Bikes and Toys

We’ve bought a new toy for the van, a little GoPro Hero 3 camera.  It takes remarkably good video given it’s tiny size.  Just playing with it at the moment to figure out how it works and how to edit videos.

Here’s our first effort – last weekend’s trip to the local park with the bikes.  The bluebells will be flowering soon.



Easter Part Two – The Mendips

Easter was very early this year, so we figured that we’d head somewhere with some nice easy walking as the weather was probably going to be awful.  We like to go away at Easter, not just for the poor weather, but also the creativity involved in hiding easter eggs in the van makes the trip even more exciting.

We’d stopped for one night near Cheddar Gorge last year and said at the time it would be nice to come back and do some walking in the area, so that was the plan – a few nights at the Mendip Heights campsite and as much cheddar cheese as we could fit in the fridge.  Dan’s parents had just bought themselves a folding camper, so we invited them along mostly so that we could heckle them while they tried to put it up.  Unfortunately the weather forecast was for sub zero temperatures overnight, so they decided not to join us in the end.  A shame, but definately the right decision – it was proper chilly overnight.

The daytime weather was very kind to us and we enjoyed some long walks over rolling countryside.  Despite the jagged beauty of the Gorge itself, most of the countryside in the area is pretty tame, but with impressive views over the Somerset Levels and over to Glastonbury Tor.  There are a number of  barrows scattered across the landscape to make things interesting.

There are also the remains of lead mines nearby.

The 14 mile jaunt over to the Gorge and back almost killed us, but luckily we were able to buy ice creams in Cheddar village to keep us going.

As we started our journey home, we first stopped in the village of Cheddar to stock up on…err…Cheddar.  The cave aged cheese is just fantastic and we ended up spending a small fortune on cheeses.

Then we decided to visit Glastonbury to see what that was like.  It’s an unusual place, full of new age, mystical and magical stores.  Unfortunately it was extremely quiet, so I don’t think we saw it at it’s best.  We took a wander up the Tor, but didn’t stay too long as an icy wind had picked up and someone had forgotten their gloves.

Easter Part One – Return to River Cottage

The Easter bank holiday weekend arrived and it still hadn’t warmed up at all.  Well, maybe a little bit – at least we didn’t have to chip the ice of the van to get into it this week.

As Easter was so early this year we’d not planned anything too adventurous.  Our first stop was River Cottage near Lyme Regis for their Spring Fair.  We visited this last year and enjoyed an entertaining weekend in the sun, so we thought we’d give it another go.

We’d hoped to catch Aidan Chapman‘s presentation on baking bread (we bake most of the bread we eat) but for some reason it wasn’t on.  No matter, we enjoyed the other sessions given by River Cottage show regulars, including another smoking demonstration – that seems quite popular at the moment.

The falconry displays were quite entertaining, especially the Vulture and the welly hunting Eagle.

Being the disorganised types, we’d left buying some tasty food products until we were about to leave.  Which meant all the hot cross buns had sold out, all the cakes had been eaten and the cheese man had gone home.  We did manage to bag some salamis from Trealy Farm, who had a fine selection on their stall.

Finally, a blog entry wouldn’t be complete without a picture of Betty Bus parked up somewhere, so here she is…

Devoid of cheese, it was off to the Mendip Hills for the rest of the weekend to hunt down some cave aged Cheddar.  More of that in part two.