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Thread: Some photos and pointed observations from Devon

  1. #1
    Moderator Dawn's Avatar
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    For those of you who have missed the tales of my inlaws here the report from our Easter stay with them this year. :D

    I'll try not to ramble but previous history indicates that I probably will.

    Left our house just before 2pm on Sunday. There are no photos of the car journey. Adrian drove from our house to Rownham services on the M27 where we made the necessary caffeine/wee stop. We had just heard on the radio that the A31 at Ringwood was closed due to a serious accident with 11 miles of stationary traffic stuck behind it. Nice. We cursed people being unable to drive without smashing in to each other and then consulted the map. It had to be the A35 through the New Forest, Bournemouth and Poole then. I'll drive this bit. Through the New Forest was ok, except that it was ****ing with rain and some idiot in a black Golf was on a mission to kill themself by overtaking as many vehicles as possible. You know the sort. Found our way into the Bournemouth one way system and tried to find a way out. I only took two random turns which is very good for me. Adrian pointed them out straight away and I turned round straight away which is highly unusual for me - I like to explore. Bournemouth however, or at least the bit we were in, did not strike as a pleasant place to explore though, so we left that one way system and headed for the Poole one way system. I was getting a bit ****ed off with one way systems populated by slow moving vehicles by now. Finally got back on to proper roads and speeded up to more than 25mph. Stopped somewhere between Dorchester and Honiton to swap drivers again and then it was non-stop to Devon. Obligatory few minutes stuck behind a tractor and we're pulling up at the inlaws.

    Willow wees in the kitchen and poos on the front doormat.

    Adrian's grandma lives with Adrian's parents and a little rescue Jack Russell called Hayley. They live in the middle of nowhere in Devon. The nearest cashpoint is in Okehampton. I don't know where the nearest petrol station is but there is a Morrisons in Okehampton too. In fact Okehampton is the centre of the world in this part of the world.

    We'd been travelling all day and were hungry so out came the first of many "afternoon teas" that these people seem to exist on. Bread, cake, scones, cold meats, some token cucumber and then cheesecake. Then Steven opened his birthday presents - more Star Wars stuff, and had a play before he went to bed. He was in a room with me and Adrian had another room with Willow. Dogs aren't allowed on the beds at Grandmas so we have to keep this one a secret. Look at the guilty expression.




    There was a bit of pointless conversation and some staring at the television in silence before both myself and Adrian reached for one of the many books we had bought between us. Then there was some Baileys and it was bedtime.

  2. #2
    Moderator Dawn's Avatar
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    Steven decided that 7am was a good time to get up. I sent him off to wake Daddy and Willow up but they were already up and soon Willow was sneaking up on to the bed again. Breakfast was cereal and toast - lots of toast. When everyone was ready we took the dogs out for a walk. There's a footpath thing just down the road. I took the camera. It#s a very old camera. Only 2.1 megapixies. I need a new one.







    This is Grandad taking a photo of Steven. Willow is in front of Steven and the little doggle there is Hayley.




    Shortly after that photo, Grandma, Great-Grandma and Steven head back home for a game of Buckaroo (birthday pressie from Uncle Steve and Auntie Lisa) while Adrian, Grandad and myself carry on with the dogs. We walk all the way to this place.




    It's a proper place and everything. Look, it has rules.




    Then we turn around and head for another path. I'm standing in a stream taking this one - my wellies past the leak test.




    Then Willow joins me for a little paddle in the babbling brook.




    And then I found some daffodils. See what I mean about needing a new camera?



    I'll do the rest in a bit.

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    Administrator Tink's Avatar
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    You may want a new camera... :D

    Lovely photos Dawn. Looking forward to reading the rest of the report. I've missed hearing about the inlaws! :birdie:






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    Moderator Dawn's Avatar
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    Not sure what we did when we got back to the house. Willow had to stay in the kitchen until she dried off a bit. Then Grandad and Steven took the light sabres we'd bought with us into the garden and the dogs joined them. Grandma kept complaining that the dogs went on to the wet grass and getting, well wet actually. Me and Adrian read books again ignoring the wet dog comments.

