It's been a cracking summer holiday, the spell being momentarily broken today by Clark's shoe shop and the continuous rain. We had a fantastic week in Somerset my home county - it's an honest part of the world, a more real place than that of Sussex. Somerset is a bit grittier, if that's such a word, more raw, slightly harsher and reveals a sense of calm. As much as I like being a Sussex Mama I am always relieved to reach the West Country, to be rid of the twee-ness and commuter belt feel.
Watchet is a great place to visit. It is charming and I think I could live there with its ancient harbour, brown mud-coloured sea and views across to Wales. I love the coastline with its distinctive red cliffs and alabaster caves, the beaches are a stone-foragers delight hiding fools gold and fossils for the lucky seekers. We wandered along the narrow harbour wall meeting a red lighthouse at the end and watched some young people dive into the harbour waters with their clothes on. It looked like a lot of fun. We talked to a man catching an eel, its snake like body getting caught in the line as he tried to release him.
"Poor bugger's already been caught today!" he exclaimed taking 2 hooks from the eels mouth.
He threw it back into the silty water hoping for an eight pound sea bass next time. We talked local fish, sustainability, fishing with nets and using mud-horses. He took the time to explain to us the intricacies of fishing in the famous lilting accent, he seemed to have that time and didn't mind sharing his knowledge with us. It felt like such a privilege.
The tiny museum held treasures free for the visitor to look at, an old sea swimming pool which was free for anyone to use and to our delight, a free art workshop for the children to practice their fabric painting and flag designs. It felt like everyone we met felt proud of their village and genuinely wanted us to share its gems. Somerset ain't no Cornwall - but I know where I would rather be.