Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Queenie Festival Day 1

Fishing into the Past’ a great success.

This is the update from last night.

Tonight’s opening event, Fishing into the Past, was a great success and proved a fantastic way to get the Festival underway. The weather remained good to us and the green outside Mount Tabor was packed with people enjoying the sunshine and the activities. Queenieadmin has added a whole load of photos to the Queenie Festival Flickr page if you’d like to see more.

The re-enactment was really well put together and told the story of the fishing industry to the Isle of Man, and Port st Mary in particular, over the years. Manx Queenie Paella was served with traditional Spuds ‘n’ Herrin’ whilst live music and the Fairly Famous family entertained everyone.

It was also great to see the photographic display in Mount Tabor capturing ‘A day in the Life of Port St Mary’ from 1979. I could recognise a few faces and it was great to see some of the hairstyles and fashions from back in the day. The display will remain in Mount Tabor for the next couple of days for anyone that didn’t get down to see it tonight.

Monday, June 29, 2009


Davy Knowles & Back Door Slam with Rob Drabkin. on tour this summer. My tickets are booked for the Birchmere in Alexandria. I strongly recommend you go and wave the flag and get a great earful of aching blues! His latest release is currenly No. 3 on the Billboard Blues chart.

Tour dates and news at http://davyknowles.com.

Big boats to tin baths

Story here.
THE largest cruise ship to visit the Isle of Man this year will be arriving in Douglas today (Monday). It is the first time Artemis, a 44,348-tonne ship owned by P&O Cruises, has been to the Island.
She is due to arrive in Douglas bay at 8am and will leave at 6pm.

The World Tin Bath Championships took place in Castletown on Saturday. The event, run by the Castletown Ale Drinkers' Society, raised more than £6,000 for charity. Between 3,500 and 4,000 spectators lined the town's middle harbour to watch the races.

Multiple winner Lee Cain successfully defended his title in the men's event while Erika Cowen became a 12 times winner in the women's. A new race for this year, which saw three competitors race in modern household baths, showed tin baths were much better for racing, as they all sank after about 20 yards.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Manx sporting triumphs

THE action in the 13th NatWest Island Games gets under way today, Sunday, on the Baltic island of Aland. There's plenty to keep the Manx sports fans occupied with a large proportion of the Isle of Man's 175-strong team making their 2009 Games bow. Story here.

PETER Kennaugh finished third in today's British elite road race championship but retained the under-23 title he won last year. Kennaugh (Great Britain-100% ME), was in a group of four coming into the finish in Abergavenny put was pipped at the line by race winner Kristian House (Rapha Condor) and second placed Dan Lloyd (Cervelo Test Team). Chris Froome (Barloworld) was fourth.

Mark Cavendish (Team Columbia-Highroad) was sixth and Manx teenager Mark Christian (Great Britain-100% ME) was 18th in his first national road race championship as a senior. Full story here.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Island Games

This story from the Times Online.They are not quite the Olympics, but the NatWest Island Games , which start today in Aland, in the Baltic Sea, is the closest that many of the 3,100 participants will come to tasting international glory in their chosen disciplines.

United in their geographical isolation, the athletes and officials are drawn from 25 small island communities ranging from the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean to St Helena in the South Atlantic to compete for medals in 15 sports.

Many of the journeys undertaken to reach Aland, a semi-autonomous, Swedish-speaking region of Finland, have been epic.

Adrian Bruce, 37, and Peter Munford, 62, from the Isle of Man, drove for two days across 1,100 miles, five countries and four ferries with the archery team’s equipment packed into a Land Rover.

Isle of Man Archery site. Story at IOMOnline here. The Mascot is Selina the Seal.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Manx Fiddle Music -- and more

We've had a request for more information about Manx fiddle music and songs. Here are a few resources. Feel free to leave comments if you have any other ideas.

Manx Music and Dance on MySpace links to many contemporary musicians who are contactable. Listen to those you like and get on the case!

The Manx National Song Book is on my bookcase. It's a Government-funded compilation of traditional and modern Manx classics. There are two volumes, now bound together. Check it out here. Amazon sometimes has them. The Lexicon bookshop in Douglas can get them. But now you don't have to go there. They have an online store.

Isle of Man Queenie Festival

Well - the Homecoming Group should have a blast with this island-wide program of events. The website is fun http://queeniefestival.com and has details of events, games, recipes and a ton of good stuff including the Can you solve the Queenie Conundrum. That's a solid gold Queenie shell molded by Celtic Gold in Peel, worth £4,000 buried somewhere on the Isle of Man. More news to follow. There's a great recipe from Tim Croft here

A pint's a pint - it's official

The IOM has, by law, to pour a full pint not including the head. Well, tests - yes, tests - during TT Week confirmed that the publicans are in fact pulling a proper pint. Check the BBC here.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Thanks Illiam!

Wow! What a brilliant job. And you uploaded YouTube videos which I've not yet mastered. Thank you so much for looking after the blog while I was phone- and computer-free in the Dominican Republic. I hope you readers all had a go at the Manx while you had a masterclass available.

