Derek Brockway

DAY 1: I have quite a bit of Welsh but I'm not fluent. I did O Level in 1984 and then in 2006 I did the Big Welsh Challenge for BBC Wales and now I'm lucky to be networking at BBC Wales so I can practise with people there who do speak Welsh. But I think this is going to be a very different and exciting week!

It's about trying to learn the odd word when I can and building on it. Today's lesson felt like being back at primary school because learning should be about fun and absorbing things subconsciously. The people are lovely so far! I think it's going to be a good week and it's all about learning Welsh so having lots of 'hwyl' and making new friends.

This is new for me and different from presenting the weather and the walking programme. I could never go on Big Brother or I'm a Celebrity but I'm definitely edrych ymlaen and looking forward to it all.

DAY 3: This morning, we thought we'd be naughty and give teacher a fright, so we broke in to Nia Parry's room to wish her 'bore da!' She was in the shower and needless to say, very surprised to see us. However, Tom was already under the bed and she screamed when she saw us. Bore da Nia!

My Welsh is definitely picking up at this point and the teaching technique is having its effect. New words that I thought I'd forgotten are now coming to the surface, and the total immersion in the language is like being five years old again and going to school. There really is a method to the madness. My challenge today was to build a clay oven – very different from what we've done before and quite relaxing given that we had to concentrate a lot and use her hands. I learnt new words like 'clai' (clay), 'gwellt' (straw), and 'tywod' (sand). Our 'popty pizza' was a bit soggy to say the least! We took too much time and didn't finish but I really thought Tom and I were going to win. We got the shape right and it didn't collapse, at least.

However, we faced a forfeit – we had to wash and massage Rebecca and Nicola's feet! This isn't what I came here to do…

Today's second lesson involved filling blanks – thankfully, I'm getting quite good at retaining vocabulary.
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