Plu – “Ambell I Gan” (An Occasional Song).

Hiya people! 🙂

For today I chose one of the songs by Plu from their album “Tir A Golau” (Land And Lights), which is definitely one of my most favourites from that album. This is the only traditional song on it, and I’ve come across quite a few different renditions of it ever since I’ve started to listen to Welsh music more seriously and learning the language. But Plu’s arrangement is definitely the best I’ve heard, I love absolutely everything about it! The lyrics are great too, capturing it very well how inspiring music can be. I’ve found an English translation of the Welsh lyrics, which has been written by

Richard B. Gillion.

An occasional song will keep my breast

From sinking down under the frequent wave;

The muse is so cheerful,

so attractive, so pure,

I give heart-felt thanks

for an occasional song.

An occasional to song

as the night turns dark,

So light is the day, so cheerful the rose,

Misty, hopeless clouds – like wool

They turn, if I can

get an occasional song.

An occasional song

gives strength in the limb,

And the shoulder to carry

many a burden,

And the force of difficulties

to be crushed completely

If I can get to sing an occasional song.

An occasional song I will get in the world,

But I travel to a land

which is all singing,

And after I leave the desert completely

I hope to get to sing,

not an occasional song.

Plu – “Ambell I Gan”.

Question of the day.

If there was one thing you could ask your future self, what would it be?

My answer:

That’s easy. Do you still live with Misha and if not, who does he live with? Or, if he has died by then, how are you even coping with it, or maybe you are not? What’s life like without Misha, after having lived with Misha? More than one question, but all about one thing, so I guess it’s not cheating.

You? 🙂

Loreena McKennitt – “Marco Polo”.

Hi guys! 🙂

I’ve shared some Loreena McKennit music before, but all of it was very strongly inspired by Celtic folklore, by which a lot of her music is inspired as she herself has Scottish and Irish roots. However, she is the kind of artist who doesn’t limit herself, as it seems, in any way at all. This is also true when it comes to where she draws the inspiration from, as she inspired by world music in general, not just Celtic folk music. Loreena McKennit was, in fact, one of the first folk artists who made me gradually open up to the fact that there is a lot of folk music, not just Celtic, not even just Celtic and Nordic, and it can also be very interesting, worth listening to and digging a bit deeper in. This piece – “Marco Polo” – has a beautifully and evocatively oriental atmosphere to it.

Question of the day.

What are some productive ways to let your anger out?

My answer:

For me, writing usually helps a lot. Other times, I like to listen to music which corresponds with my mood, so when I’m angry it’s either some rock, Finnish works the best in such cases, or anything that I can find relatable at a given moment, either because of the lyrics or something else that resonates with the way I’m feeling. Sofi’s here as I’m writing this and I asked her what she likes to do to let her anger out in a productive way, and she says she likes to watch a movie and eat. When I’m super angry, I’m usually quite overwhelmed at the same time and I find it difficult to focus on things like books, let alone movies, which I always find difficult to focus on, even with the best audiodescription, unless I seriously have some extreme interest in a specific movie. But I can totally relate to eating. 😀 As much as I can’t eat when I’m stressed or anxious, especially when it’s a short-term but intense anxiety, with anger, I like to eat something yummy to make myself feel better. I don’t know how healthy/productive it actually is though, as people say you shouldn’t do that, but it’s not like I binge-eat or like I do it very regularly or can’t cope without it. I’ve written here a lot that my anger is turned inwards most of the time, as my default setting is to repress things, and when I no longer can, I’ve learnt to deal with it by self-harming. I still have urges to do it a lot of the time when I’m angry or just overwhelmed with any other unpleasant feeling(s), and sometimes I’m successful at overcoming them, but sometimes I’m still not. What I like to do instead of self-harming when I’m feeling angry, and what I’ve liked to do from the beginning ever since I started cutting, when I didn’t want to cut myself too much so that it wouldn’t be easily visible to people, is to eat something very hot and spicy. It’s weird how well it can work sometimes. Otherwise, I guess the pretty much classic strategy for dealing with self-harm urges is holding ice cubes in your hands for some time, and I’ve always hard a weird love for ice, so when we have some, I do that too.

How about you? 🙂

Llio Rhydderch – “Marwnad Yr Ehedydd” (Death Of The Skylark).

Hey people! 🙂

This is another of my most favourite songs by Llio Rhydderch. It comes from her collaborative album with Tomos Williams and Mark O’Connor – “Carn Ingli” – but it’s a solo piece. I like its depth and melancholy.

Question of the day.

What’s one thing you absolutely want to do, given the chance, before you die?

My answer:

It’s nothing unpredictable for people who already know me. The thing I particularly want to do out of the things I want to do before I die category, is to, hopefully, learn all “my” languages to such a level that I can understand them without too much difficulty. I don’t know how realistic it’ll be, given that some of my languages are extincting, or already extincted and revived, and thus the amount of resources available to learn them is limited in comparison to, say, English, or even Swedish, and also I don’t like the idea of having a very long life. Plus there are other problems, including, but probably not limited to: because I am blind, the amount of resources shrinks even more; I live outside of the territories where these languages are spoken and with small languages like that it is a big deal, it may be difficult to find native speakers online, for example I still don’t know any Scottish Gaelic native, or a Sami one; some of them don’t have their own Braille alphabet and I do find it a lot easier when I can read and write in a language and not only listen, some don’t have good speech synths or none at all, for example there’s no Cornish speech synthesiser ’cause it doesn’t pay off for sure to make a synthesiser speaking a language that was once dead and then resurrected but still has like 500 speakers, and there are probably more things that can get in the way that I can’t think of right now. So while I don’t really know how well that will go in practice and how much of it is actually achievable and how much is just Bibiel’s lovely little dream like a lot of things have turned out to be, I’m going to do what I can do to make it work and to learn as many of them as possible. I’m doing quite well with Welsh, which is an endangered language, even though the beginnings were quite hopeless and infuriatingly frustrating, but that has been the case with every single language I was beginning to learn, so I’m taking the risk by being carefully optimistic about the rest that things will go well after some initial significant upheavals. We shouldn’t forget that technology also keeps developing so who knows, maybe those resources which aren’t accessible for me now will become later on.

You? 🙂

Clannad – Liza”.

For today, I also have a happy love song for you, also in a Celtic language, but a bit older one and in Irish. It comes from Clannad’s eponymous debut album. I much prefer Clannad’s earlier music, which is more rooted in tradition, there’s more Irish and generally more genuine folk. Which absolutely isn’t to say that I don’t like their later music, I just like it a little less. This song is probably the most modern on their debut album, as it’s the only original song of theirs. I absolutely love it, it’s definitely one of my favourites from this album and maybe even in Clannad’s music in general. The vocalist in this particular song is not Maire Brennan as usual, but one of the male members (don’t know which). Below is the translation, which you can also find

here.

 

I’d been in love with a girl

For years and years

Liza was her name

But suddenly she came to me

With news that broke my heart

Liza

Liza baby

Liza

Stay with me

I searched high

I searched low

I searched again and again

Till one day my love returned

To stay with me forever

Liza was off wandering

She didn’t come looking for me

Liza was a little fool

But who cares?

We’re happy In a little hut by ourselves

Question of the day (27th May).

Out of all the mythologies that ever existed, who is your favourite god, goddess, or any other deity, and why?

My answer:

This is a super difficult question because I love myths. My Mum read them to me along with fairytales, legends etc. since I was a little child so I have quite an emotional connection to some mythologies and still find them so interesting, it always blows my mind how people were so creative back then and made up all those deities and how complex they can be sometimes. I like a lot of them, I seriously can’t pick just one… I like Epona, who is the Celtic goddess of horses. I like Cana Cludhmor, or Canola, who is also a Celtic goddess who is said to have invented the harp, quite accidentally. She is also the goddess of dreams, and I like most gods and goddesses of dreams, sleep etc. that I know of. I love the main Celtic god Lugh, mostly for his versatility which is quite astonishing, he’s skillful in so many areas. I find Freja from the Norse mythology very interesting as well and quite inspiring. I like Brigid – the Celtic goddess of healing, among other things – whose feast (Imbolc) is exactly on the same day as my birthday, and it’s also the feast day of st. Bridget of Kildare.

I quite like Hestia, which I mentioned a while back. I think she stands out from all of the Greek gods. Ever since I first heard of Greek mythology, I starkly felt the contrast between their gods and the Christian God, how they have so many shortcomings, can be so vengeful and obnoxiously cocky. And when Mum read to me about Hestia, it felt very refreshing and I immediately thought that if I was to believe in these gods, she would be the one for whom I could actually have some reverence, because she’s so humble and so dignified in this humility. And she just sounds totally like my peep because she’s an introvert, a homebody, she doesn’t care about living together with the other Olympians, she’s a virgin, she sounds like she is absolutely plain and uninteresting and is always in the background yet she is worshipped in every single temple, no matter which god’s temple it is, always gets her offerings first and receives the richest portion of food, so she must have not only have an idea about good food, but also must have known how to set herself in the right position, as we would say in Polish, so make things work in her favour, and to do that she needed a bit of character for sure.

I once wrote here, when sharing the song Proserpina by Martha Wainwright, that I used to feel a sort of connection with Persephone/Proserpina from Greek/Roman mythology, as a teen. As you may know, she was the one who was abducted by Hades/Pluto to his underworld. Her mother, Demeter/Ceres, was so desperate to find her that she searched for her throughout the whole world, in the meantime neglecting the Earth that she was responsible for so that it didn’t produce. Eventually they all reached a consensus that Proserpina would spend three months in the underworld, and the rest of the year with her mother on Earth. I had to spend a lot of time during my childhood away from my family, and so the story resonated with me on some level, I also remember I once wrote a piece called “Proserpina’s Longing”.

But if I seriously have to choose just one, the award goes to the Welsh goddess Ceridwen, even though not everyone agrees that she was a goddess. She’s still some kind of a mythical, or at best legendary, creature, so I think she counts even if she indeed is not a real goddess. Those who claim she is a goddess say that she is a goddess of love and poetry, but it’s not this that I find interesting about her. She had two children, a beautiful daughter called Creirwy and a hideous son called Morfran (Great Crow). Well, I think a lot of mothers in her position would now just focus all their attention and efforts on the beautiful child, and be happy that they have at least one child with which they can show off and be proud of, but not Ceridwen. Ceridwen is extremely determined to somehow help Morfran to make his way in the world. She is actually an enchantress, and comes up with an idea of making a potion, of which just three first drops can give wisdom, poetic inspiration and knowledge of the future to the one who drinks them. Nobody normal would decide to do that, because the potion had to be stirred all the time for one whole year, and she couldn’t go to sleep in the meantime. Yet she sets about it and keeps stirring the potion in her magical cauldron all the time, with no sleep. Finally, on the last day, she felt so extremely sleepy that she decided to have a quick nap. She asked her foster son, a boy called Gwioon Fach (or Little Gwion) to stir it for her while she catches some z’s. Gwion stirs the potion very ardently, and then an accident happens. Three drops pour out of the cauldron and burn his finger. He instinctively puts it to his lips and licks them off, right when Ceridwen wakes up. Gwion doesn’t know what the potion is for and how important these three drops are, but he immediately understands that what has just happened definitely shouldn’t have and that she’s going to be mad at him, so he runs away. He discovers that, thanks to the potion, he can now shapeshift, and so he turns into a rabbit. But Ceridwen, being an enchantress, can of course do that too, so she turns into a dog. Gwion changes into a fish and jumps into a river. Ceridwen becomes an otter and follows him. Then he turns into a bird, and she keeps chasing him as a hawk. In the end, Gwion turns into a little grain, whereas Ceridwen changes into a hen and eats him.

Some time later, Ceridwen, back in her human form, of course, finds herself pregnant and realises she’s probably pregnant with Gwion. She is set on killing the baby as soon as he’s born, but when the time finally comes the child is so incredibly beautiful that she just can’t do it. Instead she casts him in the ocean in a leather bag and from then on he starts a completely new life and is known as Taliesin, the most famous bard of Wales, which is a story in its own right, but a very interesting one too.

Anyways, if you haven’t yet realised what I find so great about Ceridwen is her maternal dedication. It’s really admirable how she can be so determined that she would even lose her sleep for almost an entire year just to make her son’s life easier. Her story also shows in an interesting way how even when things go totally not the way we’d like them to, still a lot of good can come out of it, perhaps even better than what we’d imagined. Taliesin was definitely a good thing, after all.

You? Do you have any favourite mythical deity? Or maybe you have so many that you too can’t pick just one? 🙂

Song of the day (27th May) – “Gwilym Bowen Rhys – “Clychau’r Gog” (Bluebells).

Hey people! 🙂

I wanted to share with you something by Gwilym today (or rather yesterday, but yesterday was quite chaotic so I didn’t manage in the end) and was very surprised to realise that I’ve never shared this one with you before, because it’s definitely one of my most favourite songs from his last album – “Arenig”. – It is one of the more contemporary-sounding songs on this album. I like how it’s so calmly joyful and thus makes an interesting contrast with the preceding

“Lloer Dirion Lliw’r Dydd” (Gentle Moon, Colour Of The Day),

which is also a love song, and also one of my most favourite songs on this album, but feels so vastly different, being a much older composition and filled with anguish. Yet they both fit in there perfectly and the contrast probably just shows the beauty of each of them even more.

The song I want to show you today was originally composed and written by Gwilym and has really beautiful and captivating lyrics, although even I – being just a Welsh learner – can see that they sound way more natural in their actual language than any English translation would. Welsh is just so much better for this kind of thing. The translation is also Gwilym’s, and comes from

Gwilym’s website.

The sun was insisting that it was Summer,

and the blue-green path was inviting us,

and we heard the gentle bells of May

calling to us both.

She was the very essence of Spring,

and her conversation was a lovely, careless song.

And a feeling came over me, the like I’d never felt before,

like a fire under my skin.

A fire from my head to my feet,

her smile quickening the blood,

on the edge of the sea of blue bells.

Concealing the truth behind half a smile,

and longing for her tender embrace.

Concealing love behind sarcastic words,

and my life between her finger and thumb.

Every doubt had long since fled,

and the yearning was a rushing torrent,

to swim the sea of blue bells.

No one was an ear nor a witness, only leaves,

no one was an eye, except for the sun,

no one there but her and me;

the only people in the world.

And then we plunged deep into the wave;

one moment that lasted a whole year,

into the depths of a sea of blue bells.

To stay in her embrace was to prove a false hope,

a dream in vain.

And I hear the gentle bells of May

sighing a farewell to us both.

But I’ll keep this safe in the chamber of my heart:

the moment that lasted a whole year,

and I’ll remember this as long as I possess a memory;

holding her in a sea of blue bells.

Question of the day.

What is the weirdest thing you have ever heard in a public place?

My answer:

I like to eavesdrop on people’s conversations discretely, but the only thing I can think of right now is from a few years back when we were at the beach, or actually walking back to the car from it, and we were passing two young people, a girl and a boy, who in turn were walking towards the beach. That is when I learned that north is actually west in English. Like, the word for west is “north”. 😀 My Mum doesn’t know English beyond some words and phrases she has passively absorbed from TV, music, technology, Sofi’s exercise books, me etc. but even she knows what north and west means in English and both of us were quite amused. These people could be like uni age or older, so they definitely must have had English at school and surely would already have covered things like directions, which, if I remember correctly, people normally learn in third grade in primary or so. That might give you a bit of an idea about the level of foreign language education in Polish schools, and how much attention is paid to people actually retaining and being able to use what they learn. The school way of teaching languages is pretty tragic, uninteresting and severely lacking in creativity. So I can’t even blame people. Of course student involvement is key too, but you won’t get a student involved if you won’t interest them with your subject, and few teachers care about that. My Sofi says it all the time that she is intimidated to say in her English class that she doesn’t understand something ’cause the teacher will be like “*sighs* But Sofi, what do you still not understand? I have already explained it!” It seems like most of her class must have some understanding problems as the vast majority takes extracurricular private lessons at a language school, which of course are paid. People who actually are interested for some reason (like this Bibiel here happened to be) are bored to tears in class and need to do everything on their own if they want to progress, which, I can imagine, can be discouraging for many, in fact, I myself started to dislike English as a subject quite early on, and wasn’t far from disliking it as a language at some point.

You? 🙂

Question of the day.

What was the last thing you took the time to really enjoy? It can be anything – food, beverage, film, etc.

My answer:

I was reading a very interesting Polish book that I just finished today. Perhaps it may not sound interesting for most people, and would likely even be infinitely boring for many, especially if you’re one for quick pace and a lot of action, and don’t like non-fiction, but it was interesting for me, mostly because I’d never come across anything similar before, and always sort of wanted to. It was a book from (I believe) 1843, called Dwór Wiejski (Rural Manor House) by Karolina Nakwaska. It’s essentially a retro self-help book for women – women who were mistresses of rural manors. – Why would I even want to read something like this when I’m not even a housewife or a mother or anything that the potential reader of such book would be, except a woman? Well, language, mostly. 😀 Have I ever said before how delicious, interesting, full of character, or just funny, archaic/obsolete polish words and sentence structure can be? I absolutely love reading old Polish books, but I rarely get a chance, because such stuff is usually only sold as physical books, or not easily available at all, unless some second-hand bookshops, forget ebooks. And I really don’t like scanning and usually can’t achieve satisfying enough results by myself. I wasn’t hunting for this particular book or anything like that, it just happened that someone added it to the section in our blind library where people can add their scanned books, and I was interested by the excerpt. I like learning about how people used to live before, I like books about what people used to eat, what they used to wear etc. etc. about specific groups of people and their situation. I’m also quite into women’s history as well. Here, it’s not some historian’s book or a historical novel, but pretty much a first-hand account. I love love love reading old recipes! I love etnography. So this was, essentially, the perfect book for me, and I relished it properly. Well, the scan was pretty bad, so I would have relished it more if not the abundant spelling errors and unreadable fragments, but still it was great. The first volume is about all sorts of different things from how to serve and go about meals as well as good manners relating to that, to how to raise children, charitable activity and giving a good example to people, taking care of the ill and treating in the absence of a doctor, treatment of servants etc. The second was all recipes, and the third was an alphabetical glossary of all things possible that, according to the author, women should be knowledgeable in and on which she had some advice to give them. It’s from a very strongly Christian perspective. The author emigrated from Poland as far as I know during or after the November uprising and lived in several different countries – Switzerland, Germany, England and France – the book was written in Switzerland I guess, so she also had a good idea not only about manor life and a manor mistress’s life in Poland but in other European countries and had quite a modern perspective for her times. She often makes comparisons between how all these different countries she’s lived handle specific things like toilet training of children or cleanliness in the house. Apparently, she was quite ostracised by people before the publishing of her book as they thought she simply wants to promote and imitate foreign ways of life, but I think she really just wanted to introduce the good things from other countries that could be adopted in her motherland. And it seemed to be successful because eventually her book became quite popular with women.

In the third volume, there’s a mini section about language mistakes and how it isn’t appropriate for a lady to make them, and she mentions a lot of particular mistakes that apparently were common at the time. Interesting to see what was considered a language mistake over 100 years ago, especially that some things that were considered appropriate or some words or phrases that she uses in the book are now considered incorrect and some of the things that she says are incorrect are now normal, but most of those mistakes I’ve never ever heard in today’s speech so it was quite funny. Or when talking about table manners, she writes in such an indignant tone how it’s absolutely hideous to eat more than one dish with the same fork, and even proceeds this comment with the warning that she’s about to say something extremely hideous. Or she says things like how it’s not appropriate to make balls from bread and throw them around, or spit or eat from someone else’s plate. You’d think she writes for kindergarten children or some barbarian vikings, not the gentle women in the age of romanticism. But my Mum has a pre-Vatican Council II book for lay people about the Mass to help them understand it better, and there is also a fragment about how one should behave, what to wear etc. and spitting in church, (or rather, not spitting) is mentioned, which she found rather hilarious.

My Mum also loves old books like that, and old recipes, and as I read it I thought that she would be interested in it even more than myself. I mentioned it to her and she said she’d love to read it. So, tomorrow is Mother’s Day, and I decided to buy a physical version for her, which is exactly what I did yesterday.

You? 🙂

Morgan Elwy – “Dal Yn Dyn” (Still A Man).

Hey people! 🙂

Recently, I shared with you a song from Jacob Elwy,

“Pan Fyddai’n 80 Oed” (When I’ll Be 80),

and in that post I mentioned his younger brother – Morgan Elwy – and his victory in this year’s Cân I Gymru (Song For Wales) in March. Even before Cân I Gymru, it was known that Morgan was going to release a new album some time later this spring. And it came out on May 7, if I remember correctly.

Even though I don’t love Morgan’s music quite as much as I do Jacob’s, or their band Y Trŵbz, or Mared’s (Mared Williams, in case you don’t remember, is a solo singer as well as vocalist with Y Trŵbz, whose music I’ve shared on here a couple times, she’s also Morgan’s girlfriend), I still do like it and I was really looking forward to this and very curious about this album for several reasons. One is simply that Jacob is my current major

faza,

and when I have a faza on someone, I’m also definitely going to be interested if their family are doing something musically and generally in anything that pertains to my faza people even indirectly, and another reason is that Morgan is very strongly into reggae music and that was what this album was to be all about, and I have a bit of a sentiment for this genre. I don’t listen to it very regularly nowadays, but there was a time when I was a kid when it was my favourite genre (though I mostly listened to our Polish reggae) and I still have a bit of a bond with this music and appreciate it and like to come back to it when I’m in the mood. I also really love checking out reggae in other languages which are not necessarily strongly associated with this genre. And, while I dare say that I have a pretty good idea about current Welsh-language music scene, especially so for an outsider, haha, I don’t really know a lot of Welsh-language reggae music, the only person who makes it (aside from Morgan, obviously) that I know of is Geraint Jarman – who was also featured on this blog years ago, including a couple of his reggae songs. –

So the album is out now, it’s called Teimlor’ Awen (Feeling The Muse it means, I believe), it was produced by Bryn Rock which is Jacob and Morgan’s own record label. I thought after his winning Cân I Gymru, Y Trŵbz having won the Y Selar (Welsh music magazine) award, and Mared being well-known on the Welsh-language music scene, the Welsh Internet would be bursting with reviews, but somehow haven’t come across any yet.

I listened to it thoroughly two times and it’s in my huge Bibiel’s playlist so I also listened to all the songs onn it individually a few more times, and, yeah… The fact that I put it in my Bibiel’s playlist and that I’m sharing a song from it here speaks for itself that I generally like it. Maybe it’s not necessarily what I would call right up Bibiel’s alley, something that would particularly speak to me or anything like that, but it’s still really good and nice to listen to, with a great vibe to it. It’s also very catchy but not in an obnoxious or unoriginal way, rather, such that makes it very approachable and accessible even if you don’t know the language, I would say, and also I think it may appeal to people who don’t necessarily care for reggae very much. It’s just easy to like imo, while definitely having its character at the same time. These two qualities don’t often go well.

Apart from making music, Morgan studied physics in Manchester, where at the time he was also part of a very interesting student band Lucy Lagoon, where he played bass and sang. I discovered Lucy Lagoon relatively recently and I really do like their music, it’s like a fusion of indie rock and reggae and some other music influences. He’s also been a physics teacher in the north of London, and, as you might already remember from my blog, he also plays bass in Y Trŵbz. I generally get a bit of an impression that he is into a lot of things, plus also draws from very diverse music styles, which is cool ’cause I like versatile people.

The song I chose to share with you from this album is called “Dal Yn Dyn” (wasn’t courageous enough to translate the lyrics by ear) and, as throughout this entire album, you can also hear his younger sister – Mali’s – backing vocals. The song is not on Youtube, so I’m sharing it from Spotify and for those of you who don’t have Spotify but have something else I’ll include a link to Songwhip below.

Morgan Elwy – “Dal Yn Dyn”.

Question of the day.

How are you today? Is there anything you need to do, or are you taking it easy?

My answer:

Meh. Nothing exciting in Bibielland. Instead it’s going to be a rather ranty post, because honestly, this whole month has been pretty shitty for me mental health-wise, with bad depression, a lot of AVPD yuckiness, messed up sleep and a fair bit of anxiety of all sorts. And yesterday Jack the Ripper/Butcher has come for a visit (period), absolutely unusually timely for his standards. He’s also in a real ripper mood this time as it seems. I’m hoping that once he calms down, so will my brain, as much as it’s realistically possible. We’ll see. Anyways, today isn’t terrible brain-wise compared with the average over the last few weeks, and taking into account that I have only slept two hours last night I guess it’s actually pretty decent. I’ve been very Jack-achy, which is part of why I had trouble sleeping despite the painkillers, but partly it’s simply that, like I said, my sleep is generally all over the place right now and I haven’t been able to hard reset it. So I’m quite tired and my thinking is a bit sluggish, but thankfully I don’t have anything pressing to do today so I can do nothing, just chill with Misha. The Jack did me actually a bit of a favour, ’cause it was my cousin’s baby’s christening yesterday (Sofi’s the Godmother) and we originally weren’t supposed to go because my cousin and her hubby wanted to keep the amount of people invited to the minimum I think due to the pandemic, but then changed their mind the night before the event and decided that there won’t be just the Godparents and the grandparents but invited the rest of my family too. Now that was way too short notice for me for such a huge peopling situation, but then I’d feel awful if I wouldn’t go, so I am sincerely thankful for Jack that he extricated me out of this and gave me a more than good enough reason not to go, even though as a result I spent most of the day in bed, but I can handle physical pain better than people pain.

Like I said I have nothing super important to do that would necessarily need to be done today, although I’ve been working on some longer, two-part post about emetophobia as I see on Google Console a lot of people come to my blog looking for some tips about it, which I haven’t ever shared, but I like when people can find what they’re looking for when they happen to stumble upon my blog, and I have quite an extensive experience with emetophobia so thought I could do this. I am writing something that I want to both show my experience of it fully so that people can perhaps relate if they need it, and then I want to write about strategies that work or have worked for me, so that hopefully they’ll be useful. I’ve been writing this for over a month because I’ve had to take a lot of breaks throughout the process as I didn’t want to trigger myself too badly in the meantime which would be easy to do now that I haven’t been doing too well. So, today I’m having a lot of free time and I’m a bit miffed that I could theoretically do it and maybe even finish the whole thing today, but I have too little cognitive energy, and I have a feeling that it would be taking the word self-destructive to the next level – digging in your own phobias on two hours of sleep while having a period. – 😀 Probably wouldn’t be the best quality either, even if I have a big chunk written already.

How about you? How is your day going? 🙂

Floraleda Sacchi – “Said And Done”.

Hey people! 🙂

For today, I have another instrumental harp piece for you, but more classical/experimental than Celtic or folksy. Floraleda Sacchi is someone whose music I’ve shared on here before quite a few times, both her own compositions and her interpretations of other people’s music. This one is from the latter category. This delightfully long piece was originally written by German classical and electronic composer and pianist Nils Frahm. The original is also extremely interesting, but because I love harp so much, Floraleda’s version speaks to me even more.

Gwen Màiri – “Cyn Gwawr” (Before Dawn).

Hey people! 🙂

It’s late afternoon here, so maybe this piece is not the most timely, but I was listening to it today and thought this is what I’d like to share with you today, because it’s absolutely beautiful. As all Gwen Màiri’s music. If you don’t know or don’t remember who Gwen Màiri is, although I have shared one piece by her before, she’s a Welsh harpist and singer who was raised in Scotland and who can speak fluently both Welsh and Scottish Gaelic.

Jacob Elwy – “Pan Fyddai’n 80 Oed” (When I Will Be 80).

Hey all you people! 🙂

Time for what currently Bibiels like best in terms of music – something from Jacob Elwy! – Yayy!

If you still don’t know who Jacob Elwy is – he is my new faza subject or faza peep, and if you don’t know what is faza either you can find out

 

here.

So, over the last few months since the start of my faza on Jacob, I’ve shared with you some music from Y Trŵbz, (the band where he’s been the vocalist) and also a piece sung by Jacob together with Mared Williams for Cân i Gymru (Song For Wales) 2019. But I’ve never shared with you any of his solo music yet. Admittedly, there’s not much of it so far, just some singles, but they’re all really worth listening to (or otherwise I wouldn’t have the faza).

Interestingly, Jacob took part in Cân i Gymru twice in a row -first together with Mared, and the second time with Rhydian Meilir accompanying him on piano. – Rhydian Meilir is also the one who composed and wrote the lyrics to both his Cân i Gymru songs as well as most of his other solo songs that have been released.

I really regret that: a. I didn’t follow Cân i Gymru during those two years and b. that I didn’t know about Jacob back then. As it happened, this year it was Jacob’s younger brother – Morgan – who took part in Cân i Gymru and won it with his reggae tune “Bach O Bach O Hwne” (A Bit A Bit Of That). He has quite a few siblings, and they’re a very strongly musically inclined, and I’m curious if all of them will now take part in Cân i Gymru, that would be really interesting! 😀 I have no doubt that it’s mostly due to my zealous crossing fingers (out of pure loyalty which I always have for my faza peeps and which also extends to other people connected with them), following Cân i Gymru at the time while it was happening and putting all my energy into it that made his song win. 😀 To be totally honest, I didn’t love Morgan’s song all that much, although I didn’t dislike it either, it just didn’t speak to me quite as much as Jacob’s both Cân i Gymru songs did (they both won the 2nd place), but that’s just me and my style and I can see beyond it, especially as someone who used to be quite keen on reggae once upon a time, that objectively it was a really cool song and very much a breath of fresh air for the Welsh music scene, which doesn’t have a lot of reggae music enthusiasts like him, or at least I don’t know many.

I don’t always love the lyrics like these, which I call half-ironically “inspirational”, because they can sound quite cliche and as someone who is picky and likes quirky lyrics, I can’t possibly like cliche lyrics at the same time. These, unfortunately, are a little bit on the cliche side, but I don’t care. Probably because it took me some time to actually understand them fully, not just the gist, and over that time I’ve already grown to like this song because it’s really really good musically in my opinion. The first time I heard it was on BBC Radio Cymru (or was it Cymru FM?) half-asleep, when I was having a migraine, and I remember vaguely thinking that I really like it. I only much later learned who sings it and that some small part of why I like it is because, in this song, Jacob’s voice sounds particularly similar to my late friend Jacek from Helsinki’s singing voice, which I believe was why I originally got this faza.

And, regarding these lyrics, yes, they may be slightly cliche, but they’re true. I often hear this song in my brain when I feel depressed and unmotivated and have no energy for my Welsh learning, and then I often find the motivation, because it makes me think – gosh, I still have so much to learn, it would be so frustrating if I were 80 and suddenly realised that I could have learnt many more languages, or learnt the one I know a lot better than I do, but didn’t, just because I gave in too often when I wasn’t doing well mentally or my linguistic progress wasn’t going quite as smoothly as I’d ideally like. On a different note, I dearly hope I won’t have to live this long. So, yes, it actually is kind of inspirational and motivating for me.

I’m also super happy because I managed to translate these lyrics, as they are quite easy! I’m sure my translation is not perfect, a bit unpolished in places and sometimes I didn’t know what some little words literally meant in English but overall I’m quite proud of the result.

 

When I will be 80

I want to look back and smile

At the foolish things I did

When I was young

When I will be 80

I don’t want to be overwhelmed by the pain

Of regretting the things I didn’t do

When I could

And when I will be 80

I want to hold you

Knowing that our love

Has overcome everything

But don’t hold back

You have nothing to lose

Life is too short to

Keep turning around

And when I will be 80

Grateful for having a family

Who are always there for me, still

And are like a strong rock

Don’t hold back

You have nothing to lose

Remember that it is yourself

who limits you

And don’t say „There’s always tomorrow”

Raise and go for it

Before it’s too late

Raise and go for it

Before you will be 80

Question of the day, or more like a fun name game.

Earlier today I was just mindlessly scrolling through the Namenerds subreddit and found a fun game. I had actually a lot of laugh reading it. I was thinking for a long time that I’d like to do some name games on here like I used to for a while in the beginnings of this blog, since I’m into baby naming and all things names so much, but also wanted it to be light and not too demanding or full of rules, so that it would actually fit on a blog, and just couldn’t come up with any good idea. So thought I’d steal this one from Reddit, maybe you’ll like it:

What would you be named if your name had to be a combination of the names of your grandmothers/grandfathers (kind of like Renesmee from Twilight is a smoosh of Renee and Esmee)?

Me: My grandmothers are Helena and Stefania. I think Helenia sounds quite interesting. It does have a clear invented name feel but it’s not all that obnoxious. It flows really well. I love Helena and Helenia sounds even more dainty.

Stelena could be some trendy spin on Stella. I like Stella, and Stelena is not awful, but it does scream “I’M MADE UP!” Also I don’t really like when -ena names are pronounced -eena or -ayna (-ena with the short e is the only way to go in my opinion) and I think Stelena wouldn’t avoid the -eena pronunciation in English.

What else… oh, there are actually legit Polish names, or rather diminutives, Hania and Henia. Hania is from Hanna and Henia is from Henryka. But Hania is very popular for kids right now and it’s not really my cup of tea, whereas Henia is suuuuper elderly and not in a charming vintage name like Hattie has been in the US lately. 😀

Now that I think of it, I remember my Mum’s invention “Hestefa”. We call my grandmother Stefania Stefa for short most of the time. We were on a walk, I think I might have been about Sofi’s current age, and Mum was telling me something about my grandma. I asked “Which grandma?” to which she responded: “Hestefa”. We both laughed at that, and then I thought that it sounds like some German aristocrat, especially coupled withh our very German-sounding last name. Her Excellency Countess Hestefa von Z… 😀 Obviously I had to share that with Mum, and then we kept laughing at that all the way back.

Oh wait, Hestia! LOL. That’s interesting! I don’t love the name very much but I like the goddess Hestia and I vaguely remember that years ago, back when I used to do more social media, there was a sort of personality test going among my Twitter friends which told you what your goddess archetype was, and mine was Hestia according to it. Hestia is cool. I guess I could live with that.

But, as I keep thinking of it, I’ve convinced myself that Helenia rocks!

Your turn. 🙂

Delyth Jenkins – “Mwynder Maldwyn” (The Gentleness of Montgomeryshire).

Hey people! 🙂

Let’s listen to Delythh Jenkins today! I’ve shared some of her music before, solo, with her daughter Angharad, and a project she was a part of years ago called Aberjaber. Today I’m sharing a piece from one of her solo albums.

The Maldwyn (or Moontgomeryshire) in the title is a historical county in mid-Wales which now is a part of Powys. If you’re familiar with Nansi Richards, either from my blog where I’ve shared some of her music, or from wherever else, her bardic name was Telynores Maldwyn, or the Montgomery Harpist, because that’s where she lived. Delyth Jenkins also originates from there, and, curiously, I’ve read that both Nansi Richards and Delyth Jenkins were born in the same place – Oswestry in England, aka the Welshest town in England.

Mwynder Maldwyn is a sort of saying in Welsh, which could be translated as the gentleness of Maldwyn but I guess mwynder doesn’t really mean literally the same thing as gentleness in English. In any case, it’s used in reference to the natural beauty of the area, as well as the traits of the people.

I’ve never been to Montgomeryshire, nor even to Wales, but if I was to form some sort of an opinion about the place from this tune, it must be really extremely beautiful and I’d love to see it, even though nothing can beat Gwynedd for me. 😀

Enya – “The Celts”.

Hi people! 🙂

Some time earlier this year, I shared with you a song by Enya called “March of the Celts” which she composed for the BBC 1986 documentary called The Celts. Today, I’m sharing with you the theme song from this documentary, and also the title song from her album The Celts, which is also the opening track of this album. The lyrics are entirely in Irish Gaelic, and here is their translation.

 

Life of lives,

Beginning to the end.

We are alive

Forever.

Life of lives,

Beginning to the end.

We are alive

Forever.