Here's some news from the Government:

MA and PG Diploma in Manx Studies
Based at the Centre for Manx Studies in the Isle of Man, the University of Liverpool offers an MA and PG Diploma in Manx Studies. The MA and Diploma in Manx Studies are designed for graduates in any subject who are interested in exploring multi- and inter-disciplinary approaches to the study of the Isle of Man and its region.

The Centre for Manx Studies also offers Research Degrees in a wide variety of subjects relating to the Isle of Man. Enquiries are currently sought for 2009 entry on a full-time and a part-time basis.

For more information, please visit our website at www.liv.ac.uk/manxstudies or contact:
Dr Catriona Mackie
Leaghteyr Studeyrys Manninagh
Tel: 01624 695 153
Email: c.mackie@liverpool.ac.uk

The announcement of a move to automatic exchange of information under the EU Savings Directive keeps the Isle of Man at the forefront of tax co-operation

The Isle of Man Treasury Minister, Allan Bell, MHK, will speak today (24 June 2009) at the prestigious international 10th Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Forum in Paris, “The Crisis and Beyond”. Mr Bell has also attended a private dinner on the evening of Monday 22 June 2009 hosted by the OECD Secretary-General, Angel Gurría.

Speaking at the same conference session as Minister Bell, which is titled “Promoting Market Integrity” is a group of major global figures:

• Cobus de Swardt, Managing Director, Transparency International;

• Luc Frieden, Minister of Treasury and Budget, Luxembourg;

• Jean-Daniel Gerber, State Secretary for Economic Affairs, Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Switzerland;

• Jeffrey Owens, Director, Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, OECD;

• Guy Ryder, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation; and

• Stephen Timms, Financial Secretary, The Treasury, United Kingdom.

Minister Bell will take the opportunity in his comments to thank Secretary-General Gurría for inviting him to speak at the forum, and to signal the importance that the Isle of Man saw in being recognised by the major world economies in this way.

Minister Bell will put forcefully his view that small countries have a lot to gain by engaging with their larger neighbours and with international organisations such as the OECD, but also that they have a lot to contribute to the ongoing development of standards. The Isle of Man, like other small countries, faces many challenges through engaging internationally in this way – not least in terms of resources – but is proud of the enormous strides that it has taken and of its achievements.

In addition to sharing his views on promoting market integrity, Minister Bell will announce a key new tax policy on behalf of the Isle of Man Government. From 1 July 2011, the Isle of Man, in its application of the European Union Savings Directive (EUSD), will move fully to automatic exchange of information. This means that the withholding tax option currently available to customers having accounts with Isle of Man banks by virtue of the transitional arrangements in the EUSD will be withdrawn.

Minister Bell said, “The Isle of Man has led the way for a number of years now in how small countries with financial services centres should operate in the globalised economy. We have consistently shown that we understand at a strategic level what actions we need to take and what changes we need to make in order to maintain our position as a centre of choice for high-quality business and investment.”

“My announcement today is further evidence that the Isle of Man is prepared to align its policies with international benchmark standards, which signals to our trading partners and investors alike that we can be relied upon and that our name is associated with probity and foresight.”

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Manx Names, Viking Roots

Model of a Viking longship, Manx Museum.

Last Friday I wrote a bit about the Gaelic roots of many Manx names, such as Leece (a shortened form of Mac Guilley Yeesey) and Looney (Mac Guilley Dhoonee).

One could also point to such names as Kelly (the same as Ó Ceallaigh in Irish), Kerruish (Mac Fhearghais), and Teare (Mac an tSaoir — Macintyre — son of the joiner or carpenter).

By now the Vikings among you are up in arms, affronted by all this rampant Celticity. “Where are the good, solid Norse names?” you might ask.

Keep your helmets on. They are there — albeit in Celtic dress. For example, Corkhill.

Corkhill may not look or sound very Norse, but it is a Manx version of Thorkelson – derived from "Mac Thorkel" or Thorkell. Thorkel allegedly was a Norse-Manx prince.

At the far end of the Hebrides from Mannin, the MacLeods of Lewis were known in Scottish Gaelic as Sìol Torcail or "The Seed of Thorkel," another sign of their Viking heritage. (The MacLeods claimed descent from the kings of Man and the Isles — but that's another story.)

How did we get from the sons of Thorkell the Viking to the Corkhills of Man?

Without going too deep into Celtic grammar, "Mac" changed the sound of the following name, with the "C" eclipsing the "T". (It's actually not just Thorkel but son "OF Thorkel" - a genitive form of the name. Now there's grammar for you.)

The name was pronounced "Mac 'orkel" and later just "Corkel" as the "ma" of "mac" was dropped - a common occurence in Manx by the end of the 17th century. The name was anglicised as "Corkhill" though any resemblance to a hill near Cork or one made of cork is purely coincidental.

For a glimpse of the life of a young Viking named Thorkel, click here.

Today, Marina Corkhill is head of internal operations at the Isle of Man International Business School. Her Viking ancestors would certainly appreciate the "international" part, and they definitely knew their business.

