The Shepherds Barn is the definition of ‘off the beaten track,’ nestled secretly on the side of a hill somewhere in the middle of Somerset’s Mendips. That meant that the man and I got to really stretch the Landrover’s legs getting to this little retreat- driving through Dorset, into Somerset and through some proper fields.
It was magic.
A lot of the magic was found in the quiet of this place. Once we had chewed each other’s ears off the only sounds that would break the silence were the call of birds, the baa-ing of sheep or the whistle of the kettle on the stove.
We entertained ourselves like most people did before electricity and technology (the latter the barn did not have while the former was gloriously limited); playing games, reading, talking and eating. Novel huh? Even the eating was done simply. With Cheddar Gorge over the hill, we were obliged to get ourselves some cheddar and were satisfied with that and a hunk of bread for most of our meals. That’s the only time we left our self-created sacred space, to get the essentials.
The rolling hills we were nestled within are famously infused with magic and are undeniably beautiful, as too are the towns of Glastonbury and Wells just over the hill. But, this time, the lure of the Shepherds barn and a log fire were more inviting than Somerset’s tourist trail.
Exploring is undoubtedly one of my favourite things but sometimes what I need most is to unplug and retreat- a lesson I’m slowly learning in an attempt to be good to myself. That’s what this holiday was; long chats had over slow food taken next to the fire. Only when it went out would we usher ourselves to bed and to sleep.
If you need to catch your breath and unplug, do it at the Shepherd’s barn– we will most certainly be back.
(These photographs were taken slowly on my beloved film camera- an art that teaches me about going slow and making mistakes)