Ffion Dafis 3 Lle


Ffion Dafis

Ffion Dafis yw'r olaf i'n tywys i 3 lleoliad o'i dewis: Dolwyddelan, glannau'r Fenai a'r A470. Ffion Dafis takes us to Dolwyddelan, the Menai Straits and the infamous A470. Last...


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-Though I was born in Old Colwyn,

-when I was about two...

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-..Dad was appointed headmaster

-of a school in the countryside...

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-..in a beautiful village

-called Dolwyddelan.

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-I lived here

-until I was seven or eight.

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-It's where I spent

-the happiest years of my life.

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-I still feel longing for the place.

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-It was a wonderful place

-to be brought up.

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-This is the balcony of Llais Afon...

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-..the house Dad built

-in Dolwyddelan.

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-It was revolutionary

-in Dolwyddelan at the time...

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-..because among the stone and slate

-houses was a modern '70s house.

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-We lived upstairs

-and slept downstairs.

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-My friends thought that was wowee!

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-They'd come round to the house

-just to see its design.

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-We had an orange kitchen.

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-Mam decided to put orange Formica

-in the kitchen.

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-After taking about five years

-to build it...

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-..we only lived in it

-for three or four years.

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-Losing it affected me.

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-After moving away,

-I used to phone the house.

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-Whoever lived here answered it

-and I'd put the phone down.

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-I wanted to maintain a link

-with the house I missed so much.

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-I remember Dad waking my sister

-and I up from our bunk beds.

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-He got us up out of our beds

-in our night dresses...

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-..put wellingtons on our feet...

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-..and plonked us in the middle of

-wet cement to get our footprints.

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-It's so lovely

-as I haven't seen these for years.

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-These are my footprints.

-I was six at the time.

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-And my sister's little footprints.

-She was four.

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-That's so lovely.

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-We were a very close-knit family.

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-We're still very close

-even though we've lost Mam.

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-We lost her when she was 50.

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-This reminds me a lot

-of when Mam was young.

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-She was healthy and happy.

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-She was young. She was

-in her thirties when she was here.

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-My memories of Mam here

-are very happy.

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-A young couple

-starting their careers...

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-..and giving the most wonderful

-start to their two young daughters.

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-We walked to school, of course.

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-We used to walk downhill.

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-We used to cross this field.

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-It's a field

-that is badly affected by floods.

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-So we often had to go around it

-in winter.

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-We'd walk hand in hand with Dad...

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-..through the field,

-over the bridge...

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-..to the school.

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-That was our simple life.

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-I'd say that my happiest memories...

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-..are based around this school.

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-It was a small school

-of about 27 children, I think.

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-There were only four in my year.

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-Two girls, Eifiona and me,

-and Adrian and Paul.

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-We were a very strong unit.

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-I'll never forget Dad saying he was

-taking up a headship in Bangor...

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-..and that we'd have to leave here.

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-I knew I'd have to leave

-this strong little unit.

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-I remember running from this room,

-or from the hall, I think...

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-..to the toilet

-that was around the corner.

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-I locked myself in

-for about half an hour.

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-I couldn't leave

-I was crying so much.

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-That heartbreak is still so real

-in my mind.

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-Coming back here,

-the place is so small.

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-It was a hive of activity.

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-There was so much going on.

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-It was very sociable.

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-Considering the very small number

-of children here...

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-..what happened in the school

-is incredible.

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-I was quite a shy and serious child.

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-There were things

-that really affected me.

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-I was quiet, happy

-and conscientious.

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-I wasn't naughty at all.

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-I was fairly quiet.

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-My sister was the nightmare.

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-Dolwyeddelan Castle

-is very close to my heart.

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-This is where we used to come

-as children.

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-What a place

-to have as a playground.

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-There's an old legend about an old

-cauldron buried under the castle.

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-When we were children, we'd look

-for the cauldron at weekends!

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-We really believed that we were

-going to find this cauldron...

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-..eventually.

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-As Dolwyddelan Castle

-is one of the few Welsh castles...

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-..it attracts tourists.

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-We took full advantage

-as children.

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-We charged them money.

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-Eifiona, my friend,

-had a horse called Pwtyn.

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-Without a saddle or anything, they

-were plonked on the back of Pwtyn...

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-..and took them around the farm

-for 10p.

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-We'd then go straight down to the

-shop to buy sweets and ice cream.

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-It's obvious how gorgeous

-and lovely the place is.

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-Of course, you want to live

-in a beautiful place.

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-But it's more than that.

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-The people made Dolwyddelan for me.

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-They're down to earth

-but there's a strong culture here.

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-There are poets and singers here.

