Thursday, 1 June 2017

Photo Opportunities - and More on the Festival

I've been having my picture taken. I was serving in the shop when a chap asked for the photography section. When he'd had a look, he came back to the desk and asked to take my picture. He was using an old Leica - I think from the 1970s - with black and white film, just as it would have been used when it was new, and he was taking pictures of staff in every bookshop he could find which had a photography section. The camera had been a retirement present to his father, which was then passed down to him. His name is John Briggs, and he has a photography book out, of pictures around Newport, called Newportrait.
Later, I met Billie Charity on the edge of the last day of Fair on the Square. She also took my picture, which is up on her Facebook page now (also in black and white).
I went to look round the Festival site on Monday afternoon. There are a varied selection of stalls in the front gardens of houses along Brecon Road, as in previous years. The RAFA have a tea stall, and there are two stalls selling welshcakes. One of them also has crafts and wood turning. Then there are vintage clothes, and an ice cream cart, and more crafts in a tent on the corner of Forest Road. Further up Forest Road, Drover Cycles are running a café. The Swan gardens were also open with a beer stall and barbeque, and one of the cottages opposite the Swan had baskets and leather slippers outside.
On the Festival site itself, there were all the usual stalls set out - the Woodland Trust is giving away saplings all week (the first one went to the Duchess of Cornwall when she arrived to look round and to cut the cake celebrating 30 years of Hay Festival). Hay Does Vintage is there, and Athene English with her blankets and vintage clothes. The Oxfam bookshop was packed when I passed, and I treated myself to the latest Phil Rickman Merrily Watkins mystery in the Festival Bookshop, and a slim volume by Ta-Nehisi Coates called Between the World and Me, about what it means to be black in the United States. I picked it up because I recognised his name from discussions about graphic novels on various SF websites, especially the character Black Panther.
I also had a lovely chat with the lady on the Quaker stall. They were giving away postcards of panels which were part of the Quaker Tapestry - a history of the Friends done in embroidery. I remember the tapestry being done - there was a good article in one of the embroidery magazines I was reading at the time, and after the initial exhibition, the panels were scattered among Friends' Meeting Houses all over the country. There's one at Hereford Meeting House (it's down a little alleyway near the pub which is now called Firefly, and used to be the Orange Tree, near the Cathedral). It seems the panels are due to be reunited soon for a new exhibition. I came away with a badge saying "Quakers for Peace" and a couple of booklets on Quaker worship by a chap who calls himself Ben Pink Dandelion.
On the way back into town, I came upon the aftermath of a traffic accident. It seems that a shuttle bus hit a pedestrian outside the Blue Boar - I don't know how badly hurt the pedestrian was. All I saw was the bus pulled up with two police cars in front of it.
On Monday evening, Alan Cooper was playing at the Old Electric Shop, with Di Esplin on cello and Simon Newcomb. They're always good to listen to, but I finished work that night at 9pm, so all I wanted to do was crawl home and go to bed with a mug of cocoa!
Wednesday was the usual acoustic session at the Baskerville - some of the regulars, like Toby Parker, were off performing elsewhere, but Speedgums came along, swelled from their usual double bass and ukulele or banjo with the addition of Thomasin on harmonica and a chap playing the fiddle. Because Craig Charles was DJ at the Baskerville on Monday night, there was only one TV theme tune I could sing - Red Dwarf! And there were enough performers that it took about an hour to get round everyone. Two new faces (half the age of the rest of us, though they were playing Dylan and Johnny B Goode) had come from Builth, and seemed to enjoy themselves. One of them even played ragtime on the piano. And we finished off the evening with Phil leading us in a rousing version of "Sad Old Bastards with Guitars". "Hi, ho, silver lining!"

No comments: