Saturday, 10th August, 2013.

An Appropriate Name

     Dracaena Draco.   Not a phrase accidentally used by a Welsh-learner!   It’s the botanical appellation of the Dragon Tree.

There’s one flourishing here in Wales:  at Llanarthe’s Great Glasshouse over by Carmarthen.

Flourishing and flowering, too.   It has not flowered for a quarter of a century, so that’s one up for those who tend it and for Wales.   I’m told the flower will be as big a four-feet – thought whether that’s long or across its blossom, I do not know.

But that’s a big flower by anybody’s standards.

I’m told that the tree at Llanarthe is unique, all other samples – it was a native of the Canary Isles – have died out.   So the Dragon has returned to Wales – let’s wave our national flag, eh?   That’d be a sign of thanking the gardeners.

Just Relax . . .

     I am, as readers will know, a slow learner of The Language of Heaven.   In case readers beyond our boundaries of our land haven’t been taught:  Welsh will be spoken in that wondrous place when you (may or may not) get there.

One of the difficulties is learning any new language often comes from using a posh version of it.   And that applies, of course, to Cymraeg.

At first, I was nervous of making a mess of what I was saying in our language.   Maybe – though I am quite a confident person – I was secretly scared of being laughed at.

A special report seems to confirm that lots of learners are like me:  they have a fear of “saying things wrong”.

Yet it is a fact that Welsh-speakers are very, very helpful – and considerate – when they encounter a learner.   (One of the things they do wrong is to switch to English to be polite, by the way . . . )

The report was commissioned by our Welsh Government and S4C.

I am so grateful to the good folk who have supported and helped me to speak the language of our land.   I have gained enormous confidence by being allowed to make my mistakes and to speak in a form of “street Welsh” rather than “talking posh” (which I have never been!).

Diolch yn fawr, pobl!

Don’t Car Or Don’t Understand?

     It seems that “young voters” – the under-35s – are totally unaware of the issues surrounding devolution.   That’s according to a survey by Cardiff Uni.

That applies to most people over 35, too, it seems to me.   They just do not know what’s at stake.

Well, after Plaid Cymru’s success up in Sir Fon, perhaps the party should give more info to the general public in Wales of what “independence” could mean for the people of Wales.

The main point to be addressed must surely be “Just what is meant by independence?” followed quickly by “Independence from what?”.

Picture in Archie Lowe, Editor.docimg201


About Archie Lowe

Though not born in Wales, I have lived and worked here for many years now. I love the place and love that mercurial thing "Welshness". I have been accused of being "a Taffophile" - which is pretty near the truth. The question I ask whenever some idea comes up for the whole of the UK is: "What's in it for Wales". I believe in an independent Wales and am so pleased that our Assembly is a big step on that road.
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