Two and a half hours later, the imagined paintings were a thing of the past. Well-versed in the art of growing alpine plants in dry patches in the garden or lumps of tufa rock, and bemused by fritillaria gibosa or galanthus plicatus, we stumbled into the bar of the Metropole Hotel for a coffee to bring us back to life and normality. Normality is what we found - young people in ordinary clothes drinking ordinary drinks like anywhere in Taunton (well some places in Taunton anyway). Not a woolly jumper, beard, pair of socks'n'crocs, knit-your-own, make-do-and-mend, organic permaculture biodynamic sustainable felt hat in sight. Aaaah - the sound of Ian breathing again.
Our life in Wales is such an eclectic mix of people, groups and things that we don't normally do. Every morning when I wake up I have to think 'which house am I sleeping in', or 'which part of my life am I in today?'. It's a great experience but a little surreal. I'm pleased to say I am now a fully-fledged Ashfield Volunteer. Today was clearing a polytunnel ready for planting with onions and other winter veg. For some reason the tunnel is called 'Tom'. I'm not sure why. Just more of the alternative reality we now live in.