Blog Gem - Somerset Cool
Yay, it's Blog Gem time and I honestly couldn't be more excited to introduce this incredible blogger to you. The super inspiring woman behind Somerset Cool has not only created a blog that you want to go back to, time and time again but she's truly put Somerset back on the map. Her original blog shares all the amazing things you can see and do in this beautiful county, ranging from where to go to taste the best food and drinks to quirky Somerset places to stay in (hello Ted the cabin, I'm looking at you!), beautiful spots to see wildlife and jaw-dropping views, festivals of all shapes and sizes (there is a world outside Glastonbury, you know ;) ), fun creative workshops and so much more! You can also find inspiring features about those individuals that keep Somerset a unique and vibrant county. Seriously, this is the blog to read if you're planning a trip to Somerset and the South West. It's like getting the best tips on what you really shouldn't be missing out on. So, without further ado, let's find out who works her Somerset socks off to bring all that brilliance to you!
Hello there! Can you tell everyone a little bit about you, the face behind Somerset Cool?
Hello, I’m Jenna. I’m tucked away in a stone cottage in Somerset with my husband Graeme, two rescue dogs (Petal - a spoilt, beautiful Lurcher and Flower Pot Noodle - a good-as-gold greyhound) and two beautiful cats (naughty Siamese Boo and gentle Mr Tumnus). I’ve got a garden that’s far too big for my gardening and veg growing abilities (although I did manage to grow melons last year!) and I flipping love fresh air, kicking through Autumn leaves, turning up the 80’s music LOUD, listening to old jazz records on a Sunday morning and writing tons of ideas down in my big notebook - most of which I’ll probably never, ever share. I like doodling, daydreaming and gin and believe wholeheartedly that laughter is the very best medicine.
Where do you blog and what is that space like?
I either blog at the kitchen table with the dogs for company, or in the conservatory so I can see the sky and spot all the different birds that come to the garden to pinch the peanuts! I sometimes blog outside on an old bench overlooking our pond, so I can keep half an eye on the wild ducks and moorhens pottering about. I often blog in bed, with Tumnus the cat purring loudly on my shoulder!
All the places tend to have three things in common – 1) they have animals in them. 2) they’re relaxing places to be and 3) they’re close (ish) to a kettle because basically, I’m fuelled by pretty weak tea! Fancy a cuppa? ;)
If you had to take only one tool to a desert island, what would you choose and why?
A bucket and spade so I could make the island’s largest sandcastle. Hmmm. That’s two tools thinking about it. Maybe I broke the rules and got into big trouble for trying to smuggle in the spade! Send help!! ;)
How do you get inspired to blog?
My blog is all about Somerset - the brilliant people who make awesome things here, the communities and the unique places to visit, stay, eat out and spend time in. It’s about discovering the heart and soul of the county… having adventures and sharing those so that other people can hopefully be inspired by them and think “I fancy going there or trying that”.
So, it’s the people and places in Somerset that inspire me to blog… getting out there, talking to them and seeking out the cool, undiscovered stuff that people might not know about. To me, there’s nothing as inspiring as finding somewhere so special that it gives you goosebumps, or talking to someone so interesting that you can’t wait to sit down and share their story, or trying something new and falling about laughing because you’re not that great at it. That happens a lot when I try out workshops for the blog!!
One of my favourite film quotes also inspires me. Dean Hardscrabble of Monsters University says: “Keep surprising people” - and she might be a make-believe monster, but she definitely knows what she’s talking about! ;)
What top tips would you give to anyone starting a blog?
All I would say is be yourself, write from the heart and don’t worry about who’s going to read it (or if anyone will read it) or what they might think.
Is there a story behind the name, 'Somerset Cool'?
Yeah – a really REALLY simple one! We wanted to move away from our place near London, to have a bit more space and to drink-in the beautiful countryside every day. We discovered Somerset when we were house hunting and thought it was cool. The places we visited and the people we met here were cool and I wanted to shout about that… so, Somerset cool was born a few weeks before we moved in.
If you could go to a Blog Award dinner with any 5 people (dead or alive, real or fictional) who would you choose?
Animal – I love The Muppets and I reckon Animal would probably shout out silly things at exactly the wrong moments during the evening. He’d also play air drums and air drumming is cool. No, it is! Shut up! ;)
Phil Collins – so he could have an ‘air drum-off’ with Animal while the awards were being handed out. Also, my guilty pleasure is dancing to Sussudio when I’ve had a few too many gins, so I’d love to see Phil’s face when that inevitably happens at the awards dinner disco afterwards!
Charlie Connelly – he’s a brilliant writer, storyteller (check out his books) and broadcaster AND he can drink all the rum, so he’d be the perfect person to invite. Not sure he’d thank me for sitting him next to Phil Collins though ;) Sorry mate!
Steve Jenkins & Derek Walter – Have you heard of Esther the Wonder Pig? If not and you love animals, check out Esther’s story and her antics on social media! Steve & Derek are her dads and they’ve created a very special animal sanctuary in Ontario. They seem like amazing people and I’d love to chat the night away with them. If we can smuggle Esther and her best mate Cornelius the Turkey in as well, that’d be ace!
Prince – Sexy MF. We could write lyrics under the table together. Say no more! ;)
And finally...if you had to choose one song to represent 'Somerset Cool', what would it be and why?
‘Move on up’ by Curtis Mayfield. Since we moved and started the blog, we’ve definitely found that there’s no place like home, things have looked up, it’s a killer tune and THIS…
“Just move on up, to a greater day
With just a little faith
If you put your mind to it you can surely do it”.
Then again, ‘I’ve got a brand new combine harvester’ by Somerset legends The Wurzels could be in with a shout!
Thank you so much, Jenna, it's been truly wonderful hearing all about your blogging world and the inspiring Somerset blog that is, Somerset Cool. I definitely want a seat at your Blog Award table, Animal v Phil Collins on drums, not that is a site everyone needs to see! Keep up the fantastic blogging and inspiring features, Jenna, I cannot wait to see where your blog takes you on what is a wonderful and exciting journey.
For those of you who cannot wait to hear about who and where Jenna is writing about next, head to her awesome blog, brilliant Twitter feed and inspiring Instagram page to stay in the loop AND see cute pictures of her beautiful dogs, Flower Pot Noodle and Petal.