Monday, 27 January 2014

Tech tricks: listing a directory

I had to do this a few times recently, and had to look up the details (I've forgotten where, unfortunately), so thought I'd spread it around.

To get a usable list of items in a directory...

  • Create a text file with this content: dir/b *.* >dirlist.xls
  • Change the text file extension from .txt to .bat
  • Move the .bat file to the folder you want to list
  • Double-click the .bat

This will create a spreadsheet in that folder, called dirlist.xls, that lists the contents of the folder.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

The weight of the black dog

You apply for a job. A few weeks later, a message arrives inviting you for interview, and asking you to prepare an answer to the following question…

A sense of exhaustion washes over you. You can’t imagine how you would ever answer a question like that. Even reading the email is exhausting. You know you should reply, one way or the other, but the thought of replying is unbearable. It can’t be done. You go and do something else to distract yourself, while the letter niggles at your mind.

The next day, you read it again. “Don’t be silly”, you tell yourself. You try to picture yourself sitting there answering the question. Only defeated, hopeless answers present themselves. The idea of making it through the interview without simply giving up and leaving seems ludicrous, and if you try to imagine actually doing the job, you see yourself slumped at a desk ineffectually, wondering how long you can conceal your inability to do anything, particularly when you don’t have the energy or inclination to conceal anything. Hopeless. Best to reject it. But rejecting the interview is, you know, stupid. You applied! You wanted to change something. And anyway, rejecting it would be exhausting too. It’s impossible. You go and do something else.

A third day comes. The interview is only a few days away. You really need to respond soon. Even thinking about it makes you tired, and apathetic, and miserable. Do you have a headache? You leave the message on your screen, and avoid the desk because of the baleful glare of the words. You just want it to go away. To never have to think about it again. No interviews, no letters, no jobs. Just let it stop. It is a physical weight pressing down on you, bending your head and making your shoulders ache. Your eyes are tired and dry, and want to close.

It is the fifth day. There is a message on your phone. You know what it is. After ignoring it for two hours, you crack and play it back. The harassed yet apologetic official voice sounds in your ear: “…don’t seem to have a reply, wondered if…” until it slips from your fingers – they feel so clumsy, almost like they aren’t yours at all. The voice murmurs on as you shamble out of the room, unable to bear it. Maybe if you just ignore everything, it will go away. You know it won’t.

You sit at your computer, resigned to composing a reply. The message glares at you. You reread it, and wilt slowly as you do. Your fingers are numb on the keys. Your mind is frozen. The gears of your brain jam. Inside, a bird flutters helplessly and desperately as the grey fog rolls in, like treacle. One half panicking, one half numb. Your eyes fall on the furniture, and notice the dust of weeks. And after a while, you go to do something else, leaving the message unanswered.

The day of the interview comes, and goes. Something rages helplessly in a lost corner of your mind. A great, shapeless oozing weight has pinned everything else down; birdlike flutterings come, and are soon drowned. There is no sense of relief, because you know that though you got what you wanted, you lost. It's hard to care about that, either. So very tired.

It's difficult to understand what mental illness can be like. I thought I would take the time to write this down. Maybe it's hard to imagine skipping a job interview like this. This is the enemy, or at least one of its faces: a great and terrible apathy, a weariness of spirit. It's hard to imagine how impossible things can seem, until it happens. I struggle to remember myself, after the lead fog drifts away.

My symptoms are, officially, "mild".

And I had better go and try to answer that damned invitation, because it's still only the third day, and this is just another kind of procrastination.

Monday, 20 January 2014

More Macrotastic

These are some more macros that I used heavily during a recent project. As some took quite a bit of effort to create, I thought I'd post them in case they can be reused by someone else - or for my own future reference, of course.

Dealing with near-duplicate columns

It's quite common for people to design a spreadsheet with, say, Error Code as a column, then later to realise that a record might end up with more than one error codes, and deal with this by simply creating Error Code 2 on the same row. In our case, I needed to end up with a set of records where each error code was in the same one column, but had its own row, duplicating the rest of the data for the record. There was a lot of data to go through.

The multi-part macro below can do this. It goes through each row from the bottom of the data up*, finds columns with a particular name in the top row (in this case, those containing "Error Code") and checks for values in them. If any cells have values, it'll create a new row for each column containing a value, copy the original row's data across, and set "Error Code 1" to equal the Error Code value in the cell it's working from. When all the target cells have been processed, the original row of data is deleted.

*if you're inserting new rows below your current row, this is a key safeguard to stop your macro getting caught in a loop where it inserts a new row, then processes that new row and adds another... never moving on to the second of the original rows.

Even if the main macro isn't useful to you, you might find one of the subparts useful.

Sub SplitByDupeColumn()
    'takes a sheet where there are several columns containing equivalent information and splits them so each one has its own record, filling in the rest of the data from the original row. For example where someone has created four "Error Code" columns to allow for up to four error codes in a record. Here you are really dealing with a one-to-many relationship. Having a separate row for each record is much neater.

    Dim rgAll As Range
    Dim myRow As Long
    Set rgAll = Range(Cells(2, 1), Cells(ActiveSheet.UsedRange.Rows.Count, ActiveSheet.UsedRange.Columns.Count))
'this can be a very long operation, so as long as we know it works, don't bother updating the screen - it'll only slow us down
    Application.ScreenUpdating = False
    With ActiveSheet
'start at the end and go backwards. This way it isn't disrupted by new rows being added below the one we're processing
        For i = ActiveSheet.UsedRange.Rows.Count To 2 Step -1
'messy workaround because it won't accept i as an argument for some reason
            myRow = i
            Call ColToRow(myRow, "Error Code")
        Next i
    End With
    Application.ScreenUpdating = True

End Sub

Sub ColToRow(someNumber As Long, myField As String)
'for a sheet with several columns whose titles contain the same string, takes one row and turns it into one row per entry in that set of columns
'e.g. if you have Notes1 Notes2 Notes3, it will turn one row (with data in each field) into three rows, each of which only has data in one of these fields,
'but contains all the rest of the data for that row.
'Blanks are ignored. The original row is deleted.

    Dim myRange As Range
    Dim colInd As Integer
    Dim newCellRow As Integer
    Dim newCellCol As Integer
    'messy workaround because the calling subroutine is based on a Long but we want an Integer
    Dim lngRow As Integer
    lngRow = someNumber
    'find those cells that are in "Error Code" columns
    Call CellPicker(myField, lngRow)
    Set myRange = Selection
    'if value in any Error Code column, add new row for each, then delete the original
    For Each myCol In myRange.Columns
        If Not IsEmpty(myCol.Value) Then
            'get the index of this column so you can insert the value later
            colInd = myCol.Column
            'add a new row
            Cells(lngRow + 1, 1).EntireRow.Insert
            'copy down the data from the original row
            Range(Cells(lngRow, 1), Cells(lngRow + 1, ActiveSheet.UsedRange.Columns.Count)).FillDown
            'copy down the Circ Id value for this column
                'get the new cell where you want to store the values
                Call CellPicker("Error Code1", lngRow + 1)
                Selection.Value = Cells(lngRow, colInd).Value
            Cells(lngRow + 1, colInd).Value = Cells(lngRow, colInd).Value
            'blank out the Error Code values in all columns except this one in the row we just created
            Call BlankMe(myRange, lngRow + 1, Cells(lngRow, colInd))

