Saturday, 27 May 2017

More Things Happening Around Town

My neighbour normally does a table sale outside the house on the first Saturday of the Festival, and I usually join her. This year I had more than usual to put out, as I'm selling off the medieval re-enactment clothes that no longer fit me.
It was noticeably quieter than previous years down at this end of town - undoubtedly because the Globe is closed this year. However, we made a few sales before the showers forced us to give up. So we went across and had a drink in the Three Tuns instead, as we watched the rain come down and congratulated ourselves that we had made the right decision when we packed up.

So then I had an afternoon free to look round the exhibitions.
Tinto House has wooden sculptures in the garden again, and paintings by John Clare. I met several people hovering outside Tinto House, looking for the Festival Bus Stop - and had to tell them that the shuttle buses are not stopping there this year. The bus stop for the Festival is up at the top of the main car park.
At the Fair in the Square there were stalls for Motor Neurone Disease and the Hay, Brecon and Talgarth Refugee Sanctuary. It was getting a bit windy at that point, and the lady behind the stall was trying to weigh down the papers with whatever she could find. Some of them were drawings by Eugene Fisk. When they organise outings for refugees living locally, Eugene takes a sketch pad along, and does pen and ink portraits of them - he's done about 75 so far. Later when I passed again there was live music in the marquee - Justin Preece who is a regular at the Baskerville acoustic evenings, singing one of his standards with a double bass and female singer on stage with him.
Up at the Hay Loft, it's not just an exhibition of Welsh landscapes (which are beautiful water colours) - the whole room smells gorgeously of leather, from Beara Belts. They also do bags and pendants and so on. And sharing the central table with them were wooden bowls, one of which was made of bog oak estimated to be 8,500 years old.
Moving up the Castle Drive to the Cobbles, most of the Castle outbuildings were in use - the Castle Café is in the stables, decorated with photographs by Billie Charity and Jasper Fforde. Next to them is Seren Books, with books of Welsh interest and portraits of authors (and some fun magpies). Herbfarmacy is also up there, and Beacons Candles where Beer Revolution used to be. Their display had a lovely scent as well.
I just missed seeing Jackie Morris at Booths Bookshop - she's the artist in residence there this weekend - I just saw the table where she had been working, and some of her books on display.

And in Backfold I popped into Haystacks Record Shop, where a new Phil Rickman themed tshirt is on sale. Haystacks have been selling the "Thorogoods Pagan Bookshop" tshirt for a while, as Phil sites his fictional bookshop just about where Haystacks is, in The Magus of Hay. Now it's been joined by "Gomer Parry Plant Hire" with a minimalist portrait of Gomer himself on the front - all bottle bottom glasses and fag hanging out of his mouth. Gomer is one of the fans' favourite characters in Phil Rickman's Merrily Watkins series - I think he appears in every book (certainly most of them).
The Buttermarket, meanwhile, has a craft market, and down the Pavement the offices of The Keep are open with an art show. The Table has pictures by Stephen(?) Dorrell and Italian food from Nonna Catarina, and the basement of La Maison has become The Rum Shack for the Festival.

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