Showing posts from December, 2009

New Panto Group for an Old Tradition

With the old year behind us - "Oh no it isn't!" I hear you say - Budleigh Salterton has yet another entertaining aspect to it in the aptly-named Buscers, who are launching their first production in the New Year.

Budleigh Salterton Community Entertainers will be staging the pantomime Aladdin in the Public Hall on 16 and 23 January, with performances starting at 2.15 pm and 7.15 pm.

Panto director Steve Andrews heads a team of 90 people involved with the show, including 16-year-old Rebecca Clark who is playing principal girl Princess Jasmin. He has been delighted with the enthusiastic response from the Budleigh community. It's going to be, as he says, "a show to remember."

Oh yes it is!

Profits from the show are going to Budleigh Age Concern.

Tickets are £7 and £5 for under-14s and are available from The Card Shop Too in Budleigh Salterton High Street, or from Jenny Nicholls - telephone: (01395) 446415.

A sweet idea for a Budleigh shop

Even in Budleigh Salterton one sees sadly empty or boarded-up business premises, like this shop on the High Street.

When I pass them I wonder what an enterprising shopkeeper would do to fill a gap in the market, and think how hard it must be in these troubled economic times to come up with a good recession-proof idea which would enhance a small town's high street.

Maybe it's the time of year, Christmas being a binge-time for chocoholics, but I was excited when I read the following news from our sister-town of Brewster, Cape Cod, where the appropriately named Mr Lively has opened a shop selling 75 different kinds of chocolate truffles.

Above: Could Budleigh chocolate truffles become as popular as its pebbles?

In a health-conscious community he could be on to a winner. Chocolate which is high in cocoa solids is now recognised as having many qualities that are beneficial to health. It contains essential trace elements and nutrients such as iron, calcium and potassium, and vitamins A…

"Yule find it's so bracing!"

Well, that's what the mad Christmas Day swimmers told me when I joined crowds of Budleigh residents, curious spectators and the swimmers themselves as they gathered on the beach at 10.00 am on 25 December. A new record for both actors and audience seems to have been broken every year as the ritual grows in popularity, and Budleigh's Christmas Day swim is now a great local tradition as well as being officially listed by the UK's Outdoor Swimming Society as one of their 'must do' events.

On a sunny morning with silvery calm sea, Budleigh is hard to beat, says the Society on its website and as far as I was concerned conditions couldn't have been better on Christmas Day, with a brilliant blue sky and radiant sunshine helping to make some good photos. The sea temperature of 10 degrees wouldn't suit everyone, and I was quite glad to have the excuse that I'd just come out of hospital. But maybe next year...…

Brook welcomes Brit Art icons to Budleigh

Renowned names from the British art world joined the team to launch the Brook’s major Christmas exhibition, The Coriander Studio Show. This ‘blockbuster’ of an exhibition opened on 9 December 2009 and runs to 10 January 2010.

The guest list for the private view on Tuesday 8 December included names from the British Art elite such as Brendan Neiland, Brad Faine, Bruce McLean and Sir Peter Blake.

Above: Storm Thorgerson, 'Chrome'

World renowned for its techniques in silkscreen and digital printing, The Coriander Studio’s reputation was honed in the 60s. Now under the direction of Brad Faine, the 500 or so international artists with whom he works are a roll call of Britain’s best, many of which are included in this stunning exhibition. The Brook is also thrilled to be given the opportunity to exhibit for the first time anywhere, two absolutely gorgeous brand new pieces by Damien Hirst – a real coup for an independent gallery.

Above: Peter Blake, 'Madonna on Venice beach'

The ex…

A pebble for your thoughts

Not too many people venture out on to Budleigh beach at this time of the year - apart from the mad Christmas swimmers of course - but that very special stretch of ancient beautiful pebbles will always charm visitors, whatever the season.
Some Budleigh people might like to keep it as one of those undiscovered gems of the UK coast. One told me recently that one of the things that induced him and his wife to move here nearly ten years ago was that they had been informed that Budleigh Salterton was "not a tourist town, and catered rather for the residents."

"We have found this to be the case, and have much enjoyed its quiet atmosphere," he wrote. "There are plenty of nearby tourist resorts for those who seek them."
Above: A winter scene on Budleigh beach, looking west towards Sandy Bay and Exmouth

Nobody wants to see a string of amusement arcades along the sea front, but I can't imagine how that person thinks that Budleigh traders or indeed the organisers o…

Dealing with some old chestnuts

Well, I think I can face that Bob Monkhouse advert for the Prostate Cancer Charity with a slightly less troubled mind now. Certainly before 19 October 2009 I found it a creepy experience to be faced every time I went into the supermarket by Bob's staring eyes and those warning words: "Prostate cancer cost me my life. Don't let it cost you yours."
And I feel able to post this item and get back to blogging only because I’ve just received what they tell me is a (so far) 'all-clear’ based on the histology report and blood test following surgery on my own prostate.

I won’t be blogging quite so frequently for the time being, and I’m not sure that I’d have been cheery enough to do any at all had I received bad news from the hospital about margins etc. Though of course many brave people do, and Bob Monkhouse is even joking about such things from beyond the grave.
But then, cancer does give you a sense of tumour. (Sorry about that one, Bob).

In s…