        End If
    Next myCol
    Cells(lngRow, 1).EntireRow.Delete

End Sub

Sub BlankMe(myRange As Range, lngRow As Integer, leaveMe)
'blanks all but one column on one row in a stated range
    Dim colInd As Integer
    For Each myCol In myRange.Columns
    'unless it's the column we want to keep, blank it
        If Not myCol.Column = leaveMe.Column Then
            colInd = myCol.Column
            Cells(lngRow, colInd).Value = Null
        End If
    Next myCol
End Sub

Sub CellPicker(LookFor As String, lngRow As Integer)
'picks cells in one row (lngRow), based on the headers for that column
    'set variables
    Dim rgToCheck As Range
    Dim rgSelect As Range
    Dim cl As Range
    'build a range from cells called LookFor
    With ActiveSheet.Rows(1)
        'find a column called "LookFor"
        'select the top row
        Set rgToCheck = Range(Cells(1, 1), Cells(1, ActiveSheet.UsedRange.Columns.Count))
        For Each cl In Intersect(ActiveSheet.UsedRange, rgToCheck)
        'select any columns containing the desired text LookFor, except for the header row (this exclusion probably not strictly necessary, but neater)
            If InStr(1, cl.Text, LookFor) Then
                If rgSelect Is Nothing Then
                    Set rgSelect = Range(Cells(lngRow, cl.Column), Cells(lngRow, cl.Column))
                    Set rgSelect = Union(rgSelect, Range(Cells(lngRow, cl.Column), Cells(lngRow, cl.Column)))
                End If
            End If
        Next cl
            If Not rgSelect Is Nothing Then
            End If
    End With
End Sub


This next one comes from the way worksheets were handled in part of the project. Colour-coding was used to indicate the type of data in a cell: many types were not to be changed by the main users. The spec called for white and grey cells to be locked, and doing this by hand was predictably painful since the colours were scattered across sheets and mixed with other colours. The following macro locks white and grey (191,191,191) cells only.

Sub Lock_Grey_White_Values()
    Dim rgToCheck As Range
    Dim rgSelect As Range
    Dim cl As Range, myColorIndex As Long
    'check the entire sheet
    Set rgToCheck = Range(Cells(1, 1), Cells(ActiveSheet.UsedRange.Rows.Count, ActiveSheet.UsedRange.Columns.Count))
    'white cells = index2
    myColorIndex = 2
    'build a range from cells with white colour
    For Each cl In Intersect(ActiveSheet.UsedRange, rgToCheck)
        If cl.Interior.ColorIndex = myColorIndex Then
            If rgSelect Is Nothing Then
                Set rgSelect = cl
                Set rgSelect = Union(rgSelect, cl)
            End If
        End If
    Next cl
    'now add grey cells - no handy index, so use RGB 191
    For Each cl In Intersect(ActiveSheet.UsedRange, rgToCheck)
        If cl.Interior.Color = RGB(191, 191, 191) Then
         If rgSelect Is Nothing Then
                Set rgSelect = cl
                Set rgSelect = Union(rgSelect, cl)
            End If
        End If
    Next cl
    If rgSelect Is Nothing Then
        MsgBox "The Colorindex " & myColorIndex & " hasn't been found."
    End If
    Selection.Locked = True
    Selection.FormulaHidden = True
End Sub

The next one was used to save a password-protected copy of the file in a new location, saving multiple clicks per use and avoiding typing errors. Only limited security was needed on these files, so having a common password for many files didn't matter. It was only to protect them from casual inspection.

Sub Parallel_Save()
'saves protected version of the workbook in a new location
    Dim NewName As String
    Dim MyPath As String, MyCompletePath As String
'save workbook with password in corresponding folder of new location
    MyPath = ActiveWorkbook.Path
    NewPath = Replace(MyPath, "Unprotected", "Protected")
    NewName = NewPath & "\" & ActiveWorkbook.Name
    ActiveWorkbook.SaveAs Filename:=NewName, Password:="password"

    MsgBox "The new version has been saved; don't save this one!"

End Sub

This slightly stronger version protected and saved the files, so that not only was a password needed, but separate password access was needed to change locked cells.

Sub Protected_Save()
'saves protected version of the workbook with password filepass, and protects the active sheet as sheetpass, with locked cells protected

    ActiveSheet.Unprotect Password:="sheetpass"
    Call GetLocks
    Dim myRange As Range
    Dim NewName As String
    Dim MyPath As String
'protect the worksheet
    ActiveSheet.Protect "sheetpass", AllowFormattingCells:=True, AllowFormattingColumns:=True, AllowFormattingRows:=True, AllowSorting:=True, AllowFiltering:=True

'Allow 'Protect worksheet and contents of locked cells', 'Select locked cells', 'Select unlocked cells', 'Format cells', 'Format columns', Format rows', 'Sort', and 'Use AutoFilter'.

'save workbook with new password
    NewName = ActiveWorkbook.Name
    MyPath = "C:\Example"
    NewName = MyPath & "\" & NewName
    ActiveWorkbook.SaveAs Filename:=NewName, Password:="filepass"

End Sub

This next one simply unlocks a whole worksheet.

Sub Delock()
'unlocks the whole worksheet
'select all cells
    Selection.Locked = False
    Selection.FormulaHidden = False
End Sub

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Coir rioee chimmeeagh?

V'eh ry-yerkal, gyn ourys, agh she skeeal mie t'ayn ny yei shen. Ta ronseyderyn er ngeddyn feanish dy dug magh coyr rioee "inçhynagh" post-l spammagh.

Ren Proofpoint (ny cholught shickyrys fysseree) cronnaghey soiaghey spammagh rish y Nollick. Hug ny kimmee postyn-l tree keayrtyn 'sy laa er feie ny cruinney dys sleih as colughtyn, 100,000 'sy cheayrt. Cha daink agh 10 postyn-l ass enmys IP er lheh, myr shen by ghoillee eh ad y haghney liorish lhiettal IP. Y red anaasoil, shen dy daink 25 'sy cheead jeh jeshaghtyn elley, cha nel jeh co-earrooderyn tradishoonagh. Hooar ad çhaghteraghtyn daink ass "router" thie, jeshaghtyn yl-vean, çhellveeishanyn as coyr rioee; va co-earrooder as ablid eddyr-voggyl ec dagh fer. Son y chooid smoo nagh row ny kimmeeyn er mrishey jeshaghtyn sauçhey, agh er ngeddyn adsyn nagh row reaghit dy cooie hoshiaght, as adsyn ragh row er gaghlaa focklyn arrey jeh ny dug colughtyn er dagh fer. Myr shen, by aashagh eh ad y chleayney.

Cha nel mee goaill yindys kyndagh rish shen. Ta jeshaghtyn inçhynagh goaill stiagh co-earrooder dys geddyn fysseree as aawoalley yn aghtey oc rere eh, ny kiangley rish jeshaghtyn elley, agh ta'n ablid shen nyn vosley magh dys kimmee. S'doillee dy liooar eh cur er sleih co-earrooderyn tradishoonagh y choadey, gyn çheet er y choyr rioee! Mannagh vel jeshaght jeeaghyn dy ve ny cho-earrooder, s'cosoylagh nagh ver sleih my ner dy vel feysht ayn. Chammah's shen, cha nel eh baghtal cre'n feeu t'ec kimmee geddyn greim er coyr rioee - cha neeu eh boirey ort lesh stiurey eh, cha nel fysseree scanshoil aynsyn. Cha nel eh baghtal da cagh noadyr cre'n assee jeh my ghoys ad greim er noadys, ga dy dod veerys neuchramp cur er meeobbraghey er lhiam.

