Being a tourist in my own county, that’s Devon, the most perfect place!

This weekend a lovely Australian friend came to stay and as it was her first time in Devon we tried to pick some nice spots to take her. First off we hit the city centre, planning to go to the cathedral, remember I posted about it a few weeks ago? A service was about to start so we thought we would come back later. Meanwhile the Cathedral school were holding their summer fete on the green and this is some of what we saw.

We headed through Ship Lane, passing Sir Francis Drakes favourite port of call.

to High street with its carefully restored Tudor buildings

We spent an hour in the welcome air conditioned museum, recently re-opened after a major refurbishment. At the moment there’s an exhibition of the late James Ravilious, one of my favourite photographers. Coming back to Gandy Street, we were so hot we just had to sit outside Coolings for a half pint of cider! 

there were a few cackling witches hanging around the back alley!

Some surviving parts of the castle

and city wall 

Back down the road we watched some street dance

The cathedral was closed when we got back, but we had a look around the nearby  ruins of  St Catherine’s Chapel, which date from the mid 15th century and were all but destroyed in the Blitz. 

Our day didn’t end there, we went on to the coast, walked on Cockle sands where the tide was out and had fish and chips on the seafront. Finally we pootled around Topsham for an hour, along Hannaford’s quay to the Goat walk. A super day, glorious sunshine and the lovely Australian had a fab time.

As I have included shots of Exeter’s ancient walls and St Catherine’s here is a few lines from the 8th century Exeter book, the poem ‘Ruin’.

Wrætlic is þes wealstan, wyrde gebræcon;
burgstede burston, brosnað enta geweorc.
Hrofas sind gehrorene, hreorge torras,
hrungeat berofen, hrim on lime,

scearde scurbeorge scorene, gedrorene,
ældo undereotone. Eorðgrap hafað
waldend wyrhtan forweorone, geleorene,
heardgripe hrusan, oþ hund cnea
werþeoda gewitan. Oft þæs wag gebad

ræghar ond readfah rice æfter oþrum,
ofstonden under stormum; steap geap gedreas.
Wonað giet se …num geheapen,
fel on
grimme gegrunden

or if modern English is more your style,

Wondrous is this wall-stead, wasted by fate.
Battlements broken, giant’s work shattered.
Roofs are in ruin, towers destroyed,
Broken the barred gate, rime on the plaster,

walls gape, torn up, destroyed,
consumed by age. Earth-grip holds
the proud builders, departed, long lost,
and the hard grasp of the grave, until a hundred generations
of people have passed. Often this wall outlasted,

hoary with lichen, red-stained, withstanding the storm,
one reign after another; the high arch has now fallen.

The wall-stone still stands, hacked by weapons,
by grim-ground files.

The Sunday Post: Door

It’s Jakes day today and his them for this week is door. Visit him over at

and maybe join in. Here is my entry, the ‘Door Of No Return’ at Cape Coast, Ghana. For those who aren’t aware, it is at a 17th century castle from where millions of Africans were shipped to America and a life of slavery, never to return. There is nothing I can add.

Travel Theme: Street Markets

Ailsa has set a challenge this week that I couldn’t resist. I love street markets, well any market really 😉 this is taken at Rahba Kedima in Marrakech. It’s a wide square with little shops around the edge selling spices, caged birds, turtles and Argan oil – my main purchase. You can also find all you need for black magic should you so desire! Herbs, leeches, dried scorpions and other bizarre unmentionables, its all here. The centre of the square is occupied by Berber women selling their crafts, baskets of all shapes and sizes and knitted hats, sitting on the ground. I bought several warm, brightly coloured hats, with the intention of wearing them in winter but haven’t so far, there’s a surprise. The women are there until very late at night and are quite pushy with tourists, I imagine they have it pretty tough. These are the spice girls.

For more travel market photos and to join in visit

Friday Fictioneers, Beautiful and Grey has a weekly challenge with a photo this time,

This is my 100 words, maybe you would like to pop across and join in?

‘Look, there’s a lovely green butterfly and an ugly grey moth’ Beth tugged on her grandmother’s sleeve and led her along the path.

‘I can’t see no ugly moth honey, only a pretty butterfly and a beautiful moth.’

‘It’s dull Grandma’

‘Look real close; see the lovely patterns and different shades of grey?’

‘Uh huh,’ Beth screwed up her eyes.

‘See honey, God made lots of creatures that are beautiful in different ways, green, red,  grey, in all shapes and sizes.’

‘Grandma, your hair is all sorts of pretty grey,’ she reached to feel a curl, ‘did God make it?’



100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups Week# 43

Pop over to Julia’s if you would like to try the weekly 100 word challenge

The prompt this week is ‘The flame flickered before . . .’ and here are my 100 words,

A Cautionary Tale

‘The Flame Flickered Before Her Eyes and Other Stories’ by Randy Walton, ‘What? That’s weird Sal, look. I’m going in.’

‘It’s just a coincidence honey.’

‘But it looks like my photo as well.’

The bell above the door made the shopkeeper briefly raise his head from his own reading, then he tutted when Margi stood over him.

‘This book, it’s self published right?’

‘Yeah and it’s very successful, been at the top of the short fiction charts for weeks. Everyone’s reading short stuff these days.’

Margi turned to the contents page. Twelve short stories. Her short stories, all of them.

Porchester, Ruins Of An English Castle

Porchester castle is on the complex coast around the edge of Hampshire. Built around the 11th century on a site that earlier housed a Roman fort. I visited with my daughter and we couldn’t help wondering about the lives of the many people who had lived there. It had a definite feel, a loud whispering of voices  in the total silence. Click on an image for a larger view.

#Friday Fictioneers

I know it isn’t Friday now, I’ve been away so I’m late.

But, Madison’s  photo kept popping into my head so I wrote this.

Going home is copacetic but the journey from my daughter lacks the joy of the one towards. In the bus someone plays a line from the carnival is over on a tinny echoing phone.

I recline and check the double deck view, a twin chakra of rainbows, moments from the M27 with its pylons and industrial units, on a bench that feels like bone on bone to my spine. Hawthorn next and cemetery birds in a corridor called Wellow.

Disgorge at Salisbury, grateful for a wait uninterrupted by a questioning Mancunian, grasping for minutiae from a trapped, hungover, hen party goer.