The evolution of the name is a sign of the fusion that took place between Norse and Celtic culture on the island, which was under Norwegian or Viking rule from about the 9th or 10th century until 1265.

The great Viking king of the Isle of Man, Godred Crovan, left us the name Gorree, which became Orry in Manx English, and Mac Ghorree or Orry today is Corry.

Vannish dervices from Mac Vannish, once Mac Mhaghnuis, son of Magnus. Likewise, Kerrald comes from Mac Harald.

So let us doff our helmets to Godred, Thorkel, Magnus and Harald. Those of you in the Maryland-DC-Virginia region may want to go a bit further and join the Longship Company.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Vel oo mie? Are you well?

In Manx, House (of) the School.

In our last Manx mini-lesson (June 18), we looked at ways to ask “How are you?”

Two of the most common are:

Kanys ta shiu? The way to say “how are you?” politely or to a group of people.

Kys t’ou? An informal version of the same used with friends, family or children.

But there’s another way to get there, using the verb “to be.”

Ta is the present tense of the verb to be, meaning “it is”
Cha nel is the negative form in the present tense — “it is not”
Vel? Is the interrogative, the form we use to ask questions — “Is it?” “Are …?”

Therefore, if we want to ask someone “Are you well?” we say:

Vel oo mie? That’s “are” followed by the personal pronoun “you” and “well.”

Remembering the pronouns and vocabulary from the last lesson, we can use “ta”, “cha nel” and “vel?” to string together some basic sentences.

Cha nel mee mie. I am not well.
Ta Juan skee. John is tired.
Ta mee feer-vie. I am very well.
Cha nel Moirrey feer-vie. Mary isn’t very well.
Ta mee braew. I’m fine.
Ta mee caistreycair. I’m middling.
Ta mee ching. I'm ill.

Note that the verb “to be” comes first in the sentence — Manx sentence order is Verb, Subject, Object, unlike English is Subject, Verb, Object.

After someone’s enquired about your health, it’s only polite to thank them, which we do by saying gura mie eu, if we’re being formal, and gura mie ayd, informally.

Remember that Manx, like many European languages, uses the plural form in polite situations as well, when talking with strangers or social superiors, for example.

And now a note on the vocative case. We use the vocative case when addressing someone, either by name or some other title. For example, James in Manx is Jamys. But if we're calling James, we say "Yamys." In the vocative case, the initial consonant softens.

Jamys becomes Yamys
Juan becomes Yuan
Moirrey becomes Voirrey
dooiney becomes whooiney.

The last is not a name, but a noun - dooiney, man. "Whooiney" is used in expressions in much the same way we might say "man" or "dude" (depending on your age) on this side of the Atlantic. A Manx equivalent, according to the folks at LearnManx.com, is "yessir."

In this case, James has just completed the Parish Walk:

Vel oo skee, Yamys? Are you tired, James?
Ta, ta mee skee whooiney. Yes, I am tired yessir.

And I am too. Here's wishing you all oie vie — good night, gura mie eu.

Bannaghtyn (blessings)


Sunday, June 21, 2009

187 Finish 85-Mile Parish Walk

Jock Waddington hoists his trophy.

Jock Waddington led a record 187 finishers to win the 2009 Parish Walk, an 85-mile, 24-hour foot race around the Isle of Man. More than 1,600 walkers participated in the race, which began yesterday morning and ended early today.

Waddington, last year’s champion, completed the course in 15 hours, 45 minutes and 56 seconds. Here's a video of him at the finish from www.parishwalk.com:

Janice Quirk, the women’s champion, came in second, at 15 hours, 58 minutes and 35 seconds — which makes her the fastest woman in the history of the Parish Walk. Here she is at the finish:

The fastest male record in the Parish Walk was set by Sean Hands in 2006, who finished in 14 hours, 47 minutes and 36 seconds! That means he set a pace of about 6 miles per hour.

I’d love to walk around the Isle of Man myself, but I’d have to settle for a more sedate pace — and I’d stop in a pub or two along the way. Congratulations to all the walkers!


Saturday, June 20, 2009

2009 Parish Walk Under Foot!

Once the roads were clear of motorcycles, another kind of race began on the Isle of Man — a 24-hour, 85-mile race-walk through all 17 parishes of the island.

More than 1,600 walkers began the 2009 Parish Walk, sponsored by Clerical Medical, in Douglas this morning to raise funds for local charities.

Here they are at the start at the National Sports Centre.

This isn’t a walk in the park. By evening, it will be a walk in the dark, but hopefully not in the rain. The walkers must pass 17 parish churches, where they are timed, before proceeding to the finish at around 8 am June 21.

Here they are passing through Braddan:

Last year’s winner, Jock Waddington, completed the race in an incredible 15 hours and 44 minutes. Seven hours into the race today, Waddington had already passed the 39 mile mark at Kirk Michael Church, along with Robbie Callister (16:09:12 in 2008). They were followed shortly by Janice Quirk (17:26:12 last year) and Ray Pitts (who didn't complete the walk last year, but has been a "finisher" in six Parish Walks).

