Bllog February 22, 2008Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.
Tags: Cymru, sinuses
Our village is small. And getting smaller by the day what with the mine closing. When I go out on my bike to start my rounds, I see fewer and fewer of the houses have smoke swirling out of their chimneys. It’s an insult, almost, to the coal our community was built on. But Bllog still keeps its beauty. The grey stone cottages with their slate roofs. The chapel. The Glyndawr community centre.
News travels slow in the village. It was a couple of days before word got to me that Blodeuwedd was ill. Well, she’s right at the other end of the village. Had a right case of the sinuses on her. Stuffed up like nobody’s business. I made sure my cap was on straight, that my medical kit was ready and wheeled my bike up onto the hill.
“Hallo Nerys!” shouted Brythonwen from the post-office.
“Oh, hello Brythonwen! Just off to see to Blodeuwedd. She’s got a right case of the sinuses on her!”
“You never stop, Nerys…”
“Hullo Nerys!” said Creiddylad from the tea-room.
“Can’t stop, Creiddylad. Blodeuwedd’s got the sinuses. Give my love to Rhioganedd and the kids.”
“Dw i’n codi’n gynnar bob dydd. Codaf yn gynnar yfory,” mumbled Llwybyr, the village idiot, incoherently.
“Sorry, Llwybyr, didn’t catch a word o’ that. You know I don’t speak Welsh. Just got the accent, like.”
Language is a problem round these here parts. Right in the middle of the village, there’s a 4-million strong community of German guest workers. Ber-y-llyn, we call it. They came over when the mine was going great guns. Well, they’ve stayed and they’re a productive, hard-working bunch, I’ll say that for them, and though they keep themselves to themselves, they’re all right. Haven’t mixed much. It’s meant a right run on the German evening classes at the Glyndawr community centre. ’cause the Germans have got most of the businesses, see. Clever the way they done it and they’d creamed off all the opportunities before we could recover from the shock of the mine going the way of the dodo.
Well, I was hesitant as I made my way to the chemist’s. Had to stock up, see. That’s German-run too and they don’t like it much when us Welsh come in. Primitive, they find us. Won’t speak a word of local. Six years I been going to the Glyndawr for the classes but I still feel funny having to talk to the Germans. In Bllog! I know all the medical words of course but I still don’t like going and discussing Blodeuwedd’s Nasennebenhöhlenentzündung with just anyone and I’ve never much liked that Mrs. Waltraud Llewellyn what works there, even if she has married a local, Anynnawg, what runs choir practice down the Glyndawr.
But I was right pleased with myself this time. Mrs. Llewellyn was in a better mood and my classes down the community centre have really paid off. I chatted away about Blodeuwedd’s sinuses no problem like and Mrs. Llewellyn even went and wished me, “iechyd da!” as I rode off down the village lane on my bike.
Well, poor Blodeuwedd was in a right state. I administered her the medicine and told her to get some more coal on that fire. Made her up another hot water bottle and told her not to leave the house before Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant. Well, it’s only next week.
I rode home feeling right pleased with myself and with Bllog. Bllog has its fair share of problems but we’re a lovely little community. I rested my bike against the cottage wall, took my cap off and put the kettle on the stove in preparation for a good litre or two of tea. Got the buns out of the larder. Put the wireless on in the background. Cole Porter came crackling out. I love him. One of my favourites, along with Max Boyce. You can right imagine yourself off in a different world.
Then I don’t know what it was, if I’d accidentally taken a hallucinogen or something, but everything changed. The four walls of my grey stone cottage fell away. The whistle of the kettle on the stove fell silent. And Cole Porter got louder and louder.
“She can speak. Sie kann sprechen sprechen.
She c’n’inquire. In den Apotheken.
Be it Nasennebenhöhlenentzündung or nay,
Sie kann German talken und German walken any day…”
My nurse’s uniform was replaced by a lovely long white frock. All frills and sequins it was. My hair went all lovely and curly and had a great big feather sticking out of it. And out of nowhere appeared a huge great staircase, all illuminated and leading from nowhere to nowhere and I was right at the top of it. And on every step on the way down, on either side, there was a great big hulking man in black tie just waiting to swirl me down to the bottom. Like a feather I was as I blew from one man to the other, cascading downwards in their big strong arms.
“She can fly. Sie kann fliegen fliegen…”
When all of a bloody sudden I did hear the whistle of the kettle from the stove after all and the walls of my cottage sprang back up around me.
Maybe I’ll start a musicals club down the Glyndawr.