Welcome to family, friends and visitors. Here you will find interesting (hopefully) pictures of my part of the world, news of our household and probably, long ramblings about anything that catches my interest.

Thursday 31 January 2013

Grey and Windy.

As predicted I'm now over the worst of my cold. Just losing my voice a bit which wasn't too helpful as I was teaching all day in a class that has some silly boys who need quite a firm hand. First thing in the morning I had to re-arrange the class teacher's planning as the teaching assistant couldn't come in due to her children going down with the bug. I simply planned in a few more practical activities and as it was a very windy, almost stormy day, I set up a table with string, wool, paper etc. for them to make kites which they could then fly outside. I was quite looking forward to an afternoon of art until I discovered (or rather didn't discover), about 8 of their backgrounds which they painted last week were missing. That meant a quick setting up for more painting and hopefully these paintings won't disappear. They didn't do too well in cutting out monster profiles and most of them look like black blobs. Never mind, the point was for the children to have a try which most of them did. 
I.O.S. 2012.
Peter got some good news yesterday - the final crew selections have been made for the World Pilot Gig Championships in the Isles of Scilly and he has been selected. He's booking the ferry tickets now so that is something to look forward to. It's at the beginning of May so hopefully the weather will be reasonable but we are only going for 4 days as I have to be at work on the Tuesday afternoon. 

Wednesday 30 January 2013


It was great to see blues skies once more. Thank goodness neither of us had to get up early as we are both feeling a bit under the weather. Peter twisted his back digging gravel, a while back and it hasn't been getting better. He finally gave in and went to the chiropractor yesterday. After getting his back crunched he was advised to take things easy for a couple of days to let it settle down so for the first time since he has been working there he has called in sick. He works for an american company and the workers have few rights, no union and after about 5 days off sick you are called in to HR to explain why. People are so frightened to take time off that they go to work even when they are ill spreading their viruses amongst everyone else. I too have finally succumbed to a cold and felt pretty grot this morning. It was really good to be able to get a couple of extra hours of sleep. It still took a couple of cups of coffee (decaff - so any hot drink would have done), pain killers and some chocolate before I felt properly awake. As it's only a cold I'm sure I'll feel much better tomorrow though my voice may take longer to recover. 
Being Wednesday it was a double staff-meeting day but I do enjoy working with the little ones down in the reception class. 

Tuesday 29 January 2013


Today it has been much warmer and the weather has been windy and mostly wet interspersed with extremely wet. I wasn't teaching in the morning but was free to go into town to meet up with 3 friends for coffee and cheesecake. We had a lovely time and the time passed all too quickly.I had a parcel to post but the first time I went into the Post Office the queue was at least 20 people long which would have been a ridiculous wait. I tried again after meeting my friends and there were only 4 people in front of me so I managed to get my parcel sent. Being in town I was able to drop into the health food shop to buy some sunflower seeds and some oat bran both of which I add to my morning oats. They are cheaper there than at the supermarkets and it is good to support local businesses.
At school there was a slight mix-up over which class I was teaching but it didn't cause any problems as I am working on the same art project with both classes and I've planned all the lessons for that project anyway. This afternoon I introduced my class to the concept of drawing profiles and gave them lots of dinosaur pictures to sketch before letting them search through the class books for more examples of profiles. Some of them found it quite hard so it will be interesting to see how they get on with drawing a scary monster (which nearly all have sketched full-face) in profile. 
Earlier this evening I tracked down a piece of music which had been running through my head. We heard it briefly on the TV and it brought back happy memories of a summer holiday with the boys when I only had one tape (yes that long ago), and played it over and over again. I knew it was Mozart and that it was a concerto but I wasn't sure if it was flute, horn or oboe. After a trawl through YouTube I had narrowed it down to a clarinet concerto, Mozart's only clarinet concerto in A. Then I compared different recordings. Even with professional orchestras there was a lot of variation but I selected a couple which I liked or at least reminded me of my original tape. Then I had to find a CD to buy. My first attempt with Amazon came to nothing because although I found the CD after 6 tries at the verification I gave up and bought it more cheaply on eBay.

Monday 28 January 2013


I've been teaching all day which was good in that I was warm and earning money but I'm still not quite reconciled to getting up and leaving for work in the dark. But then I am rewarded by seeing the sunrise as I drive in. There were still quite a few children away, 9 from my class and some of the teachers were not feeling too good either. Much groaning in the staff-room! We did art again in the afternoon. This time they were making a simple figure of Red Riding Hood which they first stuck on and cut out of card so they could use a torch to see where the shadow would fall. Also to make it more interesting I gave them a selection of photos of girls'/women's faces so they could chose one to use as the face of their collage figure. I printed them from the web so I had to do a little censoring of the more revealing ladies who ended up in the bin before the children had a chance to get silly.
It has been wet and windy all day long and just at the end of the day Barnstaple was engulfed by a horrendous storm. Rain was lashing sideways across the windscreen and as I passed underneath a tree next to the school drive small branches were raining down. For the first part of my journey home there are some very large trees beside the road which I checked out first before driving quickly past them. Waiting at the hospital traffic lights a police car went by with its lights flashing and then a little way on they were blocking off the main road down to Muddiford. I'm guessing that either a tree has come down or that the river has flooded again. Then as I carried on towards Shirwell I got stuck in a long line of cars waiting for the temporary traffic lights to change. One side of the road has been closed off there because the hillside below it  fell away in a landslide. Normally those lights are very responsive to approaching traffic (unless something is coming the other way) but when it rains both ends get stuck on red. The tailback was getting longer and longer until one person braved the pouring rain to run up to the first car to tell the driver to drive through the red light. The first car can see through to the vehicles waiting in the opposite direction so it is not a dangerous manoeuvre if you drive slowly and make sure the waiting vehicles have noticed you. Once on the back road I escaped from under the cloud and the sky looked quite pretty. 
Looking due east from the our drive with the edge of the storm on the right.

Sunday 27 January 2013


Last night's torrential rain washed away not only the last of the snow but a good deal of our drive. Luckily one of the morning's bright dry spells lasted long enough for me to rake and barrow back sufficient of the gravel to level out the worst of the ruts. Needless to say I made sure that the dams, which had been pushed aside in the snow, are back in place. We may not have any snow but it is bitterly cold and the frequent showers have mainly been sleet or hail. Last night we also had a thunderstorm directly above us and it took the power out for a moment. I've had to reset the timer for the central heating but now it doesn't seem to be responding to the timer and comes on continuously when I switch it to the twice a day setting. Continuous heat would be nice but not at today's oil prices.

Saturday 26 January 2013


Woke up this morning to find most of the snow gone. Last night's heavy rain has cleared the snow from all but the north facing slopes. There were flood warnings out last night and the stream behind the house was quite high and strong flowing. Although it was a struggle getting to work I have enjoyed being in a totally different world, it can get a bit boring when everything is wet and grey even if the fields are green.
The forecast is for lots of rain so while it was still dry in the morning I walked up the hill to collect the micra.  Peter had to go into work today.  He doesn't want to do overtime but because he asked for 2 extra days at the end of the Christmas break, even though they were part of his annual holiday entitlement because it was such short notice he had to agree to do some overtime. He's just returned home and because they got on so well today they don't have to work tomorrow. That's wonderful for Peter but not so good on the people who were relying on the extra money.
When I went up to feed the hens this morning I found the grey hen had died which I wasn't too surprised at. What did surprise me was to see Elwen eating corn. Honestly you would think I never fed those cats.

