Posts Tagged living in the country

Green Scythe Fair June 2015

Last Sunday we also went to the Green Scythe Fair at Thorney, Mulcheney in the Somerset Levels. It’s a sort of hippy, environmentally friendly fair, where all the power is generated on site by wind generators or solar power, and discounts are given to those arriving on bicycle or by foot.  There are lots of stalls and exhibits and people who made seemingly useless objects into useful items, like a 5 litre metal paint tin which had been converted into a “rocket” stove. This stove worked on twigs and small pieces of wood and boiled a kettle in a very short time.  One stall was using this to make cups of tea:

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Some great willow sculptures:

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There were some haystacks and the children had great fun running and jumping on them.

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There was a scything competition of one man scything versus some one strimming with a power tool.

green scythe fair

On the various stalls were antiques and old farming or garden tools.  Neil took a fancy to this lamp.

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We met a lady from Yeovil and South Somerset LETS scheme and spent some talking to her.  LETS is where one person does a chore for another but no money exchanges hands, in simple terms a bit like someone doing an hour’s ironing for someone else who does an hour’s gardening in exchange.  We are going to get her to come and talk to the Blackdown Hills Transition Group as this is a really good idea and perhaps something we could start here locally.

It was a lovely day and there were lots of foodie stalls too with organic or vegetarian food, so we sat on the grass having a little bite to eat, it was very relaxing in the sunshine. It was a really enjoyable Sunday afternoon.

visit us at http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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Sheep and Pig Racing

Yes you did read it right, sheep and Pig racing – that’s what us country folk get up to at the weekend.  It was held today at Beechayes Farm, Churchinford, so of course we had to go along.

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A bit of madness but good fun.  There was a Tote and you could bet on the pigs and sheep just like you do horseracing.  The pigs were marked with different colours.  Their race was inside a barn and it was rather crowded so I struggled to get a good picture.

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Outside was the run for the sheep.  Firstly they had saddles with doll riders attached to the sheep.

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Then they were herded up to the top of the run and let go.  It was fairly slow at first, then the sheep got the hang of it and came charging down the run, over the little hurdles.

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At the end of the race the sheep got some feed as reward.

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The event was very well supported with lots of people in attendance.  Hot food was provided by the ladies of the Smeatharpe WI who always do a good job.  So a fun afternoon all round.

Want to join in the country madness? Stay at our B&B http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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Xmas comes early to Buckland St Mary

Yesterday was the Christmas bazaar held in Buckland St Mary village hall.  For the third year running Neil and I were on the Bric-a-brac stall.  When we arrived in the morning to set up there was already loads of “Stuff” in boxes on our table for us to sort out.  In fact we had heaps of stuff and wondered how we were going to sell it all.

The bazaar was opened by Father Christmas at 2.15pm.

He has “Mother Christmas” there to help him sort our which little kiddie is going in to see him next!!

We had a great assortment of things on our stall:-  mugs and coasters, gloves, bags, plates, pictures, jewellery, books, draw liners etc to name but a few.

The funniest thing was someone had knitted some mittens and donated them, but they were both the left hand!! May be someone else is wandering around with 2 right  hand ones.

In spite of the heavy pouring rain the bazaar was well attended. There were raffles and cream teas, a bottle tombola  and the brownies were wandering around with “name the reindeer” so lots to raise money from.  We made £68.50 on our stall, just better than last year.

Busy Xmas Bazaar

The only down side to running the bric-a-brac stall is that you have to clear up whats left afterwards.  We boxed everything up and are going to take it all into Chard to the Ferne Animal Sanctuary Charity Shop tomorrow.

This was the first of various activities to look forward to in Buckland St Mary in the run up to Xmas.

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Moving the chooks

As our baby chicks are now 4 weeks old we wanted to move them and their mum, Mrs Speckledy out of the ark and into the old hen house with an enclosed run.  We had purchased a new hen house for the other chickens, so we put that in place, added an electric fence and on Friday night moved them out of one hen house and into another, so that in the morning when they were let out they would be in their new run.

