Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dysgu iaith

Ers dros i flwyddyn bellach, rwyf wedi bod yn mynychu gwersi yng Nghanolfan Addysg Gydol Oes Prifysgol Caerdydd i geisio dysgu Mandarin. Dwi'n meddwl fod o'r pwnc anoddaf dwi erioed wedi ei astudio - hyd yn oed i gymharu gyda Cemeg! Nid yn unig mae yna bob math o synnau newydd i'w dysgu, ond hefyd mi yda ni'n dysgu'r holl symbolau. A mae hynny'n cymeryd cryn amser i'w meistroli!

Fodd bynnag, rhaid i mi ganmol yr adnoddau sydd i'w cael ar y we i fynd ati i ymarfer rhwng gwersi. Mae nhw'n wirioneddol wych, ac mae'n amlwg bod Llywodraeth Tsieina wedi buddsoddi llawer mewn adnoddau dysgu i bobl o dramor. Er dwi ddim yn siwr pa mor aml dwi'n mynd i ddefnyddio ambell i frawddeg, megis "Dwi ddim yn dod o Korea. Dwi'n dod o Tsieina!", mae'r holl iaith wedi ei chyflwyno mewn ffordd ddifyr drwy gymysgedd o sgyrsiau wedi eu hanimeiddio, a hefyd cyfres o ymarferion gwahanol.

Dwi'n cyfarfod nifer o bobl o Tsieina gyda fy ngwaith, ac mae'n braf cael ymarfer ychydig pan ddaw'r cyfle. Er dwi'n bell iawn o fedru bod yn rhugl! Cam nesaf fydd medru ateb pobl yn hytrach na dim ond rhoi gwybodaeth iddynt. Ro'n i wedi gobeithio medru defnyddio fy Mandarin wrth archebu bwyd tsieinaidd yn fy 'take away' lleol ond yn anffodus, Cantonese yw eu hiaith hwy! O wel!

Dwi'n meddwl bod y ffaith mod i'n siarad Cymraeg rhywfaint o help o ran rhai o'r synnau, ond eto, mae yna rai sy'n gyfangwbl newydd hefyd. Mae gen i gydymdeimlad gyda'r rhai sy'n ceisio dysgu'r Gymraeg a dysgu y gwahaniaeth rhwng 'th', 'll, 'rhy', 'chy' ac ati!

Mae gen i brawf yn hwyrach heno, a lot i'w ddysgu cyn hynny! Croesi bysedd bydd rhywfaith yn aros yn y cof!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Too much information

Since announcing my pregnancy a few weeks ago, my head has been spinning. Obviously, life will change once I have a little one to take care for and there's a lot to do to get the house ready before then. But all that is manageable, and I'm looking forward to it. Rather, what I wasn't prepared for was other people's reactions to the news, and how confusing all the conflicting advice everyone wants to share with me and Geraint would be. People I don't know that well want to share their birth stories (or their partners, or sisters or friends)with me in the most inappropriate of settings (e.g during meetings), and are telling me things 'I need to know' and advising me on all manner of things relating to pregnancy, birth and parenting. Hence the head spinning.

I know everyone is being kind, and I don't want to sound mean. I listen politely and try and make a light hearted joke to end the conversation. I know there's no malice intended, and that people seem to find it therapeutic to talk about it. But when you're the one about to experience it, it's the last thing you want to hear. Obviously, closer to the time I'll need to be prepared. But that's why I'll be attending ante natal classes and reading the chapter in the pregnancy book I've been avoiding up to now. I don't need months of hearing hundreds of stories, which range from 'It's the most beautiful experience of my life' to 'It's like being murdered but you survive'. But I'm resigned to the fact that as my bump expands, it will only worsen. Going into hiding for a few months isn't an option, so I guess I'll have to grin and bear it whilst people advise me on what type of birth is better, stitches, breastfeeding, how unwise it will be for me to return to work after six months rather than taking a full year off and how to get the baby weight off in the quickest amount of time. And don't get me started about all the advice about prams and cots. There seems to be a competition amongst yummy mummies about how much they spend on such items, almost implying that the more you spend, the better parent you'll be. Aargh!

