Linda Griffiths Cefn Gwlad


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Linda Griffiths

Bydd Dai Jones, Llanilar yn cael cwmni'r gantores Linda Griffiths. Dai Jones is joined by singer Linda Griffiths at her home near Aberystwyth and in her native Montgomeryshire.


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-I'm on my way to Penbryn Farm

-in Montgomeryshire...

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-..to visit the childhood home

-of a prominent folk singer.

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-She's a former member of Plethyn,

-a folk group.

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-Today, she sings as a soloist,

-and with her daughters.

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-Meet Linda Griffiths.

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-It's too high for you.

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-Come along.

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-Good gracious!

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-Why did you ever leave this place?

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-Look at those views!

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-Magnificent!

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-It's a magnificent area.

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-I have a soft spot

-for Montgomeryshire.

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-How old were you when you left?

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-I was 18 years old when I went

-to college in Aberystwyth.

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-If you'd told me at the time...

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-..that I wouldn't return

-to live here permanently...

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-..I'd have said, "No way!"

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-But that's how things turned out,

-that's life.

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-Roots are very important, I know.

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-But at some stage in your life...

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-..you will, inevitably, return

-to the place where you grew up.

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-These days, I don't regard

-Montgomeryshire as my home.

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-I don't regard it as returning home,

-since I lost my parents...

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-..and since I lost my old home

-in Montgomeryshire.

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-I have family members living here

-and there's always a warm welcome.

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-But these days, I come to visit

-people in Montgomeryshire.

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-Maesmeurig, with Danny, my daughters

-and our animals, is my home.

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-But this is still my territory -

-it will always be my territory.

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-It's a part of me,

-and I'm a part of this area.

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-Shall we move on?

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-It's a wonderful place.

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-Was this your playground

-when you were young?

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-Yes - Cath, my cousin, and I.

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-The dog is holding you back!

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-You're going too fast, Dai!

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-Sorry!

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-Here we are.

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-Here we are.

-

-Tired already, Dai?!

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-What's that place over there?

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-What's that place over there?

-

-Be careful with your stick!

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-We're looking out

-over the hills above Llanfair...

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-..and Cefn Coch.

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-There are wind turbines

-in that area.

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-There are wind turbines everywhere.

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-Dyffryn Meifod is to our left.

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-If I may turn

-to your singing career...

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-..which began in your home area...

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-..how old were you

-when you started singing on stage?

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-I didn't start singing on my own

-until I was 14 years old...

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-..apart from a few minor gatherings

-at the chapel.

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-The chapel held competitions.

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-But other than those,

-I didn't sing on my own.

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-I don't think anyone ever told me

-I could sing.

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-I didn't live

-in that kind of milieu.

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-We didn't attend eisteddfodau.

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-We lived on a farm,

-and the farm was our life.

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-Your late parents had the

-opportunity to hear you sing...

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-..they saw you taking your place

-in that world.

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-Yes, and they saw me sing

-with Plethyn.

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-Yes, Dad was around.

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-We lost Mam four years ago.

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-So, yes.

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-In their own way,

-they were quite proud...

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-..but they were never boastful.

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-I think that's a characteristic

-of rural areas...

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-..you don't boast

-about your children...

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-..you don't praise them.

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-Sometimes, I have difficulty

-with my own daughters.

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-You want to encourage them, but

-you also want to keep them grounded.

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-Perhaps I was brought up

-not to think of myself...

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-..as being more talented

-or better than anyone else...

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-..and, perhaps,

-I also lacked confidence.

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-It's tricky.

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-I'm sure you must be very happy...

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-..that all three of your daughters

-have followed in your footsteps.

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-Yes, I'm glad they've done so.

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-Even when they were small,

-people asked if they could sing.

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-That wouldn't necessarily mean

-they were keen to sing.

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-But it's something they've developed

-in their own time, in their own way.

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-I haven't pushed them in any way.

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-You should do things

-because you enjoy them.

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-Because they're my daughters...

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-..that shouldn't have any bearing

-on their ability or desire to sing.

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-# I sought shelter

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-# On the solid rock #

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-Sorela is an acapella group.

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-Linda is very proud

-of Mari, Gwenno and Lisa.

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-Good gracious, how beautiful.

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-This is the top of the hill.

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-Yes, these are Penbryn's top fields.

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-I always felt

-I was standing on top of the world!

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-You can see for miles all around.

