Richard Bolton

I am a Scot, brought up in London. I am 74 years old. I have been fascinated by Wales and the Welsh language since boyhood. My only claim to “welshness” is that my father’s people are from south western Scotland, formerly the Welsh speaking kingdom of Rheged.
At the age of 24, I began to teach myself Welsh. I did this on a daily basis (4 to 6 hours a day) for six years. I studied grammar, translated books – beginning with books for learners by a man called Ivor Owen, and ending by translating William Jones by T Rowland Hughes. This took me two years and was really tough: the first part of the book being in the tafodiaith of Gwynedd and the second part being set in Cwm Rhondda. All this gave me a very large vocabulary and a fair understanding of Welsh grammar, but no conversational skills.
I came across SSiW in a book by Stephen Rule. I checked out the website and decided to go for it. I have enjoyed it enormously and have learnt so much. I am on lesson 19 now. Unfortunately, my iPhone and iPad are old models and I cannot access Slack and the Forum is Read Only if you are below IOS 13. As I live in east London, finding someone to whom I can speak Welsh is tricky. Bethnal Green has many languages, but sadly, Cymraeg isn’t one of them! This means the Challenge introduced in C 19 is not one I can do. However, I am still very very happy with SSIW and hope to continue using it when my current course is completed.
Many thanks to Aran Jones and all his people for giving such a great gift to the people and language of Wales and to its friends in other lands.