Don't get me wrong. I'm glad we live in a more open society and that people are more willing to share their feelings and so on these days. And all the kind words and support is lovely. But, I guess what I'm trying to say is that there's no need to share quite so much. What's become clear to me is that every pregnancy and every birth is different, and that you can't predict what it will be like for you. The same goes for parenting. Every child is different, and no matter how many books you might read, there's no golden rule to ensure that your child is perfectly behaved from the outset, and sleeps for ten hours every night. This is not to say that I don't want to discuss these things with close friends and family. I certainly do have a million and one questions, but I'd prefer to raise them one to one, or in the privacy of my own home rather than publicly.

Perhaps I am partly to blame. After all, I did share the news via facebook and here I am writing a blog about it. But, sharing the news isn't the same as sharing every minute detail with everyone which I'm sure regular readers of this blog will appreciate. My interests haven't changed, and I'm still keen to write about politics, history and popular culture rather than review the latest must have baby gadgets or share parenting tips. That's not to say I'm not excited about becoming a Mum. I am, and I can't wait. All I'm hoping for is that the next few months go well, and that in May, I have a healthy and happy child. But I promise not to bore you with the details between now and then, and in particular, afterwards!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Mwy i Lanfair PG na enw hir!

Falch o ddarllen y stori bod yr adeilad lle cynhaliwyd rhai o gyfarfodydd cyntaf y WI (Sefydliad y Merched), sef yr hen dolldy yn Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, am gael ei atgyweirio a'i droi yn Amgueddfa. Hapus iawn o weld bod Sefydliad y Merched wedi llwyddo i sicrhau grant i wneud hyn, ac hefyd arwyddo les 25 mlynedd gan y cyngor (oedd yn berchen ar yr adeilad am flynyddoedd) ar gyfer yr adeliad. Mae yna lot mwy i Lanfairpwll na enw hir, a da gweld rhai o straeon pwysig eraill yr ardal yn cael sylw hefyd megis un y tolldai. Mae yna gymuned wych yn Llanfairpwll, a hawdd deall sut y bu i'r WI gael ei sefydlu yno ym 1915 hyd yn oed heddiw. Os dwi byth digon lwcus i fod mewn sefyllfa i symud nol i Fon, mae Llanfairpwll bendant yn un o'r llefydd byswn i'n meddwl byw ynddo. O beth ddarllenais yma ar wefan y BBC, bydd y gwaith wedi ei gwbwlhau erbyn diwedd y Gwanwyn flwyddyn nesaf. Dwi'n edrych ymlaen yn barod i ymweld!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Cyngor Cenedlaethol

Wedi cyrraedd nol ers tua awr o Gyngor Cenedlaethol Plaid Cymru yn Aberystwyth. Diwrnod hynod o ddifyr, gyda nifer o drafodaethau pwysig a hefyd cyfle i weld ffrindiau a rhoi'r byd yn ei le. Mi yda ni fel rhyw deulu mawr ym Mhlaid Cymru, ac mae'n braf pan yda ni gyd yn cael cyfle i gwrdd a thrafod, a rhannu profiadau a syniadau. Hynod o ddiolchgar a hapus fy mod wedi cael fy ethol heddiw ar Bwyllgor Gwaith Plaid Cymru fel Cyfarwyddwr Polisi ac Addysg Wleidyddol. Nerys Evans oedd yn gwneud y swydd, ond bu'n rhaid iddi hi sefyll lawr oherwydd nad oedd hi'n cael parhau yn rhinwedd ei swydd bresennol. Hoffwn dalu teyrnged iddi am y gwaith gwyth y gwnaeth hi ei gyflawni yn y swydd. Mae yna sail gadarn o ran datblygu polisi, a fy rol i rwan ydi adeiladau ar hynny. Yn ddiweddar, fe wnaeth Leanne Wood annog pawb yng Nghymru i gyfrannu syniadau i'r Blaid ar gyfer ei maniffesto yn 2016. Nid gwahoddiad gwag mo hwn, a fy ngobaith yn rhinwedd fy swydd ar y Pwyllgor Gwaith yw ffurfioli'r gwaith hwn dros y blynyddoedd nesaf. Ynghyd a nifer o bethau eraill wrth gwrs! Cafwyd nifer o gyflwyniadau a thrafodaeth difyr heddiw, gan gynnwys rhai gan Leanne Wood, Ieuan Wyn Jones ac Ian Titherington. Teimlo wedi fy ysgogi ar gyfer 2016 yn barod! Coblyn o frwydyr o'n blaenau, ond dwi'n argyhoeddedig bod dyddiau gwych i ddod i'r Blaid. Mi oedd yna gyffro yn yr awyr heddiw, ac nid dim ond oherwydd ei bod hi'n fis Rhagfyr a bod y Nadolig ar y gorwel. *Just a short blog piece after returning home from today's National Council at Aberystwyth. Fantastic meeting, and lovely to catch up with friends from every corner of the country. It really does feel like a family get together! Delighted to have been elected to Plaid Cymru's National Executive, and feel very honoured. I'll be leading on policy and political education. I've got some big boots to fill, as I'm following on from Nerys Evans who was excellent in the role. Plenty of work to do over the coming years to ensure we have the best possible set of policies for the 2016 election!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Herio Stigma