    Lunch was bought out - bread, scones, cakes, cold meat, token cucumber, two sorts of ice cream. Ooh there may have been a cherry tomato here too, but Adrian and Steven don't like uncooked tomatoes.

    After lunch we loaded the dogs into cars and headed for Bude. Actually we loaded Willow into our car and then sat and waited for the inlaws to load their dog into their car. How that can take 20 minutes I don't know but there you go. Parked in Bude and there was the obligatory standing around waiting for the inlaws to get sorted out and then we walked on to the beach which had a few people on it. It was very sunny but windy. There were some surfers. We had wellies on so headed straight for the sea.












    Grandma stood there making comments about wet dogs again.

    Steven got soaked - but we had spare clothes in the car for him. But the inlaws wanted to do the coastal walk to the next beach. We had to explain about the freezing wind and the boy with soaking wet jeans. Then they wanted to go to the bistro up above the beach. Adrian explained about the boy with the soaking wet jeans and the two dogs and food. They eventually decided to sit on the grass with an ice cream. Then took 4 days deciding what they wanted. I relieved my tense shoulders by going down to the car for Steven's dry clothes.

    Steven had a quick blast round the playground and we had a quick walk up to the town - had to get our money's worth from the car park fee. Then another 20 minutes waiting for inlaws to get back in car. Stopped for petrol on the way back and Willow sicked up a bit of the sea in our car. Not as sick as Hayley though - bad car traveller. Willow had dried off on the walk round town so was allowed indoors when we got home.

    Dinner was bread, scones, cakes, token cucumber, cold meat, clotted cream. I was told off for not having clotted cream on my scone. My arteries were constricting just looking at it and my digestive system was shot to pieces already. Even Adrian was craving something green.

    Me and Adrian are off to Exeter tomorrow. Adrian issued strict instructions to Grandma that Steven was not to be fed sugar all day and they were to give him some fruit or vegetables. They want him to stay for a week in the summer holidays - they have to respect our rules or it's no can do.

    After dinner it was Emmerdale, Coronation St, Eastenders, then another Coronation Street because apparently it's a double on Monday. I lost the will to live sometime during Eastenders.

    Me and Adrian are seriously getting through some reading matter. And some Baileys.

  5. #5
    Moderator Dawn's Avatar
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    Steven got up at 7am again. I need to speak to him about that. I had a yoghurt for breakfast. That was remarked on. Sorry but I'm still clogged up with bread stuff from yesterday. Adrian managed half a slice of toast. We left strict instructions on Steven and Willow sitting and we were off to Exeter. I drove. There are many sheep in Devon. A few cows but mostly sheep. It was Tuesday so not many caravans about.

    Due to missing the turning for the M5 on previous trips to Cornwall I am already familiar with the Exeter one way system and negotiated it with ease. First stop was Costa. It was the first coffee place we saw and we needed proper coffee. Then we had a bit of a wander.

    Adrian is trying to solve the Exeter riddle. From that riddle statue thing we could see 5 mobile phone shops.




    Found this near what's left of the castle walls.




    Had a wander round the castle perimeter and into the adjoining gardens. This appeared to be the lounging place for the local homeless population so we didn't linger. We did see this cool tree though.



    Then we browsed the shops. Didn't buy anything though. Oh no wait I got 2 pairs of jeans in Dorothy Perkins because they had the longer length so I got them while I could. Then we walked all the way down to the medieval bridge.




    Wandered back up and chose Pizza Express for lunch - they have salad. I had salad and Adrian had a pizza with vegetables on it. Pizza Express is right next to the cathedral.




    Note the automatic door in the medieval cathedral.




    We didn't go inside the cathedral - would have cost 4 each. Walked around a few more shops and nipped into M & S to get some melon and fruit salad for Steven. Oh and we bought him a Senator Palpatine figure too for his collection. We checked out the Almhouses thingy too - can you see me?


  6. #6
    Moderator Dawn's Avatar
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    OK you need to tip the monitor on its side to see that last one. :D

  7. #7
    Moderator Dawn's Avatar
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    Then it was time for...




