Derek and I have been to see my sister and son in Devon for five days. And a most enjoyable time was had by all.
Arriving in Exmouth on Wednesday afternoon in brilliant sunshine, one could be forgiven for thinking it was August 3rd not December 3rd. The temperature was deceiving behind the glass of firstly a car and then French doors. Enjoying a cup of tea in my sister's kitchen and looking out onto her garden where the shrubs still look healthy and the big orb in the sky glistened on the garden ornaments.
"Visiting one of my all time favourite beaches"
Being a beach lover, we were soon back in the car and driving down to Exmouth sands for me to have my gaze at the sea- something I never have, nor ever will, tire of doing.
Then a walk from one end of the beach to the other. Exmouth surely is one of my all time favourite beaches. We met a swimmer coming out of the sea who said the water was beautiful. I have to admit that I wasn't brave enough to try it out for myself!! The temperature outside was around 5oc , but the sun made it feel like 15oc.
We drove to Exeter then to take my youngest son out for an evening meal.
Enjoying a meal and a glass of wine at The Imperial
A well known pub chain was the perfect setting and it was tastefully decorated throughout for the festive season. The establishment is the largest pub in the UK.
"Christmas Markets in Exeter and Exmouth welcoming the spirit of the season"
Thursday dawned cold and grey, but that was ok as this was another trip to Exeter to fit new curtains and the poles in my son's lounge and a spot of Christmas shopping. Exeter has an outdoor Christmas market at this time of year and the men enjoyed a pint each of German beer, whilst I had a warming hot chocolate. Many and varied stalls sold all types of provisions, crafts, food, etc. So many cafés to choose from for a lunchtime snack. In the end The Boston Tea Party provided superb rolls and freshly squeezed orange juice. A spot of Christmas viewing around the many and varied shops that Exeter has to offer, along with a magnificent cathedral towering in the square made for a good day.
Friday was spent with Derek visiting his brother in Paignton and my sister and I sorting out some of our late mother's paperwork, then going for a bus ride into town and a walk along the beach.
Saturday was a beautiful sunny day once more and we went to Exmouth town centre for the annual Christmas Crackers event.
"Brass Band, Steel Band, Folk Band, Even A Street Magician, Entertainment Galore!"
A Celtic Folk Group
A Local Brass Band
A Local Steel Band
Herbie, Entertaining Everyone
Outdoor stalls, similar to Exeter, but in a lot smaller setting, plus the addition of bell ringers, a brass band, a steel band, a folk band, magicians and even puppeteers.
"Bison roll anyone?"
A Stall Selling Elk And Bison!
I was too scared to sample the elk and the bison rolls!! Plenty of people were though. Instead I opted for a home cured bacon buttie with brown sauce, Yum! The event ending with the Christmas tree lights being lit and a firework display once it got dark. Five Christmas presents were bought and I hope something a little different for family members this year. Individuality, rather than chain store items. An evening meal at one of our favourite pubs in Exmouth, The Grove, made the day complete.
Sunday was my son's birthday, so we treated him to an excellent lunch at Posh Nosh situated in The Pavilion along the seafront in Exmouth.
Brrh! It's VERY Cold!
The day was bitterly cold and on the beach the wind was blowing and the sand whipping up all around us. Hence my hat!!! But a glorious walk to blow away the cobwebs and a final look for the time being at the winter sea with the waves lashing. A sober thought about all our brave fishermen who go out day in day out here to provide excellent catches of fresh fish for the pubs and restaurants. Surely one of the most dangerous jobs there is. Kite surfers enjoying themselves and dogs running riot on a winter beach that allows them to be off the lead, unlike the summer when they are curtailed!
People Enjoying Sunday Lunch
All too soon, we were on the M5 and making our way back to Hereford. A most enjoyable few days. Do visit glorious Devon.