Ishbel McFarlane


Latest articles from Ishbel McFarlane

Comment Maun we mak new wirds fir a chyngin warld?

LEST year, A scrievit a column oan the braw new British Sign Leid qualification frae the SQA. As pairt o thon airticle A wantit tae speak o the native yaisers o BSL, but A cam up agin a problem whan referin tae them in Scots. Leid is important – aw activists an makars in minority leids ken thon. Fir instance A kent that in deaf culture ‘Deaf’ aften his a dífferent meanin than ‘deaf’. But ma instinct alsae telt me that ‘deif’ didnae mean the same as ‘deaf’, and that ‘Deif’ meant naethin at aw. Whit tae dae? Yaise tried an testit English terms in a Scots airticle? Or try an stert the journey fir Scots terms that the English equivalents his bin oan fir decades? A spiered at some deaf fowk A ken an in the end hedged in the airticle itsel, yaisin the English ‘deaf’ – it wisnae ma place tae stert the journey yon dey.

Does Scotland compare weil wi ither places fir wee bairnies?

BACK in May A did a column oan the Baby Box an hoo a hid a tear in ma ee tae see aw the bonnie hings the Scottish Government hid gien us fir oor expectit bairnie – wi particular stress oan the fluffy-luggit jaikit that wis, if oniehing, ower-cute fir public consumption. The box representit tae me the wey a state cuid shaw care, near eneuch love, fir its citizens.

Comment Time tae mairch oot o oor climate comfort zones

A AM a millennial – come at me, internet! – an so A pit aff a guid deal o time oan Instagram. Fir generation Z, thon’s Tic Tok, but some o the videos disnae move. Fir generation X, thon’s like Freens Reunitit but wi mair photies. Fir baby boomers, thon’s like a buik but wi an infinite nummer o fou colour plates. On Instagram A follae pals, businesses, airtists, stationers (mmmm), podcasts (cf millennial), polítical causes. In ma feed there is adverts an aw – targeted ads learn me whit the algorithm hinks o me. A’m advertised bairnie hings (tick), ethical claes (tick), traivel stuff (tick), creative warkshoaps (jingso – tickity tick).

COMMENT Can we mind the feelin o devolution 22 year oan?

OAN September 12, 1997, twenty-twa year syne, A wis a puckle weeks intae bein ane o the maist important fowk in the warld: a primary seiven. It wis a Friday, so A hink A hid Girl Guides in Milnathort rehearsin fir Aladdin. Or mibbe it wis ane o the Fridays wi a disco at the Kinross swimmies?

British Sign Leid: ane o Scotland’s minority leids

GIN ye’re a bairn in Embrae or Glesga, we’re noo in the lang Sunday aifternuin o the sowl – the lest week o the simmer hoalidays. The bairns o places the likes o Perth, Heilan, Aiberdeen an the Borders aw hae schuils that stert back a week or so later. Mak the maist o it, weans!

COMMENT The issue at the hairt o oor naitional story

TWA year syne A wis rinnin drama warkshops in Glesga an wis warkin wi a talentit lass o aboot 14-year-auld. A let dab that A’d managed tae get tickets fir tae see ane o the first London perfomances o Hamilton: An American Musical. It wis jist me an this lassie in the kirk whaur we wis warkin an she skelloched. Alood. ‘Naw!’ she yowled. ‘Wha’s guan wi ye? Can A come in steid?’

We can dae mair nor the Baby Box tae welcome new Scots

A’VE a wee confession tae mak, dear reader. Thon photie o ma orange-jaikited, curly-heidit self disnae fair represent the person that’s scrievin this week’s column. Tae get the richt pictur, get oot yer keelyvine crayons an draw a muckle bump oan the abdomen an then a wee speech bubble frae the mooth seyin, ‘Och. Jingso.’ Or mibbes, ‘Ma [insert onie body pairt] is sair’.

Is a museum the best place fir tae hae oor ancestors?

GAUN intae the Kelvingrove Airt Gallery an Museum oan a Seterday in the Pace hoalidays we passed mair nor a dizzen bairns an adults weirin dinosaur-relatit claes. Jaikits, jerseys, dresses – awbody seekin tae shaw thir luve fir Dippy.

An hoo dae ye think this relates tae Ulster Scots?

IT’S spring 2016 an A’m comin tae the end o a tour o ma theatre shaw anent the Scots leid O Is For Hoolet. A’d performed the shaw aw ower the kintra – in schuils, big theatres, wee community centres, an here A wis, aboot tae finish in Scotland’s smawest theatre – The Swallow, in Gallowa. At the end o thae shaws we hid Q&As whaur audience memmers fired awthin at me frae “hoo dae ye get yer ideas?”tae “does it maitter that Scots his nae standart/staunart/stannert form?”.