Not an end, but a big step forward!
Well, that’s it! I can’t believe how thrilled I am to have completed Level 2 Challenge 25! Where have the last 6 mths gone? Who would believe that 6 mths could go so quickly? “Mae’r amser yn hedfan heibio mor gyflym, tydy?” See I can remember it and that was back in week 15!
You see, at the age of 75 I was beginning to feel as if I was drifting towards old age. My friends and family would be very surprised to hear me say that, I’m sure, because I still do most of what I have always done but somehow the spark had gone and the volunteer work and walks and reading and crosswords and quizzes were just habit. I was finding that sometimes I could hardly string a coherent sentence together in English and often forgot a word altogether. It left me wondering if it was just the onset of the ageing process or the start of something more serious. I also found myself dozing off to sleep after lunch and in bed by 8.30 – 9.00 at night. THEN I found SSiW. I don’t know how or why it popped up on my laptop, but it was obviously meant to be. I dabbled for a little while, realized just how fantastic it is and signed up for the 6 mth course. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Through the amazing work out my brain cells have had, the confidence and fluency is back in my English conversations. I still (just occasionally) forget a word, but the strange and fantastic thing is that the Welsh for that word will often pop into my mind instead of the English one! There’s no time for an afternoon nap when your’e doing a 6 mth intensive course!– and who needs one, anyway? It was just habit and boredom. I’m still sometimes in bed by 9.00, but watching hangouts or chatting on Slack, or The Forum or having my own personal concert listening to the wonderful Welsh music on You Tube or Radio Cymru. No settling down till about 11pm - I’d miss too much Welsh.
So now that this amazing 6 mths has come to an end – what next? Well, you haven’t seen the last of me! I will definitely be going on to level 3, but at a more leisurely pace! And as I have subscribed to the Polyglot Plan. my husband and I will be launching ourselves into SSiS before our holiday in Tenerife in October.
I will never be bored or lonely – ever – Slack and the forum will see to that. I really want to thank all of you in the SSIW family for your help and support. We’ve never met, but I feel as if I know you all. If you’re not sure who I am – I’m the crazy one with the cream cake and the parrot!
And particular thanks to the 4 stars of SSiW – Aran, Catrin, Iestyn and Cat. I don’t think that you have ANY idea what a spectacular effect you have on people’s quality of life. (I’m running out of superlatives!) And that’s apart from the most important aim of keeping our fabulous language and culture alive, plus your attitude and motivation that work in so many aspects of life. Thank you thank you thank you. Diolch yn fawr iawn o waelod fy nghalon.
Not an end, but a big step forward!
Congratulations. Something similar was happening to me as well. I have myasthenia gravis and one of the symptoms is problems with verbal recall. My problem manifested itself with knowing the word in my mind, but it wouldn’t make it to my mouth to speak it. I would just freeze while talking sometimes. I read somewhere that people were trying to learn a new language and this really seemed to help them.
I started last November and am nearly done with Level 1 (had to take a break of about 4 months to complete some computer certification training for my job). Now the freezing while talking rarely occurs, at least in English , though it did start up a little when I took a break for 4 months. So it means I just need to keep on.
If you don’t use it, you lose it. It’s amazing what the brain can do.
What an interesting post. Da iawn I chi. I am so encouraged by your post. We are never to old to learn and the future looks exciting. Keep on keeping on!
Llongyfarchiadau mawr i ti @andreaeynon! I’m always happy to read such brilliant and positive beyond all stories. Yes, this surely is the very new beginning for you and your family! You inspired me in the way that no one did in a long time though.
Diolch i ti hefyd!
Diolch yn fawr, girls. I feel you are all real friends. Together we can help each other improve our Cymraeg and spread the word. x
Can’t believe I hadn’t see this before!
Andrea - thank you from the bottom of my heart for this hugely powerful post - enormously moving and inspiring. Diolch o waelod calon…
And huge, huge congratulations - as you know at this end of that journey, you’ve achieved something that takes a remarkable level of effort - so you thoroughly deserve your fantastic results
Diolch yn fawr iawn a llongyfarchiadau, Andrea.
I didn’t see this before either! I’m stunned that I missed it - such an inspirational and emotional post. Fantastic achievement!
Da iawn ti @andreaeynon, like you I was getting rather mentally lazy before I found SSiW in the summer of 2014. I’d recently finished twenty odd years of family research and had forced the resultant book onto every relative I could find and was looking around for something interesting to do. Since then I’ve done all three SSiW courses, both old and new versions, and, nothing daunted, am on my third year of formal Welsh learning. As if that wasn’t enough I started the little chat group here in Shrewsbury nearly two years ago and joined the Cymdeithas Cymraeg Amwythig, finding myself on the committee which stretches my Welsh a bit.
This is not to do anything other than to illustrate how Welsh has changed my life, given me a lot more to occupy myself and opened up a whole new circle of friends and acquaintances.
I was 78 when I began with the usual worries as to whether I was too old to cope with it all and whether it was worth all the effort at my age, but there’s no doubt that it has really sharpened up my memory. In fact it functions better in Welsh than in English from time to time. So, tell your friends, it’s never too late, and look at the fun and sense of achievement that comes as a bonus. “Dal ati pawb 'dych chi’n bob un yn gwneud yn arbennig o dda”. (as “young” Mr Grace used to say on "Are you being Served?)
Would either of you consider this? You sound like the perfect guests … if you could get to Llanelli on a Tuesday.
Thank you for thinking of me, Dee, but “No Way1” The very thought gives me nightmares. It’s just not my scene! x