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  1. #176
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    Mendip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thaiguzzi View Post
    Mendip's great posts and pics #157 & #158,
    told ya so.....
    the word "depressing" kept popping up...
    Not just WSM, pretty much SOP for the vast majority of the UK's towns, with a few rare exceptions.
    The place is fucked, i would not want to bring my kids up there, "better education" - not neccessarily so, and lifestyle? Get fucked.
    Fine if you can find the right town and village in some nice countryside and are wedged up, but otherwise, no way.
    It's the open space and land i live on that i would miss, not counting healthier weather and the complete freedom from The Nanny State not intruding on my life.
    Expats say they are leaving Thailand because of once a year Immigration hassles - i think they are stark raving mad.
    HNY Mendip.

    ps, WSM - went there only once on a M/C club run day out in the late 90's.
    Northampton down to WSM at 100 mph in a tight pack, all traffic rules ignored, several bevvies on the seafront, and a ride back via South Wales getting split up, and getting lost on the way and taking several hours more.
    Great day out (but, er families and family stuff was not involved...).
    Yeah, I'm finding myself using that word 'depressing' all too often.

    There are some lovely villages and towns in rural Somerset - would be OK for me to live here as all I want to do is sit in the garden with the dogs - but not so great living in a small nosy village with a wife and kid who want a social life.

    Also, to get the amount of land I'd like would cost an arm and a leg here... I'd have to sell up everything else and moving down to south Somerset - but again, would be very isolated for the family.

    I don't think Korat is the final answer for me, but I certainly don't feel I would like to be living permanently back here in the UK. For now my daughter is getting a great education and life style/childhood in Thailand and that's what's important for me. The dogs are being cared for, and the wife has her family! I'm away half time anyway.

    And re Weston-Super-Mare and bikers... through the 80s there used to be huge problems on Bank Holidays when the mods and rockers congregated on Weston for a big scrap. Nothing much else of note springs to mind about the place to be honest.

  2. #177
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    Concur.
    I'd love to live on a couple of acres in an old farmhouse with barns as a done out workshop on the West coast of Italy, or Spain or Portugal or even Greece and Croatia.
    But i aint got the wedge, my boy is not 18 for a while, and i'm too old to move and start up again.
    But i aint living ever again in the UK or anywhere where they have grey skies, proper winters and an intrusive nanny state.
    Yeah, i remember the 2nd coming of the mods & rockers thing now you mention it, back in the 80's and Bank Holiday fisticuffs.
    I was working in Germany at the time, came back to Norwich for a short break and was shocked to see mods chasing a couple of bikers thru a department store in the centre of the city.

    Mendip goes home for Christmas!-p4210228-jpg
    Circa 84-85...
    For some strange reason, most people left me alone.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Mendip goes home for Christmas!-p4210228-jpg  

  3. #178
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    Quote Originally Posted by NamPikToot View Post
    Nice Mendip. I'm not seeing Fish & Chips.

    My abiding memory of Weston was actually Sand Bay and i can remember nothing more than it was 1976 and we came back to get the car but couldn't immediately find it which was odd given it was a bright yellow escort mk2 RS2000. We did find it eventually but it had changed colour. It was the year of the hot summer we had ladybird swarms. They really liked the yellow, the whole car, every inch was covered in them...a very weird thing and never went back since.
    A good mate of mine had a white MKI RS 2000 - a scary car to have a lift in. He eventually wrote it off on a windy lane coming out of Blagdon... he tried to slide it round one too many corners and ploughed though the hedge and into a barn. He knew the farmer of course so left the car there until he'd sobered up enough to go back and sort the mess out. Times gone by...

    And for your memories NPT... Sand Bay five Christmases ago and not a ladybird to be seen. I always think it's a bit much calling it Sand Bay... Mud Bay or Shingle Bay would be more appropriate... or maybe Shite Bay?

    Looks like the littlun had just spotted a seagull... or maybe an Easyjet leaving Bristol Airport.



    Your post also started a debate in the Mendip mum's household... was the long hot summer the same one as the silver jubilee? It seems no, the hot summer was 1976 and the jubilee was 1977. The debate started because I was drinking a coffee from this!



    My much the worse for wear Silver Jubilee mug from 1977!

