Rolling Hills and Weather at Hay
The landscape changes quite quickly. For hours we’re travelling across the flatlands of England and almost imperceptibly this gives way to rolling hills and mountains in the near distance. The roads narrow down to country lanes with those high, high hedges on both sides. At the same time as this is happening the sun is receding and black clouds are gathering above us.
It begins to spit with tiny droplets of rain and the man on the radio tells us this is nothing, tomorrow we’re to expect as much rainfall as they usually get in a month. This will not amount to drops or droplets, but will be like God holding two huge cosmic barrels of water, one under each arm, and spilling it down on us with great gusto. At the same time the temperature will drop 5 or 6 degrees and the extra sweater will not be enough to stop the warmth seeping from our bodies.
Well, thanks, Hay, I’ll look forward to that.
Our tickets for the event are not at Hotel reception, as promised, so we wander down to the festival site to see if they’re there, and also to have a look at the local environment. It’s pretty, but in the gloom of the rainy evening slightly melancholic. After an hour or so we track down the tickets.
All set then.
Back at the hotel a wedding is in progress, maybe a hundred and fifty guests, many of them worn down by an excess of champagne. Still smiling, though, all except Miss Havisham, who I discover half way up the stairs in her tattered wedding gown, her head resting on a clutch of purple claws. When she looks up, listlessly, I see the tears rolling down her face, ploughing furrows in the powder and fertilizer, and her eyes are red like a sunset somewhere in the Carribean.
There’s no possibility of wifi at the hotel, and the local area doesn’t yet have an internet cafe. So for these reports I’ve arranged to use the hotel’s office at a time when they aren’t using it themselves. This means getting up before dawn. But at least it’s quiet.
I didn’t expect it to be easy.