One thing I needed to do while my Young Man was here was to get him to Doughty's in Hereford - the patchwork and fabric shop. He wants a new Jedi costume, but the only one he's seen online that he likes is $170 (plus p&p). Last year I made a Jedi librarian costume for myself, and it turned out very well, so I volunteered to make the surcoat for him. He already has the under tunic and trousers. And the light saber. Of course, he wants to be something unusual - a Grey Jedi, somewhere between the Dark Side and the Light. Fortunately, Doughty's had the perfect charcoal grey fabric, in a suiting weight. The lady in the shop even remembered me: "You're the lady who makes Star Wars costumes, aren't you?"
The fabric cost £20, and the costume will be tailored to fit (she says optimistically!). I've got until Easter to get it ready.
On the way through the Market Hall, we spotted another Hay friend, who has recently moved house, and now lives in the only thatched house in Hereford! She said that half her friends think she's mad, and the other half want to move in with her. I looked up a picture, and I'm definately in the latter category!
I had no idea this house existed (when I'm in Hereford I rarely get beyond the central shops). It once belonged to David Cox, who is considered to be (according to Wikipedia) one of the foremost English landscape artists. He lived in Hereford from 1814 - 1827, when he was the drawing master for Miss Croucher's School for Young Ladies in Widemarsh Street. He was paid £100 a year for two days work a week, which left him plenty of time to paint and take on private pupils. Cox Cottage was custom built for him in 1817 as a cottage-cum-studio, and he lived there until 1823.
On Saturday, I went into Hereford to see the Young Man onto the train back to London, and had plenty of time to go round the shops before the bus home. So I wandered into the cathedral, just catching the tail end of Carols for Shoppers. The nave was packed, with lots of people standing, and I got to hear the choir singing the last song of the service. All around the nave and into the side chapels were craft stalls selling all sorts of lovely things, as well as mulled wine and teas and coffees. I hadn't realised it was happening, but I'll look out for it next year for last minute presents.
On the way round the cathedral, I came across their new Christmas Crib, carved out of limewood at about half life size by Paul Caton, from Lingen (there was a leaflet beside the crib). He's been working on it for three years now. In 2014 he made the Holy Family and an angel; in 2015 he added a shepherd holding a sheep, a lamb and a sheepdog, and this year he did another shepherd and the Three Kings, who I kind of missed because they were lurking behind one of the craft stalls - they're not supposed to reach the Stable until Epiphany, so many churches have them separate, and gradually getting nearer over the holidays. The Bishop of Hereford is due to dedicate (bless) the Crib on Christmas Eve, during Evensong, at 5.30pm.