My Column 'Life Of A Shepton Mum' in The Shepton Mallet Journal each week.
On my husband's 39th birthday last month, the boys and I travelled with him all the way to Swansea, so he could audition for ITV's hit show Ninja Warrior. Against the odds, we heard yesterday that he's made it to the live heats! Wayne is nervous, he doesn't have much time or the equipment to practice.
Luckily, Grandma took me and the kids on the 161 bus to Croscombe at the weekend.We looked round the lovely church and marvelled at the old 'box pews', and then walked up to the play park.
“Ninja Warrior!” the kids exclaimed, as we entered the park. The play equipment has monkey bars, cargo nets and balancing beams. Fair enough, it's not really big enough for a six foot eight man- but he'll give it a go.
Before catching the bus home, we all grabbed refreshments at The George Pub. I was pleasantly surprised to find it has a little beer garden, with swings.
Another discovery I made this week, was that Tumbles Soft Play centre in Drill Hall Lane is charging only £1 per child, every Wednesday and Friday during the holidays! ( See my Full review , on 'Reviews page' )
Saturday was bright and sunny, so we put our National Trust membership to good use, and drove to Dunster Castle near Minehead. It's really impressive, with grand rooms, woodland play areas and interactive activities for families with children, including period costumes to try on, and archery. For further info call 01643 821314.
Photos Of Croscombe, a small village outside Shepton Mallet.
Ok so it's not the most tasteful of titles, but to be honest I couldn't give a shit. My back is aching, my tummy is cramping, my iron levels are so low I'm likely to completely pass out at any moment, and honestly- if anyone complains, I will hunt them down and punch them in the stupid ugly face !!!! AAAArrGHHH ! Yes, my lovelies, it's my time of the month.
I 'have the painters in', I'm 'on the blob', “Auntie Flow is visiting” or simply...I am menstruating.
Really, I am fairly lucky. I read in a magazine the other day ab0ut a poor lady who suffered from what the medical world calls Dysmenorrhea – or what I like to think of as really really bad, heavy period pains, and mental anguish, lasting for two weeks of every month. Jesus ! She was so bad, that she ended up hooked on Cocaine, after using it initially to ease some of the symptoms.
To be honest, I couldn't imagine anything ANYTHING worse than a Coke come down – combined with period pains. So I can see why she just carried on taking it. Luckily, she did get help, and after attending an intense three week rehab, and getting proper medication, she can now manage her menstrual roller coaster – just about.
I find that it's only really for about one full day ( two days before I actually start to bleed) that I become slightly psychotic and want to kill people. It's unfortunate for my poor children and husband. And for some reason, he never guesses why 'Psycho' Heather has suddenly arrived, and is going ballistic at him over the tiniest thing- even though it happens the same way, and at the same time every single month. It's only when I finally come back down to normal weirdness levels ( Which is still fairly weird) and my period arrives, I start crying over children's cartoons, and he notices used sanitary towels in the bin, that he realises. “Aaaaaaaah, that's why you were a complete bitch to me on Thursday” , “Sorry, I'll blub” and skulk upstairs with a tub of Nutella. Then we're all friends again. And everything returns to semi 'normal' until next month.
The point of this blog, is that, it's hard to write a blog – when you're seeping blood, anger and tears, and your husband and kids (temporarily) hate you. And you despise everyone and everything in the world, and just want to curl up in a duvet, eat ice-cream and cry.
So yeh. Sorry. I had intended to write a fabulous and informative piece about 'Days Out With Kids, In Somerset” but I can't be arsed.
Now, WHERE'S MY NUTELLA !!!!!!
#SIXWORDSTORY #POETWEET #MICROPOETRY
Today's post is controversial. If you're scared of naked men look away now!
Seriously. It all started when I logged onto Facebook , and saw this post on a local discussion page :
"Word of warning ⚠
We went to b**** hill woods today at 3.30ish. There was a naked bloke legging it away from us! I think we disturbed him 😉
Didn't get a look at him so cant give a description - just a white arse running.
But in all seriousness if I were to be walking alone I would be worried!"
Followed by these replies -
@Mum1 _Thanks for the warning, I was planning on taking the kiddies there in the morning on my own - will give it a miss now I think!!
@slightlyconcerned - Have you told the police??
@local3 -What the hell...thats creepy as ...defo report it xx
I commented this
@Mrsbrysonbanks If you cant be naked in the woods anymore... thats sad :(
he was running away .. not towards you! Poor guy
Which provoked some angry responses !
@mum2 - Would you b happy if u wer out in the woods with ur kids an they wud have to come across a naked man @mrsbrysonbanks coz I no I wudnt be best impressed an i no my kids would be mortified!
