A Visit from Secret World

14 November 2017

We were visited today by two owls from Secret World at Highbridge.

We were visited today by two owls from Secret World at Highbridge. A barn owl called Zazoo and a tawny owl called Star. Both owls were bred in captivity so were dependent on humans and were very calm and comfortable being shown to the residents. Although the residents were not allowed to stroke them they were enthralled by how beautiful their feathers were and mesmerised by their eyes and the swivelling of necks (usually just when trying to get a photograph). Star and Zazoo visited residents in their rooms and went out to see the residents in the bungalows which was much appreciated.

A further visit from the owls and a snake has been requested and arranged.

Forthcoming events for 2017

13 November 2017

November 28th 2pm
Always a favourite we’re very pleased to welcome back the Flashback Theatre who put on shows designed especially for us the residents enjoy getting involved and becoming part of the show.

December 8th 2pm
A Christmas visit to Monkton Elm garden Centre who always make us so welcome. We’re looking forward to our tea and mince pies again this year.

December 12th 2pm
Icing the Christmas cake.

December 15th 5pm
Carols by candlelight another favourite with everyone, getting us into the Christmas spirit.

December 20th 2pm
The Annual Old Vicarage Christmas party!

Ukulele from the Ukuladies!

3 November 2017

Today saw the visit from Lesley; a member of staff, three of her friends and their ukuleles. Great interest was shown in the types and sounds of the different ukuleles, soprano, concert and tenor. Soon the lounge was filled with the sound of the 'Ukuladies' playing and singing well known songs, with the residents joining in and tapping their feet. A lively discussion followed the singing about music and dancing and requests for songs they want to hear next time.

Lesley said- 'next time they want us back, we'd better do some more rehearsing!'

A Visit from Willow

31 October 2017

Willow visited several residents in their rooms (followed by a lady with a bucket) as well as everyone in the lounge. His beautiful eyes, soft muzzle and friendliness was enjoyed by all. Willow was also very appreciative of the offered carrot and the green grass he nibbled when on his way to visit the residents in the bungalows. Before too long it was time for Willow to leave as he was off to visit a school.

A Very Special 100th Birthday!

30 September 2017

Congratulations and celebrations were enjoyed by all.

Steve Holford entertained everyone with his lovely singing amongst beautiful birthday balloons. We all enjoyed the most lovely birthday tea and several birthday cakes. A very memorable day and we're still enjoying the balloons and bunting!

Harvest Festival

26 September 2017

A collection of colourful leaves, autumn flowers, chestnuts, acorns, apples and berries were used to decorate the lounge and dining room in preparation for the harvest festival service. The residents enjoyed helping and arranging some of the foliage.


19 September 2017

Visited by 3 young alpacas.

A huge thank you to Steve and Sally Baker from 'Stoke Wood Alpacas' for enthralling the residents and staff with these beautiful animals. We were visited by 3 young alpacas who were so friendly, allowing the residents to stroke them and they behaved so well in the house visiting residents in their own rooms. One even climbed the stairs for the first time to visit those upstairs!

They created many smiles and lots of conversation and questions. Their fleece is much softer than sheep fleece and doesn't itch when next to the skin. Steve and Sally brought some beautiful goods with them that had been made from their animals fleece and everyone commented on how silky and soft the 'bag of fleece' felt.

Steve and Sally kindly invited the residents to their farm to see the baby alpacas, so we're planning our trip over to Stoke St Mary very soon... we can't wait!

Steve Holford Visits

22 August 2017

Always a favourite at The Old Vicarage

Steve Holford visited again always a favourite at The Old Vicarage. Steve sings a wide variety of songs, ballads, fun ones and ones that get the feet tapping. It was lovely to see some of the residents dancing and everyone enjoyed reminiscing as the memories came flooding back.

Steve Walters Visit

24 January 2017

Steve Walters entertained us with his unique brand of humour, keyboard playing and song. He sang some ballads, sing a longs and had us all tapping our feet and joining in with him. His jokes and anecdotes about his entertaining aboard cruise ships caused much hilarity.

Minehead Railway Station

30 September 2016

Tea at the Turntable Cafe

As it was such a warm September afternoon it was decided that we would make our way to Minehead railway station for tea at the Turntable cafe.

There we were warmly welcomed and enjoyed a delicious selection of cakes, tea and coffee sitting in the sunshine. When a steam engine pulled into the station memories came flooding back of years gone by resulting in lively conversation and reminiscence.

Some gifts were purchased in the station shop and all too soon it was time to leave after watching the train pull out of the station on it's way back to Bishops Lydeard.

The journey both ways was a pleasure looking at the trees and hedgerows resplendent in their autumn colours, the fields being prepared ready for replanting and wondering what crops would be sown. Back home in time to join a 99th birthday celebration. More cake!

Trip to Donniford Farm

13 May 2016

The sun was shining when we set off after lunch for our trip to Donniford Farm Park, a particular favourite of everyone's.

Running free were ducks, turkeys and chickens among them a particularly handsome cockerel strutting about. As usual the favourites were the meerkats but amusingly there was a wolf and movie theme tune whistling cockatiel which was very entertaining. After looking at the many interesting items for sale and some shopping in the farm shop we gathered in the café for a very delicious cream tea which was enjoyed by all.

We travelled home looking at the scenery and passing places which for some evoked good, not so good and a few funny memories which were shared amongst us all.


