Friday, 11 December 2009

Baaaaa Humbug

Raquel, curiously, is not Welsh
The Family Grumpy are excited to be off to Wales for Christmas. Wales is a special and exotic place, and the Welsh are a noble and proud people, rather like Hobbits. It's just a few hours from London, but it could be the other side of the world, say New Zealand. Like New Zealand, there are more sheep than people, which goes some way to explaining how most of the Welsh Assembly got elected. Welsh sheep also come in many varieties; the dingleberry, the curly-wurly, the tikka masala, the temptress, the baabaablack, to name but a few.

Besides being the Prince of Wales' vegetable garden, Wales is famous for many things. It's produced celebrities like Tom Jones, Catherine Zeta Jones, Davy Jones, Aled Jones, and Indiana Jones. Globally renowned sports like rugby, bog snorkelling, Man vs Horse racing, and Extreme Ironing flourish there. Welsh rarebit, famous everywhere else as cheese on toast, is a local delicacy. And so on.

Wales has its own language, which like, er, whales, is (are?) endangered. This is not a surprise as it is one of the most bizarre languages ever invented. For example, to wish a Welshman "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year" then simply say "Nadolig llawen a blwyddyn newydd dda". If you pronounce that right then it sounds like you choked on your Christmas pud, coughed it up and sneezed.

Left to its own devices this quaint language might fade away, but it's kept alive via generous dollops of my EU cash. All documents, road signs, web-sites, TV and radio programs in Wales must be translated. For example, go to the web-site of the Prince of Wales and click on the 'cymraeg' ('Welsh'1) button. Bang! Goodbye vowels. It all adds to the mystical charm of the place.

We can't wait. We will be staying with Eldest Sister, a Physician of Repute specialising in sheep-related diseases, in her leek farm in the hills. We will be bringing modern presents from England, like tinned food, VHS tapes, and cutlery. Eldest sis doesn't have central heating, but she does have plenty of cats, so you can warm yourself by dropping one down your pyjamas of an evening.

They also don't have electricity, but we can watch TV as my brother-in-law is a handy soul. Someone simply pedals the power-generating exercise bike while everyone else watches the trusty 14" VHS combo, but we rarely do, as all they can receive is Welsh-language soap-operas, and Dr Who.

So blogging might be a challenge, particularly as 'broadband' in Wales is simply another variety of sheep, and I am obliged to translate all posts. But I'll do my best. Yacky da.2

1 - At least, I think it means 'Welsh'. It might also mean 'Sod Off English Pigs'
2 - Either 'good health' or 'your ewe is standing on my toe' depending on your dictionary.

P.S. Thank you Christie, for the lovely award posted on the right! Before I can pass it on I have to think of, and state, several original and interesting things about me. Don't hold your breath


  1. Bloody good beer too. 'Brains', excellent stuff.

  2. Raquel is just stunning! Wow! If you'll go to my web page and email me, I'll send you the "snow" code. I can't find your email address here. It's the only way I can get snow down here in the deep South!

  3. I hope you enjoy a good tikka masala while you're there and with a bit of luck you won't bump into Lloyd of the X-factor.

  4. CONGRATS and I hope you are pleased to have been chosen.
    Bob at

  5. Poor old fart, God I needed that.11 December 2009 at 13:14

    I went to Wales once, it rained. But it's free to get out on the M4, the highlight of the trip.

  6. Laughed at this, Urber! Now see if you can work this out:
    Fel nei heddiw? Gobeithia a ach yn gwneud bydew!

    ( In English, it translates as, How are you today? I hope you are doing well!)

    I have a Welsh friend, Owain!

