Archive for June, 2012

Plentiful strawberries

Yesterday I picked my first strawberries and they were plentiful.  I picked loads into the trug as pictured.  Mind you there were also lots of mouldy ones where the rain had got to them, but there were lots of lovely red ones.  Neil had made a netting shroud to go over and around the strawberry beds to keep the birds off, especially the blackbirds, as they are very partial to strawberries, so that had helped keep our crop OK.

Last night we had strawberries and cream for dessert at dinner, then this morning we had them on our breakfast cereals.  I also cut some up into my yoghurt at lunchtime.  Its not difficult me for to eat them with every meal as I love them so much, but I guess I shall be making some strawberry jam soon too for my B&B guests to have with their breakfast.

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Sustainability show, Taunton

Last Sunday we went to the Sustainability Show in Taunton.  There were lots of tents and marquees showing everything “green” from organic food, to Yurts and Shepherd’s Huts, lots of solar panels, air source heat pumps, poultry and wildlife.  Luckily the sun shone and we were able to wander around in the dry.

The very first stall we went to was from an owl sanctuary.  This little owl was only 9 weeks old, and I was able to stroke him.  His feathers were just so soft!!

Baby owl

Another stand was from a poultry farm not far from us.  We talked to the guy about pure breeds versus hybrids and found that all our hens were hybrids, none of them were pure breeds, something we didn’t know.  He had some large Brahma hens and a handsome Brahma cockerel, that he said wasn’t agressive, so he picked him up and handed him to me.

me with Brahma cockerel

We spent ages talking to a guy about air source heat pumps and underfloor heating which we would like for the derelict section of the house when we renovate it.  Really good to go to a show and have a look around at new technology and everything “green”.  We even shared an organic pizza between us for lunch!!  Now we have to think of putting some new ideas into practice. 

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Anniversary outing to Barrington Court

 On Monday 18th June it was our 18th wedding anniversary.  18 years on the 18th!! So we decided to take ourselves out somewhere rather than just work all day long.  We visited Barrington Court which is a National Trust house quite close by, only about 12 miles away.

Barrington Court

Barrington Court was the house the National Trust every acquired, and due to the extensive renovations required, it was almost the last!! Unfortunatley is now stands empty except for the moment for an exhibition by Anthony Gormley called  “Field for the British Isles” and comprising literally thousands of tiny clay figures.  We are told that “although each figure is unique, the entire mass suggests past and future generatons and reflects humanity as a whole”!!  So now you know!! We weren’t allowed to photograph them so sorry no photo of these funny little figures.

 Anyway we spent most of our time touring the gardens.  There was a fabulous walled vegetable garden, I am very jealous, wouldn’t I just love a walled garden?

There were also some lovely flower borders:-

Sweet williams in one of the borders

And in the following border were gorgeous peonies, my favourite flowers:- 

  In one area we came across a little bridge like a Japanese bridge, which I had to pose on of course:-

me on the little bridge

There was also some lovely stone work by one of the bridges.  How ornate they used to make things even a bridge! 

Stone bridge

Anyway we were lucky as the sun shone for us as we wandered around.  We stopped there for some lunch before heading back home.  It’s lovely visiting some of these historic old houses and we are fortunate to have this one so close by. 

Statue in the “White Garden”

Want to visit Barrington Court yourself? then stay at our B&B. visit

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Sunshine award

I am really pleased to say that I have been nominated for a sunshine award, an award that is for bloggers by bloggers.  I still consider myself new to blogging and am certainly still learning about it, so I am very thankful to for nominating me. Seasonsgirl writes from America about her life, her dogs, her chickens and her passions.  It’s an honest everyday blog that lets the reader into sampling a little of her life.  The symbol for this award is a gerbera daisy as below:

Some of the conditions for this award are  that I need to complete the following:

1. Link the award to the person who gave it to me.

2. Answer the questions about myself.

3. Nominate 10 bloggers for the award.

4. Link my nominees to the post and comment on their blog, letting them know about the award.

The Questions:

Favourite Number:  2 it is the day of my birthday

Favourite Non-Alcoholic Drink: Tea and it has to be Earl Grey, after all I am English!!!

Favourite animal:  The cat.  We have 2 at home, they continually amuse us and return our attentions with their love and their purring

Facebook or Twitter:  I do look at my Facebook most days, although I also have twitter now for the business

My Passion: This was a difficult one to answer as I could say so many things, but I am going for our house and garden. We took it on 2 and half years ago and are still working on it.

