Sunday, 31 October 2010

Barbies Birthday

Today is Barbara's 80th birthday, and she invited us all to join her at The Rocks Restaurant in Perranporth

We had a wonderful evening, with amazing food, and the entire place to ourselves for the majority of the evening.
Thanks for a great time everyone x

Thursday, 28 October 2010

More Ancestry News

I've found another family member and been in touch with them, this time in Australia!
It was so worth paying for the years subscription on Monday. Since then I've been able to add just shy of another 100 people to my tree, all of which are blood linked with me!
Nothing else seems to be getting done, although I have managed to complete another 7 of the wedding invitations that I am making for my friends. - They are nearly all completed now.
I have some more birthday cards that I need to make for up coming birthdays in November, but I'm sure that I can manage to tear myself away from the PC long enough to get them done. Honest!
TTFN. Jo x

Monday, 25 October 2010

Family Tree

I am very excited today!
I received an email on my account, from a lady that thought we may be related.
Up until now, I was using the free services of Ancestry, but to be able to see some of the information to confirm our family link I needed to be a member.
I bit the bullet so to speak, and paid up for a year, using my 25% discount I get from my National Trust membership.
It transpires that yes we are related.
I now have a whole lot more information to add to my tree!

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Treasured Memories

We arrived back at home yesterday by 11.30 am, and from then onwards the house proceeded to resemble a Chinese laundry with all of the washing I was managing to get done.
Today however, we had plans to finish the holiday off in style, with Sally-Ann and Mike, by meeting up at Treasure Park for one of their Sunday lunchtime carvery meals.
We had no idea what to expect as carvery meals are a new thing at Treasure Park, but we have to say it was a very enjoyable meal, and the company helped to make the last day of our holiday most enjoyable.
After the meal I went over to the main building and had the jeweller resize my wedding band, eternity ring and trio ring, and clean and polish them all along with my anniversary ring that Paul gave me for our 10th anniversary. It took half and hour and only cost me £30 for the 4 rings. I was thrilled, as it now meant I felt married again, not having been able to wear them for the last few weeks!
The day was finished off with all four of us on the beach with the two dogs for a walk.
What a week! Full of walking and 'events' and friends. It's a shame it all has to stop for work tomorrow!

Friday, 22 October 2010

A Walk at Fingle

It's Friday. We leave homeward bound tomorrow morning, and so, with this in mind, we decided to take a stroll along the banks of the river at Fingle Bridge.

The dog's enjoyed the freedom of being off lead, and allowed to explore

and we just relished the peacefulness, the sounds of the stags rutting in the nearby forest, and the pheasant running across our path. We were even lucky enough to spot a Heron fishing for his lunch on the river.

After a couple of hours, we headed back over the bridge towards the Inn for a coffee, before deciding to go back for some lunch at the campsite.

Went headed down to Bovey Tracey during mid afternoon for afternoon tea and cakes at a little tea rooms we discovered last time we were here, and then went off for a final look around Trago.

It's so sad that the holiday is nearly over.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Highway to Meldon and Lydford

We headed off to Meldon Reservoir bright and early this morning - the reason? you might ask... Sally-Ann and Mike said it was important that we walk on Dartmoor before we leave! It wasn't until the afternoon I realised that we had been walking on Dartmoor all week and they had conned me LOL!

It was a beautiful and crisp day. We needed our hats, gloves and scarves, but it was so worth it. Having taken in the view for a while, we headed on towards Lydford to find somewhere to have some lunch.
The Highwayman, is somewhere that Sally-Ann and Mike had been to on one of the MX-5 drives that we had not been able to attend, and it was worth a visit, as it was so unique.

The front porch is painted as a carriage, and as you opened the doors, it is all decked out as the inside of a carriage, with red leather seats and straps to stop the carriage from toppling you over. Through another door and you are into the most strange and wonderful world.

White witches, fairies and goblins would be most welcome in this rambling Inn. Everywhere you turn you can find another annex to the room, each with a different function for example a wishing well room!

The ceilings are low and the rooms dark, as you would expect in such an old building. There are little fairy and goblin ornaments everywhere, and the landlady is such a lovely lady, and somehow goes perfectly with the pub, if that makes sense! Once again the dogs were welcomed inside and given a little treat each for being good boys!

