My first today is sharing about my Welsh heritage. Although my family lineage is Scottish, I have always identified more with Wales. Primarily because that’s where my father grew up and where we spent a lot of time.
Cymru Am Byth means Long Live Wales. It is a beautiful country with lots of mountains, valleys and amazing culture & history.
My grandmother lived in the small town of Briton Ferry in Glamorganshire. South Wales. I have many fond memories of visiting there. Just like when I go back to England, it’s amazing how much thicker my Dad’s Welsh accent got when he goes home.
The Royal Air Force had us stationed for a while at St. Athans, not too far from Llantwit Major. (In Welsh, ‘ll’ is pronounced like ‘cl’).
We made many trips to the coast, to my grandmothers, and to my auntie’s various farms in the north. The last one I remember was a trout farm in the quaint village of Caerwys.
One summer, I took off on my motorcycle for a week tour, visiting Caerwys, Aberystwyth, Pwllheli and more. It was an amazing journey with family, friends, amazing countryside and great beer. Not to mention several amazing castles.
Wales, has it’s own language, of course. I didn’t get too learn much of it albeit my Dad is fluent.
Road signs in Wales are in both Welsh and English, and the Welsh Nationalists are fond of spray painting over the anglo.
The national flower of Wales is the Daffodil and the patron Saint is David. It is quite aptly known as the land of song also as they have such a beautiful tone to their singing. Here’s one of my favorite songs – Cariad Cyntaf, which means ‘First Love.
Some of the place names are amazing and extremely difficult to pronounce. Try this one:
Yes, it’s a real name. It’s actually the longest town name in the United Kingdom. The locals just call it Llanfair – for good reason. I remember a British comedy skit where a guy gets on a train with a sign starting the town name and gets off right when it ends.
Wales is a truly amazing place that will always have a piece of my heart. I look forward to visiting and touring again, albeit probably not on a motorcycle.
Cymru Am Byth