Well what a week!! It’s going to be hard to do any of it justice in the next few messages really but I’ll do my best. It’s safe to safe that this has had a tectonic shift on where I’m at with my Welsh and how much I’ll be able to use it moving forwards. I’d love to write this up in Welsh but I’ll stick to English for the forum.
Day 47 Dydd Sadwrn
We went to Llanrwst first to see the town and get our Pasbort (Llanrwst were issuing passports to people to celebrate the fact the town was given Free Status by Llewelyn ein Llyw Olaf). So we chatted away to the swyddogion before I went and got my haircut. The barbwr was from Ynys Môn originally and he started the conversation in Welsh and double checked “Cymraeg wyt ti, ie?” which was brilliant! So had a good chat with him. He was very excited that the Steddfod was in town. We had a pretty classic Welsh conversation about where each other wa from and he was very impressed with my Welsh, which was a lovely start to the week! More importantly, I got the haircut I wanted and it wasn’t just a “1 all over”. We got a few more stamps in our Pasbort and then headed to the Maes.
We had a bit of a crwydro (new word to me, very appropriate for the steddfod - wander). Then we went to Caffi Maes B for the sesiwn comedi. This was very funny! Couple of highlights:
"Faint ohonoch chi yn dod o’r Gogledd?
“Sut oedd y taith o Gaerdydd?”
“…cyrraedd ym Muilth a newid eich arian i bres”
…perhaps you needed to be there …
Bit of time in the Pafiliwn watching the plantos o dan 12 yn canu. Always so impressive when kids can sing so well!!
Tŷ Gwerin for the Gwerinos - this was on my list weeks ago but I was a bit worried Emma wouldn’t enjoy it but they were brilliant and Emma is a convert!! Also very inspirational because of the topics of some of their songs but I won’t get political here.
Killed a bit of time before we headed to the Pafiliwn for Y Tylwyth - this was arbennig yn dda!!! I was so impressed by all of it!! A great score by some brilliant folk acts - Gwyneth Glyn a Twm Morris, with the lead singer from Candelas leading the band and Gwilym Bowen Rhys with a lead role. The performers from Fidget Feet with incredible too!
Day 48 Dydd Sul
Met up with “@Isata’s crew”, @peterallen and a few others in Betws for a quick coffee and chat. We were given the tour of Peter’s boudoir before we all headed off to the Maes.
Went back to Caffi Maes B. While we were waiting a girl appeared from nowhere and said something very quickly that I didn’t understand. She said it again…still wasn’t getting it, then before I could work it out she turned and left and then Emma registered what had happened (all very quick). She’d asked if there was a phone there, the word i tripped over was ffôn…a bloody English word!! Funny enough Aran had talked about this happening a lot when I saw him last week so I just found it funny. The Sesiwn Comedi with some different acts, wasn’t quite as good as the first day but more to the point I could understand that and make up my own mind about the jokes…yn Gymraeg…so I wasn’t disappointed at all!
Back to Tŷ Gwerin (don’t worry there isn’t a pattern for the rest of the week). Watched a wonderful set by Gwyneth Glyn. Different form of gwerin compared to the Gwerinos, but lovely all the same, with a finish of a rendition of Adre which two of our friends sang for us at our wedding so that meant a lot to hear it from Gwyneth in the flesh!
Then we took a crwydro up to Llwyfan y Maes for the start of a great evening of music culminating in one of the highlights of my live music experiences! Started with Geraint Løvgreen who is always great, Fleur de Lys who were brilliant live, SSiW favourite Elin Fflur with an Ar Lan y Môr singalong before…Mr Gogledd himself, Bryn Fôn!! In front of an absolutely packed Maes of about 7,000 people, and I swear everyone of them, who was sober enough to remember, knew every one of the words! There were very inspirational references and flag waving (no politics). That finished with Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau.
Day 49 Dydd Llun
We decided to take an early break from the Maes so we were Steddfoded out. So we went and met up with Emma’s Uncle and Aunt in Llandwrog and we headed off the Nefyn and Morfa Nefyn for the day. Emma said at the end that one of the nicest things for her was “Nad oedd Bryn yn defnyddio Cymraeg syml efo ti.”
Day 50 Dydd Mawrth
What a way to celebrate day 50 than the big meet up!!
