Some people think that I am mad. Not mad in the sense that I am regularly told I should seek a psychiatrist or book myself into a mental asylum, but I do things that perhaps some people might not consider normal, or they fail to see the method behind my 'madness'.
For example, I have a car in perfect working order but sometimes I prefer to travel by train. When I state this to various people they can not understand how I can leave my motor vehicle at home and choose to travel by public transport. Although, to be honest, this is not always the case. When I need to visit the gym, or the shops, or a friend who does not live too far away, I love the fact I can sit in my car and nip to these places. In this case, I agree that my Golf GTI offers me freedom and convenience. If, however, my journey consists of travelling a fair distance, a distance that I have not ventured to before, I would rather travel by train thank you. Unknown territory, far away, scares me. I tend to panic about becoming lost, therefore I will become lost and panic.
I travelled to the cottage on the borders of Dorset/Somerset by first western railway. "You're mad," I was told by one particular friend. "Why don't you drive?" No thanks! A four hour drive, on my own, to a place I have never been to? I can't think of anything worse. Actually that's incorrect, I can think of worse things, such as having my leg cut off by a blunt saw, or listening to finger nails scraping down a chalk board, but in this instance I would rather let the train take the strain.
My parents travelled by car a couple of days prior to my journey. I booked my advance train ticket on-line and arrived at Paddington station with a packed lunch, a glossy magazine and a new fiction book, relaxed and ready to go. Had I been driving I would have been anything but relaxed, plus I would have been unable to read, eat, and soak up the scenery. Two hours (see, it can also be faster by rail) and two ham and mustard sandwiches with orange juice and mini Cheddars later, and one magazine read and one chapter of Our Spoons Came From Woolworths, I arrived at Bruton Station. My parents were in the car park to meet and greet me and off we drove to the holiday cottage.
And what a delightful cottage. Flag-stone flooring, original brick fire-place, cosy furnishing, fresh flowers and a stunning view that stretches for miles. After arriving at the cottage I took a little walk, with the purpose of familiarising myself with the local area. It's lots of bendy roads, green fields, cows, horses and sheep grazing in the fields. I then retired to my bedroom to write my blog. Unfortunately there is no Internet connection so I can not post my blog, but when you read this dear FPE readers I'll have Internet connection and this blog will have been posted. So, picture the scene if you can - I am writing this perched on a wooden chair and tapping away on my lap top, my lap top which is placed on the bedside table, next to my bed, with the gingham bed spread, which is in my bedroom that will be my home for the next five nights. (Without a hint or whiff of madness.)
Pictures of the day:
This is where we stayed.
The cottage kitchen.
My dad, engrossed in the newspaper.
The view in the garden.
The colour of autumn.
Hey mister Cat, are you looking at me?
Hello Horsey, why the long face?
A splendid, long day, in Sherborne
With its abundance of medieval buildings, magnificent Abbey, world famous schools, Sherborne House arts centre and two Castles, Sherborne is, without doubt, one of the most beautiful and historic towns in England. It's a vibrant shopping town with a large choice of handcrafted goods and elegant fashions, and it has become a poignant regional centre for arts and antiques.
My parents and I loved Sherborne so much that we spent five hours browsing around the shops and the market stalls. Okay that five hours does include a lunch break and a lemon cake and coffee break. Our lunch break was spent in the Zest Cafe, run by The Four Leaf Clover Club. The club is a registered charity, welcoming and promoting a positive and social atmosphere, whilst raising awareness for mental health issues. Jacket potatoes and sandwiches were ordered, to the sound of the guitar and a male vocalist. It's a lovely little cafe and worth popping in if you ever find yourself in the area.
A Sleeping Beauty theatre set, a jazz book, card making material, a black and white coat and a slab of Dollceato strong and smelly cheese were amongst our purchases. My mother often jokes that she wears a 'Born To Shop' badge, and I am in one hundred per cent agreement with her. I have never known anyone to embrace shopping quite like my mum. However, after five hours and a swollen ankle, even she had to admit defeat. Plus all the shops were closing.
It was back to the cottage to sip wine, nibble smelly cheese and read our books. What a splendid, long day, it has been.
Pictures of the day:
Another market picture.
The Four Leaf Clover Club.
The Zest Cafe.
Castle Cary and the photography bore
Welcome to Castle Cary. Full of charm, character and friendly inhabitants it's easy to fall in love with this near perfection town. Upon arrival I immediately started snapping away on my camera and taking pictures for FPE.
"You're in danger of becoming a photography bore," said my mum, whilst watching me clicking away. I wasn't offended. I've been called far more offensive things. Well, not that offensive. Please don't think that I am regularly called vicious names or that I suffered an abusive childhood where I was ridiculed beyond belief due to my looks/personality/hobbies.
Anyway, I quite like being a photography bore.
Pictures of the day:
The bank. (I liked the building, maybe my mum has a point.)
The post office. (I thought it was quaint and colorful. Okay my mum does have a point!)
We stopped in this coffee shop.
For lemon cheesecake.
Glastonbury. Without wellington boots.
I have often watched Glastonbury the music festival on television. But I have never been tempted to actually attend the festival. Too much mud and not enough toilets. It's not that I am totally against festivals, there is a local one I have danced around on five separate occasions, but I've been safe in the knowledge that I can go home at the end of the night and jump into a hot bath, and it's only ever rained once, believe it or not.
At Glastonbury music festival I think it rains every year, every second of the festival. I have witnessed attendees on the television, covered head to foot in mud. Literally. Their wellington boots almost unrecognisable with the amount of mud they are caked in. I'm afraid that doesn't really appeal to me.
Glastonbury is steeped in history, myths and legends, and thereby giving rise to its popularity as a ‘new age’ destination. Various myths include Glastonbury as the final resting place for King Arthur and the Holy Grail, and for such a small town there is much to see including the 7th century Glastonbury Abbey, Glastonbury Tor and the Chalice Well.
So it was with interest I visited the town of Glastonbury. The aroma of incense lingers outside many shops, atmospheric music can also be heard, and the streets are filled with White Witches, Hippies and Gothics.
Nothing or nobody is too strange and unusual for Glastonbury.
Pictures of the day:
The Glastonbury experience.
The man playing the flute.
There are many quirky stalls...
and shops in Glastonbury.
And hidden lanes.
Lots of weird things.
And a colourful high street.
This isn't Glastonbury. This is Shaftesbury which we visited on our last day. Nice view hey!