SSi Forum

Daily Challenge


Day 44

Met up with Aran, Dee, Sara, David and Memet Ali yesterday for a very energy filled and interesting meeting. Afterwards we popped down the road to a pub and had a quick school night drink. Which was a mix of Welsh and English. It was so lovely to see those I hadn’t seen for amser maith again and to meet David and Memet Ali.


I’ve just found out one of the receptionists at work speaks Welsh :grinning:


Day 45

Late update on yesterday, apologies for that!
So before work I listened to Craig ab Iago, then on the way to work I listened to the radio but properly. There was an interesting piece With Siân Cothi talking to someone about Iechyd Meddwl and the importance of “dad-cysylltu” (disconnecting) from social media. So other than this forum to find out what’s going on on the Maes we’ll be dad-cysylltu this week.

In work the receptionist i told about - we had a chat in Welsh about, believe it or not with a Welsh speaker; where we’re both from, family etc etc.

Got home and chatted some more to Emma in Welsh.


Day 46

More chatting with the receptionist. She was very impressed that we’re going to the Eisteddfod. She said she used to go as a girl but her husband isn’t a Welsh speaker (kids are) and he isn’t interested. Which is a shame.

Alllllll of the drive up North involved me speaking Welsh. Emma flits in and out of Welsh and English between stories of work in English and the bits connecting them in Welsh.

So I may not update this for a week because I’m on holiday at the Eisteddfod. If I get some down time and feel like it i might do. Either way I will catch you up on what happens this week.

Pob hwyl


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 :thinking:
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 :joy:
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 :joy::joy:
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 :crossed_fingers: 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!


That’s why I started, and why I’ll continue, reading this. It was great meeting you and Emma on Tuesday, you are a great couple (and both bloody gorgeous too, it’s sickening really :joy:). I look forward to reading more.


@AnthonyCusack, I’ve just caught up with this thread and it’s been really interesting, thank you so much for posting, and for talking so openly about your experiences and your feelings. I’ve always assumed that you left bootcamp and sailed off into some magical Welsh-language world where you, Emma, your family and friends never spoke a word of English again. Real life is much more interesting than the fairy story in my head!

Llongyfarchiadau for keeping this up. It’s given me some inspiration, too. Before this week, I’d given up talking Welsh with my mum lately, as she always switches to English very quickly, and we’ve talked to each other in English all our lives, which makes trying to speak in Welsh a bit like gagging ourselves and trying to communicate with grunts and lots of waving hands - and as we speak mostly in the phone, that’s really challenging! I’m also ashamed to say that I’ve not been as supportive as I could have been with my daughter who’s learning. I started with good intentions, but when we meet we always have lots to say, and I tend to completely forget to say any of it in Welsh - and I’m guessing she does too, because we haven’t even mentioned it for ages. I’m not sure what will happen now, but I’m going to try to find a way to keep Welsh present in our lives.

I’m gabbling on about myself now, but I really just wanted to say that I understand how hard it is to switch languages with someone you’ve known for a long time, especially when other people close to you both aren’t able to switch. And how incredibly frustrating it is to both want to speak your new language with someone you love and to not be able to express yourself fully in it. I’m not sure how applicable your situation is to mine, but your thread has certainly given me a lot to think about, so thank you.

It was lovely to see you and Emma during the week, and it’s clear from what you’ve written that this challenge has changed the relationship you both have with Welsh. I think it will take a conscious effort to create an environment where you bring your child up as a first language Welsh-speaker, but you’ve laid the groundwork and are almost there, so it’s definitely worth going the whole way. As someone else said earlier in the thread, your Welsh will grow with theirs, so birth is the ideal opportunity to change the language of home. What an amazing gift to be able to give your child: not only a beautiful and unique language and culture, but the ability to code-switch between English and Welsh - a super-power if ever there was one!

Best of luck whatever you decide. I’m looking forward to the next update in your journey!


Diolch yn fawr iawn :blush:

It definitely takes persistence to change the language. Emma was never resistant to it consciously, if anything it was always the course of least resistance that led to switching back to English. Now though it takes much less effort to stay in Welsh and so the fun starts.


Oh stop it you’re making me blush :slight_smile::joy::joy::joy:

I thought you’d be pleased that Emma bought me a book too :grin:


…but which one are you throwing out?! :scream:


Very pleased, I remember seeing the title ‘carafanio’ somewhere but can’t picture it now. Who’s the author? Does Emma read or tempted to read the Welsh books too? Sometimes that is what I would like most, to be able to pass some of the books I’ve read onto Trace to read, you get a kind of connection through books I find.

What @Isata said above (apart from being brilliantly written) has got me thinking. I have no-one close to me that I can have a real convo with in Welsh and Trace has been threatening to learn for years but never has, so your thread here has been keeping my dream alive and probably the reason I’ve read every word. My dream is to retire into a world of Welsh but you guys, being young, are about to raise a family in Welsh. That’s amazing … just ask @aran what that means to him, amazing. Good luck.