20 December 2015

Christmas at the Old Vicarage, Stockland Bristol

My mother moved from Oxford to live at the Old Vicarage Residential Care Home in May 2013 when she could no longer manage on her own – even with twice-daily carer’s visits. Trips up and down the motorway at weekends, filling the freezer with ready meals (and home made fish pie!), doing a bit of cleaning etc while trying to do justice to my own family here and a demanding job just weren’t sustainable and we were all losing out.

Mum has her own self contained bungalow adjoining the house and we have made it as homely as possible, bringing things from the Oxford house prior to its sale and of course I can visit more or less everyday, being so close.

Each Christmas the main house is beautifully decorated including a large lit Christmas tree in the main entrance hall and one of the staff goes to great efforts to create a candlelit atmosphere in the main living room for Christmas Carols. This year I joined in with Mum and it was lovely residents choosing their favourites and us all singing together joined by a few friendly local choir members.

I’m not sure how the idea came about but for the first time this Christmas the majority of the staff and several family members were somehow persuaded to put on a short Nativity for the residents and donned an array of costumes – either home made or improvised (it just wouldn’t be the same without shepherds in tea towels and kings in bedspreads and curtains) but a very game kitchen helper also agreed to be the donkey with a fine set of ears. However the star of the show has to be the baby Jesus Himself played impeccably by real live baby Oscar, the grandchild of one of the staff. His two older brothers also did brilliantly as Joseph and a shepherd not forgetting the sweet little lamb played by young Ashleigh, a member of staff’s niece. Indeed the atmosphere was suitably moving and they all did Carol the organiser and Reader proud. It conveyed the spirit of the Old Vicarage with everyone helping out and joining in to do their best for those residents no longer able to stay in their own homes or able to travel out easily to outside events.

Thank you and well done everyone.

Caroline Hawkes

Monkton Elm Garden Centre Trip

10 December 2015

We were greeted by an array of beautiful Christmas illuminations.

We set off for our trip to Monkton Elm Garden Centre all wrapped up against the awful weather. Driven I must say very ably and considerately by Kevin. There we were greeted by an array of beautiful Christmas illuminations and once inside our senses overwhelmed by the wonderful smell of Christmas trees and so many lovely things to look and marvel at. Then there were the animals, two delightful piglets who squealed and rushed about playing in their straw, two miniature ponies, a ewe and her lambs and last but not least a gorgeous donkey.

Back inside for refreshments, next to the Christmas tree the staff had laid us a table complete with crackers, mince pies, chocolates and served us with a very welcome hot drink. The atmosphere was very festive and enjoyed by all.

Just time for a bit of Christmas shopping then back home via Bridgwater town centre to marvel at the display of lights especially at the Cornhill. When we returned to the Vicarage the decorations had been put up and the tree illuminated, what a welcoming sight.

Blackmore Farm Shop

17 September 2015

A trip to Blackmore Farm Shop.

Septembers trip took us to Blackmore Farm shop where some residents did a bit of shopping, we then all enjoyed one of their delicious ice creams before heading of to the Quantocks for our picnic.

The colours of the gorse and the heather in full bloom was an absolute delight to see, a shower of rain earlier making the colours all the more vibrant. One comment was how wonderfully fresh the air was, maybe due to the slight autumnal nip in the air.

We travelled home taking a route through Nether Stowey which was familiar to some residents pointing out places where their relatives or they had lived, worked or socialised which made for interesting conversation throughout the rest of the journey.

Blue Anchor Trip

13 August 2015

August's trip took us again to Doniford Farm Park by popular request.

There again we enjoyed tea and cupcakes after enjoying the sunshine and looking at the various animals, the Meerkats hardly surprising were the favourites. Before leaving we looked around the farm shop at the cards, gifts and delicious goodies on sale some of which couldn't be resisted. Then it was time to wend our way home in time for supper.

Blue Anchor Trip

9 July 2015

Picnic basket packed with tea and cakes we set off for a trip to Blue Anchor for an ice cream.

A scenic drive from Stockland Bristol especially along the coast road from Watchet which was enjoyed by all. On arrival there was a fish and chip van on the promenade, all thoughts of ice creams quickly vanished and chips were the order of the day. We sat in the mini bus and ate our chips with the wonderful smell of salt and vinegar wafting around us. There were people exercising their dogs on the beach, children playing and the sea so far out we wondered if it was still there. After our chips we then had tea and cakes and fully sated we then meandered back through the lanes home.

Doniford Farm Park

25 June 2015

On the 25th June we set off for a visit to Doniford Farm Park near Watchet.

There we met various free range chickens and ducks some with chicks and ducklings which was very entertaining. There were many animals to see, food available to buy to feed them which we did, the goats being particularly amusing. After looking around at some of the displays of old garden, farm and domestic implements which everyone could remember being in use and reminisced about, we went inside for refreshments. In the farm shop some individuals bought cards, biscuits and items for presents and generally enjoyed looking at all that was on offer. Time to go home then just in time for the evening meal.

Trip to Monkton Elm Garden Centre

12 December 2014

A wonderful afternoon to share a piece of winter wonderland.

With the support of some wonderful volunteers, we had a lovely trip out to Monkton Elm Garden Centre. It was lovely to see all the animals and to get up nice and close to the donkeys, although Lesley got a bit close when one decided to sneeze! A big thank you to the lovely staff at Monkton Elm who laid on a wonderful spread of tea and mince pies. Thank you to everyone for making it such a success!

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