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Friday, 23 February 2018

Dorset: Dorchester's Victorian Fayre at the Corn Exchange on Saturday, February 24, from 11am until 3.30pm.

From The Dorset Echo, Meghan Hindley: Step back in time and experience the delights of Dorchester's Victorian Fayre.

"The event is being organised by the William Barnes Society and aims to celebrate the life of the Dorset dialect poet. The fayre will be held at the Corn Exchange on Saturday, February 24 from 11am until 3.30pm".

Drimpton Village Hall: The Grahams Rock the Joint; Artsreach; Dorset

The little Dorset village of Drimpton (population 400), located close to Beaminster, Crewkerne, Bridport and the wonderful walking country around Pilsdon Pen and Lewesdon Hill (although you wouldn't know it on a cold, dark February night), seems an unlikely venue for a rocking  4-piece country band of musicians (on an Artsreach tour) who hail from from Manhattan, Nashville and Tulsa, Oklahoma. Described as a "dynamic Americana duo", the singer-songwriter guitarists, childhood sweetheart husband-and-wife Alyssa and Doug Graham, had the wildly enthusiastic audience stomping their feet on the wooden village hall floorboards and calling for more.

Sometimes sounding like a Nashville country-rock band, at other times like a post-hippy, Jimi Hendrix revivalist duo (Doug's stinging guitar-playing, at least, with his ample use of distortion, fuzz-box, wah-wah and other pedal effects), they have written some outstanding song lyrics and concept albums (songs of their extensive US railroad, river and highway adventures), even if the unnecessarily high levels of amplification drowned out the words in this small, intimate village hall. Sitting close to they front, I had to block my ears at times, to try and catch all the words; it would have been great to hear them play a semi-acoustic set as well. US Northerners by birth, they must have been made welcome in Nashville and the South, as they have absorbed many regional musical influences on their travels.

Whether their occasionally ironic take on Americana in a song like Revival Time was so well received in the Bible belt, I'm not sure. The audience loved it. I had asked the sound technician at the start if they were going to sing that song - and if they'd brought the snake along with them. They hadn'tWatch the official YouTube video.

I wish the sound had been kept at this sort of level - hear, for instance, another great song, Biscuits.

Congratulations to the band, Artsreach and the Drimpton organisers.

I'll be keeping my eyes open to see what else they're bringing to Drimpton Village Hall.

In all of the 25 years that my mother used to live in West Bay, Bridport, I don't think I ever visited the village - though I have climbed Lewesdon Hill, and I much admire William Crowe's 1788 poem. Perhaps The Grahams could set part of it to music? I hope they had a chance to see something of the beautiful Dorset countryside, at least.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Online Etymology Dictionary

A very useful resource - Online Etymology Dictionary

"This is a map of the wheel-ruts of modern English. Etymologies are not definitions; they're explanations of what our words meant and how they sounded 600 or 2,000 years ago. The dates beside a word indicate the earliest year for which there is a surviving written record of that word (in English, unless otherwise indicated). This should be taken as approximate, especially before about 1700, since a word may have been used in conversation for hundreds of years before it turns up in a manuscript that has had the good fortune to survive the centuries".

Brexit: BBC 4 "Guide for the Perplexed "- Gibraltar and the Overseas Territories

A rather satirical, tongue-in-cheek BBC 4 Radio programme about a serious topic (15 minutes)

"Far away from the main Brexit negotiations in London and Brussels are the British Overseas Territories. Dots on the global map whose people may be strongly affected - and who are struggling to make their voicesheard. Chris Morris travels to Gibraltar to see what's at stake, and discovers too a hidden but vital Brexit story in the Caribbean".

Dorchester, Dorset: Recreation sites and play areas to make way for new homes?

From Wessex FM: Dorchester Town Council and Magna Housing consultation event. 

"The council are concerned that young workers are finding it impossible to find good quality accommodation in Dorchester, to both rent and buy. The idea is to look at land they own, to see if it could be suitable for housing".

Five sites have been identified:

Elizabeth Gardens
Poundbury Crescent
Fortress Green
Mellstock Avenue
Sandringham Annex

Bournemouth the UK’s best beach? Travellers' Choice

From The Guardian - TripAdvisor crowns Bournemouth the UK’s best beach - The south coast town’s golden sands have been ranked as the best in the country in TripAdvisor’s Traveller’s Choice awards – and the fifth-best in Europe

Weymouth No. 5 this year

Bournemouth 5th Best Beach in Europe

Bournemouth 14th Best Beach in the world