I should mention that all three men are over 40 and Ms. Quirk is a “veteran lady” somewhere north of 35.

The bulk of the walkers, more than 1,300, were stretched out for miles behind, with more than 1,300 making it beyond the 19-mile mark at Rushen Church.

Some walk alone, others in teams such as the Perree Bane Manx Dancers, Ballagyr Breakfast Club, Isle of Man Law Society and The Blisters Sisters.

Walkers aren’t required to complete the full 85-mile trek. They can retire at any point along the way. Check Manx Telecom’s timing page to see how they’re doing.

There are a couple of bloggers following the race — or walking themselves.


And a final view for now:

And to all the walkers, aigh vie erriu! (good luck on you!)

Nineteen hundred and eleven was a banner year on the Isle of Man.

Douglas celebrated its jubilee as a municipality, the first plane took off from Manx shores and the first "Tourist Trophy" motorcycle race roared across Snaefell Mountain.

Now the 1911 Census for England, Wales and the Isle of Man is available online — a boon to genealogists and all those interested in British and Manx history.

Work has been under way on census digitization for two years. Eight million paper returns have been transcribed and scanned to create 16 million digital images.

This census is available at http://www.1911census.co.uk/. Read more about the project from Rachael Bruce on iomtoday.com.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Gaelic Roots of Manx Names

On the Isle of Man, even a short name can have a long story behind it. Take, for example, the name Leece.

It may come as a surprise to learn that the name is a shortened form of a Gaelic surname meaning “son of the servant of Christ” – Mac Guilley Yeesey!

Most Manx surnames come to us from Gaelic, Norse or English sources, and time has not always been kind to them. The language shift from Manx toEnglish, in particular, worked some remarkable changes on surnames, with “Leece” being a good example.

In this case, the original name would be pronounced (more or less) “mak-uh-lees-uh."

Early written forms include Mac ilest (1550), Mac Leece (1600), and Mc y leese (c. 1750). We find it shortened to Leece by 1782.

In Ireland and Scotland the name would be written Mac Giolla Iosa, and it is found in Ireland and Scotland toady as both MacAleese and Gillies.

Names identifying the bearer as a servant or devotee of a saint were popular among our Manx forebearers. This was true throughout the Gaelic-speaking world. Another name of this type is Looney, or Lewney.

Early written forms of this name include Mac Lawney (1504), and Lownye (1540). Lewney was recorded as long ago as 1623, and Looney from 1644. The original Manx form of the name would be Mac Guilley Dhoonee, which means “son of the servant of the Lord” (God - Dominus).

Mac Guilley Dhoonee was compressed phonetically into “Muckil-loon-ee” and eventually “Looney,” much as the Irish name Mac Giolla Domhnaigh — the same name — was rendered into “MacIldowney” or "Downey" in English, a clipped version of the original Gaelic name.

A similar prefix to Mac Guilley is Myl- or Myle, as in Mylcharaine, “son of the servant of St. Kieran,” or Mylechreest. “Myle” is related to the Irish “Maol” meaning “tonsured,” though it's been argued that it could also be a contraction of "Mac Guilley."

There are plenty of “Mac” and even some “O” names on Man, though it might be hard to spot them. They’re often disguised by “C,” “K” and “Q.”

Collister, for example, is Mac Alasdair; Karagher, Mac Fhearchair; and Quiggin, Mac Uiginn. (In Ireland, Ó hUiginn is translated as "Higgins".)

In some cases the “O,” which means “descended from,” was simply dropped, as in Gelling – originally Ó Gealáin (descendent of the small bright one) – and Knowles, remarkably Englished from Ó Tnúthghail!

The Gaelic name was roughly pronounced “Nole” or “Noole,” and the “s” at the end of Knowles is all that is left of the hybrid “Tnúthghail-son.”

Interested in the origin of your Manx surname? The Manx Note Book has a good list of resources online.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Kanys ta shiu? How are you?

"Without a tongue, without a country"

Yesterday I promised some more basic Manx phrases and vocabulary. As we’ve already covered basic greetings —

Laa mie or Good day
Moghrey mie or Good morning
Fastyr mie or Good afternoon or evening

— I think it’s time to take the next step and ask how the person we’ve just met is getting on.

Here I’ll give you three ways to ask “How are you?” for the price of one.

Kanys ta shiu? Literally “How are/is you?” – this is the polite or plural form used with strangers, your elders or more than one person.

Kys t’ ou? This is a more familiar way to ask the question that you would use with friends, family and children. It also is singular, not plural.

Cre’ naght ta shiu? This translates more as “What’s your condition?” and is used in the same circumstances as “Kanys ta shiu?” Think of the many ways we ask this question in English — “How are you?” “How’s it going?” etc.

t’ou is “are you.” oo or ou is the familiar form of “you”; shiu is the plural or polite form.

We call oo and shiu personal pronouns. It’s good to know who we’re talking about, so:

mee (me, I); oo (you); eh (him); ee (her); shin (we); shiu (you); ad (they).

