After eight at the Nant by Eirian Davies (Work Welsh tutor)

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After eight at the Nant

by Eirian Davies (Work Welsh tutor)

Right, is everyone ready?!

First question: In which decade was Cardiff made the Capital City of Wales?

Here are your choices –

  1. 1930s;
  2. 1950s;
  3. 1960s.

If you know the exact year, you get a bonus point.

Does this sound familiar? Has your general knowledge improved over the last few weeks with all the quizzes you’ve been doing to keep in contact with friends and family? Who knew an octopus had three hearts as well as eight legs? How greedy indeed!

During the residential courses at Nant Gwrtheyrn, Welsh is practiced in many ways – formal lessons, entertainment by local artists, folk dancing, guided tours to local areas or local Welsh businesses in the area. The chatting and socialising over dinner, and of course visiting the local pup at Llithfaen, Tafarn y Fic are all important. Sometimes, we get an opportunity to listen and enjoy the local male voice choir who practice upstairs at the famous pub. It’s such a pleasure! BUT, Monday night entertainment always kicks off with a quiz.

After a full day of getting to know each other in the class, this is a great way of relaxing and having informal Welsh conversations as well as learning a few interesting facts. The learners are split into three teams for the quiz (named after the three farms on the site) – Tŷ Uchaf, Tŷ Canol and Tŷ Hen. If we need additional groups because of large numbers, we use famous Welsh lovers’ names such as Tŷ Rhys and Tŷ Meinir. It can get quite competitive, especially because there’s such a great prize to be won – a box of After Eights!

As Myrddin ap Dafydd wrote in his blog, due to the Covid-19 pandemic we are living in a time ‘where we don’t take much notice of our watch, calendar or diary.’ Our daily rush has slowed down, it’s a time to take a step back and to use this time to work on things that have always been at the bottom of our lists – the garden, sorting those drawers and cupboards, exploring and appreciating our own square mile and reading some of those books that have been collecting dust over the years.

I’m currently reading a book by the remarkable athlete, Lowri Morgan, Beyond Limits. It’s a great motivator to get up from the sofa and go for a 5K. It was interesting to read that what keeps her going in those dark times during her ultra-marathon adventures is a little voice in her head that tells her to put one step in front of the other, because those steps mean that the finish line is getting closer.

There are many Welsh sayings that can be used to deal with many similar situations in life. Those which tell us to keep going, and this is what you need when learning a language. If you use a variety of ways to practice Welsh, then it will improve and help your journey.

I look forward to the day that Welsh courses can return to the Nant, and who knows, you might see me by then putting one foot in front of the other and running up the hill towards Yr Eifl. I’m sure the eight legs and three hearts of an octopus would be useful in that situation!

Oh, and by the way, the answer to the question is 1950s. Cardiff became a capital in 1955 – so a bonus point for you if you got it correct – but unfortunately, no After Eights!

Keep safe.