.: Holiday Blog :.
Well, now that we’re back home and I’ve got back into the routine, I think I’m just about ready to deal with announcing myself back on deviantART officially. Now I can now have a go at typing up my rough journal about our recent holiday in Devon.
Please bear with me… I should try and keep it as brief as possible… I know what I’m like for rambling…
.: Friday, Sept 26th :.
We set out from home at about 9am, with my own car – me driving some of the way, but Dad doing the greater part of it. There were four of us. Me, Mum & Dad, and our saluki-greyhound pup Mr Tumnus (who turns 11 months this month) and I can say this much… he’s a wayward dog at the best of times (the saluki side, I guess) but he’s well-behaved in the car.
On the way, we stopped off at Welwyn Garden City to visit a friend of ours who lives there and take a brief rest.
We had our packed lunch further down the route, at a service station near Reading.
We reached the Exeter Inn in Chittlehamholt, North Devon at about 17:15 and settled down at our rented accommodation behind the inn to have dinner.
After much deliberation, I’d brought my 3DS XL with me after all, to try and gather Devonshire Streetpasses (I didn’t get a huge number, but the batches I did get proved useful to my progress in the Mii Plaza minigames, at least) Annoyingly, I found that a set of headphones I’d packed to use with the 3DS got broken in transit! (Darn cheap muck, plastic!)
For the most part while at home, I was either drawing, doing Hanjie picture-puzzles or reading Eulalia: A Tale from Redwall.
Also, our apartment had a TV, so we were able to watch things like Pointless and the 6 o’clock BBC news. And we were all pleased to hear about the RAF finally getting involved to take action against those terrorists in Iraq.
.: Saturday, Sept 27th :.
A pretty boring day. First of all, we had to go shopping to stock us up for the week – and for that, we went to Barnstaple. This turned out to be a bit of a wasted trip, as the only supermarket there was a Tesco’s who had very few of the things we were after… and all the while my parents were in the shop, I was stuck sitting in the car with Tumnus (who had to go with us everywhere, since he couldn’t be left at the apartment)
After a walk around the shops at Barnstaple, we went on the South Malton (the nearest town to Chittlehamholt) to find a Sainsbury’s, and then we spent the afternoon at home and watching some TV.
On that episode of Pointless, they actually had one category I excelled at: five favourite foods of five fictional characters. Lasagne (Garfield); Wensleydale Cheese (Wallace & Gromit); Chillidogs (Sonic the Hedgehog); Spinach (Popeye); Duff Beer (Homer Simpson)
I have to mention this because out of the three remaining teams of contestants and the three of us watching the TV, only I got the low-scoring answer, Sonic the Hedgehog! I was rather pleased about that… though a little surprised nobody else got it!
Actually, later in the week, I also got a Pointless answer by naming The Magic Roundabout as a film featuring Ray Winston (as Soldier Sam)
Also, during the weekend, we got to watch a few repeats of “Last of the Summer Wine” on a channel we discovered call Yesterday – which turned out to be quite amusing, even despite the absence of Compo. One episode even had a hilarious appearance with Cannon & Ball as guest-stars, as a failed wannabe escapologist and his near-silent snarky sidekick.
Meanwhile… Happy Belated Birthday to
.: Sunday, Sept 28th :.
Being Sunday, we went to South Malton again to attend at the local Baptist church there. (Which I’d spotted as we went to Sainsbury’s yesterday) They’re a small church, but quite lively – and unlike some churches, they had a good congregation ranging from old retired folks to little children. We later learned that the church had been reopened after years of being closed after their old flock dwindled away. So it’s encouraging to see things coming to life there again.
.: Monday, Sept 29th :.
After listening to an episode of the Navy Lark on the radio during breakfast, we spent the morning in the historic city of Exeter (formerly Isca Dumnoniorum in Roman times), wondering around the shops… though part of that was following Mum around charity shops, which got a little boring before the end of the holiday… still, on the upside, I managed to get a new set of cheap headphones from the local Poundland, so I could play off my 3DS Streetpasses at night without disturbing my parents with the sound.
After we’d finished in Exeter, we went on to Exmouth to spend the afternoon with a longstanding family friend who lives there and we hadn’t had a chance to visit in years. We had a good time catching up with her, and she liked Tumnus too.
