Sunday, 19 October 2008

I'm not mad (in Dorset/Somerset)

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.

Peeking through.

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:

Sherborne Abbey.

Sherborne market.

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 street.

The museum.

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.

Glastonbury church.

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!


jyankee said...

glad to see you back! i don't think that's "mad"...but i am opposite in that i prefer driving and even with JP's perfect train schedule system... (eg...the train will NOT wait for you...), i don't like having to arrange my schedule according to the train know what I mean?

Dav DiDi said...

Hhmm .. the house looks very cosy .. i like it ..

Blur Ting said...

Oh, I love the pictures! I can imagine the peace and tranquility of living there. It's a really nice way to take a break!

I'm very much like you. I only like driving when I'm in my familiar country. When I travel to unfamiliar places, I prefer to take the train. That way, I don't have to worry about getting lost and I can see the scenery. It also allows one to explore the new places on foot. Now that I've moved to a more accessible location, I do enjoy taking the subway to town as well.

Hey, I'll be in London on 4-7 Dec on a business trip, it'll be nice to meet up if you're free. Can you email me

Nick Phillips said...

Wow, now that is the kind of place I'd like to retire too. Lovely pictures :D Looks like you had a great holiday ...

Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt said...

Oh please don't stop posting pictures! They are lovely, especially that one of your quaint post office! If you saw the post offices around here, you would understand.

And that pic of your dad reading in the cottage....hubby and I stayed at a lovely bed and breakfast, and I swear, the room he is in looks like the sitting room at the place we were! Now I want to go back. Or go to England. Actually, I would really rather go to England. Sigh.

Blur Ting said...

Oh, more pictures! Lovely! You'll never be a photography bore! My son is always warning me about being the same thing too :-)

Bitter Chocolate said...

Welcome back, you were missed! Love the picture with the weird sign LOL! And the pictures are awsome! And I loved travelling by train when I was in the UK, I like to observe the people and watch the countryside fly by and I always got a sense of being able to think there like nowhere else. In here, I don't love it so much, but that has a lot to do with the fact that a)the trains usually look disgousting b)they are mostly full pof weirdos/drunk people/homeless looking people/a combination of the previously mentioned and most importantly c) I spend 7 hours on a train 4 times a month, which means 28 hours min total... so it kind of isn't so enjoyable anymore (to put it lightly LOL)

The World According To Me said...

Hi Jyankee

How are you?

Glad you don't think that I'm mad! But I do see your point with the train schedules. It's also nice to do things in your own time, except I know I'll be panicking about loosing my way and arriving in another time schedule completely!

The World According To Me said...

Hi Dav Didi

How is life treating you?

The house was very cosy. I kind of miss it!

The World According To Me said...

Hi Blur

How are you?

It was so peaceful out there. I miss walking down the lanes with nothing to see but green fields and animals!

Snap with the transport thing!

Hey, I would love to meet up with you! How lovely! I'll email you from my work address...

The World According To Me said...

Hi Nick, or should I call you Clive?!

How are things with you?

I would love to retire there too, or have a sceond home there. Hmm, maybe I should think about a first home first and stop getting under my parents feet!

The World According To Me said...

Hello Katherine

How are you?

I've been enjoying looking at your photos too.

I'm gald you agree with me on the post office. I could live there! It's nothing like my local post office either!

How funny with the similar room. Sounds like you had a nice time though?

The World According To Me said...

Yep, more pictures Blur! I can't imagine life without a camera now!

We can be photography bores together!

The World According To Me said...

Hi Bitter Chocolate

How are you?

Glad you liked the pictures. I know what you mean about looking out onto the countryside and having a good think. You can't do that with the underground trains though. They sound similar to yours! Tramps, drunks, weirdos. I could tell you stories about the tube that would make your hair curl! Or if you have curly hair, it could turn your hair straight. Oh, you know what I mean!

Krystle said...

Welcome back! Great pics as always :) I'm the same as you - always taking photos :) And I enjoy looking back at them from time to time..

If we had a train system here in Malta, I would definately take the train - that way I can read, watch a movie on my psp or just look outside and observe what's going on - all in a calm and relaxed way without having to think what to do, where to go and keeping an eye open for all cars around me! Here in Malta, distances are short, so we don't need to travel much (although at the moment, I drive nearly an hour everyday to get to work from where I am currently living!). However, when we go back to live in our other residence I will definately use the bus again to come to work!

shello said...

lovely ^.^

The World According To Me said...

Thanks Krystle

How long until your holiday now?

I agree with you one hundred per cent about the train journey, always nice to relax, read and observe!

The World According To Me said...

Hey Shello

How ya doing? I look forward to viewing more pictures from Seagrape!

Blur Ting said...

hey World - take your time in replying my email. It's not urgent. I can understand how it is after a break. The work must be piling up.

Lynne said...

I just stumbled on your wonderful blog.I am interested in visiting the Dorset region to collect fossils-ha,ha. I can't tell any of my friends here in Chicago about this, they might die laughing.
Any suggestions on a nice and fairly in-expensive place to stay?
Thanks for any suggestions.

Bitter Chocolate said...

It's me again! I've become a victim of the tagmonster and am dragging you along, so drop by at my place if you want to become a part of the tagging nonsence :D

The World According To Me said...

Hello Lynne. Welcome to Flying Pink Elephants. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

Dorset is a lovely place, with many pretty places to stay. I hope the following site will be of some help to you.

The World According To Me said...

Hi Bitter Chocolate.

Cheers fo the tag! I like being tagged and I'll have my number 6 up soon.

Trinity said...

Wah, so many beautiful pics here.. I love the garden view one most!

The World According To Me said...

Thanks Trinity!

Welcome to Flying Pink Elephants.

Lynne said...

Thanks so much for the helpful tip on accomodations in Dorset. I will be continuing to read and enjoy the slice of life you provide from the U.K.!
best, Lynne

The World According To Me said...

You're welcome Lynne!

Hope all is good with you.