  4. #179
    Custom user Neverna's Avatar
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    1975 was also a hot summer. Very hot days, and rain showers often in the early evening.
    Nev has style

  5. #180
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    Terry report.Come in TeZZy.

    Black Plant. A place know one wants to be.

  6. #181
    The Familyman Dillinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    I feel that you're painting Somerset in a bad light!
    Nah. I'd do like those crackheads and stay there too if Brum was my only avenue

  7. #182
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    Today my mum and wife were busy in the kitchen doing stuff in the kitchen, so I thought the most useful thing I could do was to get out from under their feet and get a sneaky lunchtime pint. My partner in crime came along for the drive!

    I decided to stay rural after the disappointment of Weston-Super-Mare yesterday. These are the type of roads I grew up driving on. It's actually faster to drive at night using oncoming car's headlights as a guide. So long as they have their lights on, of course.



    An old country manor house. The Lord of the Manor would have lived here years ago, supported by the surrounding peasants and serfs.



    And a typical Somerset winter country scene, looking south towards the Mendip Hills.



    And Blagdon Lake. This was formed in the early 1900s by damning the River Yeo. Before discovering pubs and girls I spent most of my spare time as a teenager fly fishing for trout here. Loads of memories...





    And the daughter wanted to get in on the act!



    Back in the day we'd go up Blagdon to the Live and Let Live for a few pints after an evenings fishing. Bob, the landlord there was as blind as a bat and you could get served at 16 no problem! Me and littlun decided to follow in my teenage footsteps...

    The view of the lake from Blagdon village.



    And the Live and Let Live... bugger, it seems to have been converted to apartments now...



    A new plan. We decided to drive over the Mendips to Axbridge where I lived for a couple of years in the early 1990s. I was sure the pubs there would have survived. We passed The Seymour Arms in Blagdon on the way... a pretty pub but another eatery and not for me.



    A slight detour took in Priddy Pond up on the Mendips. Back in the 70s a couple of cave divers disappeared during a dive here... The Mendips are a centre for caving and cave diving.
    J


    And just past Priddy Pond... this hummocky ground was caused by Roman lead mining. The Romans had huge mine works on the Mendips and left several characteristically straight roads across the hills which are still used today.



    And of course the daughter wanted a pic!



    A mile form Priddy Pond, the Castle of Comfort. Another lovely pub, but not for me today, I was on a mission! Many years ago I was coarse fishing with a mate on Priddy Pond one January, ice on the water, freezing cold, and he pushed me in, the bastard... rather than get hypothermia I walked up to the Castle of Comfort and warmed up and dried out in front of a big log fire with a couple of pints of real ale. I was about 15 then... not a chance that could happen now.

    Last edited by Mendip; 25-12-2019 at 05:44 AM.

  8. #183
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    So, which pub are you gonna stop at???
    How do I post these pictures???

  9. #184
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    So, on to Axbridge, a small village next to Cheddar. Axbridge nestles against the south side of The Mendips and was a port in Roman times. That was before the Somerset levels were drained... now it's miles inland.

    The Lamb, a superb pub and my local for a couple of years in the 90s. They made the best steak and ale pie in the whole of the south west 25 years ago, but I only had time for quick pint today!



    Gary Glitter used to come for an occasional pint in The Lamb, not that they use that for advertising. He used to live in Wedmore back then, before he put his pc into PC World in Bristol for fixing and someone checked out his hard drive. The rest, as they say, is history. I saw him there once but someone had to point him out - he was as bald as a coot without the wig and very unremarkable looking. I wouldn't have known him from Adam.

    Before my time, Frankie Howerd and Arkwright (from the John Smiths adverts with the little jack russell) were also regulars. Arkwright drank Guinness.

    And opposite The Lamb, the beautiful King John's Hunting Lodge, built in 1460. That was 32 years before Columbus sailed off to discover America... makes you think... no spuds in Somerset when they built that hunting lodge! The area is steeped in history.

    On New Years Eve the pubs surrounding the village square all empty before the bells and the square is heaving with the entire village population to ring in New Year, all toasting one another and the occasional kiss if yer lucky. They're all inbred, of course.



    No photo inside The Lamb, it's not that kind of place. But a nice pint of Butcombe was enjoyed!

    On the way home, a quick pop into The Bell in Congresbury... bugger... that's gone as well. A beautiful old building must have been leveled for this.



