Saturday, 31 January 2009

This morning, I decided to walk to Paignton to visit the charity shops, as its been a while since I last did. There was an Easterly blowing into the bay, so with that, and the new moon causing a high tide, it was really wild down the front, with waves crashing over the sea wall, and tossing waves fifteen foot into the air. I had to walk on the other side of the road to avoid being soaked, and being hit round the head with huge lumps of seaweed and stones dragged from the bottom.
At Hollicombe last week, part of the cliff fell into the sea, and turned the sea red, as the cliffs are all red down here as is the soil, thats why we have pink sheep!
There was a huge swell in Paignton too, and the waves were touching the underside of the Pier, it was very noisy with the wind howling and the waves crashing and booming.
Unfortunately there was very little of a vintage nature to be had in the charity shops, which is quite unusual, so I walked home..
The tide had started to recede by that time, but the wind had developed a biting edge to it, so I was glad to be back in Torquay, but an interesting walk nonetheless....

Thursday, 22 January 2009

With a bright morning promised, we decided to make that trip to Teignmouth today, before the rain set in again. There was lovely golden sunshine, blue sky and a big surf running, with the wind whipping off the frothy tops of the waves. The wind had quite a bite to it, as we walked round the headland.

Shaldon across the river looked very pretty with pastel coloured houses, and the hill covered in the winter trees. We could see lots of gulls flapping and diving into the sea, so we went to see what all the fuss was about...

We couldnt see what they were diving for, but obviously the pounding surf had churned up the bottom, and brought shellfish, and tiny fish up amongst the seaweed that was floating on the top

Looking down the river, we could see the moor in the distance, and a great bank of black cloud, heading our way no doubt..

We walked along the river beach, where the stiff breeze blew the lobster pot flags, and howled in the rigging of the boats.

The houses are very charming along here, with their sea themed gardens, and house names like `Cockleshells` a very pleasant little walk, it certainly blew away the cobwebs..

Snowy Haytor

Yesterday, we decided we`d take a trip out to Teignmouth, but on the way there, we spotted some snow on Dartmoor, so drove up to Haytor. It had a nice snowy hat, and the slopes were icy
Its quite a stiff walk up, but the views are wonderful, and you can see right out to sea..
It was lovely and peaceful, as it was a week-day, and a thin watery sun shone down...
Its a very popular tor, and very busy at the weekend, with families, dog walkers and climbers
We could see how snowy the high moor was in the distance, it all looked very pretty
We walked down the slope, crunching on all the frozen puddles as you do....
Where we had a look round the quarry, granite from here was used in the building of London bridge. The lake was partially frozen, and snow dusted the boulders.
Theres fish in the lake, we`ve even seen goldfish, but I think they were keeping warm tucked up in the weeds...
Theres still signs of a time when the quarry was a busy working place, huge iron bolts embedded in granite stones, massive iron rings hanging redundantly, and this lovely rusty old winch in the lake, which still works, with the most haunting of mournful screeches when the handles turned!

Friday, 16 January 2009

on the earth, bitter
black frost, and a winding sheet of snow,
upon her withered breast, and
deep within me, dread
and ice"
Jessica Macbeth.

"Brew me a cup for a winters night.
For the wind howls loud and the furies fight;
Spice it with love and stir it with care,
And I`ll toast our bright eyes,
my sweetheart fair"
Minnia Thomas Antrim.

"Long yellow rushes bending
above the white snow patches;
purple and gold ribbon
of the distant wood:
what an angle
you make with each other as
you lie there in contemplation"
William Carlos Williams.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009


We were quite suprised to wake to a very hard frost this morning, as the weather these last few days has been extremely wet and windy. We were even more suprised to find snow on some of the higher ground on Dartmoor, but it looked very pretty.

We wanted to visit Brentor again, we`d been years ago when we first moved down here, but hadn`t been back. The church can been seen for miles around, as it stands so high, on a rocky outcrop.

St Michael de Rupe church is dated from the thirteenth century. It has many legends surrounding it as to how it was built, one mentions that the Archangel St Michael hurled a large boulder at the devil to scare him away, it must be true as the boulders still there..

It`s quite a hike up to the church, and the ground was very wet and muddy, but fortunately there wasnt a icy easterly wind.

Although its quite a small church, its quite charming, and has a lovely stained glass window of St. Micheal
The views from the churchyard are wonderful, you can see for miles
It is a very remote church, and is reputed to be on a ley line, so I think that makes it a very magical little church, and certainly worth a visit.

Monday, 5 January 2009

My first day off today, so as the weather was nice, we decided to take a walk round a local lake and wood. I took a bag of bread for the local residents, and they started to form a queue.

Then everyone else joined in..theres lots of coots, who tend to be very quarrelsome, waving their incredibly large feet at each other. The moorhens are more orderly, and the black-headed gulls very vocal! this little chappie just wanted to be in the front of the picture

It`s a lovely walk through the trees, round the lake, with the birds singing and keeping a beady eye on you...

We were lucky enough to see a redwing, but he was too quick to catch on film, and in the tree tops we could hear the nuthatches but couldnt spot them.

There was a nice family of swans though, three cynets who were very curious

There is a nice little stream that runs through the wood

And this wonderful avenue of beech trees, which look stunning in the Autumn, and leave this lovely carpet of toffee coloured leaves in the winter. I think they are my favourite trees, with their beautiful grey trunks.
Mind always get one who wants to be different!
It was a lovely walk, pity I had to go shopping after!!!!

Thursday, 1 January 2009

New Year walk

The first walk of the year had to be on the Moor. We went to our favourite wood, and peered over the bridge at the icy water rushing over the stones. The lovely Alders growing around the banks were covered in tight purple catkins, waiting for the Spring to open.
We walked down the road, between skeleton hedges, and knotty ivy berries, to another little stream, where the parapet was covered in a green mossy blanket, and ivy streamers
The gurgling of the stream and the robin singing in a nearby tree were the only sounds
It was lovely to see the bare bones of the trees on the hillside, and the air was icy cold, the Moor held in the ironfist of Winter.
Although there were no flower strewn glades, there were some very interesting ferny trunks
And in the clearing, a giant skeleton oak-tree, wrapped in a duffle coat of ivy
Its a lovely peaceful little walk, soothed by the sound of water, usually we hear and see a dipper fly erractically downstream, but I think it was having a lay in today...
Finally down to the ancient old bridge, where many pairs of feet have worn the stones smooth, and no doubt, many more was a good start to the year.