Vanlife Part 3 at Bantham. There were many reasons for visiting Bantham. The prime one was to visit the location of a future sea swim around Burgh Island. Two bobbers swimming, one bobber bobbing, Someone has to look after the dogs and take the photographs…
The practice swim over it was time to visit the village shop and cafe for breakfast. Beautiful Bantham made sure that we will visit again by turning on the photographic charm on our walk up the hill.
And just like that Summer is officially done. The last blog of August!
Vanlife day 2 at Bantham. Up bright and early for a dog walk.
We learnt so much last night, having lived so long in Cornwall we are well used to the marked nativism that is the signature disrespect held for all that were not born in the Duchy. Devon takes a gentler approach. Visitors are generally known as DFL ( Down from London) London being a general term for visitors from elsewhere.
For many years like so many Cornish, Devon and West Country people we became economic and professional migrants and lived and worked in London. On our regular returns to the West Country we were certainly described as DFL when in actual fact we were FH R ( From Here Really) Last night we mingled with many who were DFL and with whom we had much in common but when discussing that we were FHR needed more clarification. JUFP did the job! Just up from Plymouth.
So much easier to be a dog, they just needed to pee and sniff each others nether regions to realise that they and the DFL dogs had in fact met many times in the glorious parks of South London.
Not for them the curious Social dancing of humans just a simple. sniff and all the social niceties are observed in an instant. Not that that didnt exhaust them. Barely able to keep their eyes open last night. Today is very much a van day after the early morning walk and a breakfast until noon.
Taking it in turns to be alert.
More Bantham blogging tomorrow, you can never have too much of a good thing.
This may have been the best bowl of mussels, clams and cockles I have ever eaten. I love seafood but it doesn’t always love me. This never deters me, the occasional night of gastric turbulence is a risk I am always prepared to take. When it happens it is the fault of my fastidious gut, not the responsibility of the establishment serving the seafood.
This mornings wake up followed a night of a very peaceful, happy, belly. This raises the bar for the little bowl of seafood. It was the best I have ever eaten.
All along the length of the Tamar Valley artists are tidying their art studios in preparation for Open Studios with the art group Drawn to the Valley. Not so at home here, I didnt enter this year because of house moving uncertainty, my new studio has barely had the chance to get untidy. I am preparing stuff for another exhibition in October so there is actually activity but currently the most creative activity is procrastination. I’m doing the research and starting the project while simultaneously trying to remember where I stowed everything.
Ive also pledged to myself to only use a small percentage of new art materials in the future and to recycle wherever possible. This current project uses second hand tapestry materials bought from house clearances. I’m also saving the tiny, irritatingly clingy left overs from sewing projects to include in this piece of work.
Yesterday the first image emerged from the chaos. I might just be keeping the procrastination under control!
My leisure reading life and my work life are intersecting currently and in truth a little bit late. I spend a lot of time in the Mayflower Exhibition when I am working in the museum.
Both the exhibition and the book have the same constraint. Very little is known about the actual Mayflower Voyage. Difficult for Historians but good for me as the original source material is the same. The curators of the exhibition do a brilliant job of explaining and expanding the known facts and illustrate them well with actual artifacts. The 60 years following the voyage of the Mayflower is the significant part of the narrative for history and probably the least accurately portrayed by the Thanksgiving myth and beyond. As I read the book my mind is illustrated with the items and documents I spend my day with.
This makes my reading of the book jog along very nicely. Neither the exhibition nor the book allow sentimental and fictional nostalgia, the darkness and brutality of the settlement and the impact on the indigenous people is all part of the story of European Colonisation. In reality the book is not a comfortable or easy read, but I didnt expect it to be.
Hot on the heels of yesterdays morning blog is an evening blog of the same day, and two pictures from the exact same position with only a dog walk between them. Between yesterdays blog and this one lies the path of a day taken up by stuff, complicated by maintainance work on a local bridge. A normal 20 minute journey swelled to fill an hour and I missed an appointment. Rebooked for two hours later I filled my time with delivering brochures for an upcoming Open Studios event.
And took a trip to the supermarket. The appointment required me not to drive for two hours after so I was ‘forced’ to enjoy a late lunch in a friends garden and soak up the sun whilst my eyes returned to a normal, not blurry, way of life. Time then to head for home and get all the day jobs done. Before heading out for the evening dog walk which provided the two pictures that top and tail this blog. Since moving, our evening dog walk always takes in the area around the Royal William Yard, especially since the evenings have started to get darker. Royal William Yard is a collection of Military Buildings in Plymouth.
Summer seemed to get out of bed at a reasonable time of day this morning. August often disappoints, the good days outnumbered by those that do not quite hit the spot.
As Bilbo Baggins says to Gandalph in Lord of the Rings.
“I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.”
Sun and warmth are the butter of summer and they have been so thinly spread, recently, that summer feels very similar to Mr Baggins bread. Nothing like as tasty and comforting as summers should. I fear arriving early on the morning of 24th of August is too late. A little autumn chill is hiding in the long shadows of this morning.
I was grateful that this location was a dog walk this morning and that I could keep my clothes on. Early morning swimmers braved the same waters that I dipped in last night. There is a biting edge when you submerge, the water temperature is dropping, almost a whole degree in a day yesterday. Hot drinks are required again after a swim, shocking behaviour, August is the time for iced latte not hot chocolate!
So August, one week to go, time to show us some of the warm stuff …
We’ve just had a lovely weekend filled with friends and family. All the usual stuff happened but with extra family members. We dined in barns, farmyards, walled gardensl and out in the open and the food slipped effortlessly into our tummies as we talked, laughed and reminisced.
When Sunday evening comes with the inevitable farewells, the left-overs hide in the fridge waiting to catch out the casual grazer searching for a non essential snack.
A rare moment of culinary serendipity occured @theoldmortuary yesterday evening. A recipe in the Saturday Guardian exactly corresponded with our selection of left-overs.
Sunday night supper was amazing and finished off a lovely weekend perfectly.
Another Saturday night at the fireside. A month ago we went to a wedding, the first in many years. We so enjoyed the wedding and the venue that when they advertised a Fire Feast we were very swift to book a ticket.
Sharing platters and communal seating under a marquee without sides made for a really comfortable event that felt more like a village fete gathering than a tentful of strangers. More comfortable than a village gathering because village gatherings always have the local personalities you would rather avoid. ( My own growing-up village had the post master who at only five feet 4 inches tall was also a peeping Tom, rather a challenge, but one that he rose to at weekends)
The marquee is within a walled garden on the edge of Dartmoor so everything that grows there is slightly ahead of our coastal yard.
The food was magnificent and music from Winter Mountain was very chilled as the name suggests. We had a great time, so good that we failed to take many pictures so this is a tiny blog. Below are some pictures from the Uphill Farm website. Have a fabulous Sunday, wherever you are.