Thursday, 31 January 2013

Shalee lhaih 2013: Jerrey Jerrey Geuree

Jerrey'n chied vee, as traa mie dy yeeagh erash er cosnaghyn ny bleeaney derrey nish. Toshiaght 'ondagh, s'treisht lhiam! Lhig dooin cur shilley jee...

Hoshiaght: 128 lioaryn

  • Lhaiht aym: 17
  • Cheaut magh gyn lhaih: 1 - çhyndaays Germaanish ass y Vaarle, as nah lioar 'sy 'traih. Cha nel eh feeu.
  • Lhaiht aym bleeantyn er dy henney, myr hooar magh mee: 1
  • Feddynit er coayl jeh'n rolley toshee: 1
  • Currit dou er eeasaght: 1
  • Currit doa myr giootyn anmagh: 2
  • Currit dou dagh vlein myr oltey Undinys son Çhengaghyn fo Ghaue: 1
  • Kionnit aym liorish argid as kaartyn giootagh: 10 (...ny jean jeeaghyn orryms myr shen. C'red elley yinnin dy chionnaghey?)

Myr shen, ta mee er scryssey 18 veih'n rolley, as er chur stiagh 14 noa, as rere maddaght as rieughid, ta 124 faagit er y rolley.

Cha nel shen feer vie rish lane vee. Agh ta Nollick as laa ruggyree ec y traa cheddin wheesh dy chur boalley fondagh da carn lioaragh erbee. S'treisht lhiam nagh bee monney lioaryn elley ry-heet! Lhig dooin ooilley mish y ghreinnaghey er son Toshiaght Arree, eh?

Vel cleayn ennagh ry-akin ayd, foddee?

Are you starting to see a pattern?

End of the first month of Reading Project, and a good time to look back on progress so far. Hopefully, on a good solid start. Let's have a dekko...

The Beginning: 128 books

  • Read: 17
  • Discarded unread: 1 - turns out to be a translation into German of volume two of an English original. I haven't even read volume one. I can do without that, thanks.
  • Read years ago, as I now realise: 1
  • Found to be missed off the original list: 1
  • Lent to me: 1
  • Late presents received since I made the list: 2
  • Received annually as a member of the Foundation for Endangered Languages: 1
  • Bought with gifted money and gift cards: 10 (don't be like that. What else was I going to buy? Especially with WH Smiths voichers)

So all in all, that's 18 struck off the list... and 14 added to it... which sadly leaves 124 still to go, after all that!

Not the best progress for a whole month of reading. But Christmas and a birthday all at once is enough to give a kicking to any reading pile. Let's hope there aren't too many more books on their way. Here's to a successful February...

Monday, 28 January 2013

Shalee lhaih 2013: Shiaghtin 04

Jerrey'n cherroo hiaghtin, as shoh ny lhiah mee yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie:

New Horizons in Linguistics (re. John Lyons)

Reayrt fondagh er y vagher, s'cosoylagh - tra screeu ad ee ayns in 1970. Daaed blein er dy henney, ta blass çhirrym er yn aght screeuee, eer myr lioar oaylleeagh, as t'ee roshtyn anvullagh: va dagh art ro-veg dy chur anaase orrym er yn 'o-vagher v'ayn, ny soilshaghey magh bun-chooish noa, agh ec y traa cheddin, ro-haghnoaylleeagh da noanagh hirr er bun-lioar çhengoaylleeagh. Loayrt dy corrym, shen ny dooyrt y blurb: v'ee screeut myr coontey jeh cooishyn roie çhengoaylleeagh ayns 1970, as dy meeaighar, cha nel monney bree ec y tur-chooill shid jiu.

Dy beagh ny smoo anaase aym er shiartanse dy chooishyn - grammeydys gientynagh, semantaght, foddee - voghin ny smoo assjee, foddee. Myr t'eh, cha dug y lioar anaase aym er fer erbee jeu, as cha row monney ry-chur dou eck er ny reih vagheryn aym: çhengaghyn hene, cosoylaghey, sheshengoaylleeaght as çh't antrapoaylleeagh. V'ee lhiantyn rish cooishyn inçhynagh as sheiltynagh nagh mooar lhiam ad.

Bakuman y.l. 6 (Ōba Tsugumi, Obata Takeshi)

Ny share na'n ym-lioar roish. Lhaih mee ee gyn scuirr. Beggan ard-haghyragh, foddee, agh cha nel erskyn credjue. By haittin lhiam eddyr-obbraghyn ny karracteyryn as nyn nooghyssyn tra v'ad dellal rish taghyrtyn 'syn aght bare lhieu. By vie lhiam eh myrgeddin aase y skeeal graih meanagh dy ve ny sloo mooadit skeealagh rish aase ny karracteyryn cour eash aasit, ga nagh row wheesh jeh'n fo-skeeal graih as by vie lhiam. Ta ny fo-charracteyryn anaasoil foast, bun beayn taitnys, as liorish streeu aignaghyn keirdey noi bochillagh noi persoonagh, va ram anaase ayn.

Léonard, génie à toute heure (Turk & de Groot)

Cha daink ee ass y charn lioaragh, agh er eeasaght voish co-obbragh aym. Çhaglym dy scheimyn aittey coar, springeragh as meein mychione ynlaghteyr corragh as y fer cooney neuspeeideilagh echey ta cluicagh dy kinjagh, gyn roshtyn arragh cluicys dy liooar. Ta marranys clou ennagh 'sy choip shoh, myr shen ta ny daahghyn beggan ass jeerid ny keayrtyn, agh ta'n ellyn hene feer schlei. Shimmey mynphaart cooylreydagh t'ayn, as ta bioys cloie ass y clane. S'mie lhiam skeealyn ynlaghteyr corragh - cummaght leah Professor Branestawm, foddee?

Myr shen, daa lioar ass y charn yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie... obbyr voal...

The end of week four of the Reading Project, and here's what I've read this week:

New Horizons in Linguistics (ed. John Lyons)

Probably a decent look at the field - in 1970. Forty years later its style seems very dry even for academic writing, and it seems to hit a sour spot - each article felt too short to get me interested in the subfield it discussed or explore a topic, but too technical to suit someone looking for a primer. In fairness, the back of the book says as much. It was intended as a report into developments in linguistics in 1970, for existing linguists, and unfortunately that very specific niche is really no longer relevant.

It's possible that if I was more interested in some of the subjects - generative grammar, say, or the semantic end of things - I'd have got more out of it. As it was the book failed to inspire me towards any of those topics, and had little to offer in my preferred areas of actual languages, comparative, social and anthropological issues. It had an emphasis on quite theoretical and brain-based topics that don't do much for me.

Bakuman v. 6 (Ōba Tsugumi, Obata Takeshi)

Better than the last volume. I read it in a single session. A bit dramatic, but not unrealistically so, and I enjoyed the interplay of the various characters and their personalities in dealing with events as they thought best. It was also nice to see the main romance getting a bit less exaggerated as the characters are growing up, though a shame there wasn't more of the subsidiary ones. The bit-characters continue to be interesting, which is always good, and the professional versus pastoral versus personal three-way conflicts made for some interesting reading.

Léonard, génie à toute heure (Turk & de Groot)

Not one from the reading pile, but a loan from a colleague. A nice, gently comic and playful set of strips about the loony inventor and his hapless, not-quite-cunning-enough assistant. Some kind of printing error in this volume means the colours are sometimes a bit off, but the art itself's very tight, with lots of background touches and bubbling with life. I always enjoyed loony inventor stories - perhaps the early influence of Professor Branestawm.

So that's only two books from the pile this week... not the best progress...

Friday, 25 January 2013

Fo chormid ooasle ny leigh

"Bun elley moyrn, seyraanys! As shen, da'n voght, cummal seose as coadey ny berçhee 'sy niart as litçheraght oc. Shegin daue obbraghey fo chormid ooasle ny leigh, ta neulhiggey da ny berçhee chammah's y boght cadley fo droghad, shirrey jeirk, as geid arran."

Autre motif d’orgueil, que d’etre citoyen! Cela consiste pour les pauvres à soutenir et à conserver les riches dans leur puissance et leur oisiveté. Ils y doivent travailler devant la majestueuse égalité des lois, qui interdit au riche comme au pauvre de coucher sous les ponts, de mendier dans les rues et de voler du pain.
--Anatole France, Le Lys Rouge, 1894

Y kione reiltagh as y 'treebagh

Y kione reiltagh as y 'treebagh

Myr haghyr eh, ren kione reiltagh as streebagh roshtyn giat Niau rish y cheilley. As yeeagh y Noo orroo dy trimshagh.

“Cre’n fa dy nee kione reiltagh uss?” as eh, rish y chied jeu.

“Er yn oyr,” as y kione reiltagh, “dy hass mee er ny prinsabyllyn hene t’er nyn ngiaddey as t’er nyannoo y Partee ennoil ayns cree yn theay. Dy yannoo skeeal giare jeh, hass mee, gyn lhiggey lesh, my haghter y theay.”

“As uss?” denee y Noo jeeish jeh’n demi-monde.

“Va mee laccal argid,” as ish.

As erreish da thurrick smooinaghtagh dooyrt y Noo: “Wahll, tar stiagh; ga nagh vel oo dy hoilçhin.”

Agh da’n chione reiltagh dooyrt eh: “S’treih lhien dy firrinagh gra dy vel y reamys beg ain as genney mee-aighar anaase ayns ny Feyshtyn ta shiu er chur wheesh niart dyn broo stiagh ayns king y theay as er nyn bohlldey cho oalagh ‘sy traa t’er ngoll shaghey, nyn lhiettal veih cur diu y cooney ta shiu shirrey er.”

As ghooin eh y dorrys airhey.

The Demagogue and the Demi-Monde

A demagogue and a demi-mondaine chanced to arrive together at the gate of Paradise. And the Saint looked sorrowfully at them both.

“Why were you a demagogue?” he said to the first.

“Because,” said the demagogue, “I stood for those principles that have made us what we are and have endeared our Party to the great heart of the people. In a word I stood unflinchingly on the plank of popular representation.”

“And you?” said the Saint to her of the demi-monde.

“I wanted money,” said the demi-mondaine.

And after some moments’ thought the Saint said: “Well, come in; though you don't deserve to.”

But to the demagogue he said: “We genuinely regret that the limited space at our disposal and our unfortunate lack of interest in those Questions that you have gone so far to inculate and have so ably upheld in the past, prevent us from giving you the support for which you seek.”

And he shut the golden door.

Ta'n skeealeen shoh çhyndaait ass The Demagogue and the Demi-Monde liorish yn Çhiarn Dunsany. Ta'n skeeal Baarle bunneydagh ry-lhaih er Project Gutenberg.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Shalee lhaih 2013: Shiaghtin 03

Jerrey'n treeoo hiaghtin, as shoh ny lhiah mee yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie:

More Starlight To Your Heart y.l. 1 (Matsuba Hiro)

Beggan aitt, agh er lhimmey jeh'n fer obbeeys as fiorag etlee, cha ghow mee monney noa assjeh. Shenn skeeal graih, dooinney kenjal lajer creeney as ben aeg ta goaill aggle dy aashagh as boirey er reddyn, as jannoo reddyn bolvaneagh as gleiy er y dooinney. T'eh screeuit as tayrnit schlei dy liooar, agh er lhiam nagh lhaihym ny smoo.

Strewberry Marshmallow y.l. 1 (Barasui)

Skeealyn sliss-jeh'n-teihll mychione daa huyr as nyn gaarjyn. So-chredjal, taitnyssagh, as kiune dy liooar.

Mabinogion (Gantz)


Runemarks (Harris)

Skeeal mie dy liooar, er lhiam. She far-skeeal rere shenn far-skeealaght Norlynnagh t'ayn, mychione Oardagh, Corvaal, jeeghyn, roonyn, sleih as seihill. Cha nel mee lane shickyr er y jerrey - er lhiam nagh row eh baghtal dy mennick ny haghyr 'sy 50 duillag jerrinagh as ta drogh-ourys aym nagh ren Harris boirey monney tra vee stroie seihill as myr shen. V'ee cur ny smoo geill da'n eie eck, agh ta'n dowan skeealagh feer scanshoil ayns far-skeealyn as share lhiam dy vel eh baghtal.

V'eh 500 duillag er lhiurid, as foddee nagh row feme er shen. Chammah's shen, er lhiam dy choayl eh beggan jeh'n aittys v'ayn hoshiaght. Bare lhiam beggan ny smoo bree as aase ec Maddy, caillin veanagh y skeeal; t'ee gynsaghey reddyn as jannoo reddyn, agh cha nel ee caghlaa er lhiam. Eer 'sy toshiaght, cha nel ee ayn dy firrinagh agh 'sy 'naie-skeealagh, gyn kiangley da'n valley ny'n theay. Va karracteyryn elley anaasoil, agh fo trimmid y snaie-skeealagh, as wheesh dy charracteyryn, cha row rheamys oc dy aase as soilshaghey ad hene. Va ny jeeghyn fo ny soilshaghyn tradishoonagh oc, gyn caa erbee er son ronsaghey persoonagh, chamoo er son sym ayns cooish erbee agh reddyn jeeoil.

Ta reddyn taghyrt rere plannyn crampey as fadeyryssyn, cooie da skeeal Norlynnagh, agh ny keayrtyn t'ad gennaghtyn myr co-haghyrtyn ro-vooar as jus rouyr taghyrt ec yn un traa. As foddee nagh row oyr dy liooar ec sleih dy ghoaill rish plannyn sleih elley. Ta blass beg obbraghyn Tom Holt er cummey'n skeeal chammah, as cha nel mee lane shickyr dy row eh cooie. Myr shen, ghow mee soylley jeh, agh cha nel mee shickyr dy lhaihin ny smoo liorish Harris.

The end of week three of the Reading Project, and here's what I've read this week:

More Starlight To Your Heart v. 1 (Matsuba Hiro)

Mildly entertaining, but apart from the mystic with a pet flying squirrel, there just wasn't much novel about it. It's a variation on a rather clichéd romance, with a strong, caring, fairly sensible man, and a younger woman who scares easily, worries about things and is frankly a bit of a clingy ditz. It's written and drawn well enough, but I don't think I'll be reading any more.

Strewberry Marshmallow v. 1 (Barasui)

Slice-of-life stories about two sisters and their friends. Believable, enjoyable and pretty chilled.

Mabinogion (Gantz)


Runemarks (Harris)

A decent enough story, I thought. It's a fantasy based on Norse myth (obviously), about Order, Chaos, gods, runes, people and worlds. I'm not too sure about the end - to my mind in the last 50 pages or so it frequently wasn't that clear what was happening, and I have a sneaking suspicious Harris didn't worry too much about things when she was having worlds collapse into each other. She was maybe thinking more about her plot, but the setting cosmology is important in fantasy and I like it clear.

The book's 500 pages long, which I'm not convinced is necessary either, and I felt like it gradually lost the slight humour of the early chapters. I'd have liked more development for Maddy, the protagonist, and maybe a bit more spark: she learns some stuff over the course of the book but doesn't really change much, just do things. Right from the start she basically exists only in the plot, without any real connection to her town or family. Other characters showed signs of being interesting, but it felt a little bit crowded, like there wasn't enough room for any of them to develop properly. The gods were basically stuck with their classical descriptions, without much room for exploration or for any concerns other than godly ones.

Quite a lot of things in the book happen according to plots or prophecies, which is appropriate for mythological stories, but sometimes they felt rather more like improbably coincidences to me, without enough motivation for people to actually act as they were supposed to. There was a bit of Tom Holtianism to the plot too, which I'm not sure was really appropriate. So overall, okay, but I wouldn't necessarily read another one by Harris.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Excel: calculating composite actual and proportional use with COUNTIFS and SUMIFS

This is the second part of a discussion of my recent capacity-usage stats project tracking where and when people sit in a library. It might be helpful to any project involving nested data, comparing incomplete datasets, or datasets which increase in size (as in, number of rows of data) during the project. You can find the first part here.

This part of the job involved COUNTIFS, SUMIFS, INDEX, COUNTA and named ranges to track composite average usage while compensating for patchy data.

This half of the project concerned tracking usage of the library building's graduate study space, which is not part of the library, and therefore was monitored separately. People were interestd in the patterns of use over time, and in the proportion of capacity that was actually used, to help establish how efficiently the space is exploited. This could, for example, show that there was insufficient study space, or that the space was underused and could be better put to some other purpose. The main complication of this task, compared to the last, was that counts in the study space were much patchier than in the library. All counts included each area of the library, but sometimes the staff didn't get round to counting in the graduate space, since this involved going to a different area of the building.

Because the analyses include potential versus actual usage, the number of counts taken influences the figures. This means that it's important to only include data from counts that actually included the graduate space, otherwise any analyses will behave as though the count was zero, undermining accuracy and leading to under-reporting.

The potential-use-tracking field, which checks the number of counts taken and the amount of seating available, needs to include only those counts which actually included the graduate space (those with a non-empty value in that column). The actual-use-tracking field needs to only include rows with a count entry for the graduate space (only sum values from rows that include a non-null value in the "graduate space" column).

Luckily, at this point I discovered SUMIFS and COUNTIFS.

To begin with, I set up Time entries as rows. For columns, I tracked Number of Counts, Total Users (in that timeslot), Potential Use (at full capacity), Mean Use, and Percentage Use.

