Sunday, 29 November 2009

Ever got...

...more than you bargained for? Today we were at the Museum of Welsh Life in St Fagans, near Cardiff, which is a lovely place full of old houses and shops, with some interesting exhibitions a good restaurant cafe for Sunday lunch and a coffee cafe for - well - coffee.

It also happens to be half way between us and the rest of the world and has the benefit of being free to enter (with £3 car parking fee). So we tend to stop off there on the way back from Devon and meet other relatives there too for a half-way meet up day out thing. Today it was the big swap of birthday and Christmas presents between us (Rosie's six on Wednesday), and Brian's sister Laura (who catches me up in age on Thursday), her chap JB and Bri's Ma.

It rained as usual and we walked around the houses from blazing fireplace to fireplace, stopping off to buy the fabulous bread from the bakery (that alone is worth the £3 parking fee). Then we found ourselves in the school room with me explaining to my mother-in-law that the cane was invented for naughty children like her. The volunteer, meanwhile, headed outside to look at the leaden skies.

"Mae'n bwrw glaw iawn*," I remarked in my best Welsh accent, without thinking.

"Blah blah blah blah blah," he said.

"Erm..." I replied (I only paid attention in Welsh classes to the lessons on the weather, food and shopping). I sidled away grinning like an idiot, pretending that the hood of my raincoat was so thick I couldn't hear him.

He followed me out of the door. "Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah," he said in a friendly Welsh way.

I grinned helplessly and sidled along the path wondering whether to make a run for it or stay and admit my ignorance and work out how the hell to say: "I'm sorry I don't actually speak much Welsh" in Welsh/English/Wenglish (and risk him thinking I had been taking the Micky).

I'm ashamed to say that I chose the former. I blush. Memo to self: Either brush up on one's Welsh or stick to bloody English. (Or make sure that one's bilingual children are in the vicinity to do the talking).

Meanwhile Brian was having a similar moment chatting up another of the locals. His charm had an immediate effect and she was soon declaring her undying love for him. But, heartbreaker (and married man) that he is, he immediately abandoned her. As he heartlessly walked away her cries of love became more and more desperate.

video

Okay, so she was a pig. Brian speaks pig better than I speak Welsh. Actually he speaks Welsh better than I speak Welsh (and English come to that). The pig, meanwhile, was noisily oinking her love for him across the open spaces of St Fagans.

Sometimes I wonder if we should be allowed out...

* It's raining good. (Pronounced: Mine boo roo glow.)

14 comments:

  1. Ha! Nobody like a smart ass. Stick to what you know I think, especially in Wales.

    Good pig film - pigs are much under represented in blog world.

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  2. Very funny.

    We spent the day with some friends who have a new dog.

    Here's how they talk to it:

    Come along now, mummy is going to take you for a walk and then we'll go in the car to get you some dinner and maybe another walk tonight if you're a good boy. Aren't you lovely ....

    And here's what it hears

    Blah blah blah - WALK - blah blah blah bah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah - WALK - blah blah blah blah....

    Reminds me of NABLOPOMO - one day to go!

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  3. That was priceless! You should have seen the look on the Great Dane's face as he heard the pigs - too funny.

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  4. Laughed a lot at this Mags! Love the image of Brian chatting to hte pig. Isn't it great that your kids are bilingual x

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  5. Oh this made me laugh - especially Brian chatting up the girly-pigs!! Your command of the Welsh language is better than mine, as I can only say "Nadolig Llawen" which let's face it, has extreme limitations apart from at Christmas . . .

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  6. Da iawn, very funny. So Brian can speak Pig fluently too. Somewhere I'd love to go - St Fagans.

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  7. I do that: I fear I never learn. And all I'm saying is thank you! Love the pigs!

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  8. But if you weren't allowed out then you wouldn't have been able to write this wonderfully funny blog post. I can't speak a word of Welsh so would have been in your boat too.

    CJ xx

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  9. Oh that was funny! (I did feel for you - I did that in the butchers in Cardigan!) Love the idea of Brian speaking Pig.

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  10. Funny. I would just stick to pig in future, oink oink never caused any confusion!

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  11. Oh yes, I know I know! I can say all sorts of stuff moderately convincingly but if you respond in any other way than with exactly what was said in welsh class I am sunk. Would love to go to St Fagans and adored the pig!

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  12. Mrs and I were in Bayeux a few years ago, and spotted a family getting into a car with a Cymru sticker on the back. "Shw Mae?" we shouted, thinking it was a friendly thing to do in a foreign land. (She was born here but speaks little Welsh; I am English but went to evening classes long ago.) They fired back a lot of Welsh at us and, when we couldn't reply in kind, sniffed, glared, and walked away. Oops - North Walians.

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  13. Have had simular experiences all over the world so you have my sympathy! My problem is I apparently look local wherever I am, hence in Egypt I was nearly arrested in the Sinai desert for not replying when shouted at by an angry Soldier, Was yelled at in a Greek Orthodox church by two old ladies in Lesbos for pretending to be English when they were sure I was Greek and was chatted up wonderfully by a Horse meat sellar in a market here in Brittany. I always feel terribly guilty when I have to dissillusion these strangers!

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  14. !!! giggled my way through this post... loved it!!

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I am sorry to have to add word verification thing again but I keep getting spammed.