Friday 25 January 2013


I still didn't like the look of the ice on the road after we had walked up the hill in the dark!! at 7.00 so Peter gave me a lift all the way into town. He kept telling me I could have driven safely in to work but I really don't like anything that looks remotely like ice.
I had a really lovely day at school mainly because my class was reduced from 29 to 16 by some sort of virus going through the whole school. Normally it would be unusual to have 3 or 4 children away but for the last few days 7-15 children have been absent from each class. Some children have got slap-cheek while others have headaches, a temperature and generally feeling ill which might be the early symptoms of slap-cheek or just winter colds. I'm not wishing for children to be ill but it made such a difference to be able to work with 3 or 4 children at a time instead of 8 or 9. Peter came and collected me at 4.00 so we dropped into the Co-op  for milk and got some bargains too. I'm trying to be careful what I eat so I bravely left my favourite creamy desserts which were half price and got some punnets of fruit instead. I have to say that the South African apricots were a real disappointment. Although they felt soft and ready to eat they are as sour as anything. I'll ask for a refund on those.
Peter's ankle is playing up a bit so I drove the Rav home. There has been quite a bit of a thaw but I was worried about the final steep north facing section so at this point we swapped over. It was a bit more icy for the last stretch and made me feel quite nervous even as a passenger. Definitely not possible to drive the micra down yet so that is still sitting at the top of the drive. It's now raining so I don't expect the snow will be here for much longer. At home I tidied up in the conservatory and used the Vax to suck up the water. Neither Peter or I could move the roof panel back over to sit in it's slot so there's a half cm gap for most of its length. I've got plenty of deep trays underneath to catch the rain that comes through and we will have to get someone in to fix it.

Thursday 24 January 2013


I'm still amazed at how we are in a different world out here. At school the sun was shining and my class didn't even want to wear their coats at playtime. 
While 6 miles and 20 minutes away the slush had frozen and walking over the snow was like crunching through a giant crispy meringue (funny how most of my metaphors relate to food).
It was so icy at the turning that I couldn't reverse the car around the corner but had to drive down to Bowden Corner, turn carefully there, drive back and then reverse around the corner from the opposite direction.
There was a very pretty sunset this evening which was beginning to fade as I started my walk down the hill. It had seemed ridiculous to put on all my extra layers when I was leaving school so I had to put on my over-trousers, boots etc while sitting in the car. The wind was icy but as always the views make up for the extra effort of walking down. No more disasters at home but greedy Patch stole a raw potato and ate it all up, to my surprise.

Wednesday 23 January 2013

More Snow.

We are right on the edge of the snowy area on the weather map so although it was snowing gently all night long and into the morning we only had another 3-4" of snow. Other places up country have had a lot more with the usual chaos. I was sitting in the kitchen planning some lessons when the cats and I were startled by several loud thumps and crashes. The icicles and a large section of snow had slid down off the roof into the front yard. Just then Peter phoned as the snow was getting worse in South Molton and some people were leaving work early. While we were talking on the phone I could see a veritable avalanche of snow, ie the rest of the roof snow, falling outside the window.
It was a much more snowy scene that greeted me when I walked up the hill to the car. I drove very cautiously along the icy/slushy road with the central strip of snow scraping the bottom of the micra. And then on the slope up from Okewill Cross I had to stop while a large truck attempted to get up the hill. It was sliding all over the place and not getting very far. Eventually the driver decided to back down the hill where there was room for me to get past him. From there on the road improved dramatically and once on the main road I was able to drive at a normal speed. The snow persisted further down towards Barnstaple and the town itself was enveloped in a kind of mist. Sleet started to come down quite heavily in the afternoon so the children couldn't go out to play as their coats would still have been soaking at hometime. The snow was falling in earnest by 3.30 so once the children had all been collected I togged up in boots, waterproofs, gloves and hat and made my way home. I decided to leave the micra near the junction with the main road, a few miles from home. I could probably have driven up through the slush to our usual parking spot but I have to be out early next morning. It wasn't snowing then but if any more snow fell or the slush froze there would be no way I would attempt the back roads. Instead I will go with Peter and depending on how bad the roads are and which way we go I will either collect my car in the morning and drive in to town or go all the way with Peter and collect the micra on the way home.
It was quite a pleasant walk, especially as I have gripper studs that you slip onto your boots, but when someone offered me a lift for the last mile I was happy to be driven. A few cars had driven by me without stopping and if conditions had been nasty I would have stuck out my thumb for a lift. At home I was just settling down for a relaxing evening when I noticed a large heap of snow in the conservatory. A section of the ill-fitting roof had bowed under the weight of the snow and the snow had fallen inside. I cleared all the snow from inside the conservatory then went up and down the ladder and cleared as much snow as I could from the roof. It will need a proper sort out later. That's the last disaster for today I hope.

