Friday, 11 June 2010

Belated Birthday Outing

Following on from the Explosion Box posts, we had arranged to meet my friend today to celebrate our birthdays belatedly. She and I share the same birthday. She lives in inner-city Plymouth, a few yards from where we used to live, and although she drives, she doesn't get out into the country that often, so we took her to the tiny village of Meavy for lunch at the Royal Oak pub. On the village green outside is an ancient oak tree which is propped up to stop it falling down, and is one of the many, many oak trees in England reputed to have hidden King Charles I! (He'd have been a very fit man if he'd managed to climb such a forest of oak trees in his life...) We had a very nice lunch indeed, and then I suggested that we went for a little drive.

Meavy is just down the road from where I grew up, so it's all very familiar territory for me, and full of memories. It's right on the edge of West Dartmoor and when I was living in the area I used to walk regularly on the moors and know lots of different places. Sheepstor is the local tor which overshadows the village, and the beautiful reservoir of Burrator. It's about 7 miles' drive around the lake, and it's soooo beautiful, so that's where we went. Beforehand I showed her the 2 houses where I grew up. The only fly in the ointment was lack of sunshine - although it was dry, it was very dull and overcast, but my friend, always seeing the bright side of every situation, said it was lovely, because it made everything look mysterious! It is beautiful in any light, of course.

As we passed the turning to the tiny hamlet of Sheepstor, we came across a lovely bonus! Here's what we found:

04 Ponies

There were two foals in this group of Dartmoor ponies, and they let us get quite close.

We took the 2 bears, Winston and Edwina, and here they are looking at the ponies, with their noses literally pressed against the car windows!

06 Bears Looking Out of Car Window

Round the further side of the lake, it's very mossy and almost a secret place.

07 Country Lane at Burrator

08 Mossy Wall at Burrator

09 Mossy Wall at Burrator - Detail

10 Mossy Wall at Burrator

Everywhere the May blossom is at its best - I think I even prefer it to the earlier cherry blossom - although I vowed I'd never get like my mum, I do rave about it just as much as she does lol! The May makes the trees look weighed down with snow, and we are so fortunate that it grows profusely throughout the Devon countryside.

18 May Blossom Tree 

Coming round the further end of the lake, this is the view you get:

22 Burrator Reservoir Through the Trees 

Returning to the beginning of the circuit, you get a good view of the Victorian granite dam:

26 Burrator Dam Through the Trees

I was surprised to see how low the water level was. When it fills up, the water flows through the arches and down the slope of the dam to feed the stream below. In times of drought, the tip of the spire of the church of the drowned village has been known to appear, but that's rare.

28 Pam and Me with Explosion Box 

After our little drive, we took Pam back to Plymouth, and over a cup of coffee, she opened her explosion box. I then spent some time with her on her computer, setting up web mail for her as she's really having problems with Virgin Media, and my hubby crashed out on the settee and went to sleep - he is still very sleepy in the daytime despite the benefit of the mask at night, and I think he's being optimistic if he thinks the dr. will allow him to drive again when he sees her on 1st July...

After that I was pretty knackered - it was about 7.30 p.m. by then and we had to do a quick Tesco shop on the way home. Very glad to get my feet up after that! It's a long day, however enjoyable, and it doesn't help that I've got to do the driving atm.

Altogether a lovely day, and my friend enjoyed every minute of it! - as did we. We have so much to be thankful for, with all this on our doorstep, to be shared in the company of those we love.

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