17th April 2018
Weather: Cloudy. Overcast all day, a couple of brief sunny intervals. Very windy, notably on unsheltered Somerset Levels and extremely windy on Glastonbury Tor.
A considerable amount of road walking today. The main question was when I should stop taking photos of Glastonbury Tor. When not road walking it was short stretches of muddy fields, although clearly some drying out has been happening.
Street appears to have a very good tree-sculptor
Street is famous as being the home of Clark’s shoes, I learn. There’s a Clark’s Village, much recommended to me in Bridgwater. Turns out it’s an “Outlet” centre, which I find just as alienating and dismal as any shopping centre. The shoe museum opening time was later than I was prepared to hang around for, but situated in a grand building.
As many surrounding buildings are in the same style I correctly guessed this was a Rowntree / Bournville style paternalistic Victorian enterprise.
A short hop over Wearyall Hill
I have no idea either, but the sheep appreciated the scratching post
Down into Glastonbury. First a very satisfying brunch in the Gecko cafe,
where some uniquely-Glastonbury fruitloopery advertised itself,
literally, on the walls.
Even the waitress, I kid not, looked straight out of an Arthur Rackham illustration. Plenty of other faerie magic outside in the shops too:
Tarot reading, crystals, and others you wouldn’t have guessed. In case you can’t read it, the one on the left is “The Speaking Tree”.
Even the pet food shop may only be in business for alternative uses.
I took a wander around the Abbey ruins,
once again feeling pretty pissed off with Henry VIII*, and the fellow who used the abbey remains as a quarry, using gunpowder. (*A visit to the Alhambra in Granada was an earlier time I felt this anger against a long-dead king)
Then headed up the Tor (nearly there)
The wind was blow you over / blow you to a standstill sort. If there wasn’t a Bronze Age burial on the top of the Tor before the monks got there, it would surely have been the only summit in the Southwest of England without one. The views were extensive right across the Levels.
The Somerset Levels have lots of long ditches, often named ‘drains’. These were the first gates I noticed, showing how active the management may be.
A long, straight bit of road out of Glastonbury was also exposed to a strong wind.
Wonder no more about the Ciderthon
The low-flying helicopter put in another appearance today. He was very close to the cables, the wind direction not in his favour.
A stand of trees provided shelter for a long refuelling stop at 14.30. Then some dull trogs along the edges of fields, pursued by
enormous tractors pulling enormous tanks of slurry they sprayed onto said fields.
Wells cathedral came into view. Then a brief, delightful walk through Park Wood with its wood anemones (white & yellow).
Large impressive buildings of Wells Cathedral.
The rain had held off all day until about 16.30. A wet Wells streetscene about 19:30
Excellent forecast for the next few days