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ur ble goude...hag an distro-skol

Today it is exactly a year ago I went to Rennes: on 9 september 2008 my introduction for Erasmus students over there begun. How time flies! Yesterday I was on the chat with my german friend Florine, and we were both quite nostalgic about it: our minisized rooms in 'Cezembre', cooking lunch together in the shared kitchen, hanging around on the Plasenn santez Anna....We were particulary nostalgic about our first time there, when classes were all new, and we were discovering Rennes, as it were...Now that school has started again, and I have picked up my daily routine of starting up with lots of green tea and a healthy dose of music, the music I put on makes me think of Rennes often. Especially when I put on Nolwenn Korbell or Loened Fall. Those where the first cd's I bought in Britanny: I remember buying Nolwenn's first cd when I was in Vannes with Marie and her boyfriend in the Halloween holidays. Yesterday I even smelled Rennes, when listening to music. Apparantly my room over there had another smell than the one I am occupying now, as I had a distinctive Rennes-smell in my nose...
Sunday will be my birthday. My last birthday I started at midnight in the Ty Anna, together with Flo, drinking chouchenn and toasting to my health. It is so strange to see how time flies!! The Ty Anna was the first pub I knew to find in Rennes, as I went there with Bronnwenn on my second day there. I remember that evening; after having a drink we ate at Bronnwenn's, quinoa with veggies. At ten in the evening, or later. In the beautiful house she shares with Yann, with the large windows with view on the city-centre.
I also remember later things, like the strike, Easter at Kastell Gwenn, going to the beach at Carnac....the second semester feels like I spend more than the half of my time in the Morbihan, while the first semseter is very much coloured by discovering Rennes, together with Flo mostly. The first semester she still lived in the same house; the second she had moved to the other end of town.

Ok. So far so good for nostalgia.

Last weekend I was at the 'Old Music Market', part of the Festival Old Music here in Utrecht. Over there I met one of the most inspiring persons I've ever met, recorder designer/builder Adriana Breuking. She is the designer of the Mollenhauer 'dream flute' (of which I also own a soprano) and she has now a new flute line called 'eagles'. These flutes are awesome! They are quite 'primitive'  in their look: very big and very wide. And they have a sound! I was allowed to play them and I was in love immediately. They have a 'big'  sound: think Renaissance recorder factor ten. And the way she talks about flutes is very inspiring. I have been practising almost every day since then, with a renewed enthusiasm ;-)

What I also wanted to share was that I am feeling a bit better now that school has begun again. I have also found a small sidejob, in the university restaurant at the 'Uithof'. It is only a few hours per week, but better than nothing! It seems my subjects in the first trimester will be not too difficult... as far as I can see now, that is. I will follow Paleography&Codicoology ("how to write and edition") and Middle Breton. Because I already have some knowledge of Middle Breton, and of Modern Breton, Peter will give me another end subject as the rest of the group. I don't know yet what it will be...the rest will have to write an essay of 15 pages. I have proposed writing on the differences between Early Vannetais and Middle Breton (well, I've proposed writing on Early Vannetais, and this is what Peter came up with), but now that I am reading about a bit, it seems that Roparz Hemon ahs already covered this subject, mostly. I'll see. At least I am doing something Breton!

Another happy thingie: my parents will give me for my birthday the book on Carnac by Le Rouzic I searched for it a long time! I found it online at least. At the same site I also found 'The Fairy Faith in the Celtic countries', by Evans with a foreword by Anatole Le Braz. I'll have the two of them for my birthday, weehee!

