Am Bratach No. 305
March 2017
editor@bratach.co.uk


Litir bhon a’ Cheathramh
le
Alasdair MacMhaoirn

Bhruidhinn ri mi cuideigin bho Cheap Breatainn an là roimhe, agus thuirt e gu robh cèilidhean cudromach sa bhaile aige airson math na Gàidhlig. Thuirt e cuideachd gu robh e a’ mìneachadh cèilidhean ceart, chan e cèilidhean mar a tha iad ann an Alba. Thuig mi na bha e ag innse dhomh. Tha cuimhn’ am air daoine, gu mì-fhortanach nach eil againn a-nis, a bha a’ cumail cèilidhean ann an taigh ach chan eil iad cumanta san là an-diugh. Mar as trice ann an Alba ’s e seòrsa de chonsart a th’ ann an cèilidh.
I spoke with someone from Cape Breton the other day and he told me that ceilidhs were important in Cape Breton for maintaining Gaelic. He also said that he meant house ceilidhs and not ceilidhs as they are in Scotland. I understood what he meant. I remember people, sadly no longer with us, who kept ceilidhs in their houses. This is not so common today, and for most people a ceilidh means a concert.

Co-dhiù, thòisich mi a’ smaoineachadh air na diofar stòraidhean a chuala aig cèilidhean ceart, agus chuimhnich mi air dà dhiubh a dh’fhaodadh a bhith inntinneach dhuibh. ’S ann à Taobh Mhealanais a chuala mi iad. (Cha chan cò aige a chuala mi iad, ach bidh fios aig cuid agaibh...)
In any event I started thinking about the different stories I heard at ceilidhs and I recalled two which may be of interest. They are both from Melness.

Là bha seo bha muinntir air tighinn air cèilidh dha taigh agus ’s ann air telescopes a bha iad a-mach. Bha grunn daoine ann, nam measg bha cuideigin a bha ainmeil airson cho luath agus ait a bha e ann an bhith a’ toirt freagairtean dha muinntir eile. (Bha facal sònraichte ann airson seo ach, tha mi duilich ach chan eil cuimhn’ agam.) A bharrachd, bha duine cràbhaidh ann, agus bha iad uile a’ bruidhinn air telescopes. Thuirt aon neach, “Tha na telescopes cho math gum faiceadh iad muinntir os iutharn’”.
One day people were gathered for a ceilidh and they were speaking about telescopes. There were a few people there: among them there was a man known for his quick repartee, and another who was very holy. They were all discussing telescopes and finally one man said, “Telescopes are so good they say you can see the people in hell”.

Cha robh an duine cràbhaidh glè shìthisd’ leis na chaidh a ràdh agus dh’èirich e ri falbh, ’s e a’ cantainn, “Chan urrainn dhomh fuireach an seo leis an droch chainnte!”
The religious man wasn’t pleased so he rose to leave saying, “I cannot stay here with all the bad language!”

Ach thuirt an duine eile, “Dèan suidhe far an robh thu! Cha tuirt mi gum faiceadh iad thusa ann!”
But the other man said, “Sit down where you were. I didn’t say that they would see you there.”

Bha stòraidh eile ann cuideachd mu dheidhinn duine na sheann aoise a thòisich air togail culaidh. Bha e suas anns na bliadhnaichean agus bha eagal air a bhean gun cuireadh an obair às dha.
There was another story as well about a man in his old age who decided to build a boat. Because he was up in years his wife was afraid that the work would finish him.

“Carson air thalamh a bheil thu ri rudeigin cho gòrach ri sin aig d’ aoise? Faodaidh tu a dhol a-mach cuide ri sgioba sam bith ma ’s math leat, agus bheireadh iad iasg dhut uair sam bith cuideachd. Tha thu ro sheann.” Ach fhreagair am bodach, “Bha culaidh an còmhnaidh agam, agus tha mi a’ sireadh culaidh a bhith agams’.”
“Why in the world have you started such foolishness at your age? You could go out with any of the crews if you liked, and they would give you fish anytime. You are too old.” But the old man would always answer, “I always had a boat and I want to have a boat.”

Mu dheireadh chaidh a bhean dhan mhinistear ann an dùil gun bruidhneadh e dhan duine agus gun toireadh e air sguireadh. Dh’fhalbh am ministear airson bruidhinn ris agus fhuair e e ag obair gu dìcheallach air a’ chulaidh.
Finally his wife went to the minister hoping that he would speak to her husband and that he would make him stop. The minister went to speak to the man and he found him working hard on his boat.

“Dè a-nis a tha thu ris? Tha an obair ro cruaidh. Smaoinich air an aoise a tha thu”, thuirt am ministear. “Bhoil,” fhreagair an duine, “An innis thu seo dhomh ma-thà? Dèn aoise a bha Noah nuair a shìn e air an àirc?”
“What are you doing now? The work is too hard. Think about your age,” said the minister. “Well,” answered the man, “Can you tell me this? What age was Noah when he began the ark?”

Dh’fhalbh am ministear, agus cho fad ’s a tha fhios ’am thog am bodach a’ chulaidh. ’S iad na seòrsa stòraidhean a chluinneadh tu aig taigh cèilidh.
The minister left and as far as I know the man finished his boat. Those are two examples of the kind of stories that were told.

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