    Before tackling the charity shops of Exeter. And mighty fine charity shops they are too. We got many more books to keep us going. Adrian drove back to the inlaws where we found Steven in the shed with Grandad making a pirate ship, and Willow being very happy to see us. Dinner was bread, scones, cakes, token cucumber, cold meat, clotted cream. We gave Steven the pack of melon and he practically inhaled it - never seen a boy so pleased to see a bit of fruit. Maybe his digestive system is in the same state as mine.

    After dinner it was a Star Wars film - we took the DVDs with us - Steven was allowed to stay up till 9pm to watch it. Then more reading and more Baileys. I may explode tomorrow.

  8. #8
    Moderator Dawn's Avatar
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    7am again. Supposed to be on holiday. Anyway we're up and eating our cereal and toast again. Today we are going here -> http://www.beckyfalls.com/ . And we can take the dog. And we are taking the inlaws and their dog. Not Great-Grandma though - she's staying in for some peace and quiet. We leave her some bread and a scone for her lunch - no I'm not joking - and spend 20 minutes loading up the car before setting off. The drive there took us across Dartmoor and through some scarily narrow bit which got really interesting when a coach came the other way. We saw many sheep and an Argos delivery lorry before climbing a steep precipice into the car park. We stood around in a chilly breeze waiting for the inlaws to park, then re-park, then sort dog out and sort themselves out before we actually headed into the park.

    It's very pretty.



    We started with the "blue" trail. It's the beginner trail. They have some animals around the trail including two giant saddleback pigs.




    That boy's popped up in my photos again.




    Doggle finds a good drinking spot.




    The children get a little card when you go in to do a nature trail around the blue trail. You have to find the rubber stamps and stamp your card. Steven was on a mission.







    After several stops to wait for Grandma to catch up, we finished the blue trail and headed to the little animal area they have there.




    Oh yeah!!!


  9. #9
    Moderator Dawn's Avatar
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    Stopped for lunch then. Adrian had pasty and chips. I had jacket potato and chilli (with salad). Steven had tagliatelle with meatballs and a roll and side salad. Grandad had pasty and chips. Grandma had jacket potato with tuna. She said it was cold but there was steam pouring off of it. And she didn't eat her salad.

    After lunch we hit the red trail - more demanding in parts apparently.
    Steven's in front again.












    Having to stop all the time and wait for stragglers now.







    Steven adds a coin to the money tree so that the pixies will grant us safe passage along the trail.




    It is a very beautiful place though.




  10. #10
    Moderator Dawn's Avatar
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    We stopped for a rest by the main falls and did photos, dog drinks and boulder scrambling.








    The red trail ends with a few metres of boulders to climb over which nearly finished Grandma off.

    Only one trail left now. The mighty, perilous...




    Grandma and Grandad only just managed the red trail and Adrian has a backache. So it's down to Steven and myself to conquer the mighty purple trail. As you can see there's no paths, just a mud track and rocks.






    And obstacles.




    And right at the bottom there's a 200ft climb known as the lungbuster. Can you see how steep this slope is? There's 200ft of that.




    The intrepid explorers stopped for a tiny rest at the top of the climb before completing the might purple trail. I think this is a cowslip.




    Whatever it is, it was the last photo I took.

    At the top me and Steven got an ice cream. Then the intrepid explorers left the lightweights and hit the gift shop. Steven chose 2 plastic snow shaker things and he also spotted a tiny owl ornament that he got for his teacher. His class is called Owls. Then there was faffing around before we hit the narrow roads again.

    Dinner was bread, scones, cake token cucumber, cold meat, clotted cream. Then there was brain dead tv, no conversation, reading and Baileys.

    That's it really. Had a nice time. Weather was lovely. Would have been nice to have a bit longer but I have to work tomorrow and we all need to get our digestive systems used to vegetables again.

    I read 3 books in total - Savage Garden 7/10, The Book Thief 9/10, The Interpretation of Murder 7/10.

    We're going back in August for a week.

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