This is a bit of an odd one. I’m a bit stuck. I want to meet more Welsh speakers. The best way I figure is to have a hobby. I’m a bit off joining a choir…I am interested to hear what you lovely people do, and see if I could get some inspiration. So…
What sort of hobbies do you all have?
Do you have any hobbies through Welsh?
Not that I do this myself, but I’ve heard it’s a very good way of socialising and helping the community - have you heard of Men’s Sheds Cymru? It looks like there are quite a few groups in Cardiff, so I’m sure there’ll be Welsh speakers somewhere in there. http://www.mensshedscymru.co.uk/
Would it be easier to do it the other way around? Go to as many Welsh chat groups as you can and see if you hit it off with anyone. I go to a couple (Saith Seren whenever I’m not working on a Monday night and a couple of others now and then) and I’ve made some friends, although I have to be honest none of these friendships have made it outside the groups but when I go into town I always seem to bump into someone and have an impromptu chat.
Do you lnow of Cymdeithas Edward Llwyd? Like the Ramblers but with local history and sometimes flora and fauna thrown in and all in Welsh. They have a calendar of events and there is something happening most Saturdays. Wales is divided into three areas. Once you get into it then lift sharing is a way of getting even more Welsh in.
This is an interesting one, because I have the same dilemma. As Geraint suggests, I go to a number of chat groups in an effort to throw as much Welsh at myself as possible. That’s also the reason why I still go to Welsh classes. When I go out for a coffee or a meal on my own or with friends I try to go Welsh speaking places.
I also go to Merched y Wawr, when I would never consider going to the WI.
I started volunteering at the Owain Glyndwr centre to improve my Welsh and now I am on the committee - that is the type of thing I might do in English anyway.
My two main hobbies - learning calligraphy and T’ai Chi, are taught in English (although of course I can write calligraphy pieces in Welsh).
The thing that I do in Welsh that I also do in English is see live music (the SSiW parti was the 5th or 6th time I have seen Meinir Gwilym).
I am conscious of the fact that I do some things because (and only because) they are in Welsh. If I enjoy them, I think that’s fine and I have made a number of new friends and been along to other events as a result.
However, I am still searching for that hobby that I would do anyway that just happens to be in Welsh. Maybe the Welsh music events are it!
Helo @helenlindsay - Interested to find another calligrapher and Tai Chi person! I am in Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan. Don’t suppose you are anywhere near?
There is another Welsh speaker in my calligraphy group (1st language ) so we do have a chat and as you say we can do some interesting pieces in different scripts.
Not a hobby exactly, but there seems to be a fair amount of Welsh comedy around. (ISTR something was advertised on the forum recently). If comedy is your thing and if you find some suitable events, that could lead to something.
There’s three or four Welsh speraking pilots base at or who visit the strip so I do occasionally get to use Welsh in hobbies I do anyway.
Tŷ Tawe and it’s live music. Hacio’r Iaith with its geekiness are things I might have dine anyway in English.
I’d like a group to play board/card games with, Tŷ Tawe’s done it once or twice but a group would be good. Maybe I should tout for one.
Thank you all for your input (and keep the ideas coming, would be great to hear what you all enjoy doing).
@margaretnock how often do you make it to these events? It looks really interesting so I may well give this one a go at some point.
@gruntius I really should do this. I live within walking distance of two. Something is putting me off and I can’t put my finger on it yet.
I was incredibly nervous before turning up to the first one but if you don’t go how will you ever know? (I’m not saying that it is nerves stopping you BTW😊) You’re not obliged to go again.
I’ve actually only been once, when it was possible to get there by public transport as I try to avoid driving if possible, and I hadn’t worked te previous night, and I hadn’t got anything else booked to do. One of the hazards of living a crazy busy life is that I can’t do everything I want to do. I was given a lift back by someone who lives quite near me,
It was last October time I suppose, near Llandeilo. About six miles, but taken slowly. A local resident gave us some history of the local chapel, about 20 minutes. About 30 people from all over S Wales did the walk. There was a stop for a picnic lunch, another 20 minutes. I was complimented on the standard of my Welsh. Plenty of opportunities to speak Welsh, I wonder if @ramblingjohn has been on their walks as I think he would like them too. And your Emma could come too.
I live near Machynlleth, so a bit too far away! If I’m visiting the south, perhaps we could meet up to chat about our mutual hobbies.
I know a lot of people who do T’ai Chi and some that do calligraphy, but I have not thought to ask whether they do both!
It could also be my lack of will power and the sgwrs being held in a pub…
No you are right, I have no obligation to go again. I’ll see if I can make one and try it
That does sound very interesting. I’ve wanted to get out and do some more exploring too.
From time to time, when reading the weekly e-mail, I’ve thought about whether it would be possible to put together a sort of SSiW ‘chat crawl’ over a week-long holiday. It would involve travelling around the country trying to fit in as many chats as possible.
I have looked at the weekly meet ups and think it might be possible to start in Pwllheli on Saturday morning, go to Saith Seren in Wrecsam on Monday evening (no one meets on a Sunday), go south to Torfaen on Tuesday, maybe Caerdydd and Pontypridd on Wednesday, followed by Blackwood (Thurs), Burry Port (Fri) and add in one of the monthly Saturday meet ups to finish off.
I haven’t included meet ups in mid-Wales, because I can get to those anyway, but mid and north Wales tour could work too.
Or perhaps over a whole year, you could visit every chat group (Washington DC and Australia might take a bit more organising). It would be like collecting football grounds, but with better coffee!
@johnwilliams_6 posted about a walk he had done with them a while back & as I remember was very positive about the group. Would you recommend @johnwilliams_6??
Yes, definitely - it’s a great way of practising ‘Welsh in the wild’ (and literally!). I did my fifth walk with CEL last Saturday and they’ve always been very welcoming. The programme of walks is on the CEL website and one’s always advertised between 0630am and 0700am on Galwad Cynnar on Radio Cymru on Saturdays.
I find myself a bit short on time these days to pick up any new hobbies, but one of my main “hobbies” has been volunteering with various activities - mainly related to whatever my children are doing. For example, I am currently leading my son’s scout troop. One thing I would love to do (with a little more time) would be to volunteer as a docent at our local railway museum. There are a number of organizations here that are always looking for volunteers to do something or another (lead hikes in the mountains, teach bicycle maintenance, provide walking tours in the historic district, etc.). I imagine there must be some organization near you looking for volunteers - maybe even ones who can speak some Welsh!
I love it!
From time to time I think about doing something similar as an entry in the “Dawn to Dusk” flying competition - a mildly silly but cool competition for the “most interesting employment of a Flying Machine within the limits of competent airmanship and to demonstrate the capabilities of pilot and machine in a day’s flying, during the hours between Dawn to Dusk, in terms of furthering some original and praiseworthy objective.”
People “collect” all sorts of locations on it - and it would be kind of fun to have a theme of “Welsh in unusual places” - Land exchange en Welsh for fun, then fly on - I got as far as making a map of airfields close to SSIW meetup locations… Maybe one summer I’ll do it!