As I mentioned last time, the range of cells with recorded values in is called Readercount, and the set of capacity values for seating types is called Seats. To count cells based on multiple criteria, I turned to COUNTIFS. I calculated the number of relevant counts as follows:

=COUNTIFS( INDEX(Readercount,0,time column), $Bchosen timeslot, INDEX(Readercount,0,grad space column), "<>" )

=count up( all entries in the Time column within the range Readercount, if they match the chosen timeslot, and if the value in the grad space column is not null )

For summing the number of readers at various points, I had to use SUMIFS instead. This handy value sums up cells that meet multiple criteria.

=SUMIFS( INDEX(Readercount,0,grad space column), INDEX(Readercount,0,time column), $Bchosen timeslot, INDEX(Readercount,0,grad space column), "<>" )

=sum up( all entries in the grad space column within the range Readercount for which the time column in that row matches the chosen timeslot and the value in the grad space column is not null )

Potential use was:

=COUNTIFS( INDEX(Readercount,0,time column), $Bchosen timeslot, INDEX(Readercount,0,grad space column), "<>" ) * INDEX(Seats,0,grad space capacity )

Average use was just total users divided by number of counts taken for the chosen time slot. Rather than build the formulae again, I simply referenced the existing cells.


In other words:

=Sum of users / Number of counts

In full, this is:

=SUMIFS( INDEX(Readercount,0,grad space column), INDEX(Readercount,0,time column), $Bchosen timeslot , INDEX(Readercount,0,grad space column), "<>" ) / COUNTIFS( INDEX(Readercount,0,time column), $Bchosen timeslot, INDEX(Readercount,0,grad space column), "<>" )

You can probably see why I went for the cell references...

Similarly, percentage use was:

=D4 / ( C4 * INDEX(Seats,0,16) ) * 100


=total users / ( counts taken * grad space capacity ) *100

In case anyone's curious, there's a couple of reasons why I used range references for the seating capacities in this project, rather than just plain numbers.

  1. It makes the formulae more transparent, even though it also makes them more complex. Anyone reading through it can quickly work out, and confirm by finding the range in question, that INDEX(Seats,0,16) refers to a fixed value that corresponds to a seating capacity. With plain numbers, it's much harder to work out where the numbers are coming from and why they're there. This is important for debugging, and also makes it easier for someone other than me to maintain the spreadsheets in future.
  2. It allows for changes in measurement type. Some of the capacities are somewhat hazy. Students sometimes use window bays as improvised seating. The graduate space has a few armchairs as well as the work desks; at present, students are counted regardless of where they're sitting, but only the work desks are treated as "capacity", because the aim is to determine if there are enough useful workspaces for everyone.
  3. It allows for future-proofing. If the capacity in a room is changed, someone can amend the value in a single cell and start a new set of statistics.
  4. It makes the project more transferrable. Individual formulae, or the whole spreadsheet, can be copied over to a new document and tweaked to track similar data elsewhere.
  5. Because I do a lot of filling with my formulae ('fill down' and the like), actual numbers are a potential liability, as they can end up changing across the block of cells, rather than remaining static. Not that hard to overcome, but annoying nevertheless.

I used exactly the same structures to calculate for date, so I won't bother repeating that. I simply changed which column I referenced in INDEX.

Building charts

The previous charts, for the library itself, were simply tracking average values that were constantly updated. So they could simply track a fixed block of cells. The same is true of the use-by-timeslot chart for the graduate space, which simply took average values from the chart.

For the graduate space, however, I also had to generate a chart showing patterns of usage over time, which needed updating alongside the data. While it's a bit fiddly in the short term, the lowest-maintenance and most elegant way to do this was to use named ranges in the chart's dataset.

I defined two new dynamic named ranges for this sheet: Graddate and Graduse.

Graddate was defined as

=OFFSET( 'Graduate charts'!$B$11, 0,0, COUNTA( 'Graduate charts'!$B:$B) -7 )

=OFFSET( this worksheet!$date column$first row in date column, 0,0, COUNTA( this worksheet!$date column:$date column ) -7 )

In the Graduate Charts worksheet, go to the first cell in the Date column, and adjust this starting position by 0 rows and 0 columns. From here, select a number of cells equal to ( number of non-empty cells in the date column - number of irrelevant non-empty cells in this column )

The reason for the -7 is simply that this worksheet contains all the grad space analysis, both timeslot-based and date-based. The same column (B) contains seven cells'-worth of data relating to the timeslot-based calculations, which is irrelevant here, and I compensated by ignoring 7 rows. This wasn't really necessary - all that would happen otherwise is seven blank rows at the end of the date-based section would be included in the range. Excel should ignore these when generating charts, so it wouldn't make much difference, but it's tidier and better practice to make the adjustment as I go along. After all, in future I might use some of those cells for something else, and break the formulae. In theory I could have used another COUNTA rather than the fixed 7 value, which would have been better practice, but... I didn't.

To get the charts, I used these names as data sources. I started simply by manually selecting some appropriate cells from the correct columns, then went into Select Data Source.

I set the Legend Entries (Series), in the Series values (not Series name!) to:

='name of file' !Graduse

I set the Horizontal Category Axis Labels to:

='name of file' !Graddate

This gave me a chart based on a dynamic range of cells. As soon as further entries are added to the worksheet, the chart will adapt to include their data. All I have to do is keep filling down the dates and formulae as new data is added.

Annoyingly, I have to manually delete dates when no counts were taken in the graduate space - including weekends and holidays - as these produce #DIV/0 errors, and are treated as counts with zero students on the graph. Actual zero counts are left in, of course.

I could, in theory, write some code to do this for me. Every time a new row was added to the raw data, it would check to see if the date was already present on the grad calculations sheet, and if not, add a new valid line so long as a count was present for the graduate space. So far it hasn't been worth the time.

Pseudocode for adding new rows

This is pure pseudocode, dashed off hastily, but it gives the outline of how I'd do this if necessary.


Finally, here is a link to a (slightly tidied up) version of the Excel file.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Shalee lhaih 2013: Shiaghtin 02

Jerrey'n nah hiaghtin, as shoh ny lhiah mee yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie:

Bakuman y.l. 5 (Ōba Tsugumi, Obata Takeshi)

S'baghtal eh (er coontey'n wheiggoo ym-lioar shoh) dy mie lhiah y straih shoh. By vie lhiam er lheh aase keirdey y reagheyder noa, as y cochiangley noi-as-marish eddyr ny h-ellyneyryn. Er y laue elley, er lhiam dy vel eh çheet dy ve beggan ro-ard-haghyrtagh ny keayrtyn, as nee'm arrey er shen y 'reayll; s'mie lhiam firrinys y skeeal.

Genkaku Picasso y.l. 3 (Furuya Usamaru)

Jerrey'n traih shoh mychione gilley as gioot ellynagh neughooghyssagh echey. Dy firrinagh, dennee mee rish tammylt dy row eh jannoo reddyn crampey ro-aashagh, mychione feaysley doilleeidyn aigney trome. Agh ta cree vie echey, as myr va mee er ngoaill toshiaght credjal, dooyrt yn ughtar 'syn ym-lioar shoh dy vel ny karracteyryn er bun e woiraghyn hene tra v'eh aeg. Aghterbee, ro-aashagh ny dyn, vogg ny jeirnyn nish as reesht, bunnys. As va jerrey fondagh echey.

Midnight Robber (Nalo Hopkinson)

Cha nel mee lane shickyr c'red lhisin gra urree... Red ennagh myr: Aght screeuee mie. Seihll mie. S'bastagh eh yn egin paitçhey.

Cha row eh agglagh. By vie lhiam y daa heill t'ayn, as ny ta Hopkinson er chur ayndaue. Ta ny karracteyryn mie, goaill stiagh adsyn nagh vel agh paart beg oc. Ta'n aght screeuee as yn aght t'ee cloie lesh yn çhengey (t'ee screeuit ayns Creole Carribagh, ayns ayrn) feer taitnyssagh. By vie ass towse lhiam ny douen, dooie feer noa gyn cosoylaght ayns reddyn ta mee er nyn lhaih hannah. As by vie lhiam Tan-Tan. Agh cha nee y lioar va mee jerkal, ny yn lioar lhig ee er dy ve. Rere soilshaghey cooyl ny lioar, she skeeal contoyrtyssyn t'ayn, mychione bea Tan-Tan 'syn 'aasagh, as yn aght ta Tan-Tan çheet dy ve Benrein ny Roosteyryn: er lhiam dy jinnagh ish stiurey caghlaa sheshoil ennagh, ny jannoo rere Zorro, foddee. Veagh blass John Carter of Mars er y chooish, foddee, red ennagh gennal.

