I got up for breakfast at 9am and packed my bags, sad that this was my last day here.
At 9.30 I attended my last lesson in the classroom. We learnt the Welsh names for a variety of native trees and revised what we had learnt over the few days.
At 11.30 we went for a walk in the woods with Twm Elias. He told us about the folklore and history of some plants.
Foxglove digitalis goes by many names in folklore, such as witch’s thimbles, our lady’s glove, folk’s glove, lion’s mouth, fairy caps. Fairies are quite fond of the flower, as are butterflies and bees, and it’s believed that if you wish for the fair folk to make a home in your garden, plant some foxglove where you wish them to live. It is however, a poisonous plant so beware.
As a cheap source of artificial light, rushes were peeled, dried then soaked in fat to use as rushlights.
The rowan tree protects against witchcraft and enchantment. Before babies were baptized a piece of wood mountain ash was put in the cradle and iron from the fire at the foot of the cot to intimidate the fairies.
Folklore says- When the blackthorn is white, sow barley both day and night and, a long hard winter is referred to as a Blackthorn Winter.
In the woods we saw rushes, wood sorrel, lichen, a dung beetle, magpie and choughs also.
By the time we had finished the walk we were all ready for lunch, which was delicious as usual. As we ate lunch we listened to Twm tell us more tales. He is a fascinating storyteller. I could listen to him for hours.
The last activity of the day was a treasure hunt around the village to test what we had learnt during our stay. This was followed by hugs and goodbyes and the promises of keeping in touch.
I came away from the place immediately wanting to go back and study another course there. It’s an amazingly beautiful place with a lovely relaxed atmosphere. I would recommend that anyone learning Welsh should go to Nant Gwrtheyrn. It is a fantastic place to learn Welsh.
I really enjoyed going on a course there and hope one day I will go back there again.