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-I was surrounded

-by these special people.

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-I'd experience the culture

-at chapel and local eisteddfods.

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-They're simple, wonderful,

-lovely people.

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-This place

-is most definitely a part of me.

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-After the shock of leaving

-Dolwyddelan when I was eight...

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-..we moved to Bangor as a family,

-to Penrhosgarnedd.

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-It's about a mile up the road

-from Menai Bridge.

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-This stretch of the Menai Bridge...

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-..became very, very important

-to me...

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-..as a young child, as a student

-and as an adult.

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-It's a place that's meant a lot

-to me many times during my life.

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-I wasn't very adventurous...

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-..when choosing

-where to go to university...

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-..because I stayed near this river -

-I went to Bangor University.

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-I decided to study Welsh and Drama.

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-This part of the Menai

-really brings me joy...

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-..without being over-sentimental.

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-My whole family can see

-one small part of the Menai.

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-Dad lives in Caernarfon,

-which is right on the Menai.

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-My sister looks over

-this small bit of the Menai too.

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-When I worked up here,

-I rented a place on the Menai too.

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-There was something nice about

-knowing that every night...

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-..that we all could see this one bit

-of the Menai.

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-I'm not sure what the real name

-of this place is...

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-..but I've always called it

-the fairies' circle.

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-It's where we came as children

-to start being independent...

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-..doing what children do.

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-A lot of foolish evenings

-were spent here.

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-Lots of talking and gossiping...

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-..and growing up.

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-After leaving the fairies' circle,

-you turn left along the Menai...

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-..and then go along the path that

-takes you along the Belgian Prom...

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-..before turning

-to go over the stone bridge...

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-..towards Llantysilio island.

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-The small church between Britannia

-Bridge and Menai Bridge...

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-..has given me so much

-comfort and peace over the years.

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-Llantysilio island has been a

-pilgrimage for me for many decades.

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-It's been important to me

-in good times and bad.

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-It's given me tranquillity.

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-Having said that, I've had a lot

-of fun on this little island too.

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-As students at Bangor University...

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-..we'd go over Menai Bridge...

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-..and find our way to this island.

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-Cynan has been buried here.

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-We had some silly evenings

-by the grave...

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-..reciting poetry and so on.

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-As life got a bit harder...

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-..I've found that walking

-over the bridge along the Menai...

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-..has helped the soul.

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-This small church means a lot to me.

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-When I lost Mam when I was 26...

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-..it was hard

-to make sense of things.

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-Why she had to die so young.

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-Coming to this place on my own...

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-..to clear my head

-and try to find something.

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-I'm not religious at all...

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-..but I liked the tranquillity

-and simplicity of this place.

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-It's unassuming, simple

-and puts a smile on my face.

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-Those are three things

-that I associated with my mother.

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-So, it's also a very happy place.

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-It's quite a special place.

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-The third place isn't a place.

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-Rather, it's a thing,

-a part of life.

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-I'm talking about the road

-from North to South Wales...

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-..or from South to North,

-the blinking A470.

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-It's a part of us.

-It even has its own Twitter page.

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-It's legendary

-and part of being Welsh.

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-# The A470 is calling

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-# Following the white line

-on the road

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-# The A470 is calling

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-# Back to the big smoke #

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-I love driving.

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-Though I curse the A470...

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-..I'm happiest when I'm in the car.

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-I don't if it's because Dad put me

-in the car when I was a baby...

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-..to get me to sleep!

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-The place I stop for petrol most of

-the time is Cwt Gwyn in Dolgellau.

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-I hate stopping for petrol, which

-I know is a silly thing to say...

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-..because you need it

-to continue your journey.

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-But I do hate stopping for petrol.

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-Hello!

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-Hello! Are you OK?

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-I'll have my usual coffee.

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-I like to stop for coffee.

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-I'm very familiar

-with the coffee machine.

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-The staff are very welcoming.

-They all speak Welsh.

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-They ask me whether I'm on my way up

-or my way down.

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-It's now a tradition.

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-If I don't stop there...

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-..I know that something's

-not right with the journey.

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-I love driving

-and I love being in the car.

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-It's a four-hour journey...

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-..and if I do it as often as I have

-been doing in the past few years...

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-..that's eight hours a week, almost,

-of being on my own.

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-So my mind does wander.

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-# Up and down, up and down #

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-I do listen to a lot of music.

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-I sing and let my mind wander.

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-As very often happens,

-I come to and think...

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-.."I've no idea where I am!

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-"Have I been through Llanelwedd?

-Have I been in Llanbrynmair?"

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-Since so many parts of the road

-look similar to another part...

