An action-packed weekend part 1

by | Nov 4, 2023 | Latest Post | 0 comments

Reading Time: 10 minutes

First stop, the monthly market in the marketplace of Midsomer Norton Francoise bought her usual fish order. There are no fishmongers in Midsomer Norton and she doesn’t like to rely on frozen fish.  We bought some freshly baked bread and some cheese made with unpasturized milk.

The event was fairly well attended bearing in mind the on/off showery weather (below)

I saw this advert for films, below, whilst in Sainsbury’s, an event which I had associated with a school venue in Radstock. This one is located in Kilmersdon which is a small village to the south of Bath.

Hearing difficulties for the profoundly deaf

We have a friend who has an acute hearing problem and is thinking of having a cochlear implant. Francoise has taken up her case because her family lives some distance away and cannot afford the time to go with her to her appointment in Bristol so Francoise has agreed to go along to an appointment with her on the 6th December 2023

A lady running one of the vegetable stalls at the market has a similar hearing problem and she told Francoise about a new method called bone anchoring hearing aids which is less invasive than the cochlear procedure. She had this implant about five years ago and all she needed was to re-adjust the apparatus  from time to time. She also had a newly generation hearing aid. The lady had no information about costs but this could well be a new alternative for the friend. She was very willing to chat and went so far as to give her phone number so Francoise could ask further questions.

Once again, the value of gossip

It is very impressive to see how much useful information people have and are furthermore quite willing to give. I am not a gossiper about frivolous things but I do appreciate this informal exchange of information which I think is rather unkindly called gossip. We could have fun and look at the word gossip. An Informant could be seen as someone who informs you about a particular situation, but also the connotation of a person officially assigned to seek out information that is not already available.

A blabbermouth is someone who has no boundaries and has no concept of privacy or protocol. Small talk is used as a preparation for more serious matters and just links people in who have not met each other for some time.  We talk about ‘making’ small talk which implies that it could be contrived.  Dialogue is something more serious and formal and would not necessarily take place on the street. Chinwag is just having fun but at another level is a conference is an appellation more formal in its structure. If I spill the beans, my conversation or gossip  has gone out of hand and can happen when someone is inebriated or angry.

The Cam Valley Arts Trail

This take place annually and locally . The opening times are 11 am to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. That may sound like a long time but to see 28 venues, some with many artists participating, there is no way you can do justice to all the works in 10 hours. If you go round venues and do not speak to the artists, you are wasting your time. I call it ‘pond-skating’.

We started at Camerton community hall which surprisingly enough is in Camerton, BA2 0NL if you must know. We entered the hall to find only about 10 guests so this did not auger very well however we decided to linger and spend time with each individual artist; there was so much depth and discussion in the conversation that we were there for one and a half hours and it seemed much shorter.

The first was Carrie Osborne, of WordHoards Art. She loves trees and does the most amazing lino-cuts and drawings. You feel you are actually within the trees.  She struck me as being a very down to earth and sensitive person who related well to nature.  I gave her the nick name of Earth Lady or ‘Lady of the Earth’. Her lino cuts which we did not photograph can be seen on her Facebook page.

Alas she does not have a website which in my view would be an excellent shop window for her and with more permanency than a Facebook page where she can be found @carriewordhoardsart. We chatted a bit and she does enjoy support from her husband who is a musician. That relationship will certainly not be boring and I found her to have a very strong and at the same time gentle character which means that when times get really bad, she will use her dynamic relationship with nature to survive

The second was Suzy Williams from whom I bought a work a triptych of photographs of nature and I will have to find somewhere useful to put it. Image to be inserted.

The third was Denise Dufferin, An artist whose pen and ink work I found very attractive. I asked her about doing a portrait of me as an alternative to the photograph I am now using. She said that she would do a few sketches for me and if I did not like them I did not have to proceed.

Something funny happened when I went to get my cake and coffee. I was served by a very nice gentleman and the cup in which he served the coffee I found wording perhaps coincidental or perhaps synchronistic.  One of my weaknesses is that I do not get on very well with dogs. Low and behold what am I given? A message on a cup. I teased the server that he knew about me and had planned the whole thing and of course he agreed,  with a twinkle in his eye.

