Congratulations to Joy for her winning true story this month!
My friend Val usually worked on Saturday but was still recovering from pneumonia. Now feeling better, she rang on the Friday to ask if I would like a trip out for the day on Saturday. Knowing I have good ¬ so good days. I rang back saying all being well it sounded a good idea as the forecast was good. Giving some thought as to where to go I suggested Beer in Devon.
I remembered the many happy times we, and a group of friends would pack our lunch and catch the bus from Bridport, sitting in the top deck to enjoy the lovely views. We used to walk from Beer down into Seaton, starting from a climb up on the coast path with the beautiful views along the bay then downhill into Seaton to catch the bus back to Bridport. It was all so effortless only a short time ago.
Fortunately, the next day I felt in reasonable condition & rang Val to confirm but asked not to go on the bus. I did not mind the driving as it was not too far& the freedom to come & go seemed sensible now I have my disabled parking permit. So much easier and less worry.
Val arrived at my place and, feeling reasonably good, we set off to Beer.
We chatted away together, enjoying the beautiful country views and colours with a perfect blue sky. After a while, I thought that, surely, we should have turned off by now?
Val said, “I did not see the sign.”
When the next sign said we were almost in Exeter, I knew we had gone too far beyond the turning.
I said, “Never mind we can get back on track”.
There was no left turn for several miles but we decided not to turn back as we were sure to eventually get a left turn.
I said, “Never mind, we are are enjoying the scenery and discovering places we had never heard of.”
We were now on a narrow country road, with no signs but it was so beautiful with interesting country cottages and pretty gardens, colourful flowers, graceful weeping willows and wispy birch trees.
I said, “We would have missed all this had we gone straight to Beer. Something good came out of the mistake.
Shortly afterwards, we saw a pub on the left and as we both felt peckish, we decided to investigate the possibility of a light lunch. The pub was unpretentious and solid-looking,and we were hungry. Easily parking just outside, we entered asking for a menu. Inside it was old and basic but comfortable. Looking around I saw an old clock, large and square in shape. It looked iron with clear white face in the centre and read ‘Paris 1700.’ I wondered how the Free house pub got it’s name The Cannon Inn, Newton Poppleford, Devon.
Val chose the ham, I chose the toad in the hole with onion gravy.
After a satisfying meal, we were observing our surroundings. We asked the young man waiting with our bill if he new any history of the place. To which he replied “No, I only work here part time and don’t know anything about the pub” No one else was around.
We decided to continue on to Beer.
We drove through some delightful small settlements from Poppleford before seeing the sign for Beer.
At Beer, we parked in the Main Street easily. Then gently walked down to the area where we could sit watching the flotilla of white sailing boats on the calm sea. As usual, we had a cup of tea before leaving Beer and now the weather was extremely warm for early May. We were walking back up the road looking for a cafe but found nowhere open to sit down and have a cup of tea.
Eventually, we had to buy a cold drink in a shop. They kindly offered us a couple of stools to sit down for a while to enjoy our drink. They said it was early in the season so the cafes were not yet open! Not very enterprising on such a beautiful weekend we uttered on our way out after thanking them for taking pity on two desperate souls.
Val walked back down to the cabin on the beach to buy some fish cakes which we used to do as they were always delicious, before we went back to the car, returning home the usual way.
This time driving down to Seaton with a short stop before returning home to Bridport with the sun still shining low in the sky making pretty patterns. We said how lucky we were to be alive, as Val had a serious heart op three years ago and we both had hip replacements .We said the Mistake made our day trip more enjoyable. Another happy memory !
Joy Endean ©️2017