I was born in St Asaph to a Welsh dad (from Penrhyndeudraeth) & English mum. Growing up in North East Wales in the late 60s & 70s, we were taught Welsh a few hours a week in a very regimented way by rote. I didn’t know anyone who spoke Welsh outside of those lessons (teachers would speak in Welsh to each other so we couldn’t understand what they were saying) so never really had the opportunity to put anything into practice. My father died when I was 5 and by the time I was 14, and taking options, there seemed no point in taking Welsh.
It’s bothered me for a long time that can’t speak my native language, to the extent I would say I am embarrassed. I have had a few false starts over the years, and remember some from school, but living in SW London has always made finding other Welsh speakers difficult, or so I thought. I have now joined the London Welsh Centre where I can meet fellow Cymru and intend to finally learn the language of my fathers.