As erskyn shen, cha nel ny jeshaght jeant dy ve feer sauçhey. Dy cadjin, rere Proofpoint, cha nel eh aashagh da'n çhellooder kiangley roo as reaghey ad, dys aanoaghey claareyn noi-veerys as reddyn elley. S'doillee eh feddyn veeryssyn er y jeshaght mannagh vel corys-obbree cadjin oc, ny aght neuchramp dy obbraghey er. Cha nel coadey noi-veerys mie ry-gheddyn, cha nel claareyn oc ta shickyraghey as gaanoaghey lheid ny cooid vog, as cha nel skimmee coadee cur geill da'n 'eysht. Er lhiam nagh vel sleih smooinaghtyn dy baghtal - she co-earrooder t'ayn, myr shen t'eh lane scanshoil ad y choadey noi kimmee, son ta co-earrooder gyn coadey ny cho-earrooder gyn mainshtyr, as dy leah she co-earrooder kimmeeagh t'ayn. Ta co-earrooderyn feer ymmydoil da kimmee - ta niart co-earrooagh lhiggey daue brishey coryssyn scanshoil elley, my she glioonagh ny coyr rioee t'ad gaavainshtyr, she co-earrooder t'ayn.

She eiyrtys gyn shaghney t'ayn, er lhiam, as wheesh sleih cur wheesh jeshaghtyn elley er y voggyl (cre'n fa? cha nel mee toiggal), as toiggalys beg oc er sauçhys co-earrooder. Wahll, chammah's shen, she dooghys lhiastey t'ain, son y chooid smoo, as cha nel monney sleih coadey y co-earrooder hene oc, gyn çheet er jeshaghtyn elley. Cha neeu eh, ta shin lieh-chredjal, as shen dy liooar dooin gyn jannoo eh.

As rish 2020, myr shen, bee y kishtey stiagh ad lane dy soilsheenyn noa-Viagra hug y coyr rioee dhyt, as bee y jeshaght chaffee as y çhellveeishan cur co-chialg er bun dty varroo ass lieh possan kimmeeagh ayns çheer elley.

Coontey y Veeb

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Y Scaa Harrish Innsmouth: Ronsaghey

As myr shen cheau mee tammylt y fastyr shid ayns Lioarlann y Theay Newburyport, shirrey fys er Innsmouth. Va mee er nyannoo eab dy vriaght ny cummaltee ayns shappyn, thie bee, garreishyn as oik ny firvooghee, agh dooar mee dy row ad ny smoo fastagh foast er y chooish na hoig mee jeh ny dooyrt y jantagh tiggad. Hoig mee dy leah nagh beagh traa brash dy liooar aym dy chur shee er y tostid dooghyssagh v’ayn. Va sorçh dy ghrogh-ourys do-hoiggal oc, myr dy row blass neuchooie ennagh er peiagh erbee as anaase echey er Innsmouth. ‘Sy YMCA raad va mee goaill aaght, hug y cleragh coyrle bog noi goll dys lheid y voayl grouw as fioghit; as va’n ymmyrkey cheddin ry-akin ec skimmee y lioarlann. Rere barel sleih ynsit, by leayr eh nagh row Innsmouth agh ny ard-hampleyr dy ‘ioghey baljagh.

S’goan y fys hooar mee ayns lioaryn shennaghys Choontae Essex er skellooyn y lioarlann. Hoilshee ad dy row y balley currit er bun ayns 1643, er enney er son troggal lhongyn roish yn Irree Magh, ny ynnyd ard-raah marrey leah ‘sy nuyoo eash yeig, as eisht ny valley mwyljyn jeh beggan scansh chrog er niart ny Manuxet. S’tiark er lheh ny focklyn cheau ad er plaie as rouaney 1846, myr dy dug ad drogh-ghoo er y choontae.

Cha row monney screeuit er fiodaghey y valley, agh by leayr eh scansh ny coontaghyn s’anmey. Erreish da’n Chaggey Theayagh, cha row çhynskyl erbee jeant agh ec Colught Sheeley Varsh, as cha row dellal erbee feeu geill ry-akin foast agh creck caagyn airhey as sheer-eeastagh. Dirree cosney yn eeastagh ny sloo as ny sloo rish leagh yn earrey tuittym as colughtyn mooarey cohirrey nyn oi, agh cha row rieau genney eeastyn rish Purt Innsmouth. B’anvennick eh chum joarreeeyn ayns shid; fo focklyn reajagh hooar mee feanish dy row Polannee as Phortiugee ennagh er nyannoo yn eab, as dy jagh ad er skeaylley dy barbagh quaagh.

Y red va wheesh sym aym er, shen slamockle er cliejeenys quaagh as kiangley neuvaghtal eddyr eshyn as Innsmouth. By vaghtal eh dy dug y lane çheer geill dy liooar da, son lhaih mee dy row sampleyryn ry-akin ayns thie-tashtee Ollooscoill ny Miskatonagh ayns Arkham, as ayns shamyr taishbyney Heshaght Hennaghys Newburyport. Va coontaghyn brisht ayn, eig as cadjinagh, agh dennee mee snaue fo-strooan quaagh kinjagh nyn mast'oc. Va blass feer whaagh as boiragh er y chooish, do nagh dod mee ceau eh ass my chione, as ga dy row eh anmagh dy liooar ‘syn astyr reih mee dy heein sampleyr Newburyport—dooyrt ad dy nee nhee mooar v’ayn as coreir neuchorrym echey, jeant myr tiara dy baghtal—my dod mee reaghey shen.

Hug y lioarlannee notey enney dou son meoir ny Sheshaght, Bnr. Anna Tilton. V’ee cummal ‘sy naboonys, as erreish dou cur soilshaghey giare jee, va’n shenn ven ooasle kenjal dy liooar mish y chur lhee stiagh ‘sy thie doont, son nagh row ee anmagh agglagh. Va çhaglym feeu oc, dy jarroo, agh va’n aigney aym my lhiettal veih cur tastey cooie da’n chooid smoo jeu. Hirr mee y nhee joarree ghlist fo sollys lectragh ayns cuilleig hashtee.

Cha nee ro-ennaghtaght aesthetagh ghow yn ennal hene assym; cha row feme erbee er y lheid. Va aalid neughooghyssagh ennagh er yn ashlish joarree soylleysagh honnick mee ny soie er clooishag velvad ghorrym. Eer nish, s’doillee dou soilshaghey ny honnick mee, ga dy nee tiara v’ayn dy baghtal, rere y choontey lhaih mee. Va’n çheu veealloo ard, as va ymmyl feer vooar as neuchorrym aght ennagh echey, myr dy row eh kiaddit da kione ooh-chrooagh, as frourtagh bunnys. Er lhiam dy nee airh v’ayn son y chooid smoo, agh va skell quaagh gial ayn hug orrym credjal dy nee co-veain v’ayn, ga nagh nhione dou cre’n meain elley v’ayn as y jees co-aalin. V’eh oor-noa, bunnys, as dod mee er geau ooryn jannoo studeyrys er ny cowraghyn tayrnagh v’er, nagh row casley rish tradishoon erbee by nhione dou eh. Va kuse jeu towse-oaylleeagh, as annym baghtal ny marrey er kuse elley, as va keiraght yindyssagh as schleioil ennagh er nyn ngrainney er yn eaghtyr myr linney as aashag hrean.