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-People often ask me

-if I'll return to Montgomeryshire...

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-..but you never know

-what life has in store for you.

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-I shall return, one day -

-probably in a wooden box!

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-I've asked my daughters to scatter

-my ashes at this exact spot...

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-..and to make sure the wind's

-blowing in that direction...

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-..so that my ashes

-aren't blown over the border!

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-I like the idea of being back

-in my childhood home, in this area.

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-Someone asked me

-to write a few verses...

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-..for a book that was published

-for the Maldwyn eisteddfod.

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-Here's one of them.

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-"One day, I shall return,

-when all comes to a stop

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-"Once again I'll wander

-along the top fields

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-"Choose a windy day,

-scatter me to the heavens

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-"Don't let sheep relieve themselves

-on my remains!"

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-Where are we now, Linda?

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-I know it's the area

-where you grew up.

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-Bwlch Golau Farm is behind us.

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-This is Bwlch-bach.

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-Many years ago...

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-..Taid and Nain Penrhos

-lived here, for a while...

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-..my father's parents.

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-They came to Bwlch-bach

-after they got married.

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-They were tenants.

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-One hot day, Taid had been

-working hard at the harvest...

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-..with his horses.

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-He went home late for his supper...

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-..but his landlord called him back

-to do even more work.

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-Taid said, politely,

-"Enough is enough.

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-"My horses and I

-have done enough for one day."

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-The following day,

-they were evicted from their home...

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-..because Taid

-had stood up for himself.

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-They had no warning.

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-They had three children,

-at the time.

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-Kind neighbours living nearby

-offered them a home...

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-..a place called Wern Bont,

-which stands as a ruin today.

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-It's located above Pontrobert.

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-They lived there, they worked hard,

-they scrimped and saved.

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-Later on, they moved

-to another rented farm, Peniarth...

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-..before buying Penbryn Farm,

-where I was raised.

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-They also bought another farm -

-Penrhos Farm.

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-These farms remain in the family.

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-They also raised eight children.

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-I admire them very much.

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-That's very interesting.

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-It's good to see

-the actual locations.

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-# David was born in 1887

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-# An illegitimate child

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-# He had no privileges

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-# He spent his youth

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-# Struggling to prove his worth

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-# He moved when he married Blodwen

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-# Becoming a tenant at Bwlch-bach

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-# There, he raised his family

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-# A serf serving the crach

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-# It had been a long day

-in the fields

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-# He had toiled

-since the break of dawn

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-# Sweltering in the summer's heat

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-# For a penny ha'penny an hour

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-# When he went home late

-for his supper

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-# He was determined

-to stand his ground

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-# When he was called back

-by the landlord

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-# David's message was clear

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-# Enough is enough

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-# Why bow and be a serf?

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-# Enough is enough

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-# Why doff your cap to the crach?

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-# I shall not yield to coercion

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-# I'll stand and hold my ground

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-# I have no wealth, I have no land

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-# But I do have a backbone #

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-.

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-Welcome back

-to Linda Griffiths's home...

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-..Maesmeurig, Penybont

-Rhyd y Beddau, Penrhyncoch.

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-It's a haven for her family

-and a number of animals.

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-I like this house very much.

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-It's a proper farmhouse.

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-It's a solid house.

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-It faces the sun.

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-Lots of houses in this village

-stand in shadows.

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-It's nice to face the sun.

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-When it was built,

-people knew exactly where to build.

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-The prevailing wind is funnelled

-up the valley...

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-..but the house

-stands in a sheltered position.

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-These are important!

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-Very important!

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-What breed are they?

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-They're kunekune.

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-Kunekune?

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-They come from New Zealand.

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-Come on, boys!

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-Twm, you idiot!

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-Twm, you idiot!

-

-Twm-Twm!

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-Pigs are my favourite animals.

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-Twm-Twm, follow Hilda!

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-Twm-Twm!

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-Twm-Twm!

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-Twm-Twm has weak hearing

-and weak sight.

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-I have apples for you - come on.

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-There we go.

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-Will you close the gate, Dai?

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-Right.

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-In a minute, boys.

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-Four years ago, at Christmas,

-I was staying with my sister.

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-Mam had died recently,

-and we were all feeling very sad.

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-On Christmas morning, my nephew

-turned up with a stock trailer.

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-I heard someone say,

-"Mam, come here a moment."

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-"Girls, what have you done?"

