Fflur Dafydd 3 Lle


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Fflur Dafydd

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...

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..it was a great experience for me to return to Penrhiwllan...

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..to celebrate the success.

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It meant so much to me that people from the village...

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..felt that I belonged to this area.

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They wanted to host an event in my honour.

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My roots are here. I belong here.

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Any success that came from my work would have to be celebrated here.

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We're in the vestry of Gwernllwyn Chapel, Penrhiwllan, near Llandysul.

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I have so many memories of this place.

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Penrhiwllan, during the 1980s...

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..was a very close-knit community.

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There was a lot of cultural activity...

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..with the chapel and so on.

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A carnival was held every year.

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It was a wonderful place to be raised.

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During this time, people used to leave their doors unlocked.

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I could walk into the house next door and play.

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I knew everyone in the village.

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That experience isn't part of my life nowadays as I live in a town.

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It's something I miss when looking back.

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We were all so close and ready to help one another.

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I had my first experience of performing and being creative...

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..here, in Sunday school.

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The Sunday school had many members.

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We were encouraged to stage a Christmas show...

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..and work together to write scripts and songs.

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I was a little too creative at times.

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I remember one of the Christmas concerts.

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I performed an item on the piano.

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Rather than playing one piece...

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..I played whatever was floating around in my head at the time.

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I played on for 15 minutes. Mam had to come over and stop me in the end.

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-I would say that Fflur

-was different from most children.

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-I don't know

-what made her different.

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-She was sweet, gentle

-and very quiet little girl...

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-..but she was a perfectionist

-in everything she did.

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-When she sang, in duets,

-and sometimes solo...

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-..at the Coedybryn Eisteddfod...

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-..everything had to be just so.

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Two important figures from my childhood...

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..were Dewi and Tann.

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Hetty Ann was her real name but I called her Tann.

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They acted as an additional pair of grandparents.

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They lived in the village, in a house called Llwynhelyg.

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Mam would leave me with them when she worked in Lampeter University.

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Llwynhelyg was the focal point of the village. Everyone visited.

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People would call in for a cuppa and a chat.

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I just remember being a child...

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..sitting at the table, eating lobscouse...

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..and talking to all these different people.

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I never wanted to leave.

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Mam always said I looked sad when it was time to leave.

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I used to have so much fun with them.

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I have some fond memories of them and the welcome they would give me.

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# This is the place where I heard

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# Gentle voices in a strong breeze

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# Tann and Dewi calling from the house

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# I still ask if they can hear me

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# Can they still hear me? #

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-Fflur was different

-from the other children.

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-Most houses these days

-are packed with toys...

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-..and the same was true

-when she was a child.

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-But when you visited Cartrefle,

-you didn't see many toys.

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-You'd find Fflur in her cave.

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-Behind the sofa...

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-..you'd find a pile of blankets

-and cushions.

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-That's where Fflur played.

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-I don't know what she was doing.

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-Meditating, or an early attempt

-at writing poetry.

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Dad was a prominent figure with the Welsh Language Society in the 1970s.

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In 1979, he spent six months in prison...

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..for his role in the Blaenplwyf incident.

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I was only a baby at the time...

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..a baby in plaster since I was born with a dislocated hip.

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It was a difficult time for my parents.

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I admire them for being able to raise me properly during this time.

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I particularly admire my father for the stand he made at the time.

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He's a strong and influential figure in my life.

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Mam was busy writing during my childhood.

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That was a great influence on my life.

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I regarded writing as something that people did naturally.

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She was also a language activist.

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I was in my teens when Mam was arrested.

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I remember looking out through the bathroom window...

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..and seeing a police car outside.

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You always worry when you see a police car outside your house.

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I remember sighing and thinking, "Mam's been arrested again!"

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I know this sounds selfish but I had a school concert that night.

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I was meant to be singing a solo part with the choir.

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I was angry because Mam couldn't be there that night.

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I've forgiven here now.

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As an adult, I realize that her actions...

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..were far more important than my singing.

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# Even thought I was weak

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# Penrhiwllan remains strong

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# That is where I will go

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# Still asking... #

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As a family, we moved from Penrhiwllan when I was 16...

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..and settled in Llandysul.

