This week, I recorded my interview with Beti George for her programme Beti A’i Phobol – an experience which was both thrilling and terrifying. (For those of you who are Cymru Cymraeg, it will be broadcast on Radio Cymru on Sunday 23rd February at 12 noon.)
For those of you who don’t speak Welsh and who have asked what my music choices were, they were:
Teenage Dirtbag – Wheatus
Here Comes the Sun – the Beatles
Yma O Hyd – Dafydd Iwan.
So as not to be guilty of spoilers ahead of the programme, I won’t give my reasons here – but if you check for new posts here or have a look at my Facebook author page in ten days or so, I’ll tell you what those who listen to the programme will already have heard.
Anyway, I learned a lot from doing this interview. For instance:
1. In person, Beti George is just as lovely, warm and interested in her guests as she seems on the radio. A real legend of Welsh broadcasting.
2. I speak Welsh considerably more fluently when I am on the phone and able to walk about while I’m speaking than I do when I’m sitting in front of somebody talking to them. This, as you can imagine, is a considerable disadvantage when a) having a conversation with somebody in the same room as me b) recording a radio interview.
Incidentally, this idiosyncracy may have arisen because, 90% of the time, when I’m speaking Welsh I’m talking to myself as I walk about the fields above Coleford….
3. You really do forget, once you’ve got going, that what you’re saying to your interviewer is going to be heard by people you’ve never met. Realising this after the event accounts, partly, for the terror referred to above.
4. I should always take basic notes in to an interview. For reasons which may be connected with 2, above, during the recording I forgot to say a lot of the things I wanted to say – things I had managed to remember in my earlier, pre-interview phone chat with Beti. This is annoying.
5. That I am incredibly lucky to have a friend who, pretty much single-handedly, allowed me to resurrect my spoken Welsh. After 30 years where I hadn’t spoken any Welsh AT ALL, I was very rusty and a lot of patience was required. So here’s a huge public thank you to Rhian Medi Jones. Rhian, mae’n anrhydedd i fod yn ffrind i ti.