Ta is the present tense of the verb “to be” in Manx, meaning “is” or “are”. Remember that in Manx, unlike English, the verb comes first in a sentence. The sentence order is Verb, Subject, Object, rather than Subject, Verb, Object : Ran I to the Store instead of I Ran to the Store.

So if someone asks you “Kanys ta shiu” your reply would begin:

Ta mee — I am … Ta shin — we are.

And now to add some detail:

Feer vie — Very well
Mie dy-liooar — Well enough
Goll as gaccan — “Going and grumbling”
Castreycair — Middling
Braew — fine

Now for an example:

Kanys ta shiu, Illiam? Ta mee feer vie. Kanys ta shiu, Avril? Ta mee goll as gaccan.
Now, if Avril asked me how I was, another way for me to put the same question to her in response would be Kanys ta shiu hene? or "And how's yourself?"

And don't forget to thank the other person for enquiring. In the polite/plural form, we would say:

Gura mie eu

In the informal or familiar, singular form:

Gura mie ayd

They both mean "May there be good at you," a fine sentiment on which to end our lesson.

Here's another link to a Manx learning site: Yn Cheshaght Ghailckagh, The Manx Gaelic Society, founded in 1899. That's their motto at the top of the blog post.

Gura mie eu!


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Startey Noa - A New Start for Manx

Musicians at the Cooish, an annual celebration of the Manx language.
(Photo courtesy Ynsee Gaelg.)

Laa mie erriu. The other day I introduced a few basic greetings in Manx. Before going further, I'd like to step back and offer some background on the language.

The Manx language, declared dead by some in the 1970s, is showing significant signs of life in the new millennium. More people are learning and speaking Manx.

Manx is taught as a voluntary subject in the Isle of Man's schools, and the government has increased support for the language. The 2001 Isle of Man Census showed a total of 1,689 persons who could speak, read or write Manx — the largest number in almost a century.

That may seem a very small number, but bear in mind that the total population of the island is less than 80,000, and that the number of Manx speakers reported in the 1961 census was 165.

In the past 40 years, Manx has made a remarkable recovery. Dr. Brian Stowell, former Manx Language Officer and a leading Manx teacher, calls it “a complete transformation.”

It's the result of broad economic and social change over the past two generations, as banking and a variety of new industries took root and immigration swelled the Manx population.

The Manx government today sees the island's unique language and identity as an advantage in the international marketplace. And many immigrants are drawn to Manx culture as well.

It's a very old culture — the ancestor of the language we now call Manx was introduced to the island around 500 A.D. Manx is a Celtic language very closely related to Irish and Scottish Gaelic — that's clear from its native name, Gaelg — and more distantly to Welsh, Cornish and Breton.

It remained the main language of the island despite successive conquests by the Scandinavian Vikings, the Scots and, in the 14th Century, the English.

In 1764, a pamphlet published by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge reported "the population of the Isle is 20,000, of whom the far greater number are ignorant of English.”

Unlike Irish and Scottish Gaelic, Manx was not a written language until the 18th Century. The first Manx book, a religious text, was published in 1707.

The language fell into serious decline in the 19th Century, as the long-isolated island was absorbed into the growing English-speaking economy of Great Britain.

The first serious attempts to revive it came late in the 19th Century, with the founding of Yn Cheshaght Ghailckagh — The Manx Language Association — a group still active today.

The last member of the old generation raised speaking Manx, Ned Maddrell, died in 1974, and some authorities declared the language dead with him. But Manx learners refused to give up its ghost. They continued speaking it, and the number of learners began to grow.

A new attitude toward Manx began to grow, too. The old prejudice against the language — rooted in the 19th Century expansion of English at the expense of the Celtic languages — was giving way to a new interest in Manx.

Today there is a growing Manx-language primary school on the island, Bunschoill Ghailckagh, and Manx is a much more visible and appreciated part of the island's heritage.

That would have surprised, and no doubt pleased, the 165 Manx speakers of 1961.

Tomorrow I'll be back with more conversational Manx and fresh links to new Web sites.

Lesh dy chooilley yeearree mie (with every good wish)


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

This Tynwald Day, Give Thanks to the Manx

Expatriate Manx and friends of the Isle of Man have a unique opportunity to show their appreciation for Ellan Vannin this Tynwald Day, thanks to Greenlight Television.

The Manx-based company, best known for its motorsport programs, will be filming Tynwald Day celebrations on the island, and hopes to broadcast the July 5 ceremonies live over the Internet.

As part of its coverage, it would like to receive video recordings from the "Manx Diaspora" — Manx associations and friends of the island from around the world.

"This could be members saying hello to people in the Isle of Man, a recording of a previous get-together — alternatively, we're open to ideas!" writes sales executive Kate Skinner.

"We thought it would be good to get a flavour of how the Manx National Day is celebrated further afield."

So why not get your cameras out and make a short film sending your greetings to the Manx, with thanks.

For more information, contact kate.skinner@greenlight.tv. And check out the showreel on Greenlight's Web site!

And thanks to Jim Kneale, president of the Greater Washington Area Manx Society, for passing on Kate's letter. Gura mie ayd, Yamys!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Laa Mie! Manx Greetings and a Web Site

Moghrey mie - good morning!