Wedi bod yn darllen blogiau'r pedwar Aelod Cynulliad sydd wedi ysgrifennu am eu profiadau personol o salwch meddwl, a gyhoeddwyd yma. Rhaid mi gyfaddef, dwi'n meddwl eu bod wedi bod yn hynod o ddewr. Mae'n dda gweld rhywun o bob Plaid yn gweithio gyda'i gilydd ar ymgyrch na ddylid chwarae unrhyw gemau gwleidyddol gyda. Gresyn nad ydi hyn yn digwydd yn fwy aml, achos mae angen undod i greu newid gwirioneddol mewn meysydd pwysig fel hyn.Da o beth hefyd gweld gwleidyddion yn bod mor onest. Rhy aml mae gwleidyddion yn cael eu cyhuddo o fod yn slei a dau-wynebog - mae angen onestrwydd fel hyn i herio camsyniadau o'r fath. Gall salwch meddwl effeithio unrhyw un ac mae'n bwysig bod ni'n agored am hynny. Mae'n bwysig hefyd bod pawb yn teimlo y medra nhw gyfaddef pan mae nhw angen help, yn hytrach na bod ofn cyfaddef eu bod yn dioddef rhag i eraill eu beirniadu. Dynol yda ni gyd, a does dim cywilydd mewn dweud bod ni'n teimlo dan straen ac angen bach mwy o gefnogaeth weithiau. Felly chwarae teg i'r pedwar am ysgrifennu mor agored. Gobeithio bydd o'n ysbyrdoliaeth i eraill fod yr un mor agored, a gofyn am help os ydyn nhw ei angen. Ddyla neb ddioddef ar ben eu hunain.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Dare to dream