I replied -
@mrsbrysonbanks - Honestly I wouldn't be bothered if he wasn't being threatening. I'd be more worried about a sneaky man in a mac, hanging around a park. Really, a man on his own naked in a quiet wood could've been doing anything from yoga, meditation, to solo masturbation, to just being a closet naturist. I'd just say " Oh look that man's naked!! Silly man" I'd be more worried he's sting him self on nettles whilst running away. We need to put this in perspective.
As expected , I didnt get many people agreeing with me -
@local3 - That's your choice heather. He knew he was doing something wrong or he wouldn't have been running!!!
Put this into perspective? Yes. He shouldn't have been naked!
There are places for naturists etc. Surprisingly enough my child doesn't go there
@mummy4 - I couldn't care less what he was doing tbh, as it was said before there are places for things like that where other people that don't want to see it don't have to and I as others have said don't want my children to witness that kinda of thing
@annoyed1 - that woodland area is used by family's I'm pretty sure if the cops seen it they would be questioning it and telling him to get dressed bit to early for a dogging meeting !
@nothappy - Sorry I think it's bad I would have ran after him and questioned him with families walking children in woods
However, one person did see my point!
@openminded1 -I agree @mrsbrysonbanks, considering it was Lamas he may just have been a pagan undertaking a sky clad ritual.
Why do people always think the worst? Comments about dogging aren't even relevant in this situation. He ran off, i assume, not because he was upto no good, but because he could hardly stop to explain his actions as he was naked
What bothers me is the intolerance shown here, you have no idea who he is and what he was doing, but are willing to think the worst. What if he was mentally disturbed and needed help? I have no idea who he was or what he was doing, neither do you!
( here here !!)
I ended my contribution with the following comment -
@mrsbrysonbanks -I just have a gut feeling that a naked man running away is not much of a threat to anyone, except himself :)
I might sound light hearted, but this kind of misplaced fear and scaremongering really annoys me!
I am ultra protective of my kids. I have worked in youth work and with safeguarding, and have horrific personal experience of child abuse cases ( which let's face it, is everyone's ultimate fear!) abductions and strangers are very very rarely a feature in CSA. Family, friends of family and now internet predators are most often the abusers. It's not mad or mentally unstable to want to be naked now and again ( B*** Hill Woods is hardly 'public' like the local Park or the High Street) But it is mad, to leave your kids surfing the internet or on social media sites, or with friends of family who you don't really know.
Or to not show them enough love and attention that they have low self esteem, and are vulnerable to the advances or grooming of predators ( who are also few and far between, let's not blow this out of proportion).
I'm not saying any of the parents, who instinctively had a fear or worry about naked wood man- are bad parents. Not at all. But take a reality check. And don't live life in fear!
Teach kids to be brave, and curious, and judge risks, and be confident, and feel prepared. Teach them to trust their instincts, but also to trust in the good in people, because not everyone is a potential peodophile!
The worst thing is, the real peodophiles historically have been figures in authority, in government, in churches, in the media, in the money. Is this still the case? Quite possibly. I just know, that I've never heard of someone being hurt by a “Running away naked man” before. He's really no threat to anyone- except possibly himself.
UPDATE - No seriously... after all the fuss, and my blog post- LOOK WHAT HAPPENED
Shepton Mallet prison is the oldest prison in the country, housing some of the UK's most fiendish villains. It was home to the Kray twins, held the last public hanging in Britain and the last 'death by firing squad'. Oh, and it's haunted! It closed in 2013, but for one day & n night in October. A few 'lucky' locals will have the pleasure of being incarcerated for 24 hours- all for fab charity SOS Africa.
I've nominated my poor long suffering hubby. We need to raise a minimum of £240 which will pay for a whole years education for an African child.
Even if you can only donate a couple of quid, please do! It's much more of a challenge than the blimmin Ice bucket! Wayne will be banged up, with ghosts of serial killers, and is not even allowed his phone or ipad for company. I hope they'll atleast feed him some gruel.
Here's the #JustGiving blurb
Wayne Musherman Banks has been found guilty of "Loving his dogs more than his wife!"
He has been sentenced to 24hrs at HMP Shepton Mallet this October but we need to raise a year's education for an SOS Africa child (£240) to make it happen!
For more information about this event visit: http://www.sosafrica.com/events.htm?id=45
Please help us ensure that justice is served!
Thank you for your support,
Heather Bryson-Banks (key witness for the prosecution)
Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity. So it’s the most efficient way to donate – saving time and cutting costs for the charity.
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 :)