*Not a travel post! Well actually this post is all over the place (so a bit travelly and liable to cause motion sickness) and for that I make no apologies…because it’s the blog’s first birthday so humour me! Well actually it was 24th February and yes sorrynotsorry I already had all the cake.
Anyway let’s talk about February, it’s a month for love right? A couple of weeks ago Valentine’s Day loomed large much like Donald Trump’s #wrongquiff – seriously, you couldn’t make that hairstyle up. Valentine’s Day seems to divide the nation into lovers and haters of…. Valentine’s Day! Put simply it is either a fabulous/ball ache occasion (delete as you find appropriate). Last Sunday to finish off our February of enforced amour we made one of our many yearly pilgrimages to a place we love called Haytor on Dartmoor. Dartmoor makes me feel small, not in a put me down, call me names or send me threatening texts kind of a way. It just makes me feel like I’m a mere dot on an ancient map. It’s expansive, you can see for miles and I always get the notion that thousands of years worth of people have shuffled about there before me. Quite possibly freezing off their neanderthal nockers too.
As a family we always have two rules before we go to Dartmoor.
- We must have inadequate fuel in the car.
- We must have at least one tween who desperately needs the toilet in the least inhabited part of the Moors. We’re talking where there’s nada public conveniences, not even a pub with a loo, just your pick of hedges slash mossy walls to widdle behind.
This results in a stressful hunt for a petrol station in the unpopulated wilds and finding a suitable hedge for a child to pee behind. Not too prickly, not too many stinging nettles, not to high, not too low, not too many bulls in the field…you get the picture.
On this occasion, after going ten miles out of our way to find a petrol station we managed to pre-empt the panicky picnic pee predicament by hurrying to the first cafe we came across. We wanted to have a sandwich or something similar anyway and I hadn’t packed a picnic because I couldn’t face lunching a la car with an erroneous Dartmoor Pony head butting the window for our apple cores (I’m not making this shiz up).
It was a quaint looking tea shop, or so we thought (cue Tim Burtonesque freaky music and theatrically squeaky door). On entering we were warmly greeted by a wave of Elderly Peoples Rest Home aroma (I don’t think Air Wick has this in their range yet) and this sticky carpet……
…..time to reverse right back out yes? No, firstly we were welded to the carpet and as we tried to swivel on the spot we were clobbered by the overly helpful proprieter who herded us like a stealthy sheepdog over to a table flapping two menus to propel us there!
The place was wall to wall old folk all chowing down on some variant of flaccid carvery meat and a new aroma of boiled cabbage was now fighting for airspace too. The decor of this particular cafe was pre 1982 unromantic dado railism. There were wallpaper borders which had their own wallpaper borders while non matching floral pelmets were in abundance atop the rather tired flowery curtains. I feel like I’ve had my fill of pelmets lately. Much like asbestos these curtain toppers really should carry a health warning and be removed from buildings by specialist contractors in protective clothing, before being blown up in a safe and controlled environment. This dowdy old dear of a cafe was so dour that even the daffodil table decoration – officially the most cheerful flower on earth (registered Trademark) seemed to be choking on the cabbagey Rest Home dining room ambiance!
I needed a coffee!
Just not one that looked like a geological study – no one wants jurassic style #coffeesediment.
But hang on just a moment I’m a lover not a hater! The children were happy and enjoying their sausage and chips. All notions of a sandwich had gone west once they’d clapped eyes on the Kids Menu. My husband Ted didn’t mind his pallid carvery meal. The daffodils were breathing through it and I could use my knife to stir my drink and reach to agitate the #coffeesediment – so time to quit complaining right! Yes Devon has outdated and dreary cafes but doesn’t every county………even like Surrey?
Once refuelled with crap cafe sustenance we made our way to Haytor. This is a most magnificent Tor which rises from the moorland majestically. Let’s just say we walked the hill towards it without being trampled by stampeding wild ponies and then we climbed it, yeah Haytor you got owned and stuff!!
Photo: supplied by crap photos at it doesn’t do it justice dot com
And as we look back on February, the traditional month of love and did I mention the Birthday of this darling blog, I hope you too can say, hand on heart that you have been more of a lover than a Haytor!
As you were!
If you liked this post here’s my last post. If you didn’t, fair enough!