Since taking on the renovation of Hope Cottage in late 2015, I've needed no excuse to make the 250-mile trip from the Essex / Suffolk baddlands to the magical town of Hay-On-Wye. These pictures are just a tiny taster of the character of the local landscape.
Hay on Wye
THURSDAY JUNE 15, 2017
I decided not to stay in Hay the day before our second Campfire Conversation in the borders market town. A couple years ago, when travelling with my friend Christina, we had stumbled upon a glorious, unpretentious and quiet site, several miles west and just into Wales, a pitch that afforded spectacular views to the north along the ridge of Hay Bluff and the Black Mountains - an area rich in personal history for myself.
Fear was definitely high on the agenda at the Hay on Wye Campfire Conversation on Saturday night at The Old Electric Shop. But hope was also very much in evidence in what turned into a very positive first Hay Conversation. Here’s my own take on the key threads a packed house discussed and what directions can be drawn from the conversations, that might best be summarised as :
1 Living in fear as politics becomes more right wing and more extreme. Division is rife and disenfranchisement is being felt. Democracy is being eroded. What does democracy mean?
From Hay Literary Festival over ten days in May to The Old Electric Shop's Thursday night events, Hay is bustling with possibilities. Here are a few pointers
Hay has much to offer in the way of independent shops and pubs, considering its size and population. It has over two dozen bookshops alone, several pubs and cafés, pop up restaurants, a butcher and a record shop.
The annual pilgrimage to Hay takes place at the end of May every year, but not just for the more mainstream Hay Festival. How The LIght Gets In is arguably a more interesting, ground-level fringe festival that's more on the cutting edge. Hay has always been something of a melting pot - placed in three counties and half in Wales, half in England, the town was engaged in bookshop wars between the slef-styled 'king of Hay' Richard Booth and the pretender to the throne Leon Morelli some years back when its bookshops peaked at over 30.
Black Mountains and Way On High
Another fab trip with La Bunce, four nights without hook up and it’s all going to plan so far. How much fun can a boy and girl have in a camper van. We have the best bro / sis style relationship ever. The plan was to take in a couple of days at Hay on Wye, where the Literary Festival was in full swing, not that we would spend much time at the actual event..
Tuesday through Wiltshire