Archive for Local community

A drive through Dommett to see the Bluebells

On Saturday we took a mini detour through Dommett (which is still part of Buckland St Mary), as the scenery is so beautiful and picturesque along there.

The road had been freshly gritted.DSC03933

The views are lovely.DSC03934

Someone had a vigorous Clematis Montana in their front garden.DSC03935

Another householder had painted a rainbow for the NHS on a tyre, very imaginative!.DSC03936

Then we came to the Bluebells.DSC03938

The lanes are so pretty as you drive along.DSC03939

There were lots of Bluebells.DSC03940

And another bank of Bluebells.  I do love to see them.DSC03942

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Walk through Buckland St Mary to the church and back.

During this coronavirus lockdown we are making more time to go for walks so that we get some exercise other than gardening.  Today we walked through the village up to the church and back and these are some of the views we saw along our way, for the benefit of those who don’t live locally.

Firstly the view across the fields from just up from our house.20200419_125805

A field had either been mowed or rolled into neat lines,20200420_114502

and this is where the footpath sign to the church is.20200420_114517

The telephone box by the telephone exchange is looking a bit worse for wear. Perhaps we could have a village book swap in there like some villages do?20200420_114849

Further up the lane a flag was flying.20200420_114956

We passed a Dutch barn where they store hay in the Winter and commented on the lovely view.20200420_115136

This is the lane to the mill.  We  have never been down there as we are told the path becomes very muddy.20200420_115221

A sign post shows the way to Buckland Church and in the other direction to Birchwood.20200420_115308

Bear right there and you can see the church.20200420_115336

Opposite the church is a small shelter.20200420_120407

The lychgate to the church has been recently renovated.20200420_120503

This is the wording as you pass under.20200420_120519

As we walked around the outside of the church we spotted this gargoyle.20200420_120631

The steps up at the back of the church lead to private land.20200420_120648

All the tombstones were showing up brightly in the sunshine.20200420_120748

The memorial still has some poppy wreaths on it.20200420_120858

On the way back home we stopped to look at the view towards Birchwood.20200420_121912

This is the lane homewards.20200420_122710

The junction of the lanes that make the triangle near us, also shows a neighbour’s field.20200420_123059

And home again.  En route we stopped to chatter to locals in their gardens or in their cars, all from a suitable 2 metre distance of course.  It makes for a sociable walk.

 

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A different walk across the A303.

This morning we set off in a different direction for our walk.  As the A303 is so quiet at the moment we decided to cross it and walk down towards Beetham.20200414_113906

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On the way we passed a lovely big rainbow painted on the front of someone’s drive, thanking the NHS – really great.20200414_112947

We walked down to the caravan park which has a notice on it saying it is closed now until the 30th June due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The country lanes were deserted apart from a tractor.20200414_113252

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We noticed all the flowers in the hedges, the bluebells are starting to come out.20200414_113443

Some pretty little white flowers that we are not sure what they are.20200414_113624

And some cow parsley is in flower.20200414_114013We crossed back over the A303 and again it was deserted, so unusual.20200414_113854

We headed back towards home.20200414_113929

As we walked along the lanes we admired the view.20200414_114050

Quite a spectacular tree en route.20200414_114309

And then some blossom in someone’s garden.20200414_114535

Approaching our house we commented on the white bluebells on the corner.20200414_115020

We have narcissus growing in front of our wall.20200414_115201

And Forget-me-nots all the way down the wall on the RH side.20200414_115228

I love all the primroses at the this time of year.20200414_115239

We also have bluebells coming out.20200414_115246

And these are the pots of tulips on our front garden patio.20200414_115301

Not guests at the moment due to the lockdown, but time for lovely walks in the country and quite a bit of gardening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Xmas bazaar 2017 at Buckland St Mary

Wow, only a month to Christmas and the festivities have started already.  Yesterday was the Xmas Bazaar at Buckland St Mary village hall and we were on duty with the bric a brac stall again.  It’s surprising what people want to get rid of and give to us to sell, some really good stuff and some really not so good!!DSC01841

There were a couple of Xmas hats for sale, so I modelled one.  I really thought these would sell but no luck, so I will save them for our Xmas singing at the old people’s homes.

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Father Christmas was there seeing all the little children in his grotto.

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There were craft stalls and raffles, tombolas and cakes, all the normal stalls.

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Plus the usual afternoon tea service which always goes down well, especially with added cake!!

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We made £53.55 on our stall, not a great amount but £53.55 more than if we had stayed at home.  Overall £850 was raised for everyday church funds so a worthwhile effort.

The B&B is open now for bookings during December and Xmas. http://www.lodgehouse bandbsomerset.co.uk.

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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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