So...things are going a bit better. Wouldn't say I am altogether happy, but I can deal with stuff now. That's fine for the moment. And I think school will be fun this year.

blegh

Yesterday I went with Hanna to the concert of RicciCapricci, with Lisa Pawelke singing medieval/early renaissance songs. It was wonderful! The ensemble consisted of three recorders of various heights (historical ones, pwetty pwetty renaissance recorders), a guy playing proto-guitar and lutes, and a guy playing arabian drums. And Lisa, singing. It was too long ago I hadn't heard her voice, and the recorders did some amazing harmony stuff. I loved it, and so did Hanna as far as I can tell :-)

I really needed this concert, as my overall mood has not been great lately. Since Gwenole left I haven't been very well, and thanks to a mistake made by the IB group I am practically pennyless, which is stressy, and I also had applied for two jobs, to be invited to talk by none of them. I'm really a bit desperate about how I am going to live this year. And how to like it a bit, as well. I just feel....bad. I don't want the summer to be over, I don't want the study year to begin, I don't want to stay here for years. I found out lately the first year of the Diwan education is unpayed, so I will have to work a bit before I can start to study for my work. And I'll have to do that in the Netherlands. How on earth am I going to find a full-time job in the Netherland, in times of economical crisis, with a MA Celtic Studies?

I am just so tired...and I feel so far away of everything I would like to do. Sorry for these dark thoughts but they have been haunting me for weeks now and I just can;t get rid of them. If I only would be a bit motivated for my studies here...but it feels all so undoable. I just needed to rant. And I know my friends will read it and place some comforting words. That's what I hope for. You guys are my motivation: please call me often this year to have fun with me, and I think I'll survive.

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My dear friends,

That is, those of you who still check this journal after almost a month of silence...I am sorry, a lot has happened. You might say that loads of events would inspire me to write something down for you, but actually it just took me out of my routines, also my routine to write here on my LJ. I just didn't feel like it.

So, where shall I start?

I changed home once again, as I took over the room of my foilsigidir friend Nike for half a year. Nike is going to study in Dublin, and I needed a room, so it is a perfect deal. I feel already quite at home at my new place: nice housemates, lots of space, and my room gives access to the garden. Especially with the hot weather we had lately this was a very comfortable asset!
Not this weekend, but the one before, I went to Castlefest together with Hanna, Sanne and Hadas. It was great. As I am really pennyless at the moment, I thought I couldn't go this year, but my friends decided this was not to be and payed the tickets for me as an early birthday present. Sweet!! It were two good days, in the midst of dear friends and people I meet only at that festival: I catched up again with Arthur, the Cornish guy I met at the festival two years ago. Once again we danced and laughed and had fun together. I also dragged Artur to the drum circle, as my other friends were having an other programme: he loved it as much as I did. Drumming and dancing ourself into the Otherworld together with our fellow-weirdos...The only thing was, last year there were some 'grounding'  exercises after the Circle had ended, and it would have been a good thing to have them done again. Now some people were after the ritual walking around all 'spacy' and others, like me, performed some grounding exercises for themselves. It would have been good to do such a thing together, as maybe not everyone knows how to ground themselves as they should, and, after all, it is better to ground all together as an integral part of the happening.
Together with the girls I walked the terrain, ate sitting on the grass, and listened to the various groups of music. We also jammed a bit for ourselves, as Hanna had brought her new vielle (insert worship here), I had brought my flutes, and the others their voices. 
One of the most special moments this year was Valravn on Saturday. Hadas, unfortunately, couldn't be there on Saturday, but with us three we danced for her as well. Anna-Katrin has an intriguing voice which she can mould to the most impossible, superhuman sounds... It is difficult to describe the music of Valravn, they don;t fit in any box. You should hear it for yourself.
Orfeo played ballfolk, and it was good to hear them again, after a year, and to refresh my balfolk-skills. My instincts have grown a bit more in the direction of fest-noz this year, and it is not exactly the same kind of dancing. Even if balfolkies dance the andro, hanterdro and sometimes even a laride or rond st. vincent, and if there might be played some accidental scottish, mazurka or even bourree at a fest-noz.
The burning of the Wicker Beast on Saturday evening was another highlight, as every year. Fireshows are fun! I watched it together with celtic friend Iris, as the rest of my own little group was unfindable in the crowd, after having gone to search someone they had an appointment with... O well. Iris and I did agree that the performance of Omnia, during the burning, wasn't great: their new songs aren't just on the same level as the older ones, and, moreover, a rap! Why? I looked up the text, and it is a fine piece of its kind, but it is so NOT Omnia! I've heard a lot of people who were a bit disappointed by the band this year.
Rapalje, on the other hand, was great as always. Those guys just don't change...the play their happy-party-folky thing and everyone dances and has uncomplicated fun.
Yes, I think this year's edition of Castlefest may called a succes again. 

