Elizabeth Jane Corbett

writing her way home

Back at work and other exhausting aspects of daily life

I’m back into the full swing of daily life and if going bush at Easter felt like rubber hitting the road, going back to work felt infinitely worse. Not that I’m complaining. I have an amazing job in a fantastic library service with wonderful colleagues but logging into an inbox with 2,897 emails was bound to put skid marks on my soul. Fortunately, I am a quick deleter or should I say reader. As I culled my inbox making mass irreversible decisions, I did notice one consistent theme – blocked public toilets. 

It’s good to know people have been focussed on the important things while I was away. 

Back at Welsh class we facing a crisis of too many learners and not enough not tutors. Added to which there has been a coup by the dirty rotten northerners. I arrived back thinking I’d be picking up where I left off with my Hwntw (southern) class only to find myself back with the beginners teaching a Gog (northern) version of the NEW SSiW course. This has meant the production of a whole new set of flash cards. Other tutors don’t do this. They use neat handouts and words printed on Roldex cardboard. But I can’t, teach this way. Though, I have zero evidence my colourful efforts are any more effective. For me, getting my head around the course material involves Google images and laminating. 

The good thing about teaching the beginners, is an opportunity to record what does and doesn’t work. By the end of the year, I should have a basic tutors guide for others to follow.

I am back at the gym and, after my experience of doing Seiclo Dan Dô (under roof cycling) in Machynlleth, I have been braving weekly spin classes. Last Wednesday the teacher did a kind of creative exercise in which he pretended we were racing out on the open road. As well as riding ‘up hills’ and turning ‘sharp corners’ and being told we were great and could do it and that we really love the climbs, he divided the class into four groups and pretended we were in a peloton. As each group took their turn in the lead they had to pedal hard against the wind. It wasn’t real – the peloton, or taking the lead, or breaking the wind – but as I rose red-faced and gasping in my saddle I thought: I’m into this. Followed by, what does this gullibility say about me?

While settling back down my manuscript has been in the drawer while trusted friends do a final read through (the word drawer being a little like the mythical peloton). Meanwhile, I have started researching Australian publishing options. There’s no rush. I have some irons in the fire. But my manuscript is sitting right on the border between young adult and adult fiction – a wonder tale set on board a nineteenth century emigrant vessel with both teenage and adult viewpoints. Sadly no one seems to have a designated submissions editor for historical and slightly mystical crossover novels with multi-age viewpoint characters. Call me cowardly. But I don’t like rejection. So if you could read my blog over the coming months and tell me how much you’re enjoying it, and how great I am, and how much you’re loving my climbs, you will help keep my therapy bills to a minimum.

Finally, I’ve had a brief brush with fame the last couple of weeks. Bethan Gwanas interveiwed me about my language journey. The ensuing article can be found in the 31 March edition of Golwg. I also did an interview with Geriant Lloyd for Radio Cymru. My segment comes 59.15 minutes into the program. I am speaking a lot faster than in my earlier interview with Siân Cothi and a lot less fluidly than I was speaking six weeks ago in Cymru. Ond fel na mae – but that’s how it is…for the time being.




The Blundstone Report – how my boots stood up to the vagaries of Welsh weather


Library lessons – or how to be a decent human being


  1. Wendy Sargeantson

    I often listen to Geraint Lloyd in the mornings. So, imagine my delight when I heard you on my radio. I thought you spoke very well and, whilst I’m still very much a beginner, I understood a lot of what you said. I may try Skyping again later in the year, but I’m giving SSiW a rest at the moment.

    If your book is as engaging as this post I’m sure it will be bendigedig.

    • Elizabeth Jane Corbett

      Thanks Wendy! I have endeavoured to make the book engaging. I’m glad you understood so much of my interview. Well done! I’m not too good on the yes and no’s yet . I seem to say an Aussie yeh in reply to everything. 🙁 I look forward to catching up on Skype later in the year.

  2. Despite the wrench it was for you to come back, we are all glad to have you back. I’m enjoying reading your novel (delighted even more that I’m one of the trusted few, especially for a local celebrity!) Well done on all you’ve achieved. You are magnificent and don’t ever forget it.

    • Elizabeth Jane Corbett

      Thanks Leisl. It was a huge wrench but it is nice to be back with my writing buddies. Especially when they call me magnificent. 🙂

  3. Sabina Wills

    Hi Liz,
    All the best for your writing and it finding a home. I enjoy your blog and its lively writing and I’ve enjoyed hearing about your Welsh adventures,
    All the best.

    • Elizabeth Jane Corbett

      Thanks Sabina. You know how it is…

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