Gareth Mitchell

So, I was born in England to a Welsh father and an English mother, my father stoked my interest in Welsh Rugby in that great era in the 70s. Dad never spoke Welsh because he was of that generation where Cymraeg had been eradicated from education. My dear Nan bought me a Welsh song book when I was very young and it inspired my interest in the language along with the interesting unpronounceable place names I saw on our regular visits to Wales. My love of Welsh Rugby and all things Wales has never waned and I feel a strong affinity to my Welsh heritage.

Fast forward to 2019 when I was trying to brush up on my German in preparation for a motorcycle tour of Bavaria, my daughter (who was brushing up on her French) drew my attention to Duo Lingo. She commented, ‘it’s got every language on it’. I replied, ‘I bet it hasn’t got Welsh’. Guess what? It does. There is where my real journey with this beautiful language commenced. After a few months of Duo I was looking for some more learning aids and stumbled across a YouTube Vlog by NickySydd (I think is his channelname) in which he made me aware of SSiW. I downloaded some of the Level 1 lessons and became hooked and I signed up.

After the 1st 2 levels, there was a meet up organised in Caernarfon by the lovely Nia. Although it’s a serious hike from mid Hampshire to Caernarfon and I was not at all proficient enough to conduct a real conversation I went for it and thoroughly enjoyed it. I promptly booked onto a Bootcamp and a Weekend summer school with ColegGwent only to have it all scuppered by Covid 19. The new bootcamps are eluding me as a holiday and my daughter’s wedding are happening when the September and October camps have been scheduled. Maybe I can catch one in November or next year. I recently sat the Mynediad and Sylfaen exams in Casnewydd and have signed up for Canolradd because I find immersion from lots of sources helps my learning.