09 September 2008

Our 38-hour Week's Holiday ...

... There you are, you see! Better than I thought. We managed 38 hours away instead of the 36 I expected!
We drove through wind and rain but in the very far distance we convinced ourselves we could see a teeny-weeny patch of lighter cloud. And I won the bet - it wasn't actually raining when we got to Donna's and I'm happy to say that we even saw a little sunshine a couple of miles in from the North Devon coast.

And here we are in Abbotsham on our way to Donna's wonderful vintage textile sale.

I hope Donna won't mind me showing these photos. I should have asked her first, but everything looked so lovely that I couldn't resist. Fabulous fabrics for sale and gorgeous cakes to have with our tea or coffee!

I bought this little set of drawers (and sold Donna my Dewhurst sylko drawers!) and this is a very poor photo of part of my fabric stash. I bought a boxful and a bagful of 'scrap' pieces - will take better photos later. I also came away with a vintage wooden yard rule which I intend to hang up at Dairy House so people can measure pieces of fabric or lengths of lace. The pi├Ęce de resistance was a fabric samples book. Of smallish size, being slightly smaller than a sheet of A4 paper, but at least 2" thick. Loads and loads of beautiful fabrics and a surprise at the back - wallpaper samples, too. I'll take some photos when the light is better.

After a jolly couple of hours with Donna and friends we set off to Great Torrington to see an antique dealer who I've got to know through the Shepton 3-day Fairs. She stands in the next row to me (talking of which it will seem very strange in a couple of weeks' time not 'doing' the Fair). I came away with a shawl and these:

We had a brief wander round Great Torrington, bought a couple of rolls for our lunch and then set off towards Dartmoor for our overnight stay. We decided to take the 'pretty' route rather than the primary 'A' road but at some point we managed to inadvertently veer off the road we intended to travel along. At one point we commented on how little traffic there was. Shows how laid back and relaxed we were as we hadn't even noticed it was a 'B' road! I'm so glad we did lose our way though, because we came across an area full of oak trees. Not a wood, but oak trees all along the side of the road, oak trees dotted all along the field hedgerows almost as far as you could see, and numerous trees dotted around the fields themselves. What seemed like hundreds of them. I don't think I've ever seen as many oak trees in one place before. Sadly I didn't take any photos, but I fully intend going back there to enjoy it again. I wonder if this is the area where the oak for all those mighty ships came from.

Look how much we've seen and done already on our little trip ... and we've only been away from home for about 6 hours.

Rather than go straight to our isolated B&B we decided to drive over some of Dartmoor and make the most of the time. We went to Chagford first, an ancient Stannary town, so I could see where Sheila Hyson holds a Fair on a Friday morning, just in case we're in that direction again on a Friday. A very pretty place, but we couldn't find a parking space so carried on. From there we drove up and over some very hilly narrow lanes and ended up on our way to Two Bridges. We carried on to Princetown and a little beyond, but as it was by this time torrential rain we decided to make our way towards Hexworthy and our B&B.

So, welcome to a wild and woolly Dartmoor!

The River Dart rushing along and living up to its name! (See the tree being swept away in the first photo?)

And here's Hexworthy bridge. Our B&B is about a mile up the hill from here! Plenty of rain still, although it finally stopped around 8.30 pm.

And look ... the next morning we awoke to ... blue skies!

So, a new day, sunshine and the next leg of our holiday. We set off soon after 9 o'clock, retraced our route over Hexworthy Bridge and stopped off by the River Dart at Badger's Holt.

This piece of lichen dropped off a silver birch tree as I stood there. I brought it home but although it was very soft and silky when it fell, and a gorgeous pale sage green, now it has dried out it is rough and hard and much darker.

We did some more Dartmoor sight-seeing through a mixture of sun and cloud. We were at least able to stop the car and have a wander. I've always loved Exmoor, but I'm just wondering if Dartmoor has the edge ... difficult to say ...

Look ... more blue sky!

After enjoying the wonderful scenery and lovely fresh, clean air we were ready to turn right to Ashburton for another planned part of our holiday to visit Ros's shop called The Snug.

I've never been to Ros's shop before, in fact I don't know whether I've ever been to Ashburton. It's another town with some nice architecture, and lovely antique shops. We didn't go in them all, but I found this eiderdown and a large basket in one called Fishbelly. I was tempted by several small pieces of furniture, but thankfully our car isn't large enough!!

In The Shambles I found a book on samplers and stitches, a hatbox, some tiny old screw-top jars filled with beads, and a pretty floral tin.

And then, leaving the best till last, we ventured in to The Snug! And what a lovely time I had! I've bought from Ros at the Ilminster Talent 4 Textiles Fair and knew I'd find plenty to tempt me. Pauley decided to go back to the car (probably best!), and I spent ages picking up, putting down, choosing and generally behaving like a child in a sweetie shop. I was at the back of the shop when a customer came in and I recognised the voice. Serendipity was at work and who should it be but Amanda of Shabby Chic who I normally see at Shepton, and who lurks on vintage blogs from time to time (hi Amanda!). She does the Totnes Friday market, which I have yet to visit, and she is well known to all we West Country vintage fanatics. She'd popped in to see Ros whilst she was shopping and so we were able to catch up on news.

