Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Mod: Friday Competitions

So, Friday was the day of all our competitions! The men's choir sang at 9 am and not too long afterward the women sang. We won 2nd place in that competition (the 1st place winner was a group called Atomic Piseag (Atomic Kitten)! A lot of the day was spent in waiting around, but it was exciting. The complete choir sang The Puirt-a-Beul and then the big competition: what they called the "L&T" or the Lovatt, on which we also got 2nd place.

However, we DID get the highest marks on our Gaelic pronunciation, and so we were in the final concert in which only 1st place winners sang.

The men just after performing.

Part of our waiting was in a Gaelic classroom - there were other Gaelic posters, but this one caught my eye.

Waiting to hear the results...

Myself with Anne (blonde) and Christine (who ended up giving me a ride home).

Monday, October 24, 2011

Walking around Stornoway

After feeding me a large, delicious breakfast (with white pudding - or marag geal as it's called. YUM!) Donnie's mother offered to drive me into town (not a very far distance) so that I could walk around the town. I went to the museum and walked around to the shops and such.
Many of the shops had Gaelic signs.

The ferry.

A cake I saw in a window.

Walking towards Lewes Castle.

Failte gu Mod 2011!

Large reproductions of the Lewis Chessmen  at a coffee shop near the castle.

A wicker woman! 

A hooded crow!!!!

One of the gates to the castle.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Mod: 1st Leg of the Journey

Donald MacLeod (commonly known as Donnie Maroot) - a member of the GG choir - gave me a lift ALL the way up to Stornoway, Isle of Lewis. We left about 11 in the morning. The trip up to Ullapool is about five hours, with another three hours on the ferry.

The ferry journey was interesting. We ate some dinner and then went to the bar where a bunch of various choir people (ours & others) were singing together - it was very nice. But it got increasingly warm, and the water was a little choppy & I wasn't feeling AT ALL well. Catriona was feeling the heat as well, so we went out on deck and froze for awhile before attempting the interior again. We didn't go back to the bar, and I spent the rest of the time with my head on a table! 

Donnie's mother picked us up from the ferry - she was SO kind and fixed us tea and put out a huge spread with biscuits and oat cakes and cheese and the like. And she put a hot-water bottle in my bed so that I would be warm enough at night. I was originally going to come up on Thursday, and was booked for a B&B Thursday & Friday night, but the lady I was going to ride with changed her plans, and so my plans changed as well, and I was able to stay with Donnie & his parents Wednesday night.

We met up with Catriona (left) at Ullapool. Two girls (obviously from choir & also from uni) drove up with her. The girls had bought themselves drinking glasses! Crazy!

My room at Donnie's parents.  I felt like I was in a hotel - or B&B - it was cozy and so nice. 

There was  even a little tray with teas and coffees and such!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

OooooOH! Ghosty Linlithgow

So, I get regular emails from Historic Scotland about various events going on - a majority of them seem to be about Stirling & Edinburgh castles lately. But I got one for a ghost tour at Linlithgow Palace, which is between Glasgow and Edinburgh (an a little north of both). I went here last November in with my archaeology class last year. So...I told Rachel about it, and she, and her sister Alice and their brother James all came along! They had a tour at 7:30 and one at 9:15. I was inclined to go to the earlier tour, but it was sold out. So, even though I had to work the next morning, I threw caution to the winds and we all went via train to Linlithgow.

They had actors dressed as historical ghosts from the history of the palace. Our tour guide was a fellow from the 1770s who was a sort-of caretaker for the palace after it was burned during the lively events of the '45.
The entrance gates at night...

Alice, Rachel & James.

our ghostly tour-guide.

I was very pleased with the tour - it really did tell a lot about the history. And during the tour ghosty things would run happen in the vicinity, or ghosties would run through the group shrieking and such. This was actually a re-enactment of a witch trial and burning. The witch's name was Agnes (I kept wanting them to call her Agnes Nutter!)

It was raining. I believe this is in the great hall.

I wasn't able to snap pictures of all the "ghosts" but I got this fellow because he held still for a moment. Plus it made me think of a line from the old 20's song "Haunted House": "The gory stain where the duke was slain..."

This was at the train station. I always get a warm glow when I see the Gaelic name underneath the English one. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

A few more things at the museum, and Glasgow Uni

A magpie and its nest.

Harvest Mouse nest

Harvest Mouse! Isn't it darling?

I think this was some sort of titmouse, and its nest.

Cast of "Lucy"(Australopithecus afarensis)! I was so excited to see this!

Rachel's sister had heard that Glasgow Uni was rather Hogwartsian so we wandered around to see if that was indeed the case. Beautiful in any case! 

This is on the outside of the memorial chapel.

This is where I have my archaeology classes this semester! 

The new seal on the Main Gates. In the bottom left-hand corner of the photo you can see some new masonry as well. Apparently a lorrie hit the gate and they've been repairing it for the last several weeks.