I’ve just sat down to write a post and glanced out of the window. The sky has gone pink but it’s foggy. What’s that all about?
The light is amazing. Now I can’t stop gawping out of the front and back windows. My poor head is twisting from left to right like I’m at a tennis match. I’ll be getting a crick in my neck at this rate.
We’re all back at home now after our jaunt to south Devon for brother in law’s funeral.
So. Where’s this ‘ere silver lining then?
I’ll tell you, dear reader. Right after I tell you that I’ll be back on track with the zero to hero challenge tomorrow. I haven’t given up on it. Call it more of an interlude.
Boofuls, me, The Rev, Lashes and Len all travelled down to Devon. As sad as it was, I was thrilled that the kids wanted to come with us. I don’t get to spend nearly enough time with them. Silver lining number one. Big N stayed home to look after Douggie.
We arrived at our hotel, the very hotel that inspired Fawlty Towers. I was so excited to be staying at the actual Fawlty Towers.
It wasn’t the Fawlty Towers, Watery Fowls, Flowery Tw*ts, Flay Otters, Farty Towels or any other version of the name that I laughed at as a teenager till my stomach ached and the tears poured down my face. I was expecting to see the building in the photos above but instead we found a very modern building and well run establishment. It was luv-er-ly. Silver lining number two.
After our long journey we went to a pub that Boofuls and I found on our last trip. The food was amazing and we thought it would be a nice treat after a long, hard journey. Before we set off, Lashes and I went to get our nails done at a local nail bar so we’d look our best for the funeral. I’m not going to count that as a silver lining because they did Lashes’ nails wrong and had to do them all again. It wasn’t so much a treat as an endurance test in the end. By the time we got out of there we were all starving to death and ready eat chunks of the car steering wheel.
We managed to hold off though till we got to the pub.
At the pub it was clear that there was only one member of staff on duty and a pub full of diners. The poor waitresses face when we walked in was a picture. There wasn’t a table for five so she put us in the conservatory.
Oh. Dear. Lord. I’m not saying it was cold but we could see our own breath!
Despite all that we had a brilliant meal and the wine flowed. Oh how the wine flowed. The more it flowed the sillier we got. After we’d got back to the hotel, Lashes and I did a little re-enactment play of my bedroom carpet incident. I played myself and Lashes played the paint. It was just hilarious. Mind you, at that point most things were hilarious. I think the bar man enjoyed our little play. Silver lining number three.
On the morning of the funeral I went to get my hair done at a local salon which was just brilliant. I know where to go now when we’re in Devon in future. I left there feeling marvellous and, amazingly, hangover free. Silver lining number four. Unlike poor Len who was more than a little ill. In fact everyone else took themselves back to bed for a couple of hours. I took myself off for a nice long walk along the coast. Silver lining number five.
Just look at this little chap who came to say hello to me on my walk. Isn’t he just gorgeous?
here are a few other photographs, all taken on my phone, from the trip.
If you’re really clever you’ll notice that this next photo is the same rock but photographed from a distance. From my hotel bedroom window. Not a bad view, eh?
When lashes and Len were having a sleep me, Boofuls and The Rev had a ride out to Brixham to see the golden Hind. Silver lining number six.
While we were there I saw this just crying out to be photographed. Any guesses as to what it is?
Over the course of that couple of days we met family that we’d never really met before, certainly The Rev, Lashes and Len met lots of new people and they all got on really well. We all have lots of new Facebook friends now and are al busily sharing photos, jokes and chatting away madly trying to catch up on the lost years. Silver lining number seven.
So there we are. All in all although the reason for our trip was terrible, there is a silver lining to be found on every cloud, there may even be more than one if you look really closely.
Minding our own business and driving down a road we don’t drive down very often, through the country side towards Bigtown.
Suddenly, Boofuls and I spotted a trio of young boys chasing a few sheep up the road. “Aye aye” we thought, “What’s going on here then?’ But working on the basis that the boys didn’t have any look of anticipation on their faces and weren’t wearing wellies we decided it was probably innocent.
Innocent it might have been but it sure didn’t look like fun. The older boy was red fadedly, arm wavingly and desperately trying to get these sheep to go in a direction in which they most definitely didn’t want to go. The two younger boys just ran around and shouted a lot, making matters far worse but they were trying their best to help and that’s what counts, I suppose.
As it’s quite a busy and winding road I could see huge and looming potential for disaster in the situation so I thought we’d better stop and help. Boofuls pulled over and I jumped out of the car.
“What’s going on, lads?” I said with my most authoritative voice. I soooo should have been in the police.
“These sheep have escaped from the top field and we’re trying to get them back but they keep running away.”
It turned out that these poor lads had been trying to get these sheep back in their field for about 20 minutes but in actual fact had inadvertently driven them down the hill and onto the road. By this time both the boys and the sheep were in a state of sheer terror.
Sigh. Nothing else for it then, let’s get my sheep herder’s head on and start herding. Did you know that sheep are incredibly stupid?
Arms outstretched, I walked towards then while the elder of the boys did the same from a different direction to try and herd them towards the gate. ‘Piece of cake, this’, I thought. How wrong could I be?
