Sunday, May 7, 2006

One less thing to worry about

Life is full of these little events that mean a whole hell of a lot to you and that are completely irrelevant to everyone else.

There's this thing called Eisteddfod. Unless you are from here, you probably don't really care enough to even go to the trouble to pronounce it properly.

At this thing called Eisteddfod, they have all sorts of competitions for Welshy types, one of which is for Welsh Learner of the Year. People will reward your years of learning with £300 and a wooden plate if you can meet some sort of undefined criteria that makes you the Welshiest of Welsh learners.

It's a prize that is wholly irrelevant to the overwhelming majority of the earth's population. But then there's me. I've been making myself sick over the last week or so thinking about my attempt to make it to the final round of the Welsh Learner of the Year award.

On Saturday, a list of 15 people was reduced to four who will go on to compete for the title in August. Because of the several thousand miles of land and water separating me from Swansea, my interview was held over the phone. Because of the several time zones separating me from Swansea, my interview was held at 6:20 a.m.

I was so gunned up after the interview that I went on a 30-mile bike ride. When I got back, there was a voice mail message for me from one of the organizers of the Eisteddfod: "Chris, mae'n flin 'da fi..."

So, I'm out.

It's one less thing to worry about, I suppose.


Samsung said...

I think just about everyone on the planet can relate to wanting to pursue an intellectual challenge, so I don't find it that unusual at all.

30 mile bike ride? Bottle up some of the energy and FedEx it to me, will you?


Anonymous said...

Sorry about that - maybe they felt that if you got through this year you might no longer feel the need to study in Wales, thus depriving the country of your many, many American dollars.

Plus - I totally want a share of that energy too. After anything major like that I just want to settle down with a nice cup of tea and some cake, not go off exercising.

Huw said...

Do these Eisteddfod types only work halfdays or something? Surely they could have waited towards the end of their working day. I would launch an appeal.

mo** said...

not only that you don't have to worry about dying a porker from a heart attack- win win my friend.

Curly said...

I love the amount of wooden prizes that Yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol hands out, especially the chairs.

I've been lucky enough to sit in Ellis Humphrey Evans' (Hedd Wyns) chair, despite getting a scalding from my teacher soon afterwards.

Curly said...

Oh, and sorry you didn't get in.

You're not going to throw a celebrity strop and not turn up to the Eisteddfod now are you?

Neal said...

Bummer. I always have that sort of energy too after I know I have bombed a test/interview/date/etc....

Chris Cope said...

Jae -- Interesting fact: exercise has been clinically proven to boost and stabilize serotonin levels. And without the side effects of medication.

Huw -- Perhaps they need to spend the rest of their day focusing on woodworking. Actually, in fairness, I was told that people who interviewed later than me had to do so in order to coordinate train schedules properly. As much as I hate waking up early, I would hate it even more if I were stuck in Swansea for a night. I mean, Christ, that place is a fucking dump. Oh... uhm... wait... Curly lives there, doesn't he?

Curly -- I've heard it's very nice where you live. I don't think it would be particularly effective for me to protest Eisteddfod. Perhaps I could go over the top and host a little eisteddfod at my house, at which only I and my wife (who knows about three words in Welsh) are allowed to compete: "Ooh, I win again!"

Curly said...


I'd watch where you're calling a dump though, the residents here have a remarkable amount of power over those train timetables you speak of...

All it takes is Mrs.Evans to send little Jonny to play out on the tracks and all of a sudden the London-Cardiff train is diverted through Sheffield, NOT a nice supposed-to-be-two-hours trip for the Cope family.

Chris Cope said...

That sounds like a sort of gangster euphemism. Instead of, "You'll be sleeping with the fishes," it's "You'll be diverting tourists to Sheffield, if you don't pay your debts."