So far I'd come away lightly. It couldn't last. I had spent pretty much the entire summer surrounded by written material from which I'd try to learn Welsh, but with nobody to practice talking with. But summer proper is over now, and the time has come to get up and speak. As scary as it may be! Just sitting and reading a book is all dignified, but trying to say something and no words coming out, or listening to someone and having no idea what they're talking about is a bit more confrontational. But it's the only way forward! So as soon as I knew she'd be back from her holidays I mailed the tutor. She had offered to meet me over coffee and practice my verbal skills. And she answered soon! And offered a time slot the very last day. I took it. In a rush of adrenaline.
She walked in and greeted me in Welsh. It was clear she wouldn't speak English to me, at all! She was even reluctant to speak English to the staff of the cafe we had chosen, even though our coffee was served by an Australian. So we set off! We first discussed what we'd been doing during the past weeks. And we discussed mine exploration. I now know the words for "diving", "gas" and "dead"! Oh dear. But what you get after stories like this are prominent in the news. Then there was a confusing bit where I just didn't get what she was saying, after which she asked me to tell her the story of my life. Suffice to say she got a concise version! My vocabulary is tiny. And then we were already running out of time. She pointed out some workshops to me I could participate in, and she brought up the topic of the Welsh Entry Level exam I could do. I'm up for it! And next week we'll do it again! It's bloody frustrating to be spoken to without any idea of what it all means, and to be desperately searching for words, and to say things of which you know they're not right as you utter them. But the only way of getting good at this is just stubbornly ploughing on. To be continued!