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All Welsh speakers have a speech impediment.

'll' = /sl/


Today starts with another lazy breakfast (anyone would think we were on holidays or something) and it's about ten thirty before we leads the restaurant because we get talking to our American friends again, and meet 'the son who went to Uni in Perth'. Then we end up talking to an English couple celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. They're into horse racing, and are glad to share the news with us that Black Caviar will race again. And finally it's time to check out! Actually a late check out seems to be the norm here - which is fabulous for holiday-makers...
We wander the streets of Llangollen, and check out the card shop which is called Ysiopfachgardiauwrthybontdrosyrafonddyfrdwyynllangollen - imagine trying to ask for directions to that place!
The next adventure is a narrow boat cruise along the canals and over the aqueduct, which is the tallest navigable aqueduct in Wales and is 126feet high. The boat is full of ... *ahem* youth challenged passengers. We are the youngest by about fifty years. Spectacular view from the boat, but more interesting is talking to the young lad who is driving the boat. He gives us an insight into the Welsh language - it's all phonetic, and therefore much more logical than English (although I don't think there's anything logical about a card shop having a name with over fifty letters). He can also pronounce the name of the station we went to yesterday, and teaches us to say it too - one syllable at a time. This is possibly my greatest achievement, but unfortunately I don't think I'll ever be able to replicate it. For any speechies out there - 'll' is pronounced like /sl/, except that the /s/ is made with lateral air escape. My life's work is to cure people of their ability to speak Welsh! Also, 'f' is pronounced /v/, 'ff' is pronounced /f/, 'dd' is eth... etc. non-speechies can tune back in now!
Anyway, after the boat ride, we get a double decker bus back into town, and have a lamb oggie for lunch while walking towards Plas Newydd. This is a bizarre gothic old house with mishmashed carvings and stained glass window mosaics. It was owned by the 'Ladies of Llangollen' who were two old spinsters who ran away together from Ireland so that they didn't have to get married and have babies... They slept in the same bed, 'loved' each other and yet vehemently denied being lesbians. Interesting.
I should note at this point that while there was some drizzle earlier in the morning, today has been a practically dry day! Mostly sunshine, at worst overcast and a bit of wind.
We have now made it to Berriew where we are staying the night, and we'll get some dinner and prepare for tomorrow's adventure to Bath. On the way we passed through a small town and I happened to see a sign that read 'Welcome to Pant Playing Area'... It made a bit more sense once we realised that Pant was the name of the town. Ah Wales, you crazy country...

Posted by Buccas 14:30 Archived in Wales

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Did I mention being sick with envy? (gnashing of teeth)

I have ventured into Wales (not just the New South variety) as far as Llangollen. It is a strange thing that only in English, of all the European languages, is "ll" pronounce "l". What is particularly impressive in Welsh is their ability to sing these words with a massive glottal stop in it. How do you do that? The glottal stop is the natural enemy of singing.

And, to reinforce my earlier comment, there is nothing wrong with being youth-challenged. (Although there are people who have expressed the view that, in my case, they prefer the alternative .....)

By the way, on theme, the New South Wales team won the Grand Final.

by Phil

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