Tuesday 22 January 2013

Slight Thaw.

Woke up this morning to find it had snowed again in the night. Not a lot but enough to cover all the paths that had been cleared. I didn't get up too early but snuggled under the duvet and watched some tv, Got to Dance - Auditions. (I find it fascinating to see how well some people can dance.) With the car being up at the top of the hill I had to leave early to allow enough time to walk up and for any emergencies on my way to school. The road wasn't too bad but I drove quite slowly over the slushy bits just in case they had decided to freeze. It was strange arriving in town where there was not a sign of any snow. It feels like we live in a different world up here. The children in the school playground were most impressed by the layer of snow I had deliberately left on the roof of the car. Coming home for the first part of the journey there was no sign of snow. Then going up the first hill to Burridge the fields began to have a dusting of snow. By the time I approached Shirwell there were small piles of snow on the verges and cresting the hill in the middle of the village a vista of snow covered fields opened up before me. The main road was totally clear and safe to drive on and the afternoon's thaw had left the back roads fairly easy to drive on. It was just on the very last section that I found things a bit slippery and I had to be careful when I reversed the car around the corner.  
Most of the drive down the hill had cleared but there was some slush on our section right at the bottom. It was easy enough to walk on but in case it froze in the night I scraped one side of the track clear. It's still dark when Peter walks up the hill and I wouldn't want him to slip on the ice.

Monday 21 January 2013

Still. Snowy.

There has been a slight lessening of the snow but our landscape is still white.
I went out to take some pictures of the garden buried under the snow, 
and somehow I found myself walking up the hill.  Snow is enough of a rarity here that I can't resist the sparkling white expanses criss-crossed with strange tracks. And this time the cars are not trapped down by the house, the water hasn't frozen and we haven't run out of heating oil, all of which have happened to us in previous years. So I thank the Lord that I can just enjoy the snow. 
For once the situation is reversed and while the drive is completely clear, thanks to Paul's and mine efforts,
the road has some nasty patches of ice including this one at the junction with the drive. I watched a range-rover and a tractor go over it with no problems but I would be more cautious as my little micra does not have 4wd. I walked a little way along the road but stuck to the snowy verge as the ice looked dangerous.
When I turned for home I caught a glimpse of a fox strolling down to Ashelford Corner. For the rest of the day I have done some housework and paperwork for school and have enjoyed the cabbage soup which I made for my lunch. The poorly hen seemed to have perked up so I put her back in the run with her companion. Late in the afternoon sleet started to fall quite heavily so I went up and checked on her. She was tucked up in the big nest box so she should be alright.

Sunday 20 January 2013

The Snow's Still Here.

Not much change in the snow here, it did snow earlier but nothing settled. All the paths that I had scraped clear were dry and safe to walk on. There were a few spots on the track where cars (Peter's and the post van) had packed the snow into ice which looked dodgy. So out came the shovel and I cleared all the ice. I  also made a few more paths through the yard. It was so quiet outside with the muffling effect of the snow and the complete lack of cars coming down to the stables.
By the afternoon I decided to drive the Micra up to the road as we may have some more snow/sleet on Monday night and I want to be sure I can get into work on Tuesday.