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The Teifi Valley is quite small...

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..so Llandysul felt like a metropolis at the time.

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I was living in a town with a secondary school and shops.

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It was an exciting experience.

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I started going out at night and meeting different friends.

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I had many adventures.

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Since I lived in Penrhiwllan for the early years of my life...

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..I feel as if my childhood experiences...

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..are all frozen in that one place.

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When I return to Penrhiwllan, it evokes special memories for me.

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I feel a link with a younger version of myself.

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# Am I the same one?

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# Am I still the same one? #

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Aberaeron is a town that's close to my heart.

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I started coming here after passing my driving test.

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I worked here during school holidays.

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It was nice being able to come here and discover a new identity.

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It was a life that wasn't based on my upbringing.

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It was a life I was creating for myself.

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I started visiting Aberaeron at the age of 14 years.

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I used to busk in the craft centre.

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Tourists from around the world would visit Aberaeron.

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Americans were very generous.

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As soon as they saw the harp, they gave me money.

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It was a great experience.

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There were artists of all kinds working at the centre.

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Some worked with textiles, others with wood or glass.

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They were a huge inspiration at the time.

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It was great being part of that community.

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After a period playing the harp...

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..I moved on to the perfect job for me...

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..selling cheese in the local food shop at the craft centre.

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That was a great job for someone...

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..who, like me, loves cheese.

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I was taught how to taste cheese and how to advise customers.

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My friends worked in supermarkets and cafes.

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On the weekends, they'd tell me about the people they'd met.

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I used to talk about the latest Welsh produce I'd tasted.

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I must have sounded really boring!

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# Aber, Aber, Aberaeron

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# Always, always there in the shadows

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# Take me back, take me right down to the depths

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# Drown me, wash me clean #

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It's a town that's been close to my heart on many different levels.

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I remember stopping in Aberaeron...

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..on the way to university for the first time.

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I ate honey ice cream with my parents on the quayside.

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It suddenly dawned on me that I was leaving home.

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Though pleased to see me going...

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..my parents seemed to want to stay close to me.

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I looked across the quay...

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..and saw another family doing exactly the same.

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That image has stayed with me.

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Every Christmas, during the early 1990s...

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..Cymdeithas yr Iaith organized a concert...

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..at the Feathers Hotel.

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# I said everything I had to say

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# Once is enough to say it #

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It was a great opportunity for everyone to meet up.

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Buses would come from Aberystwyth, Carmarthen and Llandysul.

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You could socialize with friends from school...

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..children from other schools from different backgrounds and ages.

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It was a great experience to be here and watch bands I admired.

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I remember Catatonia playing here.

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Dom played every year, Gorky's played here.

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My friends and I would dance wildly near the stage.

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I can remember feeling such an adrenalin surge.

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Since then, I've associated Aberaeron with that experience.

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I'll always remember that exuberance of youth...

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..and the feeling that anything was possible.

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Life was so interesting and exciting.

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As an author, I enjoy being left alone at times.

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Someone who wants to write a novel needs to shut themselves away.

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Music is the exact opposite - it forces me out to socialize.

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I need contact with people, I need to work with the band.

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That duality is an important part of my life.

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I need the experience of being close to my audience.

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In a gig, you see people's response.

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It's great seeing people dancing and singing your lyrics.

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When you publish a novel, you wait a long time for any kind of response.

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It's an individual experience for the readers.

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Music brings the masses together. That's so important.

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# Let it all out #

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For my latest CD - Byd Bach, the theme is locations.

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I'm looking at the way locations have influenced my life...

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..as a performer and a person.

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I've done that now because I've reached a point in my life...

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..where I've settled in one place.

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I'm happy in Carmarthen and I'm looking back...

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..at the places where I've lived and visited.

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I'm looking at the way those places have led me to where I am now.

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I think places, without a doubt...

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..create different elements of someone's personality.

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They make us respond in a specific way to specific circumstances.

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It's an emotional map to read.

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Usually, on my journey from north Wales...

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..when I reach Aberaeron, I know that I'm almost home.

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It's a nice feeling to be back in Ceredigion...

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..and having the opportunity to see the sea and take a break...

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..before I continue my journey home.

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Porthgain is a remarkable place.

