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Your questions, my answers

Penny Tomkins, 13 February 2015

Hi Bulb Buddies,

I’d like to wish you all a fantastic half term! Don’t worry about your plants over the holidays, they will be fine! But be sure to check on them as soon as you get back, because the crocus plants can flower anytime from January onwards and so we should be expecting more flowering dates very soon!

I’ve had another brilliant joke from L at Thorn Primary School:

Q. Why do you call beetroot beetroot?

A. Because you have to beat the root to get them out!!

And more schools have sent exciting updates on their plants:

Silverdale St. John's CE School: The daffodils are about 5cm tall and one of them is around about 8cm tall! Prof P: Fantastic news Silverdale St. John's CE School you must be looking after them very well!

The Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School: This week is cold again with very frosty mornings, but we can now see some crocus shoots as well as the daffodils. The mystery bulbs have the tallest shoots. K M. Prof P: I’m excited that your Crocus plants have shown through. Isn’t it interesting how different the shoots look! Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies!

Ysgol Nant Y Coed: It was a very dry week last week. Also, our daffodils are about 12-14cm tall now. Prof P: Wow Ysgol Nant Y Coed, make sure you keep a close eye on your plants! It doesn’t sound like it will be long now before you see your first flowers.

Ysgol Iau Hen Golwyn: I like this job. Prof P: I’m glad to hear it! There are lots of other experiments you can try if you are enjoying this one. Try the MET Office website for some great ideas for half term: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/education/kids/things-to-do/experiments

Rivington Foundation Primary School: We think that the temperature on Tuesday,Thursday and Friday was because the sun was hitting straight on to the thermometer. Prof P: Wow Rivington Foundation Primary! What high readings for week 6! That shows summer weather in February! Well done for spotting that this is unusual and questioning why your readings are so high. I think you are right and it must be because your thermometer was in the sun and you took the readings at the warmest time of day! I suggest that you turn the thermometer slightly so it is not in direct sunlight. This will give you more accurate readings. You are well on your way to becoming Super Scientists!!

Carstairs Primary School: Unfortunately we are unable to take the temperature because our temperature monitor has went missing with all of the snow. Prof P: Wow, that must be a lot of snow you are having Carstairs Primary School! Thank you for taking the rain fall readings despite the wintery weather! I see these were high all week, did you have to take the rain gauge inside to melt the snow before taking your readings?

Hi Kirkton Primary School. Just to let you know that you’ve had the coldest weather reported so far for week 6 at -6ÌŠ!! Brrrrr!! And Thorn Primary School had the second warmest reading of week 6 at 13ÌŠ. I wonder how this will affect your plants! I’ll be watching both of your weather records and flowering dates with interest to compare!

Enjoy the holidays Bulb Buddies!!

Professor Plant

Your crocus flowers will be purple in colour with orange anther and stigma (the parts inside the flower).

Introduction to Fragile? commissions

Penelope Hines, 10 February 2015

With just under two weeks left of Artes Mundi 6 momentum is building for the next west wing contemporary show at National Museum Cardiff. Fragile? is an exhilarating exhibition of contemporary ceramics that will open in April 2015.

This show includes not only pieces from the collection of Amgueddfa Cymru, loans from artists and institutions but also several exciting new commissions.

So far two teaser videos have been released looking at the work of four welsh artists who have been commissioned by The Derek Williams Trust to create unique pieces for the show.

The four artists are Adam Buick, Claire Curneen, Lowri Davies and Walter Keeler.

and

There are also three exciting ceramic based site specific installations in this exhibition. Phoebe Cummings, Keith Harrison and Clare Twomey are producing pieces that will challenge pre-conceptions about the medium and encourage direct visitor participation.

View this exhibition in our “What’s On” Guide

There are going to be lots of exciting events, workshops and talks based in and around this exhibition. More details will be coming soon!

Adam Buick prepares his Moon Jar

Adam Buick prepares his Moon Jar (Image courtesy of Culture Colony)

Winter to Spring

Penny Tomkins, 9 February 2015

Hi Bulb Buddies,

I’d like to share a few pictures with you. Remember, if you ask your teacher to send pictures of your plants to me I can share them with other schools involved in the project! I’m especially interested in pictures that show the change of seasons, like spring flowers submerged in winter snow!

A wintery spider web at the National Roman Legion Museum

Daffodils at St Fagans National History Museum. Can you tell which plants have buds and which have flowers?

There has been some confusion over when to enter your flowering dates online. You can monitor how tall your plants are growing each week and let me know in the ‘comments’ section when you enter your weekly weather records. But the ‘flowering date’ and the height of your plant on the day it flowers are to be entered on the NMW website only once the flower has opened. 