A couple of hours of warmer temperatures and we have some impressive icicles hanging from the roof.
While I was up at the road I saw a buzzard sitting on the hedge. It must be hard for them to find any food with all this snow. No wind at all today so it didn't feel too cold. 

Saturday 19 January 2013


The snow was still with us this morning. My first job was to walk up the hill and dig out the Rav. Paul had cleared a lot of the road so my plan was to get right to the top of the drive which I was able to do after a cautious turn to face back up the hill.
Having carefully squeezed past Paul's Disco I parked the Rav in the opposite gateway after clearing away the pile of snow Paul had pushed in there. 
Feeling happier now we had a guaranteed way of getting way of getting to work I took myself for a walk down to Ashelford Corner. Returning, I met up with Paul & Sarah who had been putting more salt down on the drive. They both offered me a lift down the hill, Sarah on the quad bike and then Paul in the Disco but I was quite happy to enjoy my amble and the snowy views.
After a short rest at home I couldn't resist getting out my toboggan and going out to play in Ron's snowy field behind the house. It was great fun sliding down from the top of the hill but I didn't stay out for too long. Partly because I worry about my back and also because the split across the front of the plastic toboggan was   almost reaching from one side to the other. 
Peter has gone into town but he's cancelled tomorrow's rowing as we may have more snow tonight. It is better to organise someone to take his place in the gig today than let everyone down at the last minute.
PS The hen is looking better but I've let her stay in the warm bathroom, (in the bath), as she is still a bit droopy. When she perks up enough to jump out of the bath then she can go go back into the hen house. ( I haven't told Peter that as hens are quite stinky.)

Friday 18 January 2013


I looked out of the window at 2.00 this morning, as you do, and there was about half an inch of snow on the conservatory roof. By 6.00 this had increased to several inches.
Even if Peter had left his car up the hill there was no way he was going to drive over snowy roads in the dark. He tried to call work but the phone line was out or overloaded. Later he was able to contact a team leader by email and though she lives in South Molton she hadn't made it either. We may not have any snow for 4 or 5 years at a time though it has made its appearance more in the last few years so naturally we all get quite excited when it snows.... and parts of the country grind to a halt. The general advice is not to go out unless you really have to. Snow usually only lasts for a couple of days and I'm not working until Tuesday afternoon. The electricity flicked off several time in the morning but has stayed on since then. We lost our sky tv signal so I had to go up a ladder and use a broom to brush off the snow from the dish and once Peter had reset it normal service resumed. The kitchen tv gets a terrestrial signal  so we had that on all the time to keep an eye on the news.
When the snowfall had eased off a bit I togged up in winter gear and went for a steady hike up the drive and along to Bowden Corner. There was about 6" of snow in the garden by this time.
The poor conifers were weighed down with snow so I shook off the snow before the branches snapped.

Once I was up to the bend I lost the shelter of the valley and snow was being driven into my face by the sharp wind. I had a neck warmer I could pull up over my face but I wished that I had brought my clear wraparound glasses as well.
Nevertheless I trudged onwards. Part of the reason for going out was to check on the state of the road and sure enough the wind had driven the snow off the field to form snowdrifts across the road, some more than 3ft high. 
On the way back down I saw that Paul had put salt on the steep part of the road and later he went up with his digger to clear the drifts. I used up lots of calories shovelling snow off our drive from the cars right up to the junction so that Peter could get his car up the hill. He couldn't leave it in the usual gateway because Paul had piled all the drift snow there but hadn't cleared all the way to the road. Instead Peter backed down and left his car in the lower gateway. We are right on the edge of the weather front so the promised rain became more snow. It's supposed to warm up for the weekend with maybe more snow on Monday.
The more decrepit of my 2 hens was not looking in a good way when I went to feed them. Even after I had warmed her feet in my hands she looked at death's door so I put her in a cat carrier by the kitchen Rayburn. She's looking a bit better now but I didn't think she would survive the night in the hen house so now she is in Peter's bathroom which is always warm (and I can secure the door against the cats). 

