Saturday, October 23, 2010

Jan Nicholson in Bristol

No sooner had Pip left, we had our next Auzzie (well kiwi actually) visitor - Jan Nicholson. An admirer of our blog from the Big Lap days, Jan has finally made the big time with her own video clip. Years of lecturing and conference presenting are clear for all to see - Jan is a true professional in front of the camera.

Jan stayed for a week, working in research projects with Nicky. We sample the amber nectar, as is clear from the photo. And as Jan mentions in the video (note leaves dropping in the garden) one of the highlights was the Clifton Sausage - great English fare.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pip in Bath

Q. what do you do when you have a week off from your Melbourne Symphony Orchestra job?
A. go visit friends in London, Paris and Bristol!

Pip popped across the world for a week, and came down to Brizzle to stay overnight. It was wonderful to catch up and show her the sights, including the Roman Baths, an english pub, a curry and the delights of medieval Bristol. A lot in a day and a bit. And that was just the 30 or so hours Pip had in Bristol!

Pip - it was great to see you darl.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

9-10 Oct 2010 - Exmoor

You'd have thought that Nicky would have had a gutful of travelling after a week at work that involved trips to London, Birmingham, Glasgow then Edinburgh, but no, she was up for a weekend away. Stuart had his first taste of West Somerset back in late July with the Minehead Festival. Nicky, being from Tavistock, knows Dartmoor very well, but had never been to Exmoor. This was about to change.

The weather was "English" - grey and misty. This blog entry is fairly "English" as we are discussing the weather!

First stop was Dunster Castle, where as Nicky explains on the video, we joined the National Trust. And that was just about all she got right. It is in the Doomsday book, owned by the Saxon Aelfric. A Norman castle went up in 1068 - Bill de Mohun was a big mate of Bill the Conqueror, who had done his stuff at Hastings two years earlier. It has been in the Luttrell family for over 600 years, the most dramatic era of which was around the Civil War. The castle changes hands several times, as the owner caved in to first the Royalist army, then Cromwell. But why am I writing this, you too can do a Google search!

It is rutting season, apprently, but you need to be able to see more than 10m to see the stag giving it large in the horns department. But we did see a lot of pheasants - literally 1000s of them. After Dulverton, we went to Tarr Steps before heading for Porlock for tea. Next was Minehead to meet up with the wonderful Penny, birthday boy Ian and Emma. P &I took us to their work in progress beach hut called SOALMA (see video for explanation) on Dunster beach, for a G&T and glorious views as the mist slowly burnt off. Having watched some of Nickos exploits in Australia last year, Penny and Ian have now made it to the dizzy heights of the blog themselves. Woooo Hooo!