Friday, 25 September 2015

Time out in the South West

Sometimes the blog is simply about documentation: 'what we did.' This post is one of those.

Saturday: Off to the South West to see Nanny, Papa and a few more relations. In yokel-speak, Zummerzett 'ere we come. The A303 is bathed in late afternoon sunshine and my miser's heart is made glad because I manage to get a Big Mac and Medium Fries for £1.99 in Cobham Services, thanks to a voucher on the back of an old bus ticket. Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay...

Sunday: The blackberries are poppin' out around the village. We decide to book a return date to pick some in the near future.

Monday: Lyme Regis is, without a doubt, my favourite seaside town in the near(ish) vicinity. A picturesque place with lovely views, a nice dash of history, a quaint harbour and a great second-hand bookshop at the bottom of the high street. It also has a sandy beach which Isaac decides he rather likes the taste of. After watching a few handfuls heading towards his mouth we quickly insert a dummy to ward off further supplies. Graham, meanwhile, is having great fun drawing fish on the sand. The town is, for Lyme, pretty quiet which is the big advantage of coming out-of-season. The Marine Aquarium, while enjoyable, is supremely overpriced but Graham enjoys touching the mullets that they keep in a tank there - apparently they feel 'like big, fat sausages'. I'm let down by the bookshop though, not being able to find anything I want to buy. As I'd been relying on a trip there to supply my holiday reading the future looks bleak. I've only got a few chapters of Scott's 'Heart of Midlothian' between me and a book-less holiday.

Tuesday: Pecorama, Beer. Good place to go if you like trains. Graham does, so it's rapidly becoming an automatic visit every time we go down. It turns out that Isaac likes trains as well and finds the model railway displays there quite absorbing. Graham, at the top of his voice, instructs a party of ladies and gentlemen how to work the model underground train on one diorama - 'YOU PRESS THIS BUTTON...'. Another glorious day and, after a look around the model railways, a go on the indoor and outdoor play areas and a ride on the mini steam train, we beat the rain home. Important note: the steam train that pulled our carriages was called Linda. Graham, no one-eyed steamie fan, wanted to be pulled by 'Ben' the diesel - Thomas the Tank would be horrified.

Wednesday: Got them blackberries...

Thursday: I have a new ambition; not a particularly grand one, like. I want to see Teign-e-ver clapper bridge on Dartmoor. It's somewhere in the middle of a wide, sweeping moorland valley where military choppers jump out at you from behind hills (one did at us anyway) and sheep and cattle graze on the squelchy grass. It's an ambition that suddenly grew desirable the moment that we turned our backs on the view and trundled back to the car after having walked across the moor and then decided not to risk the wrath of the infants by pushing on to see the bridge. It was the right decision but it's given me a hunger to go back and GET THERE.
We done Dartmoor different this time, like. We decided to avoid the usual Haytor, Widecombe, Postbridge route - after all we've done all that before, ticked off, dull, mundane, boring, seen-it-all. Instead we had a look at the northern end: Chagford (nice), the long road out to reach Teign-e-ver (picturesque, extremely narrow and also a dead-end) and some nice Dartmoor ponies on the road south.
Then we went to Widecombe and Haytor, just for a change, like. Nice cream teas in Widecombe as well: 2 scones, mountains of cream, oceans of jam, the works...

Friday: Quiet day (we needed it). Went to see Aunt's new house in Honiton. Nice place.
Woah! Got to stop using that word: 'nice'. How many's that? Five? Horrors! Where's my thesaurus?

Saturday: Pleasant day, spent in convivial company of friends and relations at home and on the beach at Seaton. Agreeable town, Seaton, with fine seaside views and an attractive pebble beach. The scenery makes you forget that some of the houses are a bit ugly and cubic. Unlike picture-postcard Lyme architecture hasn't done the town many favours. Chippies packed, half-hour wait if you're looking for cod 'n' chips. Not much less if all you want is chips. Still, a most enjoyable evening where it doesn't seem to matter if you stay out late with your relations. Anyway the kids are having a delightful time playing on the beach. Nice, actually.

Sunday: The day of rest.

Monday: Rain then sun. Packing, waiting then the homeward trek. A good journey, get home in the dark and who cares if there's no milk for my tea?      

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