Meet Gainsborough the musician in Horsington church

Tomas Gainsborough was also a gifted musician

Horsington Church is staging a concert on Sunday July 16th with an interesting and unusual theme – Thomas Gainsborough’s Musical Friends.

Thomas Gainsborough was an accomplished musician as well as an artist, and painted many of his musical friends and acquaintances, including Charles Frederick Abel, John Christian Bach, John Stanley and members of the Linley family. He played the violin and the harpsichord but had a particular affection for the viola da gamba or bass viol and the lute, then both rare instruments.

Local musician Janet Coles, an accomplished and well-known cellist, is joined by David Jewel on the Flute and John Davenport on the Spinet (an 18th Century harpsichord) to play a selection of music which would have been enjoyed and played by Gainsborough and his chums.

Readers may recall one of Janet’s earlier concerts, a musical exploration of the life of Parson Woodford. This time the audience will be spared a ham actor impersonating the venerable subject, and instead will see a slide show illustrating aspects of Gainsborough and his life.

A delicious cream tea will follow.

Sunday 16th July, 3pm
St John’s Church, Horsington
Suggested donation £8.00, in aid of church funds.

About Thomas Gainsborough (Wikipedia)

Thomas Gainsborough FRSA (14 May 1727 (baptised) – 2 August 1788) was an English portrait and landscape painter, draughtsman, and printmaker. He surpassed his rival Sir Joshua Reynolds to become the dominant British portraitist of the second half of the 18th century. He painted quickly, and the works of his maturity are characterised by a light palette and easy strokes. He preferred landscapes to portraits, and is credited (with Richard Wilson) as the originator of the 18th-century British landscape school. Gainsborough was a founding member of the Royal Academy.

Silas Silage to make a radio comeback -Updated

Screenshot_NormalAppImage(1)Update: The program will be broadcast at 5 pm. Silas is expected to appear around 5.40

Silas Silage, the Blog’s erstwhile gardening expert (see Blogs passim -Ed) is making a comeback on a new show to be broadcast live on Sherborne’s local radio station, Abbey 104 FM.

He will be appearing on Cat Paterson’s drive time show on Bank Holiday Monday at 6 pm. His subject? Badgers.

The old codger has apparently persuaded the lovely Miss Paterson to accompany him on an all night badger watch.  All we can say is “Watch out Cat”.

The Cat Paterson show is broadcast on Mondays at 6 pm. Abbey Radio is on 104.7 FM in the Sherborne and Yeovil areas, or online at www.abbey104. com. You can also listen to the catch up edition of the show during the week following transmission.

Silas Silage used to write down to earth Blog columns on gardening and country life, and many readers were charmed by his pithy advice and homespun humour. Political correctness was not his strong point. He last wrote for the Blog in 2011, and left after a disagreement over fees. (He wanted us to pay him, we wanted him to pay us -Ed).

Listen to a replay

MPO’s “Sorcerer” now on line

Bloggovision1If you missed it, here’s a chance to catch up with the Milborne Port Opera’s production of “The Sorcerer, now on video, thanks to Geoff Allan.

Wait for a wet afternoon, hook Youtube into your telly and enjoy.

Book Review: Life, the Universe and Everything on holiday

The Blog is venturing into new territory and publishing its first book review. Readers are invited (and encouraged) to send in readable and succinct reviews of books they have recently enjoyed, in order to enhance everyone’s summer reading.

Richard Gaunt writes. . .This is a review of a life changing book. I didn’t choose to read it. It is almost as if it sought me out and thrust itself into my hand. To start with, I didn’t like it.. But then I was hooked.

I was planning to depart on holiday when an email from Amazon popped up. Why not have a free trial of Kindle Unlimited? Why not indeed? You choose a number of books for a 7-day free trial, after which they disappear.   Perfect for a week away, so I signed up.

One book was brilliant-“The Floating Brothel” an account of the transportation of female convicts to Australia in the 1790s. Highly recommended. (No surprises there –Ed.) 

The others were rubbish. But the last one, downloaded at random, and with only 2 days to go before automatic deletion was “Ancient Knowledge”. By an author I’ve never heard of, one George Curtis. Self published by the look of it. I gave it a try. And then began a very interesting couple of days. I learnt the secret of Life, the Universe and Everything, and a lot more besides.

I will tell you the secret of Life the Universe and Everything now. It will save you the bother of buying the book and reading it. The answer is

(AUi)(9/4pi).ln30 – F = (AUo)(3/2pi). 