Next event: hanging out in Utrecht with celts! As I couldn't be at the last appointment with Daphne, Iris and Hanna, Daphne just made a new one. We talked, catched up with each other's lifes (I hadn't had the opportunity on CF to really catch up with Iris, as Omnia was playing really loud), ate lowbudget but good food, and walked around in our own city of Utrecht. I remarked I missed our talk and the humour of these friends, so I was very content with this evening :-)
It was also the first evening of Summer Darkness, with free balfolk on the Dom square! Daphne and Iris had to go home early enough, but with Hanna I danced that evening (and during the whole weekend) to the music of Orfeo (again), Celts Without Frontiers, and EmBRUN. I think my ballfolk-skills are almost back to normal now, although I am still bad at the mazurka and the bourree. But these aren't dances I like a lot anyway.
Orfeo are masters of the dreamy hanterdro. They have three hanterdros now, I think, and I like them all! The new one is a bit more 'metal'  than the others, but really, they are all great. Maybe it is because of Orfeo and their Dix Marins that the hanterdro hast become my favourite dance. And this time I heard for the first time that the first, instrumental, part of Dix Marins  is the melody of Du-hont Du-hont! As some of you know, this is a song very close to my heart since it was the first song I learned at Jan-Mai's singing lessons. I remember even a certain alcoholic night with Anna that ended at the Place st. Anne, singing Du-Hont Du-Hont and dancing the hanterdro...and other people joining in the dance! Those were the days....Maybe this is the reason I wasn't all well, emotionally, when I got home Friday evening. I enjoyed meeting my friends, I enjoyed the music, but when I came home I just got hit by these sentiments...I thought of festou-noz, of friends (and boyfriend) in Brittany, of the past year, and everything just seemed so far away. I couldn't sleep and the day after I felt very bad, physically. Sunday it was all over however, so that I could enjoy the last day of Free Festivaling as I should.
I can't live in the past, should stay in the Here and Now. The Netherlands can be fun as well, this post full of friendship and festivals proves it. And as I will have to stay here for a year and I should better enjoy my time here, instead of just losing a year in melancholy. And I do enjoy it. I am happy to see my friends, my dear ones, to walk in my own town of Utrecht and to be amidst things so well-known and dear. But every once in a while the hiraezh hits me in the back.

Anyway, I feel already much more energetic and ready for new things as a month ago. I made a drawing this week I am very happy with, I am reading stuff for a project that might become a MA thesis (on folklore regarding st. Cornely, interesting!!), playing music and learning new songs (and linguistics) from the Holy Book I bought lately (Chants et airs traditionnels du Pays Vannetais, from Dastum) and, you won't believe it, I want to translate some Middle Welsh! Well, maybe it is Early Modern Welsh, not sure (early 16th century, anyone?). Anyway, I am reading the introduction to Ystoria Taliesin now, and I am planning to translate the story. Maybe you know it: about the boy Gwion Bach who becomes, as Taliesin, the best bard ever. We spoke about Taliesin in class in Rennes, and the figure intrigued me. Moreover, if I want to do this Master, with Britsh as a specialisation, I'd better do something about my Middle Welsh. Haven't read anything in it for a year...
Yes, these project make me feel better, like having a goal, even on holidays. Thursday Gwenole will come here to visit me, I am so much looking foreward to it!

rambling

Dear friends,


I feel it is about time I write something new over here...but you see, actually I do not have so much to tell. I am back in the Netherlands after two weeks in Brittany with my love, and there I enjoyed it immensely to be together again, to walk in the forest, make silly jokes together, to be back in my beloved Brittany...

