The revival continues?

The plan to revive Manx Gaelic and bring it back into routine use (at least on the Isle of Man) received a big boost in the last week, when the language was added as an option on Google Translate:

There are only about 20 native speakers of the language, and it’s been completely impossible to communicate with them since forever*, so it will be fantastic to hear what they have to say after all this time. Possibly, anyway.

Agh shoh naight mooar da’n cheshaght Manninagh.

One thing you can’t do on the site (yet) is listen to the translated phrase. That’s not great from the point of view of learning how things are pronounced, but it’s actually ok, because – and I’m being nice here – you might think your laptop had been drinking.

It does all sound (no pun intended, Manx people), as if everything is a little slurred and words are running into each other a bit.

As with any language, to really learn it properly, you need to spend regular time with someone who is fluent. I think that I’m unlikely to find anyone that fits that bill here in Cape Town, but maybe that’s something that I should be doing – goaill stiagh ma t’eh goaill stiagh deayrtey!



Busy day. Bit late with a blog post.

Thankfully, someone did this, almost knowing that I needed something handy and quick:

And Ah Jesus. Is this quick…

The first 90 seconds are just normal, and then he checks over his shoulder and…


I know that time is valuable and you can’t always find 19:19 to watch a whole video. But if that’s the case, please flick through to a few random points in the video and just watch for a few seconds.

Totally worth it.

These guys are just next level nuts.

“Less more heritage,” says Ruth

The Isle of Man Facebook group. It’s like the Cape Agulhas Whatsapp group, but blue instead of green.

It’s populated largely by older people who can get confused by the internet from time to time.
Like Ruth:

“Less more heritage,” cries Ruth.

“For responsibility for tourism it’s cruel,” she adds, sagely. Because it is cruel.

“Wake up call we need heritage.”

Indeed. We need less more heritage. I think that’s already been raised in your comment.

Aside from the amusement at the car crash of the above outburst, I particularly enjoyed the fact that two people liked the post.

They must have understood more than I did. Like, any of it.

Musical Marie

It’s all going off on the Isle of Man. Or at least it was just 70 years ago, back in 1953:

For the record, MM started her attempt on the same day that the Korean War ended. But that’s nowhere near as impressive as playing the piano for 158 hours.

The amazing thing is – supported by spiritualists, brandy, seven hundred cigarettes, sixteen thousand visitors (at a shilling a head, nogal!) and seven gallons of tea – she succeeded!

Musical Marie continued to play marathon piano recitals in England, the Isle of Man, Wales and Ireland until 1960.

The ‘trainer’ seems there only to rub her wrists, slap her face and collect the cold, hard cash that just keeps rolling in. Tough job.

As for the ubiquitous mentions of her weight in every article, well, clearly 17 stone – it’s just under 108kg – was a thing back then. Sadly, these days I don’t think 108kg is that unusual for a Manchester housewife. Nor the 100 fags a day.

Remember back then?

It’s been a whirlwind of school stuff, dodgeball, trips around SA and general life over the last month and a half. But we shouldn’t forget that we were here:

…far from the hustle and bustle of everything just six weeks ago.

This is the Lady Isabella, The Laxey Wheel:

the largest surviving original working waterwheel in the world.

Built in 1854, 22.1m diameter, 3rpm.

You don’t really get much of an idea of scale until you look closely at the man in blue at about 5 o’clock.

I still have to go through a lot of photos from Ireland and the Isle of Man.
And Kruger.
And now Gqeherba.
And I still have to tidy up my Flickr.

But it’s been a whirlwind of school stuff, dodgeball, trips around SA and general life over the last month and a half.

I’ll get there.