A lovely weekend at the cottage with the Boy. No DIY, no TV, no chores. The weather wasn’t great, so still no eating out of doors. The children want me to get some huge involved table so that we can spend more time outside, regardless of the fact that the weather here just hasn’t made that seem sensible. Even when it’s warm on the levels, there’s a cool breeze here and an evening drop in temperature that means that eating outside isn’t likely to happen unless we eat at 5pm and we are no longer kiddyridden.
We brought the cats with us, who seemed to remember being there before, as they didn’t spend quite so much time in a crouch as on the last visit. But we didn’t let them out.
On Saturday we drove to Dulverton on Exmoor. I’d found an antique shop there online that looked interesting. When we got there I realised that this was in the same area-ish as Lynton, scene of one of the worst weekends of my life, and it had very much the same rather oppressive vibe to it that had contributed to that weekend being ruined. I just don’t like places that are overshadowed by mountain sides covered in trees. They had a sign showing where the water level reached in 1952, when there were several deaths as a result of a huge flood. The shop was disappointing, yielding an expensive but lovely dresser which I will have to think hard about before spending so much money. They also make sofas to measure to a very similar design to the one I bought, which could be a solution for the home sitting room problem, but more to think about there at another time.
Then we continued driving, the weather still not being up to much walkwise. The Boy was uncommunicative and it felt remarkably like being on an outing with his father. Turns out he hadn’t slept well and was tired. He livened up a bit after some lunch and a snooze.
Then we pitched up in Wiveliscombe, which is a strange place. We found a wonderful junction called Black Cat on the road there, with a picture of one arching its back.
W is quite big, and mostly closed, which is odd on a Saturday afternoon, so it felt rather like it had been abandoned or it was on the continent. Rather old fashioned, without all the usual chains, unless we completely missed them. Found a huge furniture warehouse here, full of really cheap things.
However, all of the mahogany antique variety that is now so out of fashion. Scarcely a piece over £200. But nothing that I was interested in. However, probably worth coming to have a look from time to time.
Travellers Rest for a quick drink in the evening, which is always nice. All the same faces as usual, but supper at home tonight as I couldn’t abide anymore pub food after the horrible Dulverton lunch we had.
On Sunday, I mowed the lawn as gardeness hadn’t been able to, due to rain, and Boy helped me cut the top of the hedge at the back of the garden, bordering the field, which looked immediately much better. It all seems so easy and quick when you have help! Normally, I struggle with all this and end up exhausted. Boy loved wielding the hedgetrimmer, so I will have to get him to have a go with the lawn mower too. Power tools are obviously the way forward in getting your offspring to help.
The local farmers are all combining away and then cutting back the hedges, so all kinds of new views are appearing, which makes walking interesting as the countryside reveals itself afresh. I love the changing patchwork texture of the land, as it is ploughed, planted, and harvested. We went on a walk up Broomfield Hill, almost opposite the Travellers Rest, from which there are wonderful views, all the way across to Wales. It is interesting seeing Spring Cottage from that high perspective, with the tractors going backwards and forwards and people walking about, horses in the fields and deer running out from their cover in the woods. The hill is National Trust, so it is all very open and well maintained, with bird boxes, coppicing and charcoal making being planned. I shall have to go back to see if this actually happens. There was also a herd of highland cattle sitting amongst some quite low trees, which we were wary of, given the number of people who have been trampled recently. They were with their calves but we walked around them, giving them quite a wide berth, and they were fine. They had such fine, curling horns. The calves were really very sweet, being very hairy and fluffy.
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