There’s a word in the Welsh language that encapsulates the essence of Welshness far more than any other. It’s a word that there are no words for. Certainly, there is no equivalent in the English language. It’s Hiraeth. Hiraeth is an emotion; it’s a yearning for a person or a place or a time that one can’t get back. It’s an unattainable longing; a kind of grief for something that once existed – or, indeed, perhaps never did.

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Some people aspire towards sea views; others favour a home that looks out over sprawling countryside or leafy parks or vibrant café culture. Me? The current view from my front window is of the back of a sex worker’s head.

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Tea with Carrie Fisher

Occasionally, I have tea with Carrie Fisher. She’s much softer face to face. I think we both like the time we spend together because it distracts us from our real lives – her from her fame, me from my lack of any.

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Millennials are not here to save us from ourselves: why the ‘liberal young’ is just a media myth.

I’m sitting in a bar with a friend, just a few hundred metres from a stretch of remaining Berlin Wall that flanks the river on this side of town. It’s late October, it’s well past dusk, and the rain that has consistently fallen since I arrived in this city is busy reflecting and animating the electric lights of surrounding buildings, passing cars, and the occasional glare of the overhead trains that intermittently rumble past our window. My first impression of this city is that it is hard, brutal, monochrome. Why then do I instantly feel comfortable here?

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