The Ludlow exhibition is now well underway and I'm home again, back to my normal routine. After the preview and Meet the Artist at the Ludlow Assembly Rooms we gathered for a wonderful supper, trying lots of Ludlow's finest gourmet treats. I slept like a log despite the fabulous Henley Hall gala event nearby - a champagne reception, dinner and auction (to raise funds for Ludlow Assembly Rooms refurbishment) in enormous marquees in the grounds, lit with flaming torches and coloured lights with music until the early hours.
Henley Hall is impressive and I wandered in the grounds before breakfast. There are original stable blocks and beautiful old tackrooms, hay stores and sheds.
I met the horses resting there after their leg of the journey from Land's End to John O'Groats of the horse-drawn WWI ambulence, a charity run by Horses Help Heroes. The garden is full of really old trees with huge girths and vast, luxuriant canopies - humbling.
We all then set off for a Birthday party held on the lawns of Hay Castle - I've heard of Hay on Wye, because of the famous festivals, but never been. The Castle was duly crumbling, exuding history and atmosphere. As we arrived a group of corvids set up from the ramparts complaining of our intrusion. Round the far side were cobbled pathways and higgeldy buildings all filled with books and old things. I met so many lovely people, and talked of a thousand things - about glass, farming, publishing, photography, architecture, past times, family and more, while the Revd. Mark Townsend mingled, enthralling us with magic tricks.
In the evening we watched the film Black Swan, had special chilli cauliflower cheese and I had my first ever guitar lesson - I stayed with friends who are musicians in a band, so we played and sang into the night. A fabulous weekend and one I will remember for a long time.