“Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together,but do so with all your heart.”
Imagine having a spell cast on your life, ensuring that it would only ever be filled with good people. What a glorious privilege it would be to live every day surrounded by warm friendship, kindness, generosity and shared passions.
This is life on Planet SaySomethingInWelsh.
It’s a ‘can’t believe my luck’ kind of feeling. To be reminded every day that we here, in the SSiW engine room, share our lives with so much awesome humanity, is totally delicious.
We started nearly seven and a half years ago, with a small patch of grass and a handful of seeds, and now look at the beauty and diversity which surrounds us every day - we are laden with friends, each one of them enduring to learn our much loved language, and we are eternally grateful for it.
About a year ago we met Justin and Eirwen Brisk on a fresh spring afternoon in the hills of Colwyn Bay. We shared cwtshis, lunch drinks and child shepherding duties.
Justin had stumbled across SSiW as he tentatively begun his journey to be a Welsh speaker, much to the delight of his wife Eirwen, a born and bred Welsh girl. They both fell in love with SSiW and immediately became eager to become more involved with us and the development of our courses, and so we became friends.
Justin was enthusiastic and charming whilst Eirwen radiated warmth. She was gracious, sweet-tempered, beautiful, intelligent and passionately Welsh - I really enjoyed getting to know her better.
We met with them both three or four times again during the next twelve months, as they traveled to Wales from their home in San Giacomo, Campo Rosso, to visit friends and attend family weddings. During this precious and exciting time, Aran, Justin and Eirwen continued to put their final plans together for the ‘Luxury 2 Week Intensive Welsh Course’ in the Brisk’s beautiful home, in the hills above Monte Carlo.
Eirwen had fallen in love with the idea of the Monte Carlo ‘Luxury Bootcamp’. She was passionate about her native language and excited about her home becoming a base for some alternative Welsh learning, for a splendid 2 weeks in May.
I don’t think I’ve ever met such a capable and organised woman, driven by her passions and loves. Eirwen was busy making sleeping arrangements, beautifying their already stunning home, arranging Grand prix tickets and discussing delicious meal plans, to name but a few things on her to do lists.
Unfortunately and quite devastatingly, last month Eirwen suddenly became ill and was found to have a particularly aggressive and unrelenting cancer. She wasn’t even given a fair chance to fight back and tragically lost her life within two to three weeks. It was an unbelievable shock to all who loved her… and she was loved quite passionately…
But it was with her usual bravery and gusto that she insisted, during conversations with her beloved husband, Justin and their wonderful daughter, Tamara, that the two week Welsh course continue. The courageous and ever capable Eirwen even took the planning a step further, and whilst graciously succumbing to her heartbreaking illness, she saw to it that her sisters also arranged to travel to Italy from Wales, to assist with the running of the house during the 2 weeks - her enthusiasm and initiative were unstoppable.
Eirwen passed away peacefully and surrounded by love, on the 20th of April.
On Saturday the 7th of May, Eirwen was laid to rest in North Wales, close to her childhood village of Llanfair Talhairn. It was an honour to be able to join her dearest family and friends in saying final goodbyes and paying tribute to the bendigedig Eirwen. It was a day full of love, colour and passionate song. It was a day in which we we got to know Eirwen so much better. It was a day in which we received such a clear understanding of how much the teaching of the Welsh language meant to her, and of how furiously passionate she was about continuing to make ‘Monte Carlo Bootcamp’ legendary… just as she was.
Huna mewn Hedd, Eirwen annwyl, you are and always will be, greatly missed.