Alexander Averin

Tuesday 11 December 2007

Retail Therapy and More

Hay on Wye
Town of Books

Christmas gift suggestions

To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect.”

Oren Arnold

Dear Diary,

I wake early to another monsoon day in spite of having gone to bed at 2.30 am.

Sundays have the best mornings. I creep down to let the dogs out and make the tea as my ‘tea-man’ seems to be on strike. Because of the extremity of the weather conditions K, the collie, seems reluctant to venture out so needs a little ‘coaxing’. It only takes a bit of encouragement using my ‘firm’ voice, that’s all you need to train dogs, tone of voice. As soon as I’ve made my tea (well-honeyed of course) I let both dogs in again. K is crouching under the back step, most unusual for her, does she know that even worse weather is forecast for today?

Back in bed I don warm socks and take up my pen and pad. Looking out of the window I have a direct view to the river and can see the dipper in my line of sight, dipping and diving (you can see how they got their name), swimming out, swimming back, a sure sign that there are fish-a-plenty in the waters again. We always ’rejoice’ when we see the dippers because of the egg that is taken from their nest each year by the academic folk from Cardiff who come trespassing and poaching eggs (excuse the pun). I wrote rather an irate blog about it last spring.

They are such clever birds in that they find the little shallow areas in the stream where the current flows into the bank and avoid the really rapid flowing parts where they wouldn’t stand a chance were they to venture in when the river is in flood. They would soon be in Herefordshire, swept along at a rate of knots.

A little later, when the dipper has gone, I see there is a wild mallard duck fishing in exactly the same spot, they are not seen very often so I am always excited when they swim past. There are certainly fish in the river! (I know that the salmon have been up recently).

I’ve been set a task by Snailbeach Shepherdess to write a letter to myself at the age of thirteen. Such a good idea. I did in fact once write a draft letter to myself as a child, as part of a book I am writing at the moment. I may have thrown the letter away though so I shall have to delve amongst my piles of papers. I believe it’s used by psychologists as a kind of therapeutic tool to make contact with your inner child. They are certainly fascinating to read and also to write. I shall work on this task and make it my next blog entry.

I am on annual leave from work at the moment as I have a lot owing to me and thought I would take it as I have the aforementioned book-writing project to finish; it’s part of my OCA course.

I went to Hay-on-Wye on Saturday with B, a dear Irish friend of mine; brollies in hand we braved the elements and indulged in some retail therapy. We were mainly browsing, not seriously Christmas shopping, but managed to find a few treasures along the way and spoilt ourselves as well - we both bought woollen hats, the same style but in different colours, mine is a sort of airforce blue and B’s a creamy kind of colour. They are both adorned with coloured flowers and tassles, they sound horrendous don’t they, but in fact they are really pretty (and warm). I shall post a photo of mine that M has kindly just taken.

We went to a local garden centre at around tea-time, had a cuppa in the café there and then a bit more retail therapy was called for. I bought some bargain books for presents. B bought me a gorgeous poinsettia plant, she is very naughty.

Then it was off to the Hollybush Inn, the place I mentioned a few blogs ago, to meet up with our husbands for drinks and a meal and to listen to Sammy G (Samuel Gomm) a singer/songwriter from Holland, originally from Welshpool in Powys.

Hollybush Inn, Hay-on-Wye

We expected a wonderful meal and we were not disappointed. B’s husband is a chef, cookery teacher, food writer and used to have his own restaurant so I would not recommend anywhere to him if I did not feel confident. The music was superb too, Samuel’s voice is wonderful, far better than lots of ‘famous’ recording artists. I wish my son had been able to come and listen, he too is a singer/songwriter.

Blessings before I go?

Hay-on-Wye, one of my favourite little towns because it is filled with bookshops and other enticements at every turn.

Friends, laughter, good company.


Singers of songs


Tellers of Tales.

I’ll sign off now, the day that lies ahead is free and I have lots of writing to do.

But first I have to pen a few words to a shy young teenager,

I have such a lot to tell her.

Bye for now,
Go mbeannai Dia duit,


Maggie Christie said...

I love Hay on Wye, such a wonderful place to go for a day out. But the weather on Saturday was awful! I hope you didn't get too wet. Nice hat too!

Anonymous said...

Retail therapy does do the trick especially with a good friend. Followed by lunch it sound too good to be true!

Crystal xx

Pipany said...

That was lovely Cait- got quite excited because I actually knew where you were blogging about! We went to Hay twice in the summer and loved it. I particularly loved a shop called Chattelsw and another one that I can't remember the name of... was on a corner near Chattels and had an upstairs selling interior decor stuff and beautiful quilts, teddies, etc. just gorgeous xx

Kim said...

Retail therapy doesn't work for me, as I absolutely hate to shop.

I would love to wander the bookshops in Hay on Wye, though. Sounds lovely.

Milla said...

I like Hay, but hardly recognised it from your photo since it always tips down when I go. It reminded me how I lost a favourite cardigan there once. And I wish you'd bring your tone of voice to bear on Lolly (puppy/dog - how long can they be called puppies? She's in her 11th month). Nice to hear a burst of the Carpenters, too - what a waste!

snailbeachshepherdess said...

Hi Hay on Wye...I have to be physically dragged away!!!Glad to hear something good has come out of Welshpool...besides the road home! Still cant face honey in tea though although I have wondered ...and looked at the honey jar and the teapot...but ....not yet

Frances said...

Hello Cait,
I have seen this late tonight, and sorry but cannot read it properly.

Will return tomorrow or the tomorrow after that.

One of these days I definitely want to visit Hay. Maybe you remember my writing you about my non-reading brother's visit there a few years back, and how he got to play his guitar in the Castle.
Funny to think of a non-reader in Hay, no?

See you soon. xo

CAMILLA said...

Apologies for coming here late Cait, just trying to catch up.

I would love to live in Hay-On-Wye, sooo many books shops, as you know a passion of mine.

I can identify with the Blessings you have wrote Cait, my favourites for Blessings too.