Bydd Fflur Dafydd yn ymweld â thri lle yng Ngheredigion a Sir Benfro. Fflur Dafydd visits three places in Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire that have played an important role in her ...
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After winning the Literary Medal in the Swansea National Eisteddfod...
..it was a great experience for me to return to Penrhiwllan...
..to celebrate the success.
It meant so much to me that people from the village...
..felt that I belonged to this area.
They wanted to host an event in my honour.
My roots are here. I belong here.
Any success that came from my work would have to be celebrated here.
We're in the vestry of Gwernllwyn Chapel, Penrhiwllan, near Llandysul.
I have so many memories of this place.
Penrhiwllan, during the 1980s...
..was a very close-knit community.
There was a lot of cultural activity...
..with the chapel and so on.
A carnival was held every year.
It was a wonderful place to be raised.
During this time, people used to leave their doors unlocked.
I could walk into the house next door and play.
I knew everyone in the village.
That experience isn't part of my life nowadays as I live in a town.
It's something I miss when looking back.
We were all so close and ready to help one another.
I had my first experience of performing and being creative...
..here, in Sunday school.
The Sunday school had many members.
We were encouraged to stage a Christmas show...
..and work together to write scripts and songs.
I was a little too creative at times.
I remember one of the Christmas concerts.
I performed an item on the piano.
Rather than playing one piece...
..I played whatever was floating around in my head at the time.
I played on for 15 minutes. Mam had to come over and stop me in the end.
-I would say that Fflur
-was different from most children.
-I don't know
-what made her different.
-She was sweet, gentle
-and very quiet little girl...
-..but she was a perfectionist
-in everything she did.
-When she sang, in duets,
-and sometimes solo...
-..at the Coedybryn Eisteddfod...
-..everything had to be just so.
Two important figures from my childhood...
..were Dewi and Tann.
Hetty Ann was her real name but I called her Tann.
They acted as an additional pair of grandparents.
They lived in the village, in a house called Llwynhelyg.
Mam would leave me with them when she worked in Lampeter University.
Llwynhelyg was the focal point of the village. Everyone visited.
People would call in for a cuppa and a chat.
I just remember being a child...
..sitting at the table, eating lobscouse...
..and talking to all these different people.
I never wanted to leave.
Mam always said I looked sad when it was time to leave.
I used to have so much fun with them.
I have some fond memories of them and the welcome they would give me.
# This is the place where I heard
# Gentle voices in a strong breeze
# Tann and Dewi calling from the house
# I still ask if they can hear me
# Can they still hear me? #
-Fflur was different
-from the other children.
-Most houses these days
-are packed with toys...
-..and the same was true
-when she was a child.
-But when you visited Cartrefle,
-you didn't see many toys.
-You'd find Fflur in her cave.
-Behind the sofa...
-..you'd find a pile of blankets
-That's where Fflur played.
-I don't know what she was doing.
-Meditating, or an early attempt
-at writing poetry.
Dad was a prominent figure with the Welsh Language Society in the 1970s.
In 1979, he spent six months in prison...
..for his role in the Blaenplwyf incident.
I was only a baby at the time...
..a baby in plaster since I was born with a dislocated hip.
It was a difficult time for my parents.
I admire them for being able to raise me properly during this time.
I particularly admire my father for the stand he made at the time.
He's a strong and influential figure in my life.
Mam was busy writing during my childhood.
That was a great influence on my life.
I regarded writing as something that people did naturally.
She was also a language activist.
I was in my teens when Mam was arrested.
I remember looking out through the bathroom window...
..and seeing a police car outside.
You always worry when you see a police car outside your house.
I remember sighing and thinking, "Mam's been arrested again!"
I know this sounds selfish but I had a school concert that night.
I was meant to be singing a solo part with the choir.
I was angry because Mam couldn't be there that night.
I've forgiven here now.
As an adult, I realize that her actions...
..were far more important than my singing.
# Even thought I was weak
# Penrhiwllan remains strong
# That is where I will go
# Still asking... #
As a family, we moved from Penrhiwllan when I was 16...