Ny smoo yeeagh mee, ny smoo drualtys hug eh orrym; as mastey’n yindys dennee mee blass anveaghee nagh dod mee cur enney ny baght er. Hoshiaght heill mee dy nee dooghys quaagh neuheiltagh ny h-ellyn voir orrym. Shimmey obbyr ellyn honnick mee roish shen, agh adsyn nagh lhiann hug strooan ashoonagh ny kynneeagh er enney ain, v’adsyn jeant jeh yoin myr freggyrt jeianagh hass noi dagh strooan er enney. Cha row y tiara yn derrey yeh ny’n jeh elley. By leayr eh dy lhiann eh rish saase coardit ennagh, appee as fondagh, agh va’n saase shen lane scarrit rish saase erbee—Heear ny Hiar, shenndeeagh ny jeianagh—va maa rieau er vakin ny er glashtyn jeh. Dod oo er gredjal dy nee keirdaght heihill elley v’ayn.

Agh dy leah hoig mee dy row bun elley, as wheesh niartal, foddee, ec y ghraue-aash v’orrym: cummey jallooagh as maddaghtoil ny caslyssyn quaaghey. Va sannish ayndaue jeh folliaghtyn foddey as çharvaalyn traa as spoar erskyn credjue, as daase bree ny marrey gyn brishey dy ve drogh-vonneydagh, faggys. Mastey ny jallooyn grainnit va bugganeyn far-skeealagh lane dy ghrayn arraghtagh as olkys—cummaghyn jeh eeast as rannag anvestit—as cha dod mee cur jeem ennaghtyn jeh far-chooinaghtyn lhiantynagh meegherjoilagh, myr dy ghooisht ad killagyn dowiney kirpey ta tashtey bun-chooinaghtyn shennayragh atçhimagh, as tayrn neese scaaghyn assdauesyn. Heill mee ny keayrtyn dy row dagh linney ny h-eeast-rannagyn ard-vollaghtagh lane dy vun as bree olkys yoarree gyn yss.

Nagh neuchorrym y scansh v’eddyr cummey y tiara as y shennaghys giare prosoil daa-insh Bnr. Tilton dou. Va fer Innsmouth er meshtey er ny chur fo ghioal son symm erskyn credjue ayns shapp State Street ayns 1873; hooar eshyn baase ayns boiraneys laa ny ghaa ny s’anmee. Chionnee y Çheshaght eh dy jeeragh veih’n ghioalteyr, as jannoo taishbynys cooie da’n whallid echey. Hug ad lipaid er myr keird ny h-Injyn Shiar ny ny h-Injey-Sheen, foddee, agh va’n fogrey shen shallidagh dy baghtal.

Lesh cosoylaghey dagh heiltynys er cre ass haink eh as cre’n oyr v’eh ayns Sostyn Noa hene, va Bnr. Tilton aignagh dy chredjal dy daink eh ass tasht joarree roosteyryn marrey ennagh v’er ny gheddyn ec y çhenn Chaptan Obed Marsh. Cha dooar y barel shen annoonaghey erbee liorish ymmyrkey ny Marshyn; son cho leah as dynsee adsyn dy row eh ec y Çheshaght, v’ad er chur arralyn ardey shassooagh er-e-hon, as v’ad garral foast dy kinjagh gyn scansh da briwnys anchorragh ny Sheshaght gyn creck eh.

Rish shooyl magh ass y thie, hoilshee ee magh dy baghtal dy row y sheiltynys roosteyryn marrey cadjin dy liooar mastey sleih ynsit yn ard myr soilsheydys da berçhys ny Marshyn. Y barel ecksh er Innsmouth dorraghey—balley nagh dug ee rieau shilley er—she feoh neuchramp v'ayn, kyndagh rish leodaghey cultooragh y valley. Ren ee mish y hickyraghey dy row lieh-vun ec ny sannishyn jeh ooashley jouyil, bentyn rish cultys ‘olliaghtagh whaagh v’er ngeddyn greim er y valley as goaill urree hene ynnyd ny h-agglishyn cair-chredjuagh.

She “Oardyr Folliaghtagh Ghagon” v’ayn, er lhee, as gyn ourys, ny red mooidjeenagh far-phaganagh haink Niar keead er dy henney, tra va aalaghyn Innsmouth er çhee failleil. V’eh dooghyssagh dy row ee er mayrn foast, son haink bree braew noa dys ny h-aalaghyn nagh row er vailleil reesht, as dy leah va ard-chummaght ec y chultys ‘sy valley; ghow ee urree hene ynnyd Masoonys, as feddyn oayll ‘sy çhenn Halley Masoonagh rish New Church Green.

Ass lieh Vnr. Tilton, ny ben chredjuagh, va’n clane skeeal ny bun mie dhyt shaghney shenn valley fioghit as lomarcan. Dooys, she brod noa v’ayn. V’ee er chur jeeanid antrapoaylleeagh er y ghreesaghey seyrnagh as shennaghyssagh v’orrym hannah. S’goan y cadley hooar mee ayns shamyr veg y “Y” yn oie shen.

(...ny smoo ry-heet...)

Ass The Shadow over Innsmouth liorish H.P. Lovecraft.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Y Scaa Harrish Innsmouth: Sannishyn

Young man sitting at desk (3945306075)

Cha geayll mee fockle er Innsmouth neayr's y chied laa—as y laa s'jerree foast—honnick mee eh. Va mee kiart er roshtyn slane eash, as myr shen va mee jannoo turrys harrish Sostyn Noa, fakin yindyssyn as shenn reddyn, as jannoo ronsaghey caaardyssagh. V'eh foym goll dy jeeragh voish shenn Newburyport dys Arkham, voish haink kynney my voir. Cha row gleashtan aym, agh hie mee er traen, tram as barroose, reih yn aght sloo deyr dagh cheayrt. Ayns Newburyport, dooyrt eh dou dy beagh eh share goll er y traen dys Arkham; she ayns oik tiggad y stashoon dynsee mee dy row Innsmouth ayn, tra ren mee thittys er leagh y traen. Va jantagh cullagh ayn, as oaie creeney echey, as rere y vlass echey by vaghtal eh nagh daink eh ass slyst Newburyport. Hoig eh dy row eh orrym spaarail argid, as hug eh sannish elley dou nagh row coloayrtagh erbee elley er jebbal.

“Oddagh oo goll er y çhenn varoose, er lhiam,” as eh beggan neuarryltagh, “agh ch’nel ad coontey monney jeh ayns shoh. T’eh goll trooid Innsmouth—bee enn’ ayd ersyn—as myr shen cha mie lhieu eh. Ta Innsmouthagh dy imman, Joe Sargent, agh ch’nel troailtee ry-gheddyn ayns shoh, ny ayns Arkham noadyr, er lhiam. Dy jarroo, ta mee g’ill yindys dy vel eh ayn foast. T’eh neugheyr, agh cha vaik mee rieau ‘gh daa ny tree troailtee er, as ad Innsmouthee. T’eh goll voish Kerrin y Valley—rish Drugglann Hammond—ec 10 ‘sy voghrey as 7 ‘syn astyr, mannagh cheagil eh. Shenn-chlabberey agglagh, er lhiam, agh ch’row mee rieau er.”