Now that I am in Rotterdam again, I feel a difference in my attitude to the Netherlands. Before I returned to Brittany, in June, I felt very bad and sad most of the time, because I had to leave behind so much that had become so intensely dear to me. And it felt like I had to leave it behind for a very long time, if not for ever. But now I have realised that it is not forever, it is only a year that I will spend here, and this year will be great! I will spend it studying Celtic studies at Utrecht University again, the Master this time. Of course will this be very interesting, and I will spend the year in the midst of old and dear friends, the ones that I missed when I was in Brittany. Some of them I have already seen again, others I hope to see soon. Coming Tuesday I am going to have a day of fun with Hanna, Sanne and Hadas, and only Hanna I have seen since I went back to the Netherlands. I am looking forward to a year full of music and dance, with balfolk and playing music together with friends. I will miss kan-ha-diskan, but playing duets with Hanna on vielle and renaissance recorder willa wordthy replacement! I start to realise more and more that living in the Netherlands has its bright sides as well.

Yesterday evening I went out sailing with my father after dinner, until sunset. It was wonderful: there wasn't so much of wind, but enough to keep moving, and it was just so relaxing, I'd almost say meditative, to watch the silhouets of the ducks and other waterbirds against the setting sun, on this still mirror of water...and all this in the watery colours of a damp sunset: gold, pink and dark shiny blue. The Netherlands can be pretty, too. And sailing is typically a dad-and-me-thing, that I missed when I was in Brittany. It was good to return to these old pleasant habits.

For the rest I am not having so much to do this days, so I spend them on baking (apricot clafoutis, lemon crepes, kouign amann...), knitting my scarf for Iris (it's almost done), bandweaving for Sanne, writing in my Book of Songs (I am trying to write down all traditional Breton, Irish and Dutch songs I can sing in a book together, as a kind of 'repertoire' and because I like this kind of work), writing in my diairy, playing music, and contemplating and meditating a lot: on the future, how I will work things out this year, on life. The universe and anything. Water. Herbal infusions. Dreams and poetry.

In a few days I will move to Utrecht, still have to arrange some things for it. Hopefully I will keep you updated.

pok pok,
Ennys

Breizh fiskal

Sorry for not having written for such a long time everyone - I wasn't really in the mood. Right now I have a lot of things to say, but because I am really very tired I think this will be a short post.

At the moment I am in Auray, and I am tired because I went to a fest-noz last night that lasted just until the first light. It was wonderfull, lot's of laridenn-gavotenns, a dance I like a lot. And there were some great groups: the Korrigans aren't bad, and I saw Kanerien Langazel! I have a CD of that group but never saw hem live. 
Before going to the fest-noz I had picknicked with some friends, on the coast in St. Philibert. It was 35 degrees and we had good company, good food and good music, because you just can't picknick with Breton friends and go away without having sung at least one song, or danced one dance. Yay! We also made a long walk on he coast, and saw lots of flowers, butterflies and very blue water.

Some days ago we went to Lokoal-Mendon at sunset, where for the first time in my life I cried because I couldn't cope with the beauty of a place. We went to a peninsula outside the village, in the 'ria' (aber) of the river Etel. The sun was setting, and gave everything a magic touch: the water, the land on the other side of the aber, the pine trees and the salty prairieland a little further on.  I am really tired, can't describe it now as I should, but I was totally happy there, in that strange place where sea and land met and mingled in a very special and powerfull way.

I think I am going to sleep a bit now, as I came home this morning at 6, and I am suffering the consequences.

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Tir na nOg

Tir na nOg

àr an traezh on
é sellet doc'h er mor
un awel flour é flouriñ ma blew

an awel 'gas an awenn din
ha me da huñvreal...

en enizi-se, penaos 'mañ an traoù?
er bed-mañ int-i
pe marse en hani arall
lan a hud hag a varvailhoù dispar

kavet 'vez enne
ar yaouankiz dibenn
maouezed galloudus ha marc'heion ouez
kleñvoù lemm ha roñsed gwenn gete

Kavet 'vez...
pas, lar ar wezenn-pin e-tal din
'faout ket huñvreal
te 'zo amañ
an enizi aze

ar wirionez 'zo geti, èl-rezon
mes alkent, mes alkent...

Re 'meus lennet, re 'meus huñvreet
a-zivout enizi Tir na nOg.



And the translation:

Tir na nOg

I am on the beach
watching the sea
a soft wind stroking my hair

the wind brings me inspiration
and I start to dream...

