What happens when the bootcampers take over the bootcamp?
Well, I can say what happened until Tuesday, just half the week. Then off to London to see family, so I’m allowed to write in English.
It started even before our formal welcome to bootcamp meeting on Sunday with a good eight of us breakfasting together on Saturday.
Sunday 11am, ish. 25(?) of us met in the Galeri to plot and plan and lay down some ground rules.
- Make sure you text Bob
- Put everything on the Bŵtsapp WhatsApp group.
- Make sure no one gets left out
In the end Bob and his old phone could join WhatsApp and we didn’t need to text him. Or the other Bob, or Bobi. Two Marks as well.
I’d said, here on the forum, before hand, that I wanted to go up Snowdon, and 12 others were foolish enough to come with me. Monday morning and an 8am start, which was stretched by only a few minutes. Three cars, 13 people, drive to Llanberis, bus to Pen y Pass. 7 hours later we were back at the cars with some of us having muscles and joints aching even more than mine. I got to see a lot of @Gog’s feet because I knew they knew where they were going! Very glad I brought my trusty staff with me.
But again, before 12.30 on the Sunday, 2 cars full of bootcampers had arranged for a 1.30 start for a visit to Nant Gwrtheyrn the very same day. Somehow Tafarn y Fic didn’t come off, but I now know the layout of the land for a further visit. Very glad I wasn’t driving down that really steep hill to get there. Cafe after our wanderings for drinks or snacks or meals.
Sunday evening and three or four had booked for the Bachgen Du. Despite being the end of half term it was still packed and the other 8 or so of us who turned up were squeezed into the corners we could find. A younger person, not coming on the Yr Wyddfa trip, lamented it was leaving so early, as 8am was still sleeping time. Hey Ho. Time to catch up on old friends and begin to make new ones.
On the Monday evening, after yr Wyddfa, and a well deserved shower (why do hostels never have baths?) and quite a lot of to and fro on WhatsApp about where was good to eat, who supported the Welsh language, who was open on a Monday night, about 8 of us met together in Tŷ Castell to eat a very filling meal before going on to the Royal Welsh Yacht Club where the magic of the Moebius Band was revealed to the uninitiated. Someone described how they felt the Uwch course they were doing was a waste of time.
Tuesday saw two of us breakfasting in Yr Wal and three more turning up to cross the bridge to Ynys Môn and Oriel Môn. The Kyffin Williams pictures (point to note, while he lived in London he stayed with the GP mother of a friend of my mother’s, during term) were fairly well hidden but there were some beautiful tapestries to see, quite a lot, in fact. We were back in town in just enough time for me to collect my rain jacket and be at the castle for 1pm. Eight of us, but we split up pretty quickly. While waiting at the bus stop in Llanberis on Monday I saw Bob giving someone the hard sell about SSIW and Lorna did the same at the castle. I was disappointed by a pretty one sided approach to more recent Welsh history and monarchy at the castle, while not at all claiming to be a republican. The one book I saw, by Myrddin Ap Dafydd, was only in English but a quick gwgl found it was also available in Welsh. How could it not be, the work of the prifardd? So off to Palas Print where I couldn’t find it, but it was in stock and I bought the last copy.
A couple of hours before the next meet up and the plan was to have a nap. I’d been swimming early in the morning in the nice, but shallow at the shallow end, pool on the outskirts of town. When the Gog at the desk spoke to me in English I genuinely couldn’t understand what he was saying! Nap postponed by doing a short interview to camera with @Sylv about my motivations for learning Welsh.
Two hours later and she was still interviewing at a house some of the others were sharing for the week and the lovely Peter had prepared Vegan food as a main course, and for afters we were ‘ymshocledu’ ed. Not vegan at all. Games requiring talking to others. A little too much alcohol by a few of us, keeping things merry but not boisterous.
And then it was Wednesday and I had to leave. I’ve only described the stuff I actually did. There were more cups of tea, a trip to Llanberis not requiring an assault on Yr Wyddfa, trips on a steam train, a drink or three in various pubs and other stuff I didn’t get to hear about.
But that’s what can happen, when bootcampers take over the bootcamp.