Not the best photos, but here are some of the goodies I purchased from Ros ...

Moving on ... to Topsham to the Quay Centre, another planned visit. Have you ever seen anything as lovely as this?
This child's toy shop counter stands about 6" or 7" high and is a good 2' long. The labels on the drawers are ceramic. I couldn't believe my luck when I saw it. And this box of farmyard stamps is another delight. I'm going to test them all out before I decide whether or not they can be sold!

After a wander up through Topsham and back to the car we were ready for a cup of coffee (breakfast had been so filling that lunch was certainly not an option). We then drove on to Beer through lashing rain. We stopped for a quick visit to the little antique shop where I bought a glover's wooden hand. Sorry, no photos of either the hand or Beer, so why not look at their website where you'll see blue skies, blue sea and a beautiful place. We've stayed in Beer in the past and it's a jolly place to be - but not particularly so on Saturday with vertical rain, brown sea and rivers of mud running down the road!!

Finally it was time to make our homeward journey - east to Seaton and then in a northerly direction to Chard and Ilminster from where it was a brief run along the A303 to home. In all we did about 270 miles, but what a jam-packed 270 miles and 38 hours it was. Pauley enjoyed most of it, bless him, but did appreciate the break, even if it was a busman's holiday! I was tired by the end of it (I do all the driving), but very refreshed, and the good thing about this short holiday is that I remember every moment, and shall be able to draw on these memories whenever I feel the need to 'take a moment'! That'll do me fine, until our next 38-hour week! It's all a case of 'mind over matter' ... 38 hours, 7 days, whatever ... a holiday is a holiday when all said and done!
I hope you've managed to stay the course - I think this is probably the longest post I've ever written. It's certainly taken me an age, especially uploading all those photos ... and still I haven't photographed the giveaways! DON'T FORGET TO LEAVE A COMMENT ON MY PREVIOUS POST to be entered into the giveaway draws. I'll be taking some photos later with a bit of luck, and updating the post.

See you soon!


LiLi M. said...

What a lovely trip Sue! We had our share of dull and rainy wheather too, but now it's improving. Your bargains are too good to be true. Especially the childrens' shop counter. Those labels are often made of china, the same kind as the frozen charlies.
Have a nice day, cheers, LiLi

Country Bliss said...

Wow what a hectic time you must have had. Dsrtmoor is looking as beautiful as ever.
Love all the goodies you found.

Redwoodhouse said...

Sounds like a fantastic trip filled with finds of lovely goodies.
Don't you love unpacking everything when you get back the childrens counter is a dream find.
Enjoy Jan

Donna said...

I don't mind the photos a bit honey but I do wonder what I am saying stood there, hands on hips!
You had a fantastic haul I am particularly envious of that child's counter, too delicious for words!

I do hope you post some photos of the sample book. I didn't get round to taking any of it myself so would love to see some.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sue! (lurker here!)
You really did pack a lot into your break did'nt you!
...And all those lovely things you found aswell...amazing...love the childs shop counter and loved those beautiful drawers from Ros too!
See you at Sheppers!
Love Amanda-Shabby Chick xx

Nostalgia at the Stone House said...

Hi Sue,
Sounds like you packed in more to your 38 hours than I did in my whole week in Devon!! haha....and all that lovely shopping time too....the drawers from Ros (both sets!) are fabulous.
And I LOVE the prizes that you have put together for your give-away - so generous.

Happy Stamping ;-))
Niki x

OhSoVintage said...

Gosh, what a long post! You certainly packed a lot in during your mini-hol (packed a lot in the car too by the look of all the lovely things you managed to find to buy). I spent a week staying in Chagford when I was a child and remember it quite well.

Anonymous said...

What a super duper post Sue! I cant beleive you managed to pack so much into such a small amount of time really. I do so wish I could gone to Donna's too. You really did come home with so many wonderful vintage finds! Lucky girl.

Anonymous said...

What an exciting trip. We got some rain and a little thunder last night. It was kinda weird because I just never had any sort of feeling that it was going to rain. Usually one can tell when somethin' is up, ya know?
Anyway, when you mentioned bringing home that lichen that fell from a tree I had to smile because that is something I love to do. I am always collection things from my travels whether it be not far from home or on a vacation. I have bark, rocks, lichen, sand, twigs you name it. They are actually great to use in my art projects.
Love all your sweet finds too. Ya, that would be cool to see moree of that sample book.
Take care,

Country Cottage Chic said...

You certainly squeezed a lot into a relatively few hours & came home with a fantastic haul!

bigbikerbob said...

Hi Sue, What a busy Bee you have been routing around in our neck of the woods too.Glad you enjoyed the time, short as it was.