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Thursday 16 January 2020

Shepton Mallet Prison

The former Shepton Mallet Prison (also known as Cornhill) , was at its time of closing in 2013, the UK's oldest operating prison.

First opened in 1625, HMP Shepton Mallet has been home to men, women and children through different periods of history, in reportedly, dreadful conditions.

Since 2017 the former prison has been open to the public and if you are a fan of abandoned builings, penal history or simply looking for something to do on a rainy day in Somerset, it's well worth a visit.

We took a self guided tour which meant we could explore the whole prison under our own steam and on the day that we visited there was no one else around. Perfect for photography.

Shepton Mallet Prison Abandoned Buildings

Shepton Mallet Prison

Shepton Mallet Prison cell

Shepton Mallet Prison spooky

Shepton Mallet Prison crumbling cell block

Haunted Shepton Mallet Prison

Pre booking is advised for the former officer guided tours, but be quick, the site will be redeveloped in the not too distant future.
Visit for more information.

Friday 24 February 2017

Best True Crime Podcasts

2017 is apparently the year of the podcast but if you, like me have been listening for years you might be left wondering why it's taken so long for the rest of humanity to catch up?
There are shows out there about every subject you can think of (and then some) but today I'm sharing my Best True Crime Podcasts - in no particular order.

Last Podcast On The Left 
This is where the true crime genre started for me after stumbling upon a couple of episodes about my all time favourite serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. They have episodes on all of the heavy hitters along with demons, aliens and a spattering of cults all twisted up to make something that you really shouldn't be laughing at. Entertaining, very funny and highly addictive despite the dark subject matter.

Last podcast on the left

Follow on Twitter, FacebookInstagram. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher & SoundCloud

Widely regarded as the leading true crime podcast. Serial season 1 has been downloaded over 68 million times. The twelve episode season investigates the murder of Hae Min Lee, an eighteen-year-old student from Baltimore and the ensuing trial debacle of her accused murderer Adnan Syed. It's an addictive, must download, sorry tale for everyone involved.

Serial Podcast

Follow on Twitter & Facebook. Listen on iTunes.

Currently at the top of my favourite podcast list. Real Crime Profile takes a completely different route and honours the victims of cases where the accused's stories have taken the voice. 
Hosted by Laura Richards (formerly of New Scotland Yard and Founder of Paladin, National Stalking Advocacy Service), Jim Clemente (former FBI profiler) and Lisa Zambetti (Criminal Minds Casting Director) they take an in-depth look at all aspects of the cases they cover including profiling, investigation and trial. I have to say that their series of episodes on the Meredith Kercher murder totally changed my view on the guilt of Amanda Knox. Don't take for granted what is printed in the mainstream media people!

Real Crime Profile Podcast

Follow on Twitter & Facebook. Listen on iTunes & SoundCloud.

Hailed as Australia's first True Crime Podcast, Casefile really doesn't disappoint. Famous Aussie cases such as Katherine Knight, Snowtown and the Family Murders are interjected with cases from around the world. Whilst I love my 'heavy hitters' and famous local crimes, it's great to discover new cases and especially in a soothing Australian drawl.
Start from episode 1 and binge listen to them all!

Casefile Podcast

Follow on Twitter & Facebook. Listen on iTunes.

Sword & Scale
Dark and often unsettling, Sword & Scale covers some of the most disturbing, ugly, crimes imaginable. Well researched and highly addictive, you may find yourself binge listening yourself into shadowy corner but boy is it worth it. One of my favourite episodes is the shocking tale of Claudinnea 'Dee Dee' Blancharde and her disabled daughter Gyspy. If you enjoy that episode keep a look out for the HBO documentary on the case coming soon.

Sword & Scale Podcast

Follow on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram. Listen on iTunes & Stitcher

Court Junkie
Court Junkie host Jillian LP covers a range of interesting cases by sinking herself deep into  investigations and the resulting trials. Well researched and well produced. Throw yourself in at episode one rather then dibbing in and out so you can catch updates on cases already covered.

Court Junkie Podcast

Follow on Facebook. Listen on iTunes & Stitcher.

New Podcasts to look out for..
Wine & Crime Podcast - This recently popped onto my radar but with a name combining two of my favourite things I have big hopes for this brand new show. 
Follow on TwitterFacebook. Listen on iTunes & SoundCloud.

S-Town - New from the makers of Serial and This American Life. It promises to be another addictive plot with many twists and turns.

I've also just discovered Up and Vanished. I've just about finished binge listening the first season and it's a must one to add to your regular listening. Focussing on the unsolved missing person case of Tara Grinstead, it's packed with twists and turns that will have you hooked be the end of the first episode. Fantastically narrated and beautifully produced. This case and pod are must follows.
Follow on Twitter & Facebook. Listen on iTunes  & Spotify.

Do you have any other true crime podcast recommendations? Please leave them in the comments.