On those islands, how are things?
They are in this world
or maybe in the other one
Full of magic and wonders without equal

On them are found
the eternal youth
Women with magic powers, wild knights
sharp swords and white horses with them (or rather: having sharp..)

On them are found...
No, says the pine-tree close to me
you should not dream
you are here
the islands over there

Dhe is right, of course
but still, but stil...

Too much I have read, too much I have dreamed
about the isles of Tir na nOg.


That's all I have to say today :-)
I wrote this some months ago but it keeps popping up in my head these days.

Ow, and I found a room in Utrecht (thanks Nike!!) and a job: I am helping Ruud the candle-maker, so...I make candles. And help Ruud, in general, which is great. A very friendly and spiritual man.
But...I am ill. And homesick. Anyone who wants to know how I feel should read the poem 'D'am buhez'  by Yann-Vari Joubiouz. That man knew how to write down his hiraezh. But for me, until I'll have my Master degree and will be able to return, I will keep dreaming beside my pine tree. When I will find a pine tree, that is. Otherwise I'll be sad on my own, without vegetal company.

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Just to let you know...

I am back in the Netherlands.
Nothing to say, really.

Happy housewife - ur vaouez a-feson on!

I am the perfect housewife. Or, at least, so I was yesterday.
At the moment I am staying at Gwenole's, in Auray, for a week. And every morning, when he goes out for work, I stay at home alone. Like a real housewife. So yesterday I went out homeshopping at the market (the market of Auray is GREAT! also for funshopping...), I cleaned the living room, did the washing-up and had even thought of something to eat when Gwenole came home, tired and hungry, around six o'clock. I felt very perfect.
Auray feels very good to me, as a place to live. Today, instead of housewiving along (I should really do something about the bathroom, it's a mess...) I went out for a long walk, as it is such a happy sunny day! I went to st. Goustan, the medieval port of Auray. In the old town centre, everything is medieval, sunny and full of flowers. And nice shops...I gave myself permission to buy a new pair of trousers (but I lost two this year, so it's not so bad) in a organic fair-trade shop. So now I have a pair of wine-red trousers in organic cotton, from Nepal! I am very happy with this purchase, they fit perfectly ,which is a rare thing for trousers.
The rest of my time I spent watching the bay of the Loc'h, sniffing up fresh salty air, and strolling on the old city walls watching the medieval houses and people having lunch on the terasses beneath.
And in some hours Gwenole will come home...I am already looking forward to it. He really is very dear to me, and  time spent with him is so precious!
Yesterday we went out for dinner in Vannes, but tonight I am going to cook for him. That is what I do for people that are dear for me: I prepare food for them. It will be pasta with a lot of veggies, and a salad with goat's cheese. And I bought strawberries for dessert!

This week is my last one in Brittany, but probably it is my best one. It already started well, in Kastell Gwenn, with my friends over there. We even went to the beach last Friday, as it was 25 degrees. A small rocky beach in Carnac..I love rocky beaches, walking on the stones and looking into the little pools between. As it is the bay of Quiberon, a *real* bay, the water was full of colourfull life: seaweeds, mussels, shells of all kinds..And the sea was of a wonderfull green-blue colour. Glas-glas. For the rest we did nothing special at Kastell Gwenn: we ate a lot, watched a film with the neighbours, talked and laughed. When on Saturday Gwenole arrived, we made a long walk in the nearby forest and the fields.

Love, nature, sunshine, and even new trousers.
What more could I wish for?

Maybe I should go now, and clean the bathroom.
x
Ennys

Ps: Martine, you excused yourself for your crappy English. I am not so sure mine is better: I think in Breton at the moment. So you're forgiven ;-)