    And, as it's Christmas... Wrington Church built 600 years ago. I haven't got a religious bone in my body, but can appreciate a beautiful church nonetheless.



    And a tree full of mistletoe!



    Merry Christmas from Somerset, everyone!
    Last edited by Mendip; 25-12-2019 at 05:55 AM.

  10. #185
    Custom user Neverna's Avatar
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    Merry Christmas to you and your family, Mendip.
    Nev has style

  11. #186
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    Merry xmas to the Mendips and enjoy your pad krapow turkey lurkey

  12. #187
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    A drastic and welcome change in the weather... and we woke up to a beautiful cold and frosty morning for Christmas Day!

    This is what it's all about!



    A frozen windscreen - I'd forgotten about that kind of stuff.

    The daughter learnt a valuable lesson... if you're gonna write 'My Dad is a block head' in the ice on the car window, you need to plan a bit...



    The oak tree in the field down the road... I used to swing on a rope and tyre from this tree 40 years ago... God that makes me feel old.



    And the wonders of a frozen puddle. A few moments after this pic was taken, me daughter tried to stand on the ice. That cut the walk short and it was back home for dry clothes for daughter and a big morning slug of santa's malt for Papa!

    Merry Christmas!


  13. #188
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    Are you old enough to remember the big old elm trees Mendip. Had some huge one near us , one is a decaying hulk but must have been over 250 yo when it died and is over 2.5m across. I have a boundary hedge which was mainly brush but contained some elm suckers, i replanted with blackthorn, bird cherry, hawthorn, ash and hazel to try to put back some nature...albeit only 30m but i'm quite proud of it and its in a conservation area so it should be a permanent fixture. The birds love the mix of berries.

  14. #189
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    Great shots, excellent thread - Merry Xmas to the Mendips...
    How do I post these pictures???

  15. #190
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    And sorry to derail but in Somerset you have the Ashbrittle Yew Tree, 38 feet across and reckoned to be 4000 years old...i'd take mini to see that. What a thing.

  16. #191
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    ^ Thinking of having our next trip to Somerset in the summer, I reckon that'll be a better time to see the tree. It's a way to go to Taunton from here. I can't think of any elms at all round here, we lost them all to the Cloggies back in the 70s.

    Today it was back to the greyness, dankness and drizzle. Bristol City were away to Charlton, my planned Boxing Day entertainment was off, so it was the next best thing... The Morris Dancers!

    Since this was my first day home not having to drive, I had a whopping great Jura after breakfast, just to make it official. That did the trick! Santa left enough for a couple of days at least.

    The wife was busy on LINE, and it was of course too cold, so just me and the littlun braved the drizzle to see the dancers. I had to bribe the daughter with a half hour in the play park on the way to the pub to spark her interest, otherwise I'd have been on me tod.

    When we set off there was a huge flock of birds, crows I think, in the sky. I've noticed a complete lack of starlings which used to dominate the garden bird life 40 odd years ago. No starlings now, lots of sparrows, and loads of crows and seagulls.



    Dingy greyness. The Signal Box on the left, so called because that's exactly what it was when a train went through the village. Beeching put paid to that back in the 60s.



    Up to the play park... Church Walk between the backs of gardens. A pathway through the village to allow people a short-cut to the church in times gone by. Mistletoe and crows in the trees.



    And the play park! It doesn't get much more miserable than this in the cold and drizzle. Even me daughter admitted defeat, so I got away with just 10 minutes in the wet!



    Just to show the greyness... the hills in the background covered in low cloud. These houses were built in the 60s during an early expansion of the village. I guess you shouldn't really complain about the latest house building going on when we have all been incomers to some extent. It's just that now, every patch of greenery has been built on and no-one seems to join in village life. It's just a dormitory for Bristol workers these days.



    And onward... a real trip down memory lane.

    The village primary school... I went there when I was me daughter's age... 44 years ago...



    And so the melancholy kicks in... feeling very old now.

    I took great pleasure in taking this pic. Forty odd years ago when we kids walked along this wall coming to or from school, the headmaster would go mental and dish out detentions, lines, you name it. My young rebellious daughter automatically jumped up on the wall to walk alongside me! Some things never change... a proud father today!



    And a bush behind the wall. me and a mate used to hide in this bush (or it's predecessor) around 40 years ago and fire peas from our pea shooters at passing cars!



