Archive for Buckland St Mary

Selling Bric a Brac again

This Saturday just gone was the day of the Buckland St Mary Xmas fete and we were on the Bric a Brac stall again.  We had lots of stuff – some friends were moving house and had cleared out a lot of glass ware and crockery and we had lots of books and other donations too.  This is me behind our stall.

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Neil is a very good salesman and tries to sell mostly inappropriate things to people we know,  just for fun.  However we did really well and took £77.00 in 2 hours.

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Children had the chance to visit Father Christmas (a local man from the village who dressed up the part), and afternoon teas and cake were also on offer.

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There was a tombola stall, a craft stall, a picture stall amongst others together with the usual raffle (I won a Xmas pudding – home made). Altogether £945 was raised for the church youth worker, so a good effort all round, and an early December start to get us in the Christmas mood.

We have vacancies in the B&B for the whole of December. contact us at http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

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Apple pressing in the Blackdown Hills

We have been to two apple pressing events this October, one in Buckland St Mary earlier in the month, and then another one at Stentwood the weekend just gone.  These are community events organised by the Blackdown Hills Transition Group of which we are members.

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Basically we invite anybody to bring their apples along and use the equipment to turn them into apple juice.

Firstly you have to tip apples into the crusher. We used a mixture of both eating apples and cooking apples.

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This breaks the apples down into pulp that can go into the presses.

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The apple pulp is then transferred into a linen bag and put into a press.  Gradually turning the handle round presses down on the pulp and the juice is then collected below.

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The juice turns brown as the apples oxidise.  The next process is to bottle it up.  We use a jug and a funnel to transfer the juice into bottles. If the apple juice is put into plastic bottles it can be frozen to keep it fresh, otherwise it will start to ferment after 3 or 4 days. If the juice is bottled in glass bottles it can be pasteurised for 35 minutes at 75 degrees C and this will keep it to up to a year.

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Bottling up

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Apple pressing in Buckland St Mary

On Sunday the Blackdown Hills Transition Group held their apple pressing day at Buckland Village Hall and car park.  A large gazebo was set up, under which the apple presses were placed on tables.

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The apply pulper was plugged into the village hall electricity supply.DSC00554Quite a few people came bearing their apples, both cooking and eating apples and  pressed them into juice.  Neil was busy operating one of the presses.

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The juice that comes out is brown in colour as the apples oxidise.

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When the juice is squeezed into a bucket it then is poured into bottles for keeping.  If you fill plastic bottles you can freeze the apple juice as it doesn’t last more than a few days in the fridge before it starts to ferment.  If you fill glass bottles you need to pasteurise the juice by placing the glass bottles in boiling water for half an hour.DSC00557We had a couple of musicians who played guitar and sang, so there was a really nice ambience to the afternoon. The community from Stentwood (who bake The Common Loaf) were providing refreshments and lovely nibbles and cakes to eat.

There is another apple pressing event to take place at Stentwood, Dunkerswell, EX14 4RW on Sat 25 and Sun 26th October from 11am to 5pm.  So if you want lovely fresh apple juice from you apples come along.

http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

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Buckland St Mary Flower Show 2015

Yesterday (Sunday) was the day of the annual Buckland St Mary Flower and vegetable show.  It’s always good fun and categories are hotly contested, but all the money raised goes to charity.  This year it was the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.  We entered several categories and won a few prizes.

I got a first for my peas in a pod. That’s the red ticket.DSC00428And a second for my lovely blueberries. that’s a blue ticket.

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Neil got a second place for his potatoes.

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And a second for our eggs.

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I got a third place for my lovely yellow courgettes, that’s a green ticket.

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Altogether we got, one first place, three second places and eight third places.  We got third place for Neil’s Blackberry wine, my strawberry cordial, my strawberry and red gooseberry jam and two of my photos.

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When we came home we put all our winning exhibits on the table and took a photo.

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We saw lots of our friends at the show, and were comparing notes on who had entered and won what.  We also had afternoon tea and cake there, so a very enjoyable afternoon all round.  We showed our B&B guests our exhibits and told them they could have prize winning eggs and jam with their breakfast this morning!!

http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

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New Year 2015 comes to Buckland St Mary

Every year Buckland St Mary holds a New Year’s Eve party in the village hall.  This year was no exception and we attended as we have in previous years.  It starts with a lovely meal.  The table is laid with balloons and party poppers.

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Everyone has fun blowing up these long balloons and then letting them go and fly all round the room.

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Then there is adult pass the parcel, more silliness!!

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And after all that comes the dancing.

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At midnight we all sang Auld Lang Syne and then there were fireworks outside.

So a Happy New Year to everyone from us at Lodge House B&B.

http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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Buckland St Mary Xmas fete 2014

Twice a year Buckland St Mary holds fetes or bazaars – once in the Summer and once in the Winter and this weekend it was the turn of the Xmas fete held in the village hall.

For the fifth year running Neil and I were on the Bric a Brac stall, basically trying to sell people other people’s junk!! Quite a hard sell!!

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I had also made some Xmas gift tags and lavender bags which I put on our stall to boost sales.  We had a lot of soft toys to sell and I was amazed at how many little boys purchased them, then used them to beat up their friends!

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We managed to raise £51.57 in 2 hours so not too bad.  It was quite well attended but perhaps not as busy as previous years, perhaps lots of people were out getting their Black Friday/weekend bargains.

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There were craft stalls,  a card stall, a raffle and a hamper raffle, a tombola, a cake stall, a produce stall amongst others.  And also there was Father Christmas in his grotto for the kiddies.

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The teas and cakes always go down well.  I had a chocolate éclair with mine!!

Neil was trying to sell a funny England hat all afternoon.  This is our friend Mike modelling it.

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All fun and games in the country and fundraising into the process.

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Duck racing in Bishopswood

Today we went to the duck racing at Mill Leat in Bishopswood.  Not real ducks I hasten to add, but little yellow plastic ducks all numbered and tipped into the Yarty river.  We had to buy a ticket with a number on, and then that was the number of your duck.  We followed their progress down the river.

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Some got caught on stones along the way and had to be guided off.  One would dash past and then another would overtake.  The organiser had a loud haler and was calling out their progress.  There was money to be won on the duck first past the post.

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We didn’t win anything in any of the 3 races, but it was a bit of fun, a bit of madness on a Summer’s afternoon.  There were also other duck themed activities.  Instead of a coconut shy there was a duck shy.

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Neil’s sister was with us and she knocked down two ducks.  Then she had a go at throwing hoops round ducks.

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There were other duck stalls too and some people even dressed in duck costumes. The face painting for the children was ducks on their cheeks!

But we rather more sedately retired with a Pimms!

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The last thing was the tug of war between Bishopswood and Buckland St Mary.  Neil was in the Buckland team and went prepared in boots and gloves, but they still lost!

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You can see the lovely thatched house in the background, in whose grounds the event took place.

They are going to try and make it an annual event.  It was well supported and everyone had a bit of fun.  Other villages hold duck races too so maybe its just a local thing around here.  We certainly had never heard of it until we moved here.

If you want to see what other mad things we get up to in the country visit us at

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