Monday, February 25, 2008

Devon's own Spiderman - or is it Raff

At half term we had a few lovely days in Devon with Penny, and a particularly great day was had in Budleigh Salterton. As we wandered along the amazing pebble beach - evey pebble was a beauty and cried out to be collected - Raff set his heart on climbing a cliff at the end of the beach, but when we got there it was the far side of a fast flowing stream and couldn't be got at. He was a little disappointed but after a lovely picnic lunch watching crazy canoeists, we headed back to the car.When we were nearly there, walking along the undercroft, we passed a wonderful red sandstone cliff covered in a succulent climber. Before we knew it, Raff had hurled himself at it and was making his way up at speed in the style of spiderman. The higher he got the greater his elation, and despite being overtaken by a 10 year old (showing off and not realising the importance to Raff of conquering the 'mountain'), he got to the top and declared himself "the winner!!" It doesn't look so remarkable in the pictures but it was almost completely vertical. For Penny and I watching, slightly anxiously, from the bottom, it was quite emotional. This is the boy who used to fall over flat ground and about who we sometimes worry about climbing the stairs!
The next day when Michael had joined us we went for a fabulous walk on Dartmoor. It seems unthinkable that we have never been before, and if my wish to move West ever wanes, I will only have to remember that day to remind me what it's all about. We started just outside a village called xxxxx (Penny please help?) next to a clear, rocky stream. Clambering up the hillside we came out on open moor, with sheep and wild ponies - the white one was christened a Unicorn. There was an abdundance of gorse in flower and the kids had such fun hiding in it, springing out and 'scaring' us. We came across frogspawn in shallow boggy puddles and the dog had more exercise than in her whole life thus far, chasing the smell of rabbits and hare. Then we descended ito the valley again to a beautiful spot by the stream for lunch - you can 'wild' camp here apparently and I think we may have to go back for that - I wanted to ford the stream but discovered a hole in my welly half way across - not good!
and i used my tripod!!
Our final day was spent helping to wake Penny's allotment up, much digging and weeding - we even got help from the kids!