Or to put it even more simply,

 y = mx + c.

But how the very clever, precise and logical Mr Curtis reaches this conclusion, and what it actually means, is a fascinating and literally earth-shattering (and also amusing and irreverent) treasure hunt which will have you on the hook from the moment you realise where he is going.

I am not going to deprive you of the fun, or Mr Curtis of a very well-deserved royalty, by spilling the beans, other than to say it starts with the Flood, and the Tower of Babel, delivers a startling piece of game-changing logic backed up by detailed proofs which hit you like a thunderbolt, and ends in the present day with a challenge to us all.

It is a not a religious or mystical book in any sense, although it quotes extensively from both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, and it certainly reminds us of who wrote that book, and why. Mr Curtis is an atheist, but Christians will not be offended. He affords the Christ the utmost respect, along with some, but not all, of his followers. Druids, New Agers, Scientologists, Mormons, Quakers and Jehova’s Witnesses will probably feel a bit foolish.

The curious thing about the book is that it does not appear to have been reviewed anywhere else, which is a pity. It looks as if the universities don’t want to know. And Mr Curtis is virtually unknown We wonder if it might be a pseudonym for someone anxious to guard his reputation in other fields?

A brilliant read, and something to discuss over endless pints in the Drinkers’ Arms.

You can get it on Amazon as a e-book, or obtain a  hard copy on line.




if you enjoyed Saturday’s karaoke, you’ll enjoy this

BloggoVisionHow can we get these guys over for the next karaoke session at the Half Moon? An amazing rendition. Earphones on and turn up the volume.


C’mon Everytbody! R+R at the Half Moon 6th February


Related posts:
February 6 is 50’s Karaoke night at the Half Moon
Mrs Badger writes

February 6 is 50’s Karaoke night at the Half Moon

Come and sing your rock n roll favourites at the Half Moon

signpost2Elvis would have been 80 this year. Buddy Holly and the Everley Brothers too. But their music from the 1950s and 60s remains embedded in every teenager from that era’s brain.

A few of us were musing on this theme in the Half Moon the other night. Then someone started singing. Then more joined in. What about Rick Nelson,  Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard? And our own Gene Vincent, Tommy Steele and Adam Faith? (Sorry Cliff!). And the ladies – Patsy Cline, Rosemary Clooney, Lesley Gore, Brenda Lee?

More and more songs came to mind. And a more and more people began to sing. And then a more or less unanimous decision was taken to hold A 50s and 60s Karaoke evening on Saturday 6th February. Andrew readily agreed and confessed he knew a man with a karaoke machine. Job done!

So everyone can come in and strut their stuff, perform, listen and enjoy. For the over 50’s, it’s a chance to re-live their teenage years. For the younger set, it’s a chance to hear (and perform)  some  great vintage music from grandma’s day.

So c’mon everybody! We need solo performers, duos and groups. There will be plenty of microphones. Should be a great party!

Practice your ooo ahs and doobee dooo dahs!

Rock n roll poster40The details
Half Moon Karaoke evening
The Half Moon, Horsington
Saturday 6th February from 9 pm
Food available earlier
Great real ales
Performers of all abilities and experience welcome.
Want some song ideas?
1950s Playlist here
1960s Playlist here
Listen to the music on Spotify – just search for the tune title or artist, and get practising!

The Mad Hatter, Yeovil, has a great range of popstar wigs!

Come and sing in Sherborne with Spectra Musica

SpectraSpectra Musica are holding a Come and Sing Day on Saturday 20th February in Cheap Street Church, Sherborne.

Under the lively and enthusiastic leadership of widely experienced Musical Director Peter Leech, the programme includes Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Requiem and works by Mozart and Bolis.  All are welcome.

For application forms contact Sarah Bignell at or 01935 814997.

This is a wonderful opportunity to fill your lungs and make a great noise with lots of other people. There is well-attested research which shows singing really does boost the spirits, improves the health and chases away those winter blues.

Spectra Musica is a Chamber Choir which rehearses every Tuesday evening from 7.30p.m.-9.30p.m. at the Wincanton Methodist Church.

The Choir gives 3 concerts per year throughout the South West of England concentrating on Somerset and Dorset but is also available for private performances and functions.

Spectra Musica Christmas concert in Bath

SpectraSpectra Musica, which features many local singers,  is holding a Christmas concert at the American Museum, Bath on Saturday 5th December. 7pm.

Tickets from 01225 820866 or email



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