Sunday, May 23, 2010

Yesterday, there were Things to Be Done. 

First of all, we found ourselves driving around in a car with a permanently open sun roof -- or so we feared. Also, Robin needed a new pair of trousers. So we drove to Exeter. All along the way, we made elaborate plans for dealing with the sun roof problem (We had put a piece of carpeting over the roof for the night, to keep the dew out). We were already on the outskirts of Exeter, going through an area full of car dealers -- all sorts of car dealers, including Mercedes-Benz -- when the penny dropped.  A five-minute stop at the Mercedes-Benz dealer, and we were on our way with a new fuse and a solid roof. Unfortunately, going there left us entering Exeter by a very congested route, and we arrived in town feeling worn out and ready to leave. Never mind. There were Things to Be Done. We went to Marks & Spencer first, but didn't find anything suitable.  There ensued another of those peculiar Marks & Spencer conversations. Robin said to a saleslady "I'm looking for a pair of pants, but you don't seem to have anything that suits me. Can you recommend a shop?"

"Underpants?" said the saleslady, looking puzzled and slightly uncomfortable. After all, Marks & Spencer carries every conceivable kind of underwear.

"No -- trousers," I said, translating on behalf of my English husband. Sheesh. Yes, there was a shop just down the High Street. The saleslady told us how to find it, though she got the name of the shop wrong.

So we found the shop after a good deal of wandering up and down the High Street. I had decided to dress for town -- a skirt and girly shoes -- so it may well have seemed like a longer hike than it really was. Robin bought his trousers and we hightailed it out of Exeter.

We  stopped at the supermarket on our way home, because by now it was late enough that we were afraid the village shops would be closed -- as turned out to be the case. Once home, we settled in for the evening. After supper, I watched QI (Quite Interesting), Stephen Fry's panel show, which left me laughing so hard, I was in tears. On the whole, I don't like English television, but there are a few shows that I truly wish we could get in Canada. QI is one of those. There are a few more -- and come to think of it, nearly all the shows I like feature Stephen Fry!

Today is something entirely different. I decided last night that I would walk to the village this morning. It had occurred to me that in spite of having stayed in this park three times now, for weeks at a stretch , I still had very little sense of where I was. I had the awful feeling that if I were left out on the road somewhere near South Brent, I wouldn't have any idea how to get home. (This is in part because of my refusal to drive here. As a passenger, I tend to drift along and have little sense of my route.) So after a quick breakfast, I headed to the village. Robin agreed to drive down and pick me up in just over an hour. It is only two miles from the caravan park to the roundabout at the entrance to South Brent, so I had lots of time. I stopped often to take photos, and I still made it in just over forty minutes. Along the way, I discovered just how much I miss when I'm hurtling down the road in a car.

Even the long hill I had been secretly dreading turned out to be easier than I feared -- it was only the last third of it that was steep, so although I arrived puffing at the top, I didn't regret having made the climb. As I approached the village, I paused to photograph a laburnum tree. Just then, an elderly lady came along. She waited while I finished taking the photo, and then she walked on into the village with me. It turned out that she volunteers at the library (which I saw for the first time this morning, by the way). We had a lovely Sunday morning chat, and then we parted ways.

Now, Robin and I are headed out for a proper walk. Later (at 6:30 this evening) I'm going to go to Vespers at Buckfast Abbey. That promises to be a trip down memory lane. According to the website, it will be in Latin!


Barry said...

Your travelogue is almost like a vacation for me as well. I love the photos and your descriptions and miss not being back in England again.

Maribeth said...

I am loving my trip to England!
Thanks for having me.
Giggles and Guns

Sandra Leigh said...

Thanks, Barry and Maribeth. One more week -- which is just as well. I'm feeling the effects of all this wonderful butter and cheese.

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