Friday, September 01, 2006


We were having a jaunt to celebrate Jackie’s birthday (don’t ask!) It was Joy’s turn to drive; so as usual on the birthday trips, only Joy knew where we were going. We have been doing this – regular outings – for twenty odd years and lately we have tended to shorten the drives to make it easier on the driver. We are fortunate to live in a lovely area. Our friendship is not just about days out. The four of us have all been dealt hefty blows over the last two decades but hey, we’re still standing

We drove through the pretty village of Allerford and had coffee in the prettiest car park you could imagine – complete with babbling brook. Then we drove along the narrow road to Porlock and up through the toll road which is more picturesque than the Porlock hill road and is worth the £2.50. I stopped to snap the lovely view and was attacked by horrible buzzing flies, so I snapped and scarpered. Then we were up on the top of Exmoor looking across the Bristol Channel at Wales. Well someone has to.

We stopped at County Gate where Somerset becomes Devon and admired the Devon Combes – very close to Lorna Doone country. As Four Dinners would say – ‘laters!’ This was filling up time as it was still quite early. As we got out of the car there was a definite nip in the air and summer seems to have departed. Lunch was going to be at the Culbone Inn – formerly Stables - which was recently taken over by Minehead’s famous butcher who has won many awards. There was a golden cow outside the inn to prove it.

He himself greeted us and recognising that we were gels of note took a great interest in what we were having and offered to show us round after lunch. The time passed pleasantly enough with good food and wine and our personal guide. The birthday girl always has to absent herself whilst we work out the bill and as Jackie is the maths expert this took rather longer than usual.

On the way home Joy asked if we would like to call in somewhere and I suggested Selworthy as I hadn’t been for years. Its white icing sugar façade of the church is a very useful land mark in the area. There had been a flower festival in the church which Margaret had been to and we were fortunate to see some of it.

As a bonus one of the helpers gave me a punnet of luscious plums she had grown. My friends are all superb gardeners and are never short of home grown fruit and veg.
It was a lovely sun spot so we sat outside the church and chilled for a time. Another successful outing and a chance to catch up on all news and gossip. Joy’s birthday is also August so we’ll have another one soon and see the leaves turning God willing


R. Sherman said...

Good story and great pics, as always.

I see the billiard table in one of the photos. You should shake us all up by throwing in a "bar fight" with swinging pool cues once in a while.



PI said...

Randall: that's just boy's stuff!

apprentice said...

Sounds a lovely day. Nice to see your heather down there. Ours is fading now. What a pretty church that is.

Always good to get away with friends. Hope the birthdays keep rolling in :)

PI said...

apprentice: the eldest is in her eighties (not me)so we make the most of it.

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Great shots, Pat. Every time you tell us about one of these outings and show us the pictures I feel a longing for the old UK. It looks idyllic where you were.

It wasn't the vicar at you with his plums was it? Never trust a vicar who wants you to have his plums. That's all I'll say on the subject!

Have fun in Dartmoor! I hope you're taking your camera.

PI said...

Sam: No it wasn't the vicar - a lady worker. Camera's packed - just hope it's not all rain and mist and howling hounds and escaped prisoners. Oooooh! I feel a story coming on.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Speaking of cows, have you seen that cow decorating thing they do in Belgium?

AndrewM said...

There appears to be a definite slant on some of your pictures. What exactly were you drinking?


The kind of England I still yearn for. Dreamer that I am.

PI said...

GG: no I haven't. Don't tell me they put bells on the teats?

andrewm: just a white wine at lunch time. How about you?

4d: you should have seen Dartmoor. You will when I finish unpacking!