Archive for October, 2013

Carnival comes to Chard

Saturday evening was carnival in Chard.  We were not used to this sort of carnival when we lived in the south east, but it is big in the south west.  Carnival happens at night, when it is dark and the floats are lit up with hundreds of brightly coloured bulbs and the most elaborate floats.  There are carnival clubs here that must work on set and costumes all year round in preparation. It all starts with the sellers who are touting their brightly coloured light sabres and whirlygigs and many other items that light up the night.


Then at last you hear the music blearing out and know that the carnival is on its way.  Some of the floats are 3 trailers long and absolutely fabulous.



Then there were people dressed up in colourful costumes walking along as well as the carnival queens and princesses.



Several teams of majorettes took part, dancing their way along the streets, followed by a trailer showing off all their trophies.


One float was a tableau of scenes from Les Miserables:-


There was a float from the British Legion covered in poppies:-


And others with just so many light bulbs:-


All in all a great show.  It’s carnival season down here at the moment and carnival goes from town to town at different weekends.  If you want to come and see then we still have some vacancies in the B&B in October so contact us for more details.

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One week with “Forest”

Our new pussycat “Forest” has been with us for one week now.  He is a timid cat and is taking time to get used to us and the house.

When we first brought him home and let him out of the travelling box, he shot out of the box and through the lounge, up the stairs and disappeared.  We searched all over for him and couldn’t find him, then eventually we saw him on top of some bags under our bed.  When we went out to choir in the evening, he came down for some food but he didn’t use his litter tray for over 24 hours, he must have been crossing his legs!!


As you can see Forest is a black semi long-haired pussycat and we got him from Ferne Animal Sanctuary.  He is 2 years old and we don’t know much about his history except he came from a house with lots of cats and they were unable to look after them all.

After a day or two Forest decided to explore a little more and befriend us.  He is very affectionate, has a gentle purr and loves having his tummy tickled.  He’s not at all aggressive, hasn’t put his claws out at all, but is just lovely and soft and soppy.  However he seems to be scared of noises, and runs away at the smallest thing, an opening door squeaking or a carrier bag rustling.


Ferne told us to feed him pouches of meat in jelly, but he turned his nose up at Prawn in jelly and Rabbit in jelly, and wouldn’t eat until I cleared it away and replaced it with chicken!!.  Oh dear  – a fussy eater!! Our other cat eats whatever you put in front of her and Tarquin did too, so I am not used to a fussy cat.

Yesterday we opened the door into the dining room and Forest met Tia for the first time.  He seemed fairly nonplussed with her as he had been living with other cats at Ferne, but she growled and hissed at him as if to say “Who are you in my house?”  I’m sure it will take time for them to come to some happy living arrangement.

Forest is back under our bed as I write.  I think he feels this is a safe place and this is where he runs to.  Gradually we will introduce him to the rest of the house and eventually to outside, but not in a hurry.  We don’t know what has made him a timid cat and only with patience and time will he settle into our home and life.

We still have some vacancies in the B&B in October so contact us for more details.

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Blackdown Hills Transition Group Apple Day

The first of 3 Apple Days was held today at Otterhead Lodge, by Otterhead Lakes.  We were so lucky with the weather, it was the most glorious sunny day, in marked contrast to earlier in the week when it rained like no tomorrow.

People brought along their apples to be crushed and pressed into juice.  The first stage is to feed the apples into a crusher which produces apple pulp.


The pulp is then put into an apple press which produces the juice. It’s inevitable that you get sticky in the process but who minds when you are producing lovely fresh apple juice.



The next stage is bottling the juice.  Unfortunately the apples oxidise very quickly and turn brown so the resulting juice is brown in colour but it tastes really lovely.


Also today we had some musical entertainment from “Slapjack” a duet of guitar and violin.  They played beautifully and were a lovely sound in the background.


There was delicious apple cake and other goodies on sale, together with hot mulled apple juice, tea and coffee etc.  As it was such a nice afternoon lots of people turned out and many brought bins full of apples to press.  If you bottle into plastic bottles you can freeze the juice, or if you prefer you can bottle into glass bottles and then pasteurise it by heating it up.

We just had some Bramley Apples to take along, but they make a lovely tart juice.  So now we have to work out how to fit some of the bottles into the freezer, which is already full of stewed fruit from the garden!!.

We still have some vacancies in the B&B in October so contact us for more details.

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