So this week, I had a light bulb moment. Shepton Mallet needs a Community Radio Station. My background is in radio and media, I've managed a community radio station in Birmingham. With my youngest boy starting school in September, I might have more time on my hands- and this might just be a way to turn this whole Somerset's Festival Town thing, into something genuine and positive! I got a good reaction to the idea on local social media discussion groups, which is always a good sign. Lots of people either have some experience of radio and community projects, or they are willing to help out in other ways. I then started my own Facebook group 'Shepton Mallet Community Radio'- so please join If you'd like to get involved. Just think, we could do outside broadcasts from all the Festivals and events we have on our doorstep. Shepton FM- streaming live from Glastonbury Festival, NASS, The Godney Gathering, and The Mid Somerset Show. A live road show at the Collet Park Festival and our amazing Carnival. Link ups with GFM and Frome FM to highlight and discuss local issues. I've already had some fantastic feedback, and really experienced and passionate people, pledging their support. I've planned the first public meeting for Thursday 13th August at 7pm ( Venue tbc) It's so exciting, and just what this town needs.
JOIN THE FACEBOOK GROUP HERE
Aaah the summer holidays are here. Six weeks of hazy sunshine and carefree days frolicking in the paddling pool with the kids, Laughter fills the air, as we playfully shoot each other with water pistols. Dad tends to the barbecue, and then we tuck into some delicious home-made ice cream. Sound familiar ? No, thought not. The reality is, it's been pouring with rain since the minute the schools broke up. The paddling pool we bought has been chewed by the dogs in any case. The sound of kids screaming and arguing over toys is much more common than laughter, and if one does happen to be laughing, it's usually because the other one is crying ! Weekends aren't so bad. With hubby home, we can share the load. But now he's back at work, and I'm torn between moments of guilt, frustration and sheer helplessness as I attempt to keep energetic 3year old and 5 year old boys entertained. They aren't quite old enough to engross themselves quietly in 'rainy day activities' like lego, crafts or play doh. That seems to involve even more arguing than usual. I've already done things I vowed not to, like sticking them in front of a DVD while I attempt to answer emails or write my column! Thank goodness for holiday clubs. Shepton Mallet Infant's run one Monday- Friday from 9-12 ( £8 for two siblings) and the Leisure Centre has full days for £17. Not too expensive, and anyway..who can put a price on sanity!
As published in The Shepton Mallet Journal 30/07/15
I felt uneasy, the minute I read the words “Somerset's Festival Town”. I know that we are in desperate need of revitalisation, and the people pushing for this have the best intentions, but something about this doesn't feel right. We certainly should have had a public consultation. Without the majority of the community supporting the idea, it's not going to work. People are a bit angry to be honest. We moved our family to Shepton Mallet the 'Historic Market Town'. I don't think we would have even considered somewhere called a “Festival Town”- there are just too many negative connotations. Only one town can handle that reputation, and it's not us.
Glastonbury is the festival town. It has a hippy, eclectic vibe ( even though it's not the closest geographically to Pilton ) the festival spirit runs though it's mystical veins. Incense, tie-dye clothes and falafels, that's a festival town. Shepton needs investment in it's market, especially with the quirky suitcase sellers becoming so popular. The council should be promoting it's historical & iconic architecture. It's connection to the Cider Mills, Babycham and Wool. We could have a permanent market produce / farm type shop in the centre like John Thorners, or a tie-in with Kilver Court. We need colourful postcards and new brochures showing our revamped high street with hanging baskets, our chic & cheerful market, abundance of crafty coffee shops and Collet Park. Let's celebrate Shepton Mallet's heritage. Be proud of what we are, instead of trying to be something we're not.
As published in The Shepton Mallet Journal 23/07/15
So, life after My High Street Wedding continues!
IF YOU'RE A NEW FOLLOWER - SEE ALL ABOUT IT HERE :
I'll continue to write my weekly column for The Shepton Mallet Journal- but it will now be on p.26 and titled 'Life Of A Shepton Mum', I will focus on life in Shepton Mallet from a mum's perspective - things like cuts to the bus services, new businesses, the local market and community ventures will all be featured. I'll look at schools and play schemes, home education, holiday clubs and local activities for families and kids. My column is only 250 words log, so each week I will expand my comments her in my blog. Sometimes I will add a video blog too. I'm also stating to write reviews of local restaurants, pubs, parks and shops- which will be featured online with The Journal. In September's issue of the new 'It' magazine, produced by Local World media - there will be a large feature on my brill budget wedding, with photos by kelly J Photography and Jason Bryant, and I'll also begin my new column there too.
If all that wasn't exciting enough, I have finally begun writing my book. I've been meaning to write about our seven years in Swedish Lapland, for ages..and although It's early days....I've finally put pen to paper.
I'd really like to meet up with other writers, published authors and creatives. There doesn't seem to be a writers circle in Shepton Mallet, but perhaps we could start one? I hope you enjoy visiting my website - any ideas for reviews or features would be most welcome.
I'm a 43 year old, mum of two little boys- currently living in Shepton Mallet in Somerset. I'm the Founder and Creative Director of Radio Shepton, a Stand up and comedian and spoken word performer, and write a regular column for The Wells and Shepton Mallet Journal. Which is the basis for my blog usually. I lived in Swedish Lapland for 7 years until 2014 where my boys were born. My partner and I ran a husky dog sledding business. Before that I was a poet, radio presenter, media lecturer, writer, TV producer, actress and burlesque performer ! I never want my life to be boring :)