Sunday 21 August 2016

Camp Bestival Top 10 Best Bits

I know that I say this every year and at the risk of sounding like a stuck record, Camp Bestival 2016 was simply awesome. Here's a rundown of my favourite bits.

#1 - Food

Camp Bestival Food

From the culinary delights of the Feast Collective to sausage pops and noodles back at camp, the food at Camp Bestival never fails to impress. We all have our staple festi-favourites but did we did expand our horizons this year and managed not to polish off 11 pizzas like we did last year!

#2 - The World's Biggest Bouncy Castle

The World's Biggest Bouncy Castle

The queue looked scarily long but we decided to hit it early on Sunday morning before the festival got into full swing. We queued for about half an hour. When I say we, I really mean everyone except for me as I decided on a cocktail for breakfast and well, someone needed to film it didn't they?

#3 - Costumes

ET at Camp Bestival

I'm not one for dressing up but I loved seeing all of the space themed costumes at this years festival. Alien families, Star Wars families, Dr Who, ET, space ship wagons, Dr Who... some of them were epic and obviously took hours to make. Very impressive and something I can only aspire to.

#4 - Silent Disco

Silent Rave Camp Bestival 2016

If you've never been to a silent disco you are quite simply missing out on one of music's greatest inventions. Two live DJ's play different tunes and you choose which one you listen to via your headphones. Simple and fabulous.
The secret is obviously getting out because the queues for this years silent offerings were epic. Even when we wearily made our way back to camp at 2.30am the queue was still weaving across the field. 

#5 - Camp Crew

Camp Bestival crew

For me Camp Bestival is all about time with my friends. We don't live close to each other and we don't see each other nearly enough. I love how are little crew are all solid friends and from the moment that we rock up in the car park we are working as a team. It's not just the adult friendships, our children all love each other to bits too. My teens pitch in looking after the little ones whilst they look up to them in awe. 
In all honesty, I don't think I would enjoy the festival as much if I wasn't with my crew. They are quite simply the best people to share the experience with.

#6 - Cocktails

Camp Bestival cocktails

I'm not sure how it happened but I didn't get to the Jam Jar bar until Sunday morning. A breakfast martini later and balance was restored!

#7 - DJ Oz

DJ Oz Camp Bestival

One of the weekend highlights was our little Oz taking to the decks to perform his summertime DJ set over at the First Choice Holidays Holiday Island. He literally lifted the roof with his cuteness overload and made us all extremely proud.

#8 - Scummy Mummies

Scummy Mummies at Camp Bestival

Having met the Scummy Mummies at the Brancott Estate #VirtualVines party on Thursday night their Saturday show really didn't disappoint. If you aren't familiar with their work and like a good chuckle they really are worth checking out

#9 - Fireworks

Camp Bestival Fireworks

The fireworks are without a doubt one of the Camp Bestival highlights and something that we all look forward to. This year with a ban on trolleys at the main stage we decided to hang around by the big wheel. Whilst the view was great we couldn't hear the audio which was a shame but at least we know that we need to get a better spot next year.

#10 - Best Friends

Best friends Camp Bestival 2016

We chat all day, every day but with work and family commitments the distance between my best friend and I might as well be a million miles. Over the last few years Camp Bestival has become our annual get together and for those five days we spend as much time together as possible. We stay up late, we wake up early, we dance, we talk the utter crap that only each other will listen to, we drink, we cook and we laugh - a lot. I couldn't ask for a better best friend.

Adult Weekend Ticket – £175*
Student Weekend Ticket – £165*
Age 13 to 17 Weekend Ticket – £105*
Age 10 to 12 Weekend Ticket – £80*
Age 5 to 9 Weekend Ticket – £30*
Age 4 & Under Weekend Ticket – £10*
Babes In Arms (1 & Under) – FREE (but ticket required)*
*All tickets include camping from Thursday

Camp Bestival Official Blogger

As a Camp Bestival official blogger I was given a family weekend ticket to attend. However, all views are my own.

If you would like to read more about this years Camp Bestival head over to My Two Mums & Just Me Kirsty.

Monday 2 November 2015

15 Minutes With You Review

It has to be said that I'm partial to a good book and the most recent addition to my collection, 15 Minutes With You by Julie Hamill doesn't disappoint.

15 Minutes With You

The fact that Morrissey has managed to remain somewhat of an enigma, is just one of the reasons that my love for him has done nothing but grow over the last thirty years. 
I'm with the author in never wanting to intrude or wade through his rubbish. But like countless other fans, I want to know everything about him. I want to know who the real Morrissey is.

In 15 Minutes With You, Hamill pulls together twenty-four, easy to digest interviews about The Smiths and Morrissey, from a host of famous fans and music collaborators. 

Preston 15 mins with you

I love this book. It mades me feel like I'm 15 again with a copy of Strangeways, Here We Come (vinyl) in my hands for the first time. 

Warm, witty and beautifully packaged in a touchy-feely soft jacket. It is worthy of a place on any Morrissey fan's coffee table. 

If you don't already have a copy, get it on your Christmas list.

Available from Amazon.

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