Europe 09: Day 04 - Cardiff to Hay on Wye

October 30, 2009 | Leave your thoughts


Monday – the start of the most adventurous part of my trip. 5 days solo travel through Wales. From leaving Cardiff Monday morning till Friday evening when I arrived at my friends place in Newcastle upon Tyne it was just me the Bear and my sketchbook. But I wasn’t ever lonely. This day, because I was sketching at dinner on my own, I had a lovely and lengthy conversation with a couple of decorators sitting at the table next to me.(see second combo)

I am not posting every page in large size – but let me know if you really think I should do a page I missed…big day today 7 spreads – so had to do 2 combo strips

BTW I seem to be typing more than I expected for each image I upload but this is good as it will form the foundation for the blurb book I am going to put together for myself of sketches and photos…sometime in the future….

(Don’t forget to see the combos in a larger size – click on photo )

My first stop was the Big Pit Coal Mine – it was free!! But to go down you had to surrender anything with a battery – I caused a mild sensation by all my stuff – camera, mobile phone number 1 (iphone), mobile phone number 2 (cheap phone with UK sim card) Tom Tom (my Sat Nav), watch, car keys… I think that was it! I did attempt to do a few quick sketches while down in the pit – I wish I had started at the beginning but sometimes it is hard to know how long the guide is going to stop at each spot and whether the best spaces are at the beginning or end. The important thing is that I did TRY to draw underground.

Sketching and painting above ground was just as challenging – it was FREEZING! (Ok… I am an Australian… It probably wasn’t that cold but the weather on the weekend in Cardiff had been nice and I was under-dressed on this occasion) I like the way this sketch reminds me of how fast I was drawing so that I could get back to the warmth of a cuppa in my car!(I took a small flask with me so I could enjoy this treat through my time in the UK!)

Ok – the first of my many sketches of morning or afternoon tea or simply of a cup of tea. Sitting down and having a cuppa and doing a sketch is really the only time that I find I relax when I am on holiday. It is an essential part of any day, since I was doing all the driving this trip, and I need some down time! The challenge is to find a nice café with a view – I got the view part this time….

Hay on Wye is the second hand book capital – I could easily spend a few days here but with only a few hours the number of bookstores is somewhat overwhelming that I decided it was just better to sketch. This is the Hay Castle Bookshop – the quirkiest bookshop and it is really quite sad to see any book treated like they are here – junky books for 50p paperback, 1GBP for hardback in the outdoors.

Ok, if I am going to share my first cuppa – I better do the first dinner in large size too… I wish I could remember to ask to the business card at the beginning so I can plan it into my page…

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