I’m Lynne, and I live in Ceredigion, not far from Tresaith. And that’s why I want to speak Welsh.
I was brought up in Caerphilly, left to go to university, then worked in London and Brussels, and came back to Wales when I had to retire early owing to bad health.
I could have done with moving to a dry climate, but came back for family reasons. Those, and my own health, have got in the way of sorting out my Welsh. Time for action after 10 years failing to get to regular lessons.
My father’s first language was Welsh. My mother didn’t speak it, and back then the idea was that it was too confusing to bring children up speaking two languages. So although we went to Welsh chapel, and there was a lot of Welsh about, we didn’t speak it at home.
I do understand quite a lot of Welsh. On the active side, some of the grammar comes pretty naturally. And in principle I should have a reasonable active vocabulary. But, as a very shy child, I was hugely put off speaking by my father’s brothers laughing at me when I made mistakes. I will happily chunter away making mistakes in other languages, but decades on, I still tend to freeze up when it comes to speaking Welsh. I do my best when people speak to me in Welsh, but I never initiate a conversation, except with my dogs. I thought total immersion might be a way of getting over this.
So, I’ve got dogs. I walk a lot, though not so quickly these days. I sing. I am learning the harp. I like going to the pub, but I’ll be sleeping at home, so no beer. I like cooking. I know my way around Ceredigion.