Thursday, 8 September 2011

Sheep, Street Fairs, and Cider ..... Whoooarrr!

Oh, I nearly forgot; last weekend I went to visit an old University chum, Andy 'Poops' Cooper, and his two-year-old son.

Now Poops has got quite an interesting life story going on at the moment. Not only has he been re-building his new house since last November (you may remember I went to help him work on it), but six months ago his girlfriend announced that their family was about to expand. Oh yes .......... she was expecting ........ twins. Due at the end of November.

I clearly remember Poops' blind panic when he called to tell me.

"I am going to be responsible for a family of FIVE!" he yelled down the phone. And Poops is not a 'yelly' person. In fact, I normally struggle to make him talk at all.

I pondered the situation carefully, "shit mate, your life is over."

"I know!" he wailed, "my new house has only got two bedrooms ...... my car is too small ....... and I'll never sleep ever again."

I tried to console him, "just remember - what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger," I said nodding my head wisely and tapping my nose in a knowing fashion ...... even though he couldn't see me because we were on the phone.  

So that's why I visited Poops last weekend: To try and do some fun stuff before the conveyor belt of nappies, sick, and sleepless nights kicked in.

Pic.No.1 Poops lives in his new house in Somerton. Somerton is a posh village in the county of Somerset. This is a map of my journey to get there

I was due to arrive at Poops' house at mid-morning on Saturday, but I got a bit side-tracked at home and ended up being an hour and a half late.

"You're late," he said after answering my knock on his front door.

"Are you going to give me piercing stares and keep alluding to it in general conversation?" I asked.

"Yes, I had planned on doing that," he replied.

"Cool, at least we both know where we are," I said, giving him slight hug. But not too much of one because that would be weird.

Then, after saying a quick hello to his gorgeous two-year-old son, I asked Poops what the plan was for the weekend.

"We are going to the Drayton village street fair," he announced.

"Bloody hell, that's not very rock-and-roll," I replied. "Do you remember the olden days when we used to spend our weekends bombing around on motorbikes?"

"Yehhh," sighed Poops ruefully.

"That's kids for you ......." we both said simultaneously.

And so dahlink, here are some pictures of our weekend in Somerset ....... enjoy.

Pic.No.2 This is the Drayton village Street Fair. These fairs (or fetes as they are often called) are held annually in most English villages. They consist of stalls selling local fare (cakes, bric-a-brac, artwork), games (tombola, coconut shys) and entertainment by local musicians. Their main aim is to raise funds to improve the village amenities

Pic.No.3 A medieval-looking musician plays music for the crowds

Pic.No.4 Poops browses some artwork in one of the stalls. Poops is the most camera-shy person on the planet. It is like trying to take a picture of a yeti

Video.No.1 A Brass Band played in the background. I am loving the old geezer on the motability scooter who looks oblivious to the band (runtime: 14 seconds)

Pic.No.5 As well as the stalls, there was also a classic car exhibition. This was a vintage Jaguar in black

Pic.No.6 And this was an ancient Wolseley, also in black. I prefer this one to the Jaguar ..... it's a lot more rounded ...... come hither my little car ......

Pic.No.7 Then we struck gold ......... we found a cider tent. Somerset is famous for its cider, so it would've been rude not to try it. Here I am sat on a bale of hay indulging in the amber nectar

Pic.No.8 I nearly got a picture of the Lesser-Spotted-Andy, but he foiled me at the final moment

I have to say, that as street fairs go, it was a pretty good one. And Andy managed to pick up some rather lovely original artwork as a present for his pregnant girly. But all good things come to an end.

After the experiencing the bollocks-out adrenalin of the Drayton street fair, the next day we decided to throw caution to the wind and visit a local point of interest ........ Muchelney Abbey. Like most points-of-interest in the UK, they are interesting because they are old. And Muchelney Abbey was no exception ......

Pic.No.9 This is the sign for Mulchelney Abbey. Apparently, it was inhabited by Monks in the 15th Century (bloody hell, that was 600 years ago)

Pic.No.10 We passed this church on the way into the site

Pic.No.11 Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the Abbey itself had been demolished by King Henry VIII in 1538 AD during the dissolution of the monastries. All you can see now are the foundations of the original building

Pic.No.12 This is an arty shot of an apple tree in the grounds of the Abbey. I had found a setting on my camera that enabled me to take a black-and-white picture but with one added accent colour. How cool?

Pic.No.13 Despite the fact that King Henry VIII had demolished the Abbey itself, he kindly left the medieval building next to it, intact

Pic.No.14 This is Poops and his son inside a medieval barn next to the Abbey. Poops put his hood up to avoid the camera

 Pic.No.15 There wasn't much inside the barn, so I took a picture of this medieval brick. Poops said I was sad, but I pointed out that he had just taken me to a village fete

We rounded off the weekend with a stroll around the village in which his new house is located. It was all very posh and picturesque, but bizarrely it was sheep that sparked a debate. Here is the sheep that started it all off ......

Pic.No.16 Poops said that those big sacky things hanging down under its tail are for milking it. I said that they were sheep nads.

So ........ can you help solve the problem? Are they milking teets or good old fashioned gonads?

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