It’s the one Guto Dafydd won the Coron for eleni. Well she started Pluen but we only read in bed really and she started when the tiredness with the pregnancy was at its worst so she’d just fall asleep :joy: But she’s actually started carafanio while I’m finishing Llanw. I’ve leant her sister Llyfr Glas Nebo and her Mum Dadeni. I really want her mum to read Blasu too.

I really hope Trace can, I can understand where her fear might be. Do you think she’d feel more pressure because you’ve done so well? I’m convinced a friend of mine doesn’t want to use SSiW because I have, so he’s learning through the classroom method instead. I’m going to try again with Emma’s Dad now he’s retired. He did start the first lesson but didn’t keep it up.

Chatting with Aran helped Emma come to the decision that both of us staying in Welsh is the best idea and now she’s no longer worried about the little one’s standard of English. So :grin:


I think this is a free pass :crossed_fingers:


Wrth cwrs. Duh!! Happy to see people lending books out, they are definitely to be loved. :grinning:

I used to ask Trace about learning quite often but I don’t anymore, she’ll learn when she’s ready and doesn’t need to be pressured into it by me. She gets enough pressure from Aran whenever we visit them. :joy: She’s got all the resources and opportunities to practise to hand that she’ll ever need and more than enough inspiration with all the Welsh places and events we go to. There’s no rush.


Day 54 Dydd Sadwrn

We left the Gogledd today :pensive: Had breakfast with Taid before getting on the road. Drive down to Cardiff with a stop in Ludlow, and all in Welsh.

We had a retirement party in the evening with a family friend. So there was lots of English because of the group, it’s normal for Emma to speak English with them, plus some aren’t Welsh speakers. The good thing was though, and this was the change, we stayed in Welsh together whenever we were having a conversation together. This also meant a few of the conversations flipped back to Welsh at times.

I was in a conversation with someone yesterday, just general chat (in Welsh), when someone else told them I had learnt Welsh. This then changed the conversation quite a lot and how the other person was talking. He definitely slowed down at first. It quickly reverted back to normal as the conversation flowed. This same thing happened about an hour later with another person. They were both very complimentary but, and I don’t want to sound ungrateful, I’m looking forward to not being introduced as “this is Anthony, he’s learnt Welsh”, but that’ll come. I know it comes from a good place.


Day 55 Dydd Sul

We went to a Mothercare event in the morning (as is my life now :laughing:), bumped into a friend from the gym who is due a couple of weeks after Emma. So this was a nice benchmark again. Everything was in English, the talks and talking to our friend but we stayed in Welsh when talking together…almost like a real Cwpwl Cymraeg :joy:.

Emma was feeling pretty washed out in the evening and used to revert back to English when she didn’t have the energy but we stayed in Welsh the whole evening! I’m one very happy chap :smile:


A line was drawn in the sand and you’ve both leaped right over it. You’ll never go back now. Llongyfarchiadau.


Day 56 Dydd Llun

Emma and I still in Welsh. Good thing about this was it was our first days back at work and normally she tells stories in English because they happened in English. This was only reserved for the “meddai” bits of the convo, otherwise the rest was in Welsh.
I told the receptionist all about last week - in Welsh.
Listened to the first sgwrs Beca had with Trystan Lewis. Then read the script in my break, then relistened while cooking.
Radio Cymru to and from work, definitely paying attention to this more. Less daydreaming while I listen which is really nice. Keeps the gap before work starts that bit longer.

I read a few articles on Golwg360 and my twitter is close to being all in Welsh, so that’s a nice distraction.


Days 57 and 58 dydd Mawrth a dydd Mercher

We’ve had Dee staying with us for a few days while she works in Caerdydd. Definitely felt my Welsh being stretched (lots of peas in the pot moments) because we’ve talked about a range of topics gwleidyddiaeth, hanes, bywyd teulu, yr iaith ayyb. This has definitely tested my vocab. It’s also been interesting because we’re back in the world of working through English and then coming home to speak Welsh. So the adjustment has been tiring but perseverance is key!
One of my, and definitely Emma’s (found it very funny!), favourite word guess camgymeriad i made was - while searching for the word anger, I went through a process of “grac…felly…gwrachod?” (Witches) :man_facepalming: but I don’t think I’ll forget either “dicter” (anger) or gwrachod anytime soon!

Other things I’ve done: listened to the second convo with Trystan Lewis a Beca, and also Beca a Sioned Humphreys. Started listening to Beti a’i Phobol but didn’t quite finish the episode with Carl Clowes. So that’s the task for this morning.
I’ve been reading Golwg360 whenever I get a chance.

Any other tips for building vocab? I’m not really a flashcards fan. I need context and meaning.


I know just what you mean - I was wondering what that odd word ‘ayyb’ was with two 'y’s in the middle. Got it now, though…