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  1. #126
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    Enjoying this thread so far keep it going!!!

  2. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    . After a few pints of rough cider I've been told I snore and fart... doesn't really bother me to be honest. Extend your sympathies to my wife and daughter instead!



  3. #128
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    Mendip, i used to frequent Tuckers Grave as a lad and when we used to spend all waking hours bike fettling and riding, teens to 20s. Back then it was a proper cider hut. Not been for over 20 years and last time it was a shadow of its former glory but had a quick google and it seems its now a celebrated cider pub one of apparently only 6 left, find that hard to believe.

    The Barge Inn near where i live in mid 70s, before they restored the canal was a proper spit a sawdust cider haunt. The canal barely had water in it but what made the pub memorable was that the landlord used to feed the ducks and geese at the back of the pub at 1.30pm daily so they'd waddle through quacking for lunch. Now as you can imagine a few regulars, generous moonrakers liked to encourage the ducks to help them with their medium rough and a few ducks would stop on the way through to lunch to get a sup of cider, some on the way back too. The landlord used to just go to bed and tell those in the bar to serve themselves, leave the money on the side of the till, glasses in the sink and shut the door on the way out

    Just don't get places like that anymore
    Shame really but i suspect not a single driver drove home under the limit.

  4. #129
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    ^ Enforced drink driving laws certainly changed the pub life round this way 20 or so years ago. And rightly so... the days of the old village cronies pottering home after time have long gone.

    Last night I didn't get much sleep... out of excitement! Today we're off to Weston-Super-Mare playhouse to see the panto, Cinderella. And guess who's in it? ... only Page 3 legend LINDA LUSARDI!!!!

    There can't be many who lived in the UK during the 80s and 90s who wouldn't recognise Linda Lusardi's wonderful bosom. I was a teenager back then and stained many a sheet looking at the Sun's page 3 pics. I seem to remember that along with Linda Lusardi, Maria Whittaker was also a favourite. That may seem a bit weird, but this was long before the internet and wifi and stuff, that makes such nocturnal activities relatively easy and varied these days. (what is weird is that I'm now sleeping in that same teenage bedroom with my wife and daughter... but some things are best left unsaid!)

    Here was Linda in her glory days... (no topless pics on this thread unfortunately!)



    And of course the pc brigade had their way and the inevitable happened...


    Linda's 61 now, and I doubt she'll be getting 'em out for the panto. But I await in anticipation... "Oh yes she will!"

    Yesterday I had the wonderful pleasure of going Christmas shopping. We went to a little Mendip town called Street, and whereas the shopping was unremarkable (painful), there were some nice views on the way.

    Shipham was a thriving mining village back in the 1800s. They mined lead and zinc, which can't have been the healthiest of occupations back then, and along with inbreeding probably explains why the locals of Shipham are the way they are today. In fact, back in the 1980s there was a scare due to heavy metals in the drinking water (lead and cadmium) and along with enforced bottled water drinking, there was a total ban on eating locally grown vegetables. That was big national news at the time.

    The 19th Century toll house still survives...



    But sadly The Miners Arms does not. This used to be a thriving village pub (in which I've enjoyed many a pint), but in line with many other village pubs, has been closed for several years now.



    We passed through Wedmore (where, incidentally, my first 'proper' girlfriend came from) ...



    And on through a small hamlet on the approach to Glastonbury. I've never had a pint in the The Bird in Hand, and probably never will. It doesn't look very inviting, and that scene in 'An American Werewolf in London', where the pub goes silent when two strangers enter, comes to mind. In fairness it may be wonderful inside.



    Across the Somerset levels all the roads have reens dug alongside for drainage. This land used to be sea in Roman times, which is why we still have area names like 'The Isle of Wedmore' or 'The Isle of Avalon'. The land is flat and very prone to flooding.



    And the money shot! A full reen, almost ready to break it's banks and flood the road (it has rained incessantly since we arrived a few days ago). With Glastonbury Tor in the background. This is the Isle of Avalon, from King Arthur lore. I think that may be a tower of Glastonbury Cathedral to the right.



    We did the shopping at Clarke's Village in Street (full of outlet stores - yes, I'm cheap), and picked up a load of stuff for the littlun, including school shoes. With the dismal state of Sterling I find it cheaper to stock up on this stuff in the UK now. Of course the wife hit me with the 'I'd like a handbag for Christmas' routine. No problem really, but I don't want to get involved... fat chance!