Shen y chied ‘ockle cheayll mee er Innsmouth scaagh. Veagh sannish erbee jeh balley do-akin er caslys-çheerey as do-gheddyn ayns lioaryn-oayllys anaasoil dou, as er coontey yn aght quaagh loayr y jantagh er, ghooisht m’anaase dy jarroo. My ta balley greinnaghey wheesh ourys er y naboonys, shegin da ve neuchadjin er y chooid sloo, er lhiam, as feeu geill y turrysagh. My v’eh er y raad cour Arkham, yinnin farkiaght aynsyn; as myr shen vrie mee fys ersyn veih’n jantagh. Loayr eh lesh kiarail, as haink blass ard-wannalagh er, myr dy denee eh ny s’ooashley ny’n balley loayr eh ersyn.

“Innsmouth? Wahll, she balley quaagh t’ayn rish beeal ny Manuxet. She ard-valley v’ayn, faggys—purt ennoil roish Caggey 1812—agh t’ee er shirgaghey rish y cheead s’jerrey. Ch’nel raad yiarn nish—cha jagh rieau B. & M. ny hrooid, as ga dy row crouw-linney dys Rowley, scuirr ny traenyn bleeantyn er dy henney.

“Ny smoo thieyn follym na sleih, yiarrins, as ch’nel keird oc agh eeastyn as gimmee. Ta cagh dellal ayns shoh, ny Arkham, ny Ipswich. Va mwyljyn dy liooar oc traa dy row, agh t’adsyn ass ymmyd nish, er lhimmey jeh un thie sheeley airhey; t’eshyn paart-emshiragh, y paart smoo shang honnick oo rieau.

“Agh va’n thie sheeley shid ny red mooar laa dy row; shegin dy vel Shenn Marsh ny s’berçhee na Croesus. Shenn ‘er whaagh, Marsh, cha nel cass ny crub jeh ry-akin çheumooie. T’ad gra dy daink gorley crackanagh er rish eash, ny lheamys elley; aghterbee, t’eh shaghney sooill y theay. She oe Chaptan Marsh t’ayn, eshyn hug er bun y colught. Va e voir ny ben joarree—ass y Vooar Yiass t’ad gra—as na’ row mushtaa ayn tra phoos eh caillin Ipswich jeih bleeaney as daeed erash! Shen y barel t’oc er Innsmouthee, as ‘sy clyst shoh ta sleih keiltyn fuill Innsmouth erbee t’oc. Wahll, choud’s leayr dou, ta clein as clein-ny-clienney Varsh kiart g’llrish peiagh erbee elley. Ta sleih er nyn cowraghey dou ayns shoh nish as reesht—agh er lhiam na’ vaik mee ny clein hinney rish tammylt. Ch’vaik mee rieau y shenn ‘er.

“As cre’n oyr ta cagh cur wheesh ourys er Innsmouth? Wahll, ghooinney, ny cur wheesh geill da tutleraght sleih ayns shoh. T’ad fastagh dy liooar hoshiaght, agh my t’ad goaill toshiaght cha nee ad scuirr arragh. T’ad er skeaylley tutlerys er Innsmouth rish keead ny ghaa—ayns sannish, son y chooid smoo—as s’leayr dooys dy nee aggle t’ayn son y chooid smoo. Nee oo gearey rish ny skeealyn cheayll mee jeu—mychione shenn Chaptan Marsh dellal conaantey rish y jouyll as cur lesh flaieeyn ass niurin dy chummal ‘sy valley, ny mychione ooashley-jouyll as ouralyn dwoaieagh ayns thie ennagh rish y cheiy hooar ayns ayns 1845—agh ta mish ass Panton, Vermont, as ch’nel mish currit da credjal lheid ny skeealyn.

“Ta skeealyn feeu ec y çhenndiaght er y sker doo rish y clyst myrgeddin—Sker y Jouyll, t’adsyn cur urree. T’ee erskyn yn ushtey mennick dy liooar, as cha nel ee rieau foddey fo, agh cha dod oo cur ellan urree. Wahll, t’ad gra dy vel çhionnal dy youyil ry-akin urree ny keayrtyn—nyn lhie harree, ny ratçhal stiagh as magh ass ooigyn ennagh. She nhee cregganagh lhome t’ayn, mysh meeilley veih’n thalloo, as rish laghyn s’jerree lhuingys v’ad cliaghtey shiaulley foddey ass y raad dy gholl shagh’eck.

“Wahll, adsyn na’ row ass Innsmouth. Shen mastey loghtyn shenn Chaptan Marsh, er lhieu—t’ad gra dy row eh cliaghtey goll urree rish oieghyn as y tidey cooie ayn. Row eh, foddee; she rinn anaasoil t’ayn, s’cosoylagh. Ta caa hene ayn dy hirr eh craght roosteyryn marrey urree, as haink lesh eh, foddee; agh dooyrt ad dy row eh dellal rish jouyil urree. Dy jarroo, er lhiams dy nee y Captan hayrn drogh-ennym er y sker.

“Shen roish plaie 1846, tra hooar lieh phobble Innsmouth baase. Cha hoig ad rieau bun y chooish; çhingys joarree ennagh, s’cosoylagh, haink ass y Çheen ny boayll ‘nnagh er ny lhongyn. V’ee dewil dy liooar—va rouaney ayn, as jannoo dwoaieagh nagh haink sannish jeh ass y valley, er lhiam—as cha daag ee agh brooillagh dy valley. Cha ren eh rieau slaanaghey—ch’nel agh 300 ny 400 dy ‘leih cummal aynsyn nish.

“Agh feer vun aigney y theay, shen jus far-vriwnys kynneeagh. Ch’nel mee cur foill orroosyn as y barel shen oc. Ta feoh ayms er cummaltee Innsmouth chammah, as cha raghin da’n valley jeh my yoin hene. T’ou uss d’Eearagh rish y vlass ayd, agh ta fys ayd er cliaghtaghyn lhongyn Hostyn Noa. V’ad dellal ayns puirt whaagh ny h-Affrick, ny-Aishey, ny Mooir Yiass as dagh ooilley boayl, as na’ dug lhieu erash feallee whaagh noadyr! Cheayll oo er y dooinney Halem haink erash as ben Heenish echey, foddee—as ta possan ass ellanyn Feejee faggys da Cape Cod foast.

