Category Archives: Devon

Dawlish trainline, checking for progress

For the 100 word challenge for grown ups this week  I wrote about  the storm damage to the trainline at Dawlish. I’ve since been to see how things are going, but it was no surprise that I couldn’t get very close. Here are some phone pics.

Dawlish is a quaint little seaside town ful of old -fashioned charm.

The train journey west continues to Teignmouth and from there you can get a ferry to Shaldon. I ‘ve posted about both in the past.

The workmen at Dawlish told me that the completion date for repair of the train track and sea wall is just before Easter, good news for locals and visitors alike.

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The Middle of Yesterday

Imagine yourself ninety years ago. You find yourself sailing past one of the loveliest parts of England, an unspoilt valley by the sea in Devon. You decide you have to buy it and have the architect Oswald Milne design your perfect country house.

The house was built so that all the main rooms faced south and once it was complete Milne, who was Sir Edward Lutyens assistant designed the hard landscape.

The stone was quarried on the land and the landscaping even included channeling a stream through a rill, damming to form pools before it returned to its natural state in the lower slopes of the valley.
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Stand and enjoy the view,
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your own private beach lies below.
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and all the while your paradise is being planted with a sheltering belt of Monterey pine and holm oak that will eventually create a micro climate.
One day your paradise will be filled with fragrant and exotic plants, flowers so colourful that everyone will want to see it.
Tomorrow perhaps I’ll show YOU how it turned out.

Starting and Finishing with Boats

I spent the day exploring with a friend today and turning right too soon led us to Galmpton Creek, sleepy on a Saturday but a nice diversion. It’s on the river Dart and Dittisham can be seen in the distance.

The last stop was at Shaldon beside the river Teign estuary, more boats and a lovely evening light.

Tomorrow I’ll try to show you the space between!

October tomorrow

I love summer. I try to convince myself that autumn is beautiful, a palette of rich colour,a time to prepare for Christmas, settling in the warm for winter with some good books, but it doesn’t work. I just start counting the days until spring, especially once the shortest day has past. Leaving for work in the dark and not returning home until dark, I could easily fall prey to seasonal affective disorder. Photos are one the things I use to keep myself sane, looking back over best parts of the year, so I’ve chosen one from each month of the summer to share with you.
April at Buckland
April, not quite summer but full of promise.

May on the quay
May in bright blue.

June my birthday in Brixham
June at Brixham harbour.

July The Grand Western Canal
July relaxed on the water.

August patchwork to the bay_edited-1
August across fields to Lyme Bay.

September Rosemoor
September, my favourite garden full of colour.
It hasn’t been the easiest summer, but it has been rich with experiences and adventures. Now, let winter be short and gentle!

A Walk on Dartmoor

For my lazy poet Thursday I posted a photo of the Ten Commandments of Dartmoor and as Bulldog at was intrigued I said I’d do a post about it. Each blue square on this map is just one kilometre but don’t be fooled into thinking this is a really easy walk, if your knees aren’t brilliant and you have asthma it is still exercise.

DSC_0630We couldn’t find anywhere to park in Buckland in the Moor, so we drove on to Cold East Cross, parked beside the road and walked up Beacon common.


This is the view as you approach the stones, looking towards the beacon plantation.  Incidently the Beacon here was lit as part of a chain of fires to mark both the millenium and the Queen’s jubilee.



So to the Commandment stones. In 1928 a local landowner William Whitely commissioned WA Clement, a stonemason from Exmouth to carve the tablets with 1547 letters at a cost of £50. Mr Clement lived in a hut nearby while he carried out the work which took about 9 weeks. As well as the Commandments there is a favourite quote of Whitely’s,

But there’s a power, which man can wield

When mortal aid is vain,

That eye, that arm, that love to reach,

The listening ear to gain

That power is prayer.

The stones were re-carved in 1995 by the Dartmoor National Park Authority. These are some more views from the beacon.

Heading back down you follow the granite wall.7

Enjoy the peace and clean air.


Perhaps a muddy cool down – I’ve shown you this one in an earlier post!


Smile if your knees aren’t completely wrecked!



Find a shady spot to dip your toes in the icy water.


and make sure the dogs are dunked clean!

I hope you enjoyed the walk and learning a little more about the Ten Commandments of Dartmoor.

A Killerton evening

Would you give away your family home for your political beliefs? Sir Richard Acland did  in 1944 with Killerton, his 6400 acre estate just a few miles outside Exeter, handing it to the National Trust. The estate includes 20 farms and 200-plus cottages, many miles of footpaths and woodlands to walk, and the main house that is open to the public. A walk that has long been a favourite of mine and my children when they were growing up, is at Daneswood, great for an hours pootling. Here are some of the sights  in and views from the wood this misty, late summer evening.


Lazy Poets Thursday Poem

The Dartmoor series continues with a distant view of Brentor and I’ve posted a larger image then usual so that you can zoom in to the horizon and see the church.

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St Michael’s tower atop volcanic cone

presiding over broad sweep of moor

with expanse of green pasture and hedge

and with barren peat soil to the fore

built on solid granite eight centuries past

you perch on sacred pagan land

with unconcerned remains of thirty nine

lying north to south beneath Christian floor

traces remain of what once was so fine

crafted Before Christ by sturdy hands

   no longer standing the ancient hill fort

but in perpetuam it’s ghosts will hold fast

Sidmouth Folk Festival, a bit of a dance!

For one week every year at the beginning of August the town of Sidmouth burst into life and at the seams with visitors to the folk festival. There is music, dance, theatre and story telling in venues big and small all over the town. Market traders line the seafront and everywhere is a riot of colour. Here are a few of the photos I took last night.

Another good reason for you to come to Devon!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fresh

Otterton in East Devon has it’s own mill, producing flour and powered by the River Otter. This is real flour, not the mass produced stuff we find in the supermarkets, but artisan quality and very tasty. They mill a few times a month and you can buy it FRESH in standard packs or larger sacks. I actually tried it, freshly milled and delicious.

This is my take on the Weekly Photo Challenge, join in at