Devon & Somerset
18.09.2009 - 22.09.2009
We both flew back to Gatwick airport on 17 Sept via Dubai. We had breakfast at 0300, then stopped for 2 hours at Dubai, taking the opportunity to buy another Canon camera [at 0500!] in the tempting duty free hall We love it! It is much lighter and slimmer than our weighty, but faithful, old PowerShot, and the shutter speed is also much faster. We then had another breakfast at 0700 on the plane, arriving in London at midday. Fortunately we had only 15 minutes to wait for a coach to Heathrow, where we had an hour before our coach to Exeter. While in the bus terminus, a man arrived with a beautiful falcon, which proceeded to fly around the terminus, from point to point, for 45 minutes. The resident pigeons disappeared within seconds! We chatted to the handler who says that their pest-control presence there once a week is enough to prevent the pigeons nesting in the eaves, and also keeps other pests at bay. Very effective and ecological pest control.
It was lovely to see Judy and Rob again, and to marvel at the bounty in their garden.
The van, a.k.a. Mr Stubby, had been booked in for a service on the Saturday; but after starting first time, he would not budge! After breakfast David got Sandi, Rob and Judy to help push, after putting planks under the wheels, but to no avail. Mr Stubby did not want to leave the orchard! We learnt that the brakes had probably locked onto the wheels, so after jacking him up and giving the rims some good hard tapping, David managed to get him moving and off to the garage - at last. When he came back after 3 days, we parked him in the orchard again for the night before our departure. Blow us down if he didn’t have a flat tyre in the morning!
On Sunday we all [D,S, Rob and Judy] drove up to Ebu and Jeremy to join them for their 50th wedding celebration. Their son, Dominic, wife Helen, and gorgeous grand daughter Beatrice, completed the party. We had a wonderful lunch and afternoon walk, before driving back to Ebford.
Judy baked a delicious cake for the occasion, and much mirth and merriment ensued when we stopped the car at the top of the road, to put the finishing, fresh floral, touches on - in the boot - so that the cake could be presented with the flourish it deserved!
50 Golden Roses from a gallant gent to his gorgeous lady
Ebu with young Beatrice
A view over Holton village
Dominic and Helen
Rob and Beatrice - the oldest and youngest family members at the celebration
Rob and Judy
Sandi was booked to do a 3-day course in Huddersfield, but unfortunately the tutor was admitted to hospital, and had to cancel at short notice. Although disappointing, this was fortuitous, as the van took longer in the garage than the time we had allocated for the service, so we used the extra time to explore Devon.
Judy took us for a lovely amble on Dartmoor, near Widdecombe-on-the-Moor.
We came across this ancient sheep enclosure with the ruins of the shepherd's hut. Someone had left evidence of some harvest ritual in the hut.
Wild ponies abound, and are actually fairly tame, seeming not to be fussed by walkers.
We enjoyed wonderful views of Dartmoor, with several hills capped by torrs, and the trees a tapestry of green hues .
On the way back we stopped in Bovey Tracey at the House of Marbles, where we could watch glass-blowing, play with the intricate marble cascades in the museum section, and marvel at the displays of the history of marbles [while reminiscing about schooldays]. We were fascinated by the moving marble artwork on the wall.
Janet had given Sandi a tenner, to spend on herself, so she bought a beautiful perfume bottle with a stunning marble stopper, as a memento, from the enticing House of Marbles tourist shop in the complex.
On Tuesday we spent the day in Exeter city, and happened to pass this ornate door to the Guildhall, so out came the camera!
David was highly amused to find the answer to swine flu in a pharmacy, and insisted on being photographed with the evidence!
Apart from needing to do some shopping we wanted to visit the house that David's uncle, David, was renowned for moving. It is of historical value and unfortunately was sited where the new ring road was planned to go. David, the architect, had to devise a way of trussing up the house so that it did not collapse, then hoisting it onto rollers, and trundle it 300m up the hill to its current position. He did it successfully, and the house has been occupied by many differing tenants to date. In spite of achieving this incredible feat, his name is unfortunately not mentioned in the official records!
There's a lovely little watercolour of the house in the posting [Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Yorkshire], from the 2009 Topsham Art Exhibition. If it wasn't already sold when we saw it it would have been very tempted to buy it.
The house is adjacent to the old city wall, into which many other structures have been built.