I was however strongly drawn to a potter by the name of Andrew Eddleston who lives in Timsbury. His work had a special quality and he spoke with quiet authority and boyish enthusiasm which I guess arises from many years teaching the subject to members of the public of all ages and all standards. We agreed on practically everything about creativity including the fact that you can never run out of ideas because ideas come from the universe and if we learn to listen the very fact of creating an idea will produce more ideas to support it. When someone asks a question or makes a suggestion, what you say to them will help them but it will also assist your own development.

I pointed out that is why selfish people are the most miserable ones. I shared my testimony about my diaries that I have programmed my brain to give me at least 1500 words a day and when I am on form, which most of the time, I produce more than 1500 words. I found it very empowering and deeply satisfying to meet a kindred spirit and was very honoured to meet him. The whole visit was worth that one contact alone because inter alia I wasn’t just making contact with him, but in a way all the people that he has met and helped.

He teaches in Frome and has awaiting list of 92 potential potters. He shows a great love and caring and I’m not surprised that people are attracted to him and his work because he is a living catalyst. I try to be the same so I suppose we were encouraging each other. Each of his works is unique. You can be found on Facebook and his email address is


We could have stayed there most of the afternoon but I did want to see at least one more venue so after having had a piece of cake and a coffee we went on to Karen’s studio in High Littleton (above). I have known Karen now for about six years since we first went to a party at her place. She and Francoise have a long history of their love of art so we turned up to see how she was getting on. is her site.

She has spent about four years assembling her own outdoor studio which is a story in itself. They built the studio from scratch using recycled materials, pallets, and anything that came to hand. She obtained from a window fitter windows which would have otherwise gone to the tip. The whole is about 4 meters by 3.5 meters.

I was very struck by the fact that Karen looked younger than when I met her three years ago,. Her husband Chris shared with me how he had taken early retirement from being an assistant headteacher and felt much better for it and was enjoying doing some gardening for people. I made the comment that sometimes you don’t realize what a prison you are in until you step out of it. It is very common with people whose jobs do not quite fit them for a number of reasons. So Chrus is in well deserved retirement now and enjoying himself. I wish them both all the best.

Whilst there, I had a little bit of fun with the English language when a newcomer wanted to buy a postcard while the three of us were talking. I agreed that they should jump in. I discussed the difference between interrupting, interjecting, and interfering. The only one acceptable in a group is interjection where you add something relevant to the topic.  This happens in the House of Commons when a speaker ‘gives way’ to a right honorable friend who wishes to support him.

Interrupting involves stopping the flow and usurping it for your own purposes. Interfering is meddling with the procedure itself and is probably the most scurrilous. To heckle or disturb applies more to larger groups of people where you want to destabilize the flow of the whole meeting for not necessarily rational reasons.

We then decided to go home but on the way we decided to pop in to High Littleton church hall. I bought a notebook, blanks not lines, with a lovely cover for £3.95. I had a Victoria sponge cake piece and some coffee for £2.50 which is not bad. By that time I was so full of ideas to share for this diary that I switched off significantly and we both decided that it was time to head home. The weather was absolutely beautiful and we enjoyed the sunset and perfect blue skies.

There could be no more perfect evening for a firework display which we will probably go to. It is now 17.40 as I write and the firework display starts at 1900 hours so I have had time to write this entry and have something to eat as well.

Firework display at the Cricket Club

High speed movement at nights is not something that an ordinary mobile phone – camera can deal with. It will take a picture and then process it for a few seconds. You’re not going to get clarity so this picture above is designed just to give an impression of the event.

The Lions Club runs most of the firework displays in the UK and there was no exception to this at the Cricket Club just down the road from where we are. The charge was £8 per person, children free. We ignored the queues and went up via Silver Street Nature Reserve through to the side of an overlooking  hill where we found a group of about 60 people waiting to see the show.

For the first time I found walking at night a bit tricky. It was a combination of using boots that were a little bit too big for me, the darkness in what was a very muddy and wet field and also it was a slope. The combination was a bit much for me so I had to hold on to Francoise. The fireworks did indeed last about 20 minutes as we thought. They started a little bit late to let everyone in, fair enough. Next time I will go to the trouble of bringing a fold- up chair.

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