“I gave a lecture in Swansea about ten years ago.’
“Did you get the chance to see much of it?’
“No because I had to get back because I had another lecture the next day.’
“Well I will show you around.’
“I brought Gary, my last boyfriend up here and he didn’t like it.’
“Why didn’t he like the place?’
“Because he couldn’t speak the language and he thought everyone was talking about him.’
Mind you it didn’t help when I taught him a Welch phase which he thought was “you are very beautiful.’
“What was it?
“Casanu fy brohau casgen.’
“He said it to my mother and she nearly ruptured herself laughing. He kept saying it over and over which made my mother worse.’
“What does it mean?’
“Kiss my arse cheeks.’
Gordon burst out laughing then said in a serious voice you haven’t taught me a rude phase have you?’
“No I haven’t honestly, scout’s honour she held up two fingers in a scout salute.’
They were nearing the town centre and Tracey pointed to places of interest. She directed Gordon to roads that lead them into the countryside and she showed him the valley where she was born. They stopped outside the Welch miner’s cottage and Gordon got out and looked around.
Tracey’s mother came running outside and hugged her daughter and spoke in Welch.
She turned to Gordon and said: “Croeso Gordon.’
“Mam says welcome.’
“Having heard what Tracey had done with her last boyfriend he was reluctant to utter the words that she had taught him but he bit the bullet and said: Rwyn Falchi Gwrdd a Chi Alwen.’
“Ac yr wyf yneich.’
“Mam says and you too.’
She looked at him and smiled then said in English did you have a pleasant journey?
“Yes we did it’s very beautiful up here do you mind if I take a photograph asked Gordon he used the Yashika and focussed as he took the picture of the woman who was still very attractive for her age outside of the cottage. Her skin was so fresh looking and you would hardly think that she was nearly forty eight. She wore an apron over her dress and a pair of flat black leather shoes.’
The cottage had four rooms and a converted attic which is where Tracey led Gordon and showed him around. The furniture was all antique but well looked after. The brasses had all been polished and the coal fire burned to heat the water.’
It was only in the last seven years that they got an extension built and a bathroom. Dylan her husband worked in the Great Orme copper mine as the coal mines were in decline so did Dai her son during the day and trained at night as a boxer. He ran the ten miles to work every morning over the hills to strengthen his legs. He came home with his father in the car after they had showered and changed into their clean clothes.
Tracey introduced Gordon to her father and brother who looked like his mother. He was only about five feet seven tall but he had a big pair of shoulders and a square jaw line. His hands were larger than his and they showed the calluses of heavy work on the punch bags and in the mine.