We live close to one of the areas which has a long history of floods, Somerset Levels, or the Summer Lands, as it sometimes used to be called. It is believed that this is where our county of Somerset got its name from. The people living here were called the Summer People, because they could live on the Levels only during the summer; for the winter they took themselves and their livestock to the surrounding hills, when the whole area of the Levels was flooded. It is one of the flattest and lowest places in the country, just a few meters above the sea level. There had been attempts to drain it as far back as the Roman times, with various success. It is now managed by a combination of many draining channels and a sea defense. Although none of that helped this week, the area is totally under water.
Just to remind you that here on "pleasureinstitching.blogspot.co.uk" you can click on any of the highlighted words and it will take to another window with lots more information.
John Leach Pottery. I love the simplicity of their pots, the one I own has become my favourite baking dish.
In the recent years the shop was extended to the back to create a gallery, a place for exhibitions of works by local artists.
This was where, a couple of years ago, I saw for the first time works by the photographer and film maker
John Waters, although I must had seen his wild life films on BBC without realizing they were made by him.
I love his haunting pictures of the Levels and I fell in love with one in particular. Our DS was with us at the time, and not long after he surprised us with the signed print of the same picture, which is now hanging on our wall. You can see more of John Waters work here.
Another one of "my special places" is the Willows and Wetlands Centre, where I can't visit without buying another basket (which I need, of course) made from locally grown willow.
The whole area is very special; legends of King Arthur and his followers, fairies and magic of the Glastonbury Tor, which dominates the landscape; on the misty day this all becomes very real.
No wonder so many artists are drawn to the place and many of them never leave.
Recently, just by a chance, I saw a book "Medieval Needlepoint", by Candace Bahouth, an American, now living close to Glastonbury, not so many miles from me. Have a look at her very interesting and varied art.
Another interest is the rich wild life of the Levels, which you find out more about here.
One of the current projects is re-introduction of cranes to the area, which were wiped out, mainly by hunting, over 400 years ago, see The Great Crane Project.
Our journey to the Levels and back always takes us through Somerton, which was the capital of Wessex in the 10th century. I like to stop here whenever passing and visit the permanent home of the Somerset Guild of Craftsmen, to see any new exhibits.
I love living in Somerset. It is magical.
Sandi_Toksvig, Danish author, comedian, radio and TV presenter who lives in England, was asked recently why she had decided to settle here. She said that where ever you live in England you are not many miles from something interesting....
You can read more info about Somerset here.
© pleasureinstitching.blogspot.co.uk 2012