Maggie dw i! I’m 72, and can’t believe I’ve waited this long to try and learn Welsh! My Mum was born in Dolgellau, and did speak at least some Welsh, but she wouldn’t teach me when I was small as she wanted to be able to gossip with her friends without me understanding. My Dad came from London, and I was born and brought up in North Harrow.
The highlights of my year were the weeks I spent at Easter and in the summer hols with my Grandparents in Dolgellau. I loved the countryside, the views, the seaside (Barmouth and Fairbourne usually) and to be able to roam in the wood behind my Grandparents house. Mum would put me on the train in Paddington Station, and ask the guard to keep an eye on me. After my first solo journey when my Grandparents met me in Ruabon I managed the whole journey, even changing trains, on my own. I guess I would have been about age 8 at that point! Can’t imagine any parent doing that these days!
We moved to West Kirby when I was 13, and my Grandparents followed us, so that was mostly the end of my times in Wales for a while. As soon as I was old enough to leave home at 21 (it wasn’t 18 back in those days! LOL) I moved to a flat in Liverpool. And I’ve lived in Liverpool ever since.
I married a man whose parents had a caravan and a boat near Abersoch, so holidays in Wales were back on the agenda. We still have a caravan on the same site, but it’s a lot more comfortable than that first one that I visited nearly 50 years ago! Back then it was dig a pit as soon as you arrived for disposal of the contents of the Elsan (chemical toilet) that was in the shed behind the caravan.
Nowadays we have running water and central heating, and are attached to the local sewage system. So all mod cons! Including TV, phone and internet - we spend a lot of time there in normal times. In 2020 we had to leave twice to come back home, and I don’t know when we’ll be allowed to go back to Wales again. Fingers crossed we’ll be back for the Summer.
The other day someone on Twitter asked about good places to learn a new language. I’ve been trying to learn Welsh via Duolingo since last Spring, so mentioned it. Had a couple of Tweets back to suggest I came here to learn - I think the mix of listening and speaking here, and the grammar (now that really does my head in!) on DL etc will be good for me.
Really looking forward to getting back to Wales to practise speaking to some of the local people - it’s a strong Welsh Language village for the locals, though has many second homes.
Sorry this is so long! from Liverpool