Plan B, as far as costumes were concerned, was easy - I dressed as Sherlock Holmes and headed over to Baskerville Hall. I walked most of the way, though one kind gentleman stopped to offer me a lift (I didn't recognise him until I saw him later, at the Hall). Then Tracy and Ian stopped for me, and I came from the Petrol Station up the drive with them.
I was quite pleased with the walk, though - I'm very out of practice now I don't have a dog, and the last time I tried to walk to the Baskie I was wearing medieval boots, which crippled me, being slightly too tight (yes, those are the boots I'll be selling shortly - they'll be fine for someone with slightly smaller feet than mine).
There were lots of cars in the car park, and the exhibition rooms were crowded - there were a surprising number of people there who I knew, including Maureen Richardson the paper maker and book art maker, who had a stall next to an anarchist printer. I hadn't realised there were so many small press printers in the area, though one was on his way to Oxford from another show, and had decided to break his journey at Hay.
I picked up a flyer from Ludlow Bookbinders and Jemma Marbling, thinking to get as many cards and flyers as I could, but I soon got distracted. Also, several people asked to take my photo, one with the head of a giant hound in the background!
Outside in the hall was the book sculpture from the Sidney Nolan Trust, as well as cakes and coffee stalls, and round the back of the main hall was the printing press, together with plans of what the organisers want to do with the newer part of the building, where the raves used to be held, to make it into a museum and workshop space. One of their ideas is to use the bunk house accommodation for groups who want to come on printing courses, while bibliophiles can book the more luxurious bedrooms to stay, surrounded by first editions.
I went back into Hay with Tracy and Ian, and though we missed the parade, we were in time to see Prince Derek give out honours, accompanied on stage by George the Town Cryer. Mac Eager was knighted, and so was the author Phil Rickman, while our other local author, Barbara Erskine, was given the title First Lady of Hay, and Jeffrey Babb became Master of the King's Music.
I met up with a group of ladies from Stitch and Bitch, and Tracy produced a ball of wool from her bag so that it would be an official Stitch and Bitch meeting! Ros had dressed to incorporate a variety of books, including Watership Down shoes (with a picture of a leaping rabbit on them) and book ear-rings with The Hunting of the Snark in them. Sharon, who runs the campsite on the way to Llanigon, said that several Instagrammers were staying with her, and she was amazed at the distances they had come for the weekend. Ann Brichto, who has taken to Instagram as her favourite form of social media, managed to collect them together, and they had a meeting last night of sixty or seventy people.
Then there was African drumming, and a photo opportunity on the terraces of Hay Castle, with the photographer popping his head out of the skylight of one of the houses across the road.
I posed for photos with the Snow Queen as well (and foolishly failed to get anyone to take photos with my camera).
Down in the square, circus skills were in full swing, with tightrope walking, and diablo, and hula hoops and stilt walking. Two young boys stilt walking down Castle Street explained seriously that you had to keep moving all the time, or you fell over.
Also in the square was a stall selling accessories for period costume, mostly from the 18th and 19th centuries. The lady in charge was in full Jane Austen finery, with a tiara. I'd been told that she'd moved into the area by several people, though she specialises in a very different period of history to my interests, and it was fascinating to chat to her. She's living for the moment at Glasbury House, and said that one of the best things about this area, after life in London, was the fresh air!
Finally, I popped into Beer Revolution to try the Lucky 7 Independence Ale, which is very tasty, and hoppy. Derek from the Wholefood Shop told me they were getting some bottles in yesterday afternoon - the brewer was reportedly still sticking the labels on the bottles the night before! This is, of course, Hay's own local brewery, so the beer didn't have to come very far.
King Richard, sadly, did not make an appearance, but he was there in effigy, in the windows of Booth Books and the Flower Shop.