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The Bluffer looks at his highlights of 2018 and ahead to the new year

ARTHUR’S SEAT: One of the Bluffer’s favourite trips was up this hillside to get a wonderful view of Edinburgh on a trip that also took in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and Hadrian’s Wall
Robert McMillen

Go mbeannaí Dia daoibh and welcome 2018ers and 2019ers to the Bluffer’s Guide to Irish.

Well, we’ve arrived at oíche chinn bhliana - New Year’s Eve and each of us will have our own cuimhní - memories, díománna - disapointments and buaicphointí - highlights to look back on over the 365 days just past. 

You could say bhí bliain mhaith agam ach ... I had a good year but ... because life is never perfect.

You might have had a family bereavement so you could say fuair m’athair/mo mháthair bás - my father/mother died or maybe you were ill - bhí mé tinn cuid mhór - I was sick a lot.

Bhí an t-airgead gann - money was tight is something else you might hear people saying in the post-austerity times – if you actually believe that the lie of austerity has truly bitten the dust.

However, the same way human beings can be kind and greedy and grumpy and giggly and obnoxious and angry and tender and caring at various times, whole years are usually shadow and light as well. 

The Bluffer has had a splendid 2018, thanks for asking.

To say where you went on holidays you would say chuaigh mé ar saoire ... and the Bluffer had the best holiday ever in Vietnam and Thailand in November this year, as well as doing a walking tour of Tír na mBascach - the Basque Country.  

He also had trips to Málaga, Grenada plus a trip to Edinburgh via Newcastle-Upon-Tyne which included a walk on Hadrian’s Wall!

But you don’t have to go away for fun and frolics.

An raibh tú ag coirmeacha maithe ar bith? - Were you at any good concerts?

Well, there were some great trad events at the Duncairn, at An Droichead and at the Cultúrlann in Derry but finally, 55 years after they issued their first single, the Bluffer got to see the Rolling Stones live for the first time, at Croke Park.

Féilte are festivals and the Belfast Festival, Féile an Phobail (especially for its talks), CQAF in Belfast and Imbolc in Derry were all great festivals - yes, I plan to get out of Belfast more in 2019 - especially if we had another summer like we had i mbliana - this year.

If you like eating out then you could say d’ith mé bia den scoth - I ate great food and this year, the Bluffer was particularly fond of Jumon, Banh, Bia in Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich and the Mourne Seafood Bar and he’s hoping to visit the new restaurant in Carntogher this year.

So all the good things in life, the Bluffer has had his fair share of as well as cairde maithe - good friends and a sympathetic  family.

Politically, it has never been more evident that ordinary people are very low down the list of priorities and 2018 will be remembered for the sheer unadulterated bedlam surrounding an Breatimeacht - Brexit.

God knows what lies in store after March 2019!

The Executive isn’t working which is a tragedy given the way it ran so smoothly until it ground to a halt. (Sarcasm alert)

Still, plain folk get on with life, working, raising families and trying to make life as enjoyable as possible, some with more success than others,

Athabhlian faoi mhaise daoibh - a happy new year to you - have a splendid night tonight and may 2019 be the best you’ve ever had!


oíche chinn bhliana (eeha kin bleeana) - New Year’s Eve

cuimhní (kivnyee) - memories 

díománna (jeemaana) - disappointments

buaicphointí (booekfwintchee) - highlights

bhí bliain mhaith agam ach ... (vee bleean why ugum akh) I had a good year but ...

fuair m’athair/mo mháthair bás (foor maher/maw waher baas) - my father/mother died 

bhí mé tinn cuid mhór (vee may chin cudge wore) - I was sick a lot

bhí an t-airgead gann (vee un taragid gaan) - money was tight

chuaigh mé ar saoire (khooee may er seera) - I went on holidays

Tír na mBascach (cheer ne maskakh) - the Basque Country

An raibh tú ag coirmeacha maithe ar bith? (un roe too eg kirimaha myha er bee) - Were you at any good concerts?

féilte (fayltcha) - festivals 

i mbliana (i mleeana) - this year

d’ith mé bia den scoth (jeeh may beea den scoyh) - I ate great food

cairde maithe (cardgea myha) - good friends

Breatimeacht (bratimakht) - Brexit

Athabhlian faoi mhaise daoibh (ahvleean fwee washa deev) - a happy new year to you

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