Caroline Shipsey

Thursday, 28 June 2012


This photo was taken on 10th June 2011 at Lanacre Bridge on Exmoor, just a few days before Dusty was stricken by whatever it was that caused her death. She was enjoying lying in the sun and having the occasional roll in the grass.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Orchids at Last

I thought we weren't going to see any this year but here there are in all their usual magnificance.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Swans of Wells - Update

The good news is that most swans now have much bigger signage asking children not to climb on them.  The bad news is that several swans have been taken in for repair, though I don't know whether this is due to damage from people or the weather, which continues to give us a soaking.

This type of arts project has happened in other cities in the UK - Gorillas in Bristol a couple of years ago and Sheep? in Bath, and if they were as successful as Swans of Wells then more places should try out this approach.  It certainly has people moving around the city as they look for the swans, takes them into places they probably would never go, and brings the names of local businesses as sponsors to our attention.

Search for the Swans of Wells by number on my site using the 'Search this site' box at the top of all pages

family on bench looking at map

Monday, 11 June 2012

Swans of Wells - Save Our Swans

Since I last wrote, my fears about damage to the Swans of Wells exhibits have sadly been realised. The vandalism that I've observed wasn't being inflicted by teenagers but by children accompanied by their parents.

After speaking to one father it seems that the attitude is one of 'Well if My kids see others climbing all over the swans, they want to do it, and why should I stop them? '
I pleaded with him that the children could damage and devalue the swans, which have been sponsored (paid for!) by local individuals and businesses, and will be auctioned for local charities. His response - the swans are 'too child friendly' and should have been mad stronger and more child resistant! Oh and that the stone plinths should have rounded edges and so less potentially dangerous to children.

children climbing on swans of wells

The most vulnerable swans are those in the Market place and around the Bishop's Palace and Moat. Unless they are protected in some way then come the summer holidays one can only imagine the extent of damage they'll suffer.

I'm so disappointed that some parents apparently believe that if something is in a public area it's fair game for using as playground equipment.

decorated swan art piece

In fairness, this child was actually being very careful!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Swans of Wells

Swans of Wells is a really great arts project that will be on the streets of Wells throughout the summer. It's colourful, fun and at the end of it in September will raise, hopefully, a huge amount of money for local charities.

All the swans have been sponsored by local businesses and individuals and imageinatively decorated by some very talented artists. I'm loving it, such fun to go around finding and photographing each one.

Both visitors and locals alike are really engaging with the spirit of the exhibition, equipped with their Trail Maps and seeking out as many as possible.

I've dedicated a gallery to my photos and this will be a project that continues throughout the summer. My plan is to record each swan and some of the detail, and then to include images of people interacting with them. It's great fun watching kids especially though they are inclined to try and climb on the swans which is to be seriously discouraged!

You can see my photos at is the website where you can find out much more about the project.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

A Diamond Weekend

The Jubilee celebrations are now over and despite the weather it's been a memorable four days.
It would have been amazing to be in London to see the River Pageant, Concert and the open carriage ride back to Buckingham Palace, along with about a million other people. TV coverage has been superb though, and thoroughly recreated the wonderful atmosphere for us at home.

This was my third Jubilee - in 1977 I remember going to Pen Hill when the beacon was lit. there were hundreds of people there and we sang Rule Britania and Land of Hope and Glory.

In 2002 I was living on Skye, saw the Queen when she came to Portree and cried buckets while watching the TV coverage - I was so homesick!

2012 - Wow! I just wanted to soak up every bit of the pageantry, music, colour, history - it has been a brilliant celebration that even pouring rain couldn't spoil. Our Queen has reigned for 60 years and at 86 is an amazing lady. She has such a beautiful smile and looks so smart and elegant, it's difficult not to feel affection and respect for her.

It's been a really great weekend that I'll remember for a long, long time.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Jubilee Celebrations and Priddy Friendly Society Club Day

Priddy Friendly Society celebrated it's 2012 Club Day today,combining it with the village Jubilee celebrations instead of as usual on Bank Holiday Monday.

Roll call took place outside the New Inn but I was at church bell ringing especially for the service that is part of the tradition. Usually this would be followed by a super lunch in the village hall but this year the whole village was invited to picnic on the Green. A Picnic for one isn't much fun and I would have much prefered lunch prepared by the ladies who normally do such a fantastic spread, so I hope this doesn't become the normal arrangement.

Despite the usual Mendip weather - rain, mist, more rain etc, there was a good turnout and a happy atmosphere prevailed through heavier showers alternating with occasional dry spells. Fred Payne organised the children and adult sports and Mike oversaw the tug of war. All events were well supported and nothing dampened the competitive spirits!

Cam Valley Morris dancers had to wait quite a while for their chance to perform while the first of 2 bands were doing their sound checks. Eventually the hog roast was ready so I grabbed my supper and headed for home in the pouring rain.

As usual I took photos to record my memories of the day. Thanks to all who worked hard to make it an enjoyable day.