6th December 2008


25th October 2008
6th December 2008
31st January 2009
7th March 2009



Saturday 6th December.


A coterie of idlers gathered at the Kings Arms Stockland at the invitation of Joe, Our Leader for the afternoon .Greg and Joe had already ordered food by the time Bob arrived. Despite the fact that Bob had only just had brunch, a quick perusal of the menu persuaded him that he too should eat from it.

Nick arrived but said he could only stay for lunch. Wendy and Stellen arrived. This time Stellen was suitably attired.

Rick arrived and brought with him his friend Richard; Richard brought his bone idle friend too, a dog.

Rick spent the entire time with a cockerel on his head (see photo). He posited the question that if a boat had eventually  had all its parts renewed , was it still the same boat. Bob was discombobulated, Greg just plain confused. Rick assured Bob that even the futtock had been replaced.

Joe said that we were going to a farm to taste ciders; then visiting a turbary, about which he produced leaflets; and finally taking tea and cake at his place.

As we left the pub Nick announced that we should visit a bridge in Dorset. Most of us felt that this would be a walk too far, but Nick can be very persuasive. Two minutes later we were standing by an extremely well preserved bridge with a plaque attached. It transpired that in The Olden Days (pre Beatles) this was the main road between London and the west country and that before the A303 was invented we were in Dorset; it also said that any youths who defaced the bridge would be transported.


Nick had to go and bathe his mother, the rest of us went in convoy to a remote farm.

It was a proper farm with piles of things and bits and pieces lying around. Most people would view this material as rubbish but those of us ' in the know' recognise its true value as 'historical data'   and stuff that would  ' almost certainly be useful at sometime in the future'.

 Bob spotted a row of root shovels most of which were missing tynes and none of which had handles;  a quick mental attempt at putting them in age order was abruptly halted with the realisation that carbon dating would certainly be needed.


Farmer and cidermaker Julian took us straight to the barrels and told us how he made it.

 ’I hope the roof of this cider house never falls in and those who drink here never fall out’.

 One barrel had previously been used for whisky and one for rum…


A sublime moment.

We were supposed to give it marks but as no-one really knew much about farmhouse cider  we just said it was very good.

Julian showed us his flock of geese, french landes and embdens.. Greg was keen on a xmas goose until Julian described their demise and plucking.

We saw the wild flower seed machine and admired the decrepit ‘woody’ (morris1000).

There were three freezers. Bob chose a sirloin joint donated by an organic red devon. Others had Lop Eared pig or Dorset Horns. Quantities of cider were purchased too.


Then it was off to devour Joe’s cake.  His extension was marvelled at (especially his soffits), as we warmed ourselves by his stove which seemed to run on chicken feed pellets.


'Strength in Idleness'






 Next Meet. 6th December.2008

Guild of Somerset and Devon Idlers.

Welcome: "Always look on the bright side of life, de dum, de dum..."

The agenda, if one dares call it that, is:
One pm meet at Stockland pub. They've recently changed the lunchtime menu. I think you can get quite nice grub for about £8 or £9. (or you may prefer in these credit crunch times to eat before you come.)

About Two-ish set off in cars (much too far to walk for such as we) for Goren Farm. Here my friend Julian (My name is Sandy but that is an old joke from "Round the Horne" radio days) will await us in his darkened cider shed...(got you interested?) ... where we may taste free of charge his 2007 cider from a whisky barrel and his rather older cider from a rum barrel, and look admiringly at his 2008 cider in its huge cask, not yet ready to drink. Both ciders may be purchased for the special Idler price of £1.00 a pint, but you must bring your own takeaway containers. He'll tell us how he does it. I think we will have a blind tasting of three ciders, awarding points out of 10. Rick Watkins may bring his front-runner, a Dorset blend. We will talk learnedly about how to avoid sediment ... which, like so much else, I find, is a metaphor for life.

Idlers may also buy from Goren farm shop (another shed, not quite so darkened) some really excellent lamb, beef and I think some pork. All home-raised. Or you could buy some of his cider vinegar. Go to http://www.goren.co.uk/ for a price list and to get an idea about the farm.

Then we will stagger drunkenly and very slowly (20 minutes maximum) around some of the turbaries (common land woods) near my house, I will show you three massive badger setts, there will be a prize if you fall down one of the holes and we could then repair to my house for tea and a bit of cake, or something. I'll be an instant expert on turbaries by then because I am going to a meeting and film show about them tonight. Bring walking boots or wellies. Going moderate to hard ... not really designed for Idlers, who prefer flat terrain, but that has most selfishly been bagged by the farmers.
Hoping to see you on 6th. Latecomers rewarded. Promptness will indicate poor idling instincts.