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-They'd bought these two pigs

-for me, to cheer me up.

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-This place is so neat.

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-It's like paradise.

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-It's sheltered by the hills.

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-There are trees.

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-It's just like

-a traditional Welsh smallholding.

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-When I went to college

-in Aberystwyth...

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-..I missed the farm

-even more than I missed my family.

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-I missed the animals and the land.

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-I was a typical farmer's daughter,

-I loved being outdoors.

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-You have an ideal lifestyle.

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-You have an ideal lifestyle.

-

-I'm happy to be outdoors.

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-People in Wales

-may think of me as a singer.

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-But singing

-is a small part of my life...

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-..particularly nowadays.

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-The outdoors, the natural world,

-walking, riding my horse...

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-..looking after the pigs...

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-..this is my world, my life.

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-I feel I must spend time outdoors,

-at some point, every single day.

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-I feel like an animal in a cage

-if I'm indoors all day.

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-Look - a typical male!

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-He's taking all the food over there!

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-Oh, here she comes!

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-A typical female - sticking her nose

-into what he's doing!

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-Well, Twm-Twm is happy!

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-Snwff is having a scratch!

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-And Magi wants to go for a walk.

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-The extended Maesmeurig family

-is happy.

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-My hair will be like a pancake

-after this!

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-Just like the hat!

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-I'll catch up with you.

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-After you've finished sweeping.

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-Don't worry, I won't forget.

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-DAI HUMS

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-You need a faster horse -

-I've beaten you!

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-I don't know

-who's the most tired, her or me.

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-These views are lovely,

-and it's a glorious morning.

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-Yes, it's great.

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-There's a panorama

-wherever you look.

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-Do you stop to chat with people?

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-Yes, going out horseriding

-is a very social activity.

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-There isn't much of a community in

-Trefeurig, since the school closed.

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-But when I take Magi out,

-I talk to people.

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-It was the same

-when I lived at home.

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-You meet people around the place.

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-May I be a gentleman,

-and open the gate for you?

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-You may - it makes a nice change

-to have someone to open the gate.

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-There you go.

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-You've got it, Dai.

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-You've got it, Dai.

-

-I've got it!

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-Fair play to Ceredigion Council...

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-..their bridleways have gates

-that are easy to open on horseback.

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-I'll catch up with you.

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-I'll catch up with you.

-

-Really?!

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-As Linda rides off...

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-..I have an opportunity

-to chat with her daughters.

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-# Just a wave

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-# On the sea, nearby

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-# And maybe a promise of finding

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-# Remains of the day

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-# Among porpoises #

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-Mari, you're the youngest daughter.

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-Mari, you're the youngest daughter.

-

-Yes, I'm the youngest.

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-When you were young...

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-..did the fact that your mother was

-a singer inspire you to sing too?

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-I enjoyed singing

-and I sang at school.

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-But I was more drawn

-to art and photography...

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-..and drama, rather than music.

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-I'm less musical, technically,

-than Lisa and Gwenno.

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-I'm more like Mam -

-I play it by ear.

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-What's your attitude towards life?

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-Are you like your mother?

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-All three of us are like Mam.

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-I think we've picked up...

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-..slightly feminist vibes from Mam.

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-# Do you know

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-# How salty the sea is

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-# It sends

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-# A storm at my head #

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-Lisa, did your mother's voice

-and her musical interests...

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-..influence you at all?

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-Did you think, "I want to do that"?

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-Certainly.

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-We used to listen to a tape

-of children's songs by Plethyn...

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-.."Mam sing again, Mam sing again!"

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-Mam would hide that tape!

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-I was always keen to sing.

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-I always wanted Mam

-to take me to eisteddfodau.

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-"Can I compete

-at the Penrhyncoch eisteddfod?"

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-Mam wasn't keen, but she's talented.

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-Mam wasn't keen, but she's talented.

-

-She never took part in eisteddfodau.

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-No, not at all.

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-She never had any conscious

-intention of becoming a singer...

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-..she never intended to sing

-all over the world.

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-It just happened.

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-Mam is really chilled

-about everything, unlike me.

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-Mari is similar -

-she goes along with it.

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-But ever since I was small,

-I've wanted to sing, like Mam...

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-..I've always been a keen bean!

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-# I sought shelter

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-# On the solid rock

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-# The prom is a beach

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-# And the beach is a pub

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-# College days

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-# Narrow streets

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-# Together, they form

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-# A net for the heart #

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-Gwenno, I've caught up with you!

