We decided to embrace the never ending rain yesterday and headed to Wales. If you’re going to get drenched, you might as well do it right – and Wales definitely knows what it’s doing when it comes to rain.
Hay on Wye is literally a hop, skip and a jump over the border, and despite getting stuck behind every slow driver in Worcestershire, Warwickshire and Herefordshire, it was worth the trip. This town is rammed full of bookshops – everywhere you turn there is another amazing shop selling beautiful second hand books, on every conceivable subject.
There is nothing I love more than being surrounded by dusty bookshelves. The smell takes me straight back to the hours I spent in the Bodleian in my student days, and a little part of me aches to go back, and spend my days pouring over heavy, well-read hardbacks, brought up for me from the corridors of books circling under Oxford.
We arrived, starving and slightly soggy from the walk to the town from the carpark. We ducked into the nearest warm-looking pub, and discovered that it was the best kind for pub – everyone was eating pies and homely looking meals, a roaring fire was filling the air with cosiness and a massive dog was unconscious in the corner.
We ordered Welsh Rarebit (it was warm and contained cheese – an easy choice) and pints of Guinness, and squeezed ourselves into a tiny table in the corner, as the unconscious beast was blocking the way to about three tables, and we didn’t have the heart to wake him.
We then mooched around the tiny streets, browsing through piles of books and resisting the urge to buy everything in the multitude of vintage stores that have popped up in the last couple of years.
Once we had mentally spent both our paycheques, we hopped in the car and headed to Ross on Wye. I had read about a great shop called Bailey’s, which sells the most incredible things for homes. If you’re anything like me, and love anything which looks vintage, industrial or slightly battered, then you will love it.
It was worth the drive, as it was full to the brim with things that could fill the book ‘Things Emily wants, but shouldn’t buy, as she won’t be able to afford food’.
I managed to prise my mucky paws off the sofa, table and lamp I really wanted, and instead treated myself to two crates for the garden (to put plant pots and herbs in), four of the best smelling candles to ever venture anywhere near my nostrils, a jar of Herefordshire honey (I’m a big toast eater) and some incense sticks.
The latter is already a big hit – after a while, incense usually just smells like smoke and it gets a bit much, but these are amazing. We chose a selection of smells – from orange to vanilla. So far we have tried the cocoa beans one and I can already see me driving all the way back to Ross on Wye just to get some more – it filled the house with an amazing woody, smoky, slightly chocolately smell. Turns out chocolate isn’t just for eating in industrial sized quantities.
Today has been a very different day – we were all woken up several times in the night by wind and rain lashing against the windows, so we have spent the day in our pyjamas, eating a big roast chicken and reading.
And as for Mort, he has had a pretty great weekend too. Yesterday, on our journey back from the land of no mobile signal, I finally heard my phone beep-beep. And this is what I saw.
He’s clearly McLovin it. I hope you have all had weekends as good as a Dachshund who has his entire face shoved in a McFlurry.