Thursday, 22 August 2013

A bit of an Exmoor day! ;-)

Here we are in Dulverton...a lovely little village on the edge of Exmoor.

It's Sunday and it's pretty peaceful; the sun is shining and

as we stroll around, we admire the beauty of the surroundings.

I like this village very much... and I love this little abode...

And Mr S points out this sign on the wall...we laugh.

What humour!

I think I could've stayed all day in Dulverton,

especially as I discovered an old bookshop with some

of my favourite 'Miss Read' books in the window (along with

the Agatha Christie paperbacks.)

I purchase, 'Friends at Thrush Green'...and make my exit.

I could've bought the lot as they are the hardback copies with those delightful

illustrations by John S. Goodall!

I adore these books and have read them so many times!

With a smile on my face, on I go, to...


In contrast, Dunster is busy; exceedingly busy!

It's a pretty little place but we don't do crowds of people terribly well!

Dunster and lunch both done...on we go!


We don't stop long in Porlock and we soon find ourselves 

dealing with Porlock Hill!

A piece of cake!! 

Thankfully I am not driving! ;-)

But just look at this view from the top!

And there's Wales, in the distance.

Next we head for Lynton and Lynmouth.

It's heaving with people when we get there and so we decide to drive on!

(Hence no photos!)

We've enjoyed our Sunday trip and I look forward to

bedtime reading and, maybe, returning to that bookshop, one day.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Sir John Betjeman

by John Betjeman (1906 – 1984)
Bird-watching colonels on the old sea wall,
Down here at Dawlish where the slow trains crawl:
Low tide lifting, on a shingle shore,
Long-sunk islands from the sea once more:
Red cliffs rising where the wet sands run,
Gulls reflecting in the sharp spring sun;
Pink-washed plaster by a sheltered patch,
Ilex shadows upon velvet thatch:
What interiors those names suggest!
Queen of lodgings in the warm south-west….


I've decided to do a little bit of Betjeman with some of my pupils, starting with

the poem , 'Dawlish', this seaside town being very close to where I live.

Sir John Betjeman once said:

“Too many people in the modern world view poetry as a luxury, 

not a necessity like petrol. But to me it's the oil of life.”

Poetry was obviously his great passion!

I've always rather enjoyed Sir John Betjeman's poems.

If you enjoy something, then you can teach it well

...that's my view!

In my opinion, Sir John Betjeman was the people's poet.

He wasn't a poet to be taken too seriously and

I loved his humour, his wit and occasional irony.

 His combination of nostalgia and fun,

drew me to his poetry when I was studying

some of it, during my own schooldays.

The illustrated


This is my favourite book by John Betjeman, partly

because of the poetry and partly due to the lovely

illustrations, which complement the words so very well!

Hugh Casson was a close friend of  Sir John Betjeman.

Architect and former president of The Royal Academy,

Hugh Casson's passion for those places about which Betjeman writes,

certainly comes across in his lovely drawings.

Here are a selection:

Simply charming!


Sunday, 18 August 2013

St Ives! ;-)

St Ives, yesterday... beautiful, whatever the weather!

First stop is usually coffee and we found, 'The Vintage Store and Coffee Shop'

as we walked along the harbour front.

Everything (or almost everything) is for sale

so you can browse to your heart's content as you drink your coffee.

Even the ladies loo had some interesting items!!

'The Vintage Store and Coffee Shop'

is definitely worth a coffee stop...and they do the best Flapjack !

After that we walked... and as you can see it was pretty grey.

But we don't let the weather ever spoil anything that we do.  

We spotted these little birds on the beach, 

which we identified as Turnstones.

Turnstones spend much of their time

creeping over rocks and picking out food from under stones...

hence their name.

Turnstones are not rare; they can be seen all around our coastline.

 They like rocky shores as well as sandy and muddy ones and they 

especially like feeding on rocks covered with seaweed, 

as well as seawalls and jetties.

They belong to the Sandpiper family.

On we go,wending our way through the back streets.

I always find other people's  porches and doors fascinating

and here in St Ives they are all very characterful.

So that's St Ives!

My advice, if you are coming from my part of the world,

(Newton Abbot)

is to catch the's really easy and won't break the bank! 

Jump off at St Erth and you'll find a connection to St Ives; the journey

then takes ten minutes.

Most definitely a lovely day out!