…..or at least until lunchtime tomorrow.
Because the Welsh are the United Kingdom’s last survivors in the Rugby World Cup and face an older enemy, The French, in the semi-final. To be honest I am as ambivalent about the principality as I am about the egg chasers game. I try to be interested, in Rugbee, that is but I just cannot find room in my head for the strange, complex rules. No wonder the players don’t argue , there are probably only a dozen people in the world that really understand them and they are all referees. In truth, I have always wanted to find some definitive Welsh ancestry, especially as my mother’s side were named Williams, but enquiries into that surname of the family ended in obscurity in the early Nineteenth century with George Williams , an agricultural labourer and ten kids living in Shropshire (Almost Wales then!)
I like the countryside in Wales, we had a caravan for years in Anglesey where I learnt to say “I am learning to speak Welsh” in Welsh (Rydw i’n dysgu siarad Cymraeg) to warn off locals determined to talk about you in their native argot. Their music, often choral, also moves me, Sospan Fach, Myfanwy and especially the national Anthem, Land of my Fathers:
This morning in The Times, a phonetic version was published allowing a non welsh speaker to get by by murmuring the following:
My hen laid a haddock, one hand oiled a flea,
Glad farts and centurions threw dogs in the sea,
I could stew a hare here and brandish Dan’s flan,
Don’s ruddy bog’s blocked up with sand.
Dad! Dad! Why don’t you oil Auntie Glad?
Can’t whores appear in beer bottle pies?
Oh butter the hens as they fly!
Will I be up at 9.00 am to join in? Who knows? C’mon Giggsy pass to Hughesy!