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How would you pronounce Aberdyfi?

How would you pronounce Aberdyfi?

Inspired by Michael Winner’s brief visit to a small boutique seaside resort near my hometown, I’d like to ask:

How would YOU pronounce Aberdyfi?

Please call 03300 600616 (calls cost the same as any normal landline number) – and tell me on my voicemail. Calls will be recorded, edited, and put up on this website 🙂

(If you’re outside the UK, please join in and call +44 3300 600616, replacing the + with your international dialing code. For USians, that’d be 011)

"Mae gen i TGAU yn Gymraeg"

"Mae gen i TGAU yn Gymraeg"

I recently had a work meeting with someone senior who turned out to be from Wales. Thus one small tangent of the conversation involved me saying I was from Wales, and stating that I had a Welsh GCSE certificate. Second language, of course, but who’s counting?

Of course, what happens? I get back a short work email … entirely in Welsh. I can distill the odd phrase or word and get the gist of the email – all but the last sentence.

Now, do I:

– admit defeat, and reveal my inadequateness in using Welsh (after all, I’m not genetically Welsh and haven’t lived in Wales for three years)?
– soldier on, find someone to translate the text for me, and fire off some pithy comeback in Welsh, and keep the illusion going?

Oh, these work dilemmas…

Did you know there's an election today?

Did you know there's an election today?

There’s an election today, to elect members to what is effectively the government of Wales. And finally, after 20-odd years of following politics and voting, I happen to live in a marginal constituencywith bells on” (along with Rhys), where the votes actually count.

I’ve always imagined that during election times, marginal constituencies become a hive of political activity, with people distributing leaflets and begging for your vote left, right and centre. But I’ve been in Llandudno and Colwyn Bay – the two main town centres – over the last couple of days and seen pretty much nothing going on. The odd poster in a shop window or farm (it’s always Plaid Cymru posters in farm fields, oddly), and the odd leaflet coming through our door. Including one from the far-right British National Party proclaiming how proud they are to retain Britain’s heritage – but neglecting to print their leaflet in Welsh. Despite, y’know, being in Wales.

The only “active” campaigning I’ve seen were people from the Liberal Democrats and the UKIP standing in Colwyn Bay high street, looking at no-one and talking to each other instead of trying to get people’s votes. And all this on a glorious sunshiney day.

The best the Welsh Conservatives have managed – aside from choosing an fundamentalist Christian who may consider homosexuality to be a sin – to fight for the seat next door – was to take out a full-page colour advert on the back of the local newspaper attacking everyone else. Unfortunately, a printing error meant the whole advert was rather blurred so you couldn’t make out much of the text. (Insert joke here) At least Labour‘s full-page advert said something about making sure all hospitals would remain open – which seems a bit of a joke considering they’re running the Welsh government as it is.

No-one around me has talked about the election – hell, as far as I know, no-one around me is going to vote (save for Miss R). Upon some prompting, we had a 20-minute chat about politics in the office – about how the fringe parties are going to pick up a lot of votes because mainstream politics has become all too same-y – but even then, no-one said they were going to vote.

Ah well. I’ll probably vote – and I’ll definitely be one of those sad geeks watching the news coverage, wishing I was at BBC Wales HQ again and probably live-blogging some bits of it with some fellow Welsh bloggers. Assuming there’s something interesting to say. Because if the politicans can’t be bothered to make a major fight over a marginal constituency like Aberconwy, what hope is there for interesting politics?

I'm Welsh, apparently?

I'm Welsh, apparently?

Well, well, well, my previous post about racism from newcomers to Wales seems to be slowly causing a ripple effect amongst the Welsh digerati. linked to my blog calling me a Welshman. Mosh, a guy I’ve known for 10 years, thought I was from Wales. When I’m not.

I was born near the Mersey (eh eh eh eh etc.), and didn’t come to mid-Wales till I was 8. Then I left 10 years later, and only came back 3 years ago. This means that of my 30 years so far, I have only spent 13 of them in Wales. Admittedly the majority of my tender years, but even so.

Most of my Welsh nationalist friends keep claiming me as Welsh, although I keep asking on what grounds. I can’t sing, my grasp of the language is tenuous at best, and the less said about my rugby abilities the better. I can’t claim to be passionate about Welsh nationalism, although I support it on basic principles and “respecting your neighbour” beliefs. Notwithstanding the odd racial epithet thrown at me – although the last one was, rather oddly, “stop singing, you Jew!”

So aside from my parents deciding to move the family to Wales for economic reasons, what other reason would I have for being Welsh?

(And for the record, I’d rather define myself as Western-Hemisphere Chinese. Although it’s a bit of a unwieldy term!)

The perfect T-shirt for Welshmen

The perfect T-shirt for Welshmen

This has got to be the perfect T-shirt for Welshmen. If you wanted to get stereotypical.

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