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Ich bin ein Uibhisteach

I wouldn’t normally feature the same video simultaneously both here and on the Island Voices site. But I confess to a special weakness for this one – certainly not for its technical merits, shot on an ageing hand-held mini-DV camera with a grumbling motor – but I love the content. So many smiling faces, and of all ages! The Uist community at its very best that night. What a delight to see familiar faces in less familiar surroundings, and all contributing of their own talents to give everyone a good time. And what a privilege to be able to record it.

Animals last month, and now children – learning English, singing Gaelic, teaching Russian, oh, and also speaking Polish…. Inspirational stuff, but everyone was a star, including the incoming music students gelling with local youth (and the not quite so youthful…) to provide the perfect soundtrack for a great community event. A real sense of vindication for the work “ris a’ bhruthaich” back in the early years of FE/HE development here in Uist.

Is there a better place to be on a midsummer’s night than Uibhist fhèin?

Mi piace questo binario!

“I like this platform!” I learnt my first Italian sentence from Catherine, when she told me the story of her linguistic adventures on a trip to Italy before we’d met, let alone married. Imbued with beginner’s zeal she was determined to use what skill she had acquired in the language at every opportunity, including with unsuspecting strangers encountered in a railway station – any railway station… Funnily enough, family history does not record how the conversation developed after this powerful opening gambit. This film is dedicated to her inspirational enthusiasm.

Mi piace questo binario! from Gordon Wells on Vimeo.

A collaborative effort by participants in the recent POOLS-CX video workshop for language teachers, held in Pistoia, Italy. We aimed to teach each other something of our own languages, while learning how to make videos at the same time. Would anyone care to count the number of languages used – and identify them all? And can you identify the locations – other than Pistoia itself?

Once again we are indebted to the Italian Dub Community for the Creative Commons licensed music. It gives a necessarily patchwork film some kind of narrative unity and direction!

Italian Dub

Non parlo italiano. Non canto italiano. Ma mi piace questa musica italiana…

Pistoia and the Italian Dub Community from Gordon Wells on Vimeo.

This video was knocked together the morning after the night before. A fine convivial meal in a local restaurant, and a leisurely stroll through the town’s backstreets in balmy weather provided plenty of video material to edit. The 3-minute music track was downloaded from a Creative Commons site –, and provided a time-limited framework within which to work on the picture sequence. Possible uses? Suggestions please!

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