Hello, it’s been a while since my last column, I hope you’ve all been doing well. Last time I left you in the capable hands of the Deputy Mayor Sara Butler because I started a new job with many new responsibilities and felt I needed to take time off and really dig in fully for the first couple of weeks, so I wanted to say a massive thank you to Sara for stepping in and delivering such a fantastic and positive column. I’ll be moving – not out of town! – in the next few weeks so it’s highly likely that y’all will be hearing everything about Deputy Sara’s mayoral adventures again soon!
Talking of the new job, I’m happy to tell you that I’m absolutely loving my new job as a Learning Support Assistant at North Hill House School. The school specialises in Autism, ADHD and specialist educational needs. I cannot tell you a great deal about the students I work with as safeguarding and privacy are paramount, but I can tell you that the group of students I have been assigned to work with on a consistent basis have been charming, fun, talented and funny. It’s been a great learning curve over the past couple of weeks and I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed every day of it so far. There have been challenging moments and there will be even more challenging moments on the road ahead I’m sure but I’m part of a fantastic team that has made me feel very welcome. I’ve been kept in the loop, given great advice and generally had a fairly easy integration into the team and the culture it promotes.
It’s been a little on the quiet side for me recently as I’ve been settling into my new job and recording my weekly episodes of The Giant Pod podcast, but I did want to extend a thank you to James Parsons from the Dissenters Cemetery for inviting me to their open day. I brought my favourite cemetery enthusiast Sascha and her son Lucien with me, and we had a great time enjoying a guided tour full of fascinating history along with beautifully macabre stories of exploring family crypts and how some of its guests arrived for their more permanent residence. Many of Frome’s notable names and characters have been laid to rest here over its long history and it’s always a sobering reminder of what we have to lose, and to live our lives to the fullest because as one of my heroes, the great Christopher Hitchens once said, “The grave will provide plenty of time for silence.” James and the team do such a marvellous job of maintaining the grounds and there is a lot of fantastic work planned for the stunning little chapel soon as well. I really would urge you to take a stroll around the Dissenters Cemetery soon to appreciate what a beautifully peaceful, fascinating and historical place it is. We fell in love with it and it’s definitely a very special spot that we are certain to visit again…. Sooner or later.