Hooray!! I’ve done it!
Final day summary: breakfast, school run etc. Becoming totally normal now not to speak English at all. Then I went to a Welsh coffee morning in Leeke’s department store in Pontyclun with my friend and neighbour Bethan who is a Welsh tutor and wanted to surprise a couple of her students who go to this group. It was very well attended and everyone was super friendly and welcoming. There was a good mix of native Welsh speakers and learners and it wasn’t easy to tell the difference. I really enjoyed chatting with everyone there and will endeavour to go again if I have a random Friday off. After I got home, two other school mums popped round to chat and generally be supportive and the afternoon flew.
At school pick-up everyone was excited I was nearly at the end of the challenge, even the teachers!
I had plans to go out last night so decided to finish the challenge at 5pm. It was great because we had a little countdown and my younger son presented me with a little ‘Cymraeg’ badge to wear as my award of achievement! Hugs all round then it felt really weird to allow myself to speak English again! So I went out with friends, has several glasses of prosecco, followed by cocktails and watched the Full Monty.
Feelings at the end of the week:
- Pride to have made it through
- Exhaustion. I honestly don’t think I could have lasted another day. I was mixing up my words and my thinking in English and Welsh and after I started speaking English again I tried to mutate a word (clarinet to glarinet!)
- Massive gratitude to all the people who have spent time talking to me, teaching me, helping me and supporting me this week. Old friends, some people who were previously just passing acquaintances, complete strangers and those of you who have been kind enough to read and comment on my story on this forum. Why wouldn’t anyone learn Welsh when it means you become part of such a wonderful, warm and welcoming community?
- Surprise that so many people around me in my daily life speak Welsh. I knew I lived in a very Welsh-speaking pocket of Cardiff but people spoke to me this week that I didn’t have a clue were Welsh speakers!
- Determination to continue using and improving my Welsh. Goals include: finishing Course 3; attending the local school mum’s fortnightly Welsh speaking night in the pub (tough job!), speaking to friends in Welsh as much as possible, speaking Welsh at home with the children more - although it would be hard not to after this week. Even they are saying it feels strange to speak English with me now!, read a book in Welsh AND I would really like to be brave and try the next parents’ evening in Welsh.
Thanks again. Here I go into the rest of my (Welsh speaking) life!