    And onward to our destination. The Plough Inn.



    The daughter tries to hide her excitement at visiting my old local from three decades ago!



    And a sneaky pic at the bar. This pub used to have a real character of a landlord but now, along with all the other pubs I've been to, it's run by faceless youngsters who have to walk back to the till to add a round. Whatever happened to adding up the drinks in your head as you go along?



    And the main event for Boxing Day!

    Well... the daughter was more interested in petting this lady's dogs, but in the background...



    Morris Dancing... but what's that... a bladdy woman!!! Never seen that before, looks like she's leading as well...



    An action shot... Morris is on the left, for any Aussies reading.



    Would have been packed out on Boxing Day 30 years ago.



    So, that was it. Four pints of Butcombe onboard, time to walk home. But first... check this out. What I'd give for this menu in Korat! Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays could be a problem though!



    A funny old day. I find myself chasing memories every day and it's not healthy at all.

    Worse than that, I've just spent an hour trying to work out the UK's recycling system and separate all the rubbish into various boxes - a real headfuk - because the binmen are coming tomorrow. FFS, I can take the shite weather, closed up pubs and a woman Morris Man ... but sorting out the recycling has done me in. I'm going back to where I started the day... a large Jura!

  17. #192
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    ​Fantastic Thread , Cheers
    I am not a liberator , Liberators do not exist , The people liberate themselves , Ernesto Che Guevara .
    Read more:

  18. #193
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    Excellent thread. Thank you for the effort.
    Question. Apart form the few shots of the Morris dancing it looks as if the whole area has been evacuated for the holidays. Apart from you and your daughter doesn't anybody walk in England anymore?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    An action shot... Morris is on the left, for any Aussies reading.
    The Morris dancing brings back a memory from my youth of listening to the radio under the covers to 'I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again' on Sunday nights.
    One exchange always comes back to me
    A: What's that over there?
    B: That's Morris dancing.
    A: Ah!. I've always been a little worried about Morris.

    I listened to every episode yet that exchange always comes back to me. I'll have the dig out the recordings again I think

    Thank you once again for stirring my memories of Christmas

  19. #194
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    Great thread and pictures. I always find it melancholy to revisit childhood haunts and think about all the years that have slipped away.

    There are few things more sad than a beach town in winter.

    Hoping your enjoying your Christmas and trip home. Thailand will seem pretty sweet when you get back.

  20. #195
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    ^^ Larry, I think a lot of 'outsiders' will have gone back to where ever they came from for the holidays, but also a lot of people who were raised in the village and now live elsewhere will have come. As we walked along the deserted streets I could see a lot of houses were occupied.

    It was cold, grey and raining and the few remaining village shops were shut on Boxing Day. There wasn't really much reason to walk unless planning on a couple of beers and taking some pics for an internet forum!

    Having said that, I've noticed the absence of kids playing outside. Back in my day a bit of rain wouldn't have stopped us playing on our new bikes at Christmas, but I guess they're all inside on their tablets these days. I know my daughter would have certainly stayed inside if given the choice!

  21. #196
    Thailand Expat Airportwo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thaiguzzi View Post
    For some strange reason, most people left me alone.
    Personal hygiene issue?

  22. #197
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post

    I've noticed the absence of kids playing outside. Back in my day a bit of rain wouldn't have stopped us playing on our new bikes at Christmas
    Exactly. Cold, rain, snow, ice wouldn't have stopped me and the neighbourhood kids playing outside on any day - usually playing football. Parents wanted us out of the way for the most part

  23. #198
    Thailand Expat cyrille's Avatar
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    Your daughter's smile seems to have got lost somewhere, Mendip.

  24. #199
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    Quote Originally Posted by naptownmike View Post
    Great thread and pictures. I always find it melancholy to revisit childhood haunts and think about all the years that have slipped away.
    Yes, that's exactly what I'm finding. I keep drifting back 30 to 40 years ago, back to when I lived round here, had a big group of friends... and was care free!

    Maybe it's a mistake to go back somewhere and revisit old memories...

    I'm not sure I would come back again if it wasn't for my mum.

  25. #200
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyrille View Post
    Your daughter's smile seems to have got lost somewhere, Mendip.
    Mostly she seems to be saying "No another f*cking pub"......

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