Shegin dou goaill rish dy vel ooilley shen 'sy lioar, agh son y chooid smoo ta'n skeeal croghey er yn aght ta Tan-Tan surranse kialg, croiaght, dunverys ayrey as eiyrtyssyn y jees. Shen eh ta troggal y skeeal, as ta "barriaght" er ny h-eiyrtyssyn shen cohaghyrt rish jerrey yn skeeal. Shen bun ny contoyrtyssyn as yn jerrey oc. Ta ny contoyrtyssyn, ny t'ee feddyn magh, as eer Benrein ny Roosteyryn fo chummaght as stiurey ny h-olkyn shen; cha nel shen quaagh, agh cha ghow mee y lioar shoh er son lheid y skeeal. As dy firrinagh, cha nel Benrein ny Roosteyryn kerroo cho yindyssagh as va mee jerkal, agh aght feayslee da ny doilleeidyn eck son y chooid smoo, ayns cummey ben hreoghe e h-ayrey as e h-agglaghyn hene - red feer vie gyn ourys, agh ta blass soilshaghey foalsey er y lane chooish. Cha nyinnin er gionnaghey yn lioar shoh dy beagh fys er ve aym er y feer chooid eck.

The Martian Way (Isaac Asimov)

Kiare skeealyn beggey, mestane jeh far-skeealaght heanse fondagh (ta cur trimmid er feer oaylleeaght, er fishag as kemmig erskyn ooilley) as neufondagh (bentyn rish sheshaghtyn as ymmyrkey). By vie lhiam ad; t'ad croghey er taghyrtyn, agh ta Asimov soilshaghey karracteyryn fondagh dy lioar, ayns beggan glare, nagh row mee laccal monney. Ta blass eash orroo, dy jarroo - toghtaney, çhaghnoaylleeaght, caslyssyn-soilshey fondagh nhegin daue ad y chur ayns kishtey yiarn - agh cha nel eh jannoo monney jeeyl. Va'n skeeal "Youth" croghey, ayns ayrn, er cassey va mee jerkal car y skeeal, agh s'cosoylagh dy row eh noa as appee tra screeu eh y skeeal. Ta "Sucker Bait" anaasoil, soilshaghey traa ry-heet tra nagh vel sur-oaylleeyn cur geill erbee da reddyn nagh vel 'sy vagher oc, er y fa dy vel wheesh dy ynsaghey oc gyn shen; cooish foddee oo sheiltyn nish. T'ou jerkal dy nee y dooinney aeg nagh vel ad cur geill da feayley'n chooish, agh t'eh anaasoil ny yei shen. Ta kuse dy reddyn jeeaghyn dy vel beggan bunneydagh nish, mychione joarree erskyn ooilley, agh shen er y fa dy vel sleih elley er screeu orroo neayr's 1964, ayns ayrn.

Un accan: 'sy chur magh t'ayms (Panther), ta'n soilshaghey cooyl jannoo assee da dagh skeeal liorish cur dhyt foddey, foddey rouyr fys er, goaill stiagh creeghyn kuse jeu. Shen jus neuchummeydys hene.

The end of week two of the Reading Project, and here's what I've read this week:

Bakuman v. 5 (Ōba Tsugumi, Obata Takeshi)

Obviously, I'm enjoying this series (I am reading the fifth volume, after all). I particularly enjoyed the professional growth of the new editor, as the friends-but-rivals relationship of the novice manga artists. On the downside, I feel like it's getting a bit too melodramatic at times and losing some of the realism I enjoyed.

Genkaku Picasso y.l. 3 (Furuya Usamaru)

The end of this little series about a boy with supernatural artistic skills. Honestly, I've begun to feel (or notice, or care) that it's over-simplifying quite complex things about solving serious emotional issues. But it's well-intentioned, and as I'd begun to suspect, there's some autobiography in there too, as the author states in this volume. Many of the characters feature worries or issues he had in some form at that age. Anyway, over-simplified or not, it did leave my eyes moist a few times. And it gave everyone a good send-off.

Midnight Robber (Nalo Hopkinson)

Uh. I'm not really sure what to say about this... something like: Nice writing. Nice setting. Shame about the incest.

It's not an awful book. I like the two worlds Hopkinson creates and the way she's fleshed them out. I particularly like the douen, a species unlike anything I've read about before (well, in fiction, there's plenty of real biology there). The characters are great, including the bit-parts, and I enjoy the way she plays with language and her writing style: a lot of the book is written in Caribbean Creole. And I did like Tan-Tan, the heroine. But it wasn't really the book I'd been led to expect, in some quite important ways, both by previous comments and the cover blurb. "...Here, monstrous creatures from folklore are real, and the humans are violent outcasts in the wilds. Here Tan-Tan must reach into the heart of myth - and become the Robber Queen herself. For only Robber Queen's legendary powers can save her life... and set her free." Just a snippet, but the blurb in general implies that it's an adventure story about Tan-Tan's life in this alien wilderness, and how she becomes the Robber Queen - someone I was vaguely expecting to be a sort of Zorro, or lead some kind of social change. I thought there'd be a sort of cheerful, maybe John Carter of Mars sort of vibe to it.

Admittedly those things are in the book, but in practice, structurally and thematically, the story's about Tan-Tan surviving deception, incest and patricide, and the enduring consequences of those things. Those determine the course of her life and activities, exert unsurprising but overwhelming influence on everything she does, and the climax of the book is all about finally overcoming those influences, rather than some great adventure. In context it's not surpising, but it's really not the book I signed up for. And to be honest, the Robber Queen isn't the marvellous legendary figure I'd been led to expect - something like the Scarlet Pimpernel or the Stainless Steel Rat, I think - but a sort of minor Batman figure whose main purpose is enabling her to face down her demons, in the shape of her father's widow and her own self-doubt. Perfectly good things, without a doubt, but for me there was a taste of false advertising about the whole business. I would not have picked up this book knowing what it really was.

The Martian Way (Isaac Asimov)

Four short stories, a mixture of hard and soft sci-fi (that is, some more 'hard sciencey' and more 'soft sciencey'). I enjoyed it; it's typically event-based, but Asimov does a good job of painting characters in a few broad strokes and titbits. They've aged somewhat, partly by including elements like smoking and certain technologies that seem laughable now. Hard-copy-only photos that are kept in a safe, for example. Other elements seem obvious or 'done' these days, especially social ideas and things about alien society, but I suspect a lot of that is because since 1964 they've been written about again. When they came out, they were probably fresh and novel. One story, "Youth", has a twist ending I saw coming miles away, but then I've read a lot of Asimov before. "Sucker Bait" is interesting, depicting a time when specialists focus exclusively on their own field, with no time or interest for learning other disciplines - something you can imagine already with the sheer volume of knowledge there is. You know the kid everyone igores is going to solve the problem, but it's still interesting.

One complaint: the edition I have (Panther) has massively over-explanatory blurb, which manages to give away too much about every story in only four lines each. I hope the editor responsible moved into academic abstracting.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Shalee lhaih 2013: Shiaghtin 01

Jerrey'n chied hiaghtin, as shoh ny lhiah mee neayr's Jecrean:

SS Astro, y.l. 1 (Banno Negi)

Manga gennal sliss y teihll mychione sleih-ynsee aegey. T'eh aitt, ta ny karracteyryn taitnyssagh (beggan blass cliché, foddee, agh t'ad shoh foast laghyn toshee) as gyn monney ro-veeresoonagh taghyrt. S'mie lhiam slissyn y teihll.

Reading the Past: Egyptian Hieroglyphics (W.V. Davies)

Obbyr hoshee scoillaragh agh so-hoiggal er jalloo-ocklyn Eajiptagh, y shennaghys oc, as reillyn y chorys screeuee. Va soilshaghey magh ny ghaa ayn nagh chiangil rish y jalloo sampleyragh dy baghtal, agh trooid as trooid she obbyr vie v'ayn. Cha nel ee dty ynsaghey screeu ayns jalloo-ocklyn, agh cha nee shen dean ny h-obbyr. Shen red mie, er lhiam - veagh eh foddey ny s'çhee, ny sloo anaasagh, as cha nel y mian shen ayms noadyr. Gyn ourys, t'eh soilshaghey magh dy mie yn aght t'ou screeu as lhaih jalloo-ocklyn dy cadjin, as liehaghys ny ghaa y chorys.

