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ISBN: 9780857040657
AUTHOR: Charles Wood
Bats Pads & Cider
Bats Pads & Cider
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“Sleep when you’re dead, play cricket while you’re awake” are the words of advice eagerly followed from Taunton’s County Ground to the many a twenty-two yards treasured down a country lane.

A cider or two in the Three Ferrets can help make sense of a Somerset summer where the green stains on whites are not just from grass but also from the moulds of damp. In the villages there are those who play in the Shrubbery and those who don’t; and where amid the moos of protest from cow corner there are accusations of creating crop circles while ball rummaging in farmers’ meadows.

Call it perverse, but while incredulous tales are told of the valiant knights Sir Beefy and Sir Viv playing hippy cricket, among the counties of Saint George other good men, and women, of Somerset continue to wield willow in defence of a dragon beast flying from a pole.

A county where for lesser mortals a Wurzels ring tone from silly mid on can distract a batter from a beamer and Shep the sheepdog helps stop the runs at third man.

Compiled during the vintage season of 2010, here are vaulted stories and little histories of cricketing characters both famous and, perhaps, not so much, to charm and to wince at between innings, dredged from a cricket mad soggy county that the author loves to his apple core.

Charles Wood gave up the legal profession, and the stress of work in Libya and Hong Kong, yearning for the artistic life. For the past twenty years he has just about managed to avoid wearing a tie to work or getting grubby. Instead, he has preferred to eke out an existence in the Somerset custom of self-employment. As a self-taught documentary filmmaker he has made over thirty films. His Somerset the Summerland and Exmoor – An English Wild Kingdom sold in their tens of thousands. In 1994 he made Somerset County Cricket Club’s first official club video film. His film Dragons – The Story of a Country Parson was broadcast on HTV in 1999. And in 2005 he was the first Englishman to win a documentary film award in the Republic of Moldova. Charles has also found time to be a full-time dad of four, a writer of fairy tales, an illustrator, a part-time college lecturer, a part-time school teacher, an occasional broadcaster on BBC Somerset Sound, and a director of Somerset Film and Video.

He now admits to his enjoyment of cricket and poddling through the lighter side of life’s rich tapestry relieved that he has never been bankrupt.

Charles Wood lives with his family in the Somerset town of Wiveliscombe.

Imprint: Halsgrove. ISBN 978 0 85704 065 7, hardback, 210x148mm, 160 pages. Published May 2011.

Other formats available: Amazon Kindle

Somerset - The Summer LandSomerset - The Summer Land - £9.99
Journey with Charles Wood and discover the secrets and wonders of England’s cider country. Region 0 (all countries) DVD. Approximately 60 minutes running time.
Charles Wood's Somerset Quiz BookCharles Wood's Somerset Quiz Book - £8.99
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. Other formats available: Amazon Kindle
Surviving Another Somerset YearSurviving Another Somerset Year - £12.99
In this sequel to his bestseller, How to Survive in Somerset, Charles Wood ‘desnuglifies’ himself from beneath a Wiveliscombe duvet to rediscover that beyond his warped blue front door the English county he loves is still alive and kicking. Other formats available: Amazon Kindle
Exmoor AmourExmoor Amour - £12.99
Charles Wood's 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 ..... Other formats available: Amazon Kindle
Going Bats in NorfolkGoing Bats in Norfolk - £12.99
With a little help from countless old friends on and off the pitch, Keith Skipper recalls charismatic characters, memorable matches, delectable settings and amusing yarns collected over the golden seasons. Special matches and colourful characters pour out of the pavilion to declare this a perfectly-paced addition to the Skipper series. Other formats available: Amazon Kindle
Web Price: £12.99
15.06 EUR 16.24 USD 21.28 AUD

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