Manx Mum asked me to step in while she's on vacation with a few Manx lessons and blog posts on Manx language and culture. I thought we'd begin with a few basic greetings to help get you started.

I just gave you the first - moghrey mie. Moghrey is morning and mie is good, so we can see that in Manx adjectives such as good, bad, happy, sad come after the noun, not before it.

Other greetings:

Laa mie — Good day.
Fastyr mie — Good afternoon, or good evening.

We'll stop with what you'd say after spending a long morning, day, afternoon or evening with a friend and it's traa gholl thie — time to go home: Oie vie, good night.

Notice how mie changed to vie after oie. That's because oie (night) is a feminine noun, and feminine nouns can change the initial sound of an adjective that follows them. M and B become V in such cases. Hence, after oie, mie becomes vie. Oy vey.

How to pronounce Manx? I could spell it out, but why take my word for it? Go to Ynsee Gaelg at www.learnmanx.com to hear spoken Manx and take free online Manx lessons.

There's an incredible amount of information and Manx learning material available on the Web — something we didn't have when I first became interested in Manx.

It doesn't matter now if you're in Douglas or Des Moines or Dahomey, you can hear spoken Manx online, a great help in learning pronunciation.

I'll be back later with more on the language and additional Web sites for you to explore.

Until then,

Laa mie erriu (good day to you),


Sunday, June 14, 2009

John Crellin Killed in Senior TT Race

John Crellin (Photo courtesy Isle of Man Today)

We are sad to report the death of John Crellin of Douglas, Isle of Man, killed Friday when his Suzuki crashed during the Senior TT.

Crellin, 55, was in his fifth lap when he crashed at the Mountain Box.

Comments flooded into the Isle of Man Today Web site mourning his loss. (Read his obituary here.)

Crellin was hailed as a modest, decent, gutsy "regular bloke."

"He was the epitome of what the TT was, and still is all about," one friend wrote.

Earlier in the day, Crellin placed third in the first electric motorcycle race around the TT course.

Off the TT course, the transportation engineer was an avid mountaineer. He made three attempts to climb Mount Everest, his last attempt earlier this year.

Between 1998 and 2009, he climbed some of the highest mountains in the world: Elbrus, Kilimanjaro, McKinley, Vinson Massif, Aconcagua, Carstensz Pyramid and Kosciuszko.

Our sympathy and condolences to his family and friends in the Isle of Man and around the globe.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Manx Settler in Spanish St. Augustine

Laa mie! I promised Kelly a series of posts on the Manx language, but first I'd like to share the mysterious story of an early Manx settler in Spanish Florida.

Back in 1696, the English barkentine Reformation was shipwrecked off Jupiter Island on the southeast coast of Florida while on its way from Jamaica to Philadelphia. The survivors walked 230 miles north along the coast to St. Augustine, the capital of Spanish Florida since 1565.

One of those survivors, Jonathan Dickinson, kept a journal detailing harrowing encounters with Indians hostile to "Nickaleers," as they called the English. The Spanish eventually rescued them, but not before five of the party died of exposure and exhaustion.

In St. Augustine Dickinson and his compatriots were aided by "some English" that lived there. "The chiefest in esteem was one William Carr of the Isle of Man," Dickinson wrote.

Carr apparently had been shipwrecked himself about 30 years earlier — in the 1660s — on his way to South Carolina. "This man turned Roman Catholic and married a Spanish woman, of whom he had seven children, and is an officer in the garrison," Dickinson wrote. "He was chief interpreter."

With the help of Carr and the Spanish, Dickinson and his party made their way to South Carolina, and from there to Philadelphia. Dickinson's journal was first published in 1699 and "Jonathan Dickinson's Journal" is still available.

I've often wondered what became of William Carr, and about his origins on the Isle of Man. Perhaps some of our NAMA members in Florida are acquainted with the history of this son of Mannin, who wound up very far from home and in a different climate indeed!

lesh dagh yeearree mie (with every good wish),


Friday, June 12, 2009

I'm going on vacation

We are off to the Dominican Republic for 9 days. And unlike all my business trips I will NOT be taking the computer and I will NOT be blogging.

However, I have asked Illiam Cassidy if he will use my absence to give you all a few Manx lessons. Pay attention - there'll be a test when I get back! Kelly.

A letter from Dian at the Woollen Mills

You know I have talked about John at the Laxey Mills before, well this is from a letter from Dian, his sister, and I'm sure she won't mind me sharing it with you:

The shop is adorable actually, and Jackie, the lady who runs it, is lovely too and making a nice job of it. Its turning in to an Aladdin's cave though, and so it is already too small! You must come visit us in the mill next trip. We've gotten the artist studio and silversmith studio almost finished, the exhibition hall (was first floor where cloth kept) is now all done and looks great. Next, is the mill ground floor itself. It is going to be done in the next month, with the shop area moved to the exhibition hall to keep things ticking along. Two out of three of the roofs have been replaced (like for like) and that leaves just one to be done - the biggest. Then, with lots of luck and deep-held breath, we wait for planning permission to build an extension to make the two-floor building as it used to be (where the wheel house originally was, and now is the old boiler room) to build a MostlyManx tea room! Its all great stuff and John is loving it. Yesterday was Laxey Day for the TT. Laxey was grid-lock with traffic and the mill was mobbed with bikers. Haven't seen it so busy since I was a child. It was exciting and fun had by all. The sun was shining too, which always helps!