    Is it just me, but when a women asks if a handbag looks nice, I pretend to study the bag, but really I'm just trying to subtly look at the price tag. For this bag, the word 'Clearance' boomed out at me, 70% boomed even louder! "Yes, the bag looks wonderful darling"! Two objectives achieved, a drastically reduced price and out of the shop in 12 minutes flat!

    Just to give a feeling of how wet, dank and gloomy the weather has been for the last few days... on the way back, the Mendip Hills looking north (across Cheddar). The top of the hills covered in low, grey cloud.



    And back in my mum's village. This river is usually a couple of feet deep, but now is about to burst it's banks...



    And overflow onto the road at the bridge... (I may have to take an alternate route out of the village to see the panto!)



    I usually take a walk along the river with my daughter to reminisce and look at all my old fishing spots. As a teenager I spent hour and hour fishing for trout along this river, until I discovered pubs and girls, and Page 3 of course! We haven't taken a walk yet, the ground is absolutely saturated with this continual rain.



    And to round off... in deference to my wife's wishes to clear the atmosphere in the bedroom, I had a couple of glasses of 'beer' with my snacks last night. Even I can admit that the cider farts were getting a bit fruity.

    I wonder if the old 'switch the glass subterfuge' worked!!?

    It worked for me!

    Last edited by Mendip; 21-12-2019 at 05:24 PM.

  5. #130
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    Mendip
    Great thread thanks for the effort. I have never been to the UK and looking at those pictures I don't want to it looks miserable. I think I have become acclimatised to Thailand as when it got down to 15degrees here recently I had long pants and a jumper on.

    Anyway I was amused by the obviously very English words you used i.e. reen and tor as I had not heard them used before.

    Enjoy your holiday.

  6. #131
    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    Ho Ho Ho ...

    “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago”

  7. #132
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    I have never been to the UK and looking at those pictures I don't want to it looks miserable.
    yes, the winter months, with their short days and often grey rainy skies, can appear miserable, but in the winter it is the home that becomes the focus of activity, more than the outdoors, and nothing beats a warm and toasty gaff, with a fridge full of good food and drink, surrounded by good friends, neighbours and family.

    sure, sightseeing for tourists can be arduous during these months, but for me the extremes of weather over the year, and the seasonal changes to the flora are what makes life in the 50+ latitudes so stimulating, both visually and cerebrally.

    so dont let a few pictures of grey skies put you off visiting one of the most picturesque parts of england, (apart from yorkshire), because summer in the mendips is heaven on earth.

  8. #133
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    nice pics, it has this 'games of thrones' medieval villages feeling

  9. #134
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    Ah, velcome to ze Britischer isles.
    Ze fog.
    Ze drizzle and damp.
    The grey the cold
    the permanent wet roads
    the trees with no greenery.
    Ah...
    Speaking of Page 3 girls, here's me and Dee Ivens in 1995...
    Mendip goes home for Christmas!-p4210230-jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Mendip goes home for Christmas!-p4210230-jpg  

  10. #135
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    England is grim in winter. And Terry saying it's all about being at home has never spent boxing day with the extended family!
    I'd like to see what morning looks like
    Don't wanna drink pint after pint
    I wanna wake up without feeling sick
    But I can't cuz I'm a drug-abusing alcoholic

  11. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    The 19th Century toll house still survives...


    There are still quite a few old toll houses around in the south west. I rather like them and their typical style.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    We did the shopping at Clarke's Village in Street
    I went there about 6 years ago and was disappointed to find that all the shoes were made in China. So much for the Somerset shoe industry and Clark's role in it.
    Nev has style

  12. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by armstrong View Post
    England is grim in winter.
    I love that. I grew up with the rain. It has been a monsoon here for the last four days. Global warming is happening here. Mendip has posted some amazing pics. I find England and my home state in the US to be so much more beautiful than any pics I have seen of LOS.

  13. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub View Post
    I love that. I grew up with the rain. It has been a monsoon here for the last four days. Global warming is happening here. Mendip has posted some amazing pics. I find England and my home state in the US to be so much more beautiful than any pics I have seen of LOS.
    While the UK is blessed with stunning natural beauty, the incessant rain is something else. There are flood alerts in places across England at the moment and many places have already received a full month's rain; after a while it really does start to get you down.