Even the outside of the building wants to draw you into it's story

At the foot of one of the drainpipes you can find a tiny carved mouse with a welcome mat at the door of his home

before coming onto the car park, where there is a crooked little house for children to play in

A sight to behold, and certainly worth a visit, and a prawn sandwich in the bar while you explore!

Once our bellies were full, we continued on to Lydford Gorge

and much, much more walking.

Dartmoor is such an intriguing place to visit. The countryside is incredible, and the gorges and waterfalls draw you in so that you shut your mind the the outside world and just enjoy the nature that is surrounding you.

Some of the pathways required you to hold onto the railing so that the drop on the other side of you didn't take you with it,

but the dogs held no fear, and sniffed and cocked their legs to their hearts content, until Fred came across this bridge with a metal grating for the floor and the rushing water of the Devils Cauldron below us

his little ears went down, and he squatted his tummy as close to the grating as possible as he crept across

We finished this section of the Gorge and stopped off to get some Devonshire cream teas, and then drove on up to the far end of the gorge, where Paul walked down to the White Lady falls, while the rest of us stayed in the car, as we were worn out

He was so glad that he had made the walk, but as he arrived back at the car, he was somewhat red in the face with the effort of the climb back up!
Another day was now over, and tomorrow was to be a quiet day, as our caravan awning was to come down, in readiness for the drive home on Saturday.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Sidmouth and it's Surrounding Villages

We have a busy day planned for today. Firstly the Donkey Sanctuary, just outside of Sidmouth. They don't make a charge to go in and meet the donkeys, but do rely on donations and sales in their shop to be able to continue to fund the project.

The place is calm and serene, and instantly you can see that the numerous donkeys that are visible are all well fed and looked after.

Apart form the many donation boxes that are marked by the bronze statues, there are many many plaques with donation details of patrons for the sanctuary.

Having parked up the car, we headed on down to the main yard, where many donkeys were wandering, feeding and enjoying fuss from the many visitors. A wonderful idea, especially for those donkeys that are retired from beaches etc, as they were used to having the company of people during their working day

Fred made a friend for life.....

and then another!

both of the dogs were not fazed at all by having these lovely animals in close proximity, and even the donkeys seems to enjoy their company.

Moving on from the Donkey Sanctuary, popped into Sidmouth for some supplies from the supermarket and then we headed on towards Budleigh Salterton.

Budleigh is a lovely spot, and just happens to have a church yard holding some of Sally-Ann's ancestors. She hasn't had much luck in finding the graves in the past so we wanted to try again.

We were lucky enough to find someone in the church, and although they did not have the records on site for the graves we wanted to find, they did offer to ensure someone would be able to help if we called in advance to our next visit - Bonus!

So far it had been a very full day. We stopped off for some lunch at a lovely public house, The Rolle Arms. The food was excellent, and we would recommend it to anyone headed in that direction. Both of the dogs were welcomed with open arms, and given treats, while we ate our meal.
It was time to head back in the direction of the campsite once more, and so, after a drive through Exmouth, we made our last stop of the day.
A La Ronde is a National Trust property. It's a 16 sided house, that was built in the late 18th century by two spinster cousins. The top floor is completely covered in shells from the beach - yes floors walls and ceilings!
We were only given a tantalising glimpse of the shell room, from the bottom of these stairs, and when you stand in the central hallway looking up. You have to see the room via web cams that you can control yourself to see each part of the room in full.

It is such an amazing property, that looks tiny from the outside, but is actually very large inside.

If you get the chance to visit this wonderful place, take the opportunity. It really is a little gem, and of course it's free to all of us out there that are National Trust members!
Another full day over, we headed back for a restful evening at the campsite.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

The Orchid Event followed by Cockington Forge!

We went to the information room last night to start planning the trips for the rest of the week, and found a beautiful leaflet about Orchid Paradise. It's dog friendly and has a coffee shop, and gives you all the hints and tips of how to grow the perfect orchid, as well as showing off some of the varieties in bloom.
Great, we said. We can do that on the morning, followed by the obligatory trip to Trago for a mooch around, and then onto Cockington Forge in the afternoon for coffee and cake. Sorted!

When we arrived, we were quite disappointed. We expected a large sprawling building, much like the large garden centre chains that you see on the outskirts of most towns, instead we got an old, small, dilapidated building. Not quite in keeping with the image that pops into your mind when you think of an orchid!

