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Check out my Cymric

Supermarket shopping is a pretty baffling experience at the best of times, but spare a thought for Welsh food shoppers last week.

In a country where only a minority of people actually speak the national language, the supermarkets spent the week encouraging customers to speak Welsh at the checkout - all part of the Welsh Assembly Government's drive to hold back the tide of English (the language, that is, not the people).

In case you find yourself overcome by the desire to strike up a conversation at a Welsh checkout in future, here are some key phrases:

- The weather is horrible: Mae'r tywydd yn wael

- My favourite drink is beer: Fy hoff ddiod i yw cwrw

- Would you like to go for a drink with me? Wyt ti eisiau mynd am ddiod gyda fi?

I'll drink to that

As you know, it is Government policy that the more money we give to Gordon Brown, the better it will be for the country, which is why - now I understand that the extra 4p in tax per pint will help to reduce rowdiness among teenagers or alleviate child poverty (depending which spin you prefer) - I will certainly be doing my bit.

Of course, those of us with an interest in FE know why the Government really needs more cash - for civil servants, some of whom will be employed by the Skills Funding Agency for post-19 education. Doing what exactly? Perhaps the answer lies in its acronym: SFA.

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