Well I’ve survived another day! The morning pre-school rush was much the same as yesterday, we’re all getting into the swing of doing everything in Welsh now. I must say my family are being very supportive with this.
- I went to meet another Welsh-speaking friend for coffee today, Bethan. It was very interesting because despite being first-language Welsh, she is married to a non-Welsh speaker so is used to speaking English at home and at work and said she was apprehensive about speaking only Welsh with me for a couple of hours! We met at a cafe and I felt really weird buying the drinks and speaking English to the staff. So I ended up unintentionally sort of guiltily mumbling and saying as little as possible (not like me usually!) They must have thought me very rude.
- Bethan and I had a great catch up and again I was surprised how easily the conversation flowed and how my lack of vocabulary didn’t really stop us from having a proper good old gossip. If I didn’t know a word in Welsh I just asked her and if she didn’t know we just guessed or said it in English. This didn’t happen as often as I thought it might. Yay!
- After meeting Bethan I had to drop spare clothes into school for my son and had my first complete conversation with the school receptionist in Welsh. Marched out very proudly after that!
- I came home and carried on painting my other son’s bedroom. Think taking on two projects in one week was a bit ambitious but painting and listening to SSIW lessons works out great as my mind is free to think but I’m doing something with my fidgety hands at the same time.
- I also listened to Radio Cymru a bit more today but I feel I didn’t understand as much as yesterday, Some presenters are easier to understand than others. I got the gist of a few things: something dodgy seems to be going on with money and services in Gwynedd council? And the lady who was having coffee in Bridgend yesterday was having coffee somewhere else today and interviewing people while she did it. Realised that’s actually the premise for her whole show and she is called “Siani Coffi”. I think we have a lot in common!
- Also had a couple of brief conversations with neighbours in the street and attempted to talk to my husband on the phone in Welsh but he didn’t really understand me so had to follow up with a text (also in Welsh) which he then thought about, looked up some words and got back to me!
- Managed the whole evening with husband and children in Welsh, including telling off the boys for fighting.
- Then I had a sports bootcamp where I was the only one to turn up so had to speak English, which actually felt a bit weird after a whole day of Cymraeg! Didn’t need to do much talking though as I was mainly running around puffing and panting!
- Other firsts today include using a cash machine in Welsh. Sounds weird but I always just default to the English option so going for the Welsh option gave me a little thrill of fear. What if I misunderstood and did something stupid and ended up losing my card? Luckily it was fine.
- My bobsled challenges were to do another new SSIW lesson (did three - happy to be called a show-off!) and to spend ten minutes thinking in Welsh then write down the things I wanted to think but couldn’t. This is pretty much what I’ve been doing for the last two days so I was delighted! The words I wanted to know but didn’t included:
- Let’s. As in “let’s do this”
- And how to answer when the children ask me for something. E.g. Ga i siocled? I just tend to say “ydyn” or “na”, which I know is not right but this is not the kind of thing you can really look up in the dictionary.
Anyway, I nearly fell off my painting stool when the very next lesson I did had exactly this in it! I now know it’s ‘Che’ (probably v dodgy spelling, but that’s what it sounded like) Started to worry a little bit that maybe Aran has added mind-reading or thought control into these challenges and lessons!!
- The other very funny thing about today was that while I was out at my bootcamp my older son (8) took it upon himself to teach my husband some more Welsh words and then created a spelling test for us both! He then marked them (in red pen with comments and constructive criticism) Future Welsh teacher possibly?!
- All in all another successful day I think. Going to reward myself with a glass of wine before bed and doing it all again tomorrow. I have arranged to go to a Welsh coffee morning with my child-minder’s husband tomorrow and then to play Scrabble (yn Gymraeg) with another friend in the afternoon. This challenge is certainly taking me out of my comfort zone and making me a bit braver socially too!
Thanks all for the support and encouragement. Will update again tomorrow…