All's well though, both at the mill and in Laxey. We are having a book written by-the-way. Do you know Sue King? She's the lady we've retained to do the research and actual writing. She's been at it now for something like 8 months. The book is about the mill, the people who have owned it in the past and worked there. It also stretches out to the village folk, and spans 150 years! Will keep you informed on that one. She's expecting to release it next spring.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

I'd be a copper if I got a bike like that

German police help out over the TT period as German visitors have a tough time adjusting to the "Links Farhen" instructions and riding on the "wrong" side of the road.

There are two German officers who have volunteered to take time out from the normal duties in Germany to provide help for the Manx force and a vital service for visiting fans during this year's TT.

Days are long and the work varied for the two officers. On Tuesday, for example, their day begun with translating statements and then escorting the Lieutenant Governor Sir Paul Haddacks. By that day, they had already dealt with two accidents involving German bikers and a third involving an Austrian. Their Island posting is voluntary and they have only their travel expenses and accommodation paid for.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Red Arrows over Douglas & Ramsey

It's a great tradition. The RAF's Red Arrows precision flying team gives thrilling virtuoso displays over Ramsey and Douglas - both towns with big bays so the view as they fly onland is spectactular. And there are lots of photos www.photostoday.co.uk here.

Great story here about John McGuinness busting his lap records twice, including on a slow down for a pitstop lap.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Yanks on Bikes complete TT race

Motorcycle USA
Isle of Man TT 2009 - Dainese Superbike
All four Americans were in good spirits before the start and Mark Miller (photo) showed why when he came home in 11th place to claim a Bronze with a 121.528-mph average just missing out on a Silver replica. Jimmy Moore rode a steady, but creditable race on his Yamaha to come home in 22nd with a race average of 117.822 mph and also claim a Bronze replica.

TT virgins James Vanderhaar on his Kawasaki and CR Gittere on his Honda both finished, taking the last two finisher’s places, 49th and 50th, respectively. Certainly something to be cherished given the number of non-finishers from over 75 starters, including some top and fancied riders! Jenny Tinmouth came 44th.

Manx team Dave Molyneux and Dan Sayle won the Sure Sidecar Race 1

He likes the place

ROSSI-MANIA hit the Isle of Man TT yesterday (Monday). Motorcycling legend Valentino Rossi – the reigning MotoGP champion and winner of eight world championships – touched down in the Island first thing and whipped bike fans into a frenzy.

Tourism Minister, Martyn Quayle presented Rossi with a special engraved trophy to commemorate his and Agostini's lap before TV pundit Steve Parrish kicked off the press conference, at which he was joined by Guy Martin, Dainese's Vittorio Cafaggi and 15-times world champion and 10-times TT winner Agostini.

Rossi revealed he has always been a TT fan.

'I follow always the race but I have never been before to the Isle of Man so today is the first time,' he said. 'I see a lot of DVDs of the laps with onboard camera but for real is another story.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Gibb boys to be made Freemen of Douglas

Barry and Robin and their late brother, Maurice, are to be honored by Douglas Corporation. They will become Freemen of the Town in a ceremony at Douglas Town Hall on 10 July. Other members of the family, including Maurice's widow and son, are also expected to attend.

John McGuinness wins 15th TT

Here's the story.
JOHN McGuinness won his 15th TT after taking today's Superbike event.
The 35-year-old seized control of the opening race of this year's Isle of Man TT by breaking the Superbike lap record from a standing start, setting an average speed of 129.779mph on the opening lap to break Guy Martin's time from last year.

He then went one better on lap two by breaking his own outright lap record, set in 2007, with a speed of 130.442mph. He remained in control at the head of the field for the remaining four laps to set a new race record of 1 hour 46 minutes 7.16 seconds, an average speed of 127.996mph, and overtake Mike Hailwood's record of 14 TT wins.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Darn it!

After weeks of blistering heat and sunshine the weather has taken a turn for the worse as the practices end and the TT proper begins. Oh yeah, remember the Ozzie I was talking about and the nutty speed he did? Well, he crashed on Friday. And hurt his shoulder. And probably can't actually compete.

The Met Office at Ronaldsway has the following weather predictions:
Today's Weather - 6/6/2009

Updated at Midday. Wet and windy this afternoon with mist over the hills and best temperatures of only 10C / 50F. This evening the rain will gradually die out and the wind will ease a little.

The maximum temperature will be 10C
Four Day Forecast

Sunday: Mainly dry with moderate to fresh northeast winds and some brighter spells are likely to develop in the afternoon.
Monday: Mostly dry and bright with some sunshine. Light to moderate NE breezes, slightly warmer.
Tuesday: Dry start but often cloudy and some rain is possible by the afternoon. Mostly moderate NE winds.
Wednesday: Rather cloudy but mostly dry, perhaps just a few showery outbreaks. Moderate to fresh NE'ly.

