May 2013

Spring has Sprung and the grass has riz.

What a difference a few days of gentle warmth makes to the English countryside. In the past 24 hours, leaves on a multitude of trees, particularly Horse Chestnuts have burst into life laying a bright green mantle of freshness across the skyline, with other varieties of tree looking as if they will follow suit during the next week. Soon the Somerset countryside will have returned to the full lush green canopy of trees and fields so loved by visitors and holiday makers to this part of the world.

The winter hopefully now past, rates amongst the more bitterest and prolonged winters I can recall. Constant icy eastern winds cutting both man and beast to the quick as the insidious tendrils of cold crept into every outdoor nook and cranny.

I for one have never been a winter lover although it does have its moments.Seasonal springtime flowers like daffodils and tulips and even the grass lay dormant for weeks on end. Mother Nature does however have ways of catching up on lost time often at the cost of brow ridden sweat to gardeners trying to keep up with natures sudden spurt of growth. I still think the extra effort is rewarded by an enhanced feeling of well being which we all find so satisfying.

So far this year I have not had the opportunity to go mackerel fishing off Chesil Beach on the Dorset coast. Mackerel normally start to run along this part of the coast about Easter and no live bait is required, just imitation feathers on the end of the line. On a good day it can be difficult to carry the weight of mackerel that are caught and when this happens, we normally distribute our catch amongst friends in our village.

The cliffs of the entire stretch of Dorset’s Jurassic  coast have been subject to sudden collapse in recent weeks due to abnormally high rainfall last year allowing vast amounts of water to penetrate the rocks. Constant warnings by the Coastguard are in place and believe me, if the Coastguard issue a warning, they mean it. Nature asks no questions of right or wrong when sections of a cliff face collapse, it just happens carrying and burying all or anyone before it.

Recently my wife and I with a group of friends went for a pub lunch at the Lime Kiln Inn which is located on A372 about halfway between the A303 junction and the small town of Langport. This popular inn enjoys a high vantage point with an extensive vista across the beautiful Somerset countryside. Although it is not possible to book tables in advance except for parties of about 10 or more, we have never been disappointed at finding a table even on busy days. The Lime Kiln is only about 10 minutes drive from my home and enjoys a well deserved local reputation for good reasonably priced food. The Lime Kiln has always managed to produce quite a large and varied menu catering for all tastes and over the years I have never come away with my appetite unsatisfied. Like most patrons I have always left with a feeling of “That was a damn good meal”. If anyone is in the area, I can certainly recommend a visit.

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