Friday, 26 May 2023

Hay there . . .


I've wanted - needed indeed - to go to Hay for weeks, but us being poorly and various appointments got in the way.  Anyway, I much enjoyed the drive there (and even more back, over the mynydd) and had a steady wander round the town, chatting to friends, looking in shop windows, raising eyebrows at prices (!) and just going slowly and being mindful, and doing the shopping that needed to be done.

In the cheese market, there was bread (on a stall behind me), vegetables, this lovely baking and (below) just outside, more toothsome baking. Because I make my own cakes, £3 or so for one of the indulgences seems a little steep, but then I try to be careful with our pennies - you can only spend them once after all.  To think I used to think I was making a good profit on a cake when I sold slices at Car Boot Sales for 40p a time a few years back!  I can remember one family on holiday buying a slice each of Parkin, then coming back and buying the rest of the tray bake for their holiday nibbles.

In the Buttermarket, where we used to be, some lovely home spun and dyed wools.

Reflection of the townscape in Kath's shop window.

I don't know what the entire quote says (tried looking it up but no luck) across the castle, but I am sure it is from something more erudite than I am ever wont to read.

As I had bought Keith an Apricot and Almond nibble, I blew 70p on a nice fresh jam doughnut from this bakery.  The ham and cheese, and garlic and cheese twists (left) looked very moreish.  The little pasties and pies were all veggie/vegan and hopefully the woman who came into the butchers looking for veggie food noticed this shop as she went away empty-handed!  To my mind - butchers = meat!!

More May on the way home . . .

I have the Dr's this morning, then I'll do a bit in the garden.  So far, I'm feeling ok after yesterday's exertions so I hope that this bug is finally leaving my system.  UPDATE  I have to try and do a sputum test, just in case it's a chest infection brewing, though I sounded ok when she listened to my chest.  The BP tablets have to be dumped because they give me heart arrythmia.  I am going to try and get back to daily walks again now I'm on the mend, as those help lower my BP.  

What I really need to do now is to start listing stuff daily - dealer's retirement clearout - on Facebook Marketplace. Today's the right day to take photos anyway.  First out (nearest the door) a lovely old battered French walnut oil jar . . .

I bet Billy's rolling his eyes and thinking that's a candidate for the Tip!  It has rustic charm (!) - hasn't had a recent outing because it is in a big container which takes up a lot of room.


  1. I used to sell cakes at car boot sales when the boys were small, 10p each for a Fairy Cake or 6 for 50p and I thought I was doing well. I guess I was really as I used some of my limited housekeeping to buy the cheapest of cheap ingredients and I nearly always at least doubled my money.

    That looks like a great day out, good luck with the Facebook Marketplace listings, there are usually a lot of dealers that look on there for fresh stock.

    1. I've hauled out, wiped down, photographed and listed a dozen things. That was the afternoon sorted out! I have an entire stall in the stables full of old stock (and a bit more beside) which I need to get rid of. I will have to go through a box at a time, and do some car boot sales this summer too. I did the big lumps first today.

      I used to grow herbs from seed too, and perennials and annuals. I still remember the lurch my stomach gave when the 2,000 Nicotiana sylvestris seeds ALL germinated! They didn't all make it to being potted on, I can tell you!

  2. I was a founder member of our local WI markets. My specialties were sausage rolls and ginger cake. All that baking look sreally delicious. Here, for £2.95 you can get a brownie. Just one. A bara brith is around £5. Individual quiches, like the delicious ones you showed there, around £4 to £5 apiece. Way out of my price zone. Even for a treat. However one company called Mam Gu Welsh Cakes. I think they really taking the Michael charging £6 for six Welsh cakes.

    1. Well done you. I made some lovely sausage rolls last week with the hot Welsh Dragon sausages I got from the butchers. I used a cheese pastry round them. Prices are similar in Hay - the little cakes are about £2.95 - just a mouthful! Some of the breads on the stalls are £4 plus! I make my own.

  3. The quote intrigued me also, and thus down a rabbit hole I went. 😊
    Apparently, it's a poem written/created by poet-sculptor-artist Robert Montgomery and is part of a current exhibition at the Castle. Here's a link to him in Wikipedia:

    "The exhibition begins on the Castle exterior with a newly commissioned light poem from poet-sculptor Robert Montgomery and culminates in Pelé Cox’s verse inscription for Eric Parry’s Building 7 at Chelsea Barracks..."

    Thanks ever so much for the lovely photos you always post, as well as updates on the kittens and the older cats. My how the kittens grown and come into their own.
    Wishing you & Keith a lovely weekend.

  4. 40p a slice for cake! Today it's often ten times that in St Davids - and sometimes more! But then home made is always best. You are lucky to have such a lovely town nearby.

  5. As someone with very poor baking skills (don't enjoy it at all), I appreciate good bakery products! Those prices seem close to what they cost here. I don't buy much bread or pastries, though I do enjoy eating them when I treat myself. Are the white flowering bushes spirea? They are gorgeous.

  6. I never thought to look up the site and see what was going on there. I too wandered off down a rabbit hole and found "Little Giddings" by T.S. Eliot, which has nothing at all to do with your building, but was a poem that moved me to tears. Thank you for that.

  7. How nice to see the castle without its scaffolding. It’s looking very smart and are those Tudor chimney pots? I am sure I have been inside Kath’s shop drooling over milking stools but only buying some nice cards. Good luck with the listing and selling. I think the walnut oil (love walnut oil when in France) jar would look great in a Mediterranean style courtyard garden with a succulent spilling out of its top. Hope you have been enjoying this lovely weather. Everything tender has now germinated for me and yesterday I dug out yet another compost heap in preparation for the planting out. I compost everything and nothing goes to waste in my garden and my greensand soil garden laps it all up. Meanwhile S cleaned, rubbed down and painted the cast iron gate into the kitchen garden which is now looking very smart. By three o’clock we both felt we needed a walk to stretch out our backs so we drove the short distance to Stopham church. Stopham is a very interesting village with its bridge of seven arches over the river Arun constructed in 1309 and a church dating back to the 11th century when a Saxon named Stoppa held the manor. The church has a Sussex marble floor (polished greensand) embedded with brass effigies of the Barttelots who have held the manor since 1379. The family built a grand house in the reign of Elizabeth but it was much altered in the late 18th century and is now converted to apartments. However the Manor House is a fine example of domestic Elizabethan architecture and as it is tenanted it remains unspoilt and unimproved. You would love the church - thirteenth century octangular font, Norman arches, several monuments to brave Barttelots who died in battle including at the battle of Agincourt! We had a walk around the lanes and up into the fields and woods. Nowadays vines are planted for winemaking and there are sweet chestnut woods underplanted with wild daffodils and lots of streams. It is hilly and wooded and reminds me of the Surrey Hills where we used to live. The countryside is looking magical right now, there are a million shades of green everywhere you look and I am loving it. Wishing you a lovely bank holiday Monday BB. Sarah x