Been Away … Been Around: Part the First

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Family holiday: North Devon Coast; via expected bottle necks on M6 and M5 to the National Trust property at Kingshayes. Fascinating history, the owner/builder had a successful lace making business (in Loughborough) destroyed by Luddites who moved his factory to Tiverton, Devon … and was followed by most of his employees undred employees who – mostly walked – the two hundred miles to occupy the new accommodation he had built for them. Fascinating history, beautiful grounds.

Then tripping along the southern flank of Exmoor through the rolling hills of the county; roads usually perched on one side of a valley that runs between grass-for-silage meadows and either barley or maize. Grasslands: the original solar panels: converting sunlight into energy.

A couple of days in warm-rain soaked estuary town of Bideford. What a difference a tide makes: low slack water and misleadingly lazy looking mud banks that leave whacking great spaces beneath both the old bridge and the ultra-modern “high level” road bridge appears useless and untidy. High tide brings reflections of skies, boats that float jauntily and tourists. I know of course that appearances can be deceptive. These muddy shores are powerhouses for wildfowl and anglers and in history were an industrial thoroughfare, bringing trade and prosperity.


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