New Arrivals, Old Encounters (Brian Aldiss)

Meshtane dy skeealaght sheanse veg, as rheam sheiltynagh lheead echey. Ta beggan teaymaght, beggan fallsoonys, brod ny ghaa er eieyn politickagh ny sheshoil. Ghow mee soylley jeh, ga dy row eh beggan shiast ny keayrtyn, as rouyr insh ayns ynnyd taishbyney, foddee. Bare lhiam "The Small Stones of Tu Fu", y skeealeen sloo oaylleeagh. Va kuse jeu laccal soilshaghey ambee, ny beggan neuvaghtal, as ta blass doo-aignagh oc son y chooid smoo, agh ta aittys aynsyn ny keayrtyn. Red elley, dennee mee dy row cowraghyn ny h-eash orroo: ta Bun-argidys as Cummynys ayn dy kinjagh, as ta beoyn echey dy haishbyney y Chied Halloo/çheeraghyn aasit/Seihll Bane noi y Treeoo Halloo/çheeraghyn frauee/Seihll Gorrym, ayns barel karracteyryn dy mennick (kuse jeu meehaitnyssagh dy joinagh, er lhiam) agh rere firrinys y teihll t'eh taishbyney myrgeddin. Shen ga dy vel ad loayrt er y 24oo Eash as y lheid. Ta mraane nyn mraane poosit ny streebee, ny keayrtyn fo chaghlaa beg ennagh, myr sampleyr "poosey jeih bleeantyn", nagh vel caghlaa dynamickyn y cochiangley. Trooid as trooid, ta blass ny 60-70yn er ny h-eieyn sheshoil-politickagh, as aght aigney ny karracteyryn. Gyn scansh da shen, ghow mee soylley jeh, as t'eh goaill stiagh eieyn aitt Kafkagh chammah's reddyn bardoil, bunnys.

Bakuman y.l. 4 (Ōba Tsugumi, Obata Takeshi)

Ym-lioar taitnyssagh elley 'sy 'traih. S'anaasoil eh y reayrt çheuthie er y cheird vangagh, as s'mie lhiam ny karracteyryn keirdey, blass fondagh ta cur cormid noi corraght ny h-ellaneyryn. Ta'n ard-chooish ghraih kiart er çheu kiart credjue, lane cowraghyn ard-voyrnagh jeigeyragh; ta cooish chadjin Takagi as Miyoshi foddey ny sassey credjue. Ta caghlaaghyn mie taghyrt ayn chammah, ga dy vel mee goaill yindys er assaaraght ny scoill: scoill woal, foddee, agh nagh lhisagh peiagh ennagh cur geill dou cadley trooid dagh vrastyl..?

The end of week one of the Reading Project, and here's what I've read since Wednesday:

SS Astro, y.l. 1 (Banno Negi)

A light-hearted, slice-of-life manga about young teachers. Fun, with appealing characters (a bit clichéd, perhaps, but it's early days yet) and nothing too preposterous going on. I do have a taste for slices of life.

Reading the Past: Egyptian Hieroglyphics (W.V. Davies)

A scholarly, but accessible introduction to what hieroglyphics are, their history, and how they work as a writing system. A couple of the descriptions didn't tie in quite well enough with the example images presented on separate pages, but on the whole I found it very well-done. It doesn't teach you to actually read and write in hieroglyphics, but that's not the point of the book (thankfully - it'd be a lot less interesting and much harder work). It certainly explains enough for you to understand how hieroglyphics are written and read in general, and some of their fascinating idiosyncracies.

New Arrivals, Old Encounters (Brian Aldiss)

A medley of short science fiction, with a wide and vibrant range of ideas. There are touches of whimsy, spots of philosophy, prods at political and social ideas, and I found it an enjoyable read, if a bit dry at times and perhaps having too much "tell, don't show". I particularly enjoyed "The Small Stones of Tu Fu", the least scientific of them. Others sometimes felt short on characterisation, or slightly unclear; and in general there's quite a negative tone to the stories. At times, they felt quite dated, harping on Capitalism and Communism, or depicting women as wives or whores (occasionally with superficial social changes, like short-term marriage, that don't change the relationship dynamic). There's also a slightly uncomfortable tendency to depict the First/developed/white world against the Third/primitive/black world (his words, not mine), both in setting, and in characters' opinions. In general the sociopolitical contrasts and blocs, and people's ways of thinking, do tend to feel quite dated. Nevertheless, I found it an enjoyable and interesting read, with some entertaining sideways looks and a bit of poeticality.

Bakuman y.l. 4 (Ōba Tsugumi, Obata Takeshi)

Another pleasant and interesting volume. The inside view on the manga industry is interesting and I've got quite fond of the industry characters, who seem less erratic than the artists. The main romance remains just on the believable side of ridiculous, in a grand teenage gestures sort of way; Takagi and Miyoshi are much more credible. There's a nice variation in stuff going on too (though I do wonder about their school - unacademic it may be, but surely someone should worry about them sleeping through every class?).

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Yn Feailley

Ludwig Lanckow Abendliche Winterlandschaft mit einem Jäger

“Efficiunt Daemones, ut quae non sunt, sic tamen quasi sint, conspicienda hominibus exhibeant.”

Va mee foddey jeh’n thalloo ainjyssagh aym, as pishag y cheayin hiar orrym. Fo cheeiragh, cheayll mee eh builley er ny claghyn, as hoig mee dy row eh kiart çheu hoal jeh’n chronk raad lhoob shellee chassit noi y speyr ghlen as kied rollageyn yn ‘astyr. As er y fa dy row my hennayraghyn er my hymney dys y çhenn valley, hooill mee roym trooid sniaghtey thanney noa-cheaut. Dyrjee seose y raad lomarcan cour Aldebaran meekey mastey ny biljyn; as hooill mee rish cour y valley shenndeeagh nagh row mee rieau er n‘akin, agh er nreamal er dy mennick.

She traa Yule v’ayn, yn oie ta deiney cur Nollick urree, ga dy vel ad toiggal ‘sy chreeghyn oc dy vel ee ny shinney na Bethlehem as Babylon, ny shinney na Damascus as deiney. She traa Yule v’ayn, as va mee er jeet fy-yerrey dys y valley marrey shenndeeagh raad chum my chynney as cooilleeney feailley ‘sy traa shinney tra va feailley obbit; raad v’adsyn foast er chur sarey da ny mec oc dy chooilleeney feailley aynsyn un vlein ‘sy cheead, do nagh jagh cooinaghtyn folliaghtyn bun-eashagh er jarrood. By henn y kynney aym, as shenn eer tra hie y çheer shoh er soiaghey tree keead bleeaney er-dy-henney. As by waagh ad, as ad er jeet nyn mooinjer dorraghey keillit ass garaghyn cadleenagagh yiass, as çhengey elley oc roish my dynsee ad çhengey ny h-eeasteyryn gorrym-hooillagh. As eisht v’ad skeaylt, as gyn kiangley agh oardaghyn ny folliaghtyn nagh doig fer bio erbee. She mish ynrican haink erash yn oie shid dys y çhenn valley eeastee rere oardagh yn çhenn-skeeal, son s’gooin lesh ny boghtyn as lomarcan ynrican eh.

Eisht harrish mullagh y chronk honnick mee Purt y Ree skeaylt fo rio ‘sy cheeiragh: Purt y Ree fo ‘niaghtey, lane shenn chellee gheayee as speekyn, maidjyn mullee as crockyn, keiyghyn as droghadyn beggey, shellee as ruillickyn; cartageyn straiddey eaynagh keylley cammey gyn kione, as mullagh meanagh thollaneagh fo chroin agglish nagh b’lhoys da traa bentyn ree; cassaghyn thieyn ass yn eash choloinagh, cummit as skeaylt er cuinney as keim erbee, gollrish breekyn paitçhey fud-y-cheilley; shenndeeaght crowal er skianyn lheeah erskyn gaabylyn as mullee Ollanagh baneit ec y yeurey; uinniagyn sleaystagh as kerrinagh, falleaysee fer as fer ‘sy chonghorraghys feayr mastey Orion as ny shenn rollageyn. As noi ny keiyghyn loau va’n cheayn bwoalley; y cheayn ‘olliaghtagh as shenn erskyn cooinaghtyn haink y chynney assjee ‘sy traa shinney.

Rish mullagh y raad va baare syrjey foast, meayl as geayagh, as honnick mee dy nee grunt oanluckee v’ayn. Dirree leacyn oaie seose ass y ‘niaghtey, as cummey gowlagh orroo, gollrish ynginyn loau chorp marroo foawragh. Va’n raad gyn cowrey erbee, as feer lomarcan. Ny keayrtyn chreid mee dy cheayll mee jeeysternee agglagh foddey jeem, gollrish criy ’sy gheay. Chrogh ad kiare fir wooinjerey aym ayns 1692 er son buitçheraght, agh cha s’aym c’raad.

