Ravens, writing desks and lamp posts?

IMG_2162So, now you know how a sewer pipe is like a gas lamp! Welcome to the Narnia section of the ‘Secret Story Garden’ – and just to tempt you to come along, here are a couple more images:IMG_2154






IMG_2153Oh, and don’t forget that we have books for sale, Fairtrade chocolate, scrummy refreshments (home-made cake an ‘all) and a fun painting project for all the family.

So cram some spare cash in your pocket and come on over to Chiselborough, Somerset TA14 – and follow the signs to ‘Honey Pot Books’ at the Rectory –  follow the link:


And don’t forget to look in all the Somerset Arts Weeks galleries and studios while you are in the area – they are fantastic!


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Why is a raven like a writing desk?

Well, both are ‘things’ I suppose.

You might just as well say ‘How is a sewer pipe like a gas lamp?’

You won’t find the answer to that one in a book, but you sure will if you come along to the ‘Secret Garden’ in Chiselborough – open in the afternoons* starting with the Grand Opening at noon on Saturday 20th – celebrating the joy of children’s literature, and open for the same period as Somerset Arts Weeks: September 20th – October 5th.

Entry donations to the 5 churches OV serves (after all, this is a fund-raiser!)

*Dates the garden will be open: Sept 20th (12.00 – 5.00) 21st, 23rd, 24th, 25th, 27th, 28th, 30th and Oct 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th (2.00 – 5.00) (closed Mondays and Fridays)

Groups may visit in the morning (by special arrangement: contact Anne by leaving a comment here)

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Knitting, sewing, gluing, painting, planting, constructing… ‘stuff’

I note, with shame, that a whole month has passed with ne’er a squeak from me on this blog. Blame the summer weather, friends and family, and various projects which have kept me busy. Right now I am surrounded with boxes, baskets and bags full of a motley assortment of ‘stuff’ destined to be converted into ‘installations’ for the forthcoming ‘Open Garden’  (AKA the ‘Secret Garden’)  Sept 20th – Oct 5th – opening our garden, on a theme of Children’s Literature, with scenes from books and poetry to entertain visitors + refreshments to enjoy (Memo: cake-making on to do list) all in aid of our 5 local churches. I can’t use the dining table at the moment, as it is stacked high with boxes containing items to decorate the garden – and as for laying a fire in the sitting room grate – forget it: too many combustable items sitting on the hearth.

Secret GardenIMG_0169The ‘Open Garden’ will be preceded by the annual Charity Breakfast* (on the drive) – serving from 9.00 am on 20th,   * (in aid of FCN & AKA – a farming charity and a locally-based charity working in Kenya)  with garden ‘ribbon-cutting’ at noon.

Over the following couple of weeks, the Honey Pot (used books) will be open more than it is shut AND visitors will be able to browse the books, sit in the garden and also try their hand at a spot of painting – by contributing a panel to the community (mystery) painting.

It’s going to be a busy time in the run up to all this – and then I’ll be busy meeting and greeting folk rather than dashing round the Somerset Art Weeks ‘Open Studios’ – unless I can squeeze that into the days we are closed.

Pop over to http://honeypotbooks.wordpress.com/ for more details.

Oh, and the ‘Open / Secret Garden’ will sport a ‘4th plinth’. Anyone wishing to create a model based on children’s literature, to go on the plinth, enter your idea and contact details in the comments here or on the honeypotbooks page. Get thinking!

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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.

IMG_1760 IMG_1756 IMG_1757

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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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