Back now from a great holiday visiting my wife’s cousin and his wife in Barnstaple in North Devon, England. For those of you who don’t know it Devon is a beautiful county in the south-west of England. However, as with many such holiday places it is at its best when the sun shines. And, sadly, I must report the sun shone very little. Nevertheless, we saw quite a bit of North Devon, by car and bus. (It’s great that we can use our Swindon bus passes in other parts of the country to get free travel).
Unfortunately trips to the countryside in Devon are not always as scenic from inside the car as I would like. This is down to the huge, and continuous, hedges that sometimes run for miles. While these are great at protecting vehicles from strong side winds they make it seem you are driving in a tunnel. And it seems there’s another downside, which is that in the winter heavy snowfalls are trapped on the road buy the huge hedges and the roads can get blocked.
On a short visit to Lynmouth we saw once again the Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway. This is a water-powered funicular railway joining the twin towns of Lynton and Lynmouth on the rugged coast of North Devon. This is always quite an experience as it is the highest and steepest water-powered railway in the world, with a scenic clifftop terrace & café.
We also revisited the famous Pannier Market in Barnstaple and enjoyed the charm and friendly atmosphere of one of Britain’s largest indoor markets. The market has remained largely unchanged in over 150 year. The market has a wide range of stalls, with everything from fresh local produce, flowers and crafts, to prints and pictures, fashion and much more.
On this occasion we were fortunate to meet Johnny Kingdom, a wildlife presenter, film maker and photographer who is famous for his books, DVD’s, and safaris on his beloved Exmoor.
What a privilege it was to meet Johnny and be able to have my photo taken with him. We even bought a set of 5 framed photos of Robins, our national bird.
I didn’t write any more of my second novel but wrote a short story as an exercise for one of my writing groups, Swindon Fiction Writers.
And after I got home I rewrote an old short story that was originally penned about twenty years ago. I brought it down from some 2,300 words to just under 750. And I rewrote it in 1st person present tense instead of the original 3rd person past tense, which I’m more familiar with. It’s much more dynamic and powerful now and I’ll share it on Friday with another writing group, Liden Writers.