    I was back a couple of years ago in May and it rained every fucking day for 2 weeks. I couldn't wait to get away.

  14. #139
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    And the world will be jealous of the water resources of Morecambe, you heard i here.

  15. #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    And the money shot! A full reen, almost ready to break it's banks and flood the road (it has rained incessantly since we arrived a few days ago). With Glastonbury Tor in the background. This is the Isle of Avalon, from King Arthur lore. I think that may be a tower of Glastonbury Cathedral to the right.


    I reckon that's Mill Stream running alongside Meare Road. The water comes from the River Brue just up the road. There's a flood warning out today for that stream and that road and more rainfall is forecast for this afternoon and evening (UK time). Drive with care, Mendip.
    Nev has style

  16. #141
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    ^ I reckon you're correct Nev! An encylopaedic geographical knowledge you have!

    That's the road between Glastonbury and Wedmore. It's been raining again most of today after a few dry hours in the morning when we even saw the sun. I think flooding is inevitable at this rate.

  17. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by thaiguzzi View Post
    Ah, velcome to ze Britischer isles.
    Ze fog.
    Ze drizzle and damp.
    The grey the cold
    the permanent wet roads
    the trees with no greenery.
    Ah...
    Speaking of Page 3 girls, here's me and Dee Ivens in 1995...
    Mendip goes home for Christmas!-p4210230-jpg
    What a great photo! You've lost the beard since then!

    Linda Lusardi looked absolutely fabulous as the Fairy Godmother today, even at 61. I was hoping for a photo opportunity after the panto but she wasn't about!
    Last edited by Mendip; 22-12-2019 at 12:36 PM.

  18. #143
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    Had to do a bit of shopping in the morning today. One thing I've noticed this trip home is how many charity shops there are - they're absolutely everywhere.



    RSPCA is one of our favourites, so while I went off to the hardware store to get my mum's Christmas present (she wants a metal bucket), the wife and daughter went off to find some bargains.

    Here they are doing the Christmas draw - it only took the littlun £5 worth of tickets to win a chip-patterned pencil case worth about 60p, or French fry-patterned for any Europeans. The wife is sporting her second handbag of the trip - another £3.50 to the RSPCA. Wish we'd gone here before I forked out full price for the handbag yesterday at Clark's Village! She also kindly held me mum's Chrissy present so I could take the photo.



    On the way home, The Plough in Congresbury... just because of the memories!



    Another slight detour on the way home... the village of Burrington. See any old friends there Headhunter?



    Burrington sits at the bottom of Burrington Combe, a small gorge cut through the Mendip limestone by a long disappeared river - a small cousin of Cheddar Gorge. A geology lesson for those interested...



    However, more recent history... at the base of Burrington Combe is a small concave hollowed out of the limestone rock called Rock of Ages.



    Legend has it, some time in the 17th century a guy called Augustus Montague Toplady (1740–78), who was curate of the nearby village of Blagdon, got caught in a thunderstorm one night and took shelter in this hollow in the limestone cliff. While taking shelter, he wrote the hymn 'Rock of Ages', which the rock was subsequently named after. Whether true or not, another pic is warranted I think!



    And the Langford Inn... more memories. No trouble getting served here at 16 back in the 1980s! Mind, it was a proper pub back then but now it's turned into an eatery / hotel and I doubt I'll be visiting. Sometimes it's better to keep the memories.



    After lunch, the main event of the day at the Weston-Super-Mare Playhouse! Panto time! The excitement is mounting...



    No cameras were allowed inside, but as I mentioned, Linda Lusardi looked absolutely stunning as the Fairy Godmother. Even at 61 she definitely still has it and I certainly wouldn't say no. I was hoping for a photo op after the panto finished... thought maybe I could invite her back for a glass of cider? Although to be realistic the logistics would be difficult while staying at me mum's house and crammed into my old bedroom and sharing a bed with wife and daughter. But you can always dream!

    Anyway, no Linda Lusardi after the show, but 'Buttons' was about! Played by a guy called Joe Rowntree - never heard of him to be honest, but I'm sure he's famous! Bet there weren't many other kids walking around Weston-Super-Mare today with a ridiculous whale shark purse from Rayong Aquarium!



    And what day out would be complete without driving past the Banwell Christmas nutter's house on the way home! Fancy having him as your neighbour!