Thursday 17 January 2013

Snow Soon ?

When I went out to my car, first thing this morning I thought it felt quite mild. But even as I drove through the garden I realised that the rain that was dancing about in my headlights was in fact snow.  I drove through light snow for the first mile or so and then there was nothing. Down in the town all was green. There were a few sleet showers but not enough to get the children excited. 
It was a different story when I drove home this evening. Once the road reaches Shirwell you get the first views of Exmoor and there was the snow. If there is noticeable snow lying on the ground at Shirwell then our road will be bad but today all was green except for the distant hills.  
It looks as if we will have snow tomorrow but luckily I'm not working. So possibly a cosy morning under the duvet and a snowy walk.
Taken through the classroom window.
This morning's class was quite hard work partially because I had to share my teaching assistant with the other Year 2 class. It would not have been fair to leave the supply teacher without any help for the morning. Even I get excited when the resident squirrels appear on the trees right next to that class but it doesn't help the children to concentrate. (At lunch time I got distracted in the staffroom by 2 squirrels sitting nonchalantly on the fence a few feet from the windows.) It's not surprising that our school logo is a squirrel. In the afternoon I moved across to the other Year 2 class whom I know a bit better. We had an art afternoon doing more or less the same work as I did the other day but this time they mixed shades of grey paint instead of the fun but messy rubbings with pastels. 

Wednesday 16 January 2013


There was a pretty pink and blue sky this morning which had faded a bit by the time I ran downstairs to get my camera. The sun shone for most of the morning and luckily I found a job (weeding and sweeping up leaves) in the one corner of the front yard that was nice and sunny. I didn't do a lot of jobs this morning, partly in anticipation of our usual long Wednesday afternoon and partly because I was tempted to read one of my library books. It's The Exotic Marigold Hotel which is turning out to be a pleasant, easy read. We only go to the cinema for special films (LOTR etc) and it is too current a film to appear on the basic channels that we get on our Sky box. Anyway I think you get a lot more characterisation in a book than a film and as they say about radio the pictures are much better.
For once even I felt a little cool in class. The recent floods got into the basement where the boiler is and the main building lost both heating and hot water. Usually the main building is pretty warm while the individual huts have temperamental giant gas fired radiators but now the heat for the main building and the staffroom is being provided by various plug in electric radiators and fans. Most of the staff are really feeling the cold but living in this cool house and spending time outside I find that most of the classrooms are too hot but today the small electric fans were not sufficient for the 3 large, high ceilinged open plan rooms occupied by the reception children. So for the first time I kept on my fluffy hoody over the sleeveless summer top which is usually more than enough for school. I stayed on for the staff meeting after school as it was all about teaching sequences and though I don't get to plan any right now it is good for me to have an idea of the overall picture if I am called in to teach a part of the sequence. 

Tuesday 15 January 2013


Not even a frost this morning but on TV they announced that the Link Road near Barnstaple was clear of snow. So there must have been some around, maybe nearer South Molton. I was in town after work and they were putting salt down on the High Street and surrounding pavements. It was a lovely morning so naturally I found some jobs to do in the garden. I did take the precaution of wearing a watch because I know how one job leads to another and I did have to go to school in the afternoon. My main outdoor job was to pollard the 2 big willow trees in the hens' run. They are so fast growing that they have to be done each year. Usually the branches grow 6-8ft in a year but it was a sign of the poor year we had that most of the branches were 2-3ft and even the 5ft branches growing right at the tops were no fatter than a pencil. That made my job easier and they were cut and cleared in less than an hour. I even had time to cut back the brambles that had grown into the  run.
My art activity for the afternoon was to introduce the children to drawing a room in 3-d and then for them to make some textured paper to collage the walls of the room. All this was based on a set of illustrations I had been given. My plan went a little awry when I was seduced by some boxes of pastels in shades of grey that I found in the stock cupboard (instead of using wax crayons). The children had a great time finding different textures in the playground to make their rubbings but I think that part of the attraction was the sheer amount of mess they made, mainly on themselves. They then had to make templates and cut out the shaded paper to stick on yet another piece of paper to make the room. Some children managed but others struggled. It was a good discussion point for the plenary and when the other 15 children (who had been drawing monsters in their sketch books) do it next week I shall adapt my plan to something less messy. After school I went into town to take some books back to the library. Even though I can renew my books on-line I still manage to forget and I had to pay a fine on 2 of them for being one day late. For some reason the third book didn't show up on my account, I think because it originated from another library.
So after an incredibly hectic afternoon here is a peaceful photo from last Sunday's beach walk, looks a bit like a dinosaur to me.

