Somerset – Full of Surprises

I have discovered since coming to Somerset that there is always something surprising happening. I love music, and although we weren’t there last year, we’d like to be at the Glastonbury Festival, except I’ve heard that all tickets have likely been sold out already. I wouldn’t be surprised as its massively popular. Probably what I love is that this pop festival, which runs for about 5 or 6 days, takes place at a farm and literally thousands of people pitch up for this festival of contemporary performing arts. It’s a five-day festival of contemporary performing arts, but it’s not only about music, but theatre, dance and circus as well as other arts. You can just imagine all the logistics that go into putting on such massive entertainment, like the provision of water, bathing facilities, food and electricity. I’ve heard this is something not to be missed – a real coming together of lots of interesting people and Somerset rises to the occasion each...

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Four Months and Showing…

    Did not intend this blog to become a baby blog as I was going to start a new one but been a bit under the weather since  middle of December and can’t seem to get motivated. The weather is not helping it is so b***** awful, cold, wet windy and hubby has been working all the hours he can. I know I am having a moan and I am sorry but sometimes it is easy to write what I am feeling rather than say it. hearing my own voice whining makes me cringe never mind anyone else. One nice thing I have been doing, is some voluntary reading at the library and surprisingly enjoyed it. An elderly lady heard me reading to a small kiddies group and said she like my voice and would I read to her as holding book was getting difficult with her arthritis. I arranged a time and she came to the library and I read to her for a couple of weeks until the weather got too bad for her to come out. I have been chatting with the librarian about the need for readers. I also think they should have some Kindle or other reading device that could be rented out for those who cannot hold a book comfortably, not all like to use cassettes I have found. What I am really interested in though is starting a voluntary reading group. Collecting like minded people and offering a reading service at the library or in a person’s home or at an  old people’s home or hospital. I am going to do some research on its viability when the weather lets up. Doing some online research at the moment and looking if can get a grant or donation to set it all up, maybe I can chat to the Freemasons, Round Table or thats a thought my neighbour is a Rotarian they might help. If anyone has any ideas re this I would to...

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A year here and all the changes keep coming.

    Well it’s a year since I came to Somerset and nearly a year since I started this blog. So many things had changed from where I was a year ago. I never thought I would settle here but I have and looking back have had such a good year with so many interesting things to do.  The other up side is when I go back to London I see it with fresh eyes and even have discovered places I did not know when I lived there. I have learnt to explore and accept things that are new, a personality growth I am going to need in the near future. Because I am PREGNANT. Yea…we are so excited. It is not planned but not an accident if you know what I mean, something we wanted if it happened and it has. I am two months  so only another 7 to go!! I will try and not turn this into a baby blog but well it will happen so letting you know now! Although I intend to still keep exploring the area I plan to bring my children up in. Now after sharing that good news I have some more I am off to London for the weekend for a theatre weekend. I also plan to tell my mates this weekend, I think they will guess when I don’t drink anything. We plan to go and see the Jersey Boys @ the Piccadilly so excited I have heard it is a good show. Then the following day Shopping, shopping shopping.  Clare is coming with me and that is another plus for this year meeting this lady and our growing friendship has certainly help with settling in here.  We have also started seriously looking at homes in and around Taunton but not sure even now where we want to be, any recommendations for a good estate agent? Been looking online but I think I would like a more personal contact to help us sort out exactly where we want to be, have to think of school and nursery’s and all that stuff… but not this weekend. Sorry not a lot about Somerset today but really pleased to share my news with you all, and if anyone knows of any antenatal yoga and swim classes in Taunton please let me know as I would like to start attending...

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Festivals and more …

I had friends up for a weeks holiday this month and we had a great time. the last time they were over was for  Glasto –The Glastonbury Festival in June. I realised when I came to the blog today that I did not write anything in June…I think it was because I was recovering from that weekend of music, food and drink – especially the drink  I think.  Looking at the pictures we took and reminising over it brought back what a great weekend it was. Although we live near(ish) we camped with friends over the weekend and learnt a lot.  I never knew how much people left behind, unbeliveable; tents, tables, all sorts of bags and baggage. I was amazed at the waste! Never did find out what happened to it – all dumped or sold on for charity?? Anyone know, I would be so interested to find out.     Somerset has something on nearly every weekend and especially in summer, its great! Using the library, Google and locals I found some amazing places to visit. One we visited when friends where here, was Weston-Super-Mare. Lovely town, which hosts a sand festival every year from April to the end of September. This year the theme was Hollywood and there was some amazing sculptures.  As a Jonny Depp fan the one below was my favourite.If you are in the area well worth a visit. We stayed at a lovely B&B there are so many to choose from and ours was a short walk from the beach and town, suited us perfectly....

