you explain that emotional and almost physical tug my siblings and I have felt when we have gone back to Scotland?

Music brings these feelings to the fore almost better than anything else. Last week I bought the Corries Song "Peat Fire Flame" for my ipod, and when I put it on Heather and I just stood still, listening, feeling everything in that song. As Heather so aptly expressed it, it makes you want to sell everything you have and go live in a black house in the middle of nowhere. The blood is strong.

Peat-Fire Flame(K. MacLeod)
Far away and o'er the moor,
Morar waits for a boat that saileth,
Far away down Lowland way,
I dream the dream I learned, lad.

By the light o' the peat-fire flame,
Light for love, for lilt, for laughter,
By the light o' the peat-fire flame,
The light the hill-folk yearn for.

Far away, down Lowland way,
Grim's the toil, without tune or dream, lad,
All you need's a creel and love,
For the dream the heart can weave, lad.

Far away the tramp and tread,
Tune and laughter of all the heroes,
Pulls me onward o'er the trail
Of the dream my heart may weave, lad,

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Knitting and 34 Weeks!

How these weeks fly by! Tonight at Mutual, we taught the young women how to knit. That is to say, my councilor Jessica, and Katie taught the young women how to knit. Although I was taught to knit by my Gaelic teacher Donald Macdonald (see the website to your left, please!), I couldn't remember how to cast on, and I'm also left handed, so I was only good for moral support.

The reason I'm posting this is because it was my coat (sweater) of many colors that inspired this activity. I wore my sweater that my grandmother knitted to church one day and the girls pointed out to me that it contains almost all of the Young Women value colors. So, I tried to find all eight of the value colors (white, yellow, orange, red, purple, blue, green, gold) and we all started on a scarf of many colors! I started with red, and I'm already on to yellow. I'll post a picture of my scarf(and the sweater that inspired it) when I finish.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Chicken Tikka Masala!

One of the greatest joys in life, to me, is Indian food. Six and a half years ago, when I was staying with my friend Navdeep, his parents asked me what my favorite dish was. My answer was "Chicken Tikka Masala". They smiled and told me that it wasn't really an Indian dish - it was an Anglo-Indian meal.

Just recently, though, I learned that it is widely believed that Chicken Tikka Masala originated in Glasgow! Incredible! No wonder a Scottish-Indian dish is my very favorite! (the photo shows Heather & myself with some of the Greene YW. We had an Indian activity back in the summer)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Bliadhna Mhath Ur! 35 weeks!

Again, I find I must apologise for missing a week! At least I have the excuse of Christmas and New Year celebrations and festivities, which are very distracting indeed! We had a wonderful Christmas, cosy and quiet, with our small, crooked tree, and our "stained glass window" papers taped up in the windows. The only alcohol consumed at our dinner on Christmas Eve was by the Christmas pudding, which we set on fire. I hope that everyone had a beautiful Christmas.