2014 Luxury Northern Bootcamp/Bwtnos - ALL THE GOSSIP! | If SSIW is helping you, why not help us? Get DAILY lessons: Become an SSIW Member!

No English for a week...:-)

Re: 2014 Luxury Northern Bootcamp/Bwtnos - ALL THE GOSSIP!

Postby youngblandford » Thu Apr 10, 2014 11:59 am

Well most of the escapades of the week have been covered by the others so I'll try and recap a few of the other great moments.

The Rownd and Rownd script rehearsal revealed that not only are we Welsh speakers, we're thespians that could rival Anthony Hopkins.

It may have been the weather (gloomy and windy), but there's something creepy about Portmeirion that I can't put my finger on. Perhaps it was the quicksand warnings and the giant white balloon that followed us most of the way home.

Aran had a run for his money on teaching us new words, I think Sali Mali just beat him on that.

The painful 3/4 hour trying to understand via sign language and examples the Welsh for "Common Sense".

Hiring a minibus for the week was a great decision. Having everyone together helped bond the group.

A lovely half hour on Pwllheli beach with a VERY bracing paddle in the sea.

As this was my 3rd bootcamp I perhaps didn't get the full "Wow I can speak Welsh" experience that I got on my first 2. An idea was floated that perhaps Bootcamp graduates who want the 100% Welsh experience and are confident enough to do it without Aran arrange to holiday together. How this would be organised I have no idea.

A great week. Met old friends and made new ones, saw more of North Wales and had some great times.
User avatar
youngblandford
Mr Weithia
 
Posts: 427
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:29 pm
Location: Manchester
Real name:: Ian

Re: 2014 Luxury Northern Bootcamp/Bwtnos - ALL THE GOSSIP!

Postby Aran » Thu Apr 10, 2014 12:26 pm

youngblandford wrote:As this was my 3rd bootcamp I perhaps didn't get the full "Wow I can speak Welsh" experience that I got on my first 2. An idea was floated that perhaps Bootcamp graduates who want the 100% Welsh experience and are confident enough to do it without Aran arrange to holiday together. How this would be organised I have no idea.


Oh, interesting - no comment at all on just how sulky Ian looked when this idea was floated...:wink:
Loan $25 somewhere worthwhile with the SSiW Kiva team
Forum Guidelines | How far have you got with SSiW? Let us know HERE
User avatar
Aran
SSi CEO
 
Posts: 16971
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:52 pm
Real name:: Aran!

Re: 2014 Luxury Northern Bootcamp/Bwtnos - ALL THE GOSSIP!

Postby youngblandford » Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:08 pm

Aran wrote:
youngblandford wrote:As this was my 3rd bootcamp I perhaps didn't get the full "Wow I can speak Welsh" experience that I got on my first 2. An idea was floated that perhaps Bootcamp graduates who want the 100% Welsh experience and are confident enough to do it without Aran arrange to holiday together. How this would be organised I have no idea.


Oh, interesting - no comment at all on just how sulky Ian looked when this idea was floated...:wink:


I have no idea what you mean *innocent face*
User avatar
youngblandford
Mr Weithia
 
Posts: 427
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:29 pm
Location: Manchester
Real name:: Ian

Re: 2014 Luxury Northern Bootcamp/Bwtnos - ALL THE GOSSIP!

Postby DavidHT » Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:18 pm

youngblandford wrote:It may have been the weather (gloomy and windy), but there's something creepy about Portmeirion that I can't put my finger on. Perhaps it was the quicksand warnings and the giant white balloon that followed us most of the way home.


I absolutely love Portmeirion, and I have been saying to hubby for about 693 years that we really should get up there and stay in the hotel for a long weekend. The first time I ever took myself up there was in February 1994. It was cool, there was snow on the ground even in Porthmadog but none in Portmeirion at all. I spent two days wandering around the village and the Gwyllt, soaking in the atmosphere, taking photographs, reading, and I saw almost no-one, it was very atmospheric!
David HT
I reached (southern) cwrs 2 gwers 18, and struggled. Went back to the beginning of course 2, by way of revision, and light relief! Currently revising gwers 9.
Please feel free to correct my Welsh, and if you can explain why that's even better!
Currently doing Mynediad 2 at evening classes.
User avatar
DavidHT
SSiW Member
 
Posts: 673
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:51 pm
Real name:: David H-T

Re: 2014 Luxury Northern Bootcamp/Bwtnos - ALL THE GOSSIP!

Postby Gruntius » Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:57 pm

youngblandford wrote:It may have been the weather (gloomy and windy), but there's something creepy about Portmeirion that I can't put my finger on. Perhaps it was the quicksand warnings and the giant white balloon that followed us most of the way home.

