Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Porlock Arts Festival 2010

Germaine Greer tops the bill at Porlock Festival 2010

Germaine Greer and Marcia Willett, are among the leading lights at this year’s Porlock Arts Festival from 9th – 12th September. Germaine, controversial author of The Female Eunuch, will be appearing on Saturday night. An acclaimed academic and outspoken broadcaster she has appeared on television in such favourites as “Have I Got News for You”, “Grumpy Old Women” and controversially “Celebrity Big Brother”. Popular local author Marcia Willett opens the festival on Thursday evening. She has a great affinity with Exmoor and a number of her stories, including her latest The Summer House, are based in and around the Porlock area. On Friday, throughout the day, over 20 local authors will gather to discuss their work and sign copies of their books. The day will be informal and relaxed with refreshments and free entrance. On Friday evening we welcome three principal artists from Opera Novella in London, who will perform a variety of opera favourites. This promises to be a stunning event to delight a musical audience. Also on Friday evening, at Dovery Manor, Widsith and Deor Storytelling Theatre will take the stage for their unique theatrically performed stories, taken from three ancient texts and suitable for adults and teens alike. On Sunday afternoon the Festival showcases Greg Chapman’s one man play ‘Small Town to Big Apple’ at the final venue of his UK tour. This promises to be a funny and moving show for everyone who enjoys theatre. Throughout the festival artists, photographers and a host of crafts people will be hosting local exhibitions, while the weekend also showcases a Writers’ Forum, a drama workshop and the Poetry Picnic. Miles Robertson, Chairman of the organising committee, said, “I am delighted that we have, once again, secured some great names for the festival. Last year we sold out in advance for four big events. This year we have even more to offer. We are advising people to buy their tickets early to avoid disappointment.” A full programme of events is available on the Festival website or from the Porlock Visitor Centre by phoning 01643 863150 or by emailing

Poor Man's Goose Recipe

Another recipe transcribed from my old Somerset cookbook.

1lb. potatoes
1/2 lb pig's liver
2 small onions
1/2 teaspoonful dried sage
cold water
1 oz. flour
salt and pepper

Mix the flour, pepper, and salt together. cut the meat into pieces of an even size and roll them in the seasoned flour. Place these in a pie dish with layers of thinly sliced onion and sage in between. Peel the potatoes, boil in salted water until half cooked. strain off the water, cut them in thick slices, and place over the top of the meat. Three-parts fill the dish with water or gravy, sprinkle any of the seasoned flour over the top, cover with greased paper, and make in a moderate oven for 1 hour.


Sunday, 30 May 2010

Dulverton Folk Festival

A picture of some Morris Men dancing down by the Bridge Inn at this weekend's Dulverton Folk Festival.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Somerset and North Devon Election Results

Here are the general election results for these parts:

Bridgwater and West Somerset

Ian Liddel-Grainger - CONSERVATIVE - 24,675 votes
Theo Butt Philip - LIBERAL DEMOCRAT - 15,426 votes
Kathryn Pearce - LABOUR - 9,332 votes

North Devon

Nick Harvey - LIBERAL DEMOCRAT - 24,305 votes
Philip Milton - CONSERVATIVE - 18,484 votes
Stephen Crowther - UK INDEPENDENCE PARTY - 3,720 votes

Taunton Deane

Jeremy Brown - LIBERAL DEMOCRAT - 28,531 votes
Mark Formosa - CONSERVATIVE - 24,538 votes
Martin Jevon - LABOUR - 2,967 votes

Cooked Starlings

Another interesting now-out-of-favour recipe from my hundred year old collection of family recipes.


When killed, pull off the heads, when plucked and trussed, soak them in vinegar and roast very quickly. Be sure to bast with butter continually whilst at the fire.

WHEATEARS may be cooked in the same way, but are best dipped in breadcrumbs, and only take from ten to twelve minutes roasting.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Election Day Exmoor

It's just after 10pm and I'm listening to a news item on Radio 4 where they are reporting lengthy queues outside of many polling stations across the country today. So long apparently that some people were unable to vote before the polling stations closed a few minutes back. As can be seen in my photo, this wasn't the case at St. Michael's Community Hall in Bampton, where not a soul was to be seen at lunchtime. Maybe it got busy later? Somehow I doubt it ...

Election Posters Exmoor and West Somerset

I wonder if there might be fewer election posters about this time? I could well be wrong, but, during past general elections they seem to have been everywhere. Not so this time. Anyway, here's a picture of a Liberal Democrat one I came across in a field not far from Dulverton this morning.