“Wahll, shegin da lheid y red er daghyrt ayns Innsmouth. Va’n balley rieau scarrit rish y çheer ec ny curree as awinyn, do nagh vel bun as baare y skeeal ain, agh s’baghtal eh dy dug lesh shenn Chaptan Marsh fir joarree ennagh erash da’n shenn valley tra va tree lhongyn fo oardagh echey foast rish toshiaght ny keead. Ta fuill whaagh ennagh ec pobble Innsmouth jiu, gyn ourys—ch’ noddym cur baght urree, agh t’ee cur bibbernee ort aght ennagh. Hee oo blass beg jee er Sargent, my hedys oo er y varroose echey. Ta king cheyl whaagh ec kuse jeu, as stroinyn lhean, as sooillyn deamagh sheer-vlakey na’ vel meekey, bunnys. Ch’nel y crackan oc lane chiart, noadyr; t’eh garroo as carragh, as ta çheughyn nyn mwannalyn shirgit ny fillit. T’ad lhomey myrgeddin, as ad feer aeg. S’messey cummey ny shenn ‘leih—insh yn ‘irriney, er lhiam nagh vaik mee rieau ny feer shenn ‘eallee. T’adsyn geddyn baase lesh jeeaghyn er y scaaney, s’cosoylagh! Ta dwoaie ec beiyn orroo chammah—va doilleeidyn cabbil oc dy kinjagh derrey haink ny gleashtanyn.

“Ch’nel sleih ayns shoh n’ayns Arkham, ny Ipswich noadyr, bentyn roo er chor erbee. T’adsyn shaghynagh dy liooar tra t’ad çheet dys y valley, ny my nee peiagh erbee elley eab dy eeastagh ‘sy aahley oc. S’quaagh eh dy vel whilleen eeastyn rish Purt Innsmouth tra na’ vel soar jeu ry-gheddyn ayns buill elley—agh jus jean eab dy eeastagh ayns shid as nagh bee ad dy lurg ayns shallid! Va sleih cliaghtey çheet harrish er y raad yiard—erreish daue dooney y fo-raad, hooill ad as goll er y traen ec Rowley—agh ta’n barroose ayn nish.

“Ta, ta thie oast ayns Innsmouth—Thie Gilman, t’ad cur er—agh s’baghtal nagh neeu monney eh. She my choyrle dhyt gyn jannoo yn eab. Ny share tannaghtyn ayns shoh as goll er y varroose ec jeih er y chlag mairagh; as eisht bee barroose fastyr ayns shid dys Arkham, mysh hoght er y chlag. Haink mee ny quaiyl baghteyr thieyn greasey hannee ‘sy Ghilman blein ny ghaa erash, as hug eh sannishyn graney er y voayl. She cliantaght whaagh t’ayn, rere eshyn. Cheayll y fer coraaghyn ayns shamyryn elley—agh v’ad follym son y chooid smoo—hug ad er creau eh. Çhengey joarree, er lesh, agh dooyrt eh dy nee y sorçh dy choraa cheayll eh nish as reesht voir er erskyn ooilley. Va blass neughooghyssagh er—ushlagh, dooyrt eh—nagh b’lhoys da cur ny h-eaddee jeh as goll dy lhie. Ren eh jus tannaghtyn e hoie as skellal rish cho leah’s dod eh laa ny vairagh. V’ad coloayrt er fud ny h-oie.

“Y feallagh shen—Casey, shen yn ennym v’er—wahll, va skeeal dy liooar echey er ny h-Innsmouthee blakey er, as ad freayll arrey ersyn, er lesh. Dinsh eh dy row thie sheeley Varsh keiltagh dy liooar—she shenn wyllin t’ayn, rish eas s’inshley ny Manuxet. Va’n skeeal echey cohassooagh rish ny cheayll mee roish shen er y chooish. Lioaryn meereiltagh, gyn coontey baghtal er dellal erbee. Fys ayd, she folliaght v’ayn rieau cre ass ta ny Marshyn geddyn airh da’n thie sheeley. Cha ren ad rieau cliaghtey kionnaghey monney meain, agh bleeantyn erash v’ad creck caagyn airhey ass towse.

“Va sleih cliaghtey tutleragh mychione sorçh dy chlijeenys joarree quaagh chreck ny marrinee as obbree y thie sheeley nish as reesht gyn yss, as honnick sleih keayrt ny ghaa er mraane Marsh. Heill ad dy row shenn Chaptan Obed dellal truckal er e son ayns purt yoarree ennagh, foddee—v’eh dy kinjagh kionnaghey mooarane beadyn glonney as jesheenyn, y stoo boallagh da marrinee geddyn son dellal rish ny dooghyssee. Chreid sleih elley, as t’ad credjal foast, dy dooar eh shenn tasht roosteyryn marrey er Sker y Jouyll. Agh shoh dhyt meer quaagh. Ta’n shenn Chaptan marroo rish tree feed bleeaney, as cha jagh lhong mooar ass y valley neayr’s y Chaggey Theayagh, agh ny yei shen ta ny Marshyn foast kionnaghey y chooid dellal dooghyssee shen nish as reesht—moyrneenyn glonney as rubbyr, t’ad gra. Ta ny h-Innsmouthee hene currit daue, foddee—fys ec Jee dy vel adsyn er skirrey neose dys yn un cheim as canniblee ny Mooir Yiass as fir oaldey Noa-Ghuinnee.

“Shegin da plaaie ’46 er lhieggal reih ‘uill y valley. Aghterbee, she mob ouryssagh t’ayn nish, as cha nel ny Marshyn as sleih berçhagh elley ny share. Myr dooyrt mee, s’cosoylagh na’ vel agh 400 dy ‘leih ‘sy lane valley, gyn scansh da whilleen straid t’oc. T’adsyn ny verragh ad ‘trouise vane’ er ‘sy Yiass, er lhiam—meereiltagh as keiltynagh, as lane dy yannoo folliaghtagh. T’ad geddyn ram eeastyn as gimmee, as gymmyrk’ ad magh lesh truick. S’quaagh yn aght t’ee er croo lesh eeastyn ayns shid tra na’ vel veg ayns buill elley.

“Cha nod peiagh erbee freayll tastey jeh’n phobble shid, as she skeeal donney t’ad da fir oik y steat as fir chione-earroo. Cha nel failt erbee da joarreeyn skeetagh ayns Innsmouth, creid mish! Cheayll mee nish as reesht jeh delleyder ny fer oik lheie ersooyl ayns shid, as ta fou ayn jeh fer elley hie ass e cheeayll, as ta fo ghlass ec thie baanrit Danvers nish. Shegin daue er reaghey greain atçhimagh da’n dreih.

“Shen y fa na’ raghin ‘syn oie dy beign ‘s dty voayl. Cha row mee rieau ayns shid as ch’nel mian erbee aym dy gholl, agh stroo hene nagh jean turrys laa assee erbee dhyt—ga dy ver y pobble mygeayrt ayns shoh coyrle noi. My t’ou uss jus fakin y çheer as shirrey stoo shenndeeagh, er lhiam dy beagh Innsmouth lane chooie da’n tym ayd.”

(...ny smoo ry-heet...)

Ass The Shadow over Innsmouth liorish H.P. Lovecraft.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Shalee lhaih 2013: smooinaghtyn

Ta Shalee Lhaih 2013 jeant. Dobbyr dou falleil ymmodee keayrtyn, agh haink lhiam ee ‘sy jerrey. Ta un skelloo dy liooar da’n charnane lioaragh aym; wahll, veagh eh mannagh beagh cummey as mooadys quaagh ec kuse jeu.

Lhaih mee 135 lioaryn noa nurree, ny cur geill cair daue er y chooid sloo roish my cheau magh mee ad. Cheau mee kuse elley gyn lhaih fockle erbee, erreish dou jannoo briwnys nagh row mee son nyn lhaih, ga dy ghow mee ad dy arryltagh hoshiaght. Cha noddym gra dy vel barel er lheh aym er y chooish, jus ennaghtyn feayslee. Cha nel y carnane wheesh trome er my aigney nish, as ga dy nee’m eab dy lhaih lioar jeh nish as reesht, er lhiam nagh beagh eh loght erbee dou geddyn lioar ass y lioarlann nish as reesht. Chammah’s shen, foddym lhaih nish gyn y bree currymagh v’er yn obbyr nurree.

