A sharp bend off the Bredwardine road out of Hay-on-Wye. Single-track lane, no passing place, potholed tarmac. A hamlet in a dell. Stream crossed via dubious bridge to arrive at B & B accomodation: farmhouse, circa 1600.
In the yard, I’m greeted vociferously by a large but friendly gun dog. Door open, but no sign of my hostess, despite calling out and ringing the bell on the hall table. The dog pads upstairs. I venture into the kitchen, deserted but for a cat which leaves its stool to wander off in same direction as dog. From here, into a small sitting room with a lean-to conservatory looking out onto patio and garden.
I’m back in the yard when my hostess appears and greets me on the (correct) assumption that I am her expected guest. She insists on carrying my holdall up to my room: beamed walls, ancient floorboards that sag either side of what must be the joist for the room below.
This house reeks of buried stories. What will it share as I rest in its bones?