Meet Ben and Lep, our Celtic friends

As you know, dear friends, 2018 – apart from being the year my darling Ian and me got engaged AND married – has also been a great travelling year for us, and a very Celtic one at that. We’re both Celts, of course – Ian’s half Welsh and half Manx and I’m Bavarian – so our two trips to Wales and Ireland were the most beautiful, most unforgettable holidays I’ve ever had.


Of course, we brought loads of souvenirs back from both trips, and we also took the liberty of – abducting a very native inhabitant from each country; two little mythical creatures, just about the same size but very different from each other… Ben Dragon from Wales and Lep Re Chaun from Ireland (pardon the awful puns)!

Ben is an original Welsh red baby dragon, and Lep of course is a representative of the Irish ‘Little People’, the Faeries. When we brought Ben back to London and he felt a bit forlorn there, we promised him we’d get a fairytale companion for him from our next trip into Celtic territory – but when they finally set eyes on each other, they actually doubted each other’s existence at first! Never mind, they soon became friends despite their very different temperaments.


We had a great time with them in London, they’ve got lots of stories to tell, and they’ve taught us many things about their respective home countries. They’ve also assisted me a lot in my efforts to learn both Welsh and Irish, each claiming that their language is easier to learn (I must say, quite honestly, that I tend to support Ben’s opinion there – the Irish spelling and grammar seem awfully difficult to me at the moment; but I hope Lep will keep helping me there).

Then, the day came when I had to go back to Piraeus; and since I’d be without my darling husband for more than four weeks, I decided to take the two little fellows with me at least to keep me company. I was a bit concerned, though – would the Balkans be a culture shock for two little Celtic fairytale creatures? But no, they settled in just fine almost immediately – apart from a little accident where Jimmy tried to eat Lep…

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Ben and me came to his rescue, of course, but Lep still loves talking about his adventure: “Sure he’s got fangs like a tiger, he was ready to tear me apart! Ooh, just the thought of it; I think I need a whiskey…” Oh yes, and he certainly started taking to the local spirits soon enough, which he loves just as much now as his own native whiskey; Ben and us have to keep a constant eye on him…

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Anyway, the five of us have got a perfect family idyll here now; and I thought, since Ben and Lep are so knowledgeable about Wales and Ireland, the languages, the culture and the music, I’d give them a little guest spot here on my blog from time to time – they’ll teach us about all things Celtic in their very own funny way!

They’ve already got me into learning their languages for good; I’ve done my exercises on Duolingo every day for more than a month. In case you’re interested in learning Welsh or Irish – or any other language, for that matter – we all agree that Duolingo is a great platform, and that studying has never been so much fun! And my oh so wonderful darling husband, too, has started learning German there, for his parents-in-law’s sake…

Oh, and this summer, of course, we’re going on a Scotland trip – and maybe from there we’ll bring back a genuine Scottish unicorn…


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