Friday, April 24, 2009

Deepest Devon – the end.

As the man in the hat approached S2 said,

’What do you reckon?

‘I reckon this seat’s big enough for three,’ said the man in the hat and plonked down beside us – snugly.

‘Us smokers ‘ave been banished out ‘ere.’

Dilemma. No way was I going to eat lunch inches away from someone’s cigarette smoke, but he was pleasant and friendly and I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. After a decent interval I said we’d love him and leave him to have lunch in the pub. I realised I had worried needlessly when he was very soon joined by two other locals – one also in the Ozzie waterproof hat. I realised this was their own little snug – a comfy bench, a table for the pints and if it rained their fit –for-purpose hats kept their fags dry.

After a sturdy lunch of ham sandwiches and salad we both felt drowsy and repaired to our rooms, S 2 to work on some psychology stuff and me to read ‘Still Life with Chickens’ recommended by Angry Parsnip and perfect for this sort of break. En route I called at the gift shop next to the cottage and bought ’Iddlesleigh’ by Barry Downton crammed with facts, photos and history about the village and environs. Turns out the man in the middle of the trio – in a hat -was Barry himself and he sweetly signed my book.

I must have dozed off and woke missing MTL . Kim (side- bar) felt the same on his road trip sans Maggie. He puts it succinctly:-

‘Pat - it's like trees that grow together and entwine so you no longer know where one ends and the other begins.’

S 2 felt like a drive – despite the narrow lanes. At one point we passed an interesting looking memorial which would be an ideal picnic stop as it faces astounding views. Alas we didn’t stop and went through strange sounding places till we reached Holsworthy. Time for a tea break and we chose a large empty corner café where the lady waitress insisted on knowing what my perfume was – must have been the morning’s exertion that brought it out. Dior’s ‘Cherie’ if you’re interested. Wandering round the town we found a shop with about thirty fridges and washing machines outside. Do they bring them in each evening?

The friendly waitress had told us where there was a phone box so S 2 dropped me as we were warned the parking warden was hot stuff. I could have had 20 minutes for 40 p but it was sufficient just to hear his voice and know – like me - he was eagerly awaiting our return. We had a brief stop at Sheep Wash where the hotel was closed and then we passed the memorial again. This time there was a couple sitting soaking up the view and imbibing red wine. Again we drove on and heard later it was a memorial to the men who died at Balaclava. How I wished we had stopped – as you may know Florence Nightingale is a hero of mine.

Another jolly evening in the pub – the people we were sitting with were folk from round about and warm and friendly – good company. S 2 found the Tawny Bitter and Adman’s Broadside beer very mush to his taste.

It was a good mother - son grown up experience and only once did I over step the mark when I carried my luggage down stairs after being told not to. Oops! I had a memorable time – I hope he did.


Eryl Shields said...

You've been having a fine old time by the sound (and look) of it. How marvellous to go and stay in a pub with your son, and such a lovely pub too.

Kim Ayres said...

I get my son to carry my luggage all the time, but he moans about it...

lom said...

it's nice to spent time with ones children

john.g. said...

Bless! I'm jealous! xx

PI said...

Eryl: it was one of my better ideas:)

Kim: pull the other one!

LOM: It gets easier when one learns to acknowledge their coming of age.

John.g: the down side is you don't get away with anything!

savannah said...

everyone is so busy *sigh* i'd love a few days with each of my sons... xoxo

kenju said...

My son has been nice enough to drive us to Washington, DC twice. He's a great traveler! I'm glad you enjoyed your time with your boy.

PI said...

Savannah: maybe you have to wait until you are in your seventies:)

Judy: You have trained him well:)

Jimmy Bastard said...

Reading your posts Pat, is akin to sitting in warm sunlight and feeling refreshed as the tale unfolds.

Lovely stuff.

david mcmahon said...

I'm sure he had a great time too. Some of my most precious moment in life are the (myriad) moments I have spent and continue to spend with my beloved children.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

How lovely that you enjoyed such a lovely time with your son. You must have done a lot right, Pat. So often this kind of sharing with one's mother isn't possible.

Anonymous said...

Rewarding way to spend time.
Even when I smoked I could not stand smoke around food. I had a friend who smoked in between bites, I would not eat with her. At first she was offended, then she got unoffended because once I had the guts to tell her how annoying it was, everyone else in the group joined in to agree.

PI said...

Jimmy: thank you dear. I may charge:)

David M: they are precious times - thank fully. It doesn't work in every family.

Naomi: I'm still reeling from a dream I had in the early hours when my mother died in my arms. In fact she died in another country - to my great sadness. Very strange.

FrankandMary: if she stopped or even cut down you did her a great service. I'm sure the old rascal knew we would vacate our seats for his chums.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Mother and child reunion :-)

I remember the time you wrote how one son lifted you, to carry you when the path was muddy...I think that was why...I only remember the carrying part and I thought, how sweet. Then there was the trip in France. You're blessed with good family.

sablonneuse said...

It's great having a little break with grown-up children isn't it?
I find it often involves a bit of role reversal with them leading me and looking after me.

PI said...

GG: I don't know if it's what you said or Michael Ball's soppy music on the radio but I've got tears and I'm about to go out for lunch.

Sandy: I think both you and GG are responsible for my tears. Must mop them up quickly and hope my mascara doesn't run along with my nose:)