Caroline Shipsey

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Farewell Swans of Wells

 Guinivere - She built a nest of silver leaves 
No.21Bishop's Palace Moat

Last night was the culmination of the Swans of Wells event with a gala dinner held in the Bishop's Palace and the auction of all the swans.
 I watched the auction on eager to see just how much money some of my favourites would sell for. Two swans in particular had won the hearts of the people of Wells - Guinivere, who has graced the moat at the entrance to the Bishops Palace, and Hot Fuzz at the Police station. Sculptor Ian Marlow created the beautiful nest of leaves for Guinivere, who symbolized the theme of the project.  The film Hot Fuzz was filmed in Wells, many locals performed as extras and familiar locations appear throughout the film.


Guinivere - She built a nest of silver leaves No.21Bishop's Palace Moat

Hot Fuzz No.23, Wells Police Station

From the Swans of Wells website:-
 Swans have been synonymous with Wells in Somerset for centuries, where resident swans patrol the stunning 13th century Bishop's Palace, which has been home to the Bishop of Bath and Wells for over 800 years.

 The swans of Wells have the unusual habit of ringing a bell by the Palace drawbridge to ask for food. This unusual spectacle started 200 years ago, when the daughter of an 19th century Bishop taught her favourite swan to ring the gatehouse bell for scraps of food, a technique that has been passed down the swan generations! 

 Swans of Wells 2012 is a major tourism initiative for Somerset, which has featured the public display of sixty, magnificently decorated, 5ft swan sculptures, one for each of the sixty years of the Queen's reign. 

 The flock was displayed in locations around Wells and the surrounding Somerset countryside for 3 months this summer, from June to September 2012. This eye-catching, high profile event brought thousands of visitors to the streets of England's smallest city and a smile to the faces of all who saw them. 

 The swans were sponsored by businesses, individuals and organisations and decorated by a team of talented artists and craftspeople from across the West Country and beyond, who transformed the impressive, avian canvasses into beautiful works of contemporary art.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Mendip Ploughing Match at Yoxter

God Speed the Plough
Let the wealthy and great,
roll in splendour and state,
I envy them not I declare it

I eat my own lamb
My own chickens and ham
I shear my own fleece and I wear it

I have lawns I have bowers
I have fruits I have flowers
The lark is my early alarm

So Jolly boys now
Here’s God speed the plough
Long life and success to the farmer.
By some miracle the weather was kind to us and there wasn't too much mud to spoil proceedings.  This was the 143rd meeting of the Mendip Ploughing Society and it was well supported with almost 90 entries.  I didn't see any hedging and there were only 2 entrants in the stone walling.   Entrant in ploughing came from Somerset, Devon, Cornwall and even Wales.  The horse ploughing had just 2 entrants but as usual they attracted a great deal of admiration.   Thanks to the ladies for an excellent lunch as usual!
This is one of my favourite events in our local calendar, great for photography and meeting friends.  If you've never been to a ploughing match I thoroughly recommend it as a gentle way to enjoy a day in the countryside amongst real country folk.

Mendip Ploughing Match 2012 at Yoxter You can see more photos from the day and previous years here.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Swans of Wells - Swan Song

"Swan song" is a metaphorical phrase for a final gesture, effort, or performance given just before death or retirement.
 The Swans of Wells gave their final performance on 15th and 16th September when they were all gathered in the Bishop's Palace for a special public viewing prior to being auctioned on 29th September.
The auction will be live online, and you can bid on the Swans at this website. 

Swans of Wells in the Bishop's Palace gardens

Friday, 21 September 2012

Apology to SmugMug!

A couple of days ago I received a small package in the post from the US which, much to my surprise, had come from SmugMug.  It contained some rather nice goodies which are quite useful to me.

Also now that I've had a really good opportunity to evaluate the alternatives to SmugMug I know I wont be leaving them after all!  So I'm sorry for my previous post, I know the owners of SmugMug are real people who do care about their customers and SmugMug still is the best place to host photos on the net despite their changes to the pricing structure.

Me with my Smuggy hat!

Monday, 10 September 2012

SmugMug, I'm really pissed off with you

For 6 years I've hosted my photos with a company called SmugMug - not something that would probably interest most people who view them, after all they're just enjoying the piccies. But from January 2013 that will change because a massive price increase has been imposed on users of the Pro Account and I don't intend to pay it.

If you want to read about it you can do so here

And then watch the update video here if you can put up with all the ' we die a little inside' stuff.

I've always promoted and recommended SmugMug to everyone I know who has asked about where to host their photos but I can't do this any more. Sorry folks and Goodbye SmugMug.