devezh diwezhañ e Roazhon

So today is my last full day in Rennes.
Tomorrow I will part to Kastell-Gwenn, for some days, and after that I will spend the rest of the week in Auray with Gwenole. This evening is my 'goodbye party' in the Westport Inn, the pub I have visited so often this year. It will also be my last time over there. Yesterday I already said goodbye to some people: to Jan-Mai, Julie, Glenn, Mark Kerrain and Herve Bihan, for example. It feels so strange, I don't feel at all like leaving so soon! The more because I said goodbye to the most of them after a day of volunteering for the Gouel Erwan, a day full of activity together with people I've come to know quite well.
It was a great day, yesterday.  To celebrate the Gouel Erwan, Skeudenn had organised a theatre evening with the 'Strollad ar vro Bagan', the most celebrated Breton theatre group. And we volunteers worked together with them all day! It was very special to speak with Goulc'han Kervella, the leader of the group, who is also soon as one of the best Breton writers. All members of the group were very amical with us, and spoke in the beautiful Leon dialect. At the end of the day, I remarked that I also started to use some leonisms in my Breton, which is normally very Vannetais, so that the combination of these two in the end made up for a very funny way of speaking...It lasted only an evening, luckily; right now I'm speaking 'normal'  again.

During the day, there was actually not so very much work to do; it was not like the work I did for the fest-noz last week, which caused me a backache that lasted all the weekend. For the fest-noz I helped with building the tents, the scenes and everything, which was quite heavy work, and I also had two hours of duty guarding the backstage doors the night itself. Yesterday we also had to carry some heavy materials, but not so many of them. In the end, our greatest tasks were buying and preparing the food for the actors and ourselves, supplying the backstage and seeing that everything was okay for the actors, and helping to beak up after the play. And we had time to watch the repetitions, which I really felt as a privilege!
One of the 'Vro Bagan'  people will be at KEAV, too, to lead the workshop theatre. I did not choose that one, but it will be nice to see him again.

Right now I have to leave you again; haven't eaten any lunch yet, and I'll need to go to the train station to buy my ticket to Auray tomorrow.

Ken ar c'hentañ!

May. 12th, 2009

My dear friends,

SORRY I haven't written for such a long time! But as you see, a lot has been going on in my life. First of all, I am once again together with Gwenole! I am really happy about it; it is such a sweet boy and I really missed him when it was over the first time. I missed our little jokes and our rambling in the forests and on the beach, and everything. Still, I was also very angry with him for breaking up with me, and some other things, and the many times he has tried to get me back I rejected him. But now I met him again, more or less by accident, on the 'Kalan Mae' (first of May) party here in Rennes. Kalan Mae is a big thing over here: people buy flowers for their loved ones, go on the streets wearing flowers in their hair, and everywhere is music, people dancing and people drinking. Hey, we're Celts, you know! In fact, Kalan Mae is a bit like Queen's day in the Netherlands, but only one day after and without the flee market. The music is better, too.
But I was talking about Gwenole. I met him that evening in the Memestra, a bar in the centre of Rennes. He was talking with some friends, being very cute and funny and...I just went to talk with him. I had to. None of us had drunk too much, it was absolutely not like that, but in the end we started to talk about our being together and..well we made things up and live happily ever after :-) It is special to me that our first kiss was on Kalan Gouiañv (first of November) and we made up again at Kalan Mae. Two traditionally very important days, with exactly half a year between them.
I spent all of that weekend with Gwenole: we went to the forest of Broceliande together! For those of you who don't know what Broceliande is: it is one of the oldest forests of Europe (although it was much larger in earlier days...) and the place is choked with Arthurian lore. We went to the well of Barenton, where Merlin thaught magic to Viviane, and to the Val sans Retour, where Morgane the Fay lived. The well was great; I drank from it, washed my face with its water and felt so very much refreshed! The water was very clear, and on the bottom of it I saw many coins glimmering, and also some jewellery thrown into it by other people. Just like in the olden days when the Celts threw their swords and torques in wells like this one.
The day after we went to Sainte Anne d'Auray, a mayor place of pilgrimage in Brittany. I had never seen it, so Gwenole told me I had to. Alright :-)
It was nice, but it didn't impress me like the forest. Of course it was impressive to see how people honoured saint Anna over there, in that huge complex of buildings and gardens, but...it was a bit too commercial. Like in Rome: the air of spirituality gets a bit spoiled by the omnipresent request to put a coin in here or there, and the shops around the sanctuary, selling religious stuff, were all open...on Sunday. But fine, it was nice to go sightseeing over there. Gw. and I had a little holiday that weekend :-)

