I cannot believe that I missed the week that one of my closest friends became Seren yr Wythnos! In my defence I have had a very busy few weeks with March being especially busy with family birthdays. One aged 4, two aged 37, one 69 and one 80! Also I have had a week of looking after my granddaughters.
So, to Dee!
I first met Dee about seven and a half years ago when I went to a quiz for learners that I had seen advertised. I was one of the first to arrive, met Dee and a guy from West Wales. We formed part of a team which my husband, Phil, joined later. Several of the teams had fluent, first-language Welsh speakers in them, so we felt rather at a disadvantage. Dee handed me a business card for SSIW and I put it in my bag. A week or so later I found it and decided to log on and join the forum and look at the lessons. I tentatively started to listen to Iestyn and Cat, but did not work in earnest at that point. I attended classes in which we hardly spoke, so found it hard even talking out loud to myself, let alone to Iestyn and Cat!
Fast forward to January and I saw the first Bootcamp advertised and decided that the discipline of talking only in Welsh would be good for me. I arrived a day after the start as we had been away skiing, so when I met the other six they had already established a bond with each other in English, whereas I was straight in in Welsh. Thankfully I recognised Dee and felt happier. And so our friendship started. She has been exceedingly patient with me over the years, insisting in speaking only Welsh to me, even if I lapsed into English. That's not to say that we never speak English to each other. We have talked well into the early hours of the morning (once until way past 4 am!) in English, when our Welsh vocabulary would have been too restricting.
Together we joined Merched y Wawr and also went to a Welsh Folk Dancing group. And with Desmond we started the first conversation group in Cardiff, meeting weekly and another monthly on a Saturday morning. In the early days if there was only Dee and I at the Mochyn Du we would play Scrabble yn Cymraeg. Her move to Llandysul was a blow to me, but we both have "open doors" for each other, so we do see each other, although we now try to go to bed before midnight!
Dee is calm, generous, patient, committed to learning languages herself and encouraging others in their language learning, non-judgmental, welcoming and friendly - and has many other positive traits, and I feel truly honoured to be able to call her a close friend. Throughout her illness and recovery she has kept positive and researched what is best for her, and informed others of any significant finds that she has made. ALWAYS helping others, even when times have been difficult for herself. An excellent choice for Seren yr Wythnos!