Thursday, 18 September 2014

Independence Referendum


Voting in progress to confirm Hay's historic independence, presided over by Prince Derek.
Earlier in the day, they took the ballot box down to Hay School. Children as young as three years old were encouraged to vote, because, after all, it is their future that is being decided.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Outside the Globe

Tim the Gardener very kindly gave me a bag full of apples, so I went up to the Globe last night to give him a bottle of beer as a thank you.
Open Mic Night at the Globe starts shortly after 8pm, but Tim sits out under the tree at the front beforehand, chatting. Last night, he was being enthusiastic about the birth of the Da Da movement, in Zurich in 1916, and was hoping to organise something at the Globe to mark the centenary, with surrealist poetry and music. James Joyce was there, mixing with all sorts of European intellectuals who were avoiding the First World War and hanging out at the Cabaret Voltaire.
It's also almost ten years since the first musical evenings (not quite open mic, as there was never a mic) took place at Lucy's - so Tim was going to perform his version of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.
They're a very erudite bunch, the regulars at the Globe - as Adrian and Chris the bookbinder joined us, the talk turned to magical realism novels (something about women giving birth to pumas), and Tim recited his poem about Toad of Toad Hall. Adrian has published a small volume of verse, too.
When Dirty Ray arrived, there was a very technical discussion about guitar strings.

Kate Freeman passed by, too - she's been helping Derek Addyman with preparations for Hay Independence Day (it's tomorrow - vote early, vote often!). There's a rather fine picture in the B&R today of Prince Derek, in his Henry VIII regalia, surrounded by his court officials, including French and South African ambassadors, and Father Richard, the Archbishop of Hay - as well as Rodders the archdruid of Hay, so religious tolerance is assured!

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

The New Timbuktu Ambulance


Here's the new motorcycle ambulance in use in Timbuktu. It's being used to bring pregnant women to hospital, and for other medical emergencies, and it was bought with money raised in Hay.

Monday, 15 September 2014

The Honey Cafe

I remember when the main road to Brecon passed right by the front of the Honey Cafe, and took traffic right through the middle of Bronllys. Now there's a by-pass, and the Honey Cafe is hidden away behind earth banks, while the road goes down around roundabouts and also bypasses Talgarth.
I've been to the Honey Cafe before, of course. When I was part of the core group of South Powys LETS System, I remember having meetings in the beautiful garden at the back. I've been to a party in their cellar, too. Back in the 1960s it was known as the Honey Cavern, and discos were held there - the mural of pop stars of the time is still there on the wall.
But I don't think I've ever eaten there until last night.
They do Tex-Mex, and since it's miserable to go out for a meal and sit in a corner on your own, Brian invited me to come with him.
The food was delicious - we had enchiladas - and the service was friendly. They have art work from local artists around the walls, mostly for sale, I think, and all of local views. We sat in a corner with a couple of Meg Stevens' flower paintings, and in the other bar, which wasn't open for food (we just went in to have a look at the pictures) there were several very good embroideries.
So it was an evening of good company and good food in pleasant surroundings - I highly recommend it.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Rats and Wasps and Cockroaches

Rats in the back garden? Wasp nest in the shed? Cockroaches scuttling around?
Don't bother calling the Council any more.
From August 29th, Powys County Council have stopped taking booking for rat, mice and cockroach treatments, and there will be no more wasp treatments after the 26th September.
This is all part of the austerity measures, of course.
But if you can't afford a commercial pest controller, then - tough!

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Small Business Saturday


The Bowie Gallery, one of the fine art galleries in Hay, with a lot of pottery.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Art in Hereford - and a New School

I was chatting on the bus to someone I know who was off for the weekend to a jazz festival in Chichester. There's nearly always someone interesting to talk to on the 39.
I was going to get some more ink for my printer - I've been having problems, so I thought I'd better get a new cartridge (if that doesn't work, the fault may be something more serious). So I walked up Widemarsh Street to PC World, and saw that the big Victorian building opposite Thomas Cantilupe School is being renovated, and a new bit is being built at the back. It seems that this is the Robert Owen Free School, moving into new premises. They promise vocational learning and excellent results, but to be honest the leaflet I picked up later on in town was a bit vague. None of their pupils have taken their GCSEs yet, so claims of dramatic improvements and fantastic results may be a little premature, though it's nice to see a school emphasising practical skills and work placements with companies.
Maybe if Hay School decided to go for "Free School" status they might get the building work done at last!
Outside Maylord Orchards, there's a "beach" - small children with buckets and spades were playing in the sand and there were deckchairs dotted around. Meanwhile Poundland have moved into the shop that used to be TKMaxx, now that TKMaxx have moved to the Old Market shopping centre. A life-size, multicoloured statue of a cow has moved into the Old Market, too - I wonder what the bronze bull in High Town thinks of her!
I managed to pick up a copy of Ancillary Justice by Anne Leckie, this year's Hugo winner, too, which is promising to be an exciting and complex space opera full of interesting cultures and characters. I started to read it in the Lichfield Vault, over a half of Adnam's Broadside.
I don't think I've ever been inside the Mayor's Lodging, the black and white building at the end of the alleyway near the cathedral, but now it's an art gallery rather than a jewellers' shop I stepped inside, and I was very glad I did. The gallery upstairs has some excellent decorative plasterwork on the ceiling, presumably put in by Mr Lawrence, the Mayor who lived there in the seventeenth century. He also had a picture of Hereford Castle painted on the wall in what must have been the master bedroom at the time. This has been restored, and looks very impressive, though the notes in the room point out that the castle was mostly ruinous by this time, and so the picture owed a lot to the artist's imagination. The artwork in the gallery was very impressive, too - there were lots of local landscapes that I liked.
In All Saints Cafe there's a display of textile wall hangings that I would have loved to have looked at more closely - but it seems a bit rude while people are having their lunch!