Showing posts from July, 2007

From Aberystwyth With Love

Monday 16 – Friday 20 July: Welsh ‘At a Gallop’
It’s strange how people who should know better revert to classroom stereotypes even in adult education. You get the show-off, the shy one, the clown and the one who resents being there, probably because her employer is paying for her to be there, so acts up as much as possible. Quickly clocking the woman on the other side of the room as ‘looking a bit miserable’ I took a seat a safe distance away and was relieved to be joined by a very jolly young girl who was my partner for the initial session.

There’s a lot of working with a partner or in a small group on the Cwrs Carlam, which is, indeed, Welsh at a gallop. The tutor gives you the nuts and bolts of a chunk of grammar, which you and a partner then put into practise through a series of short exercises. The trick, I’ve found, is to try to suspend your embarrassment and just wade in.

A good tutor will make you work with everyone and before long I found myself paired with the ‘miserable’ woma…

Cwrs Carlam

Home Thoughts is off to Aberystwyth on an intensive Welsh course and will return on Wednesday 25 July.

Hwyl fawr!

Mad World

Friday 6 July: James
James is Tom’s nephew. He has blonde hair and eyes like a summer sky; cornflower blue and fringed with sweeping black lashes. He’s a very observant boy who notices the slightest changes in anyone’s appearance. James has just turned thirteen and for his thirteenth birthday his local authority decided to withdraw the free transport that takes him to the school where he feels secure and happy on the basis that he is now perfectly capable of walking the three and half miles or catching a bus.

Fair enough, you might say, quite right that a child of his age should fend for himself. But unlike his older brother and sister, who are already making their own way in the world, James is a Peter Pan boy who, because of his considerable mental and physical disabilities, will always need someone to take care of him. To expect James, with his weakened left side and limited understanding, to make his own way to his special school beggars belief.

Well, perhaps, his mum could take…

Tumbling Dice

Or 'You Can’t Always Get What You Want but Sometimes You Get What You Need!'

Stepson Two
We finally track down Stepson Two and he’s tired. Bone weary in fact, and with another three weeks of recording ahead there are many hours of hard work to put in before the album is complete. Glastonbury was great, he said, Clocks were well received but they’re not in the luxury trailer league yet. It was a tent after the gig and the train back to London the next day. As the songwriter it’s Stepson Two who particularly feels the pressure to deliver but there’s a lot at stake for all of them. With a full release single due out in September, timed to fit in with the album demo, a tie-in with Orange (see for more details) there are exciting plans for the band but it also goes to show how much effort lies behind an ‘overnight’ success.

A very excited Rose is on the phone. She has a job interview! Hurray! Rose is determin…

Reasons To Be Cheerful

Un Peu has cruelly dragged me from the Sofa of Misery to tag me. Apparently I’ve got to write about five strategies which make me feel better. Right now a lavish publishing deal and lunch at L’Escargot would hit the spot nicely, so that’s two if anyone would like to make my day.

No, I do know what she means so I had a little ponder about it whilst myndying the siopa just now. I remember when my heart was broken for the very first time and Dad found me sobbing. He gave me a hug and said, ‘It’ll never hurt this much again, Miss Chris.’ Reader, he lied. But I can see why. A couple of minor dents and bruises help prepare you for the serious knocks that come everyone’s way. Stuff happens. That’s the cost of living if you like.

Okay, this is how I deal with the small stuff, this is different to living with the black dog who I’m also well acquainted with but we’ve got the measure of each other now. This is what Lily would call the ‘Cry me a river, build me a bridge and get over it’ stuf…