Back on the road after our stay stay in Cardiff, we were off to Hay-on-Wye, a legendary little town near the Heredfordshire boundary that boasts a population of 1900 people and 40 plus bookstores. Of course we had to see this.
The ride was tense due to construction diversions, incredibly narrow roads and the odd sheep grazing in the hedgerows. Abergevany was completely closed off and we had to work through a lot of roundabouts (ugh!) to get back on course.And finally we arrived.The town was pretty amazing and a lot of fun to explore.
I loved the Honesty Bookshop outside Hay Castle where books are shelved out in the open. If you want to buy something you drop payment in the box, 50p for hardcovers, 30p for soft. The books there are pretty grubby and no real treasures to be found but still charming as hell. We checked out numerous stores and found some cool items including a book published in 1853 detailing Henry Layard's excavations of Nineveh. Pretty happy about that one.
On our walk we smelled some amazing food and let our noses lead us into a couple of different establishments before finding the source, a little deli that featured a fabulous stew.
And then we were off again. We reached London just after sunset and if the diversions through Wales were a challenge, trying to get from the M4 to Bloomsbury was just nuts. To make matters even more stressful when we got to the hotel we learned they had cancelled our reservations and not informed us. The hotel was booked full save for the honeymoon suite which the three of us would have to share. They were nice enough to give us the regular room rate though.Yep, that's a jacuzzi in the corner. Sad that we were too damned tired from the road to use it.
The next day we were out for breakfast at Russell Square and then a signing at Gosh!
We had a few hours to kill before the Forbidden Planet signing so we stopped by the British Museum to see the Japanese Arts exhibit (recommended by the folks at Gosh!) and then hopped on a double decker through chaotic traffic to Harrods for a visit to the food floors. There we grabbed some cheese and bread to nosh in Hyde Park.
The Forbidden Planet signing went really well and I got to meet a lot of great people. From there were rushing out to find the club where Ian would be performing with an improv troop. Thanks to the ongoing jet lag issues I had to leave Vic and Ian there and get back to the hotel to pass out, this time in a smaller room which I was grateful for. The roman columns were a bit intimidating.
The next morning it was out to Heathrow and back home. The shuttle driver was a lovely man who gave us an extensive commentary of the changes happening in London since the formation of the European Union, all the while pointing out the more interesting spots on the elaborate route he took through the side streets of London to bypass traffic: celebrity homes in Notting Hill, the more dangerous areas in the Russian neighbourhoods. He also talked of extended family out in Ontario and how he wasn't sure if he would like the extremes of weather out there.
We were glad we didn't drag all our crap through the tube if only to hear this man's stories.
The flight home was long but comfortable with some spectacular views over Greenland.
Home again and only now re-adjusting to the time difference. I was stuck on a day schedule since about two days ago which has been brutal on the pages. It's weird how totally useless I am trying to draw when it's not dark out, not to mention crashing at ten every night. Made me all squirrely and grumpy and devoid of artistic confidence which hasn't helped with the double page splash.
Now things seem to be getting back to normal. I'll have this very late batch out on Monday with more to follow shortly thereafter. Tomorrow I'll have another look at that splash and decide whether to start over from scratch.