Irish language

The Bluffer gets the electric lawnmower out to create his personal Garden of Eden

BUTCHART GARDENS: Much as the Bluffer would like to claim the above garden as his own, the Butchart Gardens is “a must-see oasis, growing in Victoria, British Columbia for over 100 years.”
Robert McMillen

Happy Easter, my little bunnies and welcome to another nail-biting episode of The Bluffer’s Guide to Irish.

Well, an dea-aimsir - the good weather has finally arrived and certain parts of town are now awash with be-moobed, beer-bellied and bewildered young men.

These devil-may-care types are unlike the Bluffer who saw an ghrian - the sun, an aimsir thirim - the dry weather  and saoire ón obair - days off work as an opportunity to do his back garden.

Garraíodóireacht - gardening is not one of the Bluffer’s favourite past-times it must be said, but comparing an dufair - the jungle of last week’s garden to the centre court at Wimbledon that it resembles today is highly satisfying.

The Bluffer half expected Japanese soldiers to appear from an féar - the grass it was so high but instead found bréagáin - toys, sluadaidí - shovels, some Roman coins and a small Viking village.

The Bluffer had to buy a new lomaire faiche - a lawnmower as the last one as the previous one stalled like a horse at Beecher’s Brook when it saw what it had to overcome and refused to budge.

You can have a lomaire faiche peitril or a lomaire faiche aibhleise, a petrol or an electric lawnmower and the new one worked well although it kept spitting up pieces of grass onto the Bluffers clothes, so he now looked like the pitch at Casement Park.

The thing he likes best however is watching  he birds arriving in the garden.

Is breá liom bheith ag amharc ar na héanacha - I love looking at the birds, he says as he points to a gealbhan binne - a house sparrow, or a druid - a starling, the meantán gorm - blue tit or the wonderfully named rí rua - the Irish for a red-haired king but also the chaffinch which is not to be confused with the lasair choille - goldfinch.

The Bluffer even feels bad about disturbing the peaceful home life of the feitheidí - the insects who dwell out his back but who scatter when the earth trembles and the noise of the Flymo comes ever closer.

He often wonders what is must le like to be the size of a spider and to watch a human come towards you but concurs with Simon and Garfunkel’s both of whom would “rather be a sparrow than a snail.” Yes, they would, if they only could.

So now that the Bluffer’s pad has the same postcode as the Garden of Eden it’s time to enjoy toradh a shaothair - the fruits of his labour.

There is a Caesar salad and a bottle of Chablis chilling sa chuisneoir - in the fridge, yesterday’s Irish News to finish, and some Factor 30 to put on.

The Bluffer also thought back to his former home which didn’t have a garden.

It had a clós beag - a small yard which also had a coal bunker. It was hardly the most glamourous place for ag déanamh bolg le gréin - sunbathing on what could be called the Costa del Anthracite.

Changed times!

So the Bluffer will leave you now to finish off your Easter eggs as he savours the outdoor life with the fruit of the vine and the work of his own human hands.


an dea-aimsir (un jaa -iymsher) -  the good weather

an ghrian (un yreean) - the sun 

an aimsir thirim (un iymsher hirim) - the dry weather  

saoire ón obair (sera on ubber) - days off work 

garraíodóireacht (gareeodorakht) - gardening

an dufair (un duffer) - the

an féar (un fayr) - the grass 

bréagáin (braygaan) - toys 

sluasaidí (slooassajee) - shovels 

lomaire faiche (lumera fwyha) - a lawnmower

Is breá liom bheith ag amharc ar na héanacha (iss bra lum vay eg awark er na haynaha) - I love looking at the birds

gealbhan binne (gyalwaan binya) - a house sparrow

druid (dridge) - a starling

rí rua (ree rooa) - chaffinch

lasair choille (lasser khulya) - goldmeantán gorm (mantaan goram) - blue tit

feitheidí (fehidgee) - insects 

toradh a shaothair (tawroo a heeher) - the fruits of his labour

sa chuisneoir (sa khishnore) - in the fridge

clós beag (clos big) - a small yard

ag déanamh bolg le gréin (eg janoo bulug le grayn) - sunbathing


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