Ah well; another week, & another Welsh lesson.
Much of what we did today was covered during the weekend’s Sadwrn Siarad; however as only half the group had attended the Day School, we had to go over it again for the benefit of everyone. Besides, some pupils had struggled a little at the weekend, so the revision was much welcomed. I am rapidly reaching the conclusion that I must apply myself far more to extracurricular linguistics as otherwise it is all to easy to lag behind; & Welsh is perhaps the hardest language I’ve tackled so far. Sadly, our tiwtor Meryl, will no longer be taking our group as she has to take classes in Lampeter on Mondays hereafter; she will be sadly missed. So I’d like to say a big ‘diolch yn fawr am popeth’ (‘thank you so much, for everything’) to Meryl; for being such a patient, good-humoured & inspiring teacher to us all (& apologies for my clutzy Welsh if I’ve used the incorrect form of the word ‘for’!!).
After the lesson I headed off to Cardigan to do some shopping; although I specifically wanted to hunt down some exotic fruits to make up a basket for Jean; as Nanuk, Tony & I have a private training session with her on Tuesday & I want to take her something to help speed her recovery to full health again. Whilst the drive to Cardigan along the road through the Teifi Valley had been quite beautiful with the sun shining on the glorious autumnal colours of the forestry skirting the slow-swirling river, the journey back was markedly different with sharp showers shredding the sky, lowering clouds plunging the valley road into a gloomy grey dusk.
I returned home to find Tony working on the computer but almost immediately, we had to hurry outside to bring the goats indoors; as the rain which had pursued me from Cardigan, had finally caught up & came tearing down the valley with a vengeance. With the goats safely tucked up against the elements in their warm pens happily munching their supper, we opted on an early completion of the remainder of the chores before heading inside & closing the door against the wrath of the weather. By late evening it was calm, dry & clear, again; so I called Bernard & Sylvia to see whether they were aware of any bonfire parties being held in the village to celebrate the fifth of November. Fortunately, it would appear that the mayhem of a couple of years ago (when a massive, private display was held in the locality which scared our Shetlands but severely panicked their sensitive thoroughbreds – who were of course stabled but proved to be in dangerously close proximity to the unannounced noisy confusion of colour & light) would no longer have to be endured as the perpetrators of said shenanigans had thankfully since moved away. Carl called to see if we were interested in going to the Newcastle Emlyn display with him; whilst we’d have loved to have attended, we simply could not risk leaving the farm, regardless, on such a potentially explosive evening. Meanwhile, on going outside to fetch Nanuk into the peace & safety of the house just in case there were any stray fireworks to scare her, she accidentally tripped me over as I opened the kennel door, sending me sprawling onto the gravel & painfully skinning my hand. As ever, the old ‘Pony Club’ training came in handy – i.e. never let go of the reins – & Nanuk ended up in a heap on the ground, beside me; although significantly less battered & bruised, thanks to her thick fur.
I’d had a conversation today with someone in the supermarket about the Guy Fawkes’ festivities, observing that as yet I hadn’t seen so much as a single firework (admittedly when we lived in the Cotswolds, I loved the annual village bonfire: apart from being a great social occasion, the display (to which the majority of households contributed) was always fantastic). Rather than going to one of the public functions they’d opted instead to have their own private party; which nearly ended in tears owing to complete lack of thought on their part. Having lit the bonfire, they’d unthinkingly left the box of fireworks they’d purchased, right beside it for later use. A spark from the fire landed on the thereon – & the fireworks inside ignited simultaneously, flying out of the flimsy box with explosive force in an uncontrolled frenzy throughout the little garden. They were incredibly lucky that no damage was done; & that nobody was hurt. I do hope next year they heed the Fire Service’s advice & attend a properly organized display; or at least READ THE INSTRUCTIONS, placing unused fireworks in a metal box away from any potential souces of ignition & out of the reach of children, using & lighting them one at a time & not approaching any lit but unexploded rockets. Fireworks are so incredibly dangerous, I really am amazed they can still be very easily purchased to be used – & abused – by just about anyone. I don’t think that in this case in point, the people concerned were intentionally irresponsible adults; it was more a startling lack of awareness – in spite of all the publicity – about just how deadly fireworks can be if not handled with absolute care. Sadly, the person relating the story found the whole incident incredibly funny. I wonder whether they would have felt the same if the story had not had such a fortunately unscathed ending?
Incidentally next year – when our Dairy Complex will finally be up & running – I intend to tuck all the animals safely in bed for the night & then gather our friends to head for the amazing celebrations on the coast at Llangranog – enjoying piping hot fish, chips (pysgod a sglodion for the purists) & mushy peas (pys llethu) with Tony supping local ale from the lovely little pub beside the harbour, as the superb display explodes overhead whilst we munch our hot chips watching the setting of the sun & the rising of the rockets.
So in complete contrast to the bonfires burning across the UK this evening, I sat & studied the subtleties of crafting artisan ice cream. The more I read, the more I really want to get cracking with it – roll on the glorious day our process rooms are finally finished & I can begin in earnest with the LittleFfarm Dairy. One day; oh, one day…..& that will certainly be a day for celebration – albeit without any fireworks, I’m afraid!