“Over the sea to Skye ?”

A small piece of research done at the University of Edinburgh found that people who can speak more than one language get dementia up to five years later than those who don’t.   It is thought that this is because their brains become more flexible, enabling them to get around damaging brain conditions at least for some time.

They studied a group of healthy retired people on the Isle of Skye, who did a week long, intensive course to learn Gaelic.      Afterwards they did better in cognitive tests than their peers.

So, as long as you don’t mind cold, wet and windy weather, you can live another five years without dementia.      Of course, you will have to move to Skye because there are not too many places where they speak Gaelic.


Still, the whisky might be some compensation for losing all your friends who live elsewhere and can’t speak the language.

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5 Responses to “Over the sea to Skye ?”

  1. ‘’BHATS’’- I look around and talk to the residents of this my retirement village in Milton Keynes! What do I see??? I tell you one thing! It is not a collection of old bats, and oafish gents coughing and spluttering in there gravy, but a rich vein of experiences of what life has to offer, and if one listens very carefully language to ‘behold’ although it be spoken by those with a long tooth, grey beard, and a misty eye!
    The kind reference here to the Isle of Skye, whiskey and the ‘Gaelic’ tongue? I ask one as a UK citizen, and who’s forefathathers, ancestors built and ran an empire, why the reference by that learned society of Edinburg University, to the Isle Of Skye, and those ‘TUCTORS’.
    I am reminiscing and find my past life whizzing through my ‘memory sticks’ I never learnt a foreign language: however I was all ways fascinated by the slang and accents of the UK- Perthshire the queens English; the Geordie’s with their twang, the richness of the Lancashire and Yorkshire mill town accents and the spoken word to mime; not forgetting the industrial cites of the midlands Birmingham, Derby, Nottingham, and maybe Coventry; the welsh sing song, the Cornishman’s and west country deep baritones; the Londoners with their speaking rhymes, and cockney, and then the hayseeds from east Anglia, and off course Raymond Glendenning who did the early 50’s BBC Radio News as I remember it? [Was he not the BBC World service news announcer during wartime (WWII)?
    I now go back to my industry, shipping, and its servicing of the British Empire, and those splendid passenger ships of P&O and Blue Funnel who sailed from the UK to the Far East, and Asia. Swire’s [China steam navigation] and Hong Kong Cunard for the NORTH American TRADE ROUTES, Houlder Brothers for the South American meat trade together with Royal Mail Lines, and others of the Furness Whythy Shipping group. I must not forget B&I and Union Castle who traded to the Indian sub-continent and African continent, with Elder Dempsters and their West African trade. To the antipode’s one had Shaw Saville and Albion, and the New Zealand shipping company. I can go on and on, but I must not forget the tramp lines, (Bank line-world-wide), and John Masefield’s ‘dirty British coaster with a salt caked smoke stack (Everards, United Baltic+ a few more).
    I am miles away locked in memories what has this to do with old age and living longer if one learnt more than one language? Absolute ‘b—ger all! Except I am now that older persons and the language I learnt at my mother’s knee was English, and during life a good dose of seaman’s Anglo-Saxon, so there, please do not fret, all those of you in the days of the empire travelling to their destinations by sea before the days of the modern airliner and ‘internet’ on picked up the local’ Bhat’ of the language of one’s service post whether in America’s, Africa, India, Asia or the antipodes: You most probably learnt more than one language, and downed a few gins before the sun set over the yard arm? My experiences were coloured by sailing with Indian, Pakistani Crews; Ali cum salaam and egdum callas sahib. Good night.

  2. here’s a slang for you from my shipping days, mixed with a little ‘gaelic’- The spelling may be obtuse. and if one is offended, just offer me a kiss- Sweetie!! Quote ” Poch my ohone”’ unquote Make of that what you will???

  3. davidwfreeman237 says:

    ”Tuchtors”, a western isle Scotsman, a very loyal but close knit society of seamen, speaking the ‘gaelic’ . If one was a sasurnach!! and spoke only English, and had been offensive to the group, or an outsider then as they may do in North Wales, stay within one’s company but speak in their native tounge, either ”Gaelic” if from the western Isles, or welsh if they came from the kingdom of Wales.
    The Irish among the seamen were more understanding, like the Glaswegian- if they objected to one they would refer to you in Anglo-Saxon, and tell one to travel far with an expletive? Should they like you, then you may be offered a tinny or two of Guinness, and they may sing to you, sometimes a mournful far from home dirge, or a happy foot tapping jig to dance and be merry too!!!!

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