A night in Sarn Meyllteyrn

24 02 2011

Imagine the scene…

It’s a dark windy night and you’re in a Ford Fiesta making your way down the winding roads through Pen Llŷn ( the Llyn Peninsula). You drive through deserted villages where light pours out through bedroom windows as people shelter from the cold. Once you reach the next speed limit sign the streetlights are gone and you drive in complete darkness with only cat’s eyes in the road to guide you on your way.

You drive round a tight bend with a stone hump-bridge and then down a steep hill which curves into a hairpin bend, then back up a hill which takes you so high you can almost see Ireland. 

Finally you arrive at your destination, a bend in the road, and off it a road up a hill where you see a light shining at a doorway.  People loiter at the door of this pub in jovial spirits and they welcome you with thick North Walian accents. You walk inside to a room heaving with people and through to a back bar where people are dancing as if their life depended on it to this…

Cowbois Rhos Botwnnog – Merch y Mynydd (Daughter of the Mountain)


What’s in a name?

27 01 2011

When I tell people my name outside Wales they usually respond with “WHAT?!” When I first left Wales as an innocent (“yeah right” some of you may exclaim) 18-year-old I went by the name Harry because the day I moved into our cramped student digs in East Anglia and introduced myself I was told “Well, you’ll have to change that because we can’t say it.” So Harry stuck and there was more than one occasion that I turned up for work through a bar staff temping agency that I was told “Oh, we were expecting a boy!”

These days I go by my full name and it gets butchered by people who haven’t heard my name before. When I moved to Ireland however the tables were turned and names like Aoife, Caoimhe and Caitríona had me flummoxed. I had to get people to say them for me and then I repeated them over in my head before I called any of these people.  So now I do have some sympathy for those poor people who see my name and call me Gdgasdtadiagdqwiwq. (They’re lucky they don’t have to call up and ask for my friend Llinos!)

Something interesting came up this week which led to me thinking – should a name be pronounced the correct way or the way the bearer of the name sees fit? A perfect example is Llywelyn: more often than not it’s pronounced Loo-El-un when the correct Welsh pronunciation is Llyw- el-in (Ll as in Llanelli). This week I heard of someone called Siân saying their name as Si-ann (si as in Simon). I was all ready for the “That’s not how you say it” rant, but then I thought, If she wants to say it that way then it’s her choice, isn’t it? I know more than one Irish person who grits their teeth when they hear the American singer Ciara say her name like it’s a large family car made by Ford, but should someone go up to her and say “Come on love, now that’s not how you say your name, so stop it!”

What do you think – would a rose pronounced any other way smell as sweet?

Christmas is coming / Mae’r Nadolig yn dod

8 12 2010

I’ve been walking in the snow singing Christmas carols to myself, mainly in Welsh (because those are what we learnt in school.) Here’s one of my favourites sang by Welsh band Brigyn (you might recognise it.) 

Rydw i wedi bod yn cerdded yn yr eira canu carolau Nadolig i fy hun. Dyma un o fy hoff ganeuon Nadolig gan Brigyn

English Translation:

The White Star is in a fist of steel,
And a shadow of a gun over Bethlehem,
No white angel singing “Hallelujah”.
Raising the walls, closing the doors,
Turning their backs on the value of the miracle,
So dark is the night on the streets of Palestine.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah.

There’s a barb-wire circling the cradle,
And a scar where once was the World’s creator,
Hope is weeping – on it’s knees.
Guilty – each and every one of us,
Holding Mankind’s coat –
While he destroys every trace of “Hallelujah”.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah.

The night is dark, The night is long,
Yet there are some that see the truth,
They know the message is more than words;
That from the darkness comes the dawn,
and the music brought the walls down.
There came the hour for us to sing, “Hallelujah.”

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah.

Aderyn Papur

9 11 2010

Es i ar daith i’r Gorllewin dros yr penwythnos. Cyn i bawb godi ar fore Sul cerddais i lawr i’r traeth tra’n gwrando i Alun Tan Lan. Calon llawn hiraeth am Gymru.

Hotel Shampoo

8 11 2010

Gruff Rhys has amassed enough free shampoo bottles to build a hotel.

Gruff Rhys will be live in the Sugar Club, Dublin on Dublin on November 15th.

Seperado! yn dod i Dulyn – Seperado! comes to Dublin

19 10 2010

Mae ffilm Gruff Rhys ‘Seperado!’ yn dod i’r Ynys Werdd (HWRE!)
Mae cynhyrchiad Separado! gan y cerddor Gruff Rhys ar y cyd â’r cyfarwyddwr Dylan “Goch” Jones yn cael ei ddangos yn yr Irish Film Institute yn Temple Bar ar y 30fed o Hydref.


Gruff Rhys & the Irish Premiere of his documentary Separado!
Followed by a Q&A with both Gruff & and Director Dylan Jones
Saturday 30th October 2010, 7PM, IFI Cinema, Dublin.

“Star Trek meets Buena Vista Social Club in this psychedelic western musical as Welsh pop legend Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals) takes us on a pan continental road trip in search of his long lost Patagonian uncle, the poncho wearing guitarist Rene Griffiths.

Director Dylan Goch follows Gruff Rhys on a tour that takes in the theatres, nightclubs and desert teahouses of Wales, Brazil and the Argentine Andes as he discovers what became of his family, the Welsh Diaspora and its musical legacy.”

Be there or be square


Byw bywyd Cymraeg yn Iwerddon

3 09 2010

Yr mis yma, fydda’i wedi bod yn byw yma yn Ddulyn ers 3 mlynedd. Yr diwrnod wnes i dal yr llong o Gaergybi doeddwn i ddim ‘di ystyred fydda’i dal yma yn 2010. Roeddwn i wedi meddwl dod i’r ddinas i astudio tra roeddwn i’n byw yn Llundain – dwi’n caru Llundain, ag roeddwn i wrth fy modd yn byw yno, ond roedd o’n bell o adra ag doedd gen i ddim teulu yno.
Mae Mam yn wreiddiol o Dulyn ond wedi byw yn Cymru ers 27 mlynedd ers iddi symyd i Meirionnydd pan gafodd Dad swydd yn yr ardal. Mae hi wedi dysgu Cymraeg ag yn defnyddio fo yn ei bywyd pob dydd.

Beth, bynnag…Mae rhan fwyaf o teulu Mam dal yma, felly gen i domen o cefnderoedd yn yr ddinas sydd yr un oed a fi. Dyna un o’r rhesymau mwyaf dros symyd yma, ag ynol yn 2007 roedd yr economi dal yn iach (stori gwahanol erbyn hyn).
Pan symudais yma roedd un o fy ffrindiau agos yn byw yma felly roeddwn i’n siarad Cymraeg yn dyddiol, ond roedd rhaid i’r ffrind symyd ag felly aeth fy nefnydd o’r iaith i lawr yn sylweddol.

Pan oeddwn yn byw yn Lloegr, darganfyddais fod yn well bod yn ngwmni y Cymru yn ystod y gêmau rygbi – naill ai i dathlu ein llwyddiant neu i yfed wedi colled. Pan symudais i Ddulyn darganfyddais yr Gymdeithas Draig Werdd yma ag drwy nhw wnes i gyfarfod o dwy o’m frindiau agos yma sy’n siarad Cymraeg. Mae’r Gymdeithas yn 90% yn dynion o’r De sydd wedi syrthio mewn cariad gyda merched o’r Werddon (bechod), ond dydi’r rhan fwyaf ddim yn siarad Cymraeg. Ond mae yna gymuned fach braf o Gymru yma, ag mae yna rhai o’r hennoed sydd wedi treulio rhan fwyaf o’i bywydau ar ochor yma o’r Mor iwerddon ond dal i siarad Cymraeg ag yn cany yn yr Côr Meibion.

Yr rhai sydd yn pleser fawr i gyfarfod yw’r Gwyddelod sydd wedi dysgu Cymraeg. Mae ei acen yn wych, ag dim ond pan mae gair saesneg yn disgyn i fewn i’r sgwrs oes modd clywed ei acen Gwyddelig. Mae’n acen hyfryd, ag mae gan siaradwyr Gwyddeleg parch mawr i’r Cymru ag y ffordd rydym yn cofleidio ein iaith. Mae’r agwedd o di-siaradwyr Gwyddeleg tuag at ei iaith ei hunain o fy mrofiad i yn llawn amarch, ag mae llythyrau wedi bod yn llenwi’r papurau yn diweddar o blaid torri gwersi Gwyddelig o’ r cwricwlwm. Rwyf hyd yn oed wedi cael Gwyddelod yn dweud wrthaf fod yr iaith Gymraeg wedi marw, ag yn waeth byth fod ni’n ‘West Brits’…wel, gallwch chi dychmygu fy amateb i.
Ond, serch hynny mae yr rhan fwyaf o bobol yn llawn diddordeb am Cymru a’r iaith ag mae aelodau o’r swyddfa yn dysgu geiriau pob wythnos  (cacen a paned yw’r ffefryn hyd yn hyn).

Felly, mae modd siarad Cymraeg yn bywyd bob dydd yma yn Iwerddon, ag mae’r rhyngrwyd yn galluogi mi i gyfarthrebu yn yr Gymraeg i fy ffrindiau yn bob rhan o’r byd.

Rwyf wedi mwynhau Diwrnod Pethau Bychain ag bob parch i bawb a gymerodd rhan.