NCAT

(Nature Connected Activities in Tarragona)

Last month we walked along Playa Larga near Tarragona and had several nationalities: a Dutch couple, a Portuguese, a Greek, several Spaniards, a Venezuelan, a Scotsman, an Englishman (yours truly) and a Swiss woman (Mika) – it sounds like the beginning of a complex bar joke (but it wasn’t, lol).  It was a beautiful place with forest right next to the sea. This month we go to the Febró ravine; I’ll tell you about that.

Recently we had our first NCAT English meet up. We were asked recently if we had outings specifically for speaking English, so we obliged and created a new branch of NCAT. This group is more for people that want to practice their English in an informal setting. We do have a few exercises to learn some basics, but just something simple whilst we walk. There’s plenty of extranjeros (foreigners, like me) that want to learn Spanish, so why not an NCAT Spanish?

We also have NCAT Eco-Art; the first workshop will be the end of this month. Here we use natural materials to create works of art (mandalas, “touchscapes”, etc.), but working with ecopsychological principles by becoming aware of the natural world around us with senses little used!

Here are the links for each group:

NCAT – for excursions and activities out in nature.

NCAT English – excursions in nature, learning and practicing English.

NCAT Ecoart – artistic activities in nature, combining natural materials with ecopsychological principles.

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New Year, New Direction

I started this blog for a couple of reasons. I felt I needed something where I could share my thoughts, but not with so much depth as The Grove of Quotes. Also it was made to accompany me through my work through OBOD‘s Druid grade (third and final grade that I started a little over two years ago). Now I’m coming to the end of the course I can reflect a little on where this blog has been and where it will go.

This blog has helped me express some thoughts I encountered in the course, sharing ideas on learning and creating languages, sharing other creative endeavours such as art and stories, and so on. And I shall carry on, but my focus will be changing. The course is ending, but the process of becoming a Druid is just starting. I have aquired the tools, now it’s the time to apply them in my life. For that reason “druid in training” is still apt.

In the new year I’ll be starting a course in Ecopsychology (Mika has just finished it) and we’ll be do more activities combining art with ecopsychological insight (Ecoart workshops). We’ll also be working with CEN (as mentioned in a previous post) and continuing our development of a sustainable ecological project, and so taking my druidry into action.

Happy New Year!

Oh dear…

I have in my hand The Language Construction Kit by Mark Rosenfelder, and already I have figured out a few basic rules to my language. I could get carried away with this.

I’ve created the personal pronouns, and started on other pronouns, I’ve created forms for verbs and nouns, and created a few of each (mostly verbs), I have tenses (though still trying to work out verb aspects), a negative suffix, singular and plural, and I’ve still got to get my head around all the grammatical terms! How many times do I have to look up the term “aspects”???

Om alahirtel alahith, omon erefiwt. – I do not speak Alahithian, I am learning it. (I’d say “creating it” but haven’t invented that word yet…)

In Alahithian it is know as alahith, which also means “the speech” and is derived from the verb alahir, “to speak”. Language is alahish and languages, alahizh.

For a phonetic reference see dhê nyoo alfêbet (and yes, I’ve even created my own alphabet for this language LOL): http://jakefishoutofwater.wordpress.com/nyoo-alfebet/

And then there’s The Planet Construction Kit by the same author… Om onedoy thefiw (I’m going to think).

El Sobrino Speaks

Otra vez… (this is a rewrite of a blog I lost earlier)

Yesterday my sobrino (nephew) came to stay and I’ve been stretching my semi-bilingual brain much more. He’s almost three years old and speaks some Spanish and Catalan, understands French and has picked up some English. However, not enough English for me to speak with him, so when he asks me “¿Co qué?” (por qué=why) I have to come up with a quick yet coherent answer in Spanish, there and then. I think I used more Spanish words today than English!!!

I think sometimes I’m making up sentences as I going along, so don’t know how I sounds to a Spanish laymen’s ears, but I survive with this mantram: No se dice, pero se entiende (it’s not said, but it’s understood), so I may sound silly but I can make myself understood until I iron out the wrinkles in my Spanish.

His brain is absorbing language at a far faster rate than mine and in a few years he’ll probably be more fluent than me in more than two languages (I envy him and Keanu Reaves, the latter of which can just plug himself into a computer for five minutes and then say “Wow, I know Kung Fu”). Another mantram that I tell “Con él tengo que aprender castellano” (With him I have to learn Spanish), and I practice it too.

And yet I’m still amazed at how my brain unconsciously picks up on new languages; there are even some French phrases I can recognise!

Reading Romance…

Languages. What else did you think I meant 😉

I can now read a lot of Spanish, but with this I’ve found I can read Catalan, Portuguese, Italian and French a bit better. It helps that English has a good dose of Latin in it.

You’d think, English being a West German language I could have a head start with German or Dutch, but I can probably read Portuguese more than those.

Still, realising that just by understanding one language I can understand some others my world opens up before me! So, once I have Spanish (language of the country), Catalan (language of the region) and French (language spoken at home) under my belt what next? Should I learn another Iberian Romance language: Leonese? Asturian? Aranese? Aragonese? Galician? Portuguese (which a cousin speaks)? Extremaduran? Fala? Or perhaps leave the Romance alone and learn some Basque? Or go beyond the peninsula and learn Italian, Romansch, German or Greek? There was a moment, before Spain, I was trying to learn Scottish Gaelic, so maybe… Or maybe learn Arabic or Chinese? outside of Europe even!

There’s no stopping me now with a whole world of languages to speak with!!!

But first I think I should at least become fluent in Spanish before branching out, shouldn’t I? That might be sensible…