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-Looking back on your childhood.

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-You saw your mother sing,

-you heard her sing.

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-Did it inspire you

-to follow in her footsteps?

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-I don't think I recognised it

-as inspiration at the time...

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-..it was just something

-that Mam did.

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-I can remember listening

-to Plethyn rehearsing...

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-..and I really enjoyed being there.

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-I like... Mam's voice...

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-..it's really nice.

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-It has a homely quality, for me.

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-It touches your heart.

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-Yes - it's nice.

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-It's something

-that's always been there.

0:19:340:19:37

-It has probably inspired us

-more than we realise.

0:19:380:19:42

-I've talked to all three of you.

0:19:420:19:44

-Mam has had a big influence

-on your lives.

0:19:450:19:50

-It's wonderful.

0:19:510:19:52

-# A summer dwelling

-and time to relax

0:19:530:19:57

-# This is how it's meant to be

0:19:570:20:02

-# The shearing season

-is over once again

0:20:020:20:06

-# Fleeces are piled up

0:20:060:20:10

-# They shall go to the pastures

0:20:120:20:15

-# Wide expanses and little sheep

0:20:160:20:19

-# It's harvest time

-at the winter dwelling

0:20:200:20:24

-# Gathering in as the seasons turn

0:20:250:20:29

-# Then we shall lift our eyes

0:20:290:20:33

-# To higher places -

-this is how it's meant to be

0:20:340:20:38

-# A cuckoo sings on a mountain ash

0:20:390:20:43

-# The sun dries a reed's tears

0:20:430:20:47

-# A summer dwelling

-and time to relax #

0:20:480:20:52

-Linda of Maesmeurig, Penybont

-Rhyd y Beddau, Penrhyncoch.

0:20:530:20:58

-I've enjoyed every moment with you.

0:20:580:21:01

-I've enjoyed having you here!

0:21:010:21:02

-I've enjoyed having you here!

-

-It's been fun!

0:21:020:21:03

-You have three lively daughters

-who know what they want to do.

0:21:040:21:08

-I don't know about that...

0:21:100:21:12

-..but they're certainly

-full of life and they enjoy life.

0:21:120:21:17

-Nothing gives you more pleasure

-than watching them come and go.

0:21:170:21:21

-One of the most important things,

-where children are concerned...

0:21:220:21:26

-..is letting them go.

0:21:270:21:28

-Two of my daughters live in London,

-and the other one may join them.

0:21:280:21:33

-Young people are criticised

-for leaving Wales...

0:21:330:21:37

-..but it's not so bad, in my view.

0:21:370:21:40

-They act as ambassadors

-for their language and their nation.

0:21:400:21:44

-People see them speaking Welsh

-in a natural way.

0:21:440:21:48

-And you hope...

0:21:490:21:50

-..they will bring their valuable

-experiences back to Wales...

0:21:500:21:55

-..back to Ceredigion.

0:21:550:21:57

-I hope their upbringing

-in the Aberystwyth area...

0:21:570:22:03

-..between the mountains

-and the sea...

0:22:030:22:06

-..will remain with them...

0:22:060:22:08

-..in the same way...

0:22:080:22:10

-..that my upbringing in

-Montgomeryshire remains with me.

0:22:100:22:15

-It doesn't surprise me.

0:22:150:22:17

-You've talked about your roots

-and your childhood home...

0:22:170:22:21

-..and I've had the privilege

-of walking the area with you...

0:22:210:22:26

-..and enjoyed the experience.

0:22:260:22:28

-I wish you years of happiness

-as a family...

0:22:280:22:31

-..and I hope

-you'll carry on singing for ever.

0:22:320:22:35

-Thank you very much.

0:22:350:22:37

-# A cuckoo sings on a mountain ash

0:22:380:22:41

-# The sun dries a reed's tears

0:22:420:22:46

-# A summer dwelling

-and time to relax

0:22:460:22:51

-# This is how it's meant to be

0:22:510:22:55

-# This is how it's meant to be #

0:22:560:23:00

-S4C subtitles by Trosol Cyf.

0:23:010:23:03

-.

0:23:030:23:04

Bydd Dai Jones, Llanilar yn cael cwmni'r gantores Linda Griffiths. Dai Jones is joined by singer Linda Griffiths at her home near Aberystwyth and in her native Montgomeryshire.