The Department of Transport has a weather page which accesses Manx webcams. http://www.dotet.co.uk/

Friday, June 5, 2009

Jenny Tinmouth and Cameron Donald

From an article:
Jun 5 2009 by Paul Wheelock, Ellesmere Port Pioneer

ELLESMERE Port’s queen of speed, Jenny Tinmouth, has put in another stunning performance at the Isle of Man TT.

She only missed out on cracking the magical “Ton+10” milestone for a lap of the famous 37.75 mile TT circuit during last night’s practice competing for Monday’s Super Sport Junior TT .

Tinmouth completed two laps during the practice session and showed she is steadily learning the pure road circuit after posting a second lap time of 20.38.47 for an average speed of 109.674mph on her Two Wheel Workshop 60 Honda.

Last night’s practice was dominated by Australian Cameron Donald, who unofficially smashed the outright lap record with a stunning lap of 17.13.25 at an average speed of 131.457mph on his 1,000cc Relentless Suzuki by Tass machine. Donald completed the run from Douglas to Ballaugh Bridge at an average of 140.428mph after roaring through the speed trap on the Sulby straight at 188mph.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Bushy's live webcams

You've got to hand it to the geeks -- here I sit in wet Alexandria and I can watch the sunlit beer tent and the bare-armed frolickers enjoying a boiling hot June in the Isle of Man. It's amazing - you can watch the bands playing and the bikers having a blast. Bushy's and the TT are a great tradition, it used to be in one of their pubs but now they have the tent. Cheers! Click here

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

TT 2009

The TT website is up and running and if you go to the News page you'll find lots of interesting stuff about Practice week as they count down to the TT Races 2009. And if you go to the Shop page you can buy -- for a mere £10, TT Live! which is the exclusive subscription service offered by the Official website of the Isle of Man TT and the event’s Official broadcast partner Manx Radio TT. You can subscribe for unlimited access to the live service for the full TT Festival, with detailed coverage of every single practice and race session as it happens. TT Live! brings you Manx Radio TT’s commentary, news updates from the circuit and the latest data from the Unisys Sulby Speed Trap. Plus, you’ll follow the progress of the top 10 riders on our specially designed dashboard, as well as being able to select three of your favourites to keep an eye on as well. They have nice T-shirts, too. Oh, did I mention Rossi was coming?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

We all know how Johnny Depp was mobbed by local teenagers - just wait til they seen Rossi!

Great story here from Marc Potter, editor of Motorcycle News who says on his TT Blog:

"...it’s now just five days away until I ride our long-term test Yamaha R1 alongside the world’s two greatest riders in history – Mr Valentino Rossi and Mr Giacamo Agostini. On closed roads. At the Isle of Man TT. In front of 40,000 fans with a bike mounted with TV cameras. I swear that getting married and having twins didn’t raise my stress levels as much as the thought of this."

Ancestry Centre on course - slow ahead

FITTING out the new £1.25m Manx Ancestry Centre that we reported on here a few months ago will take six months after the building work is complete. Alex Downie told the Legislative Council that construction of the building at the former Government Analyst's Laboratory next to the Manx Museum, Douglas, was on schedule with the facility due to be handed to Manx National Heritage in January. The center is expected to open in the second half of 2010.
Mr Downie said there was a lot of technology and wiring involved and systems had to be checked before the centre opens as there were plans to promote 'roots tourism' encouraging people to visit the Island to trace their family.
Software to give access to information is being developed by local firm PDMS with Treasury's Information Services Division. The content will be digitised in a number of packages. Newspaper digitisation has gone out for tender and further projects to digitise parish records, births, marriages and deaths records and wills will begin in June, Mr Downie explained.
The digitisation of records is supported by the Genealogical Society of Utah, with considerable help from volunteers from the Isle of Man Family History Society and the Friends of Manx National Heritage.

Monday, June 1, 2009

TT safety ads - Hard hitting

From Visor Down is news of a hard-hitting poster campaign to make TT visitors consider the risks of driving too fast or failing to drive on the left.

This coincides with the start of the TT races in the hottest June for a long time. Long may the sun shine on it.

Ballarock's Celtic Mist

Ballarock's Celtic mist will appear on Manx supermarket shelves this week. The drink is made from 100 per cent Manx dairy cream and the company says it reflects the 'unique Celtic/Norse cultural heritage of the Isle of Man'. Ballarock's Celtic Mist is the first of what is hoped to be a number of products produced by Ballarock Ltd.

The sales pitch for Celtic Mist says it evokes the legend of Manannan mac Lir, the mythical god-king and protector of the Island who is said to have lived on South Barrule, the next hill but one to Ballarock. It is made from cream and selected fine grain spirits, with subtle hints of caramel and butterscotch and comes in full-size 70cl bottles.
The label was designed by Manx graphic designer Tracey Harding, in the Celtic revival style originally championed by Archibald Knox.