Friday, 29 July 2016

Change of Date for Acoustic Session

Bob Evans, who runs the Wednesday evening acoustic evenings at Baskerville Hall, has given us plenty of notice - on Wednesday 10th August the Hall is booked for a wedding, with sole occupancy. So the evening has been re-arranged for Thursday 11th August. Will it have the same great atmosphere on a different evening?
It'll probably look something like this, though....

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Remembering the Somme and the Battle of Jutland

A commemoration of the Battle of the Somme and the Battle of Jutland will take place in the Square by the War Memorial on Sunday 7th August, starting at midday.
There will be re-enactment groups there, and vehicles from the Military Vehicles Trust, as well as Hay History Group and the Royal British Legion Riders. There will also be a stall raising money for the Poppy Appeal.
Leading the parade will be the Swansea Pipe Band, followed by the standards of various British Legion branches and military associations. There will also be a choir - Voices in Unity from Rhayader, and a brass band from Brecon.
The heart of the commemoration will be a ceremony in which 12 red roses will be laid at the foot of the War Memorial, one for each of the Hay and Cusop men who lost their lives at the Somme, and the midshipman who died at the naval Battle of Jutland. The organisers are hoping to track down descendents of the men who died, to lay the roses.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Wonderful Tea

I don't usually get chance to see much of the market on Thursdays - when I'm going to work they're still setting up, and by the time I come out for lunch they're usually finishing off. While the Young Man was here, though, we had plenty of time to browse the stalls. In the Buttermarket there was a chap selling interesting looking teas, and while we were there one of his regular customers came up and told us how wonderful the teas are. "You've got to drink them with a little sugar, to bring the flavour out," he said. The Young Man likes teas with interesting flavours (I'm more of a black tea girl myself, though I do enjoy Russian Caravan Tea, with that subtle smoky taste), so he bought a couple of bags to try.
When he'd gone back home, I got a phone call after a couple of days. "You've got to try this tea!" he said. It was hot and sultry in London, and even 12 floors up in his flat, there was no breeze, so he'd been drinking the Magic Dragon tea iced. He'd also had it hot the previous evening, and he was very impressed!
So this Thursday, I'll have chance to get to the stall before I start work, and I'll have a try for myself.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Recycling Batteries

I'm gradually moving over to rechargable batteries, but I still have a few things in the house that are running on ordinary batteries. So I was pleased to see that there is a collection point for batteries at the Library now.
One more reason to use the local library!

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Small Business Saturday

The Ewe Tree, which sells woollen goods from a variety of local makers, is having a closing down sale. They moved into the shop on Castle Street which used to be the baker's shop, but the building (which is quite extensive at the back) has been up for sale, and has now sold.
It'll be interesting to see what happens to the shop next and whether The Ewe Tree will disappear or move into another shop in town.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Eating out in Hay

I don't normally eat out, but while the Young Man was here, we didn't spend a lot of time in the kitchen (apart from a rather good Chinese stir-fry we made with the Welsh Mountain rump steak I got at the Food Fair). To be honest, we didn't spend much time eating out in restaurants or pubs either, but we did do a lot of nibbling snacks while binge watching Arrow! And our day out in Brecon was planned around a pie and a pint at the Brecon Tap.
It's possible to eat very well in Hay, but this time we were feeling quite lazy, and when we did fancy a proper meal, the chip shop was very convenient. They do generous portions of chips - and the Young Man was delighted that they now serve saveloys, just like he can get in London. They also do a really, really good chilli con carne. I may never attempt to cook my own version again!
We also went to Red Indigo - the Young Man finds it easy to get Chinese food in London, but good Indian food is rarer where he lives. He had the chicken Dansak and I had lamb Rogan Josh, with vegetable rice and naan, and we really enjoyed the food, as usual.
Our picnic lunch and other snacks came from the Wholefood shop - we love their sausage rolls, and the samosas are good too.
We planned to have tapas at Tomatitos, too, but ran out of time.
We ate a fair bit of ice cream over the week, too - which is why I went out today to treat myself to a tub of mint chocolate chip ice cream from Shepherds!

Thursday, 21 July 2016

"Cry 'God for Harry!'"

'England and St George!'


The English camp before the Battle of Agincourt - on Cusop castle tump

We had a bit of trouble getting up to Cusop Church. Normally, I'd walk up, but the Young Man's bad leg meant he couldn't really get that far. So we tried booking a taxi the evening before. Booktown Taxis were already booked up, so I worked my way down a list of local taxi firms. I got answerphones for some, a couple of numbers don't seem to exist any more, and one lady in Talgarth said they haven't done a taxi service for ages (but the number is still on Yell.com).
On the morning of the event, I tried Glasbury Taxis again - and success!

We got to Cusop Churchyard in time to join in with the kids (with foam swords) for the swordfighting workshop. We had brought our own, steel, re-enactment swords. And I found that I was having a lot of trouble with the first two en garde positions. Also I learned that the defence against headshots is called the St George. I'm badly out of practice! We'd had a bit of a practice the night before, but it was good to watch someone who really knew what he was doing, and was great with the kids.
After the workshop, some of the kids who'd been practicing came to chat to us about our swords - talking about swordplay and medieval battles is a lot easier than actually using the sword!
I'd also brought my bows with me, as there was a bowyer set up in the churchyard too. It turned out to be the local bowyer who made my bow - and he recognised it!.
We brought a picnic lunch (delicious sausage rolls and samosas from the Wholefood Shop) but some people there paid extra on the ticket for a ploughman's lunch. There was tea and coffee available too.
Most of the kids went into the church to make cardboard armour. Some of them wore it for the battle later.
The performance of Henry V, abridged by Hay Theatre CIC, was full audience participation. We began in the churchyard where the members of the cast introduced themselves and Chorus (Malk Williams) delivered the first of the famous speeches - "Oh, for a muse of fire!" He also played Henry V.
Then we moved into the church, which was packed, and included King Richard Booth in a wheelchair. The English throne was at the front by the pulpit and the French throne at the back. There were scheming bishops, the gift of tennis balls to the King, Derek Addyman giving his all as Ancient Pistol - and quizzing Chorus on what his fancy speeches actually meant, and Falstaff's death. Then we were off to Southampton, very effectively, as a sail was lowered from the rafters and the audience were invited to wave streamers and seagulls on sticks.
Then it was outside again for scenes around Harfleur, with the four Captains (Scottish Captain Jamie in full kilt and tam o'shanter!) disputing in the lane by the lychgate. They led us into the Castle field, where we saw the French princess attempting to learn English, and then to the battlefield, with the French tent at one end and the English tent at the other. When we'd arrived, we had all been given stickers of the Cross of St George or the French fleur-de-lys, and now the audience divided to become the English and French armies. We hurled Shakespearean insults at each other before charging, and I must say it was very satisfying to run round the field shouting "Die, French dog!"
We'd spent half the day chatting with Tracy and her husband, who turned up after the swordfighting for the picnic lunch, and we were very grateful, at the end of the performance, for the lift back into town!

It was great fun, and I understand there are plans to do something similar in the winter with A Christmas Carol.