Caroline Shipsey

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Chritmas at Home

Christmas Day started typically for up here on the Mendips, dull, grey and cold but soon brightened up and by lunchtime a brisk walk was calling. There was barely a cloud in the sky, a fresh wind and a chill in the air. The light was quite good for photography but for landscapes I need some clouds - blue skies just don't do it for me :-(

The dogs were all on fine form, it must have been a good day for scenting as they were all very busy exploring bramble patches, rabbit holes etc. Lots of people were out enjoying the sunshine and there was generally a very happy atmosphere, greetings being exchanged with passing walkers and dogs.

Boxing Day - in keeping with tradition, the Mendip Farmers Hunt meet was at the New Inn in Priddy. Since hunting was banned in 2004 it seems the number of people coming to the meet increases year on year, there was also a large number of riders too. I walked into the village rather than driving which meant one less car contributing to the gridlock that always follows when the riders move off. It's almost impossible to take photographs because of the crowds of people and everyone seems to be trying to grab a shot of the Master, hounds, the horses decked out for Christmas. It's a great social gathering, with mulled wine and a pig roast to help keep warm.

Priddy Green Boxing Day Meet
Looking down on the Green was the best way to see the sheer number of people and riders.

Priddy Green

What are you looking at ?
What are you looking at ?

I was nearly flattened by this group of riders trying to catch up with the field.

The Beast
Cam Valley Morris have danced at the Meet for as long as I can remember, they were a bit short of dancers this year but 'The Beast' made up for that. Created by Ama and Peter Bolton and inhabited by Jim Shurmer.