Monday, May 31, 2010

For Devon read Heaven.

Pat I’ve just been dreaming about Dad and I had to meet him but I wasn’t sure what

time and exactly where.

MTL Heaven?

Our Australian grand-daughter - when she was tiny - confused Heaven with Devon and really after last week I think she was right. Dalwood is a sleepy village a mile and a half inland from the A35 twixt Honiton and Axminster and we rented an elegant cottage on a hilly, small- holding above the village. Sylvan views abound and the Blackdown Hills are an area of outstanding natural beauty

Thanks to all your kind wishes we had a lovely holiday with perfect weather. It was a green wonderland – spring had just burst out and Siegfried Sassoon’s poem was ringing in my head.

EVERYONE suddenly burst out singing;

And I was filled with such delight

As prisoned birds must find in freedom,

Winging wildly across the white

Orchards and dark-green fields; on—on—and out of sight.

Everyone’s voice was suddenly lifted;

And beauty came like the setting sun:

My heart was shaken with tears; and horror

Drifted away ... O, but Everyone

Was a bird; and the song was wordless; the singing will never be done.

The air was swirling with the fluffy seeds from dandelion clocks and from trees with blossom like fluffy, pussy willows. We called at the ancient Tucker’s Arms Inn for lunch on their terrace. I had a tasty linguine and MTL fish and chips. Chatting to the land-lady as she showed me the pudding menu I observe that she didn’t sound as if she came from Devon – more where I came from.

L.L: I come from Huddersfield!

P: Well somebody has to.

L.L. Do you want your pudding or not?

Thankfully I was given Belgian Waffle with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream.

The cottage was unusually spacious. Minimalist in décor – which is a pleasant change for a holiday, but I like to live with old family stuff – pictures, photos and all the usual memorabilia. There were geese, chickens, two daft Dalmations, sheep and lambs down the hill and a civilised cock who only crew when we were up and about. The hens and cats were rescue ones and the charming owners were hard working and a modern version of The Good Life. They were just finishing a pond for the ducks. By the way did you know not to turn your back on geese? Karen said if you do they think they are top dog and come after you. Like lions really you have to stand still and face up to them. I decide to admire the pond from above.

I gratefully eyed my inches thick book – Diana Athill’s Life Class. This was the perfect place to curl up with an apple and a good book.

Some pictures below – more later. Hope to visit in the next few days.xox


Scarlet Blue said...

I have fluffing guttering! Dandelion fluff gets everywhere.
Pleased you had a nice time and that the weather was good.

mapstew said...

Welcome back, it sounds like you had a grand time!

(And you are doing great things for the British Tourist Industry!)



Anonymous said...

Glad you had a lovely time. Please post more pictures; you know how I love them!

Pat said...

Scarlet: was I near you? I scoured the hordes for a lovely - not ginger lady but I didn't see one with a sax.

Mapstew: it was lovely but the good thing is we no longer get that sinking feeling at the end of a holiday. As our children would say - life's all one holiday. Not so!

Jack: there will be more later in the week. I feel they are a bit fuzzy. I blame the dandelion clocks.

angryparsnip said...

Glad you had a nice time and the weather looked lovely.
More pictures please !

It is the start of our 100 degree temperatures, summer is here !

cheers, parsnip

Queenie said...

Glad you had such a good time. I grew up in south Devon and still retain great affection for the area - at its best at this time of year, I think. I love Diana Athill, too, although I haven't read 'Life Class' yet.

Charlie said...

A lovely poem for an idyllic spot, dandelions or no.

Your retort to the land-lady was quite good, but you probably endear yourself to her heart. Ach, what's a little mischief when one is vacationing?

R. Sherman said...

Glad you're back. Lovely photos, as always. It looks like a great place for a little R & R.


Kim Ayres said...

Glad to read you've had such an idyllic time :)

A place I lived in once had geese and you could never turn your back on them because they would lunge at you. You had to turn and growl, or flap or yell boo to them to make them turn around and run away.

And I swear they used to expel twice their bodyweight daily all around the grounds. Knee deep in the stuff we were sometimes.

I have no love for them I have to say.

Pat said...

Charlie: you probably have heard of The War of the Roses and I can never resist having a go at a Yorkshire man/woman. It's something I'm hoping to grow out of in time;)
PS We won!

Randall: lovely walking country - you would have loved it.

Kim; geese! Who knew?
After a week one finds the animal excreta and the prolific insect life a bit overwhelming. There were a few squeals in the bedroom:)

Pat said...

Queenie: dammit my comment has vanished.
It was East Devon I'm told.
Life Class includes the book you read. It's her childhood, Her broken love affair, her life in publishing and her old age. One I can relate to re genre. Absolutely fascinating to compare and contrast.
And in spite of her superior experience in the book world- she was chief editor for Andre Deustch for God's sake - it didn't plunge me into despair.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Glad you had a good time! Nice photos.

Eryl Shields said...

You sound quite breathless with it all. Glad you had a good time, X

Pat said...

Kevin: no scandal sheets I hope.

Eryl: come to think of it I do feel a bit breathless.

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

England can be perfect sometimes when the weather's right. Unfortunately not enough days in the year to tempt me back. But I spent a couple of days down in deepest Berks at the end of my USA odyssey gazing at one of the most beautiful gardens in the Thames Valley if not in England. To wake up to the sound of a cuckoo is a true delight.

Pat said...

Daphne: but it was raining in Bruges I'm told:)

Guyana-Gyal said...

Welcome back! You 'passed through my mind' as we'd say here. I wondered how you and yours were enjoying your holiday, I hoped it didn't rain.

I can understand why your grand-daughter confused Heaven with Devon.

I've read about Devon but I've never seen pictures. It's beautiful. I'd go to places like that in a flash rather than visit big cities.

Pat said...

GG: incredibly we had seven days of sunshine and blue skies.

Maggie said...

Welcome home....what beautiful vistas. Did you finish the book? :)

Madame DeFarge said...

Does sound delightful in all respects. Especially the pudding bit.

Pat said...

Maggie: no - I'm a slow reader and it's very heavy to hold but I'm relishing it.

Madame D: there were a few of those;)

lom said...

Looks lovely Pat, now you have had a nice rest, we want to hear all about it. Our garden is covered in white fluffy dandelion clock seeds and pussywillow seeds that look like big fat furry slugs too.

Pat said...

LOM: after breakfast I'll get to it:)