Thursday, 10 April 2014

Rain never stops play!

This Spring David had an important birthday and since I know of no more beautiful place than Devon at this time of year, I decided to take him away for the weekend to Dartmouth. We left the car behind and immediately our pace of life slowed down. Waiting a while for the train to leave the station is nowhere near as stressful as being stuck in a traffic jam!
At Paignton life became more leisurely still, the coastline slowly slipping past to the comforting chug of the steam train.

We were the only passengers to alight at our stop and it felt as if we had left our old lives behind us

as we walked through the sunshine to Higher Greenway Barn, where we stayed our first night.

That afternoon the sunshine called us out and borrowing the house dog, we set off to buy some provisions

The birds were singing, primroses and violets covered the banks and the rich green fields and hills rolled out around us.

 And all the while, just around every corner, was the estuary and the smell of the sea.

Greenway Barn was a wonderful place to stay, our hosts were so helpful and friendly and staying in such lovely surroundings made us feel we were truly celebrating

They even turned on the hot tub and we decided it was the best place to drink to David's birthday!

That night, as we wandered down the lane, the air was still warm and we could see the moon resting in the tree's branches...

However this is England. And more often than not the blooming weather spoils the best laid plans.
On our next train journey, the steam and the fog were as bad as each other and everything was soggy and grey.

Thank goodness Nonsuch House proved to be a haven for world-weary rain-dampened travelers.
When it's horrid outside

A comfy inside makes all the difference!

The next day the skies stayed dark, the winds blew and the rain poured ever downwards
but with eternal English optimism, we decided ignore the weather and walk the coastal path to a local manor house.
Fortified but a wonderful breakfast cooked by our host Kit

 We faced the elements

and the steep winding paths of the Devon coast

Everything was stormy and dramatic

and the path seemed to lead ever onwards!

Finally we reached civilisation and had lunch and a much needed rest.

David wearing this hat made me giggle

So despite all we enjoyed ourselves. Of course I was disappointed and wished for a perfect sunny weekend but we were together and happy and will remember that wild wet walk with laughter for many years to come.

Happy Birthday my darling David

ps. If you are thinking of visiting this area, I thoroughly recommend these two perfect guesthouses. Comfy rooms, amazing food and friendly hosts who will do anything to make your stay a happy one-


  1. Hi Jane! What a beautiful post and what a lovely wealth of images. sounds like you had a wonderful time. Jane, I posted a comment on what I thought was your last post and now I have to find it!

    In it, I told you that I posted something today, which is delicious, but very calorific! I am going to find that post of yours, right now!

    I am back, Jane!




    1. Hello Anna, I'm so glad you're back! I have missed your comments and your wonderful recipes.Keep enjoying the Spring and all its beauty. Jane xxx

  2. Hello Jane:

    What a lovely idea to celebrate David's birthday in this way. And how splendid to have abandoned the motor car in favour of travelling by train and then, where necessary or for pure enjoyment, to have walked. Devon surely is a very attractive county and, as you say, the sea is never too far away. Both guest houses in which you stayed look to have been exceedingly comfortable and very welcoming. We are only sorry that the weather was not a little kinder to you but obviously you did not allow it to spoil anything.

    Belated birthday wishes to David.

    1. Hello Jane and Lance,
      My Father was a Devon man and we visited my grandparents every Easter as a child, so when Spring arrives, I get a yearning for the Devon hills and primroses.
      Thank you for David's Birthday good wishes, we did indeed have a happy time.
      Jane xx

  3. A very happy birthday to David, albeit belated!

    What a beautiful weave of words and images this post is - the misty coast, the wet green, the blossoming spring... I felt I was right there amid all this bounty.

  4. Ah Devon - all those little lanes filled with wild flowers at this time of the year. What a wonderful way to spend a birthday. Happy belated birthday wishes to David.

  5. SIX persons have put down comments, and I, a diehard railway enthusiast, have missed this post… How very tragic !! And so here I am writing to say how much I enjoyed those steam train pictures. Never once in my life did I ever imagine that you and David would ever take a steam hauled train, but I was proved wrong. A few days spent in the countryside is a fine way of celebrating a birthday. For many men, this is the best gift a wife can think up of, but I hold the view that the best present you can ever give a man is offer him a steam train ride.

    Goodies, like cakes and sandwiches only pamper a man ; a seaside vacation braces him to face the world with renewed strength ; but a steam train journey puts iron into his soul. Maybe I am exaggerating. I hear you have a good many heritage railways in Great Britain. I once wrote to some of these heritage railways, and in reply they sent me their colourful information brochures. I think I do remember something called South Devon Railway, and this is perhaps the route on which you travelled.

    So you two walked along the coast to have breakfast in an ageing Manor House? Now that is what I would call a real birthday holiday ; so very charming, so very English …

    Happy Birthday to David, although it is a bit late…