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You'll find two things here - beer and culture.

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There are two galleries in the village.

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There's also the Sloop Inn.

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People go there to drink and eat.

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It's a warm, homely place.

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# Without fail, in Porthgain, the sun shines

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# Nothing can outshine me when I'm there #

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I first visited Porthgain on a winter's night.

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It was such a quiet place.

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I remember driving down...

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..and seeing this lovely Christmas tree in the centre of the village.

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The village was so calm.

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I was invited here by a friend, Lowri Hughes.

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We've been friends since our college days.

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-I spent three weeks in Pembrokeshire

-during the summer three years ago.

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-I returned to Porthgain for a week

-just before Christmas.

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-Fflur stayed with me

-for two nights...

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-..and that's when Fflur

-fell in love with Porthgain.

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I came down here so she did very little work while I was here.

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We usually have a good time when we meet up.

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It was a great opportunity to walk along the coastal paths.

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Porthgain is so different during the winter.

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The air is clear and cold.

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It gives you a different mind-set and outlook.

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It was a great time to be here as friends.

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We listened to Christmas carols and drank sherry!

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We felt an affinity to the village for a time...

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..and felt that our friendship had became closer.

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It is a remarkable place.

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It's not like other seaside towns.

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There's so much history behind the brickworks...

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..and the fact that they used to export so much from Porthgain.

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It's an important industrial location.

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Standing on the harbour and seeing the little boats on the sea...

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..it was a view that inspired a song I wrote which is called Porthgain.

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I write about the little boat of my heart...

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..and the fact that I descend from the main road into the village.

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When I'm on that journey, there's an emotional change within me.

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# Porthgain is the harbour of my mind

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# Every vein is a coastal path

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# My heart's little boat comes and goes

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# To the place where there are no doubts #

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I visit Porthgain about three times a year...

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..if I can.

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What I like about the place...

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..is being able to distance myself from the real world.

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There's no mobile phone signal and I don't surf the Internet here.

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I don't think about work at all.

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That in itself is a worthwhile experience.

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I can forget about any worries I might have...

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..any pressures of work.

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I can just be creative.

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There's nothing here apart from the waves, the birds and the locals.

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It's nice being on alone.

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I started writing Y Llyfrgell in this house, at the kitchen table.

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I like writing about different locations.

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I've written about Bardsey Island and the National Library.

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I prefer not to be in any specific location when writing about it.

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Being in Porthgain...

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..while writing about the National Library...

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..was a pleasant experience.

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I could be objective and it gave my creative mind...

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..more freedom to create and develop new ideas.

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When I wrote Y Llyfrgell...

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..I locked myself away for days or weeks on end.

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I was almost in a trance.

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I was so immersed in my work, the real world didn't exist.

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That's a great experience for any author.

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You're in a state of believing entirely in the story.

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It's so nice to see the book when it's been published.

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That's when you know you can't alter the content any more.

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It's the finished product.

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Dorothy Parker once said...

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.."I don't like writing, I like having written."

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You get the pleasure when releasing the novel into the world.

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The process of writing is hard work.

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-I've always admired Fflur...

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-..for the way she disciplines

-herself when she writes.

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-She can turn her hand to so many

-different aspects of writing.

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-She can write poetry,

-prose and music.

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-Even after a particularly busy day

-at work...

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-..Fflur can discipline herself

-to sit down and continue writing.

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When I started publishing my work...

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..I was writing for myself and I enjoyed writing.

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I didn't think too much about an audience.

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Now, I feel that I want to make a contribution with any novel I write.

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I want to try through my work to bring about change for the better.

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That's certainly a driving factor when I'm thinking about ideas.

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I want subject matter that deals with real-life issues.

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I want to make an impression and change the way people think.

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When I leave Porthgain...

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..I always feel sad.

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I lose that magical feeling.

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As I drive up the road, out of the village...

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..I feel as if I'm re-entering real life.

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I never want to return to real life.

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It's never a pleasant experience.

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It's never nice closing the door and stepping back to the real world.

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For me, it's the reason that makes it a special place...

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..I am only here for a while.

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If I lived here all year round, maybe I wouldn't feel the same.

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S4C Subtitles by Simian 04 Cyf.

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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.