My mother was born 100 years ago today – now that makes me feel quite old – but to celebrate her birthday we went on an outing and found ourselves where other old folk go on a Saturday afternoon in August – afternoon tea in the shade of a tree!! Having decided to abandon ‘work’ and ignore all the housework that should be done we thought we might explore ‘somewhere’ ‘anywhere’ just go out and see what we bumped into. It is necessary to stop almost immediately on such outings and find somewhere to have a good cup of coffee – so The Bear in Crickhowell would be perfect because we knew that we would get a good coffee and perhaps a chat with someone that we know. Stephen – the owner of The Bear fulfilled the need to chat about art in Crickhowell – perfect. We are now on a mission to see art in the area and perhaps capture some images ourselves. A perfect day for me is not ‘bright sunshine and blue sky’ – what I love is sunshine laced with dramatic clouds. The first picture that inspired me was an old barrel that seemed to have been forgotten amongst the glorious flowers that festoon The Bear. Old oak, rusty bands make a wonderful colour combination. The decision was then to go on to Talgarth and have a light lunch at the Mill. The Mill is the result of a community project to get something restored in this neglected town and thus encourage more attention to this hidden gem. What a triumph it is – a derelict mill turned into a working machine with an excellent provision for feeding hungry tourists. Interesting art on the walls and a meal that was composed of an astonishing variety of colour – grey mushroom pate with a side mixture of bright red onion and carrot finely grated and interesting leaves including nasturtium and those frilly leaves that are impossible to eat with any kind of dignity! We will not go into Hay-on-Way rather skirt round the edge on the other side of the river, take the toll bridge and see what/where we can find some interesting pictures to record with the cameras. The toll house at Hay-on-Wye. My old map says that the charge is 5p – it is now 80p – another hint about our age! The toll bridge – wonderful timbers supporting the bridge itself. The field of perfectly grown wheat was just the kind of inspiration that we were looking for – the sun drew lines of bright gold across the land and the wheat smooth and even, not an ear out of place despite the heavy downpours of rain recently experienced. There is something rather beautiful about growing corn – simple lines of colour, texture and light. I take about 50 pictures and the artist takes three! After about an hour studying the various configurations of wheat at the side of the Wye river and the rye in the field in front of a traditional Herefordshire farm – we decide to go to Abbey Dore garden for afternoon tea (see first picture!) Tea is good and on the way to the garden we are directed through a huge barn. Old bricks weather carved. Two fine carved hares, richly decorated in timeworn colours, dance amongst ancient textiles in a strange collection garnered from the past and far away lands. A Welsh coracle leans against a wall – this is a picture worth exploring again. Now to the garden – well how to describe so much glorious and mixed combinations of textures and colours – clematis clambering over and around other gem stone colours. Delicate whispers of misty tones in shady places – a stream and a pretty bridge. A piece of wood that has taken on a new identity.