  19. #144
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    Lol, we had a bloke that around the corner from us.
    He used to light up his house in November, I'm sure he had circumnavigated the electricity around his meter. Must have cost the national grid a grand every Xmas,good on him.

    Charity/thrift shops are everywhere nowadays on account of the zero business taxes and other subsidies, otherwise the traditional British high street would be deserted due to online shopping and out of town mega stores.
    Still, you can save a pretty penny if you can be bothered mining through the crap, bit like metal detecting for treasure.
    You'd know all about that

    Loving the trip report, has to be my fav thread on here at the moment.

    Btw we went to watch Jack and the Beanstalk today. Making memories mate,it's what its all about.

    Cheers .

  20. #145
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    One of the first things to do when I get back will be sourcing some decent cider in Norfolk! Never really drank much, but this thread has inspired me to try some local brews.

  21. #146
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    Go easy with rough Mandy...

  22. #147
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    Great pics as per usual Mendip.
    Yes, market town these days, very rarely a grocer, a bakers or a butchers, but full of charity shops, betting shops and the latest, vape shops.
    With the out of town megasupermarket "with free parking", the death knell of towns and with it, the loss of individual character of each town centre.
    Now all the same and pretty much a muchness and sameness.
    The Europeans still seem to have kept life and individuality in their towns, simple stuff like people still prepared and actually want a baker, grocer, butcher, specific opening times on Sundays or outright shut, zoning areas with sensible parking in towns etc etc.

    Linda does indeed still scrub up well for a 61 y/o - nice one.

    Re the beard.
    Yeah not only that gone, but the hair too.
    Here's a pic of me and a mate at a Portugal bike show in 97 taken with a telescopic lense from a magazine article. Me on the right.
    Sorry, to derail your topic, HNY.

    Mendip goes home for Christmas!-faro-97-001-jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Mendip goes home for Christmas!-faro-97-001-jpg  

  23. #148
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    ^ No derailment Mr Guzzi, a welcome addition, thanks! And Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, too!

    The village I grew up in had a population of around 2000 forty years ago, two thriving pubs, a post office, at least grocery shops, two butchers, two garages/petrol stations, an electrical shop, a chemist, a doctors surgery, a bakers, a news agents/sweet shop, and I'm sure I've missed some.

    Today it has a population of over 5000, all the green areas have been filled by red brick box houses, one decent pub, one that struggles to survive, one small grocery shop/post office counters shop, a chemist and one garage. The post office, doctor's surgery and a myriad of other shops have gone. The occasional 'hobby' shop, such as a florist, opticians, art studio and the like briefly open, then close. These are usually a hobby for bored wives of wealthy business guys who have decided to move to the country. These people rarely assimilate and there was even an ongoing legal case recently when newcomers were complaining about the noise the church bells made. A church, incidentally, that has been ringing bells for over 400 years!

    The village is completely dead now compared to 40 years ago, with more than double the population. It's very sad to see and makes me a bit melancholy at times when I take a walk around.

  24. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandaloopy View Post
    One of the first things to do when I get back will be sourcing some decent cider in Norfolk! Never really drank much, but this thread has inspired me to try some local brews.
    My work is done!

    To be honest I've been over-indulging in the rough cider and it's not a very social drink. I've been farting 24/7 and it's not very pleasant at all. Luckily my mum has this little shih tzu - Yorkshire terrier cross that has been taking the blame so far (and been spending a lot of time banished to the garden, poor thing), but when we're out it's becoming a problem. It was just plain embarrassing when we were at the panto yesterday.

    I topped up with another 5 litres of scrumpy last night (2.5 medium and 2.5 sweet), but if things don't improve I'm gonna switch to bottles. Thatchers also have a great range of bottled ciders for me to work through!


  25. #150
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    Just tell them its the change of water, you aren't used to it - was a family saying with us.
    I'm a bit jealous ref the cider, been so hot and too much to do here i've not really got past 4 Changs. Today is going to be 10 plus so i am there with you in spirit.
    We have loads of cats, actually the Mrs does and i'm not a big fan but it now seems its my job to feed them which entails the little buggers Siamese whining/talking for nosh and when you relent they then try to run as a pack through and around your legs until you take a gutser. A quick learner, its taken me 2 weeks to work out that if you drag your feet along the ground like Thais then they run in front they get drop kicked, soon learn.

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