Look at the picture above of Daffodils at St Fagans National History Museum. This picture was taken on a cold day, so the flowers haven’t fully opened. But, you can still tell which ones have flowered by looking closely at the picture. If you can clearly see all of the petals then your plant has flowered. Before flowering the petals are held tight in a protective casing and look like this: 

This is a flower bud.

This is a flower bud. Once the flower has matured inside the bud (and the weather is warm enough) the casing will begin to open. This can take a few hours or a few days! If you watch your plants carefully you might see this happening! Once you can see all of your petals and the casing isn’t restricting them at all you can measure the flowers height and enter your findings on the website. Once you have done this a flower will appear on the Map showing where your school is!

You can practice measuring the height of your plants to see how quickly they grow. If your plants are still small you can measure from the top of the soil. But, when you come to take the final reading to enter on the website we ask that you measure from the top rim of your plant pot to the highest point of your flower.

Have you compared the heights of the flowers in your class? Are there big differences in the size and maturity of the plants, or are they all very similar? What about the plants planted in the ground? Are these any bigger than the ones in your plant pots? Why do you think this is? You can let me know your thoughts in the ‘comments’ section when you enter your weekly weather records!

Once the bulbs start to grow send your stories and pictures to our bulb-blog and follow Professor Plant on Twitter

Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies!

Professor Plant

P.S. Don’t worry if your bulbs haven’t sprouted yet. It’s still early days and I’m sure it won’t be long! Mine haven't all shown above the soil yet...

My Daffodils and Crocus are growing too!!

Snowdrops at St Fagans National History Museum.

Mae dros fis wedi mynd heibio ers i @DyddiadurKate bostio cofnod cyntaf dyddiadur Kate Rowlands. Mi fyddwch chi wedi dysgu rhagor amdani, erbyn hyn, trwy flogiau a chyfweliadau, a thrydar yn ôl ac ymlaen ar gyfrifon fel @StFagansTextile, @archifSFarchive, @RhB1Addysg ac @sf_ystafelloedd.

Rydym ni wedi cael gor-olwg frithliw a diddorol o bob math o agweddau o hanes cyfnod y dyddiadur, sef 1915. Mae cofnodion cryno y dyddiadur wedi bod yn symbyliad i staff i archwilio eu cyd-destun, a rhannu rhagor o gasgliadau a ffynonellau, o Amgueddfa Cymru a thu hwnt. Mae ein cronfa ddata Casgliadau'r Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf yn llawn pob math o wrthrychau sy'n rhoi cip ar stori fwy personol, sy'n mynd â ni i fyd y pethau bychain, fel y gall Dyddiadur Kate.

Un peth sydd wedi dod yn amlwg o gychwyn cynta'r prosiect yw pa mor werthfawr yw casgliad Papurau Newydd Cymru y Llyfrgell Genedlaethol wrth i ni geisio darganfod mwy am gofnodion cryno'r dyddiadur - yn enwedig wrth i Kate sôn am ddigwyddiadau cymdeithasol neu bynciau llosg y cyfnod, fel ei chofnod am yr 'influenza' dros y penwythnos:

Mae cronfa'r papurau newydd yn eisampl wych o sut i gyflwyno dogfennau mawrion, manwl - mae'r chwiliad yn hawdd iawn i'w lywio, sy'n golygu ei bod hi'n hawdd iawn dod o hyd i erthygl benodol, neu i ddilyn dy drwyn gan ddarllen am dy hoff bynciau (fues i'n darllen lot am gystadleuthau gweu dros y penwythnos, mwy cyffrous yn amlwg na phencampwriaeth y chwe gwlad).

Y tu cefn i'r hanes cymdeithasol a'r trafod a'r rhannu, erbyn hyn, 'mae'r dechnoleg sy'n ei gyflwyno. O safbwynt digidol, mae DyddiadurKate wedi bod yn ffordd wych imi weithio gyda thîm i roi tro ar dargedu cynnwys uniaith-gymraeg ar gyfryngau cymdeithasol. Mae hefyd wedi rhoi cyfle imi arbrofi a gwerthuso rhag-bostio (yn defnyddio tweetdeck), a phlatfform analytics mewnol twitter. Dwi'n gobeithio y bydd y teclynnau hyn yn dod yn ran o waith mwy o'n trydarwyr, fesul tipyn - ac felly o ran 'pethau bychain' fy mywyd bob dydd innau, gan mlynedd yn ddiweddarach, cofnodi data fydda i, tra'n gwylio dyddiau Kate yn pasio heibio.

nut amulet

@DyddiadurKate – Recriwtio ym Meirionnydd

Elen Phillips, 6 February 2015

Fel dilynwyr @DyddiadurKate, fe wyddoch nad oes rhyw lawer o drafod y rhyfel wedi bod yn y dyddiadur hyd yn hyn. Os gofiwch chi nôl i ganol Ionawr, fe gawsom gipolwg ar y broses recriwtio pan soniodd Kate am filwyr yn gorymdeithio drwy Sir Feirionnydd:

