32 Signs You Grew Up In South-West Wales

You lived far away from everywhere and everything. Your best chum was your waterproof jacket. And you still can’t explain what a cwtch is. But you’d never have traded with anybody.

1. You definitely played rugby at school. In the rain.

John Hunter / Via thinkstockphotos.com

And you sucked. Seriously - since when were your classmates so HUGE and bone-crushingly STRONG? And WHY isn’t it happening to you?

2. Unless you were a girl, in which case … no; you played it too.

Phil Cole / Getty

What is this “hockey” of which you speak? I played hooker for the school team…

3. Actually, rain was a big part of your childhood.


SHE DOESN’T EVEN LOOK APOLOGETIC. Swansea is the UK’s rainiest city. That’s before you mention the rest of the counties. And you know it.

4. Nowadays, you still “correct” people when they called you a Taff.

When I say “correct”, I mean “have a proper demented meltdown at”. May or may not have used fists. Ugh, Taffies.

5. You know full well that Taffies killed the most INCREDIBLE DOG IN HISTORY.

Swansea Jack. This still stings. Even if it might not be true.

6. Despite this, you dreamed of going to Cardiff for a night out …

Because you were 15 and thought it was grown-up. And you did get there eventually… How wrong you were.
This is part of a fascinating project by Maciej Dakowicz; click on the photos to see more at his website.

7. … and took some pretty rubbish trains to get there.

Matt Cardy / Getty

First Great Western / Arriva Trains Wales. Get it together, the pair of you. Weather like this shouldn’t be a surprise any more.

Bruno Vincent / Getty

This too. I know there aren’t many people here. So HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN?

8. You, like all sane people, have a healthy sense of self-preservation around people from the Valleys.


Your English friends still don’t know there’s a difference.
No, seriously, I didn’t watch the show. What’s going on in this picture?

9. You couldn’t escape when your nan decided it was time for a “cwtch”

Chaloner Woods / Getty

And you were always okay with it. Because she was probably about to cook you something phenomenal.

10. Because Cardiff wasn’t an option, your weekends involved cans of drink and bonfires on an empty beach …


“I’m not going for a midnight swim this time.” You always do. It’s a miracle nobody drowned, come to think of it.
You also probably got into a little huff if you didn’t have the beach all to yourselves.

11. … and you’ve most likely cut your foot open on last week’s forgotten cans.

Dan Brandenburg/Thinkstock

Let’s face it, we were all pretty stupid teenagers around there. We generally thought that an empty can, buried far enough, was gone forever. Yeah, that’s not how sand works. Not when the sea (so rudely) moves it twice a day.

12. “Surf? Yeah. I can surf.”

Matt Cardy / Getty

You can’t surf.

13. Seriously, how do some of your pals seem rather good at this?


“I’d love to go with you, but I … er … maybe another time?” Don’t show me up!

14. This was a cool thing to watch in the winter. Watch.

Oli Scarff / Getty

“Fancy going for a sw-“ “NO.”

15. Behind your front door, the floor looked something like this:

But with more mildew. And maybe dog hair.

16. You’ve started supporting this bunch, now that they’re doing rather well.


“I AM a proper fan! I liked them last month, too!”

17. St. David’s Day in primary school! No classes, and you get to dress up like this:

Fox Photos / Getty


18. And, later in life, like this.

(please don’t)

Or like this.


But not like this.

Remember him? I think we belong to him, or something.

19. On other days, in Welsh class, you tried to get your head around this sort of thing:


Sali Mali. Are you high? Jackdaws can’t talk, dear.

20. Come secondary school, your History classes had turned into veneration of these two men.

George C. Beresford/Beresford / Getty
Edward G Malindine / Getty

PM David Lloyd George. And founder of the NHS, Aneurin Bevan. Enough said.

21. You couldn’t even escape in English class, where this guy was waiting for you.

Hulton Archive / Getty

Dylan Thomas. Why didn’t they tell us about the cool bits? Like where he drank 18 whiskies in a row? That’d be far more useful … oh, wait; the whisky killed him, did it? Maybe not.

22. Did I mention the rain? And the wind? And the tides?


Amroth, Pembrokeshire, 3/JAN/2014.

23. This is a waffle.

None of that Belgian weirdness.

24. You won’t hear a bad word about ‘Doctor Who’.


Russell T Davies is from here. And you’d have liked ’Torchwood’ more were it not set in Taffyland. You also know that the Library is a real place - it’s the Brangwyn Hall in Swansea.

25. Even if you don’t speak Welsh…

Most people in south-west Wales don’t. It’s been that way for centuries.

26. … you’re still a dab hand at reading/saying things in the world’s scariest looking language …

Llangyfelach and Cwmrhydyceirw are about two miles apart.
You to your English friends: “It’s easy! Llan … no, llan … oh, forget it.”

… even if the local sign makers aren’t.

“I am not in the office at the moment. Please send any work to be translated.”

27. You’ve heard every sheep joke in the book.

Chris Jackson / Getty

(and sympathise with New Zealanders, who get the exact same thing)
(some of them are actually quite funny)

28. New South Wales? Why would I go there?

Oh, look - another murderous spider the size of a grain of sand. No thanks.
Thanks to the Scandinavia and the World webcomic (click on the image).

29. Because even though your new English pals might think you live at the end of the world …

“Do you have broadband yet?” “It’s coming next year. Maybe.”
(The Smalls lighthouse, off Pembrokeshire. The westernmost point in Wales.)

30. … and they’re half-right …


It’s quite likely that the nearest big city to you was Dublin.
(Pentre Ifan)

31. … it’s yours. You wouldn’t change a thing about it.


Well, except for the weather, perhaps?


Actually, scrap that; it’s still awesome.

32. And, no matter where you end up, it’ll always be your proper home.


(You didn’t really think that your nan was going to let you disappear that easily, did you?)

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