The new hen house

The next day we cleaned out the old hen house and made it ready for Mrs Speckledy and the babies, but catching them to move them proved slightly problematical.  Firstly Mrs Speckledy thought we were killing her she made such a racket, but as we moved her first, she obviously didn’t want to be separated from her brood.  Next it was the turn of the babies, but they are fast!!  One jumped out of the ark when we opened it and made a bid for freedom.  Good job we had taken the fishing net down with us, so we were able to catch it.

Neil with the little brown chook

The little ones squeaked like mad as they didn’t like being separated from Mum, so we moved them as quickly as possible.

me with a little black chick

It took a while for Mrs Speckledy and the baby chooks to come down the ramp and into the enclosed run, but they soon got the hang of it and there is a lot more space for them in that run.

The other hens were enjoying the long grass in the orchard as new turf to spuddle about in.

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They soon made themselves a spot to have a dust bath and they scattered all the bark that we had put round the base of the trees.

the light sussex in their new area

So all in all a successful move for all the chooks.  Our original hens laid 11 eggs (out of 13 hens) on the first day they were in their new hen house and area, so I don’t think they were too traumatised by the move.

visit us at www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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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!! 

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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.

visit us at www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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My two favourite walks

Yesterday a friend, whom we’d not seem for a few years, came to visit us.  It was lovely to see her again, and we were lucky in that the sun shone, even though the wind was cold.  After lunch we took her up to Staple Hill, which is one of my 2 favourite places nearby to go for a walk.

A wonderful tree at Staple Hill

Staple Hill is one of the highest places in the Blackdown Hills, Somerset, England and on a fine day it is said you can see right over to Wales. 

 From there we got back in the car and headed the short distance to Otterhead Lakes at Otterford.  At this time of year the bluebells are out in force and there are carpets of blue in the woods.

 English native bluebells have flowers on one side only and droop to the side.  Unfortunately there has been an influx of spanish bluebells in garden centres and these have flowers all the way round.  Luckily in established woodland the bluebells are all native English ones.

 We also spotted some wild garlic with pretty little white flowers and lots of ferns growing up poised ready to unfurl as these ones below.

It’s a lovely walk down to the first lake, then along  a footpath by the side of a stream, across a footbridge and then eventually the path comes out by the second lake.  We met a couple of guys walking their dogs and they took a photo of all 3 of us on the footbridge.

 

The footbridge at Otterhead Lakes

You can see we are well wrapped up as it was quite chilly yesterday, but it is a lovely spot for a walk, really beautiful with all those bluebells.

 If you want to visit Staple Hill or Otterhead Lakes and stay at our B&B, visit us at www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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Christmas Turkey Bingo

We’d been wondering what to do about a turkey. There are only going to be 3 of us on Christmas day, being Neil and his sister and me.  So we didn’t want a really big turkey or we’d be eating it all week long.  The free range Bronze turkeys from a nearby farm were over £50 and much too big for us, and I was coming to the conclusion that I would have to go to Tesco and buy a frozen one.

Then we heard about Turkey Bingo.  It’s a Christmas tradition around here that happens every year.  The villagers from Bishopswood and Buckland St Mary get together for Turkey Bingo, and that was last night.

You play 10 games and a bonus game.  For each game the person to get the first full line wins a bottle of wine, and then the person to get full house wins a fresh turkey each time.  We weren’t doing very well, needing at least 3 numbers each time by the time someone had called full house. 

Then came the bonus game.  In this game the person with the first full line won a bottle of sherry and £3.00.  The person with the first 2 full lines won a bottle of whiskey and £5.00. And the person getting full house won a turkey and £10.00.  And what did Neil do?  He only went and won the turkey and £10.00!  We could hardly believe our eyes.  Neil has never played bingo before in his life and didn’t really think it would be his thing.  But he got the best prize of the evening.  So here he is back home showing his winning ticket, the £10.00 and the turkey.

Neil with his turkey prize

And what is more this turkey is exactly the right size for us, not too big and not too small, just right for 3 people for a couple of days. Talk about beginner’s luck.

 
Want to share a cold turkey sandwich with us?  visit us at www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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