Slow Lane Life II

How we moved to the West Country and learned to slow down even more

Out with the girls


The Gardener’s Eldest Daughter, T, came to stay overnight, so we took her out for the day. She goes off travelling in a month, and we want to see as much of her as possible before then.

The Gardener took Flossie for a good, energetic run before we loaded her and ourselves into the car.

The weather couldn’t have been kinder; cool in the shade, hot in the sun, ideal for taking a dog out, who might need to be left in the car for short periods.949%2F645%2F973315+%281%29_thumb_460x0 We went to Killerton House. Lots to see inside the house, while Flossie snoozed in the car, parked prettily under trees, and a cafe and grounds that were dog-friendly, so that she didn’t have to be parted from us for long.IMG_7729 IMG_7719 IMG_7727 IMG_7708 IMG_7707 IMG_7709 IMG_7726Image 1 IMG_7711

IMG_7723 IMG_7725Image 2The Objects of Desire exhibition was nicely varied, old and ultra-modern. As ever, the old interested me most.IMG_7713 IMG_7714 IMG_7715 IMG_7722 IMG_7717 IMG_7718 IMG_7720Undeterred by the unsettling comparison between our own waistlines and those demonstrated by the corset display and the antique frocks, we had the most enormous and delicious local ice creams, bought from the kiosk in the children’s play area. Sheep wandered about; Flossie is not interested in sheep, but ice cream – now that’s another matter.IMG_7733

I had worried a little about this being too staid an experience for T, who is only 20, but no, she entered into the spirit of the day out, and enjoyed it all. ImageImage 5

IMG_7731I sat on a bench with Flossie, who fretted while T and her dad went off to look at the substantial family chapel. She likes her pack to stay together, does Floss!Image 3

And then we went off to the seaside.IMG_7737 IMG_7738 IMG_7739Budleigh Salterton!  Location of the delightful books written by Joyce Dennys, Henrietta’s War and Henrietta Sees It Through, it’s a well-heeled, largely unspoilt town with a glorious coastline. (It’s also known by some – unkindly, I think – as God’s Waiting Room….)

No one seemed to be obeying the Dogs on Leads rule at the far end of the beach, where the River Otter meets the sea. So Flossie managed to swim in both. She swam, ran, retrieving a water bottle in lieu of a ball, and swam some more, really enjoying the fast-flowing water.IMG_7740 IMG_7744 IMG_7781 IMG_7775

A lovely, talkative man with binoculars pointed out to us the subtle changes in the water of the estuary that indicate sea bass hunting for smaller fish. T spotted a dorsal fin; I was less fortunate – binoculars are not always easy to use!

IMG_7776Canada geese, disturbed by a kayak, took off, honking loudly, to wheel about and settle again on the banks.

IMG_7750 T paddled in the sea; she says it only really feels like summer when you have done this. She and her father reminisced about how difficult it had been to extract her, protesting despite being blue with cold, from swimming in the sea when she was little. I enjoy hearing The Gardener and his girls remembering times together long before I knew any of them.

We were sorry to leave this lovely spot. We had all enjoyed each other’s company very much, and plan another day out before T leaves for New Zealand. But it was time to take her home to Taunton and to get ourselves and a now-starving dog back home too. I sat in the back of the car, and occasionally heard small, whistling snores from Flossie, flat out on her bouncy waterproof bed.IMG_7784Today, Flossie wishes to notify us all that while our Grand Days Out are very enjoyable, she has decided to have a Grand Day Off.

Please Do Not Disturb.

Author: rachel

I'm a retired, downsized, 60-something who moved from the chilly North East to the wet South West with a heap of dogs and cats. I live in an ancient cottage with them and The Gardener, and am happier here than I have ever been. I blog for fun, and rejoice in the wonderful connections blogging makes with other interesting people.

18 thoughts on “Out with the girls

  1. Thank you for enlightening me about the location of Henrietta. I love those books -so funny.

  2. What a great variety of locations you have. I winced at the corset though the dress was pretty. Flossie earned her Grand Day Off – lots of excitement, a certain amount of stress and masses of water exercise, the best sort for a Labrador.

  3. What a great day out. I hope to have it repeated if I ever gather together enough pence to visit.

    I’ll stop talking, I don’t want to wake Flossie.

    xo Jane

    • The key question, Jane, has to be: Are you actually saving up?? Because if you aren’t, what a cruel tease. Just get yourself over here; you’ll love it.

  4. Love the posh frock. But oh my, breathe in..

  5. A Lovely day out :0)

  6. That chair! Those shoes! That beautiful Flossie!

    • Oh yes, that chair!! One of a pair, and so lovely, upholstered in soft faded velvet. The shoes – well, for rather a large foot, and surprisingly sturdy. And to think, all hand-stitched.

  7. Another delightful day out for you. I do love reading about your adventures.

  8. What a fun day! I agree with T, love to paddle in the water. I also love Flossie’s joie de vivre.

  9. What a fun day out – you could have organised a coach so we could have all come along. Please bear that in mind next time. So glad you’ve changed your title photo for an uplifting image!!

  10. I do so enjoy your days out, you find the lovliest places to visit. Those old clothes are exquisite, aren’t they?

  11. This is a lovely post. Really enjoyed it.

  12. I know Budleigh Salterton well, having spent a lot of my childhood at my parent’s caravan at Ladram Bay, between Sidmouth & Exmouth. We were there a few years back & had a stroll in the sunshine along the river from where Flossie swam, to Otterton Mill where we had a lovely cream tea before walking back. Looks like you all had a lovely day!

  13. My girls, 17 and 21, love that sort of day out and have NT memberships. We love rating all the tea rooms!
    That corset is scary, I’d like to try one but can’t imagine being in it all day!

  14. The last time we went to Killerton House there was a fire alarm and we all had to leave. I think the fire engines on the drive where you saw the vintage car was a bigger attraction for the boys but I’m glad to have had a look inside all these years later.

  15. Thank you for the absolutely stunning tour of all the things I will probably never see in real life. Exquisite clothing, architecture, the English countryside and all the wonderful lovelies.. It is a sigh!!!

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