Gwydion Arthur Sanderson
Elin and Jonathan have a son, who arrived in something of a flurryThe description “slippery fish” was applied within minutes..
Gwydion is a very old Welsh name, a legendary wizard, sage and trickster; a magician of high reknown. He’s more-or-less the hero of the fourth branch of the Mabinogion, the oldest prose literature of Britain.
There are variant spellings of Gwydion, one of which – Gwyddion – may have been the source of the Welsh word Gwyddoniaeth: ‘science’.[Citation needed]
First sleep. Note constellation baby grow.There’s also a reference in the night sky. In English we refer to the arc of the The Milky Way, but in old Welsh:
Caer Gwydyon [sic], the Castle of Gwydyon, the enchanter son of Don, the King of the Fairies, is one of its Celtic titles in more modern times [...] But the Celts also thought it the road along which Gwydyon pursued his erring wife.
Modern Welsh adopts a literal translation from English. We’ll stick to the above.
We have named our son after a wizard, a thinker, an astronomer, a hero – and possibly the original Welsh scientist.
Gwydion of the Mabinogion
Hero he may have been, but Gwydion was also a scoundrel. One doesn’t have to delve too deeply to find aspects of the character which are a tad unsavoury. Remember, these are tales of myth and legend and – one suspects – not a little application of recreational mushrooms. For example, Gwydion’s nephew Lleu:
“…can only be killed at dusk, wrapped in a net with one foot on a cauldron and one on a goat and with a spear forged for a year during the hours when everyone is at mass.”
Jonathan reading the above to Elin shortly after the birth was not his best idea ever, given that metaphorical and literal stitches are not entirely compatible.
We like the name ‘Arthur’We also wanted Gwydion to have the option of a conventional name should he so choose..
One of our requirements in choosing a name was that Jonathan had to be able to say it. Welsh is written just as it sounds, but that only helps those who know the rules. Thankfully, ‘Gwydion’ is straightforward in Welsh and English alike.
English speakers would probably guess Gwid-e-on, which is absolutely fine. Slightly more correct might be Gwid-yon, but as with many old names there are several variants, so you’ve plenty of leeway.
We’re having fun with Gwyd, Gwydders, Gwyd the Squid, …
Gwydion according to his parents
Like any newborn, Gwydion looks more like a grumpy Winston Churchill than he does either of his parents. Nevertheless, we’re just a little fond of him, and as dutiful and besotted carers we’re readily capable of looking beyond scabby post-term peeling skin, (exceptionally rare) projectile vomit, and overnight grousing.
We particularly enjoy Gwydion’s badger-like snuffling sounds, and that he’s a very chilled-out little soulMostly.. He could belch for Britain, and is a complete floozy when it comes to being handed round – he will sleep happily on anyone.
Gwydion’s hair is the softest material in the known universe.
Early indications are that Gwydion is more sociable than either of his parents. He had his first outing at four days old, to the local supermarket’s coffee shop, and a couple of days later was happy being passed around in another café with his lovely NCT group.Holding court with the NCT group
As September dawned he voyaged to the faraway Land of Sunder for – appropriately – the snipping of a tongue tie. He returned triumphant to a three-hour celebratory feast, and has acquired the new talent of sticking out his tongue.
At present, Gwydion’s favourite songs include classic lullaby Suo Gân, along with house specials Who’s Got a Grumpy Face?, Let’s Take Your Pants Off and Bleary (and blurry) fathersongs improvised by his father about furniture, lampshades, lockpicking, network architecture, or indeed anything else which springs to mind at 2am.
Gwydion in popular culture
The Chronicles of Prydain series of children’s dark fantasy novels by Lloyd Alexander weren’t previously known to us, but Auntie Kate was a fan. The books are loosely based on the mythology of the Mabinogion, and feature the character Prince Gwydion.
Gwydion is also the name of a Portuguese Viking folk metal band, published on the German label TROLLZORN. In 2009, Gwydion played “nearly all the major Portuguese metal festivals”, and their album Horn Triskelion was considered the third best of 2010 by readers of LOUD magazine.
It’s unlikely we’ll post many images to Facebook; when we have chance to catch our breath we’ll find a way of sharing photos over which we have a little more control.
Born 1:03 am, 29th August 2015.
Weight at birth: 3·320kg7lb 5oz for the metrically challenged..
Height: same as an average wombat.According to a childhood height chart. Other source may not concur.
The birth plan called for fewer monitors, more dolphins.Induced twelve days post-due; epidural and forceps delivery. A sense of the pace of the arrival can be gained from this screenplay snippet:
Obstetrician: I can see the… Woah, he's here!
Midwife (quietly): Well held.
Elin’s doing fine, only occasionally wincing, and her iron count is recovering. We’re mostly sleeping reasonably well.
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