..and settled in Llandysul.
The Teifi Valley is quite small...
..so Llandysul felt like a metropolis at the time.
I was living in a town with a secondary school and shops.
It was an exciting experience.
I started going out at night and meeting different friends.
I had many adventures.
Since I lived in Penrhiwllan for the early years of my life...
..I feel as if my childhood experiences...
..are all frozen in that one place.
When I return to Penrhiwllan, it evokes special memories for me.
I feel a link with a younger version of myself.
# Am I the same one?
# Am I still the same one? #
Aberaeron is a town that's close to my heart.
I started coming here after passing my driving test.
I worked here during school holidays.
It was nice being able to come here and discover a new identity.
It was a life that wasn't based on my upbringing.
It was a life I was creating for myself.
I started visiting Aberaeron at the age of 14 years.
I used to busk in the craft centre.
Tourists from around the world would visit Aberaeron.
Americans were very generous.
As soon as they saw the harp, they gave me money.
It was a great experience.
There were artists of all kinds working at the centre.
Some worked with textiles, others with wood or glass.
They were a huge inspiration at the time.
It was great being part of that community.
After a period playing the harp...
..I moved on to the perfect job for me...
..selling cheese in the local food shop at the craft centre.
That was a great job for someone...
..who, like me, loves cheese.
I was taught how to taste cheese and how to advise customers.
My friends worked in supermarkets and cafes.
On the weekends, they'd tell me about the people they'd met.
I used to talk about the latest Welsh produce I'd tasted.
I must have sounded really boring!
# Aber, Aber, Aberaeron
# Always, always there in the shadows
# Take me back, take me right down to the depths
# Drown me, wash me clean #
It's a town that's been close to my heart on many different levels.
I remember stopping in Aberaeron...
..on the way to university for the first time.
I ate honey ice cream with my parents on the quayside.
It suddenly dawned on me that I was leaving home.
Though pleased to see me going...
..my parents seemed to want to stay close to me.
I looked across the quay...
..and saw another family doing exactly the same.
That image has stayed with me.
Every Christmas, during the early 1990s...
..Cymdeithas yr Iaith organized a concert...
..at the Feathers Hotel.
# I said everything I had to say
# Once is enough to say it #
It was a great opportunity for everyone to meet up.
Buses would come from Aberystwyth, Carmarthen and Llandysul.
You could socialize with friends from school...
..children from other schools from different backgrounds and ages.
It was a great experience to be here and watch bands I admired.
I remember Catatonia playing here.
Dom played every year, Gorky's played here.
My friends and I would dance wildly near the stage.
I can remember feeling such an adrenalin surge.
Since then, I've associated Aberaeron with that experience.
I'll always remember that exuberance of youth...
..and the feeling that anything was possible.
Life was so interesting and exciting.
As an author, I enjoy being left alone at times.
Someone who wants to write a novel needs to shut themselves away.
Music is the exact opposite - it forces me out to socialize.
I need contact with people, I need to work with the band.
That duality is an important part of my life.
I need the experience of being close to my audience.
In a gig, you see people's response.
It's great seeing people dancing and singing your lyrics.
When you publish a novel, you wait a long time for any kind of response.
It's an individual experience for the readers.
Music brings the masses together. That's so important.
# Let it all out #
For my latest CD - Byd Bach, the theme is locations.
I'm looking at the way locations have influenced my life...
..as a performer and a person.
I've done that now because I've reached a point in my life...
..where I've settled in one place.
I'm happy in Carmarthen and I'm looking back...
..at the places where I've lived and visited.
I'm looking at the way those places have led me to where I am now.
I think places, without a doubt...
..create different elements of someone's personality.
They make us respond in a specific way to specific circumstances.
It's an emotional map to read.
Usually, on my journey from north Wales...
..when I reach Aberaeron, I know that I'm almost home.
It's a nice feeling to be back in Ceredigion...
..and having the opportunity to see the sea and take a break...
..before I continue my journey home.
Porthgain is a remarkable place.
You'll find two things here - beer and culture.
There are two galleries in the village.
