Sunday, January 20, 2008

Somewhere in the Western Isles ...

I've been transcribing an early nineteenth century travel journal, in connection with my doctoral research. I'm utterly transfixed by it - I have now typed nearly 20,000 words of it. That's about 71%. I can barely drag myself away. His name is Alexander Campbell, and he travelled over 1200 miles, mostly on foot, collecting Gaelic music in the Highlands and Islands in 1815. (The hyperlink gives you information derived from the Gazetteer for Scotland, and is on the http://www.angusahead.com/ website.)

To my horror, the CD-rom scanned copy is missing two sides - I'm sure only by accident, since it amounts to the left and right sides of the opened journal, rather than a missing leaf. SuperSpouse is politely amused by my extreme frustration that I've been deprived of these vital pages until I can get hold of them. Watch this space.

My hero, notwithstanding this inconvenience, has just survived a horrendous storm and has been drinking the parson's best "Conniack" (well, this is a Highlander describing a French tipple!) before retiring to bed early for the night.

I have NOT been enduring a storm (though the roofer is returning tomorrow to fix our guttering and sundry bits of masonry after a storm about 10 days ago) - but I'm going to follow my hero's example and suggest to SuperSpouse that we should enjoy a very nice Mosel wine before similarly retiring to bed.

The image is a cartoon of Alexander Campbell (on the left, playing a portable organ), together with his brother and a friend.

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