Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Business as usual, and a catch-up treat

Back to St German's this morning to celebrate the 'Class Mass' with two dozen children and teachers from Tredegarville School in addition to the regular congregation of ten. I told them the story of St Martin of Tour, and had them singing songs that I'd used with them before. It was such a pleasure to be back with them again after time away.

I couldn't stop and chat for too long afterwards, as I needed to go home and pick up Clare to drive to Marion's house in Barry for the monthly Ignatian prayer group. Then I had to leave early before lunch and table talk finished, to drive to the School of Optometry in Cathays to collect another pair of reading glasses and consult with the optician about the problem of an experience I call 'dappled vision' that comes and goes, in certain lighting conditions. 

It's probably some kind of eye strain. It's become far less frequent since I started wearing proper specs with a special anti-glare reflective coating, but I felt it was worth checking out. Thankfully, there's been no change in my eyes since my first test. I've been given a list of possible medical conditions to discuss with my GP, but I'll wait to see if there's further recurrence. I've had occasional migraine auras in certain qualities of bright light for 25 years and it's bright light, from a computer screen or outdoors which triggers the bouts of 'dappled vision', so it could be a related low level effect - eyes struggling to cope, due to ageing with lenses clouding, not enough to obscure vision, but just enough to play tricks with the light at certain angles. Like a slightly dirty car windscreen. 

After a quick visit to Lidl's next door to the School of Optometry, I headed for home and cooked supper for us. Then at last, an opportunity to catch up on a high regarded Welsh crime drama series 'Gwyll' or 'Hinterland' in English. I noticed Series 3 was going to launch in October, but S4C's catch up stream wasn't accessible in Spain. I started watching on my tablet, and was surprised to discover it was entirely in Welsh. 

I watched Series 1 and 2 on BBC4 in a bilingual version with subtitles. This portrays lead character DCI Matthias as an English only speaker, with his colleague Mared (her of the famous signature red anorak with the furry collar) as the bi-lingual detective. He's clearly a Welshman, but not being a Welsh speaker suggests he's an outsider to the region, and one learns early on that he has been working with the Met in London. So, the Welsh only version portrays him as less of an outsider. Interesting! I shall watch again on BBC4 when it comes out, curious as to whether this entails straightforward dubbing of sound, or actual re-shooting of scenes. The photography is outstandingly good, as is the acting.

The great blessing of S4C catch up is that it skips the advertising, saving 10-15 minutes of boredom, so we binge watched three episodes in three hours fifteen, the length of one big movie. Well, a bit longer, as I wondered if I was getting the whole plot right with my understanding of spoken Welsh being a lot poorer than my Spanish, plus I couldn't switch on the subtitles, so I switched on telly with our YouView didgy box, felt my way to the correct programme location, switched on the subtitles, and pressed Go. 

Clare came and joined me this time. I gave her my plot summary, surprised to have confirmation from the replay of opening minutes that I had correctly understood what I'd heard and seen. Amazing! Mind you, isetting the murder scene in a chapel helped, as much of my latent Welsh vocabulary relates to church and religion. I can well understand how this crime series has gained audiences world-wide. It's up there with the very best of the euro-crimmies, many of which use several languages, as in real life.

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