Sunday, May 31, 2009

Did J R Lowell get it wrong?

He asked what was so rare as a day in June but yesterday afternoon May 30th -in the garden - I gazed over the hedge to the Quantocks – some twenty odd miles away and the earth seemed to stand still, every sense lulled with the beauty of the sight, sound, smell and feel of the moment. It felt so good to be alive all fears and worries, aches and pains receded

And what is so rare as a day in June?
Then, if ever, come perfect days;
Then Heaven tries the earth if it be in tune,
And over it softly her warm ear lays:
Whether we look, or whether we listen,
We hear life murmur, or see it glisten;

A verse from a long poem by James Russell Lowell

Friday, May 29, 2009

I had a good trip

No bones broken – just a grazed knee and elbow and a big dent in my pride. I took a moment to get my breath back and regain composure – there’s a tendency to blub - and a van stopped to offer to take me home and a nice lady stayed with me until we could get me in an upright position. Having had fractures before I was immensely relieved that I was whole and as I was right outside the chemists determined to get what I had come for (my husband’s medication).

Someone told the chemist and I was offered a seat, drinks and a taxi but felt I could mange the walk home. As I was leaving another gentleman offered to drive me home – Minehead is like that - but I thanked him and embarrassed, exited by the wrong exit and had to return red- faced

On the way home I decided to gat a Daily Telegraph to cheer me up and found that when I had replenished my wallet before leaving the house I forgot to return it to my handbag so no DT. Fortunately I didn’t need money at the chemist. Clearly this is a day when I should lie low and that is what I intend to do now.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Burbling on.

Last night I got involved in a tape of Simon Schama extolling the poet John Donne and completely forgot the footie in Rome. Google is being very cagey about it but I gather we lost. Oh dear! My Dad would not be pleased but at least he’ll be delighted about Burnley’s success – along with Alastair Campbell.

How fickle are the public – and the judges of ‘Britain’s got Talent’ One minute you are the best thing since sliced bread and the next your champion Piers Morgan allows he may be a dough nut.. It’s hard for the young – first they are flavour of the month and then it’s’ kindly leave the stage.’

An unlikely act of a buxom lady singing arias whilst her partner arranges flowers was defended by Piers Morgan asserting that we didn’t know much about the Queen ( the winner will perform for her) but two things she was passionate about were flowers and classical music. Really? Gee gees, little yapping dogs, her duty to her country and possibly flowers but classical music? I don’t think so.

The surprise finalist is a portly Greek father and son doing a bare torsoed Greek dance with charming gusto, possibly familiar to Her Maj as she has been married to one since the fifties.

The Apprentice continues to fascinate; the awesome Deborah was actually given a kind word from the mentor Nick and James, the likeable clown was asked,

‘Was you nervous?’ by Sir Alan.

A riveting programme IMO and there is always at least one good laugh. The other mentor Margaret appeared later on the follow up programmes. What an attractive person she is.

The Apprentice

Margaret Sir Alan Sugar Nick
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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pots in May

Pots are great to brighten up dull parts of the garden. These are mostly pansies and nemesia.

They are always coming out with new colours and some are fragrant. Soon it will be time for more delicate ones.
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Potted pansies - they do like their weekly dose of Tomorite.

The pale pink is nemesia. You can get various shades and fragrant ones - to my mind the best value of any small plant. These are years old.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I finished one walk on this lonely path, looked behind me and saw a white tee- shirted youth. I gripped my walking pole a little tighter, quickened my pace and wondered if a distant house would hear my scream. Could I still scream - I hadn't tried since I played a maid in a Victorian melodrama? Then I threw caution to the wind and turned round to face him, Two chocolate Labradors came bounding up to him - they must have fallen behind. I waited for him to catch up - he was lost in his music. After he removed his ear pieces we had a chat which ended with him saying reproachfully'
'You missed the lambs.'
I remembered the enthusiastic comments I had read in the Visitor's Book, about the antics of the newly born lambs the week before. Maybe next year - and hopefully we'll be back in the autumn. DV.

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The last of the Fremington photos

I followed a footpath by the side of this field and it took me down to the lane that leads to the quay.

There were lovely wild flowers by the roadside.

The brass plate commemorates a local man, now dead, who lovingly restored this ancient doorway
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On the way home we stopped here to look at a complex of cottages just outside Ilfracombe. The setting is beautiful but a ittle too precipitous and orggnised for us.

See the very noisy guard peacock on the left.
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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Third time lucky.

‘Don’t think of getting there just plod plod plod for ever.’

That’s a mantra I understand and I applaud Sir Ranulph Fiennes for reaching the summit of Everest at his third attempt aged 65, believing that he would never mange it aged 66. On his first attempt he had a heart attack, on his second he was exhausted so it took enormous courage to make a third attempt. As he said it’s the nearest you can get to the moon by walking. By doing so he is raising money for Marie Curie Cancer Care having already raised £20m. And this is a man who has always had a fear of heights.