First thing headed to the stondin Cymru a’r Byd for the sgwrs with @aran, @neilrowlands, Rhys Meirion, a winner of the Urdd Dysgwr y Flwyddyn and one of the Cymraeg i Oedolion team. Had a great chat with Aran before the start then really enjoyed the sgwrs. Lots passion shown that’s for sure! Emma also pointed out how handsome Rhys Meirion is so i made sure we left pretty quickly at the end
We bumped into one of our friends from Caerdydd (one of the singers from our wedding actually). Meg started in English with us but Emma switched back to Welsh quite quickly which was brilliant, and we all stayed in Welsh with splashes of English, which felt really natural.
Tried to get into the talk with Carwyn Jones but it was choker. So we went for a crwydro before the meet up.
The meet up was lovely!! It was so great to see everyone! To finally meet @novem and @gruntius! To see @Iestyn and Cat again, and the kids, especially Elliw asking Emma if she could go on the next bwtcamp
We caught the end of The Welsh Whisperer in Caffi Maes B which was very funny! Then we had some food and an earlish night. Llanw is flying along now too!
Day 51 Dydd Mercher
We watched some Clogsio in the Pafiliwn which is very impressive but I don’t think I’ll be looking for any beginners classes.
We went to see the Cofiwch Dryweryn talk with Huw Stavens about the programme that was on last night. I’m looking forward to catching up on that at home. The sgwrs was very interesting.
We then caught the Corau o dan 19 which was excellent!
Before the Noson Lawen anfirfiol which was superb!! It had me crying with laughter at times! Highlights for me were 4 of the Aelwyd Llangwm singing watsia di dy hun with photos of Tudur Owen and Tudur surprising them on stage. And the Urdd inspired dance sketch…one of the actors from Te yn y Grug and another comedian dancing in leg warmers…hilarious!
Bit of food then a pint in Betws (wasn’t £5!)
Day 52 Dydd Iau
Crwydro again! Finally found @nia.llywelyn to say hello and promise to join the hangout next Thursday (@dee bring your singing hat), saw Aran, Catrin and kids again that was lovely (didn’t get to say goodbye though, we did walk past later).
Caught the end of the sesiwn comedi in Caffi Maes B by Mas ar y Maes which was very funny.
Then bumped into one of the Cofis from the gym in Cardiff, much much easier to understand this time!!
I finally decided on what to buy from Cowbois and bought Y Cyrff Cymru, Lloegr a Llanrwst shirt. Weirdest thing happened here though. I’ve always spoken more Gog than Hwntw. Learnt with Aran and Catrin, Emma’s family speak more Gog too. I have a Monzo debit card, which if you don’t know is bright coral pink. The guy in Cowbois commented on it and I said “sai’n gallu golli e”…so I’m a gog in the south and a Hwntw in the north?!
Emma also surprised me with “carafanio” so when I’ve finished Llanw i know what I’m reading next. Then we watched The Welsh Whisperer and Candelas on Llwyfan y Maes. We had every intention of staying for Al Lewis but just couldn’t quite make it…so we decided to head for Llanelwy early.
Day 53 Dydd Gwener
Llanelwy a tŷ Taid. Lovely to see Taid and, even more so, because Ive definitely seen a huge jump in how much we understand each other, probably highlighted by the conversation we had about the Kashmir, India and Pakistan this morning.
We headed off to Llandudno to see Emma’s other Aunt in North Wales. Unlike Helen and Bryn in Llandwrog, Julie has always spoken English with Emma’s family. When we turned up, she started in English but Emma carried on in Welsh!! I was so happy! We switched codes a lot but you could see it took Julie a lot more effort than Emma, which was great!
Julie also introduced us to one of her customers (she runs a quilting shop) who is originally from Pen Llŷn so we had a lovely chat in Welsh. She said she often switches to English for dysgwyr because she things it’s kinder, so I reassured her we’re much happier to stay in Welsh. So fingers crossed she remembers that.
Safe to say I’ve had an amazing time in the Gogs! I’ll be very sad to leave tomorrow but I really feel like there’s been a change in Emma and my’s relationship this week too. We’ve gotten to the place in Welsh we are in English. A lot of laughing, a very comfortable place, in jokes and lots of conversation. We didn’t have that last week. It was an effort to use Welsh but it doesn’t feel like that now. I’m going to carry on with this journal because I think the next month is really important to help it carry on. Also, the Advanced content has been no end of helpful prepping me for this week so @beca-brown, diolch o waelod galon i ti!!! I’m definitely going to carry on listening!
Also, diolch yn fawr iawn i chi gyd for reading this and helping me stay accountable! It’s helped loads!