19 Ionawr 1915 – Ymddaith y milwyr trwy Station. Eu noson yn y Bala. Ymunodd 25 yng Nghorwen a 5 ym Mhenllyn.

Ers i fy nghydweithiwr, Joe Lewis, ysgrifennu blog am y cofnod uchod, mae erthygl bapur newydd arall wedi dod i’r fei sy’n taflu goleuni ar agwedd swyddogion rhai o gapeli’r ardal at amcanion yr orymdaith hon. Mewn rhifyn o Baner ac Amserau Cymru a gyhoeddwyd ar 30 Ionawr 1915, cawn adroddiad cynhwysfawr am drafodaethau Cyfarfod Misol Methodistiaid Dwyrain Meirionnydd. Cynhaliwyd y cyfarfod hwn yn y Bala dros gyfnod o 3 diwrnod, rhwng 12 – 14 Ionawr 1915. Ar y diwrnod olaf, roedd rhieni Kate yn bresennol:

14 Ionawr 1915 – Ellis a mam yn y Bala trwy’r dydd. Cyfarfod misol.

Roedd gorymdaith y milwyr yn un o bwyntiau trafod y cyfarfod. Er nad yw’r erthygl yn manylu ar y drafodaeth, mae’n nodi’r canlynol:

Pasiwyd y penderfyniad a ganlyn o berthynas i daith y milwyr trwy Feirion: (1) Yr ydym fel cyfarfod misol yn annog ein haelodau i dderbyn milwyr sydd i ymweld â rhai o’n trefi yr wythnos nesaf yn groesawus; ac i wneyd pobpeth yn eu gallu i hyrwyddo amcan eu hymdaith. (2) Yn mhellach, dymunwn adgoffa pawb o ddatganiad Arglwydd Kitchener, a’r diweddar Arglwydd Roberts, yn erbyn temptio y milwyr i yfed diodydd meddwol. (3) Credwn mai buddiol, er hyrwyddo amcan ymdaith y milwyr drwy y sir, fyddai cau y tafarndai yn gynnarach.

Tan yn gymharol ddiweddar, hawdd fyddai dehongli’r dyfyniad uchod fel prawf o gefnogaeth brwdfrydig y genedl at yr ymgyrch ryfel. Mae sawl un ohonom wedi ein trwytho yng ngwaith K. O. Morgan a ddywedodd yn ei gyfrol ddylanwadol Rebirth of a Nation: Wales 1880 – 1980 fod 'jingo fever' ar led yng Nghymru yn ystod y rhyfel, 'heights of hysteria rarely matched in other parts of the United Kingdom'.

Yn y blynyddoedd diwethaf, mae sawl hanesydd wedi herio’r farn hon, yn eu plith Robin Barlow. Mae ganddo erthygl ddiddorol yn y gyfrol A New History of Wales: Myths and Realities in Welsh History sy’n dadlau yn erbyn gor-gyffredinoli’r ymateb yma yng Nghymru – 'support was localised', meddai, 'not universal'. Gallwch ddarllen grynhoad o’r erthygl fan hyn.  

Wrth drafod y sefyllfa yng ngogledd Cymru, mae Barlow yn awgrymu nad oedd y ffigyrau recriwtio gystal yng nghadarnleoedd y Gymraeg – er enghraifft, ym Môn ac Arfon. Ond beth am y sefyllfa ym Meirionnydd?

Yn Ionawr 1915, bu dadlau yn y Cambrian News and Merionethshire Standard ynglyn â ffigyrau recriwtio’r sir. Mewn llythyr a gyhoeddwyd yn y papur ar 22 Ionawr 1915, awgrymodd R. J. Lloyd Price fod Meirionnydd ar ei hôl hi o gymharu â Sir Drefaldwyn – 356 troedfilwr yn fyr o’i nod o 932. Mae’r llythyr yn cynddeiriogi un darllenydd sy’n ymateb i’r honiadau gan ddefnyddio’r ffugenw ‘Meirionwr’. Gallwch ddarllen ei lythyr fan hyn. 'It seems to me', meddai Lloyd Price mewn llythyr arall, 'that the fact of its being found necessary to send a recruiting party through Merionethshire and Carnarvonshire in search of recruits… is the obvious answer to the assertions of Meirionwr.'

Beth bynnag fo’r union ffigyrau, roedd recriwtio yn amlwg yn bwnc llosg ym Meirionnydd yn ystod wythnosau cyntaf 1915. Tybed beth oedd barn Kate a'i theulu?