Did you miss me last week?
In all the excitement I missed writing a blog last week. I always thought it would be something awful that would mean I would probably not meet the deadline. However, l know that not to be true. Lo and behold it was good news that interrupted my flow. Not exactly for me, I have to admit. However, it still left me jumping up and down and basking in other's glory.
After Friday night’s game, you could be forgiven for thinking I am about to talk about rugby. Although an inspirational match, the Scotland Team is not the one I am referring to.
No, the team I am cheering on is much younger than that. In fact primary age. And it is not sports I am talking about either but the arts.
In a time when many freelancers and artists of different genres are finding it near impossible to make a living, it is always nice to hear of something we can celebrate. Even though no money exchanged hands, it is heartening to see younger people encouraged into and enjoying creating new work.
Minorities also have had and still face many challenges in this world. So being able to highlight the achievements of both of these worlds makes my heart and soul soar.
Over the years I have championed and worked within the Gaelic sector. Most of my books are written in Gaelic for parents and/or children. Even my English books feature a fictional village with a Gaelic name, Blàs. A smattering of both Scottish Gaelic and Scots can be found throughout their pages.
I was involved as many were with the establishment of Gaelic Medium Education in our local area. So have always kept tabs on how it is getting along. Being from a small place this was easy in that there are often children of friends or family involved in one way or another.
The fact that I used to run Gaelic Bookbugs sessions also meant I had the chance of meeting new families and speakers. Then off they would go to Sgoil Araich (Gaelic Nursery) and primary. I have missed that contact this year. As a writer, I always felt it sat right to be involved with young families at the being of their adventure into books. Singing, reading and fun together all based around a story is a great introduction not only to the world of books but also to the language itself.
Like many others, without the general mingling and socialising this year in Bookbugs and school gates, I have missed out on lots of current news around Gaelic and families in the area. So I was very pleased to get the message “Some of the bairns are on the telly tonight you’d better sign in to BBC Alba at nine.” It was the announcement of this year’s Film G competition results. I knew the pupils were up to something but I had thought it was a project. I had no idea they had taken part in Film G. What was even better I had no idea of the results.
Of course, I had picked up on “has anyone got a red cloak” and “she is busy learning her lines” and “they were frozen out filming today.” But had just assumed it was school work.
It turns out the pupils had come up with a storyline, written the script and performed all the necessary skills to film and produce their entry. No doubt over the last few months parents, teachers and school auxiliaries have been busy helping them rehearse their lines as well. On top of all their extra work, the virus has thrown at them, quite an achievement.
The pupil’s film Na Cèicean Blasta was then entered into the Youth Category Awards of Film G. And they won. Not just one award but two, Best Youth Group Film and Best Film.
It appears I may have some competition in the Gaelic creative world locally what with prize-winning scriptwriters, filmmakers, actors and producers in our midst. Mealaibh uile ur naidheachd/congratulations to you all at Bun-Sgoil Chnoc na Creige, ’s math a rinn sibh.