Thursday, 28 February 2013

Filming for Helimeds

On Monday we had another camera crew visit us!

Last time it was for the Tesco Uniform Competition (See Movie Star For A Day and The Winners Story)

Today it was a two lovely people from ITV Wales and S4C who were filming us as part of the new series of the TV show Helimeds. Helimeds follows the work of the Wales Air Ambulance, a vital emergency service which can reach anywhere in the country within twenty minutes of an emergency call and in the most serious cases the helicopters can make the difference between life and death. 


I knew they were interviewing in my in English as well as in Welsh and I must admit I was really nervous about speaking Welsh. My Welsh is very poor as I lack confidence and the more I don't use it the more I forget and the less confident I feel about using it. I moved to Wales from England when I was 6 and the primary school I attended was very Welsh and by the time I left primary aged 11 I was fluent in the language and could even pass as someone who used Welsh as a first language! Sadly in my Secondary school I got away with speaking English in all my classes, including my Welsh class, and slowly lost the ability to converse confidently. This was made worse when I left school as in the various jobs I did I didn't have to speak Welsh. 

Translation - I Speak Welsh

Now that my children attend my old primary school and are learning through the medium of Welsh I have started going to Welsh classes to try and relearn my Welsh and I keep hoping that one day my knowledge will come flooding back, but sadly my sink hole brain seems just as determined to keep it lost!

Hubby is a Welshman, but he rarely uses Welsh and the town we live in is very Anglicised. It is a tourist destination and even uses it's English name even though it has two perfectly good Welsh names! However I work in a more Welsh town at the checkouts of a supermarket and I do try and speak Welsh, something that the customers seem to appreciate although they can tell I'm a Welsh learner.

The original plan had been to interview on my own whilst the children were in school and the toddler in playschool, but since my 7 and 3yr olds have chickenpox my mum came over to watch them. I kept my son off school as well as I knew they wanted to interview him as he had been around when I had been airlifted so only my 6yr old was in school. 

They arrived just after 9am and following a cuppa and a chat we were ready to begin filming. I did ask my son to take photos but he only managed one before claiming the camera didn't work! He did get a nice one of me ready to be interviewed though!



We sent my son upstairs to be with his sisters, when all of a sudden we heard this almighty crash! The girls were sitting on the stairs watching what I was doing and my son was in my bedroom playing on the wii. When I went in my bedroom I found my storage heater had fallen off the wall and that's what had caused the almighty bang! Relieved no one was hurt, I went back downstairs. 

By now my mum had arrived to watch the children, but I did have to run upstairs a couple of times to ask them to be quiet as we could hear them bagging on the floor, each time the culprit was my 3yr old!

Finally we managed to do the English interview and we started the Welsh. Now as I've already explained, my Welsh is very poor and we had a lot of stops and starts and of course the more we had to stop the more stressed I became and the more I stuttered and forgot my Welsh. The interviewer was really helpful and would tell me ways of saying what I want to say in Welsh, but then I would try and I would immediately forget what she had just told me to say! Eventually we did manage to do it and I breathed a big sigh of relief!

Hubby popped home for lunch then and they managed to persuade him to take part. Just like me they interviewed him in English and then Welsh, but I don't know what he said as I wasn't in the room with him. I did hear a lot of laughing though and the interviewer told me afterwards he got a little bit emotional talking about what happened and how close he came to losing me. This was really nice to hear, as hubby is what I call a man's man and he doesn't like showing his emotions, something that drives me mad because I want him to show me!

Afterwards they wanted to film me doing something, so I spent about 10 minutes taking 4 clean glasses out of the dishwasher and putting them away, several times! Which was quite funny! Then they wanted to film me doing something with the boy, so we spread some books over the table and we started searching for The Stig in his "Where's Stig" book (based on Where's Wally or Waldo as he's called in America but with a Top Gear twist of finding their tame racing driver known as The Stig)

The plan originally had been to come back during the Easter holidays as the older two are having a joint birthday party, and film the 4 of them then. Because the girls hadn't been around when I was airlifted which means that the Air Ambulance saved their lives as well as mine, they didn't want to introduce the girls until the end of the piece and that their party would be the ideal time to do this. However they changed their mind and decided to film them all that day, which meant I had a quick dash to school to collect my 6yr old as I didn't want her to miss out. 


They decided to take advantage of the fact we have the beach on our doorstep and filmed the boy putting on his shoes and my 6yr old putting on her coat as we got ready to get out. My 7yr old suddenly got shy and refused to go downstairs unless she was attached to my arm, which was quite tricky getting down the stairs without falling! We then had a short walk along the promenade which runs alongside the beach before going onto the beach and walking along looking for shells. 

Finally it was over, we said goodbye and the boy and the 6yr old went back to school whilst I took the 3yr and 7yr olds home with me. 

The show will be on ITV1 in June, but I'm not sure when it will be on S4C.

If you can't wait till then and want to know what my story was, you can read it here


 If you want to help support the Wales Air Ambulance, which is funded by donations and isn't entitled to any government or National Lottery help, then check out Katie Cupcake Cymru and her fabulous Barmouth Big Knit, which raises money for the Wales Air Ambulance and the RNLI both important charities which survive thanks to generous support and fundraising!


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