Despite constant rain and howling wind, I drove myself and the uni best friend to Hay on Wye – the Welsh book-town. Books are my raison d’etre and I will even drive over misty sheep-infested moors that my car can barely handle to get my grubby mitts on some.
Any trip we take to Hay on Wye has to include a visit to The Granary, a cosy little café with a black-and-white cat. It’s usually very quiet and the perfect place to get tea and pull out your purchases for review. We went on Saturday and it was heaving, but the scrambled eggs on thick (and thickly buttered) toast were still to die for and arrived within a very reasonable time.
(I didn’t take a photo of these for you as I was too greedy. I had been waiting since November of 2014 for these eggs and I’m sorry that I failed to show restraint.)
This was followed up by the biggest (and best) slice of lemon drizzle cake I have ever had the pleasure to meet.
Do I regret this
slice slab of cake? Not in the slightest. And really, why should I? I enjoyed it and I’m not going to eat a slab of lemon drizzle every day. So why beat myself up?
(In reality, I could easily eat a whole loaf of lemon drizzle every day and the only reason I don’t is that the opportunity so rarely presents itself.)
So enough with the food. Let’s, for once, talk about what’s really important in life, what really energises and sustains me.
That’s right. Books.
If you like books, is Hay on Wye for you or what? Hay on Wye is famous for its literary festival and the fact that it literally consists of a derelict castle (any town with a derelict castle is a personal friend of mine), bookshops, stationers, food establishments…and for some unexplained reason, a late-night laundrette, a place so of-note that it is featured on the local tourism website. It was also the home, as it proudly boasts, of the only British solicitor ever to be hanged for murder. Each to his own.
For my friend and I, it is almost a place of worship. Certainly, the journey in winter through the wool and the weather feels like a pilgrimage. And if there is a finer way to spend a rainy day than trawling used-bookshops, eating scrambled eggs on toast, and coming home to immerse myself in my purchases while drinking peach tea in front of a roaring fire, I’m not sure I know of it.