We decided on the car park, not to go into the paid side of the building, but kept the visit to the plant sales building. All the time, very disappointed with what we were seeing - certainly not a paradise!
As we walked back to the car, Mike spotted a large banner against the wall, stating there was an Orchid Event that weekend. What??? Will they be singing and dancing to make themselves more desirable? Needless to say, for the rest of the week 'The Event' was mentioned on numerous occasions, along with laughter that made us cry! Perhaps you had to be there to find it so funny, but trust me, it was!
We escaped The Event, and headed a few minutes up the road to Trago, for a wander around, and a pasty lunch, then it was Cockington Forge. We loved our trip there in the Summer and really wanted to return once more.
The weather was blue skies and tiny showers of mizzle, but this did not deter us. We wandered through the grounds of Cockington House, and then got seats inside, where we had some lovely big slices of cake with tea and coffee.

Both of the dogs got treated like royalty by everyone. After all who can resist a pair of handsome westies, when they look so cute together!

After our afternoon tea, we continued our walk through the grounds and headed back down the hill towards the village once more.

It was another lovely visit to this beautiful village.

It had been a lovely day, and we soon wandered our way back up to the campsite for a relaxing evening. We have to save some energy for tomorrow!

Monday, 18 October 2010

Falling for Canonteign

It's holiday time, and on Saturday the 16th we wound our merry way up the A30 towards Dartmoor and our favourite little Caravan and Camping Club Site, not far from Crockernwell.

It was a pretty awful journey up, as what normally takes us about an hour and a half to drive, took nearly four hours, due to a terrible accident further ahead of us, at Okehampton. The road was closed and traffic was stationary whilst the emergency services took charge of the situation.

Despite this, we arrived finally, and set up the caravan and put up the awning on our pitch, and then collapsed and relaxed for the evening.

On Sunday we were expecting Sally-Ann and Mike to join us on site with their RV for the rest of the week. We were very excited as we had not seen them for about 3 and a half weeks. They had been up to Norfolk for a holiday, and coupled that with a trip to the Moorfields Eye Hospital for Mikes latest check up, so there would be plenty to catch up on and talk about. They got to site at about 3pm and got hooked up and settled, and we then decided on a relaxing afternoon before we hit the roads for the sight seeing during the week.

Monday was the first planned outing, and as the forecast was good we decided to go off to Canonteign Falls, somewhere we all fancied going.

We arrived by mid morning and, having paid our entrance fee made our way up the path towards the woodlands and the tempting sounds of water crashing from the falls.

we started to climb the gently sloping pathway, and soon found it becoming a more strenuous walk

we kept coming across glimpses of small water falls and beautiful scenes through the autumnal leaves on the trees

always climbing higher and higher

at some points the sounds of the rushing water were quite loud

at some points the walk up was quite hard going, but there were some well placed benches and we soon arrived at the top of the falls, and were able to see where it all began

The drop from this water is 220 feet down to the lake, and was built by Lady Exmouth, she employed redundant miners to lay the pipework for the water and to cut through the rocks to create the leat needed to bring the water to the drop.

The view from up there was totally incredible - we could see for miles
If you click on the picture below you will be able to see the full story of the falls and Lady Exmouth's involvement in creating this Victorian Folly

It was then time for a slow meander down the hillside, back through the woodlands on the other side of the waterfall

At the bottom, as we stood by the lake, we looked back up the hillside at the top of the falls

what a lovely outing! We finished our visit here by having a rather lovely lunch of jacket potatoes with chilli and salad - that certainly filled a very big hole that all that walking had created.
As it was still early enough to do more, we headed on towards Castle Drogo. Sally-Ann and Mike had not been here before, so, as we had our National Trust passes, we thought we would visit there whilst we were in the vicinity.
Unfortunately I did not take any pictures, as I had been around last time we came up to Dartmoor, but Sally-Ann took plenty so please check out her blog for the low down on Castle life.
Whilst there we had a few laughs and a few strange moments..... we aren't sure, but did we hear a ghost talking to her mommy???? We did ask one of the room stewards who confirmed a presence but not if it was a child..... We are still wondering on the at one!
A very fun filled day.... now to rest up for tomorrows adventures.