I found it creepy too, there's something very sinister about it. I think it has a false feel to it. I'm sure even the people who work there are robots like the Stepford wives. :shock:
Doing the Gog thingy.

"The_drummist" on Skype if you fancy a chat.

A little bit of my past life ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXEhh2dCQYg
User avatar
Gruntius
SSiW Member
 
Posts: 835
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:51 pm
Location: Wrecsam
Real name:: Geraint

Re: 2014 Luxury Northern Bootcamp/Bwtnos - ALL THE GOSSIP!

Postby Anne-Northumberland » Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:39 pm

Gruntius wrote:
youngblandford wrote:It may have been the weather (gloomy and windy), but there's something creepy about Portmeirion that I can't put my finger on. Perhaps it was the quicksand warnings and the giant white balloon that followed us most of the way home.

I found it creepy too, there's something very sinister about it. I think it has a false feel to it. I'm sure even the people who work there are robots like the Stepford wives. :shock:


It unsettles me too. I was glad to get out in the woods for a walk. It's just not real. Byd arall!
Image
User avatar
Anne-Northumberland
SSiW Member
 
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 4:43 pm
Location: nr Alnwick, Northumberland
Real name:: Anne Suggate

Re: 2014 Luxury Northern Bootcamp/Bwtnos - ALL THE GOSSIP!

Postby Anne-Northumberland » Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:43 pm

youngblandford wrote:
Aran had a run for his money on teaching us new words, I think Sali Mali just beat him on that.

The painful 3/4 hour trying to understand via sign language and examples the Welsh for "Common Sense".



I must have missed that! What is the Welsh for "common sense". Do we/Did we have any?
Image
User avatar
Anne-Northumberland
SSiW Member
 
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 4:43 pm
Location: nr Alnwick, Northumberland
Real name:: Anne Suggate

Re: 2014 Luxury Northern Bootcamp/Bwtnos - ALL THE GOSSIP!

Postby Gruntius » Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:54 pm

Anne-Northumberland wrote:
youngblandford wrote:
Aran had a run for his money on teaching us new words, I think Sali Mali just beat him on that.

The painful 3/4 hour trying to understand via sign language and examples the Welsh for "Common Sense".



I must have missed that! What is the Welsh for "common sense". Do we/Did we have any?

Synnwyr cyffredin I think. My memory isn't the best and I actually heard this yesterday. :roll:
Doing the Gog thingy.

"The_drummist" on Skype if you fancy a chat.

A little bit of my past life ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXEhh2dCQYg
User avatar
Gruntius
SSiW Member
 
Posts: 835
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:51 pm
Location: Wrecsam
Real name:: Geraint

Re: 2014 Luxury Northern Bootcamp/Bwtnos - ALL THE GOSSIP!

Postby Anne-Northumberland » Thu Apr 10, 2014 5:53 pm

Gruntius wrote:
Anne-Northumberland wrote:
youngblandford wrote:
Aran had a run for his money on teaching us new words, I think Sali Mali just beat him on that.

The painful 3/4 hour trying to understand via sign language and examples the Welsh for "Common Sense".



I must have missed that! What is the Welsh for "common sense". Do we/Did we have any?

Synnwyr cyffredin I think. My memory isn't the best and I actually heard this yesterday. :roll:


Diolch, Geraint.
Image
User avatar
Anne-Northumberland
SSiW Member
 
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 4:43 pm
Location: nr Alnwick, Northumberland
Real name:: Anne Suggate

Re: 2014 Luxury Northern Bootcamp/Bwtnos - ALL THE GOSSIP!

Postby Catrin Lliar » Thu Apr 10, 2014 8:50 pm

It was Thursday evening, our entire kitchen was in our living room, our bathroom in our bedroom, the house was thick with dust and as usual neither Aran or myself felt ready for Bootcamp (now newly christened Bwtnos by Ian, a combination of Bootcamp and wythnos).

Were we fully prepared? Hell no! Were we filled with boundless energy and were chomping at the bit ready to go? No chance! Did we have pie? Oh yeah baby, we had pie, so knew that everything was going to be OK-ish. :wink:

In truth though, I don't think we'll ever, ever be ready for any Bootcamp week, no matter how tight and impressive the schedule, no matter how many outings we've prepared, surprises arranged or attractions booked, there are just too many variables.

