First blog of 2017

Well, here we are – 2017 already! In fact, we’re a fair way through the first month of 2017, and this is the first chance I’ve had to update the blog.

I don’t want this to become a simple list of everything I’m up to, but I do need to mention what is going on in my life during January. In the second half of last year, I applied for and won a tender to provide music training in Aberdeenshire Primary Schools using the fabulous Charanga resource (www.charangascotland.co.uk if you’re interested, by the way!). The plan was to deliver this on and off over the first three months of the year, but when I contacted the schools to set up the dates, they pretty much all went for January. This means, of course, that I am now spending Mon – Wed in Aberdeenshire, and Thu-Fri teaching in Bearsden for the full month of January. It’s great fun doing the actual work, working in schools with the heady role of 18 pupils, but it does entail a 3-hour drive every Monday morning, and every Wednesday evening. So far the weather has been kind, and it looks like it will be this week too, but that area is notorious for school closures due to snow in January, so I’m keeping my fingers well and truly crossed.

So that’s my diary taken care of, let me tell you about the fevered thoughts going on in my wee brain.

Language. Brilliant isn’t it? I was in a shop in rural Aberdeenshire last week, and as I left, without thinking I said to the lady behind the counter “See ya later”. Back in the car, I thought – I’ll probably never see that lady again, but I just quite happily promised to encounter her again at some indeterminate time in the future. Now I know that it is just a throwaway figure of speech, but I got to thinking that we use a lot of these in our everyday use of the mother tongue. We use language figuratively all the time, saying things that we would never mean literally, but they convey exactly how we are feeling about something. “I could kill for a fish supper” does not mean that I would in fact commit murder, but it does convey how much I desire some fried seafood and vegetables. “It’s pouring down” – Is it really, or is it actually lots of droplets, as opposed to a steady stream of water? Even the standard “Och, that’s a lot of rubbish”, more often than not is descriptive rather than literal. Our language is full of these types of descriptive terms – I’m sure there is a proper name for them, but what it is beats me (It doesn’t actually beat me around the head, you understand, it’s just another example…).

So, as I drive up the A9 tomorrow, I have no idea what thoughts will enter my head. I have some time to kill in the hotel tomorrow evening, so you may get to hear them, if they’re of any interest.

See ya later…. 🙂

Martin 

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