Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Shifting sands

Life seems to be in flux at the moment.  It’s exciting but also shaky, and I feel like I’m running to stand still.  Katie has started pre-school, and swings violently between complete acceptance and wild refusal.  At 2½, and much younger on it than the other two, she seems like a little fledgling pushed out of its nest.  She was born right at the very end of August and it shows. 

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

New Cross House, Cranks and Dartington


The last day of our holiday, and banking on a break from the drizzle we opted for one of our favourite places – Dartington.  But just to get a bit of National Trust value in, we started with High Cross House, which we’ve never visited before, despite being on the Dartington estate.  You can’t exactly miss it, this big modernist house on the main road, but I’d always assumed it was a private house until I was scouring my NT guidebook. 

Greenway



On Day 1 of our holiday in Dartmouth, and buoyed-up by the success of the previous week’s National Trust fest, and facilitated by the Google Keep app which my 7yo introduced to me (list-making writ-large on your mobile … colour coding & everything!), I compiled a list of possible days out. 

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Riverford and a Dartmoor Tor


We booked into Riverford for lunch early on in our holiday.  We’ve been twice before and are totally converted to their food.  Even simple dishes like mashed potatoes are somehow works of art (and believe me, I’ve experimented many, many times to inject some variation into mash!).  And vegetables I’ve never been keen on – like fennel or beetroot – are somehow magically transformed. 

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

My father and Thatcher

Dear Dad
This week Thatcher died and was buried, a fact that would have had little emotional resonance for you.  But you, like no-one else I’ve ever known, would have relished the political discussion it's sparked and all of its subtext.  The media have necessarily made it a time of reflection, but what I reflected on most of all was that you’re missing at times like this: my father who took the opportunity of every mealtime to prick my political conscious.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Coleton Fishacre


By day 4 of our holiday the forecast for the week was rain and more rain. So we developed a strategy of mad dashes out between bouts of drizzle.  In the knowledge that we had a window of dryness just before lunchtime, we put ourselves in the hands of our National Trust guidebook.  Coleton Fishacre is a few miles beyond Kingswear, so we got the car ferry across the Dart.  Unusually I purchased the guide book, slightly pricey at £4.50, but ended up being glad I did as the property has such an interesting and unexpected history.

Coming home from Dartmouth


I always feel that coming home from holiday is an emotional as well as a physical journey, a movement away from that pocket of time when things are different.  I suppose the idea of a holiday is that productive activity is stripped out of life, but the more I think about it, the more the reverse seems to be true.  So much worth remembering takes place.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

The man in the road

This is absolutely a self-indulgent post about a dream I had last night, but I wanted to write it down before it gets hazy. I've only dreamt about Dad 5 times since he died (yes, I very much count them).

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Then there was this thing on the telly ...

Something completely different now.  This morning we were watching CBBC, when Harry suddenly got very excited that a girl on the programme had 'a little hand' (like Charlotte).  Harry notices things like this.

Uppark


Today our National Trust love-in continued, and bolstered by yesterday’s hit-rate we gave another new property a go.  So off to Uppark we went, which is Petersfield way. 

Foxbury


Right, this is going to be a bit of National Trust fest of blogging tonight, because it’s been a bank holiday weekend so naturally we’ve been caning it with our membership card (please believe me that sentence is meant to be read with irony).