Hay festival diary: arrival

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?

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