The last fortnight has been fun filled and exhausting in equal measure! The illuminated Carnival came to Shepton Mallet, Wells and Glastonbury for it's mind blowing finale. I tried out Radio Shepton's newly purchased outdoor recording equipment, to get a behind the scenes look at the carts, performers, clubs, marshals and volunteer charity collectors as they prepared for Wednesday night's parade in Shepton Mallet. It took a while to get used to the microphone levels, settings and the new furry wind muff which looks like an evil minion! Eventually I did mange to get some great audio, and interviews – the final programme will be available to listen to on 'mixcloud' via Radio Shepton's Facebook page. Right now we are pre-recording and producing an archive of programmes, and recruiting a core team of volunteers. Are you interested in joining the 'Radio Shepton' team? We need DJ's, Presenters & Producers, Technicians, music lovers, talk radio enthusiasts, reporters and journalists (no experience needed, just enthusiasm!) also marketing,sales, funding, administration people and general all-rounders. The first open meeting for prospective volunteers will be at 7.30pm on Thursday 29th ( venue TBC- search @radioshepton on Facebook)
It was also my birthday weekend, and I was spoilt rotten. We watched 'Fantastic Beasts – The crimes of Grindlewald' in 3D at Wells Film Centre. It was quite a long film, but really stunning. Fans of the Harry Potter books and films, will love it. I can't give too much away but in this film we meet a younger Albus Dumbledore ,teaching at Hogwarts. There are some familiar adorable creatures and some fabulous new ones too. Well worth a watch. On Friday evening we enjoyed warm mulled cider and home-baked mince pies , courtesy of Nick & Helen Reader of The Fairy Godmother shop , at the first of Town Street's late night shopping events. Every Friday from now until Christmas, most of the shops and cafe's in the Vintage & Artisan Quarter, will stay open until 8pm. There is free parking in Great Ostry Street Car Park.
Luckily my actual birthday also coincided with Shepton's monthly Sunday Market too. Once again our market town came alive with a myriad of locally produced craft, and cake stalls, antiques, clothes, real ale, pizzas, pies and pastries, Stone's cider and even a Caribbean BBQ.
I had been quite upset that Moosey's Scandinavian style 'Ski Bar' , located by the Amulet, had been unable to open as planned on Carnival night. Jason Bryant, our local star photographer, had been planning to DJ at the opening event, and so many locals have been desperate for a peak inside the gorgeous new themed bar – which only has a temporary six week licence. Some grumpy grouch decided to throw a spanner in the works, but never fear, the majority of Sheptonians want the Ski Bar to open soon. And rumours are, it'll be Friday 30th. Good luck Moosey!
It's been a mixed few weeks for the Banks family. But now things are starting to look up. My husband Wayne suffers from a rare neurological condition called Cluster or Suicide headaches. They are widely believed to be the most painful condition known to mankind, like going though childbirth 5 or 6 times a day, for weeks on end. There is no effective cure. One natural and experimental remedy does help, but is not available on the NHS in the UK. Wayne ended up flying to Amsterdam for a medical trial and then getting stuck there for 4 days due to Storm Callum. On his eventual return, as he was unable to bring the medicine back to the UK he struggled again, but we've been overwhelmed with the kindness and generosity of friends and relative strangers, who've enabled us to carry on regardless. It's upsetting for me and the kids, and difficult to explain to people who mistake the condition for normal 'migraines'. We hope he is now nearing the end of this cycle, and want to say a big thank you to everyone who's helped.
The kids and I enjoyed half term, Halloween and watched the fireworks from a friends garden. We laid the stencils for Shepton's poignant Poppy Trail organised by the Royal British Legion. This Saturday & Sunday will see a full weekend of remembrance and Armistice 100 events , talk to RBL members when you buy your poppy up at Tescos or Dobbies. I've been busy with Radio Shepton, which now has a centrally located premises, equipment, a licence and just needs more bands, djs and volunteers . Look out for an open meeting soon if you'd like to get involved. 'Like' Facebook page fb.me/radioshepton for live streams and updates. On Friday I checked out 'NO THURSDAY WAR', playing a gig in Glastonbury. Theyr'e a down-tuned 4-piece hard rock band from darkest Somerset, as hard and loud as they are melodic and tuneful. Pulling influences from a range of musical styles, the sound is familiar but often unpredictable. Their songs really get stuck in your head. Three of four members are Shepton Mallet bred, the band consisted of Vocalist Matt Burr, Joe Bryan on Guitar and Ben Morris On Bass- all from the Mallet. And new addition Jason Trunks (Ex Kinasis) on Drums. Manager, Susan Ayton of Pocket Money Studio says “The band has clicked with the new addition of Jason. His drumming is excellent and his experience with Kinasis is proving invaluable! “ The band will play alongside Mirror Grin, Roadhouse Mantis, Dream Robbery & Brian Cooling on December 1stt at The Charlton Inn's charity event 'Rock The Halls' . And at a ground breaking rock gig being planned at HMP Shepton Mallet soon!
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 :)