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heleninwales
Last Wednesday I went to the Merched y Wawr meeting.[1] It was a special social evening for Welsh learners so instead of the usual talk, we were to play the game "Beetle".

I haven't played Beetle for years, but we used to play both as a family and at "Beetle Drives" held as part of the local Methodist church's social evenings.

Some of you will have played Beetle, I'm sure, but if you haven't, it's a simple game. All you need is paper, pen or pencil and a dice[2]. Any number can play, but for this kind of organised game you arrange four people per table. The first person throws the dice and if they get a six, they begin by drawing the beetle's body. If it's any other number, the dice is passed to the next person who throws the dice in turn. As soon as your beetle has a body, you can add a leg (by throwing a 3) or a wing (a 4). When you've added a head (5), you can also give your beetle eyes (1) and feelers (2). These numbers may vary depending on where you play the game and our beetles didn't have wings and instead had a tail, but the principle is the same. The first person to complete their beetle with body, head, six legs, two wings, two eyes and two feelers is the winner.[3] Everyone then adds up their score and (if it's an organised event), the winner and next highest scorer move to the next table so people get to move around and meet and chat with others.

Below you can see my beetles and my score. As you can see, I won all three games. This is a bit embarrassing because in previous months I've won the raffle twice. As I've only attended four meetings in total and I normally never win this sort of thing, it is somewhat puzzling as to how the rules of probability seem to favour me just in this location. If only you could buy lottery tickets in the hall where we meet. I'd be tempted to break the rule of a lifetime and actually buy one!

Chwilen / Beetle

It was a rather silly evening, but fun and a good icebreaker for the Welsh learners who came to join us.



[1] Merched y Wawr being the Welsh equivalent of the Women's Institute in England.

[2] Or, if you want to be pedantic and/or you're a statistician, a "die".

[3] Beetles should not have more than these, but when we were kids, we sometimes amused ourselves by adding whatever we threw to the beetle and ended up with some truly terrifying creatures sporting a myriad of legs, multiple eyes and feelers and several tails!

Current Mood: amused amused

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heleninwales
I’m currently galloping through the new Duolingo Welsh course for revision and someone posted the following question:

Poor innocent new Welsh learner: In what ways can you say “yes” in Welsh?

Me: Bwa-ha-ha-ha! There are so many ways! Even in an advanced class, asking Welsh learners to answer just yes/no to questions fills everyone with horror! :)

Another experienced Welsh learner: Sorry the best I can do is give you a link because there is a lot to explain for a duolingo comment.(provides link to 8 page PDF booklet.)

Current Mood: amused amused

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heleninwales
4/52 for the group 2016 Weekly Alphabet Challenge

This week's theme was: D is for Distorted

The thing about being married to a geologist is that you end up with lots of rock specimens around the place. In this one you can see the tiny fold where the rock has been distorted by heat and pressure.

I'm afraid I don't know what the rock is. If I can catch G in a non-stressed moment, I will try to remember to ask, but for the moment it will just have to be Unidentified Interesting Rock.

Rock specimen

Current Mood: accomplished accomplished

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heleninwales
I'm surprised that none of my online friends have mentioned the reference to "Sergeant Vimes of Cable Street" in last Sunday's episode of Endeavour. The words were uttered by Inspector Thursday, Morse's superior officer and mentor who claimed that he had learned his trade under Vimes.

As no one had said anything, I was beginning to wonder if I'd imagined it and a quick scroll backwards and forwards through the recording failed to find it. However, Googling confirmed that I was correct. I'm not actually sure I'm in favour of this sort of thing, to be honest. Yes, it's a clever little nod to Pratchett fans, but it did cause a brief failure of my suspension of belief and I'm not sure there was a particular point to this little excursion into intertexuality.

Current Mood: thoughtful observant

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heleninwales
Today's interesting discovery (courtesy of a recipe featured on the BBC web page) is that the Italian dessert panna cotta is basically just a posh version of the milk jelly we had as kids. Interestingly, though described as "a traditional dessert of the northern Italian region of Piedmont" it apparently didn't appear in cookery books until the 1960s -- which is when we were eating milk jelly!

Current Mood: amused amused

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heleninwales
The nights are starting to draw out ever so slightly, but not enough to make evening walks suitable for taking decent photos. As I was running out of time for the photo-a-week challenge, this will have to do.

3/52 for the group 2016 Weekly Alphabet Challenge

This week's theme was: C is for Crop

By the time I went out for a walk yesterday, it was starting to rain. I took two photos, but they were both terrible straight out of the phone. This has now been straightened and I removed a couple of intruding twigs from the foreground before giving it a slight crop and turning it to monochrome to give a mysterious look.

Grey rainy evening

And I was rather soggy by the time I got home, so it was straight into the shower and a complete change of clothes before making dinner.

Current Mood: accomplished accomplished

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heleninwales
And another post done for the apny2016 challenge on Tumblr..

Day 22

For all levels: Tell your favorite idiom in your target language(s)


I really like the Welsh idiom, "Rhoi'r ffidl yn y tôt." Literally this means, "To put the fiddle in the roof," but it actually means to give up doing something.

Current Mood: accomplished accomplished

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heleninwales
I've been keeping up with this pretty well on in terms of responding to the prompts, but I just realised that I haven't been posting them to Tumblr. As this one is written in English, I'll post it here too, but behind a cut because it's long.

Read on...Collapse )

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heleninwales
I may have misremembered that quote from one of Pratchett's novels, but that was the gist of it.

Elsewhere on livejournal a friend posted about reaching the age of 65. This use used to be the standard retirement age for men in the UK (it's higher now). I passed what used to be the retirement age for women almost 3 years ago and passed my actual retirement age 6 months ago. Both G and I are retiring this year. G will therefore officially be an "old age pensioner" at the beginning of March, so once the college year ends, that's us finished with working for a wage.

I find this extremely difficult to get my head around this concept. How on earth did this happen?

Current Mood: confused baffled

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heleninwales
2/52 for the group 2016 Weekly Alphabet Challenge

This week's theme was: B is for Blues

I've really had the blues for weeks as anyone who has seen me moaning on social media about the constant rain will already know. But today the skies cleared, for a glorious hour or two, all the beautiful shades of blue that make up the sky were revealed.

I'm glad I rushed out when I did though because it's already clouded over again. :(


ETA: Aaaaaaand it's raining. Again. Sigh....

Blue sky and snowy mountain

Current Mood: calm calm

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