As dense as granite

Dartmoor granite was used to build the old London Bridge, the one that’s now a tourist attraction somewhere in the Arizona desert. Luckily there’s still plenty left to scramble on, and take photos of!

This is Bonehill Rocks, a couple of miles from Haytor. I went at the weekend, and had a bit of  scramble myself. In fact I had to bump my way down on my derriere, holding on to absolutely nothing except my breathe.

Do you think granite is dense enough for the weekly photo challenge?

The Winding Path

To the top of the hill leads to my little house. Along the way is the greengrocer, the baker, the butcher and the fishmonger. Every Friday the library man wheels his trolley all the way up, so we old folk don’t have to carry our books.

It gets very blowy up here in winter, but never mind, the views of the river running towards the sea and the town with it’s church spires are beautiful. In summer lots of visitors come for the day. They puff and pant, and many of them give up along the way. I don’t mind when they knock on the door to ask for water, because I can always sell them a bag of my special hill town fudge. The cobbler does well, he hires out sensible shoes for the day, He has a sign saying ‘Ladies, rent my shoes or break your ankles’. City women can be so foolish, how do they think pointy heels will fare on the cobbles?

When the snows comes at Christmas, hundreds come and pay a shilling a time to toboggan down. We decorate with lights and holly, the whole place looks magical. Old Wilf dresses up as Santa and there’s mince pies and mulled wine for the grown ups.

Maybe you’ll come to visit one day? We’ll make you very welcome, as long as you spend lots of money and go away again. But be warned, villains and scrooges will be fed to the wolves in the forest.

Paula has a Thursday Special photo challenge and this week the theme is ‘Winding’. My head is scrambled after a manic week, so I thought I’d share my madness with you.

 

Paula said she would like to visit and asked for directions, so here they are.

Get off the train at Exeter St Davids, next cross to platform 5 for the Tarka line. After an hour and 3769 seconds get ready to jump from the train. Don’t be frightened of the crone in the hedge, and whichever way she directs you choose the opposite. After a nod and 3 blinks you will see a white gate, it’s easy from there as long as you sprinkle coins!

Spring plants in the rain

I walked down my road from work today , with my neighbour Katie and she admired the euphorbia draping itself over my garden wall. I thanked her because it had self seeded from hers! We decided it was at it’s best, even better than her mother plant and that I should take a photo.

So as I’d got the camera out, I decided to see what else was happening.

I must say it’s nice to get home in daylight and next week will be even better. The weather’s been squally again, bright sunshine, then short, sharp showers and some very heavy rain and wind. I think the plants enjoyed the freshness.

 

Castelling, a human tower

Castelling is an ancient Catalan tradition, first documented in the early 1800’s, it began in Tarragona, but has since spread throughout Catalonia. I first saw it courtesy of the pink trousered one, Michael Portillo, in one of his tv programmes, to which I am addicted. As I was in Barcelona for ‘The Dia’ last September, I knew there was a fair chance of seeing it.

The Centre for Cultura i Memoria in El Born was one of the places it could be seen, the one that was easy to find, and close to a favourite little café!

After a croissant filled with coffee flavoured mascarpone, it was time to go out into the Placa Comercial,

Where preparations were underway.

And then it began.

In the background, you can see the first layer climb on the shoulders of the base level, or Pinya as it’s known. The Pinya is wide and formed by the strongest of the group, to make a base that can support the weight of the rest and be a safety net should anyone fall.

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Several more layers are added, the Tronc, and finally, the littlest one scrambles atop, zoom in to see her nearly there, but I didn’t capture her with the camera, I was too entranced!

Once there, she gives a very quick wave, the crowd cheer and she’s back down the six layers beneath her, in just a few moments. Three troups performed that day, in competition, and each time I saw the wave, but my camera didn’t.

A Lunchtime Find

When it’s cold or wet I tend to stay on campus, or even walk the corridors of the main hospital building for my lunchtime stroll. Today the weather was perfect, so I went through the housing estate, because I knew my secret pathway was looking pretty.

I’m glad I went because the daffs won’t be around much longer. I lingered a few minutes and then it was time to stride out. Next I came across this van,

and just had to investigate. Who remembers the days when the baker, the fishmonger, the milkman, the green grocer and of course the Corona lorry and the ice cream man came?

Now in Exeter, the farm shop comes to some areas.

With lots of lovely local produce.

You’re probably wondering if I was tempted.

Well, as I’m over the baking phase I had in the autumn, because if you make cake you have to eat it don’t you? That’s bad news for a chubba-bubba, so it had to stop. The only thing to do is buy the odd treat or ten, so I chose a brownie which I’ve left in my desk drawer until Friday afternoon, when I’ll need – uh – deserve a treat for surviving the week.

This lovely lady runs the mobile shop. She was a delight to chat to and said Love Local Food is based at West Town Farm, where they have open days for families and schools. Their mission is to produce and promote sustainable food, reduce food miles and to engage with people in the community.

We all like our food to be fresh don’t we? It really does have more flavour if it’s local and in season, rather than being chilled for goodness knows how long, while it’s being flown hallway around the planet. Have a look at Love Local’s pages, there’s even a ted Talk. If you’re near Exeter, watch out for the happy food van!