A quiet day pootling around Dorset

Recovering from the shoe-ing yesterday 🙂

We have made it an annual event, running away from responsibilities for a few days, ever since we were students. So that would be, um, (mumbles) twentythreeyears.

How did that happen?

Think a British Thelma and Louise.

But without the tragic ending.

And a bit more sensible.

And listening to Abba.

So possibly a bit more like Wallace and Gromit.


It’s great fun.

And we see great stuff.

Like this


And this


And this


A couple of days ago we were in Marlborough, where Princess Kate went to school. But more importantly we saw this




Cerne Abbas and Glastonbury tomorrow.

Can’t wait !



Hungerford at Hocktide.

It’s great.

You get this



And these


And the Tutti Men (tithes men) roaming the town to take money (or kisses) as payment


You do get an orange in return.

The Hocktide Court is held in the Town Hall and visitors are welcome to attend


But the best bit is the Hocktide Luncheon.

A long, very liquid, lunch with lots of toasts and speeches. Followed by this


The ritual shoeing of the colts – or first time visitors – by the Blacksmith to the Town and Manor.

If you resist this happens…


Or this….


Wrestled to the ground by the Vicar, or the Bailiff, or any number of fine upstanding members of the Hungerford community.

I went quietly…


That’s me that is! 🙂

And to finish the day?


Anchovies on toast.

Of course.

Lovely people (when they’re not attaching horseshoes to your feet), unique event.

Go if you get the chance.

But maybe give the anchovies a miss…..


Could it be?

Could it possibly be….a breakthrough?

Yesterday I did a yoga class and left it feeling positively….energised!

As opposed to my usual end of class state of wanting to drag my aching and decrepit body into the nearest hole (or coffee shop) and lay and whimper for a month or two.

I’m sure this has nothing to do with yesterday’s yoga class being one for beginners (rather than the one for bendy fit people we normally impose ourselves on)

No nothing at all to do with that.

Hey, I take my small crumbs of comfort wherever I can get them 🙂


Tomorrow I am off for a few days with Averil (Hi Averil!)

This will involve Tutti Men, Morris Men, the Cerne Abbas giant, and pagan Beltane celebrations.

British culture.

Gives a new meaning to the word eclectic 🙂


Fiction Friday

This Week I Have Mostly Been Reading

The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer


Just fabulous.

The story of Matthew, and what happens to him when his older brother dies in a tragic accident. An accident that Matthew believes he is responsible for. The story chronicles Matthew’s battles with mental health problems, the depression and schizophrenia, hearing and seeing his dead brother. It also chronicles the comfort that he draws from feeling his brother’s presence and almost reluctance to be “cured” as the cure would shut out that presence.

Now I know this doesn’t sound the most enjoyable or cheery of subject matters but the story is written with empathy and humour. The author is a mental health nurse and has obviously drawn heavily on his experiences in this area to craft the description of Matthew’s battles with both his illness and the authorities who try to “help” him. My experiences with people with mental health problems are limited to dealing with my mother’s Alzheimer’s, but the way Matthew’s narration veers from logical to random, from empathetic to aggressive, really struck a chord. And made feel sad that I didn’t and couldn’t understand what she was experiencing as the Alzheimer’s took hold.

Next Week I Shall Mostly Be Reading


I just downloaded this on a whim because I liked the book cover.

Hey it works for wine doesn’t it? 🙂

I think it’s good to step outside your usual choices sometimes.

Well, hopefully….

These High Green Hills

A few days away with friends.

To the very outposts of civilisation as we know it.

Well, Wales.

But there was no Internet or phone signal and so, to the teenagers in the group, it was as if Armageddon had indeed wiped out the rest of the world.

It was very beautiful


An old stone farmhouse

Lots of these


This little chap was born and then his mum charged off for breakfast leaving him to sort himself out


Now, I do remember being very ready for my Weetabix after youngest child was born, but still…

We were close to Offa’s Dyke and Llanthony Priory and so on the first, full, day we climbed the one and later had refreshments in the other.

It was breathtaking


No, it was, literally, breathtaking.

I thought it was thundering at one point, but that was just the blood pounding in my ears as we made the ascent up the Dyke.

Great views from the top though



…once I’d regained consciousness enough to appreciate them.

Fiction Friday

The Last Few Weeks I Have Mostly Been Reading….


Well, I seem to be the only person on the planet who really disliked this book.

The premise of the book is “What if you could live your life again, and again, until you got it right”?

And so you have a book where the main character keeps dying, and each new chapter starts with the assumption that the previous events that caused the death either didn’t happen, or were altered in some way so the outcome is different.

To begin with I thought “how refreshing” and “how clever”.

By the end of the book the concept was annoying me so much I could have cheerfully hurled the book out of the window.

If it hadn’t been a kindle version. 🙂

Yes, I get that it is a great, and interesting idea. But really, after a while the conceit completely gets in the way of the narrative.

A pity, because the underlying story, once you actually managed to follow it through to the end, was good.

Next Week I Shall Mostly Be Reading


I’ve read a lot of good things about this book, let’s hope they are all true 🙂


Had a fabulous night with friends last night (Hi Julie and Phil, Hi Tracey and Dean). Lovely food and conversation. Listening to music (vinyl!).

Not so sure about the live rendition of “Gordon is a moron”.


It’s the first time in many a year I have voluntarily still been awake at 3am.

Whether I am still awake by 3pm is a different matter.

You may find me snoring gently under the craft table.

Speaking of which



Bit of a quiet day at the fair yesterday but we are hoping for bigger and better things today.

If people aren’t put off by the snoring 🙂


The clock that is.

It’s the Craft Fayre at Hatton Country World this weekend.

I have now officially run out of time.

What a relief 🙂

After yoga today I think I am incapable of lifting even a needle.
I was placed in a bind (no way I could have got myself into it) and the only way it was going to end was by my poinging out of it like a jack out of the box.

And so it came to pass.

Lucky I didn’t take someone’s eye out in the process.

Anyway, if you are near Hatton Country World this weekend, the Craft Fayre is on Saturday and Sunday so pop by and say hello.