This week, CLIC is at the Urdd National Eisteddfod in Swansea. Each day, one of our writers will be sharing their experience of the festival. These are the Urdd Eisteddblogs, and this is Peter Piper blogging on day three…
Nice day, so no need for wellies. We arrive at the ground (‘Y Maes’) and make our way to the press tent to meet Rachel from CLIC and to get our t-shirts and hoodies.
We quickly make our way to the press conference (had to grab a tea so running late).
At the press conference everything was in Welsh. Luckily for me there were headsets where we could listen to the crazy man in the corner speaking to himself translating into English.
I’m sure he isn’t really crazy, but he certainly looked it. It was strange seeing different people coming up to the podium but hearing the same man talking all the way through. I’m glad I was able to understand what would be occurring throughout the day though.
Next stop, and most important tea and biscuits (I didn’t have time for breakfast) in the press tent (‘Y Wasg’ as it says on our door). Time to make a plan for the day.
We got the map and timetable out and decided the person we wanted to see the most at the Eisteddfod was the egg man, with his green, red and white stripes. Surely we couldn’t miss him in the crowd?
We walked towards ‘Pentre Mistar Urdd’ (Mr Urdd Village) and before you know it Hannah was practically diving in the opposite direction.
“Mistar Urdd! Mistar Urdd!” She pushed through the crowd of small children ahead (we have video proof of this) and shouted over to me.
“Liam, get the camera!”
I was there like a superhero, there was no way we could miss this moment. I filmed as Hannah did her introduction and grabbed Mistar Urdd from his adoring fans.
After all that excitement, time for a well earned break. Okay, we’d only just had tea, but, we couldn’t miss the toasted marshmallows now could we? We were sat on logs around a big roaring fire when a strange man came towards us.
“Get your own, butt,” he shouted and pierced us with wooden sticks of fire. Only kidding, I wanted there to be a dramatic moment in our morning. He actually gave us the sticks and marshmallows and we all toasted them in the fire until they were hot and melty. Right, enough drama, now over for a samba drumming workshop, or so we thought.
We arrived the workshop only to discover a tent full of small children loudly banging drums. You couldn’t call this samba, or even music. Arrrrghhhhh! Get us out of here…
As we fled from the scene we ran into none other than our friend Keith Towler, Children’s Commissioner For Wales. Perfect opportunity for an interview, we thought, but Keith had just arrived and was on his first cup of coffee.
We asked him what his plans were for the day, and he informed us of a reception he was attending which we planned to crash, mwah ha ha ha ha! Later Keith. Time for another wander around the maes.
Before leaving we were introduced to Cat’s sister, Delyth, who works for the Urdd and was busy painting nails (for anyone reading today’s blog why not pop in and see, she also does a good face-painting job).
Let me give you a quick description of the maes (the Eisteddfod ground). It’s like a funfair full of Welsh stuff: stalls with jewellery, clothes, music, books, workshops with interesting artists, authors, musicians, even clowns and rugby stars.
There are a variety of food stands from Indian to burgers to pizza. Hmm, could this be time for a quick bite to eat? Well, we did have half an hour before the Welsh For Parents book launch in the Cwtsh tent, so why not. Pizza for me!
Now I know you want a food review so I’ll tell you about my pizza. If I’m honest, it wasn’t done enough. The cheese wasn’t melted and the sauce was cold. For £4 I expected more, literally, coz I asked for half, and it wasn’t quite half (note to Earth food stall).
Hannah, Cat and Rachel had a burger which they scoffed within seconds, which can only mean that they were also quite measly. I’m sure we just picked the wrong thing.
While we had food, we watched a dance workshop on the outdoor stage, which was good, followed by Gruff Rhys who we managed to catch a bit of before moving on to Cwtsh (no we didn’t all huddle together in a big hug, that’s the name of the stand).
The Welsh For Parents launch was very interesting. The book is a great guide for parents of young people going to Welsh schools who want to learn Welsh themselves in order to communicate with their children. The writer Lisa Jones began learning Welsh after moving to Wales. Her speech was inspirational to anyone wanting to learn their home language.
It was now time to go back to our chill-out zone, erm, I mean working area, to have a cuppa, I mean, erm, start the blog. Though it had’t rained it had been quite Baltic here. Thank god for my new CLIC hoodie and loads of free tea (ah, the awesomeness of being ‘press’).
Hannah and Rachel stayed to upload the first blog and pics of the day while me and Cat went to the poem-writing workshop with Tudur Hallam. I was looking forward to reporting on the great poetry I’d written there, but, nobody bl**dy turned up so it didn’t happen as there weren’t any young people there! Now listen here kids, get on over to the workshops so I don’t miss out!
Time to hand out some freebies and spread the word of CLIConline. I found that the badges and stickers were the most popular amongst the young people, while the adults favoured the pens.
Time for our Interview with Keith Towler, now he’d had time to experience the day (and attend a champagne reception, we hear). Hannah was like a wind-up toy because she loves the Commissioner (had to get that in Han, mwah ha ha). So off we went over to the stand. I did the filming and Hannah interviewed the man (we’re hoping this will be up on CLIC very soon).
We didn’t manage to make it into the pavilion, with so much going on around the maes. That can be for another day, and remember it’s on S4C every night. So, the best way to end the day for me is with a nice hot cuppa and biscuits (Viennese fingers, only the best).
So that was me, Liam aka Peter Piper reporting from the Urdd National Eisteddfod 2011 in Swansea. I would definitely come here again.