My Sourdough Journey: Chapter Ten – There’s Something in the Garden!

Back in Hay-on-Wye, I went downstairs on Tuesday morning to find Sue’s dog, George, nosing around behind the garbage bin in the backyard. What on earth was he doing? Maybe he’d cornered a cat-but no, Sue said he was a gentle dog; or perhaps he’d found a bone-no, he was amply fed with pedigree dog food. Something fishy, though, was definitely going on behind that bin. Sue wasn’t in the house, and even though George and I had come to a kind of understanding about my presence there, I was not about to entangle myself in his affairs regarding whatever lay behind that bin. Continue reading

My Sourdough Journey: Chapter Nine – . . . And Plenty for a Party

About half an hour later, the traffic slowed as we approached the outskirts of Leominster. I texted Lisa to let her know we’d be arriving in about 10 minutes, and when we pulled up in the narrow Leominster street, outside Nitty Gritty, she was there waiting for me. I helped Malcolm to take the Nitty Gritty order in, where Lorna, the shop owner, was also in a bit of frenzy over our delay. Continue reading

My Sourdough Journey: Chapter Eight – Bread Rations . . .

A few weeks later, my friend, Lisa, from Leominster, invited me to her friend’s birthday party. Hay was a great place but like anywhere, it was good to get away sometimes. This time, however, I was spared the rigours of public transportation and instead got a ride in the delivery van with Alex’s dad, Malcolm. He had another delivery to make before going to Leominster to deliver to a cool little health shop, known locally as Nitty Gritty, that was just around the corner from Lisa’s house. I was looking forward to going the rounds and though it was to be as circuitous a journey as the bus ride, I anticipated that it would certainly be more lively. Continue reading

My Sourdough Journey: Chapter Seven – JCDC Writing Win

Living in Hay-on-Wye, the Town of Books, with a self proclaimed king, was a bit of a novel idea. (I pray thee, dear reader, please forgive the unintentional pun) It was an idea that paid off pretty well both for the town and for King Richard, who started it all in the first place. For the town, in that it had developed into a tourist destination attracting 500,000 visitors each year; and for King Richard, in that he was awarded an MBE in the 2004 New Year Honours List for his services to tourism. Continue reading

My Sourdough Journey: Chapter Six – Bakery Bites

Work moved along steadily at the bakery. The first goal I set for myself was to taste one of everything that was produced there; and the first on the list was the cinnamon buns. My friend, Lisa from Leominster, had told me about these. She didn’t know what their correct name was, she was only able to describe them to me. “Sweet and soft and sticky and full of cinnamon; melts in your mouth when you bite into it and oh so nice!” is what she had said to me. “You must try it.” Continue reading

My Sourdough Journey: Chapter Five – Hanging Out in Hay

I spent the rest of my first Saturday in Hay doing grocery shopping, laundry, cooking, and generally sorting myself out in preparation for the coming week. I went to bed early and slept late into Sunday morning. I rose at about 9:00 a.m. to get ready to attend church-I had passed by the Evangelical Church in the week and had decided to go there. Continue reading

My Sourdough Journey: Chapter Four – Moving to Hay-on-Wye

Travelling on public transport from Hay-on-Wye, back to Leominster, was quite an experience. It was agreed before I left work that morning, though, that as of the following night I could stay temporarily at Alex’s mom’s place until other accommodation was finalized. I left the bakery at minutes to 10 a.m. and arrived at the bus stop to find that the bus to Hereford was a two hourly service and I had just missed one! The next one wasn’t due till noon or thereabouts. It was a nice, summery day, yes, but all I really wanted now was to sleep. Continue reading

My Sourdough Journey: Chapter Three – Sourdough Haircut

Alex was extremely busy on account of the popularity of his bread but I finally managed to make concrete contact with him about four days after my arrival.

“Hi Joy, – If possible, can you come to the bakery for 3:30 a.m. on Thursday morning?” his email said. “We can start from there!”

“I’ll be there!” I replied.

“Hi Joy. In other words, 3:30 a.m. tonight . . . cheers,” a second email from Alex said, minutes later. Continue reading

My Sourdough Journey: Chapter Two – Living with Lisa from Leominster

I landed at Gatwick on a typically warm, British summer day and made my way, by train, to Leominster. My friend, Lisa from ‘Lemster’, couldn’t come to fetch me because she had to attend her cousin’s wedding. A number of fellow travelers, though, helped me with my cases at the difficult spots, like getting on and off trains that had a big gap between the train and the platform edge; and I made it in good order to the fairly quiet Leominster station. Continue reading

My Sourdough Journey: Preface

Coming to a new place is never easy. It usually takes some time to get settled in and to establish a workable routine. It’s been several weeks now since I arrived in Hay-on-Wye; and sometimes I feel like I’ve got it all ‘sussed’, and another time things feel as if they’re coming apart at the seams. But not to worry, that’s what life is all about. The race is not to the swift . . .. I am therefore a few weeks behind schedule in getting this blog up and running. But I’m pleased to say it feels like things are ticking over nicely in this respect now.

Now, if you’re going to come along on this journey with me, I trust that you will be entertained, that you will learn something new, that you will be encouraged and inspired, whether to follow your dreams, or to take steps to improve your health, or in some other way, whoever you are, whatever you do and wherever you find yourself on this exciting journey that is called life.

I invite you to delve right into Chapter One – About me, and please feel free to get in touch or leave your comments at any time. Here’s wishing you Godspeed as we journey together and launch out into the deep . . .