A Lovely Day

Saturday morning! We awoke to bright sun and joyful songbirds, the grey dullness of the week already a distant memory. Not only was today a break from the monotonous routine that has come to pass for our WWOOFing experience, but the opportunity to have a day by the sea with K’s Mum and Step-dad, David. First things first, though… a morning walk.

With all the facilities being over 200m away, we have become used to a stroll for food, washing or computer access. On this occasion, it was time for all three. Our work clothes had become quite dirty over the past couple of days, so K made his way to the washing machine. After going through the rigmarole of unloading someone else’s washing, which had been in there for over 24 hours (a most unsociable habit to have in a shared washing facility) we were able to wash our clothes clean whilst preparing our favoured winter breakfast!

Starting work at 7am, we don’t usually feel like eating so early and have no time/opportunity to cook on our tea break or lunch hour, so a warm satisfying breakfast is, for now, a weekend treat. After large bowls of steaming porridge and brown sugar, we caught up with a few things on the computer until it was time to hang the washing in the warm sunshine to begin drying.

Now it was approaching 10am, time to return to our pod to prepare for the day ahead. A quick pack and spruce up later, the phone rang and K’s Mum announced their arrival. We walked to the main car park to welcome them before giving a short tour of the farm, taking in the polytunnels, packing shed and our homely little pod. Unfortunately, there was nowhere to offer tea, so we decided to push on and head for the sea.

First stop was Brixham – a small fishing town to the south end of Torbay. This was where Dave remembers his first holiday, so thought it would be lovely to visit again. After parking the car just outside the town we started to make our way along a small lane towards the harbour. As we walked, present and past came together and it was soon clear we were standing at the actual location of the holiday park they stayed at on that first holiday. We stood for a moment letting all the memories flood back before walking down the steep slope to a small cove which he and his sisters would run down every day to make their way to the turquoise sea. Now, as the sun shone overhead and the waves gently rippled up the beach, it was time to reflect on childhood memories.

We made our way along the coastal path into the main town, the harbour looking splendid in the morning sun and providing a bright contrast to the days which had preceded it. With Mum and Dave not having eaten much that day, it was time for a snack and in true hobbit style, we were ready for “second breakfast”. With a beautiful view of the harbour, we sat outside a lovely little cafe, warm enough in the February sun, and enjoyed a full veggie breakfast as Mum ate a cheese panini and Dave a sausage sandwich. Yum!

We finished our meals and spent some time soaking up a few rays and chatting before continuing with our walk of the harbour out towards the lighthouse. On the way, we passed the full-sized replica of the Golden Hind, the ship which Sir Francis Drake used to circumnavigate the world.

Drake had official approval to benefit himself and the Queen as well as to cause the maximum damage to the Spaniards. Setting sail in December 1577 with five small ships, manned by 164 men Drake’s flagship, Pelican, which he renamed Golden Hinde, the expedition took over 2 years, sailing into Plymouth Harbour with only 56 of the original crew on 26 September 1580.  A pirate to the Spanish, but a hero to the British, Queen Elizabeth I herself went aboard Golden Hind and personally bestowed a knighthood on him. Her share of the treasure came to almost £160,000 – enough to pay off her entire foreign debt and still have £40,000 left over . Her return and that of other investors came to £47 for every £1 invested, or a total return of 4,700%!

After another brush with history, we continued our walk out towards the sea, the wind grew stronger and the day grew overcast, so we pulled coats tighter as we made our way catching up with news and relaying our WWOOF experiences. As always, when one is happy, the time passed quickly walking and talking and before we knew it we were back at the car, ready for the next part of our weekend adventure.

After a quick tour of Paighton, we made our way to the English Riviera, Torquay, birthplace of the famous writer Agatha Christie. Keeping our eyes peeled for Basil Fawlty, we again went for a walk of the harbour (with K & R picking up a few essential WWOOF supplies on the way). On the return journey, Mum, K and R took the steps (189 of them according to Mum’s count) through the Royal Terrace Gardens to take in the view of Torquay and the bay.

After meeting up with Dave in town (although he did give us the slip once 😉 ), we made our way to a Wetherspoons pub for a late afternoon/early evening meal. As England beat Ireland in the Five Nations Rugby on large TV screens, we enjoyed our meals; Mum and Dave had burgers, R a “superfood” pasta and K a five-bean chilli with Quorn.

All too soon, it was time to make our way to our temporary abode and so we drove back through the early evening darkness, the sights and sounds of the day still vivid in our minds. We exchanged gifts – for us a selection of clothes including some warm winter tops and for Mum and Dave some fresh farm produce and it was now time to say goodbye. After a warm shower in the peculiarly-perched shower shack, we settled in for the evening and a good film.

Sunday was a low key affair, including a few chores and old TV shows under the again grey Devon sky. The weekend soon came to a close. As we rested in bed, we held tightly onto the happy thoughts of our weekend and prepared ourselves for our last week WWOOFing at Shillingford Organics.

Loving Simplicity