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The great news is that the sluggish broadband our guests used to endure is no more! Rural Somerset is beautiful of course, but there was nothing beautiful about the slow internet speeds this location imposed. We have therefore invested heavily in a private direct-to-the-exchange fibre-optic line providing speeds of up to 100mbps. So, whether you want to stream Netflix, browse the web or video conference with corporate HQ in New York, this is the place to be. We are thrilled at this new facility and we hope our guests will be too.

"There's no such thing as bad weather - only the wrong clothes" is a sentiment we like very much. In it's own way, Somerset is every bit as beautiful in winter as it is in summer and for those souls brave enough to don the old waxed jacket, a knitted scarf and a pair of green wellies (or any other colour for that matter), there is a real treat in store.

We were thrilled recently to learn that rock band The Darkness were shooting a video close by - even moreso when they decided to stay with us for a few days during the shoot. We hope it won't damage their rock n' roll credentials too much when we disclose that they were wonderful guests. The band's front man/lead vocalist/guitar player Justin Hawkins was kind and gracious enough to take selfies with some of the children staying here, and not to be outdone, Maria and our daughter Isabella got in on the act as he was leaving. Great band - lovely people.

For me, the most magical place at Oldford Farm is the old Roman ford. It doesn't just change with the seasons - or even daily - it changes by the hour when the light changes, the volume of water in the river goes up or down, or the wind changes direction. It's like a magical grotto down there and I often hit the mute button on my phone and go there just to listen to the water and think. I think about the 2,000 years of history and of the people that have crossed there, and I think of what life was like for them. It's a marvellously calming antidote for the pressures of the modern world, and I heartily recommend it to our guests.

A great day for Harry & Sally - 8 beautiful cygnets hatched today and already swimming in the river.

I hadn't seen Harry the previous day in his normal feeding spot, so I was anxious to make sure everything was ok. I was hopeful his absence could be because he was busy guarding his brood and as I approached their nest was greeted by both Harry and Sally. Following close behind were the most adorable, noisy, fluffy, and healthy looking babies imaginable, and all clearly hungry. Apparently, eight is a very large number for swans to hatch. I just hope they all make it to adulthood.

Watch this space!

 

 

The combination of the river and ponds at Oldford Farm creates a magnet for wildlife of all kinds and especially birds, which are here in great numbers. This is Harry navigating the Old Ford with his usual aplomb, and looking beautiful while doing it. His partner Sally (I admit it, I name all the birdsĀ  after characters in my favorite movies) is occupying the nest, waiting for her cygnets to hatch.

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