Saturday, 10 January 2015

Teignmouth Pier, Broken CDs and Unusual Wildlife!

I should be tidying up and applying for jobs, but I'm feeling too tired to do anything constructive.  So I think I'll procrastinate with a little blogging!

September 26th 2011

David spent ages getting ready as ever, and left packing to the last minute.  Then he was in a fowl mood with us.  Why?  We'd packed our bags, what were we supposed to do with his when half of his stuff was still in the bathroom with him anyway?!
I still hoped to get to St Ives but a look at the road map showed that it was just too far in the wrong direction to go there on the day we headed home, especially as I didn't even know if the Edwin Hall horse was even still at the one and only amusement arcade there.  So we opted to go to Teignmouth instead.

My mission in Teignmouth was to film the old kiddie rides on the pier.  I'd photographed them on our previous visit but hadn't had the nerve to take moving pictures in case I got told off by a member of staff.  However, a nice collection of rides such as the one on Teignmouth Pier was too valuable a rescource to be ignored now that I was seriously building my website.  And so I thought I'd try again.

The first thing I saw when I reached the pier broke my heart.  Once again, I was just too late.

The RG Mitchell E-Type and Bafco Car, two of the rides I had hoped to film, stood sadly at the side of the pier, in a corner not even reachable to the public, obviously awaiting scrap.

Luckily, quite a few of the other old rides were still there and so I was able to at least document those for posterity.  I believe that some of these had been on the pier for at least forty years so it's hard to believe that there appear to be no other photos or films of them online!

Ironically, far from telling me off, a member of staff actually helped me to get the RG Mitchell "Rescue" Lifeboat working when it refused to accept my 20p coin!  He didn't even question why I was filming a childless kiddie ride...perhaps he thought I was from the local lunatic asylum and I might attack him if he didn't help me?

Tragically, I still didn't have the nerve to film one of my remaining childhood favourites inside the arcade, ATM's "Flower House".  I know that this ride is no longer with us following the storms of February 2014, so this would turn out to have been my very last chance to get the machine on film.  I could kick myself for that one.

I took a couple of other pictures on the pier, but not nearly as many as I should have done with hindsight.  There were so many lovely old machines there back then.

I accidentally left my bag of carefully collected 2p coins in the car so didn't even get much chance to play on the old slot machines.  So sad, considering that would be my last ever chance.

We were followed back to the car by a greedy seagull who unnerved me somewhat.  I love birds, but there's something about gulls and crows that can be downright creepy when they have the mind to be!

We drove around Teignmouth for about half an hour, looking for Mum's aunt's old guesthouse without success.  Then we started the long journey home, via what seemed like a million service stations.  David got himself another Cornish Pasty at one of them but didn't offer us anything, of course.  We eventually got a Krispy Kreme donut just 30 miles away from home!

While most of our stops were pretty boring, there was one which was a bit different.  And no, it wasn't just the fact that I finally got a photograph of the Captain Nemo ride for the website!

These ponies were parked up on a trailer out in the car park.

I still have no idea where they were going, or what their purpose was (I guess they were made for some kind of track ride?) but they certainly made a pretty sight on that boring motorway!

When we got back in the car at that service station, David went to play my "Kiss Me Kate" CD and found that it wouldn't work.  It transpired that the CD player had scratched it somehow, but originally we blamed it on spilt milk.  Yes, seriously.  David had put the remainder of the milk in the bag with the CDs.  Jumping to his own defense, he corrected us that he "hadn't put milk in the bag, he'd put a milk BOTTLE in the bag".  Um...yeah.  Because a bottle containing milk doesn't contain milk, of course. >.<

Coming back to Woodberry was a bit of a shock.  I'd forgotten how unbearable it was to live in the dark and cold.  But at least I had a proper bed again!

September 27th 2011

David had to take half a day off work to see a man about our broken central heating.  The job was quick and simple (something wrong with the "memory board"?) but there was obviously an underlying problem with the boiler that our cowboy builders had fitted.

Mum spent most of the day moaning that she didn't get enough time with my computer, even though she used it for most of the day.  The only times she didn't have it were when the boiler man was due and after dinner when she claimed that using the laptop would give her indigestion (?!), so I don't really understand her complaint.

We went to McDonalds that evening for a McFlurry.  I like to try all the different limited edition ones and this month's was Galaxy.  I wanted the Smooth Chocolate version, they served the Cookie Crunch.  Oh well, it was still very nice!