As y raad cassey çhymshal sheese y lhargagh marrey, deaisht mee er son sheean gerjoil balley ‘syn oie, agh cha cheayll mee veg. Eisht smooinee mee er y imbagh, as sheiltyn cliaghtaghyn Nollick joarree y sleih Phuritaanagh shoh, lane dy phadjeryn tostey keeil-çhiollee, s’cosoylagh. Ny yei cha deaisht mee er son gerjoilys, chamoo yeeagh mee er son coshee, agh hooill mee sheese shaghey thieyn eirinagh tostey soilshit as boallaghyn cloaie scaagh, dys y valley hene. Va cowraghyn shenn shappyn as thieyn-oastey marrey jeesternee roish y gheay hailjey, as ayns straiddyn follym gyn pemmad, ghlistyr donkeyderyn arraghtagh ny dorryssyn pillyragh fo hoilshey uinniagyn beggey as curtanyn tayrnit oc.

Va mee er vakin caslyssyn-çheerey jeh’n valley, as va fys aym er ynnyd y thie kynnee aym. V’ad er ngra dy bee enney as failt orrym oc, son s’beayn eh shenn-skeeal ayns baljyn beggey; as myr shen, ren mee siyr trooid Straid Chooyl dys Close Kiarkil, as harrish y ‘niaghtey noa er pemmad leacagh ynrican y valley, dys kione Vollagh Glass cooyl y Thie Margee. Va ny shenn chaslyssyn foast nyn shassoo, as cha row doilleeid aym; agh shegin daue er mreagey ayns Arkham tra dooyrt ad dy roie ny trammyn dys shoh, son cha vaik mee streng erbee er-my-skyn. Veagh y sniaghtey er geiltyn ny raillaghyn ansherbee. Va boggey aym dy reih mee dy hooyl, as cummey cho aalin er y valley bane voish y chronk; as nish va mee jeean dy chronkal er dorrys my chynney, yn çhiaghtoo thie toshtal ayns Bollagh Glass, as shenn vullagh eairkagh echey, as nah laare deamagh, hroggit roish 1650.

Va sollyssyn ‘sy thie tra rosh mee eh, as hoig mee lesh fakin kerrinyn diamanagh ny h-uinniagyn dy row y cummey shenndeeagh foast er gyn monney caghlaa. Va’n laare syrjey echey croghey harrish y ‘traid cheyl fo faiyr, as bentyn rish laare croghee y thie hoal noi, bunnys; myr shen ve mee ayns thiollane, faggys, as cha row breck sniaghtee erbee er sole injil cloaie y dorrys. Cha row pemmad erbee ayn, agh shimmey thie b’lesh dorrys ard as daa-roie greeishyn echey, as radling yiarn roo. She reayrt quaagh v’ayn, as mish my yoarree ayns Sostyn Noa cha vaik mee rieau e lheid roie. Ga dy by haittin lhiam eh, bare lhiam eh dy row cowraghyn coshey ‘sy ‘niaghtey, as sleih ayns ny straiddyn, as roank dy uinniagyn gyn curtanyn tayrnit.

Tra woaill mee y shenn vuilteen dorrysh yiarn va mee lieh fo aggle. Va boirey ennagh er gruinnaghey aynym beggan er veggan, liorish joarreeaght ny h-eiraght aym, foddee, as groamaght ny h-oie, as y tostid quaagh v’ayn ‘sy çhenn valley shoh lane cliaghtaghyn neuchliaghtagh. As tra haink freggyrt da’n bwoalley va mee lane fo aggle, er y fa nagh cheayll mee keim coshey erbee roish my doshil y dorrys lesh jeestyrnee. Agh cha hannee yn aggle rish foddey: va shenn dooinney ‘sy dorrys, ceau gooyn as carraneyn, as hug yn eddin meein echey cree dou reesht. Chowree eh dy row eh balloo, agh screeu eh failt aitt as shenn-emshiragh lesh steelys as lhiackag cherey v’echey.

Smeid eh mish stiagh ayns çhamyr injil fo hoilshey cainleyn. Va caabyryn foawragh anchoodit eck, as cooid hie ghorraghey chreoi ghoan ny shiaghtoo eash jeig. By vioyr yn emshir chaie ayns shen; cha row red erbee assaaragh. Shen çhiollagh ooiragh, as shenn ven chroymmagh cheau coodagh skeaylt as bonnad gobbagh, ny soie ec queeyl sneeuee as e cooyl noi aym, sneeu ny tost gyn y wooise da’n imbagh. Er lhiam dy row tashid neuvaghtal er y thie, as ghow mee yindys nagh row aile lossey. Va caair as cooyl ard eck ayn, as e h-oaie lesh ny h-uinniagyn toshtal as curtanyn harroo: er lhiam dy row peiagh ennagh ny hoie aynjee, agh cha row mee shickyr. Cha by vie lhiam kuse jeh ny honnick mee, as dennee mee reesht yn aggle snaue erash. Daase eh ny strimmey liorish ny v’er ny wooghey hoshiaght. Ny smoo yeeagh mee er eddin meein yn çhenn dooinney, ny smoo aggle hug y meeinid hene orrym. Cha scugh ny sooillyn, as va rouyr blass kerey er y chrackan. Fy-yerrey va mee shickyr nagh nee eddin v’ayn, agh far-eddin schlei imshee. Agh ren laueyn boggey ayns laueanyn quaaghey screeu dy gennal dou, gra dy row eh orrym fuirraghtyn rish tammylt roish my raghin er stiurey cour yn ynnyd ‘eailley.

Chowree y shenn dooinney caair, boayrd as carnane lioaryn, as eisht daag eh yn çhamyr; as tra hoie mee sheese dy lhaih honnick mee lheeaghys as brooillid ny lioaryn. Va lioar cheoie Morryster Marvells of Science nyn mast’oc, as Saducismus Triumphatus atçhimagh Joseph Glanvill, chlouit ayns 1681; Daemonolatreia scammyltagh Remigius, haink rish ayns 1595 ayns Lyons; as ny smessey foast, y Necronomicon hene nagh vel cooie ny creeney dy loayrt urree. Obbyr yn Arabagh baanrit Abdul Alhazred, myr çhyndaays neulhiggit Ladjynagh Olaus Wormius; lioar nagh vaik mee rieau derrey’n oie shen, agh va mee er glashtyn sannishyn eajee urree. Cha loayr peiagh erbee dou, agh va jeesternee cowraghyn fo’n gheay ry-chlashtyn çheumooie, as cronnane ny queeyl lesh sneeu, sneeu tost ny shenn ven as bonnad eck. Dennee mee dy row shamyr as lioaryn as sleih feer ‘oudagh as imneagh; agh va shenn tradishoon my hennayraghyn er my hymney dys feailley quaagh, as chiar mee dy yerkal reddyn quaagh. Ren mee eab er lhaih, as dy leah va mee goit seose er creau lesh red ennagh hooar mee ‘sy Necronomicon mollaghtagh: eie as shenn-skeeal ro-ghraney son keeayll ny enney. Agh cha by vie lhiam clashtyn uinniag dooney mastey adsyn va’n chaair ard roo, er lhiam; myr dy row eh er ny ‘osley dy folliaghtagh. Er lhiam dy deiyrt eh er cronnane nagh dirree ass queeyl sneeuee ny shenn ven. Agh cha row shen monney; va’n çhenn ven sneeu dy jeean, as va’n shenn chlag boalley. Rish shen chaill mee ennaghtyn erbee dy row sleih er y chaair ard, as va mee lhaih fo druiaght as er creau tra haink y shenn dooinney erash. Cheau eh eaddagh shenndeeagh, as hoie eh er y chaair ard hene ass my hilley. B’imneagh eh fuirraghtyn dy jarroo, as daa wheesh cho imneagh er coontey ny shenn lioar ayns my laue. Rish bwoalley nane-jeig er y chlag, hass y shenn dooinney as skyrrey dys kishtey gloutagh grainnit v’ayns corneil, as tayrn magh daa chloagey bayrnagh. Hug eh fer jeu mygeayrt-y-mysh, as jeshaghey y fer elley mygeayrt y çhenn ven ren scuirr jeh’n sneeu kinjagh. Snaue y ven dy croobagh cour y dorrys; ren y shenn dooinney troggal y lioar hene va mee er ny lhaih, as eisht cowrey dou dy eiyrt er, lesh tayrn bayrn y chloagey harrish yn eddin ny far-eddin neughleashagh echey.

Hie shin magh mastey moggyl reghorraghey cam-jeeragh y valley shenn erskyn credjue. Woogh sollyssyn ny h-uinniagyn curtanit fer as fer, as ren Rollage y Voddee sooilleraght er y çhionnal gheayrt magh nyn dost ass dagh ghorrys, ceau cloagey as bayrn, as cohaglym myr cohosheeaght ghloutagh ‘sy ‘traid. Shaghey ny cowraghyn jeestagh lhien, as ny gaabylyn roish y thooilley, ny mullee hooee as uinniagyn kerrin-diamanagh; snaue trooid laanaghyn eaynagh lane thieyn loauey lheie as vrooill rish y cheilley, snaue harrish closeyn as keeillee raad leayst ny londeyryn laue ayns co-hollyssyn rollageagh meshtit quaagh.