Despite the breathtaking beauty of Pen Llŷn and Eryri, we can't of course control the weather, let's face it, it could rain relentlessly for a whole week. How will the outings we've arranged go down with everyone, will the guest speaker bore everyone to tears, will the tour of the cheese factory leave everyone feeling a little sour? :?:

Then there are the learners, some we know, some we don't, some whom have met each other before and some who haven't. In fact we've had situations in the past where were we've had learners on Bootcamp who don't even frequent the forum, so we know very, very little about them in advance. We never know how well people will get on, after all, having one common interest isn't always enough to cut the mustard... then there are the quirks... there's no knowing in advance if we find ourselves in the company of a Bootcamper who likes to cook omelets naked at three in the morning. :shock:

But there was no denying it, it was Bootcamp eve and the following afternoon, come hell or high water, we were going to have to greet 10 enthusiastic yet nervous and devoted learners, with the warmest and most reassuring smiles we could muster... oh and a big pie. In many ways the first evening of Bootcamp makes us feel like holiday reps waiting in the airport of 'Costa del Crazy' with a clipboard, but also knowing full well that just throwing daily alcohol and silly games at the new arrivals won't be enough to get us through the next 6 days with much success... well, then again... :wink:

In no time everyone had arrived at Gadlas, the place was alive with chatter, it was a beautiful spring evening, the wine had been poured and hot food was on the table. So here I was living my dream, feeling quite at home in a gloriously spacious and fully equipped kitchen diner with a very large farmhouse table, doing what I like to do best, providing good old fashioned nourishment and sustenance to the masses – it was a good evening. :D

Saturday, after taking Angharad to her ballet lesson we met in the Welsh cafe/restaurant Taro Deg for morning coffee and a snack, before traveling in convoy to Caernarfon to join in the Cymdeithas yr Iaith housing rally, neath the statue of Lloyd George and in the shadows of the castle walls. On the way to the rally we walked by the harbour and had a pit stop at The Black Boy Inn within the medieval town walls, it is thought to date back to 1522, making it one of the oldest surviving inns in North Wales. The Black Boy's history includes the ghost of a nun and stories of sailors paying four and six for a room, a bottle of gin, and the services of a woman... though all we had there was a pint and a quick snack. :roll:

The Cymdeithas yr Iaith rally was both interesting and entertaining and completed the day for us. I then returned home with the kids whilst Aran went to join the gang for take away night.

We all met up mid morning the next day at Gadlas, ready to travel in convoy to Aberdaron for a Sunday carvery lunch overlooking the sea in the Ty Newydd hotel and pub. The weather on this day was stunning, we could hardly believe how hot it was, making it a perfect opportunity to sit on the pub's beach-side balcony eating dessert and listening to the crisp whisper of the waves on the shore below. We had a leisurely lunch and many strolls along the beach and river and meandering streets of this beautiful little seaside village – it was perfect. :D

Unfortunately we returned to the car park to a flat tyre and the astonishment that the 7 men I had accompanying me (yes I did say seven) were unable to change the tyre between them! Our shenanigans with the car and its tyre led us back to our home village of Mynytho where we took the gang on one of our most favorite walks, up Foel Gron which overlooks our home and sits behind Angharad's school, to see the surrounding breathtaking views reaching from Mynydd Nefyn to Harlech and beyond. Little did we know, that afternoon, that this wonderful walk in the warm spring sunshine would be the last ever walk we would have with our much loved Scottie Caleb – so precious. :cariad: :cariad: :cariad:

We ended the day with a pint at the Glyn y Weddw pub in Llanbedrog, listening to sweet, early evening birdsong and a few of Ian's jokes... ;-)

Monday was my day to be at home with Beuno, deal with the school run, several random workmen, a car which needed a new tyre and the frightening realisation that my best boy Caleb had suddenly become very sick indeed by lunchtime. By the time Aran returned very late on Monday night, after the trip to the Rwond a Rownd set, I had received quite devastating news from the vets regarding Caleb's blood test results and had been lying on the living room floor alongside him, listening to his pained shallow breathing, for at least three hours. :cry:

The next morning we dropped a very upset Angharad and Beuno at my parents' home whilst Aran and myself made that painful and dreaded journey to the vets to say our final goodbyes to Caleb, whom by now was mostly sleeping in our arms and was ready to leave this earth... the rest of the day, I must say was a bit of a blur, we were totally devastated.

That evening we were due to attend a buffet prepared by the gang and were going to be joined by my sister Joy and her chocolate fountain. We drove the 10 minute journey to Gadlas in silence with heavy hearts and tear stained cheeks, but weren't expecting what greeted us when we arrived. The scene in the kitchen diner of Gadlas was amazing, the place was a bazaar of food, some already prepared, some in the throws of being prepared. 10 learners efficiently weaving in and out of each other juggling pots, pans, herbs, spices and glasses of wine. It was a sensual feast – the noises, smells and colours surrounding everyone in that kitchen were wonderful, and of course the Welsh conversation was flowing with much ease. Slowly, one by one the prepared dishes began arriving at the table, intermitted with big gentle hugs of condolence – I felt so comforted. :cariad:

Joy came and set up her fountain, we put some background music on and we ate and chatted the night away - it was just the tonic we needed after such a heavy day. But the ultimate highlight of the evening for me was watching Beuno, on his knees on the table next to the chocolate fountain, skewering marshmallows and chunks of fruit, thrusting them in to the flowing chocolate and feeding Vaughan his creations, one after the other without stop – there was chocolate everywhere! We laughed so much, with Beuno's infectious giggle and Vaughan's expressions of surprise, sending us further in to uncontrollable fits of laughter... we eventually arrived home and fell to bed sad and exhausted, but comforted.

