Having a ball while enjoying Irish culture at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum
Go mbeannaí Dia daoibh agus bhur gcéad míle fáilte isteach chuig the Bluffer’s Guide to Irish.
Well, what a weekend it has been!
An deireadh seachtaine is the weekend and Saturday and yesterday, over 50 people headed to Iarsmalann Tuaithe agus Iompair Uladh - the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum at Cúl Trá - Cultra for a wonderful weekend of Irish language an culture.
(Cultra is a shortened form of Ballycultra, which means the “townland of the back of the strand”).
The idea for the weekend came from the Museum who contacted An Droichead in south Belfast with a view to organising a residential weekend.
Well, bhí an ghrian ag scoilteadh na gcloch - the sun was splitting the stones as the Bluffer headed out by train (a wonderful way to travel) along cósta an óir - the “gold coast” of North Down.
Three classes were on-going when he arrived as the sound of singing and laughter rang out in the courtyard at the museum.
His timing was perfect as he arrived in time for lón - lunch where he chatted to the pupils of all ages about the venture.
No sooner had we had some stobhach - stew than we for off for a walk along a meandering cabhsa - path in the glorious sunshine, various levels of Irish being practiced on the way.
The first stop was in a seanteach beag - a little cottage where we were entertained in story and song by Séamus Ó Donnghaile.
You really got a feel for how people enjoyed themselves before the TV arrived with the sound of a singsong escaping through the open door and up the chimney into the fields around.
Then we headed to the seanscoil - the old school where Davy Maguire was tuning his feadóg mhór - flute while Ciarán Kelly was preparing his bosca ceoil - accordion for some tunes and a little lesson on the history of their respective instruments.
Do you know the difference between a ríl - a reel and a port - a jig?
Or a fonn mall - a slow air and a cornphíopa - a hornpipe?
(BTW An Droichead are also running trad trails if you want to find out more about the diverse world of traditional music).
As we slip-jigged along the country road back to the courtyard, the Bluffer had to head home but there was no rest for the wicked as the other pupils were up for a ceardlann damhsa - a dancing workshop.
Again, it was a case of the old meeting the new with the clicking of heels the same as it has been for centuries of dancing at the crossroads.
The pupils then had some am saor - free time before having dinner.
Well rested it was time for the Céilí Mór - the big céilí to practice na céimeanna - the steps they had learned earlier.
By 11pm, it was well and truly time for a well-earned rest in the museum’s dormitories.
On Sunday, the craic continued but with a ceardlann amhránaíochta - a singing workshop and finishing off with an oíche airneáIl - a night of music and song.
Let’s do it again!
An deireadh seachtaine (un jeroo shakhtinya) - the weekend
Iarsmalann Tuaithe agus Iompair Uladh (eersmalaan tooeeha agis umper ulooo) - the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum
Cúl Trá (coot traa) - Cultra
bhí an ghrian ag scoilteadh na gcloch (vee un yreean eg skiltchoo ne glokh) - the sun was splitting the stones
cósta an óir (cawsta un ore) - the gold coast
lón (lone) - lunch
stobhach (stowakh) - stew
cabhsa (caowsa) - path
seanteach beag (shaanchakh big) - a little cottage
feadóg mhór (faadawg wore) - flute
bosca ceoil (buxa cyoil) - accordion
ríl (reel) - a reel
port (purt) - a jig
fonn mall (fun maal) - a slow air
cornphíopa (cornfeepa) - a hornpipe
ceardlann damhsa (cardlaan daowsa) - a dancing workshop
am saor (aam seer) - free time
céilí mór (caylee more) - the big céilí
céimeanna (caymanna) - the steps
ceardlann amhranaíochta (cardlaan oreaaneeakhta) - a singing workshop
oíche airneáIl (eeha arnyaal)- a night of music and song