Mastey’n çhionnal tost deiyrt mee er y stiurag gyn coraa; dennee mee puhttey uillinyn lhaggey, as ying mee noi cleeauyn as bolgyn boggey neuchadjin er lhiam; agh cha vaik mee eddin erbee, chamoo cheayll mee fockle erbee. Snaue ny collooghyn neuheiltagh seose, seose, seose, as honnick mee dy row ny troailtee co-chleayney rish cront straiddey corragh ec mullagh cronk ard ayns mean y valley, as agglish vane vooar er farrar er. Va mee er ny fakin voish mullagh y raad tra yeeagh mee er Purt y Ree ‘sy cheeiragh noa, as v’ee er chur craa orrym; er lhiam dy ren Aldebaran shassoo rish thurrick er y speek scaanagh.

Va boayl foshlit mygeayrt yn agglish, ayns ayrn ny ruillick fo rehollys scaanagh, ayns ayrn ny cherrin lieh-charrit, er ny skeabey lhome ec y gheay; va thieyn rish, shenn neufollan, as mullee eairkagh as gaabylyn sceau oc. Chloie lossan-baaish er ny tommanyn, as soilshaghey reayrtyn arraghtagh, agh aght quaagh ennagh cha cheau ad scaa erbee. Çheu cooylloo ny ruillick, raad nagh row thie erbee, dod mee jeeaghyn harrish mullagh y chronk dys glistragh rollageyn er y chamys, ga dy row y balley hene keillt ‘sy dorraghys. Agh nish as reesht snug londeyr lomarcan dy graynoil ayns ny laanaghyn cassee, jannoo siyr dys berraghtyn er y çhionnal va lhieeney stiagh ‘syn agglish ny host. Hannee mee choud’s heel y çhionnal stiagh ‘sy dorrys doo, as eisht derrey va dagh ooilley trudleyder er neiyrt orroo. Va’n shenn dooinney tayrn y wuinneel aym, agh va mee lane chiarit dy beign y jerrinagh. Eisht dentreil mee fy-yerrey, as y dooinney drogh-aaishnagh as y shenn ven sneeuee roym. Er çhee goll tessen sole dorrys y çhiamble yingit, lane dorraghys gyn enney, hyndaa mee dy cheau shilley ynrican er y teihll mooie, as lossan ny ruillick ceau soilshey doghanagh er pemmad mullagh y chronk; as ren mee craa. Son ga nagh row monney sniaghtey faagit ec y gheay, va beggan er y chassan rish y dorrys; as ‘sy çhilley bieau my yei chreid my hooillyn imneagh nagh row lorg coshey erbee er, eer my lorg hene.

Gyn scansh da’n niart londeyryn v’er ngoll stiagh, by ghoan soilshey ‘syn agglish, son va chooid smoo y çhionnal ass shilley hannah. V’ad er neayrtey seose y scarran killagh eddyr soieagyn ardey baney dys cooylley hroggee ren menniugh feohdagh ec cass y chrannag, as nish v’ad lhoobey stiagh nyn dost. Deiyrt mee orroo dy balloo sheese greeishyn ceaut as stiagh ‘sy lhiaght tash plooghaneagh. B’agglagh dou jerrey famman lhoobagh ny cohooylee-oie, as ny smessey foast choud’s honnick mee ad sheeley stiagh ayns tomman shenndeeagh. Eisht hoig mee dy row barney ayns laare y tomman, as va’n çhionnal skyrrey sheese, as dy leah va shin ooilley tarlheim roie greeishyn drogh-aaishnagh cloaie garroo. She roie caslagh keyl v’ayn, fliugh as blass quaagh er, as chass eh gyn jerrey sheese trooid brein y chronk, shaghey boallaghyn dree ass blockyn cloaie drigagh as morter mholmagh. She turrys tost, atçhimagh v’ayn, as erreish da amm agglagh honnick mee dooghys ny boallaghyn as greeishyn caghlaa, myr dy row ad gilbit ass clagh creoi. Y boirey smoo orrym, shen nagh ren ny kesmadyn gyn earroo sheean erbee, chamoo cheau ad mactullagh erbee. Erreish da eashyn elley goll sheese, honnick mee fo-vollee ny tuill-lhiattee leeid ass çharvaalyn dooid foddey dys y ‘logh folliaghtagh dorraghey shoh. Dy leah, v’ad ayn ass towse, gollrish oaighyn meenoo baggyrtys gyn enney; as daase y soar garg oc derrey nagh dod mee dy hurranse. Hoig mee dy nhegin dooin er ngoll trooid y clieau as shooyl fo hallooin Purt y Ree hene; as va mee er creau smooinaghtyn dy row lheid y valley ayn, as eh cho shenn as crooagagh lesh olk fo-halloo.

Eisht honnick mee craa-skelley leayr soilshey neeal ennagh, as clashtyn ushtey grian-dorraghey bentyn rish y thalloo. Ren mee bibbernee reesht, son nagh by vie lhiam ny va’n oie er daishbyney, as by vian lhiam nagh row shennayr erbee er my hymney da’n oardagh bun-eashagh shoh. Choud’s daase ny greeishyn as y cassan ny shlea, cheayll mee sheean elley, arrish thanney as caaynagh er pioban annoon; as çhelleeragh skeayll roym reayrtys anvaaragh harrish seihll sthie—oirr foawragh fungyssagh fo hoilshey colloo ailey geayney anheiltagh brooightagh, as rish awin lheead ooillagh gheayrt ass çharvaalyn agglagh gyn yss dys covestey rish diunidyn s’dooey marrey erskyn cooinaghtyn.

My-neealloo as scredey, yeeagh mee er yn Erebus neuchasherick shen, lane moon moddee gloutagh, aile louraanagh as ushtey gleiynagh, as er y çhionnal cloagit nyn lieh-chiarkyl mygeayrt y cholloo lossanagh. She oardagh y Yule v’ayn, ny shinney da deiney as er cronney dy veaghey ny sodjey; oardagh bun-eashagh hass greiney as gialdyn arree erreish da’n sniaghtey; oardagh ailey as sheer-ghlassaght, sollysh as kiaullee. As ‘syn ooig Stygeeagh honnick mee ad cooilleeney’n oardagh, as gooashlaghey y colloo ailey anheiltagh, as ceau ‘syn ushtey lane doarnyn raip ad ass y ghlasseraght ghleiynagh ghlistree geayney fo hoilshey clorosagh. Honnick mee shen, as honnick mee nhee ennagh ny hoie cosaayl gyn cummey foddey voish y toilshey, cloie dy nieunagh er pioban; as choud’s chloie eh, er lhiam dy cheayll mee bennalt dwoaieagh plooghit ‘sy dorraghys breinn nagh dod mee fakin ny hrooid. Agh by yn cholloo ailey eh hug smoo aggle orrym, yn aile skioot gollrish volcaan ass diunidyn foddey as neuheiltynagh, gyn ceau scaa rere cliaghtey aile follan, as daag brat glassar nieunagh graney er y chlagh. Cha row blahys erbee ‘sy lostey feie shid, agh tashid baaish as trulleeys.

Eisht ren y dooinney hug lesh mee snaue roie dys çheu hene yn aile mollaghtagh, as cur cowraghyn jesh-chliaghtagh stark cour y lieh-chiarkyl ooashlee. Nish as reesht ‘syn oardagh chroymm ad as sleaghtaghey, tra hrog eh y Necronomicon feoh v’eh er chur lesh as ee y haishbyney erskyn e ching; as ren mee sleaghtaghey maroo, son nagh row screeuyn my hennayraghyn er my hymney da’n ‘eailley shoh? Eisht chowree y shenn ‘er da’n ‘eddaneyr lieh-follit ‘sy dorraghys, as er shen cheaghil eh y cronnane faase dys cronnane s’yrdjey ayns gleaysh elley; as greinnaghey liorishyn atçhim do-smooinaghtyn as do-yerkal. Fo aggle huitt mee da’n thalloo fo-chrottal, bunnys, seiyt ec scoagh nagh b’lesh y teihll ny seihll erbee, agh lesh ny diunidyn baanrit t’eddyr ny rollageyn.