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-..I very often

-don't know on which bit I'm on.

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-# Up and down, up and down

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-# In the air, on the ground #

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-One part of the journey that

-takes my breath away every time...

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-..is Bwlch yr Oerddrws.

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-It doesn't matter if I'm travelling

-from north to south...

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-..or from south to north, Bwlch yr

-Oerddrws has something to offer.

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-If I'm going from south to north...

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-..you can't beat the car chugging

-just as it gets to the top...

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-..and then it feels like

-it deserves something at the end.

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-What it gets is

-as you come over that ridge...

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-..you see the expanse of Cader Idris

-and the other mountains.

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-If you go from north to south,

-seeing that and leaving it behind...

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-..just before you go downhill...

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-..you know that one of the best

-stretches on the A470...

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-..is coming up.

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-# Up and down, up and down

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-# In the air, on the ground #

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-I use the car very often...

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-..if I have something to learn.

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-I'll turn into a layby

-or I'll park in a park...

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-..because in the house,

-I'll find something else to do.

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-I feel that the car

-restricts me to one place.

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-But you don't feel lonely

-if you're parked somewhere.

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-You still see the world

-going on around you...

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-..yet you don't have to talk

-to anyone.

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-I'd say that most of my lines

-over the years...

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-..have been learnt in the car.

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-"I have suckled a baby...

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-"..and I know how sweet it

-is to love the baby at my breast."

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-After leaving university, I made a

-living as a presenter to begin with.

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-In time,

-the acting bug caught me again.

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-I've had great parts over the years.

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-The ones that come to mind

-are Llinos in Amdani...

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-..Theatr Genedlaethol's Siwan

-and Anweledig's one-woman show.

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-Also, the part of Alwena

-in Rownd a Rownd...

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-..and more recently,

-Rhiannon in Byw Celwydd.

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-Unfortunately, as I get older...

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-..my nervousness

-is actually getting worse.

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-I suffer a lot with nerves.

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-Not just on stage, any more.

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-I suffer with nerves

-when doing television work too.

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-I didn't suffer from that at all

-when I was younger.

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-For years, I had a superstition...

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-..of waving at a plastic chef...

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-..that was outside a cafe

-near Bryncir.

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-I did it for years.

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-If I didn't wave

-at the little chef...

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-..I thought

-that something bad would happen.

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-That was

-until I passed the cafe one day...

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-..and someone

-had stolen the little chef.

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-It was made of plastic.

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-Because that happened, I decided

-I had to find something...

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-..that would never move

-and no-one would be able to steal.

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-So I've chosen

-a statue in Mid Wales...

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-..I know that even a nuclear bomb...

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-..wouldn't be able to shift.

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-It's a statue

-of David Davies, Llandinam.

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-I forgot to wave once.

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-This is no word of a lie.

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-I'd gone about five miles...

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-..but I drove back to do the wave

-before continuing.

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-That's the level of superstition

-I've reached.

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-# Reaching for the horizon

-through the drizzle

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-# It plays on my mind

-like an old song

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-# Only ninety miles to go

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-# Before I see the sea

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-# The A470 leads me back #

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-I think I am a bit of a gypsy.

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-It's reflected in the type of career

-I've decided to follow.

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-I can't tie myself

-to one place for too long.

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-Though I was in Rownd a Rownd

-for eight years...

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-..I also lived far away...

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-..so that gave me the variety

-in terms of travelling.

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-In general,

-I'm not one who likes commitment.

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-But, as I get older,

-I do crave some stability.

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-I have decided to try and look

-for more work in Cardiff...

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-..or base myself in Cardiff

-at least.

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-When I return to the city, I make

-sure I reconnect with friends.

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-I don't see a lot of them

-during the week.

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-One of the places I love doing that

-is Chapter.

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-After four hours on the A470...

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-..there's nothing better

-than seeing a familiar face.

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-I sit with a friend discussing

-the week that's gone by...

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-..with a large glass of red wine.

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-Cheers.

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-Reaching the end of any journey

-is nice...

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-..but reaching the end

-of the A470 is lovely...

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-..because I know I'm home.

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-Choosing the places I have...

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-..makes me realize that this road...

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-..connects me to two other

-very important places in my life.

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-But I hope that this is

-only half the journey...

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-..and that there's a nice,

-very happy road in front of me.

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-I hope!

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-S4C Subtitles by Testun Cyf.

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-.

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Ffion Dafis yw'r olaf i'n tywys i 3 lleoliad o'i dewis: Dolwyddelan, glannau'r Fenai a'r A470. Ffion Dafis takes us to Dolwyddelan, the Menai Straits and the infamous A470. Last in series.