By: Blonde Two

The Two Blondes have a friend and colleague who is of the Welsh persuasion.  We don’t hold that against him and really enjoy listening to the way that he pronounces things, particularly when he uses his rather excellent shouting voice.  The Welsh accent is so infectious that by the end of a weekend’s camping, we all come away muttering “dim problem” (there really isn’t anything wrong), “fablus”(it is all really lovely) and “vaaaalley”(that dippy bit that a river runs through).

Mr Blonde Two is off on a bike adventure to Wales soon.  He has been given lots of way-points and has to plan a three day, two night bike route to gather as many as he can.  It sounds like great fun and I am envious apart from the fact that I hate cycling.  I am going to help him with the routes and am excited to announce that the event means that we have had to add three new OS Explorer Maps to our growing map family. I have been looking at these maps carefully and some of the place names are particularly interesting sounding – some crop up over and over again.

Mynydd is mountain (Wales has lots of those).  If we lose our youngsters whilst walking in Wales, I now know how to say “nid yw pob un ar ben mynydd” – “they are not all on top of mountains”.

If you don’t fancy a myndd, you could opt for a dyffryn.  To be honest, I really do prefer “vaaaalley” and I thought it was cym but I am an adaptable Blonde and am willing to learn.  We have odd words for valleys down here in Devon – “combe” is remarkably similar one of the Welshies if you think about it.

An if it has all gone a bit “Old King Cole” or some Welsh kingly equivalent for you (he may actually have been Welsh) and you find yourself “neither up nor down” the mountain; you can use the word ffridd to describe the grassy heathland.  I have a feeling that much of Dartmoor would have been ffridd if it had been a bit further North.

I feel that it is time the Two Blondes headed up-country in the Wales direction soon (you can only say “up-country” if you live down here).  It is far too long since I have been there.  I have started listening to Welsh hymns on the internet – a sure sign that a visit is overdue.  I have just found the translation for “my hovercraft is full of eels”.  Something will have gone terribly wrong if we find ourselves needing that one so I shall practice “dw i’n dy garu di” instead – it never hurts to be friendly!