Friday, 28 June 2019

Down in Devon

The invitation was to a Greek mid-summers evening party, situated in the middle of lush countryside somewhere between Exeter and the SW coast. Forests of huge trees, very high banked narrow country lanes and quaint little hamlets of thatched cob cottages make loosing your way easy - even our sat. nav. found the terrain confusing.
The wife of our friend is a Greek Cypriot - there were Greek chefs cooking typical varieties of Greek specialities out on their terrace, and as the evening progressed, the stars came out, the music commenced, and the Greek dancing began.
We stayed on a farm situated close to the party where we had our own small self contained outbuilding which had once been the boot and saddle room.
However, it was not completely self contained as every morning a delicious hot English breakfast was kindly delivered. It arrived in a large wicker basket filled with their own delicious farm produce together with freshly baked bread.
The farm dog 'Flo' was a delight, she really wanted us to stay throwing sticks and stones for her all day long, but it was not to be. A lovely sunny day had us making our way down to the coast, here we found a grassy sand dune where we could sit and gaze out to sea and watch the waves roll in. 
Suddenly we spotted a small girl busily exploring her surroundings. We watched as she wriggled her toes down into the sand and saw the puddles of sea water appear around her feet as if by magic. Her curiosity was palpable and a pleasure for us to watch her totally unobserved. The innocence and curiosity of early childhood is very special but so brief.
At the Seaside
When I was down beside the sea
A wooden spade they gave to me
To dig the sandy shore.

My holes were empty like a cup.
In every hole the sea came up,
Till it could come no more.
Robert Louis Stevenson

43 comments:

  1. What a lovely post, a romantic weekend with the "Sirtaki" I suppose? A lovely place to stay over in the B&B close to the shore. That girl is so sweet exploring the world.

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    1. That's right - Zorbas Dance - looks easy but much more difficult than you think.

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  2. The picture of the little girl is truly precious. As you say, it encapsulates the wonder of childhood, when every new experience is to be cherished. It is more the pity that as adults we can no longer see through the eye of a child.

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    1. The little girl was a long long way from us, but as you say truly precious moments.

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  3. Sounds idyllic! I love Greek food.

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  4. What a fun trip. The Cottage you stayed in sounded charming, complete with a sweet dog. The picture of the sweet child on the beach ( and the,poem) spoke to me. I am headed to the beach with my three little granddaughters soon,

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    1. Lucky you and enjoy - my four granddaughters are all grown up.

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  5. How delightful! The perfect way to begin the day here in hot Texas. I shared it vicariously. Julia

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    1. Thank you Julia for your kind comment and visit.

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  6. Rosemary how beautiful Devon looked - as it usually does of course! Feeling homesick just enjoying your lovely photos of the countryside. Must have been a wonderful visit. Glad your accommodation was so pretty and comfy, that you got to sit a while by the sea. Flo is gorgeous, and the little toddler so cute. RLS certainly wrote the perfect poem to add to your photo!

    Happy days - Mary

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    1. Dear Mary - I did think of you whilst we were down in Devon, and thought how much you would love to have been there.
      We could easily have kidnapped Flo and carried her back home, she was so adorable.
      We have a lot of summer heat here just now, far too hot for me.

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  7. This post evokes all the stories of Country House Weekends I've read about in British novels set in the early to mid 20th century. It sounds absolutely lovely with a charming room, ocean visits, good food, and a party! Such fun! Happy summer days to you.

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    1. We did have a very special time Lorrie and your comments are extremely astute. Our hosts are very generous people but lead a totally different lifestyle to ours. They live in London but have a large country estate in Devon with horses and stabling. He flies up and down from London at the weekends in his own helicopter, and lands in a field at the side of their house.

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  8. What an idyllic little cottage- a brass bed, a wood-burner, a bookshelf over the door and a proper breakfast every morning! Flo looks adorable; I bet you wished you could have stayed to play with her. It's such a shame we forget the wonders of childhood as we grow older. Best, Jane x

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    1. You are very observant Jane - I thought the bookshelf over the door was a great idea, and that door is a lovely stable door which was great to have open with the patio beyond. I can imagine that it would be good fun lighting the wood burner on a chilly evening. There was plenty of wood in case we fancied giving it a go.

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  9. Beautiful shots, but Flo is the best!

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    1. Flo is absolutely gorgeous and totally irrepressible.

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  10. Hello Rosemary, All the photos were particularly charming today, but my favorite was the first sweeping one of the Devon fields and woods, with all those shades of green! How I would love to spend the day hiking around there.
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - the Devon countryside is very pleasing along its with narrow lanes and high banks covered in wild flowers. Because of this it is always somewhere that we like to visit. However, the narrow lanes are extremely difficult to negotiate in a car, you just hope that you will not meet another vehicle coming in the opposite direction.

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  11. Beautiful photos!!

    Flo is so cute with her long hair :)

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  12. Used to love visiting Devon and the surrounding South West landscapes. Like the poem- simple but nails it perfectly with a handful of words.

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    1. Digging in the sand is a strange first phenomenon to experience as a child when you discover that the more you dig the more the hole fills up with seawater.

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  13. That all sounds idyllic. Love the little girl in the sea.

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    1. She was a good distance away from us and didn't know that we were watching her.

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  14. I do like Greek dancing, those men do have a special gift for dancing. The bed looks inviting .
    We have Exeter here too..

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    1. I imagine that your Exeter was named by some person who came from Exeter in Devon, which incidentally is a beautiful city.

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  15. I love quaint little hamlets of thatched cob cottages, especially when they are surrounded by lush green landscape. And if I moved back to the UK, it would definitely be to a part of Devon that was close to the water.

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    1. Should you move then I think that this area of Devon would suit you perfectly - it has the city of Exeter not too far away, and the coast is less than 30 minutes drive. The countryside is lush and feels very remote. Personally I much prefer the Devonshire countryside to that of Cornwall.

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  16. What a treat, looks like such a perfect stay !

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    1. This week has been very full on so to have a few relaxing days away beforehand was good.

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  17. Dearest Rosemary,
    That no doubt was a lovely gathering with great food; once you managed to 'arrive'.
    Oh, certain spots on this planet still can confuse the modern age GPS system.
    Glad you arrived and what a lovely place for staying the night and having such a breakfast delivered!
    The little girl's photo is poetic - telling so much.
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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    1. Dear Mariette - these few days we spent away in Devon were delightful - lots of happy memories, and we returned home refreshed and relaxed.
      We shall certainly hope to return to The Boot Room again one day.

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  18. Merhaba Bloğunuzu takip ettim .sizi de takibe beklerim. Bloğuma ziyerete beklerim . Teşekkürler

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  19. This is a lovely post to remind us all of your visit...I'm glad to have found your link! Will be looking forward to your next post! And I know this sounds just like the spammers, but I'm a fellow blogger! I like especially that you've answered each of the comments. I'll have to figure out how to do that! Barb Rogers at "When I Was 69" and "Alchemy of Clay."

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    1. Thank you for your kind comment Barbara - I will pop over to see you soon.

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  20. awesome article.
    thanks for sharing :)

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  21. What a lovely sweet post that is, with such great photos! A real fun time you had, surely soothing soul and heart!

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    1. It was a great few days of relaxation followed by a very busy week so just what we needed.

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