Thursday, 31 May 2012

Dawdling on Dartmoor

Before I tell you about this last week, a huge thank you to all of you who either sent in emails or commented on my blog. It is really helping to know that people all over the world are thinking about Marcia. Not surprisingly some of you are also coping with a similar situation either with yourselves or someone close to you. Both of us want to extend our sympathy to you and hope that you will find the strength needed to cope.

We took a break on Tuesday, driving over the moor in the morning to meet some friends. It was a lovely day, Not very surprisingly, by the time we had been going for nearly an hour, Marcia wanted a break so we stopped at the Two Bridges Hotel (owned by the same people as the Bedford Hotel in Tavistock) for a quick cup of coffee. Actually it was even better than that – it was a slow and relaxing cup of coffee. As always the staff there made us feel extremely welcome and nothing was too much trouble. Jossie used to have holidays in this hotel. You will remember that Jossie belonged to one of Marcia’s close friend’s mother and Susie brought her up to live with us when her mother died. Well, for certainly over ten years Susie’s brother would spend a fortnight at Two Bridges with his mother to give her a holiday and, of course, Jossie came too.
Two Bridges Hotel
After coffee we set off once more and as we were about to drop down from Holne Moor towards Buckfastleigh I noticed Johnny Arden driving with a trap I had not seen before. There was a bit of conversation that might amuse you.

‛You’m a local boy, then?’ he asked.

‛Well, I used to live on the southern edge of the moor and now I live just north of it but I come from Dartmouth.’

‛Hmm,’ was his response.

‛Somerset’, I said, indicating Marcia sitting in the car.

After a long and pitying pause he added, ‛Well . . . ‛tis better’n being Cornish.’

There is no question but that Johnny is a local, he was born and bred on the moor and, as far as I know, has never lived anywhere else. If you want to know a bit more about what he does, this is a link to his web site:

I have been promising myself that I would have some lessons from Johnny and I really do intend to do just that before the end of this autumn.

On our way home we stopped at Holne to have some lunch. There is a community shop and cafĂ© there that is a credit to the village. I first came across a shop being run by a dedicated group of volunteers man, many years when I was writing a book called ‛Village Ventures’ and so these sort of projects are very close to my heart. There we enjoyed a very nice and simple lunch served by one of those women who cannot help but have a twinkle in the eyes: very funny and rather naughty. I will try to tell you the history of this place in a future blog as it has suffered from quite a few setbacks on the way.

Holne Moor in different moods
Since we both felt we were having a holiday we stopped for a cup of coffee at what is probably my favourite place on Holne Moor. The views are wonderful as I hope I can show you. Then we did something just to prove it was a holiday. We stopped in the car park below Cox Tor (which was crowded) and enjoyed an ice cream brought from the van that will be up there now for the rest of the summer.
Cox Tor on the horizon. Ice cream van to the right


A tiny bit of progress. We are snarfing (if you will pardon the slang) dog food as if it were going out of fashion and some of us are just starting to grow back legs and to lose that rounded look as we begin to form waists.

We are assuming that we shall be given new water on Saturday morning and will be complaining bitterly if we are forgotten (again!).