There's also the Sloop Inn.
People go there to drink and eat.
It's a warm, homely place.
# Without fail, in Porthgain, the sun shines
# Nothing can outshine me when I'm there #
I first visited Porthgain on a winter's night.
It was such a quiet place.
I remember driving down...
..and seeing this lovely Christmas tree in the centre of the village.
The village was so calm.
I was invited here by a friend, Lowri Hughes.
We've been friends since our college days.
-I spent three weeks in Pembrokeshire
-during the summer three years ago.
-I returned to Porthgain for a week
-just before Christmas.
-Fflur stayed with me
-for two nights...
-..and that's when Fflur
-fell in love with Porthgain.
I came down here so she did very little work while I was here.
We usually have a good time when we meet up.
It was a great opportunity to walk along the coastal paths.
Porthgain is so different during the winter.
The air is clear and cold.
It gives you a different mind-set and outlook.
It was a great time to be here as friends.
We listened to Christmas carols and drank sherry!
We felt an affinity to the village for a time...
..and felt that our friendship had became closer.
It is a remarkable place.
It's not like other seaside towns.
There's so much history behind the brickworks...
..and the fact that they used to export so much from Porthgain.
It's an important industrial location.
Standing on the harbour and seeing the little boats on the sea...
..it was a view that inspired a song I wrote which is called Porthgain.
I write about the little boat of my heart...
..and the fact that I descend from the main road into the village.
When I'm on that journey, there's an emotional change within me.
# Porthgain is the harbour of my mind
# Every vein is a coastal path
# My heart's little boat comes and goes
# To the place where there are no doubts #
I visit Porthgain about three times a year...
..if I can.
What I like about the place...
..is being able to distance myself from the real world.
There's no mobile phone signal and I don't surf the Internet here.
I don't think about work at all.
That in itself is a worthwhile experience.
I can forget about any worries I might have...
..any pressures of work.
I can just be creative.
There's nothing here apart from the waves, the birds and the locals.
It's nice being on alone.
I started writing Y Llyfrgell in this house, at the kitchen table.
I like writing about different locations.
I've written about Bardsey Island and the National Library.
I prefer not to be in any specific location when writing about it.
Being in Porthgain...
..while writing about the National Library...
..was a pleasant experience.
I could be objective and it gave my creative mind...
..more freedom to create and develop new ideas.
When I wrote Y Llyfrgell...
..I locked myself away for days or weeks on end.
I was almost in a trance.
I was so immersed in my work, the real world didn't exist.
That's a great experience for any author.
You're in a state of believing entirely in the story.
It's so nice to see the book when it's been published.
That's when you know you can't alter the content any more.
It's the finished product.
Dorothy Parker once said...
.."I don't like writing, I like having written."
You get the pleasure when releasing the novel into the world.
The process of writing is hard work.
-I've always admired Fflur...
-..for the way she disciplines
-herself when she writes.
-She can turn her hand to so many
-different aspects of writing.
-She can write poetry,
-prose and music.
-Even after a particularly busy day
-..Fflur can discipline herself
-to sit down and continue writing.
When I started publishing my work...
..I was writing for myself and I enjoyed writing.
I didn't think too much about an audience.
Now, I feel that I want to make a contribution with any novel I write.
I want to try through my work to bring about change for the better.
That's certainly a driving factor when I'm thinking about ideas.
I want subject matter that deals with real-life issues.
I want to make an impression and change the way people think.
When I leave Porthgain...
..I always feel sad.
I lose that magical feeling.
As I drive up the road, out of the village...
..I feel as if I'm re-entering real life.
I never want to return to real life.
It's never a pleasant experience.
It's never nice closing the door and stepping back to the real world.
For me, it's the reason that makes it a special place...
..I am only here for a while.
If I lived here all year round, maybe I wouldn't feel the same.
S4C Subtitles by Simian 04 Cyf.
Bydd Fflur Dafydd yn ymweld â thri lle yng Ngheredigion a Sir Benfro. Fflur Dafydd visits three places in Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire that have played an important role in her life.