The first of an ad hoc, semi-regular roam around the villages of Somerset…
We’ll begin out journey in the village of Ashcott.
Situated on the side of the busy A39, three miles (5km) to the west of Street, Ashcott is a small village made up of a mix of old and modern buildings.
While the village seems to lack a real central focus, All Saints Church dominates the eastern heights.
The local amenities include a couple of pubs – the Ring O’ Bells and the Ashcott – and, while no longer served by the railway (Ashcott and Meare station and, indeed, the whole of the Burhnam branch line, were axed as part of the Beeching cuts in the 1960s), it is still a pleasant walk down to the Shapwick Heath and Ham Wall nature reserves, where the trains once passed.
(The first in a series of posts about my new home town!)
Forgive me if, over the coming weeks, you get a little inundated by photographs from my new home town of Glastonbury in Somerset!
As mentioned previously, it’s only direct connection with the music festival is its name, and it was never this that drew me to Somerset.
The town is very open to people of different faiths, beliefs, and lifestyles, and the residents – myself included – are often drawn to live here by way of some unknown, unfathomable force.
For the uninitiated, the small market town is extremely Bohemian and accepting of most things. You can happily wander down the High Street and pass people wearing steampunk clothing, or fairy wings, or flowery headbands, or kaftans, or tie dye, or Hunter boots and wax jackets, or all of the above. Tourists are often a little stunned by this diversity; you can tell the locals by the fact they are totally nonplussed by this.
The shops in the town are just as diverse as the people who frequent them (and this, in fact, has helped Glastonbury retail stay afloat while other High Streets have suffered a downturn over the last decade or so).
My first post dedicated to the town, therefore, highlights these retail establishments, in all their diversity and colour.
This theme resonated a lot with me; over the last six months or so I have experienced a lot of changes – familial heath issues, moving home (and county) and going from full time employment in a job I’ve done for more than a decade to semi-retirement – and it seemed apt!
Note: Street art has the capacity to change our experience of the ‘everyday’ and to lift it from the mundane into something more cheery or thought-provoking. With it’s unapologetically bold, challenging and provocative faux official statement about social and political change this piece of billboard art does just that.
Note: Once I had set the theme for this month’s Mass Observation post, I began to appreciate how wide-ranging an idea ‘Change’ actually was. I’ve not taken a lot of images of late, so with camera in hand I went out exploring. While I was photographing without the theme in mind, when I reviewed the images, this shot leapt out at me. It sadly represents a lot of society at the moment – endings, closures, etc. – and highlights that not all changes are for the better.
Name:Doctor Ken, Gin Sop
Note: Walking along Glastonbury High Street one afternoon, I noticed this heart-shaped stone. It was only as I looked more closely that I saw it had been broken, and had been propped up next to where it originally lay (you can see the shadow it left on the pavement to the right). Anyone who has had their heart broken knows it is a huge wrench, a massive change that, often, we have had no control over.
Name:Cap Does Craft
Note: With the theme of change I considered many images. One that I thought of was the ‘change your batteries’ pop up that appears occasionally on my desk top computer but thought it may not actually appear before the submissions were due. Then of course it did appear, because computers know what we are thinking! I had my little pocket camera to hand and took this shot. I thought it was a light-hearted way to interpret the theme and then I changed the batteries!
A second post of fauna, from Europe, America and Africa. Animals provide a connection between us and Mother Nature; getting out into the country, away from the city, enables us to relax, unwind, and have that direct link with the world around us.
It’s time to get those cameras ready for this month’s Mass Observation Project on CKPonderingsToo!
The theme for March is Change and you are free to interpret that theme photographically in any way you like.
It’s really simple to take part. If you’re interested, just:
Take a photo that represents the Change to you
Photos should be a maximum of 650 pixels in height and/or width
Email the image to email@example.com
Include your name and location and a short note about the photograph