Thursday, 26 June 2008

Travels In Devon ~ Part Two

Current mood:  miserable

June 14th 2008

Mum and I got up early, determined to get as much fitted into our limited time as possible.  David, however, had other ideas.  He had a long shower, and spent about an hour and a half in total in the bathroom.  Then we drove back to Brixham, where I had seen some interesting shops the previous day.

Ah, I forgot to mention a little thing before - that's what comes with being so late updating this blog!  Mum was so scared that the house would burn down while we were away, she had brought a bag of her own prized possessions to stand alongside my ponies...and rival them in weight too!  Although it wasn't really much of a competition when it came to inconvenience.  For her prized possessions are...

You guessed it!  Family photos!


June 26th 2008 ~ Family Photos

June 26th 2008 ~ Family Photos

Now try carting that around with you everywhere (Can't leave them in the car or at the campsite - they might get stolen from either of those places!), and maybe you'll begin to understand the real reason why Mum didn't go in that last church.  It was her own family history pictures stopping her visiting the family history sites!

Things were just to get worse too.

David dropped us off at the parade of shops in Brixham, but Mum simply couldn't leave her precious photos in the car - what if David got out, and someone nicked them while he wasn't looking?  So she carried them around with her.

Now, my mum is only 4'10", and she had to really struggle to stop this bag dragging on the ground.  The bag itself must have weighed a good 2st, I should say.

So she stood outside all the shops, while I walked in and out alone, feeling bad that she wasn't enjoying herself, despite the fact it was her own fault for bringing these things. 

The ice cream shop was shut so we couldn't get a "seaside ice cream" opened before we'd even driven away, which was somewhat annoying.

Then photography duty began for the day...

Mum shouted out excitedly, looking at a butcher's shop.  "That's one of my family names!"  (like, her great-great-great-great grandmother's aunt's husband's sister's name or something).  So, of course, I had to take a picture of that, despite the fact everyone around was staring at me.

June 26th 2008 ~ Hannaford Butchers

Then, we set off for the next brilliantly different church (And yes, I am being sarcastic.  Even Mum can't tell one apart from the others in the photographs!)

But before we reached the church, oh joy, oh joy, Mum recognised something!  "That's the house [insert name I can't remember - family history internet friend] took a photo of for me when she was down here.  My Great Grandmother was born there!"

So out of the car I had to jump again, so quickly that we left both Mum's photos and my ponies behind.  After all, we were getting straight back in the car, weren't we?  And David would be there all the time...

  Photo Taken!

June 26th 2008 ~ Mill House

Back in the car - quickly!  Before that old woman pruning her hedges opposite the house asks us what we're doing!

Too late!  Mum is...TALKING TO HER???!!!

"Oh, we're just taking a photo of that house over there.  Is that OK?  You see my Great Grandmother was born there, and..."

"Oh, really?  That's very interesting.  There's a lovely man who lives there now.  You must go and see him.  He loves visitors!  Here, let me introduce you..."

Oh. My. God.  I could have died of embarassment there and then...but I didn't. 

Somehow I struggled up the path and we knocked on the door.

Tap, tap, tap!  Tap, tap, tap! 
"Cooey!  Tony!  Tony, are you there?"
The woman called.  No answer...thank goodness.  "Aww, that's such a shame.  He's 90 years old, so he's not usually out...maybe his friend has taken him to dinner."
"Oh well, tell him we called."
"I will do.  Be sure to come back this way if you get the chance!"

David had approached us by now, wondering what was going on...

We quickly said goodbye to the woman, and were just about to speed off...when a figure with a walking stick loomed behind the garden fence.  Apparently, this was Tony Boog, the man who lives there now...but no way did he look 90!  He asked us in to his garden, and he showed her around...  "Just three more acres this way!"   He told us that since he had moved in thirty years ago, he had kept buying more and more land around the area...really quite strange.  He did have a nice South African accent though. 

This picture illustrates part of the great meadow...I mean, garden.

