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Showing posts from July, 2007

Learning Welsh

Have you ever tried to learn another language? This week I am giving a week of my all too short holidays to doing an intensive Welsh course to add to the once a week course down at the pub which I've been going to since February. Why? "Why bother when everyone speaks English anyway and it's fearfully difficult and you'll never be fluent?" asked the husband of a friend. This is a tricky one because the answer is a mixture of offensively holier than thou and staggeringly trivial. The pious sounding bit: it is a form of respect for the country you have chosen to live in (no egg throwing please); the trivial bit: it was driving me mad that I couldn't pronounce road signs. So far it has been one of the best things I have done since we came here. I love the class. I love the enthusiasm of the tutor, the gentle micky taking to and fro, the surprise of the new. One of our number is a woman in her sixties, warm and friendly and deceptively mild looking. After

The speed of life

Time has speeded up over the last week or two and I am running to keep up with myself. Now I have an hour to myself so here is a canter through last week. Saturday June 30th Younger daughter is a bridesmaid to her best friend (she of the hen weekend at our house) and we are invited. The wedding is in an Oxford college and her husband to be is in the RAF. It is all impossibly romantic: the cloisters, the gardens, the golden stone, the bride beautiful, her bridesmaids all slim and brown and gorgeous in their cream and navy printed dresses, elegant and calm. The groom and many of the guests are in uniform, sharp and so younglooking, their smooth and eager faces under the blue peaked caps like something from a Second World War film. They carry dress swords and make an arch of swords for the bride and groom as they leave the college chapel. As they pass through laughing we bombard them with bubbles. The meal is in the college hall, another beautiful building. We sit at long trestle