I was home again on Wednesday taking care of all things domestic and I found it ever so hard. My grief that day was insurmountable, with little reminders such as the absence of a bark at the arrival of the postman and then the arrival, via the postman of the vet's final bill, sending me in to further heaves of crying. But thanks to the unfaltering patience and understanding of the gang, Aran was able to keep me afloat via regular phone-calls from their trip to visit Cricieth and Portmeirion – I will always be grateful to them for their kindness, warmth and patience. :cariad:

I found comfort during the afternoon in making cheesecakes with Beuno, to take with us that evening to Gadlas, for a very special evening indeed. With Ian's moreish chilli and fluffy rice hot and ready, Meinir Gwilym and her partner Bryn arrived, guitar in hand and joined us for dinner and a private gig – it was unforgettable. Really it was like the most expensive therapy session you could ever imagine having. Full with delicious and fresh home cooked food, surrounded by warmth, dimmed lighting and good company, we just slid back in to our chairs and listened to Meinir's mesmerising voice – we were well and truly blessed.

That evening ended with a special tribute to Meinir, as some of the gang got together around the table with Mark on the guitar and sang 'Dybl Jin a Tonic', followed by the belting out of a collection of other folk and popular Welsh songs - a great way to end a great evening!

Thursday was an easier day, our house was slowly but surely starting to take better shape than it had done for the last week and a half, and the sudden shock of losing Caleb was beginning to ease, though I knew that I would/will be carrying the sadness for quite some time to come. :cry:

But that day I was just a little excited... excited that my sister Sylvia was coming to babysit, so Aran and myself could have a final night out with our gang, without having to worry about the welfare of our children, and excited that during the evening, I was going to also see my good friend Manon, as well as having the pleasure of listening to her sing.

The evening begun at Blas in Caernarfon, a wonderful restaurant serving Welsh cuisine and using ingredients sourced from local producers. I ordered Loin & confit shoulder of Welsh Lamb, fondant potato, Savoy cabbage fondue, minted peas & Madeira followed by Lemon tart with pistachio ice cream, wild berry jelly & tarragon meringue – it was divine! The company and conversation was also just fabulous. We had such a great time and the laughter flowed and flowed.

We then meandered down the narrow streets of Ancient Caernarfon, leaving the castle behind and following the medieval walls to Stryd Pedwar a Chwech and the old Con Club which is now Clwb Canol Dre Caernarfon. There they hold nights, usually every fortnight, of gigs, authors, poets and bards and comedy all in Welsh, which they call 'Nosweithiau Pedwar a Chwech'.

We were going to listen to the beautiful and very talented author and singer songwriter Manon Steffan Ros, singing and reading her work, and to the upbeat Ywain Gwynedd formerly of Frizbee. It was an amazing evening and we had such a brilliant time – a great way to end the week. I'll let Susanna tell you about her brush with the real cofi experience at the bar... :wink:

I was unable to be at the house on the final Friday morning for thank yous and goodbyes, so we stood, rain drizzling and tears flowing in the orange street lights neath the majestic Caernarfon castle and just cwtshed, and cwtshed, and cwtshed... I just didn't want to see this wonderful group of people go. The standard of their Welsh was astounding, their warmth, friendliness, generosity and kindness knew no bounds – they were all, each one, very special and I feel honoured to have spent the week with them. I have never laughed and cried so much in one week, ever. I shall indeed never forget it. :cariad: :cry: :cariad: :cry: :cariad:

Diolch Bwtcampwyr.
Northern course female voice. Raised in Pen Llŷn, fled when 18. Spent my 20s discovering the wider world. A qualified teacher (English & art), worked in marketing with small local businesses - gave it all up to become a Mam! A creative soul who inherited my family's artistic gene, love drawing, being behind the lens of a camera and being creative with food. Movies, red wine, dark chocolate help me relax. Always here to help!
User avatar
Catrin Lliar
SSi Head of Events
 
Posts: 1733
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:06 pm
Real name:: Catrin Lliar Jones





 


PreviousNext

Return to Bootcamp - Welsh in the Wild!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest