A few things you should know about MY country: Wales.

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NO. We are NOT a part of England. They refuse to take any responsibility for us.They might have massacred our princes in the 13th century and annexed our arses in 1536, but they’ve since decided we’re best left to our own devices: namely singing Tom Jones songs and eating daffodils.
However, asking us if we are a part of England isn’t quite as stupid as asking us if we are a part of Russia, or Australia. Or if we’re a collection of large mammals that float in the sea.

Not everybody speaks Welsh. Official figures state that only 20% of the population even understand the native language.

So “You’re Welsh? Wow. Your English is really good!” is not going to make you any Walian friends and might instead lead to a violent: “It’s my first and only language, you prick!” followed by gratuitous judgement all round. The language of our ancestors would probably be more widely spoken if its alphabet didn’t consist of an NG or LL (and little else), or if speaking it would get you anywhere in life outside of Rhyl.

We are the most beautiful country on earth. Keep your Grand Canyons, your Victoria Falls, your Great Walls… wales91We have The Gower, Snowdonia, Pembrokeshire coast… and just about 8,000 square miles of superlative majesty in between – with gradients you only ever learned about in Maths and colours that  will make your eyes melt… a landscape that makes us all perfect at hill-starts and causes us to stare patronisingly at England’s Peak District with a: “Ha! Call that a mountain? I gently meandered up steeper slopes to get to school!”

It rains here.   Apart from the odd day in June. Some of us were adults before we realised it was possible to venture outside without a jacket. The south constantly claims the “Wettest place in Britain”  award, –  we like to think all the rain is just the tears of people not lucky enough to be Welsh. Other nations would have drowned in the amount of water we’ve seen… But in true Welsh fashion we just grew gills and got on with it.

We probably don’t know “Dai from the Valleys!” I constantly get asked variations of this. Wales and the Valleys is a BIG place. So there are LOTS of Dais. We have a population of 3 million. At least one million of those are called Dai. Yet as soon as it is apparent I am from Wales I get asked: “My mate Dai is from Wales!! DO you know him!?” And NO, I’m sure Dai from the Valleys is a fab guy. But I really don’t know him.

Then again … We probably DO know “Dai from the Valleys!” You see, the crazy thing is –  sometimes I’ll get asked, “My mate Dai is from Wales! Do you know him!?” and yes, I know exactly who you are talking about. I guess Wales really is a tiny, communal place in the grand scheme of things. For instance, we used to have a Welsh TV talent show, kind of like an old-school X-factor or American Idol. It was on every year and it was called “Just up your street,” because you’d be watching it and thinking “Hang on… I know that guy! He lives just up my street!” Or “I sat next to her in maths!” or “Wow…! I think that dude slept with my friend!” It’s a small Wales after all.

There be no dragons here! Despite our national flag claiming to the contrary, 40 foot red dragons have never roamed our countryside. Though legend has it that the Welsh Dragon will come and fight for us when we need him most. Maybe in the Rugby World cup of 2015 then…

We have a different version of TIME. Having lived in England for several years it has come to my attention that here when you say “I’ll do it NOW” it means immediately, without hesitation. Whereas in Wales “I’ll do it now, mun!” means you’ll do it soon. Perhaps when you can be bothered. Perhaps tomorrow. Perhaps next year.
‘Now’ in Wenglish means ‘when I can be arsed.’ There’s no such thing as urgency in the Motherland. Therefore “I’ll be there now… in an hour!” makes perfect sense back home, because “in a minute!” could even mean some Thursday in 2017.

Welshisms say it best. There are several words and phrases in circulation in Wales, which won’t win you understanding anywhere else in the world. Which is sad, because they really do fill their purpose! Cwtch might sound like a sexually transmitted disease, but it’s actually colloquial for a lovely hug. Like a cuddle, but much better, and much more Welsh.
A Scram is what occurs when something with a pulse scratches you. A scrape just doesn’t explain it enough! A wall can scrape you, but it can’t scram you! Scram is more intentional… and scramming obviously happens so much in the valleys that we have created a widely used word for it. Steaming isn’t angry, it’s drunk. ’Ach-y-fi! basically means ‘THAT’S FUCKING DISGUSTING!’ but is far more polite and smooth, whilst a pie is a person who eats way too much, andbutt isn’t so much an arse, but a term of affection and endearment.

There’d be no America without us. 😉 Six of the cosigners on the American declaration of independence were Welsh or of Welsh ancestry. There have been at least 8 U.S presidents with Welsh roots, includingThomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and John Adams. And the Welsh were by far the largest ethnic group involved in the drawing up of the American Constitution. Maybe that’s the excuse for their silly accents. Just don’t blame us for anything else!

welshteamDon’t say the F word. In Ancient Sparta they left the weak, shoddy male offspring out on the hillside to die. In Wales they leave the weak, shoddy male offspring out to play Football. Kid a bit short? Can’t afford to feed him? Not too bright? He’s probably better off kicking about that round ball! He won’t be able to deal with the oval ball. No way. Chasing the oval ball requires some mechanics and agility. It’s for the higher evolved! – The elders will say, as they launch your child into the ugly runt pit with Peter Crouch and Ronaldinho.We don’t really do football in Wales. We have a general rule of “If Wayne Rooney can do it? It’s not worth our time.” This also applies to looking-like-a-troll and shagging-aged-prostitutes. No – in Wales, we like men with THIGHS. And ARMS… Hence why we choose rugby every time.

You haven’t lived until you’ve tasted Welsh cakes. My absolute favourite thing to smuggle over the border. All you need is some flour, butter, sugar, sultanas and an egg, and you’re ready to have your taste buds raped by sheer Gaelic delight. I love them so bad, they could cheat on me and I would forgive them. Immediately!  They might not sound or look like pure awesome … but they genuinely do taste like God on a plate. Unlike our icecream… which is God in a tub.

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