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Showing posts from September, 2012

Total immersion in Welsh: visiting Nant Gwrtheyrn

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Let's be honest here - I have been trying to learn Welsh for a very long time!  We have lived here for just a few weeks short of seven years so I think it must be around six years ago that I walked through the door of the first class.  To begin with we had a class twice a week which ran in our local pub.  Numbers have fluctuated, people have come and gone, the class moved up the hill into Caerwys, first to a room which is now part of the butcher's and then into the Institute, handy but not quite as cosy as the pub and with no glass of wine as a reward after either.  The twice a week classes shrank to once a week so we moved from two lovely tutors to one.  But week in, week out, I have trundled down with my files and my dictionary.  I have sat exams: Mynediad, Sylfaen, Canolradd, roughly equivalent to Entry, Foundation and Intermediate.  While I might not be fluent you would have to grant me my commitment!

Now numbers have settled to a small hardcore of good friends and for qui…

Coming down from the hill

Two reasons for coming down from the hill this week.  The first was the most flying of visits to Oxford and London.

Weeks ago Ian had suggested we see the  production of Timon of Athens at the National Theatre.  We could drive down to Oxford on Tuesday, stay with daughter and son in law and see grandson on Tuesday night, get the Oxford Tube (a coach service) into London in the morning, have lunch, see the play, get the Tube back again and drive home, achieving the whole thing while only being away from home and father in law for a single night.

The arrangements were put in place for father in law care and off we went.  I am struggling a bit with living so far away from various parts of my family at the moment so seeing my daughter and her family was both lovely and oddly hard, yet I am amazed and delighted at how firmly Joseph has bonded to me, following me around talking nineteen to the dozen and insisting that Grandma does his bath.  I should take that as evidence that the physical …

End of month view for August or confessions of a rubbish gardener

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I wish I wasn't so erratic about gardening.  I really thought I had cracked my tendency to lose interest in the garden in August.  Inspired by Karen I have begun to engage with September and October in the garden and while my first love will always be spring, I have come to love the golden light of late summer and early autumn.  Maybe it is like a biological clock - you know, the stuff about whether you are a morning or a nighttime person. Perhaps you can have the same thing with times of year.   I have been keeping gardening diaries for ever. Year after year the detailed planning entries and commentaries on what is working and what's not from the early months tail off in mid July into disgruntled little notes "Looks tired", "No colour", "Everything's flopped" or even worse the pages of emptiness where I have clearly got fed up with the garden and gone walking.

But the thing about Helen's end of month view posts is that the discipline make…