Graeme Elmore at the Shrine of Our Lady of Glastonbury:

I decided to go to the early mass at The Shrine of our Lady of Glastonbury, and so just before 0800 set off past Somerton and across the Levels in the rain which had been falling for most of the night. The drainage ditches and rhymes are fairly full and water was lying on many of the fields. What cattle were about looked fairly miserable in the sodden fields and the lone heron I spotted on a jetty looked quite bedraggled. As the lane twisted around through a small wood there was the magnificent Glastonbury Tor rising through the low cloud over the Vale of Avalon. The sight of the Tor always pulls one up short and is a reminder of the ancient history of this place and the legends of the visits of Joseph of Aramathea and tales of the young Jesus himself accompanying his uncle who came here to trade.

The Church of Our Lady of Glastonbury is just across the way from the ruined Abbey where – who knows – it is said the remains of King Arthur himself and his beautiful Queen are laid in holy ground. It really is the stuff of legends and keeps the pilgrims coming in. The town itself is a wealth of shops purveying alternative religions, cults, witchcraft, Wicca and more – and loads of folk with Rastafarian-style hair and Earth Mothers of both sexes wearing floral shirts/ frocks, John Lennon spectacles and open-toes sandals, all taking advantage of the ancient Christian legends and Camelot.

As I left the Church of O.L. of G the bells of the Anglican Parish Church of S John were ringing in full peal – the town seemed to be re-claiming its Christian heritage from the occultists.

As I drove back to Ilchester the hilltops of the Quantocks looked black in the rain clouds. The hills are largely covered by open heathland which descends into areas of broadleaved woodland, forestry and farmland. Many combes, or valleys, each with distinct characteristics, cut into the side of the hills with villages and hamlets dotted around the lower slopes. It is a wonderul part of the country in whichto live. Got chums in for Sunday roast today – so must cool the champagne, stoke the fire and get the joint into the oven. Tomorrow (Monday) is up to Town by train from Yeovil Junction on the 0820 and driving back tomorrow night in readiness to see the next doc in Bristol on Tuesday afternoon.

Meanwhile I think I’d better slice the lime……well its nearly midday…..