Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Planet Buffet

When the Young Man arrived on Saturday, we had quite a while to wait for the bus back to Hay. We normally find somewhere nice for lunch, and this time he didn't want to walk too far from the bus station.
We got as far as the old Odeon cinema beside the bus station, now the Freedom Church. On the end of the building is a round extension housing a Chinese restaurant called Planet Buffet.
It's been there for years, and I don't know why I've never been inside, because it was excellent.
The idea is that you pay a set price for the meal, and help yourself from an island in the middle of the restaurant where there are various kinds of rice and noodles, and all sorts of meats in sauces and vegetables. The Young Man went for a red Thai curry with noodles, and I had pork in a rich sauce. We each got a pot of very good green tea as well.
The steps up to the front door were a little bit difficult with the suitcase, but I'll certainly be going there again when I'm in Hereford.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Saturday Mini Bus

I went into Hereford yesterday to meet my Young Man from the station, and got to the bus stop in good time for the 20 to 10 bus. Which was a bit late. None of us in the queue were very worried about this, because there was a notice about a diversion around Talgarth and Bronllys for the next week or so, which would add a few extra minutes to the journey time.

When the bus finally turned up, we all laughed - it was a minibus!

The driver explained that there had been a breakdown of the usual bus, and the replacement bus wouldn't start - so to keep the service running, this had been the only bus available.
We squeezed in.

He also explained that the "free bus on a Saturday" idea had changed slightly. It was free in Wales, but once he crossed the border into England, he had to start charging the normal fare again. So I could get a free return ticket from the Hay bus stop, but the person who got on in Cusop had to pay full fare, and my Young Man had to pay full fare from Hereford Station back to Hay.

At Peterchurch a lady with a child in a buggy got on.
At Kingstone Church, the driver would only accept the first two people in the queue, but he was very apologetic about it.

On the bus, I was chatting to one of the ladies from the Stitch and Bitch group, who was going to catch the train to London. She said the bus was so full it reminded her of being in India!
In a seat near the back was a chap who used to go to the Wednesday evening music sessions at Baskerville Hall - he was going off to Mirfield for a few days' retreat, and hoping to create some new music while he was there.

The bus back to Hay was the normal size.

Friday, 9 November 2018

Remembrance 100th Anniversary

The Remembrance commemoration this year starts at the Clock Tower at 2.00pm on Sunday afternoon, with a piper playing while the parade forms up. At 2.30pm the parade will march to St Mary's Church for the service of commemoration, followed by a march back to the war memorial for wreath laying.
The British Legion are hoping for as many veterans as possible to join them this year, for part or all of the commemoration. After all, this year is special - being exactly one hundred years from when the guns fell silent at the end of the Great War.

Meanwhile, local churches have been making a special effort to mark the anniversary, too. The poppy curtains and wall hangings at Cusop Church are impressive, and will be there for the rest of the year.

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Plastic Free Hay

There's a new group in town, dedicated to the reduction of single-use plastic in our lives. They've been going round the shops with leaflets, suggesting ways that we can reduce the use of plastic in our lives.

For instance, so many people carry bottled water around now - when it would be just as easy to carry a refillable bottle. Tap water is just as good as bottled water.

Or use a shopping bag that is not made of plastic - this idea has been around for years. The Co-op had an initiative a few years ago in which they gave every household in Hay a cotton bag - I still have mine.

Refuse takeaway cups, cutlery and straws unless they are compostable (when I was away for the weekend, I always refused the little plastic lids that they want to put on coffee cups these days). A little while ago, there was a visitor to town who wandered round with her own enamel coffee mug.

Avoid unnecessary packaging - I usually buy loose fruit and vegetables which can go straight into my cotton shopping bag, which can be washed easily. If it's something like mushrooms, I put them in a paper bag at the greengrocers. And I can choose exactly how much of anything that I want, instead of having a pre-packed amount - I might not be able to use it all, and wasting food is another global problem. And the local butchers keep the plastic they have to use to a minimum - no unnecessary plastic trays, for instance.
Shops that support the initiative will be getting stickers for their windows (and yes, I suppose they are plastic, but they're not single use - they'll last for ages).

I looked in the bag for my rubbish just now, and I have put 4 items in it this week - a butter wrapper, the cellophane from a cake, the plastic wrapping from some Welsh Dragon sausages from Gibbons, and the plastic seal from a tub of ice cream (the rest of the tub is cardboard, so will be going in the compost).

Plastic Free Hay has a Facebook page.

Sunday, 4 November 2018

The Isle is Full of Noises

This was the Shakespearean evening in St Mary's Church last night - and it was such a lot of fun!
The Three Inch Fools were the company, three men and a woman who played all the parts, with quick changes on stage, adding jackets and shawls to their basic shirts and breeches - and Prospero had his wizard's staff, of course. They were Alex Wingfield (playing Ferdinand and Caliban from the Tempest), Claire Parry (Ariel and Miranda), Eddie Mann (Jaques and the Duke in the Forest of Arden) and James Hyde (Prospero). They have a website at
They were also all accomplished musicians, playing a variety of instruments (including a musical saw!), starting the performance with The Rain it Raineth Every Day from Twelfth Night, which moved quickly into the storm from the Tempest (enacted with two umbrellas). From Prospero's Isle we moved to the Forest of Arden, and then back to the Tempest (I'm not sure who the slightly sinister herbalist with the pestle and mortar was - I didn't recognise the play his speech came from).
They were full of energy and enthusiasm, and very funny, and it was a wonderful evening's entertainment.
The church was full, and I'm told that Botany and Other Stories, who organised the evening, raised over £900 to maintain the churchyard with regard to greater bio-diversity.

Looking around the church, I noticed that the new heating system is in place, with big radiators along the walls, which means that the short side pews have been taken out.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Another Floral Train

Now Hay has a floral train down by the bridge, I couldn't help noticing this example in Chester railway station:

Friday, 2 November 2018

More 'Bitching' than Stitching!

It was the First Thursday of the month yesterday, so time for Stitch and Bitch at the Swan, where we were greeted with the invitation to sign up for loyalty cards, which is a new initiative. The loyalty cards offer a 10% discount on drinks and food.
Fran├žoise came along to chat with us. She's planning a new exhibition around the works of Colette and embroidery, so thought it would be a good idea to write a little bit about the local Stitch and Bitch group to go into her newspaper The Cabbage Leaf at the same time. She also brought along a reel of paper twine she has been trying to knit - it's very stiff, but she has a project in mind for it (not clothes, though - it's far too stiff for clothing). She also discovered the existence of circular knitting, as Tracy was knitting another Fair Isle jumper on circular needles.
On the whole, though, we did a lot of chatting (we don't really Bitch) and not a lot of craftwork. There were a few light hearted suggestions about changing the name of the group - Stitch and Witch was quite a popular idea, as we do have several Pagan leaning members, but nobody really liked Knit and Natter - too bland, and we're not a bland group!