Palladian glories

Last week, on one of the hottest days of the year, OV and I were to be found climbing up to the Bath ‘skyline walk’, pausing every few metres to enjoy the views (and get our breath back!)  Encountering a ‘man with a map’ (and very friendly and helpful he was, too) we were lured down from the heights, to the lower gate of Prior Park – conveniently, right next to the tea hut! Thus refreshed, we wandered in the beautiful landscape gardens awhile and restored our energy levels before setting out to regain lost altitude and continue the walk.

This bridge alone, made the additonal expenditure of energy worthwhile – even if the detour meant that we didn’t complete the ‘skyline walk’ – but that just leaves something good for another (cooler?) day.

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If you can’t beat them…

IMG_1733Some will remember the  force of the winter gales which ripped across the country last winter, destroying vulnerable buildings and bringing down trees, before floods hit Somerset and made us front page news.

Our dear old African Hut, complete with new (heavy) roof was assailed by winds gusting up to 50 or 60 mph day after day. There seemed little respite and as the ground grew more sodden and less solid, the stakes driven into it began to lose strength. The wind grew fiercer and on one memorable night hit speeds of nearly 90mph along the coast.

There was no ignoring the fact that the Hut was not what ought to be. In fact, it was definitely eccentric. It aped Pisa. Looking from the road it had a very drunken appearance.

“We must get out there and rescue the Hut” became an oft-repeated anxiety – but the weather remained so extreme that only the addition of some guy ropes was possible.

Spring eventually crept through the storms, and the ravens and jackdaws began their assault on the thatch. As the land dried out, the hazel sticks used to make the hurdles for the walls dried out too – and became brittle, and broke.

“We must get out there…”

And we did! The worst hurdles were removed and extra stakes driven in to support the brushwood ‘cladding’. OV climbed up on chairs and as I heaved the posts upright, he hammered them six inches deeper into the drying ground. We weeded out some grass from around the edge of the Hut and I planted a variety of seeds. A neighbour brought us some sweet pea ‘plugs’ and they went in too.

Now the sun has done its work and the sweet peas are a picture – covering the weakened walls and looking (and smelling) wonderful. The birds have given the thatch a holiday from theft and the Hut is looking upright and quite perky.

It has become a delightful place to sit with a cup of coffee, shaded from the hot sun, wafted by cooling breezes and assailed by heady perfume.

Out of disaster has sprung forth delight.

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Busy busy busy

A fortnight’s silence on this blog = lots of activities which have kept blogging well and truly pruned.Sunset over Chiselborough

IMG_1602 IMG_1632Busy-ness included sunset-catching/watching, trips to the beach, eating traditional Swiss food (prepared by a ‘traditional’ Swiss student) plus a wedding, a farewell party, a school play and hosting a Fanny Price tea party – and it’s all been fairly hectic.

South Somerset rocks – so why not come down here and take a look at all Somerset and its neighbouring counties have to offer?

Swiis foodFanny Price's tea party

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Busy busy busy


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Alphabet favourites meme

Stuck-in-a-book has challenged us to an alphabet meme and, having nothing better to do (cough) I took him up on his challenge… thank you Siab, for sending me the letter I !!!!      So, here are my offerings:

Favourite book… ‘The Invisible Man’ by H G Wells (Absolutely loved the black & white film – but perhaps that’s cheating!)

Favourite author… Washington Irving – in this hot weather the idea of sleeping and sleeping and sleeping is really appealing… and wouldn’t you just love to be on a stamp?

Favourite song…     living in Somerset it has to be ‘I am a cider drinker’ by the Wurzels ;)

Favourite film… ‘I capture the castle’ … for the opening words, if nothing else!

Favourite object…  easy – give me an ‘inch’ – and I’ll take a mile! Imperial measurements – lovely, lyrical, practical and part of my childhood – hence the image of the back of a school exercise book:

And now, dear reader, pop your wish to join in, in the comments and Iwill select you a letter (and put it in ‘reply’) so that you can play this game on your own blog – a fun way to wile away an hour on a hot summer afternoon.

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IMG_1508Yesterday we visited Burrowbridge – you can see the bridge in the photo – and the River Parrett, which was well and truly within its banks.

There was obviously some dredging going on – we followed a machine trundling along on caterpillar tracks v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y…..

Burrowbridge lies in the shadow of Burrow Mump – topped by a ruined chapel:

IMG_1521The ‘Mump’ rises from the ‘Levels’ below and gives stupendous views across the Somerset Levels – which lay under water for months, last winter. Now they are lush with new grass – stretching out to a peaceful horizonIMG_1515

We ate a delicious meal in the King Arthur pub and then climbed the Mump to enjoy the 360 degree views.


What a wonderful way to spend a June afternoon!

Go to Honeypot Books ( to read about the smallest library I’ve ever seen!


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The new seat

Back in the days of storm and tempest, when trees were falling like nine-pins, a massive oak keeled over in the village, bringing down fences and destroying a wall. Over the next few weeks it was not unusual to hear the sound of chain saws, as order was created out of havoc – both here in Chiselborough and in all the villages around us. The heavy rains of the winter had saturated the ground so that when the high winds hit us, the poor trees had little to hang on to. Roads were closed, new views opened up and it took weeks to clear the debris.

In Chiselborough the ‘tree on the hill’ (property of the ‘House on the Hill’ – we really pick our names round here!) was gradually reduced to a manageable load of timber, the shavings were swept up and the area cleared of detritus. BUT, unbeknown to we folk at the bottom of the village, there had been something else going on. This was not a run-of-the-mill tree clearance job – no – a loss was being turned into a gain. A large section of trunk remains, cunningly fashioned into a seat-for-two. It is situated on a grassy bank, above the village, with a clear view into the far distance to the west – a Perfect Place to sit and watch the sun go down!  IMG_1400IMG_1402IMG_1180So, here’s a huge THANK YOU to the clever men who did the work and to the owner, who had this lovely idea and who has generously brought such joy to the evening walkers of Chiselborough!

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