Ass y dooid do-heiltyn shaghey ard-sollys gangrailagh yn ailey feayr, ass ny foddeeaghtyn Tartaragh lhieen yn awin ooillagh nyn drooid gyn sheiltyn, gyn clashtyn, gyn ourys, ren sheshaght flapperagh ryddimagh assdaue; nheeghyn ynsit crosh-sheelragh skianagh nagh oddagh sooill ‘ollan arragh nyn doiggal dy slane, ny keeall ‘ollan nyn gur dys cooinaghtyn dy slane. Cha row ad lane gollrish fannagyn, ny kyaghanyn, ny shirree, ny snienganyn, ny craitnagyn folley, ny deiney molkit; agh cummaghyn nagh gooin lhiam as share dou eh. Ren ad flapperagh bog, er cassyn craitnagh as skianyn craitnagh; as tra rosh ad y çhionnal flurtee, ren y sleih breidit ad y ghlackey as goll er nyn mooin. Varkee ad, fer as fer, rish feaynidyn ny h-awiney gyn sollys shid, trooid ooigyn as loutyn-lhiattee sevreainagh raad ta çhibbyryn nieunagh meaghey easyn agglagh ass roshtyn deiney.

Va’n çhenn ven sneeuee er ngoll mastey’n çhionnal, as hannee y dooinney er yn oyr ynrican va mee er nobbal tra chowree eh dou dy ghlackey beishteig as markiaght myr ren adsyn. Rish irree dy loaganagh, hooar mee dy row y feddaneyr gyn cummey er snaue ass shilley, agh va daa veishtey fuirraghtyn dy surransagh. As mish lhiastey, ghow y shenn dooinney steelys as lhiackagh as screeu dy nee eshyn feer ynnydagh ny shennayraghyn aym hug er toshiaght y feailley Yule ‘sy voayl shenndeeagh shoh; dy row eh insht rolaue dy darrin erash; as dy row ny h-ard-olliaghtyn ry-chooilleeney foast. Screeu eh shen, as laue shenn ass towse echey; as tra hannee mee foast, hayrn magh eh fainney sealal as ooreyder laue ass y ghooyn skeaylt echey, as armys my lught-thie orroo, myr feanish da’n enney echey. Agh she feanish craaynagh v’ayn, son va fys aym ass shenn screeuyn dy doanluck ad my henn-shenn-shenn-shenn-shennayr ayns 1698, as yn ooreyder hene shen marish.

Ny sheyn ren y shenn dooinney tayrn sheese y bayrn echey as taishbyney dy row eh gollrhyms, agh cha ren mee agh craa, shickyr nagh nee agh far-eddin kerey jouyllagh v’ayn. Va ny beiyn slobbagh screebey er y scryss lheeah nish, dy neufeagh, as hug mee my ner dy row y shenn dooinney hene wheesh neufeagh, bunnys. Ghow fer jeh ny nheeghyn toshiaght leaystey ersooyl, as hyndaa eh dy tappee dy chur stapp er; as ren niart ny gleashaght y far-eddin kerey y arraghey jeh ny lhisagh er ve ny chione da. As eisht, er y fa dy row ynnyd y tromlhie my lhiettal jeh ny greeishyn cloaiey haink shin sheese ad, ren mee ceau my hene stiagh ‘syn awin ooillagh fo-halloo vroie magh raad ennagh dys ooigyn marrey; ceau my hene stiagh ayns soo loau atçhimyn sodjey stiagh ny cruinney, roish my dod keoieid my yllaghyn tayrn orrym ny leejoonyn merriu lhie son shickyrys follit mastey ny çharvaalyn mollaghtagh shid.

‘Sy thie-lheiys dinsh ad dou dy dooar ad mish ayns ushtey Phurt y Ree rish madran, lieh-riojit, croghey er sparrey snauee hug erree dou myr saualtys. Dooyrt ad dy row mee er shooyl rish raad aggairagh er y chronk riyr, as tuittym harrish eaynin Ghob Buigh; hoig ad shen ass luirg ‘sy ‘niaghtey. Cha row fockle erbee faagit dou dy ghra, er y fa dy row dagh ooilley red meechiart. Ooilley meechiart, as yn uinniag lheead taishbyney mooir dy vullee gyn agh fer ‘sy wheig shenndeeagh, as sheean gleashtanyn as trammyn heese ‘sy ‘traid. V’ad shassoo er dy nee Purt y Ree v’ayn, as cha dod mee obbal. Tra haink neeal orrym liorish clashtyn dy row y thie-lheihys rish shenn ruillick Chronk Meanagh, hug ad mish dys Thie-Lheihys Moirrey ayns Arkham, raad voin kiarail share. By vie lhiam Arkham; va ny fir-lhee seyraggindagh, as ren ad mish y chooney liorish cummaght dy gheddyn entreilys da lioarlann Ollooscoill ny Miskatonagh. Ocsyn va coip jeh Necromonicon dwoaie Alhazred, coadit dy kiarailagh; dooyrt ny fir-lhee red ennagh mychione “shockoys”, as jannoo coardailys dy nhare dou my aigney jeh’n lhiantynys y ‘eaysley.

As myr shen aalhaih mee y cabdil agglagh, er creau daa wheesh er yn oyr nagh by noa dou eh, dy jarroo. Va mee er ny ‘akin hannah, gyn scansh da feanish molleydagh cowraghyn coshey; as bare lhiam gyn cooinaghtyn raad honnick mee eh. Cha nel fer erbee ayn—my ghoostey—nod cur aachooinaghtyn orrym; agh ta scoagh ayns ashlishyn, er coontey raaghyn nagh lhoys dou ad y imraa. Cha lhoys dou imraa agh un veer, as y Ghaelg share currit er noddym çhyndaa ass y Ladjin veaneashagh.

“Ny h-ooigyn s’inshley,” screeu yn Arabagh baanrit, “cha nel ad ry-hoiggal ec sooilley fakinagh; son s’quaagh as agglagh ny yindyssyn t’ayndaue. S’mollaghtagh eh y thalloo raad ta smooinaghtyn merriu bio ass y noa ayns cummey quaagh, as s’olk eh yn aigney nagh lesh kione erbee eh. Loayr Ibn Schacabao dy creeney, dy she sheeant tomman nagh lhie rieau pishagagh erbee aynsyn, as sheeant ‘syn oie y balley t’er nyannoo leoie jeh ny pishagee oc. Son ta shenn skeeal gra nagh scughee anmyn kionnit ec y jouyll ass y chray verriu oc, agh beaghey as ynsaghey y chrooag hene caignys; derrey higys bea feohdoil ass louaghey, as vees scrobbeyderyn moaldey thallooin gaase kioot dys boirey orrin, as gloutagh dyn graghey. Ta tuill vooarey follit cleiyt raad by liooar ad ooigyn ny cruinney, as ta nheeghyn er n’ynsaghey shooyl lhisagh snaue.”

Ta'n skeeal shoh çhyndaait ass The Festival liorish H.P. Lovecraft. Ta'n skeeal Baarle bunneydagh ry-lhaih er

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Shalee lhaih 2013: Toshiaght

Toshiaght blein noa. Ta mee er ngoaill rish dy vel doilleeid ro-lioarys aym.

Er dy daink mee erash erreish da'n Nollick, ta mee er nyannoo towse share er ny lioaryn aym. Ta 128 lioaryn meelhaiht aym ec y traa t'ayn. Er oyr ommidjagh ennagh, ghow mee orrym pene carn assdaue y yannoo:

Foddee nagh vel shen jeeaghyn dy ve monney lioaryn, er lhiat? S'doillee eh shen y howse er sooill gyn cosoylaght.

Shen mish. Er coontey'n uillin injil, as ny lioaryn lhie rish y voalley, cha nel eh soilshaghey dy cruinn. Dy firrinagh, ta'n carn beggan ny smoo na mish. Shen 6' dy lioaryn meelhaiht. My t'ou fakin nagh vel y carn lioaragh casley rishyn hene 'sy chaslys-soilshey elley: sooill vie. Ren eh tuittym eddyr y jees oc, lesh bwoalley taarnoil, agh bwooise da Jee, cha jagh ad er brishey.

Ta kuse jeu feer ard-scoillaragh, as kuse vooar ayns çhengaghyn joarree. Agh ren mee faagail magh beggan ayns çhengaghyn nagh vel ayms foast! Giootyn, bare dou insh dhyt... Lesh cur geill da slaynt, reddyn elley ry-yannoo as y cleaynys aym lioaryn noa y chionnaghey... t'eh foym y carn shen y yiarrey sheese dys 50 lioaryn rish Blein Noa 2014.

A new year begins. I've already admitted that I have a problem of book over-abundance.

I've done a better assessment of my bookstock since getting back from Christmas. I've got 128 unread books right now. For some reason, I felt the unwise urge to make them into a tower:

Perhaps that seems like a fairly modest heap of books. There's not much to compare it with, after all.

That's me with my books. Because of the angle of the photo, and the books being leaned up against the wall, it doesn't quite give a fair impression. Actually, the pile's slightly taller than I am. That's 6' of unread books.

Quite a few are in foreign languages or very technical. I've left out a couple in languages I don't actually speak - presents, let me add! Bearing in mind health issues, other things to do, and an unquenchable urge to buy more books... I'm aiming to cut the pile down to 50 books by this time next year.