So, long time since I've been here. I had forgot how extremely exhausting the Breton course was. Two weeks with lectures, field-trips and socialising non stop. My brain didn't really have more sparks lefts when I came home to my rather crappy student abode in the night.
So the course was in Quimper, which is in Brittany, France's western arm. I did the same course last year. Then I didn't know anything
, and I was the only one there without any knowledge of a Celtic language
, those who didn't study one (mostly the old varieties like Old Irish), were native speakers of one (mostly Welsh), so to me nothing of the Celtic languages weird typology made sense. This year I took level two - I was still the only one who didn't know any other Celtic language, but things finally started to make some sense.
So we had language lessons in the morning, mostly in Breton only, and culture/history in the evening, and most of thes were in French, which is one of the reasons for the lack of spark left in my brain, because even though I did French is school, and was good at it, it is 25 years ago, and we definitely didn't learn much of the vocabulary you need to follow a lecture on 17th century religious debates.
But it was fun this year as well. Fun, but extremely exhausting. Perhaps I'll put up some pictures later on.
After Brittany I took the plane from the hilariously small airport in Quimper - I thought I'd seen my share of small airports, but this one is the smallest, and least organised so far. And they didn't even have a cafe!
Then I spent a couple of days in London, mainly doing nothing; drinking beer and looking at people. But one story needs to be told:
My second day in London, after I had done what ws my plan for the day, namely have a look at the Billingsgate Roman Baths
, I ambled up to British Museum, since I have this habit of checking out a couple of rooms at the museum every time I visit. I hadn't thought of the enormous amount of tourists visititing, so the queues were just too long for me to bother with, so I just found myself a pub, bought a pint and pulled out my book. After about 10 pages, and older guy comes over and asks if he can sit by my table. And then we start talking. He tells me that he's here with his grandchildren and wife. His wife is English and he is of French ancestry, but live in Vancouver. So now they are in London a couple of days, and then they are of to France to visit his family.
Then our exchange was as follows:-Where in France do you have family?
-Quimper in Brittany.
-You got to be kidding me! I just came from Quimper yesterday! I spent two weeks on a course in Breton there.
And then he switches to Breton!
I did have problems following of course, since he spoke a different dialect than I was used to, not to mention having learnt from his mother (who still talks to her sisters on the phone every day in Breton), so not quite my "book Breton".
That was just an amazing coincidence, and definitely made my day.
Now I'm back in Bergen and have spent a week in bed with bronchitis (again!)