June 26th 2008 ~ Mill House Garden

Mum almost died when Tony asked her into the house where her Great Grandmother had been born.  "Nothing much has changed at all!" she observed, looking at the stone walls.

Then came the greatest honour of all - Tony's cleaner (he needs help with a few jobs now, he told us sadly, as though it was unusual at his age!) went upstairs and got three old photos that had come with the house for us to look at...

All illustrating people, who Mum is convinced are her family.  She was about to ask if Tony would mind if I tried to photograph the photographs (just to make things ten times worse for me, you know?!) when he announced that she could KEEP one of the things - a picture of a man on a horse, who she believes is her Great Grandmother's brother (the man, that is, not the horse! )

Mum still moaned the second we had left the house though - "I didn't feel like I could get you to photograph them, after he gave me one.  It would have been like I was asking for the others.  And I think my Great Grandmother was one of the girls in that other picture!  Bl**dy nuisance..."

*Sighs*  Some people are just never satisfied.

She'd spent the entire time walking around the house and garden worrying about her photos being left in the car, even though we were in the middle of nowhere, and I don't believe any cars had even passed by the house while we were in there!  My ponies were also out in the car...  But, don't worry.  David assured us it was safely locked.

As we approached the car, we saw that his door wasn't shut!  "Ah, so that's why the car wouldn't lock!" He thought aloud.  Basically, he had lied to us.  In his haste to be nosy, and find out what we were doing knocking on this strange door, he hadn't closed his door properly and couldn't lock the doors, even though he said he had.  So he had left all of our possessions in danger.  Mum and I were not best pleased, I must say.

The church tour continued, but I can't remember how many we went to.  I know David had to keep stopping to use public services, and wasted all of our time, which meant as Mum reached one of the churches she had really wanted to visit, she had to watch a miserable old woman locking the gates.  However, she had spent hours at the infamous Modbury Graveyard she's been going on about for a couple of years now, and had her photograph taken with her Great Great Great (I believe it's three greats?) Grandparents' Graves...

(Looking as crazed as ever, with Great-Great-Great Grandad)

June 16th 2008 ~ Mum with Josias's Grave

(And with them both...)

June 26th 2008 ~ Mum with Josias and Mary's Graves

(Oh, and life wouldn't be complete without making me look stupid in a family portrait, would it?   I hate this picture - I'm holding my mouth so awkwardly to cover my horrid teeth.)

June 26th 2008 ~ Mum and I at Josias and Mary's Graves

After the church tour, there really wasn't much time left to do anything.  So far, I hadn't even seen the sea, despite being so near the seaside!  So we just took a quick drive through Exmoor to see if we could spot any ponies...  We were in luck!

Unfortunately, my pictures don't really do the poor things justice, but the little foals were just adorable!  One had just been born when we stumbled across the herd. 

These were the best three pictures a useless photographer such as myself managed to take...
June 26th 2008 ~ Exmoor Ponies

June 26th 2008 ~ Exmoor Ponies

June 26th 2008 ~ Exmoor Ponies

Finally, to Asda (we'd already been to Somerfield and got some lovely full cream milk earlier that day - we did a good tour of the Devon supermarkets, I must say! ) where I saw the "Myscene Goes Hollywood" DVD that I've been looking for everywhere (for obvious vocal reasons - *Cough-a-cough*), reduced to just £3 (!!!), but couldn't get it as David was giving me funny looks, and Mum was in the car due to those blasted photographs!!!  AGH!!!  I reckon I'm destined never to get that thing.

And then back to the camp site (following another packet of delicious Brixham chips!), for another night - what would be my last night, thanks to David and his stupid "Rat Man" appointment - in that comfortable single bed...

June 26th 2008 ~ Devon Caravan Bed

I wish I was still there now actually, rather than going off to the communal bed for yet another awful night.  Oh well.

See you tomorrow - maybe I can actually catch up with all my jobs then!

Desiree Skylark  xxx

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