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Cider in Somerset

  My city friends who come over to visit me always expect cider, Somerset cider is something well known throughout the UK but I sat drinking a long cold cider the other day and realised I know almost next to nothing about it – except the one I was drinking was going down very well as did the next few! The history of cider in the UK goes way back,all the way  to the origins of apples in our country. For a more in-depth history than I want to write, take a look at this article. It follows the origins of apples and cider from pre Roman times to present day. I decided I had to visit a Cider distillery and after a bit of online research,  I organized for a group of us to visit The Somerset Cider Brandy Co @ Burrow Hill Cider farm. What a fabulous day, the place is gorgeous and we took our time and explored and listened to all the interesting information. What attracted me was that the company is part of the Slow Food Movement, where good local produce grown organically is the focus. I am very interested in a sustainable life style and I must admit this was a bit of a surprise for me, reminded me to not be so city arrogant! Really worth going and given the nice days we have been having  go sooner than later but with our notorious weather pop in some wellies as I expect the walk could get muddy. You will not miss them but make sure you do meet up with the alpacas…my new favourite animal. Plan to visit another cider farm later in the month, addicted to it now, Sheppy’s Cider farm, another distillery that has been around for over 150 years.  Let you know how that goes next time.  ...

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Somerset and Steam Trains

        Do you enjoy steam trains? I do, love them every since my granddad took me on one when I was a kid. Any opportunity to ride on one and I am there.  Last week we had my niece to and nephew to stay and I was  getting a bit desperate trying to entertain 10 yr old twins. Then my super Hubby surprised us with a trip on a steam train last Sunday. We went on a 20 mile trip on a West Somerset Railway steam train. The railroad is the longest heritage railway in England and we were booked onto the Heritage Hunter. This involved downloading an app onto our tablet, from this we learnt history of the line and stations along the route. At every station we had 5 tasks to perform and if you scored 100% you were entered into a draw for free tickets.  The kids loved it and I must be honest we did to. There are buffet cars onboard and time to grab lunch at one of the stops. All in all a fun day and one to do again as there are different itineraries stopping at different stations. A great way to get around Somerset and see some places without the hazzle of driving. The only down side was when we got home and found a flood!! Unbelievable something to do with boiler, insurance will cover it but need to replace some things now – the carpet being a priority…oh it smells, don’t know what was in that water! So had a look online and chatted to some friends and have taken a loan out from ferratum.co.uk really pleased with the whole process so straightforward. Packed the kids off back my sister and we booked into a local hotel for a couple of days till the smell has gone…well why not treat ourselves..lovely indoor pool at this...

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Somerset and the myth of Avalon

The most famous legend of King Arthur has its origin in Somerset. It is home to the mystical Avalon myth. Glastonbury a small town is supposed to be the site of pre-Christian worship. Glastonbury Tor with its mystical view gives food to this myth. The hazy landscape and the different colours add to the atmosphere. The natural beauty of the place is unmatched. The now much eroded terracing pattern at the foot of Tor, can be a maze. If it is indeed a maze it was made almost five thousand years ago. Not only is Somerset mystical place, it is also a history which we do not know much about. The famous island of Avalon, known as the glass island is a beauty to behold. The very atmosphere can give you a chill down your spine. For the people who believe in the legends, it was the isle of enchantment. The lake itself is home to many stories. The mystical fairy folk and the blood bath rituals all bring to fore the mystery. It has been the foothill of King Arthur’s legend. Many stories about Morgana and Arthur having a child together, who later became Arthurs’ bane, have their origin here. If stories have even a bit of truth Arthurs’ body is still afloat on the mysterious lake. A church just besides the lake adds to the mystery. It is supposed to be the abode of arch-angel Michael who always fights the dark. The legends have been about darkness and mystery and magic, but the place does have the magical nature still.  ...

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Starting to settle in.

  After a very pleasant Christmas here in Taunton with the family we decided to treat ourselves and spend New Year up in London with family and friends. Now it is back to our new life in Taunton. I found it much easier to settle this time. I was, I guess a bit disorientated when we last came back from London, like I was coming on holiday not coming home. Strange feeling but did not get it this time, actually looking forward to having some peace and quiet after the riotous times with family over the holiday period. You would think we were in America they way they go and not just an hour away by train! Now the New Year is well underway, hubby is knee deep in work and it is time I started to look around. What I have found interestingly enough is a request for Red Cross Volunteers, no experience necessary as full training will be given. I thought I would give it a go. I have always been interested in nursing and this seems a good way to learn something new and meet new people. I have also been told you get to go to quite a number of events throughout the area, interesting! Also would look good on my CV when I get around to needing one. Saw the advert in the local online paper Somerset County Gazette, and told Claire about it and she is planning to come along with me to see what it entails. I am also keeping my eye out re jobs in this new restaurant chain that is opening in market House in Taunton center, expected to be 35 jobs going, and there might be something to suit...

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