"People say to me, where are you from? And I always say the Rhondda, and they instinctively think they know what that means and the Rhondda isn't a place, it's a state of mind that makes me feel very happy, very warm and very safe. And so, whenever I'm away for any period of time, I long to come back.
I was trying to explain this to a friend of mine once who is English, why. You know, it's not home sickness. Home sickness is too weak. You feel hiraeth, which is a longing of the soul to come home to be safe.
The other thing that my English friends are very interested in is this odd vocabulary we use, and we use Tidy a lot. To be tidy is to be respectful, and so I can remember as a small child with my father and I walking home, and there were a lot of old miners then who couldn't breathe because of the effects of the silicosis. I couldn't understand why he would often stop to chat to these people and say the most ridiculous things, and now I know it was because he wanted to help that person, to allow that person to have time to move on, but to do it with dignity.
They were heroes who went underground and they needed to be treated like heroes after.
And the word they love most of all is cwtch. Cwtch has many meanings and my favourite meaning is cwtch, a cuddle, but the more important thing is a cwtch with your mam. And if your parents are no longer with you, it is your valley that provides that, it gives you a cwtch, and you know you are immediately safe, warm, loved and special again."