Monday 14 January 2013


While the news is full of snow in other parts of the country (everything NE of London,) we have had a bright day. There was a little rain in the morning so I got on with the housework first. I try and do most of my housework on Mondays so that my teaching days are less pressured. Then I had some time outdoors which included planting up 2 of the hanging baskets with the narcissus bulbs that have been sitting in a bucket since last spring. I waited to listen to the local weather forecast at lunchtime before driving the recycling box up to the road but as it seemed to show mostly rain in the night I brought the car back down to the house.
Later I looked at Metcheck and that showed overnight sleet and snow so back up the hill went my little car.
The bitter wind from the north made my walk down the hill quite bracing but I enjoyed the views of pink and lavender clouds rushing across the sky.

Each morning I look forward to checking Facebook for news from Vytas as he wanders the globe with Sally. Today I saw that he had finally made it to New Zealand. Sally has started her job in Auckland and they've already got a place to live. Now Vytas is looking for work. So if anyone knows of any work in Auckland for a strong, hard working chap who is not afraid to use his muscles as well as his brain just let me know. 
Photos of Auckland airport from the web.

Sunday 13 January 2013


It's been a dry, slightly cold day with a watery winter sky that was more blue than grey. No rowing today so we listened to last week's Archers omnibus while enjoying a bit of a lie-in. Before we could go out for a walk Peter wanted to repair the insulation on the external water pipe as we are supposed to be due some cold weather. The last big flood had ripped some of the insulation off the pipe where it runs through the stream so we put on more insulation. That I tied on with garden string while we wait for the cable ties which I have ordered. The day's job done we headed out to Woolacombe for a walk. The good weather and clean waves had brought everyone out to the coast but luckily we found a parking spot on our second pass along the road.
The tide was fairly far out so we started our walk at Coombesgate beach,
and then walked down to the water's edge to potter about the rocks that stick up out of the sand.
I find the shapes of the rocks and the sand fascinating and could happily spend hours capturing them on film (can you say that if your camera is digital?)
Even after 20 years we still rejoice in the fact that such beauty lies on our doorstep, or at least a short drive away.
The tide was beginning to come in so we walked along the sands to Barricane beach making it just in time before it would be necessary to splash through the incoming waves. (Peter suggested I should name this post 'A Narrow Escape' but I thought that was a bit dramatic.)
The it was time to sit up on the cliffs for a welcome cup of coffee and watch the surfers. The 5-6ft waves were coming in cleanly though the surfers weren't getting long on them as they were breaking quite close to the shore.
As the sun began to drop we made our way home via Tescos. The evening sky was impressive, what I call a really big sky with mackerel clouds swirling to a point. Our journey home was marred by a motorbike rider who overtook me on a bend going up the hill from Ilfracombe. As he roared past a large van appeared around the bend! A few seconds earlier and that biker would have been sent flying with lethal consequences. I slowed down and put my hand to my head in horror and a couple out walking also looked utterly shocked. What a silly risk to take.
Back home I made our favourite potato, cabbage, onion, cheese and chorizo casserole for tonight's healthy winter warmer.