The Wye Valley is one of my favourite places to visit and I had a particularly enjoyable time there yesterday with my partner Gordon.

It’s traditional now to aim for the Brockweir Village shop for coffee and croissants. The community enterprise shop is up the hill from the bridge over the Wye at Brockweir.

Brockweir itself makes me think of the continent each time I cross the bridge into its heart – but the Church at Hewelsfield, which we also visited yesterday, seems so quintessentially “English” - a reassuring oasis of calm, especially considering world events at the moment.

As we wandered through the church enjoying the flower displays, and the peaceful surroundings - Gordon made the observation that if those from the village, born in the late 1800s - many of whom would have died in the first world war –were able to be in the village today, they would find the church as familiar to them now as it was over 100 years ago. Whereas if they were to visit an area 10 miles away, what they experienced would be unrecognisable to them and make very little sense.

This week the Church has been in use by the local people - who put on a variety of flower displays. My favourites were the Cornish Little Folk and the Chinese Dragon. All very colourful. And I bought a couple of little cactuses as souvenirs to try out in the window of my studio – where only desert hardy plants are able to withstand the sun – hoping that they will also evoke for me the peacefulness of Hewelsfield.

Image from Keltek Trust