We also went to the storage depot to collect some junk.  I didn't like being there after regular opening hours with the gates closed behind us and no staff around.  What if we were locked in?  I didn't want to be stuck in Alperton all night!  (I'm still not sure why David feels the need to pay extra to access his rubbish 24 hours a day...I thought we were broke?)

Not to worry, the gates worked, which meant we could go to Grottsville to collect the mail on our way back to Woodberry.  I was left outside in the car and got freaked by the drunken youths opposite.  I'd forgotten just how rough that area was!

I almost trod on this little guy on the front path at Woodberry.

Yes, that's a Common Frog.  What the heck was it doing in our garden?  We don't have a pond and nor do any of our neighbours as far as I know.  He seemed healthy enough and jumped down into the flowerbed next to the path when I walked past.  I hope he was able to find some water.

September 28th 2011

Back to the old routine; an exciting trip to Osterley Tesco in the evening.  I was very self conscious about my thinning hair but decided to go for a breath of fresh air.  I had to wait for ages while David argued about the price of Slim Fast, which were supposed to be 2 for £1.  It paid off though because he ended up getting 12 free bottles in all the confusion!

Upon our return, the bleach bottle's lid decided to burst off and the entire hall floor was covered.  Miraculously, it didn't seem to do any lasting damage but it was still a big job to get it all cleaned up!

My day was rather boring otherwise.  Usual housework including two lots of laundry.  The washing machine did not sound healthy at all...I thought it was eating the clothes at one point!

September 29th 2011

I washed my coat.  There was no way that it could go back in my wardrobe after lying on that filthy, wet bed at Bodmin Moor.  It was covered in grime and grease!  Anyway, as it was only one item, I put the tiniest amount of washing liquid in the machine.  No point wasting a lot of liquid on one coat!  So I was shocked to see the whole washing machine drum fill with soap suds. o_0  The washing machine was still making a terrible noise too.  I wondered if our awful drains had something to do with it.  Could old (sewage?) water be finding it's way back up the pipes and into the machine?

I was suffering badly with low self esteem regarding my thin hair again.  I'd given myself a stomach ache by winding myself up and stressing so much.  I felt so ugly and horrible, I didn't even want to leave the house any more.

I bid on a lot of MLP comics on eBay...well, you always know when I'm depressed, don't you?!  Retail therapy, anyone?  Never mind, I got outbid at £142 anyway.  Crikey, where did I get that kind of money?!

September 30th 2011

I didn't leave the house again.  Right back to the old routine, eh?  What a waste of a life.  David didn't even check Grottsville to see that the house was unharmed.  I don't know how he could rest knowing that we had property in an area like that.

I had got into a deep depression again.  Terrible anxiety attacks and a feeling of doom, as though something dreadful was about to happen.  Yep, welcome to my world!

The hair loss was really getting me down again.  Mum suggested we went to Denham car boot sale the following morning to take my mind off things but I didn't even want to show my face in public to go there, especially as I didn't have any dry hair shampoo.  My head was itching and my hair felt really thin and greasy.

And so ends another exciting 5-day blog.  To be honest, there's not a lot of interest in my day to day blog notes, is there?  It takes a holiday or day trip to create something to talk about.  Maybe it wouldn't be such a crime to cut out some of the monotonous rubbish and just blog about the highlights.  But then again, it seems a shame to have kept such meticulous notes all these years just to throw them away!  Sometimes I wonder if anybody ever reads these blogs anyway.  Well, I suppose it gives me something to think about other than the nightmares of the present day anyway!

Best wishes,
Desirée  xxx


  1. Don't fret about the flower house ride. They're still being manufactured iirc, so you will have a chance to see one again, even if it's not in the UK.

    1. True, but it will never be the one I remember from my childhood. :(


    1. Thanks for that. I keep meaning to save the photos from the ATM website before they take them down or something. It's great that they are still willing to make these rides but I guess they just make them to order? I've never seen another Flower's House (or even seen pictures of them in the present day).

      It's like the British company Rollite. Theoretically, you could still order their 1960s designs until a couple of years ago. But I NEVER saw any of those rides. I suppose arcades don't get to hear about them if they're not actively displaying their machines at the trade shows etc. Sad, I used to love ATM's rides.