Monday, April 06, 2015

... now that April's there ...

Frome is fashionable for its quirky independent coffee-houses ~ Garden Cafe, River House, Crocker & Wood and Divas to name but a few ~ so you'd expect a frisson of disapproval at the sudden arrival of a chain in our central precinct. A bit like a duck flying into a cattery, perhaps. But the Cordero Lounge, combining cafe with restaurant and bar, opened last week with no dissident voices raised at the massive launch party. This new venue is a tardis, its deceptively short frontage extending endlessly on two levels, both with glamorous decor and lighting. Looks set to be a great addition- especially on Independent Market day when streets overspill with sellers, customers, and the simply curious.
This Sunday we didn't match the density of last month's gridlock, to general relief, so it was far more pleasant browsing the vast selection of stalls, with live music from Frome FM and local writers on the Frome Writers' Collective stall.
Sara Vian with Shehzad Abbas played at the Archangel in the afternoon and Words at the Black Swan poetry group met to write in response to the amazing work of local artists aged 10 to 18 in the Young Open exhibition.
More music to end the day from the monthly Jazz Jam at the Cornerhouse ~ exceptionally good, with several local musicians joining Simon Sax's quartet.
The long weekend of Spring concludes for most of Frome ~ and for much of the southwest too, from the standstill traffic  ~ with Mells Daffodil day.  Mells is only three miles from the town, so the easiest way to visit is on foot through Vallis Vale,  a beautiful walk on the first really warm day of the year as the path follows the river past moss-thick banks shining with celandine, with wild garlic already beginning to scent the air.
The bucolic sounding name of this event is misleading: there are daffodils on the banks of the village, true, and a sprinkling of morris men, but the streets are stiff with stalls and the fields filled with all the paraphernalia of festival: fairground, beer tents, bands, portaloos...  Entry between these two sections is through the graveyard via a slit in the wall only wide enough for one at a time, and it was impressive to see the English politeness of people queuing on both sides as they negotiated with those equally desirous of moving in the other direction. Apart from those who leapt over the church wall, of course.
And Frome Writers' Collective has, amazingly, completed its first year as a support group for all things writerly in the town. The informal monthly meeting upstairs at the Three Swans, saw a (semi)formal handover of The Chair, from Tighe O'Connor to Sue Watts, among other activities like creating a mayoral chain out of haiku.
I'm ending this post with a picture from Stourhead Gardens, just because I like it.  Just another reason at this time of year to always look on the bright side of life...

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