Friday, 27 January 2012

On holiday

An extraordinary thing happened this week. Marcia and I took a whole day off on Wednesday and had a holiday. This hasn’t happened since some time last summer – not a whole day in which neither of us did anything to do with work.

I had finished the copy editing for The Sea Garden and sent it all back to Transworld. Marcia had come to ‘a good stopping point’ in the book she is now writing which has the very simple working title of The Lake. She wanted to catch up with a friend and I wanted to have a natter with one of mine. Both were available so Marcia trundled off to Tavistock where she met Anne in the Bedford Hotel (where else?).
I'm afraid most of you will have seen this photo of the Bedford Hotel.I will make a real effort and take some more one of these days..
Meanwhile, I drove on my own to the farm shop in Lifton to meet Nigel. The farm shop has it’s own web site: click here.
The farm shop otherwise known as Strawberry Fields.
THe Lifton Farm Shop is a family run business: Jo and Roger Mounce to the right with their son Adam and his wife Laura.
They grow a lot of the produce they sell on their own farm, here Adam harvests rhubarb.

That may not sound very exciting but this was the first time that I had driven on my own since the retina in my right eye detached just over two years ago. To my delight, I actually enjoyed it. The farm shop is just over seven miles away but there was very little traffic about: on the outward leg I think I met no more than one lorry, five cars and two horses. It was marginally busier coming back but with two cyclists instead of horses and I managed to pass them without knocking either over.

I was first back – but only just – and so I lit the fire in the sitting room and we spent the rest of the day reading, chatting and planning what we want in the garden this summer. That, of course, necessitated consulting the catalogue that had just arrived from Suttons (the seed and plant people in Paignton) and a subsequent telephone call to order the seeds we selected. The real worry is that after this unseasonably warm start to the year we shall have some bitter cold just when we don’t want it.

On Thursday it was back to work with a bit of a bump. I usually write this blog on Thursdays, there were about thirty emails that needed to be answered and a form from the US Inland Revenue Service which had to be completed – and it was my turn to cook the lunch. Meanwhile, Marcia was busy working herself back into the book.

Now, all of you outside the UK and, indeed, outside Devon please look away as I want to talk about the Devon Community Foundation. The Foundation provides support for all sorts of individuals and small groups carrying out voluntary community work throughout the county. They provide financial assistance which is often invaluable. The money comes from all sorts of fund raising activities which raise over a million pounds each year. Even with that, they are unable to support everything that they consider worthwhile.
The Great Hall at Dartington.

The next fund raising scheme is an event to be held Wednesday week which will take place in the Great Hall at Dartington near Totnes starting at 6.30 pm. Most details on their web site but a bit of late news is that Matt Harvey (Radio 4 Wordsmith) will be there for a bit of light entertainment.

If you would like to go you will have to reserve by Tuesday next.