This is what happened yesterday: We drove to North Devon -- a completely interminable trip, as far as I was concerned. Robin still wasn't feeling well, so I was worried about him, and the roads were narrow, badly signed in some cases, and full of people bent on killing us. I spent most of the day clinging, white-knuckled, to the seat and the armrest, producing stifled screams from time to time.
The day didn't start out badly, though, and it did have its high points:(all while we were stopped, now that I think about it) . Early on, we stopped in a cafe called Cornucopia, in a village named Hatherleigh. I just went looking for a link, and found that the cafe is for sale. I borrowed this photo from the ad, which you can find here. I don't suppose the vendors will mind my using the photo, since I've expanded the reach of their ad, even if only a little. If you're in the market for a charming, well-appointed little cafe in a beautiful part of England, this is the place for you!
We had our cappuccinos and shared a bun (I thought it was a scone, or perhaps a tea biscuit, but the proprietor kindly corrected me. It was a nubby - basically a tea biscuit studded with currants and flavoured with saffron. It came with a tasty Devon butter. I am becoming quite the connoisseur of butters here. I bought half a pound of the Devon butter to bring home. While we ate, we eavesdropped on a conversation among the proprietor, another bewhiskered gentleman, and a lady who called herself the Town Crier. The Town Crier had a little dog with her. It may have been a long-haired Jack Russell, but it's hard to say. The Town Crier is a woman of substance, and her dog is a very small dog. They were a pleasure to watch, and very friendly. I would have taken their picture, but as we were walking down the street to the cafe, I tried to photograph a building, and my camera refused to co-operate. It turned out that I had left the memory card plugged into the side of my laptop, so poor camera had nowhere to put a picture.
Thus I also have no photographs of the beautiful, seemingly endless beach at Saunton Sands near Croyde. We went for a stroll there, and I used Robin's walking stick to carve Amazing Voyages of the Turtle in the sand.
We were able to walk southeast along the beach pretty well forever, or until we had had enough. To the north we could just barely see the Isle of Lundy. We walked for twenty minutes or so, then stopped to sit on a log and contemplate the view. There were surfers back near where we parked (in a lot that charged a flat, all-day rate of £4 -- eek!) There was a surf shop right there, as well as a cafe. The surfers were all wearing full wetsuits, and I had no interest in checking out the temperature of the water, but the sea breeze was very pleasant. The tide was low. Judging by the colour of the sand -- mocha, I'd say -- it appears that at high tide the water would come right up to the base of the dunes, traversing about 400 yards of beach. The dunes are part of the South West Coast Path, a hiking trail that runs about 1,000 kilometres along the coast -- a little more ambitious a hike than we were ready to tackle.
It was while we were on the beach, and I was bemoaning my lack of camera (I did a lot of bemoaning yesterday) that I figured out a way to make lemonade out of this lemon of a day. Since I had no camera, this would be the day to introduce the newest member of my team of furry companions -- so here he is. I would like to introduce Paignton. In this photograph, Paignton is the fellow waving at you -- the one wearing the Steam Railway sweater.
l to r: Fred (aka Sleepy); Lil, Paignton, Howard.
As you can see, Paignton isn't pining. My sister-in-law, it transpires, has a fondess for small stuffed animals that rivals my own, so I'm relying on her buddies to keep Paignton occupied and happy while he waits to go home to Canada and meet his new family - Duffy, Steinbeck, and Wilson. (My SIL will be lucky if I don't kidnap Howard while I'm about it. He's quite a charmer, and he and Paignton have become very close.)
So if I hadn't been too tired to post last night, what with all the screaming and screwing my eyes shut, my plan would have worked out perfectly. As it is, I'm now a day behind. Preview: Today was much better.