We had a mad tent day today! Lynn and I are beginning to enjoy the delights of wild camping, something that Dartmoor is particularly noted for in the camping world. Anyway, our trusted and faithful Vango Force 10 Mk 5, although inseparable from us after 25 years, is just too heavy to backpack with. My little esquina is a superb 2 man tent that only has one vice, that it is overly boastful regarding its capacity. Lynn and I have been researching and viewing the market and discovered the shear brilliance of the Hilleberg tents - 4 season but extremely light weight. It comes at a price though, thus our mad pitching sortie today as we prepare for possible ebay sales to pay for our extravagance! Our final task was to get Lynn to pitch Julia's Eurohike tent on her own in readiness for her week at the Christian Youth Camps in August.
Today the chaps from church, and Debbie (Colin's fiance) trundled up to Shipley Bridge to have a walk, circumnavigating the Avon Dam. The walk up to the Dam was as always pleasant, and we met numerous Duke of Edinburgh teams just finishing their expeditions. Once at the Dam we traversed its Northern shore, meeting up with the Abbots Way footpath. This took us to our lunch break at the old clapper bridge on the River Avon. We then left marked paths and braved the tussock grass on a bearing directly to Eastern White Barrow. Picking up a disused rail track we had an easy descent back to the car park, espying a hairy caterpillar on the way.
Summer 2012 came and went last Tuesday. Fortunately, the offspring had suggested we take Dan's surf board to Bantham beach to have a go at surfing - ha! Suitably donned in wet suits, we braved the sub-zero waters and fought the waves into submission. Despite the danger, we felt safe because the watchful eye of Lynn was on us, and if we became engulfed by the raging spume, we just know that she would have kicked off her crocs and proceeded as quickly as her best breast-stoke would allow, to drag us spluttering from the deep. A fine day indeed!
During Jubilee week Lynn and I slowly camped our way across and up country until we arrived at Norwich, to pick up Lyds from uni. During our stay near Exmouth, we discovered the Geo Needle, made from different types of rock.
Indeed, how remiss on miss to forget to mention the visit of Hannah and my two grandchildren Sophia and Isaac. We celebrated Hannah's birthday and had a splendid time. The occasion was made possible because Han's Dan was working for a week in Exeter. Marvelous!
It has been lovely to have mum with us for a few days. She is looking really well, and we spend a fascinating few hours today looking around Greenway House, the family home of Agatha Christie. On the way home we got stuck in a traffic jam near the higher ferry in Dartmouth because the J80 International sailing teams were busy craning their yachts out of the water, successfully blocking the embankment - great fun it all was.
I retired from the Royal Marines Band Service in 2007 having served for 33 years as a musician, eventually becoming a Director of Music and running my own band. After retirement, I took my family sailing in the Philippines with a view to sailing back to the UK via Australia. However, for many reasons our plans changed and after 9 years living in Dartmouth we have now moved to Totnes.I am married to Lynn and we have four children. Daniel and his wife Sara live in Portsmouth; Hannah is married to another Dan and they live with our grandchildren Sophia, Isaac & Elijah in Topsham. Lydia is currently studying in Lancaster and Julia is Studying Art at Totnes, due to attend University at Falmouth in 2016. I teach music in the local school and work part time for the Dart Harbour and Navigation Authority, driving the yacht taxi. Between this, directing the local orchestra, various musical performances, involved with the local church and helping train the local Ten Tors team, life can be very busy.