He reckons he never wants to see another mountain and that the heights of Exmoor where he lives are enough for him.

I can’t help thinking it must be very hard to be married to men like Sir Ranulph, Ben Fogle, James Cracknell et al - gorgeous hunks though they are but who only seem to be truly alive when they are off on one of their adrenalin fuelled expeditions or planning one. What do you think?
Sir Ranulph Fiennes
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Thursday, May 21, 2009

You know who you are!

Yes you, who for the last three and a half years have persistently given me feed-back, help and encouragement to get my story written and published - much easier said than done – as many of us know. There is a long way to go but I am a step nearer and am feeling happy and excited. Why you may ask.

The answer is that someone likes it enough to take me on board and help me towards my goal. Yippee!

It’s akin to reaching base camp on Everest and being given an experienced Sherpa for the rest of the journey.

I won’t write more about it at this stage but Leigh Russell has an interesting blog about getting her book Cut Short - a psychological thriller - published

A big thank you and I’ll continue doing my three posts a week DV.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Few Random Shots

I'm always struck by the contrast between Instow and Fremington - just a three and half mile walk on theTarka trail separate them.


Freminton Quay. There were diamonds sparkling here but my camera has misssed them

Creeks - i love 'em!
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Why do I find a small bedroom like this utterly charming? Maybe because the only time I had my own bedroom was during my student nurse training. As a small child I shared with my brother and then my grandmother. This is the smallest room at the cottage with just the bears to keep one company

The Cedars does a great carvery, has a beautiful garden, (which I forgot to snap ) and a very large conservatory. When we were here last autumn there was the odd bucket to catch the raindrops. I had my favourite dessert here - three classic pudddings with a choice of cream , clotted cream or ice-cream. It was nostalgia on a plate.
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The car port at the cottage has a sun deck built over it. I'm still waiting for that blisteringly hot sunny day to fully appreciate it but its a great view point. One thing - the drinks service tends to be a bit slow.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Circular Walk from the cottage

I followed the path seen from the landing window. It snakes around, crosses a bridge over the Tarka trail...

and comes out on the beach. The Severn Sands boat in the distance and the Quay cafe beyond. As I got closer to the vessel I heard a strange clanging sound coming from its bowels.

There was no sign of anyone and no visible means of boarding it at low tide. I heard the clanging again and decide to walk towards the cafe and civilisation. It felt decidedly creepy.

It was a relief to walk up through butttercup meadow and reach the cottage...

and tell MTL about my strange Marie Celeste experience .
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Monday, May 18, 2009

Back again!

Well that flew by quickly. Four lovely sunny days and then the weather went down hill and curtailed my exploratory walks which had been fun. I particularly looked forward to taking one of the frequent double- deckers to Barnstaple and walking back via the Tarka Trail. We’ll just have to go again and as I daily point out to MTL - the cottage is already booked up to early October. But men can never understand how one can be thinking of the next jaunt before he’s done his unpacking.

We found three new places to eat – The Bar at Instow, The Williams Inn near Braunton and an excellent Chinese restaurant – The Han Court in Fremington opposite a very good hairdresser’s. Oh and I almost forgot – The Tarka Inn which we look at - across the estuary - from the cottage.

Not much fun catching up with the expenses scandal and it was worse to read that Stephen Fry had dismissed it as "rather tedious bourgeois obsession" that is "really not that important. It's a journalistic made-up frenzy. ...’

For someone who has done such excellent work spreading the word about bi-polar conditions and Aids it seems incredible that he doesn’t seem to understand the feelings of the many people who have lost or live in fear of losing their jobs, their homes, savings and pensions. Hopefully it was just a thoughtless remark.

BTW did you know Her Maj has the power to disband Parliament? I’m just saying.

The Speaker seems to have passed his sell by date.

I’ll try to catch up with everybody over the next few days.

Hello little cottage! The wind was so strong it blew down the flower basket.

The view from the upstairs window at The Bar Instow

The William's Inn - it's a lovey thatched building but it was having a face lift and the weather was wet and windy.

The Tarka Inn - visible for miles across the Estuary and wherever you are it always seems to be dead opposite.

More photos later...
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Friday, May 08, 2009

Deja Vu

If these look familiar it' s because you saw them in the autumn when we stayed in a lovely cottage in Fremington betwixt Barnstaple and Bideford. We liked it so much we are going again tomorrow for a week. Behave whilst I'm gone and keep the flame burning.xoxoxox

The path from the cottage that leads to the sea and an award winning cafe

Lots of lovely mud.

The drinks trolley won''t be empty for long
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