Amazing how one thing leads to another


If anyone had told me three years ago what an amazing difference SSiW would make to this ‘deaf/hard-of-hearing old gal living in Western Canada’–I wouldn’t have believed it.

So for those of you who have just started recently, or have reached a plateau, or some days wonder where this could lead–the sky’s the limit, believe me. For me that literally means I will soon be up in the sky, flying half way around the world to help celebrate the SSiW 10th Anniversary in Caernarfon. I used to read with curiosity and envy about the Bootcamps, so create my own ‘at home versions’ :grinning: :wine_glass: :slight_smile: :coffee: So even if you will not be at the ‘Parti’ this time, read on, then dream and make your dream happen… And join in the celebration wherever you are–I will raise a glass or few to you!

Ever since that first fateful lesson on-line I was ‘hooked’ on the idea of speaking Welsh. But–and it was a big BUT, I am stone deaf on one side and profoundly hard-of hearing the other. What to do? I started a thread on this Forum explaining that I often didn’t know what the throat-cleaning or toilet-flushing sounds were–‘ch’ and ll’ apparently, but then there were all kinds of other little chiffs and ughs that needed identifying, however, folk here leapt to my help–some becoming real friends, the angels :innocent:

To cut a long story short, this is how one thing can lead to another… since starting on SSiW here are the amazing things that have enriched and changed my life:

– Gained far more confidence in expressing myself (in English and Welsh)–by not worrying about making mistakes, but trusting in the kindness of others to catch the drift–and sharing the laugh if I misheard,

– Signed on for an M.A. in Celtic Studies (through the UWTSD distance-learning programme) and can report that I am well on the way to completing it, scoring 85% on the Welsh Module :champagne:

– Discovered new hearing-aid technology that gives me surround sound and far better ‘hearing’ than in the past 25 years, but comes with all kinds of nifty gizmos that allow me to connect directly into the lessons–still not fully cracked Slack properly, but again some very patient friends here are helping me,

– Found and enjoy the Vancouver Welsh Society which is lots of fun and very active (they have their own pub too–the Red dragon, of course),

– I have visited Patagonia, and yeh–will very soon be in North Wales hiking in Snowdonia before the ‘Parti’ when I will be able to meet the folk whose help have made the journey so wonderful.

Folks, I could go on and on, but what I want to say is ‘Dream big’ and draw energy from others here. Set yourself some goals, not just about speaking Welsh but how gaining friends, confidence and a whole new perspective can reveal wonderful horizons. When I began, I thought I was in my ‘twilight years’, but quite honestly ‘life has never felt so good’–so it’s been worth every joy-filled, frustrating moment thanks to the constant encouragement of our ‘tutors’ and fellow-learners.

So ‘go pawb go’!!!



Looking forward to meeting you in person at the party Marilyn :grinning:


Better catch me before I start dancing on tables–or, hey, why not join me? Oops, forgot, I promised to behave–and I know that others have been working hard to make it very special and swish… OK, but there’s always under the table I suppose :joy:


Me too.


Well done Marilyn you have come so far only due to your own tenacity. As deaf person my self i know how difficult it can be - wS that fff ir bbb etc. Like you i can only heal praise in the SSIW set up and friends support. If you let me know when you hit Carnarfon i will try to meet you there! Longyfarchiadau! I hope those setting out in this journey will see not ti give up when they hit a plateau - keep going folks just dal ati persevere and you WILL get there


Wow! Llongyfarchiadau! I hope we meet while we’re both in Caernarfon.

1 Like

So many achievements, and quite a few even well above your expectations, aren’t they?
Definitely going to be helpful to remember your experience, in bad days! :wink:
Thanks so much for sharing, Marilyn! :slightly_smiling_face: :clap:


Bless you Sandra—you are definitely one of my guardian angels, having taught me so much and been a tower of strength, not to mention a fount of knowledge on 101 things that have helped me.

Thank you, yes that would be lovely, to meet face to face and catch up.

A while back I emailed and hoped we could Skype, but hearing nothing wondered what was up. I hope you are OK and Sonny—your four-legged friend is keeping you good company. Are you still painting or drawing?

Hopefully we will catch up in person soon, it will be great to actually meet face-to-face.


This is going to be brilliant to put real live faces to names and get to know you!

See you soon!

Guaranteed Catriona, although I suspect you will be in great demand—and rightfully so since you have done so much to bring us all together! :clap:t2:

Diolch yn fawr iawn!

I have followed your ‘adventures’ and much admired your progress, traveller’s tales and comments. In fact you have been a huge inspiration to me. Take a bow.

Well done!


Thank you so much for sharing your story @MarilynHames. The people on this forum have been so wonderful to me, helping me in more ways than I can count. Some have become my true friends, too, bringing joy and light into my life I never imagined when I began learning to speak Welsh. I am happy to know so many people have come together to make a difference in one another’s lives as well as learn languages!


Wonderful Sacha—I am thrilled to hear you say you have enjoyed the same experience. This really is something special that we have been lucky enough to find, so be part of a really lovely community.

How about suggestions for what else SSiW means to us all—like Something Special in Welsh?

Diolch yn fawr iawn,

1 Like

Oh…be glad that HR isn’t coming this year…that’s trouble right there :crazy_face:

1 Like

Ummm. (Blush) I think you might be confusing me with Catrin…

1 Like

Oh, diolch yn fawr iawn i ti! :blush:

Amazing how one thing leads to another, and also how one ispiration leads to another - when people share their experiences. :slight_smile:

1 Like

What a truly wonderful, inspirational post. :star2: :star:

Would you mind if I shared it in its entirety on our Facebook page?

Edrych ymlaen yn fawr at dy gyfarfod di! :slight_smile: :slight_smile:


Please use it however you wish Aran—you are the source of inspiration for so many of us!

Thank you,

1 Like

Oops Catriona—sorry—even more reason why I need to meet you all, and I am sooo looking forward to it.

(I am the one who should be blushing, but at my age some colour on the cheeks is like a little chiffon around the neck—very flattering so they say :joy:)


We’ll just have to make-do I guess :thinking: