August 8th 2000, 1pm
Quiet life in Devon (UK) – relaxing on the farm
Apologies for the extended absence. In all honesty, I’m not really cut out for regular journal or diary writing. Being blessed with an almost photographic memory, I prefer to keep all images and stories locked away in my head. But anyway, more about my quiet life in Devon and the English Riviera. There are rolling green hills everywhere, very steep but beautiful all the same. This farm seems to stretch on forever, from the roads to the high cliffs. The neighbors place is miles away, just like at my sister’s farm in Australia.
The farm (well, my godfather’s daughter’s farm) has its own private beach which is always accessible to locals. I guess you could say it’s a private public beach. It’s a pleasant 15-minute stroll down to the beach, but upon entering the water I realized there were rocks everywhere. At least it’s better than a reef. Also, I could NOT believe the water temperature. It’s the middle of August and it’s absolutely freezing. And I won’t be doing any surfing or body surfing because there are zero waves. Looking on the bright side, it is so tranquil and relaxing.
Family and friends
Saturday night went well; attended a party at James’ folks‘ place. I got home a little earlier than expected, but I suppose you can’t stay out all night when you have little kids. Also, I wouldn’t dare walk home with all these rolling hills and narrow lanes. I’d get lost in 5 minutes. The house was large, spacious and traditionally furnished. It’s quite a change from the small and cramped homes I’ve been staying in since arriving in the UK. In short, good food, a few quiet drinks and lots of fun with the kids.
Speaking of kids, Michelle and James’ son Simon is a handful. The kid is the ruler of his domain, and like a king, when he doesn’t get what he wants, he lets the world know about it. It’s annoying sometimes, but he somewhere inside there is a really good kid. Besides, he has certainly taken a liking to me. With few children living nearby, he sees me as someone to play with indoors and out. He’ll be a pretty good golfer or sportsman someday. He seems to have excellent hand-eye coordination and motor skills for a 3-year-old.
Out and about
I went to the football (soccer) last night, my first game in Britain. Plymouth Argyle had a nice little ground that seats about 15,000. After a slow start Everton took control. It was easy to see the difference between the upper and lower divisions. A solid 5-0 victory and a couple of ales made for a good night. Think I’ll head back to Liverpool on Friday. I must be sure to catch up with Paul and Emma (Michelle and James’ friends) before I leave. They are a good laugh.
Everyone is busy tomorrow, so I’m on my own. Planning to get a lift into Paignton and then walk to Torquay. It’s a fair hike from one to the other, but supposedly Torquay is worth the trip. Might buy a few souvenirs for Michelle and the family in Liverpool and. Everybody has been so kind, so hospitable, and so helpful. Guess I shouldn’t be surprised – northerners are known for that trait.
Anyway, I’ve got to run. James’ old man is taking me out fishing in his dinghy. Should be a beautiful afternoon; it’s sunny and there’s not a breath of wind. We must make the most of these ideal conditions and hopefully catch a couple of bream or haddock in the process. Although I’m not a huge fan of fishing, I do love the sea and boating.