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February 2, 2012

Paul and I were in America when into my inbox arrived a query from a lady, Lisa Birkbeck, who was the researcher for a BBC Radio Wales program. Roy Noble, who had an afternoon slot, might be interested in interviewing me.  On air. Me?  Why? And How did Lisa find me?

Roy Noble, Jann and Paul Seal in the BBC Radio Wales Studios

It seems that a good researcher finds good material, and I was one of them. Ahem. Lisa had found my blog (“Living Dibley,” the one you’re reading now) and thought that interviewing an American living in Wales and presenting her point of view just might make a lively few minutes. I told Lisa when we’d be returning to Wales, and we made arrangements to communicate – after the jet lag wore off.

True to form the intrepid researcher shot me another email just days after our return, and a date was set for me to come to the Cardiff studio to record, live, with Roy Noble.

Mr. Noble, Roy, as we are now on a first-name basis, is a teddy-bear kind of guy with a Father Christmas twinkle peeking out above his snowy beard. A coal miner’s son who was born in and still lives in South Wales, Roy speaks with the dancing lilt of a Welshman and his words come out surrounded by the mellow tones that only a true Welsh male voice can produce.

Roy had done his homework, read my blog, and knew a bit about my travels around the world when I was a young college graduate. He was fascinated by how many moves I had made in my adult life (coming up to 24, not including the one that was to take place the day after the interview.) I explained that I was a “ten year” girl, and moving every ten years was somehow wired into my genetics.

He was fascinated by how I had adjusted to living in South Wales.  How did I feel about the food compared to that in America?  What a no brainer!  The food here is far superior, fresher, has traveled less distance before appearing in the market, and tastes like the food it looks like.  Next?  Customer service.  Hands down, Wales.  Not since I moved here has anyone asked me if I want to hear the instructions in Spanish, like they do in South Florida.

My meeting a Welshman online and then marrying him when he came to America intrigued Roy. He chuckled recalling the persuasive powers of Welsh men and I assured him that Paul’s Welsh roots were true to form!

Other countries came into the conversation and again, Wales came out on top, especially for beauty. When I added the fascination of Afghanistan and Iran, granted it was 40 years ago, an exotic element came into the conversation.

Roy had traveled to America when he was a headmaster and had been invited into homes throughout the States.  He remembers fondly Arizona and Rhode Island, but was never intrigued enough to pack up his bags and move across the pond. His Welsh blood runs deep. His nationality is Welsh. He speaks fluent Welsh. He’s a true and respected citizen of Wales. So it was with a bit of shame that the only words I could repeat in Welsh were Cymru (Wales) and Croeso (Welcome).

It took me a few days to listen to my interview on the computer. I never remember, after the fact, what I say when I’m on radio, television or in front of a print reporter. It was only after hearing the playback of the interview that I regretted not having more time to share my enthusiasm for this lovely country.

What I can say here, and did say on air, is that THIS American is besotted with her new country.

Croeso i Cymru



3 Comments leave one →
  1. Trudi permalink
    February 2, 2012 4:49 pm

    How fun and I bet you were a GREAT interview! Looking forward to reading about the new digs.

  2. February 3, 2012 6:51 pm

    I wish I could hear that interview! What an exciting thing for you Jann, maybe you can figure a way to link it or post it here?

  3. Hope Jennifer Barron permalink
    February 13, 2012 11:32 pm

    I’m so glad that you are happy there! I’m happy to be back on your blog. 🙂

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