The week after, last week, I had to work a great deal, as I had four (!) exams yesterday and two today! And I had to study for all of them during the week, as Gwenole would be here in the weekend. We were to go to Gwengamp to see the final of the 'Coupe de France'... yes that's football for you. Normally I don't give a ... about that sport, nor about any other thing involving teams pursueing a ball, but this was a special, indeed historical match: Rennes-Gwengamp. The final of the Coupe was a Breton derby! And Gwengamp is a village of 8000 souls, that had never won the coupe before. They did this time, so it was a great party, and we where there! Everyone was carrying about Gwenn-ha-Du's (the Breton flag) and singing songs in Breton. The national French television offered commentary on the match in Breton, which was broadcasted everywhere in France! Cool! Weeee aaarreeee the chaaaaaaaampiooons....

But okay, this week where the exams.
Yesterday I did my oral Irish, linguistic history of Breton, Dialectal studies and a translation French-Breton. Most of them went fine; only dialects was very difficult, as there were only two questions, and the first one was on the dialect of Kerne...Not one I know very much about, and not the one we studied the most in class, to say it with an understatement. And my oral Irish was only five minutes after I had finished that exam, so my head was still full of Breton and linguistical terms when I had to babble about my daily life in Irish...It was not very bad, but it frusts me that I could have done much better, if I had had the time to relax a bit after Dialects. Linguistics was piece of cake, though: a Middle Breton texts with traits of the dialect of Leon, and questions about this text. If I may say so, I am quite accomplished at Middle Breton, and I think I've done fine.
Today I had oral Breton and Old Texts. Oral wasn't great: I had to talk about a text on Saint Bihui and superstitions attached to this saint. And this didn't interest me at all...so while I am able enough to hold a speech in Breton, I still didn't have a lot to say. Blegh.
On the other hand, I am really happy about Old Texts. We were to choose one of five themes, and write an essay on it. The questions were quite open, so we could more or less have ar own way with the chosen subject. I chose 'the role of the poets in old Welsh society'  and wrote a long piece on the Gododdin of Aneirin, as being a poem written to honour the heroes of battle, one of the main functions of Welsh bards. I also wrote about the idea of the 'honour price', how this is attested in Old Irish law, the way bards could make or break a reputation etc. Also about the idea of 'talu medd', how the heroes were 'payed'  for their fighting with great banquets, and the way this figures in the Gododdin, with Mynyddawc Mwynfawr feasting his men during a year before going to battle. I think I did great, and my teacher has promised me to read my piece as first, and to talk with me on it afterwards. He is very supportive of me and has helped me a great deal with my BA paper, and was quite enthousiastic about my oral exam, also on the Gododdin. Yeah, I am feeling good about this!

I will have only one more exam; written Irish coming Saturday. Without dictionairy...this is going to be hard! Even the more so because this week is the week of 'Gouel Erwan', the festival of st. Yves, patron saint of Brittany. And I am to volunteer three days..two days for the fest-noz, and another one for the theatre. Luckily I have already done a lot for my oral Irish, but still I will need to find some time to work on the spelling. Irish spelling is not always as logical as one would wish it to be.

And in some three weeks I will be back in the Netherlands! Which means I really need to party right now (which will be difficult with my budget, uhum), as it won't be possible anymore afterwards! I will leave behind many friends and dear places, and Gwenole. And Breton, and a University that has become dear to me, even with the strike and the lower level and all...some of the professors are really great, and this secons semester I have done more of third-level subjects, which have quite a reasonable level.
I will also go back to see my family and friends, which is great, of course. And Utrecht University is fun, too. I am, if everything will be allright with Jenovefa, going to do a master! But right now I can't really see the sunny side of it.  I still have some things to do that are bugging lme since long time; finishing my paper (but I am waiting for my prof to answer an email before I can do that) and filling in some forms at the international office, which is really *blegh*. I will have to, one of these days.
Ow I am rambling. I am sorry, but I am just ahving so many things on my mind, and if I start typing, the all come out. Which is probably the reason I hadn't done such a thing for almost a month.

See you later, hopefully a bit sooner this time,

Ennys