Favourite Day of the Week: Sunday:  It’s normally a time for a bit of relaxation, some gardening and best of all a lovely roast dinner.

Favourite Flower:  The peony.  I have just had 3 new ones for our 18th wedding anniversary.


The next bit I am struggling with as I don’t know 10 other blogs to nominate, so here goes with the few I can.

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Jubilee celebrations part 4 – barn dance

On Monday evening the villagers of Bishopswood and Buckland St Mary got together for a barn dance in the village hall.  We  had a band called “Trefellas” who played celtic type music and a caller who took us all through the dance moves.  Lots of people turned out and most people joined in the dancing.  It was a great community event, getting people to mix together and generate community spirit.

dancing at the barn dance

The Bishopswood Ladies prepared a delicious spread of food.  There was a ploughmans with lots of salad and for dessert apple pie or trifle.  After an hour’s break for the food, we continued with the dancing.  Lots of fun as people got in a muddle and arms and legs went all over the place!! 


more dancing at the barn dance

It was so popular that again people want it to become an annual event, so what started as jubilee celebrations could become part of the tradition in these villages.

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Jubilee celebrations part 3 – Mini Olympics

 On Monday afternoon we had the mini olympics between the 2 villages of Buckland St Mary and Bishopswood.  There was the egg and spoon race, firstly the adults then the under 16’s, and similar age splits for the 3 legged race and the sack race.

the sack race

There was penalty shoot out, and the shot put, and then of course the tug of war.  The first one was the men, Bishopswood versus Buckland St Mary – 8 strong men each side,  lots of huffing and puffing and a decisive win for Buckland St Mary 2 nil. 

 Then it was the turn of the ladies, only 7 a side this time.  First pull went to Bishopswood, second to Buckland and then the decisive third pull to Bishopswood.  Nevermind it was a valiant effort and more than I could have done!!

The Buckland ladies tug of war team

The afternoon was finished off with a game of rounders.  The overall winners between the villages of Bishopswood and Buckland St Mary, were Bishopswood, but nevermind Buckland it looks like it might become an annual event, so next year we can compete some more.

If you want to see our village antics join us at

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Jubilee celebrations part 2 – hog roast and disco

Saturday evening there was a hog roast and disco in a great big marquee in Buckland House.  Over 200 local people attended, and we all had to queue up for the hog roast in a bap, but it was worth the wait.  Unfortunately it rained that evening and the actual hog roast was outside the marquee, so a quick dash in the rain to pick up our food and then back to the marquee.  But I had to laugh as where we were sitting the marquee leaked and we were being dripped on.

Sat evening disco

It was a good community event and it was all free, so no one can complain at that!!  These jubilee celebrations have certainly been pulling people together. Sunday morning there was  a combined church service in Buckland Church to celebrate the Queen’s 60 years and in the afternoon there was Cream Tea at a couple of houses in Newtown.  Unfortunately it just poured with rain in the afternoon so we stayed at home and watched the river pageant on the TV instead. More celebrations on Monday, so watch out for the next blog!!

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Jubilee celebrations part 1 – fete at Buckland House

 Today is the start of the jubilee weekend (60 years of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II) and a whole host of different celebrations going on in the villages of Buckland St Mary and neighbouring Bishopswood.  At 12.30pm we went down to Buckland House and parked in the long grass for the fete in the grounds.

Fete at Buckland House

It all started with a “bring and share lunch”.  We met some friends there, tucked into lunch and tea and sat and nattered.   The Rhododendrons were absolutely lovely in the grounds.

Rhododendrons in the grounds of Buckland House

There was an old Field Marshall 2 stroke diesel tractor there that Neil was entranced by.   It was about 60 years old and made quite a noise when it started up. Neil spent ages talking to the owner.

Old Field Marshall tractor

We wandered through the grounds to see what else was happening.  Our friends were running the skittles so Neil had a go.


Later a jazz band started up.   

Jazz band at Buckland House

Then we wandered down and into the church at Buckland St Mary where they had an exhibition of all things to do with the royal family.

Royal exhibition in Buckland Church

Also on show were lots of old photos over the past 60 years, showing the village as it was through the years, various clubs and people.

Photography exhibition

Then we made our way home to welcome our next B&B guests who are staying with us tonight.  More celebrations later on this evening.visit us at

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