Tha mi smaointinn an dràsda air na geamaichean a b' àbhaist do na Gàidheil a bhith cluich, dà dhuibh gu sònraichte a bhios 'gan cluich (ged nach b' ionann an cruth an còmhnuidh) an diugh.
'S e a' cheud fhear iomain-déighe. Tha e cho coltach ri iomain 's gu bheil mi 'nam bheachd ('S dòcha nach e ach leòmachas a th' ann!) gur ann o iomain a thàinig iomain-déighe. Chluich mi iomain-déighe fad iomadh bliadhna ann am Baddaig, agus mo mhic ann am Baddaig 's ann an Cheticamp. 'S dòcha gun cuala sibh gum bi daoine 'ga chluich ann an àiteachan eile cuideachd. : )
Tha mi smaointinn cuideachd air goilf. A nise, feumaidh mi aideachadh nach eil mi measail air goilf, ach bidh mòran daoine 'ga cluich gu cunbhalach, agus 's e geama math a th' ann do na daoine ris an còrd i.
Cha do chluich mi goilf ach aon turus, ann an Iongoinis. Cha chan mi ach nach deach e ro mhath dhomh! Tha cuimhn' 'am air toll sònraichte far an robh an toiseach air mullach bhruthaich àird. Bha am bruthach cho cas ri creag agus aig a bhonn bha pòn uisge agus raon réidh eabarach air an taobh thall dhi. Bha mi suidhichte gum faighinn am ball thairis air an uisge agus bhuail mi air gu ro chruaidh. Gu mi-fhortanach, bhuail mi rud beag gu ro ìosal air cuideachd. Chaidh am bal suas, suas, cha mhór ás mo shealladh. An uair sin thàinig e sios. Bhuail e air an raon taobh thall an uisge. 'S mi a bha toilichte! Cha do smaoinich mi gus an robh mi a' coiseachd 'na ionnsaigh nach fhaca mi e a' gluasad an déidh dha tighinn gu làr. Chaidh mi far an robh e. Cha robh ri fhaicinn ach toll. Choimhead mi sios an toll. Chan fhaca mi ach toll. Chuir mi maide bheag a bha faisg air làimh, ochd no deich oirlich ann am fad, sios ann an toll. Cha do bhuail i air a' bhal. Tha dùil agam gu bheil am bal ann fhathast, ged is ann sin faisg air fichead bliadhna 's a deich bhuaithe seo a bha sin!
Chan e seo ach dà eisimpleir dhe na geamaichean a bh' aig na Gàidheil bho shean. Bha iomadh seòrsa de fhearas-chuideachd aca air nach eil féill mhór an diugh, ach tha e smaoineachail leam cho innleachdach 's a bha iad ann an cruthachadh air bheagan ghoireis.
Tha cuid de dhaoine ann an Ceap Breatainn an diugh a' rannsachadh airson gheamaichean 'is fhearas-chuideachd dhualchasaich a bha ri 'n cleachdadh an seo. Cha chreid mi nach bu chòir dhomh tuilleadh fhios fhaighinn orra gus an cuir asteach do na clasaichean "Gàidhlig aig Baile" agam. Dé ur beachd?
I'm thinking now of the games the Gaels used to play, two of them especially that are being played (although not always in the same form) today.
The first one is hockey. It's so similar to shinty that I'm of the opinion (And perhaps it's just an affectation!) that it's from shinty that hockey came. I played hockey for many years in Baddeck and my sons played in Baddeck and Cheticamp. You may have heard that people play it in others places too. : )
I'm also thinking of golf. Now I must admit I'm not fond of golf, but many people play it regularly and it's a good game for those who enjoy it.
I played golf only once, in Ingonish. I'll only say it didn't go too well for me! I remember one particular hole where the tee was on the top of a big hill. The hill was as steep as a cliff and at it's bottom was a pond of water, and a flat muddy plain on the far side of it. I was determined that I'd get the ball over the water, and I struck it too hard. Unfortunately I also struck it a bit too low. The ball went up, up, almost out of sight. Then it came down. It struck the level patch of ground on the far side of the water. I was happy! I didn't think until I was walking toward it that I hadn't seen the ball move after it hit the ground. I went to where it was. There was nothing to be seen but a hole. I looked down the hole. I saw only the hole. I put a stick that was nearby, eight or ten inches in length, down the hole. It didn't hit the ball. I expect it's still there, even though that's almost thirty years ago!
These are just two examples of the games the Gaels played long ago. They had many kinds of pastimes that are not so popular today, but I think it worthy of thought how inventive they were in designing them with little to work with.
Some people in Cape Breton these days are searching for the traditional games and pastimes that were practiced here. I think that I should find out more about them and include them in my Total Immersion Plus classes. What do you think?