First trip to Wales, and other milestones

By coincidence, I reached two exciting milestones on the same day last week:

  1. I finally finished Level 1, which took me 15 months—largely thanks to three false starts before I figured out a system I could sustain. Well, persistence is a virtue, and Level 2 is already underway.

  2. I booked flights for my first trip to Wales, coming up next month. This will be a short trip for work, with the period 22–29 November split between visits to Swansea University and the University of Liverpool.

For some context, let me mention that Wales has been on my mind since I first applied for a Lecturer position at Swansea U. in 2014. I was obviously unsuccessful, a pattern that continued through four or five more applications since then. (Well, persistence is a virtue.) As of a few months ago I’m now off the market (another milestone), scheduled to start as a Lecturer at U. Liverpool next March if all goes smoothly.

I suspect the work aspects of this trip will keep me too busy to do much sightseeing or other activities, with the possible exception of the weekend of 24–25 November. But if any of you do have suggestions I’d love to hear them. I am tempted to check out Ben Aaronovitch’s book tour at Waterstones Swansea on Thursday evening 22 November, but I suspect that won’t work out. I also don’t expect to make it to the Monday evening meeting in Liverpool that @mikefarnworth advertises, though I hope to connect with that once I move there next year.

Fortunately my future base in Liverpool should give me plenty more opportunities to visit Wales and practice Welsh starting next year.


Many congratulations, Daschaich! A new job and completing level 1 and level 2 well under way. Another excellent example of perseverance. Ardderchog!

I’ve never been to Wales, so I cannot provide any help for things to see/do.

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Hello David, and greetings from Liverpool. You are welcome to come to our sessions at Bethel when you move here. Furthermore, if you do have time to see us when you’re in the UK next month, you will see a completely non-standard evening in Bethel. Monday 26th November is our annual joint meeting with Cymdeithas Lenyddol Bethel, during which we entertain a Welsh-speaking audience with readings, talks, and songs. They then entertain us with tea, biscuits, and Welsh conversation. In some ways it’s the highlight of our year, and by chance it will be taking place during your visit. You would be very welcome to come to this event, but I appreciate that you will only be making a short visit to Liverpool and perhaps won’t have the time.

Beth bynnag, I look forward to meeting you in due course if you decide to join our group. Please let me know if you need any more information about Welsh in Liverpool.

Hwyl am y tro, Mike Farnworth


This is THE thing that makes you succesful - da iawn, that is awesome! Fall down 10 times get up eleven is what leads to conqering any task, and you have done that with aplomb! Congratulations on Level 1, and as importantly, congratulations on learning enough to be hitting level 2 on a roll!

That sounds like an awesome night. I’d lvoe to see that kind of thing rolled out to other Welsh practice groups. Hmmm (thinking cap) - a twinning arrangement with Merched y Wawr or something,


It’s a big challenge for us but it’s really rewarding to have such a supportive audience. From the learners’ point of view it’s an opportunity for us to show our appreciation for the support which we get from the local Welsh community throughout the year. From the community’s point of view it’s an opportunity to show their appreciation of the efforts we are making to increase the number of speakers and help to keep the language alive. From everyone’s point of view it’s a very sociable evening, and the biscuits at Cymdeithas Lenyddol Bethel are better than the “value range” biscuits we have at our normal meetings!

If you want to get a flavour of the proceedings, try reading Gareth Jones’s blog post about our first Noson y Dysgwyr. The second event was just as successful, and we’re hoping to do the same yet again next month.

I like your idea about twinning arrangement with Merched y Wawr. They will have branches all over the place so it’s likely that there will be one within easy reach of most practice groups in Wales. I wonder if there’s anyone on the forum who is a member of a practice group and a Merched y Wawr branch?