Ren mee lhiah reddyn elley myrgeddin – aalhaih shenn lioaryn, earishlioaryn, bloggyn ass towse as reddyn elley. Va shen tayrn my hastey jeh’n dean ny keayrtyn, agh er lhiam dy lhig eh dou caa dy aagheddyn bree.

Dy cadjin, va doilleeidyn ayn kyndagh rish yn ailley as stroos t’orrym. Haghyr kuse dy drogh-reddyn rish y vlein, goaill stiagh coayl yn eddyr-voggyl rish daa vee. Eddyr jummal traa as bree er y chooish, as caggey stroos as ailley haink orrym kyndagh ree, cha row bree dy liooar aym dy lhaih ny keayrtyn. Ny keayrtyn elley chionnee mee dhossan dy vanga gerjoil dy my gherjaghey. Er lhiam, mannagh row y lheid er daghyrt, yinnin er stroie y lane charnane lioaragh, ny bunnys. Rish toshiaght ny bleeaney cha jinnin er gredjal shen er chor erbee.


She ram lioaryn ad 135. 88" dy lioaryn - 7.3' ny 223cm as beggan. Dy jarroo, ta kuse jeu ec sleih elley hannah, myr shen, share dou gra 8' dy lioaryn. Cha nel ben-choonee aalin aym, as myr shen va dooilleeid agglagh ayn rish jannoo carnane assdaue – ta liaragh er y laare aym, as va’n carnane jeen ass towse dy huittym. Myr shen, shoh caslys-soilshey: shen mish lhiettal un charnane lesh y derrey laue, as jannoo my chooid share carnane elley y chur er lesh y laue elley, rish y 12 hallid lhig y hamraig dou. Cha daink lhiam eh, as thullick ny ghaa ny s’anmey v’ee ceau lioaryn. Cha row mee son jannoo eab elley. Ta’n lane charnane bunnys bentyn rish y vullagh.

Ta ram jeu manga, 52 dy cruinn, agh shen 83 focklagh foast, as 14 jeu ayns çhengaghyn dynsee mee myr fer aasit. Ta ennaghtyn taitnyssagh cosnee aym. As er lhiam dy ren mee shareaghey ablid ny ghaa rish y çhalee.

Hoshiaght, hene-barrantys dy ‘aagail jeh lioar nagh mie lhiat. Dynsee mee shen ‘sy chlub lhaih blein ny ghaa erash, agh ta’n schlei shen dy kinjagh feeu cliaghtey. Mannagh vel oo geddyn fys feeu ny taitnys erbee ass lioar, cha neeu ee. Ta traa deyr ass towse. Ta lioaryn elley ass towse dyn lhaih, as reddyn elley dyn nyannoo chammah. Eer my t’ou credjal dy jig oo dy ve ny share aght ennagh liorish lhaih y lioar, mannagh vel anaase ayd as cha nel ee greimmey er dty hastey, cha cosoylagh eh.

Eisht, cur coontey giare jeh lioar as cur ayns focklyn my varel hene urree. Cheau mee traa dy lioar er ny coontaghyn, agh ren mee my chooid share dy lhiettal. Ta screeu coontaghyn cooney lhiam cur geill da lioaryn, cur dys cooinaghtyn ny lhaih mee, as jannoo briwnys ennagh er y lioar. Er y laue elley, she Shalee Lhaih v’ayn, cha nee Shalee Screeuee, as cha row mee son ceau roayr traa rish screeu oddagh mee er geau rish lhaih! Cha nel monney barelyn screeuit ec kuse jeu (wahll, er LibraryThing) as myr shen ta mee er gooney lesh sleih elley. Wahll, ta mee treishteil! Erskyn shen, ta’n screeu cur caa dou dy screeu ‘sy Ghaelg, as shen caa feer scanshoil er lhiam. Cha nel mee son caghlaa reddyn ass Baarle car y traa; share lhiam screeu reddyn noa. Er lhiam nagh beagh eh baghtal, agh ta’n lane Shalee screeuit ‘sy Ghaelg hoshiaght, as eisht çhyndaait ‘sy Vaarle. Ny keayrtyn, ta’n Vaarle ny s’liurey er yn oyr shen, son haink eie elley dou rish çhyndaa.

Oh, as cliaghtey lhaih beggan er veggan. Tammylt erash, ghow mee toshiaght dyn lhaih mannagh row tammylt fondagh aym dy chur lane gheill; myr paitçhey ren mee lhaih tra erbee va shallid aym, agh va mee er goayl y schlei. Ta’n Çhalee er lhiggey dou aachliaghtey y shenn schlei as foddym lhaih rish shooyl mygeayrt pairk, rish coayraght, as rish fuirraghtyn er red ennagh rish queig minnid.

Ard-vullee as Feer-injillid

Hirr peiagh ennagh orrym cre’n lioar hare lhiam mee nurree, as voir eh urree nagh dod mee cur freggyrt baghtal. Agh cha by gooin lhiam ny va mee er lhaih jus er y tullick. Shimmey lioar t’er ngoll fo’n droghad neayr’s Jerrey Geuree 2013. Agh shoh aigh, screeu mee coontaghyn jeu!

Lioaryn share ny bleeaney, rere mish-chaie:

Oddin screeu ny smoo as goaill stiagh ny 4-rollageyn, agh shen dy liooar, er lhiam.

Trustyr ny bleeaney (kuse):


Cha jig Shalee Lhaih 2014. Ta’n Çhalee shen jeant aym; ta’n carnane marroo. Ta feme aym er reddyn noa.

Screeuym coontaghyn nish as reesht, son taitnys as cliaghtey Gaelg, agh cha screeuym er dagh ooilley lioar. T’eh ceau ny smoo tra na chredjagh oo. By vie lhiam cooilleeney reddyn elley mleeaney ‘sy traa shen.

Agh ta’n skelloo DVD aym ny sloo na’n carnane t’er... as cha ren mee monney ymmyd jeh tailley mee Lovefilm noadyr. Er lhiam dy nee blein ny Shalee Jeeaghyn ee 2014.

So, Reading Project 2013 is done, and while it was very touch-and-go towards the end, I did manage to achieve my aim. My reading pile now fits on a single shelf - or at least, it would do except that a few of them are silly shapes and sizes and have to be kept elsewhere.

I read 135 new books this year, or at least, I gave them a fair crack of the whip before slinging them out. A number of others I chucked out without reading, having decided I didn't feel like it after all. It's a bit hard to tell how I feel about it all other than a vague sense of relief. The book pile doesn't weigh so much on my mind, and while I'll still try to read from it rather than always leaving it for later, I'm prepared to allow myself a bit more leeway with libraries and so on. It'll also be nice to read without the sense of obligation that I've had this year.

While it arguably distracted me a bit at times, I've also reread quite a number of other books, plus read the news, weekly magazines, an absolute ton of blogs and sites, and so on. It's been a reading-heavy year. Rereading old favourites was invaluable at times to restore my stamina and help me chill out.

A lot of the difficulties arose because of my mood issues. Basically there were periods when things went bad, usually coupled with practical problems like a two-month loss of our home internet. Between wasting time and energy overcoming the problems, and dealing with stress and low mood as a consequence, I just couldn't face reading at all some times. Other times I ended up buying armloads of cheerful manga for some easy reading that would cheer me up. Interestingly, if I hadn't had to do that I'd probably have wrought yet more havoc on that reading pile, which at the start of the year I'd never have imagined possible.

Winnings from Reading Project

135 books is quite a lot, really. It is 88" of books - 7.3' or 223cm and a bit. Actually, it's more than that, because quite a few books have already gone to new homes, so it's more like 8' of books. Lacking an assistant I had trouble because the pile was immensely keen to fall over (a sloping floor doesn't help) so the pic here is less impressive than it might be. What we have here is me trying to heave the last stack of books onto the tallest free-standing pile while also holding it up in the few seconds allowed me by the self-timer - and failing. Seconds later it was raining books and I didn't feel like having another go, so best I could do. Fully-assembled, the pile is just short of my roof.

Quite a few of those were manga, of course, 52 of them in fact, but that still leaves 83 proper word-type books. 14 were in non-native languages. I feel I achieved something. I feel like the project has also honed a couple of my abilities.

One is the confidence to give up on a book, something I learned a bit of in book club but can always use practice in. If a book really isn't doing much for you, it is not worth your time. Time is precious. There are always more books to read instead, or completely different things you can be doing. Even if you think a book will improve you somehow, if you aren't engaged or interested, it's unlikely.

Another one is getting across a sense of a book, and my thoughts of it, fairly quickly. I ended up spending a fair bit of time on the reviews, but tried to keep it as short as possible. On the one hand I think doing the reviews helps me focus on reading, helps to cement my memories of them before I can forget, and helps me get my thoughts in order; on the other, the actual reading is the point of the project, and spending too much precious time writing about them afterwards only hinders matters. Some of the books don't have much in the way of existing reviews, especially on LibraryThing, so I feel like I helped. And of course, it gives me an outlet for Manx writing. You may or may not be able to tell, but the reviews are all written in Manx and translated freely to English, rather than vice versa - sometimes resulting in a longer English version as I get more ideas, but I tried to go back and update the Manx where that happened.

Also, getting back in the habit of reading casually. A few years ago I started drifting into the habit of only reading when I had a chunk of time to concentrate in, rather than picking up a book every chance I got, and I'd been finding it difficult to concentrate in short bursts. Reading Project has helped me regain the skills of episodic reading, reading while walking around parks, reading while cooking, and all kinds of other useful tricks.


Someone asked me for the highlights of what I've read, and were a bit confused when I couldn't give any, but I really couldn't remember what I'd read early last year. There's been a lot of water under the bridge since then. Luckily, I wrote reviews of it all!

Absolute highlights of this year, according to past-me:

I notice a manga theme, I could go on with the 4-star ratings, but it's far too much effort to be honest. There's a lot of good books out there, anyway.

Worst books I read (a selection):

Future plans

There is no Reading Project 2014. I have done that thing, and am moving on; the goal of cutting down my reading pile is accomplished and I want a change.

I'll continue to do book reviews, especially as it keeps my Manx writing hand in, but I'm not going to review everything any more. It takes up a surprising amount of time and I want to focus on other things this year.

The next target staring me in the face is the stack of DVDs too large to fit on my single DVD shelf, and the largely-neglected Lovefilm subscription. It looks like Project 2014 is Watching Project.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Shalee lhiah 2013: Jerrey Mee ny Nollick

Jerrey daa vee yeig ny shalee, as y mee s'jerree myr shen, as eisht jerrey ny bleeaney!

Hoshiaght ny bleeaney: 128 lioaryn

Hoshiaght ny mee: 54 lioaryn

Myr shen, ta mee er scryssey 5 ass y rolley as ta 49 faagit er. Shen y dean! COOILLEENIT!

  • Lioaryn lhaiht aym y vlein shoh (y chied cheayrt): 135 lioaryn!

End of the twelfth and final month of Reading Project, and with it the year.

The Beginning: 128 books

The start of this month: 54 books

Well whaddaya know about that? I DID IT! VICTORY!

  • Books read (for the first time) this year: 135 books!

Shalee lhaih 2013: Shiaghtin 53

As shoh y jerrey: mean trass hiaghtin yeih as daeed ny Shallee Lhaih. Shoh ny lhiah mee 'sy daa laa shoh chaie:

Outliers (Malcolm Gladwell)

Coontey anaasoil er sleih "ard-cheeayllagh" as y lheid, adsyn ta geddyn barriaght 'sy vagher keirdey oc, ny cosney aundyryn a.r.e. Ta coontaghyn as sheiltynyssyn feau aynjee. Ny yei shen, er lhiam dy vel trimmid neugherjoil eck, eddyr lioar y theay as lioar scoillaragh. T'ee loayrt er aaronsaghey agh cha nel ee cur imraaghyn erbee, ny cur coontey myn noadyr. Ny keayrtyn, chredjin oo dy vel Gladwell soilshaghey sheiltynys as prowalys, agh cha nel eh agh cur dhyt feanish elley. Myr sampleyr, t'eh loayrt er troyn cadjin leigheyderyn ennoil York Noa, as cur jerrey er y chooish lesh "prowal" colught elley as feddyn magh dy vel ny troyn cheddin ry-akin oc. Agh cha nee prowalys t'ayn; ta'n coontey screeuit rolaue, as mannagh row ny troyn shen oc, cha jinnagh eh er screeu y cabdil shen. Cha nel eh gra dy reih eh adsyn gyn thort ass keead colught ny red ennagh myr shen.

'Syn aght cheddin, by vie lhiam imraaghyn ny keayrtyn, as ny smoo fys er troyn elley ny er arganeyn elley. Bentyn rish abdil maddaghtoil ny Sheenee, t'eh gra dy row boddee ny h-Oarpey nyn daaue rish geurey as m.s., tra va boddee Sheenagh gobbraghey car y traa as kerraghey reddyn a.r.e. - nagh row boddee ny h-Oarpey jannoo y lheid? By vie lhiam imraa er shen, ghooinney. Ny yei shen, ta'n lioar shoh feeu er lhiam.

A final weekly post: the middle of week fifty-three of the Reading Project. Here's what I've read these last two days:

Outliers (Malcolm Gladwell)

An interesting pop-culture or pop-science discussion of where "exceptional" people come from: those who top leagues, ace quiz shows, dominate their field and sweep away competition. There were very interesting case studies and some theories well worth reading about. I did find though that it hits an awkward spot between pop and scholarly: it pulls in research findings without either citing them or providing detailed analysis, and on some occasions seems to be presenting things as hypothesis + evidence that really aren't. For example, he talks about common features for leading lawyers in New York, then pulls up a clinching example of a dominant firm whose partners all show those features - but this isn't a test of his theory at all, it's another example of people who fit that pattern which he already knew about when writing the book. In other places, I'd have really liked discussion of some additional factors or potential criticisms. A few statements really cried out for actual scholarly citation, like the assertion that European peasants slacked off most of the time while Chinese peasants slaved away in rice paddies 24/7. But on the whole an enjoyable read and fairly easy going.