One of the sheep made a bolt for the road and of course the others followed. How I wished for a sheepdog at that very moment – and to my surprise I kind of got one. Boofuls swung the car across the road to block their path and sent them all scurrying back towards us. Well done, Shep, er, I mean, Boofuls.
After a few minutes of herding and cooing, we managed to get them off the road and down a farm track. “Open the gate! Open the gate!” I was shouting to the two younger boys who just stood there looking at me like I was speaking martian. I think they were traumatised. “OPEN THAT GATE!!!!” I bellowed at them and finally they responded and the sheep all ran through it right on cue. It was just like ‘One Man and His Dog’ as the gate was swung shut behind them and we all cheered.
I have no idea who’s land we put them on. I could just imagine the home owner’s face when they saw a small flock of sheep they don’t own grazing away on their land. That, however was not my problem nor that of the boys who’s public spirited actions and determination to get those sheep to a safe place is to be much admired. The oldest boy was almost on his knees, partly out of breathlessness but mostly out of gratitude. He must have thanked me two dozen times for my help.
Our country of the future needs more kids like these. Whoever their parents are, particularly the older boy, they’re an absolute credit to them.
Well done lads!
As for me and Boofuls, we carried on with our journey and I spent the rest of the day talking like a farmer. Ooohaaaaarrr.
Sigh. We’re back. Back from one of the best experiences of our entire lives.
So good in fact that I’m getting teary just sitting here thinking about where to start telling you all about it. I suppose the best place to start is at the beginning, so here goes….
Some months ago a florist that we have met at many a wedding fair over the last few years told us she wanted us to photograph her wedding. At the last wedding fair she arranged the date – for the day before our Big Adventure. Bit of an issue there as we were planning to set off on holiday that day for an early flight the following day but hey ho. let’s just incorporate it into the plan.
The day of the wedding arrived and we packed all the camera gear along with our passports, suitcases, boots and all the other paraphernalia involved in going away. After the wedding Lashes and Len met us to take the bulk of the camera gear home and we headed off down south. Yay, it’s happening – we’re on holiday!
After an uneventful journey we arrived at our destination, Narnia. What? Not Narnia? Well, it looks like Narnia. It’s definitely magical.
Ok, it wasn’t actually Narnia, it was Sweden.
On the coach journey to the hotel I was mesmerised by the way the trees were so heavily laden with snow that they bent in half, bowing majestically to us as we drove past. Other trees assumed the shape of snow dragons, trolls, birds…..hang on. Are you sure it wasn’t Narnia? I couldn’t believe that somewhere on this earth could be so beautiful. For the whole of the two hour journey to Karesuando I was transfixed and enchanted.
I was almost sad when we reached the hotel, until I stepped off the coach to an even more magical place. The paths were lit by candles and the trees, glistening with snow jewels were lit from deep in the woods giving an ethereal, magical effect. My eyes got wider and wider to try and take in the beauty of our surroundings. As an adult I felt like I was in a fairy tale, I can’t even begin imagine how small children must feel when they come here to see Santa.
I’m going to let the photographs tell you the story. I may chip in from time to time.
lashes, Munki and me were out and about doing a bit of shopping for our respective Christmas decorations. I was looking for white lights – and I do mean white lights not those awful blueish-greyish things that just make me depressed when I see them. I’m talking about gorgeous, sparkly, bright white cheery lights.
Lashes was looking for trinkets for her trippy Alice in Wonderland tree in shades of pink, blue and turquoise. It’s fabulous!
Anyway, while we’re on the subject of Christmas lights, I’ve noticed that the usual bright blue monstrosities are out in force again this year, flashing away like huge offensive to the eye insect-o-cuters. What surprises me is that where we are seeing these lights mostly is on the streets where you would expect the residents to positively avoid flashing blue lights.
Oooohh, aren’t I awful? Happy Christmas to you too!
So. Moving swiftly on…..
We spent a happy morning in the local garden centre with the brilliant Christmas displays and I stopped in my tracks when I saw this display:
“Oh! Look at this, it’s exactly what I need; damage free hanging solutions.”
The woman walking past nearly broke her neck as it swung round to take a look at the object of my desire. Imaging her surprise when I burst out guffawing loudly and snorting with derision as I realised that the much vaunted ‘damage free hanging solutions’ were in fact nothing more than plastic hooks with a sticky pad attached. Oh isn’t marketing marvellous. Damage free hanging solutions, or as we call them; hooks. That kept me laughing for the rest of the morning.
The weather has been A-MAZ-ING recently. Just how I like it, cold, crisp and clear. The thick frost has meant that places that are normally a no go walking area for me and Velcrodog because it’s as wet as a paddy field all dried up and added a new dimension to our walks. I was double pleased about the weather because I took Velcrodog to the beauty salon last week and it was nice to be able to take him out for a walk while he looked gorgeous and get him him home still looking gorgeous and not like a swamp monster. I got good few days out of it. Worth every penny of my £40.
Here are a few photos from our frosty walks. Hope you like them:
Rants, raves and ramblings about whatever takes my fancy