Click on image to BUY How To Survive In Somerset | published by Halsgrove
"A warm, funny Book."
Charles Wood is passionate about Somerset; an English county rich of landscape if not of wallet; easy on the eyes even if you have to rub them occasionally. Take a stroll on a bright morning as cows mooch in buttercup meadows and bees drone amongst cider apple blossom, you would rightly think this an idyll of milk and honey; an inspiration for the poetic. However peer a little closer and you’ll discover the need for caution.
There are many dangers. A pheasant may arrive on your lap through the open car window. Alternatively you could become puggle ‘eaded, run down by hunters in pursuit of a rag, stung by a dumbledore, tupped by a hobby horse, consume badger stew or radioactive fish, be bonked by a cricket ball or have rigor mortis at a bus stop. And then there are the dialect gossipers often predisposed to act a little oddly; characters who seem almost organically grown from the soil, be it upon high moor, hilltop, levels or coast who share tales of red deer, hare and eel.
However both the places and the people are haplessly submitting to the meddling and uniformity that pervade England today. Progress is beginning to nibble. A blend of the satirical and the poignant, this is book for the long suffering local, the goggle-eyed grockle, the filmstar bearing guns, the well-heeled city type seeking rustic charm, or merely the inquisitive intrigued by ‘How to Survive in Somerset’.
Click on image to BUY Surviving Another Somerset Year | published by Halsgrove
Somerset is undergoing a continental drift unseen in Glastonbury’s mystical mists. The naming of America has something to do with a county camel, and throughout our rural idyll, strange grass grows as high as an elephant’s eye, whilst sheep get inferiority complexes from alpacas. Even woolly pigs are now out there. Within our towns, pubs are being replaced by coffee bars and barmaids morph into baristas. Without spelling it out, surely this cannot be legal. And such is the cost of food, a security van might be a better option than plastic bags to carry our groceries home. Indeed, these are times of change.
Click on image to BUY Exmoor Amour | published by Halsgrove
At the time of year when the red deer stags were bolving, days were falling in, and chiggy-pigs had ensconced themselves in the damp dark of cottage squinches, rumours had come, blown in with the draughts, of snow machines, of waterspitting dinosaurs, of hovering helicopters and low-flying jets, of farmers having teddy troubles and of bibblers cuddling grouse. Apparently the ‘Aksmoar’ weasel patrols were proving alarmingly ineffective.
Charles Wood heaved himself upright from beside the cold-summered stove. Having washed his coal-grubby hands, pulled a log splinter from his thumb and whinged about a broken toe stubbed on the banister, he made a decision to emerge from behind his warped blue front door and make sure all was still well in the world of jodhpurs, antler men and fishers.
His emotion spring had begun to flow again. It was the ‘Ex’ in Exmoor that made things so disconcerting. Long ago he ceased to refer to the place as ‘it’ but as ‘her’. And now, like an old flame, memories of her still burned happily after a lengthy separation. And then, on the other hand, not so happily – like a grockle fire that makes charcoal of heather and gorse. Such are the foibles of the heart – of amour.
Click on image to BUY Charles Wood's Somerset Quiz Book | published by Halsgrove
Drawing from the small print of history and personal experience Charles Wood teases and warms hearts in this entertaining Somerset Quiz Book. This is an ideal companion for goggle-eyed grockles and inquisitive settlers wondering what they have let them-selves in for – and a useful refresher for natives whose history, geography and just about everything else leans toward ciderous befuddlement.
"Tis a lovely way to whet appetites without getting too muddy,” says Charles, whose passion for scribbling snippets over his many years as a filmmaker, writer and broadcaster shines out from these quizzical pages. From dialect delights to mystical mists, and boundary edge to good old-fashioned head scratching, this Somerset tester will earn a good degree of enlightenment.
Through undiluted humour and passion Charles Wood is one of Somerset’s most outspoken defenders. He lives in Wiveliscombe, a hands-in-pocket amble away from the weasel patrols of Somerset’s western border.
Click on image to BUY Charles Wood's Second Somerset Quiz Book | published by Halsgrove
After the happy head scratching over his Somerset Quiz Book, and by public demand, it’s high time for Charles Wood to become quizzical again and do his level best to tease and entertain once more in this Somerset Quiz Book Mark 2.
Full of helpful hints and nudges, and with 200 questions ranging from arty-farty to local verbiage, and from sporting prowess to pure buggerbiddle, this new Somerset tester will earn further degrees of enlightenment.
© 2017 Charles Wood
Bats and Belters - A light-hearted novel about village cricket was published by Halsgrove, Autumn 2014.
Another Somerset Century The book that's found its way into the Lord's library earns three 5-star Amazon reviews: 'A very good read, by a brilliant author. The best of the SCCC books that have come out for a while.' 18/11/13. 'Tackles all the the recent stories from numerous runner's up finishes to major ground and personnel changes.' 12/12/13. An enjoyable read for a Somerset supporter or fan of cricket. The sort of book one can pick up, read a bit, and return to with ease.' 20/12/13.
My documentary film Nature's Alchemy was selected for participation in the Culture Unplugged online festival Spirit Enlightened 2014.
Tales From The Green Man's Daughter - Digital Album released 20.08.12
Cricket blog attracts attention. Read
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Bats Pads and Cider
How To Survive In Somerset
Surviving Another Somerset Year