Search

It’s springtime in Cardiff. We had lunch on the lawn outside City Hall, not too far from a fetching medieval castle. The daffodils are out, seagulls are everywhere. We weren’t here for the the recent rugby game where 100,000 people watched Ireland win, but did see Germany beat Wales yesterday in the half empty, really huge Millennium Stadium with 26,000 spectators. A good number must have been English teachers from the IATEFL conference.

Still getting my bearings. Walking across the street is sometimes exciting, because I’m forever surprised by buses coming around the corner from directions I simply don’t expect. I’ve only been to England once before, and that was a week in London, so dealing with traffic makes me feel like the alien I am.

I’m enjoying all of the accents I hear. It started on the bus, with an elderly couple actually using “isn’t it” and “don’t they” in every sentence they said. Then it’s really interesting to hear the accents of the many, many foreigners who are living here and working down at reception or around town. Finally, of course, there are the speakers and the people you meet from all over the world, from different social classes and lifestyles. I’ve got my ears wide open.

I still don’t get the money, but it’s not a problem because people are so very nice.

I went to some good talks but need to think things through before I write about them.

The best part for me, professionally, is having come with a group from my two professional frames of reference, MELTA and Spotlight, and being able to hang out with them. At such a massive event that really helps.