  7. Aaah-thank you! Your blog brought a smile to my face on a very boring Friday afternoon! I live in North East spain and like the Welsh they have their own "language"- Catalan. It sounds like they are all coughing up phlem and are all in very bad moods. I spent the first 2 years here ducking out the way of invisible snot balls and discreetly leaving rooms and shops because I thought people were having a tiff!
    By the way you forgot to mention Ivor The Engine in your list of Welsh attributes.
    Espero que tens un bon cap de setmana!!! "Kerping" (that is the snot ball hitting the spitoon after I wished you a good weekend.

  8. wow that sounds incredible. no electricity and no heater??? you're joking right? yacky da!

  9. Indeed, we'll be waiting for you with open arms. I guess I shall start pedalling the bike in preparation for christmas Doctor Who?

  10. Ah Welsh rarebit - it's still called Le Welsh in France.
    Well they are a bit gastronomically challenged over there aren't they?

  11. So...Jones is a Welsh-ian (?) name??
    : )
    What's a cockney accent?? I'm just wondering cuz I read a lot of British authors and I always wonder what it sounds like...

  12. Very funny post, Mr. Grump!

    I like the Doctor but I think Torchwood has taken over Wales, right? That's where everything happens. Just like everything happens in London on Dr. Who. Gimme a little Jack. Too bad I have to share him with EVERYONE!

  13. Judearoo ~ Yup! Brains Best, here I come

    JP ~ Ah, will do. Unfortunately my blog has a white background - hmmm

    mo ~ I'll be sure to avoid him

    Bob ~ Wow! Thank you! I feel I'm up with the big guys now

    POF ~ It's the way in too...

    Alice ~ Impressive! You know Welsh?

    Kate ~ :) Kerping! Wish I'd thought of that

    Sarah ~ No! It's all true! (ahem)

    Ben ~ Yup, and it's a two hour special...

    KAZ ~ You've got that right. And what's with all that Croque Monsieur nonsense? Eh?

    MiMi ~ It is! Cockney = London. Watch Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins for the worst example, ever

    RefGeek ~ Whoa! You know your sci-fi. Did you know Torchwood is an anagram of Doctor Who? I just found that out.

  14. This is laugh out loud funny. I love the "known everywhere else as cheese on toast" it totally made me choke on my espresso.

    Seriously Funny.

  15. Hahaha... great post but don't you wish Racquel was Welsh? Shes stunning.

  16. I hope you and the brood Grump have a good one UG.

    And remember, keep off the moors.........

    (Or is that Yorkshire?)

  17. Just where in Wales are you going? Definately North Wales it sounds like...hope they don't hear your English accent...

    And it is 4+ hours from London. I've done the journey many many times (studied for my MA there-major regret) and the M4 is one horrid horrid long endless road. You get that it's long, right? hehe...

    Hope you have a nice time spending xmas in the 19th century! YAY for being nostalgic! :)

  18. Sounds pretty exciting to this Yank. Ca a 'n fawr bagla!

  19. Dear little brother,
    Boro da. Have not yet read your blog as very busy trimming leeks. However have heard that you are writing about our beloved Cymraeg, and have encouraged all my patients (human ones), and leek farming and sheep shearing colleagues to read it.
    We are having open house open barn over Christmas. A surprising number have already said they are coming to meet the author.
    Nadoleg llawen

  20. JenJen ~ *pat, pat* you all right? Phew

    PaulW ~ Right with you there

    Dan ~ Welcome back! How's the job?

    Lou ~ Mid Wales. What did you study? Welsh?

    Marla ~ What does that mean? Sounds good though

    Anon ~ Got to Brum, turn left. You can't miss it

    Eldest sis ~ Nadoleg who?

  21. Well, it was suppose to mean have a nice trip according to the first translator I used however the second translator said I told you, "I have heartburn large so I stumble!" Maybe I better stick with English. :-)

  22. You're gonna have a great vacation.

  23. Marla ~ Ah-ha! Thanks. I'm impressed

    Secretia ~ I sure hope so!

  24. Dissing the Sis - Uber you are in soooooo much trouble. Just watch your baack.

  25. yuck i cannot look at it