I'm embarrassed to see that I haven't blogged since June! I honestly didn't think it had been that long, but I guess it's better to only write when you have something to say, rather than blog for the sake of it. Since Leanne Wood's announcement that she is going to fight a seat rather than go for the regional list in the 2016 election, I've been meaning to write my support for her decision. I think it's a bold and confident move. Some are calling it brave, but I disagree. Brave suggests risk and sacrifice, and that's not how I see this decision. Rather, I see it as indicative of her growing confidence as a leader. A confidence that she can lead Plaid Cymru to win a majority in 2016. Labour twitter geeks were quick to dismiss such a suggestion. They joked that she must be fed up of being Leader to risk her position in the Assembly, and seem to genuinely believe that the status quo will be upheld for eternity. This is a dangerous way of thinking. No matter how 'safe' a seat may seem at the moment, no party should ever take people's support for granted. It's insulting to the electorate, and makes a mockery of democracy. Nobody likes a person that gets too big for their boots – and that certainly extends to politicians and political parties. But, back to Leanne’s decision. From my perspective, I think it’s inspirational as someone who’s also hoping to be elected to the Assembly in 2016. The truth of the matter is that Plaid Cymru can only win a majority if we keep our current seats and win new seats, especially ones in North East Wales and South Wales (as was done in 1999). To do so, we need the best possible team of candidates across Wales and we need to fight each and every seat, with an aim to win not just challenge. Regional seats alone will not give a party a majority, which is why it’s crucial that we gain new ground. And who best to start off that winning streak than Leanne herself. Though constituencies haven’t started selecting yet, I think it’s safe to guess that she’s likely to go for a seat within her current region. Labour hacks who suggested she’d go for Arfon certainly raised a few laughs, but were way off the mark! To some, her announcement may seem like a gamble but to me, it’s a necessary move. Standing still isn’t an option, and if we are to become a party of Government, we need to be bold and dare to dream. Leanne believes in the Party, and believes that she can deliver change for Wales. Her decision is therefore a logical one. She believes we can win new seats, and that she herself will be able to do so. We don’t want the same thing happening to her as happened to Nick Bourne last year, as the Conservatives won more constituencies and lost out on his own regional seat! Slowly but surely, excitement is building within Plaid Cymru as we look towards 2016. A quiet revolution is taking place within our ranks, as confidence begins to grow. With three and a half years to go, Leanne is instilling all of us with a belief that a better Wales is possible. It’s just up to us to be ready to deliver it as a majority Government post May 2016.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Welshpool Town Hall: Not the luckiest place for Lembit!

As those of you who followed my blog when I ran against Lembit Opik in the 2010 General Election will know, I was never his biggest fan. I was particularly critical of his quest to become a celebrity at the detriment of serving his constituents as an MP. Ultimately, the people of Montgomeryshire agreed and he lost his seat which was considered one of the safest in the UK! Though obviously shocked on the night of the election, he seemed gracious in defeat as the accouncement was made in Welshpool Town Hall. His career since then has been something of a rollercoaster. One week, he's a stand up comic. Another he's trying to become the Lib Dem candidate in the London Mayor elections. And then in the past few days, he tried to be a wrestler... It seems he may well need to rethink that career, after losing his debut fight. And the location? Welshpool Town Hall... Hence why I don't think it's the luckiest place for Lembit. You can read details about the wrestling match here. To be honest, I actually feel a great deal of pity and concern towards Lembit. Even though I was critical of some of his ways as an MP, I was once a fan of him when he first burst onto the political scence. He was dynamic, different and intelligent and seemed to be able to reach out to people. But, something went wrong and he seemed to become more obsessed with becoming a celebrity than being a politician. And, over time, this once highly regarded man became a figure of ridicule. Rather than finding myself laughing at the story, I actually felt sad for him. He seems a lost soul. Though some of our exchanges during the election were quite vicious, I still found him to be extremely personable. I hope once his bruises are healed that for his sake, he'll find a more suitable career. And one that doesn't make people laugh at him rather than with him.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Balchder Cenedlaethol