.: Tuesday, Sept 30th :.
We went to the seaside town of Ilfracombe and had a little wander along the quay and the gift shops. Dad managed to buy himself a backscratcher (I think he’d wanted one for years) and I got a new wallet (since my present coin-purse is falling apart at the seams) and some fudge… but these fudge parlours can really charge - £1.80 for 100grams…
Once again, I say I really must look up the recipe in our home-cooking books and make my own fudge one of these days! It’d be a sight cheaper!
Anyway, we then went for a drive on Exmoor and went to see “Lorna Doone” country – we saw the Doone Valley, and the old church at Oare, where Carver Doone tried to shoot Lorna down at her wedding to John Ridd, because if Carver couldn’t have her, nobody could…
On our way home, we stopped off at Barnstaple so that Mum could go and look around a few shops, while I went to buy a new pair of shoes from Clarks… since we’d discovered that the soles of the Orchard shoes, which I’d got cheap early this year, had collapsed and developed a hole.
A sudden expense I hadn’t expected, but I hope these new ones last me somewhat longer…
.: Wednesday, Oct 1st :.
Today, we visited another of Dad’s old stamping grounds when we spent the morning in Dawlish. We also went to Teignmouth where we had our lunch and also later enjoyed a Devonshire cream tea of scones, jam and clotted cream.
In the evening, when we watched the TV, we also saw a rather interesting archaeological documentary about the circumstances surrounding the sinking of Blackbeard’s ship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge. Did he scuttle it on purpose as a way of dispersing his crew and dividing the plunder among only his loyal followers… or was its grounding a genuine error of judgement…?
.: Thursday, Oct 2nd :.
For our last day in Devon, we went to Bideford and had a wander around the shops and along the estuary. (And here I acquired a hedgehog ornament from a charity shop at a bargain £1)
We then drove down to Dartmoor to find a good view to enjoy over lunch – but we had a hard time finding a place to enter the moors from the north, so that took a bit longer than hoped.
We basically spent the rest of the day at home to see about our packing and generally having an easy last-afternoon.
Then, after dinner we went round to visit a local widowed farmer’s wife who we knew from previous holidays to Devon, when they themselves used to rent caravans to holidaymakers (including ourselves in the past, a couple of times)
Then, when we got back home, we saw Billy Connolly on “Who Do You Think You Are” investigating his family history and discovering a rather surprising Indian connection. It was rather interesting, as well as entertaining (being Billy Connolly, of course)
.: Friday, Oct 3rd :.
We got on the road as soon as we could, but basically got going just after 8am after getting the luggage and dog stowed in my car.
We made good time all the way to Westbury in Wiltshire, where we stopped to spend a pleasant hour or so with granny and grandpa. (Dad’s mother and stepfather) We were quite surprised in a way. My grandparents aren’t fond of animals, yet they got on quite well with Tumnus!
When we left, I drove for the next part of the journey… but after getting petrol to refuel, the SatNav led us by a weird and slow route through a congested town and bouncing country-lanes and we made poor time before we found our way back to the M4 motorway, London-bound.
Still, we finally got back to the service station at Reading for our lunch, from where Dad took over the driving and, because of the delays caused by traffic, road works and accidents, we decided to skip Welwyn Garden City and head straight home.
We got back at about 19:15, only pausing on the way to get some fish n’ chips from a local fish bar in Mildenhall.
.: Catching up :.
Our holiday drawing to its conclusion, we now had the weekend to rest and catch up with things. Saturday afternoon, I got back online and was surprised to find I had only 272 messages on deviantART… less than half of what I predicted, knowing how some groups I’m in mass-publish their members’ submissions…
So, thankfully, I’ve now caught up to the stage of having cleared my messages (which took part of Saturday afternoon), making a start on “Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass” on my 3DS (a good game so far), making continued progress on Alex’s birthday Flash, getting back onto the local JobCentre’s caseload so I can carry on with jobsearching and getting benefits… and now finally I’ve completed this account of our holiday.
I hope all is well with you guys here. Did you miss me…?
*water trickles out of holes in his shirt* I guess not…