... so I was looking for a Welsh birthday card on Monday and I popped into a bookshop in Rhuthun and was greeted in Welsh as I walked through the door. Anyway a nice conversation ensued, in which I was offered a choice of suitable cards and I happened to mention that I was living in Lancashire ... i.e. over the border in England.
Apparently, living in England and using Welsh as a normal language of conversation with local Welsh speakers in a small market town counts as somewhat exceptional. So, it was assumed that I must be Welsh ... maybe I had moved to England later in life? Hence, I managed to create an even greater impact after clarifying that I had, in fact, grown up in England, speaking English.
I did, of course, acknowledge the origins of my Grandfather's family in the area around Wrecsam - but that is simply a motivation for me to "reconnect with roots". There weren't any Welsh speakers in the family around me when I grew up.
So, of course, I was able to credit the twin pillars of SSiW and the Saith Seren (Welsh Centre/pub) in Wrecsam for my journey to where I am now. I was happy to hear that Sioned in "Siop Elfair" already knew of both SSiW and Saith Seren, but it was nice to be able to demonstrate the link between the learning method and the outcome - all entirely in Welsh
The next time that Sioned, the helpful and friendly shop lady, comes across someone who needs to learn Welsh effectively, she can tell them about the middle-aged bloke who popped into her shop and chatted his head off in "fluent" Welsh [her words, not mine] and turned out to have grown up in England, in English and only learned a couple of years back - using SSiW followed by the Saith Seren.