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Helen's journal and online home
In which an old dog attempts to learn new tricks.
heleninwales
Finally, after rather a long gap, I have uploaded another video to my YouTube channel. I was supposed to be aiming for one video a month, but the summer got rather disrupted with the trip to Dublin for Worldcon and days out and political stuff, but I have now edited the video that I shot in June.

It's a gentle walk around Bute Park in Cardiff. It's in Welsh, but, as before, I've added subtitles in English. Go to Settings (bottom right of the video) and select English and then you can switch them on and off with the subtitles/closed captions button.

I have the raw video clips for another video, which I hope to have up within a week or so.

Current Mood: accomplished accomplished

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heleninwales
After breakfast I popped down to the bottom of the garden to see if the apples on the overhanging branch were ready. They are not, despite our neighbours gathering apples from the main part of the tree yesterday. It could be that the overhanging branch faces east and thus won't get as much sun as the main crop.

Sadly the apples look disappointing, very small and blemished, but I'll try again after we come back from London next week and there may be a few worth picking.
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heleninwales
42/52 for the group 2019 Weekly Alphabet Challenge

This week's theme was: P is for Porous

Tea bags are porous to let the water in without letting the tea leaves out.

Tea bags are porous
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heleninwales
I have finally finished editing the Bute Park video. It's just over 7 minutes in total. I think it flows OK, though I may have gone on a bit about the Gorsedd Circles at the beginning. I have to admit to a slight obsession with the things and have to photograph one if I come across it.

Anyway, the video is complete and I have exported it as an MP4 file, but there's still quite a bit to do. I must translate all the speech and voice-over into English for the subtitles so that as soon as I upload the video to YouTube, I can immediately unpublish the auto-generated gibberish that results when you put Welsh through a speech recognition system and try to transcribe it as English.

With luck I can post a link tomorrow.

Current Mood: accomplished accomplished

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heleninwales
The other week I looked up on the internet how to tell if apples are ready for picking. I needn't have bothered because all I actually had to do was wait until our neighbours went out to pick the apples off their tree. Next fine day, I'll go and pick the ones from the branch that overhangs our garden.

I don't think there are as many this year. Possibly because there was a bad storm when the tree was in blossom. Or perhaps years just vary?

It's a big tree and the neighbours only gather the apples off the lower branches. The rest they leave for the birds, so though, strictly speaking, the fruit on overhanging branches belongs to the owner of the tree, I don't think they'll mind me having a few.
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heleninwales
As I mentioned yesterday, I've got back into the video editing and I did another hour today. It takes a lot of concentration because I'm trying to create some kind of logical flow to the clips and add background music where I feel it needs it and, of course, write and record the voice-over.

It's a slow job, though I'm getting a bit more proficient and hence a little faster. But I've already spent hours on this -- not to mention the day spent wandering around the park taking the video in the first place -- and when you watch the whole thing from start to finish, it's currently about 5.5 minutes long!

Will I be able to finish it tomorrow? Possibly... possibly not, but it should certainly be ready by early next week.

Current Mood: productive productive

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heleninwales
I'm back into the routine of regular Welsh practice with the Monday class, Wednesday chat and the Thursday Skype call. I did a Spanish challenge last Tuesday and hoped to do another one today, but I'm feeling too tired now. That will be my priority for the weekend. I've also made some flashcards for the Spanish phrases that just will not stick. Let's see if that helps.

Also with regard to Welsh practice, during the short video chat with the woman who used to come to the Welsh class, she asked if I'd done any more videos. To be honest, I'd started to lose confidence in the whole idea of a YouTube channel, but she was very complimentary about my efforts so far. So yesterday and today I felt inspired to work on the editing of the Cardiff video. If I can get that finished over the weekend, I can then move on to the probably more interesting Aberystwyth Cliff Railway video.
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heleninwales
Not only are there so many online courses to replace or supplement face-to-face courses and books, but you can practice your language any time you want.

Today I have chatted in Welsh to my young Australian friend for 30 minutes and also had a 15 minute chat with a woman who used to come to the Monday morning Welsh lesson and the Wednesday cafe chat but who has since moved to another nearby town. Forty five minutes of enjoyable conversation without having to leave my house!

You wouldn't think that Australia would be good for Skype calls due to being literally on the other side of the world, but during the winter, a 9-10 a.m. call for me is an after getting home from work and after having dinner call for A. Unfortunately it's not so convenient in the summer because of daylight saving moving the hour one way in Australia and the opposite way in the UK, but we've mostly managed to keep the chats going.

Right now we're in transition. Australia are already on summer time and we don't change to GMT for another 2 weeks, but we'll soon be back on a regular schedule.
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heleninwales
I'm trying to prise myself away from Twitter because it's not helpful to just keep reading the same Brexit arguments rehashed eternally. It's doing my mental health no good. Instead I'm trying to post more here where things are more peaceful.

As I think I already mentioned, I recently joined a Habitica challenge to write at least one sentence in some sort of journal every day for a month. This will be the 19th consecutive entry here on LJ since taking on the challenge. I've also kept up with the Weekly Alphabet Photo challenge on Flickr and yesterday I managed to dodge the showers and went for a nice walk looking for something for this week's theme.

41/52 for the group 2019 Weekly Alphabet Challenge

This week's theme was: O is for Open

Kissing gates are both open and closed. They allow humans to pass through but sheep are unable to pass through them.

Kissing Gate

I'm also thinking about doing another 365 photo-a-day challenge for 2020. That will be exactly 10 years since I did it for the first time. It would actually be easier now because my phone has such a good camera these days so I will always have some sort of camera with me. To get started, I'm planning on doing a photo-a-day through November. Once upon a time, I used to do a photo every day for the 30-day months of April, June, September and November. It was less intensive than a full 365 and had the advantage of encouraging me to take photos in spring, summer, autumn and winter.
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heleninwales
Following on from our visit to the Slate Museum at Llanberis, by coincidence the Say Something in Welsh people are arranging a meet-up in Bethesda. I'm probably not going to go because it's over an hour's drive and I am lucky enough to get plenty of opportunities to speak Welsh locally, but in preparation, the organiser of the meet-up posted these links to a song about the legacy of the slate mines.

Slate quarrying and mining might not have been quite as dangerous as coal mining, but it's not far behind. And those people who complain about "health and safety gone mad" and "too much red tape" might like to learn a bit of industrial history.

This is a version in English. The Penrhyn Quarry Hospital mentioned in the opening quotation from one of the doctors who worked there is open to visitors as part of the museum. The final lines of the song in Welsh translate as, "Dear granddad don't worry, I'll be fine. I'll wear a mask against the dust."



This is a longer version in Welsh.

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