Here, we chat to learner Clare Brathmere, who has contributed to Y Daith, a collection of 10 short stories for learners, by learners, which was created as part of ‘Creu Drwy’r Covid’ (Create Through Covid) during the summer of 2020.
Why did you decide to learn Welsh?
I was brought up in Hawarden, Flintshire, and there was no Welsh in the community. In school, Welsh lessons were compulsory until the third year. I didn’t enjoy learning Welsh and so I didn’t carry on. I lived in England for many years and after returning to Wales in 2018, I was determined to give learning Welsh another go.
Tell us a little about your story?
I enjoy stories which have a twist in their tail, and I love ghosts. I wanted to combine both and introduce an element of darkness too. I only wanted three characters and to set the story in a grand house in the countryside. I remember lying in bed, deliberating over the details of the story including the scenes and characters.
How did writing help you during lockdown?
Writing the story distracted my attention from what was happening in the world. In a way, I was engrossed in Nia, the main character’s world, rather than the real world.
Do you hope to continue writing?
Definitely. Since I wrote the story for Y Daith, I’ve been very busy and so I’m looking forward to rekindling my imagination and to further expanding my written Welsh.
Any advice for other learners who want to write?
Give it a go but use language and words which are familiar to you. There’s no need to write something long or complicated. Also, don’t worry about making mistakes, as there’s always someone to help.
What’s the next step for you on your language journey?
One day, I would love to work as a tutor, in order to help other learners experience the same joy I’ve had by learning Welsh.