So how are you all enjoying the summer holidays so far? The lovely weather has been a blessing, as it means the kids can potter about in the garden or play at the park. Shepton Mallet is great as there are lots of little play areas, as well as our fantastic Collett Park. We have the magical fairy trail ( maps from the Fairy Godmother Shop on Town Street or the TIC) and the secret gardens at Kilver Court. The lido has been really busy on the hottest days, so it’s worth calling up or booking in advance to ensure entry. Shepton Mallet Leisure Centre are also running kids multi sports holiday clubs this summer in conjunction with All Star Multi Sports! Kids aged 7-11 cost £22 a day (8.30am - 3.30pm) Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays during August (Tues-Thurs in final week due to Bank holiday )
‘We aim to promote fitness and healthy living through sports with positive encouragement and support. By building sports confidence in children in a team environment we hope to make a difference in their physical and mental well being.’ – All Star Multi Sports Manager
Parents can leave their children, safe in the knowledge that they will have a fun time in an inclusive environment making new friends and trying new skills. There will be sports, dance and general fun and games available throughout the day.
I’m lucky to work from home and have flexible hours, so I'll be able to do things with the boys too. We like to catch the bus into Wells and visit Bishop’s Palace , which does crafts each Tuesday, Nature Ninjas, and will have a Midsummer Mayhem day on August 4th. In Glastonbury, The Somerset Rural Life Museum charges an entry fee only once then you can visit unlimited times over the school holidays! At nearby Paddington Farm,don’t miss ‘Family Festival’ from 2nd-4th August - with Performance, music and workshops in an idyllic setting.
With help from my long suffering hubby, I’m also continuing to evolve our online community radio station - Radioshepton.com. We’ve a new batch of enthusiastic reporters and volunteers who I’ve been helping to train, and they’ll be out and about to interview local people and promote more local events. Midsomerset Show- we haven't forgotten you! I’m also mega excited to be bringing seven amazing stand-up comedians to the launch of a brand new comedy night in Wells.”Silly Sausage- Breakthrough Act Showcase” is this Saturday night ( 3rd) at 7.30pm at The Venue, South Street. I’m urging people to buy tickets ( only £10) in advance either from the bar, or online via the facebook event link on the page facebook.com/sillysausagecomedy as I’ve a feeling we may sell out ! These acts aren't all brand new , some have been gigging for years but haven’t quite made it to ‘Live At The Apollo’ just yet. Many have taken shows up to The Edinburgh Fringe- and many may well be booked for Wells Comedy Festival in future years.
Finally recovered from a truly wonderfull sunny happy Glastonbury Festival. If I feel tired, I can only imagine how young parents of 4 month Noah ( one of the youngest humans at the festival) must be feeling. Michael Smith, formerly of Shepton Mallet and his partner Emily Close decided to take in their little baby each day, but didnt camp. They said everyone was really helpful, and they all had a lovely experience despite some unneccesary 'mum shaming' on facebook. When I saw little Noah he was slathered in factor 50 suncream, wearing cute baby ear defenders, being shaded by a parasol and happy as anything! Hear my interview with the family, and all our other 'Glastonbury Insights' on www.radioshepton.com and our mixcloud account.
When I wasn't reporting for Radio Shepton, I also took my two boys and hubby along. The heat, crowds and toilets were their least favourite part of the experience, but they absolutely loved the energy, the amazing kidz field and especially the green kids field with giant pirate ship and sand pit. We all watched 'Years & Years' and ofcourse 'Kylie'. Up at the stone circle ( where i'd been part of the huge Extinction rebellion human sculpture and protest march on the Thursday, they were handing out free food. It had been gathered up from across the site. Food which would otherwise have gone to waste. It was delicious, saved us money and also the planet!
A huge surprise highlight was when Sir David Attenborough came onto the pyramid stage and praised the festival and people who have made changes to their lifestyle to minimise plastic and waste. All the big stage headliners were great, but lets not forget the hundreds of bands, musicians, performers, comedians, poets and speakers all around the site. My top tip for anyone going next year, is to go off the beaten track. Especially check out circus, cabaret and theatre fields and the Green fields including green futures, tipi field and the wisdom keepers. My kids really loved Glastonbury-on -sea too, with dodgems, puncjh and judy and candyfloss!
Michael and Emily Eavis - another small request. Next Year, for the 50th anniversary, please can you invite back some of the older local people who came to your very first festival up pilton? Our nextdoor neighbour would love to see how far the festival has come since 1970 #Glasto70
I’m back, and with loads of exciting news! Our family thoroughly enjoyed our annual ‘Haven’ holiday at Doniford Bay. During half term the kids also had a fab time horse riding with Divoky Riding school - organised by CAOT ( Childrens Autism uutreach team) for children with special needs.For me, Half term kicked off with the brilliant Wells Comedy Festival held over the bank holiday weekend. I caught as many shows as I could. I adored Shappi Khorsandi’s show - Skittish Warrior, she is such a likeable comic, and a total pro ( well she’s been doing it since the 90’s!) I also loved TV favouorite Nish Kumar - who sold out two daytime shows at the huge Cedars Hall, plus the evenings. After watching him at 1pm I popped into Cafe Nero for a coffee and cake, before heading down to watch Kiri Pritchard-McClean. After a few minutes, I nearly choked on my muffin as Nish himself walked in. I’m ashamed to say I grabbed him for a selfie, luckily he was really kind and courteous. I spent lots of time chatting to people who were attending the Wells Comedy Festival, and many people were a little sad and confused as to why their little City doesn’t have it’s own regular comedy night. They also wanted to see more new and breakthrough acts, not just big names. Luckily, I have a plan to do just that. Introducing ‘Silly Sausage Comedy’. If you see me around town dressed as a sausage/hot dog...this is the reason why! On Saturday 3rd August, at The Venue, South Street.The people of Wells, and surrounding areas will be treated to a feast of new, breakthrough and a couple of seasoned comedians - eight acts all together for just £10 ( early bird tickets available for just £8 now) I’ll be hosting the night, and we have the gorgeous and talented ‘Sam Fraser’ to open. Sam has been working as a TV weather girl and radio presenter for BBC South since 2004. In 2017 she turned stand up when she was invited to perform alongside Shappi Khorsandi and Dane Baptiste,on a charity bill. Striding onto the stage in a silver shirt and awkward length trousers, she decided she'd quite like to make comedy her career. Headlining the night is the loveable Richard James, who has been performing comedy since 2012. In 2014, he was a finalist in Foster's South Coast Comedian of the Year.
He has performed across the UK on pro-bills alongside the great and the good, from festivals to corporate functions, to theatres and little pubs. In Feb 2015 he majestically crossed the Atlantic and performed in the USA. What the critics say about Richard - 'Quick wit and hilarious anecdotes quickly endear him to an expectant crowd.' New Life Magazine.
Other talented breakthrough acts performing on the night will be Katy Trevor, Becca Walters, Hafren Holbrook, Dan Hershbein and Alexa Gibbens. Get your tickets, and find out more at www.facebook.com/sillysausagecomedy
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 :)