Mae wedi bod yn ddifyr darllen yr ymateb i ganfyddiadau arolwg gan y sefydlaid British Future yn y wasg heddiw. Penderfynodd y Western Mail ganolbwyntio ar y ffaith fod gan Loegr a'r Alban lot i'w ddysgu gan Gymru yn ôl yr adroddiad o ran cal hunaniaeth gynhwysfawr a modern. Ond nid dyma'r ffaith a ddaliodd sylw Golwg 360, sydd yn cario'r pennawd canlynol ar gyfer yr erthygl: Iaith genedlaethol yn bwysicach i’r Saeson nag i’r Cymry. Ar y cyfan, mae'r canlyniadau'n gadarnhaol iawn o ran Cymru ac yn dangos bod yna falchder cenedlaethol cryf ymysg yr hen a'r ifanc sydd yn byw yma. Mae cael 78% o bobl yn falch o'r Gymraeg a'r chwarter ohonynt a atebodd yn Saeson yn wych, a dylai'r Eisteddfod Genedlaethol fod yn hapus bod 78% yn falch ohoni hefyd - 8% yn fwy na sy'n falch o gastell Caernarfon! Efallai na ddylem synnu mai dim ond 42% ohonom sydd yn falch o fara lawr i gymharu gyda 67% o bobl o Loegr sy'n falch o Yorkshire puddings. Dydi o yn sicr ddim y pryd gorau yn y byd! Er, tasa nhw wedi holi ynglŷn â bara brith dwi'n siŵr bysa'r ganran yn dipyn uwch! Hefyd, dydi o fawr o syndod bod 9 allan o 10 ohonom yn falch o'n timau chwaraeon cenedlaethol ar ôl ein buddugoliaethau rygbi diweddar! Yr hyn a gododd fy nghalon i (wel, heblaw am y ffaith mai dim ond 35% o Gymru sydd yn falch o'r Frenhines i gymharu gyda 41% o Albanwyr a 80% o Saeson) ydi'r ffaith bod yr arolwg yn cadarnhau'r syniad bod cenedlaetholdeb Cymreig yn rhywbeth sy'n agored i bawb, a bod ein baner genedlaethol yn cael ei ystyried yn symbol cynhwysfawr a cadarnhaol yn hytrach na rhywbeth hiliol a chul. A dyna sut dylai pethau fod. Mae bod yn Gymro neu'n Gymraes yn fater i'r unigolyn, beth bynnag eu cefndir neu eu lliw croen. Os yda chi'n byw yng Nghymru, ac yn caru Cymru, yna mae yna le i bawb. Hyd yn oed os nad yda chi'n hoffi bara lawr...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

O'r diwedd!

Pwy bynnag wnaetho chi ei gefnogi yn yr ymgyrch arweinyddol, rhaid eich bod, os ydych yn aelod o'r Blaid, yn falch fel finnau fod y cyfan drosodd! Er mai Elin Jones oedd fy newis cyntaf, rwyf yn falch iawn o weld merch arall wedi cael ei hethol a hynny gyda gymaint o gefnogaeth. Does yna ddim byd gwaeth na etholiad gwirion o agos gyda dim ond ychydig ddegau o wahaniaeth yn y canlyniad, a da yw gweld bod Leanne wedi llwyddo i ysgogi gymaint o bobl i'w chefnogi. Mae hi'n sicr yn llawn egni a llawn syniadau, a dwi'n siwr ein bod ar drothwy pennod hynod o ddifyr a gwahanol yn hanes Plaid Cymru. Mae ymgyrch Leanne wedi llwyddo i ddennu nifer o bobl newydd i'r Blaid, a bydd yn ddifyr gweld yr effaith y caiff yr aelodau hynny ar ein llwyddiant yn y dyfodol. Heb os, mae rhywbeth angen newid os ydym am fod yn fwy llwyddianus mewn etholiadau a dwi'n sicr fod gan Leanne lu o syniadau ar gyfer trawsnewid y Blaid. Wrth lwc, mae yna bedair blynedd i fynd tan yr etholiad Cynulliad nesaf felly hen ddigon o amser i ddennu mwy o gefnogaeth! Ar lefel bersonol, hoffwn dalu teyrnged i'r hyn a gyflawnodd Ieuan fel Arweinydd gan ein harwain i lywodraeth am y tro cyntaf yn ein hanes. Ac yn arbennig, am ei gefnogaeth pan oeddwn yn ymgeisydd ar ran y Blaid. Dysgais lawer yn mynd o gwmpas Gogledd Cymru gydag o yn ystod etholiad flwyddyn diwethaf, ac mae'n sicr ei fod wedi helpu nifer fawr o'i etholwyr ym Mon gan ei wneud yn Aelod Cynulliad poblogaidd dros ben yn lleol, hyd yn oed ymysg yr holl bobl o Loegr sydd wedi ymgartrefu ym Mon. Siwr y bydd yn newid byd iddo rwan peidio gorfod teithio i bob cwr o Gymru! Felly, diolch Ieuan a llongyfarchiadau Leanne. Ymlaen!