Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Festival Window


The volunteers at the Red Cross shop are talented!
The manager was just shutting up shop when I took the photos and she said she'd had an offer for one of the book art vases of flowers already! As the person asking was local, she said she'd keep a note of it, and they could come back after the Festival.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Getting Ready for the Festival

So the bookshop windows are being cleared to put out books by Festival authors, there's an art exhibition at Tinto House and another in one of the empty shops, stalls are going up in the Honesty Gardens, the Fair on the Square will be happening again, and the Hourglass Gallery has been painted green.
Meanwhile at the Globe, a neighbour saw a group of people manhandling a gypsy caravan up the sloping path past the front of the Globe and into the little meadow at the side of it - and this morning Emma Balch came into the Cinema Bookshop to buy some books on the British Army to put in her display for the play Unicorns, Almost. One of them was a history of the Sherwood Foresters Yeomanry by Jonathan Hunt. Their nickname was the Unicorns because of their badge, and the author will be coming to Hay to see the play.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Swan Well

I was asked today where the "wild spring" was in Hay, so I sent them to find the Swan Well, which is tucked away behind the almshouses beyond the Swan Hotel on the way out of Hay, on the Brecon Road.
By coincidence, I'd taken advantage of the beautiful weather yesterday to do a circular walk. I started off along the riverside walk, as far as the church, and at the top of the path, it occurred to me that I hadn't been past the Swan Well for a while, so I took that path, and took a photo:


Before piped water to every home, this was one of the public wells in Hay.

From there, I took the path by the side of the cemetery, up to Hay Common. It's up a steep gully, with several little bridges over the stream, and in dappled shade from the trees overhanging it. At the top it opens out into a wide meadow - and from one side there was a good view over the Hay Festival site, with all the tents up, dazzling white.
Going down again, I cut through the cemetery, and took this photo of the military graves near the entrance, most of them Italian and German prisoners of war, who died at the end of the Second World War, at the Military Hospital in Talgarth:


Then I took the path from Forest Road round the back of the school, and came out on the fair at the bottom of the car park, and then home.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Hay Fair


Down at the bottom of the car park.
It'll liven up later into the evening.

Friday, 18 May 2018

Black Mountains College

Last Saturday, while I was in Hay for the Grand Opening of the new bench, a meeting was taking place in Talgarth Town Hall which sounds quite intriguing. Apparently, plans are being drawn up for a new Black Mountains College - and the organisers are considering the old Talgarth Hospital site for it.
It's obviously a serious proposal - Kirsty Williams, AM, was there to introduce Owen Sheers (the local novelist) and Ben Rawlence (journalist), the founders of the idea. They have also been given seed funding by the Brecon Beacons National Park to conduct a feasibility study into establishing a college for rural skills and higher education, and teacher training. They are also supported by Talgarth Town Council (it may become part of their Town Plan), Powys County Council, several colleges and universities, including Swansea, local environmental organisations Green Valleys and Ty Mawr Lime Ltd., Good Energy, Hay Festival, Cerys Matthews, and the Wye and Usk Foundation.
What they say they want ( their website is http://blackmountainscollege.uk/) is an environment dedicated to creativity, experimental learning and adaptive thinking. The aim is to encourage a zero-carbon economy, which is why there's an emphasis on traditional rural skills, but they also want to offer new solutions, so there will be computer coding, and courses on renewable energy, transport, and organic farming, leading up to a real-world research project for each student.
It all sounds very interesting, though as yet it's only a concept - and it would be a great use for the old Talgarth Hospital, which is presently mouldering away into ruin.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Royal Bedding Day

No, I haven't spelled that wrong!
I was at the Baskie for a brilliant evening of music and laughter last night. The usual Wednesday session was moved to Tuesday because a group had booked the entire hotel for Wednesday, and when we arrived, we saw a big banner over the porch for the Gunfighters' Motorcycle Club! They'd gathered from all over Europe, the UK, and the US. Some of them came to listen to the music, and sang along! According to their website, the group started in the US in 2005, and is made up entirely of active and retired police officers.
At the end of the evening an announcement was made that there would be a special event at the Red Lion in Sennybridge on Saturday, the day of the Royal Wedding. There will be music from 2pm until late, as part of a nation wide campaign called Musicians Against Homelessness.
This is a response to Windsor council wanting to clear homeless people off the streets of Windsor in advance of the Royal Wedding, because they make the place look untidy. The intent was not to help them, but just to get rid of them out of sight.
Musicians Against Homelessness have already raised £100,000 for charities which help the homeless.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Clothes Moths!

So I have a small infestation - fortunately I noticed the little so-and-sos fluttering around quite quickly.
The place they had taken up residence was the big basket stuffed with my medieval spinning and weaving supplies, including raw fleece and hand spun wool.
So, all that had to go.
I haven't actually used the contents of the basket for some time now - I think the last time was around the Agincourt 2015 festivities - as the group I used to belong to has disbanded/moved to Scotland. But I still had the thought in the back of my head that, if a medieval spinster was needed, I was ready!
The clothes moths forced a decision, though - realistically, I'm probably not going to be doing any medieval spinning or weaving in the near future, and maybe it's time to sort out the spindles and de-clutter a bit.
When I was demonstrating, I also had a variety of natural plant dyes that I showed to people, and I've already managed to find a good home for them where they will actually be used for dyeing. Annie, the lady who spins in the Cheese Market, was happy to have them - madder and woad and dyers' greenweed and St John's wort and dyers' chamomile.