Wednesday, 25 July 2012

One Year, Week 19, 20 & 21 - Celtic crew, Cwps & Cwrs Madog

Yes, now a year late...

The Celtic crew... I haven't seen much of them lately.  But last summer we were still playing football (lost to Penrhyncoch 11-3... one funny game!) and playing "Beans" and speaking Welsh and Mgoiyu... that sort of thing.  It was time for Enrique to leave.  Back to Columbia.  It was sad to see him go, the end of an era I suppose.

A portion of the Celtic crew...
We had a big party one evening, and then another, and then a few of us came to see him off on the train.  We sang the anthem, "Borza Populista" in front of the train as Enrique did final inspection.

I don't know what the crowd of people must have thought, but we just didn't care.

"Borza Populista!"

Before going to the States, Keith asked Nette, Elsa, Gwil and myself to help out with this twmpath being held in the Cwps.  It was a group of people from all around Europe for a conference of sorts.  Actors possibly... led by an interesting fellow Iwan who knew Julie and Ceri Ffliwt (forgive my spelling).

Keith, Nette and Elsa - before the maze...
He talked to me about the importance of a twmpath - the old pagan ways - mazes and labyrinths, hillocks and union of the goddess and god, movements to celebrate, rituals to mark moments in this life....

The Romanians were counting (they thought I was counting in Romanian and I thought they were counting in Welsh), people chanting the calling, me jumping up on chairs, weaving in and out of all the people, music played was wonderful, Keith was on fire and cerddcegin (Nette, Elsa and Gwil) was beautiful and Ana was there to help us with the dances.

Julie and Ceri "Ffliwt"
Before leaving for the States, I had some time with Julie and Ceri "Ffliwt".  We drove through the Black mountains.

A landscape of remarkable beauty.  Breathtaking beauty...

I can't remember why or where we were going to, but it was the perfect afternoon.  The Welsh landscape never ceases to amaze me.

And then, it was time for me to travel to Cwrs Madog, that summer in Shenandoah, Virginia.

There were fewer people this time around but the people that did come were all enthusiastic, spirited and fun.  The group became one of the most tight knit that I've seen so far.  I ended up directing the choir which turned out pretty good in the end.  What a great bunch of people to work with, along with Tim on piano.  This year we had a wild spread of ages - nearly every generation was represented - 14 to late 70s.  This is the perfect way forward.  If only more Welsh societies were able to involve their youth...

The Pirates!!  ARGGGH!!!!
The noson lawen was great.  Also one of the best I've seen.  Old and young, newbies and veterans all performed.  Some great performances, especially by Lefel Un.  The Pirates!  Who could ever forget the Pirates!  Rob won the Madog Eisteddfod for the second year in a row.

We sang in the pub and managed to get kicked out of one for singing too loud.  How cool is that?!  Spoke Welsh all week, with Geraint as the head tutor, and got to hear my dad speak quite a lot as well.  We watched "Patagonia" (the film that had Gren as one of the producers) which was very good.  We also visited Harper's Ferry which was interesting - very, very hot day and people there in period dress.

Anyway, you can read more about it and see some more photos here at  There's also a video of the choir somewhere out there on the interwebs.

Of course, it was a lot of work to organize it all.  ...but worth the effort.  And the entire Society are all hard working, good-hearted people and what that they do is important in my opinion.

If only more people in Wales could see these Americans learning Welsh - it is inspiring...

Anyway, that's my crazy little North American family of Welsh speakers.  How odd, how wonderful, how touching...

...only in America, as they say!

Next, the National Eisteddfod, BVB, Cwrs Haf and that sorf of thing...


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